Wall Street, New York City, NY (TFC) – Wall Street traders have been ecstatic at the recent closing of the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ). The NASDAQ closed at 5008.10. This marked a rise of 44.57 points, or 0.9%. It took nearly 15 years for the NASDAQ to recover and reach this point following the dot-com bubble burst in 2002. While, once again, Wall Street “insiders” and analysts are raving and promising the public that we are in the midst of an economic surge Forbes, Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Karen Hudes, former World Bank lawyer-turned-whistleblower, are predicting an inevitable market and currency crash. All the fanfare and willful blindness to historical patterns from those that stole pensions and wrote themselves six-figure bonus checks with Government bailout money begs the question: Do you really think we’re that stupid?
The NASDAQ is a publicly traded corporation. It exists to make a profit. Its current estimated market value is $5 billion. It makes its money by charging fees on those that want to trade using its software. NASDAQ charges an entry fee of up to $50,000-$75,000 on every one of the over 2600 companies that trade on its exchange. It also charges yearly listing fees of up to $27,500. The NASDAQ’s fees are much smaller in comparison to its major competitor, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The NYSE charges $500,000 for an entry fee and up to $250,000 in yearly listing fees. In addition, it takes about one-threehundreth of a cent from each individual exchange done in its market. Investors and NASDAQ employees can trade shares in the NASDAQ itself just like any other public company.
The (NYSE), also became a publicly traded for-profit corporation on March 8, 2006, after 214 years of being a not-for-profit exchange. The NYSE made a series of high margin mergers following its shift to a for-profit status. The NYSE merged with Archipelago Holdings, Euronext NV and the American Stock Exchange in 2006, 2007, and 2008 respectively. The NYSE also merged with its german equivalent, Deutsche Borse, in February of 2011.
When stock exchanges merge, the companies have to decide what happens to the shares they hold in the company. 1 of 3 things usually happens. Either a stock-for-stock merger takes place where the companies make an agreement to trade shares at a discount ratio. For example, the company being acquired could decide to trade 2 shares of its stock for 1 share in the company making the acquisition. Thus, giving the acquiring company majority control.
Companies can also agree on a cash-for-stock merger. This is exactly what it sounds like. Companies agree to sell their shares at a certain price to the acquiring company.
There is also the option for a reverse merger, also called a reverse takeover. In this scenario, a public company acquires a private company through a shell company. This secures access to capital markets while giving the acquiring company the ability to bypass the initial-public-offering process. The acquired company’s shareholders and executives can then exchange their shares for a controlling interest in the acquiring company. This allows a private company to become public without selling its shares to the public. Therefore it controls its destiny by being a public company whose executives also hold the majority shares and aren’t subject to public demands.
The NYSE became public in 2006 and began acquiring stock exchanges through reverse takeovers at a blistering pace.
The NASDAQ is no different. It has been a public company since its inception in 1971. It has made numerous acquisitions since then. Just this month, it showed tremendous 4th quarter profit after it acquired Thompson Reuters’ investor relations, public relations, and multimedia services businesses. It also acquired eSpeed, an electronic treasuries-trading platform. Its net income has risen $141 million following the acquisitions.
In 2013, global conglomerate and defense contractor the Carlyle Group attempted to purchase the NASDAQ. That’s right. A giant corporate defense contractor tried to BUY the stock market. The deal fell through due to their inability to agree on a price. However, following the collapse of the deal, Carlyle’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Adena T. Friedman, resigned and became the President of NASDAQ OMX Group. This is the parent company of the NASDAQ stock exchange. Friedman worked for NASDAQ from 1993 to 2011, when she was hired by Carlyle. After only 3 years, she left the conglomerate to take a newly created position at NASDAQ OMX. According to the Wall Street Journal, she was “being groomed for the chief executive position.”
NASDAQ OMX created a position out of thin air for the CFO of a company known to do business with the Saudi Royal family and Osama Bin Laden. A company with a list of board members, past and present, that were high level government officials. The list includes George H.W. Bush’s former secretary of state, James Baker, former British Prime Minisiter, John Major and Ronald Regan’s defense secretary, Frank Carlucci.
