As I noted last year I’m winding it down; intentionally reducing my income level to a “sweet spot” that results in little or no taxation while earning enough to cover what I need (as opposed to what I want.)
Earlier I mused publicly about whether a legitimate media organization might be interested in the Market Ticker trademark and domain names. There were a few responses from other than legitimate media organizations, but there’s an essence missing in the point of my request, and it was this: If I can sit back and enjoy Mojitos for a year without writing, freeing myself to do other things and make this part of the “walking off”, why not?
This of course meant the ask was considerably lower than it might otherwise be, but it also meant that there had to be a legitimate media organization interested — and not a random person or group. That possibility remains open, if such an organization comes forward at some point.
But if not that’s fine too, because the last year has been pretty peaceful and nice in terms of writing as I do these days.
So let’s talk about 2014 — and 2015.
First, if you haven’t noticed, there was a hell of a lot of focus on The Rule of Law (or more precisely, the lack thereof) across the board in this country. Some think this is a “new” focus for me. It’s not. Who needs to be reminded that Ben Bernanke claimed, under oath, to have been “providing liquidity” during the crash in 2008 while I caught The Fed red-handed pulling system liquidity right into the maw of the collapse. There’s no “conspiracy theory” or anything similar there — it was right in the NY Fed’s own public data. Did anyone care? Nope; even the so-called “advocate” for “ending The Fed” in Congress, despite being faxed a copy of that report and my commentary on it, never asked a single question of Bernanke on that point.
We have since seen and I’ve reported on countless other examples; the Valukis report’s documentation on the fact that multiple people knew weeks before Lehman blew up that it was terminally insolvent as it was out of good collateral. It must be presumed that at least some of those who were shorting the stock into its collapse knew this, and yet that’s classic insider trading and illegal.
We can also talk about the “London Whale”, unbacked derivatives (that is, fraudulently issued contracts as a promise to do an impossible thing is fraud right up front) and myriad other scams in the financial business. If we wish to look at the medical industry we can look to obvious cartel behavior in generic drugs as a start and follow up with instances like being charged for events that never took place (black-letter fraud) or doctors saying “hi” and billing that as a “consultation” — while you’re unconscious. We could talk about scorpion antivenom, CON laws and more, all of which are supposed to be illegal under the Sherman and Clayton Acts but aren’t prosecuted, some because of specific exemptions sought and granted and others because prosecutors simply won’t file charges under existing black-letter laws that should apply to the conduct in question. I’ve written literal hundreds of articles on all of the above.
In the stock market itself we can look to HFT, which to the extent that it involves any sort of order that is not intended to be actually executed is black-letter illegal and has been since the 1930s. Yet there are no prosecutions that take place there either.
Or we can look to Jefferson County in Alabama where the citizens, roughly a million of them, got ripped off by bribery-laced derivative shenanigans — and that’s not an allegation either as least some of the municipal officials involved were convicted of bribery. The problem is that the citizens are still (and will be forevermore) paying higher sewer and water bills — the frauds involved in that scheme were not unwound and those who “profited” from it were notforced to give it all back — with interest. Yes, there were “termination fees” that were voided — but in the grand scheme of things the real financial harm caused remains and is being borne by the residents.
Finally, on the street we can look to apparent suborning of perjury and perjury itself in Ferguson, a knowingly-false grand jury charge and more, all apparently intended to promote a specific result instead of searching through the evidence looking for the truth. If you prefer to look in NYC you will find the same problem there where a man alleged to be selling something he had lawfully purchased and owned as his personal property was tackled by a bunch of cops and literally choked to death, yet those cops walk free today.
Then we have Obama, who has unlawfully acted both personally and through his appointees on countless occasions; Fast-n-Furious which was directly responsible for the murder of hundreds while being used to push the political agenda of gun control, allowing gross money laundering by banks to become nothing more than a surcharge on your bank account while billions fund drug gangs and knowingly false accounting is not only overlooked but actively encouraged by employees of the government who got caught doing the same thing in the 1980s during the S&L crisis — and not only didn’t go to prison in the 1980s they didn’t this time either.
There are now nearly 9,000 articles that I have written since 4/1/2007 when The Market Ticker began publication. In fact, in those very first days I noted that WaMu had reported “earnings” in which they were paying cash dividends with not cash earnings but rather negative amortization value of “mortgages” that were on their balance sheet. Of course you can’t spend said negative amortization value as it’s not cash but that didn’t stop WaMu from doing it and no regulator came in to demand they cut that crap out or be closed down.
