Thursday, October 21, 2010

Feds fighting the market...hard..

Looking at the charts you see $VIX, most days lately, jumping up at the open and being forced back down over the course of the day....Same for the dollar, rallying and being forced back down. One gets the impression that the PPT is working overtime to hold things together until after the November elections. Then it's a new ball game...Things could go a bit feral after that...

Denninger: Tea Party, My Ass

Denninger: Tea Party, My Ass

Tea Party co-founder, Denninger, explains how tea party was corrupted....

Denninger makes the point that the movement has been hijacked away from questions of corruption in finance and government, and back to Guns, God, and Gays. Hardly new and hardly effective. I concur...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Normalization of Sociopathology in America - Charles Hugh Smith

The moral rot at the center of American life results from a normalization of pathologies--sociopathic and psychopathic states and behaviors are now "normal" or incentivized. Moral behavior is institutionally punished.

The three social classes in America as described by Smith:

The "working class" is programmed to rely on television for most of its "information" about life, and thus they are programmed to:

1. Consume copious quantities of fast foods and convenience foods, and consider indolence a luxury. As a result, they are programmed to become obese/diabetic.

2. The boys are programmed to favor football and basketball in sports, service in the Armed Forces as the only viable choice to low-skill, fitful employment, to drop out of four-year college if pressured to enter, and vocational training, often paid for by the G.I. Bill after military service.

3. Males are programmed to place identity value on their vehicles and real-world "manly" skills (working on vehicles, farm equipment, woodworking, etc.), but their programmed aspirations are aimed at impossibly narrow fields: professional sports, hip-hop and other entertainment, etc. As a result, their real-world skills are generally undeveloped or modest.

In essence, they are programmed to fail in the "knowledge economy" and in real-world practical jobs which are not glorified by the broadcast media. They accept low-level work and are dissatisfied, often turning to drugs to relieve their ennui.

4. Their interests are channeled by the media into extreme sports, mixed martial arts, auto racing, football, etc., but they are programmed to express these interests through passive video games rather than by real-world experience. Programmed to low confidence, they generally give up quickly when faced with arduous training, except when forced by institutions such as the Military.

5. Working class families have few resources to draw upon, and the mobility favored by Corporate America has shredded the social networks which once offered support (church membership, social clubs, neighborhoods, etc.) Family "help" is a sofa to sleep on at a relatives' house.

6. The girls are programmed to have sex and children early, as motherhood has positive identity value, even if they are woefully unprepared for parenting. Career choices tend to be "pink collar" type labor in Corporate America's sickcare system or government jobs; females are programmed to support their children and demand little of the fathers. Dependency on the State /Welfare in one form or another is the norm.

7. Politics holds little interest and most of the working class are programmed not to vote as it "never does any good anyway."

8. There are few books or other reading materials around the house, little to no original decorative art, few musical instruments that can actually be played with any joy or expertise; the lived environment is a cultural desert. The TV and a computer offer distraction and entertainment and little else. If they pursue social media, they are members of My Space and Facebook. They are deeply attached to their cellphones, which are perceived as markers of accessible status. Passports are unknown; foreign travel is experienced through military service only.

The "middle class" aspires to the "upper class" life they see on television and other media, but their aspirations are for the trappings of wealth rather than for the engines of wealth.

1. Though the middle class person clings mightily to various totems of "membership" in the middle class, and experiences tremendous loss of identity and self-esteem when these totems are lost, in reality their wealth is modest and they have few family resources.

2. Though they watch a lot of TV, they also consume massive quantities of other low-value media through the electronic devices they see as emblematic of the "middle class" lifestyle: laptop computers, iPods, etc. Their cellphones and other electronics are key identity markers: the higher the status of the brand, the more valuable the device. Apple products are de riguer "high status."

3. Books and reading materials around the house tend to be best sellers or materials assigned in class; few households receive newspapers or magazines other than National Geographic. If books are read, they are genre books such as mysteries. Dog-eared copies of the Harry Potter series abound. Those households which aspire to "upper class" education may subcribe to a few magazines which are viewed as totems of high-class lifestyles: The New Yorker, Saveur, etc.

