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div class=field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item evenpAll things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. – Friedrich Nietzsche/p
h2Everyone Except Me Should be emOpen/em/h2
pBeing labeled as emopen/em or emtransparent/em is a great public relations strategy. Executed effectively it gets ditto heads to feel like they are part of a movement and spread your propaganda./p
pHowever actually being transparent is often a poor business strategy. /p
pWhen WordAds opened up someone in the comments suggested that they should win by being open like Google. I read that and laughed. a href=http://cdixon.org/2009/12/30/whats-strategic-for-google/Where Google is losing you can count on them pushing the open label in order to build momentum/a amp; destroy the asymmetrical information advantages of existing market leaders. But where Google leads non-transparency is the norm./p
pA few examples amp; comparisons:/p
ulliClaiming to run an open auction, while running obfuscated quality metrics that price gouge advertisers.
/liliAt the same time Google is trying to push social sites to offer transparent data, they decided to block some Google search referral data (unless you are paying for the clicks, then you get that data).
/liliWhen planning some of the features behind Google+ one of their employees wrote a book about the social circles concept with Google’s blessings. Then, emafter/em he wrote the book, a href=http://www.thinkoutsidein.com/blog/2011/07/why-i-left-google-what-happened-to-my-book-what-i-work-on-at-facebook/Google revoked permission to publish it/a!
/liliNuking affiliate links of some websites amp; then investing in Viglink, a network that automatically turns links into affiliate links.
/liliBurning some networks of websites for being doorway pages amp; then investing in the Whaleshark Media roll up amp; launching Google Places.
/liliNuking some UK financial comparison sites for link buying amp; then buying BeatThatQuote.
/liliSuggesting 60 or 90 days of penalty is a reasonable penalty for sketchy links amp; allowing BeatThatQuote to rank 2 weeks after penalizing it without cleaning up any of the paid links.
/liliAndroid is emopen/em but internal Google emails revealed that carriers were getting wise to Google using compatibility as a club.
/liliNot sharing revenue share stats with AdSense partners for a half-decade.
/liliWhen websites are nuked they are frequently given no explanation. Worse yet, their content often re-appears in the search results on some other domain that stole it, in many cases while being wrapped in AdSense ads.
/liliArbitrarily making it hard to export AdWords campaigns to other services (amp; making it against the TOS to do same via the API).
/liliThe Panda update was needed to rid the web of garbage content. And yet Google is pre-paying Demand Media to post videos on YouTube. Since the Panda update downstream Google traffic to YouTube has more than doubled amp; a href=http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-were-we-watching-this-year-lets.htmlYouTube is serving over a trillion streams per year/a!
/liliIn spite of a href=http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/49843-authors-guild-files-for-class-certification-in-google-case.htmlnot having permission to do so/a, a href=http://paidcontent.org/article/419-back-to-square-one-in-the-google-books-settlement/Google has been scanning books for nearly a decade now/a. Yet whenever Google goes to court they try to get the court documents sealed so that their statements couldn’t be used against them.
/li/ulh2Judge, Jury, Executioner/h2
pCalls for transparency in SEO may sound great on their face, but once you peal back the covers the absurdity is laughable. If Google didn’t discriminate against certain types of players amp; if Google didn’t compete in the very markets that it judges then perhaps transparency would be a good idea./p
pHowever Google is perhaps the single biggest direct competitor in many markets, so to be fully transparent with them a href=http://www.seomoz.org/blog/aaron-wall-and-i-debate-the-open-discussion-of-webspam#jtc163233when they are the opposite with you/a is a naive business strategy: /p
blockquotepI also disagree that outing each other would make the industry less like a mafia, because SEOs aren’t the mafia. SEO is a symbiotic marketing channel reliant on Google, until the next big search engine/method comes along. In a mafioso analogy, Google would be the mafia – as they control the market. Removing all webspam wouldn’t necessarily create better search results or a fairer market, as Google still decides who wins and who loses. The biggest winner being Google itself, the next level being their friends./p
pSecrecy is also the cornerstone of all marketing channels. Social Media for instance works in a similar way to SEO, except they have secret voting methods rather than secret linking methods. You don’t see major social media companies outing a rival’s voting methods, as it would shine a torch on their own methods. Even outside of marketing, McDonalds probably worked out KFC’s magic blend of herbs and spices decades ago, but it’s not in their best interest to tell everybody./p
pOuting webspam helps an SEO blog to keep their UVs up and their VCs happy. It helps a failing newspaper to appear modern and edgy, whilst allowing the contributor to launch a protection racket off the back of another company’s misery./p/blockquote
h2Do You Want SEOs to Seem More Professional?/h2
pHow often do you see tier-1 public relations firms marketing themselves by smearing other PR firms? /p
pYou might see a company like Google hire a PR firm a href=http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2011/12/09/browser-study-sheds-light-on-firefoxs-insecurity-and-google-approves-this-message/to push a bogus study to smear the security of a competitor/a, but you rarely (if ever) will see one PR firm smear another in the media./p
pWhile some of the more intellectually challenged members of the SEO industry a href=https://twitter.com/#!/mikehoward/status/148392622283694080associate search spam with molesting children/a (talk to Google about that after their recent Chrome fiasco), those with a bit of intelligence and/or experience realize that many of the issues are gray and murky. What one person considers as spam one day a href=http://www.seobook.com/reddit-distilled-virantethey later sell as advanced months or years down the road/a. The ecosystem a href=http://www.seomoz.org/blog/aaron-wall-and-i-debate-the-open-discussion-of-webspam#jtc163137isn’t some static black amp; white code/a:/p
blockquotepThe question is less whether black hat and webspam are a good thing or not, but if Google is the unbiased and benevolent instance who shall make the rules. Google is a business and persuits its very own interestes, since it is aware of its market power with a lot of arrogance, aggresivity and obviously double standards. That was also Aaron’s point, but seomoz has been missing the point completly in the last time./p
pI expect an SEO portal/community to focus on how stuff actually works/can work, not to propagate how the monopolist does it want to work. It is their risk of doing business if they decide for an algorithm, not ours. It is our risk however, to decide whether to stick to the rules or not. And it’s not only about ethics but has several practical implications…/p/blockquote
h2Full Disclosure Required, Except From Us/h2
pOn paid links Google claims to require machine AND human readable disclosure. Then on their own site they use a href=http://ppcblog.com/fbf0fa-now-you-see-it%E2%80%A6or-maybe-not/an ad color background that literally fades to white/a on many monitors. Maybe it is legitimate that they are only able to few some of the users some of the time. But some of their ad initiatives have 0 disclosure at all. None./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/flight-search-disclosure.jpg //p
pThat is now a href=http://consumertravelalliance.org/?p=629part of the organic search results/a, but is that a paid ad? /p
pYou wouldn’t know by looking at it, but a href=http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970203686204577116700668483194-lMyQjAxMTAxMDIwNjEyNDYyWj.htmlaccording to the WSJ/a it is: Google lists booking links to the airlines as advertisements, but the company declined to comment on how much money it makes from the arrangement./p
