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Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-11-03 15:44 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 209 references
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Yes, it was a great "win" by bringing Broadcom back to the United States.

Uh, nope.

It was no such thing.

The company now is apparently trying to launch a hostile bid for Qualcomm, which is also in the chip space, and may I remind you both firms figure prominently in mobile technology -- specifically, cellphones.

This would almost-certainly have been flat-out rejected with Broadcom being a foreign-based firm -- by the Department of Commerce, if not by a number of other agencies, and with good cause too.

You see baseband firmware is proprietary and if you can tamper with it you can steal the data stream going over the device quite-easily.  Having some foreign national firm in charge of that..... well, that's a problem.  A severe problem, and one that bears directly on national security.

With Broadcom "relocating" to the United States, of course, such "concerns" disappear.

So no, it wasn't about "jobs, jobs, jobs" or "repatriation" or any such thing.

You were rickrolled Mr. President, and I'll lay 10:1 odds you won't excoriate Broadcomm for exploiting you -- which they quite-clearly did, and transparently so.

So much for @POTUS' alleged "business acumen" and "The Art of the Deal."

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Oh really?

We now know that Kevin Spacey didn't just allegedly assault a boy (adolescent, and well under the age of consent) many years ago -- he was also very sexually aggressive recently including during most of the work for Netflix on "House of Cards".

In fact this isn't just harassment being alleged -- it includes assault.

What's additionally been alleged is that almost-literally everyone in the crew knew damn well this crap was going on.

So here's the problem: This sort of crap doesn't continue for that length of time over that many people without the parent company turning a blind eye to it -- at least.

This appears to be true for basically every other "Tinsel Town" company and production group as well.

If you're a Netflix subscriber you're paying so stars can sexually assault people.  Congratulations.  Make sure you pat yourself on the back each and every month as you fund these perverted, outrageous acts.

Go to the movies?  Same deal.

Rent a movie?  Same deal.

Have a PRIME subscription, which includes video streaming?  Same deal.

You want to know why this happens in an alleged "first world", "developed" nation?

It's because we the people won't demand that our government go after lawbreakers and those who allow and pay for toxic cultures like this, especially large corporations, and we continue to spend money with the firms that fund and either tacitly ignore -- at minimum -- these actions.

Why is Wells Fargo still in business?  Not only did they get caught signing up people for accounts they never requested (that's fraud and illegal) they also got caught signing people up for expensive, unwanted and unnecessary "force-placed" car insurance on auto loans which is also fraud and illegal.  I remind you that Wells also was prominently featured in the "liar loan" debacle in the mid-2000s that led to the housing crash.  Yet not one person has been indicted for any of it nor has the company been indicted.  Worse, Wells Fargo still has customers!

We all claim to be outraged about Weinstein but the fact is that his conduct goes back decades.  If you remember this isn't exactly new or limited to him either -- how about the Michael Jackson allegations?  Where was the prosecution of the corporate enablers of that little game, eh?  Have any of those awards been rescinded and "stars" removed?  Well yes, in that instance there was no "admission of guilt" but there were plenty of pay-offs just as with Weinstein and apparently in Weinstein's case those were "perfectly ok" under his contract, so long as he covered the company's expense in paying same!

That's ridiculously brazen, by the way, because you can't contract to do an illegal thing; any such contract is void.  You say there's no criminal charge in there eh?  How about conspiracy to violate women's civil rights by agreeing in advance to paper over any such violations with payoffs.

But.... statute of limitations.  That's exactly how the game is played and I understand it.  The fact remains that as consumers we hold the ultimate whip hand in this regard in that we cannot be compelled to fund these jackasses nor their advertisers.  But we do, and we do it on purpose.  We consent, in short.

Never mind that the statute of limitations doesn't start running until the conduct stops.  If you're engaged in a continuing pattern of conduct (say, by writing contracts shielding someone from responsibility) then there remains a conspiracy charge available right up until the Statute of Limitations runs beyond when the contract's term ends.

Go down the list.  Disney (major studio), Sony Pictures (ditto), Fox News (where do I start?) and more.  But then again how about all the health care firms?  Sherman Act?  What's that?  Robinson-Patman?  What's with that -- that law doesn't exist, nor does Sherman and Clayton, right?  Apparently not if you're a big corporation, despite the fact that you can google up "15 USC Chapter 1" and start reading.

