Back during the darkest days of the financial crisis, President Barack Obama summoned the heads of the big Wall Street banks to the White House and told them they had better get their act together. “My administration,” Obama said, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
Obama’s administration will soon come to an end, a prospect many bank executives anticipate with joy. But the pitchfork-wielding populists haven’t exactly gone away. Instead, many have rallied to the presidential candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. At a Feb. 7 rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Sanders made it clear that unlike Obama, he would channel, rather than deflect, anti-Wall Street anger if elected president. To a throng of 1,500 voters packed into a community college gymnasium, Sanders vowed to crack down on Wall Street bankers. As he spoke, Sanders was continually interrupted by shouts from the audience of “Break ‘em up!” and “They should go to jail!”
Of course, if Bernie is elected and keeps his promise a new banking crisis bigger than the one in 2007 would ensue. FAZ is a good place to be!
While Obama disarms America...
Russia is doubling the number of its strategic nuclear warheads on new missiles by deploying multiple reentry vehicles that have put Moscow over the limit set by the New START arms treaty, according to Pentagon officials.
A recent intelligence assessment of the Russian strategic warhead buildup shows that the increase is the result of the addition of multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs, on recently deployed road-mobile SS-27 and submarine-launched SS-N-32 missiles, said officials familiar with reports of the buildup.
“The Russians are doubling their warhead output,” said one official. “They will be exceeding the New START [arms treaty] levels because of MIRVing these new systems.”
The 2010 treaty requires the United States and Russia to reduce deployed warheads to 1,550 warheads by February 2018.
The United States has cut its warhead stockpiles significantly in recent years. Moscow, however, has increased its numbers of deployed warheads and new weapons.
The State Department revealed in January that Russia currently has exceeded the New START warhead limit by 98 warheads, deploying a total number of 1,648 warheads. The U.S. level currently is below the treaty level at 1,538 warheads.
Officials said that in addition to adding warheads to the new missiles, Russian officials have sought to prevent U.S. weapons inspectors from checking warheads as part of the 2010 treaty.
The State Department, however, said it can inspect the new MIRVed missiles.
Disclosure of the doubling of Moscow’s warhead force comes as world leaders gather in Washington this week to discus nuclear security—but without Russian President Vladimir Putin, who skipped the conclave in an apparent snub of the United States.
The Nuclear Security Summit is the latest meeting of world leaders seeking to pursue President Obama’s 2009 declaration of a world without nuclear arms.
As every ten-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, “It’s the thought that counts.” That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power.
The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Note: Solar thermal plants do not use solar panels to directly convert sunshine to electricity, they use sunshine to boil water that then drives conventional turbines.)
Here’s the story so far, Ivanpah:
Is owned by Google, NRG Energy, and Brightsource, who have a market cap in excess of $500 billion
Received $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy
Is paid four to five times as much per megawatt-hour as natural-gas powered plants
Is paid two to three times as much per megawatt-hour as other solar power producers
Has burned thousands of birds to death
Has delayed loan repayments
Is seeking over $500 million in grants to help pay off the guaranteed loans
Burns natural gas for 4.5 hours each morning to get its mojo going
Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who’s who of those that don’t need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.
In spite of all this, Ivanpah has fallen woefully short of its production targets. The managers’ explanation for why production came up 32 percent below expected output was the weather. In addition to raising questions about planning for uncertainty, it is not all that clear how a nine percent drop in sunshine causes a 32 percent drop in production.
More bizarrely, the natural gas used to get the plant all warmed up and ready each day, would be enough to generate over one quarter of the power actually produced from the solar energy. Sorry, let’s not be haters.
South Korea announced on Feb. 10 that it’s closing down the inter-Korean economic project at Kaesong Industrial Complex which Seoul set up 12 years ago to provide hard currency earnings for the North Korean regime.
South Korean minister of unification affairs Hong Yong Pyo made it clear that the measure was a protest against the North’s nuclear test in January and its test-firing of a long-range missile on Sunday. Hong said his officials will talk with North Korean officials to decide the official closure of 120 factories within the area operated by South Korean firms but employing North Korean workers.
More than 50,000 North Koreans labor inside the complex producing garments and kitchen wares. As a result of the closure, North Korea will be losing about $100 million a year in wages and other services provided to these factories.
The Park government is making it clear that this measure is a retaliation against the North’s nuclear and missile programs. The South will halt electric power and water supplies to the complex, effectively halting its operation. It’s the first tough retaliation Seoul is taking against the North’s aggressive behavior.
Meanwhile, the Park government has come under pressure from conservatives who want Seoul to seek a nuclear program of its own to counter the North’s threats. This will not be easy to translate into action as South Korea is a signatory of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. South Korea is also covered under the US nuclear umbrella. But the media is calling for a change in the country’s current nuclear stance.
“At least, the government can request to bring back the tactical nuclear weapons” the US withdrew in 1992, according to the influential Chosun Ilbo newspaper. But others are calling for an Israeli formula of acquiring an independent nuclear force. The major voice calling for this option is Chung Mong June, the ruling Saenuri Party’s major conservative voice.
According to Yahoo, there are no institutional investors. Just speculators. Short squeezes are fun and exciting, but eventually it comes down to the fundamentals.Barring a government rescue, Centrus will probably never finish its new plant and get back into enriching uranium. Even if it does, the price of enrichment services has fallen to multi-year lows.
This guy has my respect!
Morris Bawabeh Purchases 100,957 Shares of Centrus Energy Corp (LEU) Stock
March 2nd, 2016 - By Thomas Dobrow - 0 comments
Centrus Energy Corp logoCentrus Energy Corp (NYSE:LEU) major shareholder Morris Bawabeh purchased 100,957 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 1st. The stock was purchased at an average price of $1.38 per share, for a total transaction of $139,320.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Large shareholders that own 10% or more of a company’s stock are required to disclose their transactions with the SEC.
Most traders who are shorting oil are taking their profits today. When they cover, oil goes up. We may even get a bit of a short squeeze. Supply still exceeds demand so the trend remains down for now.
Let me make a prediction: If S Korea asks for strategic nukes, President Obama will say "No" for fear of offending China or because he is afraid of nuclear proliferation or because "leading from behind" is identical to "running away" when confronted. This will demonstrate that the idea of a US "nuclear shield" is a lie with Obama as President. This emboldens China, Russia, and North Korea to act more aggressively and kicks off a REAL nuclear arms race with Japan and South Korea to seek nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, since Obama green-lit Iran's nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia and probably Turkey and possibly Egypt will realize they need to buy or develop nuclear weapons.
The US Congress should immediately petition the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to take back Obama's Nobel Prize.
BPresident Obama got it exactly wrong when he argued in a Washington Post op-ed that "as the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral obligation to continue to lead the way in eliminating them." What he should have written instead was "as the only nation ever to refrain from using nuclear weapons gratuitously when it had the monopoly on such weapons, the United States has the moral authority to lead the way in regulating them."
What gives the US moral authority is bias against a first strike, the improbability of it using nuclear weapons in time of peace. You can be sure the USAF won't nuke Chicago, or Brussels or Kampala tomorrow, even if it physically could, because of civilizational bias. The reason why Obama's unilateral reductions in the American nuclear arsenal as gestures to nuclear disarmament are meaningless is because he's not actually reducing any of the risk. All the danger is on the other side, where the bias goes the other way for aggression, conquest and world domination. That is what he seems unable to reduce.
Despite the large number of combatants involved, the Syrian civil war is quite predictable. (See the chart below showing the perpetrators of civilian deaths in Syria). What drives the system are not the "things" operated by the USAF or the Russian air force but the bias of the Syrian regime for killing people. Bias tells you Assad will kill people tomorrow just as surely as it tells you that the USAF won't bomb Paris.
