Posted by: tristar3research | January 4, 2011

China Cuts Exports of Rare Earths by 35% in H1 11

Sorry, China controls 95% of rare earth production according to the Wall Street Journal, and so “Houston, we have a problem” – no longer is our oil demand pushing us overseas into ill-advised adventures, now look at the rare earth problem.

Resource Wars - A Growth Industry!

China cut its quotas on first-half exports of rare-earth metals around 35%, a move likely to feed trade tensions and concerns among global buyers after an even deeper cut late this year. China supplies around 95% of the world’s rare-earth metals, which are used in high-tech batteries, television sets, mobile phones and defense products. Beijing’s decision to cut export quotas by 72% for this year’s second half sparked criticism that China was taking undue advantage of its position to raise prices. A supply crunch would have its deepest impact on Japanese technology manufacturers, such as Hitachi Ltd., but the problem extends further. Sumitomo Corp. and other companies process the metals and ship them world-wide, said Hallgarten.

As the Center for A New American Security points out in its “Natural Security” section,

Today’s global economy depends on the availability of a wide-range of non-fuel minerals that are essential for the manufacture of everything from aircraft to computer screens. Consider that a modern automobile can contain up to 39 different minerals, according to the National Academies of Science. Despite the importance of these resources, including for defense systems, the vulnerabilities of the global supply chain is not well understood. It is hard to know exactly how shortages of these minerals would affect the U.S. economy, but it is possible to imagine a scenario similar to that of oil markets. The United States is limited in how much leverage it is willing to exert over a nation such as Saudi Arabia, which is crucial to global oil supplies and the U.S. economy; there may be similar constraints in dealing with major suppliers of some minerals in the future.

US Rare Earth Production Fell Off Late Last Century

The US faces a critical minerals shortage highlighted by its complete reliance on imports for at least 19 different minerals today. Dr. John Lee of the Hudson Institute explains in Forbes that China’s dominance is not by accident: China’s status as the dominant supplier has not been an accident. Realizing the growing importance of these metals, Beijing has spent the best part of the past sixteen years attempting to control the market in the supply of these materials. While state-owned Chinese mines were able to mine these metals at much cheaper prices than foreign competitors–in the process pushing these competitors out of the market–foreign governments and corporations were content to increase their reliance on Chinese suppliers.

Leap Frogged by China & Worse

Of course, as Dr. Lee details, industrial espionage is a lot easier to accomplish if foreign producers are effectively blackmailed to produce advanced products in your home country, bringing capital, jobs and intellectual property to your doorstep. How’s that for Import Substitution Industrialization?


Okay, Goldman is party-ing again like its 1999! Woo Hoo! Virtual Debt Piles Up in Zenga Debtors!

Virtual Zenga Debt Booms!

As if the absurd bonuses are justified by the zero risk ticker boy errands that Goldman runs for the private banker Fed, then comes more SEC humiliation. “Hey, let’s rig a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ that exploits the 499 investor limit on high net worth deals and bubble up a $50B valuation for Face(steal)Book! We’ll make almost $3B in “commissions” for a Ponzi scheme. These speculators get material non-public information (according to DealBook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin) and all lockups, trading restrictions, and prohibitions are LIFTED “if” the company in question goes public. Of course, there’s ALREADY a secondary market for Facebook, Sorkin confesses.

Into the bubble stream, the “orderly aftermarket” will propel the Facebook valuation over $100B!! Let the retail investor be the sucker AGAIN! HAHAHAHA!”

Wall Street's Stock Market Manipulation is a Monster Bubble that Dwarfs 1999's Tech Absurdity

According to the NY Times, “Goldman Invests in Facebook at $50 Billion Valuation.” This investment (along with a reinvestment of $50 million by Digital Sky Technologies (a Russian investment firm already invested to the tune of $500m) catapults Facebook into a competition with other new media companies like Google, Twitter and others in the over-hyped “social media” space. Oh, these sites are time sucks and expose a lot of your private information (to everyone) but the data can be aggregated and sold expensively to marketing firms (with your tags on your preferences, regardless of your permission settings) or ol’ Uncle Sam (without your permission, just Homeland (In)Security- don’tcha know??)

