World View: Egypt Scientists Find Polio in Cairo Years After Eradicating Virus

World View: Egypt Scientists Find Polio in Cairo Years After Eradicating Virus

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Egypt’s president Morsi opposes France’s intervention in Mali
  • Polio virus found in Cairo, blamed on Pakistan
  • Furious Chinese spokesman blasts Philippines for seeking arbitration
  • Cameron proposes referendum on Britain staying in EU
  • Emails show evidence of Morgan Stanley fraud in financial crisis
  • House Republicans kick the can down the road
  • Hillary Clinton: ‘What difference does it make?’

Egypt’s president Morsi opposes France’s intervention in Mali

Mali - battle map for Wednesday (France 24)
Mali – battle map for Wednesday (France 24)

Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi says that he would havepreferred a more “peaceful and developmental” approach to thecrisis in Mali than France’s military intervention: “We do not accept at all the military intervention inMali because it will fuel conflict in the region.”

And, he certainly may be correct about that. However, he declaredsupport for Algeria’s retaliatory action against Islamist militantswho took hundreds of hostages at a natural gas plant, resulting in thedeaths of 37 workers. Morsi’s statement may strain Egypt’s ties withFrance, but according to one analyst Morsi had no choice, as the riftbetween secular and liberal forces in Egypt versus the Islamistgovernment is widening. “Coming down on the side of a Europeanmilitary power against an ‘Islamist’ regime — however brutal — couldput him at risk of losing his political base.” Global Post and France 24

Polio virus found in Cairo, blamed on Pakistan

For the first time since 2004, the polio virus has been found inCairo, after it had been thought to be eradicated throughout Egypt.The World Health Organization (WHO) discovered the virus in sewagewater found in parts of Cairo, though no cases of human infection havebeen reported so far. The strain of the virus found in Cairo isidentical to a strain found in Pakistan. Pakistan’s vaccinationprogram has been opposed by the Taliban, who claim that it’s a secretAmerican plan to sterilize Pakistanis, to prevent the births of moreMuslim children. This opposition has increased since theU.S. administration, in the process of bragging about having killedOsama bin Laden, revealed that a phony vaccination program was used tohelp establish the identity of bin Laden. In December, terroristsmurdered nine health workers involved in the vaccination program inPakistan. Pakistan has ordered the immunization of all childrenleaving the country, in an attempt to halt the spread abroad.Daily News Egypt and Express Tribune (Islamabad)

Furious Chinese spokesman blasts Philippines for seeking arbitration

An angry Hong Lei, spokesman from China’s foreign ministry, blastedthe Philippines for referring the dispute with China over theScarborough Shoal in the South China Sea to the United NationsInternational Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). 

According toHong, “China has consistently opposed the Philippines’illegal occupation… We hope that the relevant country honors its promises, and… does not take any action to complicate or expand theproblem.”

China criticizes actions that “complicate or expand” the problem.They’d like to keep things simple. They’ve stationed the militaryaround the South China Sea, taken over islands that have historicallybelonged to other countries, announced that they would board and seizeforeign ships that enter the South China Sea, and threaten war on analmost daily basis. The Chinese have learned their lessons well fromHitler’s Nazi thugs. Philippine Star and Global Times (Beijing)

Cameron proposes referendum on Britain staying in EU

Britain’s prime minister David Cameron finally gave his long-awaitedspeech on whether he thinks that Britain should remain in the EuropeanUnion. There is an extremely vocal minority of people in his ownparty who are demanding that the question be put to a referendum vote.Cameron said that if he were re-elected in the next election, then hewould call a referendum vote in 2018. In the meantime, he’s demandingthat Britain be exempt from certain rules that limit the control ofimmigration and that forbid any work week longer than 48 hours.However, other European leaders were caustically critical, calling itselfish, ignorant and dangerous. Germany’s foreign minister said thatthat it was as if Britain had joined a football club and then suddenlysaid “let’s play rugby”. Most of the criticism of Cameron wascentered on the complaint that his speech would worsen the financialcrisis by creating greater uncertainty in the financial markets.Reuters

Emails show evidence of Morgan Stanley fraud in financial crisis

Thanks to a case brought by a Taiwanese bank that lost hundreds ofmillions of dollars on toxic synthetic subprime mortgage-backedsecurities sold to them by Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley has beenforced to release hundreds of pages of internal documents showing thattheir employees were well aware that the securities they were selling,typically rated “AAA”, were in fact defective and would turn out to bealmost worthless. The documents show a pattern of behavior by peopleacross the bank. The toxic securities were packaged as a CDO calledcalling it “Subprime Meltdown,” “Hitman,” “Nuclear Holocaust,” “MikeTyson’s Punchout,” and the simple-yet-direct: “Shitbag.” 

Even asearly as October 2005, an e-mail message shows that the mortgage loansgoing into the toxic securities were troubled: 

The real issue is that the loan requests do not makesense. [For example,] a borrower that makes $12K a month as anoperation manager of an unknown company — after research on mypart I reveal it is a tarot reading house. Compound these issueswith the fact that we are seeing what I would call a lot of thistype of profile.

The really damning e-mail messages are from early 2007, when it wasclear to everyone that the subprime real estate market was collapsing.Instead of ending the sale of these toxic securities, or at leastwarning investors of the danger, Morgan Stanley bankers doubled downon selling the fraudulent securities to investors, including theTaiwanese bank now suing them. 

This is consistent with EXACTLY the point that I’ve been making foralmost five years. Sales of these toxic securities skyrocketed in2007, when it was becoming clear that the models on which they werebased (that assumed that the real estate bubble would continue to growforever) were catastrophically faulty. This is undeniablecircumstantial evidence that the bankers were knowingly committingfraud. 

This new collection of evidence from Morgan Stanley proves that thisinterpretation of the circumstantial evidence was exactly correct.And yet, the Obama administration has adamantly refused to investigateand prosecute the bankers who perpetrated these crimes. Eric Holder’sJustice Dept. could easily have subpoenaed these same e-mail messagesat any time and brought criminal charges, but they refused to do sobecause these bankers have been making huge campaign contributions tothe Obama campaign. It makes me want to vomit. 

I want to address the claim that all these bankers make — that it wasOK to defraud the investors in these toxic securities because theywere “sophisticated investors.” Just to take one example of what thismeans, I had a conversation with the CFO of Digimarc Corp. in August2007, that I’ve previously written about. (“How Boomers and Generation-Xers brought about the dumbing down of Information Technology (IT)”)

That CFO was a “sophisticated investor,” but he told me that he keptthings simple by only investing in AAA-rated securities. We now knowthat banks like Morgan Stanley colluded with ratings agencies likeMoody’s to give toxic securities AAA ratings. So the fraud wasspecifically designed to target these sophisticated investors, whodepended on people who turned out to be crooks. Pro Publica

House Republicans kick the can down the road

In a move that supports the “Kick the Can Theory,” which says thatWashington will never do anything but kick the can down the road, sameas Greece and Europe, the House of Representatives passed a bill thatwill raise the debt ceiling for three months, until May (at which timeit will undoubtedly be raised again). However, the bill contains ajoke: Lawmakers will not get paid unless they pass a budget in thenext three months. The reason that this is a complete joke is becauseeven if they stop getting paid for a while, they’ll just pass anotherlaw to get all their back pay plus interest. It’s all a big joke.Ha, ha. The Hill

Hillary Clinton: ‘What difference does it make?’

I really had to chuckle at Hillary Clinton’s expressions ofoutrage at being questioned about the Benghazi coverup, whenshe angrily said: “With all due respect, the fact is, we had four deadAmericans-was it because of a protest or because of guys out for awalk one night and decided to go kill some Americans? Whatdifference at this point does it make?”

Someone should have reminded her that she served as an adviser to theDemocrats on the Senate Watergate coverup committee, and nobodydied at Watergate. Huffington Post

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