"Un" Comfortably Numb

September 29, 2014

This past week had many events which in days (long) gone by would have been shocking.  By today's standards almost nothing is shocking anymore.  It is as if in the words of Pink Floyd, we are now "comfortably numb".

On the international scene, "we" (the U.S. and several Arab states) finally got their wish and bombed Syria.  In fact, the first night of bombings consisted of "tonnage" equal to ALL of the bombings in Iraq for the last 30 days ...I guess there was an urge to make up for lost time?  The French have been in and out of the coalition and now the British parliament has voted to let bombs fly.  The bombing of Syria has been an agenda item since at least last November, we are effectively again at war while Congress does not even want to vote on it for fear of the upcoming elections. 

In response, Vladimir Putin finally came out and said what we all knew was coming, restricting gas supplies to Europe and "no gas" for Ukraine.  Russia also announced potential "asset freezes" of foreign investments.  This may be of more interest than was previously thought as Rosneft announced this past week they "struck significant oil" in the Arctic, maybe even bigger than the Gulf of Mexico ...with business partner Exxon Mobil.  Could this asset be "frozen out" and confiscated after the hard work and capital expensed to make the discovery? 


To top things off, Russia held an enormous practice of war games which included 160,000 soldiers,130 planes and 85 ships.  In just the past week alone there were several "incursions" of NATO airspace by the Russians ...presumably testing and probing response times.  One must wonder how far the "pushing" will go until a real punch is thrown?

Here in the U.S. we had our first "beheading" at the hands of a disgruntled fired worker.  Threats of terror in New York, Paris and London have been issued by ISIS.  I personally wonder what public support will look like if an attack does take place?  Will the reaction be similar to that after 911 or will it be the opposite?  Will the public finally demand that we mind our own business?  Before moving on, as far as this beheading goes, I have many questions the press seems not to be asking or reporting on.  I know some of my questions may not be politically correct but they are real questions.  Was this a religious action or just some guy enraged because he lost his job?  The way I see it, this is "spectacular news" yet the press seems very silent on it, why?  There is nothing anywhere describing the victim(s) other than being "women", was race a motive?  The second victim was saved because of a gun, what does this event do to gun control arguments?  Without getting too political, why has there been no statement whatsoever from president Obama?   He did praise a Muslim cleric while speaking to the UN who had previously declared Fatwa on American troops ...but zero on this incident.  Are "beheadings" going to become a casual "ho hum" thing in the U.S.?  I cannot even believe we are just a couple of days past the news ...and it's gone already!

Another bombshell this past week came from a "disgruntled worker" at the Fed.  Carmen Segarra was hired by the NY Fed in 2011 to strengthen their oversight division, she was fired in 2013.  Tapes showing meek oversight of Goldman are about to rock Wall Street  Ms. Segarra alleges inside pressure from the NY Fed to be more lenient with Goldman Sachs.  There is one fly in the ointment, apparently she has 45 hours worth of tapes to substantiate her claims.  Ms. Segarra is bringing suit against the NY Fed and Goldman Sachs for her firing.  You must wonder how this one would go if it goes to court?  I can only imagine what was said and "how" they it was said?  Would anyone be "shocked" if Goldman Sachs was treated by their overseer with favoritism or leniency?  If I had to guess, both The Fed and Goldman will offer "a deal" for her (and the tapes) to go away.  Who knows, maybe she will not accept ANY offer and prefer to go to court, win or lose to have her tapes heard and made public?  What a breath of fresh air this would be.

We also saw Bill Gross leave PIMCO and Eric Holder resign as attorney general.  Why would Eric Holder resign now?  Why not two or three years ago?  Fast and furious gun running, Benghazi, the IRS scandals, you name it he gave it a pass.  He coined the term "too big to jail" regarding our financial system and even gave the slam dunk case of Jon Corzine a pass.  To answer the question of "why now?", I can only guess that as the wheels fall off the markets and financial system he is expecting a "pardon" from president Obama.  I can't imagine there could be anything big enough or public enough currently in hiding that could force him to resign ...otherwise he would have done this multiple times already.  No, I am convinced he has already cut a deal and a "pardon" is part of it.  My only question is which firm now bids the most to buy him?

I normally don't often write about so many different topics at once, rather I prefer to pick one or maybe two and dig deeply into them.  My effort with this piece is to show how nothing much today elevates to the category of "shocking".  The American public is comfortably numb no matter what the topic, how perverted or grotesque ...we simply sleep on.  It could be argued the population is "un" comfortably numb because they know something is wrong but not exactly what it is.  Digging for the truth and actually thinking for oneself is now above and beyond the daily call of duty.  Unfortunately I can only envision our being awakened coming from an external force so "in your face" it cannot be ignored.  When all is said and done and after so many events that once would have caused outrage have done nothing…maybe the final causal event will be benign beyond belief? 


Courtesy of http://blog.milesfranklin.com/

Bill Holter writes and is partnered with Jim Sinclair at the newly formed Holter/Sinclair collaboration. Prior, he wrote for Miles Franklin from 2012-15. Bill worked as a retail stockbroker for 23 years, including 12 as a branch manager at A.G. Edwards. He left Wall Street in late 2006 to avoid potential liabilities related to management of paper assets. In retirement he and his family moved to Costa Rica where he lived until 2011 when he moved back to the United States. Bill was a well-known contributor to the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) commentaries from 2007-present.

1 cubic foot of silver weighs approx 655 pounds whereas 1 cubic foot of gold weighs more than half a ton.