Category Archives: Economy and Meltdown

Ex-Fox & Friends Co-Host Flees US Amid Ponzi Scheme Allegations

Ex-Fox & Friends co-host Clayton Morris has fled the country with his family amid more than two-dozen lawsuits alleging he committed real estate fraud, reported IndyStar.

According to Natali Morris, Clayton’s wife and a former news anchor with MSNBC, the family moved last month from their $1.4 million mansion in New Jersey to a coastal resort town in Portugal.

Clayton left Fox News in 2017 to begin a new career in real estate, could have been inspired by the “greatest economy ever.” His wife tagged along; she became his partner, and both of them linked up with Bert Whalen and his company Oceanpointe Investments.

In an email to IndyStar, Natali said the couple would fight the lawsuits from abroad. Both have denied responsibility for investor losses, have shifted the blame on Whalen.

“We have and continued to take responsibility for all of our legal challenges that came from our relationship with Oceanpointe. We have answered all of our attorney general requests in all states. We have answered all lawsuits,” Natali said.

“We have not run from anything,” she added. “We continue to show up for this until the last lawsuit is dismissed and it is clear that we neither had the money from Oceanpointe investors nor did we defraud anyone.”

Investors and their attorneys have sounded the alarm about how Clayton and  Natali have left the country. They fear it would become complicated to serve Clayton and his wife with legal notices.

“In my clients’ opinion, innocent people don’t flee the country,” said Jynell Berkshire, an Indianapolis real estate attorney who is representing some investors.

At the moment, there are no criminal charges against the Morris’ or Whalen.

IndyStar asked local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Indiana and New Jersey about the Ponzi scheme; all agencies declined to comment at the time.

In a blog post on Natali’s website last Thursday, she outlined how legal problems with her and her husband forced the family to leave the country.

“I am not one of those who rejects America,” she wrote. “We had a good life there. But my husband and I have had a hard few years in our business and this collective soul challenge forced us to question everything.”

She said Clayton was mentally disturbed by all the negative press surrounding the lawsuits.

“Watching him endure this has felt like what I would imagine it is like to watch him endure chemotherapy,” she said. “I wish I could take it from him. I wish I could fix it. I wish it were me instead. I carry a pain with me knowing that he is in pain and it is with me always. His health began to suffer. He began to withdraw emotionally and it was hard on our family. We both knew that we had to make a change if we wanted to survive.”

IndyStar was the first to report Clayton’s Ponzi scheme with Whalen’s help back in March. They sold about 700 homes in distressed neighbors across Indianapolis.

Investors are claiming Clayton sold them homes with a guarantee to rehab them, find tenants, and maintain the properties. According to Clayton’s YouTube videos, all investors had to do was relax and collect rent checks.

The lawsuits claim Clayton and Whalen covered their tracks by giving investors fake lease forms and sending rent checks even though the properties were vacant. It only took a few notices of code violations and condemnation notices from the city of Indianapolis to convince investors that something was terribly wrong with their investment.

IndyStar published a report last month found tenants in the flipped homes were living in dangerous and disgusting conditions.


Natali’s website talks about “financial freedom,” and how real estate can make you rich.

“On this site I share with you new ways to think about and use your money in order to build legacy wealth for you and your family,” she said.

As to why Clayton, Natali, and Whalen thought they could become stupid rich in flipping homes and renting them out for investors during a hiking cycle by the Federal Reserve and the eventual turning point in the economy that started in the summer of 2018 — is beyond us. All schemes tend to come undone at the end part of a business cycle. 

Humanity Is Creating Its Own AI Overlord

Authored by Dagny Taggart via The Organic Prepper blog,

Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should…

That is an expression I often quote in reference to various things people are doing and creating. When I hear about new AI capabilities and developments, it comes to mind.

Artificial Intelligence is developing at breakneck speed. While many technological advances benefit humanity, there are plenty of others that may have devastating outcomes.

Will AI eventually take over the world?

How long until artificial intelligence makes humans redundant? That’s a chilling prospect to ponder. Robots are already taking jobs.

Even more horrifying, though, is the very real possibility that artificial intelligence will fully infiltrate every aspect of our lives and eventually take control of the world.

The thought of losing what freedom we have left to robot overlords is terrifying, especially considering that AI has no sense of humor and is willing to kill over a joke and that robots already can hate without human input.

Not only can AI do many things faster and better than humans can, but it also can monitor usread our minds and predict our choices.

Will humans serve robot overlords someday?

A new video from Truthstream Media poses a serious question we all should be considering:

Do People Realize They Are Creating Their Own Overlords?

“…sophisticated algorithms are being created to ensure the AI will know more about a person than they probably know about themselves, let alone what any spouse or significant other ever could.

Society is being programmed to not just trust but irrevocably merge their lives with these machines.

This will change us.” (source)

This is part two of a set of reports on where exactly these artificially intelligent digital assistants are taking society in the very near future.

To watch Part one, click hereThe Infallible AI “Oracle” and the Future of “One Shot” Answers

Despite Best First Half In A Decade For Hedge Funds, Fees Continue To Fall

Even though hedge fund performance has rebounded this year, with big-name managers like David Einhorn and Bill Ackman and macro icons such as Brevan Howard finally putting several years of misery behind them, fees are still dwindling, according to Bloomberg.

The average management fee charged by new hedge funds globally in the first half of 2019 fell to 1.2% from 1.6% in 2007, before the financial crisis hit the industry. It’s now nearly half the mythical 2% that most hedge funds used to charge. Performance fees fell to roughly 14.5%, meaning that funds are still well below the “2 and 20” threshold often thought of as the “standard” hedge fund model.

Years of underperforming the market as a result of the Fed’s rigged stock environment where fundamentals no longer matter has led many investors to seek out less expensive alternatives, especially since central banks no longer allow even a modest drop in the market.  But hedge funds reported their best first half in a decade this year as managers capitalized on the surge in stocks after their plunge late last year.

Even still, the 5.7% gain across the hedge fund industry paled in comparison to the S&P 500, which returned almost 19% over the same course of time. This came after hedge funds delivered their worst performance since 2011 last year.

Even though more than half of hedge fund assets worldwide are managed by firms with a performance fee of at least 20%, managers who charge less have taken more of the market, as their market share has grown to 41.3% of industry assets in June from just 16.3% at the end of 2008.

The asymmetric nature performance fees has been the main contributor in the decision to charge less. Mohammad Hassan, head analyst of hedge fund research and indexation at Eurekahedge said: “The point that’s being made is that when the fund is performing well, they will pay.”

Complexities Of 5G & National Security

Authored by Renee Parsons via Off-Guardian.org,

In case you missed the kickoff, there is an unprecedented ‘must win’ wireless race for the US to cross the 5G finish line before China as alluded to during the recent Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing on the Federal Commerce Commission.

The details were thin with no real discussion on the need for 5G or its complexities including the national security implications of China beating out the USA! USA! or any mention of its dangerous, toxic health consequences or the true implications on the Massive Internetof Things (MIOTdecoded as the Dastardly Dark Utopian Vision of Future Illusion which promises a generation of trans-humans

One already occurring aspect of the MIOT is when the overlap between government and the unelected tech giants becomes indistinguishable, representative democracy becomes passe.

During remarks at the White House in April (with Ivanka present to make her own comments), President Donald Trump said “Winning the race to be the world’s leading provider of 5G cellular and communication networks; we want to be the leader in this. We cannot allow any other country to out-compete the United States in this powerful industry of the future. We just can’t let that happen.  It is a race America must win.”

At stake, is at least a decade of global technological, economic and military dominance that would create three million new jobs, $500 billion in GDP and $275 billion in private sector investment. 

With over 300 million consumers, the US became the world’s tech and innovation hub as a result of its 4G global leadership.  Adding $100 billion to the GDP with wireless jobs that grew at 84% and a $950 billion app economy, the US became the world’s strongest wireless economy and world leader in mobile broadband.

As a result of its leadership, today’s largest tech stocks continue to drive the US economy with a technical expertise that spawned the US-based mega tech companies (Google/Amazon/MS/FB/Twitter/MS).  Many of those American-made companies have taken thousands of skilled jobs and lucrative contracts outside the US which is, after all, what the globalist agenda is all about. As 5G looms in an increasingly competitive global market, US dominance to sustain its competitive advantage is being put to the test.

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL ON 5G

Sometime in late 2017, the National Security Council briefed the Trump Administration on its recommendations for a comprehensive “Eisenhower National Highway System for the Information Age,” That system would include one centralized block network to be ‘built and run’ as a ‘nationalized’ government project with completion in three years in order to prevail against China.

The document concluded with “The best network from a technical, performance and security perspective will be single block, USG secured, and have the highest probability for project success.”

The White House denied nationalization as an option, pointing out that the NSC is one of many federal agencies which will weigh in on 5G.  At his April press briefing, Trump put the idea to rest with “And, as you probably heard, we had another alternative of doing it; that would be through government investment…. we don’t want to do that because it won’t be nearly as good, nearly as fast.

