Identity of Real Buyers to Be Required in Manhattan and Miami for Certain “All Cash” Real Estate Transactions

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Posted on 14th January 2016 by Administrator in Economy

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 Guest Post by Michael Krieger 

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today issued Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) that will temporarily require certain U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind companies used to pay “all cash” for high-end residential real estate in the Borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York, and Miami-Dade County, Florida. FinCEN is concerned that all-cash purchases – i.e., those without bank financing – may be conducted by individuals attempting to hide their assets and identity by purchasing residential properties through limited liability companies or other opaque structures. To enhance availability of information pertinent to mitigating this potential money laundering vulnerability, FinCEN will require certain title insurance companies to identify and report the true “beneficial owner” behind a legal entity involved in certain high-end residential real estate transactions in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County.

– From today’s announcement: FinCEN Takes Aim at Real Estate Secrecy in Manhattan and Miami

Anyone with a pulse and more than a couple of functioning brain cells has been aware for years that corrupt foreign oligarchs, politicians and dictators have been using global high end real estate as their preferred means to launder billions if not trillions of funds collectively stolen from their host populations. While London seems to be the preferred venue, Manhattan is not that far behind.

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CORRUPTION

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Posted on 2nd January 2016 by James the Wanderer in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by James the Wanderer

In 1981 I was a fresh young fellow, just out of college, and needed a job. I joined the Port Arthur Research Laboratories of Texaco Inc. in Port Arthur, TX, which was the most lucrative offer I had gotten out of college. It was one of a couple of offers I had received at the time; another was a company that made fibers for carpets and other things, Millikan. There was something of a stigma on them at the time, for periodically the owner would fire an entire corps of engineers if something went wrong, and was known for it; other companies would eagerly hire the fallen, since it was known that Millikan did this, despite having only hired the best he could find. But I was not interested in this, so I went for stability, which was TXC (their stock exchange symbol back then, hereafter a handy shortcut for the name); they were known for their veteran employees, and rarely fired anyone except for theft, incompetence or similar good reasons. I was neither a thief nor incompetent, so I took their offer.

Here I must apologize; despite the passage of over a quarter-century, I have not been able to establish that ALL the people I worked with are dead, retired or otherwise employed. And TXC had people of honor, character and discipline, which I have come to value wherever I find them; so EVERY name here is a pseudonym, to protect those who might still be serving in some capacity for their successor company, which turned out to be mainly Chevron, or somewhere else. I have no interest in gossip, nor maligning by association those who honorably do their jobs in this world. The worst perpetrators in these stories are dead, so it serves no purpose to name them either.

This article is to demonstrate by example the challenge of working honorably for an organization that is corrupt at the top. And how, despite the existence of honorable men and women (such as those who worked for TXC all over the world), a corrupt organization is doomed eventually.
I didn’t work at PARL for long; about eighteen months. The Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers were restless; there was strike fever in the air at the oil refinery next door, but the Research lab staff didn’t think there would be one; after all, they had “gone out” a few years earlier, and several members of the union had lost cars, boats, even homes when they had insufficient funds coming in to keep up their payments; they were too hurt from the last time to go out again so soon, so if there was a strike it would be short, a kind of face-saving gesture.

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Obamacare plans put big dent in customers’ wallets

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Posted on 27th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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So in the real world, the cost of healthcare – even for Obamacare enrollees – uses up at least 10% of people’s annual income. The Obamanistas blather about the low subsidized premiums, but NEVER talk about the $6,000 deductibles because that obliterates their false narrative of affordable healthcare for all. 

Our friends at the BLS declare that medical costs only account for 7.7% of household costs and are only going up by 2.9% per year. Isn’t that precious? They underweight the expenses dramatically and then they have the balls to tell you your healthcare expenses are going up at 2.9% per year when you know they are going up by at least 10% per year. Obamacare is essentially a never ending proctology exam for the American people. Bend over folks.

WE OBAMACARED SOME FOLKS

 

Via CNBC

You might not be reduced to living on Ramen noodles if you buy Obamacare coverage — but your bank account certainly could feel a bit leaner.