Well, someone at ZD-Net (a computer industry publication) has figured it out. Dennis Howlett’s article over at ZD-Net points out the insanity:

“Serious question here: neither article indicates what exactly gives Facebook it’s value. In my post to the other article, I assumed it is advertising, but I can’t even justify $50M on that business model. What exactly is being valued at $50B? Someone please explain this to me. Or is it indeed a pump and dump?”

Reggie Middleton is right on in his analysis that this is nothing more than a commission generation scheme, oh, and the HOUSE (i.e. Goldman) ALWAYS WINS:

Commissions of $3B Bypass SEC Regs

“Ya Damn skippy, sailor. Howlett hit it right on the head. What type of revenues, profits and growth justify a $50 billion valuation for a very young, private company with sparse net cash flows? The type that are marketed by those who are doing God’s work! now, let’s build on Mr. Howlett’s and Dignan’s ideas the BoomBustBlog way. We shall begin with the $1.5 billion dollar fund that Mr. Howlett alleges GS is creating around the Facebook cash injection. Yesterday’s BoomBustBlog rticle, Facebook Becomes One Of The Most Highly Valued Media Companies In The World Thanks To Goldman, & Its Still Private! clearly detailed why and how many of these private equity and client funds routinely gut investors (we’re talking up to 92% in losses!) while Goldman (and other GPs) still walk away with profits (see Even With Clawbacks, the House Always Wins in Private Equity Funds).”

Posted by: tristar3research | December 16, 2010

Indian Biotechnology Industry: $5 Billion Market Growing over 15% Annually

The life sciences industry in Asia clocked a growth of 3.4% to record revenues of $110.89 billion in the calendar year 2009, with nearly half the revenues — $54.24 billion — coming from listed companies, according to a survey by BioSpectrum Asia. With revenues of $22 billion, Chinese publicly listed companies grew the fastest at 52%, followed by India at $21 billion. South Korea, Australia and Singapore followed India in terms of revenue.[1]According to a recently released “Vision 2020” report produced by ABLE and PriceWaterhouseCoopers at the request of India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the global bio-pharmaceutical market could be worth $319 billion by 2020 with India expected to capture a 10 percent share.[2]

The drive to acquire generics has been the catalyst with medicines worth over $ 80 billion going off patent at the US Patent and Trademark Office between 2011 and 2013, driving big pharmas to India, the largest producer of generic medicines after the US and European Union. “Ninety-five per cent medicines used in India are generics made in the country.[3]FICCI-IMS health paper on the global generic market revealed that India and possibly China will take control of the generic market through aggressive Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and fine chemicals intermediate supply chain strategies. The paper points out that there are significant opportunities as well as risks and challenges for an increased play in the generics market.A study amongst industry leaders shows that total manufacturing cost per unit in Indian manufacturing facility is half compared to that of European facility. R&D cost is substantially lower in India and China, thus forcing key pharma players to look for a shift in their R&D bases to these two countries.[4]

The size of the Indian market represents between 4 and 5% of the global market, growing at 15-17% annually, according to industry consultants and home-based Indian market research.[5]The Indian biotechnology sector is one of the fastest growing knowledge-based sectors in India and is expected to play a key role in shaping India’s rapidly developing economy. With numerous comparative advantages in terms of research and development (R&D) facilities, knowledge, skills, and cost effectiveness, the biotechnology industry in India has immense potential to emerge as a global key player.

[1] Life Sciences: India No.2 Behind India, Rediff Business,, 7 July, 2010 –

[2] US-India Business Council to focus on biotechnology, Economic Times of India, 10 September, 2010 –

[3] Sellout syndrome, Sanchita Sharma, Hindustan Times, 31 May, 2010 –

[4]Low cost forcing key pharma players to shift base to India & China: FICCI-IMS health paper, PharmaBiz, Mumbai, 30 November, 2010 –

[5] Top Biotechnology Start-ups in India, chillibreeze, byUma Makhija, July, 2010 –

Posted by: tristar3research | June 1, 2009

$1B for Swine Flu Virus- More Pharmaco Feed to Come!

