The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets
Logging in or registering will improve your experience here
Main Navigation
MUST-READ Selection:
Our Nation DESERVES To Fail

Topic list

Sarah's Resources You Should See
Sarah's Blog Buy Sarah's Pictures
Full-Text Search & Archives

Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be sent unmodified to lawmakers via print or electronic means or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media, to republish full articles, or for any commercial use (which includes any site where advertising is displayed.)

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.

Considering sending spam? Read this first.

2018-02-19 14:57 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 150 references
[Comments enabled]  

Still won't raise the actual issue will you?

“The concept that mental illness is a precursor to violent behavior is nonsense,” said Dr. Louis Kraus, forensic psychiatry chief at Chicago’s Rush University Medical College. “The vast majority of gun violence is not attributable to mental illness.”

Oh really?

The article goes on to claim that ~38,000 people died from firearm violence in 2016.

What is being omitted is that the majority were suicides!

In fact, of those 38,000 people (37,863 for 2015 according to the CDC) 22,928 were firearm suicides in 2015 (according to the CDC again), or more than half of all deaths by violence and roughly half of all suicides.  And virtually all of those suicides, along with most of the homicides, are committed with handguns.

(It's actually a bit of a trick to kill yourself with a rifle or shotgun.  It's not impossible by any means, but it's a hell of a lot harder to shoot yourself in the head with a rifle that it is with a pistol.)

With the exception of the few people who committed suicide under perfectly-understandable and sane circumstances (e.g. facing a terminal illness and choosing the time and manner of death instead of having it forced upon them) the rest were mentally ill.

Are you next going to tell me that suicide is not a "violent behavior" Mr. Kraus?  Or does it only count if someone blows their brains out instead of taking a intentionally fatal dose of some drug, jumping off a bridge or similar?

Go **** yourself you lying sack of ****.

You see, what Kraus is deathly afraid of is this sort of event being properly pinned on him and his profession -- which was a very, very near miss:

RUTLAND - An 18-year-old Poultney man pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon to charges including attempted murder in connection with the threat of a mass shooting at Fair Haven Union High School.

Police said former student Jack Sawyer indicated he wanted to cause "mass casualties" at the Rutland County school of about 400 students in ninth through 12th grades in an attack he had been planning for two years.

By the way, this guy bought a shotgun.  Which is not an "assault weapon", but will still kill you very dead.

What else do we know about him?  That he was on medication and stopped taking it.  He was also institutionalized for a while under care of a psychiatrist.  You know, someone who claims to be an expert in figuring out whether someone is dangerous (and mentally ill, I might add) or not!

How did said psychiatrist do in this case, on an objective basis, if I may ask the dear Doctor Klaus? Would you care to give him a grade on a scale from "A" to "F" or do we need more letters than that to appropriately express his level of performance?

And what medication was the alleged would-be shooter on?  Anti-depressants, it appears, if the article is correct.

Let me point out once again that the the infamous "329" study, which led to GSK being criminally charged for off-label marketing, when re-analyzed showed:

Few studies have sustained as much criticism as Study 329, a placebo controlled, randomized trial of paroxetine and imipramine carried out by SmithKline Beecham (which became GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2000). In 2002, a US Food and Drug Administration officer who formally reviewed the trial reported that “on balance, this trial should be considered as a failed trial, in that neither active treatment group showed superiority over placebo by a statistically significant margin.4 Yet this same year, according to the New York State Attorney General’s office, which sued GSK, over two million prescriptions were written for children and adolescents in the United States, all off-label, after a marketing campaign that characterized Study 329 as demonstrating “REMARKABLE Efficacy and Safety.”

Got a reading comprehension problem folks?

The drugs don't work in teens and children; neither showed that it was superior to a sugar pill in terms of being effective.  Worse, they massively increased the risk of suicidal ideation - by anywhere from 2.5 to more than five times depending on the specific drug in question. Finally, the government (FDA) knew all of this in 2002.

