Wednesday, August 31, 2011

69 Millisieverts a Year for Some Japanese Children


Enenews has a report on two Japanese schools' level of radiation contamination after clean up.

After Cleanup* High school: 7.9 microsieverts/hour — Day care center: 7.1
http://enenews.com/after-cleanup-high-school-7-9-microsievertshour-day-care-center-7-1-microsievertshour#comments

365(7.9 X 24) = 69204/1000 = 69 millisieverts

Health authorities say 1 millisievert should be our level of exposure

Americans receive between 3-6 millisieverts a year and most of that is from medical imaging.

Can you imagine children receiving 69 millisieverts?

Of course, you might say, that the kids are only there 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

But keep in mind, the readings were taken AFTER cleaning.

You can bet community resources went into cleaning up those schools. People love their children everywhere.

But families are likely not going to be able to put the same level of energy or resources into cleaning their yards and homes.

Furthermore, contaminating is ongoing because of the incineration of radioactive debris.

Finally, the food supply is contaminated so the worst levels of exposure are going to be from internal emitters, inhaled or ingested radionuclides.

The Japanese government needs to stop the incineration of radioactive debris.

The Japanese government needs to evacuate all people using, at the very least, the Chernobyl exclusion zone (which wasn't big enough).

The Japanese government needs to set up and fund adequately a comprehensive food testing system, which it still doesn't have.

Fukushima is the Worst Nuclear Disaster in All of Human History

Michael Synder of the Economic Collapse Blog
Fukushima Is Continually Blasting All Of Us With High Levels Of Cesium, Strontium And Plutonium And Will Slowly Kill Millions For Years To Come
http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/fukushima-is-continually-blasting-all-of-us-with-high-levels-of-cesium-strontium-and-plutonium-and-will-slowly-kill-millions-for-years-to-come

(excerpt)
"Fukushima is now far and away the worst nuclear disaster in all of human history. Chernobyl was a Sunday picnic compared to Fukushima and the amount of cesium-137 released at Fukushima this year so far is equivalent to 168 Hiroshima bombs. 

The crisis at Fukushima is far, far worse than you have been told. We are talking about multiple self-sustaining nuclear meltdowns that will not be fully contained for years. In an attempt to keep people calm, authorities in Japan (and around the rest of the world as well) have lied and lied and lied.

Over the months that have passed since the disaster began, small bits of the truth have slowly started to come out. Authorities are finally admitting that the area immediately surrounding Fukushima will be uninhabitable indefinitely, and they are finally admitting that the amount of radioactive material that has been released is far higher than initially reported. 

It is going to take the Japanese years to fully contain this problem. Meanwhile, Fukushima will continue to blast all of us with high levels of cesium, strontium and plutonium and will slowly kill millions of people around the globe for years to come...."


read the entire article at the link above. Thank you Michael Snyder!!!!

"Privately Owned Nuclear Weapons Plant in...Kansas City?"

hat tip Naked Capitalism http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/

[excerpted] "In a last-ditch court hearing, activists seek to block a new Honeywell project.
In Kansas City, Missouri, a local zoning fight is going nuclear, literally: A Monday-morning courtroom showdown between activists and politicians could determine whether the city becomes host to the world's first privately owned nuclear weapons plant.
The proposed plant, a 1.5 million-square-foot, $673 million behemoth, would replace an aging facility, also in KC, where 85 percent (PDF) of the components for nation's nuclear arms are produced. The new plant would be run by the same government contractor as the old one—Honeywell—and proponents say the only major change will be more jobs and city infrastructure. But there will be another big difference: The federal government will sublease the property from a private developer, who in turn will lease it from the city for 20 years…after which the developer will own it outright.
The developer that could ultimately own its very own nuclear weapons plant, Centerpoint Zimmer (CPZ), didn't even exist until the deal for the Kansas City facility.
... In what it called a "competitive bidding process," the US General Services Administration awarded CPZ a contract to build the new plant—on a soybean field that the company already owned. The Kansas City Council, enticed by direct payments and a promise of "quality jobs," approved the deal and agreed to exempt CPZ from property taxes on the plant and surrounding land for 25 years. It also agreed to $815 million in bond subsidies to build the plant and needed infrastructure....
read the entire article at the link above

"$60 Billion Misspent in Past 2 Wars"

The Arizona Republic August 31, 2011 p. A1, A2.

"Panel: US Waste, Fraud Rife in Iraq, Afghanistan. As much as $60 billion intended for financing US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been lost to waste and fraud over the past decade through lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and payoffs to warlords and insurgents, an independent panel investigating wartime spending estimates"

"In its final report to Congress, the Commission on Wartime Contracting said the figure could grow as US support for reconstruction projects and programs wanes..."

