Warren Buffett

The Week in Doom February 26, 2019


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
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Anthony Freda               

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on February 26, 2019

"I am dreaming of a way to kill every last person on earth"

 ― Christopher Paul Hasson, white nationalist domestic terrorist  


Last week was really a week for doom-related news!

Bernie Sanders checked in to a 2020 presidential bid, Karl Lagerfeld checked out. Big week in sex crimes, as the Pope presided over a summit on clerical abuse at the Vatican, Patriots owner Robert Kraft endured his second deflated-balls episode when he was charged with soliciting prostitution as part of a sex trafficking sting in a Florida spa, and singer R. Kelly was arrested for sex with underaged girls. California led 16 states in lawsuit against Trump's spurious emergency declaration, Republicans finally found an example of "voter fraud" when North Carolina ordered a new U.S. House election after a vote 'tainted' by corruption…by Republicans. Roger Stone got slapped with a gag order for posting a picture of the presiding judge in his case with crosshairs. Shooting started in Venezuela as the closed the border with Colombia..

But we're not going to review the headlines, because no matter how much havoc is being wreaked by Trump, his minions, and his adoption of the neocon agenda in Venezuela, there are real existential threats to review. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and food supply, and an active duty white nationalist and would-be mass-murderer/ Trump avenger focus the attention elsewhere. 


But We Can't Be Out of Food: We Still Have Chips

One of the common themes the weird rest of this franchise is that collapse is already here. We are living through a slow-motion collapse in terms of climate, biodiversity, and threats to our way of life that simply does not conform to our limited attention spans or are readily observable timeframe.Common Dreams published a summary of a first-of-its kind report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).highlighting the rapid, widespread loss of many of the world's plant and animal species. This poses a direct threat to the food supply of human beings.

What we often fail to realize is that our farming practices, especially industrial agriculture,  is a monoculture reliant on a very small subset of foods. Currently only nine crops account for 66 percent of total crop production, according to FAO. 

"Our forests are shrinking. As they disappear so do the plants, insects, and animals they host…Now is the time to act."

They breathlessly announced that,"This should be at the top of every news bulletin and every government's agenda around the world." But since we hear it all the time, we tend to yawn, check our watches, and change the channel. But here is the nut of the report:

According to FAO's study of 91 countries around the world, the loss of thousands of plant and animal species is affecting air and water quality, tree and plant health, and worsening the spread of disease among livestock—all with dangerous implications for the human population and humans' food sources.

"Less biodiversity means that plants and animals are more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Compounded by our reliance on fewer and fewer species to feed ourselves, the increasing loss of biodiversity for food and agriculture puts food security and nutrition at risk," said Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO's director-general.

It gets worse. FAO blames changes in land and water management, pollution, the warming and the ongoing climate crisis as factors for a catastrophic loss of biodiversity.

Out of 6,000 plant species that can be cultivated for food, fewer than 200 are used significantly as food sources. Where countries, particularly in the third world, lose wild or native food sources, they rely more heavily on industrially-processed foods. Which provides vibrant export market opportunities for Midwestern agribusiness interests. What a coincidence. It's a miracle.

Reports like this come in, and we read them, rub our collective chins, and wonder what is to be done. But as long as Harris Teeter remains open down the road, we're not really out of food, in the same way that if I still have checks, I can't possible be out of money.


The Inconvenient Truth of Modern Civilization’s Inevitable Collapse

Xraymike is back after a long hiatus, with an article entitled, The Inconvenient Truth of Modern Civilization’s Inevitable Collapse. And he wastes no time in getting directly to the point:

Today’s global consumption of fossil fuels now stands at roughly five times what it was in the 1950s, and one-and-half times that of the 1980s when the science of global warming had already been confirmed and accepted by governments with the implication that there was an urgent need to act.

He points out that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the last four also being the top warmest years, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Global warming leads directly to Ice loss. In Antarctica ice loss has sextupled since the 1970s and Greenland’s pace of ice loss has increased fourfold since 2003. As the Arctic warms, new commerce comes to the top of the world. The Arctic Ocean has lost 95% of its old ice and total volume of ice. But opportunity knocks, for business and tourism.

Meanwhile microplastics enter the food supply with unknown effects. showing up even in Arctic birds. And these are the plastics too small to be seen. The plastic crap large enough to be seen is a different story:

There are five massive oceanic gyres filled with pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other human detritus; one of the these gyres, named the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is three times the size of France and growing exponentially.

