Saturday, March 31, 2012

Political and Financial Crisis Continues to Intensify in China

The developing financial crisis in China is causing increased dissatisfaction amongst the populace. The central bank along with other central planners have created a phony economy WITH price inflation. Not a very good mix. The global leftists will shout that it is proof that capitalism can't work everywhere. In truth, outside of small pockets of free market activity, central planning is at the core of much Chinese economic activity.

That central planning has caused massive economic distortions and is now rattling the Chinese leadership.

Hans Palmstierna emails and points to a report from UK's The Telegrapgh:

Interesting rumours, I'd say, even if they are untrue. Something sounds like its brewing underneat the surface.
From The Telegraph:
China has arrested six people and shut down 16 websites for spreading rumours that the military was preparing to launch a coup.

The arrests are a sign of the ruling communist party's (CCP) extreme nervousness in the wake of an extraordinary few weeks in which an unusually public power struggle amongst the party elite has seen the one-time politburo contender Bo Xilai deposed.

Rumours that a coup was imminent began spreading after Mr Bo was removed from his position as CCP chief of the southwestern city of Chongqing two weeks ago. Posts on microblogs claimed that armoured personnel carriers and tanks had been seen on the streets of Beijing.

China's state news agency Xinhua reported late on Friday that six people are under arrest for "fabricating or disseminating online rumours".

Sixteen websites have been closed for posting reports of "military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing". An unknown number of people were "admonished and educated" for their part in spreading the rumours, according to police in Beijing.

"The rumours have "caused a very bad effect on the public," said a spokesman for the State internet Information Office, while the websites were shut down for not acting to stop their spread. Two of China's most popular microblogging sites, and, were also "criticised and punished accordingly" for their failure to prevent the rumours circulating said the spokesman.

The Man who Amassed 5 Million Ounces of Gold

WSJ writes:

Since at least late 2010, commentators have been pointing to massive buying of gold by the Chinese as another prop for the barbarous relic. Much of the chatter has focused on solving the apparent enigma of why China would want to buy so much gold.

But a look back into history shows that there’s no mystery here. There is a long tradition, in China’s imperial dynasties, of hoarding vast quantities of gold. According to an article in the May 1942 issue of The Journal of Economic History by Homer Dubs, a scholar at Duke University, the treasury of Emperor Wang Mang held roughly 5 million ounces of gold around A.D. 23.

Read the rest here.


Indications as to What Krugman Might Title His Next Book

We all know the doozy of a title that Paul Krugman has chosen for his book coming out in April(?)

Judging from the post he has up this morning, the title to the book he is probably working on now is: How to End Deflation.

The post is a real laugher, you need to read it.

As I pointed out when the PCE was announced. Price-inflation can be seen as under control as long you don't eat, drink or use gasoline.  Prices for nondurable goods (goods consumed within a year) are up 4.3% in Feb versus Feb 2011. Food prices are up 3.9% and energy goods and services prices are skyrocketing. They are up 6.6% in Feb versus Feb 2011.

But, hey, I'm sure the prices of CDs that carry the terrible music Krugman posts on Fridays are dropping--along with the price of diapers.


The Super Myth of Keynes as a Great Stock Market Investor

WSJ is running a story today perpetuating the super myth that John Maynard Keynes was a great investor. Writes WSJ:
A new analysis of the investment performance of John Maynard Keynes proves that the famous economist also was one of the greatest investors of the past century.
Total BS.

What's remarkable is that WSJ provides the facts surrounding what really went down with Keynes.

Since Keynes had a wacky theory of  what caused the business cycle, he lost big in the 1929 stock market crash (Despite the fact that an investment fund he took public was specifically created to profit from the "credit cycle theory of investment. p.20). He had losses in the portfolios he managed, in the second half of 1929 and for the full years 1930 and 1932. From WSJ:
Keynes wasn't a very good macro manager. He lagged behind the British stock market miserably until 1928, and he had 83% of his primary portfolio in stocks going into the fall of 1929. 
"It's hard to time the markets," Mr. Chambers says. "Keynes struggled with it, and then he missed the 1929 crash—even with an unrivaled network of information sources."
He was 83% long going into the downturn that resulted in the 1929 crash (p. 21)So how could Keynes be a great investor with such a bad performance? Because Keynes, the evil bastard, along with Bernard Baruch, talked FDR into confiscating the gold owned by all Americans. He then loaded up his portfolio with gold mining stocks and then urged FDR to prop up the price of gold.

Here's WSJ on where he made his profits:
 Keynes also made titanic bets on industries he thought were cheap; by 1936, he had 66% of his portfolio in mining stocks and not a farthing in bank or energy shares.
Actually, it was earlier, in 1933, that Keynes had bought most of his gold stocks, but you get the picture. The man was loaded up in gold stocks. What's so big about 1933? FDR confiscated American gold in 1933.

 On April 5, 1933, at the urging of Keynes and Baruch, Roosevelt ordered all gold coins and gold certificates in denominations of more than $100 turned in for other money. It required all persons to deliver all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates owned by them to the Federal Reserve by May 1 for the set price of $20.67 per ounce. By May 10, the government had taken in $300 million of gold coin and $470 million of gold certificates. Two months later, a joint resolution of Congress abrogated the gold clauses in many public and private obligations that required the debtor to repay the creditor in gold dollars of the same weight and fineness as those borrowed.

Keynes then wrote an open letter to FDR in late 1933 calling for him to enter the gold markets to "stabilize" the price. The letter was published in the New York Times. In fact, this was just backup support for FDR, he had already started doing what Keynes proposed in the letter. FDR operative Jerry Jones explains:
During a train Journey from Atlanta to Washington early in his administration, President Roosevelt talked with me about devaluing the dollar. He asked who would get the profit on the gold in such an operation. I told the President I did not know, but would look into it.

During the next few months the matter was discussed generally between the Treasury, the Department of Justice, and the RFC. It was finally decided by lawyers that the RFC had authority to buy newly minted domestic gold or any foreign gold as a commodity, giving its notes in payment for the gold at whatever price might be determined by the RFC. The Presidents idea was that one way to lift the depressed prices of commodities would be to devalue the dollar by raising the price of gold.

