7 Billion Fraud: Societe Generale

jerome-kerviel.jpgWondering about the topsy turvy markets this week? There has been a lot of theory and speculation, from George Soros shorting futures in India to the mortgage market problem, but I think Bloomberg is on to something here.

On Sunday afternoon, Bouton called Noyer and stock market regulators to tell them the scope of what they were uncovering. The regulators agreed Societe Generale should liquidate the positions as quickly as possible and then inform the market, Bouton said.

By the time European markets opened Monday morning, Asian stock indexes were down several percentage points.

“We had the bad luck that markets fell in Asia, but we had the good luck that volumes were so high so that we were able to make the trades without alerting the market,” Bouton said.

“There was never any question of holding onto the positions hoping markets would go our way,” he said. “And if we’d told the world about our positions, we’d have had the whole market against us and we’d have had losses 10 times as large.”

Since this guy didn’t make a profit off his efforts (that investigators can see so far,) it makes you speculate. Economic terrorism? Proxy for another financier? Did SG get lucky and pounce before he swooped for the kill? You also have to ask what positions he was taking on which companies. All will become public at some point.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Please look closely, What’s wrong

 with this picture?

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If you note the side windows and the back door, it’s broad daylight outside, and the windows are heavily curtained. (click on the photo to see both sides of the room.) This is an event staged just for the media. It’s political theater that the mainstream media is willing handmaiden to.

The fourth estate used to mean something, it used to be a check on populist misconceptions and mania, keeping America informed so they could decide based on facts, not grievance theater.

Many groups stage exagerated political theater, they run from Code Pink, to PETA, to the Pauliacs, and to HAMAS. In this age when reality is so abused by all sides of any debate it’s important for the press to expose things that are over-the-top or staged, rather than abet them.

These sham-candles were clearly not needed and were just part of the ongoing political agitprop from HAMAS Grievance Theater.

Photo credit Reuters, H/T Lawhawk.

Clinton’s Previous Foreign Entanglements

IBD has a good article reprising the Lippo Group scandal of Bill Clinton’s presidency, which limited America’s energy future while enhancing the business of one of his foreign contributors. So let’s add Riady to the every growing list of names. Article here.

Previous Clinton Campaign of Corruption articles:

Dick Morris points out the Clinton’s support from foreigners at the American Congress today in light of the debate answer on Saudi investment in Citigroup.

Now we have Saudis who are heavily invested in the Clinton Library:

Now, comes word from Dick Morris of a political issue that surfaced during the recent Nevada debates: should we be concerned about such strategic investments from the Saudis and oil-rich Gulf Sheikdoms. Hillary Clinton thought it was alright, if the investments were vetted properly. As Morris, who was a political counselor to her husband, has pointed out President Clinton has received $10 million annually from Saudis and the oil Shiekdom of Dubai for his Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. That revelation is tantamount to a real conflict of interest between the Clinton and the American public over the threat of financial sharia this Presidential year.

In the past I’ve detailed those entanglements as well:

Previous articles on the Clinton Campaign of Corruption:

There’s a growing list of suspect and criminal Hillary Clinton supporters that just keeps getting bigger, today it’s time to add Aaron Tonken to the list.

William Danielcyzk ; Hsu SurrendersBoard of Trustees for New School, New York  ; Sant Chatwal Indian Immigrant Bundler ; “Ray” Jinnah Rehmanpreviously of Pal-C ; Vinod Guptaof InfoUSA ; Mayor Samuel Rivera ; Peter Paul??; Aaron Tonken.

McCain Madness

john_mccain.jpgIn the latest Worldnet Daily, Anne Coulter gives scathing review of the reasons conservatives have real reservations regarding McCain. To list just a few:

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  • McCain Feingold – a direct attack on the 1st Ammendment
  • Overplaying Abu Gharaib and torture to the direct detriment of our war efforts
  • Opposition to the Bush Tax cuts, and voting against them
  • Shamnesty for Illegal Immigrants
  • The gang of fourteen, which effectively gave control of a Republican-Majority congress to his friends in the minority Democrat party.

Indeed here’s the DNC talking points McCain regurgitated when he was originally asked about why he opposed the Bush tax cuts:

“I cannot in good conscience,” McCain said, “support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.”

Read the whole article here.

Tonight’s Cold Moon

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The wind was whipping the clouds by, and it’s near zero here in Kansas City (Al, where’s my GW? Brrrrrr) This time exposure came out a bit grainy as some thin haze whipped by in the cloud gap.

