Officers told that public can film police
Abstract:The world may not be on the gold standard any longer, but gold is still very much in the picture as far as central banks are concerned.
Central banks hold gold reserves that are designed to build confidence in fiat currency. This confidence is undermined if the price of gold falls significantly or rises significantly. Central banks thus have an incentive to manage the price of gold. Such management is evident in fixed gold prices in the early 20th century, in Central Bank Gold Agreements more recently and in the asymmetric correlation between monthly central bank gold reserve changes and gold price changes. The empirical analysis further analyzes gold lending by central banks, linkages between central banks, bullion banks and mining companies and the gold carry trade. We conclude that coordinated and shadowy gold operations by central banks are necessary for successful gold price and gold reserves management and demonstrate the power of market forces relative to central banks.
The South China Sea is and will continue to be the ultimate geopolitical flashpoint of the young 21st century – way ahead of the Middle East or Russia’s western borderlands. No less than the future of Asia – as well as the East-West balance of power – is at stake.Almost all the contested borderlands today are the result of Western powers drawing lines on maps in the colonial era and the attempt to maintain them in the neocolonial era under US hegemony as the American Empire. In the past this dynamic as almost always led to conflict and war.
To understand the Big Picture, we need to go back to 1890 when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.…
In 2011 the US State Department was absolutely terrified with the planned Obama administration withdrawals from both Iraq and Afghanistan; what would happen to superpower projection? That ended in November 2011, when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coined the by now famous “pivot to Asia”.
“Six lines of action” were embedded in the “pivot”. Four of these Clinton nicked from a 2009 report by the Washington think tank CSIS; reinvigorating alliances; cultivating relationships with emerging powers; developing relationships with regional multilateral bodies; and working closely with South East Asian countries on economic issues. Clinton added two more: broad-based military presence in Asia, and the promotion of democracy and human rights.
It was clear from the start – and not only across the global South — that cutting across the rhetorical fog the “pivot” was code for a military offensive to contain China. Even more seriously, this was the geopolitical moment when a South East Asian dispute over maritime territory intersected with the across-the-globe confrontation between the hegemon and a “peer competitor”.
What Clinton meant by “engaging emerging powers” was, in her own words, “join us in shaping and participating in a rules-based regional and global order”. This is code for rules coined by the hegemon – as in the whole apparatus of the Washington consensus.…
Hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee have given China’s state-backed media another chance to criticize the US’s political system, democracy in general, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The emails, which showed Democratic party officials were hostile to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign and gave high-level White House access to Clinton donors, are being held up by China’s state-back media as proof that something is very rotten in the US.
“The batch of bombshell e-mails reveals that the Clinton campaign colluded with high-ranking Democratic officials in the nominating process, participated in ‘money laundering’ and manipulated media coverage,” the Global Times wrote on July 27. “This almost proves Clinton is really a ‘crook,’ as Donald Trump calls her.”
It goes on: “This ‘e-mail gate’ exposes the dirty side of US democracy under a glossy cover. The minority at the top of the pyramidal system willfully manipulate resources, playing with the support of the public and fans.”
The Global Times went further in Chinese, saying “Even if Hillary becomes the President, she might be problematic president, like a person who goes to work with an illness.”…Quartz
Email exchanges involving top officials at the Democratic National Committee released along with private documents by WikiLeaks show that DNC officials hoped to reward top donors and insiders with appointments to federal boards and commissions in coordination with the White House.
The revelations give an inside look into how the Democratic Party attempted to leverage its access and influence with the White House to bring in cash.…Looks like Trump is on to something with "Hillary Rotten Clinton."
Russian sources are non-committal on what role US military and intelligence agencies played during the July 15 events at the Incirlik airbase and elsewhere to encourage, or not to discourage, the attempt at overthrowing Erdogan. What is certain now, as Erdogan tries to mop up, according to Greek and Cypriot analysts, is that Turkey has turned against the US and the NATO alliance. “Turkey is now moving away from western dependence,” says a well-informed region source who asks not to be identified. “This makes sense geopolitically because the west has lost control in the Middle East. Other close western allies in the region, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, are becoming autonomous, in the sense that they don’t obey the US. This is because the US can no longer act as a hegemon. Washington can’t dictate, or even recommend solutions to conflicts or rivalries, like Iraq, Syria, Libya, or Palestine. Now, with or without direct US involvement in the Turkish coup, Erdogan sees his chance to make Turkey more autonomous, so he is taking it.”