And of course governments are ill-equipped to do anything about it, because who runs the government? Also, extractive industries pay for well-funded climate disinformation campaigns, and the prevaricator in chief has made his business to put his tiny, if meaty, thumb on the scale.

At a time when compassion, cooperation, and scientific reasoning are needed to deal with the multiple crises we face, politicians are instead conjuring up xenophobia, racism, and conspiracy theories. As inequality grows and the once-stable climate continues to unravel, expect the super-rich to barricade themselves behind heavily fortified mansions while treating climate refugees and the most vulnerable among us with extreme prejudice.

Migration from Latin America is near a 40-year low. But we still intend to build "that big beautiful wall," otherwise known as "the last Confederate monument," an erection dedicated to xenophobia and white rage. And to reelection in 2020. 

There is more in this article, which is well worth the read, but let's just have Xraymike bottom-line this for you:

Humans recognized decades ago the threats they are now facing, yet nothing was done due to political inaction and industry malfeasance which continues to this very day. The scientists who wrote The Limits to Growth decades ago were expecting our political institutions to take action back in the 1970s, but they were met with ridicule and now we stand at the doorstep of modern civilization’s collapse. Political inaction and regulatory capture by the fossil fuel industry appear to be intractable barriers that have condemned the human race to a hellish future. Anyone waiting for some sort of seminal climate change event that is going to galvanize the world’s leaders into action will be tragically disappointed. If seeing the world’s coral reefs dying, its glaciers disappearing, permafrost melting, and the steady uptick in extreme weather and wildfire events does not spur them to action, it is much too late to hope that any single event will ever do so.

The point being that, in terms of "collapse," we are well and truly in it, and there is little to be done about it, because the time for action has passed. And now here's Tammy with the weather.


Arrested Coast Guard Officer Allegedly Planned Attack 'On A Scale Rarely Seen'

A 49-year-old Coast Guard lieutenant charged with stockpiling weapons and drugs is described as a "domestic terrorist" planning "to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country." But since terrorists in the post-truth era are never white, that story is pushed out of the news cycles by the tale of Jussie Smollett and his self inflicted hate crime, prompting release of the already-written stories that, see racial violence really doesn't exist in the United States. The families of Philando Castile, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner were not immediately available for comment.

This guy was planning to unleash a version of hell rarely seen outside of the Middle East. Court documents filed in the case indicate Christopher Paul Hasson espoused extremist and white supremacist views for years — aspiring to establish a "white homeland" — and say he is a "domestic terrorist bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect government conduct," including leading democrats and media figures.

Hasson, a self-described white nationalist living in Silver Spring, Md., was amassing firearms since at least 2017, while cultivating plans to launch a widespread attack on prominent Democratic lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and several high-profile television anchors from MSNBC and CNN.

"I am dreaming of a way to kill every last person on earth," Hasson wrote in a draft email dated June 2, 2017, that was uncovered by investigators. He researched the most effective methods to "cause complete destruction" by unleashing a biological attack on the public, followed by contamination of food supplies. He compiled a hit list including Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Beto O'Rourke, Van Jones, don Lemon and Joe Scarborough.

Investigators said Hasson conducted online searches that included “what if trump illegally impeached” and “civil war if trump impeached” after accessing computer files at his suburban Maryland home, according to Politico. He was apparently ready to spring into action to foment such a war.

"Much blood will have to be spilled to get whitey off the couch. … They will die as will the traitors who actively work toward our demise."

For all of this, the story is slipping into the memory hole despite many unanswered questions about Hasson and his racist goals. Yet few in the media aside from Arizona sites, where Hasson had local ties, are continuing to cover this apparent case of domestic white terrorism. An internet search on Feb. 26 revealed no updates outside of Arizona.


Warren Buffett Does Doom

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, the "Sage of Omaha," released his annual letter to shareholders. It is an optimistic letter in which he credits "the American tailwind" for BH's successes. He defends stock buybacks; he acknowledges the massive write-down from Kraft Heinz; and he addresses government debt and deficits while also taking a jab at gold-touting doomsayers. But almost as an aside, while assessing risks in insurance business, he warned about,"the big one." That would be some major catastrophe, fueled by climate change, that would cause economic losses in the trillions of dollars.

"When such a megacatastrophe strikes, we will get our share of the losses and they will be big — very big."

Buffett says the catastrophe may take the form of a natural disaster or could be something more surprising, like a cyber attack. But Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway "will be looking to add business the next day."


As Yellowstone Awakens, Dr. Michio Kaku Warns That It Could "Literally Tear The Guts Out Of The USA"

If things ever get too quiet around the collapsosphere, you can always rely on Yellowstone. That seismic mess continues to bubble under the earth's surface, and can always portend catastrophe on a slow news day. Michael Snyder tells us via Zero Hedge that scientists assure us that one day the absolutely massive Yellowstone supervolcano will once again experience a Category 8 eruption, and if it happened today it would “literally tear the guts out of the United States of America.” That is why what has been happening at Yellowstone in recent months is so alarming.

We know that the ground has been rising and that “a 465-mile-long piece of molten rock” is moving upwards directly under Yellowstone.  And we also know that the major geysers at Yellowstone were more active last year than in any other year in any of our lifetimes.  Are these signs that an eruption is coming?  We better hope not, because as Dr. Michio Kaku recently told Fox News, there is “a sleeping Godzilla underneath Yellowstone”

The image of a slumbering Goliath ready to rip apart the US is always good to stoke fear. Kaku posits that the Yellowstone caldera would not blow all at once, that we'd get a warning. But what if we have already received warnings, and are sleeping through them?

Steamboat geyser erupted more times in 2018 than in any other year in history.  The following comes from National Geographic

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory reports that Steamboat has now set a record by erupting a whopping 32 times in 2018, a personal best for the geyser for a single calendar year. Previously, this geyser made it as high as 29 paroxysms back in 1964.

Prior to last year, there had not been an eruption of the Steamboat geyser for three and a half years.

It is indeed possible that when Yellowstone finally erupts that we will get more of a warning than this.  But it is also possible that we will not.

If Yellowstone blows, life as we have known it would instantly be over.  Snyder estimates that "the immediate kill zone," or Zone 1, a radius of 100 miles, could see 70,000 people die instantly. Zone two, which starts after 100 miles, would be covered in 10ft of volcanic ash at 450C. After the second zone, one's chances of surviving increase, but would still find people heading east on impossibly clogged roads..

Is Yellowstone likely to blow this week or the next? No. Snyder suggests that Mt. Rainier and Mt. Fuji are better candidates. Such handwringing can sell books if you have them on offer, as Snyder does. But for those people who wish to imagine collapse around a single life-changing event, you could do much worse than a category eight super volcano erupting out of Yellowstone. But not this week.


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

Wall Street has Always Been Corrupt…

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on May 14, 2014

…or about to be corrupted

Discuss this article at the Market Flambe table inside the Diner

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Upton Sinclair – I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

“The U.S. financial markets had always been either corrupt or about to be corrupted.” Michael Lewis, Flash Boys

I finished reading Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys take-down of Wall Street banks, hedge funds, government regulators and high frequency traders last week when I had spare time created by a weeklong denial of service attack on my website. It appears to me technology is being utilized more frequently as a mechanism for malevolence rather than a mechanism for good. The smartest guys in the room are figuring out ways to steal you blind in the financial markets, pilfer your personal information, spy on your electronic communications, and censor your right to free speech by taking away your ability to communicate freely on the internet. After reading Lewis’ maddening tome and experiencing the frustration of an attack that reached 50 million hits per day on my website, I’m reminded of two quotes from the brilliant dystopian visionary Aldous Huxley.

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” ― Aldous Huxley – Ends and Means

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.” Aldous Huxley

Technology has been pushed on the masses like a drug by the mega-corporation and mega-media dealers. Just walk down any city street and observe the technologically entranced zombies shuffling along the sidewalks staring blankly at a tiny screen, tapping away on an itsy bitsy keypad as if whatever they are conveying is of vital importance to the future of mankind. # Give me a break. God forbid if we had to go out in public without our iGadget attached to an appendage. We might actually have to use our brain to think. We might be able to look someone in the eye and smile. We might be able to say hello to a stranger. We might have to act like a human being.

Being connected electronically 24 hours per day is not progress. The technology being peddled to the masses by mega-corporations is designed to keep people amused, apathetic, distracted and uninterested in thinking critically. Our society has devolved into a technologically narcissistic, ego driven, submissive, trivial culture, asphyxiating in a sea of irrelevance and driven by greed and need to fulfill our every desire, rather than a technologically proficient, selfless, humble, critical thinking, civil minded society of self-reliant human beings who take responsibility for their own lives and refuse to saddle future generations with the financial consequences of living beyond their means. Our willful ignorance, misuse of technology, and inability to control our impulses and desires will be the ruin of our perverted civilization.

