Friday, November 30, 2018
Trump's Fantasy World is Coming to an End - not even the dead cat will bounce !
Posted by nickglais at 3:36 AM
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Posted by nickglais at 8:24 AM
Posted by nickglais at 6:54 AM
Monday, November 26, 2018
A Mixed Bag - Schiff captures large part of reality but only part because he is also a right wing gold nut.
The Reality of Obama was no real recovery despite the fake numbers and why Trump won.
Trump's name is on the economic bubble but Schiff is locked into the Gold Delusion.
Trump is hoisted on his own fake economic success petard
Posted by nickglais at 12:23 PM
Spinning a story from nothing the Falung Gong Epoch News Way - propaganda from right wing economic illiterates usually based in Taiwan.
Local Public banks in China are part of the reason for Chinese economic success - private capitalist ones are dubious as they have profit rather than public service mandates.
Crypto Currency is not a alternative it is jumping from Capitalist Banksters to Criminal Crypto Gangs.
Real alternative Local Community Banks and Regional Public Banks democratically owned and controlled.
Taking the money power back is part of struggle for democracy and socialism the free market creates the capitalist oligarchy.
EXPOSE THE RIGHT WING LIES OF CAPITALIST FREE MARKET APOLOGISTS
Posted by nickglais at 3:55 AM
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Cryptojacking attacks are continuing to to rise, says Europol, the EU's law enforcement intelligence agency.
Such illicit cryptomining involves attackers exploiting computer users' bandwidth and processing power to "mine" for cryptocurrency, solving mathematical problems that build the cryptocurrency's blockchain.
In return, participants can receive cryptocurrency as a reward.
"While it is not illegal in some cases, it nonetheless creates additional revenue streams and therefore motivation for attackers to hack legitimate websites to exploit their visitor's systems,"
Europol says in its recently released Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment for 2018. "Actual cryptomining malware works to the same effect, but can cripple a victim's system by monopolizing their processing power."
Indeed, security firm Crowdstrike notes in a new report that it "has observed cryptomining dramatically impacting business operations in some organizations - impeding their ability to conduct business as usual for days or weeks at a time."
Cryptomining malware continues to grow more prevalent. "Cryptocurrency mining detections have increased sharply between 2017 and 2018," the Cyber Threat Alliance says in a recently released report.
"Combined data from several CTA members shows a 459 percent increase in illicit cryptocurrency mining malware detections since 2017, and recent quarterly trend reports from CTA members show that this rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down," it says.
Europol predicts that cryptojacking will continue to serve as "a regular, low-risk revenue stream for cybercriminals" (see Cybercrime: 15 Top Threats and Trends).
Rik Ferguson, vice president of security research at Trend Micro, says one of the dominant, recurring themes in this year's IOCTA report is the degree to which "cryptocurrency in many ways could be said to shaping today's threat environment."
Those findings parallel Trend Micro's own first half of 2018 security roundup report, Ferguson notes. Trend Micro and other security firms shared attack and trend data with Europol that fed into the IOCTA report. Ferguson is also a cybersecurity adviser to Europol's EC3 European Cybercrime Center.
"With the increasing, malicious focus on cryptocurrency-related threats, attacks and exploits, it is clear that criminal innovation in this space continues unabated," Ferguson tells Information Security Media Group.
"Starting from attacks targeting cryptocurrency wallets on individual users' machines - either directly or as an add-on to some widespread ransomware variants - attackers have rapidly diversified into direct breaches of cryptocurrency exchanges, malware for mining on traditional, mobile and even IoT devices, and developed attack methodologies specifically designed to target the mechanics of blockchain-based transactions, such as the 51 percent attack."
The 51 percent attack gives attackers who can control more than 50 percent of a network's hash rate - or computing power - the power to reverse transactions on the blockchain or double-spend coins.
The first half of this year saw five successful 51 percent attacks leading to "direct financial losses ranging from $0.55 million to $18 million," Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Group-IB says in a recently released cybercrime trends report.
Mining via Malvertising
Criminals continue to attempt to acquire cryptocurrencies via all possible means, as well as to conduct business using them to help obscure the flow of funds.
