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The lack of prosecution of US bankers responsible for the great financial crisis has been a much debated topic over the years, leading to the coinage of such terms as “Too Big To Prosecute”, the termination of at least one corrupt DOJ official, the revelation that Eric Holder is the most useless Attorney General in history, and of course billions in cash kickbacks between Wall Street and D.C. And, naturally, the lack of incentives that punish cheating and fraud, is one of the main reasons why such fraud will not only continue but get bigger until once again, the entire system crashes under the weight of accumulated theft, corruption and Fed-driven malinvestment. But what can be done? In this case, Vietnam may have just shown the way – sentence embezzling bankers to death. Because if one wants to promptly stop an end to all financial crime, few things motivate as efficiently as a firing squad.
According to the BBC, the former head of a major Vietnamese bank has been sentenced to death for his role in a fraud case involving some 800 billion dong (which sounds like a lot of dong, but equals roughly $35 million) of illegal loans. Nguyen Xuan Son, who served as general director of OceanBank, was convicted of embezzlement, abuse of power and economic mismanagement. Bank founder, tycoon Ha Van Tham, and dozens of other banking officials are also on trial, accused of lending violations.
The Vietnamese government has officially announced a ban on Syngenta’s paraquat, a highly hazardous pesticide (HHP) and Dow Chemicals’ 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), an organic compound found in Agent Orange, which was heavily used during the Vietnam War.
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As Washington turns up the anti-Russian rhetoric to ’11’, it appears Vladimir Putin is not waiting around for the next move. As Reuters reports, Russia is considering plans to restore military bases in Vietnam and Cuba that had served as pivots of Soviet global military power during the Cold War.
In 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military to pull back from Cuba and Vietnam as he sought to bolster ties with the United States.
The U.S.-Russian relations now have plunged to the lowest point since the Cold War times amid strain over Syria and Ukraine, and with John Kerry exclaiming “war crimes” and every neoconned American lining up behind Hillbama proclaiming Putin (and Assad) ‘satan’, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday, that the Russian military is considering the possibility of regaining its Soviet-era bases.
The Korean war is often called the forgotten war. Of course there are many more wars far more forgotten, for example the massive U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic that smashed the new democracy there from 1965-1966. However, what has been forgotten is the massive bloodbath that resulted from the Korean War, during which 3.5 million Koreans died. The Vietnam war is far more well known because it awakened a generation to the vicious nature of American imperialism. Growing up (I was born a couple years after it ended) it was the last major war the U.S. had waged; since then, America’s overt wars were kept brief specifically to avoid another Vietnam. The brief wars of the ’80s and ’90s: Grenada, Libya, Panama, and Iraq. The long wars were the covert wars: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Angola.
Vietnam was chiefly known to my generation through Hollywood movies like Apocalypse Now and Platoon. Thus like most back then I never really even thought to ask, why did the war begin in the first place? What was it all about? Never once in these films did they ever have a Viet Cong explain what they were fighting for. Actually, in fairness to Platoon director Oliver Stone, I should mention that he did eventually make the brilliant Heaven and Earth, which attempted to tell the story of the war from the perspective of a Vietnamese woman. Of course, not even this film is told from the perspective of the NLF, the National Liberation Front. Instead the protagonist survives by collaborating with the Americans, eventually marrying an American soldier who turns out to be a war criminal, a special forces soldier who committed all manner of atrocities as part of America’s psychological operations against the Vietnamese. Sorry for the early tangent but I can’t help but mention this forgotten classic. My point is that while the Vietnam war used to receive a great deal of attention, the actual reasons for the war have been less discussed.
H/t reader I.G.
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The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be horrible for Americans and the people of the world.
But most politicians are thoroughly corrupt. Neither the Democratic or Republican parties represent the interests of the American people. Both parties ignore the desires of their own bases.
So today, 12 countries – Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States and Vietnam – signed the TPP.
Vietnam – First Ever Recorded Snow 300 km (180 miles) south of Hanoi.
Biting cold has brought snow to many places, including some that have never had it before.
The vice president of the Red Crescent society said that of the 9,515 injured in the country during the last week, 7,450 of the injuries were related to snow.
This included 283 road accidents due to snow and blizzard.
Applies to 446 municipalities
Snow has been reported across forested upland areas in northern Laos as extreme cold persists across much of Indochinese Peninsula,
Punjab authorities have closed down schools from Jan 26 to 31 because of biting cold, a private TV channel reported.
Life is almost paralysed by the biting cold in nine upazilas of the district. The poor are burning hay and fallen leaves to keep them warm.
Nine deaths believed to stem from hypothermia reported in Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Tak, Rayong and Udon Thani provinces.
Along with severe cold
In addition, the accompanying low temperatures have caused disasters for farmers across the nation.
Buffaloes have recently died due to the extremely cold weather.
Guangzhou residents were excited Sunday to observe snow falling in their subtropical city for the first time in 88 years.
Schools light bonfires, army readies help
People and livestock in upland areas of northeastern Laos are struggling with the freezing cold.
Okinawa’s main island in southwestern Japan gets its first measurable snowfall in history.
In the south, sleet fell on Amami Oshima Island for the first time since 1901. Residents there usually enjoy temperatures of around 17 degrees Celsius this time of year.
“To people here, it means fighting the deadly cold.”
Farmers in Sa Pa District, where the temperature dropped to minus 4.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday afternoon, said snow is falling at “a sensitive” time.
Many hope to sell vegetables grown on hundreds of hectares and chickens and buffaloes for Tet, the country’s most important festival, which comes in two weeks’ time.
But according to official statistics, snow has caused losses of more than VND2.3 billion ($103,500) to the district’s farmers after affecting more than 170 hectares of vegetable fields and killing five calves.
Dinh Viet Phuong, a vegetable farmer, estimated his loss at at least VND50 million (US2,250) since his vegetable garden is buried under snow and has little chance of survival.
“We’ve lost Tet.”
The cold snap in northern Vietnam is considered the worst in decades, bringing snow even to Ba Vi mountain near Hanoi, which is a mere 1,281 meters (4,200 feet) tall.
The capital city of Vietnam has experienced the most frigid weather after almost 40 years, way lower than expected, local meteorologists said.
Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg traveled to Vietnam for the first time in 1961 as part of a task force commissioned by President Kennedy to seek alternatives to nuclear war
Minneapolis, MN — MintPress News is proud to host “Lied to Death,” a 13-part audio conversation between famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and social justice activist Arn Menconi.
Menconi wrote that these interviews are a “mixture of historical, political science and Dan’s sixty-year scholarly analysis as a former nuclear planner for Rand Corporation.”
For more information on the interview and Daniel Ellsberg, see the introduction to this series.
Chapter 3: U.S. colonels knew the Vietnam War would fail before it began
“The future is unknown and we are not dealing with markets that are free markets anymore…now we have government interventions everywhere. [But] in the last say twelve months, I have observed an increasing number of academics who are questioning monetary policies. That’s why I think they will take the gold away and go back to some gold standard by revaluing the gold say from now $1000/oz to say $10,000 dollars. An individual should definitely own some physical gold. The bigger question is where should he store it? because… the failure of monetary policies will not be admitted by the professors that are at central banks, they will then go and blame someone else for it and then an easy target would be to blame it on people that own physical gold because – they can argue – well these are the ones that do take money out of circulation and then the velocity of money goes down – we have to take it away from them… That has happened in 1933 in the US.”
Dr Marc Faber was born in Zurich, Switzerland. He studied Economics at the University of Zurich and, at the age of 24, obtained a PhD in Economics magna cum laude. Dr Faber publishes a widely read monthly investment newsletter “The Gloom Boom & Doom Report” report which highlights unusual investment opportunities, and is the author of several books including “ TOMORROW’S GOLD – Asia’s Age of Discovery”.
– “They’ll Blame Physical Gold Holders For The Failure Of Monetary Policies” Marc Faber Explains Everything (Marcopolis, Aug 7, 2015):
Interview with Marc Faber, Editor and Publisher of “The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report’”
In this exclusive interview with Marcopolis.net Marc Faber covers it all: from commodities and China to the outlook on inflation, the Euro and gold. According to him the global economy is not healing. To the contrary, we might find ourselves back into recession within six months or a year. In that case he expects more money printing by central banks, which eventually could lead to high inflation rates and renewed strength in commodity prices.
On the bright side, he sees great economic potential in Vietnam. Also, the Iraqi stock market has good potential now that a deal with Iran has been reached. While mining stocks are extremely depressed we might see defaults before any meaningful recovery.
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In your 2002 book “Tomorrow’s gold” you identified two major investment themes: emerging markets along with commodities. That was a great call. As for commodities, they had a great run up until 2008. Then they crashed sharply along with everything else just to recover strongly into 2011. Since then they have acted weakly, and recently commodities even reached a 13-years low. Is this the end of the commodities-super-cycle, as some have claimed, or is it more like a correction?
The World According to Monsanto is a 2008 documentary film directed by Marie-Monique Robin. Originally released in French as Le monde selon Monsanto, the film is based on Robin’s three-year long investigation into the US agricultural giant Monsanto corporation’s practices around the world.
– Weak Dong Forces Vietnam Central Bank To Devalue Currency (Again) (ZeroHedge, May 6, 2015):
Having put off the decision to devalue the Vietnamese currency in March, the Dong has pressured the weaker limit (1% trading band) of the reference rate ever since. This has led to Vietnam’s central bank devaluing the dong reference rate to 21,673 (from 21,458) for the 2nd time this year. This is the softest the dong has ever been relative to king dollar, pushing them deeper into the currency wars.
– 40 Years After Vietnam War, Prime Minister Decries ‘Barbarous Crimes’ of US (Common Dreams, April 30, 2015):
The US ’caused immeasurable losses and pain to our people and country,’ said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
At a ceremony on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of what the Vietnamese call the War of American Aggression, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sharply denounced the “barbarous crimes” committed by the United States.
“They [the U.S.] committed countless barbarous crimes, caused immeasurable losses and pain to our people and country,” Dung said to the crowd of state leaders, war veterans, and civilians gathered in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.
– Propaganda 101 – How the Pentagon is Trying to Rewrite Vietnam War History (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Oct 16, 2014):
In case you weren’t aware, the Pentagon is set to roll out a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. Personally, it’s hard to get excited about commemorating an event that led to the death of over 58,000 American soldiers and more than a million Vietnamese, particularly since much of it was the direct result of well documented lies and deception, such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
What’s worse, the Pentagon intends to rewrite history by whitewashing this period of civil unrest and government shame from American history. The propaganda is so blatant that it has resulted in many of the era’s most well known protestors and activists to come together in order to stop it.
The New York Times reports that: