International Forecaster Weekly

Sweeping Data Surveillance

Sweeping data surveillance... neocon payoffs... payola all around... US household debt has doubled... the most dangerous incompetents ... an interview with Zbigniew... Praises for Elliot Spitzer... shelters for sugar, and more in the International Forecaster.

Bob Chapman | October 25, 2004

It began as a passenger-screening program designed to use commercial records, terrorist watch lists and computer software to assess millions of travelers and target those who might pose a threat. The system has cost over $100 million, but has not been turned on because of protests from law-markers and civil liberties advocates. George and the neocons put off testing until after the election.

Now a former intelligence official is taking his ideas private in the Bahamas-based Global Information Group LTD and he intends to use some of the same concepts, technology and contractors to assess people for risk, outside the reach of US regulators. That, of course, makes them prime targets for assassination. They are particularly vulnerable in the Bahamas when law enforcement is limited and inept. A wet black bag crew would have no problem wiping out their entire staff and easily get away. They already have Lexis Nexis Group, one of the main contractors on the government CAPPS II program, lined up as their first customer. They will assess foreign job candidates for risk, conduct background checks on cargo ship crews or spy on people who want to open bank accounts in the US. They would also collect and analyze personal information for Fatherland Security. They intend to consciously and deliberately break US laws and George and the neocons are encouraging them to do so. They are violating our privacy and the sovereignty of the American people. Other governments have accused Choice Point, a US firm and a US government contractor of spying on their citizens via databases. Already Global and the Bahamian government are contacting other governments to help them assess terrorist risk. The problem is the same data allows governments to spy on and control their own citizenry in a totalitarian manner. The principals in Global are all intelligence types who have no allegiance to anyone. We predict this operation will become monstrous. The US under Bush has destroyed 30% of Bahamian business by ending all offshore banking for individuals and the Bahamian government will snap at any chance to employ people. Allyson Maynar-Gilbson, the Bahamian Minister of Financial Services and investment, extolled efforts to build a state of the art facility with data centers and a high-speed telecommunications network. We wonder who will pay for that indirectly – the US government? They plan to operate from Grand Bahamas.

The subject is Iraq’s debt to Kuwait. The players are Carlyle Corp., James Baker III, and the Albright Group, headed by Madeleine Albright and George and the neocons. All involved are connected one way or another with Carlyle and our government and all are elitists. Kuwait was informed in August that world opinion is turning in favor of debt forgiveness. Kuwait won’t see its $30 billion or the $27 billion in war reparations from Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. In the face of world opposition the Albright Group and Carlyle, the consortium, offers its services. If Kuwait agrees to transfer the debts to the consortium’s foundation, the consortium will use their personal connections to persuade world leaders that Iraq must maximize its debt payments to Kuwait, which would be able to collect the money after 10-15 years. The more the consortium gets Iraq to pay during that period, the more Kuwait collects and, of course, taking a 5% commission the consortium get paid off $2.75 billion due to their connections. This, of course, is thieving and deceitful by all parties. It makes Kuwait lie about getting paid back. The public thinks Kuwait is forgiving the debt when it is not. This means Baker is duplicitous and is a classic conflict of interest. Baker is on two sides of the transaction. He is supposed to be representing the interests of the US, but he is a senior counselor at Carlyle, and Carlyle wants to get paid to use its connections to help Kuwait recover its debts from Iraq. Carlyle and other companies are exploiting Baker’s current position to try to land a deal with Kuwait that would undermine the interests of the US government. This is one of the greatest cons of all time. The consortium is saying, only through us do you have a chance to realize a substantial part of the debt. Why? Because of whom we are and who we know. Its influence peddling of the crassest kind. They are a den of vipers. The key is for Baker to resign as debt envoy then the Albright and Carlyle groups will be free to continue their scam. Watch, Baker will soon resign so he and his elitist cronies can snatch the $2.5 billion.