pThere is no disclosure that you are in a paid ad funnel until the very last click. And those who fail to pay are either unlisted, listed last, or have a broken booking process where their brand is arbitraged in an attempt to flip the click to somewhere else. a href=http://www.fairsearch.org/acquisitions/google-built-google-for-airlines/According to Leocha/a, “Google and the airlines have a sweetheart deal with each other, and the consumers are getting screwed.”/p
pIn the hotel market Google is also testing comparison ads amp; price ads./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/hotel-comparison-ads.jpg //p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/hotel-price-ads.jpg //p
pNotice how little they care about relevancy so long as they keep the click on Google or are paid for the referral. They rank the car rental company emAvis/em as a top Las Vegas hotel! And even the ad links that are sold off of that do not line up. Priceline pushes the Plazzo Luxury Suites amp; Booking.com pushes the Venitian./p
h2Retarding Investment in the Search Ecosystem/h2
pWhat do you suppose the above behavior does to cash flow amp; multiples of a href=https://flippa.com/2672588-6-year-old-hotel-reservation-website-80-yoy-increase-very-stable-top-rankingswebsites in that vertical/a? Of course it contracts them amp; retards investment. Who wants to a href=https://auctions.godaddy.com/trpItemListing.aspx?domain=hongkonghotels.orgstart a new hotel website at this point/a? What other verticals have investment held back by the fear of Google’s eventual entry? /p
pIf you only had to manage competing against other market competitors amp; staying inside Google’s editorial guidelines then investment isn’t that difficult, but if you have to stay within Google’s guidelines in the short term yet try to build a business that is sustainable even after Google enters amp; destroys the market it is far more difficult./p
h2Skimming the Cream/h2
pAt any time Google can enter any market and a href=http://reversemortgagedaily.com/2011/12/11/mortgage-licensing-shuts-down-some-of-googles-lead-plans/skim off the cream/a: An independent study from Leads360 showed consumers using Google’s comparison ads converted better than any other lead provider./p
pOther affiliate networks which do not own the search channel have to a href=http://www.leadconfidential.com/the-fraud-paradox.htmlfight through quality issues/a if they try to build similar scale./p
h2A Self-serving Bias You Can Count On/h2
pWhen Google enters a market it might buy out a competitor, buy out a supplier, bundle, a href=http://brianshall.com/content/google-are-pussiesuse predatory pricing/a, grant themselves superior search placement, adjust the relevancy algorithms and/or editorial guidelines, a href=http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/27/buysafe-sues-google-over-trusted-stores-service-fears-annihilation/violate IP/a, scrape 3rd party content, a href=http://beta.fool.com/seasonedgeek/2011/12/29/how-it-larry-page-has-avoided-prison/work with sketchy advertisers/a amp; publishers to undermine competing business models, or any combination of the above. /p
pThey are rarely transparent with their interests when they enter a market. Almost everything is labeled as a beta and just a test. They a href=http://www.bloomberg.com/video/71427180/promise to act appropriately/a amp; you may not be aware of the steamroller until you are under it. /p
h2Web Scrape Plus+ (Now With More Scraping)/h2
pGoogle the +1 button launched amp; Google+ launched Google highlighted a href=http://raventools.com/blog/forbes-reports-that-google-plus-will-be-universal-ranking-signal-then-pulls-the-article/how they would use the + button usage as a relevancy signal/a. Google recently started a href=http://mashable.com/2011/12/20/google-brand-pages-search/inserting + pages directly into the search results for brands/a amp; right from the very start a href=http://www.seobook.com/the-doorsthey were using it as a scraper website that would outrank the original content source/a. /p
pGoogle used the buy in from their promised relevancy signal to create a href=http://www.thegooglecache.com/white-hat-seo/how-to-buy-1178857-links-the-google-way/a badge-based incentivized system which acts as a glorified PageRank funnel/a to further juice the rankings of these new pages on a domain name that already had a PageRank 10./p
pI recently read a blog post about a href=http://www.seomoz.org/blog/google-plus-seohow anyone could do the above/a amp; the opportunity is open to everyone. But the truth is, I can’t state that something will become a relevancy signal that manipulates the search results in order to get buy in. Or, if I did something which actually had the same net effect, Google would likely chop my legs off for promoting a link scheme./p
pRecently the topic of Google+ as a scraper site came up yet again a href=http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_is_going_to_mess_up_the_internet.phpvia Read Write Web/a amp; on Hacker News a Googler stated that a href=http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3424457it was childish to place any of the blame on Google/a!!!!!! /p
pGoogle determines a href=http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/09/introducing-application-rich-snippets.htmlhow much information is shown near each listing/a amp; can create relevancy signals in ways that a href=http://www.seobook.com/free-lunchthings tied to Google/a get over-represented (a href=https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rovio.angrybirdslook at the +1 count here/a). When they do that amp; it destroys other business models *of course* a href=http://www.fairsearch.org/general/senate-calls-on-ftc-to-investigate-googles-business-practices/Google deserves/a a href=http://www.searchneutrality.org/foundem/google-written-response-senate-antitrust100% of the blame/a./p
pIt may be a href=http://www.seobook.com/search-engines-affiliates-publishersmore profitable for Google/a to a href=http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/12/google-tries-to-kick-authors-guild-out-of-court-in-book-case.arssqueeze out some of the players/a, but if a href=http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/11/at-web-censorship-hearing-congress-guns-for-pro-pirate-google.arsGoogle’s quest/a for a href=http://www.techworld.com.au/article/409347/google_plans_seek_books_lawsuit_dismissalfree content/a manages to destroy business models amp; the ecosystem as a whole then they are not a href=http://www.fairsearch.org/general/trust-us-can-we-still-take-google-at-its-word-which-one/doing what is best for the user./a/p
h2Things We Do Not Approve…/h2
pGoogle a href=http://thenextweb.com/google/2011/11/22/google-just-used-its-search-app-to-sneak-most-of-chrome-os-onto-the-ipad/can bundle themselves into markets/a, but when others do the same a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203413304577086463731021828.htmlit is a big no no/a:/p
blockquotepA Google spokesman said applications that are installed without clear disclosure, that are hard to remove and that modify users’ experiences in unexpected ways are bad for users and the Web as a whole./p/blockquote
pGoogle’s founding research a href=http://www.seobook.com/archives/000897.shtmlhighlighted how bad ad-driven search engines were/a amp; then Google’s core revenue engine of paid search was built on a href=http://news.cnet.com/Google,-Yahoo-bury-the-legal-hatchet/2100-1024_3-5302421.htmltheir violation of Overture’s patent/a. They keep a href=http://www.seobythesea.com/2012/01/ibm-assigns-patent-filings-to-google/buying swaths of patents/a to protect against a href=http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/12/british-telecom-sues-google-over-six.htmltheir other violations/a./p
pThe business model of violate amp; then buy protection has helped lead to a protection-racket styled marketplace in patents that makes the risk of innovation for smaller players so expensive that it drives them under./p
pWhere Google has gained a dominant position in a marketplace they can begin misdirecting for profit. Let’s say you link to your own location on Google Maps to drive traffic to Google amp; help your users locate your office. Well in some cases they then reciprocate by confusing users by putting an ad in your location bubble./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/an-ad-inside-your-ad.jpg //p
pOnce again, you are forced to buy your own brand unless you teach your customers (and prospective customers) to avoid Google products./p
h2Sure I May Have Failed, But at Least That Failure Was Transparent…/h2
pIf you are fully transparent against an arbitrary set of guidelines when the company that judges you also competes against you amp; brushes up against the limits of the DOJ amp; FTC then you might lose for no reason other than being transparent. And not only are you competing directly against Google, but the algorithms are a href=http://www.seobook.com/learn-seo/infographics/brand-branding-brands.phpbiased toward certain players/a./p
h2Creating a Two-tier Web/h2
pIn 2006 Google’s Eric Schmidt a href=http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/12/what-google-really-wants-net-neutralityadmonished others for attempting to create a 2-tier web/a: /p
blockquotepToday the Internet is an information highway where anybody — no matter how large or small, how traditional or unconventional — has equal access. But the phone and cable monopolies, who control almost all Internet access, want the power to choose who gets access to high-speed lanes and whose content gets seen first and fastest. They want to build a two-tiered system and block the on-ramps for those who can’t pay./p/blockquote
pBut when Google launched their Panda algorithm they did the same thing. /p
pTheir quality content thesis could have come across as being honest emif/em they weren’t still a href=http://www.seobook.com/follow-the-moneypre-paying Demand Media to upload content to YouTube/a./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/panda-revenge-time.jpg //p
pYou might get smoked by a Panda update or have your accounts arbitrarily frozen while operating at a 7 out of 10 level, and then you see a href=http://adage.com/article/digital/meet-google-s-biggest-u-s-search-advertisers/231434/Ask is Google’s biggest advertiser/a, a href=http://www.seobook.com/ask-and-thou-shalt-receivetheir arbitrage gets a pass/a, amp; that feed even monetizes misspelled searches for Google’s brand. /p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/barnabe-googe.jpg //p
pa href=http://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec11/risk-success12-11.htmlRisk is needed for adaptation/a, so some amount of risk is good, but…/p
ulliIf you invest in ultra-high quality content amp; then a href=http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/01/google-places-borrowing-yelp-iphone-app/someone else scrapes you and outranks/a you then your business model might not be sustainable.
/lilia href=http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/22/138576167/when-patents-attackGoogle’s approach to patents/a has helped feed into a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2011/jul/15/app-developers-withdraw-us-patentsa side current of risk/a for a href=http://furbo.org/2011/07/13/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-independent-developer/independent developers/a.
/liliFor many businesses the unknown Panda risk is every bit as damaging as a href=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14138267the great firewall of China/a. Each additional unknown kills x% of small new online businesses. If a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/opinion/13friedman.htmlunemployment is high/a, companies are not hiring amp; the bar for self-employment is too high then the web stagnates./li/ulpstrongIf the old established corporate competition needs to be as good as you to compete then there is little risk to being transparent if the competition is doing nothing beyond following you around. But if the playing field is tilted and the competition only needs to be 5% as good as you are to beat you (and can easily come from behind to copy any success you have) then full on transparency brings much more risk than potential profits. /strong/p
h2You Are the Ad/h2
pWe are moving into a media world where the content becomes ads amp; even how people interact with the ads and content becomes a part of the ad./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/ads-as-content.jpg //p
pFurther Google uses their data advantage to create other asymmetrical advantages. While a href=http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/07/11/how-banks-plan-to-compete-with-groupon/credit card companies sell personalized ads in network/a, Google is a href=http://venturebeat.com/2011/07/11/google-working-on-a-marketplace-for-advertisers-to-buy-and-sell-your-data/creating a marketplace to buy and sell user data/a./p
pEvery time you view a page and click an ad (or even don’t click an ad) a href=http://www.economist.com/node/21541706you are feeding highly personal data/a back to Google. And they will use it as they wish. Here they are saying thousands of people like eBay, which is of course plenty reasonable, except for the fact they claim the people voted for that specific page rather than the site as a whole. /p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/256gb.jpg align=left /img src=http://explicitly.me/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Aaron-Wall-+1-Fleece-Blankets1.jpg //p
pWhat’s worse is that sometimes they will put your picture next to a listing and a href=http://explicitly.me/how-to-get-a-celebrity-to-endorse-all-your-products-on-googleclaim that YOU PERSONALLY voted for a specific page/a amp; use that to market that item to your friends and contacts. The problem with this is that: /p
ullieven after you remove the vote for a site they still keep showing it
/liliyou may vote for site A amp; they will show your image as voting for site B
/liliwhen they show your picture they claim you voted specifically for the page being advertised (even if that page is promoting a scam or something else you wouldn’t endorse)/li/ulpOnce again, I will highlight that they use the votes against the wrong sites amp; pages and that they keep showing the votes even weeks after you remove them./p
pWhere is the transparency in that deceptive crap?/p
h2Others Are Just as Bad, But Are Not Monopolies/h2
pBut Aaron, you are just being a href=http://searchengineland.com/simpsons-future-google-104570hard on Google/a, why don’t you ever mention Ask or Yahoo! or Bing?/p
pI did mention Ask above. /p
pBing has done numerous a href=http://searchengineland.com/bing-travel-search-kayak-favoritism-google-wsj-105904self-serving things/a, including a href=http://marketingland.com/holiday-deals-sites-confirm-bing-dropped-them-just-before-black-friday-cyber-monday-332some that are flat out sketchy/a./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/bing-cyber.jpg //p
pYahoo! offers a useless buying guide for fish tanks that is nothing more than a paid pointer to Overstock.com.br /img src=http://www.seobook.com/images/yahoo-fish-tanks.jpg //p
pIf you click on their coupons tab on that fish tanks search Yahoo! shows you coupons for tank tops, which is pretty idiotic.br /img src=http://www.seobook.com/images/yahoo-training-tanks.jpg //p
pWhy is this Yahoo! Shopping amp; Yahoo! Deals product so ugly? a href=http://searchengineland.com/the-end-of-yahoo-shopping-company-substantially-outsourcing-to-pricegrabber-33251They outsourced it years ago/a. So it is a non-product amp; thus the integration can’t be anything but crappy./p
pWhy do Yahoo! amp; Bing typically get a pass? They own a fairly low search marketshare. Missing traffic from either or both of those is certainly significant enough to be felt, however even when they are combined it is still less than half of what Google controls in most markets. Market leaders are expected to operate in less conflicted amp; less self-serving ways than also ran players in their market do. If Microsoft would have had 10% or 15% marketshare for their operating system then it is unlikely their browser bundling would have come under such scrutiny./p
h2Transparency in The Real World/h2
pIn the past I highlighted how every form of media is manipulated in a href=http://www.seobook.com/media-literacy-seos-or-why-seo-outing-badWhy Outing is Bad/a, but I thought it would be fun to run through some other markets and highlight how transparency often exists only as an illusion (to lure in punters so they can be rooked)./p