A new study reveals that many Obamacare customers pay more than 10 percent of their incomes toward coverage. And the share of income eaten up can be much greater for some people, particularly if they use a lot of health services under their plan.

Martha Lucia (L) sits with Rudy Figueroa, an insurance agent from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, as she picks an insurance plan available in the third year of the Affordable Care Act at a store setup in the Mall of the Americas on November 2, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

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Martha Lucia (L) sits with Rudy Figueroa, an insurance agent from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, as she picks an insurance plan available in the third year of the Affordable Care Act at a store setup in the Mall of the Americas on November 2, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

One in 10 Obamacare customers who earn between just two and five times the federal poverty level will have coverage costs that exceed 21 percent of their incomes, an analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute found.

And the median Obamacare customer who earns in that range spends more than 10 percent of their income on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket health expenses, the analysis found.

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Global Warming Scandal Heating Up

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Posted on 24th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Via Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a lawsuit on December 2, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking records of communications from National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials regarding methodology for collecting and interpreting data used in climate models (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Commerce (No 1:15-cv-02088)). The lawsuit sought the same documents unsuccessfully subpoenaed by a House committee.  Less than week after Judicial Watch served its lawsuit on NOAA, the agency finally turned over the targeted documents to Congress.

Judicial Watch sued the Department of Commerce after the agency failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted on October 30, 2015 – NOAA is a component of the Department of Commerce.  The timeframe for the requested records is October 30, 2014, through October 30, 2015, and requests all documents and records of communications between NOAA officials, employees, and contractors regarding:

  • The methodology and utilization of night marine air temperatures to adjust ship and buoy temperature data;
  • The use of other global temperature datasets for both NOAA’s in-house dataset improvements and monthly press releases conveying information to the public about global temperatures;
  • The utilization and consideration of satellite bulk atmospheric temperature readings for use in global temperature datasets; and
  • A subpoena issued for the aforementioned information by Congressman Lamar Smith on October 13, 2015.

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The Housing Recovery Was Just Cancelled (Again) Due To 5 Months Of Downward Revisions

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Posted on 23rd December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Tyler Durden's picture

Exactly one year ago, on December 23, 2014, we wrote that the housing recovery remains cancelled due to 6 months of downward revisions. As we revealed, “for the period May – November, the initial new home sales prints amount to 2.779MM houses. Post revision, the number plunges by 22% to 2.168K.

It was about as glaringly obvious as it could get:

Fast forward to today when moments ago the Dept of Commerce “pleasantly surprised” everyone when it reported that November new home sales, while missing expectations of a 505K print, “rose” to 490K from 470K in October . Great news: the housing recovery is on track… Just one problem: the original October print was 495K, which if maintained would have meant a decline of 5K in November.So we decided to look at previous reports to see if the Commerce Dept had tried to pull a fast one again as it did last year, and lo and behold, not only were there downward revisions between the November and October “government data”, but as the chart below shows, over the past 5 months the data has been consistently “revised lower” with every incremental release.


Less Than 2 Percent of Permian Basin Is Commercial at $30 Oil

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Posted on 19th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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About that American oil independence narrative. Dead shale walking. The debt saturated shale oil companies are filing bankruptcy on a weekly basis and the trend will only accelerate from here as their hedges expire and oil prices continue to fall. You can stick a fork into the shale oil/gas miracle. I can’t remember who predicted this over a year ago.

Guest Post by Art Berman

Less than 2 percent of Permian basin tight oil wells are commercial at $30 per barrel oil prices.

Sorry about that. I know that many believe that U.S. shale and tight oil plays are commercial even at current low oil prices but data on the Permian basin and Bakken plays simply does not support that belief.

To make matters worse, Pioneer and EOG have made outrageous claims about Permian basin reserves in their 3rd quarter 2015 earnings reports that no sensible person should believe. Statements like these simply add to the mistaken idea that tight oil plays get a pass on the laws of physics and economics and that somehow the USA is going to beat Saudi Arabia as the low-cost “swing producer” of the world. I wish that were true but trust me–based on data, that’s not going to happen.

