Tag Archives: Koch brothers

Billionaires at that secret ‘Stop Trump’ Sea Island meeting

In 1910, a group of banksters and politicos secretly met on Jekyll Island and birthed the Federal Reserve — a strange public-private hybrid of privately-owned banks that act as America’s central bank with limited government supervision. (See “Federal Reserve’s Secret Taxpayer-Funded $12 Trillion Bail-Out of Global Banks“)

In early March 2016, another group of extremely wealthy élites also met secretly on an island a mere skip, hop, and jump away from the infamous Jekyll Island, this time to devise a plot against Donald Trump. (See Trail Dust’s “About the Saint Simon’s Island Meeting“)

Sea Island, Georgia

In yet another sign that Establishment Republicans are extremely worried about a Trump presidential candidacy, a group of billionaires and Republican political élites attended the secretive annual World Forum of the neo-con American Enterprise Institute (AEI), held in a luxury resort on Sea Island, Georgia, March 3-6, 2016. 

AEI meeting on Sea Island1AEI meeting on Sea Island2

As reported by Huffington Post, the main topic at the closed-to-the-press meeting was “How to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump.”

Borrowing the opening lines of nothing less than Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto — and entirely oblivious to the irony of a conservative mouthing a communist — Bill Kristol, founder of the supposedly-conservative magazine Weekly Standard, wrote in an emailed report from the AEI meeting:

“A specter was haunting the World Forum — the specter of Donald Trump. There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he’s done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated.”

GOP political guru Karl Rove gave a presentation outlining Trump’s weaknesses. Rove insisted voters would have a hard time seeing Trump as “presidential,” which must be why they are turning out in droves to vote for him. [Sarc]

Here’s a list of the AEI World Forum attendees:

(1) High-tech billionaires:

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook
  • Google co-founder Larry Page
  • Napster creator and Facebook investor Sean Parker
  • Tesla Motors and SpaceX honcho Elon Musk

(2) GOP political élites:

  • Political guru Karl Rove
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky)
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan
  • Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Ben Sasse (Neb.).
  • Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (Mich.)
  • Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas)
  • Kevin McCarthy (Calif.)
  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.),
  • Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.)
  • Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas)
  • Diane Black (Tenn.)

In addition to the Sea Island meeting, according to Bloomberg, there are yet other “stop Trump” conspiracies: “A trio of conservative groups not affiliated with any candidate has spent about $28 million against [Trump], mostly on negative ads that aired in the past few weeks. So far, the effort has failed to dent his popularity.”

According to FEC filings, contributors to the “stop Trump” conservative groups include:

  • The Warren brothers, Stephens and Jackson, who gave a total of $3.5 million last month to two of the groups, on top of $500,000 last year. Stephens Warren has given a total of $300,000 to super-PACs supporting Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie, all of whom have since dropped out.
  • The Ricketts family of Omaha, Nebraska have given $5 million since January.
  • New York hedge-fund manager Paul Singer gave $1 million.
  • San Francisco investor William Oberndorf gave $500,000.
  • Club for Growth: A super-PAC run by Club for Growth (CFG), a powerful conservative group that pushes for limited government and lower taxes, is one of the first organizations to take on Trump. According to The New York Times, the super PAC raised $4 million in February, three times as much as it had raised any other month this election cycle. Donors include:
    • The Warren brothers gave $2.5 million in February.
    • Richard Uihlein, an Illinois shipping-supplies manufacturer who backed Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign last year, gave the Club for Growth $500,000.
    • Richard Gaby, who gave $50,000 to a super PAC backing former Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
    • Robert Arnott, a California-based investor who has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into groups backing Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
    • Robert Mercer, who backs Ted Cruz, gave $100,000.
  • A political network led by billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch, which is the biggest and deepest-pocketed independent political force in the conservative world.

ZeroHedge observes:

To beat Trump, you need to figure out how to tap into the same anger and yes, in some cases the same perceived narrow-mindedness, of his support base and you need to give them an alternative that addresses their concerns without resorting to the same type of bombastic rhetoric that so alarms the frontrunner’s detractors.

Like it or not, Trump’s support base are voters. They’re also Americans. It’s more important to understand what they want and why than it is to disparage the man they think should lead the country. Until someone in the GOP figures that out, the party won’t stand a chance of stopping Trump.

See also:


Seismic shift in U.S. political party system: Independents now outnumber Democrats & Republicans

Political parties serve important functions by aggregating or bringing together people of common interests, developing policies favorable to those interests, organizing their supporters and persuading voters to elect their candidates to political office.

The United States of America historically has been a two-party system, but there is a seismic shift going on, the implications of which are unclear and, therefore, troubling.