4. "Education" is valued but mastery is not; the goal is to obtain the certificate or paper required by gatekeepers in the government or Corporate America, not the actual skillsets. Though education is "valued," few households (regardless of income, which is often high) save religiously enough to fund university educations; borrowing vast sums of student loans is the norm. Adult education is pursued to obtain the same gatekeeper certificates in whatever field the adults toil in. Learning for the pleasure of learning is unknown or deemed a waste of time when "we could be having fun."

"Enrichment" classes are provided to the children, but the purpose is to gain a veneer of respectability as an aspirant to upper-class membership; piano lessons are dutifully offered but nobody plays music in the house for enjoyment, so the lessons are soon dropped. Live performances are also attended occasionally as "enrichment." Foreign travel is experienced via college programs or packaged tours fit into 2-week vacations allowed by Corporate America.

5. Favored sports include soccer and volleyball for the girls, and skateboarding and baseball for the boys. Team sports are favored over individual competition, and adults spend significant time ferrying kids to various after-school sports, which are deemed "character-building."

6. Ownership of status brands is highly important; brand consciousness is acute. Target is favored over Wal-Mart, and designer-luxury brand purses, shoes, autos, etc. are highly desirable "markers" of success and identity. Most of the family income goes to paying for these "markers" of membership.

7. A four-year college degree is the goal, with an MBA or master's degree considered a higher-level enabler of a better career. The cherished goal is acceptance to an elite university which is viewed as a magical ticket to "fast track" advancement in the government or Corporate America. Meritocracy is accepted as the norm. Military service is shunned in favor of attending college right out of high school. Favored social media are related to career/corporate advancement: LinkedIn, etc. Foreign films and chic dining are valued as "markers" of high-class status.

The upper class has the confidence born of the knowledge that the family resources can always bail one out. High-paying jobs will be provided via networks; art-aspirant careers are highly valued, and family resources enable dilletante dabbling in acting, film-making, visual arts, etc.

Entrance to prep schools and family money/connections enable entrance to institutions the middle class must gain entrance to via meritocracy.

Favored careers include venture capital, high-status government positions, management of family businesses, plum slots in NGOs, etc. Noblesse Oblige is served via membership on boards of charities, the local symphony and museum, etc. These networks provide connections to business opportunities unavailable to the middle class.

Children already get passports and foreign travel to exotic locales is standard. Middle-class aspirants are viewed paternalistically or with scorn; they are worker-bees for the Corporate America/State owned or managed by the upper class. The working class is avoided except as servants, who are often immigrants.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Fronts Opening in Foreclosure Crisis: Criminial Investigation, Constitutional Probe Launched

New Fronts Opening in Foreclosure Crisis: Criminial Investigation, Constitutional Probe Launched

Apple finally rolls over...

The only two stocks holding up the Stock Market, Google and Apple, have failed to do their job today. Apple rolled over pretty hard and Google went flat. Don't see much upside potential for the markets at this point.

More evidence that the rally is finally over comes from ZeroHedge:

I won't post any excerpts, but you might want to go to the above link and read it. This is feeling in many ways like 2007-2008 all over again...but worse..

Bacteria ‘R’ Us - Miller McCune

Emerging research shows that bacteria have powers to engineer the environment, to communicate and to affect human well-being. They may even think.

A few scientists noticed in the late 1960s that the marine bacteria Vibrio fischeri appeared to coordinate among themselves the production of chemicals that produced bioluminescence, waiting until a certain number of them were in the neighborhood before firing up their light-making machinery. This behavior was eventually dubbed “quorum sensing.” It was one of the first in what has turned out to be a long list of ways in which bacteria talk to each other and to other organisms.
Some populations of V. fischeri put this skill to a remarkable use: They live in the light-sensing organs of the bobtail squid. This squid, a charming nocturnal denizen of shallow Hawaiian waters, relies on V. fischeri to calculate the light shining from above and emit exactly the same amount of light downward, masking the squid from being seen by predators swimming beneath them.
For their lighting services, V. fischeri get a protected environment rich in essential nutrients. Each dawn, the squid evict all their V. fischeri to prevent overpopulation. During the day, the bacteria recolonize the light-sensing organ and detect a fresh quorum, once again ready to camouflage the squid by night.

