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‘Sanctions target corruption and rights violators’ – who should be sanctioned?

16 Jan

President Trump announced new sanctions that will make it harder for human rights abusers and corrupt officials around the world to travel to the U.S. and use their money located in the United States. This new step, taken on December 21, demonstrates the U.S. commitment to promoting human rights and combating corruption.

Altogether, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned nearly 50 individuals, businesses and organizations for serious human rights abuse or corruption, or for supporting the 13 persons who are named in the president’s announcement.

“The Department is committed to protecting and promoting human rights and combatting corruption with all of the tools at our disposal.”  — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

The announcement expands the range of human rights abusers and corrupt actors who can be publicly named and shamed.

These are the first sanctions issued related to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016. The president’s announcement implementing this law keeps individuals and entities from using the U.S. financial system or engaging in business with U.S. citizens, and it allows for the denial or revocation of the visas of those determined to be responsible for serious human rights abuses or corruption.

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016 is different from a 2012 law called the Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which targets Russians involved in the case of Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, was arrested after uncovering a large-scale tax fraud scheme involving government officials. He died in prison in 2009. (The Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act bars from the U.S. the Russian officials involved in the fraud and those responsible for Magnitsky’s abuse and death. It also targets those who commit certain other gross violations of human rights in Russia.)

Among those sanctioned:

Yahya Jammeh, The Gambia, former Gambian president, for corrupt schemes to plunder state coffers and for utilizing “a terror and assassination squad.”

Roberto Jose Rivas Reyes, Nicaragua, for using his position of president of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council to fraudulently undermine Nicaragua’s electoral process.

Dan Gertler, Democratic Republic of the Congo, international businessman who amassed his fortune through corrupt mining and oil deals, for using his close friendship with the country’s president.

Benjamin Bol Mel, South Sudan, for using his role as a financial adviser to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to funnel money on Kiir’s behalf.

Mukhtar Hamid Shah, Pakistan, a surgeon, for his involvement in kidnapping, detaining and removing kidneys from Pakistani laborers.



‘A closer look at political contributions made by U.S. citizens with close ties to Russia … Josef Ackermann is co-chair of the Bank of Cyprus with Maksim Goldman. He is the former CEO of Deutsche Bank, estimated to have loaned Donald Trump as much as $3 billion since the 1990s. … Dmitry Rybolovlev, Russia’s “fertilizer king.” owns a 3.3 percent stake in the Bank of Cyprus. He purchased Trump’s mega mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million.’: How Putin’s proxies helped funnel millions into GOP campaigns – Dallas News

13 Jan

As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team probes deeper into potential collusion between Trump officials and representatives of the Russian government, investigators are taking a closer look at political contributions made by U.S. citizens with close ties to Russia.

Buried in the campaign finance reports available to the public are some troubling connections between a group of wealthy donors with ties to Russia and their political contributions to President Donald Trump and a number of top Republican leaders. And thanks to changes in campaign finance laws, the political contributions are legal. We have allowed our campaign finance laws to become a strategic threat to our country.

An example is Len Blavatnik, a dual U.S.-U.K. citizen and one of the largest donors to GOP political action committees in the 2015-16 election cycle. Blavatnik’s family emigrated to the U.S. in the late ’70s from the U.S.S.R. and he returned to Russia when the Soviet Union began to collapse in the late ’80s.

Data from the Federal Election Commission show that Blavatnik’s campaign contributions dating back to 2009-10 were fairly balanced across party lines and relatively modest for a billionaire. During that season he contributed $53,400. His contributions increased to $135,552 in 2011-12 and to $273,600 in 2013-14, still bipartisan.

In 2015-16, everything changed. Blavatnik’s political contributions soared and made a hard right turn as he pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.

In 2017, donations continued, with $41,000 going to both Republican and Democrat candidates, along with $1 million to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund.

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RUSAL is the second-largest aluminum company in the world, based in Russia. Three billionaire oligarchs with ties to the Russian government control 69 percent of RUSAL: Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik.

Len Blavatnik contributed $1 million to President Donald Trump’s Inaugural Committee via Access Industries. A company spokesperson denied the gift represented significant support for Trump.

Blavatnik contributed a total of $1.5 million to PACs associated with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida. He contributed $1.25 million to the Conservative Solutions PAC in the name of Access Industries, then another $250,000 to the Florida First Project via AI-Altep Holdings.

Len Blavatnik, a dual U.S./U.K. citizen is considered one of the richest men in the U.K. with an estimated net worth of $20 billion.

So is this legal?

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking Democratic leader on the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC News in September: “Unless the contributions were directed by a foreigner, they would be legal, but could still be of interest to investigators examining allegations of Russian influence on the 2016 campaign. Obviously, if there were those that had associations with the Kremlin that were contributing, that would be of keen concern.”

Under federal law, foreigner nationals are barred from contributing directly or indirectly to political campaigns in local, state and federal elections.

Should Blavatnik’s contributions concern Mueller’s team of investigators? Take a look at his long-time business associates in Russia.

The Oligarchs

Oleg Deripaska is said to be one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs, and he is founder and majority shareholder of Russia’s Rusal, the second-largest aluminum company in the world. Blavatnik holds a stake in Rusal with a business partner.

Further, nearly 4 percent of Deripaska’s stake in Rusal is owned by Putin’s state-controlled bank, VTB, which is currently under U.S. sanctions. VTB was exposed in the Panama Papers in 2016 for facilitating the flow of billions of dollars to offshore companies linked to Putin.

Earlier this year, The Associated Press reported that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, began collecting $10 million a year in 2006 from Deripaska to advance Putin’s interests with Western governments. Deripaska’s name turned up again in an email handed over to Mueller’s team by Manafort’s attorneys. According to The Washington Post, in the email dated July 7, 2016, just two weeks before Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president, Manafort asked an overseas intermediary to pass a message on to Deripaska: “If he [Deripaska] needs private briefings, tell him we can accommodate.”

Viktor Vekselberg is one of the 10 richest men in Russia. He and long-time business partner Blavatnik hold a 20.5 percent stake in Rusal. (They met while attending university in Russia.)

In 1990, Blavatnik and Vekselberg co-founded the Renova Group for large-scale investments in energy, infrastructure, aluminum and other metals. One of their earliest investments was in Tyumen Oil Co. (TNK), founded in 1995. TNK is best known for its contentious partnership with British Petroleum after the two entities formed a joint venture in 2003. That rocky relationship ended 10 years later when they sold out to the state-controlled energy giant, Rosneft, under pressure from the Russian government.

As for BP, that pressure took the form of growing harassment and intimidation from Russian authorities who at one point, according to Forbes, refused to renew visas for BP employees, forcing BP’s joint venture chief Robert Dudley (who is now chief executive of BP) to flee Russia and manage TNK-BP from a foreign outpost in a secret location.

Vekselberg has connections to at least two Americans who made significant GOP campaign contributions during the last cycle. They are among several Americans who also merit Mueller’s scrutiny.

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Viktor Vekselberg, one of the 10 richest men in Russia, has an estimated net worth of $13.5 billion.
Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik jointly own 20.5 percent of RUSAL.

The Americans

Andrew Intrateraccording to Mother Jones, is Vekselberg’s cousin. He is also chief executive of Columbus Nova, Renova’s U.S. investment arm located in New York. (FEC records list his employer as Renova US Management LLC.)

Intrater had no significant history of political contributions prior to the 2016 elections. But in January 2017 he contributed $250,000 to Trump’s Inaugural Committee. His six-figure gift bought him special access to a dinner billed as “an intimate policy discussion with select cabinet appointees,” according to a brochure obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.

Alexander Shustorovich, chief executive of IMG Artists, attempted to give the Republican Party $250,000 in 2000 to support the George W. Bush presidential campaign, but his money was rejected because of his ties to the Russian government, according to Quartz. So why didn’t the Trump team reject Shustorovich’s $1 million check to Trump’s Inaugural Committee?

Simon Kukes is an oil magnate who has something in common with Intrater. From 1998 to 2003, he worked for Vekselberg and Blavatnik as chief executive of TNK. Redacted CIA documents released in 2003 under the Freedom of Information Act said “TNK president Kukes said that he bribed local officials.” The CIA confirmed the authenticity of the reports to The Guardian newspaper but would not comment further. In 2016, Kukes contributed a total of $283,000, much of it to the Trump Victory Fund. He had no significant donor history before last year’s election.

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Trump: Russia is a ruse
When asked during a press conference about his administration’s ties to Russia, President Donald Trump said he has nothing to do with the Russian government.

There is no doubt that Kukes has close ties to the Putin government. When he left his job as CEO of TNK in June 2003, he joined the board of Yukos Oil, which at the time was the largest oil company in Russia owned by the richest man in Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Four months after Kukes joined the board, authorities arrested Khodorkovsky at gunpoint on his private plane in Siberia on trumped up charges of tax evasion and tapped Kukes to be CEO. This decision could only have been made at the highest levels in the Kremlin. The arrest of Khodorkovsky rattled the nerves of international investors and was the first tangible sign that Putin was not going to be the kind of leader that global executives and Western governments had expected him to be when he first took office in 2000.

Khodorkovksy was given a 13-year sentence in a Siberian prison and served 10 years before being released by Putin in December 2013, a month before the start of the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, as a sign of goodwill. As for the fate of Khodorkovksy’s company, its largest oil subsidiary was sold in a sealed bid auction to Baikal Financial Group, a shell company with an unpublished list of officers. Baikal was registered at an address that turned out to be a mobile phone store in Tver, Russia. Three days after the auction, all of Baikal’s assets were acquired for an undisclosed sum by Rosneft, the Russian oil giant that went on to buy TNK-BP in 2013.

In total, Blavatnik, Intrater, Shustorovich and Kukes made $10.4 million in political contributions from the start of the 2015-16 election cycle through September 2017, and 99 percent of their contributions went to Republicans. With the exception of Shustorovich, the common denominator that connects the men is their association with Vekselberg. Experts who follow the activities of Russian oligarchs told ABC News that they believe the contributions from Blavatnik, Intrater and Kukes warrant intense scrutiny because they have worked closely with Vekselberg.

Even if the donations by the four men associated with Russia ultimately pass muster with Mueller, one still has to wonder: Why did GOP PACs and other Trump-controlled funds take their money? Why didn’t the PACs say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” like the Republicans said to Shustorovich in 2000? Yes, it was legal to accept their donations, but it was incredibly poor judgment.

McConnell surely knew as a participant in high level intelligence briefings in 2016 that our electoral process was under attack by the Russians. Two weeks after the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement in October 2016 that the Russian government had directed the effort to interfere in our electoral process, McConnell’s PAC accepted a $1 million donation from Blavatnik’s AI-Altep Holdings. The PAC took another $1 million from Blavatnik’s AI-Altep Holdings on March 30, 2017, just 10 days after former FBI Director James Comey publicly testified before the House Intelligence Committee about Russia’s interference in the election.

And consider Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s campaign finance chairman. Could he have known that the Trump Victory Fund, jointly managed by the Republican National Committe and Trump’s campaign, took contributions from Intrater and Kukes? Mnuchin owned Hollywood financing company RatPac-Dune with Blavatnik until he sold his stake to accept Trump’s appointment as the Treasury secretary.

Which PAC officials are making the decisions to accept these donations?

The Supreme Court

The contributions are legal because the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling, Citizens United, and several subsequent decisions, allowed American corporations and citizens to give unlimited amounts of money to PACs and non-profit 501c4 organizations, regardless of how they make their money, where they make their money, or with whom they make their money. The only caveat is that PACs and non-profits cannot coordinate their activities with the political candidates they support.

The man who led the winning fight for Citizens United was David Bossie, president of the conservative non-profit since 2001. In 1996, Bossie was hired by Republican Rep. Dan Burton to lead an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s campaign fundraising. Burton fired him 18 months later for manipulating recordings of conversations among law officials and Webb Hubbell, a Clinton confidant who resigned as associate attorney general and pleaded guilty to tax fraud during the Whitewater investigation. CNN reported at the time that Newt Gingrich, who was speaker of the House, called Bossie’s tampering with the Hubbell recordings an embarrassment to the Republicans.

Bossie served as Trump’s deputy campaign chairman.

The Super PAC, Make America Number 1, is primarily funded by Trump’s largest donor, Robert Mercer. His Renaissance Technologies hedge fund donated $15.5 million to the PAC.

Mercer’s daughter, Rebekah, assumed control of Make America Number 1 in September 2016 and is now tainted by her role in the communications between Wikileaks and Cambridge Analytica, the firm that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, hired for $5.9 million to handle the digital portion of the Trump campaign.

Robert and Rebekah Mercer are major investors in Cambridge Analytica. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rebekah Mercer asked Cambridge chief executive Alexander Nix if the firm could compile stolen emails related to Hillary Clinton so that they could be more easily searched. (This suggestion came from someone she met at an event supporting Sen. Ted Cruz, according to The Hill. Cambridge Analytica had worked on digital marketing for Cruz before he dropped out of the Republican primary.)

Nix confirmed that he had asked Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to forward the Clinton-related emails. Assange said he declined the request.

Rebekah Mercer also heads the non-profit Making America Great, formed in March 2017. The non-profit ran a seven-figure ad campaign highlighting Trump’s achievements. Bossie is the group’s chief strategist.

Erik Prince, brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, contributed $150,000 to Mercer’s Make America Number 1 PAC and another $100,000 to the Trump Victory Fund. Prince has recently testified to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about his trip to the remote Seychelles for a secret meeting in December 2016 with a close ally of Putin, Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The purpose of the meeting was allegedly to setup a back channel of communication between then president-elect Donald Trump and the Russians, though Prince has denied this allegation. Before the 2015-16 elections, Prince’s political contributions totaled a mere $31,800 as far back as 2007, according to FEC records.

The hybrid super-PAC, The Committee to Defend the President, was formed in 2013 under the name Stop Hillary PAC. It is managed by Dan Backer, the lead attorney who won the McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commissioncase in 2014. The Supreme Court decision eliminated the cap on how much wealthy individuals can donate to federal candidates, parties and PACs in a single, two-year election cycle.

Like Bossie, Dan Backer helped to open the floodgates to millions of dollars of influence brought to bear on incumbents and their political challengers who are now pressured to kowtow to their donors with the biggest bank accounts, even if their billions are earned in Russian rubles.

Backer was born in Russia and emigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1978.

The changes to our campaign finance laws created an avenue for Russia to try to influence our elections. There are holes in our firewall and they aren’t on the internet.

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Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent and long-time associate of Putin, served as Ross’s first co-chair until June of 2015.
Gazprom is the Kremlin-controlled energy monopoly that supplies 25% of Western Europe’s natural gas. Gazprom’s investment subsidiary managed by Alisher Usmanov, a Uzbek-Russian billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin, transferred $920 million to an offshore company in the Isle of Man, Kanton Services, which Milner then channeled into Facebook. The investment by Gazprom funded $1 billion worth of Facebook shares.
Yuri Milner is a Russian billionaire who lives in Silicon Valley. He befriended Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in 2009 and became one of the company’s largest investors. Milner invested $850,000 of his personal funds into a real estate startup, Cadre, which Jared Kushner co-owns with his brother. Kushner failed to disclose his association with Cadre when he joined the Trump White House.
Josef Ackermann is co-chair of the Bank of Cyprus with Maksim Goldman. He is the
former CEO of Deutsche Bank, estimated to have loaned Donald Trump as much as $3 billion since the 1990s.

Dmitry Rybolovlev, Russia’s “fertilizer king.” owns a 3.3 percent stake in the Bank of Cyprus. He purchased Trump’s mega mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million.


Ruth May is a business professor at the University of Dallas and an expert on the economies of Russia and Ukraine. She wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News. Email:



Cyprus is at the center of a circle of corruption surrounding Trump  | Commentary | Dallas News


The country of Cyprus has a long history as a laundromat for dirty money, particularly from Russia. Cyprus is referenced 530,937 timesin the Panama Papers, and the Bank of Cyprus, the country’s largest bank, is referenced 4,657 times. And the cast of characters linked to the bank and President Donald Trump is troubling.

-When Oleg Deripaska, the founder of Russian aluminum company Rusal, began paying Paul Manafort $10 million a year in 2006 to act as a secret emissary for Russian President Vladimir Putin with Western governments, he paid Manafort through the Bank of Cyprus. Records handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team show that Manafort and his partner, Rick Gateshad at least 15 accounts at the Bank of Cyprus and a bank that it took over in 2013, Cyprus Popular Bank, according to the National Herald. Mueller’s 12-count indictment against Manafort and Gates charged the two men with money laundering and conspiracy against the United States.

-Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross led a group of U.S. and European investors to purchase a $1.3 billion stake in Bank of Cyprus in July 2014 when the bank was on the verge of failing.  This investment bought Ross the largest ownership share in the bank, 17 percent, and the vice chairmanship. Ross was co-chair of the bank from 2014 until early 2017 when he relinquished his position to join Trump’s cabinet. Ross’s first co-chair was Putin appointee Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent and long-time associate of Putin. In 2015, Strzhalkovsky was replaced by Maksim Goldman, is director of strategic projects at Viktor Vekselberg’s Renova Group and sits on the board of Rusal.

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-Viktor Vekselberg, one of the richest men in Russia, is the largest shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus holding a 9.3 percent stake as of early 2017, according to

-Dmitry Rybolovlev, Russia’s “Fertilizer King,” owns a 3.3 percent stake in the bank. Rybolovlev purchased Trump’s mega mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million, which allowed Trump to more than double his $41 million investment in the property in four years. The timing of the purchase was essentially a Trump rescue package Trump was suing Deutsche Bank, his one remaining creditor, to try to avoid repaying a $40 million real estate loan. He lost.

Josef Ackermann, chief executive of Deutsche Bank from 2002 to 2012, replaced Ross as co-chair of the bank. Like co-chair Goldman, Ackermann currently works for Viktor Vekselberg. He joined the board of Vekselberg’s Zurich-based holding company, Renova Management AG, in 2014 to manage Renova’s international assets. Clearly, Vekselberg’s interests are fully represented at the Bank of Cyprus.