Why would you allow a doctor (of any sort) to prescribe a drug to someone that we know, scientifically, does not work in that person's age group?

But what we also know is not just that they don't work and raise the risk of self-harm -- they also potentiate violent criminal behavior in a small percentage of children, adolescents and those under the age of 25 who take them.

In fact these drugs as a class basically double the risk of violent criminal conviction in that age group.


Now there are plenty of theories on why -- but no facts at this point.  But what does exist to date is a warning in the prescribing information on giving them to young adults and teens, especially those who may be bipolar.

This guy in Vermont, I'm willing to wager, was exactly that.  He was drugged with a substance known to be dangerous.  He tried to go off the drugs on his own which is extremely common for bipolar individuals.

Fortunately he was caught before he was able to commit his crime -- but he formulated intent to commit that crime while under the influence of a psychiatric medication we know comes with the risk of potentiating violent criminal felonies.

Does this make him somehow excused?  Of course not.

But when are we going to stop with the bull**** about "assault weapons" when (1) the most-common, by far, violent act committed by mentally ill people is suicide, (2) suicides are more than half of all violent deaths that involve firearms, (3) nearly all suicides and nearly all homicides (10:1 ratio for the latter) are committed with handguns, not assault (or any other form) of rifle or shotgun -- indeed, you're about 3x more likely to be killed at someone with a knife than a rifle of any sort and (4) among those who are under the age of 25 these drugs not only do not work they make both violent criminal behavior AND suicide more likely by a factor of anywhere from two to five times over those with similar afflictions who take sugar pills -- that is, nothing.

The above is not based on my opinion it is based on multiple scientific, medical studies never mind the false (and, it appears, intentionally-so) claims made by one of the drugmakers in question -- and that firm was criminally charged for off-label marketing of said drug.

Yes, 17 people dead in Florida sucks.  How badly does it suck that 22,000 people kill themselves every year, many times more than 17, and of those who are under 25 at the time how many of them were taking either currently or recently a class of drug we know not only doesn't work it makes suicidal ideation anywhere from 2 to 5 times more likely?

Look, I get it.  People want to hold out this Marcus Welby view of doctors -- including psychiatrists.  They don't want to face the fact that physicians either are duped or simply fail to follow the literature, but both happen.  In other fields we consider a failure to do so criminal negligence, but apparently not here -- even when it leads people to take their own lives, or much worse, decide to try to take the lives of countless others. Screaming "guns guns guns!" is politically expedient, especially for a certain segment of the political sphere that doesn't give a **** about either people's lives or facts.

You'll never solve this problem with "gun control."  If you want to put a serious dent in the issue start by following the scientific literature and studies which say that (1) these drugs do not work in children, teens and adults under the age of 25, (2) they cause (not prevent) suicides compared against those who take nothing at all for the same symptoms in the under-25 age group, and (3) they are associated with a doubling of serious, violent criminal behavior in that same age group.

The criminal association disappears entirely in those 25 and older, and there is decent evidence that these drugs, under at least some circumstances, are effective in older patients.

In other words if you want to put a serious dent in these events bar the writing of prescriptions for these drugs to those under 25 and for those doctors and psychiatrists who hand them out anyway hold them criminally accountable if their judgement, which is directly opposed to the scientific evidence, results in an attempted or actual mass-murder. 

Not only will we dent or completely stop these "rage monster" incidents we will probably also prevent thousands of suicides annually by adolescents and young adults -- many MULTIPLES of the 17 killed in Florida -- at the same time.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

... in the making of this piece.

Email for pricing and shipping -- on canvas, ready to hang and enjoy.  All pieces in this topic are originals, not prints or reproductions, and there is only one of them.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2018-02-19 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 179 references
[Comments enabled]  

So when, may I ask, should we expect indictments of Americans, and if we do see them are we going to turn them over?

Go to 4m38s if you don't want to listen to the entire thing.

"Have we ever tried to meddle in other country's elections?"

"Probably, but it was for the good of the system...... to prevent communists taking over, etc."

"But we don't do that now?"

"Weeeeeelllll.... only for a very good cause."

So let me see if I get this right.

The Russians deceived various web properties like Facebook as to the source of their funds and bought ads -- many of them, and a fair number of their actions (e.g. "astroturf'd" not my President rallies) being taken after the election was over.

Now spending money (via any means) if you're not a US person to influence an election is in fact illegal.  So we indicted them. Russia, I'm sure, will give us the big fat bird on extradition as, in my opinion, they should.


Because we do the same damn thing; may I remind you that it's pretty-well accepted that we screwed with the Ukranian election, as just one of many examples that bears directly on Russia.

The esteemed James Woolsey, former CIA Director, just admitted we both have and still do this sort of thing on the air.

Rather than arrest someone who is actively threatening to shoot up a school, when given a month's warning, the FBI would prefer to spend its resources on issuing indictments against Russians who we know damn well will never be extradited and who, in fact, did the same thing we do all the time.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2018-02-18 14:40 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 208 references
[Comments enabled]  

First up, Facesucker lost a Belgium privacy case -- and should lose one here, right after we find an AG and FTC with a pair of balls:

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian court threatened Facebook (FB.O) with a fine of up to 100 million euros ($125 million) if it continued to break privacy laws by tracking people on third party websites.

In a case brought by Belgium's privacy watchdog, the court also ruled on Friday that Facebook had to delete all data it had gathered illegally on Belgian citizens, including people who were not Facebook users themselves.

The case turned on what should be a trivially prosecuted case for any such property -- Facebook was (and is) tracking people who are not their subscribers and selling that information.  They are doing so through the mere presence of "Like" buttons and invisible, single-pixel beacons on sites -- with no way to "opt out" of it or disclosure that they're doing it.

This is a serious problem across the web and the new EU data regulations make clear that it's illegal to do this.  Facebook thinks they can beat the charge on appeal -- I doubt it.

Second, Spamazon has just done something that should lead to them being forced to collect and remit sales tax on all third party sales. 

Specifically, they took responsibility for other vendors who sold illegal pesticides on their site as a third-party seller.  

The parallel is clear: If Amazon has "nexus" for the purpose of being liable for the sale of illegal pesticides by third party sellers then it certainly also has "nexus" for sales tax purposes!

We'll see how long it takes for the State Attorneys General to figure it out and come after them.  My suspicion, given how much money is involved?  Not long at all.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2018-02-18 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 266 references
[Comments enabled]  

It's not real important that you're unable to throw a grenade to the minimum reasonable safe distance, right?

The United States Army will no longer require recruits to show they can throw hand grenades 25 meters because many of them can’t throw the explosive far enough, it revealed on Friday.

The Army says that starting next summer it will remove the requirement from its Basic Combat Training because it takes too much time to teach enlistees to throw grenades at an adequate distance.

So let me see if I get this right: You "pass" basic training (after which you're potentially deployable in an infantry role, right?) without being able to toss a grenade far enough so it will not kill you when you use it.

Then, if you wind up called to go do something like, oh, toss a grenade for real at a real enemy, you haven't demonstrated you're competent to get it clear of your own unit.

Exactly what sort of stupid do you have to be in order to "pass" alleged "soldiers" through a basic training class who cannot use one of the basic weapons that they're supposed to be able to use without accidentally scoring "own goals" on themselves and others on their own side of the war?

I'm sorry folks, this is beyond idiocy -- and Trump, I remind you, is now CIC and thus fully responsible for this stupidity.

Let me guess -- next up will be you don't have to actually be able to accurately shoot either.

It's not like someone in the Army is expected to be able to use a gun, right alongside that grenade -- right?

View this entry with comments (opens new window)