Archive for June, 2019

The Pronk Pops Show 1281, June 26, 2019, Story 1: When The Circus Came To Town and Nobody Came — Send In The Socialist Clowns — Walk Like A Man — Santa Claus Socialist: Vote For Me and I Will Give You Free Stuff Paid For By Higher Taxes and More Debt — Democrat Demolition Derby — Videos — Story 2: Hacking An Election: Google Whistle Blower Reveals Google Progressive Propaganda Programming To Defeat Trump in 2020 — Big Tech Censorship — Algorithmic Fairness With Biased Results and Lies! — Holding Big Tech Accountable — Intellectual Dark Web — Videos — Story 3: Presidential Harassment — More Mueller Madness — No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Redo — Move On To Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Blows Up — Videos — Story 4: Israel Aerial Global Position Systems (GPS) Disrupted — Russian Interfering With GPS — Videos —

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1281 June 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1280 June 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1279 June 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1275 June 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1274 June 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1273 June 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1272 June 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1271 June 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1270 June 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1269 June 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1268 June 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1267 May 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1266 May 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1265 May 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1253 May 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1243 April 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

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Story 1: When The Circus Came To Town and Nobody Came — Send In The Socialist Clowns — Walk Like A Man — Santa Claus Socialist: Vote For Me and I Will Give You Free Stuff Paid For By Higher Taxes and More Debt — Democrat Demolition Derby — Videos —

Judy Collins Send in the Clowns

JUDY COLLINS – SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Send in the Clowns
Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air,
Where are the clowns?
Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move,
Where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns?
Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines
No one is there
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear!
But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here
Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns
Well, maybe next year
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Stephen Sondheim
Send in the Clowns lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – 145th Clown Alley Mash Up

Clown Car

Divine – Walk Like A Man (1985) HQ

DIVINE – YOU THINK YOU’RE A MAN (Extended Video Edit)

Watch Highlights From Round 1 Of The First Democratic Debate | NBC News

The First 2019 Democratic Debate: The Key Moments | NYT News

Biggest moments from 1st Democratic debate

CBSN full coverage and analysis of the first Democratic debate night

Democratic Debate: Every Candidate Names The Country’s Biggest Threat | NBC New York

Gutfeld on Wednesday’s debate

Jimmy Recaps Night One of the First Democratic Debate

How candidates are prepping for first round of Democratic debates

All Eyes On Elizabeth Warren At First Democrats Debate | Morning Joe | MSNBC

2020 Democratic hopefuls set to take the stage in first debate

Victor Davis Hanson on “The Case For Trump”

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS

MEMO TO TRUMP: TRADE BOLTON FOR TULSI

Pat Buchanan: Congresswoman would deliver foreign policy Trump has not

“For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime-change war after the next, leading us into a new cold war and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end.”

Donald Trump, circa 2016?

Nope. That denunciation of John Bolton interventionism came from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii during Wednesday night’s Democratic debate. At 38, she was the youngest candidate on stage.

Gabbard proceeded to rip both the “president and his chickenhawk cabinet (who) have led us to the brink of war with Iran.”

In a fiery exchange, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio countered that America cannot disengage from Afghanistan: “When we weren’t in there they started flying planes into our buildings.”

“The Taliban didn’t attack us on 9/11,” Gabbard replied, “Al-Qaida attacked us on 9/11. That’s why I and so many other people joined the military, to go after al-Qaida, not the Taliban.”

When Ryan insisted we must stay engaged, Gabbard shot back:

“Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? ‘Well, we just have to be engaged.’ As a solider, I will tell you, that answer is unacceptable. … We are no better off in Afghanistan that we were when this war began.”

 https://www.wnd.com/2019/06/memo-to-trump-trade-bolton-for-tulsi/#OlLdH6QsdwFi2UFE.99

 

 

Breakouts, burns and zingers: What to watch in Dem debates

today

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., holds a town hall on the Florida International University campus on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in Miami. (Jennifer King/Miami Herald via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixty seconds for answers, a television audience of millions and, for some candidates, a first chance to introduce themselves to voters.

The back-to-back Democratic presidential debates beginning Wednesday are exercises in competitive sound bites featuring 20 candidates hoping to oust President Donald Trump in 2020. The participants range widely in age, sex and backgrounds and include a former vice president, six women and a pair of mayors.

The challenge: Convey their plans for the nation, throw a few elbows and sharpen what’s been a blur of a race so far for many Americans.

What to watch Wednesday at 9 p.m. Eastern on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo:

___

WHAT’S HER PLAN?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s task is to harness her campaign’s momentum to convince voters that she has what it takes to defeat Trump. As the sole top-tier candidate on stage Wednesday, she could have the most to lose.

The Massachusetts senator and former Harvard professor is known for her many policy plans and a mastery of classical, orderly debate. But presidential showdowns can be more “Gladiator”-style than the high-minded “Great Debaters.”

This is no time for a wonky multipoint case for “Medicare for All,” student debt relief or the Green New Deal.

So, one challenge for Warren, 70, is stylistic. Look for her to try to champion her progressive ideas — and fend off attacks from lesser-known candidates — with gravitas, warmth and the brevity required by the format.

“Preparing for the debates is trying to learn to speak in 60 seconds or less,” she said in Miami, ahead of a visit she live-streamed to a migrant detention center in Homestead, Florida.

Another obstacle is to do so without alienating the moderate voters any Democrat would need in a general election to beat Trump.

Being the front-runner on stage conveys a possible advantage: If the others pile on Warren, she gets more time to speak because the candidates are allowed 30 extra seconds for responses.

___

WHO’S THAT?

There may be some familiar faces across the rest of the stage, such as New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, 50, or former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, 46. But a few names probably won’t ring any bells at all.

These virtual strangers to most Americans may be enjoying their first — and maybe last — turn on the national stage, so they have the least to lose.

Take John Delaney, 56, a former member of the House from Maryland. Look for him to try to make an impression by keeping up his criticism of Warren’s plans.

Or Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, 45, who sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He has likened the Democratic primary to “speed dating with the American people.”

 

For several of the candidates onstage Wednesday, the forum is about finding the breakout moment — a zinger, a burn — that stays in viewers’ minds, is built for social media and generates donations, the lifeblood of campaigns.

In 2015, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina won applause and a short surge for her response to Trump, who had been quoted in Rolling Stone as criticizing Fiorina’s face.

“Look at that face,” Trump was quoted as saying. “Would anyone vote for that?”

Asked on CNN to respond, Fiorina evenly replied: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

For candidates such as O’Rourke, a breakthrough moment on Wednesday is critical to revitalizing a campaign that has faded. The 10 White House contenders have two hours on stage that night and up until the curtain rises on the star-studded second debate the next day to make their mark. Former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 77, headline Thursday’s debate and are certain to take up much of the spotlight.

___

BREAKING OUT BADLY

An “oops” moment can be politically crippling to any presidential campaign.

Just ask Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who, in a 2011 debate, blanked on the third agency of government he had said would be “gone” if he became president.

“Commerce, Education and the, uh, what’s the third one there?” Perry said.

“EPA?” fellow Republican Ron Paul offered. Yep, Perry said, the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Oops,” he finished. Perry’s campaign, already struggling, never recovered.

___

WHAT ISSUES?

There’s simply no time for an in-depth discussion of issues. But the migrant crisis would be an apt topic, even in shorthand. Dominating the news in the hours before the showdown were vivid news reports and images of the toll of the administration’s policy on children, especially.

Expect at least a mention, or perhaps the appearance, of a bracing photo of the bodies of a migrant father and his 23-month-old daughter face-down along the Rio Grande.

In addition to Warren, other candidates were visiting the migrant center in Homestead, Florida, while they were in Miami for the debates.

___

TRUMP

This is the Democrats’ night.

But Trump has dominated the political conversation since that escalator ride four years ago, and he loathes being upstaged. It’s worth asking: Will he tweet during the debates? And if he does, will NBC and the moderators ignore him or respond in real time?

NBC News executive Rashida Jones said the focus will be on the candidates and the issues.

“Beyond that, it has to rise to a certain level,” she said.

During Wednesday’s debate, Trump will be on Air Force One on his way to the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The plane’s cable televisions are usually turned to Fox News, which is not hosting the debates. For the second debate, Trump will be beginning meetings at the G-20.

Trump told Fox Business Network on Wednesday that he’d watch because “it’s part of my life” but that “It just seems very boring. … That’s a very unexciting group of people.”

https://www.apnews.com/4527965e38334543978e6dcbf0c31d72

Julian Castro

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Julián Castro
Julián Castro's Official HUD Portrait.jpg
16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
In office
July 28, 2014 – January 20, 2017
President Barack Obama
Deputy Nani A. Coloretti
Preceded by Shaun Donovan
Succeeded by Ben Carson
Mayor of San Antonio
In office
June 1, 2009 – July 22, 2014
Preceded by Phil Hardberger
Succeeded by Ivy Taylor
Member of the San Antonio City Council
from the 7th district
In office
July 1, 2001 – July 1, 2005
Preceded by Ed Garza
Succeeded by Elena Guajardo
Personal details
Born September 16, 1974 (age 44)
San AntonioTexas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)
Erica Lira (m. 2007)
Children 2
Relatives Joaquin (twin brother)
Education Stanford University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

Julián Castro (/ˌhliˈɑːn/ HOO-lee-AHN,[1] Spanish: [xuˈljan]; born September 16, 1974) is an American Democratic politician who was the youngest member of President Obama’s Cabinet, serving as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017.

Castro served as the mayor of his native San AntonioTexas from 2009 until he joined Obama’s cabinet in 2014. He was mentioned as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.[2][3]Castro is the twin brother of Congressman Joaquin Castro.

On January 12, 2019, Castro launched his campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020 in San Antonio.[4]

Contents

Early life and family

Castro[5] was born in San AntonioTexas, the son of Maria “Rosie” Castro and Jessie Guzman.[6] He is the identical twin brother of current United States Representative Joaquin Castro;[5] Julián is one minute older than Joaquin: they were born at 2:40 and 2:41 am, respectively.[7]

Their mother was a Chicana political activist who helped establish the Chicano political party La Raza Unida,[8] and who ran unsuccessfully for the San Antonio City Council in 1971.[5] Castro once stated, “My mother is probably the biggest reason that my brother and I are in public service. Growing up, she would take us to a lot of rallies and organizational meetings and other things that are very boring for an 8-, 9-, 10-year-old”.[9] His father, Jessie Guzman, is a retired mathematics teacher and political activist. Never married, Rosie and Jessie separated when Castro and his brother were eight years old.[8] Castro’s Texan roots trace back to 1920, when his grandmother Victoria Castro joined extended family members there as a six-year-old orphan from northern Mexico.[5]

Education

Castro attended Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, where he played football, basketball and tennis; he also collected trading cards.[10] He skipped his sophomore year[11] and graduated in 1992,[12] ranking ninth in his class.[8] He had received an offer to play tennis at Trinity University, an NCAA Division III school in his hometown, but chose to attend Stanford University.[13]

Castro graduated from Stanford in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications. He said he began thinking about entering politics while at Stanford,[8] where he and his brother launched their first campaigns and won student senate seats, tying for the highest number of votes.[5] Castro has credited affirmative action for his admission into Stanford, telling The New York Times, “Joaquin and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquin. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life”.[14] Between his sophomore and junior years, Castro worked as an intern at the White House during the presidency of Bill Clinton.[15]

Castro entered Harvard Law School in 1997 and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 2000.[16][17] His brother graduated from both schools with him.[8] After law school, the two brothers worked for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before starting their own firm in 2005.[18]

In 2018, Castro was named as the Dean’s Distinguished Fellow and Fellow of the Dávila Chair in International Trade Policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.[19]

Political career

San Antonio city council and mayor

Julian Castro and his twin brother Representative Joaquin Castro at the LBJ Presidential Library.

Castro meets with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on July 7, 2014

In 2001, Castro was elected to the San Antonio City Council, winning 61 percent of the vote against five challengers. At age 26 he was the youngest city councilman in San Antonio history, surpassing Henry Cisneros, who won his council seat in 1975 at age 27. Castro represented District 7, a precinct on the city’s west side with 115,000 residents. The population was 70 percent Hispanic and included a large number of senior citizens.[20] As a councilman from 2001 to 2005, he opposed a PGA-approved golf course and large-scale real estate development on the city’s outer rim.[21]

Castro ran for mayor of San Antonio in 2005 and was widely viewed as the front runner in a field that also included retired judge Phil Hardberger and conservative city councilman Carroll Schubert. He was defeated by approximately 4000 votes when Hardberger received 51.5% of the votes in the runoff.[22][23] Following his election defeat, Castro established his own law practice.[15]

Castro ran for mayor of San Antonio again in 2009. Castro hired Christian Archer, who had run Hardberger’s campaign in 2005, to run his own 2009 campaign.[15] Castro won the election on May 9, 2009 with 56.23% of the vote, his closest opponent being Trish DeBerry-Mejia.[24] He became the fifth Latino mayor in the history of San Antonio. He was the youngest mayor of a top-50 American city.[25] Castro easily won re-election in 2011 and 2013, receiving 82.9% of the vote in 2011[26] and 67% of the vote in 2013.[27]

In 2010, Castro created SA2020, a community-wide visioning effort. It generated a list of goals created by the people of San Antonio based on their collective vision for San Antonio in the year 2020. SA2020 then became a nonprofit organization tasked with turning that vision into a reality.[28] Castro also established Cafe College in 2010, offering college guidance to San Antonio-area students. In 2012 he led a voter referendum to expand pre-kindergarten education.[25] Castro persuaded two of the most prominent businessmen in San Antonio, Charles Butt and Joe Robles, to lead an effort to pass a $30 million sales tax to fund the pre-kindergarten education program.[15]

In March 2010, Castro was named to the World Economic Forum‘s list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its “40 under 40” list of rising stars in American politics.[29]

Castro gained national attention in 2012 when he was the first Hispanic to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.[30][31] Following the 2012 elections, Castro declined the position of United States Secretary of Transportation, partly with an eye on running for governor of Texas after 2017.[15] However, in 2014, Castro accepted President Barack Obama‘s offer of the position of United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.[15] Castro resigned as mayor effective July 22, 2014, so that he could take up his duties in Washington. The San Antonio City Council elected councilmember Ivy Taylor to replace him.[32]

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

On May 22, 2014 the White House announced Castro as the nominee to be the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by President Barack Obama. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 9, 2014 by a vote of 71-26 and replaced Shaun Donovan, who was nominated to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.[33] He took office on July 28, 2014.[34] Following the announcement, Castro was discussed as a potential nominee for vice president for the Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election.[35][36]

On July 28, 2014, his first day in office, Castro was honored at a reception called “Celebrating Latino Cabinet Members” hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.[37]

Upon exiting office in 2017, Castro’s final memo outlined various accomplishments of the department under his leadership.[38] These areas included HUD’s work to stabilize the housing market, rebuild communities struck by natural disasters through a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, expansion of lead safety protections in federally assisted housing, and the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule to “finally fulfill the full obligation of the Fair Housing Act.[39]

2016 presidential election

Secretary Castro introducing President Obama at an event on the recovering housing sector in Phoenix, Arizona in January 2015.

On October 15, 2015, Castro endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. When Clinton was asked if Castro could be her pick for vice president, she said, “I am going to look really hard at him for anything because that’s how good he is.”[40] Discussion of Castro as a candidate to run on the Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton increased markedly in January 2016, as the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries approached.[41][42] In late January, Castro began to campaign for Clinton in Iowa, a move interpreted as a test of his appeal to the electorate.[43] In July 2016, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel issued a finding that Castro had violated the Hatch Act by commenting on the 2016 campaign while giving an interview in an official capacity; Castro admitted the error and ordered his team to improve training on the Hatch Act.[44]

Memoir

In October 2018, Castro published his memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream through Little, Brown and Company.[45]

2020 presidential campaign

Castro has already visited the first in the nation New Hampshire primary state in 2018 and delivered the commencement address at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, on May 12, 2018. Castro stated that he would make his decision on whether to run in 2020 after the November 2018 mid-term elections.[46] On December 12, 2018, Castro announced the formation of an exploratory committee.[47] The next day, during an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Julián’s brother Joaquin (during a joint appearance by both brothers) stated that he confidently believes that Julián will be running for president.[48]

Castro formally announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election on January 12, 2019. Castro would be the first Democratic presidential nominee since 1924 to not serve as vice president, governor or senator.[49] He is the first Texan in the 2020 race, and would be third-youngest president if elected. In his announcement, Castro emphasized Medicare-for-all, universal pre-K and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as part of comprehensive immigration reform.[50]

Political positions

Economy

Castro “believes in balanced budgets”.[51]

Trade

Castro is a supporter of free trade. He has been a strong supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement while serving as mayor of San Antonio, but has also said that the agreement should be renegotiated to “strengthen worker and environmental protections”.[52][51]

Education

Castro has voiced support for making the first two years of higher education free. He supports universal pre-kindergarten, and managed to institute a pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, funded by higher local taxes, while serving as mayor of San Antonio.[52][53]

Healthcare

Castro has called for universal health care and Medicare for All, and indicated he would consider funding such a program by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.[52] He has supported the Affordable Care Act.[54]

Environment

Castro supports the Paris climate accord, and has criticized President Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement. While in office, Castro worked with companies to promote their transition to renewable energy.[52] He has voiced support for a Green New Deal.[55]

In the past, Castro has advocated for an “energy policy that includes fossil fuels”[51] while also “pointing out the benefits of fossil fuel jobs”.[56]

Foreign policy

Syria

Castro has endorsed a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria while also criticizing Trump’s approach to the issue.[52]

Campaign finance

Castro has stated that he is “not going to take any PAC money” as a presidential candidate, and has encouraged others to do the same. He had however formed a PAC (Opportunity First) in 2017 which mostly covered his running expenses while also donating to several dozen “young, progressive” Democratic politicians.[57]

Social issues and civil rights

Abortion

Despite his Catholic background, Castro is pro-choice, and has “vigorously” opposed state laws limiting abortion access after the 20th week of pregnancy and other restrictions.[52]

LGBT rights

Castro has been an advocate for LGBT rights and, as mayor, opposed the law in Texas (later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court) that denied legal recognition to same-sex marriages.[58] He is also a member of Washington D.C. based think tank the Inter-American Dialogue.[59] Castro was the first San Antonio mayor to serve as the grand marshal of the city’s Pride Parade in 2009 and in 2011 led a push to offer domestic partner benefits in the city. In 2012, he joined mayors across the country in signing the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” petition for same-sex marriage equality.[60][52]

Castro said in a tweet that transgender persons should be allowed to serve in the armed forces.[52]

Gun rights

Castro supports tighter gun control, and has supported the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, limiting access to high-capacity magazines, and closing the “gun show loophole”.[52]

Affirmative action

Castro has backed affirmative action.[54]

Immigration

Castro supports a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented residents of the US, has opposed President Trump’s “border wall” plan, and has said that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency needs to be “reconstituted”. Additionally, he asserted in the first Democratic primary candidate debates on June 26, 2019[61] that he would repeal Section 1325[62] [52] of Title 8 of the U.S. criminal code, which would decriminalize illegal entry into the U.S., rendering unlawful entry a civil offense instead of a criminal one.

Personal life

In 2007, Castro married Erica Lira, an elementary school teacher. They had a daughter in 2009 and a son in December 2014.[8][63] He is Catholic.[64] He speaks Spanish, but it is reported that he is not fluent, and studied Latin and Japanese in school.[60][65]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Castro

 

John Delaney (Maryland politician)

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John Delaney
John Delaney 113th Congress official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland‘s 6th district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2019
Preceded by Roscoe Bartlett
Succeeded by David Trone
Personal details
Born
John Kevin Delaney

April 16, 1963 (age 56)
Wood-RidgeNew Jersey, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)
April McClain (m. 1990)
Children 4
Education Columbia University (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)

John Kevin Delaney (born April 16, 1963) is an American politician and businessman who is running for President of the United States in 2020. He was the United States Representative for Maryland’s 6th congressional district from 2013 to 2019.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Party.

On July 28, 2017, Delaney became the first Democrat to announce he is running for president in 2020.[2] Delaney did not run for re-election to Congress in 2018, preferring to focus on his presidential campaign, and David Trone was elected to succeed him.

 

Early life and education

Delaney grew up in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, the son of Elaine (Rowe) and Jack Delaney, an electrician. He has Irish ancestry.[3] Delaney claims to be of Catholic faith, and has said that his “social justice orientation” was influenced by his faith “to some extent”.[4] Delaney spent part of his youth working at his father’s construction site.[5]

Scholarships helped him attend college thanks to his father’s labor union (IBEW Local 164) as well as the American LegionVFW, and the Lions Club. He graduated from Bergen Catholic High School,[6] and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, in 1985, and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, in 1988.[7][8] In February 2015, Delaney received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.[9]

Business career

Delaney co-founded two companies that were publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. He won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004.[10]

In 1993, he co-founded Health Care Financial Partners (HCFP), to make loans available to smaller-sized health care service providers purportedly ignored by larger banks.[11] HCFP went public in 1996, and its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1998.[12] Health Care Financial Partners was acquired by Heller Financial in 1999.[13]

In 2000, Delaney co-founded CapitalSource, a commercial lender headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland; the company provided capital to roughly 5,000 small and mid-size businesses before his departure.[14] In 2010, during Delaney’s tenure as CEO, CapitalSource was awarded a Bank Enterprise Award from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund by the U.S. Treasury Department for its investment in low-income and economically distressed communities.[15] In 2005, CapitalSource was named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s best places to work for its company culture and employee benefits.[16]

CapitalSource continued to be publicly traded on the NYSE after Delaney’s election, making him the only former CEO of a publicly traded company serving in the 113th United States Congress.[17] In 2014, the lender was absorbed by PacWest Bancorp.[18]

U.S. House of Representatives

2012 election

After redistricting, Delaney decided to run for the newly redrawn 6th District against 10-term Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett. The district had long been a Republican stronghold, but it had been significantly reconfigured. The Maryland General Assembly shifted heavily Republican Carroll County and a mostly Republican section of Frederick County to the heavily Democratic 8th district. It shifted Republican-tilting sections of Harford and Baltimore counties into the already heavily Republican 1st district. Taking their place was a heavily Democratic spur of western Montgomery County, which ended just two blocks from Delaney’s home in Potomac. The redrawn district, the state’s second-largest, thus includes nearly the entire western portion of the state, but the bulk of its vote is cast in the outer suburbs of Washington, D.C.

On paper, this dramatically altered the district’s demographics, turning it from a heavily Republican district into a Democratic-leaning district. While John McCain carried the 6th with 57 percent of the vote in 2008,[19] Barack Obama would have carried the new 6th with 56 percent.[20] The Montgomery County share of the district has three times as many people as the rest of the district combined.

The shifts were quite controversial, as Republicans accused Democrats of shifting district boundaries in their favor, and former Governor Martin O’Malley later admitted the redrawn districts would favor Democrats. “That was my hope,” O’Malley told attorneys in a deposition. “It was also my intent to create … a district where the people would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican.”[21]

During the primary, Delaney was endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Comptroller Peter Franchot, the Washington Post, and the Gazette.[22][23][24]

On April 3, 2012, Delaney won the five-candidate Democratic primary field with 54% of the vote. The next closest opponent, State Senator Robert J. Garagiola, received 29% of the vote, 25 points behind Delaney.[25][26]

In the November 6, 2012 general election, Delaney defeated Bartlett by 59%–38%, a 21-point margin. He won the Montgomery County share of the district by almost 56,000 votes, accounting for almost all of the overall 58,900 margin of votes.[27]

2014 election

Delaney faced a closer-than-expected contest for reelection against Republican Dan Bongino, the Republican candidate for Senate in 2012. He ultimately won by just over 2,200 votes, due mainly to swamping Bongino in the Montgomery County portion of the district by over 20,500 votes.[28] Larry Hogan carried the district in his successful run for governor.

2016 election

Delaney won a third term in 2016, taking 56 percent of the vote to Republican Amie Hoeber’s 40 percent.

Tenure

Since his election to Congress, Delaney introduced legislation to end partisan gerrymandering. The Open Our Democracy Act of 2017 would appoint independent redistricting commissions nationwide to end partisan gerrymandering, make Election Day a federal holiday and create an open top-two primary system.[29]

Delaney was ranked as the 53rd most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member’s bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member’s co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[30] In 2015, a similar ranking by the nonpartisan site GovTrack ranked Delaney third highest for bipartisanship among all House Democrats.[31]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Legislation sponsored

Key legislation which Delaney has sponsored:

  • Medical Leave for Disabled Veterans Act (H.R. 5165; 114th Congress) – a bill that would relax the criteria for eligible veterans to qualify for FMLA to seek medical treatment for their service-connected disabilities.[37]
  • Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 2011; 113th Congress) – a bill that would extend through the end of 2015 the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education and change its membership.[38]
  • Partnership to Build America Act of 2013 (H.R. 2084; 113th Congress) – a bill that would establish the American Infrastructure Fund (AIF).[39]
  • Infrastructure 2.0 Act (H.R. 1670; 115th Congress) – a bill that uses revenue from international tax reform to fund an infrastructure bank and the Highway Trust Fund.[40]
  • Medical Foods Equity Act of 2013 (H.R. 3665; 113th Congress) – a bill that would extend coverage of medical foods, vitamins, and amino acids to those with metabolic disorders.[41]
  • Open Our Democracy Act (H.R. 2981; 115th Congress) – a bill proposed to make election day a federal holiday, make all congressional primary elections open elections so all eligible voters can participate in them, and to end gerrymandering by requiring independent commissions to draw the districts in each state.[29][42]

2020 presidential bid

Logo for Delaney’s presidential campaign

Despite a rumored bid to run against governor Larry Hogan in 2018, Delaney bypassed the 2018 elections altogether. On July 28, 2017, Delaney announced his run for president in 2020 in a Washington Post op-ed.[2]

Political views

Delaney has been frequently referred to as a “moderate”. However, he does not entirely identify as such.[43] Delaney has remarked,

People have a hard time labeling me. Some of the things they hear me talking about are on the total progressive or liberal end of the spectrum, and in other ways I’m kind of a solutions-oriented moderate who wants to get things done.[43]

He has received the top score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign for his support of equality-related legislation, with him stating “No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love” in response to this recognition.[44][45]

Delaney has stated he would support increasing the corporate tax rate to 23 percent “to raise about $200 billion for infrastructure”.[46]

Personal life

Delaney and his wife April (née McClain) met at Georgetown University Law Center and have four daughters. His wife is the Washington, D.C. Director for Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating families on social media. Two of his daughters attend Northwestern University.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of several organizations: St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School (Chairman), Georgetown UniversityNational Symphony Orchestra, and the International Center for Research on Women.[17]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Delaney_(Maryland_politician)

Story 2: Hacking An Election: Google Whistle Blower Reveals Google Progressive Propaganda Programming To Defeat Trump in 2020 — Big Tech Censorship — Algorithmic Fairness With Biased Results and Lies! — Holding Big Tech Accountable — Intellectual Dark Web — Videos —

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

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Dan Crenshaw Interrogates Social Media Execs on Silencing Conservatives

In a house hearing today, Representative Dan Crenshaw interrogated social media execs on conservative censorship. Crenshaw brought up the recent Project Veritas expose which allegedly uncovered google employees labeling Ben Shapiro and other prominent conservatives as Nazis.

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Steven Crowder & Big Tech Influence on Free Speech | Bret Weinstein

Published on Jun 19, 2019

Bret Weinstein discusses the controversy surrounding Steven Crowder’s remarks on Carlos Maza and the deeper implications the fallout has on big tech’s influence over censorship and free speech.

Campus Argument Goes Viral As Evergreen State Is Caught In Racial Turmoil (HBO)

Professor objects to no white people on campus demand

Bret Weinstein Testifies to Congress on The Evergreen State College riots, Free Speech & Safe Spaces

Published on Jun 8, 2018

Bret Weinstein’s testimony to the House of Representatives about the free speech crisis on U.S. college campuses. The testimony delivered by Dr. Weinstein to the members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform explained that the crisis isn’t primarily about free speech, and won’t be limited to college campuses for long. Help support my work on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/bretweinstein/ Twitter: @BretWeinstein https://twitter.com/BretWeinstein Excerpt from Dr. Weinstein’s testimony: Oppression Disguised as Equity Testimony of Bret S. Weinstein United States House of Representatives May 22, 2018 Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the day that 50 Evergreen students–students that I had never met–disrupted my class, accusing me of racism and demanding my resignation. I tried to reason with them. I felt no fear because I knew that, whatever my failings might be, bigotry was not among them. At that moment. I felt sure I could reach these students. I also felt a moral obligation to try. Racism, which squanders human potential, and erodes human dignity, offends me. I am also well versed in the evolutionary logic that makes racism durable. I should have had no trouble establishing common ground. Their response surprised me, and it would take months for me to fully understand what had happened. The protestors had no apparent interest in the very dialog they seemed to invite. I was even more surprised by the protestor’s fervor in shouting down my actual students–some of whom had known me for years. The cruelty and derision reserved for students of color who spoke in my defense was particularly chilling. If not discussion, what did they want? I was one of Evergreen’s most popular professors. I had Evergreen’s version of tenure. Did they really think they could force my resignation based on a meritless accusation? They did think that. And they were right. What I had not counted on was their alliance with Evergreen’s new president. Though the protestors openly humiliated him, the president of the college partnered with the mob in private, handing them concession after concession. We know this because the rioters filmed everything and proudly uploaded it. In one particularly telling video, President Bridges calmly discusses with the leaders of the protest a demand to target STEM faculty based on the empty assertion that scientists are particularly prone to bias. In that same video the president speaks of his plan for those who resist the new order: “Bring ’em in. Train ’em. And if they don’t get it, sanction ’em.” He invites his partners to hold him to it. On the second day of unrest, the police chief called me. Rioters were stopping traffic and searching for someone, car to car. The chief believed it was me. She was worried for my safety and helpless to protect me as the president had ordered her force to “stand down.” What would have transpired if the rioters had found me? I still don’t know, and I strongly suspect they don’t either. The protest at my class did not emerge out of the blue in May, 2017. One year earlier I stood up and spoke in opposition to a dangerous proposal, one that threatened to establish a racial hierarchy amongst faculty. To those who have not faced something similar, this likely sounds hyperbolic. But one can now advance such policies, and almost certainly succeed in passing them, if they are properly draped in weaponized terminology. “Equity”, for example, has taken on special properties. If a person opposes an “equity” proposal, those advancing the proposal are secure in asserting that their opponent is motivated by opposition to racial equity itself: In other words, that they are racist. My opposition to that first “equity” proposal was voiced to my colleagues, with no students present. Demands for my resignation one year later, were not the result of organic student confusion. They were payback for violating a de facto code of faculty conduct in which one’s right to speak is now dictated by adherence to an ascendant orthodoxy in which one’s race, gender and sexual orientation are paramount. The students were on a mission. They were unwitting tools of a witting movement. This committee should take my tale as cautionary. Is there a free speech crisis on college campuses? One can certainly make that argument, but that portrayal is at least as misleading as it is informative. What is occurring on college campuses is about power and control–speech is impeded as a last resort, used when people fail to self-censor in response to a threat of crippling stigma and the destruction of their capacity to earn. Full Hearing: https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/c…

PART ONE: Bret Weinstein, Heather Heying & the Evergreen Equity Council

Bret Weinstein on Life After Evergreen and Being Progressive (Pt. 1)

Heather Heying on Evergreen State, Trumps Election, and Consciousness (Full Interview)

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Eric Weinstein on paradigm change in Economics

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Making Sense with Sam Harris #112 — The Intellectual Dark Web (with Eric Weinstein and Ben Shapiro)

The 4 Kinds of Fake News (Eric Weinstein pt. 2)

Tits’ Freudenthal Magic Square and Other Mathematical Theories (Eric Weinstein pt. 3)

Pursuit Of Longevity: Fear Of Death Or Love Of Life? | Michael Hebb & Eric Weinstein

Niall Ferguson on the Intellectual Dark Web and the Culture War (Pt. 1)

Niall Ferguson on Understanding Brexit and Donald Trump (Pt. 2)

Niall Ferguson (historian and author) joins Dave to discuss the ongoing culture war that he and his wife Ayaan Hirsi Ali are fighting and the security and safety concerns that they have as a result, the importance of history, his views on Brexit, Donald Trump, and more.