MAJIA HERE. PLEASE SEE ALSO

Department of Defense Report to Congress on Contracting Fraud
http://sanders.senate.gov/graphics/Defense_Fraud_Report1.pdf

Task force estimates $360 million in contract money lost to Taliban, criminals in Afghanistan Aug 17 2011
WASHINGTON — After examining hundreds of combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan, the U.S military estimates $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals and power brokers with ties to both.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-government/task-force-estimates-360-million-in-contract-money-lost-to-taliban-criminals-in-afghanistan/2011/08/17/gIQACUteKJ_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

$13 Billion in Iraq Aid Wasted Or Stolen, Ex-Investigator Says By Dana Hedgpeth Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, September 23, 2008; A19
A former Iraqi official estimated yesterday that more than $13 billion meant for reconstruction projects in Iraq was wasted or stolen through elaborate fraud schemes.

Guest Post: The Military-Industrial Compex is Ruining the Economy Sunday, January 10, 2010
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/01/guest-post-the-military-industrial-compex-is-ruining-the-economy.html


WSJ: "Japan Finds Radiation Spread Over a Wide Area"

August 31, 2011 p. A11

"The survey of 2,200 locations within a 62-mile radius of the crippled plant found that those locations had cesium-137 in excess of 1.48 million becquerels per square meter, the level set by the Soviet Union for forced resettlement after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Japanese authorities said..."

"...the latest data point to the possibility that cesium could also be washing away and spreading to other areas, potentially contaminating rivers, lower-lying land and the ocean."

MAJIA HERE: I am very sorry for the Japanese people and regret the role my country played in persuading or coercing the Japanese government to implement nuclear power on an island so clearly, geologically unsafe for this type of "energy."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MUST READ ARTICLE ON SAVING THE REPUBLIC

EPA Radnet

Amarillo Texas has a bump up to about 900 CPM beta

Remember that 30-60 is normal and 3X normal is a considered a health risk (180CPM Beta)

There was a peak upwards around the country over the last couple days but Amarillo is the highest reported.
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/04/12/realtime-epa-radnet-japan-nuclear-radiation-monitoring-every-us-city-single-page-16511/

Potrblog has a very good 17 minute video explaining why he believes high readings are from Fukushima, even those readings attributed to radon. I highly recommend the video. http://www.potrblog.com/

"Nuclear plant worker dies of acute leukemia"

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110830p2g00m0dm084000c.html

TEPCO claims this person did not get ill from working at the plant.

It is possible that this person volunteered to work at the plant because he already had this terrible disease.

It is also possible that he developed radiation sickness while working at the plant from exposure to one of the very high radiation sources at the plant.

Recall that areas of the plant have been found to be extraordinarily "hot," at 10 sieverts an hour.

Exposure to 10 sieverts would kill a person within days.

Relevant Links for Hot Areas at Plant
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8565020/Nuclear-fuel-has-melted-through-base-of-Fukushima-plant.html

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110607005367.htm

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110823p2a00m0na019000c.html

Compensation? I Hardly Think This Adequate

NHK: TEPCO announces standards for compensation
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/30_37.html

[excerpted] The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has announced new standards for compensating those affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

....The standards cover damage inflicted from March 11th to August 31st.

The compensation includes that for travel expenses up to about 65 dollars per trip per person for government-ordered evacuations within Fukushima Prefecture. Lodging fees up to about 104 dollars a night for such evacuations are also covered.

The utility says it could compensate beyond the standards in some cases.

The company is also to provide to evacuees compensation of about 1,300 dollars a month for mental suffering, as well as that for medical fees for injuries and illnesses caused by evacuations. Income lost due to evacuations is also to be covered.


MAJIA HERE: THERE IS NO MONETARY AMOUNT THAT COULD COVER THE LOSS OF YOUR COMMUNITY, HOME, JOB AND, PERHAPS, HEALTH AND LIFE ITSELF

An "energy" source capable of poisoning entire communities for hundreds, if not thousands, of years is not a source of "power," but rather is a source of decay, entrophy, weakness, and death


 

Why Fukushima is Worse Than Chernobyl

hat tip Steveo--Thanks!

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/why-the-fukushima-disaster-is-worse-than-chernobyl-2345542.html

[excerpted]...Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters. One of the most prominent of them is Dr Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician and long time anti-nuclear activist who warns of "horrors to come" in Fukushima.
Chris Busby, a professor at the University of Ulster known for his alarmist views, generated controversy during a Japan visit last month when he said the disaster would result in more than 1 million deaths. "Fukushima is still boiling its radionuclides all over Japan," he said. "Chernobyl went up in one go. So Fukushima is worse."