In 2011, President Obama appointed a former Carlyle executive, Jerome Powell, to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Powell was also assistant secretary and undersecretary of the Treasury during George H.W. Bush’s presidency. He was originally appointed to serve in an interim capacity until June 16, 2014. However, he was reappointed and his current term will not end until January 31, 2028.
Thank you for playing 7 degrees of Carlyle corruption. You may now exit the rabbit hole.
The NASDAQ has never really recovered from the “dot-com crash” in the early 2000s. From March 11, 2000 to October 9, 2002, the NASDAQ managed to lose 78% of its value. It fell from its point-peak of 5046.86 to 1114.11. This is one of the biggest drops in market value in history.
There are two very important individuals who understand how the corporate economy works much better than I, and they are both warning of an impending and inevitable market collapse.
One, is former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan.
Greenspan recently spoke at the New Orleans Investment Conference. He warned that the central bank is facing a serious problem with dire ramifications in the future. According to Brian Lundin, veteran resource analyst and co-speaker at the conference, Greenspan was plaintive in his predictions. Lundin says, “The end has to come at some point…If you look at a chart of the US dollar index it has gone nearly parabolic in the last few months…In any market that is so one-sided, that is accelerating so rapidly, that trend will end..It will most likely end in a fairly violent fashion,” He adds, “…we really cannot exit this without some significant market event,” Lundin continues, “We asked him [Greenspan] where he thought the gold price will be in five years and he said ‘measurably higher.’ He thinks something big is going to happen [and] we can’t get out of this era of money printing without some repercussions -and pretty severe ones- that gold will benefit from.”
On the subject of gold, former World Bank employee, Karen Hudes, is something of an expert.
Karen Hudes is a graduate of Yale University and worked in the US Export-Import Bank of the US from 1980-1985 and in the legal department of the World Bank from 1986-2007. She then left the World Bank after discovering what she calls a “corrupt allegiance of corporations attempting to hold the world’s gold hostage.”
After Hudes brought her findings to her supervisors, the World Bank hired a private security firm to prevent Hudes from reentering the building. She has still not been able to step foot back inside the building she worked in for over 20 years.
In a 2013 interview with Red Ice Radio, Karen is asked directly if there was a designed plan to crash the world’s currency. Her answer is an exclamatory, “Yes!”
Hudes is in complete agreement with Greenspan saying, “We have to prevent this. We have to move fast on this. After that, I think we have to move extremely slowly and transparently and learn from our mistakes. We do not have the luxury of committees. We are now at the edge. We have got to be decisive.”
According to Hudes, Senators Richard Lugar, Patrick Leahy, and Evan Bayh called for the Global Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the corruption of the World Bank. Hearings were held, but the World Bank ignored the GAO’s requests and its own internal compliance committees’ audit requests.
Following the World Bank’s refusal to cooperate, 42 states called for a “Constitutional Convention” to review World Bank and US Congressional policies and structure. The convention has yet to be arranged.
“The whole governance structure in the US has been shown to be corrupted,” says Hudes, “…Congress has now discredited itself. It has no role. It is demonstrably corrupt.”
She says that in the last few years, over 170,500 metric tons of gold boullions and bars have been moved from around the globe into banks inside the US. According to her, a colleague in her coalition of whistleblowers was offered the position of “Administrator of World Wealth” by the Vatican to manage the $9 quadrillion worth of gold held there. Allow me to repeat that figure. $9 QUADRILLION!
The world has at least $9 quadrillion worth of gold floating around, that is not attached to any currency, and yet a minimum wage employee must work 138 hours a week in Massachusetts to afford a 2 bedroom apartment. Even at $8 an hour, above minimum wage in most states, a two-person family working 40 hours a week each will only earn about $2000 a month.
In Kansas City, where minimum wage is $7.25/hr, the average 2 bedroom apartment costs about $850 a month. The USDA estimates the minimum monthly cost of groceries for 2 adults aged 19-50 is about $400. Assuming both working adults commute to work with their own cars, the average American uses about 1000 gallons of gas per year. That averages out to about 85 gallons a month. Each. Assuming every gallon costs $2.33, each adult is paying another $200 monthly for gas. Add in about $200 for utilities. Assuming each person spends nothing on anything else except absolute necessities, this hypothetical couple has only about $150 left to spend on healthcare, education, entertainment, or anything else. These are low-balled figures for the sake of simplicity. God help them if they decide to have a child.
