Twitter Treasure

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


Twitter logo transparent

Twitter is a good invention. It’s easy and fun. Much less demanding and intrusive than Facebook. So much so that many millions of people, from the famous to ordinary people like you and I, use it every day.

On the back of that success the Twitter company is doing very well. But recently it did even better when its shares jumped four per cent in a matter of minutes.

It all happened after a buyout story appeared on the internet that claimed that Twitter had received a significant offer. It started off, “Twitter is working closely with bankers after receiving an offer to be bought out for $31 billion…”


Investors piled in. And not just the amateurs, lots of the ‘professional’ Wall Street guys too.

The trouble was, however, that the internet story was on a bogus web site and was completely fake. The site was called “”. It was not “” the official name of the web presence for the Bloomberg financial organization.

“” was what they call a ‘mirror’ of the genuine “” website. Whoever designed “” set it up to look like “”. They copied real headlines and linked them back to the real dot-com website. With one exception: the fake Twitter story, which was dressed up to look like a legitimate webpage.

The spike in the Twitter share price only lasted about 15 minutes before Bloomberg denounced the story as fake and the share price dropped back to its previous level. But 15 minutes is a long time in the world of finance and plenty of time for someone to profit substantially from the scam.

spike in the Twitter share price

No one yet knows who owns the dot-market domain – except the people who own it, of course –  but it was registered just days before the scam message, using a proxy service called “WhoisGuard”, based in Panama, that protects registrant details by offering its own address and contact numbers. But the details of “WhoisGuard” on its own website at “” also appear to be fake, listing a telephone number that is disconnected. Emails to their contact address have not received a response either.

The significance of this incident is not that some greedy and stupid people lost money rushing to buy Twitter shares on the back of this fake announcement.

The problem is that so many new dot word domains have recently been allowed – hundreds of them in fact – that the whole internet is becoming bloated and confusing. And expensive.

If you are a company that wants to protect your online identity and integrity it could now cost you tens of thousands of dollars to cover all the permutations. Not many companies, even huge affairs like Bloomberg, will choose to do that.

That leaves the way wide open for cyber criminals to take advantage of gullible internet users.

I am certain they will.

Like the Twitter announcement, it’s just too good a deal to refuse.




The Banksters Balls It Up Again!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


I wrote a post a few weeks ago about the effect that low oil prices would have on the banks. (Click here if you want to read it.) and another the week before last about the reasons for the decline in the oil price (click here if you want to read that)

As they always do, the idiots that run these financial institutions saw something they thought was going to last forever and threw their money and their clients’ money at it without reason.

Nowhere was this type of recklessness more apparent than during the sub-prime fraud when the banksters lent money to people who clearly could not afford it and then sold on those loans as bogus ‘AAA’ securities to their wealthy customers and other buyers who mistakenly thought that the banks would not try to con them.

cartoon happy banker

Well the banks have done more or less the same today.

Banks have been lending hand over fist to oil companies and those who service the energy sector. They have lent billions of dollars that  –  now the oil price has plummeted  –  has no chance of being paid back. They have underwritten bonds, lent money on expensive fracking operations and even financed the speculative building of homes for oil workers.

It was good while it lasted. But it didn’t last long!

In the 1980s something similar happened when energy prices also slumped. Texas was particularly hard hit and many banks either collapsed or had to be rescued because of their bad loans to oil companies and to local real estate developers speculating on the oil boom.

It’s going to happen again.

The bankster’s greed and stupidity means that their banks are going to take another financial hit, they are going to lose more of their customers’ money. Time for another round of big bonuses, if the last disaster is anything to go by!

Obviously they have been too stupid to learn from the past. Not surprising really.

cartoon sad banker

But the big question is what will government do this time?

Has it learned anything?

Will the government let the banks suffer the consequences of their own stupidity, as they should have when the sub-prime catastrophe hit?

Or will they again use OUR money to bail the banks out, making some nonsense excuse that these companies “are too big to allow to go under”?

And we are talking about BIG banks. Wells Fargo, for example, a huge financial powerhouse, made approximately 15 percent of its investment banking revenue from the oil and gas industry during 2014. Another biggie, Citigroup, was much the same, with this sector accounting for around 12 percent.

And it’s not just in America that the pain is being felt this time.

In Canada, which largely avoided the worst of the sub-prime debacle, some of their leading banks could face an even sharper decline in revenues, so reliant is the whole country on the energy and resources sectors. One of Canada’s biggest banks, Scotiabank, derives approximately 35 percent of its investment banking revenue from oil and gas companies, according to 2014 figures.