For example, attackers are increasingly sneaking cryptomining software into online advertisements, says Christopher Boyd, lead malware intelligence analyst at security firm Malwarebytes.
"While ransomware declines, certain forms of ad-based cryptomining have become very popular and we'd expect to see that trend continue," he tells ISMG.
Such cryptomining software is easily available, sometimes in a legitimate, open source form that attackers may use in an illicit manner.
"After the launch of Coinhive - hidden mining software - seven more similar software programs have come out," Group-IB says in its report.
Criminals are also targeting individuals and organizations that handle cryptocurrency. "Attacks that had previously targeted financial institutions such as banks are finding much easier targets in organizations dealing with cryptocurrencies; it's not surprising then that the criminals are moving to where there are easier pickings,"
Alan Woodward, a visiting professor at the University of Surrey's department of computer science, tells ISMG.
"Currency exchangers, mining services and other wallet holders are facing hacking attempts as well as extortion of personal data and theft," Europol's report notes.
Since 2017, "a total of 14 cryptocurrency exchanges have been robbed, suffering a total loss of $882 million," Group-IB says. "
At least five attacks have been linked to the North Korean hackers from [the] Lazarus state-sponsored group. Their victims were mainly located in South Korea."
Beyond Lazarus, Group-IB says the most prominent cryptocurrency exchange hackers appear to be Russia's three most active cybercrime groups: Silence, MoneyTaker and Cobalt.
Initial coin offerings have also been under fire from hackers (see How Hackers Are Targeting Initial Coin Offerings).
"Approximately 56 percent of all money siphoned off from ICOs were stolen through phishing attacks," Group-IB says.
Bitcoin Still King
Despite the increased criminal interest in virtual currencies such as monero and dash, which promise greater privacy and can be mined - including on malware victims' systems - without having to use highly specialized equipment, Europol says bitcoin "remains the predominant cryptocurrency encountered in cybercrime investigations" (see Criminals Hide 'Billions' in Cryptocurrency, Europol Warns).
"Bitcoin is still the cryptocurrency of choice for criminals, despite other cryptocurrencies gaining market share," Woodward says.
Users of bitcoin who want to make it difficult for investigators to "follow the money" have sometimes relied on tumbling services designed to transfer cryptocurrencies between many different accounts to obscure their origin and destination.
But the latest generations of cryptocurrencies are designed with these types of capabilities built in. "It is likely that high-privacy cryptocurrencies will make the current mixing services and tumblers obsolete," Europol says.
Posted by nickglais at 6:30 AM
Fragile Banking System ? We do not agree that crypto is the answer like psuedo leftists and rightists - what about community banks ? Deutsche Bank can go but there are a 1000 Volksbanks that support productive investment and are not extractive like the Megabanks !
Capitalist Banks must be replaced by Community Banks and Regional Public Banks with Public Service mandates.
The nearer banks are to their local communities the better they can serve them - especially when the local community controls the bank.
Posted by nickglais at 3:48 AM
Saturday, November 24, 2018
A debate that shows the political illiteracy of the interviewer - Stockman has some intelligence but that is limited by his anti communist paradigm.
Posted by nickglais at 6:38 AM
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Posted by nickglais at 8:08 AM
Each business cycle, central banks optimistically hike rates with the stated goal of slowing the economy enough to prevent it from overheating and not so much as to trigger a recession. They have failed in this goal 12 of the last 13 tightening cycles, with a recession and stock market swoon following all but one in the mid-1990s.
After the last two recessions in 2001 and 2008, the US Fed left rates successively lower for longer which enabled debt and financial leverage to balloon to record levels. This has made the economy and financial system less stable and more vulnerable to steeper correction phases than historical average. We are now facing the third 'correction' phase of the past 20 years, and it is set up to be the most extreme yet, just as the largest population of asset owners are tumbling into the over age 65 category in record numbers. Baby boomers were gifted with fortuitous timing through most of their lives; this next phase will be a harsh payback period for many.
