Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Federal Reserve' is associated with 21 posts.

FTR #952 Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid: Update on Technocratic Fascism

One of the illusions harbored by many–in particular, young people who have grown up with the internet, social networks and mobile technology–sees digital activity as private. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even before the cyber-libertarian policies advocated by individuals like John Perry Barlow, Eddie Snowden, Julian Assange and others became manifest in the Trump administration’s were implemented by the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled congress, digital affairs were subject to an extraordinary degree of manipulation by a multitude of interests.

We begin our examination of technocratic fascism with a look at the corporate foundation of Pokemon Go. Information about the background of Pokemon Go’s developer (Niantic) and the development of the firm is detailed in an article from Network World. In addition to the formidable nature of the intelligence agencies involved with generating the corporate foundation of Pokemon Go (Keyhole, Inc.; Niantic), note the unnerving nature of the information that can be gleaned from the Android phone of anyone who downloads the “app.”

Pokemon Go was seen as enhancing the “Cool Japan Strategy” of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The “Cool Japan Promotion Fund” was implemented by Abe (the grandson of Nobosuke Kishi, a Japanese war criminal who signed Japan’s declaration of war against the U.S. and became the country’s first postwar Prime Minister) to “raise the international profile of the country’s mass culture.”

The Finance Minister of Japan is Taro Aso, one of the enthusiasts of Nazi political strategy highlighted below. The “Cool Japan promotion Fund” would have been under his administration, with Tomomi Inada functioning as his administrator for the program. Now serving as Japan’s Defense Minister, Inada is another advocate of Nazi political strategy.

Next, we turn to another manifestation of Pokemon Go. The “Alt-Right” (read “Nazi”) movement is using Pokemon Go to recruit kids to the Nazi cause. Consider this against the background of Niantic, the Cool Japan strategy and the pro-Nazi figures involved with it. Consider this also, in conjunction with the Nazified AI developed and deployed by Robert and Rebekah Mercer, Steve Bannon, Cambridge Analytica and the “Alt-Right” milieu with which they associate.

A recent “New Yorker” article by Jane Mayer concerning Robert Mercer keys some interesting thoughts about Mercer, Bannon, the Alt-Right WikiLeaks and the Nazified AI we spoke of in FTR #’s 948 and 949. In FTR #946, we noted this concatenation’s central place in the Facebook constellation, a position that has positioned them to act decisively on the political landscape.

We note several things about the Mayer piece:

She writes of Mercer’s support for the Alt-Right–Mercer helps fund Bannon’s Breitbart: “. . . . In February, David Magerman, a senior employee at Renaissance, spoke out about what he regards as Mercer’s worrisome influence. Magerman, a Democrat who is a strong supporter of Jewish causes, took particular issue with Mercer’s empowerment of the alt-right, which has included anti-Semitic and white-supremacist voices. . . .”

Mercer is racist, feeling that racism only exists in contemporary black culture: “. . . . Mercer, for his part, has argued that the Civil Rights Act, in 1964, was a major mistake. According to the onetime Renaissance employee, Mercer has asserted repeatedly that African-Americans were better off economically before the civil-rights movement. (Few scholars agree.) He has also said that the problem of racism in America is exaggerated. The source said that, not long ago, he heard Mercer proclaim that there are no white racists in America today, only black racists. . . .”

His work at IBM was funded in part by DARPA, strongly implying that the DOD has applied some of the Mercer technology: “. . . . Yet, when I.B.M. failed to offer adequate support for Mercer and Brown’s translation project, they secured additional funding from DARPA, the secretive Pentagon program. Despite Mercer’s disdain for ‘big government,’ this funding was essential to his early success. . . .”

In a 2012 anti-Obama propaganda film funded by Citizens United, Steve Bannon borrowed from “The Triumph of the Will: “. . . . Many of these [disillusioned Obama] voters became the central figures of ‘The Hope & the Change,’ an anti-Obama film that Bannon and Citizens United released during the 2012 Democratic National Convention. After Caddell saw the film, he pointed out to Bannon that its opening imitated that of ‘Triumph of the Will,’ the 1935 ode to Hitler, made by the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Bannon laughed and said, ‘You’re the only one that caught it!’ In both films, a plane flies over a blighted land, as ominous music swells; then clouds in the sky part, auguring a new era. . . .”