How about US cellular carriers that explicitly blackball "enhanced services" on your phone if you don't buy it from them.  Tied sale tactics intended to reduce competition are illegal under US Anti-Trust law.  AT&T does this every day, as does Verizon.  Where are the prosecutions?

We can be outraged about Hillary and the DNC if we'd like, but I find it particularly amusing that Trump is pissed off about that, because it's one of the few instances where what they did isn't illegal!  You may not know this but Presidential primaries are called preference primaries.  That's right -- you're expressing a preference.  The party is under no general legal obligation to play fair or even honor the results!  If any such obligation exists it is only under the general laws related to fraud, but there's a problem with such a claim in that you have no cognizant financial injury from them screwing you, so yeah, you might win -- an award of $0.00.  That's worth it (not!)

Should we change those contests and stop calling them votes?  Probably, but does the word vote confer a binding obligation to follow the results?  Nope; there are myriad other examples where it does not.  Municipal referendum anyone?  Absent a specific statute requiring that the electorate's will be followed.... such a duty simply doesn't exist.

We live in a world where Spamazon can play monopolist games with cross-subsidization which the press recognizes daily as having the explicit and intended outcome of destroying competitors (and I remind you 15 USC Chapter 1 only requires the attempt to monopolize for it to be a felony; you need not succeed or involve other parties!) and yet there is not one peep out of the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission, along with 50 state AG offices.  Zero!  In fact the states are falling all over themselves to hand billions in incentives to the company instead.  Who loses from this?  You do, both in a higher tax rate charged to you (to give to them) and in the lost jobs and economic damage as, in the words of CNBC every single day, some other firm gets "Amazoned."

At the same time you have a medical system that operates as a raw extortion racket, producing "bills" that are explicit threats to charge you 300, 400, 500 or even 1,000% more for some form of medical care if you don't buy some particular "insurance" policy.

That's exactly what the Mob does when they come around and collect protection money: "Gee, that's a very nice business you have there.  It would be a shame if something happened to it."  CHA-CHING!  This conduct costs every American family a middle-class house payment (about $1,100) each and every month!

This is just about "some" businesses, right?  Well, no, it's all over the government too.  Guess what -- there are now allegations that essentially the entire Illinois State Government operates on sexual harassment along with paid sex for access.  

Don't live in Illinois, you say?  How about Florida Same deal here, it appears.  Anyone want odds on the other 48?

So cry me a river, America, until the day comes that you start with the several trillion dollars stolen from you every single year in the medical scam along with the "big company" scams and schemes that extract even more from you through various anti-competitive and declared illegal acts.

Never mind that there should be nobody left to go to the movies, Netfux should immediately lose 95% of its subscriber base (and be a zero), so should Amazon and Wells Fargo, for starters.  Oh, that's not an exhaustive list either; there are literally hundreds of other firms to which this should apply.

As long as you keep handing over money to these firms and individuals by intentionally and consensually buying "Prime" memberships, ordering products and services from these firms, keeping bank accounts at the big banks such as Wells and paying to see movies whether on Netfux or otherwise, never mind consenting to the medical scam by buying bogus "health insurance" and allowing politicians to continue to force you into Obamacare's scheme it is clear that you simply don't give a damn, America -- and since you don't why should any of these individuals and companies stop screwing people at large, whether in the wallet or literally -- never mind the hosing going on in the government with not just your wallet but quite-literally in and up various persons' bodily cavities.

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2017-11-03 09:33 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 202 references
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The Bureau of Lies and Scams vomited forth:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000 in October, and the unemployment rate edged down to 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in food services and drinking places increased sharply, mostly offsetting a decline in September that largely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. In October, job gains also occurred in  professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care.

Suuuure it did.

From the household survey (which is reported from an actual survey of real people) the employment:population ratio declined three ticks to 60.2%.  This put us back to approximately April or, if you prefer, last July (2016, not 2017, which was 60.1%.)

It's simply amazing that while the unemployment rate has continued to fall like a stone the percentage of people working as a percentage of those who are 16 or over has failed to return to its previous pre-recession levels.  You will note, I'm sure, that prior to the last recession these two curves tracked quite well.  Then the big dive happened, the so-called "recovery" happened but one figure, reported by the Bureau of Lies and Scams as the  "unemployment rate" dropped below pre-recession levels while the other failed to rise to anywhere near the previous highs.

