The Road To War

One of the major differences between President Trump and President Biden is that President Trump knows how to wage economic war rather than physical war. All it would take to bring peace to Ukraine and cripple Iran would be to resume domestic drilling in America on a large scale. Since oil is an international commodity, that would drop the price of oil. A dropped price in oil would weaken the economies of both Russia and Iran. So why hasn’t the Biden administration done this? Ukraine is great for money laundering and if the Biden administration resumed drilling, they would lose the ‘green’ vote.

On Friday, The New York Post reported:

NATO is mapping out “land corridors” to enable US troops and other allied forces to reach the front lines quicker in the event of a broader European ground war with Russia.

The move follows warnings from NATO leaders earlier this year urging Western governments to prepare themselves for a full-blown war with Russia sometime in the next 20 years.

The newly established troop expressways would see American soldiers landing at one of five designated ports.

They would then be deployed along pre-established routes depending on how a potential attack by Moscow would play out, NATO officials told The Telegraph.

The new routes would expand on existing arrangements that have been in place since last year when the alliance agreed to have 300,000 troops in a state of high readiness during a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Under the current plans, US forces would land at ports in The Netherlands before being transported through Germany and on to Poland by train.

If you are over 60, you remember the beginnings of the Vietnam War. The American involvement in Vietnam began in the 1950’s under President Eisenhower. Our involvement began innocently enough–we sent advisors. The election in November will determine whether or not your sons and daughters are deployed to Ukraine. You have a choice–a President who will wage an economic war or a President who will wage a physical war.

A Question That Should Have Been Asked Long Ago

According to Michelle Clarier.com:

Michelle Celarier is an award-winning journalist who writes about the world of money and power for New York magazine, Fortune magazine, Institutional Investor, Worth and Slate. She has reported on hedge funds and the men who run them for over a decade, including a four-year stint as a tabloid scribe with the New York Post. She was previously the editor of Absolute Return and its successor Absolute Return + Alpha (AR), which won several magazine awards under her leadership.

Ms. Celarier recently posted an article at New York magazine about Jeffery Epstein.

The article notes:

Long before Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in Florida more than a decade ago, his fellow Palm Beach resident and hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass was intrigued by the local gossip about his neighbor.

“I’m hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who’s throwing money around,” says Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management. While stories about young girls swarming Epstein’s waterfront mansion and the sex parties he hosted for the rich and powerful were the talk of the town, Kass was more focused on how this obscure person, rumored to be managing billions of dollars, had become so wealthy without much of a track record.

Kass was well-connected on Wall Street, where he’d worked for decades, so he began to ask around. “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested,” he recalls. “Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”

When a reporter came to interview Kass about Bernie Madoff shortly before that firm blew up in the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, Kass told her, “There’s another guy who reminds me of Madoff that no one trades with.” That man was Jeffrey Epstein.

“How did he get the money?” Kass kept asking.

For decades, Epstein has been credulously described as a big-time hedge-fund manager and a billionaire, even though there’s not a lot of evidence that he is either. There appears little chance the public is going to get definitive answers anytime soon. In a July 11 letter to the New York federal judge overseeing Epstein’s sex-trafficking case, Epstein’s attorney offered to provide “sealed disclosures” about Epstein’s finances to determine the size of the bond he would need to post to secure his release from jail pending trial. His brother, Mark, and a friend even offered to chip in, if necessary.

The article notes some unusual things about Jeffery Epstein’s investment success:

To begin with, there is much skepticism among the hedgies Intelligencer spoke with that Epstein made the money he has — and he appears to have a lot, given a lavish portfolio of homes and private aircraft — as a traditional money manager. A fund manager who knows well how that kind of fortune is acquired notes, “It’s hard to make a billion dollars quietly.” Epstein never made a peep in the financial world.

Epstein was also missing another key element of a typical thriving hedge fund: investors. Kass couldn’t find any beyond Epstein’s one well-publicized client, retail magnate Les Wexner — nor could other players in the hedge-fund world who undertook similar snooping. “I don’t know anyone who’s ever invested in him; he’s never talked about by any of the allocators,” says one billionaire hedge-fund manager, referring to firms that distribute large pools money among various funds.

The article notes one very believable theory on how Jeffrey Epstein became a billionaire:

Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund.

How such a scheme could hypothetically work has been laid out in detail in a thread on the anonymous Twitter feed of @quantian1. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but in summary it is a rough blueprint for how a devious aspiring hedge-fund manager could blackmail rich people into investing with him without raising too many flags.

Kass and former hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson both emailed the thread around in investing circles and both quickly discovered that their colleagues found it quite convincing. “This actually sounds very plausible,” Tilson wrote in an email forwarding the thread to others.

“He somehow cajoled these guys to invest,” says Kass, speaking of hypothetical blackmailed investors who gave Epstein their money to invest, but managed to keep their names private.

The fact that Epstein’s fund is offshore in a tax haven — it is based in the U.S. Virgin Islands — and has a secret client list both add credence to the blackmail theory.

The article concludes:

In the 2015 filing, Giuffre claimed that Epstein “debriefed her” after she was forced into sexual encounters so that he could possess “intimate and potentially embarrassing information” to blackmail friends into parking their money with him. She also said photographic and video evidence existed — an assertion that looms especially large now that federal investigators have found a trove of images in Epstein’s home safe.

There are other theories about how Epstein made his money–a Ponzi scheme, work for the intelligence community, money laundering, and offshore tax schemes. Now that Epstein’s New York City residence has been cleared of evidence by authorities, it will be interesting to see who is involved in his financial dealings (and other activities).

Using The Justice System As A Political Weapon

USA Today is reporting today that the criminal conviction of Tom Delay, former House majority leader, has been overturned by a Texas court.

The article reports:

The documents were released Thursday by the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin.

“The evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay‘s convictions,” the documents said. The judges said they “reverse the judgments of the trial court” and acquit DeLay, once one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress, of all charges.

The acquittal means DeLay cannot be retried and the money laundering case is over.

This case has been a sham from the beginning. Tom Delay was a very successful House majority leader, and the Democrats worked very hard to remove him from office. It is wonderful to see that justice has finally been served.

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