Tim Pool, Dave Rubin, PragerU CENSORED Youtube Insider Says

We always suspected it, but James O’Keefe has given us the proof of what Google is doing.

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Google Censorship: Taking the Football And Going Home

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Why Patreon banned Jihad Watch

Patreon: Problem & Solution: Dave Rubin & Dr Jordan B Peterson

Published on Dec 16, 2018

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report and I have been discussing the problems that have emerged with Patreon intensely over the last two weeks (most particularly, the banning of Sargon of Akkad [Carl Benjamin]) with all the relevant people in our networks. We talk here about what we have been doing over the last few months, and what steps we are planning to take next. Rubin also posted this video on his channel: http://www.youtube.com/rubinreport

Joe Rogan – The Issue with Patreon Banning Sargon of Akkad

Mastercard Overrules Patreon Now Purging WrongThinkers Too!

We Are Leaving Patreon: Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson Announcement

Patreon, MasterCard, and Jihad (Discussion with Robert Spencer)

Streamed live on Dec 26, 2018

I’ll be LIVE with Robert Spencer tonight at 6:00pm, discussing the Sharia-compliance of Patreon and MasterCard, and the useful idiots who protect jihad from criticism.

 

BIG UPDATE: YouTube has REMOVED the video from their platform. The video is still available on this website page.
UPDATE 1: Congressman Louie Gohmert issued a statement, saying “Google should not be deciding whether content is important or trivial and they most assuredly should not be meddling in our election process. They need their immunity stripped…”
UPDATE 2: Google executive Jen Gennai RESPONDED to the video, saying, “I was having a casual chat with someone at a restaurant and used some imprecise language. Project Veritas got me. Well done.” 
 Insider: Google “is bent on never letting somebody like Donald Trump come to power again.”
 Google Head of Responsible Innovation Says Elizabeth Warren “misguided” on “breaking up Google”
 Google Exec Says Don’t Break Us Up: “smaller companies don’t have the resources” to “prevent next Trump situation”
 Insider Says PragerU And Dave Rubin Content Suppressed, Targeted As “Right-Wing”
 LEAKED Documents Highlight “Machine Learning Fairness” and Google’s Practices to Make Search Results “fair and equitable”
 Documents Appear to Show “Editorial” Policies That Determine How Google Publishes News
 Insider: Google Violates “letter of the law” and “spirit of the law” on Section 230

(New York City) — Project Veritas has released a new report on Google which includes undercover video of a Senior Google Executive, leaked documents, and testimony from a Google insider.  The report appears to show Google’s plans to affect the outcome of the 2020 elections and “prevent” the next “Trump situation.”

The report includes undercover footage of longtime Google employee and Head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai saying:

“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.”

Jen Gennai

Said Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe:

“This is the third tech insider who has bravely stepped forward to expose the secrets of Silicon Valley.  These new documents, supported by undercover video, raise questions of Google’s neutrality and the role they see themselves fulfilling in the 2020 elections.”

Jen Gennai is the head of “Responsible Innovation” for Google, a sector that monitors and evaluates the responsible implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.  In the video, Gennai says Google has been working diligently to “prevent” the results of the 2016 election from repeating in 2020:

“We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again.”

“We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”

Google: Artificial Intelligence Is For A “fair and equitable” State

According to the insider, Machine Learning Fairness is one of the many tools Google uses to promote a political agenda.  Documents leaked by a Google informant elaborate on Machine Learning Fairness and the “algorithmic unfairness” that AI product intervention aims to solve:

Google Exposed

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Google Exposed

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The insider showed Google search examples that show Machine Learning Fairness in action.

Google Machine Learning Fairness

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“The reason we launched our A.I. principles is because people were not putting that line in the sand, that they were not saying what’s fair and what’s equitable so we’re like, well we are a big company, we’re going to say it.” – Jen Gennai, Head Of Responsible Innovation, Google

The Google insider explained the impact of artificial intelligence and Machine Learning Fairness:

“They’re going to redefine a reality based on what they think is fair and based upon what they want, and what and is part of their agenda.”

Determining credible news and an editorial agenda. . .

Additional leaked documents detail how Google defines and prioritizes content from different news publishers and how its products feature that content.  One document, called the “Fake News-letter” explains Google’s goal to have a “single point of truth” across their products.

 

Google Exposed

Another document received by Project Veritas explains the “News Ecosystem” which mentions “editorial guidelines” that appear to be determined and administered internally by Google.  These guidelines control how content is distributed and displayed on their site.

Google Exposed

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The leaked documents appear to show that Google makes news decisions about what news they promote and distribute on their site.

Comments made by Gennai raise similar questions.  In a conversation with Veritas journalists, Gennai explains that “conservative sources” and “credible sources” don’t always coincide according to Google’s editorial practices.

“We have gotten accusations of around fairness is that we’re unfair to conservatives because we’re choosing what we find as credible news sources and those sources don’t necessarily overlap with conservative sources …” 

The insider shed additional light on how YouTube demotes content from influencers like Dave Rubin and Tim Pool:

“What YouTube did is they changed the results of the recommendation engine. And so what the recommendation engine is it tries to do, is it tries to say, well, if you like A, then you’re probably going to like B. So content that is similar to Dave Rubin or Tim Pool, instead of listing Dave Rubin or Tim Pool as people that you might like, what they’re doing is that they’re trying to suggest different, different news outlets, for example, like CNN, or MSNBC, or these left leaning political outlets.”

 

Internal Google Document: “People Like Us Are Programmed” 

An additional document Project Veritas obtained, titled “Fair is Not the Default” says “People (like us) are programmed” after the results of machine learning fairness.  The document describes how “unconscious bias” and algorithms interact.

Click to enlarge

Veritas is the “Only Way”

Said the insider:

“The reason why I came to Project Veritas is that you’re the only one I trust to be able to be a real investigative journalist.  Investigative journalist is a dead career option, but somehow, you’ve been able to make it work.  And because of that I came to Project Veritas because I knew that this was the only way that this story would be able to get out to the public.”

“I mean, this is a behemoth, this is a Goliath, I am but a David trying to say that the emperor has no clothes. And, um, being a small little ant I can be crushed, and I am aware of that. But, this is something that is bigger than me, this is something that needs to be said to the American public.”

Project Veritas intends to continue investigating abuses in big tech companies and encourages more Silicon Valley insiders to share their stories through their Be Brave campaign.

As of publishing, Google did not respond to Project Veritas’ request for comment.  Additional leaked Google documents can be viewed HERE.

Other insider investigations can be viewed here:

 (Big tech insiders can reach out to Project Veritas here to help expose similar newsworthy wrongdoing.)

Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020 on Hidden Cam

Streisand effect in action: YouTube censors video exposing Google’s anti-conservative censorship

On Monday, Project Veritas released another video exposing leftist media bias with an undercover interview and leaked internal documents from Google. In an act of censorship that could not possibly be an accident, YouTube, which is owned by Google, took the video down within a day of its posting.

Segments of the Project Veritas video, which can still be viewed on the group’s website, include undercover footage of Google executive Jen Gennai sharing her thoughts on the 2016 election, saying, “We all got screwed over in 2016 … so we’ve rapidly been like what happened there, and how do we prevent it from happening again?”

She continued to say that Google altered its algorithms to promote its own political idea of “fairness,” adding, “The same people who voted for the current president … do not agree with our definition of fairness.”

The defector Google employee explained Gennai’s comments from his perspective: “What they’re really saying about fairness is that they have to manipulate their search results so that it gives them the political agenda that they want. … What she’s trying to do is she’s trying to sell a product that’s not objective, that doesn’t represent the will of its users, but instead represents the will of a group of people making decisions behind the shadows.”

Gennai responded to the video, admitting it was authentic and that she was tricked, but stating the spliced segments promoted “debunked conspiracies” and that “Google has no notion of political ideology in its rankings.” I’m authentically searching for the truth, so I’d happily hear Gennai out on this matter. But Gennai, and Silicon Valley as a whole, have not provided convincing evidence to defend themselves. And the evidence against them is quite damning.

Later in the Project Veritas video, the Google leaker provided an example of leftist bias that anyone can see for themselves. If you type the words “men can” into Google, the auto-complete function creates ridiculous phrases such as “men can have babies,” “men can get pregnant,” and “men can have periods.”

The leaker also said many conservative content creators, such as Dave Rubin, Steven Crowder, and PragerU are being censored, demonetized, and hidden from normal YouTube search functions to decrease their popularity.

“YouTube is targeting what they consider to be right-wing news commentators,” he said. “They’re deciding they don’t want these opinions to have wide appeal … they’re coming in and they’re putting their thumb down, and they’re deciding what content the users are allowed to see.”

These are the highlights of the 25-minute video, but the full video is worth watching if you have the time. Evidently, it was important enough for YouTube to take it down within a day, an action that ironically seems to give the allegations even more credibility. (See the Streisand effect.)

As Dave Rubin said yesterday, “Censoring a video about censorship seems very censorshippy to me.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/streisand-effect-in-action-youtube-censors-video-exposing-googles-anti-conservative-censorship

DailyMail: 50% Drop In Traffic After Google June 2019 Core Update

Jun 6, 2019 • 8:02 am | comments (122)by twitter| Filed Under Google Search Algorithm Updates

Jesus Mendez, the SEO Director at MailOnline, which operators DailyMail.co.uk, has admitted publicly that the site took a massive hit by the June 2019 Google core updatewhich began rolling out June 3rd. He said the site “lost 50% of daily traffic” because of this Google update.

It is very rare for a publishing site that large to admit they were hit by a Google update – extremely rare to see a post about it in a public forum. But the transparency is clear and honest, which I do love. It launched in 2003, and according to Wikipedia it is/was “the most visited English-language newspaper website in the world, with over 11.34m visitors daily in August 2014.” Heck, I even wrote how smart they were when they hid an easter egg in their robots.txt file to hire a savvy SEO for their publication.

But now, the site lost 50% of its traffic, with an additional 90% drop in their Google Discover traffic – which can hurt big time for a publication that size.

Jesus Mendez wrote in as Google Webmaster Help thread “The day after the broad core algorithm update (June 3rd) we saw a massive drop in Search traffic from Google (lost 50% of daily traffic). This was a drop over the course of 24-hours and we have not made any changes to the site. Further, we saw our Discover traffic drop by 90% and has not improved. This is across all verticals, devices, AMP and Non-AMP. ”

Here is a screen shot of the full post (click to enlarge):

click for full size

There are no responses to this post – but wowza. We know this update can be big for some sites but the DailyMail really felt it!

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Update: The Press Gazette confirmed with The Mall Online that Jesus Mendez did post in the Google forums.

https://www.seroundtable.com/dailymail-hit-google-core-update-27690.html

 

Trump is right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google threatens democracy, online freedom

Google, YouTube and other tech giants filter, suppress and even directly attack conservatives. This must stop to protect our free and open society.

Americans must be wary of powerful institutions that seek to control what we see and hear.

As the internet has become an increasingly central part of modern life, Big Tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have increasingly sought to become the gatekeepers of the internet and political discourse. Without any sort of democratic mandate, these companies have appointed themselves the arbiters of acceptable thought, discussion and searches online.

These companies’ pervasive command of the internet — and blatant desire to control how we interact with it — is a direct threat to a free society. And arguably the worst offender is Google.

Google claims to value free expression and a free and open internet, but there is overwhelming evidence that the Big Tech giant wants the internet to be free and open only to political and social ideas of which it approves.

“Google & others are suppressing voices of conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!” President Trump tweeted last month.

Google has directly targeted Republicans

The president is absolutely right.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Google was accused of manipulating search results to favor Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Also, research at Harvard University found that Google’s search rankings are not objective, and in 2017, the company was fined billions of dollars by the European Union for manipulating search results.

Google also maintains at least nine shadowy blacklists that affect what the public sees when using its search engine.

Sometimes, the tech giant just attacks conservatives directly. In one infamous example, a Google search result listed “Nazism” as an official ideology of the California GOP. North Carolina Sen. Trudy Wade, a Republican, was shocked to discover that the top search result for her name returned a photo labeling her as a bigot.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/09/10/trump-google-youtube-search-results-biased-against-republicans-conservatives-column/1248099002/

PragerU Takes Legal Action Against Google and YouTube for Discrimination

VIEW FULL LAWSUIT COMPLAINT HERE

“This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker”  – 36th Governor of California Pete Wilson  Browne, George, Ross LLP

LOS ANGELES — Prager University (PragerU) has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to stop Google and YouTube from unlawfully censoring its educational videos and discriminating against its right to freedom of speech. 

The lawsuit cites more than 50 PragerU videos which have either been “restricted” or “demonetized” by Google/YouTube. The PragerU videos range on various subjects presenting a conservative point of view, and include a video by noted Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz on the founding of Israel. PragerU previously compiled a complete list of their restricted videos here, which includes: “Why America Must Lead,” “The Ten Commandments: Do Not Murder,” “Why Did America Fight the Korean War,” and “The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians.” 

In correspondence cited in the filing, Google/YouTube made it clear that the censorship of certain videos was because they were deemed “inappropriate” for younger audiences.

“Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven. For the record, our videos are presented by some of the finest minds in the Western world, including four Pulitzer Prize winners, former prime ministers, and professors from the most prestigious universities in America,” stated PragerU founder Dennis Prager.

Prager added, “They are engaging in an arbitrary and capricious use of their ‘restricted mode’ and ‘demonetization’ to restrict non-left political thought. Their censorship is profoundly damaging because Google and YouTube own and control the largest forum for public participation in video-based speech in not only California, but the United States, and the world.”

The total number of people who currently use YouTube exceeds 1.3 billion people. Google and YouTube advertise YouTube to the public as a forum intended to defend and protect free speech where members of the general public may express and exchange their ideas. They have represented that their platforms and services are intended to effectuate the exercise of free speech among the public. According to Google and YouTube: “voices matter.” YouTube states that it is “committed to fostering a community where everyone’s voice can be heard.”

“However,” said Eric George of Browne George Ross, the firm representing PragerU, “Google and YouTube use restricted mode filtering not to protect younger or sensitive viewers from ‘inappropriate’ video content, but as a political gag mechanism to silence PragerU. Google and YouTube do this not because they have identified video content that violates their guidelines or is otherwise inappropriate for younger viewers, but because PragerU is a conservative nonprofit organization that is associated with and espouses the views of leading conservative speakers and scholars.”  

“This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker,” said former California Governor Pete Wilson of Browne George Ross. “Google and YouTube’s use of restricted mode filtering to silence PragerU violates its fundamental First Amendment rights under both the California and United States Constitutions. It constitutes unlawful discrimination under California law, is a misleading and unfair business practice, and breaches the warranty of good faith and fair dealing implied in Google and YouTube’s own Terms of Use and ‘Community Guidelines.’”

“There is absolutely nothing ‘inappropriate’ about the content of the PragerU videos censored by Google and YouTube; the videos do not contain any profanity, nudity or otherwise inappropriate ‘mature’ content and they fully comply with the letter of YouTube’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines,” said Marissa Streit, PragerU’s chief executive officer who has engaged in a year-long-effort to try and persuade Google to stop censoring PragerU content. Streit continues, “It’s clear that someone doesn’t like what we teach and so they intend on stopping us from teaching it. Can you imagine what the world would look like if Google is allowed to continue to arbitrarily censor ideas they simply don’t agree with?”

“This is not a left/right issue. It is a free speech issue, which is why prominent liberals, such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, are supporting our lawsuit,” Prager concluded.

The lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California is available here.

###

PRESS INQUIRES CONTACT: The KAIROS Company for Prager University | Johnnie@theKcompany.co | 434-426-5310

Advisory Legal Council: Former Governor Pete Wilson’s Law Firm, Browne, George and Ross; Eric George; Alan Dershowitz; Barak Lurie, Kelly Shackelford, Mat Staver;  and additional prominent attorneys.

PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2016 alone, PragerU’s videos received over 250 million views, a figure that will eclipse 350 million in 2017. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.

https://www.prageru.com/press-release/prageru-takes-legal-action-against-google-and-youtube-for-discrimination/

WHY BITCOIN? PATREON PUSHED BY MASTERCARD TO BAN ACCOUNTS IN ‘TERRIBLE PRECEDENT’

ESTHER KIM | DEC 25, 2018 | 12:00

Crowdfunding platform Patreon is grappling with fiat currency centralization after MasterCard demanded it must block the account of a prominent US author and several others.


SPENCER: PATREON ‘AXED’ ME

Citing an email from the company in August, Robert Spencer, who penned multiple books about countering Jihad and advised law enforcement agencies, said it had “axed” him and he could no longer put contributed funds to any use.

“I’ve been axed from Patreon, without explanation, warning or notice – no doubt as part of the ongoing efforts of the Left to deny all platforms to those who reject its agenda,” he wrote on Twitter. “To those who supported me there, thank you, and I’m sorry we couldn’t follow through on plans.”

Responding publicly, Patreon denied it had chosen to ban Spencer, alleging that “unfortunately Mastercard required” it to “remove” his account.

nic carter@nic__carter

Why does MasterCard have political opinions, and why are they enforcing them on a granular basis? Walking antritrust violation https://twitter.com/Patreon/status/1029551216886341634 

Patreon

@Patreon

Replying to @jihadwatchRS

Hi Robert, we emailed you earlier today which explained that unfortunately Mastercard required us to remove your account. You replied to us but if you have further questions we’re happy to keep emailing.

93 people are talking about this

Patreon has since gained negative publicity for further bans, including last week’s move against podcast host Sam Harris.

A HISTORY OF CENSORSHIP

It remains unknown what had led to the decision, with commentators from both within and outside the cryptocurrency community immediately accusing the payment processor of censorship.

“Trusted third parties are security holes (a phrase coined by Bitcoin pioneer Nick Szabo). Escape through bitcoin,” one wrote, while a popular response to the Twitter thread accused Patreon of providing a “fairly lame excuse.”

“Your agreements clearly say nothing about Mastercard. So what gives?” it reads.

Are you saying that this 3rd Party has control over who you support and protect, and who you do not? Sounds like you’ve set a terrible precedent.

Patreon is far from the first company to fall foul of payment networks. As Bitcoinist reported, PayPal has regularly blocked or limited activities of Bitcoin businesses and users over the years.

In October, the practice continued, PayPal banning censorship-resistant social media platform Gab several months after US exchange Coinbase did the same. Coinbase also targeted WikiLeaks in April this year.

Crypto pundits have become visibly more irked by censorship policies this year, calling for mass boycotts of payment processors and other platforms such as Twitter in favor of politically-neutral open-source payments alternatives such as Bitcoin.

What do you think about Patreon blocking Robert Spencer? Let us know in the comments below!


Why Bitcoin? Patreon Pushed By Mastercard to Ban Accounts in ‘Terrible Precedent’

Patreon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Patreon, Inc.
Patreon wordmark.svg

show

Screenshot
Type of site
Membership platform
Available in English
Headquarters

,

U.S.
Created by
Website patreon.com
Alexa rank Increase 383 (June 2018)[1]
Launched May 2013; 6 years ago
Current status Active

Patreon (/ˈptriɒn/) is an American crowdfunding membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, with ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons”.[2]

Patreon is popular among YouTube videographerswebcomic artists, writers, podcasters, musicians, and other categories of creators who post regularly online.[3] It allows artists to receive funding directly from their fans, or patrons, on a recurring basis or per work of art.[4] The company, started by musician Jack Conte[5] and developer Sam Yam[5][6] in 2013, is based in San Francisco.[7]

In return for the service, Patreon charges a commission of 5% for each donation and 5% in transaction fees, thus allowing the creator to get 90% of the donations.[8]

 

History

Logo used from May 2013–June 2017.

Patreon was co-founded in May 2013 by Sam Yam and musician Jack Conte,[5] who was looking for a way to make a living from his popular YouTube videos.[9] Together with Sam Yam he developed a platform that allows ‘patrons’ to pay a set amount of money every time an artist creates a work of art. The company raised $2.1 million in August 2013 from a group of venture capitalists and angel investors.[10][11] In June 2014, Patreon raised a further $15 million in a series A round led by Danny Rimer of Index Ventures.[12][13] In January 2016, the company closed on a fresh round of $30 million in a series B round, led by Thrive Capital, which put the total raised for Patreon at $47.1 million.[14]

They signed up more than 125,000 ‘patrons’ in their first 18 months.[15] In late 2014, the website announced that patrons were sending over $1,000,000 per month to the site’s content creators.[16]

In March 2015, Patreon acquired Subbable, a similar voluntary subscription service created by the Green brothersJohn and Hank Green, and brought over Subbable creators and contents, including CGP GreyDestin Sandlin‘s Smarter Every Day, and the Green brothers’ own CrashCourse and SciShow channels.[17] The merger was consequent of an expected migration of payment systems with Amazon Payments that Subbable used.

In October 2015, the site was the target of a large cyber-attack, with almost 15 gigabytes of password data, donation records, and source code taken and published. The breach exposed more than 2.3 million unique e-mail addresses and millions of private messages.[18][19] Following the attack, some patrons received extortion emails demanding Bitcoin payments in exchange for the protection of their personal information.[20][21][22]

In July 2016, Patreon sent out an email[23] to its users, announcing changes for its more adult-oriented creators. Notably, content creators working under the “Not Safe For Work” (NSFW) categories on Patreon can now accept payments through PayPal via PayPal’s subsidiary Braintree. This move now allows Adult Content creators on Patreon to accept payment more easily. Prior to this change, these creators could only accept payments through credit cards.[24]

In January 2017, Patreon announced that it had sent over $100,000,000 to creators since its inception.[25]

In May 2017, Patreon announced that it had over 50,000 active creators, 1 million monthly patrons, and was on track to send over $150 million to creators in 2017.[26]

In June 2017, Patreon announced a suite of tools for creators to run membership businesses on the Patreon platform. Notable improvements included a CRM system, a mobile app called Lens, and a service to set up exclusive livestreams.[27]

In August 2018, Patreon announced the acquisition of Memberful, a membership services company.[28]

Business model

Patreon users are grouped by content type, such as video/films, podcastcomedycomics, games, and education. These content creators set up a page on the Patreon website, where patrons can choose to pay a fixed amount to a creator on a monthly basis.[29]Alternatively, content creators can configure their page so that patrons pay every time the artist releases a new piece of art. A creator typically displays a goal that the ongoing revenue will go towards, and can set a maximum limit of how much they receive per month. Patrons can cancel their payment at any time. Creators typically provide membership benefits (commonly in the form of exclusive content or behind-the-scenes work) for their patrons, depending on the amount that each patron pays.[30][31]

Patrons can unlock monetary tiers that increase the content type they see from the user. A number of content creators on Patreon are also YouTubers. They are able to create content on multiple platforms, and while the YouTube videos may be available to the public, the patrons receive private content made exclusively for them in exchange for aiding the Patreon user’s goal.[32] Patreon takes a 5% commission on pledges. As of May 2017, the average pledge per patron was around $12, and a new patron pledged to a creator every 5.5 seconds.[33]

As of February 2014, almost half of the artists on Patreon produce YouTube videos, while most of the rest are writers, webcomics artists, musicians, or podcasters.[34] As of December 2016, Patreon’s Community Guidelines allow nudity and suggestive imagery as long as they are clearly marked, but prohibit content that may be deemed pornographic or as glorifying sexual violence.[35]

Unlike other online platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, which use trained algorithms to identify potentially inappropriate content, Patreon’s trust and safety team monitors users and investigates complaints of Terms of Service violations.[36]

Controversies

In July 2017, conservative journalist and YouTube personality Lauren Southern was banned from Patreon over concerns about Génération Identitaire‘s blocking of NGO ships in the Mediterranean. A letter she received from Patreon said she was removed for “raising funds in order to take part in activities that are likely to cause loss of life,” referring to an incident in May involving Southern, and the larger Defend Europe mission in July, which she covered on YouTube. Philosopher, writer, and podcast host Sam Harris, who also received contributions from patrons on the website, objected to Patreon’s approach and announced that he would be leaving the platform because of it.[37] Shortly thereafter Patreon deleted the account of It’s Going Down, a hardline left-wing news website, for doxing.[24] Patreon CEO Jack Conte subsequently announced that he would be expanding the company’s appeal process, regretting the initial wording of the letter which said “[we] will not consider an appeal”.[citation needed]

In October 2017, Patreon published an expanded version of its community guidelines, triggering a backlash from some adult content creators.[38][39][40] A petition in protest at the changes gained 1,800 signatures, and drew a response from Jack Conte.[41][42]

In December 2017, Patreon announced a service fee starting on December 18, 2017, where some fees would be charged to the patrons rather than all fees being paid by the creator. This caused backlash from a number of creators, including some who saw members of their fanbase withdraw small pledges in response. Under the new payment model, a $1 pledge would have cost a patron $1.38, and a $5 pledge would have cost $5.50, representing a 38% and 10% rise respectively.[43] Due to this backlash and the loss of many pledges for creators, Patreon announced that they would not be rolling out these changes, and apologized to their users.[44]

In 2018, Patreon was accused of cracking down on videos featuring the autonomous sensory meridian response.[45]

In December 2018, Patreon banned Milo Yiannopoulos a day after he created an account as well as far-right American political commentator James Allsup.[46] In the same month, Patreon also banned Carl Benjamin because he used homophobic and racist slurs in a YouTube interview in February 2018.[36] Benjamin defended himself, claiming Patreon had taken his words out of context,[47] and that “the video in question should not fall under Patreon’s rules because it was on YouTube.”[36]

This ban was criticized by Sam Harris and American libertarians, who have accused it of being politically motivated.[36] Furthermore, Jordan Peterson announced a plan to launch an alternative service that will be safe from political interference, and jointly announced with Dave Rubin in a January 1, 2019 video that they will be leaving Patreon by January 15, 2019 as a direct response to its treatment of Carl Benjamin.[48][49] On January 15, Peterson and Rubin deleted their Patreon accounts.

As of May 2019, Patreon continues to allow Owen Benjamin to utilize their platform to fund his antisemitic online videos, partial Holocaust denial and racism.[50]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patreon

ion

Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web

An alliance of heretics is making an end run around the mainstream conversation. Should we be listening?

By Bari Weiss

Photographs by Damon Winter

Eric Weinstein

Eric WeinsteinCreditCreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Here are some things that you will hear when you sit down to dinner with the vanguard of the Intellectual Dark Web: There are fundamental biological differences between men and women. Free speech is under siege. Identity politics is a toxic ideology that is tearing American society apart. And we’re in a dangerous place if these ideas are considered “dark.”

I was meeting with Sam Harris, a neuroscientist; Eric Weinstein, a mathematician and managing director of Thiel Capital; the commentator and comedian Dave Rubin; and their spouses in a Los Angeles restaurant to talk about how they were turned into heretics. A decade ago, they argued, when Donald Trump was still hosting “The Apprentice,” none of these observations would have been considered taboo.

Today, people like them who dare venture into this “There Be Dragons” territory on the intellectual map have met with outrage and derision — even, or perhaps especially, from people who pride themselves on openness.

It’s a pattern that has become common in our new era of That Which Cannot Be Said. And it is the reason the Intellectual Dark Web, a term coined half-jokingly by Mr. Weinstein, came to exist.

What is the I.D.W. and who is a member of it? It’s hard to explain, which is both its beauty and its danger.

Most simply, it is a collection of iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades and media personalities who are having a rolling conversation — on podcasts, YouTube and Twitter, and in sold-out auditoriums — that sound unlike anything else happening, at least publicly, in the culture right now. Feeling largely locked out of legacy outlets, they are rapidly building their own mass media channels.

The closest thing to a phone book for the I.D.W. is a sleek websitethat lists the dramatis personae of the network, including Mr. Harris; Mr. Weinstein and his brother and sister-in-law, the evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying; Jordan Peterson, the psychologist and best-selling author; the conservative commentators Ben Shapiro and Douglas Murray; Maajid Nawaz, the former Islamist turned anti-extremist activist; and the feminists Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Christina Hoff Sommers. But in typical dark web fashion, no one knows who put the website up.

The core members have little in common politically. Bret and Eric Weinstein and Ms. Heying were Bernie Sanders supporters. Mr. Harris was an outspoken Hillary voter. Ben Shapiro is an anti-Trump conservative.

Christina Hoff Sommers

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

But they all share three distinct qualities. First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness. Second, in an age in which popular feelings about the way things ought to be often override facts about the way things actually are, each is determined to resist parroting what’s politically convenient. And third, some have paid for this commitment by being purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought — and have found receptive audiences elsewhere.

