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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Global Banks torn into Pieces

I enter my office where my personal assistant and the chief of my personal security detail waiting for my return and new orders. I task my personal assistant with research on all current directors of Lockheed Martin and my chief of PSD to initiate full background checks on them and dig up anything we ma use to achieve our objective.

I start to draw up a blueprint on the financial side which makes me think about the idiotic way global banks have torn themselves into pieces, especially since the start of the Millennium. They have wiped out several trillion dollars in market value, announced over 200,000 job cuts with more layoffs planned and an ever shrinking market share as the shadow banking system takes over and governments force banks to revert back to their origins.

Dumb money banks have tried to manage smart money hedge funds and failed horribly. In a desperate attempt to bolster their revenue streams banks have created a mortgage bubble and offered exotic loans to new homeowners which they could not afford. Banks were hoping those mortgages would default so they can reposes the houses which have now risen in value.

As a result of the financial crisis, governments have decided to bailout banks with taxpayers money and banks were cobbled with government agents overlooking bailed out banks and hindering their operations. In addition governments have enforced more counter-productive regulation and increased capital requirements which further caused a decline in banks.

On top of all the above, banks were forced to sell non-banking units and get rid of their most profitable operations, cutting bonuses and capping salaries which allows them to only attract dumb money talent while every sophisticated individual will be recruited and employed by smart money which is out of reach of regulatory stupidity and government idiocy.

The good news for the shadow banking system is that the lost jobs from the dumb money banking industry is that none of those pathetic underachievers do not qualify for jobs at smart money institutions otherwise they would not work for banks and been recruited by the shadow banking industry.

It does feel good to hand it right back to governments who do not want to abandon their regulatory as well as transparency push into the shadow banking system. The more the government pushes the more we push back. Sometimes we have to take battle after battle in order to win the war on socialists and their idiotic principles.

I focus back on my work as the Lockheed Martin issues became top priority. There have been too many security issues with current directorship and the company has been heading down the wrong direction and it is time to take control of the situation. Three directors is a tough objective to achieve and it will require a lot of financial engineering and we do not have time to waste.

F-35 Program at High Risk from Hackers

I am headed out of my office and into the conference room where we scheduled a last minute meeting in order to discuss a very big problem which was uncovered by U.S. Navy Hackers; the F-35 logistics system. U.S. Navy Hackers were able to gain remote access to the F-35 logistic system and take control. The more technology goes into a weapons platform the higher the risk of cyber attacks.

The F-35 is equipped with a very complex logistics as well as weapons system which also increases the chances of cyber warfare and may render the $400+ Billion F-35 program useless. Lockheed Martin had to roll out the red carpet for about every single state in order to get approval for the over-prized, out of budget, and delayed F-35 program which means that roughly 50 states manufacture and assemble some parts of the 5th Generation fighter jet and therefore make the entire program more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Lockheed Martin may employ a state-of-the-art cyber security division, a luxury the countless smaller suppliers do not have and may be used by hackers to gain access to mission critical systems and could even lead to a full in-flight takeover of the jet which then may be remotely landed anywhere in the world. The armed forces have pushed to more to more autonomic weapon platforms which will revolutionize the way weapons are deployed and maintained while opening the door to a new battlefield.

Cyber warfare, some refer to it as the wars of the future, gains as much momentum and popularity as the underground financial warfare and sees greater deployment. Iran has displayed on two well known occasions that their cyber warfare division successfully hacked into the flight control system of two unmanned aerial drones, a highly advanced RQ-170 Sentinel which is also manufactured by Lockheed Martin as well as less advanced ScanEagle, which they landed on their airfields.

Those developments are cause for great concern and the F-35 program has drained too much out of the defense budget to simply abandon it the way the F-22 Raptor was abandoned without logging a single combat second. The F-35 Lightning II is supposed to replace a range of aging aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet used by the U.S. Marine Corps as well as the U.S. Navy and all F-15's and F-16's flown by the U.S. Air Force. The USMC is first in line of replacements and is home to the first operational fighter squadron of F-35's.