With the global economy already slowing and stock and corporate debt markets already swooning, it is likely that the US Fed will once more signal a 'surprise' pause in its rate-hiking plans in 2019. In Canada, with slumping home prices, stocks and oil already spreading financial distress, it is likely that the Bank of Canada will pause in its tightening cycle even sooner than the US Fed. But this will be no magic fix.
As shown in the above the chart of Fed tightening and easing cycles since 1998 from my partner Cory Venable, by the time central banks pause, a recession is already likely to be imminent and the stock market already in the throes of a deep bear market. By the time policymakers move to ease once more, financial damage will already be far and wide.
Posted by nickglais at 7:48 AM
Monday, November 19, 2018
Saturday, November 17, 2018
In 1944, Eric Williams wrote a book that was either quickly praised or quickly dismissed. However, initial reaction underestimated the impact of the text. 50 years later, the assertions presented in Capitalism and Slavery are still debated by historians when discussing the impact of slavery on the Industrial Revolution.
In one of two main theses, “Capitalism and Slavery” asserted that triangular trade was instrumental in developing the capital used in launching Britain’s industrial revolution. In 1975, Roger Anstey refuted that premise and, in fact, felt that the Williams text had been unequivocally disproved. Yet in 1997, Robin Blackburn published a text supporting Williams. The question of slavery’s impact on the industrial revolution is still at large and, in the words of one wise professor, “It won’t be solved with numbers.” Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to examine some of the writings on the topic in an attempt to elucidate to the reader some of the main points of the debate.
Williams gave as his evidence connections between slave traders or West Indian sugar planters and three economic sectors crucial to the industrial revolution: banking, heavy industry, and insurance. In Liverpool especially, slave traders founded major banks or those associated with the trade. Men who had accumulated their capital in the African trade in 1753 founded Heywood Bank. The Leylands were another family of slave traders turned bankers. The Barclays traded slaves in 1756 before establishing their bank, one of the largest in Britain today. Banks were also established in Manchester and Glasgow, both closely connected with the cotton trade, and hence with slavery, and in Bristol and London, both competing with Liverpool before the 1770’s for control of the slave trade.
In heavy industry, some of the capital, which supported metallurgical industries, came directly from the triangular trade. The team of Boulton and Watt is a well-known example, receiving advances from Lowe, Vere, Williams, and Jennings. These men had ships trading with the West Indies and used the profits to invest in the steam engine; their desire was to have it speed up sugar processing.
Triangular trade was also associated with insurance companies. The famous Lloyds of London started as a coffee shop where escaped slaves could be returned and claimed; Lloyds also offered insurance against fires in the West Indies from the early days of insurance.
Williams’ style and loose connections have been widely condemned as anecdotal by economic historians. In 1972, Roger Anstey published a response to Capitalism and Slavery in his book, The Slave Trade and British Abolition. Anstey makes extensive use of economic calculations in order to prove his argument that the slave trade did not have a major impact on the industrial revolution. Anstey calculates that profits from the slave trade came to about nine percent of the amount invested. In real money terms, this would be slightly over nine million pounds total profit in the second half of the 17th century. The annual average came to about 200,000 pounds. By 1800, the national ratio of investment to national income was about seven percent; national income was about 180 million pounds, so national investment was 12.6 million pounds per year. If slave-trading profits followed other investment tendencies, meaning seven percent was invested, the slave trade profits that were invested totaled 14,000 pounds per year, which is 0.11% of the total national investment. In the unlikely situation that all slave trade profits were invested, they would account for 1.59% of total national investment.
Anstey continued by focusing in on industrial investments. Industrial investments accounted for about 20% of total national investments at this time; slave trade investments would have accounted for .56% of all industrial investments. If you assume that all slave trade profits were invested directly into industrialism, they would have accounted for 7.94% of the total. According to Anstey, these numbers soundly disprove Williams’ thesis that the triangular trade was the springboard to industrialism.
Williams’ thesis did not rest solely on the contribution of slave trade capital. Other major contributors of the triangular trade (now broadened and more often known as the Atlantic System) were the sugar colonies of the West Indies. According to Williams, mercantilism stimulated industrial development. Drescher, in his reassessment of Capitalism and Slavery, does not agree with the slave trade’s premier importance in accumulating industrial capital. He does however state that among historians there is a “broadening consensus on slavery’s decisive role in the creation of the Atlantic economic system.” Without slavery, there would have been few to no sugar plantations. These plantations were a vital part of Britain’s industrialization by providing an outlet for manufactured goods, as there was little to no manufacturing on the islands.
In The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution Davis writes that 60-70 percent of all slaves who survived the middle passage toiled in the sugar plantations of the West Indies. These societies had very unbalanced economies, with few people interested in the islands’ long-term welfare. West India had extremely high absentee rates, and most white men who lived there did so with a hope to leave rich after 20 years. There was no real development of resources other than sugar, tobacco, and indigo because the residents were not trying to create a society; they were merely trying to make money. By the turn of the 19th century, the West Indies were a sinking ship; a Parliamentary protection hid the problems of increasing costs, over-investment in slaves, and high debt. According to Davis, this society was supported by and supported the Industrial Revolution.
Joseph Inikori in “Slavery and the Development of Industrial Capitalism in England,” argued that from the mid-fourteenth through the mid-fifteenth centuries, population growth was rapid enough that Britain could move towards a capitalist economy: not all workers were needed to grow food to sustain the population. By 1650, the still-rapid population growth demanded employment outside of agriculture. The growth of overseas trade provided that employment. Exports soon became the largest contributors to the move towards a capitalist England. Inikori gives as an example the change in manufactured exports from 1700 to 1811. In 1700 manufacturing, mining, and building made 18.5 million pounds, of which 3.8 million were exports and 14.7 million were consumed at home. In 1811, the same three industries made 62.5 million pounds, of which 28.2 million were exports and 34.3 million were for home consumption. This means that the percentage of mining, manufactured, and building products that was exported rose from 20 percent to 45 percent in the course of the 18th century. These exports largely went to the West Indian colonies. Without such a high rate of exports, industrialization would have been considerably slower.
Recent studies have begun to look at the Atlantic system as a whole, and how it contributed to the rise of industrialization in Britain. To those unfamiliar, the Atlantic system is the integration of the African and Atlantic slave trades, all Atlantic colonies (including British, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish colonies), and Europe, remembering that capital traveled freely through trade among all parts of the system. Williams alluded to this when he spoke of “triangular trade.” Recent scholars have elaborated on the concept of triangular trade; hence the new name, the Atlantic System.
Using new numbers computed by Thomas and Ward, along with Anstey’s percentages, Robin Blackburn has recently re-computed the likely contribution of Atlantic system capital to the Industrial Revolution. He calculates the figures for basic profits from the Atlantic system in 1770 as follows (in pounds):
Thomas/Ward plantation profits: 1,307,000
Anstey slave trade profits: 115,000
West Indian trade: 1,075,000
African Trade: 300,000
Blackburn calculates that the total profits earned from the Atlantic system are almost three million pounds. His upper estimate is 4,336,000 pounds. Blackburn goes on to say that there is reason to believe that re-investment of these profits was quite high, between 30 and 50 percent. This means that Atlantic System profits could account for one-half to four-fifths of the gross fixed capital needed to finance a major industrial undertaking. One major undertaking in this time was canal building; merchants and bankers and manufacturers contributed 36 percent of the finances used to build canals in 18th century. Those are the very people involved in trade within the Atlantic. Even following Anstey’s figures, Blackburn has shown that the Atlantic system did have a likely impact on financing the industrial revolution. It is not as high as Williams claimed, nor was it as low as Anstey rebutted.
Blackburn used the framework of primitive accumulation to prove the import of the Atlantic system to the Industrial Revolution. According to Marx, capitalism first required a phase of “primitive accumulation,” a period in which people acquired capital, which they were then able to invest. Adam Smith called this phase “previous accumulation.” Blackburn believes the West Indies provided a state of “extended primitive accumulation,” meaning the West Indies offered an opportunity to constantly acquire capital to invest. This allowed Britain to produce more than its mainland population and agricultural capabilities would allow. Blackburn cites Davis’ figures on exports by location, finding that exports to the Atlantic colonies were 43 percent from 1784-86 and 57 percent from 1806-08. To further his argument, he cites Crafts’ newest numbers, which show that the rise of exports contributed 56.3 percent of the total rise in industrial output from 1700-60, and 46.2 percent from 1780-1800. This offers convincing evidence of the importance of the Atlantic system in promoting the Industrial Revolution.
Hobsbawm extends the import of trade to include Asian trade. His “dependent” economies consist of formal colonies -- such as the West Indies, points of trade that were dominated by Western Europe -- such as China or Japan, and advancing economies -- such as Eastern Europe. Hobsbawm goes beyond the Atlantic system, but still includes it in his research. According to Hobsbawm, these dependent economies offered the “spark” needed to ignite the Industrial Revolution. He offers figures for the increase in output for home and export industries. While home industries increased by seven percent between 1700-1750 and eight percent between 1750-1770, export industries increased by 77 and 80 percent in those time periods respectively. According to Hobsbawn, export industries were able to surge ahead of domestic industries because of their tendencies to capture foreign markets and destroy foreign competition. Therefore, these numbers are not completely accurate, as some of them include goods manufactured in other countries that have been taken over.
In his recent book, Pomerantz supports the conclusion that colonies were a vital ingredient in the Industrial Revolution. He compares European economies to those of China and Japan. In the mid-18th century, the economies were very similar. Europe was able to surge ahead industrially not through internal advantages but through external ones. According to Pomerantz, these were the extra markets and “ghost acreage” provided by Atlantic colonies.
Prior to and since the publication of Capitalism and Slavery, historians have given many arguments for the uniqueness of Britain’s Industrial Revolution. Many of these are linked to the sometimes-called Agricultural Revolution, which started earlier and exponentially increased, the food available in Britain at a lower labor cost. Others feel it was the abundance of coal that gave Britain’s its edge. Still others would look to the growth of home markets to explain. It is impractical to ignore this matter of slavery; British colonies were an obvious source of wealth at this time, and slaves made the wealth in many of those colonies. We may never have the exact figures, nor may we see the intricate linkages, but it is obvious that, without slavery, the Industrial Revolution would not have been the British advantage it was.
Anstey, Roger. The Atlantic Slave Trade and British Abolition. Macmillan, 1975.
Blackburn, Robin. The Making of New World Slavery. Verso Press, 1997.
Clemens, Paul. “The Rise of Liverpool,” Economic History Review, Vol. 29 No. 2 (May 1976) pp. 211-225.
Davis, David. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution. Cornell University Press, 1975.
Drescher, Seymour. Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977.
Drescher, Seymour. “Capitalism and Slavery after 50 years.” From Slavery to Freedom. New York University Press, 1997.
Inkori, Joseph. “Slavery and the development of Industrial Capitalism in England.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 17 No 4 (Spring 1987) 771-793.
William, Eric. Capitalism and Slavery. University of North Carolina Press, 1944.
Posted by nickglais at 2:45 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2018
George Soros has become demonized to such an extent that hearing him speak here is a very necessary corrective - and why we publish him - we fundamentally disagree with his liberal politics based on Karl Popper and the book Open society and it Enemies (It is a factually bad book on both Hegel and Marx) but we do not agree with the right who just see him as some mastermind of all evil - he is a reformist capitalist who wants to save the system these right wing people cherish - we do not want to save capitalism but prepare the transition to socialism and George Soros opposes us in that aim and funds reformist leftists to prevent that transition.
We are particularly interested in his comments on China and Zhu Rongji and his criticism of Xi Xingping which does not surprise us but certainly was not public information.
Zhu Rongji was the practitioner par excellence of Deng Xiaoping Economic Thought and maybe found Xi Xingping Thought a bit much to swallow.
Posted by nickglais at 12:29 PM
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Political Economy Research says the Trump Administration is contributing to the speed up of De- dollarization by its Sanctions and Trade War policies - Trump is making the dollar symbol of US power less great - so making US less great should be Trump slogan not MAGA.
All of this de-dollarization is taking place with confidence in US markets collapsing under the rising debt.
External and internal dynamics are pushing US Economy in a depression the bottom of which will be reached in 2020.
Posted by nickglais at 4:31 AM