“People are starved for controversial opinions,” said Joe Rogan, an MMA color commentator and comedian who hosts one of the most popular podcasts in the country. “And they are starved for an actual conversation.”

[Receive the day’s most urgent debates right in your inbox by subscribing to the Opinion Today newsletter.]

That hunger has translated into a booming and, in many cases, profitable market. Episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which have featured many members of the I.D.W., can draw nearly as big an audience as Rachel Maddow. A recent episode featuring Bret Weinstein and Ms. Heying talking about gender, hotness, beauty and #MeToo was viewed on YouTube over a million times, even though the conversation lasted for nearly three hours.

Joe Rogan

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Ben Shapiro’s podcast, which airs five days a week, gets 15 million downloads a month. Sam Harris estimates that his “Waking Up” podcast gets one million listeners an episode. Dave Rubin’s YouTube show has more than 700,000 subscribers.

Offline and in the real world, members of the I.D.W. are often found speaking to one another in packed venues around the globe. In July, for example, Jordan Peterson, Douglas Murray and Mr. Harris will appear together at the O2 Arena in London.

But as the members of the Intellectual Dark Web become genuinely popular, they are also coming under more scrutiny. On April 21, Kanye West crystallized this problem when he tweeted seven words that set Twitter on fire: “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.”

Candace Owens, the communications director for Turning Point USA, is a sharp, young, black conservative — a telegenic speaker with killer instincts who makes videos with titles like “How to Escape the Democrat Plantation” and “The Left Thinks Black People Are Stupid.” Mr. West’s praise for her was sandwiched inside a longer thread that referenced many of the markers of the Intellectual Dark Web, like the tyranny of thought policing and the importance of independent thinking. He was photographed watching a Jordan Peterson video.

All of a sudden, it seemed, the I.D.W. had broken through to the culture-making class, and a few in the group flirted with embracing Ms. Owens as their own.

Yet Ms. Owens is a passionate Trump supporter who has dismissed racism as a threat to black people while arguing, despite evidence to the contrary, that immigrants steal their jobs. She has also compared Jay-Z and Beyoncé to slaves for supporting the Democratic Party.

Many others in the I.D.W. were made nervous by her sudden ascendance to the limelight, seeing Ms. Owens not as a sincere intellectual but as a provocateur in the mold of Milo Yiannopoulos. For the I.D.W. to succeed, they argue, it needs to eschew those interested in violating taboo for its own sake.

“I’m really only interested in building this intellectual movement,” Eric Weinstein said. “The I.D.W. has bigger goals than anyone’s buzz or celebrity.”

And yet, when Ms. Owens and Charlie Kirk, the executive director of Turning Point USA, met last week with Mr. West at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, just outside of the frame — in fact, avoiding the photographers — was Mr. Weinstein. He attended both that meeting and a one-on-one the next day for several hours at the mogul’s request. Mr. Weinstein, who can’t name two of Mr. West’s songs, said he found the Kardashian spouse “kind and surprisingly humble despite his unpredictable public provocations.” He has also tweeted that he’s interested to see what Ms. Owens says next.

This episode was the clearest example yet of the challenge this group faces: In their eagerness to gain popular traction, are the members of the I.D.W. aligning themselves with people whose views and methods are poisonous? Could the intellectual wildness that made this alliance of heretics worth paying attention to become its undoing?

Heather HeyingPhotographs by Damon Winter/The New York Times

There is no direct route into the Intellectual Dark Web. But the quickest path is to demonstrate that you aren’t afraid to confront your own tribe.

The metaphors for this experience vary: going through the phantom tollbooth; deviating from the narrative; falling into the rabbit hole. But almost everyone can point to a particular episode where they came in as one thing and emerged as something quite different.

A year ago, Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying were respected tenured professors at Evergreen State College, where their Occupy Wall Street-sympathetic politics were well in tune with the school’s progressive ethos. Today they have left their jobs, lost many of their friends and endangered their reputations.

All this because they opposed a “Day of Absence,” in which white students were asked to leave campus for the day. For questioning a day of racial segregation cloaked in progressivism, the pair was smeared as racist. Following threats, they left town for a time with their children and ultimately resigned their jobs.

“Nobody else reacted. That’s what shocked me,” Mr. Weinstein said. “It told me that a culture that told itself it was radically open-minded was actually a culture cowed by fear.”

Sam Harris says his moment came in 2006, at a conference at the Salk Institute with Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson and other prominent scientists. Mr. Harris said something that he thought was obvious on its face: Not all cultures are equally conducive to human flourishing. Some are superior to others.

“Until that time I had been criticizing religion, so the people who hated what I had to say were mostly on the right,” Mr. Harris said. “This was the first time I fully understood that I had an equivalent problem with the secular left.”

After his talk, in which he disparaged the Taliban, a biologist who would go on to serve on President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues approached him. “I remember she said: ‘That’s just your opinion. How can you say that forcing women to wear burqas is wrong?’ But to me it’s just obvious that forcing women to live their lives inside bags is wrong. I gave her another example: What if we found a culture that was ritually blinding every third child? And she actually said, ‘It would depend on why they were doing it.’” His jaw, he said, “actually fell open.”

Sam Harris

Jordan Peterson

“The moral confusion that operates under the banner of ‘multiculturalism’ can blind even well-educated people to the problems of intolerance and cruelty in other communities,” Mr. Harris said. “This had never fully crystallized for me until that moment.”

Before September 2016, Jordan Peterson was an obscure psychology professor at the University of Toronto. Then he spoke out against Canada’s Bill C-16, which proposed amending the country’s human-rights act to outlaw discrimination based on gender identity and expression. He resisted on the grounds that the bill risked curtailing free speech by compelling people to use alternative gender pronouns. He made YouTube videos about it. He went on news shows to protest it. He confronted protesters calling him a bigot. When the university asked him to stop talking about it, including sending two warning letters, he refused.

While most people in the group faced down comrades on the political left, Ben Shapiro confronted the right. He left his job as editor at large of Breitbart News two years ago because he believed it had become, under Steve Bannon’s leadership, “Trump’s personal Pravda.” In short order, he became a primary target of the alt-right and, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the No. 1 target of anti-Semitic tweets during the presidential election.

Other figures in the I.D.W., like Claire Lehmann, the founder and editor of the online magazine Quillette, and Debra Soh, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, self-deported from the academic track, sensing that the spectrum of acceptable perspectives and even areas of research was narrowing. Dr. Soh said that she started “waking up” in the last two years of her doctorate program. “It was clear that the environment was inhospitable to conducting research,” she said. “If you produce findings that the public doesn’t like, you can lose your job.”

When she wrote an op-ed in 2015 titled “Why Transgender Kids Should Wait to Transition,” citing research that found that a majority of gender dysphoric children outgrow their dysphoria, she said her colleagues warned her, “Even if you stay in academia and express this view, tenure won’t protect you.”

Nowadays Ms. Soh has a column for Playboy and picks up work as a freelance writer. But that hardly pays the bills. She’s planning to start a podcast soon and, like many members of the I.D.W., has a Patreon account where “patrons” can support her work.

These donations can add up. Mr. Rubin said his show makes at least $30,000 a month on Patreon. And Mr. Peterson says he pulls in some $80,000 in fan donations each month.

Mr. Peterson has endured no small amount of online hatred and some real-life physical threats: In March, during a lecture at Queen’s University in Ontario, a woman showed up with a garrote. But like many in the I.D.W., he also seems to relish the outrage he inspires.

“I’ve figured out how to monetize social justice warriors,” Mr. Peterson said in January on Joe Rogan’s podcast. On his Twitter feed, he called the writer Pankaj Mishra, who’d written an essay in The New York Review of Books attacking him, a “sanctimonious prick” and said he’d happily slap him.

And the upside to his notoriety is obvious: Mr. Peterson is now arguably the most famous public intellectual in Canada, and his book “12 Rules for Life” is a best-seller.

The exile of Bret Weinstein and Ms. Heying from Evergreen State brought them to the attention of a national audience that might have come for the controversy but has stayed for their fascinating insights about subjects including evolution and gender. “Our friends still at Evergreen tell us that the protesters think they destroyed us,” Ms. Heying said. “But the truth is we’re now getting the chance to do something on a much larger scale than we could ever do in the classroom.”

“I’ve been at this for 25 years now, having done all the MSM shows, including Oprah, Charlie Rose, ‘The Colbert Report,’ Larry King — you name it,” Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine, told me. “The last couple of years I’ve shifted to doing shows hosted by Joe Rogan, Dave Rubin, Sam Harris and others. The I.D.W. is as powerful a media as any I’ve encountered.”

Mr. Shermer, a middle-aged science writer, now gets recognized on the street. On a recent bike ride in Santa Barbara, Calif., he passed a work crew and “the flag man stopped me and says: ‘Hey, you’re that skeptic guy, Shermer! I saw you on Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan!’” When he can’t watch the shows on YouTube, he listens to them as podcasts on the job. On breaks, he told Mr. Shermer, he takes notes.

“I’ve had to update Quillette’s servers three times now because it’s caved under the weight of the traffic,” Ms. Lehmann said about the publication most associated with this movement.

Michael Shermer

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Yet there are pitfalls to this audience-supported model. One risk is what Eric Weinstein has called “audience capture.” Since stories about left-wing-outrage culture — the fact that the University of California, Berkeley, had to spend $600,000 on security for Mr. Shapiro’s speech there, say — take off with their fans, members of the Intellectual Dark Web may have a hard time resisting the urge to deliver that type of story. This probably helps explain why some people in this group talk constantly about the regressive left but far less about the threat from the right.

“There are a few people in this network who have gone without saying anything critical about Trump, a person who has assaulted truth more than anyone in human history,” Mr. Harris said. “If you care about the truth, that is quite strange.”

Emphasis is one problem. Associating with genuinely bad people is another.

Go a click in one direction and the group is enhanced by intellectuals with tony affiliations like Steven Pinker at Harvard. But go a click in another and you’ll find alt-right figures like Stefan Molyneux and Milo Yiannopoulos and conspiracy theorists like Mike Cernovich (the #PizzaGate huckster) and Alex Jones (the Sandy Hook shooting denier).

It’s hard to draw boundaries around an amorphous network, especially when each person in it has a different idea of who is beyond the pale.

“I don’t know that we are in the position to police it,” Mr. Rubin said. “If this thing becomes something massive — a political or social movement — then maybe we’d need to have some statement of principles. For now, we’re just a crew of people trying to have the kind of important conversations that the mainstream won’t.”

But is a statement of principles necessary to make a judgment call about people like Mr. Cernovich, Mr. Molyneux and Mr. Yiannopoulos? Mr. Rubin has hosted all three on his show. And he appeared on a typically unhinged episode of Mr. Jones’s radio show, “Infowars.” Mr. Rogan regularly lets Abby Martin — a former 9/11 Truther who is strangely sympathetic to the regimes in Syria and Venezuela — rant on his podcast. He also encouraged Mr. Jones to spout off about the moon landing being fake during Mr. Jones’s nearly four-hour appearance on his show. When asked why he hosts people like Mr. Jones, Mr. Rogan has insisted that he’s not an interviewer or a journalist. “I talk to people. And I record it. That’s it,” he has said.

Mr. Rubin doesn’t see this is a problem. “The fact is that Jones reaches millions of people,” he said. “Going on that show means I get to reach them, and I don’t think anyone is a lost cause. I’ve gotten a slew of email from folks saying that they first heard me on Jones, but then watched a bunch of my interviews and changed some of their views.”

Dave Rubin

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

The subject came up at that dinner in Los Angeles. Mr. Rubin, whose mentor is Larry King, insisted his job is just to let the person sitting across from him talk and let the audience decide. But with a figure like Mr. Cernovich, who can occasionally sound reasonable, how is a viewer supposed to know better?

Of course, the whole notion of drawing lines to keep people out is exactly what inspired the Intellectual Dark Web folks in the first place. They’re committed to the belief that setting up no-go zones and no-go people is inherently corrupting to free thought.

“You have to understand that the I.D.W. emerged as a response to a world where perfectly reasonable intellectuals were being regularly mislabeled by activists, institutions and mainstream journalists with every career-ending epithet from ‘Islamophobe’ to ‘Nazi,’” Eric Weinstein said. “Once I.D.W. folks saw that people like Ben Shapiro were generally smart, highly informed and often princely in difficult conversations, it’s more understandable that occasionally a few frogs got kissed here and there as some I.D.W. members went in search of other maligned princes.”

But people who pride themselves on pursuing the truth and telling it plainly should be capable of applying these labels when they’re deserved. It seems to me that if you are willing to sit across from an Alex Jones or Mike Cernovich and take him seriously, there’s a high probability that you’re either cynical or stupid. If there’s a reason for shorting the I.D.W., it’s the inability of certain members to see this as a fatal error.

What’s more, this frog-kissing plays perfectly into the hands of those who want to discredit the individuals in this network. In recent days, for example, Mr. Harris has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a bridge to the alt-right: “Under the guise of scientific objectivity, Harris has presented deeply flawed data to perpetuate fear of Muslims and to argue that black people are genetically inferior to whites.”

That isn’t true. The group excoriated Mr. Harris, a fierce critic of the treatment of women and gays under radical Islam, for saying that “some percentage, however small” of Muslim immigrants are radicalized. He has also estimated that some 20 percent of Muslims worldwide are Islamists or jihadis. But he has never said that this should make people fear all Muslims. He has defended the work of the social scientist Charles Murray, who argues that genetic differences may explain differences in average IQ across racial groups — while insisting that this does not make one group inferior to another.

But this kind of falsehood is much easier to spread when other figures in the I.D.W. are promiscuous about whom they’ll associate with. When Mr. West tweeted his praise for Ms. Owens, the responses of the people in the network reflected each person’s attitude toward this problem. Dave Rubin took to Twitter to defend Ms. Owens and called Mr. West’s tweet a “game changer.” Jordan Peterson went on “Fox and Friends” to discuss it. Bret Weinstein subtweeted his criticism of these choices: “Smart, skeptical people are often surprisingly susceptible to being conned if a ruse is tailored to their prejudices.” His brother was convinced that Mr. West was playing an elaborate game of chess. Ms. Heying and Mr. Harris ignored the whole thing. Ben Shapiro mostly laughed it off.

Mr. West is a self-obsessed rabble-rouser who brags about not reading books. But whether or not one approves of the superstar’s newest intellectual bauble, it is hard to deny that he has consistently been three steps ahead of the zeitgeist.

So when he tweets “only freethinkers” and “It’s no more barring people because they have different ideas,” he is picking up on a real phenomenon: that the boundaries of public discourse have become so proscribed as to make impossible frank discussions of anything remotely controversial.

“So many of our institutions have been overtaken by schools of thought, which are inherently a dead end,” Bret Weinstein said. “The I.D.W. is the unschooling movement.”

Am I a member of this movement? A few months ago, someone suggested on Twitter that I should join this club I’d never heard of. I looked into it. Like many in this group, I am a classical liberal who has run afoul of the left, often for voicing my convictions and sometimes simply by accident. This has won me praise from libertarians and conservatives. And having been attacked by the left, I know I run the risk of focusing inordinately on its excesses — and providing succor to some people whom I deeply oppose.

I get the appeal of the I.D.W. I share the belief that our institutional gatekeepers need to crack the gates open much more. I don’t, however, want to live in a culture where there are no gatekeepers at all. Given how influential this group is becoming, I can’t be alone in hoping the I.D.W. finds a way to eschew the cranks, grifters and bigots and sticks to the truth-seeking.

“Some say the I.D.W. is dangerous,” Ms. Heying said. “But the only way you can construe a group of intellectuals talking to each other as dangerous is if you are scared of what they might discover.”

Bari Weiss is a staff editor and writer for the Opinion section.  @bariweiss

Damon Winter is a staff photographer for the Opinion section.

Intellectual dark web

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The intellectual dark web (often abbreviated to IDW) is a neologism coined by American mathematician Eric Weinstein and popularized by Bari Weiss in a 2018 editorial in The New York Times. In its original formulation it referred to collection of public personalities who have largely turned to non-traditional media outlets due to a perceived hostility to unorthodox ideas among established venues and in academia.

The piece by Weiss was met with general but not universal criticism by other writers, political commentators and on social media, including especially the accuracy of the characterization of IDW members as being truly ostracized from mainstream discourse. Opinions vary greatly on the nature of the IDW, the collective political affiliation of its members, and what, if any characteristics unite them as a group.

Origins and reception

The term originally gained popularity in 2018, after a piece was published by staff editor Bari Weiss in The New York Times entitled Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web. In the piece, Weiss attributed the coining of the term as a “half-joking” creation of mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein.[1][2] Weiss characterized members of the IDW as “iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades and media personalities” who have been “purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought,” and instead taken to, and found success, in social media, podcasting, public speaking, or other alternative venues outside what she termed “legacy media”.[1][3]

Others quickly took issue with various aspects of the characterization. Henry Farrell, writing in Vox, who expressed disbelieve that conservative commentator Ben Shapiro or neuroscientist Sam Harris, both identified by Weiss as members of the IDW, could credibly be described as either purged or silenced.[4] Jonah Goldberg, reacting to the piece by Weiss in the National Review, struggled with the concept, writing that it struck him “as a marketing label — and not necessarily a good one”:

…it seems to me this IDW thing isn’t actually an intellectual movement. It’s just a coalition of thinkers and journalists who happen to share a disdain for the keepers of the liberal orthodoxy.[5]

The publication of Weiss’s piece also drew widespread criticism on social media, with those such as fellow New York Times columnist Paul Krugman observing the irony of a piece claiming popular intellectual oppression, which was itself published in the Times, among the most prominent newspapers in the nation.[6] Elsewhere, David A. French contended many of the critics were missing the point, and were instead inadvertently confirming “the need for a movement of intellectual free-thinkers.”[7]

Membership

According to Weiss, individuals associated with the intellectual dark web, in addition to Eric and Bret Weinstein, include Ayaan Hirsi AliSam HarrisHeather HeyingClaire LehmannDouglas MurrayMaajid NawazJordan PetersonSteven PinkerJoe RoganDave RubinBen ShapiroLindsay ShepherdMichael ShermerDebra SohStefan Molyneux, and Christina Hoff Sommers.[1][8]

Neither Weiss nor others claim a shared set of political ideals, with some identifying with the political left and others with the political right,[9][1] and members have drawn criticism from both sides of the political spectrum.[1][9][10] For example, The Guardian characterized the IDW as “a coalition of strange bedfellows” that nonetheless comprised the “supposed thinking wing of the alt-right.”[11] However, this characterization has been rejected by others from within the IDW, such as Quillette, founded by Claire Lehmann and described by Politico as the “unofficial digest” of the IDW. Quoting Sam Harris and Daniel Miessler, they have contended that the majority of the most prominent members of the IDW tend to skew toward the left on most political issues, despite also including a number of prominent conservatives who do not.[12][13]

Sources disagree on what, if any unifying factors exist throughout the IDW. Psychology Today characterized it as “generally concerned about political tribalism and free speech”,[14] or as a rejection of “mainstream assumptions about what is true”.[15] The Washington Examiner described the IDW as “remarkably diverse” but united behind a rejection of the “radical intolerance of the far left” and in support of the “free exchange of ideas”, while Salon dubbed it a politically conservative movement united more over a rejection of American liberalism than over any mutually shared beliefs.[16] Alternatively, the National Review posited that, despite comprising “all political persuasions”, IDW was united in a particular conservative leaning conceptualization of injustice and inequality specifically.[17]

Regarding the organization of the IDW, Daniel W. Drezner observed that it is essentially leaderless, and may be individually beholden to their audiences, and unable to progress a coherent agenda.[18] For her part, historian of medicine and science Alice Dreger expressed surprise in being told she was a member of the IDW at all, saying she “had no idea who half the people in this special network were. The few Intellectual Dark Web folks I had met I didn’t know very well. How could I be part of a powerful intellectual alliance when I didn’t even know these people?”[19]

See also

  • Heterodox Academy, an advocacy group of professors to counteract what they see as narrowing of political viewpoints on college campuses

References

  1. Jump up to:abcde Weiss, Bari (May 8, 2018). “Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web”The New York Times. Retrieved May 8,2018.
  2. ^ Maitra, Sumantra. “The Intellectual Dark Web Is Collapsing Under Its Contradictions”The Federalist. Retrieved 25 June2019.
  3. ^ Lester, Amelia (November 2018). “The Voice of the ‘Intellectual Dark WebPolitico. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  4. ^ Farrell, Henry (May 10, 2018). “The “Intellectual Dark Web,” explained: what Jordan Peterson has in common with the alt-right”Vox. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  5. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (May 8, 2018). “Evaluating the ‘Intellectual Dark WebNational Review. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  6. ^ Bonazzo, John (August 5, 2018). “NY Times ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ Story Savaged on Twitter—Even by Paper’s Staffers”The New York Observer. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  7. ^ French, David A. (May 11, 2018). “Critics Miss the Point of the ‘Intellectual Dark WebNational Review. Retrieved 25 June2019.
  8. ^ “Editorial: Truth requires free thinking, honest talk”Boston Herald. 14 May 2018.
  9. Jump up to:ab Hamburger, Jacob (18 July 2018). “The “Intellectual Dark Web” Is Nothing New”Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  10. ^ Bowden, Blaine. “Yes, The Intellectual Dark Web Is Politically Diverse”Areo.
  11. ^ “The ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ – the supposed thinking wing of the alt-right”. May 9, 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  12. ^ Harris, Uri (April 17, 2019). “Is the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ Politically Diverse?”Quillette. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  13. ^ Lester, Amelia. “The Voice of the ‘Intellectual Dark WebPOLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  14. ^ Blum, Alexander. “The Intellectual Dark Web Debates Religion”Psychology Today. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  15. ^ Baker, Jennifer. “The “Intellectual Dark Web” and the Simplest of Ethics”Psychology Today. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  16. ^ Link, Taylor (September 2, 2018). “The Intellectual Dark Web conservatives fear”Salon. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  17. ^ Alejandro Gonzalez, Christian (May 16, 2018). “Inequality and the Intellectual Dark Web”National Review. Retrieved 25 June2019.
  18. ^ Drezner, Daniel W. (May 11, 2018). “The Ideas Industry meets the intellectual dark web”The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  19. ^ Dreger, Alice (May 11, 2018). “Why I Escaped the ‘Intellectual Dark WebThe Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 25 June 2019.

External links

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_dark_web

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North Korea has fired a short-range projectiles and has been conducting GPS jamming operations on the border for about a month becoming a threat to South Korea citizens. The disturbance is seen as an armed protest against the ongoing South Korea – U.S. joint military drills. Kim Hyun-bin has the latest. North Korea fired another short range projectile into the East Sea. South Korea’s defense ministry said on Friday that the missile was fired from Seondeok Hamgyeongnam-do province and flew around 100 kilometers. Experts say the launch appears to be an armed protest against the Nuclear Security Summit currently taking place in Washington. North Korea has also been conducting radio jamming operations targeting South Korea. The South Korean presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae on Friday held an emergency National Security Council meeting and warned Pyongyang to halt the jamming operations as they are becoming a threat to South Korean citizens. Seoul’s defense ministry says the disruptions have been ongoing for about a month near the inter-Korean border and called on the regime to immediately halt all GPS disruption. “”North Korea needs to immediately halt its GPS disruption activities as it violates the armistice agreement and International Telecommunications Union regulations.” The disruptions could affect mobile phones, civilian planes and ships that rely on GPS for navigation. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said on Friday that 58 civilian airplanes and 52 vessels were affected, but that no significant mishaps were reported. South Korea’s military says that the disruptive signals are coming from four different parts of the border including Haeju, and Mount Kumgang. The North possesses 10 different kinds of GPS jamming devices and conducted its first operation in 2012.

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019 12:18 GMT

Israel is experiencing unexplained GPS disruptions in its airspace but measures are in place to allow safe landings and takeoffs at its main international airport, the government said on Wednesday.

The announcement by the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) followed a report on Tuesday by the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) that “many” pilots had lost satellite signals from the Global Positioning System around Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

Confirming there had been GPS disruptions for approximately the past three weeks, an IAA statement said these affected only airborne crews and not terrestrial navigation systems.

Israeli authorities had worked from the outset to locate the source of the problem and fix it, it added.

Asked if an explanation for the disruption had been found, an IAA spokesman said: “No. I don’t know.”

Asked for comment, a spokeswoman for Israel’s Defence Ministry said only that the disruption was an IAA matter.

“At no stage has there been a safety incident stemming from the GPS disruption in the context of the precision of navigation and flight corridors,” the IAA said.

In its post on Tuesday, the IFALPA said the loss of the GPS signal may create numerous alerts for systems. (Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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The Pronk Pops Show 1280, June 25, 2019, Story 1: Trump’s Red Line Message To Iran: Don’t Mess With America — No Exit Strategy With Iran — Consequences of Full Nuclear Conflict — New Ice Age and Global Starvation — Videos — Story 2: Chinese Communist Party Cyber Attack on United States — Escalation Risks — World Cyber War in Progress — Cyber Weapon Arms Race — Videos — Story 3 : Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) Temporarily Declines Due To Uncertainty About Tariffs As Measured By Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index from 131.3 in May to 121.5 in June — Videos– Story 4: Federal Reserve Chairman Powell U.S. Economy Facing More Uncertainties — Abolish The Federal Reserve or Bust Up The Banking Cartel For Failure To Maintain Price Stability — The U.S. Dollar Has Lost 99% of It Value Over 105 Years! — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1280 June 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1279 June 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1275 June 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1274 June 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1273 June 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1272 June 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1271 June 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1270 June 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1269 June 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1268 June 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1267 May 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1266 May 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1265 May 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1253 May 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1243 April 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

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 Story 1: Trump’s Red Line Message To Iran: Don’t Mess With America — No Exit Strategy With Iran — Consequences of Full Nuclear Conflict — New Ice Age and Global Starvation — Videos —

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I’ve studied nuclear war for 35 years — you should be worried. | Brian Toon | TEDxMileHigh

Published on Feb 1, 2018

For the first time in decades, it’s hard to ignore the threat of nuclear war. But as long as you’re far from the blast, you’re safe, right? Wrong. In this sobering talk, atmospheric scientist Brian Toon explains how even a small nuclear war could destroy all life on earth — and what we can do to prevent it. A professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Brian Toon investigates the causes of the ozone hole, how volcanic eruptions alter the climate, how ancient Mars had flowing rivers, and the environmental impacts of nuclear war. He contributed to the U.N.’s Nobel Peace Prize for climate change and holds numerous scientific awards, including two NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. He is an avid woodworker. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

PRESIDENT SLAMS IRAN: President Trump Takes On Iran at White House

Iranian President calls White House ‘mentally retarded’

Trump responds to Iran statement with Twitter tirade

Iran Sanctions: Rouhani Says U.S. ‘Afflicted by Mental Retardation’

Iran says new US sanctions end chances of diplomacy

Iran says new US sanctions mean ‘permanent closure’ of diplomacy

Holly Baglio NEWS: RON PAUL LIBERTY REPORT JUNE 25, 2019 !!!!

US launches cyber-attack on Iran amid escalating tensions

An exclusive look behind the scenes of the U.S. military’s cyber defense

Cyber Soldiers: Who protects your information?

Governments don’t understand cyber warfare. We need hackers | Rodrigo Bijou

Hackers: the internet’s immune system | Keren Elazari

TED

Published on Jun 10, 2014

The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.

Trump’s Iran Sanctions Won’t Make Any Difference, Former Ambassador Hill Says

Are US sanctions against Iran working?

National security analyst praises Trump’s ‘military restraint’

US, Israel and Russia meet for security talks on Iran & Middle East | DW News

RAW Islamic Iran Military Terrorist Threatens USA will obliterate USA Bases & Allies June 2019

‘Mom, Iran hit me!: Late-night hosts tackle Trump’s reaction to Iran threats

Breaking WAR with Islamic Iran Regime will unleash a HELL like Catastrophe on mankind June 2019 News

US cyberattack disables Iranian missile launch systems

2018 Annual GWPF Lecture – Prof Richard Lindzen – Global Warming For The Two Cultures

Is Science Progressing? (featuring Richard Lindzen)

The truth about global warming

The link between evolution, science and progressivism

Professor Jordan Peterson on climate change and climate policy at the Cambridge Union

Story 2: Chinese Communist Party Cyber Attack on United States — Escalation Risks — World Cyber War in Progress — Cyber Weapon Arms Race — Videos —

Hackers targeted telecom networks to spy on high-profile people

Published on Jun 25, 2019

An ambitious group of state-backed hackers has been burrowing into telecommunications companies in order to spy on high-profile targets across the world, a U.S. cybersecurity firm said in a report published Tuesday. Boston-based Cybereason said the tactic gave hackers sweeping access to VIPs’ call records, location data and device information — effectively turning the targets’ cellular providers against them. Cybereason said that all the signs pointed to APT10 — the nickname often applied to a notorious China-linked cyberespionage group. Cybereason Chief Executive Lior Div said that because customers weren’t directly targeted, they might never discover their every movement was being monitored by a hostile power. The hackers had turned the affected telecoms into “a global surveillance system,” Div said in a telephone interview ahead of the report’s launch. “Those individuals don’t know they were hacked — because they weren’t.” Div, who is presenting his findings at the Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv, provided scant details about who was targeted in the hack, saying that Cybereason had been called in to help an unidentified cellular provider last year and discovered that the hackers had broken into the firm’s billing server, where call records are logged. 20 customers The hackers were using their access to extract the call data of “around 20” customers, Div said. Who those people were he declined to say, describing them as mainly coming from the world of politics and the military. He said the information was so sensitive he would not provide even the vaguest idea of where they or the telecom were located. “I’m not even going to share the continent,” he said. Cybereason said the compromise of its customer eventually led it to about 10 other firms that had been hit in a similar way, with hackers stealing data in 100 gigabyte chunks. Div said that, in some cases, the hackers appeared to be tracking non-phone devices, such as cars or smartwatches. The GSMA, which represents mobile operators worldwide, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. APT10 Who might be behind such hacking campaigns is often a fraught question in a world full of digital false flags, although Cybereason said signs pointed to China-linked APT10. But Div said the clues they found were so obvious he and his team sometimes wondered whether they might have been left on purpose. “I thought: ‘Hey, just a second, maybe it’s somebody who wants to blame APT10,'” he said. Chinese authorities have routinely denied responsibility for hacking operations. The Chinese Embassy in London did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Div said that it was unclear whether the ultimate targets of the espionage operation were warned, saying Cybereason had left it to the telecom firms to notify their customers. Div added that he had been in touch with “a handful” of law enforcement agency about the matter, although he did not say which ones.