Next, we return to the subject of Bitcoin and cyber-libertarian policy. We have explored Bitcoin in a number of programs–FTR #’s 760, 764, 770 and 785.

An important new book by David Golumbia sets forth the technocratic fascist politics underlying Bitcoin. Known to veteran listeners/readers as the author of an oft-quoted article dealing with technocratic fascism, Golumbia has published a short, important book about the right-wing extremism underlying Bitcoin. (Programs on technocratic fascism include: FTR #’s 851, 859, 866, 867.)

In an excerpt from the book, we see disturbing elements of resonance with the views of Stephen Bannon and some of the philosophical influences on him. Julius Evola, “Mencius Moldbug” and Bannon himself see our civilization as in decline, at a critical “turning point,” and in need of being “blown up” (as Evola put it) or needing a “shock to the system.”

Note that the Cypherpunk’s Manifesto (published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and the 1996 “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” written by the libertarian activist, Grateful Dead lyricist, Electronic Frontier Foundation founder John Perry Barlow decry governmental regulation of the digital system. (EFF is a leading “digital rights” and technology industry advocacy organization.)

The libertarian/fascist ethic of the digital world was articulated by Barlow.

Note how the “freedom” advocated by Barlow et al has played out: the Trump administration (implementing the desires of corporate America) has “deregulated” the internet. All this in the name of “freedom.”

In FTR #854, we noted the curious professional resume of Barlow, containing such disparate elements as–lyricist for the Grateful Dead (“Far Out!”); Dick Cheney’s campaign manager (not so “Far Out!”); a voter for white supremacist/segregationist George Wallace in the 1968 Presidential campaign (very “Un-Far Out!”).

For our purposes, his most noteworthy professional undertaking is his founding of the EFF–The Electronic Frontier Foundation. A leading ostensible advocate for internet freedom, the EFF has endorsed technology and embraced personnel inextricably linked with a CIA-derived milieu embodied in Radio Free Asia’s Open Technology Fund. (For those who are, understandably, surprised and/or skeptical, we discussed this at length and in detail in FTR #’s 891 and 895.)

Next, we present an article that brings to the fore some interesting questions about Barlow, the CIA and the very genesis of social media.

We offer Ms. Sunderson’s observations, stressing that Barlow’s foreshadowing of the communication functions inherent in social media and his presence at CIA headquarters (by invitation!) suggest that Barlow not only has strong ties to CIA but may have been involved in the conceptual genesis that spawned CIA-connected entities such as Facebook.

In FTR #951, we observed that Richard B. Spencer, one of Trump’s Nazi backers, has begun a website with Swedish Alt-Righter Daniel Friberg, part of the Swedish fascist milieu to which Carl Lundstrom belongs. In FTR #732 (among other programs), we noted that it was Lundstrom who financed the Pirate Bay website, on which WikiLeaks held forth for quite some time. In FTR #745, we documented that top Assange aide and Holocaust-denier Joran Jermas (aka “Israel Shamir”) arranged the Lundstrom/WikiLeaks liaison. (Jermas handles WikiLeaks Russian operations, a point of interest in the wake of the 2016 campaign.)

It is a good bet that Lundstrom/Pirate Bay/WikiLeaks et al were data mining the many people who visited the WikiLeaks site.

Might Lundstrom/Jermas/Assange et al have shared the voluminous data they may well have mined with Mercer/Cambridge Analytica/Bannon’s Nazified AI?

We conclude with recap of Microsoft researcher Kate Crawford’s observations at the SXSW event. Crawford gave a speech about her work titled “Dark Days: AI and the Rise of Fascism,” the presentation highlighted the social impact of machine learning and large-scale data systems. The take home message? By delegating powers to Bid Data-driven AIs, those AIs could become fascist’s dream: Incredible power over the lives of others with minimal accountability: ” . . . .’This is a fascist’s dream,’ she said. ‘Power without accountability.’ . . . .”