A movement by the government to collect hoarded gold from the public had begun the previous March during the nation-wide bank holiday. Congress on March 9 had given the President dictatorial power over all forms of money. The total of gold coin and gold certificates in circulation on the day the President was inaugurated was $1,385,000,000. Two days later, on March 6, banks were prohibited by Presidential proclamation from any further paying out of gold coin and gold certificates. On March 8 the Federal Reserve Board requested the Federal Reserve banks to furnish a list of persons who had recently withdrawn gold and gold certificates, and who, by the approaching March 27, did not redeposit them. Between March 4 and March 31, $260,000,000 in gold coin and $370,000,000 in gold certificates were returned to the Federal Reserve banks and the Treasury. On March 31 the total of gold coin and gold certificates outside the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks was $700,000,000, the lowest figure since 1923.

On April 5, my birthday, the President issued an Executive Order forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates. In mid-April he put a ban on exports of gold, and in June he signed an Act of Congress which outlawed the gold-payment clause in all moneys and other public and private contracts. By then some people in Wall Street were really getting the jitters and howling calamity.

On October 16, 1933 I sent to the President the following letter:

My Dear Mr. President: 
In considering further the problem of the purchase of newly mined gold, I wish to make the following suggestion. 
Under Section 9 of the RFC Act this corporation is authorized, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to offer for sale “at such price or prices as the Corporation may determine with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury,” its obligations. We have authority to issue large amounts of notes, debentures or bonds. They could be offered by us for newly mined gold only or for gold coin, and we could agree with the holders of newly mined gold to accept bullion. 
You and the secretary could give us authority to sell this gold abroad. It need not be used but it would afford us a market should it be necessary, and thus would not result in a determined loss to this Corporation. 
When Congress meets legislation could be passed which would authorize the purchase of this gold from us or we could pay our indebtedness to the Treasury with it, either on the dollar basis or on the gold basis as might be thought best. 
You might desire to submit this suggestion to the Attorney General.
Very sincerely yours,
Jesse H. Jones Chairman

Four days later, at the direction of the President and because of his action in outlawing the possession of monetary gold, the directors of the RFC adopted a resolution stating that there was no free market in the United States for newly minted domestic gold; that it would aid in the creation of such a market if such gold were purchased abroad; and that public problems arising from the absence of a free market for gold newly mined in the United States warranted action.

The board resolved that upon the Presidents request the RFC, subject to the Secretary of the Treasury’s approval, would authorize issue of $50,000,000 in short-term obligations to be offered for sale payable in newly mined domestic gold or imported from abroad.

A copy of this resolution was sent to the White House with the request that the President furnish us with a copy of the opinion of the Attorney General as to the legality of the proposed transaction. Two days later, on Sunday October 22, I prepared a letter setting forth the gold-buying plan as worked out by our general counsel and the Department of Justice and took it to a meeting which the president had called for two o’clock. I went a few minutes early to give the President an opportunity to read the letter before others he had invited arrived. The President hardly finished reading the letter when the others, who included several members of the Cabinet came in. The meeting was in the Oval Room of the White House. No sooner had the men all assembled then the President proceeded to read aloud my letter. He stated that he proposed to devalue the dollar by increasing the price of gold.

The meeting was over in a few minutes. As we were leaving, the President turned to me and said: “Jess, you and Henry [Morgenthau] drop by my bedroom in the morning, and we’ll fix the price of gold.”

That night, in one of his “fireside chats” on the radio, he gave the public an inkling of what was to come. He reiterated that the “definite policy of the Government has been to restore commodity price levels.” He said that when these had been restored “we shall act to establish and maintain a dollar which will not change its purchasing and debt paying power during the succeeding generation.”

Then he said “It becomes increasingly important to develop and apply further measures which may be necessary from time to time to control the gold value of our own dollar at home.” And he added that “the United States must take firmly in its own hands the control of the gold value of our dollar.”

While the hair of many a conservative listener probably began to stand on end and his eyes to bulge, Mr. Roosevelt went on to announce the establishment of a government market for gold in the United States. He said he was authorizing the RFC to buy gold newly mined in the United States at prices to be determined from time to time after we had consulted with him and the Secretary of Treasury.

“Whenever necessary to the end in view,” he added, “we shall also buy or sell gold in the world market…Government credit will be maintained and a sound currency will accompany a rise in the American commodity price level.”

Thus he began to haul in the anchor to which the dollar had been tied for thirty-four years.

The next morning I went to the bedside of the President with Henry Morgenthau Jr., who was then Farm Credit Administrator. It was the President’s custom to have his breakfast in bed and to remain there a while reading the newspapers and some of his mail and memoranda of one sort or another before going to his office around 10 o’clock. At that first meeting I suggested to the President that, to keep speculators from figuring out what we were doing, we should not raise the price of gold on a formula, but should jump it around from day to day until the ultimate price was determined at which the dollar would be reestablished on a gold basis. We decided that morning the first day’s price would be $31.36 an ounce instead of the then parity of $29.01. We agreed that gradually from time to time we would boost the price, but with no indications as to how much-or what the ultimate price would be.

On October 24 the President announced publicly that he had named Mr. Morgenthau, Dean Acheson then Acting Secretary of the Treasury in the absence of Secretary Woodin, and me as committee to fix the price at which the RFC would buy gold newly mined in the United States. The next morning we announced that the price for that day would be $31.36–the figure hit upon earlier at the President’s bedside.

That same day the President issued an Executive Order authorizing the RFC to acquire and to hold, earmark for foreign account, export, or otherwise dispose of gold newly mined in the United States and received by the mints and assay offices on consignment for such purposes.

The RFC thereupon announced that it would receive subscriptions for its ninety-day notes payable in gold so received. The circular for such notes was issued on October 26. At the same time, we jacked our paying offer from the previous day’s starting price of $31.36 to $31.54.

We kept raising the price day after day, until we reached $34.01 on December 1. It remained at that figure through December 16, and then was moved up to $34.06, where we held it steady during the remainder of our gold-buying program, which was concluded January 17, 1934. By that time the RFC had bought 695,027.423 ounces of domestic gold for $23,363,754.56 and 3,418,993.045 ounces of foreign gold in the London and Paris markets for $111,037,195.78, a total of $134,400,950.34.

The average cost to us for the foreign gold had been $32.48 per ounce, and for the newly mined domestic gold, $33.62 per ounce.

At the start the RFC had decided to issue $50,000,000 of notes with which to buy gold. This was increased by our board a few weeks later to $100,000,000 and then to $150,000,000.. . .