pTrueCar aimed to a href=http://blog.truecar.com/2011/12/12/an-open-letter-to-the-automotive-industry-from-scott-painter-founder-ceo-of-truecar-inc/make that market more transparent/a by giving consumers pricing data online to remove some of the asymmetrical advantage dealers have amp; makes the sales process smoother for consumers. How does the automotive market respond? Honda issued threats to their dealers amp; now TrueCar has a hate video ranking for their brand./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/google-truecar.jpg //p
pThis nontransparency is not something new, but rather the way it has always been./p
pIt exists at every level of society. a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204058404577110541568535300.htmlCountries/a a href=http://abcnews.go.com/International/chinese-hack-us-chamber-commerce-authorities/story?id=15207642#.TvjQiPK8hREspy on one another/a amp; companies may chose to show different views of the world to different markets./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/revolution-vs-anxiety.jpg //p
pAnd what they do internally doesn’t match the story they share publicly. Look no further than a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304203304576448291349364376.htmlthe News/a a href=http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/hacking-was-endemic-at-the-mirror-says-former-reporter-2319039.htmlof the/a a href=http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/dirty_business_as_usual_at_new.phpWorld’s/a a href=http://www.alternet.org/story/151713/the_big_lie_at_the_heart_of_rupert_murdoch%27s_media_empire/?page=entirehacking/a a href=http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/7075673/what-the-papers-wont-say.thtmlscandal/a:/p
blockquotepNews International’s leading profit centre, the News of the World, was dependent on a very ugly culture of lawbreaking, hacking and impunity. This freewheeling, ask-no-questions attitude spread to other parts of the organisation, such as the Times and the Sunday Times, both of which used have used illegal or unethical techniques. Even more troubling, when senior News International management were confronted with evidence of wrongdoing, the company made false statements and took actions which prevented key evidence from reaching the public domain. /p/blockquote
iframe width=560 height=349 src=http://www.youtube.com/embed/tSWHzGRksvo frameborder=0 allowfullscreen=/iframep
The same company has not only been accused of hacking at some of its other news outlets (by its own employees no less) but was also a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/business/media/news-corps-legal-trail-in-the-us.html?partner=rssamp;emc=rssaccused of similar in other lines of business/a:/p
blockquotepBoth cases involve News America Marketing, an obscure but lucrative division of the News Corporation that is a big player in the business of retail marketing, including newspaper coupon inserts and in-store promotions. The company has come under scrutiny for a pattern of conduct that includes below-cost pricing, paying customers not to do business with competitors and accusations of computer hacking. /p/blockquote
h2Were The Robber Barons Transparent?/h2
pGoing back into history it is sort of hard to pick a starting point (one can go to the spice trade amp; orders that are unsealed at sea, or likely earlier than that) but to pick a somewhat recent starting point, we could a href=http://baselinescenario.com/2011/12/27/state-of-nature/look at the railroads/a:/p
blockquotepSo how did unnecessary, inefficient railroads get built? Because of government subsidies. In short, the federal government paid to build the railroads through massive financing subsidies and also gave them ample land grants. The trick to building a railroad was not knowing anything about railroads or even about business; it was having friends in Washington who could give you the right financing and land subsidies./p
pEven then, the railroads lost money. Not only was there insufficient demand for their services, but they were run by people who were generally incompetent. (For one thing, they didn’t even know their own costs of doing business.) Yet the people who owned the railroads made fabulous amounts of money (of which Stanford University is one symbol). The main way to do this was simple. The people who controlled a railroad (generally by putting up very little of their own money, thanks to the government subsidies) would also wholly own a construction company. They would cause the railroad to overpay the construction company to build the railroad—in effect transferring wealth from railroad stockholders and creditors into their own pockets/p/blockquote
pWhat did the Robber Barons invest in? In large part a href=http://www.financialsense.com/financial-sense-newshour/guest-expert/2011/08/27/01/andrew-gavin-marshall/the-bilderbergs-the-think-tank-behind-global-governmengovernment, media amp; educational institutions/a so that strongthey could help educate society on how to behave much more civilly than they have/strong./p
pThere are tons of marketing campaigns designed to educate society about the impacts of various companies. BP now a href=http://adage.com/article/news/bp-launching-national-ad-blitz-tout-gulf-recovery/231758/markets the gulf coast economy/a they plundered.br /img src=http://www.seobook.com/images/corporate-advocacy-advertisement.png //p
pATamp;T’s astroturfing campaign to acquire T-Mobile a href=http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/10/into-the-depths-of-atts-let-us-buy-t-mobile-astroturf-campaign.arswas so over the top that it actually backfired/a./p
pGet the facts styled campaigns are rarely about promoting a complete worldview.br /img src=http://www.seobook.com/images/brand-myth.png //p
pRemember the $500 million fine for Google from them pushing ads selling overseas Viagra in the US? Now they promote scaremongering ads against fakes from filthy labs.br /img src=http://www.seobook.com/images/google-viagra-safety.png //p
pCoca-cola runs emThe Beverage Institute/em amp; has doctors highlight how healthy soda is./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/corporate-advocacy-ad.png //p
pAt the same time, when Pepsi was sued over an alleged rat being in a can of Mountain Dew. Pepsi’s defense a href=http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/01/pepsi-says-mountain-dew-can-dissolve-mouse-carcasses/46868/claimed/a: the mouse would have dissolved in the soda had it been in the can from the time of its bottling until the day the plaintiff drank it turning the mouse into a ‘jelly-like’ substance. But don’t worry folks, it’s healthy. /p
pAt least we still have water. /p
pWhen they are not busy a href=http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/bolivia/leasing.htmlmaking it illegal to collect rainwater/a, Bechtel wants you to follow them on Twitter./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/corporate-advocacy-ads.png //p
pIt is hard to know what is in our food amp; those who label things as organic have to fill out more paperwork than a href=http://www.salon.com/2011/07/08/farmageddon/singleton/those who manufacture frankenfood/a. Then there are the baseline chemicals sold as biodegradable which are not. /p
iframe width=425 height=349 src=http://www.youtube.com/embed/cYO2k_o16E0 frameborder=0 allowfullscreen=/iframep
Oh well, at least we have insurance./p
pState Farm is a href=http://www.badfaithinsurance.org/the #1 ranked bad faith insurance company/a, but at least they upload amp; advertise irrelevant funny videos to YouTube to create brand signal for Google./p
pimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/so-fooony.png //p
h2Transparency in Everyday Life/h2
pOf course some of a href=http://topmassachusettsdeals.com/the worst affiliate offers/a, a href=http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/whitepages-identifies-the-ten-most-aggressive-call-spammers-of-2011-1601416.htmthe most aggressive sales calls/a amp; a href=http://www.jayweintraub.com/2011/12/because-we-all-love-a-good-online-marketing-scam.htmlother scams/a are designed to prey on ignorance of small print amp; rebilling, but even generally good businesses practice in asymmetrical skimming. /p
pA few recent examples:/p
ulliYou are reading this on a computer monitor right now, right? LCD manufacturers recently had to a href=http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/27/us-lcd-settlement-idUSTRE7BQ0KK20111227pay over a $553 million price fixing fine/a.
/liliSee a href=http://www.amazon.com/review/R15JDVMGOGGWMR/ref=cm_cr_rev_detmd_pl?ie=UTF8amp;cdForum=Fx2LS8V736IJ2ZJamp;cdMsgNo=5amp;cdPage=1amp;asin=B00005NIOHamp;store=magazinesamp;cdSort=oldestamp;cdThread=TxGA422HKSFPOZamp;cdMsgID=Mx3COSS6KZN7BYJ#Mx3COSS6KZN7BYJthis review/a about spam mail (the physical kind) from National Geographic.
/liliCell phone companies a href=http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1167660bill you for services you don’t even use/a and then there is a tax added a href=http://www.fortliberty.org/the-government-handing-out-free-cell-phones-and-youre-paying-for-it.htmlto subsidize handing out free cell phones/a.
/liliOne of the largest religious institutions was found to be associated with a href=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049647/BBC-documentary-exposes-50-year-scandal-baby-trafficking-Catholic-church-Spain.htmlillegally selling off hundreds of thousands of babies/a (after telling the single mother that their newborn child died). This process was going on through the late 1980′s!
/liliMedtronic surgeons which were paid over $60 million a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303627104576413663395567784.htmlheld back nasty side effects/a.
/liliOnline poker was made illegal in the US a few years back. The thesis for why it was made illegal was reinterpreted internally by the DOJ a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/us/online-gaming-loses-obstacle-at-justice-department.html?_r=2amp;pagewanted=allin September/a, but that wasn’t a href=http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/25/us-internet-gambling-idUSTRE7BO0HA20111225announced publicly/a until just after one of the Absolute Poker co-owner a href=http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/20/us-poker-fraud-plea-idUSTRE7BJ1DE20111220admitted his guilt/a. The public announcement a href=http://www.marketwatch.com/story/doj-online-betting-opinion-spurs-gambling-stocks-2011-12-27increased the stock price of numerous gaming companies/a, as a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203686204577112890018052440.htmlNevada gets ready for online poker/a.
/liliThis past holiday season Best Buy not only a href=http://adage.com/article/news/consumers-calling-buy-grinch-stole-christmas/231742/sold products they didn’t have/a, but in many cases when they did have them they charged a rate higher than the one advertised a href=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=199682unless you caught it/a amp; forced them to charge you the advertised price.
/liliWhen looking at my credit card bill I saw a scammy $22.99 charge on it for a credit report I have never ordered. I looked up information about the company offering that service amp; the #1 result (with sitelinks) was my darn credit card company’s website! They had to conduct a block on themselves, but if you don’t notice it they will steal $23 a month until you die.
/li/ulh2Is Our Financial System Transparent?/h2
pWhen one looks at the field of finance it is story after story of deception, nontransparency amp; lawlessness. It is a constant reminder that a href=http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/07/no-such-thing-as-business-ethics.htmlthere is no such thing as business ethics/a./p
ulliWachovia a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangslaundered $3.84 strongbillion/strong in drug money/a for a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/20/war-capitalism-mexico-drug-cartelsviolent drug cartels/a. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we also a href=http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2011/10/operation-fast-and-furious-scandal.htmlsold them weapons/a that wound up at murder scenes with our own border patrol dead amp; a href=http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-02/koch-brothers-flout-law-getting-richer-with-secret-iran-sales.htmlthe Koch brothers sold weapons to states that we brand as rogue./a
/liliBank of New York Mellon a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204879004577108630218485566.htmlripped off their clients with unsavory Forex rates/a: As investigators sought to determine whether the bank overcharged clients to execute their currency trades, a senior BNY Mellon executive nicknamed Rambo urged traders not to tell clients how much money they made on trading, according to the informant.
/liliA former Federal Reserve member a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204464404577118682763082876.htmlwrites about the Fed/a: No matter the legalistic interpretation, the Fed is, working through the ECB, bailing out European banks and, indirectly, spendthrift European governments. It is difficult to count the number of things wrong with this arrangement.
/liliBank of America recently had to pay $335 million a href=http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57346617/bank-of-america-settles-discrimination-suit-for-$335m/to settle a discrimination lawsuit against minorities/a, due to Countrywide (who is NOT on your side) charging juiced interest rates. Bank of America a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304447804576414222265248768.htmlhad to pay an $8.5 billion settlement/a to investors who bought some of the junk mortgages out the other end.