Monday, October 18, 2010

HOMEECONOMICS FINANCE DATA MARKETS BLOGROLLECONOMIC NEWS RSSE-mail On The Hypocrisy of Voters: The politics of economics redux


The results suggest that Americans’ perceptions of the government as a threat may be less dependent on broader, philosophical views of government power, and instead have more to do with who is wielding that power. Throughout the Bush administration, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to perceive the government as a threat. Now that a Democratic president is in office, the reverse is true.

Since 2003, when the question was first asked, independents’ views have been more consistent, although independents have been somewhat more likely to perceive the government as a threat since 2006 than they were before that year.

What does this tell you? Personally, I find it a bit disturbing. My take: People are hypocrites. People don’t have any defensible philosophical world view that they apply systematically. It depends on who is in power and whether one feels allied to power by part affiliation.

Tea Party Candidate Joe Miller’s Private Security Force Handcuff Reporter

Tea Party Candidate Joe Miller’s Private Security Force Handcuff Reporter

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Check out A Roadmap For the Next Couple of Weeks

I want you to take a look at: A Roadmap For the Next Couple of Weeks 


A thousand times worse than we thought!

One way of looking at this piece is that it suggests most real estate in the last 15 years has been securitized, meaning, that proper paperwork has not been filed, and if investigated, much of it doesn't have a clear owner.

This is dynamite, and suggests an eventual total hose up of the real estate industry..

that could last decades.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bank of America Downgraded By Bond Market on Foreclosures: Credit Markets - Bloomberg


‘Political Implications’

The cost to protect Bank of America’s debt for five years climbed for a fourth day, touching yesterday’s record of 205 basis points, according to Phoenix Partners Group. The difference between the swap price and the average of the five largest banks grew yesterday to 41.1 basis points, the most on record.

Citigroup’s swaps rose 3.2 basis points to 177 today and contracts on New York-based Morgan Stanley fell 2.2 basis points to 173, Phoenix data show. In February, Citigroup’s contracts were 94.4 basis points higher than those of Bank of America’s, according to CMA.

“For all of these residential real estate issues that are dominating the headlines today and have significant political implications in the 19 days going into the election, Bank of America sits there more exposed than Citigroup right now,” Nomura’s Havens said.

Implied Ratings

Prices on Bank of America’s credit-default swaps imply the debt is ranked Ba1 as of Oct. 13, five levels below its actual A2 grade, according to Moody’s Corp.’s capital markets research group. That’s the first time the firm’s swaps have signaled a junk ranking since May 6, the data show.

Inflection point near..

Don't look now but the dollar is firming and the bond yields are a time when equities look overextended...

The witch of October is not to be denied...

The chart at the top shows an experimental channel, that as you can see, has held in the past...Let's see if it holds here...

Note also that we're just a whisker past a 1.00 exponential node, another red flag...

(Click on the chart to enlarge it.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

$VIX Microtrendlines

It does 'look' like the support trendline (light green) was bounced off of and respected today. If that continues tomorrow, then we have some kind of top...

More, on what's to come....

Just found this:

A .pdf file, some sort of Powerpoint presentation by Chris Whalen of IRA.

predicts the 3 largest US Banks will have to be taken into receivership in the next 6 months

Predicts that BAC, JPM, GMAC foreclosure moratoriums only
the start of the crisis that threatens the financial
foundations of the entire U.S. political economy.

Also this, one comment on one website came up with these references and this final conclusion:

“If this isn’t all being telegraphed, i don’t know what is.


Plus this:

Equals this:

Banking holiday…It is just a matter of time.”

I’m thinking the FDIC is planning one by their statements, as they seem to be setting a time window to end certain levels of insurance guarantees. If that is to be a publicly known event, (and it must be, if the pitchforks are not to come out) then you give people time to remove levels of deposits beyond the coverage they will offer in the future. This invites a bank run, but may be planned to happen in a controlled way, rather than in a panic, and so then they have less to clean up, when these banks actually fail.

My guess, it will happen ahead of schedule. No one will be happy…

For more, see the video below, previous post....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rollover 1981... world economic collapse

I posted this because as Mike Shedlock points out today on his excellent site, currencies are going unstable, and capital controls are suddenly being brought in around the world, and rather quickly.

This is not just another movie clip. This is a forecast and it appears the world is following the script well.

Both Max Keiser and Shedlock have posted this clip today on their sites. That should tell you something.

