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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Editorial]
2017-10-20 12:57 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 270 references
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There is something heinous and outrageous about anyone who attempts to politicize a condolence call when one of our service members is killed in action.

That outrage extends to everyone involved.

It extends to the so-called "Representative" in question, in this case Fredrica Wilson, D-FL, who with intent did intentionally listen in on a call from the President that was intended for family members of the fallen without prior notice to everyone on said call.

It extends to the family, who permitted said "Representative" to be present in direct and outrageous violation of the obvious expectation (which does not need to be explicitly stated) that such a call would be private and for the sole benefit of the family of said service member.

And finally it extends to the media that has taken what is a solemn and personal matter and turned it into a political circus with the permission and support of everyone above.

I expect the media to act like the National Enquirer on a daily basis.  The media has already long-earned a rusty chainsaw up the poop chute; there is no remaining respect to be lost there.

But I utterly refuse to give any respect to any person who enables and commits such an act.

Fredrica Wilson, may an alligator cross your path and turn you into the animal scat that you have demonstrated you already are through your own actions.  **** you.  Further, should you be reelected for your upcoming term every single person who votes for you in your district has earned the same sentiment.

As for the family, all of them, you have destroyed through your own intentional acts any right to sympathy or other consideration for your family member who gave their life for this nation.  You have crapped all over the very institutions that make it possible for you to take such an outrageous set of actions and get away with them.  In nations without such institutions and protections you would have been put in front of a firing squad within an hour for what you did; try it in North Korea, as just one of many examples around the world.

The deceased deserves much honor for his sacrifice, as does anyone who signs up for military service and has their check cashed.  Everyone who enlists, which I remind you is a voluntary act, especially those who enlist and serve in an elite unit, know damn well exactly how large that blank check is that they hand over on the day they go in and that it might get cashed at any time without notice.

The family members, on the other hand, who have intentionally abused a condolence call to express political hatred, including every member of said family that had any knowledge or involvement in allowing alligator-scat Wilson to be in the room, deserve to see the bird in their face everywhere and anywhere they may be forevermore into the future.  Your actions, each and every one of them, are in fact worse than those of Richard Spencer. While he speaks of vile ideas you not only have crapped all over this nation and the very institutions that have made possible this nation's continued existence for more than two centuries in addition you have and are dishonoring your own kin and his sacrifice in public, an unforgivable sin for which there is no redemption possible.

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I will lay out the indictment here in brief form.  It's aimed at the American public at large because this is what is tolerated on a daily basis and what it costs us.  I'll leave this open for comment for a couple of days, after which I'm locking the topic.

Let's see if anyone can make the case for what they intend to do both personally and collectively about any of this -- and I'll keep this one short.  Trust me, there may be more where this came from if I decide it's worth my while.  After all it's not like I don't have 11,000 articles written over the last decade to draw from..... oh wait....

Let's start with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  There is now incontrovertible evidence that several years before the Uranium One deal was signed off on by both Hillary and Obama, a deal that sold 20% of American uranium assets to Russia (and we all know what uranium is used for, right?), the FBI had an ongoing investigation into the Russian principals of that transaction for bribery and extortion.  There are only two possibilities, of course: Either the FBI (all of it) intentionally concealed the existence of the investigation from the administration or the administration knew damn well that the deal was coerced and went along with it despite having full knowledge of same.

Do I particularly care which it is?  No, because the FBI is the government.

What I do very much care about is that the Russian Government actively practiced extortion and bribery within our borders for years and exactly zero was done about it to this very day more than a decade later.  The FBI knew about it and did exactly nothing.  Not one person has been indicted, the acts themselves were covered up despite being known to the government and the "deal" that appears to have been procured through felony unlawful acts has not been forcibly unwound.  In other words the Russians have been allowed to keep what they stole; this is equally egregious to the FBI watching a mobster rob a bank, knowing who it is that robbed the bank and then not only refusing to prosecute them letting them keep the money.