/lili What’s happened is that, almost overnight, we’ve switched from democracy in real-property recording to oligarchy in real-property recording. There was no court case behind this, no statute from Congress or the state legislatures. It was accomplished in a private corporate decision. The banks just did it. – a href=http://harpers.org/archive/2012/01/0083752Christopher Peterson/a
/liliThe financial markets a href=http://www.hussmanfunds.com/wmc/wmc111205.htmare becoming glorified crack houses/a: Frankly, I am concerned that Wall Street is becoming little more than a glorified crack house. Day after day, the sole focus of Wall Street is on more sugar, stronger sugar, Big Bazookas of sugar, unlimited sugar, and anything that will get somebody to deliver the sugar faster. This is like offering a lollipop to quiet down a 2-year old throwing a tantrum, and expecting that the result will be fewer tantrums. What we have increasingly observed over the past decade is nothing but the gradual destruction of the ability of the financial markets to allocate capital for the benefit of future growth. By preventing the natural discipline of the markets to impose losses on poor stewards of capital, and to impose interest rates high enough to force debtors to allocate the capital usefully, the world’s policy makers are increasingly wrecking the prospects for long-term economic growth.
/lili Companies are often a href=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/7974581/Burger-King-in-talks-with-private-equity-says-WSJ.htmlbrought private, leveraged up on debt/a amp; a href=http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php/11597-Corporate-Pension-Fund-shortfalls-weigh-on-recovery-Eric-Janszen?p=119321have their pension programs destroyed/a to a href=http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_15/b3979057.htmmake profits for private equity investors/a: Nowadays private-equity firms often spend hundreds of millions of their own money on an acquisition (BW — Feb. 27). Just as often, though, they load up the companies with debt and use the money to pay themselves special dividends and other fees that allow them to profit even if the company itself struggles. Then the backers take the company public, often pocketing the lion’s share of the offering.
/liliIndividuals who put in extra hours of work because they are sold on the promise of their options may also find a href=http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/26/skypes-worthless-employee-stock-option-plan-heres-why-they-did-it/those/a a href=http://allthingsd.com/20110628/exclusive-skype-employees-were-briefed-in-plain-english-the-internal-equity-incentive-plan-deck/disappear/a: Taking away the value of options that are vested means that the concept of vesting becomes bogus. It doesn’t matter whether the employee understood if this was the deal or not, it’s a scummy practice, and it’s ultimately self-defeating (both for the company and the industry as a whole). Who would go to work for Skype (or any PE-backed company) in the future?
/lilia href=http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/22/us-foreclosures-idUSTRE7BL0MC20111222Limitless fraud before the courts/a amp; dancing on the graves of the newly homeless: Court records show that the firm angered state court judges for alleged false statements and filing suspect documents. Arthur Schack, a state court judge in Brooklyn, in a 2010 ruling said that pleadings by the Baum firm on behalf of HSBC Bank, a unit of London-based HSBC Holdings, in a foreclosure case were so incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous that they should have been authorized by the late Rod Serling, creator of the famous science-fiction television series, The Twilight Zone.br /
The law firm said it would shut down after New York Times columnist Joe Nocera in November published photographs of a 2010 Baum firm Halloween party in which employees dressed up as homeless people. Another showed part of Baum’s office decorated to look like a row of foreclosed houses.
/liliThat theft of physical property a href=http://barnhardt.biz/is ongoing/a: Also announced over the weekend was the jaw-dropping, yet illuminating fact that the MF Global bankruptcy was fraudulently, nefariously and illegally drawn up as a Chapter 7 BK for a SECURITIES DEALER and NOT a commodity brokerage as it should have been. Look, MF Global was the second-largest non-bank FCM in the United States next to NewEdge which is the old FIMAT. If MF Global wasn’t an FCM, then there are no FCMs. Of course it was an FCM. It had $7.2 billion in customer seg funds as of August 31, 2011. And yet MF Global was immediately, from the get-go, put into Chapter 7 BK as a SECURITIES FIRM. This is fraud. MF Global’s BK should have OBVIOUSLY been established under Subchapter IV of the Chapter 7 code as a COMMODITY BROKERAGE.
/liliAnd as banking criminals literally steal money, destroy lives amp; undermine the rule of law a href=http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/12/measuring-the-financial-sector-2/to grow their profits/a sleazeballs like a href=http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/12/dear-jamie-dimon/Jamie Dimon/a think that the reason people hate them is envy.
/li/ulpThe above makes no mention of helping Greece hide governmental debt, bid-rigging bribes in Jefferson County, robosigning bogus foreclosure documents, and a host of other crimes. But one thing in common with all the above crimes is this: no jailtime for the banksters./p
pSince there is nothing stopping those criminals a href=http://www.truth-out.org/austerity-and-modern-banker/1325513814they keep up their crimes/a:/p
blockquotepBig banks represent the ultimate in concentrated economic power in today’s economies. They are able to resist all meaningful reform that could really change their compensation schemes. Their executives want to get all the upside while facing none of the true downside./p
pBut capitalism without the prospect of failure is not any kind of market economy. We are running a large-scale, strongnontransparent/strong, and dangerous government subsidy scheme for the benefit primarily of a very few, extremely wealthy people./p/blockquote
pimg src=http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2011/12/BAC%20Earnings.gif //p
pThe actions of the financial cartel are both obvious amp; predictable. And the damage they do a href=http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php/19599-The-Next-Ten-Years-%C2%96-Part-I-There-will-be-blood-Eric-Janszen?p=200282#post200282is felt worldwide/a:/p
blockquotepCredit-financed economic booms, by turns in private then public credit as one ratchets up the other over a series of booms and busts, are as irresistible to politicians as hookers and maids.br /
The failures of American FIRE Economy policies are behind the movements in Libya, Yemen, and Syria, as reflation measures, from quantitative easing to currency depreciation, steal purchasing power from low income families world wide, strongacting as the most regressive tax imaginable/strong. Simmering hatreds are exacerbated by the developing global crisis over oil supplies and costs.br /
The so-called debate about debt ceilings, spending cuts, and entitlements reductions is a red herring. The public debt crisis arose from the 2007 – 2008 private credit market crisis, not the government liabilities that have been building for decades. The mistake of both the left and the right is thinking that we can escape an output gap without facing up to the politically unpopular task of strongdemanding that creditors take a loss on loans taken out during the credit bubble era/strong./p/blockquote
pA creditor that makes bad loans deserves to go out of business. Their outsized compensation can’t be justified unless they are also made to eat their losses. But rather than holding them accountable for their own actions, a href=http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2011/12/19/inflation-is-key-to-euros-recovery/societies the world over/a a href=http://economicsintelligence.com/2011/08/11/the-economics-of-riots-and-austerity/absorb that pain/a. /p
pFascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power- Benito Mussolini /p
h2Slavery, Debt amp; Freedom/h2
pThere are currently a href=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952335,00.htmlmore slaves alive than at any point in history/a. And many people who are not slaves are still being a href=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2789498enslaved by crushing debt/a:/p