Companies poised for swine flu vaccine drive, reports PharmaFocus, in a $1B Obama-led drugmaker support program:

Hey, Glaxy, I smell dollas!

Hey, Glaxy, I smell dollas!

Pharmaceutical manufacturers now have access to the swine flu seed virus that can be used to start full-blown production of a vaccine. But companies are still awaiting the go-ahead from public health agencies. The seed virus has been developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and sent to various drugmakers, including Sanofi-Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline. Open-ended federal contract: Sanofi is among a group of companies that are the recipients of a $1 billion contract awarded by the US Dept of Health & Human Services to manufacture vaccines against the H1N1 flu strain.

Do NOT call me Swine Flu!

CDC: Do NOT call me "Swine Flu"!

Turns out, this “Novel Flu A” virus has origins in European swine flus from the early 1990s, according to the Columbia University College of Physicians, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine this month.

Geographic Dependence, Surveillance, and Origins of the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Virus: In April 2009, a new strain of human H1N1 influenza A virus was identified in Mexico. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of May 25, 2009, the virus had spread to 43 countries, with 12,515 reported cases and 91 associated deaths, and it has been assessed as having pandemic potential. Genomic analysis of the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus in humans indicates that it is closely related to common reassortant swine influenza A viruses isolated in North America, Europe, and Asia The segments coding for the polymerase complex, hemagglutinin, nuclear protein, and nonstructural proteins show high similarity with the swine H1N2 influenza A viruses isolated in North America in the late 1990s. H1N2 and other subtypes are descendants of the triple-reassortant swine H3N2 viruses isolated in North America. They have spread in swine hosts around the globe and have been found to infect humans. The segments coding for the neuraminidase and the matrix proteins of the new human H1N1 virus are, however, distantly related to swine viruses isolated in Europe in the early 1990s.

Nucleotide Identities of Human and Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Viruses from within and outside North America, Europe, and Asia Nucleotide Identities of Human and Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Viruses from within and outside North America, Europe, and Asia

Bad News: According to researchers at Berkeley, “viruses are sneakier than we thought.” Viruses are molecular marauders, plundering cells for the resources they need to multiply. Of central importance for viruses is the ability to commandeer cellular gene expression machinery. Several human herpesviruses put the breaks on normal cellular gene expression to divert the associated enzymes and resources towards their own viral genes (a process that is normally protective, called polyadenylation). Cells decode genetic information in a process called transcription, during which the DNA is unzipped and read by enzymes. It’s going to be an interesting fall flu season…

Here’s a non-defence: “There were no civilian deaths because the U.N. wasn’t there to see the massacres!”Sri Lanka faced new calls for a war crimes inquiry today after an investigation by The Times revealed that more than 20,000 civilians were killed – mostly by the army – in the latter stages of the war against the Tamil Tigers. The army dismissed that figure as an exaggeration and repeated the Government’s assertion that not a single civilian was killed by government forces in the final assault on the northeastern conflict zone.Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, a military spokesman, declined to say how many civilian deaths had been confirmed, but insisted that they had all been caused by the Tigers, also known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). “This is an exaggerated story. Whoever has put up this report has been paid by the LTTE,” he told The Times. “There can’t be any civilians killed by government forces in that area. How can the UN know about this? It had no people on the ground.” The UN, however, described its figures as “well-informed estimates”, adding that it did not have “precise, verifiable numbers” because of a lack of access to the conflict zone and the camps holding refugees from the area.“The UN has publicly and repeatedly said that the number of people killed in recent months has been unacceptably high and it has shared its estimates with the Government as well as others concerned,” said Elisabeth Byrs, of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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Chevy Volt- The Taxpayer’s Car ! You Pay for It, You Own It!

UAW health care trust will own 17.5 percent of GM: David Shepardson and Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News

Okay, Gotta Deal!

Okay, Gotta Deal!