It takes several years to develop a new weapons platform, but cyber threats evolve on a daily base and need to be monitored and countered 24/7. Lockheed Martin already saw its unmanned aerial drone compromised and faces additional problems with the F-35's maintenance and support system, the Autonomic Logistics Information System or ALIS. The Pentagon, pressured by Dumbama and his defense cuts, is searching for ways to minimize operation costs for the F-35 program has opened talks to Lockheed Martin competitors in order to operate ALIS. Maintenance costs associated to the F-35 over the next five decades is estimated to top $1.1 Trillion.

This will further increase risks associated with the program and increase successful cyber attacks against the only available aerial weapons platform in the arsenal. Lockheed Martin does recognize the cyber security threat and stated that it receives an increased amount of cyber attacks on its supplier networks from foreign governments it refused to name.

We have withdrawn our support for the administration after the re-election and our latest vote has confirmed our stand. The terms have been violated and we made our intentions clear in November of 2008. Lockheed Martin tries to hold on the the revenue stream, but given their recent disappointments with the Sentinel and now with the Lightning II it may time to interfere with their board room and seek a more active role for ourselves. I am please to get the final results of the vote, a go ahead in seeking three seats at the Board of Directors at Lockheed Martin. I am headed out of the conference room in order to get to work on the fresh plans of action.

NDB Security Breach

Just as the thought crossed my mind, my phone rang. It appears that the world cant wait too long after all. I have roughly 12 minutes until the conference begins and under protest do I answer this call. On the other line I am being greeted by our contact inside the NDB, the Swiss intelligence agency, who wants to reassure us that the mission has not been compromised.

Earlier this month one of the NDB's senior technicians downloaded several terabytes of classified information onto portable harddrives and carried them out of a government building in his backpack. He worked for the NDB for eight years and investigators believe he became disgruntled with security flaws and decided to steal the data and sell it to foreign governments. Most of the data was related to counter-terrorism and was shared with other agencies such as MI6 and CIA, both of whom have been contacted by the NDB in order to inform them of the compromised data.

Our main concern was that our specific mission has not been compromised and we are still able to execute it as planned. I am pleased to hear that our security measures have worked, it is one less problem to be concerned with. Swiss authorities who made the arrest believe all the data was recovered before a sale was made and that no data was compromised.Having said that, authorities cannot confirm that no data was leaked and investigations will continue.

Nevertheless it raised questions about security procedures at the NDB, which is a fairly new agency, on a European level. The NDB needs to overhaul its entire human resources structure. Currently the information as well as technology division are screened by one central division at the NDB which makes it impossible for subdivisions to launch their own investigations and screen their own operatives.

The senior technician was described as very talented and had a high security clearance which allowed him to virtually access the entire NDB database. His behavior should have alarmed his superiors as well as the security staff, but the NDB claims they had no idea about the security breach until UBS has discovered suspicious activity in opening a numbered bank account which they reported to authorities.

The bank account was later traced to the senior technician and is believed that he intended to use the numbered bank account in order to receive wires after selling the information to foreign nationals. This displays serious security flaws and puts global operations at risk. The Swiss government has launched several investigations into that matter which are still active.

I thank our informant for the confirmation as I end the call. I have seven minutes left to prepare for the meeting and slowly finish my Irish Coffee. It is a nice day outside. The sky is clear and free of clouds while the harbor seems very quiet. The scene outside my office window allows you to daydream for a moment before facing reality. Yes, a very nice day.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Carson Block Chased by Chinese Gangsters

Finally I have some moments to myself and I can take a break from the stressful events of the past few hours. I look at the time and it is past lunch. I realize that I have not yet eaten all day and call my personal assistant into my office. She walks in with some paperwork and places several reports on my table which include updates on developing stories.

She looks at me and examines me for a few brief moments before she picks up the phone and orders a large Hawaiian pizza with extra pineapples and cheese, Pepsi with extra lemons and Tiramisu for dessert plus Irish Coffee with extra Baileys. I smiled at her and she returns the smile and said that I looked like I needed it. I thank her as she walks out of my office. She turns on some classical music and closes the door informing me to get some rest over the next 30 min until my food arrives.

I put my phone on silent and my assistant will make sure that no calls will be send to my extension while I get some much needed rest and enjoy my lunch. I lay down on my couch and close my eyes as I drift away for what appear only moments, but I did manage my 20 minute power nap until the soft voice of my assistant awakens me after my food arrived.

I ask her partially joking partially serious what I would do without her and she looks up at me and responds that I should be happy that I don't have to find out. She asked if there is something else she can do for me and I ask her to join me for lunch. She sits down across the table from me and I ask her to help herself. She asks me what I think about the latest developments out of Muddy Waters. I swallow a bite of my pizza and tell her that I did not know she followed events surrounding Mr. Block and his firm.

Since she seems to be so much more informed about the current situation I ask her to get me caught up on the situation. She seems rather excited to be the source of information for me on a topic that slipped off my radar screen. She tells me about Mr. Block's latest short recommendation which is Olam International, a commodity giant responsible for roughly 90% of the planet's peanut trade based in Singapore and backed by the government.

Block compared Olam to Enron and said the company is doomed to fail. After Block's report on Olam its U.S. listed shares dropped 20%. 48 hours later Olam filed a suit calling the allegations scandalous. Block was the first to report on Sino-Forest which is now bankrupt and his first report on Chinese companies was Orient Paper. In total Block helped China wipe off $7 Billion in market value.

Block stated that he stopped short selling Chinese companies after his employee were harassed at a storage facility he owns in Shanghai. Tattooed gangsters were looking for him as well and the government has hindered his analysts from performing their due diligence. Block is accused of spreading fear and panic in markets.

So far Block's research is responsible for the collapse in share price in excess of 60% in eight different companies. Olam is the latest victim of Muddy Waters and their Singapore shares have lost 16% since Block first mentioned his concern about the company. Olam has much further to fall if it will face the same fate as the other eight companies. Olam's second biggest investor is state owned Temasek Holdings.

Block has made plenty of enemies and usually refuses to disclose his location when he joins conference calls or interviews. Some call his research as well as allegations ludicrous and Block claims China has used the Ministry of State Security as well as the Public Security Bureau in order to deter research by Muddy Waters into Chinese companies.

She asks my about my opinion about Block. I tell her that I do have respect for the work he does and his fearless approach. He likes to dig deep and is not afraid to step on the wrong people in order to validate his research. He may not always be right with his conclusions, but he stands up for what he believes.

I look at the time and she informs me that I need to get ready for the next conference. We finish our meal and I decide to take m time in order to enjoy dessert. I don't see the point of rushing through with everything I do and do take my time to enjoy the things I like. Sometimes the world has to wait a little.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Iran captures US Navy Drone

As soon as I put my phone down and digest the latest updates I received out of Syria from our team on the ground my personal assistant enters my office with a worried look on her face. She sits down and breaks the disturbing news about Iran. The managed to hack into the flight system of another spy drone, this time one of the U.S. Navy's ScanEagle.

The Revolutionary Guard managed to hack into the flight system of an RQ-170 Sentinel and landed it safely on an Iranian air field. This time a ScanEagle was captured after it entered Iranian airspace. The U.S. Navy denies reports and claims all drones are accounted for. This is the second embarrassment for the U.S. in less than one year as it hands more and more technology to Iran, not on purpose but the results are the same.

Iranian engineers have used the new technology and flew several of their drones into Israeli airspace for reconnaissance purposes. Commander Jason Salata of the Fifth Fleet station in Bahrain, the Fifth Fleet managed assets in the Middle East, claims the U.S. Navy is in full control of all its assets but did acknowledged that several ScanEagles have been lost in the past.

Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of the Revolutionary Guard, told Iran's FARS news agency that the ScanEagle has violated Iranian airspace over a span of several days and conducted reconnaissance missions before it was spotted and captured. He reiterated that the Revolutionary Guard remains in full control of all operations and has full intelligence supremacy over the region.

