Monday, January 7, 2013

Banks Win Watered Down Liquidity Rule to Deter Loan Squeeze

Banks Win Watered Down Liquidity Rule to Deter Loan Squeeze

By Jim Brunsden & Giles Broom - Jan 7, 2013 1:27 AM ET

Global central bank chiefs agreed to water down and delay a planned bank liquidity rule to counter warnings that the proposal would strangle lending and stifle the economic recovery.
Lenders will be allowed to use an expanded range of assets including some equities and securitized mortgage debt to meet the so-called liquidity coverage ratio, or LCR, following a deal struck by regulatory chiefs meeting yesterday in Basel, Switzerland. Banks will also have an extra four years to fully comply with the measure.

BOE Governor Mervyn King

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said, “For the first time in regulatory history we have a truly global minimum standard for bank liquidity.”
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said, “For the first time in regulatory history we have a truly global minimum standard for bank liquidity.” Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
“This was a compromise between competing views from around the world,” Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said at a briefing following yesterday’s meeting. King chairs the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, or GHOS, which decides on global bank rules. “For the first time in regulatory history we have a truly global minimum standard for bank liquidity.”
Banks and top officials such as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pushed for changes to the LCR, arguing that it would choke interbank lending and make it harder for authorities to implement monetary policies. Lenders have warned that the measure might force them to cut back loans to businesses and households.
“The new liquidity standard will in no way hinder the ability of the global banking system to finance a global recovery,” King said. “It’s a realistic approach. It certainly did not emanate from an attempt to weaken the standard.”

Basel Committee

Asian financial stocks fell. The MSCI Asia Pacific Financials Index (MXAP0FN) declined 0.2 percent at 3:22 p.m. in Tokyo from a more than four-year high. The benchmark MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) slid 0.3 percent.
Regulators at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision struggled throughout 2012 to revise the LCR. After failing to reach a final deal last month, it was left to central bank and regulatory chiefs on the GHOS to make a final decision.
The LCR would force banks to hold enough easy-to-sell assets to survive a 30-day credit squeeze. It’s a key component of a package of capital and liquidity measures, known as Basel III, drawn up to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.
Basel III has been subject to mounting criticism for its complexity, amid delays to its implementation in the European Union and U.S.
The liquidity rule sets out a stress test that banks should apply to their books, assessing whether they would be able to generate enough cash from asset sales to meet their regulatory obligations.
A draft version of the measure was published by regulators in 2010, on the basis that it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

60 Percent

Under yesterday’s deal, banks would only have to meet 60 percent of the LCR obligations by 2015, and the full rule would be phased in annually through 2019, according to an e-mailed statement from the GHOS.
A sample of 209 banks assessed by the Basel committee had a collective shortfall of 1.8 trillion euros ($2.3 trillion) at the end of 2011 in the assets needed to meet the 2010 version of the LCR, according to figures published by the Basel group.
Banks had warned that the initial LCR proposal would force them to buy additional sovereign debt, more closely tying their fate to governments’ solvency. The 2010 rule was drafted before the EU was fully confronted by a sovereign debt crisis that challenged traditional assumptions about the creditworthiness of government bonds.

Not Easy

“GHOS has rescued the concept of a global liquidity rule, but its reality remains up in the air,” Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Washington-based Federal Financial Analytics Inc., said in an e-mail. “Commitments were made by eurozone nations to comply with this agreement, but turning word into deed isn’t going to be easy.”
The latest LCR Rule retains the principal that allows banks to use sovereign debt to meet all of their LCR obligations, if the bonds are considered essentially risk free under international bank capital rules. The EU and U.S. have been criticized by international regulators for misapplying parts of the capital rules, allowing lenders to count more of the sovereign debt they hold as risk free.
Under the 2010 plan, banks would have been allowed to use cash and government bonds to meet the LCR, subject to some rules on the quality of the sovereign debt. Lenders could also have used highly-rated corporate debt or covered bonds to meet 40 percent of their LCR requirements.
The deal expands the range of corporate debt that banks can use, allowing some lower rated securities to count. Banks would also be allowed to use some equities and highly rated residential mortgage-backed securities.

Liquid Assets

“The committee and the regulatory community more generally felt it was appropriate to broaden the class of liquid assets,” King said. “That doesn’t mean to say it’s a loosening of the whole regime.”
The additional securities will get bigger writedowns to their value than those that would have been eligible under the 2010 LCR. They also won’t be allowed to count for more than 15 percent of a bank’s LCR buffer.
Supervisors will have discretion to decide whether the reserves lenders keep with central banks will count toward the LCR. Regulators will also continue to assess how the LCR will interact with liquidity support measures provided by national central banks, the GHOS said.
“It became clear during the process of discussing all this that it didn’t make sense really to think about an LCR without having a clear view about what to make of access to central bank facilities,” King said.