Iraq owes $200 billion. If it were forced to pay just a quarter of those claims, its debt would still be more than double its annual GDP. When they dethroned Saddam all debts were off, that is why so many nations were vehemently against invasion. Besides, they knew they would lose their oil leases, which they purchased during sanctions. From the beginning, Baker and Carlyle have lied about their involvement, not once but a multitude of times. Carlyle even submitted a signed statement to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales saying Carlyle does not have any investment in Iraq public or private, but it was not mentioned that Carlyle had, for months, been in negotiations with Kuwait to help secure its unpaid war debts from Iraq. These people are arch criminals. Albright, Carlyle and Baker are in violation of both criminal and regulatory statutes that prohibit government officials from participating in government business in which they have a financial interest. Of course, the Iraq reparation concept is the same ploy that was used on Germany in 1918. This was the groundwork for WWII. The elitist interests did the same thing in Iraq only this time they used sanctions as well. George H. W. Bush did not go into Baghdad in 1990 because they were then setting up for another invasion. The excuse was WMD and a terrorist act, which the elitists planned and executed in order to justify invasion. This time instead of Hitler being in power it was Hussein and now they are setting up to invade and occupy the entire Middle East and conscript your children and grandchildren to execute that plan. Your family is the cannon fodder. In the 18 months since invasion, Iraq has paid out $1.8 billion in reparations, while its people starve. It is no wonder we have perpetual warfare in Iraq and that everyone there hates us. Most of those payments have gone to Kuwait. If you remember it was the US that told Saddam that we didn’t care if he invaded Kuwait, which was stealing Iraqi oil. Thus far the UNCC has paid out $18.6 billion from Iraq in war reparations and has awarded $30 billion more to be paid in the future. The final figure ranges from $50 to $130 billion. The focus now is to rebuild Iraq, not pay reparations to Kuwait and that is where the crooks come in. Albright and Carlyle planned to lobby the UN Security council and use other eminent crooks, such as John Major, Gary Hart and Jeanne Kirkpatrick to squeeze the council. In the proposed foundation and investment fund a portion of the reparation funds would be used to take 40 state-owned Iraqi enterprises, make them available for leasing and management contracts, which, of course, would be held by Albright, Carlyle and assorted cronies. In other words, privatize the country. Not only would Albright and Carlyle collect monster fees, but also many others would be along for the ride. Elitist companies such as Fidelity Investments, Gaffney, Cline and Associates, Nexgen Financial, Emerging Markets Partnership an affiliate of AIG, which is under civil and criminal investigation and BNP, Paribas a European bank embroiled in the oil-for-food scandal. The arrogance of these criminals. Of course, whoever holds Iraq’s debt will influence policy. Kuwait has hardened its position and wants $30 billion plus $27 billion in reparations. Now France, Germany and Russia have formed their own group and do not want 90-95% cancellation but 50%. Baker, Carlyle, Albright and half-bright in the White House have really made a mess of this issue and it is really because of their greed and arrogance. This will be the next long-term scandal.

Last week the House passed as part of the larger intelligence bill an amendment, which will heavily curtail the use of Consulate Identification (CID) cards that are being used by illegal aliens in the US. It is used as a form of identification. Banks pioneered the usage as a way, so they say, to protect these felons from robbers, when in fact they wanted to take over the lucrative money-transfer business from transfer companies. As you are aware, what has happened is that any state and local agencies, including police and motor vehicle departments, allow illegal aliens to present the card when applying for building permits, drivers’ licenses and for traffic violations. The Mexican Consulate issued 2.2 million CID CARDS IN 2002 AND 2003.

Issuance was a fiasco. Just appear and you get your card. They say the system has improved, but the bottom line is that the CID card is a bogus backdoor way of allowing illegal aliens to function in our country. We find it ludicrous that US banks accept CID cards and Mexican banks in Mexico will under no circumstances accept them. The real problem is that the CID card allows illegal aliens in some states to get drivers’ licenses and then they can register to vote. It allows illegal aliens to go to college in Maine, New York and Colorado on in-state tuition rates. The governor’s of these states are aiding and abetting felons. We now have a nation where you choose which laws you would like to keep and which laws you would like to break. The Feds look on approvingly. In fact, a majority of Congress supports illegal alien migration and does nothing to stop it. That is because business wants cheap labor; labor unions want more members and politicians want more votes. All these lawmakers are in violation of their oath of office. They refuse to uphold our constitution. The result is American citizens are pushed out of their jobs because illegals will work for less off the books. Our leaders are undermining our rights and our livelihood. What good is citizenship if our laws do not protect us? Last year of 37,000 illegals caught crossing the Arizona border, 7,500 came from terror-sponsoring countries. If illegal immigration is not stopped and these 15 million people made to leave the country, we could have a major social problem on our hands once the depression begins.

After seeing what has transpired over the past four years, we have to conclude that these are the most dangerous incompetents ever to have held such high offices in US political history. Worse yet, they planned and executed 9/11, one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind. They desperately have to be re-elected because if they do not others may investigate and get to the bottom of all the things they have been doing.

