Tags: CNBC

Hacker “Weev” is Released from Prison, Starts Hedge Fund Called TRO LLC, Appears on CNBC

CNBC just got very surreal. I have been following the release from prison of well known hacker and troll “Weev” for several weeks now. What has really captured my attention is his effort to get the world’s smartest hackers to find vulnerabilities in companies, short the shit out of them, and then release the vulnerability to the public. He plans on using a hedge fund naturally called TRO LLC to achieve this goal.

Bottom line, no matter what you think of this guy, he is a force to be reckoned with and someone to keep a close eye on. Apparently, the hacker community is sharpening its pitchforks as we speak. Wall Street has no idea what might be coming their way.

 

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Meet “Goldfinger” – The $850k Motorcycle with “Many Buyers Interested”

Welcome back to pre-financial crisis insanity levels. I recall one of the wildest stories from back in early 2008 near the height of the oil price bubble was about how the wealthy in the UAE were spending tens of millions of dollars buying and selling license plates. Yes, just regular aluminum license plates. The most insane example of this was the $14.3 million paid for one in particular.

Well the stupidity is back, and this time it’s coming in the form of $850,000 motorcycles.

CNBC reports that:

It wasn’t that long ago that the first $1 million car was news. Now, a two-wheel vehicle is about to hit seven figures.

The motorcycle, called “Goldfinger,” was plated with 24-karat gold and covered with 250 small diamonds totaling more than 7 carats. The seat is upholstered with what the company calls a “unique cognac-colored crocodile skin” and the bike’s parts—859 of them—were individually gold-plated by hand.

It was shown at special events in Monaco and Dubai, before a private buyer snapped it up.

The sale price: $850,000.

Uffe Lauge Jensen, the company’s founder and chief creator, declined to comment on the buyer or even the buyer’s country. But he said there were many buyers interested in Goldfinger despite the price.

“It was very popular,” he said.

But Lauge Jensen said he’s already working on something bigger. Though he’s vague on specifics, he said he’s working with a customer on a motorcycle that could easily top $1 million. Basically, he said, it’s a piece of jewelry on two wheels.

Can we finally stop persecuting the poor billionaire oligarchs already?

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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The Debt Bubble Expands as Auto Loan Amounts Hit a New Record

Is anyone surprised that the poorest and least credit worthy of Americans are being saddled with piles of debt in order to buy new cars? It’s not enough that a generation of our citizens will toil pointlessly to pay off more than $1 trillion of student loans, we may as well add some other form of debt burden on top of it.

It’s hard to even imagine this is happening so shortly after the last credit bubble train wreck, but happening it is. Creative ways for people to purchase cars they can’t afford have been on my radar screen for some time now, and if you recall, I posted an article last April titled: Just Keep Dancing: Introducing the 97-Month Auto Loan.

Well the dancing has continued, and now we have Americans borrowing at all-time record levels to buy cars. USA! USA!

From CNBC:

A combination of higher prices for new cars and relatively low rates for auto loans means Americans are borrowing a record amount to pay for their new rides.

According to Experian Automotive, which tracks millions of auto loans written each quarter, the average amount borrowed by car buyers last quarter climbed above $27,000 for the first time ever.

According to Experian, the average auto loan in fourth quarter 2013 was $27,430—an increase of $739 compared with the same period of 2012. The average used car loan was $345 higher, coming in at $17,974.

Those with non-prime credit ratings—or credit scores between 620 and 679—had the highest average auto loan. For these borrowers, the average new car loan rose more than $1,500, to a new high of $29,385.

Not surprisingly, those with subprime credit ratings—credit scores between 550 and 619—had the highest average monthly payment, of $499.

Yep, no doubt this will turn out just peachy.

Read the Full Article »

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Video of the Day – Nicole Miller CEO Tells the Poor in the U.S. to Stop Whining

The following clip from CNBC of Nicole Miller’s CEO Bud Konheim is absolutely disgusting. Then again, this simply continues the recent trend of wealthy people coming on financial outlets and telling the poor how they are supposed to feel.

Rather than me rewriting what I already wrote on this topic, I encourage you to read my very well received post from last week:

An Open Letter to Sam Zell: Why Your Statements are Delusional and Dangerous.

This is how I ended that article:

I don’t think you’re a bad guy with evil intent. I think you are a money obsessed financier who hasn’t taken the time to actually understand what is really going on within your own country because you have your head so far up your own ass. It’s hard for anyone to actually look at themselves in the mirror and be honest about themselves and the myths they create. However, history shows us that when decadent plutocrats are unable to do so, we end up with disastrous situations. Situations which are often times violent and result in despotism. A situation I desperately hope to avoid, and I truly hope you and others like you recognize your error before it is too late.

While the CNBC clip below is priceless, equally disturbing are the results from CNBC readers to the poll question: Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 10.57.12 AM

Perhaps they could try asking poor people questions about themselves for a better perspective.

Now check out the video:

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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McDonald’s Advises its Own Employees to Avoid Fast Food

McDonald’s is simply the gift that keeps on giving. The company’s “McResource” website has made mistake after mistake all year, several of which I have have covered previously, including advice to broke employees to quit complaining, and their publication earlier in the year of budgetary advice that included not using heat and taking on a second job. Well McResource is back, this time essentially telling its employees that the company’s own food is not fit for public consumption.

From CNBC:

McDonald’s employee resources website once again is giving out worker advice that doesn’t seem to fit. This time, it’s about the industry it helped make ubiquitous — fast food.

“Fast foods are quick, reasonably priced, and readily available alternatives to home cooking. While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight,” reads one post on the site, which includes a picture of a hamburger and fries, two items that the fast-food giant specializes in selling.

A separate post writes, “it is hard to eat a healthy diet when you eat at fast-food restaurants often,” adding that large portions make it easy to overeat.

The site also advises people to limit how many fries they eat.

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 11.03.25 AM

It was the latest in a series of gaffes involving the site.

Last month, the company detailed tipping advice for workers, many of whom make around minimum wage. It listed pricey suggestions for tipping au pairs, personal fitness trainers and pool cleaners from etiquette maven Emily Post — advice it removed after a CNBC inquiry.

McSerfdom.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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American Insanity: How to Buy a Home in Martha’s Vineyard with Zero Money Down

The absurd new housing bubble created by Banana Ben Bernanke’s cheap money, private equity slumlords and crony foreign oligarchs looking to launder their ill-gotten funds, continues to provide what would be hilarious headlines if only they weren’t so sad.  In the following story, we find that courtesy of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the struggling folks on Martha’s Vineyard have access to zero money down home loans.  The USDA you ask? Well, it turns out that the “entire island is designated as a rural area eligible for a USDA loan.”  Why do we even have a government at this point?

From CNBC:

The zero down mortgage is back—in Martha’s Vineyard.

Ira Stoll at the Future of Capitalism bloghas come across an article on “Home Buying 101″ in the spring of 2013 “Real Estate & Homes” supplement to the Vineyard Gazette. A local mortgage broker by the name of Polly K. Bassett is quoted as touting how.

Bassett, the “co-owner and a broker of Martha’s Vineyard Mortgage Company, L.L.C., said: “We have access to a wide range of programs such as USDA, which is a program where you can put no money down, 100 percent financing, and we also do a 97 percent financing with three percent down….There are a lot of programs out there for people buying their first home.”

Read the Full Article »

The Bitcoin ATM Reports 300+ Orders in 30 Different Countries

As I highlighted last week in my post about how leading Bitcoin payment processor, BitPay Inc., is adding 1,000 merchants a month on a base on 4,000 merchants, the growth of the market is happening at a mind-boggling pace. Now we learn from Jeff Berwick that the Bitcoin ATM machine has received an incredible 300 orders in 30 different countries. This was no doubt catalyzed by the Cyprus theft. Jeff was interviewed on CNBC today, which you can watch below.

Obama Wins 8 of the Nation’s 10 Wealthiest Counties…Impressive Stats for a “Socialist”

I just love these statistics posted by CNBC yesterday:

In an election that often focused on debates about class warfare, President Barack Obama was favored over multimillionaire businessman Mitt Romney in eight of the nation’s 10 wealthiest counties.

For a guy that supposedly wants to redistribute wealth, the wealthiest people sure do seem to like him.  The sad truth of the matter is that Obama is doing one simple thing.  He is paying off the poor via food stamps and disability checks so that they stay in line while the oligarchs steal everything in sight.  The middle class is squeezed in the process and is rapidly disappearing.  So in a way he is a wealth distributor, just not in the way the pundits would have you believe.  He is funneling the wealth or the middle class and non-oligarch rich to the super rich oligarchs.  The poor just get paid off to shut-up as usual.  I am once again reminded of Keynes’ famous quote:

Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

So there we have it.  Obama the socialist? No. Obama the crony capitalist coddler?  Most definitely.

Read the CNBC article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

In the Latest Euro Area Peace News: The Swiss Army Prepares for Unrest

Go Europe!

From CNBC:

The Swiss defense ministry told CNBC that it doesn’t rule out having to deploy troops in the coming years.

It launched the military exercise “Stabilo Due” in September to respond to the current instability in Europe and to test the speed at which its army can be dispatched. The country is not a member of the union or among the 17 countries that share the euro.

Some 2,000 troops were part of the drill exercise in eight different towns across the country. Infantry soldiers were used as well as the air force and special forces personnel in an assignment that took years to organize.

Full article here.

Watch Bill Gates Stutter Like a Moron on Gold

You know the system is in trouble when it rolls out every multi-billionaire status quo gatekeeper to appear on CNBC and regurgitate the same trite propaganda lines to scare people away from protecting their financial well being via the one asset that has proven timeless and portable for thousands of years.  What the sheeple still cannot get through their minds thanks to constant misdirection from people such as Bill Gates “being on the same page” as Buffett and Charlie “only Jews about to be gassed should buy gold” Munger on the subject of precious metals is that government can and will steal your money and assets when they are backed into a corner.  While you can’t sow your E*TRADE account or steel plant into your garments you can with gold.

Billy Gates’ comments on gold are so ridiculous only a caveman could believe them.  He uses a lot of fear tactics in the brief commentary.  He uses the tried and true what if the “IMF and Central Banks start selling” line.  This is hilarious because it is only very recently that Central Banks have been net buyers of gold after decades of selling.  Furthermore, the emerging market Central Banks, especially China, have merely 1%-5% of their FX reserves in gold (no one knows the exact number) so they will take every ounce the Western Central Banks are stupid enough to put up for sale.  He implies that Central Banks could sell gold because it does “nothing for its citizens.”  A more ridiculous statement has never been uttered.  First of all why would these sophisticated financial wizards running these institutions hold gold in the first place?  Why would Nixon close the gold window in 1971 to prevent the loss of more U.S. gold if gold doesn’t matter?  Why would all the up and coming economies be buying it and why are some of the smartest investors in the world buying physical gold?  Gates is trying to imply these investors are all stupid, mentally weak individuals.  Finally, as if what these governments are doing at the moment is good for their citizens?!  Yeah, just look at the skyrocketing suicide rate in Greece for your proof.  I’m sorry the best thing a government can do is to hold as much gold as possible for its citizens so they have a chance to start over once this house of cards implodes publicly.

He also states that once people want to sell “there is no floor.”  I mean come on man.  Gold is the only currency that has survived purchasing power intact since the ancient Egyptians.  The worst part about him saying all this publicly is that he is actively discouraging the sheeple who actually listen to him from protecting themselves.  That is morally repugnant.

Here is the video. 

Mike