Covered Bonds

Central banks and regulators left the treatment of covered bonds in the LCR unchanged from 2010. Covered bonds are secured by assets such as mortgages or public-sector loans and are guaranteed by the issuer.
Authorities also agreed to water down parts of the stress scenario that banks will be pitted against to calculate whether they hold enough LCR assets. Still, they expanded the range of risks on derivatives trades that will be taken into account.
Regulatory chiefs said they will give additional guidance on when banks will be allowed to use their LCR buffers.
The GHOS brings together top officials from central banks and regulators in 27 nations including the U.S., U.K., China and Japan. It is the governing body of the Basel committee.
The Basel committee will also press ahead with reviewing another draft liquidity rule included in Basel III. This measure, known as a net-stable funding ratio, requires banks to back long-term lending with funding that won’t dry up in a crisis.
To contact the reporters on this story: Jim Brunsden in Brussels at jbrunsden@bloomberg.net; Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

The Education of John Boehner

·  January 6, 2013, 6:21 p.m. ET

The Education of John Boehner

Leverage for the next clash: GOP willingness to let the spending sequester take effect.


What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.' "
I am talking to Mr. Boehner in his office on the second floor of the Capitol, 72 hours after the historic House vote to take America off the so-called fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts on most Americans, but also to raise taxes on high earners. In the interim, Mr. Boehner had been elected to serve his second term as speaker of the House. Throughout our hourlong conversation, as is his custom, he takes long drags on one cigarette after another.
Mr. Boehner looks battle weary from five weeks of grappling with the White House. He's frustrated that the final deal failed to make progress toward his primary goal of "making a down payment on solving the debt crisis and setting a path to get real entitlement reform." At one point he grimly says: "I need this job like I need a hole in the head."
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
The speaker of the House on his way to the budget vote, Jan. 1.
The president's insistence that Washington doesn't have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called "a health-care problem." Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—"They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system"—he replied: "Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem." He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that."
With the two sides so far from agreeing even on the nature of the country's fiscal challenge, making progress on how to address it was difficult. Mr. Boehner became so agitated with the lack of progress that he cursed at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Those days after Christmas," he explains, "I was in Ohio, and Harry's on the Senate floor calling me a dictator and all kinds of nasty things. You know, I don't lose my temper. I never do. But I was shocked at what Harry was saying about me. I came back to town. Saw Harry at the White House. And that was when that was said," he says, referring to a pointed "go [blank] yourself" addressed to Mr. Reid.
Mr. Boehner confirms that at one critical juncture he asked Mr. Obama, after conceding on $800 billion in new taxes, "What am I getting?" and the president replied: "You don't get anything for it. I'm taking that anyway."
Why has the president been such an immovable force when it comes to cutting spending? "Two reasons," Mr. Boehner says. "He's so ideological himself, and he's unwilling to take on the left wing of his own party." That reluctance explains why Mr. Obama originally agreed with the Boehner proposal to raise the retirement age for Medicare, the speaker says, but then "pulled back. He admitted in meetings that he couldn't sell things to his own members. But he didn't even want to try."
Mr. Boehner is frustrated that Republicans were portrayed by the press as dogmatic and unyielding in these talks. "I'm the guy who put revenues on the table the day after the election," he says. "And I'm the guy who put the [income] threshold at a million dollars. Then we agreed to let the rates go up, on dividends, capital gains as a way of trying to move them into a deal. . . . But we could never get him to step up," Mr. Boehner says with a shrug. Negotiations with the White House ended in stalemate when "it became painfully obvious that the president won't cut spending."
Once the talks broke down, the eventual scaled-back deal with no spending cuts was brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, with Mr. Boehner on the sidelines. He says that after the tax package passed the Senate, the House Republican caucus debated two alternatives. One was to amend the Senate bill by attaching spending cuts, and the other was to vote up or down on the Senate bill.
"We were already off the cliff," he says of the rushed Jan. 1 vote, and he feared that a no vote would do "serious damage to the economy." He denies twisting arms to win passage. Even though a majority of Republicans voted no, and he took flak from conservative groups as a sellout, "in the end, most of our members wanted this to pass, but they didn't want to vote for it."
In hindsight, what does he think was his biggest strategic mistake? "What I should have done the day after the election was to come out and say: The House has done its work. The House passed a bill that replaced the sequester with real spending cuts. The House passed a plan extending all of the current tax rates. We passed a budget. We call upon the Senate to do their work."