...Slowly, steadily, and often well behind the curve, the government has worsened its prognosis of the disaster. Last Friday, scientists affiliated with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the plant had released 15,000 terabecquerels of cancer-causing Cesium, equivalent to about 168 times the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the event that ushered in the nuclear age. (Professor Busby says the release is at least 72,000 times worse than Hiroshima).
read entire article at the link above

Monday, August 29, 2011

PILLAGING LIBYAN OIL, CASH, AND WATER

Take a Look at These Headlines and Then Consider What the Aggression Against Libya Was Really About. Headlines are in yellow. My comments are in green.

Celebration and Uncertainty” Bloomberg Business Week August 29-September 4 2011 p. 7

 “Libya has the most oil reserves of an African nation…”

“Some Analysts Expect Fast Return to Oil Markets” WSJ August 24 2011 p. A9.

Libya’s national oil company will need to be fundamentally reformed, and until it is, Western oil majors will find it difficult to get operations up and running again”

[MAJIA HERE: In other words, Libya’s publicly owned resources need to be privatized rapidly and in such a way that western oil companies can seize control of the goods]

“Chasing Assets in the Arab Spring” WSJ August 25 2011 p. A1, A11.

In this article we find that “tens of billions of dollars” of Libyan government money was “frozen as a result of political sanctions ordered by the United Nations

And “Some $37 billion of Libyan assets are currently frozen by the U.S. The U.S. Wednesday introduced a resolution to the UN to authorize the transfer of about $1.5 billion of this money to Libya for humanitarian needs. Much of that would be administered by the rebels but some also by nongovernmental organization, a U.S. official said”

 [MAJIA HERE: And what is the US going to do with the other $35.5 billion dollars? I recommend reading Ellen Brown's essay Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking? http://truthout.org/libya-all-about-oil-or-all-about-banking/1302678000
OF COURSE, IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT STEALING LIBYA'S CASH

“Oil Producers Take Steps to Return: Foreign Firms Face Uncertainty Over Libya’s Governance and Infrastructure After Months of Absence” WSJ August 23 2011, p. A10

“Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. has had ‘preliminary discussions’ with rebels over the conditions of facilities where it has interests…”

“A BP PLC spokesman said the company was committed to returning to Libya ‘as soon as conditions allow’…”

With the largest proven oil reserves in Africa and its major role in export markets, Libya’s importance to the oil industry and its potential future production present a big lure to international oil companies…

“The pipelines and oil fields in eastern Libya belonging to the rebel controlled Arabian Gulf Co, or Agoco, have been protected by rebel troops, a spokesman said Monday. Before the war, when the company was run by Gadhafi’s government, it normally produced 425,000 barrels of oil a day”

[MAJIA HERE: So, formerly government holdings of oil have been privatized into the hands of the mysterious “rebels.”  One wonders how the rest of the Libyan population feel about that given that their relatively high standard of living was directly subsidized by Libyan oil revenues]

MAJIA HERE: So what else does Libya have that the US and other nations can pillage besides plenty of cash and oil? Fresh water of course, the 21st century’s blue gold.

Libya: Water Emerges as a Hidden Weapon http://simbarusseau.com/libya-water-emerges-as-a-hidden-weapon/
[excerpted] Oil exploration in the southern Libyan desert in the mid-1950s revealed vast quantities of fresh, clean groundwater – this could meet growing national demand and development goals.
Scientists estimate that nearly 40,000 years ago when the North African climate was temperate, rainwater in Libya seeped underground forming reservoirs of freshwater.

In 1983, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi initiated a huge civil water works project known as the Great Man-Made River (GMMR) – a massive irrigation project that drew upon the underground basin reserves of the Kufra, Sirte, Morzuk, Hamada and the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer – to deliver more than five million cubic metres of water per day to cities along Libya’s coastal belt.
See also on Libya's water
http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/03/libyas_water_supply

MAJIA HERE: THIS HAS APPARENTLY WORKED OUT SO WELL FOR THE US THAT IT PLANS MORE OF THESE ATTACKS
US Tactics in Libya May Be a Model for Other Efforts. The New York Times. August 29, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/world/africa/29diplo.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha22

And the US and other pillaging nations and corporations need not worry about outrage from Libya's population over the pillaging of their national resources. The depleted uranium used in the assault against Libya will distract the Libyan people with disease and death.
That is correct, nuclear weapons in the form of depleted uranium were used in Libya and will no doubt poison the unfortunate civilian population.http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2011/07/07/nato-using-nuclear-weapons-in-libya