Then there’s Wall Street.

Usually they make loans like these and sell them off to unsuspecting investors, however, with the very public fall in oil prices that everyone knows about, firms that financed energy deals are now finding it harder to offload this debt.

As an example of their problems, according to a recent NYT report, Morgan Stanley, was among a group of banks that made $850 million of loans to Vine Oil and Gas, an affiliate of Blackstone, a private equity firm. They are still trying to sell on that debt, but no one is buying. Goldman Sachs and UBS led a $220 million loan last year to the private equity firm Apollo Global Management to buy Express Energy Services. Not all that debt has been sold to other investors either so they are left holding that baby too.

That’s only loans to the oil companies and speculators. Some of the worst loans made by the banks have been to a multitude of companies that provide services to the oil industry. Some of these services companies, lured by the oil boom, are relatively new and/or small and probably under-capitalized so their debt burden can quickly drag them under when projected profits fail to materialize.

Naturally you can expect that the banksters will use all their lobbying and political power to make sure the government steps in again.

But the truth is the government really does not need to (they didn’t the last time either). The ‘to-big-to-fail’ banks may lose on their energy bets, but they will recoup a lot of that money from ordinary people like you and I.

Lower oil prices means that we need less cash to fill up our gas tanks or heat our homes, so the chances are we will feel a bit freer to use that credit card or maybe even take out a mortgage.

Of course, for the banksters that’s a slow way to riches. They want that business for sure, but they will also want the government to write off their other bad loans too.

Let’s see what happens this time.

collapsing bank sign




Let’s Hear It For The Bureaucrats!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


In a post way back on July 20 that I called “Why Are The Bureaucrats Destroying What Made America Great?”, I highlighted the fact that the giant American pharmaceutical company Abbvie was planning to relocate to the UK in an effort to get away from punishing US taxes. (Click here if you want to read it.)

I also said that by abandoning the business friendly environment that had made it the wealthiest nation on Earth, the bureaucrats in the United States were creating a hostile place to try to do business to the extend that a growing number were leaving.

Ahem…. better make that, ‘trying to leave’.

Because rather than trying to make the US a more attractive place to do business, Obama’s bureaucrats have instead decided it to make it more difficult for them to leave.

The US government introduced new legislation recently which effectively put an end to the biggest corporate takeover of the year.

In the wake of new rules penalizing inversions, the Illinois based pharmaceutical giant, AbbVie, has walked away from its bid to acquire Shire, the Irish drug maker, for $54 billion blaming “….impact of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s unilateral changes to the tax rules”.

AbbVie will have to pay Shire a breakup fee of $1.6 billion, which is effectively money down the drain.

So who benefits thanks to this new legislation?

No one!

Let’s hear it for the bureaucrats!





Okay, I Give Up – Show Me The Money!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”




I know it isn’t quiz day today, but this is just a short post to ask one very pertinent question – one that deserves an answer.

Quantitative Easing ended on Wednesday past.

QE was the media tag given to the process whereby the US Federal Reserve has printed $3.6 trillion over the past few years.

Quantitative Easing

The Bank of England did it in Britain too, and so did the European Central Bank for the European Union.

So where did all that money go?

I didn’t get any of it.

Did you?

But it must have gone somewhere.

Someone must have got it.

So where is it now?

If you know the answer please do tell. I, and I am sure many other people, would be interested in the answer.






“No Credit. Bad Credit. All Credit. 100 Percent Approval.”

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


We had it with the real estate market. Billions of dollars being lent to people who obviously couldn’t afford it.

We saw the trouble, hardship, misery and financial woes that were caused as credit dried up, real estate prices began to tumble, and bankruptcies and foreclosures increased.

And we know the damage it did to the economy when irresponsible banks and other lenders went bust and almost brought down the entire financial system. 

Smart people would learn from such a situation.

Smart people would never contemplate doing such a thing again.

But despite what they would like to have you believe, bankers are not smart people. They’re dumb and they are greedy, a deadly combination.

bad credit 100 percent financing

As a result of the financial crisis millions of Americans (and people in other countries too) have been left with poor credit scores. Yet remarkably they are now able to easily obtain auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. Even if you are bankrupt or living only on social security, banks like Wells Fargo will lend you thousands of dollars to buy a used car.

