ThanksFRAUD Day
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-11-22 13:48 by Karl Denninger
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ThanksFRAUD Day
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I often write on the plethora of US-based frauds and scams, both political and business-oriented.

Fraud is the most-profitable business model today, and has been for close to two decades.  It is why I'm out of the business world and will not re-enter it.  It is why despite having what I believe is a ground-breaking home automation, security and control application that runs on $35 computers (which means there's a hell of an opportunity to bundle the software with those and sell 'em hella-cheap, undercutting all the other guys plus having a nice installation business to go with it) I am only willing to do so on a "buy it all and you do it" basis.

Companies like Amazon exist with the sort of "valuation" they have only because of these schemes and scams.  Cost-shifting (otherwise known as cross-subsidization) for the purpose of destroying competitors is a felony and has been for over 100 years (15 USC Chapter 1) whether you succeed or not.  That is, the very attempt is a criminal act.  Yet despite continual evidence in the form of quarterly filings that document the company does not make money (on an all-cost-in basis) on their product sales along with near-daily professions of the "next" company being "Amazoned" (that is, put out of business or severely harmed by this practice) in the major business media on television and in print, along with open cheering on of such conduct by same not one single indictment has ever issued.

Facebook, it appears from my work, to be deliberately detecting the use of ad blockers and then gaming their software so as to just meet the so-called "deliverable" standard for ads to people who have blocked them.  That is, since I have a blocker on my desktop I would not normally generate any revenue for Facebook from advertisers.  But I have observed, in a 100% repeatable manner, that a "display" ad will remain visible until the minimum pixel count and time is met (1 second, etc) and then disappear and a video ad will do so for 2 seconds with 100% pixels -- and then likewise disappear.  In other words the company is billing the advertisers for content they know damn well I blocked and never see.  What do you call billing someone for something they don't get on purpose, because that's what it looks like to me. Oh, and how many billions have been taken from advertisers this way?  Nobody but Zuckerpig knows but I bet it's not a small number.

And now we get another example of it with Uber.  Uber intentionally concealed, including with a bribe, a security breach that disclosed essentially all of their customer and driver data -- email addresses, phone numbers and for drivers, their Driver License numbers.

Note that Equifax had a similar breach which they also concealed and nobody went to jail for that either.

Next up is Google.  Their Android operating system "pushed" a change early this year that started uploading cell site data on your location even if you have location turned off.  The company got caught, admitted it, and claimed it was to "improve push-notifications."  That's a damnable lie since there are no cell carriers in the US that allow you to target data streams at specific cell towers.  Google also claims it never did and won't keep said data.  Do you believe them after they lied to you about your location tracking being "off" (when you shut it off) and nobody went to jail for the first lie?  Neither do I.

Never mind that Netflix has seen their stock go from $40 to nearly $200 in the time "net neutrality" has been imposed on the US.  May I remind you that the company has operated on a net negative cash flow basis for years and continues to on an ever-escalating basis today?  Why do they get away with it?  Because if you don't buy Netflix' service you are forced to pay part of your next door neighbor's bill, that's why.

That's all of the "FANG" stocks, incidentally.  Every one of them should be out of business and their executives in prison instead of being "Wall Street Darlings."

Every.

Single.

One. 

Tesla?  Same deal.  Every car is sold at a loss yet the company steals billions from the US Federal Government and exists in a world where it has never made a profit only on the premise that it will continue to be able to steal.  Nobody in their right mind would "invest" or "loan" a company money that has never demonstrated it can sell a single product at a profit, ever, nor that it has any ability to do so in the future -- unless it can steal.

Of course we also have Congress which has paid out millions of your money to cover up sexual harassment and even assault by members of Congress.  Passed during the middle of the Clinton years and right after he was diddling Monica with a cigar by unanimous vote it remains on the books today.  Myriad members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have used it to hide harassment and assault allegations against staff members.  I note that there has not been one Congressperson who has introduced a repeal of said legislation nor has the President demanded it be repealed or he will not sign a single bill until it is.  Remember that two Republican Presidents and two Democrat Presidents have each held the White House during and since this was signed, so don't start about how this was a "Republican" or "Democrat" bill, never mind the zero opposing votes from either party when it was originally passed.

Finally, the grand-daddy of it all is the medical scam.  Tell me again about that one, which steals from every household a middle-class house payment every single month.  May I again remind you that the health firms have twice tried to claim their conduct was exempt from anti-trust and lost both times at the US Supreme Court?

Will I be "thankful" today?

No.

I am instead praying for an asteroid strike on every single one of these jackass firms' executives and board members along with every member of Congress and every member of the Executive that has sat idly by while you've been robbed for the last 30+ years.