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After being blackballed by U.S. banks for failure to pay his loans, Trump turned to Deutsche Bank for liquidity. Deutsche Bank is estimated to have loaned Trump as much as $3 billion since the 1990s.  Trump’s financial disclosures show that he has $364 million in loans from the bank that will mature in 2024. On December 5, German newspaper Handelsblatt broke the news that Deutsche Bank received a subpoena from Robert Mueller for bank records.

During Ackermann’s tenure as chief executive, Deutsche Bank engaged in a wide range of financial misconduct including, according to the New Yorker, laundering $10 billion of Russian money through its offices in New York, Cyprus and Moscow. Through November of 2017, the bank had paid over $670 million in civil penalties to the U.S. and the U.K. related to its Russian trades. Deutsche Bank’s Moscow office was run by Andrey Kostin Jr. until 2011 when he died in an ATV crash in a forest in northern Russia. Kostin’s father, Andrey Kostin Sr., is chief executive of VTB, the second largest state-controlled bank in Russia that is currently under U.S. sanctions. In an interview with CNBC Kostin said, “We are sick and tired of what’s happening in America and this anti-Russian stance.”

The Guardian recently reported that VTB was the source of $191 million that Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire in Silicon Valley, used to fund a major stake in Twitter in 2011 through his investment fund, DST. Milner also channeled $920 million into Facebook funded by the investment arm of Russia’s state-controlled gas monopoly, Gazprom. The money was transferred from Gazprom to DST through an offshore company in the Isle of Man, Kanton Services. The investment by Gazprom funded $1 billion worth of Facebook shares.

-Gazprom’s investment subsidiary is managed by Alisher Usmanov, an Uzbek-Russian billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin. Carter Page, who served as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign and made several trips to Russia in 2016, reported, has deep financial ties to Gazprom.

Yuri Milner also invested $850,000 of his personal funds into a real estate startup, Cadre, which Jared Kushner co-owns with his brother. Kushner failed to disclose his association with Cadre when he joined the Trump White House.


International Criminal Court – Wikipedia

Rome Statute: Russia & USA are Orange: Signatory that subsequently withdrew its signature: Why?

Parties and signatories of the Rome Statute  State party   States that were parties but withdrew   Signatory that has not ratified   Signatory that subsequently withdrew its signature   Non-state party, non-signatory

Parties and signatories of the Rome Statute

  Green: State party
  Yellow: Signatory that has not ratified
  Orange: Signatory that subsequently withdrew its signature
  Red: Non-state party, non-signatory

The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt)[2] is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocidecrimes against humanity, and war crimes. The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the Court. The ICC began functioning on 1 July 2002, the date that the Rome Statuteentered into force. The Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty which serves as the ICC’s foundational and governing document. States which become party to the Rome Statute, for example by ratifying it, become member states of the ICC. Currently, there are 123 states which are party to the Rome Statute and therefore members of the ICC.

The ICC has four principal organs: the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. The President is the most senior judge chosen by his or her peers in the Judicial Division, which hears cases before the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor is headed by the Prosecutor who investigates crimes and initiates proceedings before the Judicial Division. The Registry is headed by the Registrar and is charged with managing all the administrative functions of the ICC, including the headquarters, detention unit, and public defense office.

The Office of the Prosecutor has opened ten official investigations and is also conducting an additional nine preliminary examinations. Thus far, 39 individuals have been indicted in the ICC, including Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, and Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Crimes against humanity[edit]

Article 7 defines crimes against humanity as acts “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack”.[67] The article lists 16 such as individual crimes:[68]

  1. Murder
  2. Extermination
  3. Enslavement
  4. Deportation or forcible transfer of population
  5. Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty
  6. Torture
  7. Rape
  8. Sexual slavery
  9. Enforced prostitution
  10. Forced pregnancy
  11. Enforced sterilization
  12. Sexual violence
  13. Persecution
  14. Enforced disappearance of persons
  15. Apartheid
  16. Other inhumane acts

What percentage of the extremely wealthy and powerful are sadist and rape us financially? True, 100%?: ‘⁣Rubin then proceeded to brutally attack, beat and mercilessly rape her. The sadistic exploits continued unabated. The woman claims in the suit that Rubin first raped her anally using what she described as a ‘big black dildo’ and then viciously raped her using his own appendage. … “When Rubin concluded, he called her a “whore” and to “clean” herself up. Subsequently, he allegedly threw the woman out of his apartment; telling her that he had an appointment to have dinner with his wife and children. When she informed the friend who set them up what had transpired in an evening that was marked by alleged brutal attacks, the friend cautioned her not to report the rape to the police because Rubin ‘was extremely wealthy and powerful, and would destroy her life,’ the suit says. The woman says that after making an attempt at suicide, she changed her mind and decided to pursue a lawsuit against Rubin. ‘

13 Jan

If it is true then these wealthy and powerful sadists treat all of us like that! – Daca e adevarat inseamna ca asa ne trateaza pe toti sadicii astia bilionari si ajutoarele lor!


George Soros

Howard Rubin (left) former investment fund manager for Billionaire George Soros (right)

George Soros’ Former Associate Charged with 4th Rape in Brutal S&M Scandal

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Having first made headlines this past November, it appears that Howard Rubin, the former investment fund manager for George Soros, has been charged with a new allegation of rape. In November, it was reported that three women who alleged that Rubin raped them in his penthouse sex dungeon had joined forces and filed a $27 million lawsuit against the high powered Wall Street player in Brooklyn federal court.

The New York Post has now reported that the latest lawsuit against the financier involves an unnamed 20-year-old woman who, through her attorneys, has filed a $7 million lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme court. She claims that she was drugged, beaten and raped in a kinky hideaway that Rubin had secured for his “perverted and sadistic” exploits.

The woman who has filed the lawsuit says that a friend introduced the two in November of 2015. She alleges that she was offered $2000 to join Rubin for dinner and drinks but would not be required to engage to perform sex acts or take part in any sexual behavior with the Wall Street tycoon.

After allegedly plying the woman with expensive tequila at the Russian Tea Room in Manhattan, Rubin asked the woman to sign a non-disclosure agreement, in which he said, he would have the legal right to file suit against her for up to $1 million if she went public with their bizarre relationship. The woman agreed to sign the contract and then she claims that the two went to the Metropolitan Tower where Rubin had maintained an apartment in the luxury building. It was then, the woman alleges, that Rubin gave her yet another alcoholic drink and at this point she has said in the suit that she believes she was drugged.

At this juncture, the woman reveals the allegations of sadistic sexual assault and rape. She says that after Rubin gave her the alcoholic libation in which she was allegedly drugged, the two moved to what she described as a ‘dungeon-like “toy room”‘ – a 300-square-foot space filled with ‘ropes and toys to tie people up with, and electrocuting devices,’ according to the suit.

The woman has said that Rubin then tied up her wrists in the bondage-like lair with her consent after he allegedly ‘explained that he would go easy on her’. They also agreed on a safe word: ‘pineapples’, according to the lawsuit.

‘Rubin instructed plaintiff to say pineapples if she got uncomfortable, or if anything became too much for her,’ the suit says. The woman, however, claims that Rubin ignored her pleas after she shouted the safe word. What allegedly prompted the woman to shout ‘pineapples’ was that Rubin forcefully hit her across the face.

After allegedly continuing the yell the safe word, and pleading with Rubin to cease and desist in his brutal attacks on her, the woman claims that Rubin then proceeded to brutally attack, beat and mercilessly rape her.

The sadistic exploits continued unabated. The woman claims in the suit that Rubin first raped her anally using what she described as a ‘big black dildo’ and then viciously raped her using his own appendage. The suit adds that, “When Rubin concluded, he called her a “whore” and to “clean” herself up.

Subsequently, he allegedly threw the woman out of his apartment; telling her that he had an appointment to have dinner with his wife and children.

When she informed the friend who set them up what had transpired in an evening that was marked by alleged brutal attacks, the friend cautioned her not to report the rape to the police because Rubin ‘was extremely wealthy and powerful, and would destroy her life,’ the suit says.

The woman says that after making an attempt at suicide, she changed her mind and decided to pursue a lawsuit against Rubin.

The three women who filed the $27 million suit in a Brooklyn court against Rubin have alleged that they were also brought to Rubin’s sado-masochistic “playroom” that was replete with an extensive line of sex toys. They claim that it was there that they were brutalized by Rubin. Also named in the lawsuit along with Rubin are associates Stephanie Shon, Jennifer Powers,  and lawyer Yifat Schnur.

The lawsuit describes four different incidents in 2016. The women sometimes traveled to meet him in pairs and on other occasions they went alone, they said, according a report in the Daily Mail of the UK. Each claimed they returned after the first violent encounter because they needed money.  Once in the penthouse, the women say Rubin turned on them and had violent sex, often beating them so severely that they required medical treatment. Rubin’s associates then offered them more cash in exchange for their silence and paid their medical bills, they claim, according to the Daily Mail report.

All say they were first contacted by Rubin’s staff on Instagram through its direct messaging function.

Rubin’s associates Stephanie Shon and Jennifer Powers, a former model herself who claimed to have slept with Rubin before starting to work for him, allegedly offered them thousands of dollars and free flights to New York to appear in photo-shoots and offer him ‘companionship’.

Jeremy Saland of The Law Office of Crotty & Saland, who is representing the women, told in a statement: ‘While arrogance and self-import may convince certain men otherwise, neither money nor power gives any person the right to victimize a woman.

‘It is our collective responsibility to ensure that victims’ voices are heard, and that abusers’ positions of privilege do not exempt them from the grasp of justice.’

John Balestriere of Balestriere Fariello, another of the women’s lawyers, added his fear there were other victims. ‘We implore other victims of the Enterprise to contact us,’ he said.



George Soros – Wikipedia

He began his business career by taking various jobs at merchant banks in England and then the United States, before starting his first hedge fund, Double Eagle, in 1969. Profits from his first fund furnished the seed money to start Soros Fund Management, his second hedge fund, in 1970. Double Eagle was renamed the …

Top Investment Fund Manager For Soros Accused Of Human …

Nov 3, 2017 – In 2008, Rubin began to run a Mortgage-Backed Securities Fund for financier GeorgeSoros, run by Soros Fund Management, LLC., leaving in 2015. The lawsuit refers to four different incidents in 2016. All three women aver they were first contacted by Rubin’s staff on Instagram. Rubin’sassociates …

Soros Loses Challenge to Insider Trading Conviction – The New York …

Oct 6, 2011 – Two co-defendants, one of them a former senior official of the French Finance Ministry, were acquitted. The case dates back to … But in September 1988, an associate of Mr. Pébereau informed Mr. Soros of the plans for the bid in a telephone conversation, according to court testimony in the case. (Georges …

Soros Is Found Guilty in France On Charges of Insider Trading – The …

Dec 21, 2002 – Two other defendants in the case — Jean-Charles Naouri, 53, a former senior official in the French finance ministry, and Samir Traboulsi, 64, a French citizen of … According to testimony in the trial, an associate of Mr. Pébereau told Mr. Soros by telephone about the planned bid, hoping to enlist his support.

Soros Former Fund Manager Accused of Abusing Women Inside …

Nov 3, 2017 – The former portfolio manager for George Soros‘ investment fund has been accused in a lawsuit of vicious sexual abuse.

George Soros: The “God” Who Should Be Jailed – The New American

Jan 24, 2017 – The Soros hypocrisy meter hits the highest levels when it comes to “dark money,” which the liberal-left media invariably associate with those labeled conservative. For the past two decades,Soros has led and funded the “campaign finance reform” movement. However, at the same time that he was decrying …

George Soros, who fancies himself a god and intends to remake the world, is the Lord of Chaos and pursues a world order that is demonic, not divine.

“I admit that I have always harbored an exaggerated view of self-importance — to put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god.” So confessed George Soros (shown) in his 1987 book The Alchemy of Finance.

George Soros’ use of past-tense verbs in the admission above might lead some readers to assume his psychological deity complex was a passing narcissism that the maturing billionaire has conquered in the three decades since it was written. That would be a false assumption; if anything, the 86-year-old currency speculator has grown more megalomaniacal with each passing year.

“It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out,” Soros told the British newspaper The Independent in 1993.

Yes, the hedge-fund mogul has been “living out” his delusional fantasies, sometimes elevating himself from merely “a god,” to actually being “God.” Naturally, claiming such supernatural attributes entails more than a bit of madness, something Soros has also publicly discussed on more than one occasion.

“Next to my fantasies about being God, I also have very strong fantasies of being mad,” Soros once explained in a British television interview. “In fact, my grandfather was actually paranoid. I have a lot of madness in my family. So far I have escaped it.”

Has the delusional billionaire really escaped the madness? He told his biographer, Michael T. Kaufman, that he views himself as “the conscience of the world.” And he is spending billions of dollars to remake the world to fit his fantasies. If a homeless derelict were to declare himself God and the conscience of the world, he would be ignored, shunned, or locked up; madmen with wealth and power are praised and sycophantically courted.

The Roman emperors Nero and Ca­ligula are notorious for their murderous megalomania. They assigned themselves god status, but ruled as demented demons. Soros may not possess their dictatorial powers, but then, they didn’t possess his wealth and global influence. We intend in this article to examine some of the vast activist networks and political campaigns that George Soros funds.

Certainly, the super-rich should have as much right as any other citizens to participate in the political system that governs us all. But Soros appears to be perfectly comfortable operating both within and outside the law to destroy (he would say “reform”) our political-economic system. In his book Soros on Soros, the would-be god says: “I do not accept the rules imposed by others.” After years of operating with impunity, he has become so brazen that he appears not to worry about doing the illegal, as well as the immoral. It is our contention that the prima facie evidence of criminal activity by George Soros and those he funds is sufficient to demand official investigations — by Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice, and state attorneys general. Utilizing the subpoena and other investigatory powers not available to the private citizen, these officials have the duty to take on powerful interests that are corrupting and undermining the rule of law in America — and endangering the freedoms we hold dear. At the very least, the Internal Revenue Service — which recently denied Tea Party groups non-profit status — could take away the tax-exempt status of Soros’ huge foundations, or force them to cease funding radical groups. And if federal authorities exercise even a fraction of the zeal they expended on prosecuting and persecuting conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, Soros the god-man could end up in jail.

Organizing Chaos

Over the past several years, American cities have been plunged into racial and civil turmoil at a level we have not experienced since the 1960s and 1970s. The anti-police riots in Ferguson, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and elsewhere have morphed into anti-Trump riots across the country, with many of the same organizations and individuals serving as instigators: Black Lives Matter,, International Action Center, ANSWER Coalition, and other far-left, fake “grassroots” groups. They reliably perform on cue because they are lavishly funded by the Soros Open Society Foundations (OSF), the other big tax-exempt foundations (Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, et al.), and activist “pass through” organizations, such as the Tides Foundation, that bundle and launder hundreds of millions of dollars in “dark money” to the street revolutionaries.

Black Lives Matter (BLM), which has become one of the most efficient riot-making operations, has been especially blessed with largess from the billionaire elites. As The New American noted in a 2014 article (“Rioting for a Reason”), BLM was founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi, three black lesbian Marxists “who idolize communist terrorist revolutionaries Assata Shakur and Angela Davis, as well as the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Movement.” Naturally, for Soros, that qualifies BLM for oodles of cash. An investigation of Soros/OSF financials by the Washington Times in 2015 found that Soros had showered BLM and its related network of activist organizations with more than $33 million. Not bad, but that was only seed money. The Ford Foundation, which has been funding revolution for decades, announced a few months ago it intends to raise $100 million in pooled donor funds for a newly formed Black-Led Movement Fund, of which the BLM (and its rioters) will be major beneficiaries.

Following the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida in 2012, Black Lives Matter grew from a hashtag slogan to a nationwide phenomenon, thanks largely to funding from Soros and a huge boost from the major media. However, BLM’s big break came with the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, and the organized “unrest” that followed. Two of the BLM groups that played a central role in the “Ferguson unrest” (that included riots, arson, shooting, and looting) are the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) and Missourians for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), both of which are hardcore Marxist-Leninist organizations run by veteran communists who have been leading riotous “protests” for decades. A top founder/leader at OBS is Jamala Rogers, a professional “community organizer” since the 1970s and veteran member of the Revolutionary Communist League, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and the radical Black Power movement.

MORE is simply the rebranded Missouri chapter of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), the former national organization of paid activists inspired by Marxist strategist Saul Alinsky and founded by 1960s SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) radical Wade Rathke. Like ACORN, the white “social justice” leaders at MORE pay protesters (mostly black or “people of color”) to create street theater that can be exploited to advance their causes. Some of MORE’s rent-a-mob activities in Ferguson were exposed in 2015 when black protesters occupied MORE’s offices and threatened the white radicals because they hadn’t been paid as promised. To placate the angry protesters, MORE provided them with documents showing that they had dispersed the funds appropriately. Where did the money go? The accounting documents list, among other things, payments for cellphones, walkie-talkies, banners, T-shirts, art supplies, van rentals, gasoline, catering, training sessions, organizer salaries, etc. In other words, virtually everything needed to give a purely AstroTurf production the appearance of a “grassroots” protest. Where did the funding come from? The Washington Times investigation found that one line of Soros funding for “police reform” in 2014 amounted to $5.4 million, with about half of those funds “earmarked to Ferguson, with the money primarily going to OBS and MORE.”

Another significant recipient of Soros cash is Colorlines, an online news site that helped parlay Ferguson into a national road show. “More than 500 of us have traveled from Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, Portland, Tucson, Washington, D.C., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and other cities to support the people of Ferguson and help turn a local moment into a national movement,” wrote Akiba Solomon, a writer at Colorlines.

Readying the Rioting

The anti-Trump demonstrations and riots — both before and after the election — follow a pattern that we have seen over and over again, from the protests of Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter to Dream Act/Open Borders. Not only are the tactics the same, but many of the same groups and individuals keep reappearing in all of these seemingly spontaneous outbreaks of organized chaos.

