NYSE Parent Begins Trading Bitcoin Futures Introducing New Volatility

NYSE parent Intercontinental Exchange has begun trading Bitcoin futures from Bakkt yesterday (archived). Microsoft and Boston Consulting Group are also involved in the instrument. The contracts promise physical delivery of Bitcoins, but it remains to be seen how seriously anyone involved in this particular market is going to investigate the sincerity of the delivery claims. This new source of volatility has seen fiat/Bitcoin interfaces reporting substantial volatility with today's manifesting mostly in a downward direction.

This move opens up lessons in Bitcoin prices and inflexibility to a whole new class of trader.

MIT Media Lab Haunted By Epstein

MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito is out after revelations that the late Pantsuitist Jeffery Epstein was intimately involved with the lab and the extent of the relationship has been actively concealed (archived). Shortly before Epstein's death the late Marvin Minsky of MIT was one of the names loudly declared in the press as a beneficiary of Epstein's networking.

Macri Begins Implementing Capital Controls As Foreign Currency Reserves Exhaust

Three weeks after the prospect of a Kirchner-Fernandez government gutted the value of the Argentine peso, current Argentine president Macri's increasingly Kirchner-esque response to the crisis has hit a new milestone (archived). The current regime has declared Argentinos may buy no more than 10,000 USD in a month and that businesses in Argentina submit their USD purchase plans to the government lest they are determined to be "hoarding" USD.

This comes after Argentina has spent 21 days actively fighting the market and exhausting its foreign currency reserves by trying to prop up the Peso Argentina's value near 60 to the USD when the market clearly understands that the Peso Argentino's value should be far lower. The remaining reserves nominally belonging to the Argentine Central Bank are encumbered as collateral for loans and almost certain to be forfeited in the coming default.

Meanwhile, publications in the Northern Argentina calling itself the US lead by Forbes had been running pieces written by Peronists explaining why Argentina can't be in as bad of a position as its behavior is forcing it into (archived). At last they had been until today when they had to admit currency controls are back.

Magistrate Judge, Rules Of Federal Procedure, Common Law, And Hoaxtoshi Collide In Absolutley Schizophrenic Ruling

The ongoing litigation between Craig 'Hoaxtoshi' Wright and the estate of the late David Kleiman is leading to the accumulation of substantial insanity in the US courts circus. US Magistrate Bruce Reinhart of the Southern Distict of Florida recently issued an order on the Kleiman estate's motion to compel. As Hoaxtoshi has spent years filing contradictory claims in a wide number of jurisdictions while consistently raising the impossibility of verifying his claims as an affirmative defense, Magistrate Reinhart found himself in the awkward position of applying sanctions against Wright without regard for how the sanctions might conflict with reality.

As a mere magistrate, Reinhart cannot wield criminal contempt of court as a weapon against Wright for being a medacious piece of shit, nor did he find it prudent to recommend an actual judge pursue civil contempt of court charges. Instead he decided to enter into precendent that a number of claims in the case that are to be held as established facts for the purpose of applying sanctions against Wright, with Reinhart using the weak hedge that it is not the court's role to establish the truth of Wright's claims. This is a particularly weak hedge in light of Wright's ongoing bad behavior creating infinite space for more "facts" to be "established" for the purpose of the case, without any regard for whether truth in the case responds to truth in the world.

Wright now has a ready avenue to have the court affirm all of his most grandoise claims by baiting the court to sanction him and further establish "facts" for the purpose of the case. In light of the absolute inability of the US courts to enforce anything, baiting potentially tens of billions of USD in judgements against him is the right move in Wright's situation in order to create a record supporting his delusions, even if all the support is hedged with the "for the purpose of this case" caveat.

The full text of the order is presented below: Continue reading

Impotent USG Unseals "Warrant" For Liberated Iranian Tanker

The USG has unsealed the "warrant" it issued for the seizure of the Iranian tanker released by Gibraltar yesterday. Far more interesting than the unsealed warrant is the press release announcing the unsealing of the warrant which is at the same time triumphantly self congratulating while including one very important caveat, bolded in the text of the press release reproduced below:

WASHINGTON – A seizure warrant and forfeiture complaint were unsealed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that Oil Tanker “Grace 1,” all petroleum aboard it and $995,000.00 are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), bank fraud statute, and money laundering statute, as well as separately the terrorism forfeiture statute.

John Demers, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, Jessie K. Liu, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Steven W. Cagen, Special Agent in Charge, Denver, Colorado, Homeland Security Investigations; and Jill Sanborn, Special Agent in Charge, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement.

The documents allege a scheme to unlawfully access the U.S. financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization. The scheme involves multiple parties affiliated with the IRGC and furthered by the deceptive voyages of the Grace 1. A network of front companies allegedly laundered millions of dollars in support of such shipments.

A seizure warrant and a forfeiture complaint are merely allegations. The burden to prove forfeitability in a civil forfeiture proceeding is upon the government.

In announcing the forfeiture complaint and seizure warrant, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from HSI and FBI. They also expressed appreciation for the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs for its assistance in this case. Finally, they acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zia Faruqui and Brian Hudak and National Security Division Trial Attorney David Lim who are handling this matter, with assistance from Paralegal Elizabeth Swinec and Brian Rickers, and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the District of Columbia.

As Mircea Popescu very helpfully pointed out yesterday in response to this failure of the USG to impose its will:

get ready for a lot more "over usg objections" once Trilema opened the floodgates.

British Gibraltar Releases Iranian Tanker Over US Objections

The Iranian tanker captured by British forces and held in the Queendom's Gibraltar has been released (archived). The USG tried to intervene by having the US "Department of Justice" file a petition with local authorities to seize the vessel for themselves. That effort failed.

10th, 11th US Military Personnel Deaths Of Afghan War's 18th Year

The Office of NATO's "Resolute Support" mission today announced the deaths of two members of the US Military in Afghanistan (archived). Details of circumstances surrounding the deaths beyond these being numbers 10 and 11 on the year have not been released. Despite the US war in Afghanistan approaching its 19th birthday and Osama bin Laden having been killed more than 8 years ago on May 2nd, 2011, the USG shows no sign suggesting an end to its bleeding of lives and treasure into this particular hole. This war has also survived the loss of the Taliban's Mullah Omar, with the late Mullah living out his last days a mere 3 mile walk from a US military outpost.

Ransomware State Of Emergency In Louisiana

A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana as numerous municipal governments are being struck by crippling ransomware infections (archived). Local government organs have found themselves being stuck since the ransomware phenomenon was in its infancy, but it appears ransomware artists are increasingly favoring local governments as targets due to the fact they that they pay. More often than not they pay because they can't imagine not paying, and for as long as it lasts an insurance policy will reimburse them.

Failures to pay tend to be limited to openly dysfunctional municipal governments like Detroit and Baltimore. Suburbs and other municipalities that desperately want to put on their appearance of functioning well despite their obvious failures in technological hygiene. This avenue of capital flow out of the fiat system is likely to continue intensifying until the fiat side system enabling it breaks.