When we first covered the Carmen Segarra lawsuit alleging the capture of the NY Fed by Goldman Sachs back in October 2013, we didn't have much hope for justice to get done. We said that "while her allegations may be non-definitive, and her wrongful termination suit is ultimately dropped, there is hope this opens up an inquiry into the close relationship between Goldman and the NY Fed. Alas, since the judicial branch is also under the control of the two abovementioned entities, we very much doubt it."
Sure enough, the lawsuit was dropped (and no inquiry was opened) but not before it became clear that the very judge in charge of the case, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams, was herself conflicted, after it was revealed that her husband, Greg Andres, a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell, was representing Goldman in an advisory capacity. Curiously, before she assumed her current office in March 2013, back in 2008 Abrams returned to Davis Polk herself as Special Counsel for Pro Bono. She had previously worked at the firm from 1994 to 1998. For the full, and quite amazing, story of how the "Judge" steamrolled Segarra's objections reads this Reuters piece.
As a result of this fiasco, some wondered just how far do Goldman's tentacles stretch not only at the money-printing (i.e., NY Fed) level, not only at the legislative level (see "With Cantor Down, Which Other Politicians Has Goldman Invested In?"), but at the judicial as well.
And then, on Friday, the Segarra case against the Federal Reserve branch of Goldman Sachs got a second wind, when as a result of another disclosure, ProPublica revealed "How Goldman Controls The New York Fed in 47.5 Hours Of "The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes." That is to say, nothing new was revealed per se, because as anyone who has read this website for the past 6 years knows just how vast Goldman's network is not only at the Fed, but in that all important other continent too, Europe.
What’s going on is abundantly clear, because it is so simple. The intention of the New York Fed as an organization is not to properly regulate, but only to generate an appearance – or illusion – of proper regulation. That is to say, Goldman will accept regulation only up to the point where it would cut into either the company’s profits or its political wherewithal.
What the ‘Segarra Files’ point out is that the New York Fed plays the game exactly the way Goldman wants it played. Ergo: there is no actual regulation taking place, and Goldman will comply only with those requests from the New York Fed that it feels like complying with.
In the articles, the term ‘regulatory capture’ pops up, which means – individual – regulators are ‘co-opted’ by the banks they – are supposed to – regulate. But the capture runs much larger and wider. It’s not about individuals, it’s a watertight and foolproof system wide capture.
The government picks a – private – regulator which has close ties to the banks. The government knows this. It also knows this means that its chosen regulator will always defer to the banks. And when individual regulators refuse to comply with the system, they are thrown out.
In one of the cases Segarra was involved in during her stint at the Fed, the Kinder Morgan-El Paso takeover deal, Goldman advises one party, has substantial stock holdings in the other, and appoints a lead counsel who personally has $340,000 in stock involved. Conflict of interest? Goldman says no, and the Fed complies (defers).
The lawsuit Segarra filed against the NY Fed and three of its executives was thrown out on technicalities by a judge whose husband was legal counsel for Goldman in the exact same case. No conflict of interest, the judge herself decides.
This is not regulation, it’s a sick and perverted joke played on the American people, which it has been paying for it through the nose for years, and will for many years to come. Sure, Elizabeth Warren picks it up now and wants hearings on the topic in Congress, but she’s a year late (it’s been known since at least December 2013 that Segarra has audio recordings) and moreover, it was Congress itself that made the NY Fed the regulator of Wall Street. Warren has as much chance of getting anywhere as Segarra did (or does, she’s appealing the case).
The story: In October 2011, Carmen Segarra was hired by New York Fed to be embedded at Goldman as a risk specialist, and in particular to investigate to what degree the company complied with a 2008 Fed Supervision and Regulation Letter, known as SR 08-08, which focuses on the requirement for firms like Goldman, engaged in many different activities, to have company-wide programs to manage business risks, in particular conflict-of-interest. Some people at Goldman admitted it did not have such a company-wide policy as of November 2011. Others, though, said it did.
« Last Edit: Sep 29th, 2014, 12:40pm by Sysconfig »
First evidence that reptiles can learn through imitation
Date: September 30, 2014
Source: University of Lincoln
New research has for the first time provided evidence that reptiles could be capable of social learning through imitation.
The ability to acquire new skills through the 'true imitation' of others' behaviour is thought to be unique to humans and advanced primates, such as chimpanzees.
Scientists draw an important distinction between imitation and emulation when studying the cognitive abilities of animals. In true imitation, the individual 'copying' another's behaviour not only mimics what they see, but also understands the intention behind the action. In emulation, an animal copies a behaviour without understanding its deeper significance: for example, a parrot reciting the words of its owner.
There is considerable debate about the extent to which non-primates are capable of true imitation.
Now researchers from the UK and Hungary have presented the first compelling scientific evidence that reptiles could be capable of social learning through imitation.
They set out to investigate whether the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is capable of imitating another bearded dragon through a simple experiment using a wooden board which contained a doorway.
All subjects successfully copied the actions of the demonstrator lizard, suggesting for the first time that reptiles exhibit social learning through imitation equivalent to that observed in 'higher' species.
Lead researcher Dr Anna Wilkinson from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, said: "The ability to learn through imitation is thought to be the pinnacle of social learning and long considered a distinctive characteristic of humans. However, nothing is known about these abilities in reptiles. This research suggests that the bearded dragon is capable of social learning that cannot be explained by simple mechanisms -- such as an individual being drawn to a certain location because they observed another in that location or through observational learning. The finding is not compatible with the claim that only humans, and to a lesser extent great apes, are able to imitate."
Reptiles and mammals evolved from a common ancestor and the investigation of similarities and differences in their behaviour is essential for understanding the evolution of cognition, Dr Wilkinson explained.
Recent advances in the field of reptile cognition have found evidence of sophisticated abilities in this group.
The latest research, published in the academic journal Animal Cognition, involved 12 bearded dragons which had not previously been involved in cognition experiments.
One lizard was trained to act as a 'demonstrator', opening a wire door which covered a hole in a wooden board. The door could be moved horizontally along sliding rails to left or right by use of the head or the foot. The demonstrator was then rewarded with food (a mealworm) on the other side of the door.
The subjects were divided into an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group watched the demonstrator lizard approaching the test apparatus and opening the door with a sliding head movement.
All eight experimental subjects went on to successfully open the sliding door, pushing it to the same side they had observed. None of the control group subjects did this.
A key difference between the control and experimental groups was that, while sliding head movement occurred in the case of all experimental subjects, it was never observed in the control subjects. As this was the movement that the demonstrator performed in order to open the sliding door, this suggests that experimental subjects imitated an action that was not part of their spontaneous behaviour.
Dr Wilkinson concluded: "This, together with differences in behaviour between experimental and control groups, suggests that learning by imitation is likely to be based on ancient mechanisms. These results reveal the first evidence of imitation in a reptile species and suggest that reptiles can use social information to learn through imitation."
The team included researchers from Eötvös University in Hungary, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna.
For years, American business leaders and politicians have parroted the Milton Friedmanesque argument that American corporate investment in China would inevitably lead to democracy there. Never mind that Nobel Laureate Friedman’s theory linking capitalism and freedom never had a shred of real evidence to back it, and that there is, in fact, plenty of evidence, from Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy to Pinochet’s Chile, to debunk it. Almost 40 years of the reintroduction of capitalism in China have not got much in the way of freedom to show for them.
Hong Kong’s citizens have, for some time, had freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion and travel. They have been slowly gaining democratic control over their government too, but now have run up against a Chinese Wall, and are taking to the streets to push down that wall.
The US government, ever the democratic poseur, so quick to finance chaos in Ukraine or to launch missiles, bombers and armed drones in Syria or Iraq in the name of democracy-building, has nothing to say in its defense.
I’m not saying that the US should be threatening drone strikes against China if it presses the crackdown against Hong Kong democracy activists (it shouldn’t be sending drones anywhere!). But certainly the US should be taking a strong public stand in condemning China for going back on its word about allowing democratic election of the city’s chief executive in 2017, and against the violent police crackdown on peaceful protesters.
would that mean they have lost all legitimacy?I haven't heard that codeword or imperial decree used yet.. here..it wouldnt be sensitive or PC..in context of a real revolution..
I was watering my plants outside at around 8:20pm and noticed these 1 of the lights in the distance moving and decided to capture it on camera. Turns out their was more of them.
Crystal..kewl! but.but...what was the azimuth?..we need to know the azimuth! Thats what Ive been told.. ..what kinds of plants were you watering? did you take pictures of them to add credibility..I like plants..did any of the the dogs bark..Could those be drones looking for illegals as you live near the border..