Meanwhile in the Vatican, the Pope sits atop a golden throne guarding $9 quadrillion worth of stolen gold. In America, the Defense Department allows trillions of dollars to “slip through the cracks.”
“The technology revolution has transformed organizations across the private sector, but not ours, not fully, not yet. We are, as they say, tangled in our own anchor chain. Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it’s stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible.”
Those were the words of Donald Rumsfeld on September 10, 2001. 1 Day before the attacks on 9/11. Rumsfeld was critical of the Department of Defense’s reckless and unmonitored spending. CBS reported, on September 10, 2001, that Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense during the Bush Administration, declared war, but not on foreign terrorists, “The adversary is closer to home. It’s the Pentagon Bureaucracy,” said Rumsfeld.
This quote has been the subject of rampant speculation but when listening to his speech in context, you realize he is not saying $2.3 trillion went missing at once. Due to the DOD’s completely inefective bureaucracy, it managed to end up with $2.3 trillion in unaccounted for oversight losses, allegedly. He promised to implement change, but then 9/11 changed the world forever and he seemed to forget he ever brought up, along with the rest of America. How can any human being with the capacity for higher reasoning hear that $2.3 trillion goes “missing” and then be comfortable with never getting an answer as to why?
Less than 2 years after Rumsfeld made this revelation public, Bush announced a $50 billion wartime effort spending package. No ceiling. No regard for other human beings.
During the 2006 DOD Budget hearing, addressing allegations that Pentagon-funded companies were involved in human trafficking, Rep. Cynthia Mckinney asked Rumsfeld two questions. Her preamble to her questions was, “According to the Comptroller General of the US, there are serious financial management problems at the Pentagon. Fiscal Year 1999, $2.3 trillion missing. Fiscal Year 2001 $1.1 trillion missing and DOD is the number 1 reason why the government can’t balance its checkbook. The Pentagon has claimed, year after year, that the reason it can’t account for the money is because its computers can’t communicate with each other.”
She proceeds to ask who has the information technology contracts that provide the computers and software to the Pentagon, how long they’ve had those contracts, and how much they have cost the taxpayers.
In response, Rumsfeld is visibly shaking and stammers for several seconds before saying, “The second question…uh…I’ve forgotten what the second question was.” That is the Defense Secretary of the United States of America’s response to what happened to $3.4 trillion of missing taxpayer money.
Rep. Mckinney is unrelenting in her questioning and immediately averts her attention to Tina Jonas, Defense Department Comptroller at the time, and asks the same question once again.
Jonas stammers and shakes worse than Rumsfeld. Mckinney keeps grilling. Finally, Jonas says that about $20 billion is spent on information technologies in the Pentagon each year. $20 billion is not enough for a government version of Quickbooks that works?
When Jonas is asked what companies have contracts with the Pentagon to provide this technology, she stammers, looks away from the mic towards Rumsfeld before she says, “I don’t want to talk from the top of my head and be incorrect.” At which point Donald Rumsfeld immediately diverts the questioning away from the subject.
You can watch the video proceedings here.
Rumsfeld is not the only member of Bush’s administration that spoke openly about the DOD cooking its books. Jim Minnery, former military accountant-turned-whistleblower, reportedly discovered a $300 million “rounding error” in the defense sector’s balance sheet. “We know it’s gone. But we don’t know what they spent it on,” says Minnery. He recalls what happened when he took the “rounding error” to his department head, “The director looked at me and said, ‘Why do you care about this stuff?’ It took me aback, you know? My supervisor asking me why I care about doing a good job.” Why should a government accountant care about $300 million missing from his department? The DOD doesn’t make mistakes, right?
The Pentagon’s Inspector General “partially substantiated” several of Minnery’s claims, but couldn’t prove anything and nothing happened.
“They have to cover it up,” Minnery said, “That’s where the corruption comes in. They have to cover up the fact that they can’t do the job.”