A recent Gallup Poll found that Americans who identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans are at all time lows: 29% Democrats; 26% Republicans. Both groups are now dwarfed by Americans who identify themselves as non-partisan Independents —  a whopping 42%.


The changing party identification is indicative of many Americans having become profoundly disaffected and alienated from the two parties, and for good reasons. (See “America’s Bipartisan Ruling Class vs. the People“)

But their disaffection is also being expressed in their political apathy — increasing numbers of Americans are not voting. All of which augurs that we have entered a period of political upheavals and uncertainties.

Below are excerpts from David Lightman’s “At start of campaign, the last gasp of political parties,” in McClatchyDC, Jan. 28, 2016. My criticism of Lightman is that he himself is an exemplar of dinosaur Democrats: He highlighted only the Koch brothers as “big-money interests,” but omitted the “big-money interests” on the Left, such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg.

As the nation begins the process of electing a new president, the roles of the Republican and Democratic parties are undergoing fundamental shifts that are threatening their impact on both elections and policy.

Built in the 19th century, grown dominant in the 20th, they are largely out of date in this new age.

They still control the ballot and machinery such as the primaries. But they do not hold the loyalty of the people. The largest party in America now is no party — with the ranks of people calling themselves independents at the highest level in more than 75 years of polling. The parties do not control the message. People learn about politics from social media instead of traditional means such as mailings or campaign rallies. And the parties are no longer the sole banker of politics. Big-money interests now effectively create shadow parties with extensive networks of donors of their own.

The result: People are tuning out and turning away.

In 2012, average voter turnout for statewide primaries for president, governor and U.S. Senate plunged to its lowest level since the modern primary system became popular in 1972.

It’s a historic change in voter behavior….

Most indifferent to parties: young Americans. Nearly half the millennials identified as independents in 2014, Pew found, more than the combined total of those willing to be called either Democrats or Republicans….

Historically, children adopted their parents’ political views, including identification with the two major parties. Not anymore.

Millennials get information from sources other than from family dinners, neighbors or campaign brochures. If something piques their interest, they turn to Twitter, text messaging, The Skimm and other modern forms of instant communication….

Political parties are seen as too narrowly focused, too interested in keeping incumbents in office.

They gerrymander congressional districts to maximize their chances so that election after election only a handful of House of Representatives races are true contests. Of the House’s 435 seats, 402 incumbents are considered safe bets for re-election this year, said the nonpartisan Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report.

Those safely partisan seats help keep Washington gridlocked — and turn off more Americans….

While independents are gaining clout, so are the big-money groups that now operate as virtual political parties.

Take Freedom Partners, an organization sponsored by brothers Charles and David Koch of Wichita, Kan.

Last year, the group committed to spend $889 million on politics and policy in 2015 and 2016.

The total would surpass the $404 million spent by the Republican National Committee and the $319 million spent by the Democratic National Committee in the 2012 campaign, according to opensecrets.org, which monitors political spending.

And that total would rival the $1 billion spent by all three major Democratic Party committees and the $1 billion spent by all three major Republican Party committees.

And the Koch network does more than just spend money. Twice each year it hosts about 400 executives, who pay dues of $100,000 each, for meetings on politics and policies. And its spending goes beyond the planned $250 million to help candidates, to include grants to organizations to help promote small-government policies as well as college scholarships and fellowships.

Other alternatives to the parties also are gearing up….

As Peter White, a cabin manager in Nottingham, New Hampshire, put it, “You feel the two parties both work for Wall Street and don’t care who wins.”


Pro-amnesty billionaires should open their mansions to illegals

billionaires for amnesty

A country is like a house, but with borders instead of doors.

Anyone who enters your home without your invitation or permission are trespassers. The same applies to a country.

But Barack Obama, with the active collusion of the governments of Mexico and Guatemala, has decided to throw open America’s southern border by refusing to enforce border security and immediately sending back or deporting trespassers.

In so doing, the POS is committing dereliction of duty as the head of the U.S. government, and of malfeasance — an act that is criminal or wrongful which causes injury of another person. In this case, “another person” actually numbers in the millions. They are the citizens, legal residents and legal immigrants of the United States, as well as people across the world who respect our laws, having applied to and are patiently awaiting immigration to the U.S.

President Lucifer has powerful and vocal allies not only in the MSM but also among the richest and most powerful — the 0.1 percenters. They include multi-billionaires Sheldon Adelson (casino mogul), Michael Bloomberg (finance-media mogul and former NY mayor who wants to change the U.S. Constitution to prevent future Boston Marathon bombings), Warren Buffet (investor and abortion funder), Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft and funder of a remote-controlled contraceptive-abortion microchip implant), Charles and David Koch (industrialists and businessmen), Rupert Murdoch (media mogul), George Soros (currency profiteer and manipulator), and Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook).

As Hunter Wallace observes in the blog, Occidental Dissent:

Whether Left or Right, Republican or Democrat, Jew or Gentile, the billionaires in this country – the “1 percent” who rule the American oligarchy – overwhelmingly support amnesty for illegal aliens. The GOP establishment, the Obama administration, the Left, the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center], and the “1 percent” are on the same side of this issue.

Are they on your side?

In the video below, Bill Whittle asks the pro-amnesty billionaires to match their deeds to their rhetoric by opening the doors of their mansions to house the illegals flooding across the US-Mexico border, because that effectively is what they are asking from you, me, and the non-élite American people who will have to cough up even more in taxes to pay for the costs of transporting, housing, feeding and schooling HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of illegals.


Why the Collapse of MF Global Should Frighten You

I try to not do apocalyptic posts because I do not want to unduly alarm our readers. But I can’t dodge this one because I believe the subject is genuinely disturbing.

I apologize for springing this on you all at Thanksgiving — a time when we should all be enjoying being with family and friends, instead of worrying about our finances and the condition of our country’s economy.

MF Global's CEO Jon Corzine with his buddy

On October 31, 2011, MF Global, a huge global financial derivatives broker, declared bankruptcy. In so doing, it became the largest Wall Street firm to collapse since the Lehman Brothers incident in September 2008, and the 8th largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

As a financial derivatives broker, MF Global provided exchange-traded derivatives, such as futures and options as well as over-the-counter products such as contracts for difference (CFDs), foreign exchange and spread betting. MF Global was also a primary dealer in United States Treasury securities.

The Wall Street Journal reported that MF Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after its misguided investment of more than $6 billion in sovereign bonds issued by some of Europe’s most indebted countries. That is bad enough. But it gets worse.

MF Global broke its (and the U.S. government’s) rules on keeping customer money separate from its own trading accounts, and used some of its clients’ funds to invest in sovereign bonds issued by indebted European countries. When that investment went bust, leading to MF Global’s bankruptcy, lost too are the clients’ assets the brokerage wrongfully had used for its investment.

Here’s a timeline of what happened:

  • On August 31, 2011, MF Global had $7.3 billion in customer assets, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data.
  • On October 25, 2011 MF Global reported a $191.6 million quarterly loss as a result of trading on European government bonds.
  • In response, Moody’s and Fitch cut the company’s credit rankings to junk. 
  • Through the weekend of October 29/30, the firm’s board met in New York to consider options including a sale to avert failure, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. MF Global’s CEO Jon Corzine, — a Democrat, former U.S. Senator, former New Jersey governor, and former Goldman Sachs chief executive — reportedly tried, unsuccessfully, to find a buyer.
  • MF Global was stopped from doing new business with the New York Fed until it showed it was able to fulfill its responsibilities as a primary dealer, according to a statement on the regulator’s website. Trading in MF Global’s stock was halted.
  • On October 30, 2011, MF Global filed for bankruptcy.
  • That same day, Oct. 30, one of MF Global’s units reported a “material shortfall” (translated: “missing cash”) in customer funds — a shortfall estimated by James W. Giddens, the trustee overseeing the wind-down of the brokerage, to be $1.2 billion.
  • That same day, the parent company froze customer accounts with $5.45 billion. It is feared that MF Global Holdings Ltd. may have moved hundreds of millions of dollars from its futures client accounts to other accounts before its Oct. 31 bankruptcy.
  • One of MF Global’s clients who lost money is Gerald Celente, the founder and publisher of The Trends Journal. Celente revealed that he has lost his gold futures funds (valuing more than six figures) that he had with Lind-Waldock, a commodities futures brokerage owned by MF Global.
  • In papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, MF Global listed debt of $39.7 billion and assets of $41 billion. U.S. regulators have subpoenaed MF Global’s auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, for information on the segregation of assets belonging to clients trading on U.S. commodity exchanges. The company is being investigated by regulators for money missing from client accounts. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also reviewing trades in MF Global Holdings Ltd. convertible bonds to determine whether some investors sold the debt based on confidential information before the firm’s demise.

On the subject of whether some investors had insider info before MF Global’s demise, Lew Rockwell writes on Nov. 16, 2011, quoting Gary North:

“Both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were charged with overseeing MF Global, their clearing member. If we are to believe them, they had no idea of any difficulties within the firm before customer accounts went missing just a few days before the collapse. But someone clearly knew of the cratering positions and imminent collapse of MF Global, as billions of dollars of accounts were “coincidentally” withdrawn, writes Huffington Post’s Daniel Dicker, noting how funds in accounts owned by the billionaire Koch brothers were withdrawn just in time, clearly suggesting that big players got a “heads up” that MF Global was going down.”

Gerald Celente

All of which led Gerald Celente, speaking to Eric King at King World News, to issue this warning to the public:

What’s the take away from this? It’s to make sure you have every penny in your pocket. Because just like MF (Global) screwed everybody else, you’re also gonna get the shaft, I don’t care who it is. What’s gonna happen when you get a message from your brokerage, from Fidelity or somebody… You have ETFs [Exchange-traded fund]? Oh, there’s a little error over here, we don’t have your money. We don’t have your positions…. So the takeaway is to make sure you have every penny in your possession.”

Ann Barnhardt

The MF Global bankruptcy also prompted Ann Barnhardt, the president of Barnhardt Capital Management (a cattle and grain hedge brokerage), to take the unprecedented and heroic step of shutting down her firm and liquidating all customer brokerage and options accounts, so as to prevent losses in what she says is a system that is no longer functioning with integrity and is suicidally risk-laden. The rule of law is non-existent, instead replaced with godless, criminal political cronyism.”

In a letter to her clients, Barnhardt calls the MF Global bankruptcy nothing other than theft of customer cash by Jon Corzine. She warns:

“No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian Roulette.

I have learned over the last week that MF Global is almost certainly the mere tip of the iceberg. There is massive industry-wide exposure to European sovereign junk debt. While other firms may not be as heavily leveraged as Corzine had MFG leveraged, and it is now thought that MFG’s leverage may have been in excess of 100:1, they are still suicidally leveraged and will likely stand massive, unmeetable collateral calls in the coming days and weeks as Europe inevitably collapses. I now suspect that the reason the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did not immediately step in to backstop the MFG implosion was because they knew and know that if they backstopped MFG, they would then be expected to backstop all of the other firms in the system when the failures began to cascade – and there simply isn’t that much money in the entire system. In short, the problem is a SYSTEMIC problem, not merely isolated to one firm.

Karl Denninger

Karl Denninger was the CEO of MCSNet in Chicago, one of the area’s first Internet providers. He is a founding contributer to conservative blog, The Market Ticker, and was one of the early members of the Tea Party movement. He now supports the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is the author of Leverage: How Cheap Money Will Destroy the World, November 2011. In his Market Ticker of Nov. 22, 2011 (h/t FOTM’s Joseph!), Denninger wrote:

“We’re done folks.

CNBC is reporting that there are now clients running out of the markets entirely because they do not believe their customer funds are safe.

That’s the end of it. The belief that there are more MF Globals has now taken hold. The thieves have pushed it too far and now we’ve got the start of a global liquidity run, and with good reason.

The authorities both in the regulatory side and on the prosecutorial side have refused to put a stop to the thievery and now the risk factors have turned into realized risk.

The market is done folks. You can be right but if you make your bet in the markets, are right, and then get screwed anyway when someone steals the money and nobody goes to jail there comes a time when people begin to understand that it can happen to them and will unless they depart the market.

We’re there folks.

Oh sure, there will be rallies and there will be selloffs. But there is no longer a market, there is no longer a thing to trade, and there is no longer a reason to believe that superior analysis will lead to profit or even safety.

This isn’t just about speculators – it is also about farmers, shippers, airlines, manufacturing concerns, everyone in business who has a need to hedge.

More than four years ago I said that the government had to step in and demand that both off-balance sheet games be ended permanently and in all forms and that all derivatives had to be put on an exchange, without exception, and that every dollar of underwater position had to be backed by an actual dollar of capital in real money, held and known to be safe.

The regulators refused and now it appears that what was put up on a regulated exchange was effectively stolen.

Well folks, then none of your investment accounts — not your IRA, 401k, not even your bank account — is safe.

Diversification is a strategy but the risk remains. It is up to you to decide how much you’re willing to risk losing to a crook. If the answer is “none” or you cannot reduce the at-risk portion of your assets to what you’re willing to lose to fraud then you can no longer participate in the market at all, in any form, nor even do business with a bank.

That sucks, but it is what it is and if this meme spreads — and it will until it’s stopped — we run the risk of a “sudden stop” economic event.

I hope you’re ready for it — I am to the best of my ability, and you ought to be.”


What this all means is the following:

  • The contract between financial corporations like MF Global and the people is broken.
  • The “little people” entrust their hard-earned cash to the corporation to manage, for a handsome fee. But, instead of stewarding their clients’ money, the corporation takes that money to invest in dubious vehicles, such as government bonds issued by heavily indebted countries — without their clients’ knowledge, much less permission. Put bluntly, this is theft.
  • Our government is supposed to regulate and supervise the financial corporations’ activities. But the regulators, as in the case of Bernie Madoff, didn’t and do not do what taxpayers are paying them to do.
  • The corporation’s investments go bust. It declares bankruptcy. Its clients’ monies have disappeared or are “frozen” (which means the same thing: You can’t withdraw your money from the institution).
  • Bankruptcy means the corporation’s total debts are more than its total assets, which means there is no money to pay the clients. And since the various financial instruments offered by brokerages such as MF Global are not government-insured, this means the clients cannot recover their money, unless Congress decides to step in with a bail-out, which only means even more debt for an already broke United States of America.

This is not the first time a large financial institution has robbed and lost the money of its clients. Think the S&L crisis of the 1980s, the Madoff investment scandal in 2008. and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy of 2008.

Nor is this the first time government regulators failed to do their job.

When institutions — financial and government — violate their compact with the people, basic trust erodes. But societies, especially highly complex societies like ours, cannot operate without a certain level of basic trust. In its place, we increasingly see short-sighted selfishness and rapacious greed. It’s every man for himself….

I’m not a financial adviser and I’m not offering any financial advice here. But if you have any money invested with brokerages, get professional independent financial advice. Better yet, learn about the various investment vehicles by reading and listening to financial advisers on talk radio. It’s not really that complicated. Then, THINK FOR YOURSELF.


On Nov. 23, 2011, a judge ruled that MF Global’s clients won’t be allowed to form a committee to represent their interests in bankruptcy court.

Gary Gensler, the head of CFTC — the federal government agency that’s supposed to oversee MF Global — just so happens to have worked under Jon Corzine when both were at Goldman Sachs.

Jon Corzine, who has been publicly silent since his brokerage’s spectacular collapse, has been asked to appear before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House financial Services Committee on 15 December. Read about his hearing, here.


Al Gore Wants Only Non-Tea Party Americans to Rise Up

A BKeyser design

Al Gore has opened his big fat mouth, again. No, this time it’s not about Global Warming, which made him a multi-millionaire overnight.

In 2000, then Vice-President Al Gore had a net worth of $1-2 million. By 2008 — after winning a Nobel Peace prize and an Academy Award, numerous $175,000 speaking gigs, $35 million stock in Google and Apple that he received as a board advisor, and ownership of a carbon credit trading company — his net worth ballooned to $120 million, an increase of 6,000% to 12,000%!

Now, the “fat crazed sex poodle” is calling Americans to rise up in rebellion, à la the Arab Spring that began in Egypt. But wait. Gore means only certain Americans — his kind of Americans.

The other night on his Current TV, Gore said to former MSNBC loudmouth Keith Olbermann that America needs to work toward an “reinvigoration of democracy”:

“We need to have an American spring. You know, the Arab Spring—the nonviolent part of it isn’t finished yet—but we need to have an American Spring, a kind of an American Tahrir Square. Non-violent change, where people from the grassroots get involved again. I want to tell you, Keith, this country is in trouble. Our democracy has been withering on the vine, it really has been. This has been going on for some time. But this is not an event that can be taken lately. I know it’s difficult to imagine that the people who care about the values that this country was based on will rise up and get much more involved in the democratic process, but that is exactly what we need and that is the only thing that can get our country back on the right track. ”

Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard asks a question that’s on our minds as well:

“Was the former vice president of the United States actually suggesting that Barack Obama is like an Arab tyrant who is responsible for the murder of thousands of his own citizens (just like Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad)?”

Then, Gore hastily made clear that his American Spring has no room for the TEA Party — a genuine grassroots movement that arose after the 2008 election, credited with confronting members of Congress in townhall meetings across America in the summer of 2009, and with the million-patriots March on Washington, DC, on September 12, 2009:

Noooooo. Those are not the Americans Gore has in mind for his “American Spring”! This is what he said to Olbermann:

“Not in the Tea Party style…that movement was funded with seed money from right-wing billionaires, the Koch brothers, and promoted on Fox News and turned into a stalking horse for this right-wing agenda that a lot of people have been trying to push on this country for a long time….”

Yesiree!  When those hundreds and thousands of ordinary Americans showed up in town hall meetings and marched on D.C., they were just puppets of the dastardly Koch brothers, like these two sweet grandmothers:

So Al Gore now thinks the Tea Party is the bane of America. ManBearPig, any one?