There is no solution and can be no solution in Iraq because we need at least 200,000 more troops to effectively quash the insurgency and it could involve five years of search and destroy missions. George and the neocons cannot withdraw because it would destroy the rationale for being there. If they retreat, the neocons and the presidency will be destroyed. There is no easy way out. This will be worse than Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam.

Over the past 10 years, total US household debt has doubled to $10 trillion. Total debt has risen 8.2% from year-to-year to a record 298% of GDP. That is compared with GDP growth averaging 3.3% annually. The difference of 4.9% represents the rate of debt increase, to which you have to add inflation of at least 5.1% giving you an annual loss of 10%. Not a pleasant predicament.

The White House has not delivered its annual report on foreign exchange and currency manipulation. They may try to stall it until after the election. The International Economic and Exchange Ratio policies report is closely watched by foreign exchange traders and is expected to attract special attentions this year. Last year the report was 2 weeks late.

For the first time in history we have 6,000 hedge funds with $1 Trillion plus pleas in capitol, no position limits, virtually non-regulation and central and commodity markets that do not have the depth to absorb the speculative funds. It is one thing to speculate hundreds of billions of dollars in currencies or US Treasuries in sorry trades. It’s another thing to try to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in tech and Internet stocks, and it is another dimension to try to pour billions into commodity markets that are a fraction of the size of financial markets.

South Korea’s financial regulators will investigate Citigroup’s Korean operation following Japan’s decision to shut the US group’ private banking unit. This is a serious blow to Citigroup’s business and reputation. Regulators will be looking into the private banking unit for proof of money laundering and domestic fund out flows. In addition, as you are already aware, Citigroup is facing several billion dollar legal actions brought by investors.

The Small Business Administration set a record with the number of loans it guaranteed in fiscal 2004, during the year, the agency backed nearly 75,000 loans worth $12.6 billion units flagship 7(a) program and more than 8,000 loans worth $3.9 billion in its 504 loan program. One third went to minority owned firms. Loans to Blacks were up 32% to Hispanics 31.7% and 33.3% to Asian firms. Loans to women-owned businesses were up 22.3%; loans to veteran-owned firms were up 21%.

Many people buying homes today have no intention of paying for them. They are in with zero down payment loans. When interest rates rise on the ARMS that are financing their mortgage loans and home prices fall, they will just walk away, leaving the lender to fend for himself. These loans are packaged together and sold to investors, who assume the risk for return. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee about 72% of such loans. If they absorb enough of these defaulted loans they will collapse, then the government, which is you and us, will be stuck with the loans. Homeowners who put down 20% and receive no government subsidies with a fixed rate mortgage suffer because when the house next door is foreclosed on the value falls on that house and that drags the value of your home down with it. Presently foreclosures are at record levels and in the immediate years to come they will grow exponentially. The more foreclosures from people who shouldn’t have houses in the first place means snowballing sales and increasing losses for other homeowners in the area. Most Americans wealth is in their homes and as home prices fall their savings vanish.

Franklin Brown is not an elitist. He was vice-chairman and chief counsel of Rite-Aid. He was sentenced last week to 10 years in federal prison for his role in the massive accounting fraud at the company. He also lied to the SEC obstructing justice, committed witness tampering and was acquitted of wire fraud. The victims of Brown’s actions lost $23 million. He could have received 65 years and a $2.5 million fine. He was guilty and should be punished. The bottom line here is that elitists at major elitist corporations, banks, investment banks, insurance companies and brokerage houses steal billions of dollars every day and receive fines but never go to jail. There is a clear-cut example of the very rich and connected of never serving any time. We have two justice systems; one for them and one for us.

Our elitist leaders have embraced socialism as the answer or better yet, fascism; the melding of corporations and government into a mercantilist, corporatist state like that envisioned long ago by Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The bottom line is the fruits of your labor and future labor are being given to others in our country and others so that our elitists and politicians can keep their system of organized theft in operation. This is accompanied by a credit-induced boom that will proceed from inflation to hyperinflation, to recession to depression. Once the easy credit ends and interest rates increase, the game will be over. That is why we have Patriot Acts I, II and now III pending. That is to keep the sheeple in line. The massive increases in M3 have led to mal-investment, which induced over-consumption that wipes out savings and creates un-payable debt. This exacerbates an already dreadful underlying problem. Today’s levels of public and private debt are simply unthinkable and the final outcome is impoverishment. The prerogative of the Fed and our politicians is that they know better than we do what is good for us. That is why they act as if they have a divine right to constantly tamper with our debt, economy, finances and our lives. The only anchor any country has is gold and a gold-backed currency. Once that is abandoned, the elitists are allowed to dilute and inflate until the system collapses. The signs are everywhere for everyone to see. The only advice we can give you is to own gold and silver coins and shares. They are your only protection against the future.

