The past 48 hours has brought major developments in the battle lines being drawn in the crypto wars.
Let’s start with the unusual letter that Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent yesterday to Sam Bankman-Fried, the ousted CEO of the collapsed and scandalized crypto exchange, FTX, via his new lawyer, Mark S. Cohen.
Typically, if you want a witness to testify at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, one doesn’t tell his attorney in writing that you know the witness is guilty of law-breaking activities. (But then, again, most people credibly alleged to have done what Sam Bankman-Fried has done would by now be warming a cot in a cold prison cell.)
Brown advises in the letter that “There are still significant unanswered questions about how client funds were misappropriated, how clients were blocked from withdrawing their own money, and how you orchestrated a cover up.”
If you’re the Chairman and CEO of a trucking company or air conditioner installer or a computer manufacturer (or thousands of other companies that don’t handle cash and have access to personal and financial data on millions of Americans) announcing to the world that 10 percent of your company’s new hires last year had criminal backgrounds might make you look like a social justice advocate.
If you’re Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of the largest bank in the U.S. with 5,023 bank branches across the country taking in cash each day that represents the life savings of moms and pops and pension funds, announcing that 10 percent of last year’s new hires had criminal backgrounds is not exactly a confidence builder – especially since Dimon’s bank has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with an unprecedented five criminal felony counts since 2014. All of the felony counts occurred during Dimon’s tenure as Chairman and CEO, and while his Board of Directors made him a billionaire with stock grants and bonuses. In addition, the bank has a broader rap sheet that likely draws the envy of the Gambino crime family.
Japan announced Friday that it will jointly develop its next-generation fighter jet with the U.K. and Italy as it looks to expand defense cooperation beyond its traditional ally, the United States.
The Mitsubishi F-X fighter jet will replace the aging fleet of F-2s that Japan previously developed with the United States.
The nations will merge their current plans for development of next-generation planes – the F-X and Britain’s Tempest, a successor to the Eurofighter Typhoon – to produce the new combat aircraft for deployment in 2035. The deal will give Japan greater support in countering China’s growing assertiveness and allow Britain a bigger presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
The announcement came four days after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida set spending targets aimed at building up Japan’s military capability, including a huge boost in defense spending over the next five years. To meet the five-year spending total of 43 trillion yen ($316 billion), the government will need an extra 4 trillion yen ($30 billion) in defense spending annually. Of that, a quarter is to be funded through tax increases.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has the dual role of Chairing the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC), whose role is to provide “comprehensive monitoring of the stability of our nation’s financial system.” Heads of each of the federal agencies that supervise Wall Street and the mega banks sit in on meetings of F-SOC.
One would think that such an august body would have a handle on “staggering” threats to the U.S. financial system – especially since F-SOC was created under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation to prevent a replay of the off-balance sheet derivatives that crashed the U.S. economy in 2008 and forced an unprecedented and secret bailout of U.S. and foreign global banks by the Federal Reserve to the tune of $29 trillion. If Yellen is aware of the latest threat to financial stability, she’s not sharing the details with the public. That information came yesterday by way of a stunning report authored by Claudio Borio, Robert McCauley and Patrick McGuire for the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
Leaving big-league politics is a lot like comedy: It’s all about timing.
FBI master-blaster Steven D’Antuono, the top official at the Washington, D.C., FBI office, quietly announced via his LinkedIn page that he had left the Bureau the day before.
“After a 26-year, 10-month career with the FBI, I chose to retire,” D’Antuono stated. “Yesterday was my last day.”
No warning? No Glen Deveron and Montecristo send-off? Huh.
D’Antuono claims he decided to end his career to “spend more time with family.” His decision comes — coincidentally — as the new, Republican-led House of Representatives has promised to give the FBI a much-needed enema.
The Daily Caller reports that the latest episode of the wheels coming off a White House presser took place on Thursday. Simon Ateba is a reporter for Today News Africa. He had a question for Jean-Pierre about the U.S.-Africa Summit, in which President Biden will host leaders from 50 African nations. A perfectly reasonable expectation for a reporter from an African news agency at a White House presser. In fact, I can’t think of a better venue.
Not only did Jean-Pierre not answer the man’s question, but she also would not explain why she could not answer the question. She became so frustrated that she called an early lid and left the room. You can watch the exchange below:
If you have been following the Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX crypto exchange story since the company filed for bankruptcy on November 11, you have likely read the phrase “a valuation of $32 billion” dozens of times to describe the “valuation” of FTX as recently as February of this year. (We pulled up 47,600 results from a Google search.)
But here’s the funny thing. No media outlet has bothered to explain how FTX came by that $32 billion valuation or precisely how Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and CEO of FTX, became a billionaire overnight. FTX wasn’t publicly traded so its share price wasn’t determined by millions of investors buying and selling its stock on a public stock exchange five days a week.
And here’s another funny thing: mainstream media reported in late September that FTX was looking to raise $1 billion more from venture capitalists while keeping its valuation at $32 billion, the same value that it had in February. But between February 1 and September 30, Coinbase, a crypto exchange that actually did trade on a public exchange where millions of real people bought and sold its stock, had lost 67 percent of its value.
“I’ll get 218,” McCarthy told CNN, referring to the votes he’d need to become House speaker.
But Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a conservative hardliner who is challenging McCarthy to be the most powerful member of Congress, doubled down on his commitment to stop the California Republican’s ascension.
A worldwide recession is just around the corner as central banks boost borrowing costs aggressively to tame inflation — and this time, it will ignite more market turbulence than ever before, according to BlackRock.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released its final report on Friday before Republicans take control of the House in the next upcoming Congress, providing new findings on how the Trump administration’s actions negatively impacted the U.S. response.
The report from the Democratic-led subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Jim Clyburn (S.C.), highlighted the Trump White House’s “failed stewardship over the pandemic
response and persistent pattern of political interference.”
Internal Twitter documents and communications published by the journalist Matt Taibbi have provided devastating detail on a sweeping censorship operation conducted by the social network. They expose the central role played by a senior FBI agent in potentially influencing the outcome of the 2020 US election.
Immediate reaction to the Twitter Files was mixed, but overwhelmingly the mainstream American media has rushed to pour cold water on Taibbi’s bombshell disclosures, with, for example, The Washington Post branding them a “dud” and CNN claiming they “largely corroborated what was already known.”
Such responses are quite extraordinary given that the Twitter Files offers incontrovertible evidence of one of the largest, most influential global social networks taking extraordinary measures – usually reserved to prevent the dissemination of child pornography – to block information on its platform.
In particular, Twitter banned, both publicly and privately, the sharing of a New York Post article, based on the contents of a laptop owned by Hunter Biden, pointing to possible corruption on the part of his father, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. The report reinforced existing concerns about Hunter’s role with Burisma, for which he received up to $50,000 per month from the Ukrainian energy giant over a five-year period for attending a handful of corporate events.
The material exposed by Taibbi shows that a decision was made by individuals at the highest levels of Twitter – with direct connections to Biden’s Presidential campaign – due to apparent fears the laptop contents had been hacked and/or had been released as part of a Russian information operation. This was despite there being zero evidence or even a vague suggestion that either was the case, and significant internal concerns.
The Twitter Files show how, among the top brass involved in the suppression of this hugely significant story was the social network’s legal vice president Jim Baker, a former FBI general counsel. He was coincidentally also fundamental to the Bureau’s multiple attempts to fraudulently concoct a link between Trump’s campaign and Russia, one way or another.
Former United States President Donald Trump sued former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and a number of her political allies on Thursday regarding charges of collusion with Russia made in 2016.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Florida, accuses Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, the Democratic National Committee and others of racketeering and fabricating alleged links between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin.
The lawsuit alleges Clinton and her cronies attempted to ‘hurdle Trump’s campaign for presidency’.
It specifically charges Clinton and her aides with attempting “to undermine Trump’s presidential bid through fabricating a scandal” through launching an “unfounded” federal investigation, and a “media frenzy.”
Under the guise of ‘opposition research,’ ‘data analytics,’ and other political stratagems, the Defendants sought to sway the public’s trust, the lawsuit claims.
Webmaster addition: A clear case of defamation if there ever was!
In the end, the proponents of such claims only embarrass themselves as Russia has not just been quite consistent with using advanced long-range PGMs, but has actually started using even more of them, especially in recent months. This was also recently confirmed by none other than the New York Times, one of the flagships of the political West’s massive mainstream propaganda machine. On December 5, theNYT published a report titled “Russian cruise missiles were made just months ago despite sanctions”, revealing that the so-called “severe PGM shortages” in the Russian military are nothing more than a myth. According to the report, weapons investigators hired by the Kiev regime determined that “at least one Russian Kh-101 cruise missile used in widespread attacks there on November 23 had been made no earlier than October.”
The remnants of Kh-101 cruise missiles found in Kiev had components made months after the supposedly “crippling” Western sanctions were imposed against Russia. The political West promised its favorite puppet regime that the restrictions would halt Moscow’s ability to produce advanced weapons, particularly long-range cruise missiles such as the air-launched Kh-101 or the seaborne “Kalibr”. Yet, since then, hundreds of these missiles have been made and used by the Russian military, resulting in disastrous consequences for the Neo-Nazi junta’s strategically important infrastructure. The damage to the power grid under the Kiev regime’s control has severely degraded the logistics of its forces, further resulting in the erosion of their ability to fight.
Frustrated by the ineffective policies of the city’s Democratic leadership that resulted in mounting crime rates, a gas station owner in Philadelphia hired a team of armed security guards with long rifles and tactical gear.
I’m all about bringing home wrongfully detained Americans in foreign lands, particularly those countries that are clear enemies to the United States and our way of life. As readers may recall, just days before Russia decided to invade Ukraine, WNBA player Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia for allegedly bringing drugs into the country.
No doubt Ms. Griner’s demographics played a part in her being a target; as a black gay female American athletic star, she checks all the boxes regarding minority demographics elevated in America and generally treated terribly in Russia. Since her arrest and sentencing, the Biden administration has faced pressure to get this high-profile athlete home.
Finally, about ten months later, Ms. Griner is heading home to her wife and family thanks to a prisoner swap.
An excellent day for Brittney and her family, and arguably a fantastic day for Russia and the prisoner we traded her for. However, not such a great day for another American still languishing in the Russian prison system.