The people running the world’s most powerful countries, militaries, and corporations are sociopaths
Additional resources
http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2011/08/make-no-mistake-nato-committed-war-crimes-libya

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26255

Japan Contamination Versus Chernobyl Contamination


Chernobyl Zoning

1,480,000 Bq/㎡~ Zone1) Immediate Evacuation Level: forced and immediate evacuation

555,000 Bq/㎡~ Zone2) Temporay Relocation Level: relocation is obligatory

185,000 Bq/㎡~ Zone3) Preferred Relocation Level: citizens are given the right to relocate

37,000 Bq/㎡~ Zone4) Radiation Protection Area: defined to prevent unnecessary contamination

http://doc.radiationdefense.jp/dojyou1_en.pdf

Blogger Ex-SKF Reports Today on the Levels of Contamination Now Being Officially Recognized

Soil Contamination in 34 Locations in Fukushima Exceeds Chernobyl Confiscation/Closed Zone Level
[excerpted] "In one location, the contamination level is more than 10 times the Chernobyl level.
What a surprise. Now that PM Kan is out, the government dribbles out the information that it withheld as it de-emphasized and even attacked the reports of high soil contamination as measured by private entities including citizens' groups.
The most contaminated location found so far is Okuma-machi, where Fukushima I Nuke Plant is located: 29,460,000 becquerels per square meter with cesium-134 and cesium-137 combined, 15,450,000 becquerels per square meter if only cesium-137 is counted.
The confiscated/closed zone after the Chernobyl accident is set in locations whose cesium-137 level in soil exceeds 1,480,000 becquerels per square meter. The level of cesium-137 in the location in Okuma-machi is 10 times that of the Chernobyl confiscated/closed zone..."(READ ARTICLE AT LINK ABOVE)

MAJIA HERE: The thing is that Fukushima is STILL spewing radiation PLUS the Japanese are now INCINERATING radioactive debris so radiation is still being produced in large quantities. This disaster is nowhere near over.
What happens if the corium, which has apparently melted through the basement of at least some buildings, hits a large enough pocket of water to cause an explosion.
Why is TEPCO still in charge of this disaster? What the heck is going on here...?


Bobby 1 Has Updated His/Her Analysis of Post-Fukushima Deaths

POTRBLOG SAFETY ALERT

Potrblog has issued a safety alert for citizens in the area of the North Anna nuclear plant.
http://www.potrblog.com/

The Machine Dialectic


The idea of the machine dialectic is this:

Humans externalize themselves in their labor. So, a person produces something and that thing then serves to affirm that human's existence. The human can look at the thing and say happily, "I did that!--I made that!"

However, human nightmares are born also with human externalizations.

The thing can act back up on the person to shape him or her in ways detrimental to life itself.

The things we produce can become systematized in ways that dictate our interpretations, decision frames, and actions.

Consider the automation of labor. For two hundred years, machines have dictated labor patterns. The steam engine, the cotton gin, the lathe machine, etc all acted back up human labor to shape its forms and rhythms.

Those who benefit from labor's automation have always pushed forward its development.

Automation may require new skill sets for those still employed, but typically means less labor is required for production.

The assembly line, that most significant of inventions, de-skilled work by breaking down the work process into simplified steps while eventually replacing workers with automation.

The automation of work enabled by machines contributed to the great depression in the 30s and now as outputs exceeded the consumptive capacities of largely impoverished populations.

In the contemporary era, much production work has been automated and the remaining productive work is shipped on massive machines (powered boats) far away to where labor is cheap.

Our machines have produced a dearth of jobs and are contributing to social instability as a consequence.

By easing our food production, our machines have enabled massive population explosions.

But all these machines have also created a system that is acting back upon their makers by slowly killing them.

The energy needed to run the machines is poisoning the earth. Carbon-based fuels produce toxic waste when extracted, refined, and consumed. Nuclear power produces toxic waste when extracted, refined, and consumed.

The latest news about Fukushima is frankly terrifying. The meltdown of that terrible machine will kill many, many of us and other life forms.

Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of our machines is that we simply cannot live without them at this point in time.

An electro-magnetic pulse from the sun could potentially disrupt all of our electronics-based machines. Utter chaos would result because most of the world's populations would die within a few months without the machines that keep us fed while slowly sucking away our vitalities through their terrible effluents.

A meteor from space could have the same effect.

In the past, human reliance on machines was less extensive and so disruptions to our planet caused by objects or phenomena from space were more localized.

However, we have now extended our reliance on machines to such an extent that a major disruption to their operations would result in near complete societal disruption.

