The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets
Logging in or registering will improve your experience here
Main Navigation
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. For investment, legal or other professional advice specific to your situation contact a licensed professional in your jurisdiction.

NO MATERIAL HERE CONSTITUTES "INVESTMENT ADVICE" NOR IS IT A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO STOCKS, OPTIONS, BONDS OR FUTURES.

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.

2021-06-07 17:51 by Karl Denninger
in Flash , 715 references
[Comments enabled]  

Well well look what we have here.

The FBI "recovered" most of the Colonial cryptojack ransom payment.

How?

They served a seizure warrant on an exchange in the United States.

Which had the bitcoin at it.

Which means it wasn't Russia-Russia-Russia, was it?

Likely the BTC was at Coinbase, since the location is identified as "Northern District of California" although that's speculation.

You won't convince me that Putie-boy hacked Colonial (nor any Russian group associated with him) and had the funds sent to a US custodial account and then left them there instead of transferring it somewhere outside the US originally (BTC is global, after all) and then immediately moving it offline into a "hard" wallet where you would have to obtain the physical hardware.  Any "state-sponsored" entity would have done that within minutes of the transaction occurring.

In other words The Feds lied.

Again.

Next question: "Know Your Customer" law applies to US custodians and exchanges. So who was it held on behalf of?  "I don't know" is a bad answer by the way.

PS: If an immediate indictment against whoever held that account or the custodian themselves as accessories to the crime is not forthcoming then my presumption changes -- within days -- to this was not a "hack" at all, it was an internal attack by our own government against Colonial.  Why?  Because KYC law is clear and so is where they seized the Bitcoin, so either the person(s) responsible are known and get busted immediately, the custodian gets busted for knowingly engaging in money laundering and as an accessory, or the government did it.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)
 

2021-06-07 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in 2ndAmendment , 407 references
[Comments enabled]  

.... guns, that is.

You might need them.

Citing firearm sale reports on the southwestern border, Chipman claimed the ATF defines an assault rifle as “any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22, which would include a .223, which is, you know largely the AR-15 round.”

So basically any rifle that fires one round for each depression of the trigger and can accept a magazine, other than a .22.

Why?

Because any rifle that can accept a magazine can accept one of any size.

Note that there is no legal definition of an "assault rifle."  By definition any weapon used offensively against a person is an assault, so such is an "assault rifle", since a person committed an assault with it -- whether it's fired or not.

The military has a definition, which is a select-fire rifle.  That is, a rifle which, by operation of a selector switch, can fire either once when the trigger is depressed or some number of times greater than one, including (but not necessarily) continually until the ammunition is exhausted.  In civilian and legal parlance a weapon which can fire more than once with each press of the trigger, whether all the time or by choice of the operator (e.g. by putting a switch in a specific position) is called a machine gun.

So what Chipman basically said is that he'd ban anything he could, Constitution be damned.

May I remind you that Miller, the "first" real gun control decision at the Supreme Court, said that weapons suitable for use by the military and infantry in particular, are in fact militia weapons and protected under the Second Amendment.  That case turned on whether a sawed-off shotgun was such a weapon.  The government lied, incidentally, in claiming it wasn't: Not long before that they had in fact not only ordered but used short-barrel shotguns in WWI.  They were rather handy in trench warfare, you see, where the length of a regular rifle was a problem for the person using it.

But enough of history -- oh wait, not quite enough.

You see, Chipman has apparently lied before; he was at Waco during the Branch Davidian disaster, but he apparently claimed last year that the Branch Davidians shot down two Texas ANG choppers with Barrett .50 caliber rifles.  Problem: Zero choppers were in fact shot down.  His was grilled on this during his testimony and now claims they were forced down.  Uh, there's no evidence of that either that I can find.

The reality of the BATFE is that much of what they do is unconstitutional -- blatantly so.  Then again so is much of other areas of the law these days, if you actually believe the Constitution means what it says.  For example, the Fourth Amendment is quite-clear and does not admit the capacity to search or seize without a warrant, yet that is violated daily.  Then there are all manner of constraints on taking, which did occur at the behest of various agencies and arms of the Federal Government over the last year.  Some people got very rich from all that taking and others got poor or displaced.  As just one example of many rent forbearance is flatly illegal by government mandate unless the government covers all of the landlord's anticipated cash flow including his profit because it is a taking by the government.  The 5th Amendment forbids this, except with just compensation.  There has been no compensation -- just or otherwise.