We reiterate, in closing, that ” . . . . Palantir is building an intelligence system to assist Donald Trump in deporting immigrants. . . .”

In FTR #757 we noted that Palantir is a firm dominated by Peter Thiel, a main backer of Donald Trump.

Program Highlights Include: WikiLeaks’ continued propagation of Alt-Right style Anti-Semitic propaganda: ” . . . . Now it is the darling of the alt-right, revealing hacked emails seemingly to influence a presidential contest, claiming the US election is ‘rigged.’ and descending into conspiracy. Just this week on Twitter, it described the deaths by natural causes of two of its supporters as a ‘bloody year for WikiLeaks.’ and warned of media outlets ‘controlled by’ members of the Rothschild family – a common anti-Semitic trope. . . .”; assessing all of the data-mining potential (certainty) of WikiLeaks, Pokemon Go and the (perhaps) Barlow-inspired Social Media world against the background of the Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge analytica Nazified AI.


FTR #931 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 10: Echoes From the Past, Visions of the Future

With the election over, the Trumpenkampfverbande is now positioned to solidify its primary function—the successful transition of the Underground Reich from a clandestine institutional element into a broad-based, above-ground mass movement.

Closing his campaign with an overtly anti-Semitic tweet: “ . . . . From a technical and thematic perspective it’s a well made ad. It’s also packed with anti-Semitic dog whistles, anti-Semitic tropes and anti-Semitic vocabulary. I’m not even sure whether it makes sense to call them dog whistles. The four readily identifiable American bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clinton, George Soros (Jewish financier), Janet Yellen (Jewish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blankfein (Jewish Goldman Sachs CEO). . . . This is an anti-Semitic ad every bit as much as the infamous Jesse Helms ‘white hands’ ad or the Willie Horton ad were anti-African-American racist ads. Which is to say, really anti-Semitic. You could even argue that it’s more so, given certain linguistic similarities with anti-Semitic propaganda from the 1930s. But it’s not a contest. This is an ad intended to appeal to anti-Semites and spread anti-Semitic ideas. . .”
Again, Trump has formally legitimized Nazi/white supremacist elements: “. . . .’Trump has shown that our message is healthy, normal and organic — and millions of Americans agree with us,’ said Matthew M. Heimbach, a co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, a white nationalist group that claims to support the interests of working-class whites. It also advocates the separation of the races. . . . ‘For racists in this country, this campaign has been a complete affirmation of their fears, worries, dreams and hopes,’ said Ryan Lenz, the editor of the Hatewatch blog at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such groups from its headquarters in Montgomery, Ala. ‘Most things they believe have been legitimized, or have been given the stamp of approval, by mainstream American politics to the point now where it’s no longer shameful to be a racist.’ . . . .”

Trump’s campaign will include the overt fascists who have supported him. ” . . . . ‘I have been very surprised that we have not seen attractive, well-spoken, racially aware candidates running for local office,’ Jared Taylor, head of the white nationalist American Renaissance publication and annual conference, told TPM in a Wednesday phone call. ‘I think this will be inevitable, and I think that Trump will have encouraged this. That our people will run for school board, city council, mayor, all that I anticipate certainly.’ . . . .”

Trump’s “alt-right” campaign manager Stephen K. Bannon is being considered for White House Chief of Staff: “President-elect Donald Trump is strongly considering naming his campaign CEO Steve Bannon to serve as his White House chief of staff, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Thursday. . . .”

In FTR #906, we noted the highly partisan position taken by FBI director James Comey in the campaign, as well as noting the media prominence given to the spurious book “Clinton Cash,” authored by Koch brothers’ protégé Peter Schweizer (aided by Breitbart editor and Trump campaign manager Stephen K. Bannon.)

It turns out that Comey’s (probably) decisive last-minute intervention in the campaign may well have been precipitated by a “Trumpenkampfverbande” faction within the FBI, who were taking their cues from “Clinton Cash!”

