Saturday, 1 April 2017

Weekend Update 01/04/2017 Real News Edition.

Harry Hinkle: Florida and Mustangs and foxes, how are you gonna pay for all of this? 

Willie Gingrich: Our credit is good. 

Harry Hinkle: Well don't you think we better wait 'til we see some of that insurance money?

Willie Gingrich: Wait? Who waits nowadays? Take the government. When they shoot a billion dollars worth of hardware into space, do you think they pay cash? It's all on the Diner's Club!

The Fortune Cookie. 1966.

In Washington just after midnight, it was announced that Presidents Trump and Putin will swap jobs for a year, starting May 1. President Putin will reside at Mar-a-Lago for the duration, while President Trump will occupy an infamous Moscow hotel. President Putin announced that as from January 1, 2018 the dollar would re-link to gold at a rate of $30,000 per ounce.

The Clinton Foundation, finding no further use for billions in bribes it received from ruthless despots, tyrants, and deviants all around the globe, announced it would be donating the money to impoverished, thrifty, white former middle class Americans, reduced to penury by the policies of the Federal Reserve Board, the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money, former Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, plus the activities of Ebenezer Squid and his ilk.

The Democrats have announced that under President Putin, their sons and daughters would again agree to serve in America’s military, in peacetime.

In Hollywood it was announced that they would resume making family films again, following a disastrous four decade long failed venture into violent perversion, deviant sex and homosexuality. Early remakes are to include “Dumbo” the story of G. W. Bush and Dick Cheney. And Snow White. In keeping with modern sensibilities since the original version appeared in 1937, the new version will be renamed Snow Off-White, and is to be suitable for all audiences.

In Germany it was announced that after years of shirking it’s NATO contributions and leaking to the KGB, Germany would start contributing again, and immediately start buying spares for its aging Luftwaffe of Starfighter-Widowmakers,  Ju-87s, and Me 109s, and restart production of the Me 163 Komet rocket interceptor, once the original blueprints are returned from the Smithsonian, Washington D.C. Trainers would be hired from the RAF to teach the Luftwaffe how to fly and be "great again."

In France, teenage love-rat President Holland resigned to allow Marine Le Pen to take over, and start the process of making France “Great Again.” Madam Le Pen said she looked forward to returning France to 1643-1715.

In London and Madrid it was announced that on completing Brexit, Gibraltar would be returned to Spain, while Spain ceded Benidorm to the UK. There hasn’t been a sighting of a single Spaniard in Benidorm since 1985, While the local cuisine has descended into greasy "all-day bacon and eggs," followed by greasy fish and chips and Stella Artois.

Finally, in Dublin, in a confidence boosting measure, Sein Fein – IRA revealed the location of their suitcase, mini-nuke, concealed in Canterbury Cathedral England for the last 30 years. It was believed in Dublin to be in the process of going critical

More as it develops.

This just in:

10:00 AM London. The BBC, the London propaganda arm of the EUSSR in Brussels and Berlin, has just announced that after Article 50 was triggered, part of the sky did fall in over northern Scotland. Since no one actually lives there  to witness it, it took some time for the news to reach the BBC europhiles in the south.

Elsewhere on planet earth, we open with Wall Street’s Great Vampire Squids and Banksters. The more things change the more things stay the same. As the old saying goes, if you want a friend on Wall Street, buy a dog.

Wall Street’s New Favorite Way to Swap Secrets Is Against the Rules

by Laura J Keller
31 March 2017, 00:00 BST 31 March 2017, 11:00 BST
Dirty jokes and NSFW GIFs. Snaps of unsuspecting colleagues on the trading floor. Screenshots of confidential client positions.

All that -- and, on occasion, even legally dubious information -- is increasingly being trafficked over the new private lines of Wall Street: encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp and Signal.

From traders to bankers and money managers, just about everyone in finance is embracing these apps as an easy, and virtually untraceable, way to circumvent compliance, get around the HR police and keep bosses in the dark. And it’s happening despite the industry’s efforts to crack down on unmonitored communications, according to conversations with employees at more than a dozen of Wall Street’s most recognizable firms.

Just this week, a former Jefferies Group banker was fined in the U.K. for sharing confidential data on WhatsApp.

In many ways, the development reflects a cultural shift. At big banks and small shops alike, rowdy trading desks and the boys-will-be-boys ethos are no longer tolerated, at least publicly. But the widespread use of encrypted apps is also raising a deeper concern: It could enable reckless behavior that’s all but impossible to police and lead to abuses like the chat-room scandals involving Libor manipulation and currency rigging.

“You’re really able to operate outside of the bank,” said William McGovern, a former SEC branch chief and senior lawyer at Morgan Stanley who now works at law firm Kobre & Kim. “We have seen in our investigations that the ground is shifting under everyone, and technology changes are driving a lot of it.”

Rules, Regulations

The rules are clear. Financial firms need to keep records of all written business communications, no matter how innocuous, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Asset managers are bound by similar regulations.

Representatives for Wall Street banks, including those at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., say they have various policies in place to prevent unmonitored communications and unauthorized access to confidential information. They routinely check emails and chats on company devices, restrict personal phones and messaging services on trading floors and require employees to sign agreements prohibiting unmonitored communications for work. In January, Deutsche Bank AG banned text messages and apps such as WhatsApp and Apple Inc.’s iMessage on company phones globally to improve compliance standards.

Across finance, the nearly two dozen employees who spoke with Bloomberg say those policies are routinely ignored and the use of personal phones for work is a fact of life. No one would speak on the record for fear of losing their jobs.

When asked about the widespread use of unauthorized apps, SEC spokeswoman Judith Burns declined to comment.

Big Brother

A big reason more and more Wall Street types have turned to messaging apps is because they are tired of having every written word -- work-related or not -- ingested into vast, Big Brother-like databases and scrutinized for tone and taste in ways that strike many as overbearing. They’ve learned even the slightest misinterpretation can land them in hot water -- not only with compliance, but with prosecutors on the lookout for financial crimes.

Harry Hinkle: Of course he's upset. He's a lawyer - he's paid to be upset.

The Fortune Cookie. 1966.

Credit Suisse Offices Searched in Three Cities in Tax Probe

by Cindy Roberts and Jan-Henrik Foerster
31 March 2017, 10:32 BST 31 March 2017, 11:19 BST
Credit Suisse Group AG said its offices in London, Paris and Amsterdam were searched by authorities in connection with client tax matters.

Credit Suisse is cooperating with the authorities, the bank said in a statement Friday from Zurich. The bank said it has “implemented Dutch and French voluntary tax disclosure programs and exited non-compliant clients,” and has applied a withholding tax agreement with the U.K. since 2013.

The Dutch prosecutor’s office, in a separate statement, said it’s investigating dozens of people who are suspected of tax fraud and money laundering. They are alleged to have concealed millions of euros from authorities by placing them in Swiss bank accounts, the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Division said in a statement Friday. Criminal investigations are also ongoing in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and France, according to the statement.

The visits come as Credit Suisse begins implementing a new global standard for the automated exchange of information for its European locations. About 100 countries, or jurisdictions, including Switzerland, have agreed to collect data from banks to share annually with other tax authorities, making it harder for tax dodgers and money launderers to hide money with private banks.

A spokeswoman for the French financial prosecutor’s office declined to comment immediately, citing a continuing operation.

The raids were done without informing authorities in Switzerland, the attorney general’s office in that country said, adding that it was astonished by that. Dutch authorities said they have received information about thousands of account holders.

Simone Meier, a spokeswoman for Credit Suisse, declined to comment.

Professor Winterhalter: All these newfangled machines. Fake! It proves nothing. In the old days, we used to do these things better. The man says he's paralyzed, we simply throw him in the snake pit. If he climbs out, then we know he's lying.

Specialist #1: [shocked] And if he doesn't climb out?

Professor Winterhalter: Then we have lost the patient, but we have found an honest man.

The Fortune Cookie. 1966.

We close as usual with an update from Jason Jencka in sunny California, where this year’s snowpack is the deepest since 2011. Today an American take on Brexit.

Triggering Article 50 Represents a Philosophical Triumph Amid Tangible Risk and Uncertainty

N. Jason Jencka April 1st, 2017 2 am ET

The core dilemma of representative democracies is what to do when the demonstrated will of the participating voting-age populace is not in accordance with the preferences of the institutional structures under which that populace lives its life. In the broadest sense, the choices available to those in government include de-legitimisation of the result, outright denial of its validity, demonizing of its backers, as well as the preferred but rather rare option of acceptance followed by an according policy response. While many observers make valid points about the positive and negative aspects of Brexit in terms of macroeconomics and geopolitics, a moment of acknowledgment is in order for the British government in terms of its broad response to Brexit. 

From the near immediate  resignation of former Prime Minister David Cameron to the measured and forward looking letter delivered to EU leadership announcing the formal invocation of the provisions of Article 50, Britain has managed the Brexit process despite a chorus of discord on both sides of the debate. While the day to day slog of political processes can be tiresome to even the most ardent of optimists, one need only to look across the Atlantic to  Mr. Trump's America or indeed to the simmering turmoil in South Africa to see that the U.K and its EU counterparts are handling circumstances better than most regional media would suggest. Of course, actors at the fringes of political influence continue to do whatever they can to muddy the waters through increasingly odd gambits, but such is the nature of modern politics whatever the nation.


N. Jason Jencka is presently studying Finance and Economics at Sierra Nevada College, located near the shores of Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada. His interests include the interplay between world markets and the global political sphere, with a focus on developments of both sides of the Atlantic in North America and Europe. In his leisure time he enjoys connecting with those people that have an interesting story to tell and a genuine desire to make an impact in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment