Saturday, September 10, 2016
Hollande Urges France To "Embrace Islam" Hours Before "Radicalized Fanatics" Are Arrested In Latest Terror Plot
Stupidity has no limit!!!!!
Call it just another instance of bad timing for the most unpopular president in French history.
Earlier today, the French interior ministry announced that three women arrested in connection with a car loaded with gas cylinders found near Notre Dame cathedral had been planning an attack on a Paris railway station. "An alert has been issued to all stations but they had planned to attack the Gare de Lyon on Thursday," a ministry official said Friday.
A car carrying gas canisters was discovered near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
According to NBC, the French official said the youngest of the three women, a 19-year-old whose father was the owner of the car, had written a letter pledging allegiance to ISIS. Sunday's discovery of the Peugeot 607 laden with seven gas cylinders triggered a terrorism investigation and revived fears about further attacks in a country where Islamist militants have killed more than 230 people since January 2015.
Furthermore, one of the women stabbed a police officer during her arrest before being shot and wounded, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said late on Thursday. "These three women — aged 39, 23 and 19 — had been radicalized, were fanatics and were in all likelihood preparing an imminent, violent act," Cazeneuve said in a televised statement.
Ironically, just hours before this crackdown against "radicalized Islamists", deeply unpopular French president Francois Hollande delivered a speech on Thursday, saying that Islam can co-exist with secularism, warning in a speech seen as preparing the ground for a re-election bid that the anti-terror fight should not undermine French values. While Hollande, who has no chance of reelection, has yet to announce whether he will run for a second term next year, he is widely expected to be a candidate. In a passionate plea for tolerance, he defended the country's Muslim minority following a vitriolic debate on the banning of the Islamic burkini swimsuit.
Cited by AFP, Hollande said that 'Nothing in the idea of secularism opposes the practice of Islam in France, provided it respects the law." Secularism was not a 'state religion' to be used against other religions, he said in the speech in Paris, denouncing the 'stigmatisation of Muslims'. However, mayors in around 30 towns this summer cited France's century-old secular laws in banning head-to-toe swimwear on their beaches, unleashing a furore. Several of the towns later revoked the bans after France's highest administrative court ruled they were a 'serious' violation of basic freedoms.
Hollande rejected calls by conservatives, including his arch-rival, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, for the state to ban the burkini, saying it would be 'unconstitutional'. Asking rhetorically whether Islam could co-exist with secularism, like Christianity and Judaism, he insisted: 'My answer is yes, certainly.''The question the Republic must answer is: Is it really ready to embrace a religion that it did not expect to be this big over a century ago? There too, my answer is yes, certainly.'
In a wide-ranging address, one of the most unpopular presidents in French history "cast himself as a guardian of democracy, resisting calls for more repressive laws following a string of jihadist attacks that have left over 230 people dead in France since January 2015."
Meanwhile, in a seemingly incongruous escalation with Hollande's message of "embracing" Islam, the government has responded to the threat by deploying thousands of troops to patrol the streets as previously reported, enacting a raft of anti-terror laws and repeatedly extending a state of emergency - measures deemed insufficient by the conservative opposition.
In fact, some could argue that whether intentional or not, what the French socialist leader has done is convert France from a democratic country into a full-blown police state.
That said, French citizens umhappy with Hollande have a familiar alternative: Sarkozy, who recently announced a bid to try to win back the presidency in next year's election, has called for suspected radicals to be interned in camps. The former president responded late Thursday to Hollande's comments, saying that 'democracy can't be weak. We are France, we cannot accept impotence.'
Sarkozy, putting himself forward as a strong contrast to Hollande, added; 'I want to be president of a Republic which will protect the French people and which will defend France.' Hollande warned that France could not sacrifice its core values of liberty, equality and fraternity.
'The declaration of human rights is not some old scroll to be framed and hung in reception rooms,' he said. 'Did the Patriot Act and Guantanamo protect Americans from the (terrorist) threat? No,' he said, declaring: 'Democracy is our weapon.'
Needless to say, Hollande is a political cadaver: polls predict a drubbing for the 62-year-old Socialist if he throws his hat in the ring again after five years marked by stubbornly high unemployment and only timid attempts at reform. A poll published Tuesday showed he would only get between 11 and 15 percent in the first round of voting.
As such, the only real question is what Marine le Pen, leader of the National Front, and frontrunner in polling for the 2017 presidential election, thinks. Actually, what she thinks is well-known: get France out of the the Euro, kick out immigrants, and assure one more step is taken to the inevitable dissolution of the European Union.
Credit to Zero Hedge
Do you remember when our politicians promised to do something about the “too big to fail” banks? Well, they didn’t, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. On Thursday, it was announced that one of those “too big to fail” banks, Wells Fargo, has been slapped with 185 million dollars in penalties. It turns out that for years their employees had been opening millions of bank and credit card accounts for customers without even telling them. The goal was to meet sales goals, and customers were hit by surprise fees that they never intended to pay. Some employees actually created false email addresses and false PIN numbers to sign customers up for accounts. It was fraud on a scale that is hard to imagine, and now Wells Fargo finds itself embroiled in a major crisis.
There are six banks in America that basically dwarf all of the other banks – JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. If a single one of those banks were to fail, it would be a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions for our financial system. So we need these banks to be healthy and running well. That is why what we just learned about Wells Fargois so concerning…
Employees of Wells Fargo (WFC) boosted sales figures by covertly opening the accounts and funding them by transferring money from customers’ authorized accounts without permission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Los Angeles city officials said.
An analysis by the San Francisco-headquartered bank found that its employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers, the officials said. Many of the transfers ran up fees or other charges for the customers, even as they helped employees make incentive goals.
Wells Fargo says that 5,300 employees have been fired as a result of this conduct, and they are promising to clean things up.
Hopefully they will keep their word.
It is interesting to note that the largest shareholder in Wells Fargo is Berkshire Hathaway, and Berkshire Hathaway is run by Warren Buffett. There has been a lot of debate about whether or not this penalty on Wells Fargo was severe enough, and it will be very interesting to hear what he has to say about this in the coming days…
Wells Fargo is the most valuable bank in America, worth just north of $250 billion. Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), the investment firm run legendary investor Warren Buffett, is the company’s biggest shareholder.
“One wonders whether a penalty of $100 million is enough,” said David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “It sounds like a big number, but for a bank the size of Wells Fargo, it isn’t really.”
After the last crisis, we were told that we would never be put in a position again where the health of a single “too big to fail” institution could threaten to bring down our entire financial system.
But our politicians didn’t fix the “too big to fail” problem.
Instead it has gotten much, much worse.
Back in 2007, the five largest banks held 35 percent of all bank assets. Today, that number is up to 44 percent…
Since 1992, the total assets held by the five largest U.S. banks has increased by nearly fifteen times! Back then, the five largest banks held just 10 percent of the banking industry total. Today, JP Morgan alone holds over 12 percent of the industry total, a greater share than the five biggest banks put together in 1992.
Even in the midst of the global financial crisis, the largest U.S. banks managed to increase their hold on total bank industry assets. The assets held by the five largest banks in 2007 – $4.6 trillion – increased by more than 150 percent over the past 8 years. These five banks went from holding 35 percent of industry assets in 2007 to 44 percent today.
Meanwhile, nearly 2,000 smaller institutions have disappeared from our financial system since the beginning of the last crisis.
So the problem of “too big to fail” is now larger than ever.
Considering how reckless these big banks have been, it is inevitable that one or more of them will fail at some point. When that takes place, it will make the collapse of Lehman Brothers look like a Sunday picnic.
And with each passing day, the rumblings of a new financial crisis grow louder. For example, this week we learned that commercial bankruptcy filings in the United States in August were up a whopping 29 percent compared to the same period a year ago…
In August, US commercial bankruptcy filings jumped 29% from a year ago to 3,199, the 10th month in a row of year-over-year increases, the American Bankruptcy Institute, in partnership with Epiq Systems, reported today.
There’s money to be made. While stockholders and some creditors get raked over the coals, lawyers make a killing on fees. And some folks on the inside track, hedge funds, and private equity firms can make a killing picking up assets for cents on the dollar.
Companies are going bankrupt at a rate that we haven’t seen since the last financial crisis, but nobody seems concerned.
Back in 2007 and early 2008, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, President Bush and a whole host of “experts” assured us that everything was going to be just fine and that a recession was not coming.
Today, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Barack Obama and a whole host of “experts” are assuring us that everything is going to be just fine and that a recession is not coming.
I hope that they are right.
I really do.
But there is a reason why so many firms are filing for bankruptcy, and there is a reason why so many Americans are getting behind on their auto loans.
Our giant debt bubble is beginning to burst, and this is going to cause a tremendous amount of financial chaos.
Let us just hope that the “too big to fail” banks can handle the stress this time around.
Credit to Economic Collapse