The United Auto Workers leadership council approved a package of concessions today with General Motors Corp. today that gives the union trust fund that takes over responsibility for retiree health care just 17.5 percent of General Motors Corp. stock, officials said today.The UAW stock deal is part of a concessions package reached between the union and the automaker (and the Obama Administration with a gun at their head!) It’s as bad as Denise Richards singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Wrigley last week- or maybe almost as bad as Mr. T— Timmy’s next!

UAW leaders meeting in Detroit Tuesday unanimously approved the deal; rank-and-file members are to vote Wednesday and Thursday. “It was a tough but necessary vote,” said Terry Everman, head of Local 599 in Flint.  The pact says GM will take back some facilities from Delphi Corp., its former parts arm now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. GM reportedly will take ownership of Delphi Saginaw Steering in Saginaw; Delphi Thermal Systems in Lockport, N.Y.; Delphi Powertrain in Rochester, N.Y.; Delphi Powertrain Systems facilities in Rochester, N.Y., and Grand Rapids; and Delphi Electronics and Safety in Kokomo, Ind.

This is the FINAL deal I am trying to force on you!! BooHoo!

This is the FINAL deal I am trying to force on you!! BooHoo!

The Treasury Department had blocked the sale of Delphi’s steering operations to GM. Delphi faces a Friday deadline to complete a deal acceptable to both GM and the Treasury to allow the Troy-based auto supplier to emerge from bankruptcy. GM has said Delphi’s creditors are the main stumbling block to Delphi emerging after 3 1/2 years under court protection. Under a proposed deal announced earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury and UAW, together, are to own 89 percent of GM’s stock, with 10 percent allocated to bondholders who hold $27.2 billion in bonds. Existing shareholders would get the remaining 1 percent.The UAW is to get $6.5 billion of preferred shares and a $2.5 billion note, plus warrants equal to 2.5 percent of GM’s stock.

Dead Vampires Refused a Nickel for a Dollar!

Dead Vampires Refused a Nickel for a Dollar! Aaargh!

Bondholders Balk on a Nickel for their $1.00 Paper -SURPRISE! The Obama auto task force has been in talks with bondholders about the offer, which many bondholders have said is inadequate. Some Wall Street analysts say the new equity would only give bondholders a nickel or less on the dollar for the bonds they hold. Corporatism at its finest with negotiations in the public realm- 10$ for $27B valuing GM at a quarter billion??? Good luck- dead by fall, at the latest.

“The president’s task force may be willing to up the amount of GM stock it awards to bondholders in an effort to increase participation in the bond exchange. A spokesman for an ad hoc committee of GM’s largest unsecured bondholders declined comment on the UAW agreement.”

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New Secure Chinese-controlled operating system ALSO Made in China:
Booyah! Credit due to The Dark Visitor !

So… There has been a lot of hype about the supposedly secure made-in-China OS called Kylin, from the Dark Visitor. I’d like to take a moment of your time to explain the backstory and provide some of the details that I was able to find out after downloading it and taking it for a spin. This all started with a May 12 Washington Post article titled “China blocks US from cyber warfare” by Bill Gertz.  The article starts off with a compelling bit:

China has developed more secure operating software for its tens of millions of computers and is already installing it on government and military systems, hoping to make Beijing’s networks impenetrable to U.S. military and intelligence agencies.

Operating license? Windows or Linux! Youre Under Arrest! (After You Pay Me!)

Operating license? Windows or Linux! You're Under Arrest! (After You Pay Me!)

I found this to be very interesting because it was the first time I had ever heard about this effort.  I was aware of Red Flag linux and Asianux but hadn’t heard of any made-in-China operating systems designed for security.  I was intrigued for sure and suprised to find out that the operating system can be downloaded in two iso files from  It took about four days to complete both of the downloads and about ten minutes to install in a VM. For a more complete back story, check out this article by Jonathan D. Abolins.

Mr. Tim Thomas at Dartmouth

UPDATE:  The author of this article makes a slight mistake on the title of Tim’s book calling it, Fighting the Virtual Dragon.  The title is Decoding the Virtual Dragon. Mr. Thomas has done extensive research into PLA cyber warfare and is the best in the business on PRC strategy.

Understanding China’s strategic approach to cyber warfare is essential to defending the United States from hackers, Timothy Thomas, an analyst at the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, said in a lecture on Tuesday in the Haldeman Center. The anonymous nature of cyber attacks often complicates cyber defense, Thomas said in the lecture.

Dartmouth lecture on cyber warfare

Posted by: tristar3research | May 20, 2009

Fed Seeks to Privatize SEC Securities Oversight Function

Oh, F*ing Great: The Fed – a privately controlled banking oligopoly, now much smaller than the ’80s – says the SEC, the premier investor protection agency, is no longer needed and is irrelevant. It is time for an American equity shareholder revolt!! Bloomberg spills the beans…

Of course, the Madoff “oversight” is nothing like the Mack “ignore” if you believe the testimony of a former SEC whistleblower with A LOT OF CREDIBILITY…“SEC ‘s Gary Aguirre took his battle with the SEC to Congress, sending SEC Chairman Cox as well as several prominent Senators detailed information on his termination, and the cover-up he alleges was its motivator.”

The Obama administration may call for stripping the Securities and Exchange Commission of some of its powers under a regulatory reorganization that could be unveiled as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said. The proposal, still being drafted, is likely to give the Federal Reserve more authority to supervise financial firms deemed too big to fail. The Fed may inherit some SEC functions, with others going to other agencies, the people said. On the table: giving oversight of mutual funds to a bank regulator or a new agency to police consumer-finance products, two people said. The 75-year-old SEC, chartered to oversee Wall Street and safeguard investors, has seen its reputation tarnished as some lawmakers blamed it for missing the incipient financial crisis and failing to detect Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme. (oh, sure, that’s a reason to ELIMINATE IT! Not improve it- how about employing a few people who know how to watch markets? Not lawyers!!) Any move to rein in the agency is likely to provoke a battle in Congress, which would need to approve the changes, and draw the ire of union pension funds and other advocates for shareholders. “It would be a terrible mistake,” said Stanley Sporkin, a former federal judge and SEC enforcement chief. “Whatever the SEC has done or didn’t do, it is still the premier investor protection agency around.”

I got so excited when Jeff Immelt actually KNEW my name!

"Kneel" "I got so excited when Jeff Immelt actually KNEW my name!" IDIOT!!

If the Fourth Estate or media is considered a “watchdog”, watch this…A WordPress blogger is spot on:

In what has to be a video testimonial to the absurdity of our “free market”, CNBS host Dennis “Kneel” shills for the economy in early 2008…Truly telling

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Posted by: tristar3research | May 13, 2009

WHO Investigates Claim that Swine Flu May Be “Human Error”

Updated: MI2? US rules out a man-made virus explanation, even as an accident, BEFORE allowing the World Health Organization (WHO) an opportunity to investigate. WHO Moved to deny the story fast, without trying to discredit the researcher who did the work- dismissive, though, at best, as this call explains:

WHO Denies H1N1 is a Human Created Virus:

CDC Says 100K Cases

Nature’s Special Coverage of the Swine Flu Virus:

U.S. Health Officials “Troubled” by Swine Flu- Hammers Young

Things that make you go, hmmm? Rattling around the blogosphere is this Bloomberg story:

Swine Flu May Be Human Error; WHO Investigates Claim, By Jason Gale and Simeon Bennett

The World Health Organization is investigating a claim by an Australian researcher that the swine flu virus circling the globe may have been created as a result of human error. Adrian Gibbs, 75, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu drug, said in an interview that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. Gibbs said he came to his conclusion as part of an effort to trace the virus’s origins by analyzing its genetic blueprint. “One of the simplest explanations is that it’s a laboratory escape,” Gibbs said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “But there are lots of others.”

The World Health Organization received the study last weekend and is reviewing it, Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s assistant director-general of health security and environment, said in an interview May 11. Gibbs, who has studied germ evolution for four decades, is one of the first scientists to analyze the genetic makeup of the virus that was identified three weeks ago in Mexico and threatens to touch off the first flu pandemic since 1968.

A virus that resulted from lab experimentation or vaccine production may indicate a greater need for security, Fukuda said. By pinpointing the source of the virus, scientists also may better understand the microbe’s potential for spreading and causing illness, Gibbs said.

Possible Mistake: “The sooner we get to grips with where it’s come from, the safer things might become,” Gibbs said by phone from Canberra yesterday. “It could be a mistake” that occurred at a vaccine production facility or the virus could have jumped from a pig to another mammal or a bird before reaching humans, he said.

Gibbs and two colleagues analyzed the publicly available sequences of hundreds of amino acids coded by each of the flu virus’s eight genes. He said he aims to submit his three-page paper today for publication in a medical journal. “You really want a very sober assessment” of the science behind the claim, Fukuda said May 11 at the WHO’s Geneva headquarters.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has received the report and has decided there is no evidence to support Gibbs’s conclusion, said Nancy Cox, director of the agency’s influenza division. She said since researchers don’t have samples of swine flu viruses from South America and Africa, where the new strain may have evolved, those regions can’t be ruled out as natural sources for the new flu.

No Evidence:  “We are interested in the origins of this new influenza virus,” Cox said. “But contrary to what the author has found, when we do the comparisons that are most relevant, there is no evidence that this virus was derived by passage in eggs.”

The WHO’s collaborative influenza research centers, which includes the CDC, and sites in Memphis, Melbourne, London and Tokyo, were asked by the international health agency to review the study over the weekend, Fukuda said. The request was extended to scientists at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris, as well as the WHO’s influenza network, he said. “My guess is that the picture should be a lot clearer over the next few days,” Fukuda said. “We have asked a lot of people to look at this.”

Virus Expert: Gibbs wrote or co-authored more than 250 scientific publications on viruses during his 39-year career at the Australian National University in Canberra, according to biographical information on the university’s Web site. Swine flu has infected 5,251 people in 30 countries so far, killing 61, according to WHO data. Scientists are trying to determine whether the virus will mutate and become more deadly if it spreads to the Southern Hemisphere and back. Flu pandemics occur when a strain of the disease to which few people have immunity evolves and spreads.

Gibbs said his analysis supports research by scientists including Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, who found the new strain is the product of two distinct lineages of influenza that have circulated among swine in North America and Europe for more than a decade. In addition, Gibbs said his research found the rate of genetic mutation in the new virus was about three times faster than that of the most closely related viruses found in pigs, suggesting it evolved outside of swine.

Gene Evolution

“Whatever speeded up the evolution of these genes happened at least seven or eight years ago, so one wonders, why hasn’t it been found?” Gibbs said today. Some scientists have speculated that the 1977 Russian flu, the most recent global outbreak, began when a virus escaped from a laboratory. Identifying the source of new flu viruses is difficult without finding the exact strain in an animal or bird “reservoir,” said Jennifer McKimm-Breschkin, a virologist at the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization in Melbourne.“If you can’t find an exact match, the best you can do is compare sequences,” she said. “Similarities may give an indication of a possible source, but this remains theoretical.”

The World Organization for Animal Health, which represents chief veterinary officers from 174 countries, received the Gibbs paper and is working with the WHO on an assessment, said Maria Zampaglione, a spokeswoman.

Genetic Patterns: The WHO wants to know whether any evidence that the virus may have been developed in a laboratory can be corroborated and whether there are other explanations for its particular genetic patterns, according to Fukuda. “These things have to be dealt with straight on,” he said. “If someone makes a hypothesis, then you test it and you let scientific process take its course.” Gibbs said he has no evidence that the swine-derived virus was a deliberate, man-made product. “I don’t think it could be a malignant thing,” he said. “It’s much more likely that some random thing has put these two viruses together.”

Gibbs, who spent most of his academic career studying plant viruses, said his major contribution to the study of influenza occurred in 1975, while collaborating with scientists Graeme Laver and Robert Webster in research that led to the development of the anti-flu medicines Tamiflu and Relenza, made by GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

Bird Poo: “We were out on one of the Barrier Reef islands, off Australia, catching birds for the flu in them, and I happened to be the guy who caught the best,” Gibbs said. The bird he got “yielded the poo from which was isolated the influenza isolate strain from which all the work on Tamiflu and Relenza started.” Gibbs, who says he studies the evolution of flu viruses as a “retirement hobby,” expects his research to be challenged by other scientists. “This is how science progresses,” he said. “Somebody comes up with a wild idea, and then they all pounce on it and kick you to death, and then you start off on another silly idea.”

The Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act of 1999 gutted Glass-Steagall and included many of the misnamed “Community Redevelopment Act”  provisions that semi- legitimized many of the lending insanities we saw earlier this decade. GLBA also cleared the way to create the financial conglomerates (“supermarkets” as Citi’s Sandy Weill called them) that are “TOO BIG TO FAIL”. Guess who was Treasury Secretary then? Larry Summers, our current head of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. A WordPress blogger, Commonsense, reminds us of the financial criminal history that necessitated Glass-Steagall in the first place.

Standing Strong- The Eight GLBA Opponents

Standing Strong- The Eight GLBA Opponents

Only eight senators would vote against the measure — lionized by its proponents, including senior staff in the Clinton administration and many now staffing President Obama, as the most important breakthrough in the worlds of finance and politics in decades. “It was more like a tidal wave in 1999,” the North Dakota Democrat recalled of that vote in an interview with the Huffington Post. “You’ve seen the roll call. We didn’t really have to deal with push back because they had such a strong, strong body of support for what they call modernization that the vote was never in doubt… The title of the bill was ‘The Financial Modernization Act.’ And so if you don’t want to modernize, I guess you’re considered hopelessly old fashioned.”

And the Oxdown Gazette further explains that GLBA is being extended under Tax Dodge Timmy and Heli Ben’s Public-Private Investment Initiative (PPIP) as an even greater fraud than GLBA:

Support HR 1207: We Need Fed Transparency!

Support HR 1207: We Need Fed Transparency!

The Obama Administration’s position is that if you set up this speculative looting scheme to occur in broad daylight, and claim it will unclog bank lending, it’s okay. And private investors who take advantage of the looting scheme should be regarded as “the good guys,” as Christina Romer suggested, while (non-elected) “officials” who concocted this scheme must be retained no matter what the public outrage. Has the Obama Administration really sunk to this? What possible excuses do they have?

The paaarty aint over till we SAY its ovah!

The paaarty ain't over 'till we SAY it's ovah!

1. The program would remove $500 billion to $1 trillion in toxic assets from the bank’s balance sheets, supposedly “unclogging” the credit system?

Okay, but so would just buying the assets outright without the private partnership subterfuge and subsidies to private investors.

2. The private participation allows them to bid to create a market. Cut the crap. Bidding may create a “market” but subsidized, risk-shielding bids do not create efficient prices.

3. The private participant bids improve the prices. More crap. Subsidized bids (or shifting risks of losses) may serve to increase bid prices (probably a goal here), but what is the public interest in that? And even if the point is to pay more for the assets to help reach the banks’ reserve prices, then just pay it. It’s a bad idea, and we don’t need sweetheart private deals to achieve it.

4. The partnerships will help leverage private investment dollars to help purchase the assets. Yes, and do so very inefficiently, by unjustly enriching the private investors, whose contribution is trivial.

Paulson: Pay a tenth of what we can stick it to the taxpayer for, but let us leverage our subsidized 0% borrowing 25 to1 to do the deals!

Paulson: "Pay a tenth of what we can stick it to the taxpayer for, but let us leverage our subsidized 0% borrowing 25 to1 to do the deals!"

5. The partnership avoids the problem in the original Paulson proposal of not knowing how much to pay for assets. How? If there are auctions, the banks will set reserve prices below which they will not sell. Either the auctions fail to meet those prices, or the subsidies will increase to close the gap been offers and bids. The incentives/subsidies will drive the prices and we still won’t know what the “correct” price should have been.

6. We need private equity participation because it has expertise in evaluating banks assets. More gibberish. The first thing we need is due diligence by our government. Go through the assets (or a set of them), check their histories and find out what’s in them. If you need more experts, hire them without the scam.

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