The bank failed about a year later, if you recall and cost the FDIC (that’s you, folks) a whole bunch of money. In other words you got robbed at gunpoint just as certainly as if the robber met you on the street and shoved a gun in your face while lifting your wallet.
Bluntly put there is no Rule of Law remaining that I can see in this country.
There is only the Rule of Force — whoever has the most guns at a given time and is willing to use them, whether personally or by proxy through various bribes (legal or not) gets what they want. Everyone else twists either by design as those who assault you have no reason to fear application of the law if they’re “privileged” or by random chance if you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That’s a bad way to live because eventually people will decide, much like Han Solo did in his infamous encounter with Greedo at the Mos Eisley cantina, thatpreemptive use of force is the only logical action to employ. Han not only shot first he was the only one to shoot according to the original script; Lucas’ protests (and later edits) be damned.
Oh, that’s just a movie, right? Wrong. Two NY cops were assassinated by a man who decided to trade his one life for their two. That’s a battle the police and politicians cannot win from a purely mathematical perspective and yet should that ignite on any sort of material scale you will not want to live in this nation as an ordinary, non-cop-shooting citizen. As for those waving around signs saying “Blue Lives Matter” would you please consult with the gunman’s girlfriend who he shot first and who’s life you apparently believe doesn’t matter.
I’ll bet she disagrees.
While it’s true she didn’t die I bet the gunman thought she did at the time he fled, which brings back into focus another point I’ve repeatedly made: You can only prosecute a man once for murder and thus after he commits the first murder all the rest of them are “free.”
The finger of blame for this act has of course been pointed at the Mayor of NYC and protesters who took to the streets to denounce police action against a man, Garner, being choked to death by cops for the “offense” of allegedly selling individual cigarettes he lawfully acquired and owned to willing adults.
In other words for the “crime” of lawfully owning something and then peacefully exchanging it for something else with a willing second person he was killedand instead of his killers being prosecuted and imprisoned they were excused and now the media and the police union are blaming those who protested using mere speech against cops being able to murder an unarmed man who allegedly sold a legally-owned and lawfully-acquired item for another man’s unlawful act.
Of course this does not justify what that individual did in apparent retaliation but justification doesn’t matter to the two dead cops or his holed girlfriend, does it? What matters is outcome and in this case two back-to-back refusals to bring into an open courtroom the evidence where it can be seen and cross-examined led one man to make a public statement of “you’re wrong” and decide to exchange his one life for what he believed were three, and ultimately were two, others.
Crazy? Quite-possibly. In trouble before, most-definitely, if reports are to be believed (approaching 20 arrests, if I got the count right) which, incidentally, makes a further mockery of so-called “gun control” laws.
This much is clear: If a man who has been arrested 19 times in his 28 years of life can acquire and has a handgun despite hundreds of laws allegedly barring him from doing so you damn well better have one too because there is absolutely nothing that will stop him from using that gun when he wants to — other than your gun.
While we’re at it let’s cut the crap about cops being in such a “dangerous” job — the last NYC officer to lose his life in the line of duty did so in 2011, three years ago. There are roughly 34,000 uniformed cops in NYC with another ~13,000 or so auxiliary officers, school safety officers and 2,300 traffic enforcement (e.g. parking meter) cops. A dangerous job, eh? Three lives lost in the line of duty out of 50,000 in the space of four years is a roughly one-in-66,000 risk annually.
To put this in perspective you’re more likely to die as an ordinary civilian walking on the street and roughly four times more likely to die riding in a car. You’re reasonably close to as likely to drown in the next year (or die in a fire — literally) as one of those cops is to be killed and you’re four times, approximately, more likely to be killed by accidental poisoning of some sort.
All-in (that is, adding up all those risks) you’re far more likely to die from various accidental causes than these cops are while performing their job.
That’s right folks, those cops crying about how dangerous their job is take a risk of death on the job far less than what you accept every time you get in your car and drive to the store for groceries, say much less all the other things you do on a daily basis.
Their job is far less dangerous than is your ordinary life.
Anyone arguing otherwise or trying to justify the actions of the cops on the predicate of “reasonable protection of their own lives” is a liar and those justifying any of their acts on the basis of said knowingly false claim is a thug.
So for how long, dear readers, are you going to put up with the destruction of The Rule of Law? And while we’re at it, why aren’t you raising hell about the abject lies repeated daily about how “dangerous” being a cop is and that (intentionally false) narrative being molded daily into a demand for “respect” for their (false and absent) “valor”?
