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When Was I Radicalized? (Boeing edition)

When Was I Radicalized? (Boeing edition)


Dick Fuld
That’s Dick “Gorilla” Fuld, former CEO of Lehman Brothers, who oversaw a criminal fraud conspiracy that went by the name of Repo 105. 

Dick Fuld never saw a courtroom, much less a jail cell.

When was I radicalized?

When Dick Fuld walked away scot-free from Lehman with half a billion dollars in cash comp and stock sales during his tenure.

I thought of Dick Fuld today when I saw this picture and read this article.


Prosecutors Face Complex Path to Charging Boeing Over 737 MAX   [Wall Street Journal]

To bring a successful criminal case against Boeing itself, prosecutors would have to show that executives repeatedly concealed or ignored the 737 MAX’s engineering problems, experts said. 

And there is a larger economic and political component: A corporate indictment and potentially huge sanctions must be balanced against the economic and national-security risks of incapacitating the country’s second-biggest defense contractor.


That’s Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, about to testify before Congress about the 737 MAX.

The article is correct, of course. There’s no way that the Justice Dept. will ever bring a criminal case against Boeing, not one that hits top management or really shackles the company.

And I know that Boeing said today that Muilenburg won’t get a bonus or (more) stock grants until the 737 MAX is flying again, but this article got Radical Me thinking … 

I wonder how much money Muilenburg and his management team and his board of directors have pocketed since he took over as CEO in 2015 and Chairman in 2016?

I wonder if executive compensation practices have changed over that span since … you know … Boeing started buying back nine billion dollars of stock every year?

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Blain’s Morning Porridge – July 10 – Will Boeing trigger Crash?

Blain’s Morning Porridge – July 10 – Will Boeing trigger Crash? 


“Ignite blue touch paper and step back. Do not let Children play with Fireworks.” 

All eyes on what Powell tells Washington today, but a number of Porridge Readers called to tell me I’m wrong about summer risks! They think my expectation for a long worried nervous but stable summer before markets are bailed out by accommodative central banks in late Q3 is way too optimistic. 

A number feel markets are ripe for a sudden and painful rollover in bonds and stocks – and much sooner than I think. What they did agree with was my assessment the likely trigger for a market shock will be a “no-see-em”, something so obviously hidden in plain sight it catches us completely and painfully by the short and curlies. 

And “Plane” sight might be a good way to put it. I’m wondering if Boeing might be the trigger! (See what I did there..?) 

Hang on? We all know the next market collapse isn’t booked till October? Well maybe not. What if someone tries to start the market apocalypse early? That would shock the many market participants who think the perception of a Global Central Bank put means there is nothing to worry about. Complacency is a terrible thing. 

Smart bond gurus are shouting bubble! Although US junk bonds have not tightened as much as treasuries through the last uptick, they are still at incredibly tight spreads. European sub-investment grade is rallying in the expectation a tide of new ECB investment grade purchases will lift all boats. Yet, with yields so low as to completely discourage any dealer inventory (which is too high a capital cost anyway), liquidity has never been so thin.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Blain’s Morning Porridge – March 18th 2019

Blain’s Morning Porridge – March 18th 2019


“It’s the edge of the world and all of western civilization, the Sun may rise in the East at least its settled in a fine location..” 

In the headlines this morning: https://www.morningporridge.com/stuff-im-watching

What a Saturday…Well done Wales on a well-deserved Grand Slam. But, I wonder if there is a hidden message in Scotland’s remarkable comeback being dashed as England clawed back an undeserved draw at Twickenham? The Scots haven’t won on English turf since 1983. They played a blinder second half.. while all the English could provide was a surly Farrell dodging a yellow card.  Perhaps it was a lesson in the tedious inevitability of modern life and a timely reminder it’s not a fairy-tale? (Shame… we wis robbed!) Perhaps Trump, Trade Wars, Income Inequality, the mis-match between asset prices and reality, and all the rest is just stuff that’s stupid, unfair and just the way it is..

Meanwhile, back on Planet Misery… what we got to look forward to? 

The Boeing saga rumbles on. It could be a month till we learn what caused the crash a week ago. The focus is not just upon the possibility Boeing has failed to correct and fully inform users of stall-prevention system problems on the B-737 Max, but now on the US FAA for its dithering and lack of clear action. The agency has been rudderless and leaderless for over a year, neglected by the administration after Trump wasn’t able to put his personal pilot at its head!  

And it’s another last chance for a Brexit deal with Theresa May going for third time lucky – apparently. The Westminster rumours say she’s still likely to lose with many of the Hard-Brexit crowd still hoping to achieve a No-Deal exit – justifying it as giving the UK a stronger post exit negotiating position with Europe.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Former Bush Official Just Confirmed That Our Wars Are for Corporate Interests

Major General Smedley Butler earned the highest rank in the U.S. Marine Corps, accumulating numerous accolades as he helped lead the United States through decades of war. He later became an ardent critic of such militarism and imperialism.

