Articles Posted by Lorianne

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  • Regulators Explain ‘Too Big to Fail’ Decision on MetLife

    12/26/2014 3:19:06 PM PST · by Lorianne · 24 replies
    NYT ^ | 19 December 2014 | Mary Williams Walsh
    A panel of regulators said on Friday that MetLife required heightened scrutiny by the Federal Reserve because of its size, leverage and interconnectedness with other financial institutions. “Material financial distress at MetLife could have significant adverse effects on a broad range of financial firms and financial markets,” the Financial Stability Oversight Council said in a 31-page statement explaining why it had voted 9 to 1 on Thursday to designate MetLife a “systemically important financial institution,” or SIFI. In such a situation, the market disruption could be severe enough “to inflict significant damage on the economy,” the council found. The council,...
  • Amid Surge, Real Estate Investors Win as Builders Lose

    12/23/2014 2:26:54 PM PST · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Professional Builder | 23 December 2014
    According to Bloomberg, investors in a fund devoted to real estate investment trusts have racked up gains of 65 percent, while investors in homebuilder stocks still haven’t recovered from the U.S. housing crash. “The gap will probably endure for years as U.S. job growth spurs demand for office, retail and apartment properties faster than Americans can buy new houses,” Bloomberg reports.
  • Existing Home Sales Drop 6.1% to 4.93M rate in November

    12/22/2014 12:12:04 PM PST · by Lorianne · 7 replies
    CNBC ^ | 22 December 2014
    U.S. home resales tumbled to a six-month low in November after two straight months of strong increases, underscoring the uneven nature of the housing market recovery. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales dropped 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.93 million units, the lowest level since May.
  • Russia to bail out Trust Bank with up to $530 million

    12/22/2014 11:32:55 AM PST · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Reuters ^ | 22 December 2014
    Russian mid-sized lender Trust Bank is to receive up to 30 billion rubles ($530 million) from the central bank to stop it going bankrupt in the first bailout of its kind during the current rouble crisis. The central bank also said its Deposit Insurance Agency, responsible for managing crisis-hit lenders, would take over interim supervision of Trust Bank as of Monday. The measures "will make it possible for Trust to continue smooth payments operations. All the bank's clients, including depositors, can use its services as usual", the central bank said in a statement. Trust, which hired actor Bruce Willis as...
  • Greece’s radical left could kill off austerity in the EU

    12/22/2014 10:08:31 AM PST · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | 22 December 2014 | Owen Jones
    nother war looms in Europe: waged not with guns and tanks, but with financial markets and EU diktats. Austerity-ravaged Greece may well be on the verge of a general election that could bring to power a government unequivocally opposed to austerity. Momentous stuff: that has not happened in the six years of cuts and falling living standards that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers. But if the radical leftist party Syriza does indeed triumph in a possible snap poll in the new year, there will undoubtedly be a concerted attempt to choke the experiment at birth. That matters not just...
  • The Odd Math of Medical Tests: One Scan, Two Prices, Both High

    12/20/2014 5:23:54 PM PST · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    New York Times ^ | 15 December 2015 | Elixabeth Rosenthal
    Testing has become to the United States’ medical system what liquor is to the hospitality industry: a profit center with large and often arbitrary markups. From a medical perspective, blood work, tests and scans are tools to help physicians diagnose and monitor disease. But from a business perspective, they are opportunities to bring in revenue — especially because the equipment to perform them has generally become far cheaper, smaller and more highly mechanized in the past two decades. And echocardiograms, ultrasound pictures of the heart, are enticing because they are painless and have no side effects — unlike CT scans,...
  • Chevron, Statoil Announce First Oil Strike In New Gulf Of Mexico Field