I have had no hits on this clip since I posted it earlier although visitors have been up today. That tells me that people just want two seconds of stuff to read.

People really don't want to digest anything. That tells me something too.

About the future..

Our Country Is Lost Believing in What It Sees on Screens, and We Are Going to Pay a Nasty Price for It | Media and Culture | AlterNet

Our Country Is Lost Believing in What It Sees on Screens, and We Are Going to Pay a Nasty Price for It | Media and Culture | AlterNet

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wall Street Begins To Fear Nightmare Foreclosure-Gate Scenario Where All Of Housing Finance Is Wrecked

Gold vigilantes get ready to pounce

From NNDB "important person" Database

On a recent Max Keiser episode on PressTV Cynthia McKinney mentioned most Financial assets in the U.S. are influenced or heavily owned by three firms.
They are:
Blackrock Institutional Investors

State Street Investments

Vanguard Group
To see who runs these outfits, I ran the NNDB database on these outfits.

Curiously, The Vanguard Group doesn't come up on the database at all, although individuals within it do.

For the other two here are the maps:

$VIX Microtrendline

The light green trendline is now support..

Combine this with the conventional chart I published a few hours earlier (on Monday) showing the $VIX's extreme Bollinger Band performance, and it would suggest the light green trendline holds, and that should turn the market down...

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Coming Middle Class Anarchy

The Coming Middle Class Anarchy

Unusual $VIX performance.

When was the last time you saw $VIX fall so far beneath it's daily Bollinger Bands?

Either this is a top in the markets, or the FEDS have learned to manipulate $VIX like everything else...

Just a quick comment....

(1) Just how long will it take for the tens of trillions of dollars of CDO's to implode now that most of their collateral in the Real Estate market is now rendered unsaleable, by the recently revealed fraudulent foreclosure process?

(2) How much longer also before we have a "bank holiday" or worse?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Market tipped over...

My opinion, today, we just tipped over, This could be 2007-2009 redux...or worse...

Stoneleigh - Beyond the Trust Horizon

This is a great site, you should all visit it: The Automatic Earth

Beyond the Trust Horizon From the Automatic earth - by Stoneleigh

Relationships of trust are the glue that holds societies together. Trust takes a long time to establish, and much less time to destroy, hence societies where trust is wide-spread, particularly for long periods of time, are relatively rare. In contrast, societies where trust does not extend beyond the family, or clan, level are very common in history.

The spread of trust is a characteristic of expansionary times, along with increasing inclusion, and a weakening of the 'Us vs Them' divide. Essentially, the trust horizon expands, both within and between societies. Over time it can encompass higher levels of organization - from family to community to municipality to region to nation and beyond - so long as the expansionary dynamic continues to support it.

Within societies this leads to relatively stable and (at least temporarily) effective institutions, and bolsters the development of the rule of law. The rule of law means that law constrains the powerful (more than usual), and there is a reasonable degree of legal transparency and predictability, so that people are prepared to trust in the fairness and accessibility of justice. Naturally, the ideal is never reached, human nature being what it is, but it can be approached under the most favourable of circumstances.

Within societies, trust also confers political legitimacy (ie a widespread buy-in as to the right of rulers to rule). Where there is legitimacy, there is relatively little need for surveillance and coercion. A high level of trust (all the way up to the level of national institutions) is thus a prerequisite for an open society.

Between societies, an expansion of the trust horizon tends to lead to political accretion. Larger and more disparate groups feel comfortable with closer ties and greater inter-dependence, and are prepared to leave past conflicts behind. The European Union, where 25 countries with a very long history of conflicts have come together, is a prime example.

However, all expansions have a limited lifespan, as do the benefits they confer. They sow the seeds of their own destruction, especially when they morph into a final manic phase and begin to hollow out the substance of social structures. Institutions, whether public or private, retain the same outward form, but cease to operate as they once did. For a while it is possible to maintain the illusion of business as usual (or effectiveness and accountability as usual), but not indefinitely. Everything is subject to receding horizons eventually, and trust is no exception.

Over time institutions become sclerotic, unresponsive, self-serving and hostage to vested interests, at which point they cannot be reformed, as the reform would have to come from those entrenched individuals who have benefited most from the status quo. Institutions become demonstrably less effective, while consuming more and more of society's resources. Corruption, abuses of power, lack of accountability and the loss of the rule of law become increasingly evident, exactly as we have seen with unauthorized wire-tapping, extra-ordinary rendition and many other actions undermining the open society. Once this happens, trust is living on borrowed time. That is very clearly the case in many developed societies today.

Trust in existing organizational structures does not disappear overnight, but ebbs away as institutions decay or the extent of their corruption is revealed. The loss of trust from higher levels of organization undermines the fabric of a society now operating beyond the trust horizon. When trust contracts, socioeconomic contraction is just around the corner. Bank runs are a particularly good example of this. People are currently waking up to the extent of the recklessness, irresponsibility and self-serving short-termism of the banking system, and realizing that reliance on top-down human promises is far riskier than they had supposed. When they cease to trust in those promises, they will are very likely to vote with their feet.

Societies in this position lose a critical pillar of support - the collective acceptance of their people. Governing institutions lose legitimacy, at which point the cost of governance increases significantly, because where there is no trust, resource-intensive surveillance and coercion develop instead. Our societies in the developed world, where institutional decay is well underway, stand on the brink of such a transition.

Where resources are scarce, as they will be soon enough, the diversion of a larger percentage of what remains towards this purpose will aggravate that scarcity considerably. This will further anger people, which is likely to lead to a downward spiral of mutual provocation and recrimination. Most of us have not seen this vicious circle of human sentiment to any great extent, but this is the natural consequence of the collapse of trust.

On the way down, as on the way up, there are effects both within and between societies, as the 'Us vs Them' dynamic sharpens once again. 'Us' becomes ever more tightly defined, and 'Them' becomes an ever more pejorative term. The result is division between disparate groups of people within a society, for instance the unionized and non-unionized, the haves and the have-nots, or different religious or ethnic groups. When there is a paucity of trust, and not enough resources to go meet highly inflated expectations, the risk of conflict is very high. Previously formed political accretions are at a high risk of coming unglued as they will no be longer supported by trust. The European Union should take note.

Between societies, where the existing range of divisive parameters is likely to be much larger, and where there may be a past history of conflict, the risk of conflict flaring up again rises significantly. This is especially likely if societies attempt to deflect blame for the situation they find themselves in towards other nationalities.

We are already seeing evidence of the growing anger, and the change it will usher in as the trust horizon shrinks. In the US, the Tea Party movement is the most obvious example. All major change comes from the ground-up, where the power of the collective is expressed in ways that either support or undermine the actions and intentions of central authorities. It is the interaction between the power of the collective and central authority that determines where a society will head.

The Tea Party movement is a ground-swell of public anger, very much in the tradition of major transformative grass-roots initiatives. It is exactly what one would expect to see at the brink of a collapse in the trust horizon - a movement grounded in negative emotion that both stems from a loss of trust and in turn acts to aggravate it in a self-reinforcing positive feedback loop. The danger with such a movement manifesting such powerful negative emotions is that it will precipitate a major over-reaction to the downside, commensurate with the irrational exuberance we saw to the upside. The anger is largely unfocused, and where it is specific, it is not fully-informed.

The primary target of the Tea Party is big government, but this ignores a major part of the big picture. The abuses of power we have seen are not purely a manifestation of metastatic public authority, but an expression of corporate fascism - the blending and merging of public and private interests in social control. One look at the revolving door between the banking system (where banking law is written) and the US treasury should be enough to demonstrate this.

The Tea Party movement represents largely (but not solely) the unfocused anger of people who know they have suffered, or are about to suffer, substantial losses, but do not (typically) understand the system well enough to understand why. The movement is casting about for someone to blame, as such movements always do on the verge of a trust collapse. The danger is that someone with facile populist answers will come along, offering a target for the urgent desire to blame someone for what has happened and is happening.

This is already happening, as powerful funding sources and nascent populists circle around and seek to tap into the trend for their own purposes. It is absolutely to be expected that existing top-down power structures, or political opportunists with their own agenda, will seek to hijack bottom-up movements as they develop. My primary concern is that in doing so they will lay the foundation for a society attempting to live far beyond the trust horizon, and where there is no trust, and consequently no political legitimacy, there will be surveillance, coercion and repression instead.