“War is a racket,” Butler famously said, and Wilkerson — who has also turned critical of U.S. imperialist policy — agrees with and admires the esteemed Marine.

Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to former secretary of state, Colin Powell, has grown tired of “the corporate interests that we go abroad to slay monsters for.”

Of the profiteering scheme that wars have come to embody, Wilkerson quoted Butler:

“Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

Noting Butler’s brief but accurate characterization of what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex, Wilkerson added that today’s war machine “is more pernicious than Eisenhower ever thought it would be.”

The willingness of such weapons and military equipment corporations to excuse the transgressions of repressive and abusive regimes in the Middle East and Asia for the sake of profit, Wilkerson asserted, stands as evidence Eisenhower underestimated the extent the to which the problem would manifest.

“Was Bill Clinton’s expansion of NATO — after George H. W. Bush and [his Secretary of State] James Baker had assured Gorbachev and then Yeltsin that we wouldn’t go an inch further east — was this for Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, and Boeing, and others, to increase their network of potential weapons sales?” Wilkerson asked.

“You bet it was,” he answered his own question.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hyperinflating Venezuela Used 36 Boeing 747 Cargo Planes To Deliver Its Worthless Bank Notes

Hyperinflating Venezuela Used 36 Boeing 747 Cargo Planes To Deliver Its Worthless Bank Notes

The weeks ago, when we showed “What The Death Of A Nation Looks Like: Venezuela Prepares For 720% Hyperinflation“, we said that after looking at a chart of Venezuela’s upcoming hyperinflation…

…  a hyperinflation in which the soaring stock market has failed to keep pace with the collapsing currency, thereby mocking all erroneous thought experiments that under hyperinflation being long the stock market is a sure hedge to currency destruction…

… we joked that it is unclear just where the country will find all the paper banknotes it needs for all its new currency.

After all, central-bank data shows Venezuela more than doubled the supply of 100-, 50- and 2-bolivar notes in 2015 as it doubled monetary liquidity including bank deposits. Supply has grown even as Venezuela has fewer U.S. dollars to support new bolivars, a result of falling oil prices.

This question, as morbidly amusing as it may have been to us if not the local population, became particularly poginant yesterday, when for the first time, one US Dollar could purchase more than 1000 Venezuela Bolivars on the black market.

And, as if on cue, the WSJ answered. As it turns out we were not the only ones wondering how the devastated “socialist paradise” gets its exponentially collapsing paper currency, which in just the past month has lost 17% of its value.

The answer: 36 Boeing 747s.

From the WSJ:

Millions of pounds of provisions, stuffed into three-dozen 747 cargo planes, arrived here from countries around the world in recent months to service Venezuela’s crippled economy.

But instead of food and medicine, the planes carried another resource that often runs scarce here: bills of Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lockheed Martin, Boeing Rally Around Saudi Arabia, Wave Off Humanitarian Concerns

Lockheed Martin, Boeing Rally Around Saudi Arabia, Wave Off Humanitarian Concerns

Representatives from two major defense contractors whose advanced weaponry is being used in the Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign that has killed scores of civilians in Yemen were quick to defend the human rights record of the Persian Gulf kingdom in a panel discussion held last week in Washington, D.C.

Ronald L. Perrilloux Jr., an executive with Lockheed Martin, complained of an atmosphere of “hostile media reports” shaping the views of Congress, most of which, he said, are “patently false.”

“Another significant irritant,” Perrilloux said, “is the application of human rights laws” toward U.S. allies in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Perrilloux argued that these countries, despite being “better partners to us than some of our NATO allies,” were being unfairly judged compared to Chinese human rights abuses.

Democrats on Capitol Hill recently blocked arms transfers to Saudi Arabia over concerns regarding the rising civilian death toll caused by the campaign.

Jeffrey Kohler, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who left the military and now work as a vice president at Boeing, declared, “We ought be encouraging that type of cooperation and facilitating and helping them with the gaps instead of just throwing stones.”

Perrilloux added that “the biggest thing we can do to help them finish the job is to provide them with the benefit of our experiences, with training of their forces, and probably replenishment of their forces.”

Listen to the discussion below.

The increased attention to the human rights record of Saudi Arabia is due to several factors. The absolute monarchy has dramatically ramped up executions as well as repressive police actions against minority groups, including Shiite Saudis. Many of the executions are in connection with trivial offenses, such as adultery and acts considered as “sorcery.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Pentagon Creates Partnership with Apple to Develop Wearable Tech

The Pentagon Creates Partnership with Apple to Develop Wearable Tech

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 10.49.50 AM

Last week, in the post JP Morgan Hires Recently Retired U.S. General, Raymond T. Odierno, I made the following observation:

How can you ensure that the interests of TBTF Wall Street mega banks and the military-intelligence-industrial complex remain aligned? Create a revolving door of course.