With the federal reserve printing trillions of technically worthless paper notes every year, overinflating the economy to its bursting point, and the DOD simultaneously taking and “misplacing” the majority of it, also every year, how can economists take themselves seriously when they say the economy is “booming” again? Oh, that’s right! They are looking at the bottom line of their annual investor reports and seeing they made a sultan’s fortune off of your poverty and misery. Crack open the champagne!
This is all pretty bleak stuff. However, Karen Hudes says that it is not irrational to be hopeful. Her coalition of whistleblowers’ plan is to give the world’s currency a gold value equivalent. There is no shortage of gold, that is for certain. Even the $2.3 trillion missing from one fiscal year of the DOD would be enough to give each of the 300 million citizens in this country $8,000. Imagine if you could walk into a bank with a stack of paper money and then walk out with a stack of gold boullions that will virtually never depreciate in value. What a crazy concept, right?
She is also working directly with the Ministers of Finance of each of the 187 countries that have delegates in the World Bank. The Bank itself was established in 1944. The World Bank’s charter says it was established to provide interest free loans to developing nations. Instead, developing countries have become enslaved and ravaged by war in the decades following the bank’s genesis.
She talks about using a Power Transition Model. A sophisticated computer simulation program that uses game theory to predict the likelihood of outcomes of world events by assigning a numerical value to key people, places, and events. It is not based on historical trends. It is based on probability that is determined by assigning weight to certain aspects of a person of influence, like presidents and their advisors, and their decision-making process.
This software was developed by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita. He has done work with intelligence agencies and private contractors. In 2009, he predicted that, by 2016, Iran would not have developed a nuclear bomb. However, they would develop enough weapons grade material and nuclear facilities to show that they had the capability to do so. This is exactly what happened. Mesquita says the Power Transition Model has a 90-95% accuracy rate. Mesquita gives a fascinating TED Talk about his program. You can view it here.
Karen Hudes admitted that her biggest mistake in her initial model was assigning a positive numerical value to mainstream media. She wholly believed that the media would be her greatest ally. She was wrong. She says she was completely ignored and shunned away by every major media outlet and the only reason she received any exposure to begin with was because of alternative media outlets.
Hudes swears by this model and insists that she will be successful in using the system against those who have corrupted it. She says she is not alone. There is a virtual mob of whistleblowers and supporters working with her. Being a lifelong lawyer, she offers some insight into the nature of American bureaucracy by saying, “There are two constitutions. [Lawyers and accountants] have been there to make a system that is so complex and non-transparent so the corruption that is happening in that system can be hidden.”
The world of economics is a confusing Labyrinth of acronyms and acquisitions. It is easy for the average person to feel like they are trying to interpret an alien language when trying to understand why we live in a world where we print trillions of dollars worth of currency a year that has no actual, physical value. Then, despite our ability to print and determine the imaginary value of this currency at our leisure, we have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for basic necessities like food and shelter and half the world is starving. The average American cannot afford to live off the pittance they receive from the “trickle-down” economic structure that allows a $477 billion corporation like Wal-Mart to pay its overworked and understaffed workforce the equivalant value of 1 happy meal an hour.
This kind of corporate dominance is soul-crushing. However, Karen Hudes expressed extreme confidence in the accuracy of her Power Transition Model. The Model says the “good guys” win. This current state of affairs brings to mind a passage from Alan Moore’s seminal classic, V for Vendetta:
“They say that there’s a broken light for every heart on broadway. They say that life’s a game and then they take the board away. They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story. Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret…There’s a policeman with an honest soul that has seen whose head is on the pole and grunts and fills the briar bowl with a feeling of unease. Then he briskly frisks the torn remains for a fingerprint or crimson stains and endeavous to ignore the chains that he walks in to his knees. While his master in the dark nearby, inspects the hands with brutal eye that never brushed a lover’s thigh but have squeezed a nation’s throat. But the backdrops peel and the sets give way and the cast get eaten by the play. There’s a murderer at the matinee there are dead men in the aisles. And the patrons and the actors, too, are uncertain if the show is through, and with sidelong looks await their cue…but the frozen mask just smiles…within this bastard’s carnival. This vicious cabaret.”