I remind you that if the government merely suspects you have $10,001 in your briefcase due to selling a substance they don't like they will steal it from you at gunpoint even if they are unable to prove that you did anything illegal.  At the same time the millions of dollars that these people funneled to the Clinton Foundation remains there, it has not been seized and the deal has not been unwound, nor has one single indictment been leveled.

I further remind you that before you scream "Democrats!" that Donald J Trump has been President now for nearly 10 months and he and his attorney general Jeff Sessions have done exactly nothing about any of this.  Trump and his administration along with both sides of the aisle in Congress are therefore explicitly confirming on a literal daily basis that this is "acceptable behavior" and not worthy of criminal punishment.  Let me remind you that Trump, during the campaign, repeatedly cheered on the premise "Lock Her Up."  Well?  Whether you're a "MAGA" supporter, an "establishment" Republican or a Democrat of any stripe go **** yourself with a rusty chainsaw because you are all explicitly supporting an administration that has intentionally refused to act on the "buying" of 20% of our nation's nuclear energy and weapons raw material by Russia through acts of bribery and extortion.

Considering that having our energy infrastructure strangled by a hostile government is arguably one of the greatest threats that we could face this activity is especially outrageous.  However, I can understand why you might stick you head in the sand on this; after all, the lights haven't so much as flickered in your house, right?

Ok, so maybe I'll let you slide on that one.

I won't let you slide on the $15,000 a year that is stolen from every family in this nation on an annual basis by the medical scam in the United States.

The means by which it happens are so varied and outrageous that they are almost beyond belief.  I have heard many people scoff at me when I point out that we overpay by five times in this country for medical care.  That is, if we stopped the scams I assert that your cost for medical care (and health insurance) would come down by 80% in a day.  I'm utterly confident in this number, however, and I would like to give you just a few reasons why.

One, for instance, is the fact that virtually every eye-drop medication is intentionally designed to waste half of the drug prescribed.  If that crap was to be stopped and the companies were prevented from simply doubling the price per-vial by competition the cost of said drops on a per-month basis would instantly fall by half.  Remember, this is without any other competitive pressures of any sort being brought to bear -- it would simply result from putting a stop to the intentional practice by the drug companies of designing a dispensing device that intentionally and unavoidably causes you to waste half the medication by having it run down your face.

Never mind the fact that such a practice also likely causes some percentage of users to suffer side effects that are harmful when the medicine goes in places it isn't intended (like your sinuses and throat), which you then must pay more money to counteract or treat.

The second I've written on several times: Drugs (such as antivenoms for scorpion stings and snakebites) that are sold in Mexico OVER THE COUNTER for $100 or so, yet in the United States a few dozen miles north the exact same drug, made in the exact same factory by the exact same company is available only from a hospital under prescription and costs tens of thousands of dollars.  This crap is true for almost every drug with varying differences by nation, with the United States paying the most in essentially every case.  While the really crazy ripoff percentages come for drugs that are relatively rarely used (like snakebite antivenom) they often amount to 500% or more for "mainstream" pharmaceuticals, whether they be for Hepatitis-C, diabetes (insulin), high blood pressure or hundreds of other conditions including various forms of cancer. The only reason this situation persists is that it is a federal offense for you to cross the Mexican (or any other) border, fill a suitcase with said drug for cash and then bring it back to the US and sell it for whatever you can fetch.

The third is "CON" laws in many states that require before you open or close a medical facility you receive a "Certificate Of Need."  The board evaluating your application?  It's made up of the owners of the existing medical facilities in the area.  This, along with other aspects of price fixing, is largely why you can literally fly to Narita, Japanhave an MRI done (for cash) and then fly home while spending less than the local imaging center charges you for the exact same scan and reading of same.  You are literally bilked out of anywhere from 5-10 times the cost in that first-world, first-class nation for the exact same thing.

Then there's The Surgery Center of Oklahomawhich I've written on several times.  They're a cash-based surgery center that will give you a price, soup-to-nuts, for a procedure just like the corner grocer does.  Hospitals and doctors for years have said you "can't" do that with medicine; this organization has proved that's a lie.  They not only do it their business is thriving.  Because they have quoted you a price and that's what you pay they also have every incentive not to screw up and give you an infection while there.  A traditional hospital gets to and does bill you to treat an infection they gave you while you were in surgery.  That incentive for them to not screw up is reflected in outcomes: The Surgery Center posts their infection rate and on a typical year it's twenty-five times lower than the national average.