It’s called the new sub-prime boom, because the lack of caution resembles the frenzied sub-prime mortgage market before its collapse. And it is already bringing misery to many people who have been suckered into taking out loans that they clearly could not afford.

Worse than that, these sub-prime auto loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers, with interest rates that can exceed 20 percent. And many of the loans can be at least twice the value of the second hand cars they are being used to purchase!

wall street car crash

This creates a vicious circle for some borrowers, who still owe money on a car that they are trading in when they purchase another one, meaning that the former debt is rolled over into the new loan and they end up, not just paying too much for their current car, but also continue to pay off the loan on their previous car that they don’t even have!

This is the way loan sharks operate. Eventually you end up borrowing your own money and paying them interest for the privilege!

This surge in sub-prime auto lending is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in sub-prime mortgages. There is a veritable deluge of money pouring into sub-prime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors.

And just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation’s biggest banks and private equity firms are now feeding the growth in sub-prime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.

To quote some of the figures, auto loans to people with bad credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered sub-prime, that is, people with credit scores at or below 640. Wells Fargo, mentioned earlier, made $7.8 billion in auto loans in the second quarter of this year, up 9 percent from a year earlier, and has at least $50 billion in auto loans on its books.

greedy bankers

Even worse, as was the case with sub-prime mortgages before the financial crisis, many sub-prime auto loans are being bundled up into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds. They are all scrambling for these, which in turn creates ever-greater demand for loans, and leads to the banks issuing more and more sub-prime credit.

Unbelievably it’s the same crooks doing exactly the same thing, including using incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, so that people who had lost their jobs, or were bankrupt, or living on Social Security, could qualify for loans that they could never afford.

carbuying credit report

Admittedly, the size of the sub-prime auto loan market is only a tiny fraction of the sub-prime mortgage market at its peak, and its implosion would not have the same far-reaching consequences.

For the banks the investors silly enough to buy their bonds, that is.

But the misery is just as great for the people who are suckered into accepting credit they cannot afford.

Illegal it may not be, but immoral it certainly is.

Political leaders who sit astride high horses and purport to be working on behalf of the ordinary people should be doing something about it.

But, as I’ve said before, don’t hold your breath!

obama used car salesman




The Rats Are Squealing!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


The Sunday Sermon

Bankster pyramid of greed and corruption

They say rats squeal when they are being hunted and nearing capture and they’re right.

None more so at present than the rat banksters and nowhere more so than on Wall Street. If you listen carefully you can hear them squeal even above the noise of the New York traffic.

And the reason for the squealing?

Only that federal authorities are at long last closing in on some of the worst culprits whose greed and contempt for their clients caused the financial crisis we have all be suffering from during the past decade and more.

But before you start clapping the feds on the back, let me say it is too little and too late. None of the banksters are likely to face jail sentences which is what they deserve for their crimes against the people.


However, it is something and these days that’s about the best you can hope for.

In terms of the numbers, the banksters are facing fines of something in the region of $63 billion.

Wow, listen to them squeal!

It seems like a lot of money – and it is a lot of money, it could keep all of us blogging away happily for the rest of our lives and then some. But put in the context of what the banksters defrauded their clients out of and what they lost it is just a pittance.

Putting the figures into context, J P Morgan Chase’s $13 billion mortgage settlement in November was probably some kind of record, but they issued more than $460 billion in mortgage securities.

To illustrate it in numbers people can relate to better, that’s like a thief stealing a thousand dollars from you and getting away with it if he paid you back $28.

I bet the amount of the settlement doesn’t seem so big now. Nor is it commensurate with the size of the crime. But that’s what they’ll probably get away with. And they’re not even grateful for this small smack on the wrist, hence all the squealing.




Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today Number One Hundred 100

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


Today the number is 100, very popular, much used by almost everyone.  Here are some things about 100 that you may know and some you probably don’t.




100 One Hundred




In Religion

  • Shem was an hundred years old when he became a father (Genesis 11:10);
  • Abraham was also one hundred years of age when his son Isaac was born (Gen. 21:5);
  • Obadiah saved one hundred prophets by hiding them in a cave and feeding them. (I Kings 18.4);
  • Jesus’ parable of the 100th lost sheep (Matthew 18.12);
  • Nicodemus brought one hundred pounds of myrrh & aloes to embalm Jesus after his crucifixion (John 19.39);
  • Paul’s 14 Epistles in the New Testament total one hundred chapters;
  • There are 100 blasts of the Shofar heard in the service of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year;
  • A religious Jew is expected to utter at least one hundred blessings daily.