Gradually, through the daily meetings of the President, Mr. Morgenthau, and me, the plan developed to fix the dollar at about 60 per cent of its old parity, which I am sure was the President’s idea. This was finally done at the end of January. During that month Congress passed the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, which the President approved on his fifty-second birthday, January 30. This act provided that all gold coin and gold bullion in every bank in the Federal Reserve System should pass to and be vested in the United States Treasury and be paid for in gold certificates. The act authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to buy gold and to sell gold, “which is required to be maintained as a reserve or security for currency issues by the United States, only to the extent necessary to maintain such currency at a parity with the gold dollar; and therefore, for the purpose of stabilizing the exchange value of the dollar … to deal in gold and foreign exchange.” For that purpose a stabilizing fund of $2,000,000,000 was put aside.

At the President’s request, the Act of May 12, 1933 – The Thomas Amendment to the Farm Relief Act- was amended by Congress to provide that the weight of gold in the dollar be fixed at not more than 60 per cent of its then weight. Authorization was also given to the President to reduce in his discretion the weight of the silver dollar in the same percentage. At 3:10 pm. on January 31, 1934, which was ten minutes after the New York Stock Exchange had closed for the day, President Roosevelt issued a proclamation fixing the weight of the gold dollar at 15 and 5/21 grains, 9/10 fine, to become effective immediately, [a price of $35 per ounce]. Thus the dollar was officially revalued at 59.06 per cent of the parity , which had been fixed for it in 1900.
As far as the Baruch side of the gold manipulation, in 2009 I spoke to investment advisor Martin Weiss about his father, Irving, who was part of the Baruch clique:
 Martin Weiss' father was one of the few people, perhaps the only one, who made money shorting stocks in 1929 and also 1987. Weiss' father was also a friend of Bernard Baruch. At FFI, I told Weiss that I suspected that Baruch (and Keynes) influenced FDR to prop up the gold price for personal gain. Weiss wasn't willing to go that far, and said we will probably never know what really happened. But, he told me that his father, and a few others, were hanging around with Baruch at the time, and that while Baruch never leaked any information to them, Martin's father and the others were all buying gold stocks aggressively and that Baruch was aware of this and, at a minimum, he certainly didn't do anything to discourage them.
Bottom line, as far as I'm concerned, Keynes was a terrible investor, as shown by his pre-gold mining stock losses. The only time he made real money in the markets was when he traded on inside information about FDR's plan to drive the gold price up, and loaded up on gold mining stocks. Got that? The man who called gold a "barbarous relic" in his 1924 book, Monetary Reform, had 66% of his portfolio in gold mining stocks  in the 1930s.

Army Reserve Reprimands Soldier who Backed Ron Paul

The soldier who went on national television in his military fatigues to endorse Ron Paul's presidential campaign after the Iowa caucuses has been reprimanded but not dismissed from the Army Reserve, an Army spokeswoman said Friday.

The Army determined that Jesse D. Thorsen violated policies that bar soldiers from participating in political events in their official capacities or while in uniform.

Biden on What Could Cause Obama to Win or Lose the Election

Vice-President Joe Biden told a crowd at a Chicago fundraiser:
I don’t think we’ll be beaten by those candidates. I think we’ll be beaten -- if we are – by something happening in the Eurozone or something happening in the Gulf, which could be difficult for us, or this barrage of SuperPAC money. But even with that I feel good.
Looks to me like there won't be any attack on Iran until after the election.

Biden also said that Republicans could raise between $400 million and $800 million in SuperPAC dollars. The money would be used to “carpet-bomb” Obama, he said.

Brezinski: Attacking Iran "Will Produce Disasters Now”

 Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt, the U.S. should “be patient in pursuing” an agreement with Iran, while extending its nuclear deterrence pledge to Israel and Persian Gulf nations.

“We have done that successfully in protecting South Korea and Japan from North Korea,” he said. “We did the same thing for decades in Europe against the Soviet Union. We have deterred the would-be nuclear threats, but we didn’t preempt and go to war in a preventive attack.”

A pre-emptive attack on Iran to stop its nuclear program “will produce disasters now,” he said 

The Endless Government Spending Spree

By James Grant

From George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the national debt tended to grow in wartime and shrink in peacetime. Because the dollar was generally convertible into gold or silver at a fixed and statutory rate, the central bank, when there was a central bank, couldn't just materialize money as the Federal Reserve does today. You had to dig the metal out of the Earth, or entice it into American vaults with money-friendly financial policies. The Treasury could borrow, all right, but not without limit. Wars aside, the government paid its way like a man with a debit card.

Washington, D.C., got its credit card on Sunday, Aug. 15, 1971. Pre-empting the horse opera "Bonanza," President Richard Nixon told a national television audience that the gold standard, or what little of it remained, was kaput. No more would the dollar be defined in law as 1/35th of an ounce of gold. It would rather be anchored by the good intentions of the people who printed it.

There has never been a credit card quite like the nonmetallic dollar. We Americans, consuming much more than we produce, finance our deficits with the dollars that we alone may lawfully print. Our Asian creditors not only accept this money in payment for goods and services but also turn right around and invest it in U.S. Treasury bonds and federally insured mortgages. It's as if the greenbacks never left the 50 states.

The Nixon gambit marks a great divide. In the 10 years before 1971, the "gross" public debt (counting even those obligations held by the government itself) had climbed to $408 billion from $293 billion. This increase amounted to a compound annual rate of only 3.4%, the Great Society and the Vietnam War notwithstanding. In the next 10 years, till 1981, the gross debt jumped to $995 billion from $408 billion—a compound annual rate of 9.3%, the close of the Great Society and the end of the Vietnam War notwithstanding. Not until fiscal 2001 did the debt reach $5.8 trillion. Yet it expanded by an identical $5.8 trillion in the four short years between 2007 and 2011. Now the grand total stands at $15.6 trillion.

Herbert Hoover, who learned a thing or two about debt and adversity, warned in his memoirs that, unless the dollar was convertible into gold, the people would lose control of the public finances, "their first defense against tyranny." Simon Johnson and James Kwak, the authors of "White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You" could not seem to disagree more. To them, the problem today isn't paper money but a government that hovers too little and taxes too lightly. More regulation—especially financial regulation—and selectively higher taxes are the answers, they contend.

Mr. Johnson, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, was the chief economist for the International Monetary Fund. He consults for both the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Mr. Kwak is a law professor at the University of Connecticut and a fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance as well as the co-founder of a software company. They are the résumé champions of the world.

