There Is Only One Business: SCAM
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2018-01-11 10:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 408 references Ignore this thread
There Is Only One Business: SCAM
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You either steal, rob, lie, launder money and otherwise rip people off or you go out of business.

The only exception?  If you're small enough not to attract any of the so-called "great businesses" attention.  You can run a bar.  You can run a small restaurant (as long as it doesn't compete with any of those large firms.) You might be able to run a small consulting outfit.

Otherwise, forget it.

You can't emulate their game because you will get prosecuted.  They will not.

Investors will not care and thus the so-called "efficient market" will not punish the firm either because there is a now couple-decade long history that says the government will never indict, prosecute or meaningfully punish any large firm that breaks the law.

Amazon is known to have gamed the USPS -- probably with the explicit help of Congress (who they lobby all the time) to get below cost package delivery.  You pay for this every time you send a letter or package to someone, and they literally rob you.  In addition the firm engages in the very definition of anti-trust punishable behavior by cost-shifting their loss-making sales onto AWS customers, some of whom are various state, local and federal governments and thus there's no push-back available to private industry there either.  All of this should have been met with a bone-crushing response years ago, but it hasn't and won't be.

Intel just got caught with its pants down in that they cheated on the rules of actual data security in basically every chip they've made since the 1990s.  They issued a mealy-mouthed claim that their chips were "operating as designed" which implies they knew -- whether factually or by either ignorance or negligence -- that they could be penetrated in this fashion.  In other words, they are insecure.  Yet they never disclosed that.  Forcing them to recall all those chips and refunding the customer's money would bankrupt the company, by the way.  Further, the CEO sold all but his board-required minimum amount of stock after this was disclosed to the company but before it was made public.  The reaction from the SEC, from the FBI and from investors has been nearly zero.

Facebook has been caught, multiple times, overstating how many impressions their ads get.  They charge people for all of their claimed impressions of course.  This is blatant fraud, especially when you claim more reach then there are people.  Not only has there been zero enforcement action taken against them there has been zero investor reaction.

Netflix was caught during the original Net Neutrality debacle intentionally putting traffic down slower channels, explicitly barring the providers from upgrading that channel and then blaming the slowdowns on ISPs.  They used this as a means to bludgeon the Obama FCC through public opinion to pass Net Neutrality. The current FCC head, who rolled that piece of fraudulent idiocy back, has been facing death threats and in fact canceled an appearance at CES as a result.  Zero enforcement has been taken and again, investors do not care.

Wells Fargo has been caught repeatedly screwing customers since the housing meltdown.  Never mind that scam with liar loans and similar they then pulled many more scams, including "new accounts" never ordered, charging people for products the customer never asked for, fraudulently force-placed and unnecessary (and thus worthless insurance to captive companies (from whom they probably received kickbacks!) for both house and car loans and more.  In total these scams amount to billions of dollars stolen.  Some of it has been "given back" but never with any penalties or interest attached and nobody has gone to prison.

The entire health industry operates on a model that violates 100+ year old federal law.  In doing so it has gone from 4% of GDP to nearly 20%, a five-fold increase.  This threatens the very survival of the nation's finances along with state, local and private pensions.  NOT ONE SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVES, NOR ONE FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, NOR ONE MAJOR MEDIA OUTLET, WILL POINT OUT THE FACT THAT REFUSING TO QUOTE A PRICE OR HONOR A QUOTED PRICE IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES WHICH IS ALSO A CRIME BOTH AT A STATE AND FEDERAL LEVEL.  WHEN DIRECTLY CHALLENGED ON THIS (I HAVE) CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES WILL LIE TO A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE IN RESPONSE AND WHEN THEIR LIES ARE POINTED OUT COMPLETE WITH CASE LAW CITES FROM THE SUPREME COURT THEY NOT ONLY REFUSE TO CORRECT THE RECORD AND APOLOGIZE BUT INSTEAD REPEAT THE LIE AGAIN!  Again there has not been one firm that has faced any enforcement actions, not one person has gone to prison and damn few have faced any sort of investor pushback either.

Why does the market go up, up and away?

Because everyone is stealing and THEFT, when there are no cops, has no check and balance on the amount or frequency of the thefts.  In addition anyone who has the temerity to challenge any of these enterprises with competition can be stomped on and will be, whether here or through the theft of their intellectual property (here or in China) and again nobody will do a damn thing about it.

That's the entirety of the market's rise post-2009 folks.  All of it.  The market turned literally on the day that the Obama Congress decided to let banks knowingly lie about their asset values and LITERALLY forced FASB to accept those lies in their accounting standards.  I reported on this at the time and the pushback from the public has been, over the last nearly ten years now, zero.

As the market came to realize that this open, official sanction of lies and fraud was not limited to a handful of large banks but in fact extended to all large firms listed on public exchanges and many that were not the stock market went ape-**** and continues to do so today.  You get screwed out of thousands of dollars a year -- each and every single person in this nation -- as a consequence and yet you won't do anything about it either.

In fact to a large degree you cheer it on!

That's the beginning and end of it and it will not stop until (1) they run out of money to steal, at which point everyone else (that's you) is broke or (2) the rule of law shows up again somewhere.

The latter won't happen here in America because you don't give a **** even if the hospital kills your kid, your mother, your father or your friends after stealing everything they have -- and that's just for starters.

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