In politics

  • The United States Senate has 100 Senators, two from each of the 50 States;
  • “The First Hundred Days” is an arbitrary benchmark of a President of the United States’ performance at the beginning of his or her term.


In mathematics

  • A Centillion 10303 has 100 groups of three zeros after 1000;
  • A Googol is the figure 1 followed by 100 zeroes, written 10100. It was invented by Milton Sirotta, the 9-year nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner;
  • A 10×10 Magic Square has 100 squares with numbers 1-100, each row, column & diagonal adding to 505 with the total sum being 5050;
  • There are exactly 100 prime numbers whose digits are in strictly ascending order. (e.g. 239, 2357 etc.);
  • Pythagoreans considered 100 as divinely divine because it is the square (10 x 10) of the divine decad;
  • The standard SI prefix for a hundred is “hecto-“;
  • 100 is the basis of percentages (per cent meaning “per hundred” in Latin), with 100% being a full amount and representing wholeness, purity, or perfection.


In science

  • One hundred is the Atomic Number of Fermium, a radioactive rare earth metal;
  • One hundred is the molecular weight of Calcium Carbonate;
  • The boiling point of water is 100 degrees Celsius.


In space

  • Messier 100 is a perfect example of a grand design spiral galaxy, a type of galaxy with prominent and very well-defined spiral arms.
  • These dusty structures swirl around the galaxy’s nucleus, and are marked by a flurry of star formation activity that dots Messier 100 with bright blue, high-mass stars.
  • This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

Messier 100.

In Finance

  • Most of the world’s currencies are divided into 100 sub-units; for example, one dollar or one euro is made up of one hundred cents, and one pound sterling is one hundred pence;
  • The U.S. hundred-dollar bill (the largest US bill in print) has Benjamin Franklin’s portrait;

100 dollar bill showing Benjamin Franklin's portrait

  • American savings bonds of $100 have Thomas Jefferson’s portrait;
  • American $100 treasury bonds have Andrew Jackson’s portrait;
  • The FTSE 100, NASDAQ 100, etc., are financial tables of the top companies on the various stock exchanges.

logo nasdaq 100



In sport

  • 100 is the number of yards in an American football field (not including the end zones);
  • 100 is the minimum distance in yards for a Par 3 on a golf course;
  • The 100 meters sprint is the race that brings with it the title of the fastest man in the world. Current holder is Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt;

Usain Bolt 100 Meter Champion and the fastest man in the world

  • 100 points scored by Wilt Chamberlain is the record number of points scored in one NBA game by a single player in basketball game, achieved when Philadelphia Warrior defeated New York Knicks 169-147 on March 2, 1962 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The 316 points by both teams surpassed the record of 312 when Boston defeated Minneapolis 173-139 on Feb. 27, 1959 in Boston.

Wilt Chamberlain



In militaria

  • The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) between France & England lasted 116 years.


  • Ultimax 100
  • The Ultimax 100 is a squad automatic weapon / light machine gun. It was created by the small arms design team at Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS; now Singapore Technologies Kinetics) Inc, that included American small arms designer James Sullivan, who previously worked for Armalite and participated in design of the AR-18 assault rifle. In 1982 it was adopted by the Singaporean army. The current production version is Ultimax 100 Mark 3.

Ultimax 100 mk3 3



  • Type 100 Submachine Gun
  • Designed and built by the Nambu Arms Manufacturing Company in Japan, the Type 100 Submachine gun was used during World War II, and the only submachine gun produced by Japan in any quantity. It was modeled on the famous Bergmann MP18 submachine gun.  First samples were delivered to the Imperial Army in 1942 and in total some 30,000 were manufactured.