CHINA

Nevertheless, the document provides the NSC’s national security perspective on 5G and insights on other decisions yet to be made.  Citing “cyber emergency we face on a daily basis” with a focus on ‘nefarious actors’ of ‘malicious intent,’ the NSC consistently warned that:

  • “China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure”

  • “Fact: China is currently poised to lead the global deployment of 5G.”

  • “Huawei more than doubled its market share in an 18 month period and in several areas or routing, it has caught or surpassed market leader Cisco.”

  • “Notably the FBI continues to monitor market activity and risks associated with Huawei and ZTE…permanently tasking the FBI to work with other intelligence agencies to monitor and regularly report to Congress and the Administration on the market activities and risks of Chinese infrastructure vendors would be valuable for national security.”

Part of the NSC document included excerpts from a September 15, 2018 memo from former Department of Defense Secretary James Mattis with the following:

  • “China has assembled the basic components required for winning the AI arms race.”

  • “China has already catapulted into the lead for facial recognition to support its authoritarian regime.”

The CRS further identified China as “the dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain” in its June 12th “National Security Implications,”pointing out that China is “…likely to deploy the world’s first 5G wide-area network” and that “Huawei has signed contracts for 5G infrastructure in over thirty countries including US allies.”

Since China’s National Intelligence Law requires that “any organization and citizen shall support, provide assistance, and cooperate in national intelligence work, and guard the secrecy of any national intelligence work that they are aware of” and as the Chinese government “extended a $100 billion line of credit to Huawei to finance deals abroad,” some analysts believe the implications of a government – corporate collaboration is the installation of backdoors and increased surveillance – as if the US is squeaky clean on its collaborations with Google and Amazon or organizing a cyber weapon attack like Stuxnet.

STANDARDIZED CELL SITING

The NSC asked the question “Can we standardize siting requirements? USG or Industry” in recognition that each municipality across the country has different requirements and fees for siting small wireless facilities as required by 5G.   The NSC went on to suggest “use national security to force nationwide standardization of siting requirements” and that the “bottom line is that a three year deployment time is not achievable without a nationwide standard for siting.”

Since the telecom companies are entirely too cozy with the FCC, a national security declaration is unnecessary to achieve a de facto nationwide standard for siting approvals. 

In September 2018, the FCC obtained a Declaratory Judgment to Remove Regulatory Barriers for Deployment of Wireless Infrastructure for 5G Connectivity which will provide a ‘fast track’ to circumvent local delays to cell deployment.    In response, cities across the US are opposing the FCC’s attempt to override local control decision-making regarding the installation of 5G wireless infrastructure.

In the words of FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr:

The FCC is working to get government out of the way so the private sector can start building hundreds of thousands of cells needed for 5G.  We excluded small cell from costly review procedures designed for 100 ft assigned towers.  That decision cost $1.5 billion in red tape.  FCC took another step in streamlining the local permitting process.  That decision cut another $2 billion in red tape and will stimulate $2.4 billion in small cell deployments, 97% of which will be in rural and suburban communities.”

In addition, the Streamline Small Cell Deployment Act S.1699 was introduced on June 3 to ‘streamline’ the siting process for small cell deployment in rural and suburban areas.  It has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee for a hearing.

US TELECOM MANUFACTURING

Thanks to the 1995 NAFTA vote which began the redistribution of millions of skilled American jobs overseas and the extraordinary growth of American telecoms relocating jobs abroad, the NSC confirmed that:

Fact: US telecommunication manufacturers have all but disappeared” and that “Today only a handful of companies are postured to play a role in global 5G deployment” followed by the facile assurance that  “Equipment manufacturers have expressed a willingness to move manufacturing facilities to the US in support of 5G.”

In addressing the issue of protecting national security from a tainted foreign supply chain, Mattis suggested:

  “Added assurance can be gained by ensuring that we create an IT and telecommunications manufacturing base. By securing the supply chain, we can be assured that our network is built with safe components.”

The unavoidable question is that since a ‘safe and secure’ supply chain is of national security importance and that Chinese manufactured components could not be trusted and that American manufacturers would be the most reliable purveyor of the necessary 5G components,  how exactly will the US rely on ‘safe and secure’ components in the absence of its own manufacturing base?

EXECUTIVE ORDER

On May 15th, President Trump signed an Executive Order declaring a ‘national emergency’ that

foreign adversaries are increasingly exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services, in order to commit malicious cyber-enabled actions, including economic and industrial espionage.”