The left has been crowing that it walked away with the crown jewels and forced Republicans to cave on their "no new taxes" principle. Mr. Boehner sees things differently: "The law of the land was that all of the rates were going up January 1, period. So the question was, were we going to cut taxes by $3.7 trillion."
He's no cheerleader for the final deal—he derides the special-interest corporate-tax provisions as containing "an awful lot of garbage" and grouses about "extending unemployment without further reforms"—but he defends it as the best bad outcome that could have been expected: "Who would have ever guessed that we could make 99% of the Bush tax cuts permanent? When we had a Republican House and Senate and a Republican in the White House, we couldn't get that. And so, not bad."
Where does the fiscal debate go from here? The speaker is adamant on two points:
First, Republicans won't be agreeing to any more tax increases during the next two years. "The tax issue is resolved," he says, and it will be discussed only in the context of a broader debate about tax reform—specifically, lower rates. He dismisses the president's declaration that any future budget cuts will have to be "balanced" with more tax hikes.
Second, Mr. Boehner says he won't engage in any more closed-door budget negotiations with the White House, which are "futile." He adds: "Sure, I will meet with the president if he wants to," but House Republicans will from now on proceed with establishing a budget for the year following what is known as "regular order," and they will insist that Harry Reid and Senate Democrats pass a budget—something they haven't done in nearly four years—before proceeding.
The real showdown will be on the debt ceiling and the spending sequester in March. I ask Mr. Boehner if he will take the debt-ceiling talks to the brink—risking a government shutdown and debt downgrade from the credit agencies—given that it didn't work in 2011 and President Obama has said he won't bargain on the matter.
The debt bill is "one point of leverage," Mr. Boehner says, but he also hedges, noting that it is "not the ultimate leverage." He says that Republicans won't back down from the so-called Boehner rule: that every dollar of raising the debt ceiling will require one dollar of spending cuts over the next 10 years. Rather than forcing a deal, the insistence may result in a series of monthly debt-ceiling increases.
The Republicans' stronger card, Mr. Boehner believes, will be the automatic spending sequester trigger that trims all discretionary programs—defense and domestic. It now appears that the president made a severe political miscalculation when he came up with the sequester idea in 2011.
As Mr. Boehner tells the story: Mr. Obama was sure Republicans would call for ending the sequester—the other "cliff"—because it included deep defense cuts. But Republicans never raised the issue. "It wasn't until literally last week that the White House brought up replacing the sequester," Mr. Boehner says. "They said, 'We can't have the sequester.' They were always counting on us to bring this to the table."
Mr. Boehner says he has significant Republican support, including GOP defense hawks, on his side for letting the sequester do its work. "I got that in my back pocket," the speaker says. He is counting on the president's liberal base putting pressure on him when cherished domestic programs face the sequester's sharp knife. Republican willingness to support the sequester, Mr. Boehner says, is "as much leverage as we're going to get."
That leverage, he reasons, is what will force Democrats to the table on entitlements. "Think of it this way. We already have an agreement [capping] discretionary spending for 10 years. And we're already in our second year of it. This whole discussion on the budget over the next several months is going to be about these entitlements."
Given the bruising of the past several weeks, Mr. Boehner is surprisingly optimistic about getting a deal done on corporate and personal income-tax reform. "The president understands the need for tax reform," he says. "The president admitted . . . in the first meeting that we needed to do tax reform, and he was for a tax reform process that would lower rates."
Mr. Boehner sees Republicans with two goals: lowering tax rates and closing loopholes, as happened in 1986, and equalizing tax rates between small businesses and large corporations. His optimism that Democrats will agree to that framework seems Pollyannish since they are now advocating closing loopholes to raise revenues—without lowering rates.
The driving passion for Mr. Boehner in these fiscal debates is his conviction that trillion-dollar deficits are sapping the country of its energy and prosperity. When I ask him when the impact of this debt will start to be felt, he says: "It's already here today. It's killing our economy. It's causing investors to sit on their cash. They're afraid to invest. It's a wet blanket on top of our economy."
He sees debt as almost a moral failing, noting that when he grew up in a "little middle-class, blue-collar neighborhood" outside of Cincinnati, "nobody had debt. It was unheard of. I just don't do debt."
Mr. Boehner says that the only way to build long-term economic growth is to reduce the nation's debt through entitlement and tax reform. But can such a deal be achieved with a president who doesn't even think that Washington has a spending problem? "He believes in the power of government," Mr. Boehner answers. "I believe in the power of the American people. It is really that simple." And really that difficult.
Mr. Moore is a member of the Journal's editorial board.