As a practical matter Assad and Saddam, rather than the aluminum tubes, were the WMD programs. If one wants to control the WMD danger, the only chance is to control bias, not things. It is the toxic regimes of MENA and the proliferation of toxic ideologies which most menace the world.
The reason why statements like "Islam is the religion of peace" or "we will never be at war with Islam" are so dangerous is because they ignore bias.
The bad news is that Centrus won't make any money any time soon, if ever. They shut down their old production facilities and gave up hope on building their new plant. They are mortally wounded. I suspect the new contracts contain escape clauses if Centrus is unable to fill them.
I'd be amazed if the stock got back over $3.
I wish the news was better.
GILD loses 10% of its Hep-C revenues but other drugs are unaffected. This means max hit would be 9% or less but GILD still sells at a P/E of 7 so it is already far below a market multiple based on fears of declining Sovaldi sales (market saturation) and increased competition,
Roll the 10% revenue hit into the existing.fears of sales declines and it looks to me like GILD is still ridiculously cheap
In a press conference closing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Summit, President Obama claimed he had reduced Russian stockpiles and converted the weapons to nuclear fuel.
He also claimed he had prevented Iran from pursueing nuclear weapons by giving it $50 billion to spend however it sees fit.
The next president will have to clean up this mess.
From Alexander Maxwell
Most of the validity argument for Gilead is likely to center around the research that Pharmasset did independent of Merck (Pharmasset was acquired by Gilead in order to bring in Sarvoni and Harvoni). Prior art (in this case prior research) could potentially invalidate Merck's patent by arguing that Merck was not the first company to actually invent this compound.
With the timeline between Merck filing the patent and the research that Pharmasset was doing, this is likely the strongest argument for Gilead. Gilead should also rely upon any other research that may have been available into similar compounds at the time in order to argue that Merck was not the first company in order to invent this compound. The impact would be that if the patent is found invalid by the Court of Appeals, that Gilead would not have to pay any verdict because it has not infringed upon a valid patent.
The second main argument is slightly harder for Gilead to argue. It is very hard to convince a judge to toss out the decision of a jury regarding infringement, and it is very hard to prove that the jury improperly considered the evidence. It is likely that if there was insufficient evidence to at least justify a finding of infringement by the jury, that the case would have been tossed by this point.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed serious concern while in office in 2010 after learning that North Korea showed an American nuclear scientist a uranium enrichment plant in operation, according to newly released Clinton emails.
Clinton called the development "very disturbing," according to a Nov. 13, 2010, email sent to her deputy chief of staff after he forwarded to her a report that Stanford University professor Siegfried Hecker wrote about his trip to the North that included a visit to the North's Yongbyon nuclear complex.
Hecker said in an email report to Ambassador Sung Kim, special envoy to the six-party talks on the North's nuclear program, as well as to then-special representative for North Korea policy Stephen Bosworth that the visit was a "shocker."
"They took us to Yongbyon and showed us a functioning 2,000 centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in operation and a small (light water reactor) under construction. The technical implications are significant and you understand the political implications better than I do," Hecker said.
Hecker's trip marked the first time that the North had publicly acknowledged the existence of the program and a facility for it, even though the communist nation had long been suspected of seeking a uranium-based nuclear weapons program.
The North has since bolstered its nuclear capabilities and conducted its fourth nuclear test last month, claiming that it successfully conducted its first hydrogen bomb test.
SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea should consider breaking away from a treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, a former ruling party leader said Sunday, arguing the country fell into a "state of national emergency" following North Korea's latest nuclear and missile tests.
"It is an empty cry at the weak and self-deception for South Korea to stick to the Joint Declaration on Non-nuclear Korean Peninsula only to maintain our morally dominant position at a time when the gap between the two Koreas' asymmetric warfare capabilities is widening with the North's possession of nuclear weapons," Chung Mong-joon, a former leader of the governing Saenuri Party, said in a post on his blog.
"I'm not saying that we should quit the treaty right now but should explain to the world what's wrong with the NPT system that failed to bar Pyongyang from pursuing nuclear programs and work out measures to exercise our rights."
South Korea is a member country of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which bans non-nuclear states from newly possessing nuke devices. The North walked out of the treaty in 1993.
In the non-nuclear agreement signed in 1991, the two Koreas pledged not to test, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons and not to possess facilities for nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment.
The United States accordingly pulled all surface- and sea-launched short-range tactical nuclear weapons out of its army bases in South Korea and then South Korean President Roh Tae-woo also announced principles for ensuring the peace and non-nuclear status of the peninsula.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Iran Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan regarding the purchase of the S-300 air defense system and offensive weapons that include Moscow's most sophisticated T-90 tanks and Su-30 Flanker fighter jets. Thus one of the key provisions of the Iran nuclear deal, a.k.a. UN Resolution 2231 — requiring Tehran to get UN permission before acquiring "battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems" — is on the verge of being ignored. Adding insult to injury, Gen. Dehqan is believed to be the architect of the 1983 Beirut bombing that killed 241 American service members.
Iran is also expected to thumb its nose at the same resolution this month when they test a Simorgh space launch vehicle characterized by U.S. officials as the basis of their covert program to develop long-range nuclear missiles. An unnamed State Department official who spoke with The Washington Free Beacon epitomized the administration's flaccid response to the prospect, declining to speculate as to whether such a launch would violate the agreement, but promising to address any Iranian actions "inconsistent with any relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions ... through the appropriate channels." Iran insists the space launch vehicle's 220 pound payload is too small to carry a first-generation nuclear warhead. The Beacon's Bill Gertz reveals otherwise: "Space launch technology is identical to long-range missile technology."
And from whom is Iran getting the technological expertise for such an effort? An April exposé by Gertz reveals that while the nuclear negotiations with Iran were proceeding, North Korea supplied the mullahs with "several shipments of missile components" that also "appear to violate UN sanctions on both countries." That would be the very same North Korea that South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) asserts is planning a terrori
Mark Twain once observed "it ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." For years the Republican party projected a standard image of itself, as did the Democratic and their respective adherents confidently saw themselves to be signing up for organizations whose purposes they knew. The last few months have been rather cruel to each party's self-image.
Israel has picked up signs of the beginning of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East as Arab states seek nuclear weapons to counter Iran, the Israeli defence minister has warned.
Moshe Ya'alon said Sunni Arab nations were not reassured by last year's nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and were making their own preparations for nuclear weapons.
"We see signs that countries in the Arab world are preparing to acquire nuclear weapons, that they are not willing to sit quietly with Iran on brink of a nuclear or atomic bomb," Mr Ya'alon said.
The defence minister gave no evidence to back up his claims but Israel closely monitors the military activities of its Arab neighbours.
Israel and the Sunni Gulf countries do not have diplomatic ties but are known to talk through back channels and are united in their opposition to Iran.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the start of talks on Iran's nuclear programme, in Lausanne, Switzerland
Advocates of the nuclear deal, including President Barack Obama, argue that the agreement heads off a Middle East arms race as Iran's nuclear capabilities are rolled back.
But Mr Ya'alon said Iran was liable to break the agreement as their economic situation improves with the lifting of international sanctions. "If at a certain stage they feel confident, particularly economically, they are liable to make a break for the bomb."
Even if the agreement for Iran to limit its nuclear enrichment holds, Mr Ya'alon said its 15-year expiry date was "just around the corner".
He did not specify which Arab nations were making nuclear preparations but Saudi Arabia, the leader of the Sunni states, is considered the most likely candidate.
Its vast oil wealth could help fund a nuclear programme while its ties with Pakistan, a nuclear power, could provide technical expertise.