Everything That Happened In 2013 In One Cartoon

While millisecond by millisecond we spend our lives focused on the machinations of the “markets”, a lot of ‘other stuff’ happened in 2013. The following incredible image from Beutler Ink’s Mario Zucca packs in an entire year’s worth of 2013’s major events.

 

 

And Mario has been kind enough to provide a ‘cheat sheet’


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/7R18QvonIXk/story01.htm Tyler Durden

An "Angry" Bart Chilton Shares His Parting Lesson From 30 Years In Washington

While one may criticize now-ex CFTC commissioner Bart Chilton for years and years of sound and fury signifying nothing, countless promises of regulatory enforcement (all of which fell short of the target) and finally putting an end to precious metals manipulation only for the world to discover that while every other asset class is manipulated (involving such individuals as JPM’s chief currency dealer), gold and silver are exempt, one must admit the former regulator does have a way wtih words (and of course haircuts). Sure enough, Chilton’s most memorable parting gift will not be something he did, but rather what he said.

William Cohan memorializes his parting message: “As we long suspected, Wall Street continues to use every trick in its playbook to do whatever it can to eviscerate numerous post-financial-crisis rules. The arsenal includes high-powered lobbyists who outnumber lawmakers 10-to-1; $1,000-an-hour letter-writing lawyers who gain strength from negotiating over arcana; and the occasional hoodwinking of a president whose knowledge of the ways of finance are close to nil.”

Chilton’s take home message: “The lesson for me is: The financial sector is so powerful that they will roll things back over time,” Chilton says. “The Wall Street firms have tremendous influence, and they can impact policy to a greater degree than any one regulator or a small group of regulators can.

Well, one sure can’t say that those 30 years he spent in Washington of which nearly 7 years at the CFTC were lost on the Alexander Godunov lookalike: at least he figured out who runs the show. Of course, finding a way how to prevent the financial sector from being in charge, i.e., doing his job, would have been preferable, but close enough for government work.

What are Chilton’s other laments? Why being underfunded of course. Because if the CFTC only had more money, all would have been fixed.

In fiscal 2013, for example, the CFTC requested funding of $308 million and got only $195 million ($10 million less than the previous year) despite many new responsibilities. “There are crooks who are getting away with crimes because we don’t have the resources to go after them,” Chilton says. The SEC has a similar discrepancy between its appropriation and what it needs to fulfill legal mandates.

 

With its regulators overwhelmed and underfunded, Wall Street firms then move to the relentless negotiation stage. “As you try to deal with the regulatory agency,” he says of Wall Street, “the first thing you do is you say, ‘Well, would you exempt us?’ And when that doesn’t work, you try to ameliorate your regulation.” If that strategy fails, the industry defaults to litigation.

Sounds like the generic justification anyone would make for failing at their job. But it could be just us.

Some more deep thoughts from Bart Chilton:

Chilton said he has noticed one additional tactic that Wall Street has been employing lately: stalling or thwarting nominees to regulatory agencies. The nomination of Timothy Massad, the U.S. Treasury Department official who managed the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to replace Gary Gensler as CFTC chairman came late in the year and a confirmation vote has now been delayed, probably to February 2014. That means further Dodd-Frank rule-writing and enforcement could be delayed, too, because only two of five commissioners will be seated and they would both have to agree to get anything done. “It’s a gift to Wall Street,” he said. “This is what they’ve been trying to do. They’ve been trying to stop Dodd-Frank.”

 

Chilton knows why Wall Street always seems to win. Financial-industry executives contribute more money “in every election, than any other sector, and they have made more profits in every single quarter since the fall of 2008 when many of them helped crash the economy,” he explains. “So while the rest of the nation is suffering still, and trying to get a leg up to get out of the ditch, the financial sector didn’t miss a beat.”

 

In case you didn’t catch Chilton’s meaning, here is the shorter version: Unless and until Wall Street’s disproportionate ability to bully Washington is curtailed, the rest of us will be held hostage to its agenda. For those interested in the fuller version, Chilton has been writing a book. Its working title: “Theft.”