Type100 Japanese WWII Submachine Gun



  • F-100
  • The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.
  • The first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight.
  • The F-100 was originally designed by North American Aviation as a higher performance follow-on to the F-86 Sabre air superiority fighter.
  • Adapted as a fighter bomber, the F-100 would be supplanted by the Mach 2 class F-105 Thunderchief for strike missions over North Vietnam. The F-100 flew extensively over South Vietnam as the Air Force’s primary close air support jet until replaced by the more efficient subsonic LTV A-7 Corsair II.
  • The F-100 also served in other NATO air forces and with other U.S. allies. In its later life, it was often referred to as “the Hun,” a shortened version of “one hundred.
  • This aircraft is now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

F-100C in formation 



  • JF-100
  • NASA’s JF-100 Variable Stability Aircraft is a research aircraft about which very little information is readily available. Only scattered references of it remain in bits of documents and reports.
  • The JF-100 was built from an Air Force F-100C by NASA’s Ames Research Center, and transferred to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1960. The “J” designation refers to it being modified for special test missions, but not so extensively that it could not be returned to being a standard F-100. The aircraft obviously was acquired from the Air Force and carried the registration number 53-1709, but no information about its earlier career was available.
  • The JF-100 was removed from service as a variable stability aircraft at NASA Dryden in 1964, but its final disposition could not be determined. The information is most likely buried in various reports somewhere, waiting to be rediscovered by a future researcher.

JF-100 Variable Stability Aircraft



  • F100 class frigates
  • The Álvaro de Bazán class (also known as the F100 class of frigates) are a new class of Aegis combat system-equipped air defence frigates entering service with the Spanish Navy. They are being built in the Spanish factory of Navantia in Ferrol and are named after Admiral Álvaro de Bazán.
  • The ships are fitted with American Aegis weapons technology allowing them to track hundreds of airborne targets simultaneously as part of its air defence network. The F100 Alvaro de Bazan class multi-role frigate is one of the few non-US warships to carry the Aegis Combat System and its associated AN/SPY-1 radar. Japan’s Kongo class, South Korea’s King Sejong the Great class, the F100-derived Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class of frigates also use the Aegis system. Lockheed Martin, Navantia and the U.S. Navy are conducting final systems integration.
Spanish Navy F 100 Class Frigate, Almirante Juan de Borbon
Spanish Navy F 100 Class Frigate, Almirante Juan de Borbon


  • SU-100
  • Designed on the chasis of the T-34-85 tank, the tank hunter SU-100 was produced until March 1946 with a total number of 3037 units made.
  • It was one of the most effective anti-tank units up to 1948. In 1960, the SU-100 was upgraded with the installation of a new enhanced B2-34M engine, fuel pump NK-10, air cleaners VTI-3, commander observation equipment TPKU-2B and driver’s night sight BVN, as well as radio sets 10RT-26E and TPU-47.
  • The SU-100 was produced in Czechoslovakia and was in the inventory of several African and Middle East countries. The Arabs actively used it in military conflicts with Israel.

SU 100 Tank Hunter



  • Other stuff
  • Cities located at 100 degree longitude: Penang, Malaysia; Bangkok, Thailand; Monterrey, Mexico;
  • Hecatonchires were giants with 100 arms and 50 heads each. They were born of Gaia & Uranus, and were stronger than even the Cyclopes. Their names were Cottus, Briareus, and Gyges;
  • Gene McDaniels’ song A Hundred Pounds of Clay had highest hit #3 in 1961 Pop Charts;
  • Joseph Haydn’s Symphony #100 in G Major is called “Military” (composed 1793-94);
  • Room 100 is a 4-member male melodic rock band formed in 1982;
  • Gathering of the 100 Gods occurs on the 19th day of the first lunar month;
  • The first Chinese dictionary was written in 100 A.D.;
  • The 100th day of the year (non-leap year) is April 10;
  • On April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, and hit the iceberg on 4-15-1912;
  • The Century Plant is a Mexican agave (Agave americana) that blooms only once every “100 years” (folklore). In reality, it takes 10 years to bloom in warm regions and up to 60 years in colder climates;
  • Centipedes are insects with “100 legs”;
  • A Centenarian is someone over 100 years old. The number of Centenarians in the US  increased from 37,306 (1990) to 50,454 (2000) according to the U.S. Census;  the 180,000 centenarians worldwide (2000) is projected to reach 3.2 million by 2050;
  • Polish Draughts is a 100-square board game played with 40 pieces. It is similar to the 64-square board game of Checkers;
  • Roman numeral for 100 is C; 
  • Centennial is a 100th anniversary or its celebration;
  • A Century is a period of 100 years;
  • When a TV series reaches 100 episodes, it is generally considered viable for syndication; 
  • There are100 tiles in a standard Scrabble set;
  • In Greece, India, Israel and Nepal, 100 is the police telephone number;
  • In Belgium, 100 is the ambulance and firefighter telephone number;
  • In United Kingdom, 100 is the operator telephone number;
  • There are 100 pounds in an American short hundredweight.