Cell Service Providers Around The World Are Being Hacked, And They Don’t Even Know It

Hackers hit telecommunications firms Cybereason

Chinese hackers taregting US Navy: Report

State of the Hack: Trending 10 Years of Breach Response (RSAC #SendUsSwag)

Nation State Actors – Learn About Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)

US Charges Chinese Hackers With Cyber Crimes: The Sequel | China Uncensored

CHINA ESCALATES HACKS AGAINST THE US AS TRADE TENSIONS RISE

Recent hacks against a submarine contractor and satellite firms show the cyber threat from China is heating up.
GETTY IMAGES

IN 2015, THE United States and China agreed to a digital truce that banned hacking private companies to steal trade secrets. And though the agreement has been touted as a success, it hasn’t stopped Chinese state-sponsored hackers from pushing the envelope of acceptable behavior. Moreover, it certainly hasn’t slowed types of hacking that fall outside the purview of the accord. Lately, it seems, that means defense intelligence gathering.

In recent weeks, Chinese hackers have reportedly breached a US Navy contractor that works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, stealing 614 GB of data about submarine and undersea weapons technology. Attacks in the last few months originating from China have also targeted US satellite and geospatial imaging firms, and an array of telecoms. The incidents highlight the clandestine but incessant hacking campaigns that continue reliably between the US and China.

“China’s actually backed off quite a bit on intellectual property theft, but when it comes to military trade secrets, military preparedness, military readiness, satellite communications, anything that involves the US’s ability to keep a cyber or military edge, China has been very heavily focused on those targets,” says David Kennedy, CEO of the threat tracking firm Binary Defense Systems, who formerly worked at the NSA and with the Marine Corps’ signal intelligence unit. “And the US does the same thing, by the way.”

‘They’ll use that as a first step instead of having to send fighter jets or something.’

DAVID KENNEDY, BINARY DEFENSE SYSTEMS

The submarine contractor breach, recently reported by the Washington Post, reflects this intense focus on bridging any technological advantage the US may have. It involved attacks in January and February that nabbed important data, albeit from an unclassified network. When taken together, though, the information would have amounted to a valuable snapshot of US cutting edge underwater weapons development, plus details on a number of related digital and mechanical systems.

The attack fits into a known pattern of Chinese hacking initiatives. “China will continue to use cyberespionage and bolster cyberattack capabilities to support [its] national security priorities,” US director of national intelligence Daniel Coats wrote in a February threat report. “The [Intelligence Community] and private-sector security experts continue to identify ongoing cyberactivity from China…Most detected Chinese cyberoperations against US private industry are focused on cleared defense contractors or IT and communications firms.”

This week, analysts from Symantec also published research on a series of attacks in the same category from November 2017 to April from a hacking group dubbed Thrip. Though Symantec does not go so far as to identify Thrip as Chinese state-sponsored hackers, it reports “with high confidence” that Thrip attacks trace back to computers inside the country. The group, which Symantec has tracked since 2013, has evolved to hide in plain site by mostly using prefab malware to infiltrate networks and then manipulating administrative controls and other legitimate system tools to bore deeper without setting off alarms. All of these off-the-shelf hacking tools and techniques have made Thrip harder to identify and track—which is likely the idea—but Symantec started to notice patterns in their anomaly detection scanners that ultimately gave these attacks away, and led the researchers to a unique backdoor that implicated Thrip.

The researchers found evidence of intrusions at some southeast Asian telecom firms, a US geospatial imagery company, a couple of private satellite companies including one from the US, and a US defense contractor. The breaches were all deliberate and targeted, and in the case of the satellite firms the hackers moved all the way through to reach the control systems of actual orbiting satellites, where they could have impacted a satellite’s trajectory or disrupted data flow.

“It is scary,” says Jon DiMaggio, a senior threat intelligence analyst at Symantec who leads the research into Thrip. “We looked at which systems they were interested in, where they spent the most time, and on the satellites it was command and control. And then they were also on the operational side for both the geospatial imagery and the telecom attacks.”

Though hacking for intelligence-gathering is a priority for all nations and can sometimes be mutually tolerated, Binary Defense Systems’ Kennedy points out that it can also serve as a way to make a statement when two countries are at odds. He notes that it’s not surprising to detect escalating hacking operations from China against the US given rising geopolitical tensions between the two countries about trade and increased tariffs. “Hacking can be used as a sign of force in a lot of cases to say ‘hey, we’re not happy and we’re going to make you feel some pain,'” Kennedy notes. “They’ll use that as a first step instead of having to send fighter jets or something.”

Though Chinese hacking was brought under control somewhat by the 2015 agreement, analysts say that China’s nation state hackers have reorganized and retooled over the last few years to be even more stealthy and effective in their digital espionage operations. And recent attacks indicate that they are optimizing their plans to get the most valuable information they can out of each victim.

“All of these pieces fit together,” Symantec’s DiMaggio says of Thrip. “It’s not targets of opportunity; it’s definitely a planned operation.”

https://www.wired.com/story/china-hacks-against-united-states/

Navy, Industry Partners Are ‘Under Cyber Siege’ by Chinese Hackers, Review Asserts

Hacking threatens U.S.’s standing as world’s leading military power, study says

Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services last week. PHOTO: RON SACHS/CNP/ZUMA PRESS

WASHINGTON—The Navy and its industry partners are “under cyber siege” by Chinese hackers and others who have stolen national security secrets in recent years, exploiting critical weaknesses that threaten the U.S.’s standing as the world’s top military power, an internal Navy review concluded.

The assessment, delivered to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer last week and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, depicts a branch of the armed forces under relentless cyberattack by foreign adversaries and struggling in its response to the scale and sophistication of the problem.

Drawing from extensive research and interviews with senior officials across the Trump administration, the tone of the review is urgent and at times dire, offering a rare, unfiltered look at the military’s cybersecurity liabilities.

The 57-page document is especially scathing in its assessment of how the Navy has addressed cybersecurity challenges facing its contractors and subcontractors, faulting naval officials for failing to anticipate that adversaries would attack the defense industrial base and not adequately informing those partners of the cyber threat. It also acknowledges a lack of full understanding about the extent of the damage.

“For years, global competitors, and adversaries, have targeted and breached these critical contractor systems with impunity,” the audit says. “These enterprises, regardless of their relationship with the department, are under cyber siege.”

The Navy declined to comment on the review, which hasn’t been publicly released.

Chinese officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but in the past have denied engaging in cyberattacks.

The review presented the threat posed by China in particularly stark terms, arguing that its cyber espionage operations against the U.S. military, its suppliers and the private sector in general have shifted power dynamics between the world’s two biggest economies.

China has “derived an incalculable near- and long-term military advantage from it [the hacking], thereby altering the calculus of global power,” the report said.

The findings are of acute interest and concern within the Navy.

“We are under siege,” said a senior Navy official. “People think it’s much like a deathly virus—if we don’t do anything, we could die.”

John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at the U.S.-based cyber firm FireEye, said the hacking “appears to be preparation for great power conflict.”

Mr. Hultquist, whose firm has closely tracked China’s targeting of the Navy and maritime technology, added: “If you are a Navy leader, you have to see that these are the tools they could use to fight us decades down the road.”

FireEye last week renamed the Chinese hacking group believed to be behind the attacks on Navy contractors and research universities, from Temp.Periscope to Advanced Persistent Threat 40, or APT 40, a rare designation the firm reserves only for the most sophisticated hacking squads it has high confidence it has correctly identified.

One major breach of a Navy contractor, reported in June and attributed to Chinese hackers, involved the theft of secret plans to build a supersonic antiship missile planned for use by American submarines, according to officials.

The hackers targeted an unidentified company under contract with the Navy’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I.

Coupled with that breach, a second breach last year prompted Mr. Spencer to request the internal review, Navy officials said.

The report repeatedly singles out China and Russia in the theft of military secrets, portraying their actions as calibrated to achieve strategic objectives while remaining below the threshold of armed conflict, a metered approach that the U.S. has struggled to defend against.

The review found flaws with the Navy’s longstanding approach to its own supply-chain security, which relies on contractors self-reporting vulnerabilities and breaches. “That after-the-fact system has demonstrably failed,” the review said.

According to U.S. officials and security researchers, hackers have stolen highly classified information about advanced military technology. Victims of Chinese attacks alone span large and small contractors, major universities that develop maritime technology and receive billions in federal research dollars, and the Navy itself.

“Only a very small subset of incidents are ‘known’ and of those known, an even…smaller set are fully investigated,” it said.

The report is unclassified and doesn’t provide specific details about individual breaches or tally recent intrusions. A separate classified document details some of the known breaches of the Navy or its contractors.

Navy officials declined to give even an estimate of incidents over the last 18 months other than to say they were “numerous.”

China is considered the biggest thief, officials said, but Russia is another source of concern. Iran also has breached Navy systems, an official said, but that occurred before the Trump administration, the official said.

“It’s not only the number of breaches but the magnitude of the loss that is so troubling,” said another Navy official.

When contractor breaches are investigated, information about the attacks “is often hyper classified and difficult to share, sometimes leading to an alarming lack of understanding and appreciation of the threat,” the review said.

The Journal reported last week that Chinese hackers had targeted and potentially compromised more than two dozen universities in the U.S. and around the globe as part of an elaborate scheme to steal advanced maritime technology secrets. Some of the schools, such as Penn State’s applied research laboratory, are under contract to the Navy.

In response to those revelations, Sen. Edward Markey (D., Mass.) sent letters Tuesday to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asking questions about how their agencies protect research institutions from cyberattacks.

“In the era of great power competition, it should come as no surprise that Chinese hackers are targeting academic institutions ripe with valuable information about U.S. military capabilities,” Mr. Markey wrote.

The Navy review faulted the military branch’s culture as lacking an appreciation of the cybersecurity threats it faces, being unable to anticipate novel attacks and favoring compliance and governance over outcomes.

Among recommendations, the review urged identifying and better protecting essential data, selecting leaders to oversee a long-term cybersecurity strategy and installing new accountability measures on contractors to ensure they meet cybersecurity standards.

The national security implications of China’s cybertheft of advanced research from Navy contractors and universities are considered so severe that the issue has been mentioned in the presidential daily brief on multiple occasions, according to a person familiar with the matter. Some subcontractors have been breached by the same Chinese hacking group several times within the same year, despite warnings from investigators, the person said.

The Trump administration has sought in recent months to hold Beijing responsible for what officials have described as a relentless onslaught of intrusions into U.S. corporate and government networks. Chinese hackers stand accused of stealing hundreds of billions of dollars annually in intellectual property from U.S. businesses, and the Justice Department in recent months has announced a series of charges that have blamed Beijing for a variety of wide-ranging cyberattacks.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE REVIEW

The Navy report’s authors conducted 31 site visits and interviewed 85 current senior military officers and civilians across both the Navy and wider Defense Department, as well as senior officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and White House National Security Council, among others. Here are their main conclusions:

  • The Navy and its industry partners are facing relentless cyber attacks that seek to steal sensitive national security data by a wide range of foes, with China and Russia the most adept and strategic.
  • The U.S. is at risk of losing global military and economic advantages due to cyberthefts of secrets and intellectual property.
  • Despite efforts to address the problem, the defense industrial base has suffered “a flood of breaches of significant data” and “continues to hemorrhage critical data.”
  • The Navy and Defense Department have only a limited understanding of the totality of losses they and their partners are suffering.
  • The Navy is focused on “preparing to win some future kinetic battle, while it is losing the current global, counter-force, counter-value, cyber war,” the review’s authors conclude.

Write to Gordon Lubold at Gordon.Lubold@wsj.com and Dustin Volz at dustin.volz@wsj.com

Appeared in the March 13, 2019, print edition as ‘Chinese Hackers Attack Navy, Review Concludes.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/navy-industry-partners-are-under-cyber-siege-review-asserts-11552415553

The Advanced Persistent Threat is as Relevant as Ever

At FireEye, we’ve studied advanced persistent threat (APT) groups for fifteen years and published our annual M-Trends report for 10 of those now. In M-Trends, we have covered a variety of topics including attacker dwell times, attack trends, and offensive and defensive trends. Of all the industry measures, our global median dwell time statistic is one of the most anticipated. The dwell time statistic is important because it reflects the speed at which attacks within victim environments are identified. Swift identification of an attacker’s presence is critical to preventing an attacker for accomplishing their mission, whether it be data theft, disruption, or something else. Swift identification also reduces the cost of an investigation by contributing to reduce scope and breadth of attacker activity. The median global dwell time for the period from October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018, continued its year over year decline reaching an all-time low of 78 days. This reduction in dwell time is evidence that organizations are continuing to improve their detection capabilities. That said, having an attacker in an environment for more than two months means there is room for improvement.

APT groups are typically those threat actors who receive direction and support from nation states, with objectives that traditionally include data theft, reconnaissance, disruption or destruction. These groups operate very similarly to other threat actors such as cyber criminals, but they are distinct in that they tend to adapt to defenses and may maintain a presence on systems for months or even years. 

In an age where data breaches and ransomware attacks make up the bulk of cyber coverage by major media, advanced persistent threats fall under the radar more than they should. That doesn’t mean that APT groups are forgotten, however. Far from it.

In 2018, FireEye promoted four threat groups to APT groups. In order to avoid complex naming mechanics and confusion, we simply refer to these groups as: APT37, APT38, APT39 and APT40. More extensive details on these groups can be found in our 2019 Mandiant M-Trends report, released today. Here is an abridged summary.

APT40 is a China-nexus espionage actor and the latest group to be promoted to APT – in fact, we just released the details today – the first full day of RSA Conference 2019. APT40 has operated in support of China’s overall defense and naval modernization effort since at least January 2013, targeting verticals including the maritime, aviation, engineering, chemical, R&D, government and technology industries. 

Operating since at least late-2014, APT39 is an Iranian espionage group that has primarily targeted the telecommunications sector. Other targets include the travel industry and supporting IT firms, and also the high-tech industry. This targeting suggests intent to perform monitoring, tracking or surveillance operations against specific individuals, to collect proprietary or customer data for commercial or operational purposes that serve strategic requirements related to national priorities, or to create additional accesses and vectors to facilitate future campaigns. 

APT37 and APT38 are both believed to be operating in support of North Korea, however they are not necessarily connected to each other. We assess APT37 has been carrying out covert intelligence gathering in support of North Korea’s strategic military, political and economic interests since at least 2012. Meanwhile, APT38 is a financially motivated group linked to North Korean cyber espionage operators that has attempted to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from financial institutions since 2015. 

Sophisticated actors operating to further a nation’s interests will never go away. This is why advanced persistent threats will continue to be something we discuss in some way, shape or form in every M-Trends report. As threat actors continue to evolve and change, we expect that other nations will follow suit, potentially ushering in a new age of cyber operations.

Contributor: FireEye, Inc

https://www.rsaconference.com/blogs/the-advanced-persistent-threat-is-as-relevant-as-ever

Report: Chinese hackers stole US Navy data

Threats of cyber warfare

The Secret Cyberwar is Here: Director Alex Gibney on ‘Zero Days’ Documentary, Stuxnet & Cyberweapons

Published on Jul 8, 2016

“The potential for enormous destruction and loss of life is palpable when it comes to cyberweapons,” says Alex Gibney, director of the new film Zero Days, which delves into the creation, deployment, and implications of the Stuxnet virus. Stuxnet, a self-replicating cyberweapon launched by the U.S. and Israel into the Natanz nuclear plant in Iran, was an effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear progress by taking control of the plant’s centrifuges, spinning them until they would explode. “The reason it is hugely significant is it is the first time a computer code has crossed the threshold from the realm of cyber to the realm of the physical. So it is blowing stuff up.” “It was a brilliant and elegant weapon which achieved a goal of slowing down Iran’s path to being a nuclear power. However, as a precedent, it was extremely dangerous because it was an attack on critical infrastructure during peacetime. Had that been done to us we would have been within our rights to start a war.” While Zero Days unfolds as a detective story, following the cybersecurity experts at Symantec who discovered the Stuxnet virus, a good portion of the film portrays the continued secrecy of cyberwarfare, something Gibney finds both frustrating and dangerous. “We know that Stuxnet was launched by Israel and the United States against Iran. The United States won’t admit that. Israel won’t admit that,” says Gibney. “We have a situation now where the weapons have gone way beyond Stuxnet in terms of their sophistication and their destructive power. Yet by keeping that offensive cyber-capability secret we deprive everybody in this country–in a democracy–from having any kind of debate over how and when and why they should be used. So the secrecy is actually putting us in existential risk in this case.” Gibney sat down with Reason TV to discuss the film, whether cyber-weapons are analogous to nuclear weapons, and whether he considers himself a “conspiracy factualist.” Approximately 10:30 minutes. Produced and edited by Meredith Bragg. Cameras by Todd Krainin and Austin Bragg. Visit http://reason.com/reasontv/2016/07/08… for links, downloadable versions, and to read Kurt Loder’s review of the film. And subscribe to ReasonTV’s YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live.

How Israel Rules The World Of Cyber Security | VICE on HBO

Who Unleashed Stuxnet?

How the NSA betrayed the world’s trust — time to act | Mikko Hypponen

Dissecting Stuxnet

Published on May 8, 2012

The Stuxnet computer worm is perhaps the most complicated piece of malicious software ever built; roughly 50 times the size of the typical computer virus. It leveraged an array of new techniques to spread and conceal itself while attacking Iranian nuclear enrichment centrifuges. Symantec Chief Architect Carey Nachenberg explains how the Stuxnet worm spread, evaded detection and ultimately accomplished its mission.

Hackers: the internet’s immune system | Keren Elazari

Understanding Stuxnet and Other Covert Responses to the Iranian Nuclear Program

Cyber War News Now – China says the United States is the Aggressor and Vows to Retaliate.

Cyberwar | Fault Lines

Cyber Warfare, Coercion, and Restraint

The Cato Institute

Published on May 21, 2019

Featuring Brandon Valeriano, Donald Bren Chair of Armed Politics, Marine Corps University; Benjamin Jensen, Associate professor, Marine Corps University; Scholar in Residence, American University School of International Service; Jacquelyn Schneider, Assistant professor in the Strategic and Operational Research Department, U.S. Naval War College; and Richard Harknett, Professor and head of the Department of Political Science, University of Cincinnati; moderated by John Glaser, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute. International security in the 21st century is increasingly characterized by the use of cyber operations. Concern over this still-developing domain of competition has led to inflated assessments of its dangers and greater support for a more aggressive U.S. posture on cyber security and cyber warfare. How do great powers like the United States, Russia, and China employ cyber capabilities? What threats does the United States currently face in this realm, and what is the most effective method of defense? What are the vulnerabilities of complacency, and, conversely, the risks of escalation?

Rep. Quigley Says U.S. Not Prepared for China Cyber Attacks

Hackers hit telecommunications firms in possible Chinese espionage campaign, researchers say

Reuters
KEY POINTS
  • Hackers broke into the systems of more than a dozen global telecommunications companies and taken large amounts of personal and corporate data, researchers from a cyber security company say.
  • U.S.-Israeli cybersecurity firm Cybereason says it identified links to previous Chinese cyber-espionage campaigns.
  • Western countries have moved to call out Beijing for its actions in cyberspace, warning that Chinese hackers have compromised companies and government agencies around the world.

Hackers have broken into the systems of more than a dozen global telecommunications companies and taken large amounts of personal and corporate data, researchers from a cyber security company said on Tuesday, identifying links to previous Chinese cyber-espionage campaigns.

Investigators at U.S.Israeli cyber security firm Cybereason said the attackers compromised companies in more than 30 countries and aimed to gather information on individuals in government, law-enforcement and politics.

The hackers also used tools linked to other attacks attributed to Beijing by the United States and its Western allies, said Lior Div, chief executive of Cybereason.

“For this level of sophistication it’s not a criminal group. It is a government that has capabilities that can do this kind of attack,” he told Reuters.

China has repeatedly denied involvement in any hacking activity.

Cybereason declined to name the companies affected or the countries they operate in, but people familiar with Chinese hacking operations said Beijing was increasingly targeting telcos in Western Europe.

Western countries have moved to call out Beijing for its actions in cyberspace, warning that Chinese hackers have compromised companies and government agencies around the world to steal valuable commercial secrets and personal data for espionage purposes.

Div said this latest campaign, which his team uncovered over the last nine months, compromised the internal IT network of some of those targeted, allowing the attackers to customize the infrastructure and steal vast amounts of data.

In some instances, they managed to compromise a target’s entire active directory, giving them access to every username and password in the organisation. They also got hold of personal data, including billing information and call records, Cybereason said in a blog post.

“They built a perfect espionage environment,” said Div, a former commander in Israel’s military intelligence unit 8200.

“They could grab information as they please on the targets that they are interested in.”

Cybereason said multiple tools used by the attackers had previously been used by a Chinese hacking group known as APT10.

The United States indicted two alleged members of APT10 in December and joined other Western countries in denouncing the group’s attacks on global technology service providers to steal intellectual property from their clients.

The company said on previous occasions it had identified attacks it suspected had come from China or Iran but it was never certain enough to name these countries.

Cybereason said: “This time as opposed to in the past we are sure enough to say that the attack originated in China.”

“We managed to find not just one piece of software, we managed to find more than five different tools that this specific group used,” Div said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/25/hackers-hit-telecommunications-firms-cybereason.html

What Are China’s Cyber Capabilities and Intentions?

Source: Getty
Summary:  Given that suspicion about China’s cyberwarfare capabilities and intentions could lead to conflict, it is necessary to examine China’s views of cyber warfare from a different perspective than most are familiar with.
News stories on the cyber threat that China poses appear on a regular basis. Most underscore a view that China is using cyber power to rise and ultimately win global dominance, and that the Chinese government is behind the scenes in many malicious cyber activities. Though many of the allegations focus on the tension between China and the United States on cyber espionage, these actions are unlikely to cause armed conflict since almost all capable actorsconduct cyber espionage.

Suspicions of intentions and capabilities of cyber warfare, however, could drag the US and China into arms races, and even hot wars, due to the role cyber tools can play in military operations. Given the risks, it is necessary to examine China’s views on cyber warfare from a narrative that is different from what most readers are familiar with.

CONTEXT FOR CHINA’S VIEWS ON CYBER WARFARE

China’s academic discussion of cyber warfare started in the 1990s when it was called “information warfare.” Impressed by how the US military benefited from the application of high technologies in the Gulf War—and subsequent operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq—China began to realize that there is no way to adequately defend itself without following the changes in the forms of war in which high technologies, mainly information technologies, play more critical roles.

Lyu Jinghua
Lyu Jinghua is a visiting scholar with Carnegie’s Cyber Policy Initiative. Her research focuses primarily on cybersecurity and China-U.S. defense relations.

In 1993, two years after the Gulf War, the Chinese military adjusted its military strategic guideline which set “winning local wars in conditions of modern technology, particularly high technology” as the basic aim of preparations for military struggle (PMS). In 2004, one year after the Iraq War, the military’s PMS was changed to “winning local wars under conditions of informationization.” The basic understanding, as elaborated in China’s National Defense in 2004, is that “informationization has become the key factor in enhancing the warfighting capability of the armed forces.”

The first time that the Chinese military publicly addressed cyber warfare from a holistic point of view was in the 2013 version of “The Science of Military Strategy”—a study by the Academy of Military Science. It emphasized that cyberspace has become a new and essential domain of military struggle in today’s world. A similar tone appeared in the 2015 Ministry of National Defense paper entitled “China’s Military Strategy.”

While the latter document modified the basic point for PMS to “winning informationized local wars,” it also addressed cybersecurity for the first time in an official military document. It defined cyberspace as a “new pillar of economic and social development, and a new domain of national security,” and declared clearly that “China is confronted with grave security threats to its cyber infrastructure” as “international strategic competition in cyberspace has been turning increasingly fiercer, quite a few countries are developing their cyber military forces.”

Based on the above approach that China is taking to cyberspace and its own national security, a few conclusions can be drawn. The first is that China has not developed its cyber capabilities in a vacuum. Rather, they have developed them as a response to the changing cyber warfare approaches and practices of other countries, especially those of the US and Russia. The second is that the Chinese government’s views on cyber warfare are consistent with its military strategy, which is modified according to the national security environment, domestic situation, and activities of foreign militaries.

CORE AIMS OF CHINA’S CYBER WARFARE

Though there is no commonly accepted conception of cyber warfare, one made by a RAND Corporation study is frequently quoted by Chinese military analysts: cyber warfare is strategic warfare in the information age, just as it was nuclear warfare in the 20th century. This definition serves as the foundation to argue that cyber warfare has much broader significance to national security and involves competition in areas beyond the military, such as the economy, diplomacy, and social development.

Again, China’s Military Strategy describes the primary objectives of cyber capabilities to include: “cyberspace situation awareness, cyber defense, support for the country’s endeavors in cyberspace, and participation in international cyber cooperation.” The strategy frames these objectives within the aims of “stemming major cyber crises, ensuring national network and information security, and maintaining national security and social stability.”

Of these objectives, an essential one is national security and social stability. As shown by several incidents, such as the protests after Iran’s 2009 presidential election, the Arab Spring, as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London Riots of 2011, social media plays a vital role in helping to plan and carry out such protests and movements. The Chinese government’s monitoring of the internet and social media is based on its potential use as a platform to disseminate information that could cause similar social unrest to spread, which could lead to large-scale social and political instability.

Another essential objective, in common with all states, is defending critical information infrastructure. China is more and more dependent on information networks in all aspects, including in defense. Although it has a large-scale technology industry and possesses the potential to compete with the US in some, most of its core network technologies and key software and hardware are provided by US companies.

China uses the term “eight King Kongs” to describe the top internet companies in its domestic supply chain: Apple, Cisco, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Qualcomm. Heavy dependence on these companies’ products makes it necessary to work towards developing the domestic technology industry and its capabilities, and to thereby make the country’s internal internet infrastructure more secure. It also makes China believe that its primary mission in cyberspace is to ensure information security of critical areas, which is inherently defensive and non-destructive.

Many, including the US government, have accused the Chinese government and military of cyberattacks in which intellectual property has been stolen. In this regard, there are several distinctions to make clear. The first is between those cyberattacks that aim to destroy, and cyber espionage for intelligence collection. The second is to make clear those forms of cyber espionage that are related to national security concerns and those for economic interests. And the last is between malicious cyber activities that one government or military should take responsibility for, and those that are attributed to a government or military based on less-than-reliable key indicators of where activities originate.

The implications of distinguishing clearly are great and there is a need for far lengthier analyses and studies. Looking at the issue briefly, most accusations levied at China are related to the latter distinction. Until today, there is no irrefutable evidence to show China has been involved in cyberattacks that aim to destroy or have destroyed. While cyber espionage for national security concerns is a common action conducted by most countries, cyber espionage for economic benefit is an accusation continually made against the Chinese government and military. However, there are reports indicating a notable decline in commercial cyber espionage allegedly attributed to Chinese sources, at least in the first few months following an agreement reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama in 2015.

The overall defensive perspective of the government is ultimately in line with China’s strategic guidelines and its understanding of the general characteristics of cyber warfare. China has consistently said that it adheres to the strategic guideline of Active Defense, as elaborated in the 2015 defense paper. Guided by these principles, the primary stated goal in cyber warfare is to enhance defense capabilities in order to survive and counter after suffering an offensive cyber strike.

Some observers may conclude that it is more worthwhile to invest resources into cyber offense since cyberspace is offense-dominant. However, the principle that the best defense is a good offense is not applicable in cyberspace. As argued by PLA Senior Colonel Li Daguang, after the first round of a cyberattack, the targeted side can respond with a precise counter-attack as long as it has a strong defense. The attacker will then suffer unfavorable outcomes if its defense is not good enough. From this perspective, it is wiser to make efforts in building up a strong defense.

IS CHINA’S CYBER CAPABILITY AS FORMIDABLE AS IMAGINED?

As mentioned, cyber warfare encompasses far more areas than the military and intelligence gathering. It is therefore logical to measure one country’s cyber capability by a more comprehensive evaluation, which at least includes: technological research and development (R&D) and innovation capabilities; information technology industry companies; internet infrastructure scale; influences of internet websites; internet diplomacy and foreign policy capabilities; cyber military strength; and comprehensiveness of cyberspace strategy. If evaluated along all these criteria, China’s cyber power largely lags behind that of the US.

Aside from China’s disadvantages in critical technological self-sufficiency as mentioned above, it is not as advanced in other aspects as well. According to the ICT Development Index (IDI), which is based on 11 indicators to monitor and compare developments in information and communication technology across countries, China respectively ranked 80th, 81st, and 82nd among 176 states in 2017, 2016, and 2015.

Part of China’s low influence on the global internet is due to the fact that its primary languages are not widely used on the internet outside the country. Though there are a massive number of Chinese speakers throughout the world, Chinese languages are only used by 1.7 percent of all websites, while 53.9 percent use English.

China’s internet is also one of the most regularly attacked. According to a report published in February 2019 by Beijing Knownsec Information Technology, China suffered the highest rate of distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS) in the world in 2018—an average of over 800 million a day. Scanning and backdoor intrusions made up the majority of the attacks and about 97 percent were conducted by domestic hackers. However, a growing percentage came from overseas, mostly from the US, South Korea, and Japan. Among all the attacks originating overseas, those that targeted government and financial websites largely outnumbered those on other targets.

Similar statistics can be found elsewhere. However, it is not the intention here to describe how vulnerable China is, but to emphasize that a more comprehensive and objective assessment of China’s cyber power is in urgent need. As Joseph Nye argued, exaggerated fears about growing Chinese power can become a cause of conflict. The same logic applies in cyberspace, especially at a time when China-US bilateral relations are seeing sharp twists and turns.

This article was originally published in the International Peace Institute’s Global Observatory.

https://carnegieendowment.org/2019/04/01/what-are-china-s-cyber-capabilities-and-intentions-pub-78734

Significant Cyber Incidents

This timeline records significant cyber incidents since 2006. We focus on cyber attacks on government agencies, defense and high tech companies, or economic crimes with losses of more than a million dollars.


Download the Full Incidents List


 

Below is a summary of incidents from over the last year. For the full list, click the download link above.

May 2019.  Iran developed a network of websites and accounts that were being used to spread false information about the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

May 2019.  The Israeli Defense Forces launched a airstrike on the Hamas after they unsuccessfully attempted to hack Israeli targets.

May 2019.  Hackers affiliated with the Chinese intelligence service reportedly had been using NSA hacking tools since 2016, more than a year before those tools were publicly leaked.

April 2019.  Amnesty International’s Hong Kong office announced it had been the victim of an attack by Chinese hackers who accessed the personal information of the office’s supporters.

April 2019.  Ukrainian military and government organizations had been targeted was part of a campaign by hackers from the Luhansk People’s Republic, a Russia-backed group that declared independence from Ukraine in 2014.

April 2019.  Hackers used spoofed email addresses to conduct a disinformation campaign in Lithuania to discredit the Defense Minister by spreading rumors of corruption.

April 2019.  The Finnish police probed a denial of service attack against the web service used to publish the vote tallies from Finland’s elections.

April 2019.   Iranian hackers reportedly undertook a hacking campaign against banks, local government networks, and other public agencies in the UK.

April 2019.  Pharmaceutical company Bayer announced it had prevented an attack by Chinese hackers targeting sensitive intellectual property.

March 2019.  The Australian Signals Directorate revealed that it had conducted cyber attacks against ISIS targets in the Middle East to disrupt their communications in coordination with coalition forces.

March 2019.  An Iranian cyber espionage group targeted government and industry digital infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

March 2019.   state supported Vietnamese hackers targeted foreign automotive companies to acquire IP.

March 2019.   Iran’s intelligence service hacked into former IDF Chief and Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz’ cellphone ahead of Israel’s April elections.

March 2019.  North Korean hackers targeted an Israeli security firm as part of an industrial espionage campaign.

March 2019.  Russian hackers targeted a number of European government agencies ahead of EU elections in May.

March 2019.  Indonesia’s National Election Commission reported that Chinese and Russian hackers had probed Indonesia’s voter database ahead of presidential and legislative elections in the country.

March 2019.  Civil liberties organizations claimed that government-backed hackers targeted Egyptian human rights activists, media, and civil society organizations throughout 2019.

March 2019.  The UN Security Council reported that North Korea has used state-sponsored hacking to evade international sanctions, stealing $670 million in foreign currency and cryptocurrency between 2015 and 2018.

March 2019.  Iranian hackers targeted thousands of people at more than 200 oil-and-gas and heavy machinery companies across the world, stealing corporate secrets and wiping data from computers.

March 2019.  Following an attack on Indian military forces in Kashmir, Pakistani hackers targeted almost 100 Indian government websites and critical systems. Indian officials reported that they engaged in offensive cyber measures to counter the attacks.

March 2019.  U.S. officials reported that at least 27 universities in the U.S. had been targeted by Chinese hackers as part of a campaign to steal research on naval technologies.

February 2019.  The UN International Civil Aviation Organizations revealed that in late 2016 it was compromised by China-linked hackers who used their access to spread malware to foreign government websites.

February 2019.  Prior to the Vietnam summit of Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, North Korean hackers were found to have targeted South Korean institutions in a phishing campaign using documents related to the diplomatic event as bait.

February 2019.  U.S. Cybercommand revealed that during the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, it had blocked internet access to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company involved in information operations against the U.S. during the 2016 presidential election.

February 2019.  A hacking campaign targeted Russian companies linked to state-sponsored North Korean hackers.

February 2019. Hackers associated with the Russian intelligence services had targeted more than 100 individuals in Europe at civil society groups working on election security and democracy promotion.
February 2019.  State-sponsored hackers were caught in the early stages of gaining access to computer systems at the Australian Federal Parliament

February 2019.  European aerospace company Airbus reveals it was targeted by Chinese hackers who stole the personal and IT identification information of some of its European employees

February 2019.  Norwegian software firm Visma revealed that it had been targeted by hackers from the Chinese Ministry of State Security who were attempting to steal trade secrets from the firm’s clients

January 2019.  Hackers associated with the Russian intelligence services were found to have targeted the Center for Strategic and International Studies

January 2019.  The U.S. Department of Justice announced an operation to disrupt a North Korean botnet that had been used to target companies in the media, aerospace, financial, and critical infrastructure sectors.

January 2019.  Former U.S. intelligence personnel were revealed to be working for the UAE to help the country hack into the phones of activists, diplomats, and foreign government officials

January 2019.  U.S. prosecutors unsealed two indictments against Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou alleging crimes ranging from wire and bank fraud to obstruction of justice and conspiracy to steal trade secrets

January 2019.  Security researchers reveal that Iranian hackers have been targeting the telecom and travel industries since at least 2014 in an attempt to surveil and collect the personal information of individuals in the Middle East, U.S., Europe, and Australia

January 2019.  The U.S. Democratic National Committee revealed that it had been targeted by Russian hackers in the weeks after the 2018 midterm elections

January 2019.  South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense announced that unknown hackers had compromised computer systems at the ministry’s procurement office

January 2019.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged a group of hackers from the U.S., Russia, and Ukraine with the 2016 breach of the SEC’s online corporate filing portal exploited to execute trades based on non-public information

January 2019.  Iran was revealed to have engaged in a multi-year, global DNS hijacking campaign targeting telecommunications and internet infrastructure providers as well as government entities in the Middle East, Europe, and North America.

January 2019.  Hackers release the personal details, private communications, and financial information of hundreds of German politicians, with targets representing every political party except the far-right AfD.

December 2018.  North Korean hackers targeted the Chilean interbank network after tricking an employee into installing malware over the course of a fake job interview

December 2018.  Chinese hackers were found to have compromised the EU’s communications systems, maintaining access to sensitive diplomatic cables for several years

December 2018.  North Korean hackers stole the personal information of almost 1,000 North Korean defectors living in South Korea
 
December 2018.  The United States, in coordination with Australia, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand, accused China for conducting a 12-year campaign of cyber espionage targeting the IP and trade secrets of companies across 12 countries. The announcement was tied to the indictment of two Chinese hackers associated with the campaign.

December 2018.  U.S. Navy officials report that Chinese hackers had repeatedly stolen information from Navy contractors including ship maintenance data and missile plans.

December 2018.  Security researchers discover a cyber campaign carried out by a Russia-linked group targeting the government agencies of Ukraine as well as multiple NATO members

December 2018.  Researchers report that a state-sponsored Middle Eastern hacking group had targeted telecommunications companies, government embassies, and a Russian oil company located across Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and North America

December 2018.  Italian oil company Saipem was targeted by hackers utilizing a modified version of the Shamoon virus, taking down hundreds of the company’s servers and personal computers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, and India

December 2018.  North Korean hackers have reportedly targeted universities in the U.S. since May, with a particular focus on individuals with expertise in biomedical engineering

December 2018.  The Security Service of Ukraine blocked an attempt by the Russian special services to disrupt the information systems of Ukraine’s judicial authority

December 2018.  The Czech security service announced that Russian intelligence services were discovered to have been behind attacks against the Czech foreign ministry in 2017

December 2018.  Chinese hackers breached the systems of an American hotel chain, stealing the personal information of over 500 million customers

November 2018.  German security officials announced that a Russia-linked group had targeted the email accounts of several members of the German parliament, as well as the German military and several embassies

November 2018.  Security researchers report that Russia launched coordinated cyber attacks against Russian government and military targets before and during the attack on Ukrainian ships in late November

November 2018.  Researchers reveal that a Mexican government-linked group used spyware to target the colleagues of a slain journalist investigating drug cartels

November 2018.  Security researchers discover a cyberespionage campaign targeting government websites of Lebanon and the UAE

November 2018.  The U.S. Justice Department indicted two Iranians for the ransomware attack affecting Atlanta’s government earlier in 2018

November 2018.  Chinese state media reports that the country had been the victim of multiple attacks by foreign hackers in 2018, including the theft of confidential emails, utility design plans, lists of army units, and more

November 2018.  North Korean hackers were found to have used malware to steal tens of millions of dollars from ATMs across Asia and Africa

November 2018.  Security researchers report that Russian hackers impersonating U.S. State Department officials attempted to gain access to the computer systems of military and law enforcement agencies, defense contractors, and media companies

November 2018.  Ukraine’s CERT discovered malware in the computer systems of Ukraine state agencies believed to be implanted as a precursor for a future large-scale cyber attack

November 2018.  Researchers discover that a Chinese cyberespionage group targeted a UK engineering company using techniques associated with Russia-linked groups in an attempt to avoid attribution

November 2018.  The Pakistani Air Force was revealed to have been targeted by nation-state hackers with access to zero-day exploits

November 2018. Security researchers identify an Iranian domestic surveillance campaign to monitor dissent targeting Telegram and Instagram users

November 2018.  Australian defense shipbuilder Austal announced it had been the victim of a hack resulting in the theft of unclassified ship designs which were later sold online

October 2018.  The head of Iran’s civil defense agency announced that the country had recently neutralized a new, more sophisticated version of Stuxnet

October 2018.  The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Chinese intelligence officers and hackers working for them for engaging in a campaign to hack into U.S. aerospace companies and steal information

October 2018.  Security researchers link the malware used to attack a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia to a research institute run by the Russian government.

October 2018.  U.S. defense officials announced that Cyber Command had begun targeting individual Russian operatives to deter them from interfering in the 2018 midterm elections.

October 2018.  Media reports state than U.S. agencies warned President Trump that that China and Russia eavesdropped on call made form an unsecured phone.

October 2018.  News reports reveal that the Israel Defense Force requested that cybersecurity companies develop proposals for monitoring the personal correspondence of social media users.

October 2018.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announces that it has detected a growing volume of cyber activity targeting election infrastructure in the U.S. ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

October 2018.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that hackers had compromised a government computer system, gaining access to the personal data of  75,000 people ahead of the start of ACA sign-up season.

October 2018.  The Security Service of Ukraine announced that a Russian group had carried out an attempted hack on the information and telecommunication systems of Ukrainian government groups

October 2018.  The U.S. Justice Department announces criminal charges against seven GRU officers for multiple instances of hacking against organizations including FIFA, Westinghouse Electric Company, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the U.S. and World Anti-Doping Agencies.

September 2018.  Security researchers found that a Russian hacking group had used malware to target the firmware of computers at government institutions in the Balkans and in Central and Eastern Europe.

September 2018.  In a letter to Senate leaders, Sen. Ron Wyden revealed that a major technology company had alerted multiple Senate offices of attempts by foreign government hackers to gain access to the email accounts of Senators and their staff

September 2018.  Researchers report that 36 different governments deployed Pegasus spyware against targets in at least 45 countries, including the U.S., France, Canada, and the UK.

September 2018.  The U.S. State Department suffers a breach of one of its unclassified email systems, exposing the personal information of several hundred employees.

September 2018.  Swiss officials reveal that two Russian spies caught in the Netherlands had been preparing to use cyber tools to sabotage the Swiss defense lab analyzing the nerve agent used to poison former Russian Agent Sergei Skripal.

September 2018.  Security researchers find that Iranian hackers have been surveilling Iranian citizens since 2016 as part of a mobile spyware campaign directed at ISIS supporters and members of the Kurdish ethnic group.

September 2018.  Russian hackers targeted the email inboxes of religious leaders connected to Ukraine amid efforts to disassociate Ukraine’s Orthodox church from its association with Russia.

September 2018.  The U.S. Department of Justice announces the indictment and extradition of a Russian hacker accused of participating in the hack of JP Morgan Chase in 2014, leading to the theft of data from over 80 million customers.

September 2018.  The U.S. Department of Justice announces the indictment of Park Jin Hyok, a North Korean Hacker allegedly involved in the 2014 Sony hack, the 2016 theft of $81 million from a Bangladeshi bank, and the WannaCry ransomware attacks.

September 2018.  Researchers reveal a new cyber espionage campaign linked to attacks against Vietnamese defense, energy, and government organizations in 2013 and 2014.

August 2018.  North Korean hackers stole $13.5 million from India’s Cosmos Bank after breaking into the bank’s system and authorizing thousands of unauthorized ATM withdrawals, as well as several illegal money transfers through the SWIFT financial network.

August 2018.  Security researchers report that Iranian hackers had targeted the websites and login pages of 76 universities in 14 countries.  The attackers stole the credentials of users who attempted to sign in, gaining access to library resources for the purposes of intellectual property theft.

August 2018.  Facebook identified multiple new disinformation campaigns on its platform sponsored by groups in Russia and Iran. The campaigns targeted users in the U.S., Latin America, Britain, and the Middle East, and involved 652 fake accounts, pages, and groups.

August 2018.  Microsoft announces that Russian hackers had targeted U.S. Senators and conservative think tanks critical of Russia.

July 2018.  Security researchers report that an Iranian hacking group had been targeting the industrial control systems of electric utility companies in the U.S., Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East.

July 2018.  The Department of Homeland Security reveal that a campaign by Russian hackers in 2017 had compromised the networks of multiple U.S. electric utilities and put attackers in a position where they could have caused blackouts.

July 2018.  Senator Claire McCaskill reveals that her 2018 re-election campaign was targeted by hackers affiliated with Russia’s GRU intelligence agency. Attackers unsuccessfully targeted staffers in the Senator’s office with phishing emails designed to harvest their passwords.

July 2018.  Researchers report that a hacking group linked to Iran has been active since early 2017 targeting energy, government, finance, and telecommunications entities in the Middle East.

July 2018.  Microsoft reveals that Russian hackers had targeted the campaigns of three Democratic candidates running for the 2018 midterm elections.

July 2018.  Russian hackers were found to have targeted the Italian navy with malware designed to insert a backdoor into infected networks.

July 2018.  Security researchers detect a spike in hacking attempts against IoT devices in Finland during the run-up President Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. The majority of attacks originated in China.

July 2018. Singapore’s largest healthcare institution was targeted by state-sponsored hackers, leading to the leakage of personal information for 1.5 million patients, along with prescription details for 160,000 others.

July 2018.  Ukrainian intelligence officials claim to have thwarted a Russian attack on the network equipment of a chlorine plant in central Ukraine. The virus used in the attack is the same malware responsible for the infection of 500,000 routers worldwide in a campaign the FBI linked to state-sponsored Russian hackers.

July 2018.  The U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers for carrying out large-scale cyber operations against the Democratic Party in advance of the 2016 Presidential election.  The officers’ alleged crimes included the theft and subsequent leakage of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign, and the targeting of election infrastructure and local election officials in an attempt to interfere with the election.

July 2018.  Security researchers report that Chinese hackers had been actively spying on political actors on both sides of the upcoming Cambodian elections. Targets include the country’s National Election Commission, several government ministries, the Cambodian Senate, at least one Member of Parliament, and multiple media outlets and human rights activists.

July 2018.  Hackers targeted the campaigns of at least two local Democratic candidates during 2018’s primary season, reportedly using DDoS attacks to disrupt campaign websites during periods of active fundraising and positive news publicity.

July 2018.  Australian National University (ANU) was found to have been breached by Chinese hackers in an attack believed to be motivated by a desire to siphon intellectual property from the institution.

June 2018.  Marketing data firm Exactis suffered a data breach exposing the information of 340 million people, including their political preferences, browsing habits, and purchase data.

June 2018.  Ukraine police claim that Russian hackers have been systematically targeting Ukrainian banks, energy companies, and other organizations to establish backdoors in preparation for a wide-scale strike against the country.

June 2018.  Chinese hackers were found to be engaged in a cyber espionage campaign to collect data from satellite, telecom, and defense organizations in the U.S. and Southeast Asia.

June 2018.  A Russian hacking group linked to disrupting the Peyongchang Olympics targeted individuals in France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and Ukraine linked to a biochemical threat conference organized by a company involved in the investigation of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in March 2018.

June 2018.  A Chinese hacking group targeted a national data center in a Central Asian country, preparing a watering hole attack to inject malicious code onto other government websites connecting to the data center.

June 2018.  Researchers reveal that North Korean hackers targeted a South Korean think tank focused on national security issues. The hackers used a zero-day exploit to compromise the organization’s website and insert a backdoor for injecting code.

June 2018.  The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against five Russian companies and three individuals for enabling Russian intelligence and military units to conduct cyberattacks against the U.S.

June 2018.  Chinese government hackers compromised the networks of a U.S. Navy contractor, stealing 614 GB of data related to weapons, sensor, and communication systems under development for U.S. submarines.

May 2018.  Cyber security researchers reported that North Korean hackers had been targeting defectors through compromised Android apps hosted through the Google Play market, stealing device information and allowing the insertion of executable code stealing photos, contact lists, and text messages.

May 2018.  Security researchers reveal that the Pakistani military used Facebook Messenger to distribute spyware to targets in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and India in an attempt to compromise government officials, medical professionals, and others.

May 2018.  Turkish government hackers were discovered to be using surveillance software FinFisher to infect Turkish dissidents and protesters.

May 2018.  An unknown group of hackers stole between $18 and $20 million dollars from Mexican banks by exploiting the SWIFT transfer system, submitting a series of false transfer orders to phantom accounts in other banks and emptying the accounts in dozens of branch offices.

May 2018.  Within 24 hours of President Trump’s announcement that the US would withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, security firms reported increases in Iranian hacking activity, including the sending of emails containing malware to diplomats in the Foreign Affairs ministries of US allies, as well as global telecommunication companies.

May 2018.  Researchers reveal that a hacking group connected to Russian intelligence services had been conducting reconnaissance on the business and ICS networks of electric utilities in the US and UK since May 2017.

April 2018.  Security researchers report that an Indian hacking group had been targeting government agencies and research institutions in China and Pakistan since 2013.

April 2018.  Cyber security researchers reveal that North Korean hackers targeted critical infrastructure, finance, healthcare, and other industries in 17 countries using malware resembling the code used in the 2014 Sony Pictures attack.

April 2018.  Israeli cyber researchers revealed that Hamas had planted spyware in mobile phones owned by members of Fatah, a rival Palestinian faction

April 2018.  Reports from cyber security researchers indicate that Chinese state-sponsored hacking groups have targeted Japanese defense companies in an attempt to gain information on Tokyo’s policies towards North Korea

April 2018.  US and UK officials issued a joint warning that Russia was deliberately targeting western critical infrastructure by compromising home and business routers

April 2018.  The director of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) announced that the organization had been conducting offensive cyber operations against ISIS to suppress their propaganda, disrupt their coordination, and protect deployed military personnel

April 2018.  The chief of Germany’s domestic intelligence services accused Russia of being behind the December 2017 attack on the government’s computer networks

April 2018.  The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre released an advisory note warning that Russian state actors were targeting UK critical infrastructure by infiltrating supply chains

April 2018.  All government services of Sint. Maarten, a Caribbean island and constitute country of the Netherlands, were taken offline for a week after a cyber attack. According to local authorities, this is the third cyber attack the country has faced in just over a year.

April 2018.  The North Korean hacking group responsible for the SWIFT attacks was found to have targeted a Central American online casino in an attempt to siphon funds

March 2018.  Online services for the city of Atlanta were disrupted after a ransomware attack struck the city’s networks, demanding $55,000 worth of bitcoin in payment. The city would eventually spend approximately $2.6 million recovering from the attack.

March 2018.  Baltimore’s 911 dispatch system was taken down for 17 hours after a ransomware attack, forcing the city to revert to manual dispatching of emergency services

March 2018.  The US Departments of Justice and Treasury accused Iran in an indictment of stealing intellectual property from more than 300 universities, as well as government agencies and financial services companies.

March 2018.  The FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a joint technical alert to warn of Russian cyber attacks against US critical infrastructure. Targets included energy, nuclear, water, aviation, and manufacturing facilities.

March 2018.  A data breach of the company Under Armor compromised the information of 150 million users of its fitness and nutrition tracking app MyFitnessPal

March 2018.  Cybersecurity researchers reveal that a Chinese hacking group used malware to attack the service provider for the UK government in an attempt to gain access to contractors at various UK government departments and military organizations

March 2018.  Cybersecurity researchers announce evidence that the same North Korean hacking group linked to the SWIFT financial network attacks has been targeting several major Turkish banks and government finance agencies.

March 2018.  A UN report details attempts by North Korean hackers to compromise email accounts of the members of a UN panel enforcing trade sanctions against North Korea.

February 2018.  German news reported that a Russian hacking group had breached the online networks of Germany’s foreign and interior ministries, exfiltrating at least 17 gigabytes of data in an intrusion that went undetected for a year.

February 2018.  The Justice Department indicted 13 Russians and three companies for their online efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential elections.

February 2018.  The US and UK formally blame Russia for the June 2017 NotPetya ransomware attack that caused billions of dollars in damages across the world.

February 2018.  A cyberattack on the Pyeongchang Olympic Games attributed to Russia took the official Olympic website offline for 12 hours and disrupted wifi and televisions at the Pyeongchang Olympic stadium.

February 2018.  Officials at the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that Russian hackers successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several US states prior to the 2016 election.

January 2018. China denied that the computer network it supplied to the African Union allowed it access the AU’s confidential information and transfer it to China, or that it had bugged offices in the AU headquarters that it had built. 

January 2018. A Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange reveals that it lost $530 million worth of the cryptocurrency NEM in a hack, in what amounts to possibly the largest cryptocurrency heist of all time.

January 2018. Norwegian officials discover a “very professional” attempt to steal patient data from a Norwegian hospital system, in an attack they speculate was connected to the upcoming NATO Trident Juncture 18 military exercise.

January 2018.  A hacking group with ties to the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security was revealed to have been involved in a six-year campaign to steal text messages, call logs, and files from journalists, military officers, corporations, and other targets in 21 countries worldwide.

January 2018. The Unique Identification Authority of India and its Aadhaar system are hacked by unknown actors, resulting in the personal data of more than 1 billion people being available for purchase.

https://www.csis.org/programs/technology-policy-program/significant-cyber-incidents

 

The United States Is Already at War With China

Trump is accelerating a gratuitous cold war between the world’s top two emitters of greenhouse gases, leaving the rest of the world to suffer.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for a meeting in Beijing, China in May 2018.(Reuters / Thomas Peter / Pool)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.

To suggest this means reassessing our understanding of what constitutes war. From Allison’s perspective (and that of so many others in Washington and elsewhere), “peace” and “war” stand as polar opposites. One day, our soldiers are in their garrisons being trained and cleaning their weapons; the next, they are called into action and sent onto a battlefield. War, in this model, begins when the first shots are fired.

Well, think again in this new era of growing great-power struggle and competition. Today, war means so much more than military combat and can take place even as the leaders of the warring powers meet to negotiate and share dry-aged steak and whipped potatoes (as Donald Trump and Xi Jinping did at Mar-a-Lago in 2017). That is exactly where we are when it comes to Sino-American relations.

Consider it war by another name, or perhaps, to bring back a long-retired term, a burning new version of a cold war.

Even before Donald Trump entered the Oval Office, the US military and other branches of government were already gearing up for a long-term quasi-war, involving both growing economic and diplomatic pressure on China and a buildup of military forces along that country’s periphery. Since his arrival, such initiatives have escalated into Cold War-style combat by another name, with his administration committed to defeating China in a struggle for global economic, technological, and military supremacy.

This includes the president’s much-publicized “trade war” with China, aimed at hobbling that country’s future growth; a techno-war designed to prevent it from overtaking the United States in key breakthrough areas of technology; a diplomatic war intended to isolate Beijing and frustrate its grandiose plans for global outreach; a cyber war (largely hidden from public scrutiny); and a range of military measures as well. This may not be war in the traditional sense of the term, but for leaders on both sides, it has the feel of one.

WHY CHINA?

The media and many politicians continue to focus on US-Russian relations, in large part because of revelations of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 American presidential election and the ongoing Mueller investigation. Behind the scenes, however, most senior military and foreign policy officials in Washington view China, not Russia, as the country’s principal adversary. In eastern Ukraine, the Balkans, Syria, cyberspace, and in the area of nuclear weaponry, Russia does indeed pose a variety of threats to Washington’s goals and desires. Still, as an economically hobbled petro-state, it lacks the kind of might that would allow it to truly challenge this country’s status as the world’s dominant power. China is another story altogether. With its vast economy, growing technological prowess, intercontinental “Belt and Road” infrastructure project, and rapidly modernizing military, an emboldened China could someday match or even exceed US power on a global scale, an outcome American elites are determined to prevent at any cost.

Washington’s fears of a rising China were on full display in January with the release of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, a synthesis of the views of the Central Intelligence Agency and other members of that “community.” Its conclusion: “We assess that China’s leaders will try to extend the country’s global economic, political, and military reach while using China’s military capabilities and overseas infrastructure and energy investments under the Belt and Road Initiative to diminish US influence.”

To counter such efforts, every branch of government is now expected to mobilize its capabilities to bolster American—and diminish Chinese—power. In Pentagon documents, this stance is summed up by the term “overmatch,” which translates as the eternal preservation of American global superiority vis-à-vis China (and all other potential rivals). “The United States must retain overmatch,” the administration’s National Security Strategy insists, and preserve a “combination of capabilities in sufficient scale to prevent enemy success,” while continuing to “shape the international environment to protect our interests.”

In other words, there can never be parity between the two countries. The only acceptable status for China is as a distinctly lesser power. To ensure such an outcome, administration officials insist, the United States must take action on a daily basis to contain or impede its rise.

In previous epochs, as Allison makes clear in his book, this equation—a prevailing power seeking to retain its dominant status and a rising power seeking to overcome its subordinate one—has almost always resulted in conventional conflict. In today’s world, however, where great-power armed combat could possibly end in a nuclear exchange and mutual annihilation, direct military conflict is a distinctly unappealing option for all parties. Instead, governing elites have developed other means of warfare—economic, technological, and covert—to achieve such strategic objectives. Viewed this way, the United States is already in close to full combat mode with respect to China.

TRADE WAR

When it comes to the economy, the language betrays the reality all too clearly. The Trump administration’s economic struggle with China is regularly described, openly and without qualification, as a “war.” And there’s no doubt that senior White House officials, beginning with the president and his chief trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, see it just that way: as a means of pulverizing the Chinese economy and so curtailing that country’s ability to compete with the United States in all other measures of power.

Ostensibly, the aim of President Trump’s May 2018 decision to impose $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports (increased in September to $200 billion) was to rectify a trade imbalance between the two countries, while protecting the American economy against what is described as China’s malign behavior. Its trade practices “plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy,” as the president put it when announcing the second round of tariffs.

An examination of the demands submitted to Chinese negotiators by the US trade delegation last May suggests, however, that Washington’s primary intent hasn’t been to rectify that trade imbalance but to impede China’s economic growth. Among the stipulations Beijing must acquiesce to before receiving tariff relief, according to leaked documents from US negotiators that were spread on Chinese social media:

  • halting all government subsidies to advanced manufacturing industries in its Made in China 2025 program, an endeavor that covers 10 key economic sectors, including aircraft manufacturing, electric cars, robotics, computer microchips, and artificial intelligence;
  • accepting American restrictions on investments in sensitive technologies without retaliating;
  • opening up its service and agricultural sectors—areas where Chinese firms have an inherent advantage—to full American competition.

In fact, this should be considered a straightforward declaration of economic war. Acquiescing to such demands would mean accepting a permanent subordinate status vis-à-vis the United States in hopes of continuing a profitable trade relationship with this country. “The list reads like the terms for a surrender rather than a basis for negotiation,” was the way Eswar Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell University, accurately described these developments.

TECHNOLOGICAL WARFARE

As suggested by America’s trade demands, Washington’s intent is not only to hobble China’s economy today and tomorrow but for decades to come. This has led to an intense, far-ranging campaign to deprive it of access to advanced technologies and to cripple its leading technology firms.

Chinese leaders have long realized that, for their country to achieve economic and military parity with the United States, they must master the cutting-edge technologies that will dominate the 21st-century global economy, including artificial intelligence (AI), fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications, electric vehicles, and nanotechnology. Not surprisingly then, the government has invested in a major way in science and technology education, subsidized research in pathbreaking fields, and helped launch promising startups, among other such endeavors—all in the very fashion that the Internet and other American computer and aerospace innovations were originally financed and encouraged by the Department of Defense.

Chinese companies have also demanded technology transfers when investing in or forging industrial partnerships with foreign firms, a common practice in international development. India, to cite a recent example of this phenomenon, expects that significant technology transfers from American firms will be one outcome of its agreed-upon purchases of advanced American weaponry.

In addition, Chinese firms have been accused of stealing American technology through cybertheft, provoking widespread outrage in this country. Realistically speaking, it’s difficult for outside observers to determine to what degree China’s recent technological advances are the product of commonplace and legitimate investments in science and technology and to what degree they’re due to cyberespionage. Given Beijing’s massive investment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at the graduate and post-graduate level, however, it’s safe to assume that most of that country’s advances are the result of domestic efforts.

Certainly, given what’s publicly known about Chinese cybertheft activities, it’s reasonable for American officials to apply pressure on Beijing to curb the practice. However, the Trump administration’s drive to blunt that country’s technological progress is also aimed at perfectly legitimate activities. For example, the White House seeks to ban Beijing’s government subsidies for progress on artificial intelligence at the same time that the Department of Defense is pouring billions of dollars into AI research at home. The administration is also acting to block the Chinese acquisition of US technology firms and of exports of advanced components and know-how.

In an example of this technology war that’s made the headlines lately, Washington has been actively seeking to sabotage the efforts of Huawei, one of China’s most prominent telecom firms, to gain leadership in the global deployment of 5G wireless communications. Such wireless systemsare important in part because they will transmit colossal amounts of electronic data at far faster rates than now conceivable, facilitating the introduction of self-driving cars, widespread roboticization, and the universal application of AI.

CYBERWARFARE

There would be much to write on this subject, if only it weren’t still hidden in the shadows of the growing conflict between the two countries. Not surprisingly, however, little information is available on US-Chinese cyberwarfare. All that can be said with confidence is that an intense war is now being waged between the two countries in cyberspace. American officials accuse China of engaging in a broad-based cyber-assault on this country, involving both outright cyber espionage to obtain military as well as corporate secrets and widespread political meddling. “What the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing,” said Vice President Mike Pence last October in a speech at the Hudson Institute, though—typically on the subject—he provided not a shred of evidence for his claim.

Not disclosed is what this country is doing to combat China in cyberspace. All that can be known from available information is that this is a two-sided war in which the United States is conducting its own assaults. “­The United States will impose swift and costly consequences on foreign governments, criminals, and other actors who undertake significant malicious cyber activities,” the 2017 National Security Strategy affirmed. What form these “consequences” have taken has yet to be revealed, but there’s little doubt that America’s cyber warriors have been active in this domain.

DIPLOMATIC AND MILITARY COERCION

Completing the picture of America’s ongoing war with China are the fierce pressures being exerted on the diplomatic and military fronts to frustrate Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions. To advance those aspirations, China’s leadership is relying heavily on a much-touted Belt and Road Initiative, a trillion-dollar plan to help fund and encourage the construction of a vast new network of road, rail, port, and pipeline infrastructure across Eurasia and into the Middle East and Africa. By financing—and, in many cases, actually building—such infrastructure, Beijing hopes to bind the economies of a host of far-flung nations ever closer to its own, while increasing its political influence across the Eurasian mainland and Africa. As Beijing’s leadership sees it, at least in terms of orienting the planet’s future economics, its role would be similar to that of the Marshall Plan that cemented US influence in Europe after World War II.

And given exactly that possibility, Washington has begun to actively seek to undermine the Belt and Road wherever it can—discouraging allies from participating, while stirring up unease in countries like Malaysia and Uganda over the enormous debts to China they may end up with and the heavy-handed manner in which that country’s firms often carry out such overseas construction projects. (For example, they typically bring in Chinese laborers to do most of the work, rather than hiring and training locals.)

“China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands,” National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed in a December speech on US policy on that continent. “Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption,” he added, “and do not meet the same environmental or ethical standards as US developmental programs.” Bolton promised that the Trump administration would provide a superior alternative for African nations seeking development funds, but—and this is something of a pattern as well—no such assistance has yet materialized.

In addition to diplomatic pushback, the administration has undertaken a series of initiatives intended to isolate China militarily and limit its strategic options. In South Asia, for example, Washington has abandoned its past position of maintaining rough parity in its relations with India and Pakistan. In recent years, it’s swung sharply towards a strategic alliance with New Dehli, attempting to enlist it fully in America’s efforts to contain China and, presumably, in the process punishing Pakistan for its increasingly enthusiastic role in the Belt and Road Initiative.

In the Western Pacific, the US has stepped up its naval patrols and forged new basing arrangements with local powers—all with the aim of confining the Chinese military to areas close to the mainland. In response, Beijing has sought to escape the grip of American power by establishing miniature bases on Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea (or even constructing artificial islands to house bases there)—moves widely condemned by the hawks in Washington.

To demonstrate its ire at the effrontery of Beijing in the Pacific (once known as an “American lake”), the White House has ordered an increased pace of so-called freedom-of-navigation operations (FRONOPs). Navy warships regularly sail within shooting range of those very island bases, suggesting a US willingness to employ military force to resist future Chinese moves in the region (and also creating situations in which a misstep could lead to a military incident that could lead… well, anywhere).

In Washington, the warnings about Chinese military encroachment in the region are already reaching a fever pitch. For instance, Admiral Philip Davidson, commander of US forces in the Pacific, described the situation there in recent congressional testimony this way: “In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

A LONG WAR OF ATTRITION

As Admiral Davidson suggests, one possible outcome of the ongoing cold war with China could be armed conflict of the traditional sort. Such an encounter, in turn, could escalate to the nuclear level, resulting in mutual annihilation. A war involving only “conventional” forces would itself undoubtedly be devastating and lead to widespread suffering, not to mention the collapse of the global economy.

Even if a shooting war doesn’t erupt, however, a long-term geopolitical war of attrition between the US and China will, in the end, have debilitating and possibly catastrophic consequences for both sides. Take the trade war, for example. If that’s not resolved soon in a positive manner, continuing high US tariffs on Chinese imports will severely curb Chinese economic growth and so weaken the world economy as a whole, punishing every nation on Earth, including this one. High tariffs will also increase costs for American consumers and endanger the prosperity and survival of many firms that rely on Chinese raw materials and components.

This new brand of war will also ensure that already sky-high defense expenditures will continue to rise, diverting funds from vital needs like education, health, infrastructure, and the environment. Meanwhile, preparations for a future war with China have already become the number one priority at the Pentagon, crowding out all other considerations. “While we’re focused on ongoing operations,” acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan reportedly told his senior staff on his first day in office this January, “remember China, China, China.”

Perhaps the greatest victim of this ongoing conflict will be planet Earth itself and all the creatures, humans included, who inhabit it. As the world’s top two emitters of climate-altering greenhouse gases, the United States and China must work together to halt global warming or all of us are doomed to a hellish future. With a war under way, even a non-shooting one, the chance for such collaboration is essentially zero. The only way to save civilization is for the US and China to declare peace and focus together on human salvation.

Story 3 : Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Temporarily Declines Due To Uncertaintly About Tariffs As Measured By Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index from 131.3 in May to 121.5 in June — Videos —

 

Are Trump’s Fed comments an indirect threat against China?

Investopedia Video: Consumer Confidence Index

The Consumer Confidence Index is the result of a monthly survey of 5,000 U.S. households by the Conference Board that measures how optimistic or pessimistic consumers are about the economy’s current and future performance. When the index is high, consumers are expected to increase their spending on goods and services. When it is low, a decrease in spending is expected. Since consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of gross domestic product, consumer confidence is an important indicator of where the economy might be headed. The Consumer Confidence Index, or CCI, has a benchmark value of 100. Analysts can view CCI data by consumer age, income and census region. Opinions on current conditions make up 40% of the index, with expectations of future conditions comprising the remaining 60%. The board calculates a relative value for each question by dividing the total positive responses by the total positive and negative responses. These values are averaged and then compared against the benchmark value of 100 to create the current index value.

70. How To Interpret the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)

Consumer confidence index beats expectations

Here’s how consumer sentiment compares around the world

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Declined in June


NEWS PROVIDED BY

The Conference Board 

Jun 25, 2019, 10:00 ET


NEW YORKJune 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® declined in June, following an increase in May. The Index now stands at 121.5 (1985=100), down from 131.3 in May. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased from 170.7 to 162.6. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – decreased from 105.0 last month to 94.1 this month.

“After three consecutive months of improvement, Consumer Confidence declined in June to its lowest level since September 2017 (Index, 120.6),” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The decrease in the Present Situation Index was driven by a less favorable assessment of business and labor market conditions. Consumers’ expectations regarding the short-term outlook also retreated. The escalation in trade and tariff tensions earlier this month appears to have shaken consumers’ confidence. Although the Index remains at a high level, continued uncertainty could result in further volatility in the Index and, at some point, could even begin to diminish consumers’ confidence in the expansion.” 

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was June 14.

Consumers’ appraisal of current-day conditions declined in June. Those claiming business conditions are “good” decreased from 38.4 percent to 36.7 percent, however, those saying business conditions are “bad” also decreased, from 11.7 percent to 10.9 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also somewhat less upbeat. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 45.3 percent to 44.0 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” rose from 11.8 percent to 16.4 percent.

Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook in June. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will be better six months from now decreased from 21.4 percent to 18.1 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen rose from 8.8 percent to 13.1 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less favorable. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 18.4 percent to 17.3 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 13.0 percent to 14.8 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement decreased from 22.2 percent to 19.1 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease inched up from 7.8 percent to 8.0 percent.

Source: June 2019 Consumer Confidence Survey® 
The Conference Board

The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org.

About NIELSEN
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

SOURCE The Conference Board

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Consumer confidence drops to lowest level since September 2017

 

Consumer confidence is on the decline.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index tumbled to 121.5 in June, dropping from a downwardly revised reading of 131.3 in May and snapping three consecutive months of improvements.

June’s results missed consensus expectations for a reading of 131.0, according to Bloomberg-compiled data, and marked the lowest level in nearly two years.

Indices tracking consumers’ assessments of current and future business conditions also sharply declined in June, the Conference Board reported. The Present Situations Index fell 8.1 points to 162.6 in June, while the Expectations Index decreased 10.9 points to 94.1.

The Conference Board’s report comes amid mounting friction between the U.S. and some of its major trade partners. These ongoing geopolitical concerns and the uncertainty over their resolution rattled consumers in June, according to the Conference Board.

“The decrease in the Present Situation Index was driven by a less favorable assessment of business and labor market conditions,” Lynn Franco, senior direct of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement. “The escalation in trade and tariff tensions earlier this month appears to have shaken consumers’ confidence.”

“Although the Index remains at a high level, continued uncertainty could result in further volatility in the Index and, at some point, could even begin to diminish consumers’ confidence in the expansion,” Franco added.

According to the Conference Board, the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve six months from now decreased by 3.3 percentage points in June to 18.1%. Those expecting business conditions to worsen rose 4.3 percentage points to 13.1%.

“It is a disappointing outcome given that expectations ought to have received a boost from the drop back in gasoline prices and renewed surge in the equity market back to record highs,” Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics, wrote in a note.

However, the Conference Board’s steep decline in its June confidence index may be short-lived, according to other analysts.

The indices tracking consumers’ assessments of expectations and current conditions “are driven by different forces, with expectations responding to the stock market and gas prices, while current conditions tend to reflect the unemployment rate. So when both move sharply in the same month, it often indicates a response to other external forces,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, explained in a note.

Namely, the most recent survey encompassed part of the period from late May to early June during which the Trump administration threatened to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico. These plans were walked back on June 7.

“We’re guessing that the Mexico tariff fiasco, which also triggered steep drops in business surveys conducted while the tariff threat was live, is responsible,” he said. “If we’re right, the confidence index will rebound strongly in July, unless the Osaka [G20] summit is a disaster and the president imposes tariffs on imported Chinese consumer goods.”

“For now, note that the index remains very high by historical standards even after this decline, and it is no threat to our view that consumers’ spending will continue to rise at a solid pace,” he said.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/consumer-confidence-drops-to-lowest-level-since-september-2017-140725759.html

 

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)

 

What Is the Consumer Confidence Index?

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) Survey is an index by The Conference Board that measures how optimistic or pessimistic consumers are with respect to the economy in the near future. The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is based on the concept that if consumers are optimistic, they tend to purchase more goods and services. This increase in spending inevitably stimulates the whole economy.

Consumer Confidence Index

 

Understanding Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)

The index is released on the last Tuesday of every month. It is a barometer of the health of the U.S. economy and is based on consumers’ perceptions of current business and employment condition, and their expectations for business, employment, and income for the next six months. It is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics on consumers’ buying and watching habits.

The Consumer Confidence Index is based on the Consumer Confidence Survey, which is a survey of 5,000 households. The survey was first conducted in 1967 every two months. It changed to monthly tracking in 1977. There are five questions asked: two related to present economic conditions and three related to future expectations. Each response can be answered with one of three responses: positive, negative or neutral. There is also a Present Situation Index, which is an average of two questions related to current economic conditions. An Expectations Index is based on responses to the other three questions. The index was set to 100 in 1985.

 

A Leading Indicator

The CCI is a leading economic indicator for the U.S. economy. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) considers consumer confidence a leading indicator. Leading indicators provide qualitative information used to monitor the current economic situation and as a warning of turning points in economic activity.

In January 2018, The Conference Board announced that the Index was at 125.4 ( it was 100 in 1985), up from 123.1 in December of 2017. The Present Situation Index decreased slightly, from 156.5 to 155.3, while the Expectations Index increased from 100.8 in December 2017 to 105.5 in January 2018. Consumer confidence improved in January after declining in December and was strong overall.

 

The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association. It was formed in 1916 and its mission is to provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Board is designed to help its members understand and navigate the most critical issues of the present time. The Board also conducts research and forums where business leaders convene. These insights feed into its research and meeting agendas.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cci.asp

Conference Board Leading Economic Index

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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index is an American economic leading indicator intended to forecast future economic activity. It is calculated by The Conference Board, a non-governmental organization, which determines the value of the index from the values of ten key variables. These variables have historically turned downward before a recession and upward before an expansion.

A Federal Reserve Bank of New York report What Predicts U.S. Recessions? uses each component of the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI). That report said that the indicators signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle, and the aggregate index has been shown to drop ahead of recessions and rise before expansions.[1]

Revisions to the The Conference Board Leading Economic Index effective with the January 26, 2012 release began using the new Leading Credit Index TM (LCI) … etc.[2]

See also

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conference_Board_Leading_Economic_Index

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President Donald Trump calls into CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to discuss the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the deal the administration struck with Mexico, and the U.S.-China trade war.

President Donald Trump on China, Mexico, tariffs and the Fed (Full Interview – 6/10/19)

Published on Jun 10, 2019

President Donald Trump joins “Squawk Box” via phone to discuss the ongoing trade negotiations with China, the threat of tariffs on Mexico in the dispute over immigration, the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates in December 2018 and more.

Donald Trump Says the Fed Is Being Controlled Politically

Published on Sep 15, 2016

Sept. 15 — Republican nominee Donald Trump discusses the Federal Reserve during a speech at the Economic Club of New York on Thursday.

Trump on the Federal Reserve

Published on Feb 11, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on the 2016 presidential race, Pope Francis, Syria, North Korea, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. markets.

WHILE WE SLEPT, TRUMP PUT THE FED IN CHECK, CUT OFF THE GREEDY GLOBAL BANKING FAMILIES & BEAT CHINA!

[youtub=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvZMCWMJ45I]

Ron Paul sounds off on the Fed

Trump on the Federal Reserve

Why Trump’s Comments On The Fed Were A Big Deal

Trump says the Federal Reserve has gone crazy

Published on Oct 10, 2018
Money Map Press chief strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald, Fox Business correspondent Kristina Partsinevelos and Capital Wave forecast editor Shah Gilani discuss President Trump’s criticism of the Federal Reserve.

Thomas Sowell: Federal Reserve a ‘Cancer’

Thomas Sowell on the Housing Boom and Bust

How to Think About the Federal Reserve – Peter Schiff

Donald Trump Says the Fed Is Being Controlled Politically

Meltzer Says Fed Looks at Wrong Inflation Measures

Published on Mar 23, 2012

How Interest Rates Are Set: The Fed’s New Tools Explained

Monetary and fiscal policy | Aggregate demand and aggregate supply | Macroeconomics | Khan Academy

Recent Federal Reserve Monetary Policy

What is inflation? | Inflation | Finance & Capital Markets | Khan Academy

Introduction to inflation | Inflation – measuring the cost of living | Macroeconomics | Khan Academy

How Abolishing the Fed Would Change Everything | Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Published on Nov 19, 2008

Recorded at the Mises Institute Supporters Summit, 1 November 2008; Auburn, Alabama. Includes a brief introduction by Mark Thornton. Lew Rockwell is the founder and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. ***NOTE: Beginning at the 1:11 mark, there are technical difficulties with the video feed. The audio, however, is complete and unaffected.

The Destabilizing Consequences of Central Banking (OCON 2015)

Published on Nov 30, 2016

This talk explores the fiscal origins of currency monopolies and the adverse consequences stemming from their establishment, including their tendency to promote booms and busts; reviews the origins of the doctrine that they should serve as “lenders of last resort”; and explains why last-resort lending tends in practice to generate moral hazard problems that lead to still greater financial instability. Some time is devoted to the special case of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. The speaker is George Selgin, director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute and professor emeritus of economics at the University of Georgia.

Does Fractional Reserve Banking Endanger the Economy? A Debate

Published on Apr 27, 2018

Two free market economists debate a topic that has long divided libertarians: The standard banking practice of keeping only a portion of depositors’ money on hand and loaning out the rest. _____ Subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/reasontv Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Reason.Magaz… Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reason Subscribe to our podcast at iTunes: https://goo.gl/az3a7a Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines. _____ On April 16, 2018, two free market economists debated a topic that has long divided libertarians. Fractional reserve banking refers to banks’ standard practice of keeping only a portion of their depositors’ money on hand and loaning out the rest. In The Mystery of Banking (1983), the anarcho-capitalist economist Murray Rothbard called fractional reserve banking “a shell game, a Ponzi scheme, a fraud in which fake warehouse receipts are issued and circulate as equivalent to the cash supposedly represented by the receipts.” Other libertarian economists, such as Larry White and Steve Horwitz, have argued that the practice is perfectly defensible. At The Soho Forum, a debate series in New York City that is sponsored by the Reason Foundation, Robert Murphy debated George Selgin over the following resolution: “Fractional Reserve banking poses a threat to the stability of market economies.” Murphy, a research assistant professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University, argued for the affirmative. He has a Ph.D. in economics from NYU has addiliations with the Institute for Energy Research, the Mises Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Independent Institute. He has authored hundreds of articles and several books explaining economics to the layperson, including Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action. Selgin, who opposed the resolution, is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute and professor emeritus of economics at the University of Georgia. His research covers a broad range of topics within the field of monetary economics, including monetary history, macroeconomic theory, and the history of monetary thought. He is the author of The Theory of Free Banking, Bank Deregulation and Monetary Order, Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy, and most recently Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage. The Soho Forum runs Oxford-style debates, in which the audience votes on the resolution at the beginning and end of the event. The side that gains more ground is victorious. ​In this case, Selgin won by convincing 14 percent of the audience to switch over to his side.

Rothbardians vs. “Free Bankers” on Fractional Reserve Banking | Robert P. Murphy

Published on Jul 20, 2018

Recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on July 17, 2018. Mises University is the world’s leading instructional program in the Austrian School of economics, and is the essential training ground for economists who are looking beyond the mainstream.

The Creature From Jekyll Island (by G. Edward Griffin)

G Edward Griffin Creature From Jekyll Island Second Look at the Federal Reserve

See the source image

The Founding of the Federal Reserve | Murray N. Rothbard

Published on Dec 11, 2008

A speech by Murray N. Rothbard. Presented at the Mises Institute’s 1984 “Seminar on Money and Government,” in Houston, Texas.

See the source image

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

 

Powell says economy facing growing uncertainties

2 hours ago

1 of 3
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks on the economy outlook and monetary policy review at the Council on Foreign Relations, in New York, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday the outlook for the U.S. economy has become cloudier since early May, with rising uncertainties over trade and global growth causing the central bank to reassess its next move on interest rates.

Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Powell said the Fed is now grappling with the question of whether those uncertainties will continue to weigh on the outlook and require action.

Powell did not commit to a rate cut but said the central bank will closely monitor incoming data and be prepared to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”

Many economists believe the Fed could decide at its next meeting on July 30-31 to cut its key policy rate, something it has not done since 2008.

But markets showed disappointment with Powell’s comments, which suggested a rate cut was not certain. That followed separate comments Tuesday by James Bullard, head of the Fed’s St. Louis regional bank, who said that he believed a quarter-point cut in July would be sufficient as an insurance move against a possible severe economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 dropped 1% to 2,917, its biggest loss of the month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 179 points or 0.7%, to 26,548.

In addition to disappointment with the Fed comments, reports showing a drop in consumer confidence and weakness in the housing market added to investor gloom.

In an interview with Bloomberg television, Bullard said an “insurance cut” of a quarter-point would be enough to protect against a sharper-than-expected slowdown in economic growth and a half-percentage point cut would be “overdone.” Bullard last week cast the lone dissent from the Fed’s decision to hold rates steady, favoring instead an immediate rate cut.

Trump on Monday tweeted that the Fed “blew it” by not cuttings rates at its meeting last week. At that session the Fed kept its policy rate unchanged in a range of 2.25% to 2.5% but dropped a previous pledge to be “patient” in changing rates in coming months.

Trump reportedly has considered either firing Powell or demoting him from the chairman’s job but has been told by the White House legal team that he does not have the power to do either.

Asked about the repeated criticism by Trump, Powell said, “We are human. We make mistakes. I hope not frequently but we will make mistakes. But we won’t make mistakes of integrity or character.”

Powell said that the Fed’s independence from direct political control had served the country well and when central banks do not have that protection “you see bad things happening.”

The baseline outlook for the U.S. economy remains favorable for continued growth, Powell said, but “the risks to this favorable baseline outlook appear to have grown.”

In early May, Trump more than doubled the tariffs on Chinese goods after U.S.-China trade talks broke down. The president has threatened to essentially hit all Chinse imports with tariffs if China does not meet the administration’s demands for greater protections for U.S. technology.

Trump’s moves sent financial markets tumbling because of concerns the trade conflict could end the current 10-year economic expansion, which in July will become the longest in U.S. history.

Trump is scheduled to meet Chinse President Xi Jinping later this week at the Group of 20 economic summit in Japan, a meeting that is being closely watched for signals that the two sides are prepared to resume talks in search of a trade deal.

In addition to rising trade tensions, Powell said since May incoming data has raised new concerns about the strength of the global economy, noting tentative signs that investment by U.S. businesses has slowed from earlier this year.

Many Fed officials believe the case for easier monetary policy has strengthened, but “we are also mindful that monetary policy should not overreact to any individual data point or short-term swing in sentiment,” he said.

Powell said that would risk adding even more uncertainty to the outlook.

Earlier this year, economists believed the Fed would keep its key policy rate unchanged all year long after four rate hikes last year. Now private economists believe from two to four rate cuts are possible this year, although some analysts think the Fed could keep policy unchanged if trade tensions are resolved without harming the economy.

https://apnews.com/36e95b56e88e444bb67d997b47b046d6

Federal Reserve

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Federal Reserve
Seal of the Federal Reserve System
Seal of the Federal Reserve System
Flag of the Federal Reserve System
Flag of the Federal Reserve System
Headquarters Eccles BuildingWashington, D.C., U.S.
Established December 23, 1913 (105 years ago)
Chairman Jerome Powell
Central bank of United States
Currency United States dollar
USD (ISO 4217)
Reserve requirements 0 to 10%
Bank rate 2.50%[1]
Interest rate target 2.00% to 2.25%[2]
Interest on reserves 2.20%[3]
Interest paid on excess reserves? Yes
Website federalreserve.gov Edit this at Wikidata
Federal Reserve
Agency overview
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Child agency
Key document

The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series of financial panics (particularly the panic of 1907) led to the desire for central control of the monetary system in order to alleviate financial crises.[list 1] Over the years, events such as the Great Depression in the 1930s and the Great Recession during the 2000s have led to the expansion of the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System.[5][10][11]

The U.S. Congress established three key objectives for monetary policy in the Federal Reserve Act: maximizing employment, stabilizing prices, and moderating long-term interest rates.[12] The first two objectives are sometimes referred to as the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate.[13] Its duties have expanded over the years, and currently also include supervising and regulating banks, maintaining the stability of the financial system, and providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions.[14] The Fed conducts research into the economy and provides numerous publications, such as the Beige Book and the FRED database.

The Federal Reserve System is composed of several layers. It is governed by the presidentially appointed board of governors or Federal Reserve Board (FRB). Twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, located in cities throughout the nation, regulate and oversee privately owned commercial banks.[15][16][17] Nationally chartered commercial banks are required to hold stock in, and can elect some of the board members of, the Federal Reserve Bank of their region. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) sets monetary policy. It consists of all seven members of the board of governors and the twelve regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents, though only five bank presidents vote at a time (the president of the New York Fed and four others who rotate through one-year voting terms). There are also various advisory councils. Thus, the Federal Reserve System has both public and private components.[list 2] It has a structure unique among central banks, and is also unusual in that the United States Department of the Treasury, an entity outside of the central bank, prints the currency used.[22]

The federal government sets the salaries of the board’s seven governors, and it receives all the system’s annual profits, after a statutory dividend of 6% on member banks’ capital investment is paid, and an account surplus is maintained. In 2015, the Federal Reserve earned net income of $100.2 billion and transferred $97.7 billion to the U.S. Treasury.[23] Although an instrument of the US Government, the Federal Reserve System considers itself “an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the board of governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms.”[24]

Purpose

The Eccles Building in Washington, D.C., which serves as the Federal Reserve System’s headquarters

The primary motivation for creating the Federal Reserve System was to address banking panics.[5] Other purposes are stated in the Federal Reserve Act, such as “to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes”.[25] Before the founding of the Federal Reserve System, the United States underwent several financial crises. A particularly severe crisis in 1907 led Congress to enact the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. Today the Federal Reserve System has responsibilities in addition to ensuring the stability of the financial system.[26]

Current functions of the Federal Reserve System include:[14][26]

  • To address the problem of banking panics
  • To serve as the central bank for the United States
  • To strike a balance between private interests of banks and the centralized responsibility of government
    • To supervise and regulate banking institutions
    • To protect the credit rights of consumers
  • To manage the nation’s money supply through monetary policy to achieve the sometimes-conflicting goals of
    • maximum employment
    • stable prices, including prevention of either inflation or deflation[27]
    • moderate long-term interest rates
  • To maintain the stability of the financial system and contain systemic risk in financial markets
  • To provide financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation’s payments system
    • To facilitate the exchange of payments among regions
    • To respond to local liquidity needs
  • To strengthen U.S. standing in the world economy

Addressing the problem of bank panics

Banking institutions in the United States are required to hold reserves‍—‌amounts of currency and deposits in other banks‍—‌equal to only a fraction of the amount of the bank’s deposit liabilities owed to customers. This practice is called fractional-reserve banking. As a result, banks usually invest the majority of the funds received from depositors. On rare occasions, too many of the bank’s customers will withdraw their savings and the bank will need help from another institution to continue operating; this is called a bank run. Bank runs can lead to a multitude of social and economic problems. The Federal Reserve System was designed as an attempt to prevent or minimize the occurrence of bank runs, and possibly act as a lender of last resort when a bank run does occur. Many economists, following Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, believe that the Federal Reserve inappropriately refused to lend money to small banks during the bank runs of 1929; Friedman argued that this contributed to the Great Depression.[28][29][30]

Check clearing system

Because some banks refused to clear checks from certain other banks during times of economic uncertainty, a check-clearing system was created in the Federal Reserve System. It is briefly described in The Federal Reserve System‍—‌Purposes and Functions as follows:[31]

By creating the Federal Reserve System, Congress intended to eliminate the severe financial crises that had periodically swept the nation, especially the sort of financial panic that occurred in 1907. During that episode, payments were disrupted throughout the country because many banks and clearinghouses refused to clear checks drawn on certain other banks, a practice that contributed to the failure of otherwise solvent banks. To address these problems, Congress gave the Federal Reserve System the authority to establish a nationwide check-clearing system. The System, then, was to provide not only an elastic currency‍—‌that is, a currency that would expand or shrink in amount as economic conditions warranted‍—‌but also an efficient and equitable check-collection system.

Lender of last resort

In the United States, the Federal Reserve serves as the lender of last resort to those institutions that cannot obtain credit elsewhere and the collapse of which would have serious implications for the economy. It took over this role from the private sector “clearing houses” which operated during the Free Banking Era; whether public or private, the availability of liquidity was intended to prevent bank runs.[32][33]

Fluctuations

Through its discount window and credit operations, Reserve Banks provide liquidity to banks to meet short-term needs stemming from seasonal fluctuations in deposits or unexpected withdrawals. Longer term liquidity may also be provided in exceptional circumstances. The rate the Fed charges banks for these loans is called the discount rate (officially the primary credit rate).

By making these loans, the Fed serves as a buffer against unexpected day-to-day fluctuations in reserve demand and supply. This contributes to the effective functioning of the banking system, alleviates pressure in the reserves market and reduces the extent of unexpected movements in the interest rates.[34] For example, on September 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve Board authorized an $85 billion loan to stave off the bankruptcy of international insurance giant American International Group (AIG).[35][36]

Central bank

Obverse of a Federal Reserve $1 note issued in 2009

In its role as the central bank of the United States, the Fed serves as a banker’s bank and as the government’s bank. As the banker’s bank, it helps to assure the safety and efficiency of the payments system. As the government’s bank or fiscal agent, the Fed processes a variety of financial transactions involving trillions of dollars. Just as an individual might keep an account at a bank, the U.S. Treasury keeps a checking account with the Federal Reserve, through which incoming federal tax deposits and outgoing government payments are handled. As part of this service relationship, the Fed sells and redeems U.S. government securities such as savings bonds and Treasury bills, notes and bonds. It also issues the nation’s coin and paper currency. The U.S. Treasury, through its Bureau of the Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing, actually produces the nation’s cash supply and, in effect, sells the paper currency to the Federal Reserve Banks at manufacturing cost, and the coins at face value. The Federal Reserve Banks then distribute it to other financial institutions in various ways.[37] During the Fiscal Year 2013, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing delivered 6.6 billion notes at an average cost of 5.0 cents per note.[38][39]

Federal funds

Federal funds are the reserve balances (also called Federal Reserve Deposits) that private banks keep at their local Federal Reserve Bank.[40][41] These balances are the namesake reserves of the Federal Reserve System. The purpose of keeping funds at a Federal Reserve Bank is to have a mechanism for private banks to lend funds to one another. This market for funds plays an important role in the Federal Reserve System as it is what inspired the name of the system and it is what is used as the basis for monetary policy. Monetary policy is put into effect partly by influencing how much interest the private banks charge each other for the lending of these funds.

Federal reserve accounts contain federal reserve credit, which can be converted into federal reserve notes. Private banks maintain their bank reserves in federal reserve accounts.

Bank regulation

The Federal Reserve regulates private banks. The system was designed out of a compromise between the competing philosophies of privatization and government regulation. In 2006 Donald L. Kohn, vice chairman of the board of governors, summarized the history of this compromise:[42]

Agrarian and progressive interests, led by William Jennings Bryan, favored a central bank under public, rather than banker, control. But the vast majority of the nation’s bankers, concerned about government intervention in the banking business, opposed a central bank structure directed by political appointees.

The legislation that Congress ultimately adopted in 1913 reflected a hard-fought battle to balance these two competing views and created the hybrid public-private, centralized-decentralized structure that we have today.

The balance between private interests and government can also be seen in the structure of the system. Private banks elect members of the board of directors at their regional Federal Reserve Bank while the members of the board of governors are selected by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.