This has in fact been a deteriorating pattern for a very long time — certainly for far longer than I’ve been writing The Ticker. And here’s the rub, when you get down to it — you may think you’ve profited from it, especially since the spring of 2009 in the stock market, but you’re wrong unless you’ve cashed that out and have moved somewhere that has a Rule of Law — and that’s definitely not anywhere here in the United States.
Temporary advantage should never be confused with actual gain. If you’re one of the allegedly “good” officers your silence and complicity knowing that perjured testimony was intentionally presented to the Grand Jury in Ferguson, which is a crime, along with your silence and complicity with regard to Garner being attacked (yes, an unjustified arrest is an “attack” folks) for the “crime” of allegedly exchanging a lawfully-owned item for another lawfully-owned item between two consenting adults, along with the myriad other abuses that police engage in daily (arresting a man in his car for DUI while lawfully parked in a parking lot, for example) is directly responsible for the corrosion of trust and cooperation between what should be peace (not police) officers and the rest of the population.
For those who think “more cops with more power” is the answer perhaps you should go ask Rahm’s son about that. A man with 24-hour “security” and a personal protective detail second only to the President’s had his son mugged by two thugs right outside his own home. The environment that allowed that to happen in Chitcago exists because of the destruction of trust in the rule of law by the people who live there, with Rahm leading that charge in his actions both as a Presidential “insider” and now as Mayor.
Cops, by definition, cannot be everywhere at once nor would you want them to be. This means the citizens are the true first responders as they’re always there first. Cops should (and once did) exist primarily to investigate, document and transport alleged criminals to courtrooms where the evidence they collect is presented and juries decide.
When that process is perverted with intentionally-perjured testimony that is knowingly put forward by prosecutors, when knowingly-false charges are given to grand juries that have been known to be unconstitutional for 30 years and when “law enforcement” turns from investigation of actual harm done to real people toward choking someone exchanging a cigarette he bought and lawfully owned for a dollar, our Attorney General is complicit in gun-running to drug gangs and refuses to prosecute anyone else for Fast-n-Furious, that same Attorney General refuses to prosecute anyone responsible for ripping off hundreds of billions up to and during the 2008 crash, an officer accosts two men for walking while black or when officers refuse to arrest and charge with assault mobs that accost shoppers on the Mag Mile in Chicago and they then bust a guy for DUI who chooses to do the right thing and sleep in his car in a parking lot rather than drive drunk ordinary citizens can and will turn their backs on so-called “law enforcement”, perceiving that they are at risk of being robbed, assaulted or even murdered by suit-wearing jackals, street thugsor the cops themselves and there will be no recourse available to them when they are raped, robbed, swindled or even murdered.
This event in NYC underlines the physical reality that attaches to the destruction of the Rule of Law we have allowed to take hold and fester in this nation over the preceding years — a destruction that certainly didn’t start with Obama but has accelerated greatly under him and his administration.
While the odds of you being the next one choked or shot are relatively small the odds of you being screwed blind within an nch of your life financially are not small — they are, in fact, damn close to absolute.
The imbalances of 2007 and 2008 have not only been shifted to you they’ve been amplified.
If you believe this state of affairs is stable and will continue onward to your ultimate profit you’re entitled to your opinion but I respond with a simple smile, nod, and quiet departure from your company, for I do not wish to be within your personal blast radius when you figure out how badly you’ve been conned or worse, when you expire from the effects of same.
Every bit of this can be laid at your — and my — feet. We allow it to go on and we fund it. Many localities break out in your property tax bill the “police” line, but those that don’t have it in there somewhere, whether it’s called “fine and forfeiture” or something else you can bet it’s there. If you’re renting then you’re paying it in your rent.
You permit it because you fund it and what’s worse many of you actually cheer it on, claiming that this person or that “deserved” it for some reason, all the while forgetting the hundreds murdered with the guns in Fast-n-Furious, the billions laundered by big banks for drug gangs and the well over a million homes that were repossessed after fraudulent loans had been written and then perjured documents generated and filed so as to avoid exposing the original scam. All of this came out of your pocket and in more than a few cases blood was spilled as well.
It’s on your hands folks, just as it’s on mine.
The coming year is going to be very interesting indeed, I suspect. Those who have argued for the “end of oil” and other similar silliness are likely to find themselves on the (very) wrong end of some inescapable truths regarding both economics and leverage — not to mention mathematics.
And that’s just for starters.
Enjoy the new year folks; I’ll be around from time to time as my desire to comment reaches my fingertips.