Oh, we caught Chilton’s meaning all right. What we are more interested in is how long after Theft is a monetary failure will the silver-haired regulator apply for a job at Goldman, JPMorgan or Citi. Because one thing we have learned observing Washington apparatchiks, is that in addition to sharing deep thoughts on occasions (if unmatched by actions), hypocrisy also happens to be a recurring theme.

For those who yearn for one last dose of Chilton’s deep thoughts, here is his most recent speech, “The Boss“, appropriately enough before the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, New York City. After all, the man has to get in with the publishing lobby next.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/arZcjnYkLRM/story01.htm Tyler Durden

An “Angry” Bart Chilton Shares His Parting Lesson From 30 Years In Washington

While one may criticize now-ex CFTC commissioner Bart Chilton for years and years of sound and fury signifying nothing, countless promises of regulatory enforcement (all of which fell short of the target) and finally putting an end to precious metals manipulation only for the world to discover that while every other asset class is manipulated (involving such individuals as JPM’s chief currency dealer), gold and silver are exempt, one must admit the former regulator does have a way wtih words (and of course haircuts). Sure enough, Chilton’s most memorable parting gift will not be something he did, but rather what he said.

William Cohan memorializes his parting message: “As we long suspected, Wall Street continues to use every trick in its playbook to do whatever it can to eviscerate numerous post-financial-crisis rules. The arsenal includes high-powered lobbyists who outnumber lawmakers 10-to-1; $1,000-an-hour letter-writing lawyers who gain strength from negotiating over arcana; and the occasional hoodwinking of a president whose knowledge of the ways of finance are close to nil.”

Chilton’s take home message: “The lesson for me is: The financial sector is so powerful that they will roll things back over time,” Chilton says. “The Wall Street firms have tremendous influence, and they can impact policy to a greater degree than any one regulator or a small group of regulators can.

Well, one sure can’t say that those 30 years he spent in Washington of which nearly 7 years at the CFTC were lost on the Alexander Godunov lookalike: at least he figured out who runs the show. Of course, finding a way how to prevent the financial sector from being in charge, i.e., doing his job, would have been preferable, but close enough for government work.

What are Chilton’s other laments? Why being underfunded of course. Because if the CFTC only had more money, all would have been fixed.

In fiscal 2013, for example, the CFTC requested funding of $308 million and got only $195 million ($10 million less than the previous year) despite many new responsibilities. “There are crooks who are getting away with crimes because we don’t have the resources to go after them,” Chilton says. The SEC has a similar discrepancy between its appropriation and what it needs to fulfill legal mandates.

 

With its regulators overwhelmed and underfunded, Wall Street firms then move to the relentless negotiation stage. “As you try to deal with the regulatory agency,” he says of Wall Street, “the first thing you do is you say, ‘Well, would you exempt us?’ And when that doesn’t work, you try to ameliorate your regulation.” If that strategy fails, the industry defaults to litigation.

Sounds like the generic justification anyone would make for failing at their job. But it could be just us.

Some more deep thoughts from Bart Chilton:

Chilton said he has noticed one additional tactic that Wall Street has been employing lately: stalling or thwarting nominees to regulatory agencies. The nomination of Timothy Massad, the U.S. Treasury Department official who managed the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to replace Gary Gensler as CFTC chairman came late in the year and a confirmation vote has now been delayed, probably to February 2014. That means further Dodd-Frank rule-writing and enforcement could be delayed, too, because only two of five commissioners will be seated and they would both have to agree to get anything done. “It’s a gift to Wall Street,” he said. “This is what they’ve been trying to do. They’ve been trying to stop Dodd-Frank.”

 

Chilton knows why Wall Street always seems to win. Financial-industry executives contribute more money “in every election, than any other sector, and they have made more profits in every single quarter since the fall of 2008 when many of them helped crash the economy,” he explains. “So while the rest of the nation is suffering still, and trying to get a leg up to get out of the ditch, the financial sector didn’t miss a beat.”