Program Highlights Include: The Trumpenkampfverbande’s compilation of an enemies list, a la Richard Nixon; the stunning acquittal of the Bundy Brigade, after their illegal occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife refuge; reflections on the implications of that acquittal against the background of the massive Trump faction within the FBI; Alfa Bank consultant Richard Burt’s role as a foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump; Burt’s position as Regan’s ambassador to Germany; Burt’s lobbying on behalf of a natural gas pipeline financed, in part, by major German corporations; review of the links between Alfa Bank and the Trump organization; review of the links between Alfa Group and Marc Rich’s operations; review of James Comey’s investigations of Marc Rich; speculation about the possible role of the Alfa/Trump and Alfa/Rich links in Comey’s behavior during the campaign.


FTR #928 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 7: Locker Room Eclipse, Part 2

Continuing analysis of aspects of Donald Trump’s candidacy that have been eclipsed by his boorish attitude and behavior toward women, we note Trump’s use of thinly-veiled anti-Semitic rhetoric intimating that Hillary Clinton is in bed with an international Jewish cabal. ” . . . . The speech was hinged to the original purpose of his campaign: to trade on the resentments of a restive remnant of white America—angry white men and the women who love them—and set the stage for mayhem in the wake of his likely electoral defeat. This was not your standard, off-the-cuff Trump rant. This was a scripted speech, delivered with a teleprompter. It was crafted. It featured the key words of right-wing complaints: “sovereign,” “global bankers” and “slander.” Really, it came right out of a Nazi propaganda playbook. And when one considers the themes common between Nazi propaganda films and the films made by top Trump campaign staffers Stephen K. Bannon and David Bossie (as analyzed by AlterNet), we should hardly be surprised. . . . The agenda of the “media establishment,” Trump said, was to elect “crooked” Hillary Clinton, in the service of “special global interests rigging the system.” There are a lot of ways in the land of Wingnuttia to telegraph that your target is Jews, and these are two of them. Remember them: You’ll be hearing a lot in coming days about the “media establishment,” “global special interests,” oh, and “bankers.” . . . .”

Trump is also rhetorically invoking the prospect of turning to violence to right the wrongs of the “rigged” election he has bruited about. “ . . . . I watched his speech Thursday, and if I closed my eyes, I could smell the campfire smoke at the Malheur refuge and feel the Oregon winter wind on my face. Here were the conspiracies, the references to the shadowy international cabals, the whispers about the illegitimacy of the Department of Justice and the Trilateralist coopting of the FBI. It was like listening to an immodest Ammon Bundy. We have to protect ourselves from not just the government (because it is only a pawn) but from the people who really run it. We should be watchful, resilient, ready—and though he is reluctant, he will sacrifice himself, for he is the only one who can save us from the terror. Donald Trump shouted out every fevered dystopian fantasy I heard on the refuge . . . . I was outraged by Trump before. But now I am worried. . . . Thursday, Donald Trump traveled a step further down the path of militant right-wing revolution. It wasn’t a call to arms, exactly. But it was far past the point of comfort. . . .”

A major point of discussion concerns Trump’s deputy campaign manager, David Bossie. Even as Trump accuses Hillary of being a tool of the “elites,” Trump is utilizing Bossie, who is the head of Citizens United. It was a lawsuit by Bossie’s organization that opened the floodgates to virtually unlimited campaign funding by the ultra rich, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United. Bossie and Steven K. Bannon, Trump’s campaign manager, have utilized propaganda techniques pioneered by Hitler, Goebbels and company. ” . . . . The late Andrew Breitbart, founder of the website Bannon went on to lead, called Bannon the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement”—a reference to the infamous creator of Nazi propaganda films. While insisting to a Wall Street Journal reporter in 2011 that his work isn’t propaganda, Bannon went on to cite Riefenstahl among his main influences. . . . Ivana Trump, the candidate’s first wife, told Vanity Fair in 1990 that her husband kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s My New Order, a collection of speeches that display the Nazi dictator’s exceptional ability to manipulate reality, in a cabinet near his bed. . . . . The Nazi regime produced a massive amount of propaganda; it had an entire Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, headed by Joseph Goebbels. A central technique of Nazi propagandists, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, was to cast Jews as outsiders and dangerous enemies of the Reich, ‘‘subhuman’ creatures infiltrating Aryan society.’ . . . In her analysis of Riefenstahl’s ‘Triumph of the Will,’ Price noted that ‘perhaps most critically, Germany’s comeback is portrayed as well underway; the viewer need only jump aboard. What is being said implicitly is that there is no alternative.’ In ‘Battle for America,’ Bannon and Bossie follow the same formula, positing the Tea Party movement as the bandwagon to jump on. But the formula isn’t the only thing about the film that carries echoes of Goebbels: a researcher and counsel for the film was white nationalist Robert Vandervoort. . . .”

