Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fed Up With the Boston Globe

I'm tired of the self-aggrandizing, self-adulation put forth by the mouthpiece while playing us all for chumps. I'm sure that is one rea$on I have not bought a Globe in three days.

"At NYU, Janet Yellen praises Ben Bernanke" by Dionne Searcey | New York Times   May 22, 2014

NEW YORK — Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet L. Yellen, in a speech to graduates of New York University on Wednesday, heaped praise on her predecessor, Ben S. Bernanke, saying his grit and courage helped him manage the financial crisis in difficult times.

Bernanke’s actions were courageous and “unprecedented in ambition and scope,” Yellen told a swirl of thousands of purple-robed graduates and their families who were gathered in the stands of Yankee Stadium for the ceremony.

“He faced relentless criticism, personal threats, and the certainty that history would judge him harshly if he were wrong,” she said. “But he stood up for what he believed was right and necessary. Ben Bernanke’s intelligence and knowledge served him well as chairman.”

Yellen told the graduates that finding the right path in life involved missteps, something she and her colleagues experienced as they struggled to address a financial and economic crisis that threatened the global economy.

“We brainstormed and designed a host of programs to unclog the plumbing of the financial system and to keep credit flowing,” said Yellen, who served as vice chairwoman of the Fed’s Board of Governors from 2010 until this year, when she took over as the leader of the central bank. She was president of the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco during the crisis. “Not everything worked, but we kept at it, and we remained focused on the task at hand. I learned the lesson during this period that one’s response to the inevitable setbacks matters as much as the balance of victories and defeats.”

And somehow the wealthiest 1% benefited from the Fed printing press propping up the stock market and bailing out the banks while the rest of us have suffered a drop in living standards.

For Yellen, the speech was a departure from her typical days, which she normally spends surrounded by economists in the Fed’s cloistered headquarters and meeting with business executives, politicians, and officials.

On Wednesday she was behind a lectern on second base, sitting near a baseball legend, Mariano Rivera, a former Yankees player who was a top relief pitcher and played on five winning World Series teams; a Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan; and the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. All received honorary degrees.

Yellen did not delve into her views on monetary policy. Instead she talked of sea slugs....

Bankers are so self-centered!

The ceremony represented a homecoming of sorts for Yellen, who spent her childhood in Brooklyn and attended Fort Hamilton High School there.

Yeah, she's a real gritty girl.


"Federal Reserve faces shortage of administrators" by Binyamin Appelbaum | New York Times   May 13, 2014

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve governor Jeremy C. Stein is the chairman of the internal committee that monitors financial markets for signs of trouble, and of the committee that watches the way that banks treat their customers.

He is also the only remaining member of those committees. Stein has said that he will step down from the Fed on May 28.

A string of departures from the Fed’s seven-member board over the past year has left the central bank on the verge of operating with just three governors for the first time in its 100-year history. Three nominees are awaiting Senate confirmation, but so are scores of nominees to other offices, and Senate Democrats say there is a real chance no vote will be held before Stein departs at the end of this month.

The dwindling of the board is straining the Fed’s ability to manage its complex responsibilities, which extend well beyond its enormous economic stimulus campaign and its lead role in the overhaul of financial regulation.

It is also shifting the balance of power on the Fed’s most important group, known as the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy. The March and April meetings of that committee, which includes both board members and presidents of the 12 regional reserve banks, represented just the third and fourth times that a majority of the votes were cast by the regional presidents, who are allocated five votes on the committee on a rotating basis.

Unlike the members of the Fed’s board, who are presidential appointees, those officials are selected by business leaders in each district, and they are not subject to Senate confirmation.

“Congress created an FOMC with a majority of presidential appointees on it and it would be unfortunate not to continue that and to honor that,” said Donald L. Kohn, the Fed’s vice chairman from 2006 to 2010, and now a scholar at the Brookings Institution. “It seems to me consistent with democratic accountability.”

The Fed’s predicament is particularly striking because there is no real opposition to the two nominees, who were put forward by President Obama in January. Stanley Fischer, a former head of the Bank of Israel who would become the Fed’s vice chairman; and Lael Brainard, a former Treasury official, advanced through the Senate Banking Committee by a voice vote. Jerome H. Powell, a member of the Fed’s board, is also awaiting Senate confirmation to a new term. 


Israeli Trying to Hook Head IMF Job
The Fisch That Got Away
Israeli Fisching Around For IMF Job

They finally got it, and that's no joke.

Also see: 

No More Brainards At Treasury
Picking Obomber's Brainard
The Clinton Cabinet

That's for the next presidency.

Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman, said the administration was “hopeful that the Senate will confirm the three pending nominees without delay.”