A video was released which showed the ScanEagle fully intact displayed on a stand with two Revolutionary Guard officials next to it. A map of the Persian Gulf in the background read 'We shall trample on the U.S.', written in English as well as Farsi. The ScanEagle is far less sophisticated than the lost Sentinel that was captured by Iran previously. It is also less sophisticated then the Predators and Reapers which are usually dispatched over Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan.

The ScanEagle is 4 feet long and has a wingspan of 10 feet and is capable of roughly 20 hours of battlefield surveillance and intelligence gathering. It is equipped with optical as well as infrared cameras and has a cruising altitude of 16,000 feet. The ScanEagle is launched from a ships with a catapult launcher and catches a rope in order to land.

Iran already reverse engineered the captured Sentinel and is likely to do the same with the ScanEagle. Iran refused to return the Sentinel and the U.S. claims it malfunctioned and was not hacked into. The fact that the Revolutionary Guard was able to hack into the flight and control system of the Sentinel does not only show the advancements and capabilities of Iran, but essentially calls for a complete overhaul of security procedures of not only unmanned drones but aircraft as well.

The U.S., under terror from the socialist individual which is allowed to rape the constitution for another four years, plans to shave $500 Billion of the defense budget which means the U.S. will not be able to completely overhaul security procedures. Given the problems with the F-35 and potential attacks into its weapon system renders the aircraft essentially useless which is one reason the Air Force wanted to scrap the program altogether and claimed that it will not live up to expectations.

The developments give great cause for concern as the entire U.S. military program seems to fall apart while other countries are able to advance at a much higher rate while adding to their defense budgets. We were contracted to assist with the matter, but after the Obama re-election we had to withdraw our support and others have followed suit. The U.S. is tearing apart much faster then even the most pessimistic forecasts and the situation gets worse by the day.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Syria prepares for Chemical Warfare with Sarin

My phone has been ringing off the hook with reports about the Syrian military which started to load precursor chemical for the deadly nerve gas sarin into bombs for potential aerial attacks on rebels. The chemicals are locked and loaded for deployment and the Syrian military waits for final orders form President Assad.

The first reports were released on Tuesday and contained classified information that the process of loading the bombs with sarin has begun. Syria has suffered from the rebels and so far has tried to kill the terror with conventional warfare. Unfortunately Syria does not only have to battle the rebels, but also countless foreign governments who support the rebels financially and ensure the rebels have weapons to continue the fight against the government.

It has been a tug-of-war with rebels and each time the government has claimed a victorious battle rebel forces were supplied by foreign governments with all necessities to relaunch the battle and wreck havoc on the population. The rebels are supported by a surprisingly large amount of the civilian population which has made the situation that much worse and created the civil war Syria has to manage.

President Assad and his loyal military have tried to resolve the issues at hand but thanks to foreign intervention into this sovereign country it has been a process which seems to never end and forces the government into radical measures in order to put an end to the civil war and rebuild the country for those citizens who are against the war.Those who support and shelter the rebels deserve to die alongside them which would allow for a better and stronger Syria under the leadership of President Assad.

Syria possesses the largest chemical stockpile in the Middle East and has very advanced agents which it did not plan to utilize, but as time runs out the rebels under the aide of foreign intruders have forced this step. Several governments including the U.K., France as well as several Arab countries have already recognized the rebel government know as the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. The U.S. is expected to follow suit. The rebels are being sheltered in Turkey.

Syria is able to deliver chemical agents through bombs loaded onto either their Sukhoi-20/22 or Sukhoi-24 as well as MiG-23 aircraft. In addition Syria possesses roughly 200 Scud-B missiles, 120 Scud-C missiles as well as a few dozen SS-21 ballistic missiles. Alternatively Syria can arm unguided Frog-7 artllery shells with chemical agents.

The main problem is that the news outlets paint the wrong picture. They claim that the Syrian government is the oppressor and supports the rebel movement when it is the rebels who started the civil war. The government reacted to the attacks against its citizens in the same manner any other government would have reacted and therefore is not at fault in this situation. President Assad has every right to defend his country and citizens from all enemies foreign and domestic.