    12/19/2014 12:23:47 PM PST · by Lorianne · 15 replies
    Oil Price ^ | 03 December 2014 | Andy Tully
    Two multinational energy giants, Chevron Corp. of the United States and Norway’s Statoil, have begun extracting oil and gas from the large Jack and St. Malo fields in US waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The two fields are among the largest in the Gulf and are expected to yield 94,000 barrels of oil equivalent and 21 million cubic feet of gas per day for an estimated 30 years, Chevron said in a statement on Dec 2. The Jack field’s reserves were discovered in 2004 and the St. Malo oil was discovered a year earlier. The fields are situated about...
  • Federal Reserve delays parts of Volcker rule until 2017

    12/19/2014 12:20:11 PM PST · by Lorianne
    BBC ^ | 18 December 2014
    The US Federal Reserve has given Wall Street banks even more time to comply with parts of the Volcker Rule, a key provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. The rule prevents federally-insured banks from using their own money when investing in certain risky assets. It will now grant an extension to other types of funds. Initially, the Fed had said banks would have until 21 July 2017 to stop trading in collateralised loan obligations, which essentially move the risk of investments in loans off their balance sheets.
  • North Sea oil industry 'close to collapse'

    12/19/2014 12:13:59 PM PST · by Lorianne · 37 replies
    BBC ^ | 18 December 2014 | Ben King
    The UK's oil industry is in "crisis" as prices drop, a senior industry leader has told the BBC. Oil companies and service providers are cutting staff and investment to save money. Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers' association Brindex, told the BBC that the industry was "close to collapse". Almost no new projects in the North Sea are profitable with oil below $60 a barrel, he claims. "It's almost impossible to make money at these oil prices", Mr Allan, who is a director of Premier Oil in addition to chairing Brindex, told the BBC. "It's a huge crisis." "This...
  • The Business of Urban Farming Takes Root in Detroit

    12/16/2014 7:02:04 AM PST · by Lorianne · 23 replies
    Entreprenueur ^ | 02 December 2014
    Greg Willerer may not seem like your average entrepreneur. The once full-time school teacher quit his job to follow his passion for farming in the most unlikely of places. Located not far from Downtown Detroit, Willerer launched his urban farming business on just one acre of land. During his first year, Willerer earned almost the equivalent of his teaching salary. His venture, Brother Nature Produce, sells locally grown produce to restaurants across Detroit. They recently received a $10,000 grant to help grow their business from the New Economy Initiative’s small business challenge, and his farm was among one of five...
  • The Oil-Price-Shock Contagion-Transmission Pathway

    12/15/2014 4:40:28 PM PST · by Lorianne · 17 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 14 December 2014 | Tyler Durden
    As we noted previously, counterparty risk concerns (and thus financial system fragility) are starting to rear their ugly heads. In the mid 2000s, it was massive one-way levered bets on "house prices will never go down again." When the cracks started to appear, the mark-to-market losses in derivatives led to forced liquidations and snowballed systemically. In the mid 2010s, it is massively levered one-way asymmetric bets on "commodity prices [oil] will never go down again." Meet WTI-structured-notes... the transmission mechanism for oil-price-shocks blowing up the financial system. Because nothing says exuberant ignorance like limited upside, unlimited downside OTC (illiquid) derivatives...
  • (UK) Low pay and zero-hours contracts rise dramatically, figures show

    12/14/2014 7:36:35 PM PST · by Lorianne · 3 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | 13 December 2014 | Yvonne Roberts
    TUC report shows 1 in 12 in labour force now in ‘precarious employment’, huge rise since 2008 ___ New figures have revealed the dramatic spread of low-paid, insecure and casual work across the British economy since the financial crash of 2008. In that year, one in 20 men and one in 16 women worked in the casualised labour market. Now, one in 12 of both men and women are in precarious employment, which includes zero-hours contracts (ZHCs), agency work, variable hours and fixed-term contracts, according to new TUC data. According to the analysis, in 2008 there were 655,000 men in...
  • Oil price crash means £55bn of projects face axe