If the masses were capable of critical thinking and questioned the existing paradigm, they would conclude a small cadre of evil men has colluded to hijack the financial, political, and social systems in order to syphon off the nation’s wealth, while controlling the serfs through propaganda and luring them into debt servitude. Those who haven’t been brainwashed by media propaganda or amused to death by technology, are kept in check by thousands of laws, statutes, and regulations, enforced by millions of government bureaucrats and police state thugs. Technology is used by the state as a means of control, surveillance, censorship, and bilking the populace of their wealth. And if you don’t like it, the IRS, DHS, FBI, CIA, BLM, HHS, or some other three letter government agency will harass, arrest, fine, or kill you for not “cooperating”. And while the government is keeping you under their thumb, Wall Street shysters are stealing you blind.

The Truth Shall Make You Mad

“As soon as you realize that you are not able to execute your orders because someone else is able to identify what you are trying to do and race ahead of you to the other exchanges, it’s over. It really just pissed me off that people set out this way to make money from everyone else’s retirement account. I knew who was being screwed, people like my mom and pop, and I became hell-bent on figuring out who was doing the screwing.” – John Schwall – Flash Boys

As I continued reading Flash Boys I got progressively madder as more truth was revealed about the inner workings of Wall Street, the wasting of human intelligence on technological schemes to defraud the public, and the utter level of corruptness in the government agencies supposed to protect the public from the vultures in the financial industry feasting on the carcasses of dupes who still believe the “stocks for the long run” drivel regurgitated incessantly by the bimbos and slime balls on CNBC. The concepts of right and wrong, moral and immoral, honesty and dishonesty, and truth and lies are all purposefully blurred in shades of grey by those in power, in a blatant attempt to maintain and expand their vast wealth, immense power and complete governing control.

Michael Lewis focuses on our warped, rigged financial system, but his insights apply across the board to our entire society. Our economic, financial, political, regulatory, and judicial systems are all rigged. This serves the interests of the Deep State, Invisible Government, Oligarchs, Owners, or whatever other term you choose to describe the obscenely wealthy minority controlling this country. The existing establishment will never willingly change the system because it serves their myopic gluttonous interests.

“The deep problem with the system was a kind of moral inertia. So long as it served the narrow self-interests of everyone inside it, no one on the inside would ever seek to change it, no matter how corrupt or sinister it became.” Michael Lewis – Flash Boys

Flash Boys is the fourth Michael Lewis book I’ve read. I had previously read Liar’s Poker, The Big Short, and Boomerang. He is a masterful storyteller. He has the ability to humanize complicated financial concepts and cut through the purposeful complexity built into the financial system to reveal the corruption, criminality and moral degradation of Wall Street bankers and Washington DC politicians. He slices through all the spin, misinformation, and mistruths flogged by Wall Street and their paid-off media mouthpieces to reveal everyone on Wall Street to be in on the action when it comes to fleecing their customers (muppets). The stench emanating from the bowels of Wall Street banks, hedge funds, and high frequency trading bucket shops hangs like toxic smog over our bloated fetid crony capitalist corpse of a country. This cast of despicable felonious characters, scalps investors day after day, with the insiders pretending all is well and the man on the street is being protected.

“The reason is that everyone is a bad actor. There’s an ecosystem that has risen up around a broken pipe on Wall Street. You have high-frequency traders who are scalping the market. They pay exchanges for the tools they need to scalp investors; the exchanges pay banks to essentially mishandle the stock orders so high-frequency traders can maximize the take. It’s a system designed to extract taxes from investors.” – Michael Lewis –Wired

The average person believes the stock market is run on free market principles, with willing buyers and sellers paying and receiving the most efficient price with regards to their transactions. The American people have put their trust in gargantuan bureaucratic government agencies, funded with their tax dollars, to protect their interests and fight for their rights in the financial marketplace. They innocently believe a private bank – The Federal Reserve – owned and controlled by the Too Big To Trust Wall Street Mega-Banks, is actually enforcing regulations and looking out for the best interest of the small investor. They evidently haven’t been paying attention for the last fourteen years, as the Federal Reserve has purposefully created bubble after bubble with ridiculously low interest rates, money printing on an epic scale, encouraging complete deregulation of banks, inciting speculation, and ignoring criminal behavior by their Wall Street owners.

