Comparing Crises: 1929 with 2008 and the Next

The business and mainstream press this month, September 2018, has been publishing numerous accounts of the 2008 financial crash on its tenth anniversary. This month attention has been focused on the Lehman Brothers investment bank crash that accelerated the general financial system implosion in the US, and worldwide, ten years ago. Next month, October, we’ll no doubt hear more about the crash as it spread to the giant insurance company, AIG, and beyond that to other brokerages (Merrill Lynch), mid-sized banks (Washington Mutual), to the finance arms of the auto companies (GMAC) and big conglomerates (GE Credit), to the ‘too big to fail’ banks like Bank of America and Citigroup and beyond. These ‘reports’ are typically narrative in nature, however, and provide little in the way of deeper historical and theoretical analysis.

Comparing Crises: 1929 with 2008 and the Next Counterpunch

The racist history of Chevy Chase, Maryland, home to power players like Brett Kavanaugh

As late as 1976, the New York Times noted that the Chevy Chase Club golf course and country club — where President William Howard Taft once played and whose members include Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. — permitted “blackskinned members of the diplomatic corps” but not “black American residents of the area, not even the black mayor of the nation’s capital.”

The racist history of Chevy Chase, home to power players like Brett Kavanaugh Washington Post

Drug rehab patients demand back wages after being sent to work for free

The two-year residential rehab program near Asheville caters to poor and desperate people struggling with addiction. To pay for their stay, participants must work full-time jobs and surrender their pay. Participants were often sent by courts and probation officers as a condition of their probation. Former participants told Reveal they received little addiction help, instead toiling for long hours at care homes and a chain of Zaxby’s restaurants across North Carolina.

Drug rehab patients demand back wages after being sent to work for free Reveal News

There are now more $100 bills than $1 bills in the world

A funny thing happened on the way to a world of cryptocurrencies and mobile payments. Cash became more popular than ever. The main reason? The one hundred dollar bill.

In 2017, for the first time ever, the one hundred dollar bill became the most popular US bill in circulation, beating out the one dollar bill. It is quite the turn of events for Benjamin Franklin-faced banknote. Just 10 years ago, it was less common than both the $20 and the $1.

The share of US dollars in circulation as a share of GDP rose from about 6% in 2010 to 9% in 2018, according to the Federal Reserve. Increased use of $100 bills has been the primary driver.

Why are hundreds so much more common these days? It’s not because more people are using them for day-to-day spending. The vast majority of cash transactions are still made in small bills.

There are now more $100 bills than $1 bills in the world Quartz

‘Diplomatic Immunity’ Used to Traffick Human Blood and Pathogens for Secret Pentagon Program

The US Embassy to Tbilisi transports frozen human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo for a secret US military program. Internal documents, implicating US diplomats in the transportation of and experimenting on pathogens under diplomatic cover were leaked to me by Georgian insiders. According to these documents, Pentagon scientists have been deployed to the Republic of Georgia and have been given diplomatic immunity to research deadly diseases and biting insects at the Lugar Center – the Pentagon biolaboratory in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

‘Diplomatic Immunity’ Used to Traffick Human Blood and Pathogens for Secret Military Program 21st Century Wire