    12/14/2014 7:34:21 PM PST · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 13 December 2014 | Andrew Critchlow
    Dozens of new oil projects in the North Sea and Europe could be shelved as falling prices force international oil companies to tear up their investment plans. Global energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie has said that 32 potential European oil field developments containing 4.9bn barrels of oil equivalent are waiting for approval on more than $87bn (£55bn) of funding. These could be at risk should oil prices fall below $60 per barrel. “Major projects and investment in the UK and across Continental and Mediterranean Europe could be at risk if prices stay below $80 per barrel, as over 70pc of the...
  • Germany to be gas powered for next 70 years

    12/14/2014 7:32:33 PM PST · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    RT ^ | 12 December 2014
    Germany’s plan to phase out nuclear energy and switch to renewables by 2022 is unrealistic as the country is doomed to remain dependent on fossil fuels like oil and gas for the next 70 years, energy expert Matthias Dornfeldt told RT. Renewables can’t replace fossil fuels overnight because there’s not enough infrastructure, said Dornfeldt in an interview with RT. He believes the 21st century will be the century of gas, as the 20th century was the century of oil. “We are going to be dependent on oil as well as on gas, as I see, for the next 50, 60,...
  • The Violent Threat Near UVA that Rolling Stone Downplayed

    12/12/2014 8:14:29 PM PST · by Lorianne · 9 replies
    Nationl Review ^ | 12 December 2013 | Jim Geraghty
    There is one more bitter, tragic irony to Rolling Stone’s erroneous coverage of allegations of gang rape at the University of Virginia. Evidence is mounting that young women on the campus indeed faced a violent threat for a long time. It just didn’t come from fraternities or the student body. On September 13, 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham disappeared; authorities recovered her remains from a rural part of Albemarle County, Va., on October 18. Police arrested Jesse Matthew Jr. on September 25, and he was charged in the disappearance of Graham. What’s astounding is how many young women...
  • Same author of UVA gang rape reported on Philadelphia Catholic church sexual abuse (vanity)

    12/11/2014 10:09:13 AM PST · by Lorianne · 5 replies
    Rolling Stone article w/ Ederly byline | 11 December 2014 | self
    The Catholic Church's Secret Sex-Crime Files How a scandal in Philadelphia exposed documents that reveal a high-level conspiracy to cover up decades of sexual abuse By Sabrina Rubin Erdely | September 6, 2011 Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-catholic-churchs-secret-sex-crime-files-20110906#ixzz3Lc7wveco
  • Representative of reportedly captured in Turkey (may have been involved in Benghazi attack)

    12/09/2014 5:39:17 PM PST · by Lorianne · 5 replies
    John Batchelor Show ^ | John Batchelor inteview Long War Journal journalists
    Capture of an Ayman al Zawahiri coordinator discussed with the journalists of Long War Journal. Discussion of whether he was involved in the Benghazi attack. Podcast.
  • Japanese Unearth Remains, and Their Nation’s Past, on Guadalcanal

    12/05/2014 7:55:58 PM PST · by Lorianne · 54 replies
    New York Times ^ | 29 November 2014 | Martin Fackler
    GUADALCANAL, Solomon Islands — Using a trowel to dig into the shadowy floor of the rain forest, pausing only to wipe away sweat and malaria-carrying mosquitoes, Atsushi Maeda holds up what he has traveled so far, to this South Pacific island, to find: a human bone, turned orange-brown with age. Mr. Maeda, 21, was looking for the remains of missing Japanese soldiers at the site of one of World War II’s most ferocious battles. Others have done this work before him, mostly aging veterans or bereaved relatives. But he was with a group of mostly university students and young professionals,...
  • The Annotated Lyrics of That Incredible Hillary 2016 Song

    12/05/2014 7:21:33 PM PST · by Lorianne · 23 replies
    National Journal ^ | Emma Roller
    Super-PAC ad or Ford truck commercial? You decide. A super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton, called Stand With Hillary, has created a song that is sure to surpass Taylor Swift on the Billboard Top 100. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfU3hI8ML30 VERSE 1: Lookin' back in time, learnin' hindsight's always right We came together in a way [also sounds like he's saying "in no way"] A defining moment we all can celebrate [with hamburgers and French fries!] And now it's 2016 [not really, no] and this time I'm a thinkin' Guys put your boots on, and let's smash this ceiling! [smashes what appears to be a...
  • HHS doesn’t want Jonathan Gruber at the table