Government regulation and supervision

Ben Bernanke (lower-right), former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on February 10, 2009. Members of the board frequently testify before congressional committees such as this one. The Senate equivalent of the House Financial Services Committee is the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The Federal Banking Agency Audit Act, enacted in 1978 as Public Law 95-320 and 31 U.S.C. section 714 establish that the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks may be audited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).[43]

The GAO has authority to audit check-processing, currency storage and shipments, and some regulatory and bank examination functions, however, there are restrictions to what the GAO may audit. Under the Federal Banking Agency Audit Act, 31 U.S.C. section 714(b), audits of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve banks do not include (1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank or government or non-private international financing organization; (2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters; (3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or (4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the board of governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to items (1), (2), or (3). See Federal Reserve System Audits: Restrictions on GAO’s Access (GAO/T-GGD-94-44), statement of Charles A. Bowsher.[44]

The board of governors in the Federal Reserve System has a number of supervisory and regulatory responsibilities in the U.S. banking system, but not complete responsibility. A general description of the types of regulation and supervision involved in the U.S. banking system is given by the Federal Reserve:[45]

The Board also plays a major role in the supervision and regulation of the U.S. banking system. It has supervisory responsibilities for state-chartered banks[46] that are members of the Federal Reserve System, bank holding companies (companies that control banks), the foreign activities of member banks, the U.S. activities of foreign banks, and Edge Act and “agreement corporations” (limited-purpose institutions that engage in a foreign banking business). The Board and, under delegated authority, the Federal Reserve Banks, supervise approximately 900 state member banks and 5,000 bank holding companies. Other federal agencies also serve as the primary federal supervisors of commercial banks; the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency supervises national banks, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation supervises state banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System.

Some regulations issued by the Board apply to the entire banking industry, whereas others apply only to member banks, that is, state banks that have chosen to join the Federal Reserve System and national banks, which by law must be members of the System. The Board also issues regulations to carry out major federal laws governing consumer credit protection, such as the Truth in LendingEqual Credit Opportunity, and Home Mortgage Disclosure Acts. Many of these consumer protection regulations apply to various lenders outside the banking industry as well as to banks.

Members of the Board of Governors are in continual contact with other policy makers in government. They frequently testify before congressional committees on the economy, monetary policybanking supervision and regulationconsumer credit protectionfinancial markets, and other matters.

The Board has regular contact with members of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and other key economic officials. The Chair also meets from time to time with the President of the United States and has regular meetings with the Secretary of the Treasury. The Chair has formal responsibilities in the international arena as well.

There is a very strong economic consensus in favor of independence from political influence.[47]

Regulatory and oversight responsibilities

The board of directors of each Federal Reserve Bank District also has regulatory and supervisory responsibilities. If the board of directors of a district bank has judged that a member bank is performing or behaving poorly, it will report this to the board of governors. This policy is described in United States Code:[48]

Each Federal reserve bank shall keep itself informed of the general character and amount of the loans and investments of its member banks with a view to ascertaining whether undue use is being made of bank credit for the speculative carrying of or trading in securities, real estate, or commodities, or for any other purpose inconsistent with the maintenance of sound credit conditions; and, in determining whether to grant or refuse advances, rediscounts, or other credit accommodations, the Federal reserve bank shall give consideration to such information. The chairman of the Federal reserve bank shall report to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System any such undue use of bank credit by any member bank, together with his recommendation. Whenever, in the judgment of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, any member bank is making such undue use of bank credit, the Board may, in its discretion, after reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing, suspend such bank from the use of the credit facilities of the Federal Reserve System and may terminate such suspension or may renew it from time to time.

National payments system

The Federal Reserve plays a role in the U.S. payments system. The twelve Federal Reserve Banks provide banking services to depository institutions and to the federal government. For depository institutions, they maintain accounts and provide various payment services, including collecting checks, electronically transferring funds, and distributing and receiving currency and coin. For the federal government, the Reserve Banks act as fiscal agents, paying Treasury checks; processing electronic payments; and issuing, transferring, and redeeming U.S. government securities.[49]

In the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980, Congress reaffirmed that the Federal Reserve should promote an efficient nationwide payments system. The act subjects all depository institutions, not just member commercial banks, to reserve requirements and grants them equal access to Reserve Bank payment services. The Federal Reserve plays a role in the nation’s retail and wholesale payments systems by providing financial services to depository institutions. Retail payments are generally for relatively small-dollar amounts and often involve a depository institution’s retail clients‍—‌individuals and smaller businesses. The Reserve Banks’ retail services include distributing currency and coin, collecting checks, and electronically transferring funds through the automated clearinghouse system. By contrast, wholesale payments are generally for large-dollar amounts and often involve a depository institution’s large corporate customers or counterparties, including other financial institutions. The Reserve Banks’ wholesale services include electronically transferring funds through the Fedwire Funds Service and transferring securities issued by the U.S. government, its agencies, and certain other entities through the Fedwire Securities Service.

Structure

Organization of the Federal Reserve System

The Federal Reserve System has a “unique structure that is both public and private”[50] and is described as “independent within the government” rather than “independent of government“.[51] The System does not require public funding, and derives its authority and purpose from the Federal Reserve Act, which was passed by Congress in 1913 and is subject to Congressional modification or repeal.[52] The four main components of the Federal Reserve System are (1) the board of governors, (2) the Federal Open Market Committee, (3) the twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, and (4) the member banks throughout the country.

District # Letter Federal Reserve Bank Branches Website President
1 A Boston http://www.bos.frb.org Eric S. Rosengren
2 B New York City http://www.newyorkfed.org John C. Williams
3 C Philadelphia http://www.philadelphiafed.org Patrick T. Harker
4 D Cleveland Cincinnati, Ohio
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
http://www.clevelandfed.org Loretta J. Mester
5 E Richmond Baltimore, Maryland
Charlotte, North Carolina
http://www.richmondfed.org Thomas Barkin
6 F Atlanta Birmingham, Alabama
Jacksonville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Nashville, Tennessee
New Orleans, Louisiana
http://www.frbatlanta.org Raphael Bostic
7 G Chicago Detroit, Michigan
Des Moines, Iowa
http://www.chicagofed.org Charles L. Evans
8 H St Louis Little Rock, Arkansas
Louisville, Kentucky
Memphis, Tennessee
http://www.stlouisfed.org James B. Bullard
9 I Minneapolis Helena, Montana https://www.minneapolisfed.org Neel Kashkari
10 J Kansas City Denver, Colorado
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Omaha, Nebraska
http://www.kansascityfed.org Esther George
11 K Dallas El Paso, Texas
Houston, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
http://www.dallasfed.org Robert Steven Kaplan
12 L San Francisco Los Angeles, California
Portland, Oregon
Salt Lake City, Utah
Seattle, Washington
http://www.frbsf.org Mary C. Daly

Board of governors

The seven-member board of governors is a federal agency. It is charged with the overseeing of the 12 District Reserve Banks and setting national monetary policy. It also supervises and regulates the U.S. banking system in general.[53] Governors are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate for staggered 14-year terms.[34] One term begins every two years, on February 1 of even-numbered years, and members serving a full term cannot be renominated for a second term.[54] “[U]pon the expiration of their terms of office, members of the Board shall continue to serve until their successors are appointed and have qualified.” The law provides for the removal of a member of the board by the president “for cause”.[55] The board is required to make an annual report of operations to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The chair and vice chair of the board of governors are appointed by the president from among the sitting governors. They both serve a four-year term and they can be renominated as many times as the president chooses, until their terms on the board of governors expire.[56]

List of members of the board of governors

Board of governors in April 2019, when two of the seven seats were vacant

The current members of the board of governors are as follows:[54]

Photo Governor Political party Entered office Term expires
Jerome H. Powell (cropped).jpg Jerome Powell
(Chairman)
Republican February 5, 2018 (as Chairman)
May 25, 2012 (as Governor)
June 16, 2014 (new term)
February 5, 2022 (as Chairman)
January 31, 2028 (as Governor)
Richard Clarida official photo (cropped).jpg Richard Clarida
(Vice Chairman)
September 17, 2018 (as Vice Chairman)
September 17, 2018
September 17, 2022 (as Vice Chairman)
January 31, 2022 (as Governor)
Randal Quarles official photo (cropped).jpg Randal Quarles
(Vice Chairman for Supervision)
October 13, 2017 (as Vice Chairman for Supervision)
October 13, 2017
October 13, 2021 (as Vice Chairman for Supervision)
January 31, 2032 (as Governor)
Lael Brainard cropped.jpg Lael Brainard Democratic June 16, 2014 January 31, 2026
Michelle Bowman (cropped).jpg Michelle Bowman Republican November 26, 2018 January 31, 2020
Vacant January 31, 2024*
Vacant January 31, 2030*

*Indicates the date of term expiration for the individual nominated to this vacant position.

Nominations, confirmations and resignations

In late December 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Jeremy C. Stein, a Harvard University finance professor and a Democrat, and Jerome Powell, formerly of Dillon ReadBankers Trust[57] and The Carlyle Group[58] and a Republican. Both candidates also have Treasury Department experience in the Obama and George H. W. Bush administrations respectively.[57]

“Obama administration officials [had] regrouped to identify Fed candidates after Peter Diamond, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, withdrew his nomination to the board in June [2011] in the face of Republican opposition. Richard Clarida, a potential nominee who was a Treasury official under George W. Bush, pulled out of consideration in August [2011]”, one account of the December nominations noted.[59] The two other Obama nominees in 2011, Janet Yellen and Sarah Bloom Raskin,[60] were confirmed in September.[61] One of the vacancies was created in 2011 with the resignation of Kevin Warsh, who took office in 2006 to fill the unexpired term ending January 31, 2018, and resigned his position effective March 31, 2011.[62][63] In March 2012, U.S. Senator David Vitter (RLA) said he would oppose Obama’s Stein and Powell nominations, dampening near-term hopes for approval.[64] However, Senate leaders reached a deal, paving the way for affirmative votes on the two nominees in May 2012 and bringing the board to full strength for the first time since 2006[65] with Duke’s service after term end. Later, on January 6, 2014, the United States Senate confirmed Yellen’s nomination to be chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; she is slated to be the first woman to hold the position and will become chair on February 1, 2014.[66] Subsequently, President Obama nominated Stanley Fischer to replace Yellen as the Vice Chair.[67]

In April 2014, Stein announced he was leaving to return to Harvard May 28 with four years remaining on his term. At the time of the announcement, the FOMC “already is down three members as it awaits the Senate confirmation of … Fischer and Lael Brainard, and as [President] Obama has yet to name a replacement for … Duke. … Powell is still serving as he awaits his confirmation for a second term.”[68]

Allan R. Landon, former president and CEO of the Bank of Hawaii, was nominated in early 2015 by President Obama to the board.[69]

In July 2015, President Obama nominated University of Michigan economist Kathryn M. Dominguez to fill the second vacancy on the board. The Senate had not yet acted on Landon’s confirmation by the time of the second nomination.[70]

Daniel Tarullo submitted his resignation from the board on February 10, 2017, effective on or around April 5, 2017.[71]

Federal Open Market Committee

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consists of 12 members, seven from the board of governors and 5 of the regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents. The FOMC oversees and sets policy on open market operations, the principal tool of national monetary policy. These operations affect the amount of Federal Reserve balances available to depository institutions, thereby influencing overall monetary and credit conditions. The FOMC also directs operations undertaken by the Federal Reserve in foreign exchange markets. The FOMC must reach consensus on all decisions. The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is a permanent member of the FOMC; the presidents of the other banks rotate membership at two- and three-year intervals. All Regional Reserve Bank presidents contribute to the committee’s assessment of the economy and of policy options, but only the five presidents who are then members of the FOMC vote on policy decisions. The FOMC determines its own internal organization and, by tradition, elects the chair of the board of governors as its chair and the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as its vice chair. Formal meetings typically are held eight times each year in Washington, D.C. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents also participate in Committee deliberations and discussion. The FOMC generally meets eight times a year in telephone consultations and other meetings are held when needed.[72]

There is very strong consensus among economists against politicising the FOMC.[47]

Federal Advisory Council

The Federal Advisory Council, composed of twelve representatives of the banking industry, advises the board on all matters within its jurisdiction.

Federal Reserve Banks

Map of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts, with the twelve Federal Reserve Banks marked as black squares, and all Branches within each district (24 total) marked as red circles. The Washington DC Headquarters is marked with a star. (Also, a 25th branch in Buffalo, NY had been closed in 2008.)

The twelve Reserve Banks buildings in 1936

There are 12 Federal Reserve Banks, each of which is responsible for member banks located in its district. They are located in BostonNew YorkPhiladelphiaClevelandRichmondAtlantaChicagoSt. LouisMinneapolisKansas CityDallas, and San Francisco. The size of each district was set based upon the population distribution of the United States when the Federal Reserve Act was passed.

The charter and organization of each Federal Reserve Bank is established by law and cannot be altered by the member banks. Member banks, do however, elect six of the nine members of the Federal Reserve Banks’ boards of directors.[34][73]

Each regional Bank has a president, who is the chief executive officer of their Bank. Each regional Reserve Bank’s president is nominated by their Bank’s board of directors, but the nomination is contingent upon approval by the board of governors. Presidents serve five-year terms and may be reappointed.[74]

Each regional Bank’s board consists of nine members. Members are broken down into three classes: A, B, and C. There are three board members in each class. Class A members are chosen by the regional Bank’s shareholders, and are intended to represent member banks’ interests. Member banks are divided into three categories: large, medium, and small. Each category elects one of the three class A board members. Class B board members are also nominated by the region’s member banks, but class B board members are supposed to represent the interests of the public. Lastly, class C board members are appointed by the board of governors, and are also intended to represent the interests of the public.[75]

Legal status of regional Federal Reserve Banks

The Federal Reserve Banks have an intermediate legal status, with some features of private corporations and some features of public federal agencies. The United States has an interest in the Federal Reserve Banks as tax-exempt federally created instrumentalities whose profits belong to the federal government, but this interest is not proprietary.[76] In Lewis v. United States,[77] the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated that: “The Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA [the Federal Tort Claims Act], but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.” The opinion went on to say, however, that: “The Reserve Banks have properly been held to be federal instrumentalities for some purposes.” Another relevant decision is Scott v. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City,[76] in which the distinction is made between Federal Reserve Banks, which are federally created instrumentalities, and the board of governors, which is a federal agency.

Regarding the structural relationship between the twelve Federal Reserve banks and the various commercial (member) banks, political science professor Michael D. Reagan has written that:[78]

… the “ownership” of the Reserve Banks by the commercial banks is symbolic; they do not exercise the proprietary control associated with the concept of ownership nor share, beyond the statutory dividend, in Reserve Bank “profits.” … Bank ownership and election at the base are therefore devoid of substantive significance, despite the superficial appearance of private bank control that the formal arrangement creates.

Plaque marking a bank as a member

Member banks

A member bank is a private institution and owns stock in its regional Federal Reserve Bank. All nationally chartered banks hold stock in one of the Federal Reserve Banks. State chartered banks may choose to be members (and hold stock in their regional Federal Reserve bank) upon meeting certain standards.

The amount of stock a member bank must own is equal to 3% of its combined capital and surplus.[79][80] However, holding stock in a Federal Reserve bank is not like owning stock in a publicly traded company. These stocks cannot be sold or traded, and member banks do not control the Federal Reserve Bank as a result of owning this stock. From the profits of the Regional Bank of which it is a member, a member bank receives a dividend equal to 6% of its purchased stock.[18] The remainder of the regional Federal Reserve Banks’ profits is given over to the United States Treasury Department. In 2015, the Federal Reserve Banks made a profit of $100.2 billion and distributed $2.5 billion in dividends to member banks as well as returning $97.7 billion to the U.S. Treasury.[23]

About 38% of U.S. banks are members of their regional Federal Reserve Bank.[81][82]

Accountability

An external auditor selected by the audit committee of the Federal Reserve System regularly audits the Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve Banks. The GAO will audit some activities of the Board of Governors. These audits do not cover “most of the Fed’s monetary policy actions or decisions, including discount window lending (direct loans to financial institutions), open-market operations and any other transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee” …[nor may the GAO audit] “dealings with foreign governments and other central banks.”[83]

The annual and quarterly financial statements prepared by the Federal Reserve System conform to a basis of accounting that is set by the Federal Reserve Board and does not conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or government Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). The financial reporting standards are defined in the Financial Accounting Manual for the Federal Reserve Banks.[84] The cost accounting standards are defined in the Planning and Control System Manual.[84] As of 27 August 2012, the Federal Reserve Board has been publishing unaudited financial reports for the Federal Reserve banks every quarter.[85]

November 7, 2008, Bloomberg L.P. News brought a lawsuit against the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System to force the board to reveal the identities of firms for which it has provided guarantees during the financial crisis of 2007–2008.[86] Bloomberg, L.P. won at the trial court[87] and the Fed’s appeals were rejected at both the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. The data was released on March 31, 2011.[88][89]

Monetary policy

The term “monetary policy” refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit to help promote national economic goals. What happens to money and credit affects interest rates (the cost of credit) and the performance of an economy. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 gave the Federal Reserve authority to set monetary policy in the United States.[90][91]

Interbank lending

The Federal Reserve sets monetary policy by influencing the federal funds rate, which is the rate of interbank lending of excess reserves. The rate that banks charge each other for these loans is determined in the interbank market and the Federal Reserve influences this rate through the three “tools” of monetary policy described in the Tools section below. The federal funds rate is a short-term interest rate that the FOMC focuses on, which affects the longer-term interest rates throughout the economy. The Federal Reserve summarized its monetary policy in 2005:

The Federal Reserve implements U.S. monetary policy by affecting conditions in the market for balances that depository institutions hold at the Federal Reserve Banks…By conducting open market operations, imposing reserve requirements, permitting depository institutions to hold contractual clearing balances, and extending credit through its discount window facility, the Federal Reserve exercises considerable control over the demand for and supply of Federal Reserve balances and the federal funds rate. Through its control of the federal funds rate, the Federal Reserve is able to foster financial and monetary conditions consistent with its monetary policy objectives.[92]

Effects on the quantity of reserves that banks used to make loans influence the economy. Policy actions that add reserves to the banking system encourage lending at lower interest rates thus stimulating growth in money, credit, and the economy. Policy actions that absorb reserves work in the opposite direction. The Fed’s task is to supply enough reserves to support an adequate amount of money and credit, avoiding the excesses that result in inflation and the shortages that stifle economic growth.[93]

Tools

There are three main tools of monetary policy that the Federal Reserve uses to influence the amount of reserves in private banks:[90]

Tool Description
Open market operations Purchases and sales of U.S. Treasury and federal agency securities‍—‌the Federal Reserve’s principal tool for implementing monetary policy. The Federal Reserve’s objective for open market operations has varied over the years. During the 1980s, the focus gradually shifted toward attaining a specified level of the federal funds rate (the rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans of federal funds, which are the reserves held by banks at the Fed), a process that was largely complete by the end of the decade.[94]
Discount rate The interest rate charged to commercial banks and other depository institutions on loans they receive from their regional Federal Reserve Bank’s lending facility‍—‌the discount window.[95]
Reserve requirements The amount of funds that a depository institution must hold in reserve against specified deposit liabilities.[96]

Federal funds rate and open market operations

Federal funds rate history and recessions.png

The Federal Reserve System implements monetary policy largely by targeting the federal funds rate. This is the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans of federal funds, which are the reserves held by banks at the Fed. This rate is actually determined by the market and is not explicitly mandated by the Fed. The Fed therefore tries to align the effective federal funds rate with the targeted rate by adding or subtracting from the money supply through open market operations. The Federal Reserve System usually adjusts the federal funds rate target by 0.25% or 0.50% at a time.

Open market operations allow the Federal Reserve to increase or decrease the amount of money in the banking system as necessary to balance the Federal Reserve’s dual mandates. Open market operations are done through the sale and purchase of United States Treasury security, sometimes called “Treasury bills” or more informally “T-bills” or “Treasuries”. The Federal Reserve buys Treasury bills from its primary dealers. The purchase of these securities affects the federal funds rate, because primary dealers have accounts at depository institutions.[97]

The Federal Reserve education website describes open market operations as follows:[91]

Open market operations involve the buying and selling of U.S. government securities (federal agency and mortgage-backed). The term ‘open market’ means that the Fed doesn’t decide on its own which securities dealers it will do business with on a particular day. Rather, the choice emerges from an ‘open market’ in which the various securities dealers that the Fed does business with‍—‌the primary dealers‍—‌compete on the basis of price. Open market operations are flexible and thus, the most frequently used tool of monetary policy.

Open market operations are the primary tool used to regulate the supply of bank reserves. This tool consists of Federal Reserve purchases and sales of financial instruments, usually securities issued by the U.S. Treasury, Federal agencies and government-sponsored enterprises. Open market operations are carried out by the Domestic Trading Desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York under direction from the FOMC. The transactions are undertaken with primary dealers.

The Fed’s goal in trading the securities is to affect the federal funds rate, the rate at which banks borrow reserves from each other. When the Fed wants to increase reserves, it buys securities and pays for them by making a deposit to the account maintained at the Fed by the primary dealer’s bank. When the Fed wants to reduce reserves, it sells securities and collects from those accounts. Most days, the Fed does not want to increase or decrease reserves permanently so it usually engages in transactions reversed within a day or two. That means that a reserve injection today could be withdrawn tomorrow morning, only to be renewed at some level several hours later. These short-term transactions are called repurchase agreements (repos)‍—‌the dealer sells the Fed a security and agrees to buy it back at a later date.

Repurchase agreements

To smooth temporary or cyclical changes in the money supply, the desk engages in repurchase agreements (repos) with its primary dealers. Repos are essentially secured, short-term lending by the Fed. On the day of the transaction, the Fed deposits money in a primary dealer’s reserve account, and receives the promised securities as collateral. When the transaction matures, the process unwinds: the Fed returns the collateral and charges the primary dealer‘s reserve account for the principal and accrued interest. The term of the repo (the time between settlement and maturity) can vary from 1 day (called an overnight repo) to 65 days.[98]

Discount rate

The Federal Reserve System also directly sets the “discount rate”, which is the interest rate for “discount window lending”, overnight loans that member banks borrow directly from the Fed. This rate is generally set at a rate close to 100 basis points above the target federal funds rate. The idea is to encourage banks to seek alternative funding before using the “discount rate” option.[99] The equivalent operation by the European Central Bank is referred to as the “marginal lending facility“.[100]

Both the discount rate and the federal funds rate influence the prime rate, which is usually about 3 percentage points higher than the federal funds rate.

Reserve requirements

Another instrument of monetary policy adjustment employed by the Federal Reserve System is the fractional reserve requirement, also known as the required reserve ratio.[101] The required reserve ratio sets the balance that the Federal Reserve System requires a depository institution to hold in the Federal Reserve Banks,[92] which depository institutions trade in the federal funds market discussed above.[102] The required reserve ratio is set by the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System.[103] The reserve requirements have changed over time and some history of these changes is published by the Federal Reserve.[104]

Reserve requirements in the US Federal Reserve System[96]
Liability type Requirement
Percentage of liabilities Effective date
Net transaction accounts
$0 to $11.5 million 0 December 29, 2011
More than $11.5 million to $71 million 3 December 29, 2011
More than $71 million 10 December 29, 2011
Nonpersonal time deposits 0 December 27, 1990
Eurocurrency liabilities 0 December 27, 1990

As a response to the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve now makes interest payments on depository institutions’ required and excess reserve balances. The payment of interest on excess reserves gives the central bank greater opportunity to address credit market conditions while maintaining the federal funds rate close to the target rate set by the FOMC.[105]

New facilities

In order to address problems related to the subprime mortgage crisis and United States housing bubble, several new tools have been created. The first new tool, called the Term Auction Facility, was added on December 12, 2007. It was first announced as a temporary tool[106] but there have been suggestions that this new tool may remain in place for a prolonged period of time.[107] Creation of the second new tool, called the Term Securities Lending Facility, was announced on March 11, 2008.[108] The main difference between these two facilities is that the Term Auction Facility is used to inject cash into the banking system whereas the Term Securities Lending Facility is used to inject treasury securities into the banking system.[109] Creation of the third tool, called the Primary Dealer Credit Facility(PDCF), was announced on March 16, 2008.[110] The PDCF was a fundamental change in Federal Reserve policy because now the Fed is able to lend directly to primary dealers, which was previously against Fed policy.[111] The differences between these three new facilities is described by the Federal Reserve:[112]

The Term Auction Facility program offers term funding to depository institutions via a bi-weekly auction, for fixed amounts of credit. The Term Securities Lending Facility will be an auction for a fixed amount of lending of Treasury general collateral in exchange for OMO-eligible and AAA/Aaa rated private-label residential mortgage-backed securities. The Primary Dealer Credit Facility now allows eligible primary dealers to borrow at the existing Discount Rate for up to 120 days.

Some measures taken by the Federal Reserve to address this mortgage crisis have not been used since the Great Depression.[113] The Federal Reserve gives a brief summary of these new facilities:[114]

As the economy has slowed in the last nine months and credit markets have become unstable, the Federal Reserve has taken a number of steps to help address the situation. These steps have included the use of traditional monetary policy tools at the macroeconomic level as well as measures at the level of specific markets to provide additional liquidity.

The Federal Reserve’s response has continued to evolve since pressure on credit markets began to surface last summer, but all these measures derive from the Fed’s traditional open market operations and discount window tools by extending the term of transactions, the type of collateral, or eligible borrowers.

A fourth facility, the Term Deposit Facility, was announced December 9, 2009, and approved April 30, 2010, with an effective date of June 4, 2010.[115] The Term Deposit Facility allows Reserve Banks to offer term deposits to institutions that are eligible to receive earnings on their balances at Reserve Banks. Term deposits are intended to facilitate the implementation of monetary policy by providing a tool by which the Federal Reserve can manage the aggregate quantity of reserve balances held by depository institutions. Funds placed in term deposits are removed from the accounts of participating institutions for the life of the term deposit and thus drain reserve balances from the banking system.

Term auction facility

The Term Auction Facility is a program in which the Federal Reserve auctions term funds to depository institutions.[106] The creation of this facility was announced by the Federal Reserve on December 12, 2007, and was done in conjunction with the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Swiss National Bank to address elevated pressures in short-term funding markets.[116] The reason it was created is that banks were not lending funds to one another and banks in need of funds were refusing to go to the discount window. Banks were not lending money to each other because there was a fear that the loans would not be paid back. Banks refused to go to the discount window because it is usually associated with the stigma of bank failure.[117][118][119][120] Under the Term Auction Facility, the identity of the banks in need of funds is protected in order to avoid the stigma of bank failure.[121] Foreign exchange swap lines with the European Central Bank and Swiss National Bank were opened so the banks in Europe could have access to U.S. dollars.[121] Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke briefly described this facility to the U.S. House of Representatives on January 17, 2008:

the Federal Reserve recently unveiled a term auction facility, or TAF, through which prespecified amounts of discount window credit can be auctioned to eligible borrowers. The goal of the TAF is to reduce the incentive for banks to hoard cash and increase their willingness to provide credit to households and firms…TAF auctions will continue as long as necessary to address elevated pressures in short-term funding markets, and we will continue to work closely and cooperatively with other central banks to address market strains that could hamper the achievement of our broader economic objectives.[122]

It is also described in the Term Auction Facility FAQ[106]

The TAF is a credit facility that allows a depository institution to place a bid for an advance from its local Federal Reserve Bank at an interest rate that is determined as the result of an auction. By allowing the Federal Reserve to inject term funds through a broader range of counterparties and against a broader range of collateral than open market operations, this facility could help ensure that liquidity provisions can be disseminated efficiently even when the unsecured interbank markets are under stress.

In short, the TAF will auction term funds of approximately one-month maturity. All depository institutions that are judged to be in sound financial condition by their local Reserve Bank and that are eligible to borrow at the discount window are also eligible to participate in TAF auctions. All TAF credit must be fully collateralized. Depositories may pledge the broad range of collateral that is accepted for other Federal Reserve lending programs to secure TAF credit. The same collateral values and margins applicable for other Federal Reserve lending programs will also apply for the TAF.

Term securities lending facility

The Term Securities Lending Facility is a 28-day facility that will offer Treasury general collateral to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s primary dealers in exchange for other program-eligible collateral. It is intended to promote liquidity in the financing markets for Treasury and other collateral and thus to foster the functioning of financial markets more generally.[123] Like the Term Auction Facility, the TSLF was done in conjunction with the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Swiss National Bank. The resource allows dealers to switch debt that is less liquid for U.S. government securities that are easily tradable. The currency swap lines with the European Central Bank and Swiss National Bank were increased.

Primary dealer credit facility

The Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) is an overnight loan facility that will provide funding to primary dealers in exchange for a specified range of eligible collateral and is intended to foster the functioning of financial markets more generally.[112] This new facility marks a fundamental change in Federal Reserve policy because now primary dealers can borrow directly from the Fed when this used to be prohibited.

Interest on reserves

As of October 2008, the Federal Reserve banks will pay interest on reserve balances (required and excess) held by depository institutions. The rate is set at the lowest federal funds rate during the reserve maintenance period of an institution, less 75bp.[124] As of 23 October 2008, the Fed has lowered the spread to a mere 35 bp.[125]

Term deposit facility

The Term Deposit Facility is a program through which the Federal Reserve Banks will offer interest-bearing term deposits to eligible institutions. By removing “excess deposits” from participating banks, the overall level of reserves available for lending is reduced, which should result in increased market interest rates, acting as a brake on economic activity and inflation. The Federal Reserve has stated that:

Term deposits will be one of several tools that the Federal Reserve could employ to drain reserves when policymakers judge that it is appropriate to begin moving to a less accommodative stance of monetary policy. The development of the TDF is a matter of prudent planning and has no implication for the near-term conduct of monetary policy.[126]

The Federal Reserve initially authorized up to five “small-value offerings are designed to ensure the effectiveness of TDF operations and to provide eligible institutions with an opportunity to gain familiarity with term deposit procedures.”[127] After three of the offering auctions were successfully completed, it was announced that small-value auctions would continue on an ongoing basis.[128]

The Term Deposit Facility is essentially a tool available to reverse the efforts that have been employed to provide liquidity to the financial markets and to reduce the amount of capital available to the economy. As stated in Bloomberg News:

Policy makers led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke are preparing for the day when they will have to start siphoning off more than $1 trillion in excess reserves from the banking system to contain inflation. The Fed is charting an eventual return to normal monetary policy, even as a weakening near-term outlook has raised the possibility it may expand its balance sheet.[129]

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, testifying before House Committee on Financial Services, described the Term Deposit Facility and other facilities to Congress in the following terms:

Most importantly, in October 2008 the Congress gave the Federal Reserve statutory authority to pay interest on balances that banks hold at the Federal Reserve Banks. By increasing the interest rate on banks’ reserves, the Federal Reserve will be able to put significant upward pressure on all short-term interest rates, as banks will not supply short-term funds to the money markets at rates significantly below what they can earn by holding reserves at the Federal Reserve Banks. Actual and prospective increases in short-term interest rates will be reflected in turn in higher longer-term interest rates and in tighter financial conditions more generally….