The usual "explanation" is Baby Boomers retiring.  That's an obvious lie given the "step function" in the data; the disconnect appeared in basically one year and has not been repaired since.  The Boomer generation spans roughly 20 years and yet right up until the moment of the '08 crash employment:population tracked the unemployment rate (inverse) very closely.

In other words one of those figures has to be wrong in terms of showing the relative strength of the US economy when it comes to jobs and the so-called common explanation trotted out by the media "analysts" is flat-outsmiley.

You can either believe the Government or you can believe people.  I know which I believe.  It's not like there isn't 10 years of rather-obvious and continuous obfuscation in here following what used to be a pretty-clean, but noisy sequence, right?  Oh wait....

Among the household survey this month shows that 633,000 people lost jobs.  I remind you that last month, the so-called "bad" month, there were nearly a million jobs gained.  The 12 month trend is deteriorating badly; it now stands at +1.526 million and, while highly noisy that's not a good number at all (as it would imply just over 100k jobs/month.)  The culprit is 872,000 people who gave up and left the workforce last month. 

Net of working-age population change on a 12-month rolling basis the economy lost 837,000 jobs.  In other words, number of jobs added minus working-age population change over the same 12 month period.  That's not good either.

The Bureau continues to cheer on (as does Trump) 22,000 "jobs" in the health care sector, nearly all of which are in fact not doctors or nurses.  In other words they're parasitic jobs, roughly 250,000 of them over the last 12 months, and every one of them not only contributes not one second of care to actual persons they are partly responsible for the double-digit increase in health care premiums.  But, as we're force-fed by the media and politicians, it's "good for the economy" when you're forced by law to subsidize someone else's $50,000 a year salary the benefit of which is only to them and the cost of which is on you.

That sounds a lot like welfare, doesn't it?

The "reporters" all seem to have no understanding of why, with the "unemployment rate" at 4.1%, we're not seeing any material increase in hourly earnings.  We should be, of course; the laws of economics have not been repealed (they're called "laws" for a reason.)  It isn't happening because the so-called "rate" is a lie; the employment:population ratio proves this.

Of course were that to be recognized the market would instantly crash because then people would have to ask on what are these "earnings" supported?  The answer is, of course, is the $693 billion in US Federal Debt issued over the last 12 monthswhich is 3.56% of claimed GDP.  Since the claimed GDP run-rate is less than this in fact GDP is negative in real terms -- and that's counting only federal government issued debt.  Add in the nice chunk of fraud-laced inducement for young adults to take on "student loans" and you'll find a big additional component of the problem.

The most-amusing part of the claim of such a strong report is that in Table A-1, which splits out employment changes by gender and age brackets (with little granularity, but still) fails to show even one bracket where employment:population improved.  Among women 20+ it was stable; every other group lost.

So yeah, the data is right there in front of you in the report to show exactly what is going on, but exactly zero of the comments I've seen thus far in the media speak to it.

Gee, I wonder why?

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2017-11-02 21:51 by Karl Denninger
in Other Voices , 77 references
[Comments enabled]  

Or view here on Youtube....

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2017-11-02 16:28 by Karl Denninger
in Federal Reserve , 219 references
[Comments enabled]  

Listen carefully to this folks.

Note that the dual mandate that Powell is bound by as part of The Fed (say much less its chair) calls for stable prices (or "price stability" if you prefer.)  In fact said mandate is specifically stated during this clip.

Powell, however, also directly declares his intention and the Fed's intention to break the law by stating that he and The Fed have been, are and will continue to target 2% inflation.

Over 30 years (less than the average time one works; that's roughly 40 years) that's an 81% increase in prices and a declaration of intent to break the law, made right in front of the President.

It's a 120% increase in prices over 40 years, incidentally.

Yet despite this wanton and outrageous public declaration of intent to commit continued unlawful acts and by doing so rob you of nearly half of everything you save over a 30 year period there has not been nor will there be a general uprising in this country demanding that crap immediately stop and those who commit same be punished.

The only difference between sex and rape, whether in financial form or otherwise, is whether you consent.

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