It will be easy for movements grounded in negative emotion to gain a foot-hold in the coming environment, as this is very much where the collective mood will lie in the aftermath of a Ponzi collapse. Blame-games will be very tempting (and populists have their own prejudicial ideas as to who should be blamed). However, this would not be compatible with maintaining the constructive and cooperative mindset we need if we are to have a hope of avoiding an over-reaction to the downside that has the potential to magnify the impact of what is coming enormously.

Personally, I would like to encourage the development of a different kind of grass-roots momentum for change, along the lines of what is being developed (albeit not nearly quickly enough so far) by the Transition Towns movement and other comparable initiatives. The key advantages that this kind of approach has are two-fold - the scope of its component activities, based on relocalization, match where the trust horizon is headed, and its driving force is the desire to build rather than to tear down.

Working within the trust horizon is important, as it means individual small-scale initiatives can benefit from the same kind of social support at a local level that larger-scale ones once did at a societal level, when trust was more broadly inclusive. Local currencies work for exactly this reason. While the task will still be difficult, it has a chance of being achievable, especially where the necessary relationships of trust have been established before hard times set in. It is very much more difficult to build such relationships after the fact, but relationships built beforehand may actually strengthen when put to the test.

Trying to maintain a positive and constructive focus at the local level, where trust has a chance to survive, and perhaps even thrive in hard times, and to avoid being drawn into a blame-game, will be an uphill battle. It is nevertheless something we need to do as a society, if we are to have a chance to preserve as much as possible of who we are through what is coming.

Slow Roll-Over

Particularly on the $SPX, it looks like a top is slowly appearing. Indicators are saying this too....Chart is from Noon, Central Time...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

UN Agency Warns of Unemployment-Related Unrest through 2015

UN Agency Warns of Unemployment-Related Unrest through 2015

And an interesting comment from someone reading that article:

The speaker calls himself ‘attempter’:

“I agree, the 2015 date, as bad as it sounds, is just a carrot dangled before the dying workhorse to induce him to stagger on.

This “economy” will never restore livable jobs. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that on the contrary destroying all real jobs has been the intentional policy of close to 40 years now. They’re not going to stop when final victory is in sight.

I hope we see effective general strikes in Europe and elsewhere. They still have the spirit and perhaps the labor infrastructure.

As for America, the spirit seems doubtful. And it seems that part of the genius of the atomization of the citizenry, along with ending the draft and greatly lowering taxes (replacing taxation with government debt), has been the dispersal of the labor force. Part of the goal of the destruction of manufacturing and replacing it with a “service economy” was to disperse physical labor concentration even as all economic power became ever more centralized.

In reading Tocqueville recently, I was struck by his observation that at the same historical moment that government and economic power was most centralized in Paris, all industrialization and its related capitalist infrastructure were also physically centralized there.

So when the bourgeoisie and the workers combined against the government, it was literally a stroll down the street, and the job was done. It was almost effortless, the moment they decided to do it.

But how can people combine for any kind of action in physically disintegrated America? In a bizarre way, it’s like asymmetrical warfare, but with the elites as the rapidly moving guerrillas whose power is in general dispersed and unassailable, but who are able to combine and strike with great force at any chosen point, while the lumbering, sprawled-out beast of the people has no idea where it is or how to move.”

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Tea Kettle Movement - NYTimes

The Tea Kettle Movement

Simple minds aren't going to cut it here. Complexity has to be understood.


In other words, it will require a very smart, subtle and focused plan to use our now diminishing resources in the most efficient way possible to get back to our core competency. That is the only long-term solution to our problem — to grow our way out of debt with American workers who are more empowered and educated to compete.

Any Tea Party that says the simple answer is just shrinking government and slashing taxes might be able to tip the midterm elections in its direction. But it can’t tip America in the right direction. There is a Tea Party for that, but it’s still waiting for a leader.

Top not yet confirmed, but not ruled out either...

Indicators like MACD seem to be rolling over, but we haven't quite got confirmation yet...

For US Corporations the Whole of the Law Shall Be 'Do What Thou Wilt' - Jesse's Cafe American

"So long as they incorporate, businesses will now be free to trade in or exploit slaves, employ mercenary armies to do dirty work for despots, perform genocides or operate torture prisons for a despot’s political opponents, or engage in piracy—all without civil liability to victims."

US Second Circuit Judge Pierre Leval