Most of this is "hidden" from you through employer-provided insurance, but the scam continues nonetheless. The average Florida family pays over $18,700 a year for "health insurance" irrespective of who writes the check and if it was a more-appropriate $4,000 you'd get the nearly $15,000 a year difference in your salary.

Cut the crap, America.  Not only does the medical scam in this country, all of which I remind you is illegal and has been for 100 years, which medical and insurance firms twice tried to claim exemptions from when sued, the cases went to the US Supreme Court and the medical and insurance firms lost both times, cost every single family in this nation $15,000 each and every year, or enough to make the mortgage payment on a middle class house it also results, if you wind up in the hospital, a risk of infection twenty five times greater than what a market system brings you.

If the robbery isn't enough is a twenty-five times greater risk of a bankruptcy due to infection caused by the hospitalor, in the extreme cases, your death enough to get you off your ass?  May I remind you that roughly 200,000 people die in this country every single year due to preventable medical screwups, and that's only counting the ones that aren't successfully hidden.  In fact this is the third leading cause of death in the United States!

That isn't enough to get you off your ass?  Go **** yourself with a rusty chainsaw.

Think there are no answers to this rampant scam and the death it brings?  The hell there aren't.  There are remedies available at both state and federal levels.  I remind you that virtually every state (if not every) has an anti-trust law roughly parallel to the US Federal law (15 USC Chap 1.)  This means state prosecutors can bring these cases too, and state legislatures and executives could demand they do so.  Either the States or the Federal Government could start right here with a one-sentence law and follow it up here.

County and local governments could condition the issuance of business licenses (without which no medical facility or drug store can operate at all) on the posting of prices and non-discriminatory billing.  They could do that right now via city or county ordnance and if they did it would resolve their budget problems as well as fixing health care for you, their constituent.  Instead they******you on property taxes and engage in financial shenanigans that ultimately will bankrupt both them and you.

They don't fix the problem instead of screwing you because you refuse to make this issue, which robs you of a ****ing house every single year, the political point that they must face and resolve or be ejected from office and shunned to the point that they can't even walking the family dog without facing birds flown in their face by everyone they meet, with your treatment of such bastards extending from the lowliest cop on the beat to the Governor of every single state of the Union -- and every government employee in between.

Let me know when you stop consenting to being financially raped, along with accepting a twenty-five times greater risk than necessary of being severely injured or killed as a direct result of virtually every hospital in the United States having every reason to not give a damn if they give you an infection because they profit from it when it happens.

You don't want to do it?  You don't care that you're robbed out of a house every year?


I don't want to hear your complaints when the economy collapses as this scam exceeds the ability to extract any more money from the people, or at least as bad or maybe worse forced rationing comes into play, you need medical care of some kind and you're simply told "Nope", leaving you die in agony after bankrupting you.

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2017-10-15 19:17 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 217 references
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Just three days folks.....

Get ready to rumble!

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2017-10-13 10:54 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 702 references
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Let's face reality folks: In an honest society Amazon would be literally out of the media business this morning, and their stock price would crash by half.

Why?  Because Rose McGowan, one of many women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, also claims that Amazon optioned a series from her and then killed it when she discovered they were effectively covering up the Weinstein scandal and demanded they cut that crap out.

In other words she is accusing Amazon and Jeff Bezos, it's CEO, of intentionally enabling Weinstein's continued abuse of women and children and financially damaging her when she pushed back on their covering up allegations of criminal sexual assault.

May I remind you that central to Amazon's business model is Prime Video original shows?

Of course Amazon isn't the only firm that would be hacked to death in the market this morning if anyone gave a damn.  A huge percentage of media studios and affiliated firms would be literal zeros.