    12/05/2014 6:42:37 PM PST · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    Politico ^ | 05 December 2014 | Jennifer Haberkorn
    No one seems to want to sit next to Jonathan Gruber. The Obama administration is asking Rep. Darrell Issa not to put its senior Medicare official next to the now infamous Obamacare “architect” when both testify on Capitol Hill next Tuesday. But it’s very clear that Issa, in one of his last investigative hearings as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants to put Obamacare in a harsh spotlight by pairing Gruber with Marilyn Tavenner of CMS. They’ll be speaking about separate Obamacare issues — and the administration wants Issa to seat them separately, too. “I am...
  • Ansar al Islam coordinating with the Al Nusrah Front, Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar in Aleppo

    12/05/2014 6:19:01 PM PST · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    Long War Journal ^ | 03 December 2014 | Caleb Weiss
    Ansar al Islam, which goes by the moniker Jamaat Ansar al Islam in Syria, has been coordinating its efforts with the Al Nusrah Front and Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar in a major battle for two Shiite villages north of Aleppo. The villages of Zahra and Nubl have been besieged by anti-regime elements since late November. Rebel forces have previously surrounded the villages and cut off electric and water services to the citizens. The two towns are located on a road to Turkey that is a key supply route into Aleppo. Ansar al Islam is an al Qaeda-affiliated group that...
  • Coming Soon To A Filling Station Near You: $1.99 Gasoline

    12/05/2014 6:11:08 PM PST · by Lorianne · 26 replies
    NPR ^ | 05 December 2014 | Scott Neuman
    The photo above isn't from the archives. It was taken this week in Oklahoma City, where the price of regular gas has fallen under $2 a gallon. The last time that happened anywhere in the U.S. was in July 2010. The OnCue filling station is the first in the country to drop its price below the $2/gallon threshold. While $1.99 is definitely an anomaly even in Oklahoma (Gasbuddy.com tells us the average for the state is $2.47), anyone who has filled up anytime in the past several weeks is aware of a pleasantly precipitous drop in pump prices. And fuel...
  • ECB paralyzed by split as irreversible deflation trap draws closer

    12/05/2014 6:07:09 PM PST · by Lorianne · 8 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | Ambrose Evans Pritchard
    The European Central Bank has dashed hopes for quantitative easing this year and acknowledged for the first time that the institution’s elite board is split on plans for a €1 trillion liquidity blitz. Equity markets fell across southern Europe,with Italy’s MIB off 2.77pc, led by sharp falls in bank stocks. Spain’s IBEX dropped 2.35pc. The euro surged by more than 1pc to $1.2455 against the dollar in early trading as speculators rushed to cover short positions. Expectations for immediate stimulus had been riding high after the ECB’s president, Mario Draghi, pledged action “as fast as possible” last month. The bank...
  • Euro zone mulls longer Greek bailout, but Athens refuses

    12/05/2014 6:05:31 PM PST · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    CNBC/Reuters ^ | 04 December 2014
    Euro zone ministers are considering extending Greece's bailout by six months to mid-2015, according to a document obtained by Reuters, but Athens said it was only willing to consider an extension of a few weeks to the unpopular program. Extending the program beyond a few weeks into the new year would complicate Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' efforts to secure victory for his preferred candidate in a presidential vote in February. He had depended on exiting the EU/IMF bailout by the end of the year, when funding from the EU is due to end. "Greece has not received any written proposal...
  • Vatican Finds Hundreds Of Millions Of Euros ‘Tucked Away’