Yet these machines are not merely beneficent providers of life. These machines are poisoning our planet and us.

The dialectic of the machine has in fact materialized into a nightmare as the machines we have produced kill us slowly and could, in the event of their disruption, cause us to die rapidly.

Films such as Terminator, The Matrix, and 2001 have explored this nightmare scenario directly.

Yet, confronted with the reality of our indenture to the machines we have produced, we are utterly blind and so perhaps our destruction is guaranteed, whether it occur slowly through poisoning or rapidly through the chaos of disruption.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oh No! Japan to Allow Burning of All Radioactive Waste


Ex-SKF is reporting the following;

Japan's Ministry of Environment to Allow #Radioactive Ashes to Be Buried in Regular Waste Final Disposal Sites
[excerpted] Here we go. Radioactive Japan (or at least East Japan). Now all radioactive debris and garbage can and will be burned and buried.

The news headlines at various media outlets say "ashes that contain up to 100,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium", but if you read the news carefully, as long as there are "countermeasures" to prevent the leakage of radioactive cesium into the surrounding environment, the Ministry is prepared to allow the ashes with any amount of radioactive materials to be buried in regular waste final disposal facilities.


MAJIA HERE: HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENING?

IS THERE NO OTHER WAY?

WE ARE ALL GOING TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF THIS CHOICE AND THE LEVEL OF JAPAN'S RADIOACTIVE FOOD CONTAMINATION IS GOING TO SPIKE UPWARDS

I don't know how to wake people up to this ever-expanding disaster. I have tried every way I can imagine.

Fukushima is a problem too large for Japan alone to handle. Too much is at stake here. Fukushima must be contained and the incineration of radioactive debris must be halted or we will all suffer the consequences.

We are allowing a corrupt corporation and government to decide life or death for the people of Japan and perhaps the people of other nations as well, including the US and Canada (and perhaps China, Russia, and Korea as well).

Yet, no one wants to be bothered with the news and the mainstream news media and politicians are only too happy to oblige.

Fukushima Diary: Contaminated Food in Japan

This is a Japanese webpage that I have used google to translate into English. It is a great site for news from the "people," mostly in the form of twitters.

The news usually is not yet formally acknowledged.

Often times the twitters published at Fukushima Diary are later substantiated by NHK or some other mainstream Japanese source.

The most recent post concerns radioactive food contamination that is spreading throughout Japan because of lack of adequate testing and an almost wilful disregard for public health by authorities.

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/08/save-us/#.Tlo4J7Scxis.twitter

Financial Warfare Using High Frequency Trading, Quote Stuffing and Naked Short Selling

This is a passage from an essay I've recently written on the subject of financial warfare. These are tools of financial warfare because the use of these weapons is almost exclusively the purview of very wealth elite individuals and organizations. The weapons are used to extract value from the larger population without adding value or providing goods or services.


High frequency trading (HFT) technology enables profits to be gleaned from “movement” itself within markets by skimming the purchasing and selling activities of other traders, especially large institutional investors such as pension funds (Brown, 2010). HFT involves powerful computers located immediately next to exchanges that rely on computer code to automatically purchase and sell vast quantities of securities. The speed and proximity advantages of computers used in HFT enable advantageous insight into sellers and buyers price points. HFT leverages privileged information using flash orders to outmaneuver other investors, by ferreting out price points and by subsequently buying and selling large quantities of orders in micro-seconds: “HFT allows the program trader to peek at major incoming orders and jump in front of them to skim profits off the top” from large institutional orders by pension funds, mutual funds, etc (Brown, 2010, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BRO20100422&articleId=18809). High-frequency trading often involves “quote stuffing,” characterized high volume, high frequency trades that are cancelled almost immediately after being placed (Lauricella & Strasburg, 2010).

Ellen Brown recently observed that HFT has become a major source of stock market trading volume: “High frequency trading firms now account for 73% of all U.S. equity trades, although they represent only 2% of the approximately 20,000 firms in operation.” It does not matter which way the stock market fluctuates: so long as stock markets “move,” high frequency traders make money. High frequency trading illustrates how extreme capital accumulation can occur outside the circuits of production.