blockquotepMoney is a human construct. The fact that our money is now backed by nothing more than our collective future ability to produce relegates us to that of slaves./p
pBlood hours are a finite measure. Heartbeats./p/blockquote
pWhat’s in your wallet? Is it a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203686204577114530815313376.htmlthe new debt slavery card/a: A personal bankruptcy is supposed to cut borrowers loose from lenders and debt collectors, but Capital One Financial Corp.—one of the nation’s largest credit-card issuers—sometimes doesn’t want to let go./p
pa href=http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-29/citigroup-collides-with-death-in-indonesia-emerging-market-debt.htmlCitigroup has an effective strategy/a they employ in some 3rd world countries to deal with those who can’t pay:/p
blockquotepAfter dropping his younger daughter at school, Octa walked into Citibank’s credit card collection department on the fifth floor of the Jamsostek tower just after 10 a.m. Four hours later, he left the 25-story building slumped motionless in a wheelchair — a victim of what police allege was a violent assault by debt collectors. Driven to a nearby hospital in a Citibank car, Octa was pronounced dead on arrival. /p/blockquote
pUnfortunately, even if you stay out of debt, you are forced to a href=http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/taleb1/Englishsupport banking scams/a:/p
blockquotepbefore being bailed out by governments, banks had never made any return in their history, assuming that their assets are properly marked to market. Nor should they produce any return in the long run, as their business model remains identical to what it was before, with only cosmetic modifications concerning trading risks./p
pSo the facts are clear. But, as individual taxpayers, we are helpless, because we do not control outcomes, owing to the concerted efforts of lobbyists, or, worse, economic policymakers. strongOur subsidizing of bank managers and executives is completely involuntary./strong/p/blockquote
pIn the US the reason the government debt outlook is so bad is in part due to a href=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2831689overpaying for assets owned by the likes of Citibank/a:/p
blockquotepThe way the banks make money now is by hiding their losers off balance-sheet, or by forcing them on the taxpayers, and after having themselves declared systemically important, adjusting their on balance-sheet exposures accordingly, crashing the system and cashing out on their leveraged derivative bets, also at the taxpayers’ expense. /p
pIn real life, if there is such a thing anymore, all of the major banks are arguably insolvent. So, in reality, they’re not making any money at all, they are merely having it transferred to them by their political operatives in Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank. This, after all, is the modern purpose of the Congress, and has always been the purpose of the Federal Reserve System./p/blockquote
pimg src=http://publicintelligence.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/repeat-violators.png //p
pEven as they destroy savings, a href=http://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec11/stocks-jobs12-11.htmlkill jobs/a amp; undermine the competitiveness of the economy, why does the government continue to a href=http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1162830support such scams/a? Without the scams amp; cost-shifting a href=http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-influence-industry-supercommittee-members-are-lining-up-fundraisers/2011/09/06/gIQAa9BZAK_story.htmlthose in government/a wouldn’t have a href=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/01/05/bloomberg_articlesLXB3FG1A74E9.DTLas much wealth/a, a href=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=197792power/a amp; a href=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=200044influence/a. It is a href=http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-26/noda-s-urgent-task-is-tax-rise-as-japan-debt-swells-economy.htmldebt/a amp; a href=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=199695cost-shifting/a that a href=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2789363fuels them/a:/p
blockquotepgovernment and banks are stuck together like a couple of dogs screwing and we don’t know which is on top. Here, Republicans need government a href=http://www.oftwominds.com/blogapr08/solar4-08.htmlto finance war/a and Democrats need it to finance social programs. Both need it to finance both, as that is how government attempts to maintain power and influence over the people this day and time./p/blockquote
pThe congress a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204844504577100260349084878.htmlliterally sells insider tips to hedge funds/a:/p
blockquotepWhen Senate Democrats finally brokered a compromise over the proposed health-care law, a group of hedge funds were let in on the deal, learning details hours before a public announcement on Dec. 8, 2009./p
pThe news was potentially worth millions of dollars to the investors, though none would publicly divulge how they used the information. They belong to a select group who pay for early, firsthand reports on Capitol Hill./p/blockquote
pDue to the compounding nature of debt, if those at the top are not allowed to fail a href=http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/08/what-is-debt-%E2%80%93-an-interview-with-economic-anthropologist-david-graeber.htmlthen those at the bottom will fall hard/a:/p
blockquotepIn the past, periods dominated by virtual credit money have also been periods where there have been social protections for debtors. Once you recognize that money is just a social construct, a credit, an IOU, then first of all what is to stop people from generating it endlessly? And how do you prevent the poor from falling into debt traps and becoming effectively enslaved to the rich? That’s why you had Mesopotamian clean slates, Biblical Jubilees, Medieval laws against usury in both Christianity and Islam and so on and so forth./p
pSince antiquity the worst-case scenario that everyone felt would lead to total social breakdown was a major debt crisis; ordinary people would become so indebted to the top one or two percent of the population that they would start selling family members into slavery, or eventually, even themselves./p
pWell, what happened this time around? Instead of creating some sort of overarching institution to protect debtors, they create these grandiose, world-scale institutions like the IMF or Samp;P to protect creditors. They essentially declare (in defiance of all traditional economic logic) that no debtor should ever be allowed to default. Needless to say the result is catastrophic. We are experiencing something that to me, at least, looks exactly like what the ancients were most afraid of: a population of debtors skating at the edge of disaster./p
pAnd, I might add, if Aristotle were around today, I very much doubt he would think that the distinction between renting yourself or members of your family out to work and selling yourself or members of your family to work was more than a legal nicety. He’d probably conclude that most Americans were, for all intents and purposes, slaves.br /
Clearly any pretence that markets maintain themselves, that debts always have to be honored, went by the boards in 2008. That’s one of the reasons I think you see the beginnings of a reaction in a remarkably similar form to what we saw during the heyday of the ‘Third World debt crisis’ – what got called, rather weirdly, the ‘anti-globalization movement’. This movement called for genuine democracy and actually tried to practice forms of direct, horizontal democracy. In the face of this there was the insidious alliance between financial elites and global bureaucrats (whether the IMF, World Bank, WTO, now EU, or what-have-you)./p/blockquote
pimg src=http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ch1.gif /br /
Those who have the least often a href=http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/02/19/Poor-Give-More-to-Charity/give the most/a. a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7LzE3u7BwExcessive/a a href=http://biophilic.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-much-inequality.htmlincome inequality/a (especially when driven by fraud) leads to a a href=http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/moral-hazard6-11.htmlmoral/a and a href=http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/world-wide-mind/201111/the-turning-point-the-moral-example-uc-davis-studentscultural/a rot. Financial cartels amp; governments can only a href=http://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec11/risk-servitude12-11.htmlenslave people/a in a href=http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/18/first-steps-in-reforming-the-u-s-financial-and-tax-system/so much debt/a amp; a href=http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/07/20117313948379987.htmlhand out so much soma/a before they either a href=http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/09/people-are-close-to-revolt-views-from-afar/244731/revolt/a or simply a href=http://www.zerohedge.com/news/entire-system-has-been-utterly-destroyed-mf-global-collapse-presenting-first-mf-global-casualtylose/a a href=http://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec11/why-im-hopeful12-11.htmlfaith/a./p
p(On a related note, a href=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8987359/Americans-buy-record-numbers-of-guns-for-Christmas.htmlDecember saw record gun sales/a.)/p
pState actors a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embeddedamp;v=FBk1ogP18K0#have/a a href=http://capitoilette.com/2011/11/15/oakland-mayor-jean-quan-admits-cities-coordinated-crackdown-on-occupy-movement/repeatedly/a a href=http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/occupy-portland-protester-was-lying-on-the-ground-in-compliance-portland-police-continuously-beat-him-in-the-back-with-clubs-until-his-eyes-rolled-back-in-his-head-loses-use-of-right-arm.htmluse/a a href=http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/police-state-ows-other-crackdowns-part-of-national-coordinated-effort-bloomberg-defies-court-order-to-let-protestors-back-into-zuccotti-park.htmlviolence/a to try to encourage a similar response. Instead a href=http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/pepper-spray-art.htmlthey created a viral meme/a amp; a href=http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-i-stopped-worrying-and-learned-to-love-the-ows-protests-20111110#ixzz1the movement lives on/a./p
pOf course a href=http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=197814there are opposition research hacks/a willing to a href=http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/19/8884405-lobbying-firms-memo-spells-out-plan-to-undermine-occupy-wall-streetdig up dirt/a on anyone with wide reach who opposes the state-sponsored fraud: It will be vital,” the memo says, “to understand who is funding it and what their backgrounds and motives are. If we can show that they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way.” /p
pThe state a href=http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/mainstream-media-presstitutes-for-the-rich-and-powerful.htmlhas long manipulated mainstream media/a and has tools for a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networksspying on social networks/a, a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/11/us-justice-department-legally-hacked-twitterhacking accounts/a amp; a href=http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/157501-state-dept-shifts-digital-resources-to-social-mediaastroturfing online/a, but a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/world/us-military-goes-online-to-rebut-extremists.html?_r=1amp;pagewanted=allsock puppets/a can only go so far against reality./p
iframe width=420 height=315 src=http://www.youtube.com/embed/J8CqaHTygSc frameborder=0 allowfullscreen=/iframeh2Who Does 100% Marketing Transparency Help amp; Who Does it Hurt?/h2
pWe have a href=http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/is-the-sec-covering-up-wall-street-crimes-20110817an SEC that shreds over a decade of evidence/a (a href=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203935604577066242448635560.htmland engages in other illegal behaviors/a), a href=http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/11/banks-pressing-for-foreclosure-settlement-prior-to-investigations/a government that bails out the criminal enterprises/a amp; a court system that broadly a href=http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/06/a-license-to-lie-backdated/makes it nearly impossible to win a financial fraud lawsuit/a./p
pa href=http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-powerful-corporations-world.htmlThe biggest companies/a amp; a href=http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-02/koch-brothers-flout-law-getting-richer-with-secret-iran-sales.htmlthe biggest people in business/a at this point are simply a href=http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/01/settling-prosecutions-for-pennies-on-the-dollar-is-a-type-of-bailout.htmlabove the rule of law/a amp; a href=http://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec11/risk-rule-of-law12-11.htmlare not held accountable for their actions/a. Worse yet, a href=http://www.thenation.com/article/161057/wikileaks-haiti-let-them-live-3-daythe corrupt system has global influence/a./p
ulliIn 2004 a href=http://articles.cnn.com/2004-09-17/justice/mortgage.fraud_1_mortgage-fraud-mortgage-industry-s-l-crisisthe FBI warned/a that there was an epidemic of mortgage fraud and that it would create a crisis.
/liliMy administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks, a href=http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2009/04/obama-to-banker/the president told them/a.
/liliAnd, in spite of the FBI highlighting the massive mortgage fraud, and the above quote, the president (who is a horrible human being) aims to keep the population misinformed amp; ignorant, publicly stating that a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUBUw3e2Gk4what Wall St did wasn’t illegal/a!
/li/ulpa href=http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/obama-prosecuting-fewer-financial-crimes-than-under-either-bush-presidency.htmlimg src=http://www.seobook.com/images/obama-bankers.jpg //a/p
pHenry Kissinger has a famous quote about power: Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, ‘The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.’ [laughter] But since the Freedom of Information Act, I’m afraid to say things like that. Since then a href=http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0811/call_uncle_sam_5c130fdd-0e34-4b04-99e1-3d923ea3919e.htmlgovernment officials have become much more evasive amp; smooth talking/a. Unfortunately, a href=http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MK22Ak01.htmlfreedom of the press only goes so far/a:/p
blockquotepthis is how the much-lauded freedom of the press myth in the US actually works. If you perform the job of an actual journalist, telling truth to power, forget about attending press conferences at the White House, Pentagon or State Department. You won’t even be admitted in the building./p/blockquote
pWhen you ask for total market transparency it changes nothing with the criminality at the top, but it does a href=http://boingboing.net/2011/08/12/south-korea-to-abandon-real-name-internet-policy.htmlcreate a juicy data source/a a href=http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/crime_checker/baltimore_city_crime/city-police-are-investigating-another-home-invasionfor criminals/a while a href=http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57324779-281/doj-lying-on-match.com-needs-to-be-a-crime/harming/a a href=http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110805/02595015400/police-city-use-ridiculous-cyberstalking-claim-to-try-to-identify-jail-creator-mocking-videos.shtmlpersonal/a a href=https://www.eff.org/press/archives/2011/07/08civil/a a href=http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security-technology-and-liberty/wtf-what-fawkesliberties/a amp; a href=http://www.truth-out.org/recognizing-unpeople/1325894936unpeople/a a href=http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2011/08/04/real-names.htmlwith limited power/a:/p
blockquotepThe people who most heavily rely on pseudonyms in online spaces are those who are most marginalized by systems of power. “Real names” policies aren’t empowering; they’re an authoritarian assertion of power over vulnerable people. /p/blockquote
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