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Why Have Investigations of Wall Street Disappeared from Corporate Media? by Pam Martens and Russ Martens

The corporate media, most notably the Wall Street Journal, has no interest in investigating Wall Street. From Pam Martens and Russ Martens at wallstreetonparade.com:

Hurricanes, wildfires, the multiple investigations of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election and the calamity-du-jour in the Trump White House are gobbling up an outsized share of digital and print news pages at corporate media. What’s gone missing is intrepid, in-depth investigations of Wall Street’s latest scam against the public – even at corporate media outlets purporting to focus on Wall Street.

Consider today’s front page of the Wall Street Journal: there’s an article on health care; central banks and stimulus; Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters; how Blackstone Group is on the prowl for retail investors; and a curious report on long-haul truckers cooking up jambalaya and Thai peanut pork (you can’t make this stuff up). There is nothing about an investigation of a mega Wall Street bank; the dangers these behemoths continue to pose to taxpayers and the U.S. economy; nothing about Wall Street’s return to its jaded ways that led to the epic financial crash of 2008 – despite the fact that all of this is happening and timely and the public has a right to be reading about it in a paper whose beat is ostensibly Wall Street.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought Dow Jones & Company in late 2007 after a century of ownership by the Bancroft family. The purchase just happened to come at a time when the Federal Reserve had secretly begun to funnel what would end up totaling $16 trillionin cumulative low-cost loans to bail out the Wall Street mega banks and their foreign counterparts.

In 2011, the Pew Research Center released a study on how front page coverage had changed since the News Corp. purchase of the Wall Street Journal. Pew found that “coverage has clearly moved away from what had been the paper’s core mission under previous ownership—covering business and corporate America.  In the past three and a half years, front-page coverage of business is down about one-third from what it had been in 2007, the last year of the old ownership regime.”

What is not down but “up” at the Wall Street Journal is its defense of the Wall Street banking giants’ indefensible practices on its editorial and opinion pages.

To continue reading: Why Have Investigations of Wall Street Disappeared from Corporate Media?

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Report: Renewable Energy Is Bigger ‘Scam’ than Bernie Madoff and Enron, by Thomas D. Williams

People are wising up to the fact that paying $2 dollars for $1 dollar’s worth of energy doesn’t make any sense. From Thomas D. Williams at breitbart.com:

The greatest scam being perpetrated against taxpayers and consumers is renewable energy, according to a new analysis published by the Australian, greater even than Ponzi, Madoff and Enron.

While sinking enormous financial resources into propping up renewable energy prospectors, national governments are providing no perceptible benefits to their citizens, writes Judith Sloan, a renowned Australian economist who has served on the Australian government’s Productivity Commission.

“With very few exceptions, governments all over the world have fallen into the trap of paying renewable energy scammers on the basis that it is necessary, at least politically, to be seen to be doing something about climate change,” Sloan writes, before providing readers with an avalanche of economic data to back up her assertion.

In Australia, more than 2 billion taxpayer dollars a year are funneled to renewable energy handlers by virtue of the operation of the renewable energy target and the associated renewable energy certificates, Sloan observes.

At the same time, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency “shovels out hundreds of millions of dollars annually to subsidise renewable energy companies, many of which are overseas-owned,” she states, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation was given $10 billion in equity by the Gillard Labor government “to lend or grant money to renewable energy companies.”

Despite this enormous taxpayer “investment,” so-called renewable energy has yet to pay any dividends or to suggest it will be economically viable for the foreseeable future.

Sloan’s grim analysis of the state of renewable energy as a financial sinkhole in Australia is mirrored by other countries such as the United States.

According to Forbes, on a total dollar basis, wind and solar together get more from the federal government than all other energy sources combined, despite the fact that neither is anywhere close to self-supporting. Wind has received the greatest amount of federal subsidies. Solar is second.

Based on production (subsidies per kWh of electricity produced), however, solar energy “has gotten over ten times the subsidies of all other forms of energy sources combined, including wind,” writes energy expert and planetary geologist Dr. James Conca.

To continue reading: Report: Renewable Energy Is Bigger ‘Scam’ than Bernie Madoff and Enron

He Said That? 10/9/17

From Earnest Hemingway (1899–1961), American novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Notes on the Next War (1935):

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.

The Case For Wiping Out Puerto Rico’s Debt, by Tom Sanzillo

Except for the those Puerto Rican creditors who had insurance on their loans, at most creditors will receive is 10 to 20 cents on the dollar. Tom Sanzillo argues that for Puerto Rico to recover and rebuild from recent hurricanes, its debt must be wiped out. From Sanzillo at valuewalk.com:

President Trump, who knows a thing or two about bankruptcy, says Puerto Rico’s public debt should be wiped out. We agree.

The commonwealth owes bondholders somewhere on the order of $70 billion, with most of that debt tied to general-obligation bonds, revenue bonds and bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

Ahead of the wide devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we were of the view that the commonwealth could manage perhaps 20 to 30 percent of its general-obligation and revenue-bond debt and that PREPA could pay off perhaps 30 percent of its debt.

Now, as the island and its economy reel from the carnage of the hurricanes, we see the only viable way forward as a zeroing-out of the bonds in question and an immediate cessation of interest payments. Puerto Rico’s badly-crippled economy must rebuild, and the only way for that to happen is for legacy governmental debt to be handled in a way that won’t impair the restoration of markets and physical development.

This is a necessary remedy that will affect three sets of bondholders.

First, the large investment houses like Franklin Templeton, Oppenheimer, Citi and JP Morgan, which own large chunks of bonds. These investment houses, however, have vast and diverse holdings in the trillions of dollars that are hedged against just about every eventuality.

Second, a host of hedge funds that bought into the Puerto Rico bond market at a discount. These hedge funds have made extraordinary gains on this debt by way of interest-rate payments on the face value of the discounted bonds.

Third, small investors who live in Puerto Rico and elsewhere who stand to suffer the most. These investors have no hedges against these losses, and (unlike hedge funds) have not reaped extraordinary gains on Puerto Rican debt.

The way out of this is not pretty but there is ample precedent.

To continue reading: The Case For Wiping Out Puerto Rico’s Debt

He Said That? 10/8/17

From Robert Heinlein (1907–1988), American science fiction writer:

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

He Said That? 10/7/17

From Nathaniel Branden (1930–2014), Canadian–American psychotherapist and writer known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem, former associate and romantic partner of Ayn Rand; Branden also played a prominent role in the 1960s in promoting Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.

The challenge for people today–and it is not and easy one–is to maintain high personal standards even while feeling that one is living in a moral sewer.

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