After reading Lewis’ exposes about these Wall Street scumbags, you realize Scorsese’s seemingly over the top portrayal of these people in Wolves of Wall Street is accurate. Nothing has changed since Lewis worked at Salomon Brothers in the 1980’s. The people inhabiting that culture are unscrupulous, greedy, obtuse, ignorant, and intent upon preying on the weaknesses of their “clients”, who they hold in contempt. They are the wolves and you are sheep. The comforting picture of a stock broker representing your interests on a small commission basis has been replaced by stock exchanges colluding with Wall Street banks, hedge funds and high frequency traders to fleece mom and pop out of hundreds of billions on an annual basis using their super-fast computers located within the stock exchanges. The people who know the truth have no interest in drawing the new picture because their massive paychecks depend upon not drawing the picture.

You can tell how accurate a portrayal is by the reaction of those being portrayed. Flash Boys and the subsequent interview of Lewis by 60 Minutes resulted in a broad based assault by Wall Street bankers, HFT dirt bags, corrupt stock exchange CEOs, SEC lackeys, Federal Reserve Chairwomen, bought off politicians, faux financial journalists, sellouts like Buffett, and of course the mouthpieces of Wall Street on CNBC. The oligarchs benefitting immensely from the HFT scams, Dark Pool schemes, and Stock Exchange pay to play swindles, attempted to ambush the good guys (Brad Katsuyama and Michael Lewis) on CNBC, the captured media pawn of the Wall Street ruling elite.

CNBC stacked the deck against the good guys with the President of the BATS exchange, William O’Brien, given the task of shouting the loudest in an attempt to discredit the factual assertions made in the book. The BATS exchange was founded by high frequency traders and designed to foster the predatory schemes of high frequency trading firms who paid the exchange for the privilege of swindling investors. He went berserk on-air, accusing Brad Katsuyama of lying and denying that his firm purposefully allowed high frequency traders to front run slower orders from regular investors. I guess he thought rage, fury, screaming and false accusations would convince the hoi polloi of his innocence. He was wrong. The traders on the NYSE and in trading firms across Wall Street stopped trading to watch the contest on their screens. They would cheer every time Brad Katsuyama calmly responded with truth based facts.

Michael Lewis described the encounter shortly thereafter in an interview:

“The substantial shocker from this encounter is that Katsuyama tried to get O’Brien to admit that the BATS Exchange uses one very slow data feed to give investors the prices in the market, while selling, for vast sums of money, a faster feed to high-frequency traders, the effect being that the high-frequency trader knows the prices in the exchange before your order. So he has the privilege of trading against you at an old price if he wants to. And O’Brien says no that’s not true. He lied, on national television, about a central fact about his business.” Michael Lewis –Wired

Under threat of prosecution, the BATS exchange had to admit its esteemed President blatantly lied on national TV. That seems par for the course when it comes to Wall Street executives. Deceitfulness, duplicity, and evasiveness are crucial requirements for the psychopaths occupying the corner offices in this warped world of high finance. The Wall Street Journal reluctantly revealed the truth:

BATS Global Markets Inc., under pressure from the New York Attorney General’s office, corrected statements made by a senior executive during a televised interview this week about how its exchanges work.

BATS President William O’Brien, during a CNBC interview Tuesday, said BATS’s Direct Edge exchanges use high-speed data feeds to price stock trades. Thursday, the exchange operator said two of its exchanges, EDGA and EGX, use a slower feed, known as the Securities Information Processor, to price trades.

 The distinction matters because high-speed traders can use powerful computers and superfast links between markets to outpace traders and trading venues that rely on slower market data, such as the SIP.

Would the BATS Exchange have revealed the truth if they had not been pressured by the New York Attorney General to do so? Not bloody likely. Wall Street never admits guilt for any of its crimes, wrongdoings, misconduct, deceit or deceptions. They pay $1 billion in fines to their government co-conspirators as a public relations ploy, without admitting guilt and after reaping $10 billion of criminally generated profits. Not a bad ROI. The principles of right versus wrong, moral versus immoral, honesty versus dishonesty, and clarity versus opacity are willfully evaded by the titans of Wall Street and create no dilemmas for these greed driven psychopaths. Money and power are their drugs and the Federal Reserve is their dealer.