Of course it’s much, much bigger than this. The genius of the current status quo system is that it has created a complicated and opaque interlocking system of crony partnerships and interdependencies between the government, mega corporations and academia so massive, wealthy and powerful it has become exceedingly difficult to challenge. This is precisely because almost everyone now depends on it for their paychecks.

Creating such corrupt networks often happens in the shadows, and in recent years has taken the form of “public-private partnerships” and secret trade deals such as the TTP, TTIP and TISA. This is how modern America operates in a nutshell, and it’s continued metastasis is rapidly destroying what’s left of freedom, common sense and free markets in this nation.

Moving along to today’s post, how free does it make you feel that the Department of Defense is partnering with 162 companies, universities and other groups to develop wearable technology? How independent can these companies and universities actually be when they are engaged in such schemes with the U.S. government. The answer is obvious: Not independent at all.

From NBC News:

The Pentagon is teaming up with Apple, Boeing, Harvard and others to develop high-tech sensory gear flexible enough to be worn by people or molded onto the outside of a jet. 

The rapid development of new technologies is forcing the Pentagon to seek partnerships with the private sector rather than developing its technology itself, defense officials say. 

“I’ve been pushing the Pentagon to think outside our five-sided box and invest in innovation here in Silicon Valley and in tech communities across the country,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in prepared remarks on Friday. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

 

Hacking Team and Boeing Subsidiuary Envisioned Drones Deploying Spyware

Hacking Team and Boeing Subsidiuary Envisioned Drones Deploying Spyware

There are lots of ways that government spies can attack your computer, but a U.S. drone company is scheming to offer them one more. Boeing subsidiary Insitu would like to be able to deliver spyware via drone.

The plan is described in internal emails from the Italian company Hacking Team, which makes off-the-shelf software that can remotely infect a suspect’s computer or smartphone, accessing files and recording calls, chats, emails and more. A hacker attacked the Milan-based firm earlier this month and released hundreds of gigabytes of company information online.

Among the emails is a recap of a meeting in June of this year, which gives a “roadmap” of projects that Hacking Team’s engineers have underway.

On the list: Develop a way to infect computers via drone. One engineer is assigned the task of developing a “mini” infection device, which could be “ruggedized” and “transportable by drone (!)” the write-up notes enthusiastically in Italian.

The request appears to have originated with a query from the Washington-based Insitu, which makes a range of unmanned systems, including the small ScanEagle surveillance drone, which has long been used by the militaries of the U.S. and other countries. Insitu also markets its drones for law enforcement.

An Insitu engineer wrote to Hacking Team this April: “We see potential in integrating your Wi-Fi hacking capability into an airborne system and would be interested in starting a conversation with one of your engineers to go over, in more depth, the payload capabilities including the detailed size, weight, and power specs of your Galileo System.” (Galileo is the name of the most recent version of Hacking Team’s spyware, known as Remote Control System.)

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ex-Im Bank is Welfare for the One Percent

Ex-Im Bank is Welfare for the One Percent

This month Congress will consider whether to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank). Ex-Im Bank is a New Deal-era federal program that uses taxpayer funds to subsidize the exports of American businesses. Foreign businesses, including state-owned corporations, also benefit from Ex-Im Bank. One country that has benefited from $1.5 billion of Ex-Im Bank loans is Russia. Venezuela, Pakistan, and China have also benefited from Ex-Im Bank loans.

With Ex-Im Bank’s track record of supporting countries that supposedly represent a threat to the US, one might expect neoconservatives, hawkish liberals, and other supporters of foreign intervention to be leading the effort to kill Ex-Im Bank. Yet, in an act of hypocrisy remarkable even by DC standards, many hawkish politicians, journalists, and foreign policy experts oppose ending Ex-Im Bank.

This seeming contradiction may be explained by the fact that Ex-Im Bank’s primary beneficiaries include some of America’s biggest and most politically powerful corporations. Many of Ex-Im Bank’s beneficiaries are also part of the industrial half of the military-industrial complex. These corporations are also major funders of think tanks and publications promoting an interventionist foreign policy.

Ex-Im Bank apologists claim that the bank primarily benefits small business. A look at the facts tells a different story. For example, in fiscal year 2014, 70 percent of the loans guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank’s largest program went to Caterpillar, which is hardly a small business.

Boeing, which is also no one’s idea of a small business, is the leading recipient of Ex-Im Bank aid. In fiscal year 2014 alone, Ex-Im Bank devoted 40 percent of its budget — $8.1 billion — to projects aiding Boeing. No wonder Ex-Im Bank is often called “Boeing’s bank.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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