    12/05/2014 6:03:41 PM PST · by Lorianne · 31 replies
    Reuters ^ | 04 December 2014
    The Vatican's economy minister has said hundreds of millions of euros were found "tucked away" in accounts of various Holy See departments without having appeared in the city-state's balance sheets. In an article for Britain's Catholic Herald Magazine to be published on Friday, Australian Cardinal George Pell wrote that the discovery meant overall Vatican finances were in better shape than previously believed. "In fact, we have discovered that the situation is much healthier than it seemed, because some hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts and did not appear on the balance sheet," he wrote.
  • Russia prepares for $40 oil

    12/03/2014 9:44:50 AM PST · by Lorianne · 11 replies
    Business New Europe ^ | 01 December 2014
    The Russian markets opened on December 1 to a catastrophe. The price of Brent crude oil fell below $70 a barrel, causing the ruble to drop heavily yet again. There had been some signs that the Russian currency was beginning to claw back some of the ground lost this year, but another step-down in the price of oil to below the psychologically important $70 level kicked the legs out from under the nascent rally. Against the dollar, the ruble exchange rate had dropped 9.3% by midday, taking it below the key RUB50/$ for the first time. You’d have to go...
  • 1960’s satellite imagery of polar ice discovers “enormous holes” in the sea ice

    11/29/2014 6:39:51 AM PST · by Lorianne · 39 replies
    Whats Up With That? ^ | 04 September 2014 | Anthony Watts
    NSIDC has announced the discovery and recovery of space footage of Earth’s polar icecaps, dating back to 1964. The recovered photographs have yielded some startling surprises, according to David Gallaher, technical services manager at NSIDC, bold mine: In the Arctic, sea ice extent was larger in the 1960s than it is these days, on average. “It was colder, so we expected that,” Gallaher said. What the researchers didn’t expect were “enormous holes” in the sea ice, currently under investigation. “We can’t explain them yet,” Gallaher said. “And the Antarctic blew us away,” he said. In 1964, sea ice extent in...
  • Ex-Gitmo 'poet' now recruiting for the Islamic State in Afghanistan and Pakistan

    11/22/2014 7:54:25 PM PST · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Long War Journal ^ | 22 November 2014 | Thomas Joscelyn
    An ex-Guantanamo detainee based in northern Pakistan is leading an effort to recruit jihadists for the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that controls large portions of Iraq and Syria. Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who was detained at Guantanamo for three years, has sworn allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Dost's oath of allegiance was issued on July 1, just two days after Baghdadi named himself "Caliph Ibrahim I" and declared that his Islamic State was now a "caliphate." Pakistani officials have accused Dost of recruiting jihadists for Baghdadi's organization. He is thought to be behind a...
  • The Russians Have Persuaded The Chinese To Bail Out Their Oil Industry

    11/21/2014 7:28:09 PM PST · by Lorianne · 3 replies
    China Money Report ^ | 14 November 2014 | D. Collins
    Last month Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced that Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, had requested 2 trillion roubles (then $49 billion) from the state’s National Wealth Fund (NWF) to help it meet its funding requirements. The request was refused but it left questions over how the oil company planned to meet its $30 billion in debt repayments due over the next year after the oil price collapse of recent months. We now have the answer — a large part of it will be paid by China. As part of the deal struck between China and Russia at the Asia-Pacific...
  • John Batchelor interviews journalists w/ Long War Journal

    11/18/2014 6:56:03 PM PST · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    John Batchelor Show ^ | John Batchelor inteview Long War Journal journalists
    Audio ___ first 20 minutes John Batchelor interviews journalist w/ Long War Journal re our involvement in Syraq, Yemen, Algeria, Saudi Arabia
  • ObamaCare’s architects reap windfall as Washington lobbyists (newly relevant)

    11/18/2014 4:40:33 PM PST · by Lorianne · 9 replies
    The Hill ^ | 25 August 2014 (relevant now) | Megan R. Wilson
    ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside. More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010. ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside. More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010.
  • The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu (book review)

    11/16/2014 1:16:24 PM PST · by Lorianne
    John Batchelor Show ^ | 15 November 2014 | John Batchelor interviews author Tim Wu
    John Batchelor interviews Tim Wu author of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires audio 20:03
  • Oil price slump to trigger new US debt default crisis as Opec waits

    11/15/2014 7:51:26 PM PST · by Lorianne · 102 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 14 November 2014 | Andrew Critchlow
    Remember the global financial crisis, triggered six years ago when billions of dollars of dodgy loans - doled out by banks to subprime borrowers and then resold numerous times on international debt markets - began to unravel and default? Stock markets plunged, banks collapsed and the entire global financial system teetered on the brink of catastrophe. Well a similarly chilling economic scenario could be set off by the current collapse in oil prices. Based on recent stress tests of subprime borrowers in the energy sector in the US produced by Deutsche Bank, should the price of US crude fall by...
  • Can Quitting Your Job Help Stop War?

    11/14/2014 10:01:16 PM PST · by Lorianne · 20 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | 12 November 2014 | Alana Semuels
    More than a decade ago, David Gross was just your typical Bay Area dude. He worked as a technical writer for a software company and made around $100,000. Then the U.S. invaded Iraq, and Gross had what was probably a pretty typical Bay Area reaction: He didn’t agree with the war. But for Gross, who is now 44, this opposition turned visceral. Even though he was going to anti-war protests and speaking about his opposition to the war publicly, he couldn’t sleep. He had trouble looking at himself in the mirror. Rather than continue working, Gross embarked on a drastic...
  • How the WH Used Jonathan Gruber’s Work to Orchestrate the Appearance of Broad Consensus

    11/13/2014 4:03:56 PM PST · by Lorianne · 11 replies
    Fire Dog Lake ^ | 13 January 2010 | Jane Hamsher
    Far more troubling, however, is the lack of disclosure on the part of the White House, the Senate, the DNC and other Democratic leaders who distributed Gruber’s work and cited it as independent validation of their proposals, orchestrating the appearance of broad consensus when in fact it was all part of the same effort. The White House is placing a giant collective bet on Gruber’s “assumptions” to justify key portions of the Senate bill, which they allowed people to believe was independent verification. Now that we know that Gruber’s work was not that of an independent analyst but rather work...
  • Mexico: protests at admission that 43 missing students were massacred

    11/13/2014 3:07:10 PM PST · by Lorianne · 19 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | 09 November 2014 | Jo Tuckman
    Growing anger in Mexico at federal inaction after revelation that the missing teachers were burned in a huge funeral pyre ___ A demonstration sparked by the Mexican government’s announcement that 43 student teachers disappeared by police in the southern city of Iguala six weeks ago were probably massacred in a rubbish dump, ended at the weekend with masked protesters setting fire to the wooden door of the ceremonial presidential palace in Mexico City’s main Zócalo plaza. The protesters broke away from the otherwise peaceful demonstration as it drew to a close, tearing down the protective metal fences set up around...
  • Does Kim Kardashian have her eye on your bottom?

    11/08/2014 7:47:54 PM PST · by Lorianne · 92 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | 30 October 2014 | Alexis Petridis
    Kim Kardashian is angry at a woman the piece refers to as “internet bottom sensation” Jen Selter. Selter has been posting photographs of her large buttocks on Instagram, an activity Kardashian apparently feels is an unacceptable infringement upon her very raison d’etre: one of the gangplanks of Kim Kardashian’s global celebrity being her nonpareil ability to take photographs of her own large buttocks with a cameraphone. “Kim thinks Jen copies all her poses … she is fuming as she feels her curvy bum is one of her most unique selling points and feels that Jen is just trying to cash...
  • The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

    11/07/2014 11:02:15 AM PST · by Lorianne · 119 replies
    Rolling Stone ^ | 06 November 2014 | Matt Taibbi
    Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing. Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank's mortgage operations. Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it's not exactly news that the country's biggest banks stole on...
  • Salon Writer Condemns Arithmetic As Racist