Program Highlights Include: The arrest of militia members in Kansas for plotting an attack on Somali refugees, scheduled for the day after Election Day; discussion of UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage’s support for Trump; the support Trump has received from Russian fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky; Zhirinovsky’s funding by German Nazi Gerhard Frey; Frey’s dissemination of the disinformation that Lee Harvey Oswald fired at General Edwin Walker; Frey’s close association with Reinhard Gehlen; Trump’s close relationship with the Steuben Society.


FTR #927 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 6: Locker Room Eclipse

With Donald Trump’s sexual habits and speech dominating the headlines at the moment, we are seeing what Trump termed “locker room” banter eclipse far more important aspects of the Trump phenomenon. The GOP candidate continues to manifest Nazi-style beliefs, trumpeting the importance of heredity, breeding and genes to success, with his own German heritage having much to do with his own largesse. In that context, we note that his “genes,” in the form of Donald, Jr., may well be on the scene for some time.

Although Donald, Sr. would appear poised to lose the election in November, the Trumpenkampfverbande–the movement that has coalesced around him–is poised to continue, being (in our opinion) the transformation of the Underground Reich into a broad-based mass movement. Donald, Jr. appears to be a bird of the same political plumage as his father, with a penchant for racism and “Alt-right” tweeting. As one blogger put it: ” . . . And in the last couple of weeks Junior has let his alt-right freak flag fly. . . .” Junior also has political aspirations: ” . . . The oldest son of the Republican presidential nominee said that while he still has ‘a lot to do in my own career,’ he would seriously consider following in his father’s footsteps out of real estate and into political life. . . .” Donald, Jr. does not appear on the surface to share his father’s destructive sexual practices, and might become a standard-bearer for an Underground Reich in plain view for some time to come.

Another critical aspect of Trump’s political connections that has been overshadowed by the “locker room eclipse” concerns Trump’s profound, longstanding connections to Deutsche Bank, his go-to lender for his myriad real estate practices. Currently destabilizing equities markets around the world, Deutsche Bank holds the potential to collapse the global financial landscape. Having benefitted from a “rigged” ECB stress test, having benefitted from predatory lending practices during the sub-prime crisis, having benefitted from a Federal Reserve bailout following the collapse of 2008 and facing a potential $14 billion fine from the U.S. Department of Justice, Deutsche Bank holds 42 trillion euros worth of derivatives on its books, an amount 11 times the economy of Germany! Trump’s being in hoc to Deutsche Bank for upwards of $100 million raises interesting questions about his potential position as head of the U.S. government.

Another, related aspect of Trump’s candidacy concerns his threat to fire Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen and his advisers ranging from “Alt-right” ideologues to champions of a return to the gold standard–a move that would collapse the American and global economies. [This is against the background of the possibility that the Fed may have to extend another lifeline to Deutsche Bank to prevent another international financial meltdown] ” . . . In the first [group of Trump economic advisors] are Larry Kudlow and Judy Shelton, the intellectuals of the bunch, and both advocates of a return to the gold standard. While it has become popular among some Republicans in the past few years, returning to the gold standard is dismissed as a discredited, fringe idea by nearly all economists and market participants. And, for their part, gold-standard supporters typically reject the very idea of a Federal Reserve, so if Trump were to appoint Kudlow, Shelton, or another gold-standard supporter to the Fed, it would be the most radical and potentially damaging economic move since the dawn of our modern economic system, after the Great Depression. . . .”

Program Highlights Include: Review of “The Donald’s” affinity for the speeches of Adolf Hitler; review of Trump’s father’s possible membership in the Ku Klux Klan; Trump’s exhortations to his followers to disregard “the rigged” election and the possibility (probability?) that this will lead to “lone wolf,” leaderless resistance terrorism and murder; Donald Trump’s links to the Steuben Society.