Russian sources agree. Referring to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (right), whose plan of attack against Russia in Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, and Cyprus have been reported here and here, a Moscow source concludes:“The Nuland plots have all failed. The US can no longer talk to the Turks. Losing Turkey to Erdogan and his Islamists also means the US can dictate no longer in the region. You can’t expect the Americans will take it lying down. There’s no government in Washington right now. But if Clinton wins, there will be a US fight-back. It will be too late.”Dances with Bears
To be sure all of the above is circumstantial and while we have no independent insight into any of the above, we are confident that now that the trail has grown "warm", the FBI - which yesterday said that Russia is a prime suspect - will use this as a foundation upon which to build a case blaming the Kremlin for interfering in US politics.…Hillary is famous for "getting even." Should she win the presidency, count on her trying to get even with Putin.
Citi US Economic Surprise Index: Breakouts don't get any more textbook than this. pic.twitter.com/VHMTzoeC9M— Bespoke (@bespokeinvest) July 26, 2016
All the indications suggest the US had no part in the coup. However Erdogan and the Turkish government think otherwise and it is their opinion which matters.…
Before discussing the question it is important to say that the answer so far as Turkey itself is concerned may no longer matter. The conviction appears to be taking hold in Turkey – including amongst some members of its government and with Erdogan himself – that the US was in some way behind the coup. That in itself will be enough to cause relations between the US and Turkey to become strained. In international politics very often it is what people believe rather than what is true that most matters.
The first thing to say is that at this stage we simply do not know. The information that would enable us to say for sure is simply not there. The investigation of the coup is still at a very early stage. Coup plotters are still being rounded up and questioned, and paper and electronic trails are still being followed up. It will take months or even years before trials follow – if they ever do – and before we start to get definite answers to the questions like the one about the extent, if any, of US involvement in the coup.
The second thing to say is that when people talk about a coup or a coup being US backed they are using a blanket term that covers different things. There are coups in which the US is not initially involved but which it backs after they succeed (eg. the coup which overthrew the Argentinian dictator Juan Peron in 1955). There are coups of which the US has foreknowledge and to which it gives the green light (eg. the Vietnamese coup against President Diem of 1963, the Brazilian coup of 1964 and the Turkish coup of 1980); and lastly there are the coups which the US actively orders and organises (eg. the coup in Iran in 1953 and – despite continued US denials – the coup against President Allende of Chile in 1973). All these coups are in a sense “US backed” but they clearly fall into different categories.
There is no doubt that if the coup against Erdogan had succeeded the US would have backed it after the event, just as in 1955 it backed after the event the coup that overthrew Peron, and to that extent it is legitimate to say that if the coup had succeeded it would have been US backed.…
Before leaving this subject there are two further points I do however want to make.
The first is that my whole case obviously depends on the assumption of at least a measure of rationality on the part of Obama and his officials. Against that I have to accept that US policy in recent years has become increasingly detached from reality. Indeed I have written about this at length. However if US policy makers really are now so detached from reality that they took the frankly crazy step of instigating or colluding in a coup against Erdogan in Turkey, then they are much crazier and more dangerous, and the situation in the world is far worse and far more dangerous, than up to now I or I suspect anyone else has suspected. It really would be a case in that case of us needing to reach for our fallout shelters. Fortunately everything we know about the coup suggests otherwise.
The truth is that the charge of fascism against Trump was a stopgap measure. Now it has been replaced by a charge that he is soft on the Communist menace, or the next worst thing—which they are betting the American mind will translate into the same thing—he is soft on the Russian menace. Fascism was never a ripe choice of terms. It gets hardly any play and commands little attention in America. For the neoconservatives, Red-baiting is a more familiar tactic and in the absence of a Red, a Russian will do. They have good reason to suppose that Hillary Clinton will take the hint and adopt the convenient amalgam in order to sow confusion. The Russian menace resembles the Communist menace in the same way that the word “Iran” resembles the word “Iraq.”…
The two branches of the war party, now united in CNAS, have agreed it would be good thing for American prestige, power and force-projection to renew the Cold War, and to do it with the best available target, Putin, as a ready-made scapegoat. Nothing in Mrs. Clinton’s history should lead us to believe that she will resist this demagogic appeal.
We may deplore Donald Trump for his abridgment of the protocols of honest debate, his pandering to racial and religious prejudice, his contempt for plain facts and his lack of acquaintance with facts. But to picture Trump as an agent or enabler of Vladimir Putin—and to insinuate that anyone who seeks diplomatic arrangements with Moscow in preference to a new Cold War must be “soft”—does nothing to elevate the political discourse of the moment. It takes us out of the sewer and leads us into the cesspool.Do you rationally prefer the sewer or the cesspool?
Michell Esponiza, the defendant, had sold $1,500 worth of the virtual currency to undercover police officers who said they intended to buy stolen credit card numbers with it, as the Miami Herald reports. The cops then brought a case against him, alleging that Espinoza had illegally engaged in money laundering.
The court’s decision? Where there’s no money, there’s no money laundering.Fortune
“This Court is not an expert in economics, however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, that Bitcoin has a long way to go before it is the equivalent of money,” the Miami-Dade Circuit judge Teresa Mary Pooler said in her ruling, which the Miami Herald published.
“This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning,” she added.…
The US and Saudi Arabia have been conspiring with one another to engineer a series of crises that could prompt Iran to pull back its troops in Syria and redeploy them back to the homeland. The modus operandi has been to encourage peripheral insurgencies inside the Islamic Republic’s borderland regions concurrent with a terrorist threat to the interior, all while stirring up Color Revolution commotion. In short, Washington and Riyadh are working hard to wage a multidimensional Hybrid War on Iran, and all indications point to each respective component of this campaign intensifying in the coming months as the US turns up the heat against its decades-long Mideast rival.…Destabilization as a favorite US strategy. Using Wahhabi and Salafi proxies is an integral part of it.
Central banks (CBs) have long issued paper currency. The development of Bitcoin and other private digital currencies has provided them with the technological means to issue their own digital currency. But should they?
Addressing this question is part of the Bank’s Research Agenda. In this post I sketch out how a CB digital currency – call it CBcoin – might affect the monetary and banking systems – setting aside other important and complex systemic implications that range from prudential regulation and financial stability to technology, operational and financial conduct
I argue that taken to its most extreme conclusion, CBcoin issuance could have far-reaching consequences for commercial and central banking – divorcing payments from private bank deposits and even putting an end to banks’ ability to create money. By redefining the architecture of payment systems, CBcoin could thus challenge fractional reserve banking and reshape the conduct of monetary policy.…Bank of England — Bank Underground
It is widely believed today that the free market is the best mechanism ever invented to efficiently allocate resources in society. Just as fundamental as faith in the free market is the belief that government has a legitimate and competent role in policing and the punishment arena. This curious incendiary combination of free market efficiency and the Big Brother state has become seemingly obvious, but it hinges on the illusion of a supposedly natural order in the economic realm. The Illusion of Free Markets argues that our faith in “free markets” has severely distorted American politics and punishment practices.
Bernard Harcourt traces the birth of the idea of natural order to eighteenth-century economic thought and reveals its gradual evolution through the Chicago School of economics and ultimately into today’s myth of the free market. The modern category of “liberty” emerged in reaction to an earlier, integrated vision of punishment and public economy, known in the eighteenth century as “police.” This development shaped the dominant belief today that competitive markets are inherently efficient and should be sharply demarcated from a government-run penal sphere.
This modern vision rests on a simple but devastating illusion. Superimposing the political categories of “freedom” or “discipline” on forms of market organization has the unfortunate effect of obscuring rather than enlightening. It obscures by making both the free market and the prison system seem natural and necessary. In the process, it facilitated the birth of the penitentiary system in the nineteenth century and its ultimate culmination into mass incarceration today.The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order
For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter on the United Nations.