Read the rest here.

Why Google Might Be Going to $0 (and the stock that just went public that will benefit)

By James Altucher

Ken Lang could perform miracles. In 1990 we would head off to a bar near where we were going to graduate school for computer science, and we would bring a Go board. Then we would drink and play Go for five hours. At the end of the five hours, after a grueling battle over the board, I remember this one time when magically Ken would show up with two girls who were actually willing to sit down and hang out with two guys who had a GO BOARD in front of them. How did Ken do that?

Fast forward: 1991, CMU asks me to leave graduate school, citing lack of maturity. The professor who threw me out still occasionally calls me up asking me when I’m going to be mature enough.

Fast forward: 1994, one of our classmates, Michael Mauldin is working on a database that automatically sorts by category pages his spider retrieves on the Internet. The name of his computer: Lycos eventually spins out of CMU, becomes the biggest seach engine,  and goes public with a multi-billlion dollar valuation.

Fast forward: Ken Lang starts a company called WiseWire. I was incredibly skeptical. I read through what the company is about. “No way,” I think to myself, “that this is going to make any money”.

1998: Ken files a patent that classified how search results and ad results are sorted based on the number of click-thrus an ad gets. He sells the company to Lycos for $40 million. Ken Lang becomes CTO of Lycos and they take over his patents.

$40 million! What? And then Lycos stock skyrockets up. I can’t believe it. I’m happy for my friend but also incredibly jealous although later in 1998 I sell my first company as well. Still, I wanted to be the only one I knew who made money. I didn’t think it was fun when other people I knew made money. And, anyway, weren’t search engines dead? I mean,what was even the business model?

Fast forward: the  2000s. Almost every search engine dies. Excite, Lycos, Altavista. Before that “the world wide web worm”. Lycos got bought by a Spanish company, then a Korean company, then an Indian company. To be honest, I don’t even know who owns it now. It has a breathing tube and a feeding tube. Somehow, in a complete coma, it is being kept alive.

One search engine, a little company called Google, figured out how to make money.

Read the rest here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Obama Shows His Commie, Socialist, Interventionist Colors

Let's face it. President Obama is a hardcore central planning quack.

During a speech to college students at the University of Vermont, he just said:
We also have always understood that we wouldn't win the race for new jobs and businesses, and middle class security if we were just applying some 'you're on your own economics'.It's been tried in our history and it hasn't worked," Obama said. "It didn't work when we tried it in the decade before the Great Depression. It didn't work when we tried it in the last decade. We just tried this. What they're peddling has been tried -- it did not work.
What didn't work, of course, is Federal Reserve manipulation of the money supply, which is always responsible for the business cycle, including the downside (See Bob Murphy's book.)

When he talks of  'you're on your own economics', it's really code talk for dissing free markets. His alternative is, of course, an economy where the government intervenes a lot.

I beginning to think Obama has a split personality. On the one hand, I think he really does believe in central planning. Yet, when he has intervened in the economy to bailout banksters, union industries and big pharma, it has all been crony capitalism, which highlights one of the weaknesses of central planning.

When something is centrally planned and other options are banned, it creates a central point that bad guys can aim at and corrupt. And they do---as proved by Obama's deals.

Obama is one scary dude. What he told Russian president Dmitry Medvedev about it being easier to operate after the election is probably how he is thinking about his domestic central planning ideas for after the election. Scary.

The video of Obama dissing free markets at U of V is here.

Is The Chinese Stock Market About To Crash?

Hans Palmstierna emails
I may have mentioned that rather ominous-looking pattern on the Chinese stock market before, but its worth repeating.
He then points to this Zero Hedge report:
"The eternal optimists would have us all believe that China will awaken from its slumbers amid a blaze of new, debt-fuelled spending initiatives and so buy up all the goods we find so hard to sell at home (without offering a substantial concession in price)" is how Sean Corrigan begins his assault on the non-reality that is China's 'save-the-world' protagonists. It is worth noting, however, that those who actually invest in the place seem to be too busy selling their equities to pay much attention to the Panglossians and Polyannas. With a 10% slump in the past 12 sessions in the main indices (retracing a major fib interval of the 2012 rally), there seems little enthusiasm there for clinging on in the hope that the PBOC will bail anyone out - and the wedge is closing on something big in the chart. Plain vanilla economics might well be correct in telling the bulls that they may rely on a Zhou Xiaochuan Put to spare them too much future pain, but the law of the political jungle, red in flag, tooth, and claw, may well dictate otherwise. As we write, it seems beyond dispute to say that the Chinese hierarchy is battling it out behind closed doors to determine the long term future of the regime and, by implication, the direction of the entire nation. In such momentous times, we would perhaps befoolish to think that the routine application of short?term countercyclical policy will bear overmuch weight in their counsels. Simply out, there is too much political infighting for any large-scale action to be taken as "Having moved against the state-capitalist left of old man Jiang and his Chongqing bruisers, surely the last thing Hu & Co. would want in their final months in office would be to unleash another oligarch?enriching orgy of speculation of the kind such a mass stimulus would be almost bound to foment."

Anecdotal evidence continues to belie the highly suspect official statistics upon which so many blind macromancers routinely base their case. Growth in Shanghai port traffic has slowed to a virtual crawl – under 4% YOY – as have rail freight ton?miles ? a sub?5% increase in the first two months which is less than half the trend rate from before the crisis – while electricity use for the first two months (unseasonably cold ones full of residential heating demand, at that) was only 6.7% above the like period in 2011, thesmallest increment (excluding the Crash itself) in a decade.
Then we had the salutary revelation that the CCP has not, after all, managed to suspend the working of the same economic laws which are crushing Europe – i.e., they have not been able to order away the effects of a monetary dearth which is steadily eating away at the shaky foundations erected during an earlier glut and sizzling through the overextended balance sheets this spawned with the vigour of fluoroantimonic acid.
Thus, when the NBS announced that the trajectory of larger firm revenues had decelerated sharply from the 30% YOY rise of HI?2011 to February’s 13.4% (the slowest, ex?crisis, in a decade), we might have guessed that profits would fall 5.2% YOY (fall!)– a far cry from the earlier period’s growth in the high?20s. More worryingly, accounts receivable and finished product inventories were also both up 18% ? swelling faster than sales and so implying negative cash flow prevails across the board. Negative cash flow means that even such profits as there may be are more a virtual artefact of accounting convention than the sort of filthy lucre you can actually spend.
Even this does not tell the whole story, for while expanding production volumes and an administered price hike helped both oil & gas and the utility industries improve their tallies (if not, for the first of these, anything like as rapidly as before) and if agriculture also benefited from higher prices, by contrast, chemicals, metals processing, machinery and equipment making, and electronics and communications all saw income shrinking – to the point of extinction for the nation’s steel makers who are responsible for half the planet’s output.