This past week we read Le Figaro’s interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security advisor to Jimmy Carter in the White House. Le Figaro asked Zbig to judge George W. Bush’s term in office. Mr. Brzezinski, you must consider, is a consummate insider although not at the Illuminist level, but at the Sherpa level. E is not the bloodline. A similar level held by Henry Kissinger. Mr. Brzezinski said, “Mr. Bush has not kept his promises on either domestic or foreign policy.” “On the contrary, the administration has chosen domestic policies that benefit those who already are best provided for and has not troubled itself at all about the fate of the most destitute. With regard to foreign policy, the US has chosen a unilateral policy that has only become more radicalized since the 9/11 attacks.”

Zbig is convinced that John Kerry would do a better job by taking allied countries opinion more into account, particularly that of Europe – which must contribute to resolution of the crisis shaking the planet including the Israeli-Palestinian problem. He went on to say the neo-conservative formula doesn’t work and that the Israel-Palestinian problem must be solved by the US and Europe, due to the bitterness between the parties. He said the next president will be confronted with escalation of the budgetary crisis on the national front and an intensification of hostility against the US on the international front. As we have been reporting for the last four years, we believe there is a split within the elitists on the conduct of domestic and foreign policy, which says that if Kerry were elected there would be a change of course in both pursuits.

The dollar is trying to break below 87; oil is still above $50 a barrel and it looks like George W. Bush could lose. That bad news plus the charges against insurance companies could be the catalysts that could take the Dow down and push gold and silver higher. It is significant that both the yen and euro both broke out and up against the dollar simultaneously. That now should be followed by a breakout in gold and silver over the next month.

The SEC has finally launched a formal investigation into Fannie Mae’s accounting procedures to determine if fraud has been committed.

Porter Goss new head of the CIA is deliberately withholding an Inspector General’s report until after the election under the guise of national security, a blunt report about the CIA’S failure in regard to 9/11 and who actually made the wrong decisions no previous CIA director has ever tried to stop the inspector general from releasing a report to Congress, in this case a report requested by Congress. There is no question that failure to publish the report fuels the perception that no one is being held accountable. This means the CIA and Bush can cover up their misdeeds indefinitely.

The probe into insurance bid-rigging by NY’s AG widened to health insurers unnerving investors worried that more revelations of wrongdoing and lower profits lie ahead. Eliot Spitzer is examining insurers and HMO’s, as well as casualty insurers and brokers. Spitzer’s probe centers on the contingent commissions that insurers offer brokers for steering insurance business their way. We call them kickbacks. He is also examining fictitious bids made at the expense of corporate and municipal clients. We have to laugh when brokerage firms recommend safety in buy AIG. We think Spitzer may be planning to go after AIG for rigging the silver market.

Finally, there may be some fairness in our judicial systems. Ex-Enron Chairman Ken Lay is now scheduled for two criminal trials. Lay has four criminal charges. This is Lay’s worst nightmare. His Enron co-conspirators, Causey and Skilling, are each accused of 35 or more counts of conspiracy at Enron and Lay has four charges of fraud in his personal banking. Finally, these three will end up in jail. Lay will be one of the first elitists to ever go to jail for being a criminal. The rest have always been fined. Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. and Coastal Corporations paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein to receive oil in the U.N. Food-for-Oil program. They were called surcharges. This is the money that went into Saddam’s pocket and is now in the pockets of the elitists. El Paso, which acquired Coastal in 2001, has been served with a grand jury subpoena. Coastal’s Wyatt was pals with Saddam and was the biggest exporters of Iraqi oil. In the U.N. Food- for-Oil program, if you did not kickback to Saddam you did not get any oil.

In sifting the tealeaves, we find George W. Bush in serious trouble in a number of states due to new water registrations. They include Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio. In Florida, it’s a push; there is a boom in Democratic registrations. Washington State saw a 46% increase in registration and in Ohio a 10% increase. George is in for a surprise.