Krugmenistan vs the Permahawks

Lift Off! That was the announcement by the Federal Reserve this week when the world’s biggest and most influential central bank started the long awaited raising of its benchmark short-term rate a quarter point from near-zero levels, marking the first time the Fed has raised rates since 2006. It was big news, except this rate hike was telegraphed for quite a while now and virtually everyone was expecting the Fed to do exactly what it did, so it’s not as big as it could have been. If the Fed had decided not to raise rates, despite all the telegraphing, that probably would have been a bigger story. But would it have been a bad story if the Fed decided to keep rates at their current near-zero levels? There’s a big debate in the economic community over that. And it’s a debate that pits prudent economists with excellent track-records like Paul Krugman, someone who opposed the Fed’s December “lift off” decision, against the broad array of “permahawks”. But it’s not just the question with respect to Fed. The European Central Bank made a policy announcement this month too regarding its stimulus measure and it was indeed rather surprising. And as we’re also going to see in this post, it was surprising in the way that just might have done serious damage to not just the credibility of ECB President Mario Draghi but the ECB itself. Or at least credibility in the ECB’s commitment to its single mandate of keeping inflation hovering around 2 percent.

To placate permahawks (to maintain credibility) or not placate the permahawks (to maintain credibility)? That is the question. Or at least one of the questions central banks face. Unfortunately.


FTR #823 Caution, Banksters at Work, Part 2 (Still More Collateralized “Death” Obligations)

Updating FTR #’s 772 and 792, the broadcast highlights a recent social psychology experiment that indicated a strong inclination toward dishonest, criminal behavior on the part of banking professionals. After noting Deutsche Bank’s precarious position, the program notes two other suspicious deaths. Deutsche Bank’s Calogero Gambino allegedly took his own life, following the alleged suicide of another Deutsche banker–William Broeksmit. Citigroup’s Shawn Miller supposedly slit his own throat, this after placing some 911 calls complaining about being followed. The Senate banking committee recently concluded an investigation of the banking industry’s involvement in the commodities’ markets, something that offers tremendous opportunity for illegal speculation, as well as leaving banks with potentially catastrophic exposure to fluctuation in those markets. In October, a dramatic fluctuation in the market for U.S. Treasury bills has raised ominous questions concerning the stability of this global financial safe haven. The probability of such an event happening was once every 1.6 billion years!


More Collateralized “Death” Obligations

“Participo” alerts us to an article from The New York Post updating the mortality rate in the financial industry. These deaths are occurring as numerous investigations are underway into various kinds of malfeasance in the global financial sector, manipulation of the foreign exchange rate, in particular.


FTR #772 Body Count II: (Collateralized “Death” Obligations)

One of the surreal, almost hallucinatory financial instruments that were at the center of the 2008 financial collapse were CDO’s–collateralized debt obligations. As a number of legal investigations into mischief apparently committed by major financial institutions on a number of fronts have gained momentum, there has been a rash of suicides linked to the businesses under investigation. In addition, a Wall Street Journal reporter disappeared and an Argentine bank repository–supposedly fireproof–burned down. Are we looking at collateralized “death” obligations?


FTR #771 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 13: Beware of Libertarians Bearing Gifts (1934 Coup Attempt Redux)

Summing up his political outlook, Snow­den wrote that the elderly ‘wouldn’t be fuck­ing help­less if you weren’t send­ing them fuck­ing checks to sit on their ass and lay in hos­pi­tals all day.’ The forces for which he fronts are: ” . . . rooted in a the­ory that, in James Madison’s words, would “speed­ily put an end to the Union itself.”


Currency Wars: The New World Ordoliberalism

There’s been quite a bit of chatter lately about the threat of “Currency Wars” amongst global policymakers. It’s part of a larger debate over just what kind of economic policies and modes of central banking should even be philosophically allowable. The Bundesbank has some strong ideas about what governments should and should not be allowed to do with their monetary and fiscal policies. Not surprisingly, they’re also bad ideas.