Even if we dismiss the wilder rumours swirling about the offshore websites and the fringes of the blogosphere, it is painfully clear that something very unusual and potentially disruptive is afoot. Given our overdependence on the myth, as much as on the reality, of a China rising inexorably and uninterruptedly to a resource?hungry world primacy over the next decade or two, the interplay of factional political infighting with potential economic meltdown could be the defining influence on the world’s affairs in general, much less on the enthusiasms of those active in its financial market playground, in the coming months.
For the record, the EPJ Daily Alert has been all over the developing China crisis. I have been reporting near daily on the developing crisis. Here's what I wrote last June:
Overnight China reported that the country's inflation accelerated in
May to a 34-month high of 5.5 percent. Although this rate was somewhat
expected, it is further indication that the central bank of China will
remain on a money tightening program. Signs of the weakening economy
are starting to appear and the crash of the stock markets in China are
only a matter of time.

Remember, yesterday I reported China's money growth slowed to a
30-month low in May and banks extended fewer new loans than expected.
Thus, there is no way that the current capital structure of the
economy and stock market can be supported, given the declining cash
flow into the capital goods sector.
Nothing has changed my view since that commentary. The crisis continues to develop and cracks in the old structure continue to develop. At some point, this turns into a massive crash. There's a sprinkle of free market development in China, but much central planning and central bank intervention. The break is going to be very loud.

Deep Inside the Supreme Court: How the Vote on Obamacare Will Take Place

Via AP:

While the rest of us have to wait until June, the justices of the Supreme Court will know the likely outcome of the historic health care case by the time they go home this weekend.

After months of anticipation, thousands of pages of briefs and more than six hours of arguments, the justices are to vote on the fate of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in under an hour Friday. They meet in a wood-paneled conference room on the court's main floor. No one else will be present.

In the weeks after this meeting, individual votes can change. Even who wins can change, as the justices read each other's draft opinions and dissents.

But Friday's vote, which each justice probably will record and many will keep for posterity, will be followed soon after by the assignment of a single justice to write a majority opinion, or in a case this complex, perhaps two or more justices to tackle different issues. That's where the hard work begins, with the clock ticking toward the end of the court's work in early summer.

The late William Rehnquist, who was chief justice for nearly 19 years, has written that the court's conference "is not a bull session in which off-the-cuff reactions are traded." Instead, he said, votes are cast, one by one in order of seniority.

The Friday conference also is not a debate, says Brian Fitzpatrick, a Vanderbilt University law professor who worked for Justice Antonin Scalia 10 years ago. There will be plenty of time for the back-and-forth in dueling opinions that could follow.

"There's not a whole lot of give and take at the conference. They say, 'This is how I'm going to vote' and give a few sentences," Fitzpatrick said.

It will be the first time the justices gather as a group to discuss the case. Even they do not always know what the others are thinking when they enter the conference room adjacent to Chief Justice John Roberts' office.

Table Talking

By custom, they shake hands. Then Roberts will take his seat at the head of a rectangular table. Scalia, the longest serving among them, will be at the other end. The seven other justices also sit according to seniority, the four most junior on one side across from the three others.

"They generally find out how the votes line up at the conference," said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor who worked for Justice Anthony Kennedy nine years ago.

The uncertainty may be especially pronounced in this case, where the views of Roberts and Kennedy are likely to decide the outcome, Kerr said in an interview Thursday. "I don't think anyone knows. I'm not sure Justice Kennedy knows."

No one's vote counts more than the others', but because they speak in order of seniority, it will become clear fairly quickly what will become of the health care overhaul.

That's because Roberts speaks first, followed by Scalia, then Kennedy. If the three men hold a common negative view, the Obama health care overhaul probably is history. If they don't, it probably survives.

If Roberts is in the majority, he will assign the main opinion, and in a case of this importance, he may well write it himself, several former law clerks said. If Roberts is a dissenter, the senior justice in the majority assigns the opinion.

Read the rest here.

Jon Stewart on Obama, Romney and Spike Lee

The US Government War on Cash (And the Bankster Profits Behind It)

By Joesph Salerno

Under cover of its multiplicity of fabricated wars on drugs, terror, tax evasion, and organized crime, the US government has long been waging a hidden war on cash. One symptom of the war is that the largest denomination of US currency is the $100 note, whose ever-eroding purchasing power is far below the purchasing power of the €500 note. US currency used to be issued in denominations running up to $10,000 (including also $500; $1,000; $5,000 notes). There was even a $100,000 note issued for transactions among Federal Reserve banks. The United States stopped printing large denomination notes in 1945 and officially discontinued their issuance in 1969, when the Fed began removing them from circulation. Since then the largest currency note available to the general public has a face value of $100. But since 1969, the inflationary monetary policy of the Fed has caused the US dollar to depreciate by over 80 percent, so that a $100 note in 2010 possessed a purchasing power of only $16.83 in 1969 dollars. That is less purchasing power than a $20 bill in 1969.

Despite this enormous depreciation, the Federal Reserve has steadfastly refused to issue notes of larger denomination. This has made large cash transactions extremely inconvenient and has forced the American public to make much greater use than is optimal of electronic-payment methods. Of course, this is precisely the intent of the US government. The purpose of its ongoing breach of long-established laws regarding financial privacy is to make it easier to monitor the economic affairs and abrogate the financial privacy of its citizens, ostensibly to secure their safety from Colombian drug lords, Al Qaeda operatives, and tax cheats and other nefarious white-collar criminals.

Now the war on cash has begun to spread to other countries. As reported a few months ago, Italy lowered the legal maximum on cash transactions from €2,500 to €1,000. The Italian government would have preferred to set a €500 or even €300 maximum limit but reasoned that it should permit Italians time to adjust to the new limit. The rationale for this limit on the size of cash transactions is the fact that the profligate Italian government is trying to reduce its €1.9 trillion debt and views its anticash measures as a means of cracking down on tax evasion, which “costs” the government an estimated €150 billion annually.