The Order bans American telecom firms and US allies from selling US-made components to foreign telecoms while creating a banned “Entity List” which will require a USG license for foreign telecoms in order to do business with US tech companies. 

The Order, which has broad bipartisan support, did not address existing security risks of foreign-made components currently embedded in US equipment while many rural carriers already rely on Chinese made equipment.  According to the Order, the US would stop sharing intel with allies who persist in using Chinese equipment, fearing intercepted messages or sabotage.

Within days of signing the EO, Intel, Qualcomm and other US techcompanies announced that they would cut off critical software and components to Huawei while Google, which has AI research centers built inside China’s information sphere, has suspended its ties to Huawei and dropped its technical support for Android. 

As the US telecom industry comply with the Order that “any Chinese equipment in the network could pose potential security concerns,” some US tech allies suspended their dealings with Huawei while some American chipmakers found ways around the ban by dropping the US-made label.

In addition, the Senate Commerce Committee introduced the “US 5G Leadership Act” which will fund $700,000 for removal of all Huawei or ZTE equipment or services from the US existing network in order to secure the 5G deployment.

While at the recent G20 Summit in Osaka, Trump reached a tentative trade deal with President Xi Jinping (with Ivanka at the conference table) unexpectedly reversing his position that US firms be allowed to sell to Huawei where there are no national security issues but leaving final resolution with Huawei to the end of negotiations.

In response, the Department of Commerce, which maintains the Entity List, has suggested it plans to continue Huawei’s ‘presumption of denial’ as it applies to a request for a business license. The thorny question remains how the US protects its national security with the use of out-sourced foreign suppliers or well-meaning allies whose own security may have already been compromised.

To be continued….

Neuralink Offers Update On Elon Musk’s Plan To Bore Tunnels Into Your Brain

Elon Musk’s plans to merge computers with people’s brains were on full display yesterday during Musk’s presentation updating the public on what brain-computer interface company Neuralink has been up to. Or, as one astute Fin Twit observer put it:

1/ To all the neuroscientists in the world:

Welcome to $TSLAQ. You’ve just had what’s known as ‘the realization’: @elonmusk wandered into your field of expertise and spewed garbage techno mumbo jumbo. $TSLAQ

— TeslaCharts (@TESLAcharts) July 17, 2019

The company has so far been able to implant as many as 1,500 electrodes in lab rats and says its first intention for the technology is to do things like help amputees and restore the ability to see, talk and listen. Altruistic goals, no doubt – and all brought to you with the help of the same visionary who can’t stop 15 pounds of dirt from collecting under the bumper of his “revolutionary” new electric vehicles.

Musk has previously said that linking our brains to computers will be the only way for the human race to keep up with the progression of artificial intelligence. 

Bundles of Neuralink flexible threads are about the quarter of a diameter of a human hair and are implanted using needles to avoid hitting blood vessels on the brain surface. The embedded sensors catch information and send it to receiver “on the surface of the skull,” according to Engadget.

We’re hoping Musk doesn’t plan on contracting the Boring Company to do the implants.

From there, you can literally “Bluetooth information to your skull,” according to Musk. The Neuralink pod is worn behind the ear and contains the battery and other hardware.

Musk says that the company’s current “v1” chip is capable of 10,000 electrodes with “read and write capability”, which is more than 1,000 times the best deep brain interface currently available for Parkinson’s treatment.

The company also explained why it is embedding sensors directly into the brain, but not in neurons:

Simply, it’s the only way to send and receive the information necessary, from “spikes” of activity. A neurosurgeon is also part of the presentation, showing off some videos of the implantation technology, and how its robot can install thousands of wires directly into the brain while avoiding tissue damage and bleeding. Eventually, they’d like to do it without shaving the patient’s head, although he acknowledged that the first operations will be more like current deep brain implants.

It was just a couple years ago that we heard about Musk investing in Neuralink. The Neuralink news took center stage yesterday, distracting from other Musk projects that were taking place at the time. We’ll just say that we hope the company’s Neuralink prototypes do better than SpaceX’s Starhopper, which found itself “engulfed in a fireball” shortly after firing one of its engines yesterday. 

Your brain on Neuralink pic.twitter.com/7aYjv4nIN1

— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) July 17, 2019

You can read Musk’s “White Paper” on Neuralink here:

Neuralink ‘white paper’:

*Not submitted for peer review, because Elon is not a scientist
*No other coauthors listed because Elon is a narcissist $TSLAQ https://t.co/tul4fkkNMb

— TeslaCharts (@TESLAcharts) July 17, 2019

…and, finally, you can watch Musk’s full presentation here: