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NSA helping Wall Street fight against hacking

CNET news is reporting today that, according to Reuters reports, the NSA has been helping Wall Street banks ferret out hacking attempts. The reports say that Wall Street financials have been under attack for a long time, but do not say that any attacks have resulted in breaches.

A couple of troubling things pop out at me right away. The first is that threats against these financials are not very clearly qualified. To say that “banks have been under attack for years” is equivalent to saying that I’ve been under attack for years. We all have, but the NSA isn’t helping me out with my anti-virus protection. I have no doubt that the attacks against banks are much more serious, but the credibility of the argument leaves a lot to be desired. And throwing the name “China” around is not convincing, either.

But the second and more serious concern is that the government is actually working directly with banks to help them avoid breaches? Isn’t that the sort of thing that companies spend a lot of time and money doing? Is that not a responsibility of those Captains of Industry? It seems like, if the NSA is going to regard the security integrity of Wall Street banks a matter of national security, the better route to go would be requiring specific standards be met by the banks, not holding their hands and helping them out directly.

And of course it should not escape anyone’s attention that #OccupyWallSt protesters are doubtless launching attacks on banks as well. Regardless of where you come down on the protests, online or off, the idea that the NSA should be responsible for tracking and convicting US citizens of domestic crimes should send a chill up your spine.

NSA helping Wall Street fight hackers | Security – CNET News.

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“Markets”

It bears mentioning – as often as possible, to as many people as possible – that the exact same greed that got us into the current economic crisis with the shady profit structures of the Subprime crisis is what drives “the Markets.” Keep in mind whenever you read or watch news reports about how “the Markets” just don’t like the Obama plans, or how they lack specificity, that banks are publicly traded companies. Of course the market goes down regardless of what the president says: no matter what he says, anything realistic is going to suck for the banks and the markets.

If you’ve ever wondered why I’ve stopped posting articles about the stock market to the news section, this is why. We have been conditioned by the media and their corporate handlers that “confidence in the marketplace” is the only thing we’re supposed to care about. It’s a crock of shit. The markets are where rich people get richer by betting on “the ponies.”

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Stop Watching the Stock Market

The Dow is down again.  The Dow is down again.

Now that we’ve established that, I think it’s time to look for more and better indicators of the economy’s status than the casino that is Wall Street.  Perhaps some cunning journalist could forge some sort of index based on employment, housing, credit, Wall Street and oh, I don’t know, pork belly futures?

Whatever is the case, looking at the day to day ups and downs of the stock market is clearly not telling us a damned thing about anything other than what a bunch of panicky rich people think about what a bunch of other panick rich people are going to do.  Does it ever strike you as odd, for example, when major Wall Street firms that control vast amounts of wealth in the form of mutual funds start talking about what “The Market” will do?  When big shots from these corporations start “hypothesizing” about what the future will look like in the next six months on cable news programs?  Have you ever screamed at the television, “you’re the fucking market, douchebag!?”

Well, I certainly have.  And while every expert economist I’ve read agrees that the bailout is a necessary evil – including those disinclined to listen to the Wall Street Giants – nothing good can come of continuing to listen to these people when they tell us how bad things are.  Where are the economics professors and researchers from government think tanks to tell us what’s really going on?

Oh, that’s right.  The government is owned by Wall Street.  Silly me.

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Protest on Wall Street

It’s gone viral.  An email sent out by one passionately enraged man has spread all over the Internet and there appears to be a gigantic protest scheduled, dumping garbage in the middle of Wall Street.  The article doesn’t say when, though. . .