So-called "critical race theory" and set-asides as Biden put into place only for non-whites when it comes farms and other places is blatantly illegal.  So says the 14th Amendment.  Further, the 14th Amendment incorporates all of the Constitution's protections against states, forbidding the states to engage in discrimination.  That came out of the end of slavery -- and has been routinely ignored.

Note that the 14th Amendment does not care whether the reason is race, color, creed, religion or otherwise: Laws, policies or other mandates by the government, whether state or federal, that explicitly favor one person over another are unconstitutional -- period.

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

How hard is that to understand?

The Constitution is never more than one action by the government away from extinction.  The entire purpose of the 2nd Amendment is that so long as it stands as intended it will never need to be used as the government and its agents fully understand there are more of "us" than "them", and therefore acts that are repugnant to the Constitution, should the people decide the government must stop them, will stop.

Chipman does not respect this.  In fact, he would set fire to the whole thing.

That hasn't happened before where he's conveniently been, has it?

View this entry with comments (opens new window)
 

2021-06-06 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in 2ndAmendment , 439 references
[Comments enabled]  

Well well look what we have here...

"Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment," Benitez said in the ruling. "Firearms deemed as 'assault weapons' are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles."
 
In his ruling, the judge also criticized the news media, writing, "One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter."

Both statements are true.

The AR platform truly is a swiss army knife when it comes to firearms.  You can fit it with multiple upper receivers that have different barrel types, profiles and configurations for different uses.  A bull barrel (heavy and fairly expensive) for target shooting, a light "government profile" one for hunting varmints and other modest-sized game or home defense, several different caliber upper options for various other hunting and target shooting purposes and you can even buy a "pistol" configuration that is indeed designed to be fired with one hand, although frankly I think that's sort of silly as the cartridge is not intended for this and as such they are extraordinarily loud and have a habit of spitting 1' diameter fireballs out the front end along with the projectile.

The weapon can also use "iron" sights, a "reflex" sight that can be used with both eyes open (excellent for home defense) or, for those of us with aging eyes who wish to target shoot or use it for hunting purposes, a scope of your choice.  Depending on the options you choose you can even have more than one set of sights available at a time; a battery-powered reflex sight and "backup" iron sights, for example, should the batteries go dead, or a "flip away" magnifier allowing a reflex sight to be a viable hunting weapon both in close and at longer ranges.

While it is certainly true that people have chose to use this type of firearm as a weapon in mass-shootings, the facts are that rifles of all sorts, including the AR-series rifles, kill fewer people than knives in an average year.  It's not close.  Indeed you're more likely to be punched or kicked to death than killed with a rifle of any sort, including an AR-15 -- by roughly double or more depending on the year, and clubs (including I assume 5 irons), hammers and similar are about as likely to be the instrument of your demise.  As the judge said: Facts matter.  Nobody's talking about registering or banning 5-irons -- or fists.

This ruling will of course be appealed, but perhaps -- just perhaps -- some common sense is showing up.

The facts are that guns are used more-often, by quite a bit, in defense than for illegal, offensive purposes.  Most of the time when a firearm is used for defense it doesn't have to actually be fired; the mere presence is frequently enough for whoever was in the middle of doing something ugly and criminal to decide that their action is a bad idea and change their mind.  Indeed Samuel Colt's revolver was called the "Great Equalizer" and a firearm is; it renders a 5'1" 100lb woman able to effectively stop a 250lb 6' man from raping and/or killing her, a near impossibility otherwise.

Go figure -- criminals don't like the prospect of dying any more than anyone else does and since we refuse to keep criminals in prison, well, that makes the remaining choices rather stark, doesn't it?

View this entry with comments (opens new window)
 

2021-06-05 12:00 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 93 references
 

 

View this entry with comments (opens new window)
 



2021-06-05 08:32 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 362 references
[Comments enabled]  

I didn't think this was more than a handful of tinfoil hatters running around -- apparently, it is.

Two days ago, the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman reported that Donald Trump “has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August.” In response, many figures on the right inserted their fingers into their ears and started screaming about fake news.

Instead, they should have listened — because Haberman’s reporting was correct. I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office....

What?

As I pointed out back in November and December in a handful of articles I penned at the time if Trump really believed the election was stolen and could not get judges to issue injunctions or state authorities to actually go in and prove (or disprove) his theories then he had only two choices:

  • Accept that he was cheated and retire from the field of play on January 20th and, if he so decided, make another run for it in 2024.