    11/07/2014 9:42:41 AM PST · by Lorianne · 48 replies
    NY Magazine ^ | 06 October 2014 | Jonathan Chait
    Wendy Davis made herself a progressive champion by running as an outspoken progressive in a really conservative state, with the predictable result that she lost really, really badly. Salon’s Jenny Kutner, a strong Davis supporter, concedes that Davis did, in fact, lose. What Kutner refuses to concede is that Davis lost among women: The Tribune cited CNN exit polls to illustrate the landslide, saying Abbott “beat Davis by lopsided margins with white voters (72-27), men (65-34) and women (52-47). Davis beat Abbott among Latinos (57-42) and African-Americans (93-7).” Last time I checked, though, there were thousands upon thousands of women...
  • I’m Terrified of My New TV: Why I’m Scared to Turn This Thing On — And You’d Be, Too

    11/05/2014 1:52:52 PM PST · by Lorianne · 80 replies
    Brennan Center ^ | 30 October 2014 | Michael Price
    I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media, and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too. The only problem is that I’m now afraid to use it. You would be too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy. The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how, and for how long you...
  • Scott first black senator elected in South since Reconstruction

    11/04/2014 7:58:28 PM PST · by Lorianne · 17 replies
    CNN ^ | 04 November 2014
    South Carolina's Tim Scott on Tuesday became the first African-American senator to win election in the South since Reconstruction. The Palmetto State Republican was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to the office after former Sen. Jim DeMint resigned in November 2012. In this year's midterms, he outlasted Democratic challenger Joyce Dickerson. The election was only to fill the last two years of DeMint's term. Scott will have to run again in 2016 in order to earn a full six-year term. Scott's win also made him the first African-American in U.S. history to be elected to both the House and the...
  • Al Nusrah Front forces Western-backed rebel group to flee base in Idlib

    11/04/2014 1:15:55 PM PST · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    Long War Journal ^ | 01 November 2014 | Thomas Joscelyn
    The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, has consolidated its control over several towns and villages in the northwestern province of Idlib. The Al Nusrah Front's gains have come at the expense of the Syrian Revolutionaries' Front (SRF), which had been closely allied with Al Nusrah despite receiving Western support. In recent days, Al Nusrah expanded its campaign against the SRF. According to Reuters, the al Qaeda branch pushed into Deir Sonbol, a village that had served as a base of operations for the SRF and its leader, Jamal Maarouf. The Al Nusrah Front forced Maarouf to...
  • But Enough About the Planet, Let's Talk About Me...

    11/03/2014 6:21:47 AM PST · by Lorianne · 15 replies
    Steyn Online ^ | 03 November 2014 | Mark Steyn
    I've been off the Big Climate beat out promoting my new book this last fortnight, so when this came wafting into my in-box the other day I read it carefully three or four times just to be certain it wasn't an ingenious parody: Climate Depression Is For Real. Just Ask A Scientist. By "climate depression", they don't mean a low-pressure system off Labrador. Rather, the massed ranks of climate scientists are depressed because nobody's listening to them - well, nobody except President Obama, the Prince of Wales, the European Union, John Kerry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jessica Alba, etc. Reporter Madeleine Thomas...
  • Trying to Cure the ISIL Infection with the American Hammer

    11/02/2014 3:05:43 PM PST · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    usindiamonitor ^ | 03 October 2014 | usindiamonitor
    ISIL is an infection that ironically grew out of two good things: the removal of Saddam Hussein, and the weakening of Bashar Assad. Its fighters are like bacterial cells, dug in deep within towns and villages, often with the support of the local populations., nearly indistinguishable from civilians. The patient is the Middle East. Clearly the patient has seemed incapable of handling this disease on its own, or preventing it from spreading to other parts of the world. The Middle East needs a doctor. While America can amputate parts of the patient or remove entire organs with great ease, it...
  • Chinese Hackers show off skills that will scare the _ _ _ _ out of you

    11/02/2014 8:40:21 AM PST · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    China Money Report/FT ^ | 28 October 2014 | D. Collins
    <p>GeekPwn held a hack-a-thon in Beijing last week on the 24th and 25th of October in Beijing. GeekPwn is a platform for tech geeks with “extraordinary ideas” to demonstrate how they “pwn” — that is, to conquer or to gain ownership over — smart devices such as smartphones, smartglasses, smart bracelets and smart vehicles.</p>
  • Fearing uprising, Iraq militants [ISIS] hunt ex-police

    11/02/2014 7:23:13 AM PST · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    Al Arabiya -English ^ | 31 October 2014
    The Islamic State group is conducting a purge, killing dozens of former policemen and soldiers living in areas of Iraq under its control, in a campaign apparently aimed at preventing any uprising against its extremist rule. Former officers have been gunned down in their homes, rounded up and shot in groups or killed in public squares as an example to others in recent weeks, particularly in the northern city of Mosul, the largest city in the swath of territory bridging Iraq and neighboring Syria that the militant group controls. The campaign appears aimed at shoring up the extremists hold at...
  • U.S. strategy against Islamic State hits major hurdles

    11/02/2014 7:13:46 AM PST · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 30 October 2014
    The Obama administration's plan to raise a 15,000-strong rebel army in Syria has run into steep political and military obstacles, raising doubts about a key element of the White House strategy for defeating Islamic State militants in the midst of a civil war.. Pentagon concerns have grown so sharp that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a two-page memo to the White House last week warning that the overall plan could collapse because U.S. intentions toward Syrian President Bashar Assad are unclear, according to a senior defense official who read the memo but was not authorized to speak publicly. At a...
  • (from September 11, 2014) U.S. gets tepid support from Arab allies against Islamic State

    11/02/2014 7:05:11 AM PST · by Lorianne · 5 replies
    Dallas News ^ | Published: 11 September 2014 11:16 PM Updated: 12 September 2014 07:33 AM
    BEIRUT — Many Arab governments grumbled quietly in 2011 as the U.S. left Iraq, fearful it might fall deeper into chaos or Iranian influence. Now, the U.S. is back and getting a less-than-enthusiastic welcome, with leading allies like Egypt, Jordan and Turkey all finding ways Thursday to avoid specific commitments to President Barack Obama’s expanded military campaign against Sunni extremists. As the prospect of the first U.S. strikes inside Syria crackled through the region, the mixed reactions underscored the challenges of a new military intervention in the Middle East, where 13 years of chaos, from Sept. 11 to the Arab...
  • Chinaoil on buying spree as oil price drops

    11/02/2014 6:36:56 AM PST · by Lorianne · 21 replies
    China Money Report/FT ^ | 30 October 2014 | Neil Hume
    The trading arm of China National Petroleum Corporation has been on a huge buying spree over the past month, snapping up millions of barrels of Middle East crude as global oil prices slumped to the lowest level in almost four years. Price reporting data show Chinaoil has bought more than 20m barrels of Dubai, Oman and Upper Zakum grades in October, many of them from Unipec, the subsidiary of Chinese state oil company Sinopec. The purchases have fuelled speculation that China, the world’s largest energy consumer, is taking advantage of the steep drop in crude prices to fill its strategic...
  • Bay Area tech company caught paying imported workers $1.21 per hour

    10/31/2014 11:20:28 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 62 replies
    Engadget ^ | 23 October 2014 | Ben Gilbert
    Ever heard of Electronics for Imaging? We hadn't either until this morning, but it's apparently a multimillion dollar, multinational, public corporation based out of Fremont, California. And the United States Department of Labor just caught EFI red-handed in an investigation, which found that "about eight employees" were flown in from India to work 120-hour weeks for $1.21 per hour. EFI apparently thought it was okay to pay the employees the same wages they'd be paid in India (in Indian rupees). Here's the unbelievably crazy sounding quote EFI gave to NBC's Bay Area affiliate: "We unintentionally overlooked laws that require even...