Our military does not have enough troops in Iraq and they are doing poorly in reenlistments. The army is under severe stress and a broader foreign policy doctrine -more war- is simply out of the question. The U.S. has inadequate total number of troops to sustain operations at the current pace. The manpower shortage is so severe that training regiments are in battle. This is no longer an all-volunteer army, as thousands of reservists and National Guard are no longer serving voluntarily, they have been forced to serve long after their enlistments are up. Based on these facts there has to be a draft or the U.S. withdraws.

Board members and senior executives of Marsh and McLennan, the giant insurance broker that has been accused of cheating customers, put millions of dollars into a partnership that profited by buying companies from Marsh and investing in companies that work with Marsh. Jeffery Greenberg, the chairman and Chief Executive, is among the largest individual investors in the partnership. The group is being investigated for sweetheart deals. Presently, Marsh is under civil investigation by the NYC, AG for price fixing.

GM, Ford and Delphi are among six companies asked by the SEC to provide information about corporate pensions and health care accounting. Northwest Airlines is being probed because of unusual actuarial assumptions factored into its pension calculations. On all these companies, just a small adjustment in accounting practices could have an enormous impact on the company, employees, retirees and the region where they reside.

Next month, Massachusetts will begin to issue the most technically sophisticated driver’s licenses in North America. It will include holograms, bar codes, and faint images burned into laminators. The Massachusetts State Seal pattern, which is visible only with an ultraviolet light, an intricate background design that also was through the two photographs on the license, and an advanced type of security laminate that has digital watermarking. The centerpiece is a two dimensional “kinegram” a partially metalized-design that looks similar to widely used holograms, but has defied counterfeiters attempts to reproduce. This license is virtually impossible to counterfeit.

Historically strange things happen. Things that no one would ever think or believe would happen. Sometimes a very small issue will change the course of mankind. It could be a social, financial, political or even an entertainment or sporting event. Keep that in mind, as mankind is no different now than it was 5,000 years ago. We are still making the same stupid mistakes.

Only 8,000 farms in America produce sugar and they have political clout far beyond their numbers. In spite of the neocons' efforts to lower trade barriers on almost everything, sugar is exempt. They reached a trade agreement with Australia that protects US sugar growers from any new imports of sugar, which extends the double standard. Sugar interests buy their protection. They gave $901,000 to candidates for president and congress in the 2004 election cycle including $34,500 for Bush’s reelection campaign. The political payoffs have gone to both parties over the years, so the sugar crooks are equal opportunity influence buyers. That also means the government is taking the sugar growers side in the global war on obesity. The cost of treating health problems caused by the US obesity epidemic reached an estimated $75 billion last year, with taxpayers picking up half the tab. About 39 million Americans are obese. By keeping cheap sugar out of the country, Americans pay three times what they should for sugar.

According to the Italian Military Health Observatory a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium. That lunatic in the White House wants to send your children and grandchildren over there so they can die miserable deaths.

Next on New York State Attorney General’s hit list is the recording industry. His office has served subpoenas on the four major record corporations – the Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the EMI Group and the Warner Music Group – seeking copies of contracts, billing records and other information detailing their ties to independent middlemen who pitch new songs to radio programmers. In the early 1950s, when I was in High School, it was known as payola. Bribes to radio broadcasters are forbidden by a law that resulted from investigations over 50 years ago. Those were in the days of Symphony Sid and Wolfman Jack. Today, Cox and Clear Channel could have some very serious problems along with many others that play garbage that is called music today. It will be interesting to see if anyone goes to jail or will the government continue to go for the fines to keep its decaying structure in tact.

In all of Eliot Spitzer's great successes, from the Wall Street research scandal, to the mutual fund timing scandal, to getting AIG out of the silver business, and to the new insurance scandal, there have been designated regulators who were asleep on their watch. Without him, it would surely be (crooked) business as usual.

To his great credit Spitzer is obviously motivated by a desire to help the regular guy. Also to his credit is his desire to reform as opposed to just punish. He is concerned with making the system better, not destroying it. If he wanted to, he could have snapped AIG like a toothpick, in either the silver matter or this insurance issue, so compelling was their bad behavior.

Also similar are the repugnant conflicts of interest that exist in both silver and insurance, from the insurance brokers taking commissions from both customers and insurance companies for the same policy to the silver dealers taking commissions from and allocating prices for fills for tech funds and the public alike on trades they take the other side of, as principals.