The depletion of the Fed’s board is a relatively new phenomenon.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated six men to the newly created Federal Reserve Board on a Monday morning in January 1936. The Senate confirmed all six just four days later and they took office that Saturday.

For the next half-century, the Fed was rarely short-handed. Replacements for departing governors were named and confirmed with little fuss.

Over the past two decades, however, the Fed has had a full complement of governors less than 40 percent of the time. Since the beginning of the financial crisis, the Fed has operated primarily with just five governors.

Partisan divisions have made it harder to push all manner of presidential nominees through the Senate, and appointments to the Fed in particular have generated more political heat in the aftermath of the crisis.

Since March, the Fed has operated with four governors for just the third stretch in its history.

The confirmations of Fischer and Brainard would return the board to five. The White House has yet to nominate people to the other two seats.

Randall S. Kroszner, who served on the Fed’s board from 2006 to 2009, was one of five governors during most of that time, a situation he described as difficult but manageable, even during the heart of the financial crisis. He cautioned, however, that anything less than that would be difficult.

“When you get down to four or fewer, it’s difficult to get the work done,” said Kroszner, an economics professor at the University of Chicago. “There’s an enormous amount going on . . . and it takes a lot of time and focus,” referring to quantitative easing, or the Fed’s bond-buying program.


One down, one to go:

"Senate confirms Stanley Fischer to be Fed governor" Bloomberg News   May 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed former Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors but postponed a separate vote on his nomination to be vice chairman of the central bank.

Fischer, 70, was approved Wednesday on a 68-to-27 vote, leaving little doubt he will win Senate support to fill the number two role, which Janet Yellen vacated in February when she succeeded Ben Bernanke as Fed chair.

The Senate will vote later on confirming Fischer as vice chairman, said Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. That vote would give Yellen, who urged the White House to offer Fischer her former position, a trusted and tested deputy to help her unwind the most aggressive monetary stimulus in the Fed’s history.

Fischer spent much of the past quarter-century in global policy making as a former World Bank chief economist, top International Monetary Fund official, and central banker. He earned his doctorate in economics in 1969 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied with future Nobel laureate economists Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow. He joined the faculty as an associate professor in 1973 and later taught future policy makers, including Bernanke.

Fischer holds US and Israeli citizenship and lives in New York. He left the Bank of Israel June 30, credited with helping the $258 billion economy weather the financial crisis.

So where do his real loyalties lie?

President Obama nominated Fischer in January.

During his March nomination hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, asked if he was concerned that a number of former Citigroup executives have served in Democratic administrations. Fischer defended his experience at the New York firm: ‘‘Without that experience I would have come to it largely with an academic background without ever having seen the inside of a bank.”


Okay, back to fixing that economy:

"Fed begins formulating exit strategy for its bond buying" by Martin Crutsinger | Associated Press   May 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is moving into uncharted territory. Never before has it considered raising rates with its investment holdings of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities at such high levels.

They are the only ones buying Wall Street's crap.

The Fed has conducted three rounds of bond purchases in the past five years, driving its balance sheet above $4 trillion....

How much?

The Fed published an exit strategy in 2011. But officials have said that plan needs to be updated to take account of changing economic circumstances and the fact that the bond holdings have grown so much. They are now four times their size before the financial crisis hit with force in the fall of 2008.

The minutes said no decisions on modifying the exit plan were made at the April meeting. Rather, Fed officials requested that its staff further analyze the available options. The committee said it was time for the Fed to review its options for winding down its stimulus. It also said the Fed would need to communicate its plans clearly.

The minutes noted that ‘‘a number of participants’’ thought it would be useful to provide more information on how long the Fed will continue rolling over its holdings of Treasury and mortgage bonds when they come due. One issue is whether the Fed will modify a view that it will probably start selling its bond holdings before it began raising short-term rates.

That is when the $hit will hit the fan.

William Dudley, president of the Fed’s New York regional bank, raised the possibility this week of delaying a sell-off in the Fed’s bonds until after it starts raising rates. Investors are looking for any hints about when the Fed will begin reducing its holdings, a step that could drive long-term rates up.

Dudley, formerly of Goldman Sachs.

Meeting with reporters Wednesday, Dudley also noted continued weakness in the job market, a key focus of the Fed’s support programs.

‘‘Many middle-skilled workers displaced during the recession are likely to find their old jobs will never come back,’’ Dudley said.

We already knew that!


Another group other than bankers I am fed up with:

"South Africa’s last white president warns Israel could fall into apartheid" by Tia Goldenberg | Associated Press   May 29, 2014

JERUSALEM — South Africa’s last president under white rule has suggested that Israel risks heading toward apartheid if it does not reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Let's not kid ourselves; it already is one.

