World View: North Korea Launches Three Short-Range Missiles

This morning's key headlines from

  • The former girlfriend of France's president Francois Hollande returns
  • The IRS follows the banksters in the culture of fraud and extortion
  • Banks return to synthetic securities backed by junk
  • North Korea launches three short-range missiles

The former girlfriend of France's president Francois Hollande returns

Segolene Royal (AFP)
Segolene Royal (AFP)

France's Socialist president Francois Hollande certainly has plenty of problems on his hands -- recession, soaring unemployment, plunging popularity, and the need to persuade the French that "there's a pilot in the plane." But now he has a new problem -- or rather an old problem that's new again. Segolene Royal, his former girlfriend of 30 years and mother of four children by him, is returning to politics, and is releasing her new book, "This Beautiful Idea of Courage." Hollande's current girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler, stole Hollande away from Royal several years ago, and the relationship between Royal and Trierweiler has been bitter and public. Guardian (London)

The IRS follows the banksters in the culture of fraud and extortion

For years I've been writing about the culture of fraud and extortion that began with the rise of Generation-X, and has metastasized throughout Washington and Wall Street. Now we have the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitting that it specifically targeted political opponents of the Obama administration, though laughably claiming that there were no political motives.

I've seen this all before -- the fatuous denials and claims of ignorance, the arrogance, the lies, the coverups, the daily bombshells of the 1970s Nixon administration -- now playing out again in the 2010s Obama administration. There's even Obamacare which, as I've written about many times, is an even more destructive economic policy than Nixon's wage-price controls, which were disastrous. (See "Obama's health plan, a proposal of economic insanity" from 2009.) As Mark Twain said, history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

I've written about the culture of fraud and extortion dozens of times, and we've seen many illustrations:

  • The Gen-X financial engineers got their masters degrees in the 1990s, then went into financial institutions in the 2000s, creating tens of trillions of dollars in fraudulent subprime mortgage backed synthetic securities that brought about the global financial crisis -- which is far from over. They sold the fraudulent securities to millions of investors and lied to their Boomer bosses, who didn't ask any questions because they were making so much money. (See "Financial Crisis Inquiry hearings provide 'smoking gun' evidence of widespread criminal fraud" from 2010.)
  • The e-mail messages that came out of the Libor-rigging investigations show incredible arrogance on the part of banksters, who routinely manipulated markets to affect the interest rates on things like mortgages for their own personal gain, and apparently recognized no ethical or moral boundaries to anything. (See "9-Feb-13 World View -- Comments and questions on the Libor-rigging scandal")
  • In recent months, similar rate-fixing frauds have been discovered involving ISDAfix involving ISDAfix, and even in setting the price of oil on the world markets.
  • I've personally seen fraud and even criminal activities in the computer industry, by people who also have no ethical or moral standards.
So now it turns out that the people in the IRS also have no ethical or moral standards. That was pretty obvious watching Friday's congressional testimony by acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller, who appeared to be totally lacking in ethics and morals, and was extremely high on the sleaziness scale. And to make matters worse, the IRS people, with no ethical or moral standards, will be assigned to administer Obamacare, a policy of economic insanity.

As I've suggested in the past, the mainstream press has not done President Obama any favors by being so completely credulous and so completely in the tank for Obama. Obama learned that he could commit any crime with no fear of retribution, since the NY Times and NBC News and the Associated Press would always back him completely. But now the Associated Press reporters, whose phone records were secretly obtained and scrutinized by the administration, are learning that when people are too credulous, then sooner or later they get screwed, especially in this culture of fraud and extortion. Washington Post

Banks return to synthetic securities backed by junk

Banks made huge amounts of money in the 2004-2007 time frame by repackaging faulty subprime mortgage debt as fraudulent synthetic securities, and selling them to credulous investors as AAA rated, risk-free investments. Now, Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are returning to those kinds of deals, starting with sales of sythethic bonds backed by subprime auto loans made to borrowers with low credit scores. Banksters have sold nearly $30 billion of these in 2013, triple the sales in the same period last year. As I keep pointing out, the same people who caused the global financial crisis are still in the same jobs, looking for new ways to defraud people. Fortune/CNN

North Korea launches three short-range missiles

North Korea on Saturday launched three short range guided missiles into the sea off the Korean Peninsula's east coast. The missiles did not threaten any South Korean, Japanese, or American assets. The launch of short-range missiles is considered far less dangerous than the launch of long-range missiles, as was threatened last month by North Korea. Yonhap (Seoul)

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