  • Pick up a gun, get a bunch of other people who believed it too that were willing to do the same thing and go seize the election materials by force and prove it.

Yeah, that second option is, well, a pot-commit that you're right.  If you do it and are wrong the best outcome is that you're destroyed; you spend the rest of your life in prison, so do a lot of other people and, if someone shoots (and someone probably will on one side or the other) you may well get the needle depending on exactly where that happens.

This situation -- where one candidate or the other declares that there were shenanigans sufficient to change the outcome has happened before.  Depending on who you ask it's somewhere between four and eight Presidential elections.  1876 was one of them, where widespread voter intimidation (aimed at blacks) was alleged.  Maybe enough to change the outcome.  Hayes won -- by one EV.  Or did he?  Well, maybe and maybe not, but Tilden didn't pick up a gun.

Not long after Cleveland lost -- but then ran again, and the next time beat Harrison, being the only President to win non-consecutive terms of office.  Yes, that's happened before too.

Of course there's the infamous 1960 Nixon and Kennedy election.  That was the very-famous Daley political machine in Chicago, and yet.... Nixon walked off.  Only to come back, of course in 1968.

People argue 2000 but frankly, compared to the other three that's weak sauce and I was in Florida at the time.

The problem once January 20th comes and goes is that there is exactly no possible way for it to be undone in our Constitution.  It literally does not matter if it's proved after that date.  Once Congress has accepted the EV certificates and voted to confirm them that's the end of it.  You could conceivably impeach both Biden and Harris, but even that doesn't get there because there is a line of succession and guess what party is in control of The House right now?  Even if you don't do it until 2022 and the House flips you still don't get there.

With that said we do deserve these answers.  Anyone who doesn't support independent audits is nuts.  There's only one reason to not want those to take place: You think there was cheating and thus there's something that will be found!  After all a complete audit in Maricopa County that fails to find any evidence of tampering, stuffed ballots or other misdeeds ends the discussion for that county, does it not?  Does not the same thing in Georgia and other states do the same thing there?  It sure does considering that those who think there was tampering are the ones doing the auditing.  If the state Legislatures want to fund that what's the problem?  If private groups want to fund it what's the problem?  The law requires ballots and materials to be maintained and not tampered with for an extended period of time after an election for that very reason -- in case someone challenges what happened.  So long as the aggrieved party pays for it I fail to understand what the potential issue is that justifies saying "No."

Are there remedies if, in fact, tens of thousands of ballots were printed on a laser printer and stuffed in Arizona -- or Fulton County?  Sure.  People could go to prison.  Laws could be changed related to elections so it can't happen again.  We could even have a drive to do what I've long advocated since the 2000 fiasco: All paper ballots, all mark-sense readers, originals are kept, no absentee unless you can prove you will be out of the County on election day, such as for the military, and everyone dips their finger in indelible ink so you can't vote twice.

Now if I think the counting machine has been tampered with I can count the ballots by hand.  All of them.  Unless someone is willing to chop off their finger they're not stuffing the box; the poll books have to balance.  And if I have to prove (and submit said proof) that I'm not going to be there on election day to get an absentee ballot then the number of people who can potentially tamper with that part of it is small enough to likely not matter in national and state-wide races.

I have also advocated that the counting must be both continuous and hermitic; that is, until the results are final there is no release of anything to anyone by any means.  This can be done; you can take an entire state (the unit at which EVs are computed) and mandate that the counting rooms at the precinct or county level are sealed and nobody, nor any thing (including electronic signals) enters or leaves the counting rooms once the process begins until the entire state is complete.  Yes, this means you need some way for people to use the bathroom in the counting area and all electronic devices must be confiscated with no outside connectivity for anything whatsoever.  So what?  Now there is no way to know "how much" you're up or down by until it's all done.  It suddenly becomes a lot harder to cheat during the counting process.

So yeah, I think this all ought to go forward by whoever's willing to pay for it, whether a legislature or private party.  Let's see it, let's have it, I see no reason not to.  The entire purpose of retaining the material is to make that possible; no law is without purpose, and that's the clear purpose.

But the premise that someone Trump "returns" -- prior to running in 2024 should NY not hose him first, and he actually wants to run again, is nuts.

Flat out screaming full-sheet of LSD-dropping bonkers.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)