The profligacy of the Italian ruling class is in sharp contrast to ordinary Italians who are the least indebted consumers in the eurozone and among its biggest savers. They use their credit cards very infrequently compared to citizens of other eurozone nations. So deeply ingrained is cash in the Italian culture that over 7.5 million Italians do not even have checking accounts. Now most of these “bankless” Italians will be dragooned into the banking system so that the notoriously corrupt Italian government can more easily spy on them and invade their financial privacy. Of course Italian banks, which charge 2 percent on credit-card transactions and assess fees on current accounts, stand to earn an enormous windfall from this law. As controversial former prime minister Berlusconi noted, “There’s a real danger of crossing over into a fiscal police state.” Indeed, one only need look at the United States today to see what lies in store for Italian citizens.

Meanwhile the war on cash in Sweden is accelerating, although the involvement of the state is less overt. In Swedish cities, cash is no longer acceptable on public buses; tickets must be purchased in advance or via a cell-phone text message. Many small businesses refuse cash, and some bank facilities have completely stopped handling cash. Indeed in some Swedish towns it is no longer possible to use cash in a bank at all. Even churches have begun to facilitate electronic donations from their congregations by installing electronic card readers. Cash transactions represent only 3 percent of the Swedish economy, while they account for 9 percent of the eurozone and 7 percent of the US economies.

A leading proponent of the anticash movement is none other than Bjorn Ulvaeus, former member of the pop group ABBA. The dotty pop star, whose son has been robbed three times, believes that a cashless world means greater security for the public! Others, more perceptive than Ulvaeus, point to another alleged advantage of electronic transactions: they leave a digital trail that can be readily followed by the state. Thus, unlike countries with a strong “cash culture” like Greece and Italy, Sweden has a much lower incidence of graft. As one “expert” on underground economies instructs us, “If people use more cards, they are less involved in shadowy economy activities,” in other words, secreting their hard-earned income in places where it cannot be plundered by the state.

The deputy governor of the Swedish central bank, Lars Nyberg, gloated before his retirement last year that cash will survive “like the crocodile, even though it may be forced to see its habitat gradually cut back.”

Read the rest here.


Silver Circle Trailer Released

Megan Duffield sends along this very cool trailer for the upcoming film "Silver Circle"

Here's Ron Paul using a Silver Circle coin during questioning of Ben Bernanke:

Treasury Securities Head to Second Monthly Loss

Treasury prices edged up Friday but are still heading toward a second straight month of steep losses.

Yields on 10-year notes fell 1 basis point to 2.15%, today. However, a month ago, the benchmark security yielded 1.98% and yields are up from 1.87% at the end of 2011. This despite Bernanke's "Operation Twist" which is designed to drive down long term Treasury bonds.

Given the debt the Treasury will have to raise (which will increase as rates climb)and the fact that China and the Social Security trust fund are no longer net buyers, coupled with the price inflation that will result because of Fed money printing, there is going to be huge upward pressure on bonds.

This is not the time to own bonds of any type, Treasury bonds, muni bonds, etc. They are going to be big losers for many, many years.

Why Life Expectancy Will Crash in the United States

It's coming. It will take some time before it shows up in the stats, but the socialization of medicine is going to have a dramatic impact on medical care---for the worse.

It doesn't matter what the Supremes rule on Obamacare. If they rule against it, it will just slow things down, but socialist thinking surrounds the medical industry, especially among the "big thinkers", the interventionist minded, central planning focused bioethisists.

Doug Casey has an excellent take on them:
Bioethics is a phony science, recently concocted by busybodies working for pharmaceutical companies, governments, and medical institutions looking for excuses to justify what they have already decided to do. That's dangerous enough, but these are not just fools sowing confusion, they are mostly of a particular mindset – that is to say, they are a bunch of collectivists and statists – who pretend to be objective. Worse, they espouse policies with wide-reaching implications, almost universally wrong-headed and disastrous, which are a reeking part of the rotting fabric of what was once American society.

I don't know where they dig up these people – how can anyone be so corrupt, blind, and stupid at the same time, and still manage to tie his shoes in the morning? These people are like the TSA of the intellectual world. They are worse than useless; they are counterproductive, making people more confused on ethical matters, thereby making the world more dangerous. They hide under rocks and in sub-cellars in stable and happy times. But given an opening, they come out, and you have an infestation that's extremely hard to expunge. The kind of people who join the TSA are one species, but bioethicists are even worse....

We're dealing with fundamental issues of good and evil here; I urge everyone to read my article on the ascendancy of sociopaths in US governance. Essentially, the powers of darkness have gotten the upper hand almost everywhere, and we're looking at a dystopian future, where 1984 might be used as an instructional manual.

But what really gets me about these bioethicists is that they are not technical experts contributing to debates among scientists – they're just a bunch of busybodies who want to tell everyone else what to do, based on their own opinions of morality and notions of political correctness. This is especially dangerous, because people make decisions and act based on their ideas of what is right and wrong – on moral grounds. By setting themselves up as the great determiners of what is ethically correct, these supposed experts become a sort of new secular priesthood to guide us all. They're worse than run-of-the-mill busybodies, however; they want to play the role of Gríma Wormtongue in counseling rulers. They are generally sociopaths who want us to accept their statist, collectivist ethics, and thereby exert control over the direction of society, taking it down paths they deem best...

Fortunately, few people listen to bioethicists. But unfortunately, those who do tend to be among those battling for control of public policy. These so-called ethical experts insinuate themselves into the bureaucratic machinery of the state, into the flow of intellectual and academic debate, into the course material taught at universities, and they exert influence.

It's especially dangerous because when people read about a consensus of Ph.D.s agreeing that X or Y is ethical, they may be seduced into letting these others do their ethical thinking for them, instead of holding on to the vital responsibility of thinking through ethical matters for themselves...

Individual responsibility, rather than diffuse responsibility among classes of people, is a major reason for the individual accomplishments and innovations that led the West to global eminence. Bioethicists are trying to set themselves up as a new priesthood. If they succeed, it would reverse an essential element of Western thought. These people are termites eating at the foundations of Western civilization and are contributing to the West's fall from eminence.

Bioethicists are irksome because they're a visible cutting edge of the knife destroying our social fabric, and yet they are given unearned respect and material prosperity....

 I was reading an article by an alleged bioethical expert, spewing about medical advances, and the man, one Dan Callahan, Ph.D., actually said that one of the problems with medicine is technology...

Yes, you're exactly right. Needless to say, he conflates healthcare with medical care, which are two totally different things. But beyond that, this luminary actually says that technology "is one of the barriers to an equitable and sustainable healthcare system." Why? It "drives up costs with little return on investment."...

You have to see clearly what he's saying. He didn't say technology was a barrier to effective medical treatment, he said it's a barrier to an "equitable and sustainable healthcare system." He doesn't give a fig if you or I live or die, it's the system – the collective – that matters most to him and all his socialist ilk. This is classic. These frauds are not experts in ethics at all, but socialists using big words that sound scientific and objective to con people into buying their collectivist values.

The collectivist mindset is a pathology. The socialists have been discredited with the collapse of the USSR...

. So, they've migrated from economics to "ecology," where they have become "watermelons" – green on the outside, red on the inside. And they've redoubled their efforts to capture the legal and academic arenas. Bioethics offers a chance to do that, plus corrupt science, plus gain the high moral ground. It's a wonderful scam. And if these people are good at anything – actually it's the only thing they're good at – it's perpetrating a scam...

These lickspittle pseudointellectuals are on their way to becoming a leading cause of death in the US and elsewhere. They are metastasizing into a giant force for government control of science and suppression of "unsustainable" research not aligned with the goals of those in power. Instead of allowing innovators to create new treatments wherever new ideas take them, we could end up with pseudoscience following a course of research set by the dominant political agenda of the day.

It should not be up to lunatic busybodies like this Callahan to tell people how much they can spend trying to keep themselves alive; it should be up to individuals. If some people can afford expensive new treatments, bully for them. If some people can't, they are no worse off than they were before the new treatment was invented. Nobody gets out of here alive. But of course, to a socialist this is a big problem, because in that view, everyone should have equal and unlimited access to all treatments. In this perverted view of things, it doesn't matter if an expensive treatment is better, it doesn't matter that rich people who pay for new treatments open the path for less expensive and better treatments in the future – it matters only that the system cannot afford to provide something for everyone now. This only shows that the man is not an expert in medical technology, nor economics, and especially not ethics...

Far be it from me to defend a Republican argument, but there's something to what they say about "death panels." If you socialize medicine, who will determine what treatments are allowed? What treatments are within budget? There will have to be panels of supposed experts – like these bioethicists – who will literally have the power of life and death in their hands.

The only hope Casey sees is that creative medical care will move and develop offshore:
 Of course what's going to happen is that medical entrepreneurs will not just locate to a different state but to a different country, where they can develop products freely and cheaply. And more and more Americans will go elsewhere for medical care. Even more will renounce their citizenships and go elsewhere to avoid everything from being forced to buy medical insurance to being forced to support the Welfare-Warfare State in general.
But, this is why Obama's nomination of Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank is so dangerous. Kim is not a banker, that would be bad enough. He is worse. He is a promoter of "social medicine".

Nominating Kim is about promoting socialized medicine globally. It is about preventing pockets of free market medical care to develop offshore. The evil bastards really want to take over the world. If they succeed, it will crush economies, crush standards of living and crush life expectancy.

The Creeping Price Inflation (While Bernanke dines for free)

Personal income numbers are out and they show PI increased $28.2 billion, or 0.2 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $18.9 billion, or 0.2 percent, in February, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, but what is most interesting are the PCE price indexes.

The headline price index for PCE increased 2.3 percent in February versus February 2011. However, digging beneath the headline number, price inflation is much stronger for the items bought on a daily basis. Prices for nondurable goods (goods consumed within a year) are up 4.3% in Feb versus Feb 2011. Food prices are up 3.9% and energy goods and services prices are skyrocketing. They are up 6.6% in Feb versus Feb 2011.

Bottom line: If you don't eat, drink, drive a car or use public transportation, price inflation is no problem. However, if you don't get to eat like Bernanke in the dining room of

Atrium, Eccles Building
Atrium, Eccles Building, the Fed doesn't publicly display and pics of  the dining room Bernanke uses

of the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board building and don't get chauffeured around by Secret Service like Bernanke, price inflation is already taking a big bite (and the worst is yet to come)

Bernanke and Geithner dining for free somewhere in DC where price inflation has no impact on them  personally.

Signs of Health in the Labor Market

Even WSJ gets it:
The labor market is showing signs of health. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 359,000 last week, from an upwardly revised 364,000 the previous week. The average for the past four weeks — a less-volatile measure — dropped to 365,000 from a revised 368,500. Readings below 400,000 suggest layoffs are easing and hiring may be picking up.


Will not be good for sales of clueless books written by those, who don't understand the business cycle and who never saw the current manipulated boom coming.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Fascinating Gang of Elitist Insiders Surrounding the World Trade Center Towers

No smoking guns, but very suspicious characters none the less. A must watch.

Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

Robert Powell breaksdown the list based on data from CCH and the Tax Foundation and tells you why they need to be considered:
Alaska: Alaska might not seem like a retirement haven based on the usual factors considered such as, say, weather. But it might be the perfect place for one’s golden years if taxes are a big concern. Alaska doesn’t tax personal income, including Social Security benefits and pension income. And, there’s no state-imposed sales tax. This is not to say that you won’t pay any taxes in Alaska. Instead, it means that you’ll pay other types of taxes, such as property taxes.

Nevada: Many retirees rely on income from several sources to make ends meet these days. If you fall into that camp, Nevada might be the place for you. This state doesn’t tax income, Social Security benefits or pension income. And its property taxes are reasonable, too. Its sales tax, however, is higher than the national average.

South Dakota: It might not be the first or even the second state that you think of when contemplating where to live in retirement. But South Dakota is nothing if not a tax friendly state. The state doesn’t tax individual income, Social Security benefits or pension income. And the overall tax burden is among the lowest in the nation.

Wyoming: There’s no individual income tax on Social Security benefits or pension income in Wyoming, according to CCH. But that’s not to say you won’t have to pay any taxes in Wyoming. Property taxes and sales taxes tend to be higher than the national average.

Texas: In Texas, there’s no individual income tax. But property and sales taxes tend to be higher than the rest of the nation.

Florida: There are plenty of reasons why people choose to retire to the Sunshine state, the low tax burden being among those reasons. There’s no individual income tax on Social Security benefits or pension income. There are pipers to pay, however, in the forms of property and sales taxes.

