Goldman Sachs will increase entry-level salaries for U.S.-based analysts by about 20 percent next year, bumping salaries to $85,000 from $70,000. Bank of America is boosting pay by the same percentage for its junior investment-banking and trading employees next year, and JPMorgan and Citigroup are considering a similar pay raise. (

The hackers infiltrated the networks of the banks, siphoning off gigabytes of data, including checking and savings account information, in what security experts described as a sophisticated cyberattack. The motivation and origin of the attacks are not yet clear, according to investigators. The F.B.I. is involved in the investigation, and in the past few weeks a number of security firms have been brought in to conduct forensic studies of the penetrated computer networks.

First Kenyan and first woman chief executive for Citibank in region

In 1989, Joyce-Ann Muthoni Wainaina joined Citibank as an intern. Little did she know that a quarter century later she would head the bank’s unit in Kenya and the East Africa region.

Before her appointment, the American multinational never had a female chief executive officer for the 40 years it has been present in Kenya. Equally, no Kenyan national had been appointed to the position.

But last month, Mrs Wainaina was appointed chief executive of Citibank Kenya and the East African region (Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia), opening a new chapter in the bank’s history.

“It is the first time we have appointed a Kenyan in this role and the first time we have appointed a woman so I feel the burden of a pioneer on my shoulders. I need to succeed in this role,” Mrs Wainaina told the Sunday Nation last week.

One of the ways in which capitalists ensure that capital stays out of the hands of those who made it, is the concept of interest. Since capitalists use the force of law to maintain ownership through deed and stock, they are able to keep from labor, while labor only gets to borrow from them. We borrow the money and they keep the interest is the same as we borrow the house and they keep the rent.  

Capitalists say that interest is necessary to cover their cost of going without the use of their money.  But wealthy banker’s don’t suffer from their abstention of money.  Many have enough so that their grandchildren never have to work again.  Being able to ‘not work’ while receiving money produced from the labor of others is far more than covering cost, and is certainly not going without. What bankers really mean is that they could be making more rent on their capital in the form of interest if someone else were borrowing it. Certainly bankers should be paid for their services, and the real cost of facilitating and servicing loans, but they don’t have a claim on anything else.  

Bankers today will say that they only charge interest at market prices.  But they are NOT market prices when lenders and borrows who would like to participate in alternative lending arrangements and currencies are prevented from doing so. What capitalists bankers are actually doing is supplying the circulation of labor’s capital, a task that laborers are perfectly capable of doing among themselves at cost, in the same way that banks lend to each other at cost through the central banking system! One would think that without a monopoly on the type of currency that can be used and who can produce it, labor would not be so dependent on ‘capitalist owners.’ 

Any interest beyond the cost of services received by a bank is USURIOUS.  Laborers ask capitalists to borrow, but the capitalist asks for keeps from the laborer.  With a $300,000 mortgage paid over 30 years at 6% interest, the bank gets its $300,000 back, and it gets to keep $347,000 that it made in interest.  At most, the bank is owed the use of $300,000 for 30 years to build a house or whatever it chooses. You chose to build a house with your $300,000. It is as if you borrowed a hammer from a neighbor to build a shed, and rather than ask to be able to borrow something of similar value, your neighbor asks for you to return his hammer, and buy him another hammer and box of nails for keeps.  Use should trade for use, and keeps should trade for keeps.

Capitalists say that interest is necessary to cover losses, but it is wrong to ask someone to cover the default of another.  If a banker cannot risk loaning what a borrower requests, then the banker should loan what he can risk or purchase insurance on the loan.  The loan can be collateralized or insured at the borrower’s expense. 

Capitalists say that without interest, there will be no incentive to lend.  But mutual aid is incentive enough.  Unions and fraternal organizations did it in the past.  A for profit bank is not a necessitude to the circulation of currency.  Today’s lending circles, such as the non-profit ‘tandas’ among latin women, are showing that people will lend capital they are not using at zero percent interest for the benefit of being able to borrow a similar amount later at zero percent. 

Capitalists are always saying that without their capital investment, labor would have no means to build factories, tools, and the things necessary to conduct business.  Instead it is the capitalist’s monopoly on property that prevents labor from keeping the capital it produces in the first place.  In other words, the capitalist would not have the wealth that they have if it were not first produced by someone else’s labor.  

USA Is Number 1 Again...

…In Foreign Bribery.

As OECD notes,

The most widely accepted estimate of global bribery puts the total at around USD 1 trillion each year (World Bank, 2004). In the developing world, bribery amounts to around USD 20 billion to USD 40 billion a year – a figure equivalent to 15-30% of all Official Development Assistance (World Bank, 2007). 

Corruption in awarding business contracts has social, political, environmental and economic costs which no country can afford. Serious consequences result when public officials take bribes when awarding contracts to foreign businesses for public services such as roads, water or electricity. A USD 1 million dollar bribe can quickly amount to a USD 100 million loss to a poor country through derailed projects and inappropriate investment decisions which undermine development.

