The language tacked onto the recent budget bill by Citibank ratifies the tacit agreement between our so-called leaders and the banking oligarchy to bail out every folly. The ongoing bailout results in negative real interest rates on U.S. Treasuries. Now offshore vehicles and derivatives are officially covered.
Citi has been bailed out many times by the U.S. government, and it was the largest beneficiary of U.S. taxpayer support in the last crisis. You’ll recall Citi did a 1:10 reverse stock split after the crisis. In pre-crisis terms, Citi trades at just over $5 per share.
Recently, Citi has been a heavy user of regulatory capital trades involving synthetic CDOs, total return swaps and offshore vehicles.
In recent months, my article on total return swaps has seen the highest volume activity of any article on my site.
For the first time, I posted something on Huffington Post in Germany. It is a shortened version of one of my posts on hidden bank risks. Here’s the German version: Versteckte Bankrisiken und das nächste Rettungspaket.
Once more in German: Unveiled Threat
You have probably read of Islamist terrorist activity in Pakistan and Sydney.
I was surprised at the U.S. appeasement rhetoric leading up to the negotiations with Iran, so I went outside of my usual finance writing and wrote about my experiences in Iran during the 1979 revolution (I’m American born and raised), and my subsequent following of the spread of fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East and the people who fund the movement.
I have posted in German (Unlike the previous article, I had my copy editor translate this one):
Der fundamentalistische Islam und die Wurzeln des Terrorismus– HuffingtonPost.de – December 16, 2014
Fundamentalist Islam and the Roots of Terrorism – November 11, 2014
Pakistani Civilian Casualties and U.S. Drone Strikes
Our hands are not clean, either. This graphic shows drone strike victims in Pakistan: http://drones.pitchinteractive.com/
Less than 2% of the more than 3,000 people killed in Pakistan have been high profile targets. The timeline at the top gives stats for children, civilians, other (including alleged combatants). From 2004 to the end of December 2013 we killed 3,213 people in drone strikes. I do not have the source for the infographic’s numbers.