Critics of HFT refer to it as a parasitic process that essentially “taxes” slower trading entities (Brown, 2010; Keiser, 2010e). There is little doubt that high frequency trading privileges investors whose speed allows them to buy and sell before other traders. However, critics such as Max Keiser (2010d, 2010e) argue that HFT can manipulate markets by triggering other (slower) traders’ buy and sell protocols. For instance, if HFT “short”[i] a set of highly monitored stocks, other traders’ computer algorithms may be activated, precipitating huge sell-offs, as occurred on May 7, 2010. In this event, traders, pension funds, and investment firms lacking the computerized apparatuses of high-frequency trading run the risk of losing all in seconds, as their unwieldy, stop-loss programs dump securities for the HFT traders to pick up in micro-seconds at bargain prices. HFT traders can even “short” stocks they do not own or possess. The speed at which HFT occurs allows traders to post sell or buy orders and then withdraw them within micro-seconds. This type of activity is not intended to achieve actual transactions, but rather to manipulate slower traders’ market activities by tipping activity toward buying or selling (Kesier, 2010e). As will be explored presently, this capacity to manipulate markets can be deliberately politicized.

 Monitoring HFT is difficult for regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because a considerable portion of securities transactions no longer occurs within the formal exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange. Trading has moved from these transparent exchanges into “dark pools” that are invisible to regulators. In fact, in 2009 only 36 percent of daily trades in stocks listed on the NYSE occurred on the exchange as the vast majority of transactions were executed in dark pools or on new electronic exchanges (Bowley, 2009). Dark pools allow HFT to go unmonitored: as explained by Bowley, “These stealth markets enable sophisticated traders to buy and sell large blocks of stock in secrecy at lightning speed, a practice that has drawn scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission” (p. 17). Dark pools also allow for naked short selling to occur, despite the practice being banned in domestic securities transactions.

Naked short selling is another type of activity commonly pursued that allows traders to create value outside of the circuits of production. Naked short selling is a variation of short selling. Short selling occurs when a trader borrows a stock or bond and sells it in anticipation of the price of the stock/bond falling. The trader can then re-purchase the stock/bond at a lower price, enabling the trader to return the stock/bond back to the lender after having made a profit on the difference between the selling and purchasing prices. Naked short selling occurs when traders sell stocks/bonds they do not own or have in their possession in anticipation of the price of the stock falling. Naked short selling in the U.S. cash markets is technically illegal, but is commonly practiced in U.S. and European derivative markets (Denninger, 2010; Keiser, 2010a, 2010c). Naked short selling of derivatives created from stocks or bonds is not technically illegal, since the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act deregulated the derivative market (Johnson & Kwak, 2010).

Naked short selling of bonds and derivatives derived from bonds (e.g., CDOs) is both a lucrative strategy and a powerful tool capable of bringing down companies and countries (Keiser, 2010a, 2010b, 2010d). Traders who hold credit default swaps (i.e., insurance) on bonds (or other securities), profit from the bonds’ default and therefore may actively “short” bonds, even if they do not have those bonds in their possession (in other words, “naked short selling” them). Credit default swaps (CDS) are sold by insurance companies to investment and commercial banks alike. They “insure” risky investments, often in excess of the value of the underlying insured investment. CDS were not regulated and companies that issued them typically failed to hold adequate reserves against outstanding contracts (see Levisohn, 2008). American Insurance General (AIG) sold credit default swaps to the large investment and commercial banks, among other buyers, on securities (particularly CDOs) derived from mortgages. The collapse of mortgage-back securities that was precipitated by the subprime meltdown overwhelmed AIG’s capability to pay out on credit default swaps to counterparties until the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York opened up a credit line to AIG that eventually exceeded $182.3 billion (Teitelbaum & Son, 2009; Walsh, 2009). By virtue of this government lifeline, AIG paid out approximately $13 billion to Goldman Sachs, alone in credit default swaps (Dylan Ratigan Show, 2009). AIG’s counter parties were not required by the Federal Reserve Bank to take a “haircut” (Teitelbaum & Son, 2009). Credit default swaps continue to be a lucrative investment strategy for banks and hedge funds because they allow these entities to bet against leveraged companies, public entities, and countries without even owning their bonds (Levisohn, 2008; Rickards, 2010a, 2010b).

Naked short selling and credit default swaps together allow investors to attack companies, countries, or even municipalities using electronic market exchanges. Naked short selling was implicated in driving down Bear Stearns’ stock value (Taibbi, 2009a) and in the collapse of Greece’s bond market, particularly when participating traders held credit default swaps, or insurance contracts paying out in the instance of default (Lawder &Youngla, 2010). Jim Rickards, a financial analyst who consults to the U.S. government on financial security, described the “weaponization” of finance (2010b) as banks and hedge funds in 2010 shorted sovereign debt (bonds) in Europe in what Rickards termed as “attacks on sovereign credit” (2010a). Rickards (2010a) explained that derivatives trades allow speculators to short companies or nations on electronic exchanges with no money down: “You can attack a country with no money, no money down, just create a credit default swap out of thin air.” Rickards observed that the European Union’s $1 trillion dollar rescue package for nations facing exorbitant interest rates for refinancing their debts (due to these types of attacks) would easily be outmaneuvered by the banks and hedge funds, which are capable of naked shorting with essentially no financial backing. The deliberate and punitive (naked and legitimate) short selling of bonds or derivatives by acquisitive capitalists who lack national allegiance has been described by Max Keiser as “financial terrorism” (2010a).

A final way discussed in this paper for acquiring wealth through financial transactions, external to any productivity activities, entails carry trades. In 2008 and 2009 a “carry trade” enabled by the Federal Reserve’s low-interest lending within the US also allowed considerable speculation and capital accumulation by investors. U.S. dollars, borrowed at low interest rates, were used abroad to purchase other assets whose values were appreciating. Appreciating assets could then be sold at a profit. Accumulated profits could be used to push up more asset bubbles overseas (Sheehan, 2010). In 2010, the European bank crisis precipitated in part by naked short selling of Greek bonds produced a carry trade of the Euro (see Shah, 2010). Carry trades have the effect of producing downward pressure on the borrowed currency while inflating the value of the currencies or equities that are purchased (Shah, 2010). Carry trades undermine sovereign entities such as the European Union’s capacities to control currency values, but provide unlimited speculative opportunities for traders.

In sum, although sub-priming mortgages have been identified as the security base responsible for precipitating the financial crisis that began at the end of 2007, these instruments were merely the bottom of a speculative bubble of derivatives contracts and credit default swaps that were created out of, or that insured, debt-backed bonds deriving ultimately from mortgages, consumer loans, municipal bonds, etc. Len Bracken (2009) claims that the U.S. “banking system’s total notional derivative exposure (comprising interest rate, currency, and CDS derivatives) is estimated to be $200 trillion” while the worldwide “notional value of outstanding derivatives is now estimated to be $1.405 quadrillion, up 22 percent [in 2009] from the 2008 level” (http://lenbracken.com/currency.html).[ii] The quadrillion valuation (quadrillion equals 1015) of outstanding derivatives compares with an estimated world GDP for 2009 of $70.29 trillion (trillion equals 1012) (CIA, 2010, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html).

 Efforts to investigate the causes for the crisis have discovered that the push for securitization by financial entities actually promoted outright fraud of the underlying assets (e.g., mortgages) that were bundled, spliced, diced, insured, and traded. To reiterate: much of the underlying consumer and corporate debt used as leverage for this mountain of securitization was infused with fraud (see Black, 2010a; Galbraith, 2010). William Black claims that the U.S. Congressional hearings on the crisis conspired to “cover up” the degree of fraud infused throughout the entire system (Black, 2010b). Hence, Max Keiser recently described the business in America today as fraud (Max Keiser, 2010a). While Keiser’s quip may be an overstatement, it does capture the strong sense that the financial service sector’s dominance of the U.S. economy did not produce tangible rewards for the vast majority of the populace and, moreover, contributed to the working class’ impoverishment by facilitating debt-based transactional wealth creation outside of productive activities that employ the populace and by creating incentives for predatory lending and excessive consumption. To put this otherwise, one of the most important implications of the financialization of the U.S. economy is that citizens’ productive contributions to the national GDP waned in significance as more capital was generated from electronic transactional speculations upon debt-based securities, rather than from the profit margins of manufacturing activities.



[i]           Short selling occurs when a trader borrows a stock or bond and sells it in anticipation of the price of the stock/bond falling. The trader can then re-purchase the stock/bond at a lower price, enabling the trader to return the stock/bond back to the lender after having made a profit on the difference between the selling and purchasing prices.
[ii]               I attempted to verify the amount of outstanding derivatives with the Bank of International Settlements’ data for 2009 published in the June 2010 Quarterly Review (pp. 121-126 http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qa1006.pdf). I totaled the numbers provided in the BIS tables for derivatives to $5626883 in billions. Wayne Madsen uses data from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank to put the total outstanding derivatives value in the quadrillions (2010, http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5586.shtml) and notes that “DK Matai of the Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance notes that a conservative 10 percent default or decline could result in $100 trillion of payouts.” Although these numbers are simply unintelligible, it is clear that the notional value of derivatives outstanding exceeds the world’s GDP exponentially.

EPA Radiation Readings August 28

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/04/12/realtime-epa-radnet-japan-nuclear-radiation-monitoring-every-us-city-single-page-16511/

I see a  RADIATION spike echoing around the country over the last few days. Remember that “normal” is between 30 and 60 CPM beta (though many places run 0) and the EPA considers 3X “normal” a health risks.