Washington: Another state not generally viewed as a traditional retirement haven is, however, income tax friendly for retirees. There’s no individual income tax on Social Security benefits or pension income. But if you plan on spending lots money while in retirement, Washington might not be your first choice. It has a relatively high sales tax.
Note: Although Powell identifies sales taxes in some states as a negative, what really eventually occurs is that the sales  tax works its way backwards to land and labor, so that the consumer really doesn't pay. Thus, a sales tax may not be much of an impediment for retirees, who do not plan on working part time.

Rand Paul in 2016?

Politico reports:

Just when you thought the Republican presidential primary season was winding down, the 2016 cycle is starting to show signs of revving up. 
Two Iowa groups —- the state Republican Party and Iowa's Faith and Freedom Coalition — have just announced speakers for major spring political events. The guests are both ambitious conservatives with national followings. 
For the Faith and Freedom Coalition, there's Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul...


If You Shoot Someone: Shoot and Scoot

...says former cop and private detective Paul Huebl.

Huebl says you should never call 911 and that it was stupid for George Zimmerman to be a Block Watch volunteer. Huebl writes:
George Zimmerman volunteered to be a Block Watch busybody. Unfortunately many neighborhoods are loaded with dangerous predators and block watches have become a reality. That’s especially true in jurisdictions that have been dumping prisoners from prisons and that have undermanned police departments. Confine any watch activities to protecting your own home, family and close friends.

Calling 911 has become an exercise in futility because they are slow to answer the phone, those untrained civilians give loads of bad advice and the cops can never arrive in time to prevent rapes, robberies or murders. They can however arrange for a cleanup of a bloody mess and to remove the dead and wounded from the scene.

Be aware of your surroundings and the behavior of others around you, your car or home. Be prepared with sufficient training, weapons and ammunition needed to face multiple armed criminals. Criminals seldom work alone.

If you are the subject of intimidation, bullying or attack respond as your life depends on it because it does. Use your weapon to end the assault and in all but a few scenarios the cowardly criminals will flee without you having to fire a shot.

If on the other hand you fire shots do so with accuracy and a sufficient number of shots to stop the attack cold. Instant one-shot stops are rare except on television.

Once you shoot, it’s time to scoot! Get the Hell away from the danger, accomplices and friends of the person/s you’ve shot...

George Zimmerman should have left the do-gooder block watch duties to anyone else. If that failed he should have resorted to the principal of, shoot, scoot and keep your mouth shut. Doing the Block Watch duties placed Zimmerman in harms way with both criminals and 911 operators.
More of Huebl's take on Zimmerman-Martin is here

The Mighty Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of

By Natalie Angier

Scientists are a famously anonymous lot, but few can match in the depths of her perverse and unmerited obscurity the 20th-century mathematical genius Amalie Noether.

Albert Einstein called her the most “significant” and “creative” female mathematician of all time, and others of her contemporaries were inclined to drop the modification by sex. She invented a theorem that united with magisterial concision two conceptual pillars of physics: symmetry in nature and the universal laws of conservation. Some consider Noether’s theorem, as it is now called, as important as Einstein’s theory of relativity; it undergirds much of today’s vanguard research in physics, including the hunt for the almighty Higgs boson. Yet Noether herself remains utterly unknown, not only to the general public, but to many members of the scientific community as well.

When Dave Goldberg, a physicist at Drexel University who has written about her work, recently took a little “Noether poll” of several dozen colleagues, students and online followers, he was taken aback by the results. “Surprisingly few could say exactly who she was or why she was important,” he said. “A few others knew her name but couldn’t recall what she’d done, and the majority had never heard of her.”

Noether (pronounced NER-ter) was born in Erlangen, Germany, 130 years ago this month. So it’s a fine time to counter the chronic neglect and celebrate the life and work of a brilliant theorist whose unshakable number love and irrationally robust sense of humor helped her overcome severe handicaps — first, being female in Germany at a time when most German universities didn’t accept female students or hire female professors, and then being a Jewish pacifist in the midst of the Nazis’ rise to power.

Through it all, Noether was a highly prolific mathematician, publishing groundbreaking papers, sometimes under a man’s name, in rarefied fields of abstract algebra and ring theory. And when she applied her equations to the universe around her, she discovered some of its basic rules, like how time and energy are related, and why it is, as the physicist Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute put it, “that riding a bicycle is safe.”

Ransom Stephens, a physicist and novelist who has lectured widely on Noether, said, “You can make a strong case that her theorem is the backbone on which all of modern physics is built."

Read the rest here.

Koch Brothers Exposed: The Film

The Left is out with a new film on the Koch Brothers (See the trailer below). What's terrible about it is that it will paint the aggressive crony capitalism of the billionaire brothers as true free market capitalism. It's not anywhere close. Hell, even Ed Crane will tell you that.

CIA Agent Goes Rogue on Twitter

By Eli Lake

Lynnae Williams has a beef with the CIA—and she’s using her Twitter account to tell the world about it. In the process, Eli Lake reports, she may be disclosing a few details the agency would rather not publicize.

The Twitter feed belonging to Lynnae Williams at first glance looks like most Twitter feeds. There are tweets about what she is reading (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “Madame Bovary”); tweets about politics (leans towards the Occupy movement); and tweets about food (tuna casserole, carrot-cake muffins).

But on closer inspection, the feed features something rare for Twitter and even the Internet: detailed disclosures about the CIA. On Tuesday for example, Williams tweeted, “The #Farm is #CIA's training center near #Williamsburg, Virginia. I think it's the Kisevalter Center or something.”

In other tweets, Williams, who in 2009 spent nearly four months training to be a CIA spy, details her own experiences with CIA case officers, psychiatrists and the special security division of the agency that serves as the CIA’s police force. In short, Lynnae Williams since late February has been disclosing details of her brief CIA career in 140 characters or less.

I caught up with the 35-year-old would-be spy on Wednesday at the Washington mission for the Palestine Liberation Organization. She was interviewing for a job there in government and press relations. “The interview went well,” she said, even though “I don’t have substantial knowledge in the area. I don’t speak the language.” Williams, who does speak Japanese, added, “I don’t know enough about the [Arab-Israeli] conflict, but I hope they resolve it.”

Williams says she began tweeting because she wanted an outlet to tell the world about her disputes with the CIA and what she calls a pattern of corruption at the agency. She also publishes a blog called CIA corrupt. “I wanted to start the Twitter account with my blog to get out my message,” she says.

Read the rest of the story here.

Sample Tweets:

Her Twitter account is here.