As an additional means of draining reserves, the Federal Reserve is also developing plans to offer to depository institutions term deposits, which are roughly analogous to certificates of deposit that the institutions offer to their customers. A proposal describing a term deposit facility was recently published in the Federal Register, and the Federal Reserve is finalizing a revised proposal in light of the public comments that have been received. After a revised proposal is reviewed by the Board, we expect to be able to conduct test transactions this spring and to have the facility available if necessary thereafter. The use of reverse repos and the deposit facility would together allow the Federal Reserve to drain hundreds of billions of dollars of reserves from the banking system quite quickly, should it choose to do so.

When these tools are used to drain reserves from the banking system, they do so by replacing bank reserves with other liabilities; the asset side and the overall size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet remain unchanged. If necessary, as a means of applying monetary restraint, the Federal Reserve also has the option of redeeming or selling securities. The redemption or sale of securities would have the effect of reducing the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet as well as further reducing the quantity of reserves in the banking system. Restoring the size and composition of the balance sheet to a more normal configuration is a longer-term objective of our policies. In any case, the sequencing of steps and the combination of tools that the Federal Reserve uses as it exits from its currently very accommodative policy stance will depend on economic and financial developments and on our best judgments about how to meet the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability.

In sum, in response to severe threats to our economy, the Federal Reserve created a series of special lending facilities to stabilize the financial system and encourage the resumption of private credit flows to American families and businesses. As market conditions and the economic outlook have improved, these programs have been terminated or are being phased out. The Federal Reserve also promoted economic recovery through sharp reductions in its target for the federal funds rate and through large-scale purchases of securities. The economy continues to require the support of accommodative monetary policies. However, we have been working to ensure that we have the tools to reverse, at the appropriate time, the currently very high degree of monetary stimulus. We have full confidence that, when the time comes, we will be ready to do so.[130]

Asset Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility

The Asset Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (ABCPMMMFLF) was also called the AMLF. The Facility began operations on September 22, 2008, and was closed on February 1, 2010.[131]

All U.S. depository institutions, bank holding companies (parent companies or U.S. broker-dealer affiliates), or U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks were eligible to borrow under this facility pursuant to the discretion of the FRBB.

Collateral eligible for pledge under the Facility was required to meet the following criteria:

  • was purchased by Borrower on or after September 19, 2008 from a registered investment company that held itself out as a money market mutual fund;
  • was purchased by Borrower at the Fund’s acquisition cost as adjusted for amortization of premium or accretion of discount on the ABCP through the date of its purchase by Borrower;
  • was rated at the time pledged to FRBB, not lower than A1, F1, or P1 by at least two major rating agencies or, if rated by only one major rating agency, the ABCP must have been rated within the top rating category by that agency;
  • was issued by an entity organized under the laws of the United States or a political subdivision thereof under a program that was in existence on September 18, 2008; and
  • had stated maturity that did not exceed 120 days if the Borrower was a bank or 270 days for non-bank Borrowers.
Commercial Paper Funding Facility

On October 7, 2008, the Federal Reserve further expanded the collateral it will loan against to include commercial paper using the new Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF). The action made the Fed a crucial source of credit for non-financial businesses in addition to commercial banks and investment firms. Fed officials said they’ll buy as much of the debt as necessary to get the market functioning again. They refused to say how much that might be, but they noted that around $1.3 trillion worth of commercial paper would qualify. There was $1.61 trillion in outstanding commercial paper, seasonally adjusted, on the market as of 1 October 2008, according to the most recent data from the Fed. That was down from $1.70 trillion in the previous week. Since the summer of 2007, the market has shrunk from more than $2.2 trillion.[132] This program lent out a total $738 billion before it was closed. Forty-five out of 81 of the companies participating in this program were foreign firms. Research shows that Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) recipients were twice as likely to participate in the program than other commercial paper issuers who did not take advantage of the TARP bailout. The Fed incurred no losses from the CPFF.[133]

Quantitative policy

A little-used tool of the Federal Reserve is the quantitative policy. With that the Federal Reserve actually buys back corporate bonds and mortgage backed securities held by banks or other financial institutions. This in effect puts money back into the financial institutions and allows them to make loans and conduct normal business. The bursting of the United States housing bubble prompted the Fed to buy mortgage-backed securities for the first time in November 2008. Over six weeks, a total of $1.25 trillion were purchased in order to stabilize the housing market, about one-fifth of all U.S. government-backed mortgages.[134]

History

Timeline of central banking in the United States
Dates System
1782–1791 Bank of North America (de facto, under the Confederation Congress)
1791–1811 First Bank of the United States
1811–1816 No central bank
1816–1836 Second Bank of the United States
1837–1862 Free Banking Era
1846–1921 Independent Treasury System
1863–1913 National Banks
1913–present Federal Reserve System
Sources:[135][136]

Central banking in the United States, 1791–1913

The first attempt at a national currency was during the American Revolutionary War. In 1775, the Continental Congress, as well as the states, began issuing paper currency, calling the bills “Continentals“.[137] The Continentals were backed only by future tax revenue, and were used to help finance the Revolutionary War. Overprinting, as well as British counterfeiting, caused the value of the Continental to diminish quickly. This experience with paper money led the United States to strip the power to issue Bills of Credit (paper money) from a draft of the new Constitution on August 16, 1787,[138] as well as banning such issuance by the various states, and limiting the states’ ability to make anything but gold or silver coin legal tender on August 28.[139]

In 1791, the government granted the First Bank of the United States a charter to operate as the U.S. central bank until 1811.[140] The First Bank of the United States came to an end under President Madison because Congress refused to renew its charter. The Second Bank of the United States was established in 1816, and lost its authority to be the central bank of the U.S. twenty years later under President Jackson when its charter expired. Both banks were based upon the Bank of England.[141] Ultimately, a third national bank, known as the Federal Reserve, was established in 1913 and still exists to this day.

First Central Bank, 1791 and Second Central Bank, 1816

The first U.S. institution with central banking responsibilities was the First Bank of the United States, chartered by Congress and signed into law by President George Washington on February 25, 1791, at the urging of Alexander Hamilton. This was done despite strong opposition from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among numerous others. The charter was for twenty years and expired in 1811 under President Madison, because Congress refused to renew it.[142]

In 1816, however, Madison revived it in the form of the Second Bank of the United States. Years later, early renewal of the bank’s charter became the primary issue in the reelection of President Andrew Jackson. After Jackson, who was opposed to the central bank, was reelected, he pulled the government’s funds out of the bank. Jackson was the only President to completely pay off the debt.[143] The bank’s charter was not renewed in 1836. From 1837 to 1862, in the Free Banking Era there was no formal central bank. From 1846 to 1921, an Independent Treasury System ruled. From 1863 to 1913, a system of national banks was instituted by the 1863 National Banking Act during which series of bank panics, in 18731893, and 1907 occurred[7][8][9]

Creation of Third Central Bank, 1907–1913

The main motivation for the third central banking system came from the Panic of 1907, which caused a renewed desire among legislators, economists, and bankers for an overhaul of the monetary system.[7][8][9][144] During the last quarter of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the United States economy went through a series of financial panics.[145] According to many economists, the previous national banking system had two main weaknesses: an inelastic currency and a lack of liquidity.[145] In 1908, Congress enacted the Aldrich–Vreeland Act, which provided for an emergency currency and established the National Monetary Commission to study banking and currency reform.[146] The National Monetary Commission returned with recommendations which were repeatedly rejected by Congress. A revision crafted during a secret meeting on Jekyll Island by Senator Aldrich and representatives of the nation’s top finance and industrial groups later became the basis of the Federal Reserve Act.[147][148] The House voted on December 22, 1913, with 298 voting yes to 60 voting no. The Senate voted 43–25 on December 23, 1913.[149] President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill later that day.[150]

Federal Reserve Act, 1913[edit]

Newspaper clipping, December 24, 1913

The head of the bipartisan National Monetary Commission was financial expert and Senate Republican leader Nelson Aldrich. Aldrich set up two commissions – one to study the American monetary system in depth and the other, headed by Aldrich himself, to study the European central banking systems and report on them.[146]

In early November 1910, Aldrich met with five well known members of the New York banking community to devise a central banking bill. Paul Warburg, an attendee of the meeting and longtime advocate of central banking in the U.S., later wrote that Aldrich was “bewildered at all that he had absorbed abroad and he was faced with the difficult task of writing a highly technical bill while being harassed by the daily grind of his parliamentary duties”.[151] After ten days of deliberation, the bill, which would later be referred to as the “Aldrich Plan”, was agreed upon. It had several key components, including a central bank with a Washington-based headquarters and fifteen branches located throughout the U.S. in geographically strategic locations, and a uniform elastic currency based on gold and commercial paper. Aldrich believed a central banking system with no political involvement was best, but was convinced by Warburg that a plan with no public control was not politically feasible.[151] The compromise involved representation of the public sector on the Board of Directors.[152]

Aldrich’s bill met much opposition from politicians. Critics charged Aldrich of being biased due to his close ties to wealthy bankers such as J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Aldrich’s son-in-law. Most Republicans favored the Aldrich Plan,[152] but it lacked enough support in Congress to pass because rural and western states viewed it as favoring the “eastern establishment”.[4] In contrast, progressive Democrats favored a reserve system owned and operated by the government; they believed that public ownership of the central bank would end Wall Street’s control of the American currency supply.[152] Conservative Democrats fought for a privately owned, yet decentralized, reserve system, which would still be free of Wall Street’s control.[152]

The original Aldrich Plan was dealt a fatal blow in 1912, when Democrats won the White House and Congress.[151] Nonetheless, President Woodrow Wilson believed that the Aldrich plan would suffice with a few modifications. The plan became the basis for the Federal Reserve Act, which was proposed by Senator Robert Owen in May 1913. The primary difference between the two bills was the transfer of control of the Board of Directors (called the Federal Open Market Committee in the Federal Reserve Act) to the government.[4][142] The bill passed Congress on December 23, 1913,[153][154] on a mostly partisan basis, with most Democrats voting “yea” and most Republicans voting “nay”.[142]

Federal Reserve era, 1913–present

Key laws affecting the Federal Reserve have been:[155]

Measurement of economic variables

The Federal Reserve records and publishes large amounts of data. A few websites where data is published are at the board of governors’ Economic Data and Research page,[156] the board of governors’ statistical releases and historical data page,[157] and at the St. Louis Fed’s FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) page.[158] The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) examines many economic indicators prior to determining monetary policy.[159]

Some criticism involves economic data compiled by the Fed. The Fed sponsors much of the monetary economics research in the U.S., and Lawrence H. White objects that this makes it less likely for researchers to publish findings challenging the status quo.[160]

Net worth of households and nonprofit organizations

Total Net Worth‍—‌Balance Sheet of Households and Nonprofit Organizations 1949–2012

The net worth of households and nonprofit organizations in the United States is published by the Federal Reserve in a report titled Flow of Funds.[161] At the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2012, this value was $64.8 trillion. At the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, this value was $95.5 trillion.[162]

Money supply

The most common measures are named M0 (narrowest), M1, M2, and M3. In the United States they are defined by the Federal Reserve as follows:

Measure Definition
M0 The total of all physical currency, plus accounts at the central bank that can be exchanged for physical currency.
M1 M0 + those portions of M0 held as reserves or vault cash + the amount in demand accounts (“checking” or “current” accounts).
M2 M1 + most savings accountsmoney market accounts, and small denomination time deposits (certificates of deposit of under $100,000).
M3 M2 + all other CDs, deposits of eurodollars and repurchase agreements.
Components of the United States money supply2.svg

The Federal Reserve stopped publishing M3 statistics in March 2006, saying that the data cost a lot to collect but did not provide significantly useful information.[163] The other three money supply measures continue to be provided in detail.

CPI vs M2 money supply increases

Personal consumption expenditures price index[edit]

The Personal consumption expenditures price index, also referred to as simply the PCE price index, is used as one measure of the value of money. It is a United States-wide indicator of the average increase in prices for all domestic personal consumption. Using a variety of data including United States Consumer Price Index and U.S. Producer Price Index prices, it is derived from the largest component of the gross domestic product in the BEA’s National Income and Product Accounts, personal consumption expenditures.

One of the Fed’s main roles is to maintain price stability, which means that the Fed’s ability to keep a low inflation rate is a long-term measure of their success.[164] Although the Fed is not required to maintain inflation within a specific range, their long run target for the growth of the PCE price index is between 1.5 and 2 percent.[165] There has been debate among policy makers as to whether the Federal Reserve should have a specific inflation targeting policy.[166][167][168]

Inflation and the economy

Most mainstream economists favor a low, steady rate of inflation.[169] Low (as opposed to zero or negative) inflation may reduce the severity of economic recessions by enabling the labor market to adjust more quickly in a downturn, and reduce the risk that a liquidity trapprevents monetary policy from stabilizing the economy.[170] The task of keeping the rate of inflation low and stable is usually given to monetary authorities.

Unemployment rate

United States unemployment rates 1975–2010 showing variance between the fifty states

One of the stated goals of monetary policy is maximum employment. The unemployment rate statistics are collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and like the PCE price index are used as a barometer of the nation’s economic health.

Budget

The Federal Reserve is self-funded. The vast majority (90%+) of Fed revenues come from open market operations, specifically the interest on the portfolio of Treasury securities as well as “capital gains/losses” that may arise from the buying/selling of the securities and their derivatives as part of Open Market Operations. The balance of revenues come from sales of financial services (check and electronic payment processing) and discount window loans.[171] The board of governors (Federal Reserve Board) creates a budget report once per year for Congress. There are two reports with budget information. The one that lists the complete balance statements with income and expenses as well as the net profit or loss is the large report simply titled, “Annual Report”. It also includes data about employment throughout the system. The other report, which explains in more detail the expenses of the different aspects of the whole system, is called “Annual Report: Budget Review”. These detailed comprehensive reports can be found at the board of governors’ website under the section “Reports to Congress”[172]

Federal Reserve remittance payments to the treasury

Net worth[edit]

Balance sheet[edit]

Federal Reserve total assets, treasuries, and mortgages

One of the keys to understanding the Federal Reserve is the Federal Reserve balance sheet (or balance statement). In accordance with Section 11 of the Federal Reserve Act, the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System publishes once each week the “Consolidated Statement of Condition of All Federal Reserve Banks” showing the condition of each Federal Reserve bank and a consolidated statement for all Federal Reserve banks. The board of governors requires that excess earnings of the Reserve Banks be transferred to the Treasury as interest on Federal Reserve notes.[173][174]

Below is the balance sheet as of 6 July 2011 (in billions of dollars):

ASSETS:
Gold Stock 11.04
Special Drawing Rights Certificate Acct. 5.20
Treasury Currency Outstanding (Coin) 43.98
Securities Held Outright 2647.94
   U.S. Treasury Securities 1623.78
      Bills 18.42
      Notes and Bonds, nominal 1530.79
      Notes and Bonds, inflation-indexed 65.52
      Inflation Compensation 9.04
   Federal Agency Debt Securities 115.30
   Mortgage-Backed Securities 908.85
Repurchase Agreements 0
Loans 12.74
Primary Credit 12
Secondary Credit 0
Seasonal Credit 53
   Credit Extended to AIG Inc. 0
   Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility 12.67
   Other Credit Extended 0
Commercial Paper Funding Facility LLC 0
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane LLC, Maiden Lane II LLC, and Maiden Lane III LLC 60.32
Preferred Interest in AIG Life-Insurance Subsidiaries 0
Net Holdings of TALF LLC 0.75
Float -1.05
Central Bank Liquidity Swaps 0
Other Assets 133.56
Total Assets 2914.51
LIABILITIES:
Currency in Circulation 1031.30
Reverse repurchase agreements 68.09
Deposits 91.12
   Term Deposits 0
   U.S. Treasury, general account 76.56
   U.S. Treasury, supplementary financing account 5
   Foreign official 0.17
   Service Related 2.53
   Other Deposits 6.85
Funds from AIG, held as agent 0
Other Liabilities 73.06
Total liabilities 1263.73
CAPITAL (AKA Net Equity)
Capital Paid In 26.71
Surplus 25.91
Other Capital 4.16
Total Capital 56.78
MEMO (off-balance-sheet items)
Marketable securities held in custody for foreign official and international accounts 3445.42
   U.S. Treasury Securities 2708
   Federal Agency Securities 737.31
Securities lent to dealers 30.46
   Overnight 30.46
   Term 0

Total combined assets for all 12 Federal Reserve Banks

Total combined liabilities for all 12 Federal Reserve Banks

In addition, the balance sheet also indicates which assets are held as collateral against Federal Reserve Notes.

Federal Reserve Notes and Collateral
Federal Reserve Notes Outstanding 1128.63
   Less: Notes held by F.R. Banks 200.90
   Federal Reserve notes to be collateralized 927.73
Collateral held against Federal Reserve notes 927.73
   Gold certificate account 11.04
   Special drawing rights certificate account 5.20
   U.S. Treasury, agency debt, and mortgage-backed securities pledged 911.50
   Other assets pledged 0

Criticism

Money supply decreased significantly between Black Tuesday and the Bank Holiday in March 1933 when there were massive bank runsacross the United States

The Federal Reserve raising the Federal Funds Rate above U.S. Treasury interest rates creates an inverted yield curve causing recessions.

The Federal Reserve System has faced various criticisms since its inception in 1913. Critique of the organization and system has come from sources such as writers, journalists, economists, and financial institutions as well as politicians and various government employees.[175][176][177][178] Criticisms include lack of transparency, doubt of efficacy due to what is seen by some as poor historical performance[178][179] and traditionalist concerns about the debasement of the value of the dollar.[175] From the beginning, the Federal Reserve has been the subject of many popular conspiracy theories, that typically link the Fed to numerous other supposed conspiracies.[180]

See also

References …

Bibliography

Recent

Historical

  • Broz, J. Lawrence. The International Origins of the Federal Reserve System. Cornell University Press. 1997.
  • Carosso, Vincent P. “The Wall Street Trust from Pujo through Medina”, Business History Review (1973) 47:421–437
  • Chandler, Lester V. American Monetary Policy, 1928–41. (1971).
  • Epstein, Gerald and Thomas Ferguson. “Monetary Policy, Loan Liquidation and Industrial Conflict: Federal Reserve System Open Market Operations in 1932”. Journal of Economic History 44 (December 1984): 957–984. in JSTOR
  • Friedman, MiltonSchwartz, Anna Jacobson (1963). A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960Princeton University PressISBN 978-0691003542.
  • Goddard, Thomas H. (1831). History of Banking Institutions of Europe and the United States. Carvill. pp. 48ff.
  • Kubik, “Paul J. Federal Reserve Policy during the Great Depression: The Impact of Interwar Attitudes regarding Consumption and Consumer Credit”. Journal of Economic Issues. Volume: 30. Issue: 3. Publication Year: 1996. pp. 829+.
  • Link, Arthur (1956). Wilson: The New FreedomPrinceton University Press. pp. 199–240.
  • Livingston, James. Origins of the Federal Reserve System: Money, Class, and Corporate Capitalism, 1890–1913 (1986), Marxist approach to 1913 policy
  • Lowenstein, Roger (2015). America’s Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal ReservePenguin Press. p. 368. ISBN 978-0143109846.
  • Marrs, Jim (2000). “Secrets of Money and the Federal Reserve System”. Rule by Secrecy: 64–78.
  • Mayhew, Anne. “Ideology and the Great Depression: Monetary History Rewritten”. Journal of Economic Issues 17 (June 1983): 353–360.
  • Meltzer, Allan H. (2004). A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 1: 1913–1951ISBN 978-0-226-51999-9. (cloth) and ISBN 978-0-226-52000-1 (paper)
  • Meltzer, Allan H. (2009). A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2: Book 1, 1951–1969ISBN 978-0-226-52001-8.
  • Meltzer, Allan H. (2009). A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2: Book 2, 1969–1985ISBN 978-0-226-51994-4. In three volumes published so far, Meltzer covers the first 70 years of the Fed in considerable detail.
  • Mullins, Eustace C. The Secrets of the Federal Reserve, 1952. John McLaughlin. ISBN 0-9656492-1-0
  • Roberts, Priscilla. ‘Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?’ The Federal Reserve System’s Founding Fathers and Allied Finances in the First World War”, Business History Review (1998) 72: 585–603
  • Rothbard, Murray (2007). The Case Against the FedLudwig von Mises InstituteISBN 978-1467934893.
  • Bernard Shull, “The Fourth Branch: The Federal Reserve’s Unlikely Rise to Power and Influence” (2005) ISBN 1-56720-624-7
  • Steindl, Frank G. Monetary Interpretations of the Great Depression. (1995).
  • Temin, Peter (1976). Did Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression?W. W. Norton & CompanyISBN 978-0393092097.
  • Wells, Donald R. The Federal Reserve System: A History (2004)
  • West, Robert Craig. Banking Reform and the Federal Reserve, 1863–1923 (1977)
  • Wicker, Elmus. “A Reconsideration of Federal Reserve Policy during the 1920–1921 Depression”, Journal of Economic History (1966) 26: 223–238, in JSTOR
  • Wicker, Elmus. Federal Reserve Monetary Policy, 1917–33. (1966).
  • Wicker, Elmus. The Great Debate on Banking Reform: Nelson Aldrich and the Origins of the Fed Ohio State University Press, 2005.
  • Wood, John H. A History of Central Banking in Great Britain and the United States (2005)
  • Wueschner; Silvano A. Charting Twentieth-Century Monetary Policy: Herbert Hoover and Benjamin Strong, 1917–1927 Greenwood Press. (1999)

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1279, June 24, 2019, Story 1: Trump Rules Out Military Response Against Iran For Now and Imposes More Sanctions — Iran Cannot Have Nuclear Weapons — Videos – – Story 2: American People Opinion on Illegal Alien Invasion — Trump To Have ICE Deport Millions Including Families That Have A Court Order of Removal — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1279 June 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1275 June 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1274 June 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1273 June 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1272 June 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1271 June 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1270 June 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1269 June 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1268 June 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1267 May 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1266 May 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1265 May 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1253 May 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1243 April 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

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Story 1: Trump Rules Out Military Response Against Iran For Now and Imposes More Sanctions — Iran Cannot Have Nuclear Weapons — Videos —

See the source imageSee the source image

Trump: Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon

Tucker: US came within minutes of war with Iran

Ron Paul – Neo-CONNED!

The Neoconservative Agenda | John F. McManus

War Party : Documentary on the Neoconservative War Party

Neocons Documentary

Jim Lobe: Why Neocons Love Israel

“American neoconservatives: a history and overview” Jim Lobe

Trump’s war whisperer John Bolton | The Weekly with Wendy Mesley

Neocon Chameleons Return As Progressives

Meet The Press With Chuck Todd [Sunday] 6/23/19 | MSNBC News June 23, 2019

President Trump explains decision to halt retaliation against Iran

Trump announces new ‘hard-hitting’ economic sanctions on Iran

Trump calls off retaliation against Iran: strategy or change of heart?

Nile Gardiner: “The Iranian Regime Is Being Brought to Its Knees” By Trump’s Maximum Pressure

Shields and Brooks on Trump’s Iran decision, Biden segregationist comments

Story 2: American People Consider Immigration (23%) Second Only To Government (26%) As Most Important Problem _ — Trump To Have ICE Deport Millions Including Families That Have A Court Order of Removal — Trump Delays Raids For Two Weeks — Videos

Trump delays ICE raids, challenges Dems to fix border crisis

Bongino calls on Congress to fix immigration laws

Trump says he’ll postpone mass deportation of illegal immigrants

Trump delays ICE immigration raids

ICE to begin immigration raids in 10 cities

ICE set to begin immigration raids in 10 cities

 

Trump: ICE to deport millions in US illegally

Breaking Trump plans for ICE to start removing MILLIONS of illegal Aliens from USA June 2019

Trump says ICE will deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants

Trump vows “millions” of undocumented immigrants will be removed

President Donald Trump Vows To Deport Millions | NBC News Now

Busloads of asylum seekers from U.S.-Mexico border to stop in Dallas

How illegal immigration hurts the U.S.

The Flores Settlement is the Backbone of Detained Migrant Children’s Rights

Tucker: Illegal immigration is literally costing US big-time

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Switzerland denies citizenship to welfare recipients

Finland, Sweden to deport tens of thousands of asylum seekers

Here’s What The European Union Did To Stop Migrants From Coming

 

POLITICS

New High in U.S. Say Immigration Most Important Problem

New High in U.S. Say Immigration Most Important Problem

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 23% mention immigration as most important problem, highest in Gallup trends
  • The government is the most commonly mentioned problem, at 26%
  • Most Americans still say immigration a good thing for the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ concern with immigration continues to be heightened, as 23% name it the most important problem facing the country. This is by one percentage point the highest Gallup has ever measured for the issue since it first began recording mentions of immigration in 1993.

Line graph. Americans’ mentions of immigration as the country’s most important problem reached a high of 23% in June.

The June 3-16 poll was conducted as the U.S. continues to grapple with how to handle a surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexican border. Gallup has previously found spikes in mentions of immigration as the most important U.S. problem at other times when the immigration debate intensified, including:

  • 22% in July 2018 amid controversy over a U.S. policy to separate children and parents who were trying to enter the U.S. illegally
  • 17% in July 2014, when a wave of young immigrants from Central American countries crossed the U.S. border illegally
  • 19% in April 2006 as the Senate worked toward passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill it later passed but ultimately was not considered by the House of Representatives

Mentions of immigration have been higher on average in 2019 than in any prior year. The 20% average to date compares with 14% in 2018, and no more than 10% in any other year.

Yet immigration has typically finished behind the government as the nation’s top problem over the past three years, and did so again this month, when 26% of Americans named the government. Government has finished ahead of immigration in all but two months since February 2017 (July and November 2018). This included a record 35% naming the government in February.

Concern about the government is broadly distributed across the three major partisan groups, with 32% of Democrats and 23% of both Republicans and independents currently identifying it as the most important problem. In contrast, immigration mentions are far more common among Republicans (42%) than Democrats (7%). Twenty-one percent of independents name it.

One in Three Want Immigration Levels Decreased

Asked their preferences for U.S. immigration levels, 37% of Americans say it should be kept at its present level, while more say it should be decreased (35%) than increased (27%). The percentage wanting immigration reduced is higher than the average 30% holding this view in Gallup’s two prior surveys, in January 2019 and July 2018. However, in the past, many more Americans have called for a reduction than do so now, including 41% in June 2014, 58% in October 2001 (after 9/11), and a record 65% in the mid-1990s during a surge of illegal immigration in California.

In recent years, there has been an uptick in the percentage who want immigration to the U.S. increased. Before 2012, the percentage never reached 20%, but it has been above that mark since, including a record 30% in January.

Line graph. Among Americans, 37% want immigration kept at current levels, 35% would prefer it decreased and 27% increased.

As their differences in perceptions of immigration as the most important problem would suggest, partisans have divergent views on U.S. immigration levels. A slim majority of Republicans, 54%, want them decreased, while 31% want them kept the same and 13% increased. Democrats are about equally likely to prefer increased immigration (43%) as to want current levels maintained (42%); just 13% want immigration cut. Independents’ views essentially match those of all U.S. adults.

Public Mixed in Assessment of Immigration’s Effects

Even as they acknowledge immigration as one of the nation’s most pressing problems, Americans still view immigration positively in general, with 76% describing it as a good thing for the country today and 19% as a bad thing. Since Gallup first asked this question in 2001, no fewer than 52% have affirmed immigration’s value, with the current year’s figure the highest to date by one point.

Line graph. Three-quarters, 76%, of Americans say immigration is good for the country, 19% say it is bad for the U.S.

Notably, two-thirds of Americans who identify immigration as the most important problem still believe it is a good thing for the country.

Democrats (87%) are much more likely than Republicans (62%) to say immigration is a good thing, with 78% of independents holding that view.

Americans’ assessments of the effect of immigration on six aspects of U.S. society are mixed. In two areas — the economy and food, music, and the arts — more believe immigration has made the situation better than made it worse. The public is divided as to immigration’s effects on social and moral values and job opportunities for their family, but more evaluate immigration’s effect on crime and taxes negatively than positively.

Americans’ Views of Immigration’s Impact Mixed
For each of the following areas, please say whether immigrants to the United States are making the situation in the country better or worse, or not having much effect. How about — [RANDOM ORDER]?
Better Worse No effect Net (% Better – % Worse)
% % % pct. pts.
Food, music and the arts 57 10 32 +47
The economy in general 43 31 25 +12
Social and moral values 31 28 39 +3
Job opportunities for you and your family 19 25 56 -6
Taxes 20 42 37 -22
The crime situation 7 42 50 -35
GALLUP, JUNE 3-16, 2019

Americans’ opinions on the impact immigration has on these aspects of society have shifted in a more positive direction over the past two decades. Specifically, the public is much more positive today about immigration’s effect on the economy and job opportunities than they were in 2001, when Gallup first asked the question. While still negative overall today, Americans are less negative about immigration’s effect on taxes and the crime situation than they were 18 years ago.

Probing further on immigration’s impact on the economy, the poll asked Americans whether immigrants “mostly help the economy by providing low-cost labor” or “mostly hurt the economy by driving down wages for many Americans.” For the first time, a majority of Americans say immigrants mostly help the economy, with 55% holding this view, compared with 37% who see immigrants as harming the economy. In 1993 and 2004 surveys, large majorities of Americans saw immigrants as detrimental to the economy.

Line graph. More than half, 55%, of Americans see immigrants as mostly helping the U.S. economy; 37% see them as hurting it.

Republicans disagree with Democrats and independents on the effect of immigration on the economy. Whereas 60% of Republicans see immigration as hurting the economy, 72% of Democrats and 58% of independents believe it helps.

Implications

At a time when Americans are more likely to name immigration as the most important problem facing the country than any in recent memory, they hold mixed views about it. They still see immigration as a good thing for the country, and more believe it benefits than harms the economy. About one-third want to see immigration levels reduced, but that is a lower proportion than in past surveys, including times when fewer Americans viewed immigration as a pressing U.S. problem.

The issue continues to challenge U.S. lawmakers, as Congress and Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been unable to enact meaningful legislation to stem the flow of illegal immigrants to the country and develop a plan for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. As such, the issue promises to remain a major one in the coming presidential election.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/259103/new-high-say-immigration-important-problem.aspx

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Western Unions being cleaned out as migrants pass through one Texas city