**** giving thanks -- with a rusty chainsaw -- until this **** stops.

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Gianmarko
Posts: 44
Incept: 2013-03-11

Bern, Switzerland
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come on Karl, do you really expect people to run a working, reliable applications on a RPI when they can run some expensive faulty piece of crapware on a USD 3000 bookmacairpro or whatever it is called?

i have developed a set of aviation instruments, they are based on atmel MC and cost literally pennies and are way more accurate than the standard steam gauges but nobody is interested because they dont fit in a 3 1/8 standard panel hole, and the displays are not color graphics

we just got a new coffee machine in the office. the coffee sucks, but it has a nice touch screen color display.

they say you must adapt in order to survive, not sure it is worth it tho...





Rjrstan
Posts: 22
Incept: 2007-08-13

Carlsbad, CA
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Fraud is everywhere
https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/21/1668....

that in the 1960s, ISRF then known as the Sugar Research Foundation also paid Harvard scientists to obscure the relationship between sugar and heart disease, pushing them to blame saturated fats instead. Todays study adds to the evidence that the sugar industry helped steer public discourse away from the potentially negative health effects of consuming added sugars through its research funding.
Nadavegan
Posts: 63
Incept: 2017-05-03

The South
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Fraud starts young. Our entire education system is a fraud. School has very little to do with teaching children, let alone with inculcating habits for success later in life. Those of us that went through the public schools were TOLD it was for our benefit, but what we got was systemic humiliation and the ability to sit still for long hours and take direction from authority who in many cases were far less qualified to be teaching the subjects than their own students.

Karl talks a lot about jail for fraudsters, and I see no reason why our public education infrastructure should be excluded from that sentiment. Could you imagine if every child ruined, every curious intellect tamped down, every special ability that existed outside the "grade-appropriate" scale, every young person who was told that "an education" (meaning you sit there and you shut up) was the key to success later in life - could bring a class-action suit against the teachers and administrators of that system? There isn't enough wealth in the world to pay back that settlement.

The educational system is as big a fraud as the banks, medical, and government.
Krzelune
Posts: 5825
Incept: 2007-10-08

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How about government student loans to kids that wouldn't have been accepted into college 15 years ago in order to get newly created degrees in crap that is useless enriching uber-liberal colleges and their professors who fill the young adults heads with anti capitalist, anti-western propaganda. Then you realize these students will only be qualified to protest for antifa and destroy stores and vehicles in cities. And then they won't pay back the loans and tax payers will be on the hook for all that money that went to uber-liberal colleges and professors.
Click
Posts: 53
Incept: 2017-06-26

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Being thankful every day ( not just on some overcooked holiday) and celebrating life every day ( not just on a birth date) and holding our own daily mass with family and in our own hearts ( not just on Christ (mass).... these are a few of the tenets which differentiate the thinker from a fool. Actually, the entire holiday season has become a gross commercialization of which the common man/woman's mood is manipulated into a glowing feeling of "positive" good cheer so selling a product or service becomes easier. This has been an ongoing trend

I have no problem with people who are either positive or negative-centric or a balance of both. I have no problem with people who yearn to be happy during the holidays and don't want to discuss politics or religion. Personally, I think it's the best time of year to talk economics, politics and religion. The bottom line is being mostly a positive person is fine for me so long as we are smart enough to distinguish between the right direction and the wrong way to be motivated, e.g., don't be suckered into making purchases just because of your frame of mind. And always take time to remember and fight the fraudulent, criminal based economic model the American Empire manages via Washington D.C..

Finally, I'm thankful every time I read another good article by Karl and many other excellent writers and I hope there are many more to come in the years ahead. Karl is ahead of his time because he's so pissed off right now.

Lastly, I've always believed the time shall come ( just like times past and empires past) that bread and circus ( I include the current holidays as part of the circus) will not be enough to distract the ignorant masses from picking up guns and turning a "white Christmas" ( like the one Bing was "dreaming of") into a crimson blizzard...

I do wish "peace on earth" and I don't blame people for dreaming about it --- or singing about it. My advice is find whatever peace and joy you can while you can... This time of year I sure do miss the Bing Crosby generation even though they were't perfect...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsxBCb03....


Diplomacy
Posts: 18
Incept: 2010-02-18

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The problem is not isolated to any particular industry, the only difference being the particular scams run and how well they are hidden from people outside the field.

I clean water damage for a living, insurance companies and water damage companies alike work their hardest to screw over all other parties.

The last company I was with made a business model of getting people to sign more or less open ended contracts and then going in and tearing out everything they could make a profit from insurance for removing without regard to salvaging.

They top this off with putting things like air scrubbers and power distribution boxes on every single job whether needed or not because its another billable item.

I was not with them long.

I am in my late 20s, I have hard capital in the form of my own equipment to do the job start to finish, but I find it hard to escape the scams and dishonest people in this society.

At the same time if I stop working I can't take care of my wife and child.

It is difficult.
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