Michael Lewis books strike a chord with the public because he chooses a good guy hero his audience can empathize with. He played the sympathetic character in Liar’sPoker. Michael Burry, the brilliant Asperger’s Syndrome suffering investment genius, plays the role in The Big Short. And Brad Katsuyama, the mild mannered good hearted hobbit-like Canadian, takes on the evil forces of Mordor in Flash Boys. These characters all have something in common. They don’t fit in. They question the existing paradigm. They refuse to give in to the depraved culture permeating Wall Street. They exhibit an inner moral strength that enables them to resist the temptation of ill-gotten riches. And they don’t surrender their principles for a buck. This passage gives you a glimpse into the soul of Brad Katsuyama:

“In America, even the homeless were profligate. Back in Toronto, after a big bank dinner, Brad would gather the leftovers into covered tin trays and carry them out to a homeless guy he saw every day on his way to work. The guy was always appreciative. When the bank moved him to New York, he saw more homeless people in a day than he saw back home in a year. When no one was watching, he’d pack up the king’s banquet of untouched leftovers after the NY lunches and walk it down to the people on the streets. “They just looked at me like, ‘What the fuck is this guy doing?’” he said. “I stopped doing it because it didn’t feel like anyone gave a shit.” –  Michael Lewis – Flash Boys

The apologists for the corrupt establishment attempted to trash Lewis and Katsuyama by contending the market has always been rigged and manipulated, therefore, the HFT embezzlement is just business as usual. Warren Buffett, king of oligarchs and apologist for the Wall Street billionaire club, assures the peasants the financial markets are fairer than ever. If Uncle Warren says it’s so to his girl Becky Quick on CNBC, how can anyone doubt him? It’s as if the supposedly mathematical genius billionaire forgot everything he learned in business school.

There is $21 trillion worth of U.S. stocks traded every year. Based upon Katsuyama’s analysis of how much high frequency traders, Wall Street dark pools, and the stock exchanges selling access were skimming on virtually every transaction, he estimated at least $160 million per day was being stolen from stock investors. That comes to a cool $40 billion per year, at a minimum. High frequency trading accounted for 25% of all stock trades in 2005. By 2008 high frequency traders accounted for 65% of all trades. They now account for in excess of 80% of all trading. The Ivy League educated Wall Street elite insist this extreme level of computer generated trading provides liquidity and efficiency for the markets. In reality, the actual trading results of the HFT firms, hedge funds and Wall Street TBTF banks prove the game is rigged. JP Morgan experienced ZERO trading loss days in 2013. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and most of the mega-banks have had virtually perfect daily trading results since 2010. If they are all winning, who is losing? Guess. Lewis provides further evidence of “investing” perfection:

“In early 2013, one of the largest high-frequency traders, Virtu Financial, publicly boasted that in five and a half years of trading it had experienced just one day when it hadn’t made money, and that the loss was caused by “human error.” In 2008, Dave Cummings, the CEO of a high-frequency trading firm called Tradebot, told university students that his firm had gone four years without a single day of trading losses. This sort of performance is possible only if you have a huge informational advantage.” – Michael Lewis – Flash Boys

Buffett, the financial “journalists” on CNBC, and all of the defenders of the Wall Street criminal cabal must have been asleep during their Stat class in college. The statistical probability of going four years or even four weeks without a losing trading day is as close to zero as you can get, unless the game is rigged and you are cheating. These results were not accomplished due to the brilliance of Wall Street big hanging dicks and their oversized brains. They were accomplished by front running stock market orders, bribing stock exchanges for first access, gaming the system with more powerful computers, ripping off clients in shadowy dark pools, and keeping the SEC at bay with promises of jobs and riches if they look the other way. This was all done under the veil of hyper-complexity designed to obscure, confuse, and cover-up the truth from unsuspecting investors.

And it is all done “legally” under the auspices of Regulation NMS, established by the SEC in 2007, to foster both competition among individual markets and competition among individual orders, in order to promote efficient and fair price formation across securities markets. As with almost every government regulation, law, or diktat, the new method of “protecting” the sheeple created fresh ways to fleece the sheeple by those who wrote the regulation. See Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act. I don’t need a law or regulation to tell me the difference between right and wrong.

When obnoxiously wealthy pricks with the ability to bribe stock exchanges to place their trading computers on the floor of the exchange and financially induce the Wall Street banks to funnel trades through their dark pools in order to know what is happening a nanosecond before everyone else, and use this information to front run unknowing investors to generate risk free profits, it’s wrong. It really is black and white. I don’t care that it is supposedly “legal”.  By complying with Regulation NMS the smart order routers of institutional investor firms like Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab simply funneled naïve investors into various snares laid for them by the unscrupulous high frequency traders. The bad guys always win and the good guys always lose on Wall Street. And no one does anything because they are all on the take. Lewis puts it in terms the average person can understand.

“It was riskless, larcenous, and legal – made so by Reg NMS. The way Brad had described it, it was as if only one gambler were permitted to know the scores of last week’s NFL games, with no one else aware of his knowledge. He places bets in the casino on every game and waits for other gamblers to take the other side of those bets. There’s no guarantee that anyone will do so; but if they do, he’s certain to win.” – Michael Lewis – Flash Boys

If you aren’t mad yet, you will be after I go into the details of the regulatory capture, obscure deep pools within the bowels of the Too Big To Trust Banks, misuse of technology to defraud the public, and purposeful complexity built into the financial system to confuse and mislead the investing populace. I’ll tackle that in Part Two of this article.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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Quote from: Eddie on Today at 09:08:49 AMFirst off, I didn't make the videoNo you didin't, you put it up for review by the Diners, and said it caused you to rethink your opinion of social democracies.  The aut...

Quote from: AJ on Today at 10:15:12 AMEddie,I agree with you. If we could have jettisoned about 75% of the military/spy budget we could have extended the safety net to include free healthcare and education. None of thi...

Eddie,I agree with you. If we could have jettisoned about 75% of the military/spy budget we could have extended the safety net to include free healthcare and education. None of this will work going forward into collapse.AJ

Quote from: RE on Today at 12:06:03 AMhttps://www.npr.org/2019/03/22/706073410/stocks-indexes-drop-as-bond-market-fl...

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Quote from: Surly1 on March 21, 2019, 03:35:00 AMD [...]

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Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

The Apology: From baby boomers to the handicapped generations. by David Holmgren Re-posted from Holm [...]

Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix. By Caitlin Johnstone Orig [...]

But We Need the Eggs Re-posted from Epsilon Theory   Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory is one of those rare [...]

About That Liberal Media.... By Cognitive Dissonance   Charts and Info from Business Insider   I dis [...]

Perhaps It’s Time to Believe the Impossible By Cognitive Dissonance     "Alice laughed: "T [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-21http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-20http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-19http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-18http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-17http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

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Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
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A Home in the Sea"African female elephants dropping tusks may be an epigenetic adaptation similar to Surfers Ear [...]

Zombie-fiIled Death Ships"Each passenger’s carbon footprint while cruising is roughly three times what it would be on la [...]

Cheerleaders for Doom"Exaggerated is in the eye of the beholder." I just finished reading David Wallace-Wells’ [...]

Seizing Defeat"In our moment of ultimate defeat as a species, a spark has been kindled."Hans-Peter Schmi [...]

Non-stick Pans and Sticky Memes"We have, through accident or design, structured the human ecology into a zero sum game, where [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

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To fight climate change, you need to get the world off of fossil fuels. And to do that, you need to [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Lefty Greenies have some laudable ideas. Why is it then that they don't bother to really build [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
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"The Aztecs thoroughly merited extermination." Perhaps but then going by that logic, the G [...]

Great post & I'm chill, but still scared to death at what I see coming. Yes, the Aztecs tho [...]

I thought he'd stopped also but actually he has been consolidating all of his posts since last [...]

agreed the so called democracy of ancient greece was in effect supported by the energy input of a sl [...]

Isn't there a problem though, if the US unloads the Mortgage-Backed Securities? This is likely [...]

Hi Steve. I recently found what I believe is a little gem, and I'm quite confident you'd a [...]

The Federal Reserve is thinking about capping yields? I don't know how long TPTB can keep this [...]

As some one who has spent years trying to figure out what the limits to growth are. let me say that [...]

Peak oil definitely happened for gods sake. Just because it isn't mad max right now is no indic [...]

@Volvo - KMO says he made some life choices he regrets. Not sure what they were. And I don't th [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

Growing global food demand and security concerns dictate the need for state-of-the-art food producti [...]

We show that oceanic cycle lengths persist across oceanic cyclic time-series by comparing cycles in [...]

Rising temperature, drought and more-frequent extreme climatic events have been predicted for the ne [...]

Most weather and climate models simulate circulations by numerically approximating a complex system [...]

Crop yields are strongly dependent on the average climate, extreme temperatures, and carbon dioxide [...]