The comments by F.W. de Klerk echo warnings made by Palestinian, American, and dovish Israeli officials. But his words carry special meaning, given his role in South Africa’s painful history of race relations.

De Klerk was the last president under apartheid, and along with the late Nelson Mandela, brought about the end to decades of systematic racial discrimination against blacks, jointly winning the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

Comparisons to South Africa’s racist rule have increased in public discourse about Israel and its treatment of Palestinians. In April, Secretary of State John Kerry — who had been mediating talks between Israel and the Palestinians — set off an uproar when he made a similar warning.

In an interview aired Tuesday on Israeli Channel 2 TV, de Klerk said calling Israel an apartheid state now was ‘‘unfair.’’ But he said that without the establishment of a Palestinian state, Israel may have to contend with the consequences of one state for both peoples.

‘‘The test will be [does] everybody living then in such a unitary state, will everybody have full political rights?’’ de Klerk said. ‘‘Will everybody enjoy their full human rights? If they will, it’s not an apartheid state.’’

He added: ‘‘There will come in Israel a turning point where if the main obstacles at the moment which exist to a successful two-state solution are not removed, the two-state solution will become impossible.’’

I feel like the whole world is at one these days.

De Klerk was in Israel receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa.

Israeli backers of the creation of a Palestinian state say relinquishing control of the Palestinian territories is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a democracy with a Jewish majority.

That is an apartheid state!

Following the collapse of the most recent round of peace talks, fears that the sides could be headed toward a single ‘‘binational’’ state are growing. The Palestinians want the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem — lands captured by Israel in 1967 — for their hoped-for independent state.

RelatedMemory Hole: Future Vision of Israel 

It is the only solution that makes sense.

Israel is a democracy whose Arab minority holds citizenship rights. Israeli Arabs often complain of discrimination but have reached senior positions in government, the judiciary, the foreign service, and other fields, including the military.

Yeah, Israel treats Arabs real good.

But it is the situation in the West Bank that sparks comparisons to apartheid. The area is home to two populations — a Palestinian majority of about 2.4 million people and a Jewish settler minority of 350,000 — that are subject to vastly different legal and political systems. Israeli West Bank settlers, for instance, can vote in Israeli elections; Palestinians cannot.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel vehemently rejects any comparison to apartheid-era South Africa. While South Africa’s was a system rooted in race, Israel says the differences in the West Bank stem from legal issues and security needs.

One of the failures of Israel and its propaganda organs is we no longer want to here it, no matter what it is. Tired of the whining to explain barbarity.

Most of its leaders, including hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have endorsed the idea of establishing a Palestinian state to protect Israel’s Jewish majority.

‘‘The two-state solution might be the best one,’’ de Klerk said. ‘‘You’ll have to move fast. See the window of opportunity. Jump through it. It might close.’’


"Israel vows to boost defense firms in US" by Tony Capaccio | Bloomberg News   May 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Israeli government has agreed to spend more than half the funds the Pentagon provides for its missile-defense system in the United States, bolstering the political appeal of it on Capitol Hill.

Why are we paying for it in the first place when we are running deficits, and why is this kickback of American tax dollars considered something good?

Funds going to US contractors for components of the Israeli-built, Pentagon-funded system will jump to 30 percent this year and 55 percent next year from 3 percent previously, according to a US Missile Defense Agency report to Congress obtained by Bloomberg News. That amounts to at least $97 million of $176 million requested by the Defense Department for the coming fiscal year.

The system, called Iron Dome, is designed to intercept and destroy rockets capable of flying as far as 44 miles. It gained international attention in 2012, when Israeli and US officials said the system intercepted about 400 rockets fired at Israel, or about 85 percent of those targeted as heading toward populated areas during eight days of fighting between Israel and the militant Islamic Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip.

That was the war-criminal Cast Lead II operation. 

Btw, Iron Dome works about as good as the Patriot missiles. In other words, you have been lied to about the success rates.

While that performance bolstered Iron Dome’s popularity in the United States as a way to aid the nation’s closest ally in the Mideast, lawmakers have been pushing for more of the Defense Department’s funds for the program to be spent on American contractors in a time of declining defense spending. 

About that "declining" Pentagon spending:

"The deal buoyed Wall Street investors. Guggenheim Partners, a financial services firm, concluded that as a result overall Pentagon spending will remain relatively the same for the next several years before it begins to grow once again, at about 2.5 percent per year." 

Had enough with the lies yet?

‘‘Under this agreement, the United States focus shifts toward maximizing economic activity in the United States while ensuring that Israel’s security needs are met,’’ the missile defense agency said in the April report. ‘‘This new agreement strikes a better balance for both parties and should serve as a model for the future.’’