Taliban Intel Needed

Yesterday Musharraf downplayed the import of going after Al Qaeda vs the import of going after the Taliban, and in a recent article we see that the Bush administration is worried about the lack of intel on Taliban and their related groups. Both are correct, as an overall danger in the region the Taliban is the greater threat. Worldwide and for US interests, Al Qaeda obviously looms larger.

As I’ve said in the past – the Taliban taught Al Qaeda more than AQ taught them regarding 4GW. With the numerous secret cells and organizations spun up over the years by Pakistan’s ISI came pockets of great expertise in certain areas, and a deep leadership cadre, with each leader maintaining their own bands of loyal followers. They are a fractious lot, but in times of strife they tend to tighten up and ally better.

Breaking down which groups are which, and where they are aligned with tribes, and which groups are disliked by particular tribes seems somewhat important. If we can do that we get a leg up in the Frontiers, and eventually we gain our goal of finding Bin Laden.

Right now in the Wazirs they are grouped under the Waziristan umbrella of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and in Afghanistan under Mullah Omar, and there are loose odds and ends as well (Hekmatyar.)  One of those loose ends in Pakistan, TNSM, recently led the uprising in Swat, but as I’ve said in the past TNSM actions tend to be feints and distractions to mask AQ’s real movements.

The other groups come into play from the Kashmir theater, and they are much less known – they tend to not have ‘media wings” and tend toward greater secrecy. Most of the successful actions in nearby India have been carried out by a bundled umbrella group comprised of Jaimsh e Muhammed, HuJI, and Laskar e Taibr (multiple spellings here for all three btw.)

Since these groups tend to rename themselves depending on the operation and cause, they are particularly hard to ferret out. The current drift or change to focus within Pakistan came starting in October 2006, when Musharraf actually shut down their Kashmir border training camps and defunded them.

At this blog I’ve done ok sometimes in predicting movements and actions as well as stances particular groups would take, and I’ve had some strikeouts. My intel comes soley from reading english language newspapers in Pakistan and Pakistani forums and blogs.

I suspect our intel services are already doing that. What I would recommend if they aren’t already doing this is to hire some Urdu speakers to start scouring the Urdu newpapers and leaflets in the frontiers. The information is always in Urdu first and I would wager that much gets left out when it hits the papers that international audiences read.

Hopefully we have Urdu speaking radio monitors, e.g. listening to Maulana Earthquake’s broadcasts regularly might have tipped us off to things transpiring early.

Lastly, human intel is always the best of all, but the hardest to get and maintain. The Bazaars of Pakistani towns and villages are rife with both rumors and true information. If we could find a way to tap bazaar gossip we would get ahead of the game.

The Hillary Papers

Please take a stop by Captain’s Quarters – the media might not think it’s news, but it is something you need to know. The Hillary Papers

And remember, this isn’t a political action commitee or an electoral office campaign. This was the elected government of the United States discussing how it would steamroller opposition to nationalizing an entire industry by smearing them and by avoiding discussion of the policy itself.

The HCTF anticipated a tough debate over its proposal to nationalize American health care, and it proposed some specific remedies — including using the DNC to conduct intelligence operations.

Musharraf in Brussels; Waziristan Fighting Continues

While Musharraf is reassuring the world that elections will be fair and that the winning party will be allowed to rule post elections, the fighting in South Waziristan is continuing. Musharraf’s statements from Brussels are here. It demonstrates either foolhardiness or confidence that he is out of country at this time leading up to the elections.

 In Ladha village in South Waziristan the Taliban fired on Military gunships which were on a re-supply mission, the gunships returned fire with the military effect unknown. Some civilians were reported as killed, but as these things go it could be Taliban dead. Report at Daily Times.

A close aide to Baitullah Mehsud, Younas Mehsud, was captured with explosives and weapons, and the chief of US Centcom, Admiral Fallon, will be meeting with Chief of Army Staff, Ashfaq Kayani for a day in Pakistan. (It never fails that Pakistan captures a HVT right before US visits, we should visit more often.) More here

The teen suspect who confessed to being part of the Bhutto assasination cell led police to his alleged handler, who had a suicide vest and bomb making materials in his possession.

In NWFP Intelligence Bureau Deputy Director Nisar Ahmed Khan was assasinated by gunmen in a further bid to destabilize the province after the two failed attacks on Sherpao.

Sectarian violence continues with another attack on a Moharram procession.

This Evening’s Moon

moon-1-20-2008.jpgI took time out from the discussion at Jihad Watch to snap some photos, cook some dinner, play with the puppy, and paint the bathroom. Here is this evening’s moon.