13 Aug 2015

Turkey Bombs Kurds Fighting ISIS, Then Hires Same Lobbying Firm Supporting U.S. Presidential Candidates

By Michael Krieger: The one group in the Middle East that is actually standing up to ISIS and successfully resisting it militarily are the Kurds. So what does U.S. ally Turkey do to the Kurds? It bombs the shit out of them, naturally.
From the New York Times:

Since the July 24 announcement, Turkey has launched several waves of airstrikes against elements of a Kurdish separatist group known as the P.K.K., which is widely listed as a terrorist group. But that group and its allies in Syria, who have been closely working with American forces, are pushing Islamic State militants out of areas they once controlled.
Clearly cognizant of how bad this looks, the government of Turkey went ahead and hired lobbying firm, Squire Patton Boggs, the same firm tied to 2016 Presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

"Project Omega" - Why HFTs Never Lose Money: The Criminal Fraud Explained

Tyler Durden's picture Two weeks ago, without knowing the details of the most recent market-rigging and frontrunning scandal involving "alternative" market veteran ITG's dark pool POSIT, which issued a vague 8-K it would settle with the SEC for "irregularities", we explained what we thought had happened:
ITG had an in house prop trading group, or "pilot", which operated for nearly two years, whose only signal was client order flow, which it would frontrun, and make millions in profits. In other words, once again precisely what we have claimed since 2009. But oh yes, not everyone is guilty of such manipulation. Only Liquidnet... and Pipeline... and ITG... and countless other ATS and HFT firms for whom clients are better known as either "easy money" or muppets.

And yes, we get the "trading experiment" narrative: calling it "criminal market manipulation and order frontrunning scheme" just does not sound like something the Modern Markets Initiative would spend millions of dollars to get Congressmen to agree on.
It turns out we were spot on, the only thing we missed was the name of this market manipulation exercise. Now, thanks to the SEC, we know: "Project Omega" (or as it was also correctly dubbed here the "criminal frontrunning scheme") is how ITG dubbed its secretive prop-trading desk whose only purpose was to frontrun clients.

Male Genital Mutilation Is A Violation Of The Rights Of…

By Mike Buchanan: We look forward to the response of the Children’s Commissioner for England to the public challenge we posted earlier today. In the meantime, I thought I’d see what information on MGM, if any, is on their website. Searching with the keyword ‘circumcision’ led to no results. Searching with ‘genital mutilation’ led to four results – here. It surely doesn’t need saying, but I’ll say it anyway. All four results relate to FGM.
The final link leads to a piece about the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. It’s introduced with this sentence:
Female genital mutilation is a violation of the rights of girls and women.
We wonder if Anne Longfield OBE, Children’s Commissioner for England, can manage to finish the following sentence:
Male genital mutilation is a violation of the rights of…

British Opposition Leader Candidate Slammed For Associations With David Duke Show Guests

By David Duke: The following article from the British newspaper The Daily Mail represents an attempt to undermine the candidacy of Jeremy Corbyn as head of the British Labour Party by associating him with Dr. James Thring, who has appeared numerous time on the David Duke Show. Dr. Thring is a tireless peace advocate and campaigner for the rights of Palestinians who are being ethnically cleansed by Jewish Israelis. Corbyn was also slammed for his association with Paul Eisen, another past guest on Dr. Duke’s show.
The article points out the two men’s connection to the show and prominently displays a photograph of Dr. Duke juxtaposed with Max Blumenthal, who has used his membership in the Jewish tribe to gain access to and report on the anti-gentile hatred that goes on behind closed doors in Israel. Unfortunately, Mr. Corbyn’s office is trying to distance him from these frankly excellent associations.
From The Daily Mail: Notorious conspiracy theorist who believes the ‘world is controlled by Jewish elders’ spoke at Westminster event hosted by Jeremy Corbyn

  • Labour leadership favourite hosted event with anti-Israel speaker
  • Thring said that weapons should be provided to a Palestinian militia
  • The campaigner scheduled to speak compared Israel to Nazi Germany

The Social Cost Of Capitalism

By Paul Craig Roberts: Few, if any, corporations absorb the full cost of their operations. Corporations shove many of their costs onto the environment, the public sector, and distant third parties. For example, currently 3 million gallons of toxic waste water from a Colorado mine has escaped and is working its way down two rivers into Utah and Lake Powell. At least seven city water systems dependent on the rivers have been shut down. The waste was left by private enterprise, and the waste was accidentally released by the Environmental Protection Agency, which might be true or might be a coverup for the mine. If the Lake Powell reservoir ends up polluted, it is likely that the cost of the mine imposed on third parties exceeds the total value of the mine’s output over its entire life.
Economists call these costs “external costs” or “social costs.” The mine made its profits by creating pollutants, the cost of which is born by those who had no share in the profits.
As this is the way regulated capitalism works, you can imagine how bad unregulated capitalism would be. Just think about the unregulated financial system, the consequences we are still suffering with more to come.
Despite massive evidence to the contrary, libertarians hold tight to their romantic concept of capitalism, which, freed from government interference, serves the consumer with the best products at the lowest prices.
If only.
Progressives have their own counterpart to the libertarians’ romanticism. Progressives regard government as the white knight that protects the public from the greed of capitalists.
If only.

Carlos Slim, World’s 2nd Richest Man, Mexico’s Biggest Oligarch, Master Of Slimlandia, Suddenly Loses Billions

By Don Quijones: The world’s second richest man, Carlos Slim Helú, is doing something he hasn’t done for a long time: losing lots of money. According to El Financiero, Slim’s holdings are down $7.2 billion so far this year.
While that amount represents one-tenth of Slim’s total worth at the beginning of this year ($77 billion), it’s enough to hurt. After all, when one’s wealth is already so vast that it could buy up pretty much anything on the planet, including small nations, reputation is what ultimately counts.
Until recently, Slim’s reputation as an investor was virtually flawless. His ability to turn just about anything, from banking, retail and airlines to mining, printing, construction, restaurants and telecoms – particularly telecoms – into fortunes was unrivalled. But now losses are piling up. And his reputation is getting dented.
Losing the Midas Touch?
Slim’s gold mining company, Minera Frisco SAB, has tumbled 53% this year, the worst performance among 90 international peers tracked by Bloomberg:

Mexico City-based Frisco has had only one profitable quarter in the past nine, and this year’s 6.7 percent slide in gold prices is just making things worse.

Slim owns 78 percent of Frisco, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, so he’s the biggest loser from the stock’s collapse; it has contributed to a $7.2 billion tumble in his fortune this year, the most among 400 rich people tracked by Bloomberg.

Turning Humans Into Algos - The Trend Of Employees Wearing “Biosensing Wearable Devices” At Work

By Michael Krieger: The Orwellian future is here.
Just yesterday, I published an article titled, Minority Report”-esque Big Brother Billboards are Coming to England. Here’s an excerpt in case you missed it:

Much of the shift is being driven by today’s enhanced data-collection and analysis power. Ocean’s three new billboards in Birmingham, shaped like large human eyes, will broadcast ads like regular digital billboards, but have the ability to change based on how many of a certain group are within “eyesight” of the camera. 
But software will analyze the feeds to pick up facial features and how long a person looked at an advertisement, according to Olivier Duizabo, chief executive of Quividi, the company that made the software.
Today, I came across a Bloomberg article that highlighted how some companies, particularly hedge funds looking for an edge, are having employees wear biosensing wearable devices,” in order to collect detailed analytics about them and hopefully improve performance.