Even at the expense of our own nation.

Raytheon Co., based in Waltham, Mass., is under contract with Iron Dome’s Israeli maker, Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, to find suitable US suppliers, the Missile Defense Agency said in the report.

Related: The Biggest Gun Dealers on Planet Earth

The agreement ‘‘provides for significant United States co-production of Iron Dome components and interceptors in the United States,’’ according to the report.

Israel has fielded the first five batteries of launchers and interceptors, costing as much as $90,000 apiece, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

Congress has approved $703 million since 2011 for Israel to spend on Iron Dome.

While American citizens have faced neglect and cuts!

‘‘Given the significant US taxpayer investment in this system, the committee believes that co-production of parts and components should be done in a manner that will maximize US industry participation,’’ the House Armed Services Committee said in its report on the defense authorization measure for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

I don't want Israel getting any more god-damn money.

The committee added $175 million to the administration’s request after Israel sought more money, according to the Missile Defense Agency report.


The committee placed strings on spending the extra $175 million, including the submission of ‘‘signed and ratified contracts, subcontracts and teaming arrangements’’ with US companies. The full House passed the defense policy bill May 22.

The Senate Armed Services Committee last week approved the full amount, including the extra $175 million.

‘‘We anticipate the first contracts will be awarded later this year,’’ and that ‘‘a significant portion of US funding for Iron Dome will be allocated to US contracts,’’ Missile Defense Agency spokesman Richard Lehner said in an e-mailed statement.

Rafael spokesman Amit Zimmer did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Raytheon’s Michael Doble had no immediate comment.

The agreement with Israel includes a provision allowing production of any part to revert to Rafael if its US price exceeds what it would cost to make in Israel by five percent or more, according to the documents.

So Israel gets to steal the technology and manufacturing of it, too??

‘‘Raytheon believes there are very few components for which it couldn’t meet this percent cost target,’’ the Missile Defense Agency report said.


While on the subject of wars:

"Massachusetts teams up with Israel on water technology issues" by Erin Ailworth | Globe Staff   May 28, 2014

Officials from Massachusetts clean technology firms will work with Israel to launch a global network focused on innovations that address global water issues.

Now Israel wants the world's water!

Governor Deval Patrick unveiled the initiative Wednesday while on a trade mission in Israel.

See: Large business delegation set to join Patrick on trip to Israel

Who is paying for it?

The trip was a follow-up to a 2011 visit during which a longtime Israeli water executive pushed Patrick to turn Massachusetts into a water technology hub that could help Israeli startups and other companies gain access to world markets.

Related: Israel Eats Massachusetts Lunch

Just got done with mine and now up it comes.

Also see: Look Who Is Paying For Patrick's Trips

The water industry today generates revenues of up to $600 billion a year, according to Boston market intelligent firm Lux Research Inc.

It is not just the money; it is control of life itself.

As a result, the state has worked with its business community to bring together some 300 companies in Massachusetts to form an organized cluster. An industry group, the New England Water Innovation Network, grew out of that effort.

“Water technology I personally didn’t even get until we were here the last time,” Patrick said. But on Wednesday, the same Israeli executive who once took the governor to task instead praised him.

OMG! I despise Deval Patrick, but I despise some Zionist Jew scolding him even more!

“He made me feel like a proud father figure,’’ Patrick said. “He said, ‘You know, you’ve done well. You’ve done well.’ ”

And what did he do? He bent over and spread 'em. 

Massachusetts also has wooed Israeli firms, including Desalitech, a water treatment company that relocated to Newton. Chief executive Nadav Efraty said he has hired about 10 people in the last year and revenue has soared.

Yeah, that will fix our unemployment crisis.


Related: Israel's Waterworld

That did not wash things down very well. We are going to become Palestinian with our water being shipped to Israel!

Brandeis, MIT get partners in Israel; Programs are part of Patrick’s trade mission

Anybody tell the African-American governor he's in an apartheid state? 

I'm full up for the day, readers, since I have a basketball game to play tonight. Sorry. 


Akamai beefing up its Israeli workforce

Cambridge-based Akamai Technologies Inc. said that it will add to its Israeli workforce this year. Akamai, the Web content delivery firm, said it will be increasing its headcount in Israel, currently at about 100 employees, by 30 percent in 2014. Two of Akamai’s top projects are being developed out of the company’s office in Herzliya, Israel: protecting websites against cyberattacks and developing the next generation of acceleration servers to speed Web content delivery. 

Jwho is benefiting from the hacking again? 

And they have a mouthpiece to push the agenda, too!