Were the “Not My President” rioters that illegally blocked streets and freeways, set fires, threw Molotov cocktails, injured police officers, destroyed property, and defaced public buildings with graffiti day after day following the November 8 election merely Soros rent-a-mobs? There is good reason to believe so.

Not only were well-known Soros-funded organizations such as Black Lives Matter and prominently involved, but Soros-funded groups such as Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN) ran advertisements on Craigslist and in newspapers for “full-time organizers” to “Fight the Trump Agenda!” at $15/hour, plus paid vacation and benefits.

Many of the anti-Trump rioters traveled across state lines, which means they not only violated state laws against rioting and inciting to riot, but also federal law against the same crimes. Specifically, the rioters could be (and should be) charged under Title 18 U.S. Code § 2101, which provides that “whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce … to incite a riot; or to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or … to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot … shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

As to be expected, Soros PR minions deny that their boss has anything to do with the mayhem caused by those he funds. “George Soros is not funding these (anti Trump) protests,” Soros spokesperson Michael Vachon said in an interview with Value Walk. Of course, Soros also denied funding the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. But financial records showed that he had provided millions of dollars to the Tides Foundation, which then passed through funding to the OWS activists.

This is why official congressional and prosecutorial investigations are necessary. Soros and the other funders of the riots, subversion, and anarchy will continue to deny the obvious, as they have been doing for decades. The undercover videos of James O’Keefe’s Veritas Project have exposed top Democratic Party operatives boasting of their illegal activities, such as voter fraud, busing in demonstrators, fomenting riots, initiating fights, illegal funding, etc. This is happening on a massive scale and can only be stopped by utilizing the same legal bulwarks that are used against organized crime. The financial records of the funders and organ­izations involved must be subpoenaed, and individuals placed under oath, where they will face the full penalty of perjury. As the saying goes, “follow the money,” and prosecute those who are financing the ongoing demolition of America.

Investigation and prosecution of the rioters — and especially those who fund and direct them — is important not only for redress of the crimes already committed and social harm already done, but also to deter plans for similar future havoc.

Dark Money Campaign Cash

According to a survey of official records by the Center for Responsive Politics, George Soros gave $19.5 million in political contributions during the most recent election cycle. That does not include funds he gave to nonprofits and activist groups that are not officially backing a particular candidate or ballot measure, but are nonetheless actively involved those campaigns.

The Soros hypocrisy meter hits the highest levels when it comes to “dark money,” which the liberal-left media invariably associate with those labeled conservative. For the past two decades, Soros has led and funded the “campaign finance reform” movement. However, at the same time that he was decrying the “corrupting influence” of money on politics, he was pioneering the funding of “527 Groups” (so-called due to their status under Section 527 of the IRS Code) which can raise unlimited funds for political campaigns. He has organized Democracy Alliance, bringing together dozens of billionaires and millionaires to provide rivers of cash to his favored candidates and causes.

Voter Fraud

It is impossible to sustain our system of representative government if the election process is corrupted. Groups that encourage non-citizens to vote and that work to make it difficult-to-impossible to enforce election security and verify voter identity are undermining our Republic. The Soros network has generously funded many of these “open border” and “open voting” groups, such as the American Council of La Raza, America Votes, ACLU, America’s Voice, American Bridge 21st Century, and Project Vote. Although charges of widespread vote fraud, particularly involving illegal aliens, have been dismissed by the establishment media, there is ample reason to believe this fraud is significant and should be officially and aggressively investigated.

Coopting the U.S. Government

In a 2005 interview, National Public Radio’s Steve Inskeep noted that Soros has “been described as the only private citizen with his own foreign policy.” Inskeep remarked to Soros: “Uzbekistan, the Open Society Institute was actually receiving grants from the US State Department and spending millions of dollars of US government money on various programs.” That was under President George W. Bush; it was not an isolated incident, and got much worse under President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It’s easy to be a “philanthropist” when you’re spending other people’s money — in this case (and others), American taxpayers’ money.

Soros has similarly hijacked U.S. government policy (not by force, but by collusion) in Ukraine, Egypt, Albania, the European Union, and elsewhere — invariably with disastrous results. He has also been exposed as one of the major forces behind the calamitous “refugee crisis” that is swamping Europe with a tsunami of Muslim migrants — and that is threatening to do the same here, thanks to Soros-Obama-Clinton-Kerry collusion. A May 2016 internal report of the International Migration Institute (IMI), an official project of Soros’ Open Society Foundations, boasted of providing the funding for the “Sutherland Report,” the blueprint for Europe’s migration catastrophe authored by Goldman Sachs billionaire Sir Peter Sutherland, now the UN secretary-general’s special representative on international migration. The same report by top IMI staffers Anna Crowley and Kate Rosin, entitled “Migration Governance and Enforcement Portfolio Review,” calls for “accepting the current crisis as the new normal.” Soros also provides funding for the Columbia Global Policy Initiative (CGPI) at Columbia University, which hosts the secretariat for Peter Sutherland’s UN migration office.

The Media “Echo Chamber”

How does George Soros manage to keep getting away with it? Obviously, his billions have bought a lot of influence. One of the major keys to his success is the Teflon shield he has been provided by the establishment corporatist media, which also act as his “echo chamber.” That’s by design. A September 27, 2007 e-mail from John Podesta to Soros, Peter Lewis, Steve Bing, and other left-wing billionaires outlined his plans for parlaying the vast network they had financed into a media “echo chamber” that would “control the political discourse.” At the time, Podesta was president of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress. He went from that post to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

“Now that this enhanced infrastructure is in place — grassroots organizing; multi-issue advocacy groups; think tanks; youth outreach; faith communities; micro-targeting outfits; the netroots and blogosphere — we need to better utilize these networks to drive the content of politics through a strong ‘echo chamber’ and message delivery system,” Podesta wrote.

“Non-partisan voter registration can be highly effective in delivering progressive voters to the polls,” Podesta states in the memo. “The Sandler family and [Open Society Institute] are already deeply involved in funding organizations to do this work in communities of color and with respect to unmarried women.” This further underscores our point above regarding the ostensibly non-partisan nature of the Soros focus on voter registration.

Several thousand hacked e-mails released by WikiLeaks and DCLeaks have provided plenty of damning evidence to justify initiating a whole series of investigations into the Lord of Chaos. Not surprisingly, the controlled establishment media has almost completely ignored this bonanza, prompting an editorial from Investor’s Business Daily this past September 19 entitled “The Bizarre Media Blackout of Hacked George Soros Documents.”

Bizarre indeed. However, it would be worse than bizarre — it would be serious nonfeasance of office — for our elected and appointed officials to evade their responsibilities to investigate and prosecute the “malefactors of great wealth” who undermine our society while posing as its saviors.

Soros is evil from his childhood days helping his father deliver Jewish families to the Nazis. His family name was really Schwartz but the father changed the name to Soros, meaning nothing, but was a creation of his evil mind. He sent son George, age 11 or 12, out to get addresses and names of Jewish families to turn over to the Nazis. Soros is among the most evil names ever in the work of evil men.

[It is more probable than not that the Jewish Nazis sold their unsuspecting freedom-loving Jewish neighbours into the slavery of the Nazis’ forced labor camps to make money to buy Palestine land in order to control a big part of the oil trade from the ME to the West. How much oil revenues (% of the world oil revenues ) are collected by the Jewish Nazi traders?

What are the historical events created in the recorded history by evil profiteers to profit from their unsuspecting neighbours and how were they counterattacked? ]


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„Refugiații musulmani primiți în ultima vremea cu miile, pun învățăturile Coranului și ale lui Mahomed deasupra drepturilor omului și a oricărei alte legi. … să se angajajeze, tot în scris, că va abandona învățăturile islamului contrare drepturilor omului”

11 Jan

“Declarația drepturilor omului în islam”, ratificată de 57 de țări islamice, la Cairo, în 1990 la articolul 24 precizează: “toate drepturile și libertățile enunțate în prezenta Declarație sunt supuse Sharia.” Și Sharia nu este doar un cod religios, ci și unul civil, el reglementând comportamentul din sfera laică: economic, social, juridic, politic si cultural. Iar Sharia este pentru democrația occidentală ceea ce este terorismul islamic pentru umanitate.


Germania și celelalte state europene care încurajează migrația arabă în masă, obligând toată Europa să facă la fel, nu mai au nicio scuză pentru permisivitatea impardonabilă cu care lasă  pe Bătrânul Continet migranții-refugiați din țările Orientului Mijlociu sau ale Africii, fără să știe cine sunt și de unde vin și fără să aibă vreo garanție că se vor integra aici.

Sami Aldeeb Abu –Sahlieh, director al Centrului de drept arab și musulman pentru Europa, un om care știe cu adevărat ce este islamul și care sunt problemele pe care le generează, avertizează cu multă onestitate că europenii „SE VOR SINUCIDE” dacă nu vor trata cu maximă responsabilitate această criză, subliniind că „refugiații musulmani primiți în ultima vremea cu miile, pun învățăturile Coranului și ale lui Mahomed deasupra drepturilor omului și a oricărei alte legi.”

Prin urmare, este Angela Merkel iresponsabilă, precum alți lideri europeni, sau face cu bună știință jocul unor interese mai mari, în numele cărora vrea să genereze o amestecare rasială și religioasă în Europa, născătoare de conflicte interetnice și religioase?!? Să nu uităm că rechinul George Soros (ultimul om în care am putea avea încredere) a declarat chiar în aceste zile că Europa AR TREBUI să primească un milion de imigranți arabi pe an…

Care sunt sfaturile date de Sami Aldeeb Abu – Sahlieh, puteți afla citindu-i mesajul, mai jos. – Sami Awad Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh is a Palestinian-Christian lawyer with Swiss citizenship. Aldeeb was the head of the Arab and Islamic Law department at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law from 1980 to 2009. Wikipedia

Dacă Europa nu vrea să se sinucidă pe plan civilizațional, ea trebuie să știe că refugiații musulmani primiți în ultima vremea cu miile, pun învățăturile Coranului și ale lui Mahomed deasupra drepturilor omului și a oricărei alte legi.

Pornind de la acest adevăr, țările occidentale care primesc refugiați musulmani trebuie să-i avertizeze că aceste învățături islamice nu-și au locul pe teritoriul lor și că doar legile votate de parlament trebuiesc respectate.

Acest avertisment trebuie făcut în scris și fiecare refugiat trebuie să se angajajeze, tot în scris, că va abandona învățăturile islamului contrare drepturilor omului și legilor țării de primire. Încălcarea acestui angajament va duce la retragerea dreptului de azil și la expulzarea imediată din țară.

Aceste țări trebuie să arate, negru pe alb, normele islamice care intră în conflict cu drepturile omului și legile țării de primire, astfel încât totul să fie clar.

Aceste țări trebuie să-i învețe pe copiii solicitanților de azil că normele islamice contrare drepturilor omului și ale țării gazdă nu sunt valabile în aceasta.

În plus, acestea trebuie să controleze strict moscheile care au devenit, din păcate, cuiburi de teroriști în toate țările occidentale. Fiecare imam care predică normele islamice contrare drepturilor omului și legilor țării trebuie să fie expulzat și moscheea sa închisă.

Mai bine să superi la început, decât să regreți la sfârșit…și să vezi țările occidentale devastate. Trebuie realizat, în sfârșit, că învățăturile islamului sunt cauza distrugerii țărilor din care provin acești refugiați…și că aceste învățături vor distruge și țările de primire, dacă ele nu le vor interzice pe teritoriul lor.

Semnalez aici că, Convenția privitoare la refugiați stipulează la articolul 2:

“Fiecare refugiat are, față de țara în care se găsește, îndatoriri care comportă mai ales obligația de a se conforma legilor și reglementărilor, cât și măsurilor luate pentru menținerea ordinei publice.”

Sami Aldeeb Abu – Sahlieh




Controversele iscate în jurul manifestațiilor con­­tra proiectului Roșia Montană au identificat su­bit autorul moral al determinării ma­ni­fes­tanților de a nu renunța: George Soros. N-ar fi fost nicio mirare dacă afir­mația ar fi apărut în pu­bli­ca­țiile zburlite ale lui Vadim Tu­dor, care l-au desemnat de­mult pe miliardarul american ca inamic public al României. Dar ele au apărut în Eve­ni­mentul zilei, sub semnătura lui Mălin Bot, un combatant intransigent împotriva miș­mașului politic al puterii, și au fost repede înghițite de alți jurnaliști pe ca­re e greu să îi bănuiești de naivitate sau de co­rupție, ca Stelian Negrea sau, mă rog, Ion Cristoiu. Ce susțin aceștia? Ei sunt convinși că am­plitudinea demonstrațiilor anti-RMGC, des­fășurate neîntrerupt de două săptămâni în Bu­curești și în alte orașe, se datorează unor ONG-uri anume finanțate de Soros pentru a pune la pământ proiectul. Argumentele aduse se bat cap în cap: pe de o parte, se arată că George Soros are acțiuni la Gold Corporation tran­zacționate la bursa din Toronto, deci e în business, pe de alta, demonstrează că or­ga­ni­za­ții neguvernamentale, caMiliția Spirituală, Ac­tiveWatch ș.a., sunt finanțate din banii mi­liardarului ca să împiedice proiectul, eventual prin intermediul CEE Trust, un consorțiu de șase fundații, printre care se numără și Open Society Foundation. Dificil de urmărit firul lo­gic. Prezumția că manifestații de o asemenea amploare s-ar datora finanțărilor lui Geor­ge Soros arată cât de ana­cronică și mioapă este optica unor jurnaliști la peste 20 de ani, după experiențe dra­ma­tice ca revoluția din 1989 cu huliganii denunțați de dic­ta­tor, mineriadele și Piața Uni­ver­sității cu golanii ei, pri­me­le alegeri libere cu manipulările grosolane îm­potriva competitorilor lui Iliescu și altele, mai recente, ca tentativa de lovitură de stat din va­ra lui 2012. Ceea ce consternează este im­pru­dența, memoria scurtă a presei care știe că orchestrația, echipamentul propagandistic, eșafodajul manipulării nu s-au schimbat. În plus, azi se pot citi tomuri întregi în materie.

Sigur că există în mass-media din România un context nefericit, în care prostirea oa­me­nilor în favoarea unor interese politice sau de afaceri este programatică în trusturi de presă afiliate politic. Manifestanții din București au taxat în mod repetat Antenele și televiziunea publică. Cea mai recentă porcărie a Antenei 3 în emisiunea Sinteza zilei este „dezvăluirea“ că Horia-Roman Patapievici și Mircea Mihăieș, două voci publice permanent denigrate de trus­tul Intact, ar deține teren la Roșia Mon­tană, fapt pentru care au fost pictați ca ade­vă­rați „rechini imobiliari“. Ce s-a ascuns te­lespectatorilor este faptul că aceștia au cum­părat în 2006 câte un metru pătrat de teren, ca mulți alți protestatari, tocmai pentru a ex­prima dezacordul față de proiect printr-un gest simbolic. Dar acest detaliu s-a omis. Pro­testatarii au dreptate: „Presa română plină de cianură“.

ONG-urile sunt înfierate nejustificat în aceste zile pentru faptul că fac ce trebuie să facă o organizație neguvernamentală: scriu proiecte, depun aplicații și obțin bani pentru a le re­a­liza. Fundația Soros există din anii ‘90 în Ro­mânia cu o activitate prodigioasă, publicată în fiecare an în rapoarte anuale puse la ve­dere pe site. Un întreg mecanism de verificări și comisii de specialitate se interpun su­biec­tivismului finanțărilor, așa că este exclus ca protestele să fie plătite „din pungă“, prin me­toda Voiculescu-Felix. Pe de altă parte, mi­ne­rii protestatari de la Roșia sunt priviți cu sus­piciune, ca fiind agenți plătiți de Gold Cor­po­ration. Dar și asta trebuie demonstrat cu date cla­re, pe care jurnaliștii sunt datori să le ve­ri­fice. Jurnaliștilor care vor să afle ce e „în spa­tele“ oengiștilor, le stau la îndemână și in­for­mațiile de pe site-urile organizațiilor finan­țatoare, dar și instrumentul cel mai uzitat în meserie: întrebarea. Active Watch tocmai a lămurit „misterul“ într-o replică. Alte ONG-uri care au sesizat culpabilizarea mișcării din stra­dă, mai întâi de premier, urmat de mass-me­dia, au formulat o scrisoare deschisă pentru a cere „să înceteze denigrarea și culpa­bili­zarea cetățenilor care își exercită drepturile și libertățile democratice în stradă“. FDSC,Aso­ciația Pro Democrația, Expert Forum, WWF Romania, Active Watch, Asociația Mi­li­ția Spirituală, ARC, APADOR–CH,Alianța Na­țio­nală a Organizațiilor Studențesti din România, SAR, Freedom House, Institutul de Politici Pu­blice,Asociația Salvați Bucureștiul, Centrul pen­tru Jurnalism Independent ș.a. îi arată cu de­getul pe politicienii care, „susținuți cu rea credință de o parte din mass-media, încearcă să submineze motivele reale pentru care au ieșit în stradă zecile de mii de manifestanți“, arătând că sunt alături, nu în spatele ce­tă­țenilor, „pentru apărarea unor principii și ce­rințe generale precum democrația par­tici­pa­tivă, statul de drept, asumarea de către gu­vernanți a propriilor decizii“. Prudența, în­do­iala rezonabilă, cercetarea corectă a faptelor, fără concluzii pripite care generează conflict, pot menține sănătatea presei. //



Pope Francis against inequality

7 Jan

via Pope Francis against neoliberalism, finance capitalism, consumerism and inequality

In November 2013 Pope Francis issued his first Apostolic Exhortation translated into English as The Joy of the Gospel. Over 224 pages, in remarkably direct and plain,  but plentiful, language, Pope Francis – the first Pope from the Global South – outlines his vision on numerous themes and topics.

In my view, the most astounding part of this document is a section in which he sharply, sagaciously and concisely discusses neoliberalism and finance capitalism, vigorously condemning their certain outcome – an increasing and killing inequality, and calling for social justice. Rejecting illusionary “trickle-down economics”, Francis denounces the current economic system as “unjust at its root”, based on a tyranny of the market and worship of money, in which financial speculation, widespread corruption and tax evasion reign supreme, and economy of exclusion generates violence.
Hereby pasted the (almost) full text of this radical and striking tractate (1,300 words, about 9 minutes to read), which easily could be written by an economic sociologist, political economist or passionate erudite activist.


No to an economy of exclusion

53. Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.

54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.

No to the new idolatry of money

55. One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.

56. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.

No to a financial system which rules rather than serves

57. Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. […] Ethics – a non-ideological ethics – would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order. With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs”.

58. A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case. Money must serve, not rule! […] I exhort you to generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favours human beings.

No to the inequality which spawns violence

59. Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of hope for a better future. We are far from the so-called “end of history”, since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized.

60. Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. It serves only to offer false hopes to those clamouring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries – in their governments, businesses and institutions – whatever the political ideology of their leaders.

Francis. 2013. Apostolic Exhortation. Rome: Vatican Press. (Pp. 53-60)
Text available in English, French, German,  Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Hungarian.

Pope thumbs up

Macroeconomics in graphs, animations and pictures (and some texts) – Macroeconomia in grafice, animatie si poze (si cateva texte)

6 Jan


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Why are banking systems unstable in some countries–but not in others? Since 1840, the US had 12 crises; Canada had none.

Analyzing the political and banking history of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil through several centuries, “Fragile by Design” (Free access to the First chapter) demonstrates that chronic banking crises and scarce credit are not accidents due to unforeseen circumstances. Rather, these fluctuations result from the complex bargains made between politicians, bankers, bank shareholders, depositors, debtors, and taxpayers. The well-being of banking systems depends on the abilities of political institutions to balance and limit how coalitions of these various groups influence government regulations.

This seminal political economy analysis by Charles Calomiris & Stephen Haber is a revealing exploration of the ways that politics inevitably intrudes into bank regulation. This erudite and myth-busting book examines how coalitions of politicians, bankers, and other interest groups form, why some endure while others are undermined, and how they generate policies that determine who gets to be a banker, who has access to credit, and who pays for bank bailouts and rescues.


Unethical behavior of economists

Respondents estimated that approximately 5-7% of published research is affected by felonies and they are skeptical of some work that is published in the top economics journals. In terms of ethical behavior, the researchers found that 13-17% believe that economists behave inappropriately when it comes to items in the realm of including an undeserving co-author. Concerning perceptions of selling grades, academic economists believe that about 4% of other economists have engaged in such activity. There were no academic rank or gender effects on the results.
A must-watch, Oscar winning documentary “Inside Job” exposed other egregious patterns of  dishonest behavior of economists that have sold off their scholarly integrity for huge sums of money, manipulated with papers and concealed from the public their conflicts of interests.
Falsified economics “research” and unethical behavior of economists are not just a matter of the academic Ivory Tower and personal accountability. These economists’ papers and recommendations caused to enact and execute misinformed and erroneous policies which have harmed the lives of dozens of millions. These are the figures engaged in educating students in economics department and business schools. Think about it.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, this is just an additional perspective which clearly reaffirms Paul Samuelson’s sharp observation: “Economics has never been a science – and it is even less now than a few years ago.


Name and Shame: Columbia University fired two Public Intellectuals because they hadn’t brought in enough grants

This story should worry everyone who cares about democracy, society and wants academics to play a larger role in public debates. Anthropologists Carole Vance and Kim Hopper, longtime professors at Columbia University’s School of Public Health got fired without compensation after more than 25 years of distinguished service. The school adopted business model according to which faculty who don’t bring in at least 80% of the salaries in grant money must go – regardless of the quality of their teaching or the impact of their scholarship.
Carole Vance and Kim Hopper’s extensive research is widely recognized and cited. Their voices as Public Intellectuals are highly influential in national and global arenas whereby applying their expertise and decades of field studies, they are bringing about change in crucial issues. Professor Vance is one of the world’s most important scholar-activists in public health, women’s rights, human trafficking and more. Professor Hopper is one of the leading American specialist in homelessness and mental health, a leading advocate against poverty and for homeless people.
When money is THE measurement in science and cultural life, we all end up impoverished. BUT, while Columbia University has raised a whopping $6.1 billion in its most recent capital campaign– we MUST ask ourselves: is it really about money? or is it about shutting down powerful voices that undermine the capital and the dominant order? Please Condemn by Liking, Sharing, and signing the petition.


From Political Economy to Economics: the Desocialisation and Dehistoricisation of the Dismal Science

From Political Economy to Economics: Method, the Social and the Historical in the Evolution of Economic Theory shows how economics was once rich and diverse, and unravels the processes that lead it to formalistic and monolithic neoclassical orthodoxy.
From Political Economy to EconomicsThis very interesting book by Dimitris Milonakis and Ben Fine (free access) details how political economybecame economics through the desocialisation and the dehistoricisation of the “dismal science” (as economics was termed by  by the Victorian historian Thomas Carlyle), accompanied by the separation of economics from the other social sciences, especially economic history and sociology. This has resulted in an impoverished content within mainstream economics.



There is strong support across academics that maximizing ‪‎shareholder‬ value provides a problematic basis for the practice, theory, and regulation of corporate governance.

The Modern Corporation project seeks your support for a number of disciplinary memos on maximizing shareholder value and the effects of contemporary corporate governance theory more broadly.
The members of the modern corporation project, hosted by Cardiff Business School and Frank Bold, a public interest law firm, have recently organised a conference with 120 attendees in Brussels. This conference combined the voices of senior academics with diverse disciplinary backgrounds with those of businesspeople, politicians, journalists, trade unionists and NGOs in order to provide viable alternatives to MSV and corporate governance (see
To support the conference, leading academics prepared memos on the relation of their disciplinary fields to the topic of Maximizing Shareholder Value. These memos have been endorsed by a very wide selection of international academics. The full list of signatories can be found at the bottom of the memos.
We continue to seek academic support for these memos, because they will help to support a broad discussion on the current state of corporate governance theory, practice, and regulation, and because we hope that the formation of a wide academic coalition can help to provide cross-disciplinary alternatives to the outcomes of current corporate governance theory.
Therefore, we would like to ask you to support the memos.
The management memo can be found at
The politics memo can be found at
The company law memo can be found at
The accounting memo can be found at
The website provides a simple form where you can endorse the document. If you have comments or questions, you can contact me directly at
You can also follow our activities on:



How does “naming and shaming” by Social Movements influence corporations? The effects of anti-sweatshop campaigns during the the 1990s on U.S. firms.

Recent work suggests that movements can inflict material damage on their targets and shape categories of evaluation in organizational fields. Extending these ideas,  in “Movements, Markets and Fields: The Effects of Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns on US Firms, 1993-2000” (free access) Tim Bartley & Curtis Child examine the effects of anti-sweatshop campaigns during the 1990s on sales, stock performance, reputation and specialized ratings of U.S. firms, using fixed-effects regression models and event study methods.
Their interesting analysis demonstrates that social movements can in some circumstances shape both the markets and fields that firms inhabit. Specifically, anti-sweatshop campaigns (1. had negative effects on sales (though only among certain types of firms), (2. influenced stock prices, and (3. shaped specialized ratings of corporate responsibility. They also diminished previously positive corporate reputations (to a modest degree) but did not radically alter reputational hierarchies in the business community.


Financialization and Income Inequality in the United States, 1967–2010

This paper “Financialization and Income Inequality in the United States, 1967–2010” (free access), by Bradford M. Van Arnum and Michele I. Naples, presents a historical overview of the unprecedented growth of the financial sector and its implications on income inequality. The paper shows that income inequality has resulted primarily from a shift in the balance of power toward rentiers and away from workers. Declining profits and increased financialization led to cost pressures, including downward pressures on wages, decertification of unions, and rising recourse to imports.


The End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent

The End of Protest How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control DissentThe End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent explains how governments learned to unleash market forces while also avoiding protest about the market’s failures.
The US has just gone through the worst economic crisis in a generation. Why wasn’t there more protest, as there was in other countries? During the United States’ last great era of free-market policies, before World War II, economic crises were always accompanied by unrest. Alasdair Roberts (Suffolk University Law School) convincingly argues that in the last three decades, the two countries that led the free-market revolution—the US and Britain—have invented new strategies for dealing with unrest over free market policies. The organizing capacity of unions has been undermined so that it is harder to mobilize discontent. The mobilizing potential of new information technologies has also been checked. Police forces are bigger and better equipped than ever before. And technocrats in central banks have been given unprecedented power to avoid full-scale economic calamities.
Tracing the histories of economic unrest in the US and UK from the 19th century to the present, the book shows that governments have always been preoccupied with the task of controlling dissent over free market policies. But today’s methods pose a new threat to democratic values. For the moment, advocates of free-market capitalism have found ways of controlling discontent, but the continued effectiveness of these strategies is by no means certain.


“How Numbers Rule the World: The Use and Abuse of Statistics in Global Politics” — on the agendas underpinning statistics and those who control them

“How Numbers Rule the World: The Use and Abuse of Statistics in Global Politics” reveals the agendas underpinning the use of statistics and those who control themCredit ratings steer financial markets and can make or break the future of entire nations. GDP drives our economies. Stock market indices flood our media and national debates. But what is behind these numbers?  In How Numbers Rule the World: The Use and Abuse of Statistics in Global Politics Lorenzo Fioramonti (University of Pretoria) shows how numbers have been used as a means to reinforce the grip of markets on our social and political life, curtailing public participation and rational debate. His main concerns are economists and, perhaps even more, the people who ask questions of economists and statisticians. The sharpness of his argument is summed up when he says that “the complexity of social relations is lost through the cracks of mathematical algorithms”. This original, scholarly without ostentation, book is consequently largely about power, rather than numbers.

Watch Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti’s a key note address at the annual conference of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Here also a radio interview with him, about the hidden agendas which may underpin the use of statistics, affecting the way we deal with poverty and sustainability



How the banks ignored the lessons of the crash | Joris Luyendijk | Business | The Guardian

 spent two years talking to hundreds of City insiders. They revealed how close we came to disaster – and how quickly finance went back to business as usual

…If you blame the crash on character flaws in individuals you imply that the system itself is fine


“If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.”


World Inequality Report 2018: Great Data, Bright Analysis, Perturbing Reality 




How The Economist thinks: The journal always strives not to risk conclusions that may hurt the case for unregulated markets — by Nathan J. Robins

How during the 20th century health insurance initiatives shifted from protecting patients to an industry seeking profit — by Elisabeth Rosenthal

Financialization of the economy obstructed Climate Change mitigation: Evidence from the 1980s US solar industry — by Max Jerneck





circular-flow Macroeconomics Problems can affect the economy in a major way. This article on Macroeconomics Problems highlights the causes and effects of those problems in detail.


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Entropia economica espressa in funzione dell'attività economica e dell'emissione monetaria, per un dato sistema economico e per prefissata velocità di circolazione.

In figura 1, è rappresentato l’aspetto dell’entropia, in funzione dell’attivitàeconomica e dell’emissione monetaria, per un prefissato sistema economico con una data velocità di circolazione. Come abbiamo visto per la ricchezza e il livello dei prezzi, il colore rosso della superficie tridimensionale rappresentata indica la condizione di deflazione da debiti. La figura mostra che l’entropia ha un andamento sempre crescente sia con l’attività economica, sia con l’emissione monetaria.


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What is the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics?

microeconomics macroeconomics economics


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Il grafico illustra gli effetti della variazione della preferenza per la liquidità sia sul regime di funzionamento di un sistema economico sia sul livello dei prezzi e sul reddito

Legenda simboli
m – Emissione monetaria unitaria sfin Entropia finanziaria
N  – Velocità degli scambi umedio Reddito medio (in rapporto a mè l’entropia economica)
ζ – Preferenza per la liquidità α – Rapporto tra emissione di moneta ed emissione critica
p – Probabilità di avere successo in ogni scambio F – Fattore monetario
ir Tasso d’interesse critico (o reale)


Animazione degli effetti prodotti dall'emissione monetaria e dalla preferenza per la liquaidità su un sottosistema economico.

Esempio 2



Is the flow of money diverted?:

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Income distribution

The model of dynamic economy is inspired by the analysis of the distribution of income . In this phase of analysis, it has been seen, at the time, that a heterogeneous economic system consists of several subsystems , each characterized by different values ​​of monetary emission , exchange rates and preference for liquidity . Now we want to show how these parameters determine both the distribution of income and the level of prices . The latter, in truth, also depends on the intensity of economic activity and thebehavior of the operators.

To do this, two graphical examples will be used, each of which shows the effect of the issue of money, assuming that the preference for liquidity remains unchanged.This hypothesis is, in reality, a big simplification because the preference for liquidity is inversely proportional to the economic activity which, in turn, depends on the trust of the operators.


Example 1


Symbols legend
m – Unitary monetary issue s fin Financial entropy
N  – Trading speed u medium Average income (in relation tom is the economic entropy )
ζ – Liquidity preference α – Ratio between money issuanceand critical issue
p – Probability of being successful in every exchange F – Monetary factor
i r Critical interest rate (or real)


Example 2

The first of the two examples concerns a subsystem characterized by a trade speed of 30; the second, a sub-system with trade speed equal to 6. For the type of choice made, therefore, the first example could refer to the category of small entrepreneurs and artisans, the second to workers. Each chart is divided into three parts: below, thedistribution of income parameterised to the monetary issue is shown ; immediately above, the economic regime in which the system in question is located is reported ; at the top is the price level in relation to the monetary issue that reaches the subsystem.

The first thing you notice is that income distribution is not continuous but discrete .Only when the system is operating at full capacity , with values ​​of the monetary factorF next to unity, the distribution can be approximated well by a continuous distribution (indicated by the red dotted line). The cause of this type of income distribution is theprinciple of maximum entropy .

In fact, the income distribution obtained is the one that has the maximum entropy and therefore the maximum probability of occurring. In order for this to happen, all possible income distributions need to differ from each other for a finite entropy value .A continuous distribution can not occur for two reasons. First of all, both the units that make up the system and the number of exchanges in the reference period ( the speed of exchanges ) are finite. Furthermore, each exchange , being irreversible, must introduce a finite increase in entropy . If this were not the case, the variations in entropy were infinitesimal, a very large number of exchanges could occur without any increase in entropy , that is without any change in the probability that it could define a distribution of income , against the common sense that a certain number of exchanges, based on its outcome, is able to significantly influence the distribution of wealth.

The consequence of this fact is that the distribution of income is quantized and it is shown that said exchange rate is precisely the preference for liquidity . This, in fact, asKeynes has shown, has three motives : transactional , precautionary and speculative . It is on the second motive, the precautionary one , that we want to dwell on it because it, among the three, was the most underestimated by the economic doctrine. What is theprecaution that the units of an economic system put in place? Certainly, it is the condition that all the units put in place to protect themselves from the state of necessity , that condition, for which, in the absence of resources, they are destined to die.

Then, each unit, always tries to grab, not any value of wealth, but a determined one: the resources that it takes to live. He certainly does not refuse to receive any fraction, but does not consider the exchange concluded, until he has reached that threshold: the amount of exchange . And it is not content to receive only one, but how many more exchange of this kind, to keep the state of necessity as far as possible.Observe, now, that this amount of exchange depends on the speed of the exchanges , because, the higher it is, the smaller the fraction it needs to reach its goal of keeping away the state of necessity. Conversely, if the speed of trade is small, we need a whatgreater to obtain the necessities of life. In addition, this exchange rate is all the greater the lower the economic activity , because in such conditions it is more difficult to find the indispensable for living. The situation is not unlike the quantization of energy exchanges that occurs in quantum physics, in which the energy transitions occur between stationary states , ie configurations in which the energy level is stable because only constructive interference occurs , and below the energy level more low, the fundamental state , nothing can exist.

Observe, in the example, how the relative importance of the preference for liquidity is reduced more and more to the growth of wealth, while it assumes an increasingly decisive relevance in all the other possible operating conditions of the economy, via, via it moves away from this optimal condition.

It is now necessary to specify the operating regimes indicated in the central bar:deflation of debts , pre-deflation, liquidity trap and regime. Pre-deflation is a condition of severe depression in the economic system, characterized by a low level of circulating money and a high preference for liquidity . It is, in essence, a state of absolute poverty but, in which, yet, the debt is not yet widespread. The debt deflation is the worst condition, which sum, poverty, the debt . From pre-deflation to deflation, the step is short if the units, in order to sustain themselves, are forced into debt .

The liquidity trap occurs, however, when the rate of critical interest i r , as identified by Keynes, it is too high. This interest rate, in the economic model , far from being a subjective factor, is an endogenous variable of the economic system, uniquely determinable on the basis of the monetary issue and the preference for liquidity . An economic system that remains, over time, in conditions of liquidity trap , slides progressively towards pre-deflation and, therefore, towards debt deflation .

The condition of the regime is that in which everything is all right and note how, at the top of the diagram, the representative point of the economic system is closer to the dotted thin line. This dotted line is representative of the Quantitative Theory of Money(TQM). It follows that TQM is an economic theory that describes well -functioning economic systems well . However, it is not able to describe the other operating regimes we have seen. In particular, the monetarist theory that attaches itself to the TQM considers that the other conditions of economic functioning are only the result of distortions, incapacity and ineptitude. For example, unemployment is labeled voluntary, due to people who do not want to work or, as someone says, to paraphrase Keynes inappropriately, affected by leisure time preference .

The econodynamic model shows, instead, that all the above conditions are the effect of the way in which the economic system is managed and, in particular, the way in which measures are taken to face the way in which the economic entropy varies , the maximization of which is , always and in all circumstances, is the only responsible for the occurrence of all the economic regimes seen above and the way in which income isdistributed .

