Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Former Chicago Mayor and Obama Pal Using Fraud-Infested Visa Program to Raise Millions for His Co.

Former Chicago Mayor and Obama Pal Using Fraud-Infested Visa Program to Raise Millions for His Co.

OCTOBER 20, 2016
An Obama ally embroiled in a corruption scandal as a big-city mayor is using a controversial foreign visa program determined by Homeland Security officials to be plagued with “crippling fraud and national security vulnerabilities” to raise millions of dollars for his company. Hundreds of foreigners, mainly from China, are expected to bankroll a skyscraper project via the EB-5 program that provides visas and a path to American citizenship for foreign nationals that invest $1 million in the U.S.
In this case, former longtime Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and his son are asking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to let them solicit $150 million from foreign investors by using the EB-5 visa program. Chicago’s conservative newspaper published an investigative piece this week after obtaining hundreds of pages of government records. Though the documents were “heavily redacted,” there was enough information to cause alarm, especially after connecting the dots between the president and the disgraced former mayor. During Daley’s tenure more than 30 city workers, including two senior administrators close to the mayor, and contractors got federally indicated for taking bribes. A dozen cabinet-level officials also resigned in the fiasco.
When Obama became president, he hired some of Daley’s top people, including David Axelrod, who was the Chicago mayor’s chief consultant, and Valerie Jarrett, his former deputy chief of staff. In his ill-fated effort to bring the 2016 Olympics to his adopted hometown of Chicago, Obama deployed Jarrett, a senior White House advisor, to the Windy City to work out the details with Daley. Judicial Watch investigated the scandal and had to sue to uncover records involving the president’s costly plan to bring the Olympics to Chicago. This included a trip to Copenhagen by Obama and his wife to appeal to the International Olympic Committee to give Chicago the bid that went to Rio de Janeiro. Four years and millions of dollars in planning came to an abrupt halt in the Windy City, where local leaders—including Daley—and politically-connected business owners were banking on Obama’s star power to bring the games home.
Now we have Daley, a powerful figure in the Democratic Party and Chicago’s longest serving mayor (the city has no term limits so he served 22 years), using his political connections to benefit his private business. The company seeking to lure foreign investors with U.S. visas is called Tur Partners and Daley owns it with his son Patrick. The records obtained by the Chicago newspaper say the father-and-son conglomerate wants to build a downtown skyscraper and their DHS application was submitted on September 22, 2015. The application shows that each would put up half a million dollars for the skyscraper project and pay a $50,000 administrative fee that would bring the Daleys’ company $15 million, the article states. “In return, the foreigners would be eligible to be granted visas allowing them and their immediate families to move to the United States and live here forever,” the story says. Of interesting note is that the Daleys will also collect an additional $50,000 from each investor to “cover the costs of offering migration services and marketing fees.”
The shady Daley project comes to light following a series of widespread problems surrounding the EB-5 visa program, which was created more than two decades ago to ignite economic development in rural areas and has come under bipartisan attack in recent years. Just last month a U.S. senator who sits on the Judiciary Committee reminded Congress that years ago an interagency working group consisting of DHS and other federal agencies with national security responsibilities recommended discontinuing the EB-5 visa program. The panel cited “rampant exploitation” in the program as well as “widespread fraud and national security concerns.” Additionally, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, has determined that the EB-5 visa program is susceptible to fraud and that its economic benefits are questionable.

Armageddon Postponed

Armageddon Postponed

Cal  Thomas
|
Posted: Aug 17, 2017 12:00 AM
Armageddon Postponed
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un appears to have blinked and President Trump can claim a foreign policy victory and justification for his strategy.
Reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan's "peace through strength" approach to deterring adversaries, President Trump stood up to the blustering despot and forced him to back down from his threat to launch missiles at Guam.
China, North Korea's biggest ally, no doubt played a role in getting Kim to change his mind, but primary credit should go to the president.
What a far cry from the policies of the last several administrations. They favored diplomacy over confrontation, allowing North Korea to proceed with its clandestine nuclear program in exchange for empty promises. Former President Jimmy Carter, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright were among those who visited North Korea on various diplomatic missions. Albright engaged in a champagne toast with Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, after claiming success in getting the country to curtail its missile program. We have seen the failure of that approach and are witnessing the success of its opposite.
Though Kim seems to have backed down from launching missiles at Guam and touting his capability to strike targets on the U.S. mainland, he has retained his overheated rhetoric. In a case of the pot calling the kettle black, Kim warned the U.S., as reported by The Wall Street Journal, "to take into full account" whether the current standoff was to its benefit. He added it was incumbent on the U.S. to "stop at once arrogant provocations against the DPRK (North Korea) and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer."
Who provoked whom?
Kim added, "If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the [North] will make an important decision as it already declared," meaning he might still order a strike against Guam, or put some missiles offshore to test American resolve.
American resolve has been tested and has prevailed, at least for now. Kim has lost face. His military leaders and others will take notice, as will the rest of the world. The significance of the unanimous UN resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea, which included the support of China, could not have been lost on Kim.
New presidents almost always face a foreign policy test. Some pass, some fail. John F. Kennedy was judged weak by Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev, which many believe precipitated the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Iran believed press reports that Ronald Reagan was a "cowboy" and dangerous, so they released American hostages on the day of his inauguration in 1981.
There is a time for diplomacy and a time for displaying strength. President Obama sent a signal to the world by setting a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan before victory over the Taliban could be achieved. He apologized to the world for what he saw as America's "arrogance." Our enemies took notice and viewed his statements as an invitation to adventurism.
President Trump and his defense secretary, Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis, took another approach, returning Kim's rhetorical fire with rhetorical fire of their own. It worked, at least temporarily. Where to go from here remains an open question, but the goal remains the same. North Korea (and Iran) must never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons capable of reaching the United States or threatening America's allies, including South Korea and Japan.
President Trump deserves credit for standing up for the country and confronting one of the world's most unpredictable dictators. He probably won't get any credit from the media, most Democrats, or the foreign policy establishment, but our adversaries are bound to take notice and perhaps adjust their view of the president in ways that benefit America.

Fed Warning: The U.S. Consumer Is Sick

Fed Warning: The U.S. Consumer Is Sick

News Image By The Daily Sheeple August 17, 2017 Share this article:

After we first reported last week that US credit card debt hit a new all time high with both student and auto loans rising to fresh records with every new report...


... it won't come as a surprise that according to the just released latest quarterly household debt and credit report by the NY Fed, Americans' debt rose to a new record high in the second quarter on the back of an increase in every form of debt: from mortgage, to auto, student and credit card debt. 

Aggregate household debt increased for the 12th consecutive quarter, and are now $164 billion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion set in Q3, 2008. 
As of June 30, 2017, total household indebtedness was $12.84 trillion, or 69% of US GDP: a $114 billion (0.9%) increase from the first quarter of 2017 and up $552 billion from a year ago. Overall household debt is now 15.1% above the Q2 2013 trough.


Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, increased again during the first quarter to $8.69 trillion, an increase of $64 billion from the first quarter of 2017. Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were roughly flat, and now stand at $452 billion. Non-housing balances were up in the second quarter. 

Auto loans grew by $23 billion and credit card balances increased by $20 billion, while student loan balances were roughly flat.

Confirming the slowdown in mortgage activity, mortgage originations in Q2 declined to $421 billion from $491 billion. Meanwhile, there were $148 billion in auto loan originations in the second quarter of 2017, an uptick from the first quarter and about the same as the very high level in the 2nd quarter of 2016.

Auto loan balances increased by $23 billion, continuing their 6-year trend. Auto loan delinquency rates increased slightly, with 3.9% of auto loan balances 90 or more days delinquent on June 30. The aggregate credit card limit rose for the 18h consecutive quarter, with a 1.6% increase.

Outstanding student loan balances rose modestly, and stood at $1.34 trillion as of June 30, 2017. The second quarter typically witnesses slow or no growth in student loan balances due to the academic cycle. As discussed previously, a perilously high 11.2% of aggregate student loan debt was 90+ days delinquent or in default in 2017 Q2.

In a troubling development, the report noted that the distribution of the credit scores of newly originating mortgage and auto loan borrowers shifted downward somewhat, as the median score for originating borrowers for auto loans dropped 8 points to 698, and the median origination score for mortgages declined to 754. 

For now this credit score decline has not impacted the credit market: about 85,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports in the second quarter as foreclosures remained low by historical standards.
And while much of the report was in line with recent trends, and the overall debt that was delinquent, at 4.8%, was on par with the previous quarters, the NY Fed did issue a red flag warning over the transitions of credit card balances into delinquency, which the New York Fed said "ticked up notably."

Discussing the troubling deterioration in credit card defaults, first pointed out here in April, the New York Fed said that credit card balance flows into both early and serious delinquencies increased from a year ago, describing this as "a persistent upward movement not seen since 2009." 

As shown in the chart below, the transition into 30 and 90-Day delinquencies has, over the past two quarters, surged to the highest rate since the first quarter of 2013, suggesting something drastically changed in the last three quarters when it comes to US consumer behavior.


"While relatively low, credit card delinquency flows climbed notably over the past year," said Andrew Haughwout, senior vice president at the New York Fed. "This is occurring within the context of loosening lending standards, as borrowers with lower credit scores recover their ability to access credit cards. 

The current state of credit card delinquency flows can be an early indicator of future trends and we will closely monitor the degree to which this uptick is predictive of further consumer distress."
That bolded statement, is the first official warning by the Fed that the US consumer is sick, and the Fed has no way reasonable explanation for this troubling jump in delinquencies. Timestamp it, because this will certainly not the be the last time the Fed warns about the dangerous consequences of all-time high credit card debt.

As for the "further uptick in consumer distress", we are just guessing but the fact that credit card defaults are jumping at a time when sales at fast food and other restaurants have declined for 17 consecutive quarters, and when $250 billion in US household savings was just "revised" away, may all be connected.

Originally published at the Daily Sheeple - reposted with permission.

Elon Musk Explains Why Artificial Intelligence Is More Dangerous Than North Korea

Elon Musk Explains Why Artificial Intelligence Is More Dangerous Than North Korea
Life · News · Sci & Tech · Society · War  
By True Activist
Posted on August 17, 2017

“With artificial intelligence, we’re summoning the demon,” - Elon Musk

By: Jake Anderson/ANTIMEDIA — The world was atwitter last week as President Trump crudely took North Korea to task over its nuclear program, a threat that has slowly but surely eclipsed the distractions of our imperialist wars in the Middle East. But according to tech mogul Elon Musk, humans face a far graver threat from something they use in their everyday lives and could be holding in their hands as they read these words: algorithmic artificial intelligence. Specifically, algorithmic AI that evolves into malevolent super-intelligent entities and seeks to end their meat bag parent species — us.

Late last week, Musk tweeted that AI is far more dangerous than North Korea, adding that he believes regulation will be necessary to contain the burgeoning technology.

    If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea. pic.twitter.com/2z0tiid0lc

    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 12, 2017

The tweets come on the heels of the newest unnerving conquest by algorithmic AI. A test bot created by OpenAI reigned supreme in the multiplayer online battle arena (Moba) game Dota 2, beating the best human players in the world. The test AI was able to predict its human opponents’ every move and win using a combination of speed and strategy. Last year, DeepMind’s AlphaGo AI defeated the world’s top player of the most complex board game, Go.
Musk’s alarmist attitude toward AI has, in the past, been mocked by a Silicon Valley digerati convinced that strong artificial intelligence will be a benevolent force that humans can harness. But in recent years, a consortium of futurists and rock star AI developers and experts have finally heeded Musk’s warnings — and Stephen Hawking’s — and launched AI safety conferences and committees for the express purpose of containing the threat of runaway artificial intelligence.

For his part, Musk has tasked his OpenAI company with the creation of a “neural lace,” a theoretical transhumanist technology that melds the human mind with cloud-based AI, a brain-machine interface(BMI). Musk believes the best way to hedge against runaway AI is to upgrade humans to near machine status.

Musk, now one of the richest men in the world, has poured his entrepreneurial spirit into projects that are part of massive growth industries and, simultaneously, visions of collectivist human evolution (as a teenager, his first mission statement was: “The only thing that makes sense to do is strive for greater collective enlightenment.”) Not only did he open his patents for Tesla because “we’re all in a ship together,” not only does he want humans to merge with advanced technology for species protection, he also wants us to colonize Mars in order to have a second home in case future AI inhabitants — our “mind children” — kick us off our home planet. It’s a really weird, futuristic version of collectivism, but it’s there.

At a recent MIT symposium, Musk echoed recent sentiments from Stephen Hawking by declaring that AI constitutes our “biggest existential threat.”

    “With artificial intelligence, we’re summoning the demon,” Musk said.

Some have accused Musk of using Luddite sentiments and fear-mongering in order to appropriate the AI narrative and insert himself into the conversation. After all, he had a long-running dispute with his friend Larry Page, who heads Google’s DeepMind, over the threat posed by AI. Perhaps he wants to position his brand for what could soon be the most explosively profitable and civilization-altering industry in human history.

Many titans in the field — including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (who last year announced his annual self-improvement project was to create a personal robot butler), futurist Ray Kurzweil (who authored the seminal book The Singularity Is Near and believes AI will entirely surpass human intelligence and acuity by 2029), and AI engineer Andrew Ng (who heads Baidu, China’s Google, and wears a jacket that says “Trust the Robot”) — believe humans will not face an existential threat from AI and will, in fact, flourish and grow with its assistance.

Musk thinks we could accidentally create a real-life version of Skynet. But instead of Terminator robots, he imagines centralized superintelligence endowed with self-directed exponential growth.

“If you want a picture of A.I. gone wrong, don’t imagine marching humanoid robots with glowing red eyes,” Musk says. “Imagine tiny invisible synthetic bacteria made of diamond, with tiny onboard computers, hiding inside your bloodstream and everyone else’s. And then, simultaneously, they release one microgram of botulinum toxin. Everyone just falls over dead.

    “The thing about A.I. is that it’s not the robot; it’s the computer algorithm in the Net. So the robot would just be an end effector, just a series of sensors and actuators. A.I. is in the Net . . . . The important thing is that if we do get some sort of runaway algorithm, then the human A.I. collective can stop the runaway algorithm. But if there’s large, centralized A.I. that decides, then there’s no stopping it.”

Some might once again contend that Musk wants to reframe the debate around AI to make his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, more valuable and relevant in the coming decades. His electric cars and space rockets will require advanced algorithmic AI, including state of the art automation and deep learning, so it stands to reason that he wants his companies to dominate the field. What better way to do so than to regulate that field by restricting the growth of AI and keeping it commercially and industrially friendly and scalable?

    Nobody likes being regulated, but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that’s a danger to the public is regulated. AI should be too.

    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 12, 2017

With a current dearth of public policy regarding AI and regulations left largely to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Transportation —for oversight of drones, automated trading, and self-driving cars, respectively — one can understand a futurist’s droll reaction to the idea of federally regulating something that is still embryonic. One went so far as write a post for the transhumanist website H+ entitled “Elon Musk Is More Dangerous Than AI.”

Then again, can we be too careful when it comes to the exponential growth of a technology we may not be able to control? After all, we may only get one chance to shape the infrastructure of the Earth’s first post-biological intelligence.

True Activist / Report a typo


Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/elon-musk-explains-why-artificial-intelligence-is-more-dangerous-than-north-korea/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TrueActivist+%28True+Activist%29

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Why is the Mainstream Media Committing Fraud?

Why is the Mainstream Media Committing Fraud?

Wayne Allyn Root
|
Posted: Aug 21, 2017 12:01 AM
Why is the Mainstream Media Committing Fraud?
America has become a Banana Republic. You know, the kind of place where the media doesn’t report the news, they instead decide what news you should be allowed to hear.
The Mainstream media determines the headlines. And since 99.9% of the people who run the media are either liberal Democrats, or crony capitalists in bed with the DC swamp, they purposely choose headlines to confuse you, distract you, or sadly, outright mislead you. That’s called fraud.
Case in point. What have you heard about for a solid week? A small KKK protest in Charlottesville. And then this past Friday a quick interruption for Steve Bannon's firing.
But isn't news about jobs and the economy dramatically improving under President Trump much more important to the average American?
Under President Obama we had the eight worst GDP (Gross Domestic Product) years in the history of America. Our GDP was under 3% for all eight years of Obama. That’s never happened since the day our country was founded in 1776.
And during the 1930’s (the entire decade of The Great Depression) our combined GDP for the decade was 1.3%. Guess what our combined GDP was for eight years under Obama?
1.3%. We just lived through an "Obama Great Depression." Except this time the media never reported it to the people.
Barack Obama destroyed the US economy and killed the entire American middle class with his obsession with social justice, green energy, open borders, big taxes, big regulations, Obamacare and big government.
Yet the media said nothing. They never reported all this. Instead, the media used the words “in recovery” thousands of times during Obama’s eight years. How could the eight worst years since 1776 be called “a recovery?” It’s all about what headlines the media chooses.
This was a massive cover-up of the failure of Obama’s policies.
Obama was a dream killer. A curse. He was Freddie Kruger.
If Obama’s economy was a movie, it would be “Night of the Living Dead.”
But this week the Atlanta Fed reported something remarkable. They predict the 3rd Quarter GDP of America will be 3.7%. That’s explosive growth. That’s like the Reagan years.
President Trump has changed everything in only seven months. Just by cutting a bunch of regulations and giving entrepreneurs, risk-takers, CEOs and small business owners “hope,” President Trump has brought us back from the dead.
Donald Trump is a magician. He proved that with the right attitude towards business, you can erase eight years of disaster and failure and misery, in record time.
But has this been a headline in the news? NO. It’s nowhere to be found.
But it’s not just GDP. Corporate earnings are setting records, job growth is phenomenal, there are more manufacturing jobs than at any time since before Obama took office, border crossings are dramatically down, and food stamp use is down by 1.3 million. Trump accomplished all of this in only seven months.
Has any of this been in the headlines? NO. It’s nowhere to be found.
Instead we are fed a steady diet of one protest-gone-bad in Charlottesville. And Donald Trump’s views on white extremism, the KKK and Neo Nazis.
Are you starting to get the picture?
On the same weekend as the one heinous protest and tragic murder in Charlottesville, we had 9 murders and 33 shot on the streets of Chicago. This happens every weekend in Chicago- a city run 100% by Democrats for the past half century..
Did you see that in the headlines? No.
Why was one tragic murder at a protest in Charlottesville far more important than nonstop mayhem and murder on the streets of Obama's hometown of Chicago every single week, 52 weeks a year?
At the same time, Debbie Wasserman Shultz is involved in what might be the biggest scandal in political history- allegedly involving bank fraud, extortion vs. 30 Democrat Congressmen, possible funding of terrorism with taxpayer money, espionage, a gigantic breach of national security, and the sale of state secrets to foreign enemies of America.
Not in the headlines.
At the same time, the FBI has re-opened the investigation into the meeting on the airport tarmac between Attorney General Lynch and Bill Clinton.
Not in the headlines.
At the same time, Julian Assange and Kim DotCom of Wikileaks claim they have news that will shock the nation over the DNC leaks, Seth Rich’s murder and Robert Mueller’s entire case against President Trump. Again, no headlines in the media.
It kind of makes you wonder...
Why is the mainstream media committing fraud?

Putin Postures Against Central Banking Elite, Moves to Create Nat'l Cryptocurrency

https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@tftproject/putin-postures-against-central-banking-elite-moves-to-create-nat-l-cryptocurrency

Putin Postures Against Central Banking Elite, Moves to Create Nat'l Cryptocurrency

2 months ago
tftproject69 in cryptocurrency
In Russia, there are free speech zones, gays are persecuted, and speaking out against the state is often met with police brutality — just ask the activist band Pussy Riot. Vladimir Putin is not a hero. That being said, however, on a larger scale, Putin is not attempting to build an empire, he is not destabilizing the Middle East and installing dictators, he's not funding ISIS, and he tends to resist moves by the globalists that are harmful to the well-being of the Russian people and their money.
As the Free Thought Project reported earlier this year, Putin has begun preparing to release Russia from the crushing grip of the international banking system completely, by moving to a nationalist model based and conducting transactions with allies in gold.
After the massive push toward gold, however, Putin is looking to the future — and the future is in cryptocurrency.
Last week, seeking to further protect Russia from the claws of the international money changing cartel, Putin met with Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.
As the US seeks to dominate the currency market by limiting the use of cryptocurrency, Russia is proving they are not as beholden to the bankers by facilitating competition with their native currency, the ruble.
As the US seeks to hack, dismantle, and fear monger over the incredible revolution that is the blockchain, Putin wants to implement it.
“The digital economy isn’t a separate industry, it’s essentially the foundation for creating brand new business models,” Putin said.
Putin appears to have chosen Ethereum because of its incredible performance so far this year. In February, Ehtereum was still trading in the low teens but it has seen a near 3000% growth since then. It is also showing the potential to pass the mother of all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin.
In short, it looks like Russia has plans to deal a massive blow to the banking class and they are looking for the best ways to go about it — gold and cryptocurrency. And, they are wasting no time.
As Bloomberg reports, Russia’s central bank has already deployed an Ethereum-based blockchain as a pilot project to process online payments and verify customer data with lenders including Sberbank PJSC, Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova said at the St. Petersburg event. She didn’t rule out using Ethereum technologies for the development of a national virtual currency for Russia down the road.
While central banks across the globe attempt to circumvent the decentralization of cryptocurrencies, they have remained vigilant because of the peer to peer nature of the transactions and the security of the blockchain.
It is also important to note that Russia's move to adopt an Ethereum based currency is not a flawless measure. It will still be subject to the regulations of the Russian government. However, it is a start and its effect could have revolutionary implications.
"Blockchain may have the same effect on businesses that the emergence on the internet once had -- it would change business models, and eliminate intermediaries such as escrow agents and clerks,” said Vlad Martynov, an adviser for The Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization that backs the cryptocurrency. “If Russia implements it first, it will gain similar advantages to those the Western countries did at the start of the internet age.”
Rest assured, however, that there are forces in the banking industry who are moving to control cryptocurrencies and stop this progress. Indeed, they are making their own 'coins' which will undoubtedly be accepted by governments, easily manipulated, and under total control.
The Bank of England is one such member of the cartel moving to usurp the power given back to the people through cryptocurrencies. Bank of England has an experimental cryptocurrency underway called RSCoin.
RSCoin, however, is the opposite of Ethereum and Bitcoin. Its purpose would be a tool of state control, so the central bank could keep a tight grip on the money supply — ostensibly to 'protect' citizens in the times of economic crisis — but, in reality, to enrich those at the top through its manipulation.
The US would do well to get with the times, taking a page out of Russia's book, and move to adopt and accept the revolution that is cryptocurrency. Otherwise, when the US dollar does finally collapse, it will be the American people holding the bill — a scenario that no one wants to see.

Why Cryptocurrencys will conquer the financial sector without even breaking a sweat

https://steemit.com/crytocurrency/@buuux/why-cryptocurrencys-will-conquer-the-financial-sector-without-even-breaking-a-sweat

Why Cryptocurrencys will conquer the financial sector without even breaking a sweat

6 hours ago
buuux25 in crytocurrency
The financial sector with its banks, regulations, laws and all the other the little cogs to keep the system running, has been around so long, and people face inconveniences so often, that we stopped second guessing the system.
We even kept on living our lives like nothing happened, after we've been stripped off our savings in the crash of '08.
After reading this article, i wasn't sure whether to laugh or to cry.
https://www.rollingstone.com/ politics/news/taibbi-is-libor- crucial-financial-benchmark-a- lie-w497305
For those who don't know the lingo: LIBOR stands for "London Interbank Offered Rate".
LIBOR determines which rates we pay, when we lend money for buying a house, a car, student loan etc. In the US about 60% of all mortgages are based on that system
It made headlines in 2012 when an investigation revealed, that multiple banks heavily manipulated these interest rates for the benefit of their own, which is shocking enough on its own. But that is not nearly the tip of the iceberg.
Years ago, we found out that the world's biggest banks were manipulating LIBOR. That sucked.
Now, the news is worse: LIBOR is made up.
Actually it's worse even than that. LIBOR is probably both manipulated and made up. The basis for a substantial portion of the world's borrowing is a bent fairy tale.
And as unbelievable this may sound, sadly its the reality we live in
So LIBOR is supposed to determine, how risky it is for the banks to lend money, based on how much they'd have to pay if they had to borrow it from each other on that particular day.
The system is in place since the eighties, and maybe it was a good system back then, but since the mid 90s, there is no money lending going on between the banks. They found better and cheaper sources to lend money from.
Andrew Bailey (Wiki) recently put it like that:
"The absence of active underlying markets raises a serious question about the sustainability of the LIBOR benchmarks. If an active market does not exist, how can even the best run benchmark measure it?"
To which the RollingStone had the trenchant analysis:
As a few Wall Street analysts have quietly noted in the weeks since those comments, an "absence of underlying markets" is a fancy way of saying that LIBOR has not been based on real trading activity, which is a fancy way of saying that LIBOR is bullshit.
So they create fictional numbers out of thin air and even those aren't created in "their best believe", but under blatant corruption as it turns out:
Written exchanges between bank employees revealed hilariously monstrous activity, with traders promising champagne and sushi and even sex to LIBOR submitters if they fudged numbers.
"It's just amazing how LIBOR fixing can make you that much money!" one trader gushed. In writing.
So the wold's biggest banks, have scammed us out of our money over the last two decades with interest rates made up by sociopathic lunatics. I can only imagine how they laughed.
So, this is a massive slap in the face of everyone who... well in the face of everyone, except if you're working in the financial sector. And since we learned after the crash in '08 that criminals rarely face consequences when they work at a bank, i'm not getting my hopes up now.
But, and here comes the interesting part, this system weights over 350 trillion Dollar.
The current cryptocurrency market cap is a little over 130 billion Dollar.
Therefore:

The threshold for cryptocurrencys to succeed in a widespread manner, is not developing a perfect, not even a good financial system.

The threshold is not to be an obvious scam & the basis for the System shouldn't be fictional.

Image of Yaktocat
Thanks for reading
Btw. this is my first Steemit post :)