 

In case you didn’t catch Chilton’s meaning, here is the shorter version: Unless and until Wall Street’s disproportionate ability to bully Washington is curtailed, the rest of us will be held hostage to its agenda. For those interested in the fuller version, Chilton has been writing a book. Its working title: “Theft.”

Oh, we caught Chilton’s meaning all right. What we are more interested in is how long after Theft is a monetary failure will the silver-haired regulator apply for a job at Goldman, JPMorgan or Citi. Because one thing we have learned observing Washington apparatchiks, is that in addition to sharing deep thoughts on occasions (if unmatched by actions), hypocrisy also happens to be a recurring theme.

For those who yearn for one last dose of Chilton’s deep thoughts, here is his most recent speech, “The Boss“, appropriately enough before the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, New York City. After all, the man has to get in with the publishing lobby next.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/arZcjnYkLRM/story01.htm Tyler Durden

"Day To Night" – 24 Hours Captured In A Single Frame: The Photo Gallery

“I wanted to take something that everybody had an idea of — ‘I’ve been there, I’ve seen the statue of liberty’ — but I wanted to show it to you in a way that you could never see it”

     – Stephen Wilkes

With markets closed around the world (and since 2008 some would say), here is something different.

Below is a sampling of some of the most iconic Day to Night photos by Stephen Wilkes, each of which captures the passage of an entire day in a single frame and which, as Wired states, takes an “absurd amount of time and effort to produce” including up to 15 hours to shoot and weeks to edit. “Wilkes says he is “maniacal” in his attention to detail when making these his information-dense, hyper-curated and highly polished accounts of a single day in some of the world’s most iconic locations. Every inch of his photos, some as big as 10 feet wide, are meant to tell a story. He says telling that story is an all-consuming process.”

More on this distinctly unique creative process:

The amount of work that goes into these photos is insane. After intensively scouting a location and planning the shoot, Wilkes spends as long as 15 hours behind the camera, often on a crane high above the scene. He’ll shoot more than 1,000 frames between sunrise and sunset, trying to capture the shifting light and activity throughout his field of view. Through it all he remains as still as possible for fear the slightest move will shift the camera even a fraction of a degree.

 

He and his assistant pore over the photos for weeks, creating dozens of digital collages that typically comprise 50 images. He uses a complex grid system to arrange the most interesting parts of each shot into a strong composition while staying true to the time of day that they were taken. The attention to detail reveals itself when you’re right next to the massive prints, which when seen up close stretch well beyond natural peripheral vision. The smallest oversight, like a slightly shifted shadow, can shatter the illusion by betraying the fact the epic image is in fact a collage of smaller images shot at different times of day. But when everything comes together perfectly, the viewer can step back or get nose-deep in the image without losing the sense of cohesion.

 

Another important aspect of the work is how Wilkes teases visual narratives out of seemingly chaotic public spaces. A few hundred tourists snapping selfies in front of the Sacre Coeur or an arrest on the Santa Monica Pier become nodes of intrigue in a network connecting individual frames that form the final collage. Wilkes says finding ways to connect the countless moments held within the image and the sweep of time it captures is one of the most exciting parts of the process. “It’s as if I’m a writer and I’ve been given this incredible thesaurus, so I have all these new words to write with,” he says.

And the photos:

The America’s Cup 2013, San Francisco

 

Wrigley Field, Chicago

 

Millenium Park, Chicago

 

Union Square, NYC

 

Shanghai, China

 

Times Square on New Year’s Eve, 2012

 

Washington Square Park, NYC

 

The Flatiron building, NYC

 

Central Park, NYC

 

Coney Island, NY

 

Barack Obama’s 2013 Inauguration Speech, Washington D.C.

Source: Wired


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/awkXEPKcd9k/story01.htm Tyler Durden

“Day To Night” – 24 Hours Captured In A Single Frame: The Photo Gallery

“I wanted to take something that everybody had an idea of — ‘I’ve been there, I’ve seen the statue of liberty’ — but I wanted to show it to you in a way that you could never see it”

     – Stephen Wilkes

With markets closed around the world (and since 2008 some would say), here is something different.

Below is a sampling of some of the most iconic Day to Night photos by Stephen Wilkes, each of which captures the passage of an entire day in a single frame and which, as Wired states, takes an “absurd amount of time and effort to produce” including up to 15 hours to shoot and weeks to edit. “Wilkes says he is “maniacal” in his attention to detail when making these his information-dense, hyper-curated and highly polished accounts of a single day in some of the world’s most iconic locations. Every inch of his photos, some as big as 10 feet wide, are meant to tell a story. He says telling that story is an all-consuming process.”

More on this distinctly unique creative process:

The amount of work that goes into these photos is insane. After intensively scouting a location and planning the shoot, Wilkes spends as long as 15 hours behind the camera, often on a crane high above the scene. He’ll shoot more than 1,000 frames between sunrise and sunset, trying to capture the shifting light and activity throughout his field of view. Through it all he remains as still as possible for fear the slightest move will shift the camera even a fraction of a degree.

 

He and his assistant pore over the photos for weeks, creating dozens of digital collages that typically comprise 50 images. He uses a complex grid system to arrange the most interesting parts of each shot into a strong composition while staying true to the time of day that they were taken. The attention to detail reveals itself when you’re right next to the massive prints, which when seen up close stretch well beyond natural peripheral vision. The smallest oversight, like a slightly shifted shadow, can shatter the illusion by betraying the fact the epic image is in fact a collage of smaller images shot at different times of day. But when everything comes together perfectly, the viewer can step back or get nose-deep in the image without losing the sense of cohesion.

 

Another important aspect of the work is how Wilkes teases visual narratives out of seemingly chaotic public spaces. A few hundred tourists snapping selfies in front of the Sacre Coeur or an arrest on the Santa Monica Pier become nodes of intrigue in a network connecting individual frames that form the final collage. Wilkes says finding ways to connect the countless moments held within the image and the sweep of time it captures is one of the most exciting parts of the process. “It’s as if I’m a writer and I’ve been given this incredible thesaurus, so I have all these new words to write with,” he says.

And the photos:

The America’s Cup 2013, San Francisco

 

Wrigley Field, Chicago

 

Millenium Park, Chicago

 

Union Square, NYC

 

Shanghai, China

 

Times Square on New Year’s Eve, 2012

 

Washington Square Park, NYC

 

The Flatiron building, NYC

 

Central Park, NYC

 

Coney Island, NY

 

Barack Obama’s 2013 Inauguration Speech, Washington D.C.

Source: Wired


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/awkXEPKcd9k/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Turkish Political Crisis Deepens As Three Cabinet Ministers Quit; Prime Minister Erdogan Urged To Resign

The Turkish high-profile corruption scandal, whose fallout has so far resulted in the jailing of the sons of the Turkish minister of the interior Muammar Guler, just escalated sharply following the abrupt resignation of three key ministers from PM Erdogan’s government. Earlier today, first Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and then Interior Minister Muammer Guler submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Wednesday morning. A few hours later, they were joined by Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar who also tendered his resignation as a member of parliament, however instead of doing so in a complacent manner, he lashed out at the PM and called for his resignation which roiled markets following an earlier relief rally.

As a reminder, Turkey has been shaken by three sensational corruption investigations last week that led to dozens of detentions and 24 arrests of people ranging from influential business leaders to senior bureaucrats and the ministers’ sons. Caglayan’s son Salih Kaan Caglayan, Guler’s son Baris Guler and Bayraktar’s Oguz Bayraktar were among those arrested in the sweep, which Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, called a “dirty operation”  to smear his administration and undermine the country’s progress.

Today’s developments are likely the beginning of the end for the current Prime Minister, because the shakeout “signaled a deepening rift in Mr. Erdogan’s government.” As the WSJ reports, while the economy and interior ministers joined the premier in condemning the bribery investigation as a plot to weaken the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Mr. Bayraktar lashed out at Mr. Erdogan for forcing the resignations, and in doing so also called for Erdogan’s resignation.

“I don’t accept being pressured because of this investigation, which involves bribery and corruption, and being told to ‘resign and issue a comforting statement,'” Mr. Bayraktar said, according to his office. The minister, whose son was questioned in the probe, denied wrongdoing. “To soothe the nation, I believe that the prime minister should resign, too,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the other ministers who quit echoed Mr. Erdogan’s allegations that the probe was politically motivated.

“It is very clear that the operation performed as of Dec. 17 is a dirty setup against our government, our party and our country. I have resigned from my post of economy minister to help bring out the truth and spoil this ugly game, which has included my child and my close colleagues,” Mr. Caglayan said in a written statement, according to his spokesman, who declined further comment.

The local markets were whipsawed by the developments, first rallying after the first two resignations, but falling sharply when Mr. Bayraktar called on the prime minister to quit.

The benchmark BIST-100 stock index reversed gains, falling 3.5% to 66555.3 in afternoon trading. The lira declined 0.5% to 2.0876 against the dollar, creeping toward Friday’s record low. The government’s borrowing costs rose as its benchmark two-year bond yields pared gains to 9.60% from 9.42%, after closing at 9.68% Tuesday. Bond yields decline as prices rise.

 

“With the two ministers’ resignations in the morning, the lira gained because the market saw it as a positive step that would reduce prevailing political uncertainties. But the third minister’s resignation, and call on the prime minister to step down, deteriorated investor sentiment,” said Gokce Celik, an economist at Finansbank in Istanbul. “Turkey’s lira has been under extra pressure recently due to domestic political uncertainties… it’s going to be difficult for it to stabilize as the year draws to an end.”

What may be behind the ongoing scandals? According to Al Jazeera, the investigations are widely believed to be linked to the recent tensions between the United States-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen’s movement and Erdogan’s AKP that, many analysts say, used to be allies in the past in a struggle against Turkey’s politically dominant military. The tensions, which have been festering for months, peaked after the government’s plans to abolish private prep schools. Gulen owns a large network of such schools. Erdogan recently said that those behind the investigations were trying to form a “state within a state”, an apparent reference to Gulen’s movement, whose followers are influential in Turkey’s police and judiciary.

Corruption in state tenders, money laundering, bribery, gold smuggling and distribution of prime land among favourites are among the accusations put on the suspects, sources at Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office told Turkish media. Formal criminal charges are going to be revealed after the prosecutor’s office announces the actual bills of indictment for the three simultaneous investigations it has been carrying out.

Those detained include the sons of Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar. Various well-known businessmen were also detained, including Suleyman Aslan, the chief executive of Turkish state bank Halkbank, and Ali Agaoglu, a construction tycoon, as well as Mustafa Demirand, the mayor of Istanbul district Fatih. Some of these prominent people were arrested while others were released by court order, all pending trial (much more on the tensions within the Turkish government here).

As for just how the CIA is involved, as it always tends to be in any strategic government destabilization process, we will likely find out shortly.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/jc_zVQF7oQs/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Edward Snowden's Alternative Christmas Message To The World

Edward Snowden’s Christmas message, conveyed to the world courtesy of the UK’s Channel 4, from his Russian exile is simple: “end mass surveillance.” Alas, in a world in which social media exhibitionism is the norm, is his message increasingly falling on deaf ears? After all, there is a Duck Dynasty scandal, or Justin Bieber’s retirement at any given moment both of which are far more important than the loss of all personal privacy…


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/ofzEKLKCJlg/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Edward Snowden’s Alternative Christmas Message To The World

Edward Snowden’s Christmas message, conveyed to the world courtesy of the UK’s Channel 4, from his Russian exile is simple: “end mass surveillance.” Alas, in a world in which social media exhibitionism is the norm, is his message increasingly falling on deaf ears? After all, there is a Duck Dynasty scandal, or Justin Bieber’s retirement at any given moment both of which are far more important than the loss of all personal privacy…


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/ofzEKLKCJlg/story01.htm Tyler Durden