The chart at the top of each example shows, furthermore, that the price level is not directly correlated, as claimed by the monetarists, to the monetary issue. This is true only under regime conditions . In all other cases, we see that the price level in relation to the monetary issue does not remain constant, as predicted by the monetarists, but varies a lot according to the relative importance of the preference for liquidity . In particular, it is evident that when an economic system is depressed or, worse still, in a state of debt deflation , when the prevailing activity is the sale of the same productive activities, the price level is lowered much compared to the TQM . Even the average income, compared to the monetary issue, is not maintained equal to the speed of the exchanges and this occurrence takes place only in conditions close to operating at fullcapacity . The thesis, therefore, that the control of the currency is able to effectively regulate an economic system, by means of rigid monetary policies , is the very source of recurrent crises of our day.

We need, therefore, another approach to the implementation of cooperative and flexible actions , certainly also of a monetary nature, but selectively calibrated tointervene on the systems in difficulty and mitigate the imbalances that are at the origin of those operating regimes antithetical to same idea of wellbeing according tocommon sense .



Non-cooperative choices and commercial imbalances

The ‘ economic entropy is a measure of information on economic demand. It always tends to be maximized, compatibly with the constraints present and this makesinformation incomplete , because every transaction, being, by its nature, irreversible , gives rise to loss of information . The currency definitively extinguishes every transaction; in fact, with the sale of money at the end of a transaction, every need to evaluate any other future evolution ceases .

However, the currency also has a credit character , ie it can be loaned at a giveninterest rate to allow the expansion of production activities. The interest portion is, however, a missing currency that generates credit , on the one hand, and debt , on the other. If the currency corresponding to the interest quota does not exist , because no one issues it, the system needs additional information on its future evolution .

It is no coincidence that the term ” entropy “, in Greek, means ” evolution “.Therefore, those in credit have a greater entropy because they require information on the evolution of their investment. On the other hand, when an economic system possesses an excess of non-extinguishing debt through the circulating currency , it loses the possibility of access to certain states; therefore, its entropy level is reduced and the information acquired loses its meaning, since many things can no longer be done, as they are inaccessible.


Figure 1

In Figure 1, it is represented the appearance of ‘ entropy, as a function of’ activitieseconomic and dell ‘ monetary emission , for a prefixed sato economic system with a given velocity of circulation . As we have seen for the richness and the level of prices , the red color of the three-dimensional surface represented indi c in the condition ofdebt deflation . The figure shows that entropy has an ever-increasing trend both with economic activity and with monetary issuance .

The increase in economic activity increases the number of configurations that the system can take. In this case entropy increases because the number of alternative states (microstates) or replicas of the system that can give rise to the samemacroeconomic configuration increases . The higher this number of replicas, the greater the probability that the macro configuration can be reached . This indicates, however, that the probability of the occurrence of a single replica is also very low and the information on the system state is all the more relevant the smaller the probability is.It is natural that every operator wishes to find himself in a reply favorable to him; so that the expected information grows as the number of possible replicas of the system increases.

The increase in monetary issuance tends not only to amplify the working capital destined to the expansion of productive activities, but also the missing interest share,which, in turn, depends on the interest rate , on whose evolution, the operators cheap want to get information. It follows that since the information that the economic operators need is greater , entropy is higher .

Another effect of economic entropy, which must be taken into account, is thatliquidity moves from systems with higher monetary issuance to systems with lower monetary issuance . In other words, this is equivalent to saying that those who depress their demand for goods tend to acquire liquidity from other systems , in the absence of other constraints ( protectionism ), those who increase their demand for goods tend to sell liquidity outside of your system.

Therefore, to place itself in a position of commercial advantage, it is necessary toreduce the monetary issue . This reduction can be implemented in two different ways: either by reducing the value of money – a monetary devaluation – or by reducing the circulating currencyan internal devaluation .

The first mode quickly restores trade balance , except for a transitional calledovershooting which, in practice, represents the time required for entropy to be maximized as a result of the sudden change in the system constraints . The second way is that on which we want to make light and which is implemented when we do not have monetary sovereignty .

Imagine, now, an economic system that has a lower monetary emission than others. It can be found in this configuration following an internal devaluation made before the competing systems, to seek a position of advantage. This action, which appears unfair , is also a rational choice due to the need to reduce the economic information required by the operators , so as to be able to manage the economic systemmore efficiently , when the criterion of non-cooperative competitiveness between economic systems prevails. . In this way, in fact, this type of economic system favors the expansion of internal production activities by favoring the reduction of the interest rate on loans and, in doing so, also favors the expansion of its financial activities towards foreign countries, in a that they can benefit from the differential in interest rates.

A system of this kind operates, therefore, with the aim of exporting more of the competitors and importing less. When it acquires liquidity deriving from exports, in the form of a positive current account, it may decide to convert it into a circulating currency,or into capital destined for other growth, in particular, financial external . If the first possibility were to prevail, since the system was originally at a low level of monetary emission, the increase in circulation would entail a large increase in entropy, thus increasing the degree of disorder and, ultimately, the missing information that would undermine the organization, based on efficiency , of the system. Therefore, theunilateral choice , conducted under conditions of incomplete information , is tounilaterally optimize the growth of entropy . To do this, it is sufficient to increase both productive and financial activities and a simultaneous containment of internal monetary emission . The system, so to speak, cools itself by expanding .

The system in competitive advantage, therefore in surplus , is, therefore, induced to make the choice to maintain the low monetary emission, to optimize the economic entropy that produces incompleteness of the information due to the non-cooperative behavior . In subsequent cycles, this system will always operate in the same way.

On the other hand, another economic system in trade deficit and which has interacted with the system in competitive advantage must yield to it liquidity .

Let us now specify that a system that yields liquidity outside always reduces its entropy . To be clear, this concept is completely analogous to that valid in thermodynamics: a system that transfers heat outside always reduces its entropy .Understanding this is fundamental in the dynamic economy and for the evaluations that follow.

The deficit system begins to feel the reduction of economic entropy , ie it begins to warn that certain configurations can no longer be reached, and to increase it it tries, initially, to increase its monetary emission and contracts in decreasing – because, for the first principle of dynamic economy , to increase wealth we need to reduce growthwhen liquidity is sold outside. Try, as it were, to warm up by contracting , as a cold animal does. In doing so, however, it amplifies the imbalance with the system in competitive advantage, because it yields more liquidity, due to the increase in the monetary issue differential.

When he realizes that the imbalance is unbridgeable with the aforementioned strategy, he is forced to apply another one: he begins to reduce his monetary emission to the maximum to expand too; that is, it attempts a fierce internal devaluation with the aim of achieving growth .

The problem is that a deficit system does not have internal energy – that is wealth – to expand and can do so only by generating a strong internal imbalance between its subsystems . In other words, it can do so only at the cost of creating strong inequalitieswithin it, by impoverishing, and abandoning altogether, a considerable part of its economic system. In other words, in order to expand it, it must do so to the detriment of the weaker party, hoping that the strongest part can, by itself, perform the miracle of hanging up.

In addition to being fierce and inhumane, such action is purely illusory, because the internal entropic gap that is generated in the system can only be sustained by internal constraints (laws and binding rules) that are very strong that depress the system even more and generate tensions. internally progressively unsustainable. Nor, certainly, the surplus system is willing to give up ground, because it has no intention of cooperating , when cooperation is banned for practice .

This tendency is then favored by the fact that the surplus system has expanded also through the action of own capital that have reached the deficit system . These capitals took away much of the financial activity that was formerly the prerogative of the financial subsystems of the deficit system . These subsystems, now, have very few outlets except those to act within the deficit system itself, replacing those activities that were previously assigned to the monetary issue, through public services , aimed at ensuring the well-being of citizens. Now the internal financial activities want, indeed, they pretend, in order to survive, to replace the State and they are the ones who start the internal imbalance .

The entropic gap that is created is the evidence of the formation of debt , on the one hand, and credit , on the other. It should be noted that this occurs both within thedeficit system and between the surplus and deficit systems .

However, when one or more subsystems enter the region of debt deflation , they can no longer honor any debt and initiate a disastrous domino effect that triggers afinancial crisis that also involves the surplus system . Observe how, in figure 1, the region of debt deflation is expanding more and more to the contraction of the monetary issue and interest systems with economic activity via, increasing way.

All this disarray, which we are experiencing today, has its origins in unilateralchoices , carried out under conditions of incomplete information , between national economic systems that operate, in the absence of cooperation , according to the paradigm of international competition : the myth of nations that compete economically between they like a public limited company.

If a public company fails, it leaves the market. And if this happens to a nation, what do you do?

Published by Salvatore Buzzanca at 1:02 pm

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Wednesday 25 November 2015

The endogenous coin


The wealth produced in monetary terms

We have seen in the previous post that the Quantitative Currency Theory (TQM)does not take into account the risk of triggering debt deflation . However, although this is the most serious condition, it is certainly not the only critical condition that an economic system can go through. In fact, before it can be achieved, the economic system goes through phases of gradually increasing gravity that eventually lead to the deflationary region .

Let us now examine the identity of Fisher’s trade : P · Q = v · M. In this equality, the product P · Q is the wealth produced and coincides with the circulating currency v · M. One of the basic hypotheses of the monetarist model, which refers to TQM, is that the speed of circulation is constant , since it is linked to institutional factors and, precisely, private law , which affect the functioning of the various economic figures of a complex system.

It is, in fact, obvious that the business subsystem should have a higher circulation speed than that of workers, banks still higher than companies, financial intermediaries even higher than banks. Thus, the only constant multiplicative effect of the velocity of circulation would be sufficient to determine the quantity of circulating money . It is said, in this case, that the circulating currency has an exogenous nature because it is uniquely determined by the external input to the system constituted by the money supply by the Central Bank.

What has been said, however, is true only when the economic system is operating to the maximum of its production capacities. It is no longer true if the economic system tends to contract following exogenous factors that induce uncertainty in the operators.

As we have seen in the case of the price level , we can construct a three-dimensional diagram: economic activity – monetary issue – produced wealth (or circulating currency ). In this three-dimensional diagram, using the conclusions of TQM, a plan should be obtained with a position parallel to the axis of economic activity, represented in Figure 1 with the color green. Under these conditions, it is noted that the wealth produced depends only on the monetary issue . According to this vision, the wealth thus produced is, however, only nominal, since the final productionlevel should be obtained at the balance between supply and demand .


Figure 1

The level of real prices of products and of the work needed to produce them – thesalary – depends on the occurrence of the balance between supply and demand and the way in which the monetary issue is governed , that is, the supply of money for productive activities. The control of the issue of money is functional to guarantee a level of real prices lower than that of the competitors , so as to make the economic systemmore competitive , internationally, with the aim of increasing its real wealth , ie the one that it is formed in the dynamics of exchanges . This is achieved by acting on themonetary issue . On the contrary, we will see later on that it is precisely the monetary issue, in particular that associated with public spending , the determining factor in international competition. Countries that have a more rigid control of the monetary issue and, therefore, a more rigid control of public budget deficits , are always ahead of their competitors.

So far, the description made refers to an economic system that operates to the maximum of its production capacity. However, if an economic system is ahead of the others, the latter will obviously be at a disadvantage . Within the systems that are on the supply side, uncertainty begins to be generated by the fact that its production activity is undergoing a contraction: the companies sell less and remain indebted to the banks; the banks detect suffering that translates into loans that are less and less payable. The dynamic model shows that entropy decreases, an obvious sign thataccessible states are reduced .

Also in figure 1 , the red-celestial surface is reported, obtained by applying thedynamic economy model , derived from the application of the principle of maximum entropy . The red region is that of debt deflation . If we look at the celestial surface we notice that it tends to move closer and closer to the green plane (TQM) when economic activity tends to grow more and more. Therefore, the Quantitative Theory of Money and the dynamic economy model tend to coincide when the economic system is well developed.

However, there is a part of the celestial surface that differs quite a lot from the trend foreseen by the TQM. This deviation is all the stronger the more economic activity is contracted and tends to reach the region of debt deflation . The latter is always present, for any level of economic activity, when the monetary issue is too much contracted. This region, close to the deflationary region, may be called the pre-deflation region .

The economic systems that have suffered the negative action of a commercial imbalance therefore begin to move on the celestial surface towards the deflationary region and the deviation from the green surface (model TQM) becomes stronger and stronger. Under these conditions, the dynamic economy model shows that the generation of the working capital can no longer be considered exogenous, that is, governable by the rigid control of the currency described for the systems to the maximum of their productive capacities. Under these conditions, the generation of the working capital depends on an endogenous (internal) factor in the system: thepreference for liquidity . In truth, the model of dynamic economy shows that always the circulating is caused by the endogenous factor preference for liquidity which, however, tends to become less and less influential to the increase of economic activity.

It is therefore noted that the circulation speed is not always constant . To be more precise, the speed of institutional circulation, that is, the functions performed by various economic agents – workers, entrepreneurs, bankers, financiers – remain unchanged but the effective speed of circulation is reduced with the increase in the preference for liquidity that subtracts money circulating generating, instead, stagnant currency in the form of savings . The effective circulation speed is reduced, not due to the behavior of the agents, but due to the interruptions of the monetary circuit produced by the preference for liquidity. It is true that the latter are put back into circulation through financial assets (eg stock market securities), but these, under conditions of high preference for liquidity, are no longer oriented towards production activities, which are depressed by the reduction in demand of assets whose savings are due, but are oriented towards short-term speculative activities ( short termism ).

The economic model, in the pre-deflation region , intermediate between the debt deflation condition and the condition of maximum use of productive activities follows in a very faithful way the Keynesian theory of liquidity preference. In this region, as you can see from Figure 1 , economic activity is contracted. This is not because economic operators are sluggish , but because their growth is counteracted by something else : the spread of private debt and the concomitant monetary stagnation not used in productive investments. Both these causes reduce the possibility of growth , ie the development of productive activities.

The solution would be “to get the capitals from abroad” but these capitals represent a financial growth of the foreign system and a decrease of the national financial systems that see, therefore, further contracted their possibility of action in the future. There would be another solution, but it is a heresy to talk about it today. It ispublic spending, in budget deficits by the state (when it is sovereign), which generatesdevelopment through monetary emission accompanied by growth . Why is it a heresy?Because the current reference paradigm between nations is competition at all costs, notcooperation . Everyone must become competitive to export … Where? On the moon?

Published by Salvatore Buzzanca at 7:27 pm

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Saturday 21 November 2015

The price level


The TQM and the dynamic economy model

The Quantitative Theory of Money (TQM) is an economic modeling that leads back to the identity of Fisher’s exchanges . According to this modeling, an increase in the money supply always leads to an increase in the price level . It is therefore appropriate for the Central Bank to state its monetary policy objectives in such a way as to determine the price level considered optimal for the entire economic system.

This vision is effective only if the economic system is already widely developed and economic activity is intense. Under these conditions, to use the concepts of the prevailing economic concept, the productive factors are used to the maximum.

The model of dynamic economics , however, shows that this approach overlooks the emergence of a very dangerous condition for economic systems: debt deflation .

To understand well what we mean, it is good to consider the identity of Fisher exchanges :

P · Q = v · M

In this very simple equality the following quantities appear:

–          P is the price level , ie the weighted average price of products, with weighting factors equal to the quantities of each product;

–          Q is total production or economic activity , in a unitary time, comprising both tangible and intangible assets in the form of services; among these also the work activity;

–          v is the velocity of circulation , that is, the number of passages made by the coin, from hand to hand, in the predetermined interval of time in whicheconomic activity Q develops ;

–          M is the money supply by the Central Bank; if the monetary multiplier is included in the velocity of circulation, it coincides with the monetary issue .

It is not difficult to see that, if the constant circulation speed and the factors of production committed to the maximum of their production capacities are assumed, theprice level is obtained from the simple relation:

P = v · M / Q

By reporting in a three-dimensional diagram, economic activity – monetary issue – price level , the obtained relationship is obtained a surface, which is made up of a hyperbolic hyperboloid, indicated in green in Figure 1 .

Figure 1

The characteristic of this dependence on the price level from the monetary issue shows that, when economic activity tends to wane, the price level tends to grow asymptotically and this asymptotic trend is manifested by any level of monetary emission.

This means that an economic system in which economic activity contracts more and more, that is, is in decline, is always led to an increase in price levels . This appears to be in contradiction with empirical evidence, as the decline of our days has so far been accompanied, not by an increase in prices, but by their reduction: deflation .

There must therefore be a mechanism for the formation of the price level of a nature other than the simple identity of the Fisher trade . This identity, in eff and cts, is believed to be true because it is a simple accounting identity ; however its validity depends on the way in which economic information is transferred and reaches the individual units. It is therefore only true when the information reaches all the operators and they are able to make choices consistent with the information that comes to them.

The principle of maximum entropy , which takes into account the way in which information is transferred, makes it possible to infer an alternative model to that of TQM. Precisely, the price level varies much more widely than expected from the latter. The trend predicted by the dynamic economy model is shown in Figure 1 and consists of the red-celestial surface in the three-dimensional diagram of economic activity – monetary issue – price level .

It is noted that, when the economic activity is very intense, the prices tend to decrease with the ‘ increase of that activity, in much the same way as provided by TQM. In fact, the green surface (TQM model) and the celestial (econodynamic model) tend to get confused when the economic activity is very large .

Things go very differently when economic activity contracts. In fact, it is noted that the price level grows less than theorized by the TQM and, for fixed monetary emission , reaches a maximum (in correspondence of the passage between the celestial color and the red) and then the price level begins to decrease, first slowly, then very quickly.

The part of colored surface of red is the region of debt deflation . The dynamic economy model shows that in this region every increase in economic activity immediately translates into a sale of money outside , a very clear symptom ofwidespread debt .

Once an economic system enters this region, it behaves like a strongly depressedsystem and is destined for economic collapse. To come out of the red colored region would require an increase in economic activity, such as to bring it back to the celestial region, that is a sharp increase in economic activity, very abrupt. This, however, is made impossible by the extreme slope of the price level trend that induceshyperinflation . Hyperinflation occurs even when trying to issue more money. Only a mighty monetary issue, accompanied by growth, that is a strong non-gradualdevelopment , but extremely powerful, can revive a system of this kind. The history of Germany in the first post-war period (Weimar’s hyperinflation) and after the Second World War (Marshall Plan) shows us that this is precisely what happens to an economic system conducted in a state of deflation of debts . Even the history, more recent, of Argentina, first with its hyperinflation, then with its failure, makes us believe that this model is correct.

Observing the red region, ie the deflation region , we note that it always extends more, up to affect levels of economic activity increasingly grand i , when the monetary emission tends to decrease . Indeed, it may be said that, with the same economic activity, an economic system can be conducted in the region debt deflation due to thecont ration of monetary emission by the Central Bank or due to a di.liquidità outflowwhich reduces the circulating coin . The model of dynamic economy indicates, in fact, that if the monetary issue, in which the units actually benefit , falls below the average value between the income related to the circulation speed and the preference for liquidity, the economic system enters in deflation by debts , because there is not enough money to allow the repayment of debts.
It is necessary to clarify why an accounting identity, like that of Fisher’s trade, can not be respected in the region of debt deflation and, even, in the region that precedes its achievement. The reason for this is attributable to the fact that accounting identity is only true when information on the way in which economic activity evolves , whichinfluences economic choices and which arrives through monetary prices, reaches all operators and allows they make complete and coherent choices. When, however, thelevel of indebtedness begins to spread, the states to which the units can access are drastically reduced, increasingly, as the level of indebtedness increases. Quest toeventuality is segnalat to it the model of dynamic economy by the fact that ‘ economic entropy gets smaller and smaller . This makes it unusable l ‘ Information and traders can not make consistent and complete policies as a result of the shrinking of accessible states, which rend and more evident as the spectrum of necessity from which ess i want to keep afar i ; is  attributions SOEC, thus, the importance gradually increasing liquiditywith REDU tion of accessible states.

Under these conditions, the monetarist theory, according to which the money is neutral , no longer has any validity. In fact, the M / P ratio, the so-called real monetary balance , varies considerably with the change in the monetary issue and is therefore not more related only to the economic system, but also to the way in which it tends toevolve .



The monetary issue

The first step, to understand the functioning of the dynamic economy model that we propose, is to understand from which macro parameters the evolution of income of an economic system depends. As we have already mentioned, in an economic system, through the principle of maximum entropy, it is possible to evaluate the presence of different subsystems characterized by different parameters.

–          The speed of exchanges varies for each subsystem: a bank, a company or a worker have different rates of exchange, by virtue of their different roles.

–          The preference for liquidity, for each exchange, changes for each subsystem because, varying the speed of exchanges, the possibility for the individual to succeed in procuring what he needs to survive also varies.

In addition to the two parameters indicated above, there is a third, very important, which is represented
from the unitary monetary issue . This magnitude corresponds to the amount of legal currency issued in favor of a single unit of the economic system and passes, from hand to hand, through various subsystems (banks, companies, workers), according to a precise order that will be clarified later to reach and distribute itself in all the various subsystems.

The unitary monetary issue, due to this characteristic of passing from one subsystem to another, is also different for each subsystem and produces income, as well as on the basis of the speed of trade, also on the basis of the effects produced by the preference for liquidity. .

In the animated graph, shown below, is represented a hypothetical distribution of income of an economic system, consisting of only two subsystems. Each distribution, in each subsystem, is the one that inside it maximizes entropy .

We have indicated with N 1 and N 2 the speed of exchange, z 1 and z 2preferences for liquidity, with m 1 and m 2 the different unitary monetary emissions. In the animated graph, for the moment only hypothetical, we are indicating with r the fraction of the economic system with the highest income and we evaluate the effects on income produced by a contraction of monetary emission in a lower income system, such as that of workers, produced by a restrictive economic policy towards this subsystem.

In the chart, in ordinate, is the probability density and, in abscissa, income.

Influence of the change in unit monetary emission on the income of a subsystem of the economic system

Of course, none of us needs to be told that, by decreasing the issued currency, income decreases. However, the purpose of the example is to visualize not only how important the monetary issue is in the formation of income but, above all, in the formation of imbalances within an economic system. It should be noted that the reduction in issued currency has an immediate effect on the contraction of the average income , as well as its increase.


Liquidity: too much or too little?

One wonders if the cash , the liquid currency , which circulates from hand to hand in exchanges , can be replaced by something different that reduces its use in favor of other credit and debt instruments , without that altering the behavior of an economic system.

The answer would seem, of course, positive according to the common feeling and based on the now widespread experience of the use of tools such as credit and debit cards. Therefore, it would seem logical that, if this is possible in everyday life, this practice can be further extended in order to reduce the working capital as much as possible .

The decisive element for understanding the effects of the use of liquid moneysubstitutes , which constitute particular types of monetary aggregates , consists of thematurity of the debt associated with these instruments.


This maturity essentially characterizes the level of liquidity of the monetary instrument used. The shorter the maturity, the more liquid is the monetary instrument employed. In particular, the legal currency is the most liquid instrument because it has no maturity , since it extinguishes the debt in an instantaneous way, at the time of the exchange. As the debt maturity increases , the degree of liquidity decreases and themonetary aggregates begin to be associated with an underlying that represents a realeconomic activity . Not only that, when the temporal expiry increases the need for the other : we need guarantees and, ultimately, information on how the debt evolves .

Legal currency


The current trend is to identify the currency with different possible forms ofmonetary aggregate . We move from the monetary base defined as M0, to other increasingly complex types, M1, M2, M3, M4 also including deposits and, then, bonds and so on, up to very illiquid monetary aggregates, in those countries where one lives only of private debt . In this way, the definition of money is, so to speak, blurred and indefinite. If you ask, at first glance, to an economist what the currency is, you will be asked to answer “which coin?” . And this because it does not distinguish what really ismoney from what it is, however, another thing: a well-defined type of economic activity. Thus, what is associated with a loan or a debt is identified with money .

To solve this conceptual knot, therefore, a more precise definition of what moneyreally is is necessary ; in the current vision, this is possible only by resorting to the concept of monetary aggregate that tends to aggregate things that can be very different from one another. It should, in fact , discern and separate it from the concept currencywhat, really, is economic activity . To achieve this, it should be noted, first of all, that every economic activity always arises from the formation of a debt . And associated with a debt there is always a credit ; and it is on this particular interaction between thedebtor and the creditor that it is necessary to investigate, since it is the states to which these two figures have access to cause problems caused by indeterminacy anduncertainty .

The creditor is a figure that, however you want to define it, is mobilizing liquidityin its possession towards a form of activity that becomes illiquid because, for a certain time , obliges the creditor to move away from the held liquidity . The creditor replacesits liquidity with a title , ie a contract which sets out all the expenses of the debtor and, among these, there is the interest rate , which is the main reason why he is demobilizing cash : get other liquidity . The interest rate , if the creditor is not a dumb, can not be less than the probability that the debtor has to fail and not to honor thecontract stipulated with the creditor . Otherwise, the creditor does not lend and prefers to immobilize its liquidity ; on an aggregate level , when this happens, liquidity trapmanifests itself .

The probability that the debtor has to honor the contract depends only partly on his skill or, as we say today, on his productivity , because this probability also depends on the amount of money , ie the liquidity , that the debtor can recover in the exchangesgenerated from your own business. If we imagine, for a moment, that liquidity is water , it is clear that no debtor , however good and productive , has any chance of success if he operates in a desert area . In this case, in spite of his efforts, he will never be able to return the water he has been given, plus the extra something that is the interest , because to start his own business, he will have to give up the liquid received, on the occasion of the loan. , also to others (suppliers and contractors). They, in a desert, are horribly thirsty and, very hardly, return it to him in exchange for something he offers him, because there this liquid thing has a very high value. The debtor , on the other hand, is much more likely to succeed if he goes to a place where there is a lot of water, even if he is not particularly good and productive .

The money must be, therefore, something that allows for a reduced time , compatible with the production activities of the borrower , it can be recovered to enable the return to the lender and the ‘ extinction debt . It’s money any guarantees provided by an authority figure undisputed and indisputable – to say the sovereign – and this issuedand circulated through monetary channels institutional , in any part of the system , so as to allow its holder to wipe out all debt after an exchange, in a short time, that does not involve the need for additional information on how the debt evolves .

If the debt can not be extinguished , the causes are either that the debtor is incapableor that there is not enough money in the economic system, or in a part of it . As long as we reason in microeconomic terms , according to a business logic , the first possibility is the most accredited because, at the micro level , a single company can never effectively alter the circulating currency , since it can not be compared with the aggregate whole.

If, however, the reasoning is done by referring to an aggregate system , things change radically because it becomes much less likely that everyone is unproductive and lazy. On the contrary, it is much more probable that economic activity , and thereforeproductivity , is contracted because there is not enough money circulating in a substantialpart of the economic system. That is, there is a lack of money that can be recovered topay off the debt which, now, always on an aggregate level , recondited and extended more and more over time , introducing increasingly complex securities and forms of debt management associated with the underlying . These titles would support the currency , but they lack a fundamental property: the ability to extinguish all the debt , which, however, remains. In this case, the states to which debtors and creditors accesschange: debtors can do less and less things; first of all to request other financing ; thecreditors are forced either to sell the credit agreements (the titles ), perhaps packaging them in multiple forms attractive for investors not noticed, most unscrupulous or naive, such as securitization (or a Bad Bank ), or a frantic and continuous demand d ‘information on how the debt evolves .

The progressive alignment and substitution of the most liquid monetary forms, asa legal currency amplified by the circulation speed and payments through securities in a limited time , with ever less liquid monetary aggregates , leads to a lengthening of the time in which the debt expires . This increased time required to pay off the debtindicates that, in the economic system aggregate, is gradually replacing something that would be able to adjust the system with fast , that is a state variable of the system, something that, however, depends on the ‘ evolution of the system itself. For this purpose, the first principle of dynamic economy is concerned :

v circulation of circulating currency = liquidity – growth.

We see that the circulating currency , in substance wealth , contracts when thegrowth of assets increases , including financial capital , and is stable or, worse, liquidityis reduced . While the currency , if issued correctly through the right money channel , and the preference for liquidity , ie the propensity to save , jointly determine the status of the system , the growth of financial assets does not univocally determine what the final status of the economic system will be. This is because the effect of growth can not be separated from the way in which liquidity varies , ie the level of demand , and, ultimately, the overall effects depend on how the dynamics of demand and supply evolve .In particular, the level of demand is strongly influenced by the way in which the units of the system implement savings, influenced by the preference for liquidity , the stronger the lower the liquidity present . In the example of water seen above, the more people are thirsty , the more difficult they will give up their water . If the propensity to save is high compared to consumer spending , financial assets will grow further and even thepresent liquidity will contract again, because there will be more debt .

An economic system conceived so as to contract the working is thus intended to be screwed into a growing debt spiral and with maturities more deferred over time , if missing, in some part of the system overall, issuance of currency which allows toextinguish for time . This money issue could come from the money channel of the banks,which, however, may be in a liquidity trap if there is too little money in the system, from the foreign currency channel of exports that can be blocked or worse, source ofoutflow monetary if the system is in a trade deficit . Finally, the only monetary channelthat could intervene discretionarily , addressing the problems insi you do lla dynamic has arisen, is the Treasury ; but this is useless if blocked by public budget constraints , implemented precisely to contract liquidity . It is therefore evident that a condition ofdepression of an economic system has as its cause the contraction of liquidity , and therefore of the level of demand , if the right money channels fail to maintain a correct flow in the path of money .

Paradoxically, this situation is desired rather than avoided, because the contraction of liquidity is implemented, according to the current economic concept, with the dual purpose, on the one hand, of making an economic system competitive , to place itself in a position of commercial advantage , from on the other hand, to increase the Gross Domestic Product , that is to say, to implement an increase in production activities and, consequently, in the financial ones, on the assumption that, in the long run , the general macroeconomic balance will still have to occur . The end result is that the current economic outlook, liquidity is always too much , when, in fact, is too little that he mightwhat a economic systems ga iano adequate stability and are not subject to recurrent crises .



Is alcohol the cause of income and wealth inequality?

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Market Rationality (under complete information, of course...)





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world inequality report piketty


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A ‪‎physicist‬, an ‪‎engineer‬ and an ‪‎economist‬ are stranded in the desert. They are hungry and find a can of corn. They want to open it, but how?
The physicist says: “Let’s start a fire and place the can inside the flames. It will explode and then we will all be able to eat”.
“Are you crazy?” says the engineer. “All the corn will burn and scatter, and we’ll have nothing. We should use a metal wire, attach it to a base, push it and crack the can open.”
“Both of you are wrong!” states the economist. “Where the hell do we find a metal wire in the desert?! The solution is simple: Assume we have a can opener…”     

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Noam Chomsky class war


(David C. Korten, an American economist and former Professor of the Harvard Business School)


balance sheet

AIG Vice Chairman Jacob Frenkel: “The left side of the balance sheet has nothing right and the right side of the balance sheet has nothing left. But they are equal to each other. So accounting-wise we are fine” (2008)


“If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.”


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Disintegration of the Arctic Ice Sheet:


The West Antarctic Ice Sheet contains about 2.2 million cubic kilometers of ice; enough to raise global sea levels by 3 to 4m. What’s making glaciologists nervous is that the ice rests on bedrock which is below sea level; this makes it vulnerable to attack from below by a warming ocean as well as attack from above by increasing air temperatures.
The systematic propaganda of the corporate media – its deep-rooted antipathy towards upholding proper journalistic standards in the public interest – extends to its coverage of human-induced climate change. The Independent recently delivered a masterpiece of headline obfuscation with:

‘World cools on global warming as green fatigue sets in.’

The news report said:

‘Only 49 per cent of people now consider climate change a very serious issue – far fewer than at the beginning of the worldwide financial crisis in 2009.’

As usual, there was no mention of the role of the corporate media as a leading cause of why ‘green fatigue’ has supposedly set in. No mention of the media’s shameful failure to explore root causes of the climate crisis, not least the elite-serving corporate globalisation that has taken humanity to the brink of disaster. Chris Shaw, a social sciences researcher at the University of Sussex, noted on Twitter that nor was there ‘any mention of the work of the merchants of doubt, paid for and acting on the behalf of corporate interests’.

…robust evidence shows that people systematically overestimate the probability of positive future contingencies, and underestimate the probability of negative ones — only those who are depressed or dysphoric come to accurate assessments…

Diogenes of Sinope must have practiced a sort of philosophical dysphoria.

I hope we can handle being the only thing left on the planet. We can pollinate our own crops like the Chinese, and bring back extinct species at will to be placed in zoos for our amusement. We can geoengineer the Earth ‘s atmosphere to fix what we’ve destroyed in a vain effort to maintain this colossal edifice of industrial civilization. We can genetically modify crops so as to try to adapt to the drastically altered environment we’re handing down to future generations, human and non-human. Better yet, we can genetically modify ourselves to survive within this toxic world we’ve created. There is no fucking end to our God Complex.

The End

Beisner said that Genesis dictates humans should “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” This disproves the opinion of the “anti-population growth” activists, according to Beisner, who adds that pollution is a natural byproduct of reality.

Subdue and destroy sounds more like it. The unfolding eco-apocalypse must also be a “natural byproduct of reality.” Such pronouncements sound more like the ramblings of a Jonestown cult leader, only this time it will lead to the extermination of the globe.

Red spikes like this must mean we are ascending to heaven and getting closer to God…


SOX – Sarbanes-Oxley reports that most global insurance companies are not prepared for the havoc that is to be unleashed from climate chaos:

…This could be disastrous for the global economy. As Ceres notes, the global economy would be paralyzed without insurance lubricating commerce. And since the insurance industry is also a major institutional investor-to the tune of $5 trillion-bad bets on companies exposed to climate change risk could erode insurers’ own balance sheets and their ability to cope with multiple Sandy’s in the years to come. Not to mention liability from litigation arising from customers such as power plant operators whose emissions contribute to climate change. “A substantial proportion of the revenue generated by insurers is derived from investment returns,” the Ceres report notes. “Just as climate change may substantially increase insured losses, it may also adversely affect the investment performance that insurers rely on to meet their liabilities.’

In his latest post, scientist Brad Jarvis talks about a “hard shutdown” versus a “graceful shutdown” of industrial civilization

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“When you cannot feed your children, you will do anything, even if it means going to war. This is the reality of climate change.” ~ Dr. James Orbinski

80% of the world’s productive agricultural land is in river deltas which are vulnerable to flooding from storm and tidal surges as well as salt penetration inland –as much as 20 km in some cases. Just 1 meter(3.28ft) of sea level rise(SLR) would threaten one third of this food-producing land and render nearly all the barrier islands of the world uninhabitable. (Overly-)Conservative estimates from the IPCC in 2013 predicted 1m of SLR rise by 2100, but the last two decades have seen global sea level increase more than twice as fast as it did in the 20th Century and only recently have scientists realized the true rate of SLR has been grossly underestimated(here and here). James Hansen (et al) has argued all along that 5 meters of sea level rise by the end of the century is possible, taking decades to happen rather than centuries. They conclude that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates. The last time CO2 levels were at 400ppm was during the Pliocene Era when sea level was 5 to 40m higher (16-131ft); unfortunately, Earth is warming 50 times faster than when it comes out of an ice age. Professor Harold R. Wanless who has studied the geologic sedimentary record says that we are in for a nasty surprise within this century



How Wealthy People Protect Their Money – The Atlantic

The most revealing information comes from the moments when people stop performing and go off-script. Like the time one of the wealth managers I interviewed in the British Virgin Islands lost his composure and threatened to have me thrown out of the country. His ire arose from an unexpected quarter:  He took offense to my use of the term “socio-economic inequality” in the two scholarly articles I had published on the profession. I thought the articles were typically academic, which is to say, the opposite of sensationalizing and of little interest to anyone outside my field.  But my suggestion that wealth managers might be connected to inequality in any way seemed alarmingly radical to this gentleman.

I was lucky that he merely threatened me. A journalist from Newsweek actually wasdeported from a different tax-haven island (Jersey) for her reporting there, and was banned from re-entering the island, or any part of the U.K., for nearly two years. Even though her story was unrelated to the financial-services industry, it was expected to bring negative publicity to the island, threatening its reputation as a place to do business. The message was therefore quashed by banishment of the messenger. The wealth-management industry does not mess around.

Wealth management is a profession on the defensive. Although many people have never heard of it, it is well known to both state revenue authorities and international agencies seeking to impose the rule of law on high-net-worth individuals. Those individuals—including the 103,000 people classified as “ultra-high-net-worth” based on having $30 million or more in investable assets—pay wealth-management professionals hefty fees to help them avoid taxes, debts, legal judgments, and other obligations the rest of the world considers part of everyday life. The general public doesn’t hear much about these professionals, since there are only a few of them worldwide (just under 20,000 belong to the main professional society) and they strive to keep a low profile, both for themselves and their clients.

But they are very much on the radar of regulatory agencies, due to the central role wealth management plays in tax avoidance. Media coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney noted that his $250 million personal fortune was spread out through a network of offshore trusts and bank accounts, lowering his effective income-tax rate to just under 15 percent. Few outlets, however, noted the professional interventions that made that happen: Mitt Romney employs at least one wealth manager to create and maintain those offshore shelters.

In designing my own research strategy, I was particularly inspired by the work of John van Maanen—now a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management—who famously did his doctoral research on a California police department in the early 1970s, not long after the Watts riots.  In this period of heightened anti-police sentiment, van Maanen found himself shut out: He received over 20 rejections to his requests to study police departments as an outsider looking in. But rather than giving up and picking another subject for his research, van Maanen did something extraordinary: He enrolled in the police academy and underwent the full training process to become a police officer, including going out on armed patrols. Only then did he build enough trust and cooperation with fellow officers to conduct his research.

From a practical point of view, my immersion in the field involved a lot less danger than van Maanen’s. I spent weeks in hotel conference rooms in Switzerland and Liechtenstein learning about trust and corporate law, financial investment, and accounting. Ultimately, this earned me the “Trust and Estate Planner” qualification (TEP): an internationally recognized credential in wealth management, much like the CPA for accountants. The process not only served to familiarize me with the field and its practices, but—most importantly—put me in face-to-face contact with wealth-management practitioners. We sat in class together, ate our meals together, and usually stayed in the same hotels. This offered plenty of opportunities for informal interaction, allowing me to collect descriptive data on the professional environment and to recruit people to participate in interviews. The credential I earned after two years was also my entry ticket to professional society meetings for wealth managers—more places where I could observe and recruit interview participants. Only by having the TEP credential in hand, or by showing I was enrolled in courses to obtain the credential, was I allowed to attend those meetings.

Like van Maanen, I disclosed my real name, institutional affiliation, and research aims throughout the research process; I did not, that is, go “undercover.” Whether I was attending classes or professional society meetings, I always wore a name tag that included my place of work, so it was clear that I was a scholar linked to a research institution. When I started, I didn’t know if anyone would talk with me at all. Somewhat to my surprise, the majority of practitioners I met were quite willing to talk, under condition of anonymity.

I have several theories about why this happened. First, I clearly was not and would never be a professional competitor, so telling me about their work lives and practices did not put them at a professional disadvantage. Second, chances were vanishingly small that I would ever cross paths with any of their high-net-worth clients, so the stories practitioners told me were unlikely ever to get back to those clients. Finally, people in a technically complex profession—especially one that carries some degree of social stigma—don’t have many opportunities to vent about their work lives with anyone: Their family and friends are unlikely to understand the nature of the work, and with professional peers, there would always be concerns about giving away “trade secrets” or violating client confidentiality. I didn’t pose any of those risks, but did have the advantage of understanding the profession well enough to follow along when practitioners told their stories. For wealth managers, talking with me may have been a bit like relating their life story to a stranger sitting next to them on a long flight: a way of telling the “war stories” that made them proud, as well as venting about their frustrations, within a bubble of safety created by the knowledge that we would both get up and walk away, never to see each other again.

Ultimately, I conducted 65 interviews in 18 countries, ranging from the traditional wealth management centers of Switzerland and the UK to the far-flung Seychelles, a cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean. Sometimes, it was a bit more of an adventure than I expected, but, true to Goffman, the worst experiences often provided interesting glimpses into the “backstage” areas of offshore finance. For example, I was robbed during my research trip in the Cook Islands; the circumstances were so frightening that I had nightmares about the incident for months afterward. After I finished giving my report to the police, I went for a walk, ending up at a small harbor where a Maori fisherman was cleaning his catch. I must have looked as dazed and traumatized as I felt, because he interrupted his work to ask me what was wrong. When I explained, he laughed and said that since the financial-services industry had grown so powerful on the island, crime rates had shot up. It was as though being in the business of evading the law had created a kind of contagion, corrupting island life even in aspects that had nothing to do with finance. “Everyone calls us the Crook Islands now,” he said.

As for wealth management’s wider impact, what I found over the course of this study—the results of which will be published next year in a book for Harvard University Press—was not only insight into the making of the vast wealth inequality growing around the world. There was also something bigger, and even more disturbing: a domain of libertarian fantasy made real, in which professional intervention made it possible for the world’s wealthiest people to be free not only of tax obligations but of any laws they found inconvenient.

Looking at a costly divorce? No problem—just hire a wealth manager to put your assets in an offshore trust. Then the assets are no longer in your name, and can’t be attached in a judgment. Even if a foreign court sought to break your trust, if you have a clever enough wealth manager, you can be made effectively judgment-proof. Consider the case of the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who has just settled what has been termed “the most expensive divorce in history.” Although a Swiss court initially awarded half of Rybolovlev’s roughly $9 billion fortune to his ex-wife, Elena, an appeals court later ruled that most of those assets are untouchable in the divorce settlement because they are held in trust or are otherwise inscrutable to the law. (The amount of the agreed-upon settlement has not been disclosed.)

Vulnerable to lawsuits? Have a wealth manager put your fortune into a Cook Islands asset-protection trust, as the Rothschilds and the less well-known wealthy families of the world have done. In effect, such trusts make these fortunes essentially immune from the application of inconvenient national laws. No litigant on earth has been able to break a Cook Islands trust, including the U.S. government, which has repeatedly been unable to collect on multi-million-dollar judgments against fraudsters convicted in federal court. These include infomercial king Kevin Trudeau, the author of a series of books on things “they” don’t want you to know, as well as an Oklahoma property developer who defaulted on his loans from Fannie Mae. Since 2007, the two have owed Uncle Sam $37.5 million and $8 million respectively, and they have employed some clever wealth-management strategies to avoid paying those judgments. With their fortunes secure in Cook Islands trusts—on paper, at least—there is no way for the U.S. government to force payment unless it wants to send a legal team on the 15-hour journey to Rarotonga (capital of the Cook Islands), where the case would be argued under local laws. Needless to say, those laws are not very favorable to foreigners seeking to access the assets contained in local trusts.

Tax avoidance—the perfectly legal practice of minimizing one’s tax obligations—is really the least of the wonders that wealth managers achieve for their clients. They can also help clients swap nationalities when holding the passport of a particular country means submitting to undesirable requirements. Remember when the Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his American citizenshipfor a Singaporean passport?  Classic wealth-management strategy. And thanks to the expanding number of practitioners, U.S. citizenship renunciations are at an all-time high, and growing. Finally, wealth managers can give their clients a kind of financial immortality, in the form of inheritances tied to the performance of certain duties by the heirs, such as going into the family business or producing grandchildren.

Some of the professionals I interviewed said they viewed their clients as friends, going on vacation with them, attending family weddings, and crying at their funerals. Others expressed contempt for the ultra-wealthy, and embarrassment at the ways in which wealth-management work contributes to their clients’ escape from the rule of law. One American I interviewed in Geneva told me of a group of his clients in Monaco who sincerely believed they were descended from the Pharoahs and were destined to inherit the earth; he said their utter boredom and decadence were such that their main sport was sleeping with each others’ wives. “I’ve told my colleagues,” he said, “if I ever become like our clients, just shoot me.” Another practitioner I spoke with, a graduate of Cambridge with a degree in history, said that he was deeply troubled by the ways the tax avoidance he facilitated contributed to the poverty of others in his clients’ home countries; he compensated by urging clients to donate to charity.

One woman—who formerly worked for Greenpeace and came to wealth management only by following her boyfriend to Switzerland and taking a job in his father’s firm—was still new enough to the profession to be deeply shocked by the extent of privilege enjoyed by her clients, many of whom possessed fortunes rivaling the GDPs of whole countries. These people, she said, are “above nationality and laws.” Asked to give an example, she related the story of an in-person consultation with a client who seemed to have found a way to ignore the laws of multiple countries with no negative consequences. The client was so powerful that he was able to extend this immunity from the law to this wealth manager and her boss, at least for the duration of time they were working for him:

I had to fly outside Europe with the CEO of my company to meet a client. I had switched handbags and left my passport in the bag at home. The client had sent a limo to take us to the airport in Zurich, and a private plane to take us to him. So at the airport, I discovered I didn’t have my passport and told the CEO I had to go home to get it. He said, “Don’t worry about it.” I said, “But we’re leaving Europe; I need my passport.” And he said, “Really, you don’t need it; you don’t need to go home.” So I figured okay, if the CEO tells me twice not to go get my passport, I won’t press the issue, and if I get detained and stuck at the airport, so be it. So we get on the plane in Zurich, and no one checked our documents. And then when we arrived at the client’s location, and there was just a limo waiting to take us directly to him. Nobody asked for our passports, even when we returned to Switzerland on the client’s jet. The CEO was right. These people, our wealthiest clients, are above the law…It’s potentially very dangerous.

The story was reminiscent of Joan Didion’s observation that “The secret point of money and power is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power’s sake…but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy.” Money itself does not make this freedom attainable, but the application of financial-legal expertise does. This is why the ultra-rich need wealth managers—to create the asset-protection trusts and offshore corporations for dodging debts and taxes, and the inheritance plans for making sure that wealth stays in the family, generation after generation.

Perhaps most importantly, the professionals ensure privacy for their clients. They keep the wealthy out of the newspapers and off the radar of regulatory authorities as much as possible. In keeping with this, wealth managers themselves keep an extremely low profile. Imagine the opposite of investment bankers and their well-appointed offices. Most of the wealth-management firms I saw were clean and tidy, but hardly impressive. Particularly in the offshore locales, wealth managers sat in shabby rooms that looked for all the world like something out of a Somerset Maugham tale, desks piled high with dusty files sporting labels such as “Rainy Day Trust.” Onshore, in the European and North American wealth-management centers, what passed for flash might be a signet ring or a pocket watch worn instead of a wristwatch: bat signals to members of a hereditary upper crust, but easily overlooked by others.

What these professionals most emphatically did not look like is people with control over millions in global capital flows. And yet that is exactly what they were. Call it the “banality of professional power”—the cultivation of a useful obscurity, which allows the very wealthy to exist in a realm of freedom verging on lawlessness. To the extent that this remains unknown and virtually unimaginable to everyone else, the realm will persist undisturbed. Public dialogue about inequality will remain stalled on the old tropes of “class war” and “envy” of the “wealth creators.” It may be more productive to turn the spotlight away from the rich themselves, and instead focus on the professionals who—in their quiet, discreet, and extremely effective way—make it possible for the wealthiest people in the world to gain all the benefits of society, while flouting its laws. Rather than asking whether the distribution of economic resources is fair, perhaps the more compelling question lies upstream, in the way that distribution is created in the first place: by a kind of shell game played with international law. Most people have little tolerance for such shenanigans on the street corner. What about on a global scale?





But software (and 3D printers) shift an ever-greater percentage of useful goods into the public good category, leaving a dwindling rump of excludable/rivalrous things that can be used as the raw fodder for market economies.

The result, he says, is an insurmountable challenge to market capitalism (for which “there is as yet no known alternative”). This leads central banks and governments, who have no idea what to do next, propping up markets with “gimmicks” like quantitative easing, while the real economy melts down around them.

If you look at your news feed, you will notice that the economic news no already longer makes much sense in traditional terms. We have strong growth without wage increases. Using Orwellian terms like “Quantitative Easing” or “Troubled Asset Relief”, central banks print money and transfer wealth to avoid the market’s verdict. Advertising and privacy transfer (rather than user fees) have become the business model of last resort for the Internet corporate giants. Highly trained doctors squeezed between expert systems and no-frills providers are moving from secure professionals towards service sector-workers.

Capitalism and Communism which briefly resembled victor and vanquished, increasingly look more like Thelma and Louise; a tragic couple sent over the edge by forces beyond their control. What comes next is anyone’s guess and the world hangs in the balance.

Anthropic Capitalism And The New Gimmick Economy


Economic ‘engineering’ and the Collapse of Industrial Civilization

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We have strong growth without wage increases. Using Orwellian terms like “Quantitative Easing” or “Troubled Asset Relief”, central banks print money and transfer wealth to avoid the market’s verdict. Advertising and privacy transfer (rather than user fees) have become the business model of last resort for the Internet corporate giants. Highly trained doctors squeezed between expert systems and no-frills providers are moving from secure professionals towards service sector-workers.

Capitalism and Communism which briefly resembled victor and vanquished, increasingly look more like Thelma and Louise; a tragic couple sent over the edge by forces beyond their control. What comes next is anyone’s guess and the world hangs in the balance.


Global Corporatocracy

When you have such an immovable supersystem of puppet governments and marauding transnational corporations running the show, radical movements questioning and trying to change the status quo are easily co-opted or crushed, a recent example being the Occupy movement. In a world where extinction of the human species is guaranteed by climate chaos and the myriad of other crises created by industrial capitalism, a slow and incremental regimen of change is not what is needed to stave off collapse. Unfortunately, the entrenched interests of the financial elite and the nation-states they control won’t allow for any sort of abrupt and profound transformation. As Professor Julian Cribb has correctly identified, a culture of money worship and the mass delusion of money’s illusory value is at the heart of the global crisis. The high priests of money are protected at the expense of all else:

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Show me a democracy that has an impoverished public life and I will show you one dominated by oligarchs and plutocrats driven by profit maximization that will do anything to get over. Gangster activity is what it is. Scandal after scandal and when you get caught, you PAY MONEY, you don’t go to jail. Plutocrats wage class war, getting away with CRIMES (mortgage fraud, market manipulation, insider trading, securities fraud) every day.

With each passing day, the mental stability of our narcissistic, megalomaniacal president is increasingly being called into question by those unnerved from his erratic behavior. The unhinged press conferences, comically embarrassing meetings with world leaders, and uncensored tweets reveal just how illiterate, delusional, and divisive America’s first reality TV president truly is, and the consequences won’t be confined to the imaginary world of a television screen. The irony is that the very news media networks whom the president disparages on a daily basis were instrumental in getting him elected, allowing Trump’s circus to hog the headlines in an ‘issues free’ campaign. Trump received $1.9 billion in free media coverage, 190 times as much as he paid for while the major networks made tons of revenue off Trump’s theatrics. Driving this symbiotic relationship is the fierce competition for ratings determining the advertising revenue and bottom line of these corporate-owned news networks. The media exploited Trump’s sensationalist behavior for profit, helping to drive his campaign to the top of this money-grubbing pyramid scheme. We are, as Neil Postman mused, amusing ourselves to death.

Trump peddles the false hope of regaining material wealth for a collapsing middle class with his slogan “Make America great again”, but after being elected, is giving more power and riches to those who have created this environmental and social catastrophe.

Political systems’ history

5 Jan

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Congress & Public Trust

The Democracy Fund Governance Program team framed our exploration of the congressional system by asking: “How is Congress fulfilling or failing to fulfill its obligations to the American people?”

Through the course of our investigation, we realized that Congress is increasingly unable to function as a legislative body. It neither engages effectively with those it seeks to represent nor makes headway on substantive issues.

This map, therefore, illustrates a system in a state of dysfunction, with growing dissatisfaction on the part of the public, waning trust in its ability perform, and — most significantly — large-scale disengagement from the system by the public.

The map has a few structural elements of note. First, as we examined the information we gathered during our investigation of the congressional system, we realized that a few key themes repeated across many factors. From these themes we derived a core story that animates our central understanding of how Congress fulfills or fails to fulfill its obligations. This core story appears as the red loop in the center of our map.

The core story represents our fundamental understanding of the challenges Congress faces as a legislative body. Some of these challenges are inherent given its constitutional and procedural limitations. In many ways, the current Congress’ struggle to act rapidly and decisively on issues of national importance is not unique to American history.

We see two key sets of dynamics as vital to understanding what is driving the current state of Congressional dysfunction. They form reinforcing loops that flow through part of our core story and appear on the map in orange:

  • First, changes in the body politic and in political parties have produced a Congress that is dominated by hyper-partisanship, which is grinding its legislative gears to a halt.
  • Second, Congress has weakened its own capacity for policy work by slashing its own productive resources, which allows outside influences to have a greater role in legislating.
  • Falling satisfaction with congressional performance also creates more public disengagement. Some citizens who see little evidence that Congress considers their concerns give up interacting with the system and stop participating in politics. This output forms a third reinforcing sub-loop that feeds more hyper-partisan behavior by Congress depriving the system of a wider variety of constituent voices.

The other loops of the map capture internal and external political pressures as well as structural and procedural choices by Congress. These loops affect the core story and its reinforcing narratives, intensifying the challenges to the system that the orange and red loops capture. Within these more detailed loops, darker blue factors represent forces and actors influencing Congress from outside the institution. Factors in light blue represent choices Congress is making internally.

Factors labeled in purple capture external inputs into the system that are not in a dynamic relationship to it. They act to initiate change within the system independently.

Although the map only occasionally mentions the role of money as an explicit factor in the congressional system, money plays a role in many of these factors. The factors directly affected by the influence of money on the system – either through its role in campaign finance, the business of political communication, or lobbying and constituent influence – are denoted by a green halo to help visualize their impact on congressional function.



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Influence Trust and Integrity collaborative map


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… almost 300 years before America declared her independence in 1776. The Iroquois Confederacy was based on The Great Law of Peace and much of the original teachings were adopted and incorporated into The United States Constitution. Now is a good time to consider The Great Law of Peace in light of the pressing issues of our day.

“The Iroquoian system, expressed through its constitution, “The Great Law of Peace,” rested on assumptions foreign to the monarchies of Europe: it regarded leaders as servants of the people, rather than their masters, and made provisions for the leaders’ impeachment for errant behavior. The Iroquois’ law and custom upheld freedom of expression in political and religious matters, and it forbade the unauthorized entry of homes. It provided for political participation by women and the relatively equitable distribution of wealth.” (Bruce Johansen, “Forgotten Founders“)

The extension of liberty and political participation to women, who nominated the male leaders, was also an important part of The Great Law of Peace since the 1400s.

Meanwhile, during the same century that The Great Law of Peace was founded by The Haudenosaunne (Iroquois) in the Northeast, Christopher Columbus arrived as an immigrant to The New World. Today many people prefer to call Columbus Day “Native American Day” to acknowledge the many thousands of natives who were in America before it was “discovered.” Pope Nicholas the fifth issued a Papal Bull which gave Christian explorers the “right” to claim lands not inhabited by Christians for exploitation and “discovery.” It was also stated that “Pagans” could be converted, enslaved or killed while the land and spoils would belong to Catholic Monarchs in Europe. Many people today claim that America was founded on “Christian Values” though history shows that the conditions of “discovery” by Columbus and Conquistadors were far from the principles taught by Christ according to the New Testament.

Currently, America spends 10 times more on military and war than on healthcare, housing, and education. We hear people talk of tax-dollars going towards healthcare, housing and education as if it is socialism, but we never hear of war as a socialist plot or an entitlement… Regardless, I find it comforting (and ironic) to know that the founding principles of our republic were based on liberty and peace. Article 24 of The Great Law of Peace stated “The chiefs of the League of Five Nations shall be mentors of the people for all time. …they shall be proof against anger, offensive action, and criticism. Their hearts shall be full of peace and good will, and their minds filled with a yearning for the welfare of the people of the League. With endless patience, they shall carry out their duty. Their firmness shall be tempered with a tenderness for their people. Neither anger nor fury shall find lodging in their minds and all their words and actions shall be marked by calm deliberation.” (Akwesasne Notes, 1977) It is clear to see why Ben Franklin and the Founding Fathers had such a deep respect for these indigenous teachings as they actually mirrored Christian teachings in the New Testament. It also makes me wonder what our elections or foreign policy would be like today with that kind of respect, honor and statesmanship?

“In the Indian character resided a fierce individuality that rejected subjugation, together with a communalism that put the welfare of the whole family, tribe, or nation above that of individuals.” (Bruce Johansen, “Forgotten Founders“) America is the land of the individual and it should stay that way, but not at the expense of the whole family, tribe, nation, or planet.

Is it possible to love America, our roots and also recognize that we are part of a global community? Our polluted air and water flows across nation borders unrestrained, and our corrupt banking practices have shaken the foundation of the worlds economy. Can we re-vision America and our planet with respect for the past while simultaneously incorporating peace along with the true ideals of liberty that include a responsibility to the greater community? Social, environmental, and economic responsibility to the whole would be an expression of ethical values regardless of any particular religion who claims to hold itself as virtuous.



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Presidential Candidates on the Political Compass | Reasonable Minds

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I have paid very little attention to the presidential campaign so far, but a post on Chris Abraham’s blog reminded me of The Political Compass

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Jacob Viner and the ambiguous welfare effects of preferential trade agreements – Utopia – you are standing in it!

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The world trade system is a growing assortment of discriminatory trade agreements known as the ‘spaghetti bowl’
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✅ 25+ Best Memes About Whitey Bulger | Whitey Bulger Memes

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Governments in the 1990s

Contemporary Context:

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“It is not easy to make the redistricting process understandable — and near-miraculous to be able to do so in a highly entertaining way. But that is just what The Redistricting Game does, to the gratitude of all who want Americans to understand how this process is working, and why it needs real reform.”

– Norm Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute
“The polarization and poisonous atmo-sphere that have infected the House of Representatives for the past two decades or more can be traced — in large part — to the manner in which district lines are drawn in most states.”

– Les Francis, former Exec Director of the Democratic National Committee
Mission 1: Fundamentals
Learn the basics of redistricting in the State of Jefferson.
Basic – Advanced – Learn More – Quotes
Mission 2: Partisan Gerrymander
Gerrymander the State of Hamilton in your party’s favor.
Basic – Advanced – Learn More – Quotes
Mission 3: Bipartisan Gerrymander
Create a bipartisan gerrymander in the State of Madison.
Basic – Advanced – Learn More – Quotes
Mission 4: Voting Rights Act
Ensure minority representation in the State of Hamilton.
Basic – Advanced – Learn More – Quotes
Mission 5: Reform
See for yourself how the Tanner Proposal would change the system.
Basic – Advanced – Learn More – Quotes

Additional Reform Proposals

Building a National Redistricting Reform Movement
(conference report)
Redistricting Reform Report and Resources
Automated Redistricting
(the “shortest splitline” algorithm)

The Iran protests against the country’s leadership – thousands of ‘unlicensed’ credit and finance institutions in Iran that had flourished during the two terms of Rouhani’s ‘predecessor’ … offering high interest rates …. But because of extensive corruption, many of them collapsed and went bankrupt. … demand that the government devote more money and attention to the country’s low-income population, rather than the ‘clergy’. Rouhani openly said he ‘supported’ the criticism and urged Iranians to keep pushing for their demands. … demonstrations have been violent and deadly, which, Abdi said, will lead Iranian authorities to extinguish them quickly. “But ending the riots will not mean the problem is solved,” Abdi added. “It will be there and will not be solved unless the judiciary, the state-run media and the Guardian Council — which is responsible for supervising the elections — accept to implement real reforms in midterm and long-term reforms.”

4 Jan

5 things to know about the Iran protests

At least 21 people have died in six days of mass protests sweeping Iran, state media reported.

Among them were six protesters who died in clashes with authorities while trying to break into a police station in the town of Qahdarijan in central Isfahan province Monday night, Iranian state television reported.

Hundreds of people have also been arrested in Iran’s capital in recent days, according to Ali Asghar Naserbakht, the deputy governor of Tehran province.

The demonstrations, which began in the northeastern city of Mashhad last week, are the biggest challenge to Iran’s Islamic Republic since mass protests erupted over a disputed election in 2009. The ongoing unrest stemmed from grievances over economic hardships and has since expanded into a nationwide show of dissent against the country’s leadership.

Here are five things to know about the Iran protests:

1. The key players

Two main political factions have controlled post-revolutionary Iran: the reformists and the conservatives. The reformists, represented by former President Mohammad Khatami, support gradual changes to make Iran more free and democratic. The conservatives, who favor Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, support maintaining and preserving the authoritarian status quo.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won the 2013 election as a moderate backed by reformists, promising greater freedoms for Iranians and detente abroad after years of global sanctions against the country amid two terms of a conservative presidency. Rouhani led Iran through two years of negotiations with the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany and China that resulted in a historic deal in 2015, under which Iran agreed to limit its controversial nuclear development program in return for sanctions relief.

Rouhani, again backed by reformists, won re-election in a landslide vote in 2017. The president vowed to stabilize the economy and further improve international relations during his second term. But he has faced numerous obstacles to fulfilling those promises.

Among those challenges were thousands of unlicensed credit and finance institutions in Iran that had flourished during the two terms of Rouhani’s predecessor. These institutions had lured millions of customers, hoping to make money amid a stagnant economy by offering high interest rates on deposits in the Iranian currency. But because of extensive corruption, many of them collapsed and went bankrupt.

Countless Iranians lost their savings, leading to a series of small protests across the country in recent months.

Sanctions were eased after the nuclear deal, but Rouhani decided to amend tax regulations to compensate for Iran’s shrinking oil revenue. Iranians have used smartphones and social networks to closely monitor the policy move since the president submitted a draft 2018 budget to parliament Dec. 10.

While proposing the budget plan, Rouhani acknowledged that six financial institutions used to control 25 percent of the country’s currency market and that he struggled to curb the corruption. The budget proposal also revealed plans to increase the price of fuel, as well as the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars to the clergy and the hardliner institutions under their control, while the government would slash spending for infrastructure projects and cash subsidies.

The budget plan is still under review.

Many Iranians took to social media to express discontent over inequality and to demand that the government devote more money and attention to the country’s low-income population, rather than the clergy. Rouhani openly said he supported the criticism and urged Iranians to keep pushing for their demands.

PHOTO: A group of people pull down at a fence in a street during protests in Tehran, Iran, Dec. 30, 2017, in an image taken from video released by Iran's Mehr News agency. (Mehr News via AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: A group of people pull down at a fence in a street during protests in Tehran, Iran, Dec. 30, 2017, in an image taken from video released by Iran’s Mehr News agency. (Mehr News via AFP/Getty Images)

2. How the protests started

On Dec. 28, about two weeks after the budget proposal, an anti-government protest was held in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city and hometown of the supreme leader. The demonstration was reportedly organized by conservatives to try to weaken Rouhani because they do not agree with his domestic and international policies that endangered the safe haven that years of sanctions had provided them for their allegedly corrupt financial activities.

ad Javad Zarif Tuesday tweeted that “Iran’s security and stability depend on its own people,” but warned against violent “infiltrators.”

Zarif also took aim at Trump and U.S. foreign policy.

Iran’s security and stability depend on its own people, who — unlike the peoples of Trumps regional “bffs”—have the right to vote and to protest. These hard-earned rights will be protected, and infiltrators will not be allowed to sabotage them through violence and destruction.

Trump has been tweeting extensively in support of the Iran protests. The U.S. president Monday tweeted, “Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”

What a year it’s been, and we’re just getting started. Together, we are MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Happy New Year!!

Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!

Trump tweeted Tuesday, “The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets.’ The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!”

The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!

Trump tweeted about the Iran protests again today, saying, “Such respect for the people of Iran as they take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!”

Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!

Interpreting Trump’s latest tweet, some Iranians speculated on Twitter that the U.S. president plans to use the unrest as a means to push Congress to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

5. What’s next

Abbas Abdi, an influential reformist sociologist in Iran, said he believes the protests will end soon because of no comprehensive support from the middle class.

“It does not mean the middle class supports the system,” Abdi told ABC News in a telephone interview Monday. “They do have serious criticism to the system, but they do not negotiate over the integrity of their country. They are against this kind of riots because it will not benefit anyone.”

The ongoing protests are not being taken as seriously as the so-called Green Movement of 2009, Abdi said, when millions of Iranians poured into the streets to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And while the protesters in 2009 were largely peaceful, the latest demonstrations have been violent and deadly, which, Abdi said, will lead Iranian authorities to extinguish them quickly.

“But ending the riots will not mean the problem is solved,” Abdi added. “It will be there and will not be solved unless the judiciary, the state-run media and the Guardian Council — which is responsible for supervising the elections — accept to implement real reforms in midterm and long-term reforms.”

ABC News’ Afshin Abtahi contributed to this report.

We are ONE – Animated map shows how humans migrated across the globe

3 Jan










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According to Leil Lowndes in her book “How To Talk To Anyone,” you can capture anyone’s attention without even saying a word. Here are the best body-language techniques from the book. (H/t: Businessinsider) Read more:



We are very fragile; let’s protect each other:

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Map also shows Hurricane Isaac’s projected path across the New Orleans area. Isaac will be the third hurricane to hit Louisiana since the devastating 2005 season which included hurricanes Cindy, Katrina and Rita.

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Discover Magazine: The latest in science and technology news …

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NASA Visualization Shows Air Quality Improving Across the U.S. But is the Trend Beginning to Reverse?
New NASA satellite maps show human fingerprint on global air quality

China, the world’s growing manufacturing hub, saw an increase of 20 to 50 percent in nitrogen dioxide, much of it occurring over the North China Plain. Three major Chinese metropolitan areas—Beijing, Shanghai, and the Pearl River Delta—saw nitrogen dioxide reductions of as much as 40 percent.

Using new, high-resolution global satellite maps of air quality indicators, NASA scientists tracked air pollution trends over the last decade in various regions and 195 cities around the globe. The United States, Europe and Japan have improved air quality thanks to emission control regulations, while China, India and the Middle East, with their fast-growing economies and expanding industry, have seen more air pollution. Credit: NASA

Read more at:

New NASA satellite maps show human fingerprint on global air quality

This global map shows the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the troposphere as detected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument aboard the Aura satellite, averaged over 2014. Credit: NASA
The Johannesburg-Pretoria metro area saw decreases after new cars were required in 2008 to have better emissions controls. The heavily industrialized area just east of the cities, however, shows both decreases and increases. The decreases may be associated with fewer emissions from eight large power plants east of the cities since the decrease occurs over their locations. However, emissions increases occur from various other mining and industrial activities to the south and further east.

Read more at:

The minimum concentration of ozone above Antarctica from 1979 to 2013.
Credits: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio


Global Fishing Watch provides real-time data on the current location of fishing vessels and their catch sites. Image courtesy of Global Fishing WatchGlobal Fishing Watch provides real-time data on the current location of fishing vessels and their catch sites. Image courtesy of Global Fishing Watch

by producing these visuals, we will encourage more people to take an active interest in the environment and then ultimately, the outcome of that is stronger policies for environmental protection and stronger political will for environmental protection around the world.


Average yearly AIRS CO2 data shown in yellow is laid over MODIS vegetation data in green. CO2 accumulates in the Northern Hemisphere winter and spring, then the vegetation’s photosynthesis absorbs it in summer.
Credits: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio


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See How Chicago Has Grown Since 1830 — And What It Could Look Like …

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CHICAGO — In about five seconds, you can see how Chicago’s landscape has changed — and might continue to evolve — since 1830.
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MRSAid Blog | MRSAid is a novel, non-antibiotic system for nasal …

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Another antibiotic resistant gene of interest is MCR-1, which we profiled last year. Like NDM-1, it’s also on the move. A report last month by the Center …
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Superbugs could kill more people than cancer, report warns – CBS News

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A new report takes on the global challenge of combatting superbugs, and lays out a plan to turn the tide


Last May, the United Nations Security Council met to discuss a problem tragically common in the 21st century: dead journalists. In the new millennium, 876 journalists have been killed—with almost 40 percent of those deaths occurring in the last five years. Meanwhile, global press freedom is at its lowest point since 2003, according to Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization.

Why is this happening? One reason is that there’s near total impunity for those who murder journalists. Both authoritarianism and terrorism are on the rise globally, which can leave journalists stuck between hostile actors.


Monsanto is one of the world’s most reviled companies—ranked just above Comcast and Halliburton in 2016’s Harris Poll for worst corporate reputations—and the face of the controversial genetically modified organism (GMO) biz. For all the money they’ve made (and that they surely pay their PR team), the company hasn’t yet figured out how to overcome its longstanding reputation for secrecy and preemptive litigation.


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Press Release: Indonesia is killing the planet | Fairy JeriBear’s Trans/LGBTQIA+ Musings From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM

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One of my favorite wildlife conservation organizations is Kalaweit which rescues and rehabilitates Gibbons and other wildlife in Sumatra and Borneo.

Did CERN cause a mega heat pulse?
large blast solar storm MIMIC microwave march 17 2015
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Us map with pinpoints

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This map pinpoints the best time to visit anywhere in the world

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Animation showing gene-flow events involving sources outside Western Eurasia. Circles are located in relation to the inferred location of Western Eurasian …


Companies across the globe have been reporting data about their sustainability and social endeavors for decades. That said, the manner in which they visualize this information and, subsequently, convey it to their stakeholders has recently become much more sophisticated. For instance, Whole Foods and Toyotaare two companies that not only incorporate diverse visualizations in their respective corporate social responsibility reports, but they also feature creative interactive components on their sites.


Webcam footage from around the world


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in negative senescence, the risk of death decreases as an organism grows older.

Rather than “live fast, die young,” the campion strategy is more “live slow, die old.” Really, really old.

With some organisms, really old can mean millennia. High in the White Mountains near the California-Nevada border live some of the oldest trees in the world. Their trunks thick and gnarled, their oldest needles, born when JFK was president, still hanging on, these bristlecone pines are nearly 5,000 years old. Living five millennia is quite a feat, but what’s even more surprising is that these trees show no sign of decline. They are more likely to survive environmental stress than their younger cohorts, and they continue to reproduce at a steady rate. Their measured growth allows them to build extra-durable wood that resists rot, drought and lightning. In other words, in this case, natural selection appears to favor avoiding senescence entirely.

But plants are hardly the only organisms defying the aging process. Studies of turtles and lizards have also turned up negative senescence. One long-term study of three-toed box turtles in Missouri found that the animals were still reproducing well into their 70s.

In the mammal world, naked mole rats are the longest-living rodents. They can reach nearly 30 years of age in captivity. Scientists have found that breeding females “show no decline in fertility even well into their third decade of life,” according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B. That makes sense, says Doak: “They live underground, in a resource-poor environment. They live cooperatively, meaning that your only chance to reproduce is after you’ve lived for a while and moved up the social strata.” Natural selection in this scenario favors individuals that live longer.

A New Threat

Doak’s moss campion research has lately turned up more than just evidence for negative senescence. He’s also found signs that global warming may be exerting a tangible influence on death’s odds. Close monitoring of the Alaskan moss campion plants over the years reveals that what’s most likely to kill the plants today is climate. “In winters when it’s quite cold but there are warm periods, the plants lose the blanket of snow that covers them,” Doak explains. They come down with the equivalent of freezer burn; ultimately, they die from being freeze-dried. “We’ve been seeing more and more of that over the course of our study,” he says.

While global warming represents a hurdle for the plants, Doak himself faces a more existential challenge. “It’s very difficult,” he admits, “to show that senescence doesn’t ever occur.” To prove conclusively that something doesn’t age would itself require human immortality. And, unfortunately, negative senescence in humans remains elusive.


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