The Permian basin is one of the oldest producing areas in the United States. It has been thoroughly drilled and is in a hyper-mature phase of development. The Spraberry, Wolfcamp and Bone Springs plays that Pioneer and EOG are pursuing (Figure 1) are really secondary recovery projects in which horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have replaced water and CO2 injection methods used in the past. Few new reserves should be expected. Most of the claims that these companies make are really about higher recovery efficiency of existing reserves.

None of these plays are remotely commercial at present oil prices. In the most-likely per-well reserve case, these plays require break-even oil prices in the range of at least $50-$75 per barrel, and current wellhead prices in the basin are less than $30 per barrel.

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The Agenda Behind Global Warming

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Posted on 18th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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There are those who claim that the UN is behind the global warming scam to create a one-world government. If we turn it down a notch and follow the money, we find a bogus agenda to raise taxes substantially in the name of the environment. I have reported that NOAA, the agency responsible for collecting this data, has refused to reveal their data. NOAA has been caught manipulating the data and changing history all to set the agenda for a massive tax increase. Every real scientific investigation (Mind-Blowing Temperature Fraud At NOAA _ Real Science) disproves global warming and shows that we are heading into a cooling phase.

In this context, it is interesting to note that an important meteorological satellite (NOAA 16) reportedly broke apart on November 25. The Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) of the American forces noticed at 15:41 ET “an unknown number of related objects” that circled the suddenly destroyed NOAA 16 satellite.

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Go See “The Big Short” Right Now — And Then Read This

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Posted on 16th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Via The Intercept

THERE’S NO SUBJECT ON EARTH, with the possible exception of sex, that human beings find more inherently fascinating than money. Yet somehow most of the movies about the 2008 financial collapse have been as enticing and zesty as a raw potato.

That’s finally changed with The Big Short, based on the book by Michael Lewis about a small assortment of “outsiders and weirdos” who made hundreds of millions of dollars betting that the housing bubble of the 2000s would collapse. Near the end of the film one of them, played by Steve Carell, declares, “We live in an era of fraud” — not just fraud on Wall Street, he says, but sports fraud, corporate fraud, and government fraud.

What sets The Big Short apart and makes it truly great is that it portrays this worldwide, straight-faced fraud accurately; that is, as not just dangerous and enraging, but also extremely funny. It calls to mind Monty Python’s famous dead parrot sketch about a pet store salesman who defrauds his customer and then offers an endless stream of preposterous, contradictory obfuscations to conceal the obvious reality. The Big Short demonstrates that we’re now all living in that pet store.

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Watch Me Pat Myself On The Back (Obama)

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Posted on 14th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Guest Post by Karl Denninger

 

C’mon folks, you’re not that gullible, are you?

Apparently Parisians are, and so are most of the rest of you.

President Obama hailed the approval of a far-reaching global climate accord to limit greenhouse gas emissions adopted Saturday in Paris, in a statement from the White House Cabinet Room Saturday afternoon.

Praising the pact as a ‘turning point for the world,’ Obama commended leaders from more than 190 countries for working together “to show what is possible when the world stands as one.”

Uh huh.

“In short, this agreement will mean less of pollution that threatens our planet. Full implementation of this agreement and will pave the way for more progress in stages over the years. It sends a powerful signal: a low carbon future, in clean energy at a scale we have never seen before.” Obama said.

Sure it will.  Not.

First, there are no legally-binding targets in the “agreement.”  Why?  Among other reasons including them would have required Senate ratification of the “deal” as a legally binding agreement would be a treaty, seeing as it’s between nations.  As a result you can best call this hopes and dreams, sort of like the Dreams of my Father that Obama has peddled for the last 7 years and change.

First, the so-called “science” is crap.  As I’ve pointed out repeatedly measurements have been tampered with in order to produce the “desired result.”  While you can do all sorts of algorithmic things to a measurement under a theorem (that you publish so it can be seen, examined, critiqued, etc.) what you can never do is alter the measurement itself.  That is always and everywhere a scam and yet it has been documented to have taken place at NASA — and elsewhere.

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FOURTH TURNING – POLITICIANS DRIVING THE WORLD TOWARDS WAR

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Posted on 28th November 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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In Part 1 of this article I discussed the catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning and the seemingly delayed regeneracy. In Part 2 I pondered possible Grey Champion prophet generation leaders who could arise during the regeneracy. In Part 3 I focused on the economic channel of distress which is likely to be the primary driving force in the next phase of this Crisis. In Part 4 I assessed the social and cultural channels of distress dividing the nation. In Part 5 I’ll examine the technological, ecological, political, and military channels of distress likely to burst forth with the molten ingredients of this Fourth Turning, and finally in Part 6 our rendezvous with destiny, with potential climaxes to this Winter of our discontent.

Technological & Ecological Distress

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” Aldous Huxley – Ends and Means

The level of distress being produced by technology was probably underestimated by Strauss & Howe when they wrote their book in 1997. The internet, cell phones and e-commerce were still in their infancy, while cyber security was an unknown concept. Huxley would be shocked by how backwards we have “progressed” through the efficient distribution of iGadgets, creating millions of distracted, non-thinking, passive, easily pliable, willfully ignorant sheep who adore their technological servitude.

A vast swath of the populace never reads a book and can’t go more than a few minutes without checking their iGadget to view the latest funny cat video, the latest update on Kim Kardashian’s ass, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner’s courage, or Lamar Odom’s latest whorehouse escapade. Our country is drowning in a sea of irrelevance as our infinite craving for diversions and triviality overwhelms any thoughts of confronting our oppressors. The adoration of technology has degraded our ability to think and allowed the Deep State to control the masses by amusing them to death.

The totalitarian Orwellian utilization of technology was exposed by a millennial with courage, intelligence, and love of his country – Edward Snowden. His revelations were very distressful to the felonious government apparatchiks who blatantly flaunt their disregard for the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The criminals at the NSA, fully supported by Obama and Congress, have made Big Brother look like an amateur, as they siphon up every phone call, text, email, and facebook entry made by each person in this country and for good measure the political leaders of our allies and enemies.

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What Is a ‘Bitcoin’?

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Posted on 10th November 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Guest Post by Hugo Salinas Price

A “Bitcoin” is a molecular magnetic field on a computer memory. The “Bitcoin System” allows a person to purchase one or more Bitcoins for fiat money and to move the purchased Bitcoins around the world, from one computer to another, free of interference by any governmental agency and independent of all banking systems.

Those who promote the Bitcoin System sing the Bitcoin’s praises as being a money that is free of any interference or influence by any government agency or monetary authority, and the owner’s Bitcoin property is known to no one but the owner. Secrecy and privacy are the Bitcoin’s great merits.

To enhance the desirability of the Bitcoin, its promoters have engaged in fraudulent advertising. They present the totally imaginary Bitcoin on the Internet as a pile of shiny gold-colored coins labeled “Bitcoin”.

The deception is calculated to have prospective buyers of Bitcoins and actual “owners” of Bitcoin balances think of these brassy, gold-colored coins when dealing in Bitcoins, thus confusing them with images of non-existent coins. The promoters want the public to associate the imaginary digital Bitcons with something tangible. This is most certainly fraudulent advertising.

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Another Phony Payroll Jobs Number

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Posted on 7th November 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Guest Post by Paul Craig Roberts

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced yesterday that the US economy created 271,000 jobs in October, a number substantially in excess of the expected 175,000 to 190,000 jobs. The unexpected job gain has dropped the unemployment rate to 5 percent. These two numbers will be the focus of the financial media presstitutes.

What is wrong with these numbers? Just about everything. First of all, 145,000 of the jobs, or 54%, are jobs arbitrarily added to the number by the birth-death model. The birth-death model provides an estimate of the net amount of unreported jobs lost to business closings and the unreported jobs created by new business openings. The model is based on a normally functioning economy unlike the one of the past seven years and thus overestimates the number of jobs from new business and underestimates the losses from closures. If we eliminate the birth-death model’s contribution, new jobs were 126,000.

Next, consider who got the 271,000 reported jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all of the new jobs plus some—378,000—went to those 55 years of age and older. However, males in the prime working age, 25 to 54 years of age, lost 119,000 jobs. What seems to have happened is that full time jobs were replaced with part time jobs for retirees. Multiple job holders increased by 109,000 in October, an indication that people who lost full time jobs had to take two or more part time jobs in order to make ends meet.

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