San Bernardino County CA around 200 beta
Fort Smith AR 300 beta
Little Rock AR 200 beta
Phoenix AZ over 300 beta
Yuma AZ around 600 beta
Sacramento CA 650 beta
Des Moines IA 600 beta
Idaho Falls 200 beta
Fort Wayne IN 650 beta
Louisville KY 600 beta
Kearney NE 550 beta
Omaha not reporting recently
Carlsbad NM between 400 and 650 beta
Toledo OH 550 beta
Pierre SD 500 beta
Rapid City SD stopped reporting
Amarillo TX 700 beta
Harrisonburg VA ranging from 200 to 800 beta
Spokane WA 200 beta
THE JET STREAM SEEMS TO RELATIVELY HIGH BUT THERE APPEAR TO BE LOWER SEGMENTS THAT ARE HITTING THE LOWER PART OF THE US (E.G., COMING IN AT SOUTHERN CA)
http://www.weatherimages.org/data/imag192.html

Saturday, August 27, 2011

EPA Radnet Data August 27


It is getting harder and harder to find the EPA's radnet data, especially for beta. In my opinion, this is no accident. Let me explain and provide some relevant links.

Alexander Higgins has a wonderful feed where one can see on 1 page the gamma and beta levels for all reporting cities. http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/04/12/realtime-epa-radnet-japan-nuclear-radiation-monitoring-every-us-city-single-page-16511/

Unfortunately, his website is down today.

So, I had to go into the EPA's sites myself and see what I can find here http://www.epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/#VA

I can find gamma levels but not beta. Radnet has taken down the beta information from the pages where they post air monitoring for participating cities.

For instance, here is the link for air monitoring in Harrisonburg Virginia. The page only provides gamma levels, which are harder to decode for novices like myself
http://www.epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/radnet-harrisonburg-bg.html

Here is the radnet link that is supposed to allow you to search for beta data for participating cities
https://cdxnode64.epa.gov/radnet-public/query.do

However, the page is not allowing me to select the monitoring site.

Consequently, I am unable to pull up beta levels, which I've used for my reporting.

Another Radnet page offers links to pages where data are supposedly posted but the links don't work.
"For real-time air monitoring data, please visit the EPA RadNet website and Central Data Exchange. To view both current and historical laboratory data, please visit our Envirofacts database" (page is http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet-data-map.html)

UPSHOT: I APOLOGIZE TO READERS LOOKING FOR THE BETA UPDATES BUT I CANNOT GET TO THEM!

TO REPEAT: I DOUBT THIS IS ACCIDENTAL.






Debating Dose

In a previous post I described the ICRP model, as explained by Chris Busby. Busby stated that the model essentially extrapolated the human effects from radiation by looking at how water absorbed radiation. (see http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/short-history-of-risk-assessments-for.html )

Now I am going to describe how Busby differentiates the recently developed European model (ECRR) on evaluating radiation risk from the ICRP model. The following is excerpted from this link
http://euradcom.org/publications/iodinedosecalc15042011.pdf

(Excerpted) Dose, dose rate and contamination
Dose, or absorbed equivalent dose is given in Sieverts. It is this quantity that is used to predict radiation risk. It is a lump of radiation that has been delivered to your body.

Although for some radionuclide internal exposures, absorbed dose is a meaningless concept, because it is an average to all tissue rather than the energy delivered to the DNA, we can use weighting factors to convert the absorbed dose into the energy delivered to the DNA.

This is what the ECRR has done. A microSievert (mSv) is one millionth of a Sievert...
The ICRP cancer risk coefficient is about 0.05 per Sievert and that of the ECRR is 0.1 per Sievert. http://euradcom.org/publications/iodinedosecalc15042011.pdf
 MAJIA HERE: So, what the ECRR model has done is to weight the radiation dose so that it incorporates the biological impact on DNA rather than simply looking at the summative effect of the absorption of the radiation into tissues (at least, that is my understanding)

The ECRR's 2010 Recommendations can be found here

It is interesting to note that in the first link I've provided (http://euradcom.org/publications/iodinedosecalc15042011.pdf) Busby notes that even the ECRR's model fails to adequately predict the impact of radiation on children because they are so much more biologically vulnerable than adults.

Thus, Busby writes:

"The dose coefficient is perhaps as much as 5 times greater for children. Infant leukemia increased after Chernobyl at levels where the ICRP foetal doses from Caesium-137 were about 50microSieverts and the ECRR coefficients for Cs-137 would not have predicted these increases"
Majia Here: Ok now we understand the criticism of the ICRP model and have another model for studying the health risks of radiation but even that model understates children's risks (and the younger the child the greater the risk as a general rule).