Source: OECD

The Nail In The Petrodollar Coffin: Gazprom Begins Accepting Payment For Oil In Ruble, Yuan

Several months ago, when Russia announced the much anticipated “Holy Grail” energy deal with China, some were disappointed that despite this symbolic agreement meant to break the petrodollar’s stranglehold on the rest of the world, neither Russia nor China announced payment terms to be in anything but dollars. In doing so they admitted that while both nations are eager to move away from a US Dollar reserve currency, neither is yet able to provide an alternative.

This changed in late June when first Gazprom’s CFO announced the gas giant was ready to settle China contracts in Yuan or Rubles, and at the same time the People’s Bank of China announced that its Assistant Governor Jin Qi and Russian central bank Deputy Chairman Dmitry Skobelkin held a meeting in which they discussed cooperating on project and trade financing using local currencies. The meeting discussed cooperation in bank card, insurance and financial supervision sectors.

And yet, while both sides declared their operational readiness and eagerness to bypass the dollar entirely, such plans remained purely in the arena of monetary foreplay and the long awaited first shot across the Petrodollar bow was absent.

Until now.

According to Russia’s RIA Novosti, citing business daily Kommersant, Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers. Meaning Russia will export energy to either Europe or China, and receive payment in either Rubles or Yuan, in effect making the two currencies equivalent as far as the Eurasian axis is conerned, but most importantly, transact completely away from the US dollar thus, finally putin’(sic) in action the move for a Petrodollar-free world.

More on this long awaited first nail in the petrodollar coffin from RIA:

The Russian government and several of the country’s largest exporters have widely discussed the possibility of accepting payments in rubles for oil exports. Last week, Russia began to ship oil from the Novoportovskoye field to Europe by sea. Two oil tankers are expected to arrive in Europe in September.

According to Kommersant, the payment for these shipments will be received in rubles.

Gazprom Neft will not only accept payments in rubles; subsequent transfers via the ESPO may be paid for in yuan, the newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, the change in currency was made because of the Western sanctions against Russia.

As a protective measure, Russia decided to avoid making its payments in US dollars, which can be tracked and controlled by the United States government, Kommersant reported.

"Protective measure" meaning that it was the US which managed to Plaxico itself by pushing Russia to transact away from the US Dollar, in the process showing the world it can be done, and slamming the first nail in the petrodollar’s coffin.

This is not surprising to anyone who has been following our forecast of the next steps in the transition from the Petrodollar to the Gas-O-Yuan. Recall from April:

The New New Normal flow of funds:

  1. Gazprom delivering gas to China.
  2. China Gazprom paying in Yuan (convertible into Rubles)
  3. Gazprom funding itself increasingly in Yuan.
  4. Russia buying Chinese goods and services in Yuan (convertible into Rubles)

And all of this with the US banker cartel completely disintermediated courtesy of the glaring absence of the USD in any of the above listed steps, or as some may call it:from the Petrodollar to the Gas-o-yuan (something 40 central banks have already figured out… just not the Fed).

Still confused? Then read “90% Of Gazprom Clients Have “De-Dollarized”, Will Transact In Euro & Renminbi" for just how Gazprom set the stage for the day it finally would push the button to skip the dollar entirely. Which it just did.

In conclusion we will merely say what we have said previously, and it touches on what will be the most remarkable aspect of Obama’s legacy, because while the hypocrite “progressive” president who even his own people have accused of being a “brown-faced Clinton" after selling out to Wall Street and totally  wrecking US foreign policy abroad, is already the worst president in a century of US history according to public polls, the fitting epitaph will come when the president’s policies put an end to dollar hegemony and end the reserve currency status of the dollar once and for all, thereby starting the rapid, and uncontrolled, collapse of the US empire. To wit:

In retrospect it will be very fitting that the crowning legacy of Obama’s disastrous reign, both domestically and certainly internationally, will be to force the world’s key ascendent superpowers (we certainly don’t envision broke, insolvent Europe among them) to drop the Petrodollar and end the reserve status of the US currency.

As of this moment, both Russia and China have shown not on that it can be done, but it is done. Expect everyone to jump onboard the new superpower axis bandwagon soon enough.

My experience with Simple started out simply enough. I wasn’t happy with my old bank and the idea of having a completely virtual bank sounded appealing. I slowly migrated to Simple (being a little gun-shy on no longer having a check book) and finally switched over completely about two months ago..

Read more of spinoza21's review here: Simple Bank Review

Every Friday, we continue to feature the most insightful #bank reviews of the week. This one is for Simple Bank. If you’d like to share your experience with your banking institution, do so here: 

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Wall Street Admits That A Cyberattack Could Crash Our Banking System At Any Time

Wall Street Admits That A Cyberattack Could Crash Our Banking System At Any Time

Wall Street banks are getting hit by cyber attacks every single minute of every single day. It is a massive onslaught that is not highly publicized because the bankers do not want to alarm the public. But as you will see below, one big Wall Street bank is spending 250 million dollars a year just by themselves to combat this growing problem. The truth is that our financial system is not nearly as stable as most Americans think that it is. We have become more dependent on technology than ever before, and that comes with a potentially huge downside. An electromagnetic pulse weapon or an incredibly massive cyberattack could conceivably take down part or all of our banking system at any time.


Wall Street banks are getting hit by cyber attacks every single minute of every single day

Wall Street banks are getting hit by cyber attacks every single minute of every single day.  It is a massive onslaught that is not highly publicized because the bankers do not want to alarm the public.  But as you will see below, one big Wall Street bank is spending 250 million dollars a year just by themselves to combat this growing problem.  The truth is that our financial system is not nearly as stable as most Americans think that it is.  We have become more dependent on technology than ever before, and that comes with a potentially huge downside.  An electromagnetic pulse weapon or an incredibly massive cyberattack could conceivably take down part or all of our banking system at any time.

This week, the mainstream news is reporting on an attack on our major banks that was so massive that the FBI and the Secret Service have decided to get involved.  The following is how Forbes described what is going on…

The FBI and the Secret Service are investigating a huge wave of cyber attacks on Wall Street banks, reportedly including JP Morgan Chase, that took place in recent weeks.

The attacks may have involved the theft of multiple gigabytes of sensitive data, according to reports. Joshua Campbell, supervisory special agent at the FBI, tells Forbes: “We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyber attacks against several American financial institutions.”

When most people think of “cyber attacks”, they think of a handful of hackers working out of lonely apartments or the basements of their parents.  But that is not primarily what we are dealing with anymore.  Today, big banks are dealing with cyberattackers that are extremely organized and that are incredibly sophisticated.

The threat grows with each passing day, and that is why JPMorgan Chase says that “not every battle will be won” even though it is spending 250 million dollars a year in a relentless fight against cyberattacks…

JPMorgan Chase this year will spend $250 million and dedicate 1,000 people to protecting itself from cybercrime — and it still might not be completely successful, CEO Jamie Dimon warned in April.

Cyberattacks are growing every day in strength and velocity across the globe. It is going to be continual and likely never-ending battle to stay ahead of it — and, unfortunately, not every battle will be won,” Dimon said in his annual letter to shareholders.

Other big Wall Street banks have a similar perspective.  Just consider the following two quotes from a recent USA Today article

Bank of America: “Although to date we have not experienced any material losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches, there can be no assurance that we will not suffer such losses in the future.”

Citigroup: “Citi has been subject to intentional cyber incidents from external sources, including (i) denial of service attacks, which attempted to interrupt service to clients and customers; (ii) data breaches, which aimed to obtain unauthorized access to customer account data; and (iii) malicious software attacks on client systems, which attempted to allow unauthorized entrance to Citi’s systems under the guise of a client and the extraction of client data. For example, in 2013 Citi and other U.S. financial institutions experienced distributed denial of service attacks which were intended to disrupt consumer online banking services. …

“… because the methods used to cause cyber attacks change frequently or, in some cases, are not recognized until launched, Citi may be unable to implement effective preventive measures or proactively address these methods.”

I don’t know about you, but those quotes do not exactly fill me with confidence.

Another potential threat that banking executives lose sleep over is the threat of electromagnetic pulse weapons.  The technology of these weapons has advanced so much that they can fit inside a briefcase now.  Just consider the following excerpt from an article that was posted on an engineering website entitled “Electromagnetic Warfare Is Here“…

The problem is growing because the technology available to attackers has improved even as the technology being attacked has become more vulnerable. Our infrastructure increasingly depends on closely integrated, high-speed electronic systems operating at low internal voltages. That means they can be laid low by short, sharp pulses high in voltage but low in energy—output that can now be generated by a machine the size of a suitcase, batteries included.

Electromagnetic (EM) attacks are not only possible—they are happening. One may be under way as you read this. Even so, you would probably never hear of it: These stories are typically hushed up, for the sake of security or the victims’ reputation.

That same article described how an attack might possibly happen…

An attack might be staged as follows. A larger electromagnetic weapon could be hidden in a small van with side panels made of fiberglass, which is transparent to EM radiation. If the van is parked about 5 to 10 meters away from the target, the EM fields propagating to the wall of the building can be very high. If, as is usually the case, the walls are mere masonry, without metal shielding, the fields will attenuate only slightly. You can tell just how well shielded a building is by a simple test: If your cellphone works well when you’re inside, then you are probably wide open to attack.

And with electromagnetic pulse weapons, terrorists or cyberattackers can try again and again until they finally get it right

And, unlike other means of attack, EM weapons can be used without much risk. A terrorist gang can be caught at the gates, and a hacker may raise alarms while attempting to slip through the firewalls, but an EM attacker can try and try again, and no one will notice until computer systems begin to fail (and even then the victims may still not know why).

Never before have our financial institutions faced potential threats on this scale.

According to the Telegraph, our banks are under assault from cyberattacks “every minute of every day”, and these attacks are continually growing in size and scope…

Every minute, of every hour, of every day, a major financial institution is under attack.

Threats range from teenagers in their bedrooms engaging in adolescent “hacktivism”, to sophisticated criminal gangs and state-sponsored terrorists attempting everything from extortion to industrial espionage. Though the details of these crimes remain scant, cyber security experts are clear that behind-the-scenes online attacks have already had far reaching consequences for banks and the financial markets.

In the end, it is probably only a matter of time until we experience a technological 9/11.

When that day arrives, will your money be safe?