Tags: Oligarchs

Charting the American Oligarchy – How 0.01% of the Population Contributes 42% of All Campaign Cash

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.22.37 AM

This is an economic fight, but this is also a political fight. The biggest financial institutions aren’t just big – they wield enormous political power. Last December, Citibank lobbyists wrote an amendment to Dodd-Frank and persuaded their friends in Washington to attach it to a bill that had to pass or the government would have been shut down. And when there was pushback over the amendment, the CEO of JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon, personally got on the phone with Members of Congress to secure their votes. How many individuals who are looking for a mortgage or a credit card could make that call? How many small banks could have their lobbyists write an amendment and threaten to shut down the US government if they didn’t get it? None. Keep in mind that the big banks aren’t trying to make the market more competitive; they just want rules that create more advantages for themselves. The system is rigged and those who rigged it want to keep it that way.

– From Senator Elizabeth Warren’s excellent speech: “The Unfinished Business of Financial Reform”

This is probably one of the most important posts I’ll write all year. The reason is because in order to displace the current paradigm, the public needs to deeply and intellectually understand exactly where the real cancer resides.

I never liked the saying: “We are the 99%.” While admittedly catchy and effective as a slogan, I think it is ultimately divisive and counterproductive. The reason I say this is because the statement itself alienates much needed allies for no good reason.

In a country with a population of 320 million, the 1% represents 3.2 million people, which is a pretty big number. While the 1% certainly have far superior material lives compared to the 99%, that doesn’t mean a particularly large percentage of them are thieves, cronies or oligarchs. In fact, it behooves people interested in transitioning to another paradigm to court as many of them as possible to the cause. It is very useful to have well meaning people with resources and connections on your side. To blithely assume there aren’t plenty of potential allies from a pool of 3.2 million is committing strategic suicide. Indeed, John Hancock came from one of the wealthiest families in the American colonies in the run up to the Revolution, yet he isn’t remembered by history for his family’s tremendous wealth, but for his signature:

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.45.54 AM

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

Martin Armstrong Asks: “Rothschilds – Fact or Disinformation to Protect the Guilty?”

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 4.59.11 PMRegular Liberty Blitzkrieg readers will be aware that I very much enjoy reading the opinions of Martin Armstrong, a man with such an interesting and unique life story, I won’t even attempt to do it justice here. Not only have his major “macro turn dates” impressed me all the way back to my prior career on Wall Street, he doggedly refuses to limit his thinking to any type of narrow minded, dogmatic viewpoint, no matter what genre of viewpoint that may be. While I disagree with him on several issues, he tends to see the realities of the macro world around us from a perspective quite similar to my own. He doesn’t try to make world events fit into a predetermined viewpoint, but rather tries to look at each distinct global event or emerging meme with as little bias as possible.

Within the anti-establishment world in which I proudly reside, many people look for simplistic narratives. Ironically, these narratives are often as silly and narrow-minded as those who pledge allegiance to the fraudulent Republican or Democratic parties. For some, it’s the Jews. If you don’t think the Jews run the world and are the root of all evil, you must be a CIA shill or “working for them.” For others, it’s the Arabs or Muslims, and so on and so forth. Another bizarre obsession is this notion that a small group of families hiding in the shadows hold all the real money and power on earth, and that these are the ones actually ordering the billionaires around. The family most often named as the kingpins of this pyramid are the Rothschilds.

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

A Warning to New York City – How Singapore’s Luxury Boom in Sentosa Cove Went Bust

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 2.22.14 PMAcross Singapore, the property market was booming. Interest rates were low, prompting buyers to take on more debt. Confidence was high. Banks built regional headquarters in Singapore and jobs were created. Singapore’s skyline changed drastically. A new financial district rose and Marina Bay Sands, a three-tower building housing a casino with a boatlike structure on top, was built for a reported $5.4 billion.

With the government unable to contain the heated market, the growing presence of foreigners and the rising cost of housing became a flash point for discontent. And Sentosa, with its new villas, yachts and luxury condominium towers, became a particular symbol of the rising inequality for many citizens.

Faced with simmering discontent over rising living and housing costs, the government executed a succession of cooling measures that have hit the high-end market especially hard…

On Sentosa Cove, few people are buying. Most of the unsold units from recent developments have been taken off the market and are being leased instead.

The few recent sales paint a grim picture. Most sellers have taken sizable losses.

– From the New York Times article: A High-End Property Collapse in Singapore 

My hometown of New York City is currently ground zero for a luxury apartment building boom driven primarily by oligarchs using the units as savings accounts, and foreign criminals looking to launder wealth accumulated via corruption, fraud or worse. This isn’t a new story, I’ve been writing about it for several years (links at the end), but a recent New York Times piece titled, Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate, has put the issue front and center.

Naturally, New York City isn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last place to encourage hot foreign money to flow into its real estate sector in a haphazard and harmful manner that could have severe long-term repercussions once the boom turns to bust — which it invariably always does.

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

Occupied by Wall Street Part 2 – Creating CLOs to Bypass Regulations

Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management LLC, Carlyle Group LP and a unit of Credit Suisse Group AG have all taken steps in the past two months to create CLOs now that they may be able to refinance after the rules take effect in December 2016 without having to comply with the new regulations, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The firms are trying to avoid a requirement to hold a stake in the funds they manage.

– From the Bloomberg article: Wall Street Creating CLOs That May Bypass Rules: Credit Markets

As the U.S. inches closer to a cyclical downturn within the secular theft up-cycle known as the oligarch recovery, the craftiest of financial oligarchs will be scurrying to position themselves as beneficially as possible while not missing out on any crumbs that remain ripe for the taking. As such, it behooves us all to pay increasingly close attention to their shenanigans. In this regard, we have some excerpts from the following Bloomberg article:

(Bloomberg) — Wall Street has another rule it’s trying to get around: regulations seeking to limit risk-taking by managers of collateralized loan obligations.

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

Video of the Day: Ferraris, Maseratis & More – How the Children of Chinese Oligarchs Live it Up in SoCal

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 11.56.27 AMThe interesting thing about America in 2014, is that the worship of our own domestic criminals just doesn’t cut it anymore. In order to ensure our celebration of corruption is crystal clear to the entire planet, our “leaders” have eagerly opened the floodgates to criminals from all over the world. The most recent focus has targeted corrupt Chinese officials and their children, which makes sense as China is cracks down on corruption. While capital moves to where it is treated best, apparently so does criminality.

I have been highlighting this trend all year, with the post: Open the Floodgates – Chinese Inquiries on U.S. Real Estate Soar 35% After Easing of Visa Rules, being the latest. In that piece, we learned that:

Chinese inquiries about real estate investment in the United States surged 35 percent this week after the two countries agreed to extend the terms of short-term visas, China’s top international property portal said on Friday.

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

Glenn Greenwald on Hillary Clinton: “Soulless, Principle-Free, Power Hungry…”

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 10.08.22 AMOne attribute I like most about Glenn Greenwald is that he never pulls punches. One of his most prescient and cutting political lines came earlier this year when he made some observations on the upcoming 2016 Presidential election, in which two status quo, corrupt, bloodthirsty con-artists will compete for the Oval Office. While we don’t yet know which crony the GOP will put up, Hillary is pretty much a foregone conclusion for the Democrats. Greenwald observed:

Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she’s been around forever, the Clinton circle. She’s a fucking hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power. They’ll probably have a gay person after Hillary who’s just going to do the same thing.

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

Ex-NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg on Dodd-Frank: “The Government Should Have Let the Industry Craft the Bill”

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 10.35.10 AMThis week has been the week of the ill advised oligarch quote. It all started quietly enough, with Las Vegas Sands CEO and crony Republican godfather, Sheldon Adelson, expressing his disdain for both journalism and democracy, all in one quaint little conference in which participants debated how quickly and how severely Iran should be bombed into the stone age.

Then we had the architect of Obamacare, the consummate oligarch minion, Jonathan Gruber, admit that the law was deliberately crafted deceptively in order to fool the “stupid” American public.

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

The Challenges of Defending Your Child’s Mind from Propaganda

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.13.40 AMIn great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace.They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war. 

– Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations

Let’s face it, your child’s mind is fertile ground for oligarchs, corrupt politicians and any other thieving member of the so-called “ruling elite” who aim to enslave the masses both mentally and monetarily. Unfortunately, the propaganda that comes from the government and our largest corporations is perceived as being absolute truth by most people. If you’re like me, at one point in time you had to wake up to it all and accept that you had been completely brainwashed for the first few decades for your life.

On a parental level, defending my child’s mind against blatant lies and deceit from the media, military industrial complex and corporatism is really not that difficult. But what about their grandparents, cousins or the kids next door?

Read the Full Article »

Welcome to Arcadia – The California Suburb Where Wealthy Chinese Criminals are Building Mansions to Stash Cash

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 1.53.00 PMThe city, population 57,600, projects that about 150 older homes—53 percent more than normal—will be torn down this year and replaced with mansions. The deals happen fast and are rarely listed publicly. Often, the first indication that a megahouse is coming next door is when the lawn turns brown. That means the neighbor has stopped watering and green construction netting is about to go up.

Arcadia is a concentrated version of what’s happening across the U.S. The Hurun Report, a magazine in Shanghai about China’s wealthy elite, estimates that almost two-thirds of the country’s millionaires have already emigrated or plan to do so.

– From the Bloomberg article: Why Are Chinese Millionaires Buying Mansions in an L.A. Suburb?

The surge in foreigners buying up U.S. real estate has been well documented in recent years. Of all this buying, no nation has demonstrated a bigger increase in purchases than China. In fact, it is estimated that 24% of all foreign purchases of domestic real estate this year have come from China, up 72% from last year. In my post from July, Chinese Purchases of U.S. Real Estate hit $22 Billion as The Bank of China Facilitates Money Laundering, I noted that:

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

Chinese Homebuilders Expand in America as U.S. Auto Loans Hit Record Levels

Just a little tale from the streets of America
Sparkled promises paved with pathos and hysteria
Trenchant, weary native sons
Step back, step back
And see the damage done
Meander to the horizon 
The streets of America

– Bad Religion, Streets of America

Late last week I published a post titled, Your Wall Street Slumlord Arrives in Europe – Goldman and Other Financial Firms Launch “Buy to Rent” in Spain, in which I highlighted the fact that U.S. financial oligarchs had recently turned their sights toward Spanish real estate after feasting on the American market for several years and driving home prices to unaffordable levels for much of the native population.

Interestingly, today I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal that noted Chinese homebuilders are beginning to make a more aggressive push into the U.S. market. One of the main reasons for this phenomenon appears to be:

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.