Brazil Justice Presiding Over Carwash Corruption Scandal Among Passengers In Crashed Jet

Has Brazil devolved to political assassinations? Perhaps, for now there is little information aside from the news which hit Bloomberg moments ago that a Brazilian Supreme Court Justice, Teori Zavascki, who has presided over Operation Carwash, a massive corruption probe, is on the list of passengers of a crashed jet on Thursday afternoon.

The Supreme Court confirmed that Teori Zavascki was on the list of passengers on board the plane which fell into the sea near the town of Paraty, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Globo reported moments ago. The plane, a BE9L King Air, had four passengers on board, according to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

As Bloomberg adds, Zavascki is the judge overseeing Operation Carwash at the Supreme Court. Carwash is an investigation into corruption at the state-run oil firm Petrobras that has ensnared dozens of Brazil’s leading business executives and politicians, spearheaded by Judge Sergio Moro.

Reuters adds that the condition of Justice Zavascki, who is overseeing a massive corruption investigation, not immediately known after plane crash.

Some background on Justice Zavascki from the following Reuters article as of September 2016:

Brazil’s Supreme Court on Friday approved a preliminary investigation into plea bargain deal allegations from former Transpetro head Sergio Machado that President Michel Temer had solicited campaign donations in 2012 that had illicit origin.

 

Brazil Supreme Court Judge Teori Zavascki approved the probe that also cites Senate President Renan Calheiros, among others, the court said.

 

Transpetro is a wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleo Brasileiro SA, also known as Petrobras, the state-controlled oil company ensnared in Brazil’s largest ever corruption scandal.

 

Brazil’s Supreme Court revealed in June that parts of Machado’s plea bargain testimony alleges that the campaign contribution requested by Temer was made legally by engineering group Queiroz Galvao but resulted from a kickback on contracts with Petrobras.

 

Temer has denied ever having requested any donations to Sao Paulo’s 2012 mayoral campaign run by Gabriel Chalita, then a member of Temer’s Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). His press office said would not comment on Friday.

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Investment Bank Analysts Are Clueless and Incompetent (Video)

By EconMatters


We discuss why Investment Bank Analysts should never be listened to regarding any stock recommendations from the buy or sell side perspective, they join the long list of incompetency that is anybody still working at an I-Bank these days. The XOM Stock Downgrade is just a little late, about a month behind the market!

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OPEC Head: Oil Inventories Already Dropping From High Levels

Global oil stocks have already started falling, but they need to drop by another 270 million barrels so that OPEC can say that the oil market is coming to balance, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. OPEC’s main goal is to speed up the inventory drawdown, and it will continue to focus on bringing the level of drawdown near a five-year industry average, the organization’s chief said. “Stocks have already come down to below 3 billion barrels in OECD commercial…

Declassified CIA Memos Reveal Probes Into Gold Market Manipulation

By Smaul gld

The CIA recently released a series of declassified 1970s memos relating to the gold market and the newly created SDR. These memos give new insight how the CIA viewed the gold market, the perceived manipulation of gold and the potential for the SDR to become a gold substitute in the international monetary system.

The classification of the documents is significant because “secret” is the CIA’s second-highest classification. The CIA notes unauthorized disclosure of secret information would cause “serious damage” to national security.

Each of the declassified gold and SDR documents was marked “SECRET” with a warning: “The document contains information affecting the national defense of the United States within the meaning of Title 18 sections 793 and 794 of the US Code.”

CIA Concerns of Gold Market Manipulation (link) –  Document: Intelligence Memorandum – The World Gold Market- Semi Annual Review January – June 1970.

The 1970 CIA memorandum reviewed in the video below shows a CIA concerned about gold market manipulation by the Swiss whom they characterize as “in an excellent position to influence the London free market fixing.” The memorandum points to “strong circumstantial evidence that Zurich bullion dealers, under the leadership of the Union Bank of Switzerland are again manipulating the gold markets

This manipulation in turn was interfering with an IMF agreement with South Africa to sell its gold to the IMF under certain conditions when it could not sell its newly mined out put on the free market:. 

“While the [IMF] agreement essentially provides a floor of $35 an ounce for South African gold, it guarantees a free market supply large enough to keep the free market price at or near the floor at least through 1970.”

The CIA memorandum bemoans Swiss manipulation of the gold market: “There is  strong circumstantial evidence that Zurich bullion dealers, under the leadership of the Union Bank of Switzerland are again manipulating the gold markets” “London bullion dealers had hoped that the 1969 agreement between the IMF and South Africa would restore London as the focal point of the world gold market. It has not.”

Ironically, as page 5 of the memorandum notes, much of the recent gold fix rigging exposed in recent year, was correctly anticipated by the CIA some 47 years ago:

“Manipulation of the free market price is suggested by the extremely narrow price range that prevailed for eleven consecutive weeks — from later January through mid-March. During this period, more than 85% of all morning and afternoon fixings fell within the $34.97 to $35.01 range, with nearly 40% of all quotations set at exactly $35.00.  

 

Moreover, Swiss bullion dealers are in an excellent position to influence the London free market fixing. At each of some 255 morning fixing a year, the manager of Rothschild’s bullion and foreign exchange department suggests an opening price based on a previous half hour of intensive telephone conversations with people at the Bank of England and a host of others, mainly dealers in Switzerland. Representatives of the four other houses are in constant telephone contact with their trading rooms and these in turn are in direct communication with as many as a dozen key clients scattered across Europe. The result is that supply and demand conditions in Zurich are strongly reflected at the London fixings.”

* * *

CIA Talks up the IMF’s  Strategic Drawing Rights (link) – Document: Intelligence Memorandum – Special Drawing Rights: Paper Gold In Action – September 1970

The gold standard under Bretton Woods Agreement was showing cracks in 1970. The CIA memorandum notes: “the only available means of increasing reserves abroad was through continued deficits in the US balance of payments, But the US no longer had excess gold reserves and other countries had become reluctant to accept large additions to their dollar holdings.”

The CIA memorandum reflects the tenuous position of the gold market and the inclusion of gold in the international monetary system just prior to the break up of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971. The CIA viewed the newly created SDR as a potential replacement for gold calling it:  “a new type of liquidity as permanent as gold it self – to insure increases in liquidity”… “The SDR is a form of money and credit”

“SDRs can not be extinguished by being exchanged by gold -they can only be traded among central banks. And unlike gold, there are no private uses for SDRs that compete with their use as an international currency.”

CIA however concludes that “Nevertheless, SDRs are not soon likely to supplant the dollar in the international monetary system. Foreign central banks need working balances which are presently denominated largely in dollars.” 

* * *

CIA Worries of Substantially Higher Gold Prices (link) – Document: Intelligence Memorandum Recent Trends in the Gold Market – October 1970

This memorandum grapples with the question; Why has there been a sharp rise in the price of gold?  “in the absence of any monetary crisis there seems to be no obvious explanation for the recent substantial price in gold.”

“There is however strong circumstantial evidence that Zurich bullion dealers, under the leadership of the Union Bank of Switzerland are again manipulating the gold markets”

“London bullion dealers had hoped that the 1969 agreement between the IMF and South Africa would restore London as the focal point of the world gold market. It has not.”

“The present situation implies effective control of free market supplies by the Swiss commercial banks.” 

The memo also cited a study that says “gold demand from industrial users and hoarders already exceed free world output…and several – less than interested individuals point to the inevitability of the free market gold price rising to as much as $100 per ounce by 1980.”  That would represent a three-fold increase to the then prevalent price.

* * *

More in the video below

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After Trump ‘Slip-Up’, Transition Team Confirms Jets’ Owner Johnson To Be UK Ambassador

Having been considered a leading contender for the role of UK Ambassador, Trump transition team officials have reportedly confirmed New York Jets’ owner Woody Johnson will be his UK Ambassador. The confirmation comes after a ‘slip-up’ by Trump during a luncheon speech earlier indicating that “Woody’s going to St. James.”

Here are the initial reports from The Washington Post, CNN, and New York Times:

Trump seems to have just announced that Woody Johnson, NY Jets owner, will be ambassador to the Court of St. James.

— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) January 19, 2017

Listening back through Trump’s comments and it appears he inadvertently announced Jets Owner @woodyjohnson4 will be his U.K. Ambassador

— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 19, 2017

Woody Johnson is only third ambassador who Trump has named.

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 19, 2017

And as that began to spread, the Trump transition team was forced to confirm:

  • *JETS OWNER WOODY JOHNSON SAID TO BE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.K.

Woody Johnson bought the Jets in January of 2000. He has been a longtime Republican fundraiser, and was a prominent supporter of Trump’s campaign once Trump won the Republican nomination. Johnson previously supported Jeb Bush and served as vice chairman of Trump’s victory committee.

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CNN Is Hiring An “Angry” ‘Fake News’ Reporter, Must Be “Intimately Aware Of The Darkest Corners Of The Web”

In true Orwellian newspeak, despite the lowest level of trust among the public, CNN’s CEO proclaims they are the most-trusted; and to prove it, the ‘news’ network is hiring a reporter to cover “fake news.”

As The Hill reports, “CNNMoney is expanding its Media team,” a Turner job advertisement reads.

“We’re going to be examining the wave of ‘fake news’ stories and the people behind them, but more than that we’re going to be looking at truth — what happened to it, why so many of us no longer believe it, and where those people are going to get their information instead.”

 

CNN wants someone with six years of writing and reporting experience who gets “angry every time they see an inaccuracy.”

 

This writer should live on the Internet, and be intimately aware of its darkest corners. They should be capable of doing a quick news story, and of spending days or weeks obsessing about a subject,” the ad continues. “They should get angry every time they see any inaccuracy in any story, whether large or small, and whether published by a fake news site or a real one.”

Well that could get a little awkward for some of CNN’s lead anchors, and as a reminder, CNN’s media team is led by “Reliable Sources” host and senior media correspondent Brian Stelter.

Other qualifications include “debunking myths,” “confronting the ‘real’ media about the role it’s playing,” and “keeping tabs on fake news stories bubbling up around the Internet, and turning around quick articles about them.”

 

They should be the kind of person who can’t pass by a single rabbit hole without being desperate to jump in to see where it leads. And they should be able to tell a story that people can’t help reading,” the job description concluded.

No salary is mentioned in the ad (which we assume means this role would be undertaken for free by some true patriot).

Of course, CNN’s situation is not helped by this…

.@CNN is in a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are tanking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017

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Oil Crashes Towards $50 Handle On Bearish EIA Data

Oil is finding some support thus far today off the back of the IEA’s monthly oil market report, which pointed to a tightening market amid OPEC production cuts. Hark, here are five things to consider in oil markets today. 1) In a similar fashion to yesterday’s OPEC report, IEA has boosted Iraqi oil production to a record last month; OPEC’s secondary sources had production pegged at 3.63 million barrels per day, while the IEA today has it at a very similar 4.64mn bpd. Production based on direct communication has it an even higher 4.83 million bpd.…