It gets better.  There are reports that Weinstein's employment contract with "his" company included a clause that literally gave him the right to "buy off" any future sexually-related complaints.  May I remind you (as does Gregg Jarrett, correctly so) that a contract to do or enable an illegal act is void as you cannot contract to do an illegal thing?  What's worse is that the board of the company knowingly entered into the agreement which, I'd argue, makes every one of its members explicitly connected to Weinstein's conduct and both explicitly and legally responsible for covering it up!

Look folks, everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but can we cut the crap?  You have already demonstrated over the last 30 years that you will sit still while the entire medical industry buttrapes you to within an inch of your life on a daily basis, stealing $3 trillion a year from consumers through their price-fixing.  It's not just the big stuff, it's the little stuff too, like advertising a $15 price and then charging someone $25.  Worse, it's not posting a price at all and then charging someone five times that $15 after you already took their order and they're obligated to pay.  It's charging someone $800 for 20 minutes of a doctor's time, again, only after the person in question is committed to pay because the service was already performed.

If the business model for gasoline sales was to suddenly be that no station posted a price, you filled the tank and then were told how much you had to pay, with the station scanning your plate during the time you pumped the gas, used a database operated by all the insurance companies and gas stations together and then charged you a price that might be 500% higher based on who you bought your car insurance from and what coverages it had you'd be up in arms.  If one station did it they'd be out of business in an afternoon.  If they all did it you would insist that they all go to prison and if that was not immediately forthcoming you'd burn all of those so-called "businesses" to the ground and string the owners up on the nearest lamppost.

We currently throw people in jail when there's a hurricane coming if they charge someone $5/gallon for gas instead of $2.50.  Nobody has gone to jail for charging a heart-attack victim five times what they could have the same procedure done for across the street at The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, for cash, if they were not at that instant having a heart attack.  Yet a heart attack or other serious medical emergency is the very definition of an exigent circumstance during which you cannot meaningfully negotiate anything while a hurricane comes with days of warning and thus your exposure to said $5 price is in fact voluntary.

When it comes to politicians the abuses are literally too many to count.  I'll just name one to make my point: Tim Murphy, who for years has railed about making abortion illegal. Of course the consequence of his demand was to be enforced on everyone else but not him personally -- you see, he apparently had a mistress, couldn't manage birth control with her in an adult fashion, and when the expected outcome occurred he told her to get.......... an abortion.  He's resigning, of course, but only because he was outed.  He's been making laws for others -- which he expects to be able to ignore for himself -- since 1996.

In the medical field it's virtually impossible to find a firm or person who doesn't scam at some level.  Take the maker of a medication for a rare (less than 1% of the population) condition: Nuedexta. The company's business model can be roughly translated as screw Medicare and Medicaid out of hundreds of millions a year by getting this medication prescribed to elderly patients who don't have the condition for which it was approved, and in fact the medication has never been studied in the geriatric population!  But the money's good, whether the medicine does good or harm -- right?  Who pays for that?  You do.  Why aren't that company's officers all in prison and, if the government refuses to enforce the ****ing law why haven't the people of this nation decided to do something about that themselves?

There are dozens of similar if not worse examples; drugs that Medicare and Medicaid pay $50 for that you can buy for cash at under $20 for the same supply.  That's $30 per prescription stolen from the American people -- literally stolen!  Yet not one such drug company has been prosecuted for this and you won't hold either them or the government to account for it.

Of course there are the monster theft regimes such as diabetes which I've pointed out before -- that single condition costs you $400 billion a year via Medicare and Medicaid, every year, and kills tens of thousands.  If you add in the private insurance and medical costs I'm willing to bet the total is over $700 billion -- every single year.  The number of people who have demanded that stop right damn now?


Tell me again why every single procedure and every single drug doesn't have a posted price at every business that sells any of them -- just like everything on the shelf has a price at Walmart, the gas station and the hardware store.  Tell me again why you tolerate a business model that obligates you to pay before you're told how much the bill will be, and where that amount varies by, in some cases, 1,000% or more simply based on whether you have "health insurance" and if so who you bought it from.  Tell me again why, when any such collusive action of this sort that is intended to or does diminish competition (how do you have any "competition" when you can't shop and get a price?) is a felony and has been for more than 100 years, yet nobody has gone to prison?  And finally, tell me why you sit on your ass and whine about the cost of "health insurance" instead of demanding all these *******s either post prices or go to prison when doing that would cause your cost of health care to drop by 80% or more in a single afternoon!

