Episode 176 – Lehman had Deutsche Brothers, when debt ruled the world, and Monero’s darknets go dark?

OPEC may cut oil production and it probably won’t matter. Deutsche Bank won’t be bailed out says German Government. India and Pakistan are fighting again. Your tax dollars hard at work: the Pentagon paid a UK PR firm more than half a billion to make propaganda videos. China’s Yuan gets bolstered by the IMF, joins SDR basket. IMF worries over record debt levels of 225% WORLD GDP. The Federal Reserve looks at Ripple for faster payments. CGI Group launches Ripple validator node joining 121 others. Yahoo is a scumbag for handing ALL emails to the government secretly. SingularDTV ICO is sold out in less than 17 minutes. Blockstream anointed Lightning Network has a successful transaction on the testnet. Monero value plummets as Oasis goes offline and AlphaBay pauses transactions to upgrade their Monero daemon. News organizations sue FBI for details on exploit used in San Bernardino iPhone case.

All this and more on episode 176 here on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016!

We’ve written out short overviews of the topics discussed on today’s show below; be sure to listen in to the whole podcast to get more information, insights, and thoughts on each of them from JJ, Darren, and Randy!

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OPEC nations reach preliminary accord to curb oil production

OPEC nations reached a preliminary agreement last week to slow oil production for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis in an attempt to push up sinking oil prices that have weakened oil-producing nations’ economies.

Currently, the nations in OPEC—the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries—export about 33.2 million barrels per day; this deal will limit that to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels per day. Iran will be allowed a slight increase in their production to 3.7 million bpd, up from an estimated 3.6 million bpd.

The deal awaits ratification and yet some member states may not adhere to the production cut even after that.

Add in the fact that the supply lines are still full of oil and that Caelus has discovered a new 6-10 billion barrel field of light oil in Alaska. The firm claims that the site could provide 200,000 barrels of oil a day. For perspective the world produces about 79 Million barrels of crude oil a day.

Deutsche Bank: Europe’s Ticking Time Bomb
Hedge funds are leaving as the $2 trillion balance sheet emphasizes the dramatic nature of Deutsche Bank’s woes. The German government has stated that they will not bail out the mega bank while the US government is demanding $14 Billion for the bank’s role in the 2008 collapse. Deutsche Bank has a pivotal role in finances worldwide and the collapse of this giant will have drastic effects across most markets, especially with its roughly €47 trillion worth of derivatives. Even the potential for collapse has sent shivers through the EU.

Pakistan, India blame each other for Kashmir fighting
India is seeking to get Pakistan declared a “state sponsor of terrorism”, while cross-border fighting is occurring in the contested territory of Kashmir.

Wag the Dog IRL: Pentagon pays PR firm to make propaganda films

Pentagon paid PR firm $540 million to make fake terrorist videos
YOUR tax dollars hard at work! It’s like Wag the Dog in real life: The Pentagon paid UK PR firm Bell Pottinger over half a billion dollars to create fake terrorist videos in Iraq as part of a secret propaganda campaign that’s been exposed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Some videos were meant to depict Al-Qaeda in an even more negative light, staging bombings and presenting them as news footage.

Bell Pottinger also reportedly created fake Al-Qaeda recruitment videos that military personnel could plant in a home to justify raiding it. The videos also allowed the U.S. military to track IP addresses of the computers watching them.

The Pentagon confirmed that Bell Pottinger created content for the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (PSYOPS, man!), and while they declined to go into any detail, they describe the content of the videos as “truthful.”

China’s yuan officially joins the Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
At a time when Chinese Billionaire Wang Jianlin warns of the biggest real estate “bubble” in history—24 trillion yuan ($3.6 trillion) as of June in direct real estate loans—the IMF has added the Chinese Yuan to the SDR basket, effectively bolstering the tenuous currency.

IMF: Gross world debt vs. world GDP

The IMF Is Worried About the World’s $152 Trillion Debt Pile
Gross debt in the non-financial sector has more than doubled since the year 2000, reaching $152 trillion in 2015, and rising. Current debt levels are a record 225 percent of world gross domestic product, about two-thirds of which is private sector. The remainder is public debt, which is equal to about 85 percent of the GDP last year, up from below 70 percent.

The IMF also just predicted that America’s economy will expand by a mere 1.6 percent this year, representing more than a half a percentage point decrease from their previous forecast in July.

Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force reviewing 19 proposals
The Federal Reserve announced that its Faster Payment Task Force is currently reviewing 19 proposals submitted by its roughly 500 members, and a report on them should be issued in January 2017. The Faster Payment Task Force—which includes the CEO of cryptocurrency and Ripple on its Elected Steering Committee—seeks to improve the speed and security of bank payments.

CGI Group offers real-time payments: launches Ripple validator node & blockchain lab
Canada-based CGI Group is the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world. Earlier this year, they launched an “Intelligent Gateway” that “works as a translation layer between a bank’s payment hub and Ripple; a turnkey solution that allows participants to transact directly with one another” in an effort to make cross-national payments settle in real-time.

CGI just recently announced that it is the first commercial enterprise to launch a Ripple validator node, a server that confirms transactions on the Ripple network. There are currently 122 Ripple validator nodes operating, including one at Microsoft and one at MIT. CGI also launched a “blockchain laboratory” so that its customers can experiment with using Ripple for trade finance.

Just a few weeks ago, Ripple announced that it had raised $55 million in capital from several large banking firms including Standard Chartered, BMO Financial Group, National Australia Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank. This brings Ripple’s total fundraising to $93 million, with other investments from GV (Google Ventures), Andreessen Horowitz, and IDG Capital Partners, to name a few.


Yahoo! secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence
Last year, Yahoo secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for the U.S. government. Several surveillance experts believe this is the first time a U.S. company has agreed to scan ALL arriving messages, as opposed to skimming through stored messages or monitoring specific accounts in real time.

SingularDTV ICO crowdsale a success in no time
SingularDTV raised $7.5 million in a crowdsale that lasted less than for a whopping 17 minutes! Tokens were sold for 0.00125 ETH or 800 for 1 ETH. 1 billion tokens (SNGL) have been sold. SingularDTV—launched by ConsenSys on an Ethereum-based blockchain—aims to be both content host and distributer as well as a content producer, billing itself as “a blockchain entertainment studio, smart contract rights management platform and video on-demand portal.” The project is a new take on a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) that uses a system called CODE (Centrally Organized Distributed Entity).

Bitcoin Lightning Payments Pass ‘Milestone’ With Blockstream Test
Montreal-based Blockstream has announced that it has sent the first end-to-end transaction over the Lightning Network, a highly-anticipated top layer for the bitcoin network designed to boost transaction capacity.

Monero Loses Darknet Market in Apparent Exit Scam
DEVELOPING STORY: Darknet market Oasis, the first to accept Monero, has been offline for several days, with several users on Reddit reporting that Oasis made off with customers’ funds: approximately 150 BTC and an undetermined amount of Monero. Likewise, the MyMonero wallet app—which has already been the target of several thefts this year—has been reportedly unresponsive, though some Reddit users dispute this. The article also states that Alphabay users were unable to withdraw their Monero, though Reddit user /u/alphabaysupport seems to be responding to questions on the platform.

News orgs sue FBI for details on San Bernardino iPhone exploit
The Associated Press, Vice Media and Gannett (the parent company of USA Today) sued the FBI to uncover information about how they were able to unlock an iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the alleged San Bernardino shooters.

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