Facebook "outs" people who are sex workers (in some cases legal sex workers, such as those in the porn industry) all the time.  Nobody cares even if it gets the victims stalked, raped or killed.  Facebook's entire business model is predicated on shifting and amplifying your own personal belief system for their profit and to your detriment.  It has to be to your detriment; those billions of dollars come from someone, and the someone is you.  They not only admit this they disclaim any responsibility or for the results and you let them get away with it, taking billions from you in the process.  Never mind that Facebook has claimed more "reach" for their ads than there are people, which is the very definition of fraud -- and yet not one indictment has issued over their repeated false statements of "reach."  Is it not the law that all factual statements made in a public company report must be accurate?

It sure is, and was made a crime after all the lies of the 1990s -- yet the number of prosecutions under Sarbox over the last two decades can be counted on your fingers if you're a quadruple-amputee.

Uber's business model can be loosely translated as **** the law, do whatever we want and get big enough, fast enough that if they try to enforce said law we will get the public to whine about losing what we "gave" them.  They're not alone.  AirBNB runs on that business model, as does literally every "tech giant" today in the consumer-facing space.  Yelp is widely considered to be what amounts to an extortion-based business and I know people who have been fired from their jobs for unsubstantiated complaints posted on their site.  Netflix built their entire business on cost-shifting their firm's content distribution expense to those who don't subscribe -- in other words, they steal it.  When ISPs started to push back on this and demand they pay for excess distribution expense wildly out of the expected norm they went to the government and got their regime protected from market forces.  Who's after them today for this crap?  Nobody, and their stock price is near $200/share despite them being wildly cash-flow-negative even with all the forced theft from non-subscribers! In other words the market believes that despite being in a deep hole and continuing to dig it deeper someone will get buttraped to bail them out.  That someone will be you.

How do all these companies "succeed" (as defined by their stock prices and market caps) given this sort of conduct?  How is it that the movie and TV studios remain in business?

It's simple folks: Nobody is concerned about being monkey-hammered for anything they do no matter how legal (or not.)

They're not concerned about being prosecuted, they're not concerned about their company having its corporate charter yanked and they're not concerned about being boycotted and shunned to the point that not only is their business burnt toast but they, their wives and children cannot so much as walk the dog on a public sidewalk without getting protester's signs in their faces punctuated by birds flipped at them whenever and wherever they go.

Am I surprised that in this environment Weinstein did what he did for as long as he did and got away with it?  No more than I am about the allegations about Michael Jackson and how long that went on, and for the same reason.

We, the people of this nation, refuse to stand up and demand that this crap stop, whether it be some creep who makes sexual favors part of the "price" to get into and remain in "his" industry or whether it be some pharmaceutical company that makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year ****ing up your Grandma by dumping pills down her throat.

The latter literally costs every middle-class family more than a thousand dollars a month when it's all totaled up, which is enough for a house payment, while you politely ask "Please sir, may I be buttsexed some more?"

There should be no surprise that the abuses from companies like Amazon, Uber, Facebook and Netflix go unanswered, nor that the alleged rape-for-job game Weinstein is accused of running for decades also has gone unanswered when you sit still for three trillion a year in theft from every single family in America.

Again, we're talking about enough taken from every single American family for each of you to buy a house.

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2017-10-11 16:22 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 299 references
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From Fox:

"It was kind of relentless so I called over the radio what was going on," he added. "As soon as the shooting stopped we made our way down the hallway and took cover again and then the shooting started again."

So hotel security knew as soon as a couple hundred rounds went whizzing by these two guy's ears, with one getting hit in the leg, and didn't immediately summon the police?

Never mind that despite being under "continual surveillance" there were several burglars who broke into the shooter's house and none got caught?  Surveillance eh?  What were they watching -- the closest donut shop?

I ain't buying this crap and you shouldn't either.

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