-vs-                               CASE No. 92 - CF - 583

On page 102, Line 11, Mr. Haag references a document that was supposed to be served on Leo E. Wanta by a Mr. David E. Meisner, U.S. Assistant Customs Attache in Singapore… this was supposed to inform Wanta that he was the object of a criminal tax evasion case in the State of Wisconsin. Haag specifically states that the document (which Wanta denies ever receiving) was in Wanta's briefcase. I refer readers to Chapter 12 wherein a list of all documents found in Leo E. Wanta’s briefcase as the result of a long-delayed search warrant was provided to the Department of Revenue. There is NO DOCUMENT AS DESCRIBED BY MR. HAAG (IN FRONT OF THE JURY) IN THE BRIEFCASE. Mr. Haag is manufacturing evidence that does not exist according to the Department of Revenue’s own records gained from the issuance of a search warrant after Wanta was taken into custody by the State of Wisconsin. This particular statement by Haag is a provable lie. See the question on line 5 on page 102.
On page 107, Mr. Haag presents a line of questioning that Mr. Chavez should obviously have objected to – but like most of the ineffective counsel he provided Wanta, he did not. Why should he have objected? This is sheer hearsay. The conclusions Haag is proffering in front of the jury are sheer speculation and there is no evidence anywhere in this trial that justifies the speculation. Chavez admits that – after the Judge excuses the jury so the lawyers and the judge can have this discussion. The judge obviously did not want this discussion to occur and because Chavez did nothing to stop the line of questioning, Judge Torphy stopped it. He knew there was no evidence of what Haag was charging and if he allowed the testimony he was heading into territory that would give Wanta grounds for reversal on appeal and/or a new trial.
Mr. Chavez says he’s not objecting because he doesn’t want to look like he’s hiding something from the jury – no, John, it’s much better that you let your client look guilty in front of the jury, then explain to the judge why you didn’t object when the jury is out of the room. What a piece of trash this man is! Stupid trash, at that! “Quite frankly, you’re testifying, Doug,” Chavez says to Assistant Attorney General Douglas Haag – without the jury present, of course. Haag is obviously concerned that the State of Wisconsin will be held liable for the arrest of Ambassador Leo E. Wanta (as it was) and is doing whatever he can to defer any charges against the state’s involvement in Wanta’s arrest… and the State of Wisconsin was obviously involved. Go back to Chapter Eight and re-read the linked November 17, 2000 Swiss Tribunal Hearing court records. There were no charges filed against Leo Wanta in Switzerland during the entire 134 days he spent in the Swiss dungeon… not any kind of charges.
Page 111, line 19 – Mr. Chavez points out that the document Mr. Haag is making so much to-do about regarding it having been presented to Mr. Wanta by Mr. Meisner ISN’T EVEN SIGNED AND SO IS NOT EVEN ACCEPTABLE IN COURT AS EVIDENCE. Good old ineffective counsel John Chavez of course does not mention this basic fact in front of the jury under re-direct nor does he object. This is the manufacture of evidence and represents fraud against the court.

ISA_Americans_Wanta Be Free_Review and USG Updates

Date: Sunday, January 6, 2013, 11:17 AM

CASE No. 02-1544
TOTTEN v. UNITED STATES, 92 U.S. 105, 107 (1875)
CIVIL ACTION No.  02 - 1363 - A
In re :
ORDER         C.A No. . 84 - C - 359
FILED : SEP 7 1984
PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER 12333 -- United States Intelligence Activities
Source : The provisions of Executive Order 12333 of Dec. 4, 1981, appear at 46 FR
59941, 3 CFR, 1981 Comp., p. 200, unless otherwise noted.
Ronald Reagan Library Records F0-007, ( 44 U.S.C. Chapter 22, Section 2204 ).



-vs-                                                  CASE No. 92 - CF - 583



Look at line 25 on page 57 and then at line 1 on page 58. There is a break in the court records here. Mr. Chavez is telling Mr. Haag that just because Haag thinks and states that Wanta is “playing games” doesn’t give Mr. Haag “the right to…” Page 57 ends with those words… “the right to.” Page 58 begins with “approach.” Someone is asking for permission to approach the bench. An argument between Mr. Haag and Mr. Chavez obviously occurred ("obviously" because of the Court’s comments beginning on Line 2) and has been removed from the court transcript.

Then read on page 66 how Judge Torphy limits what Leo Wanta can say in his own defense. Notice how silent Mr. Chavez is when they are discussing the letter written by Leo Wanta to Kurt Becker and Lothar Elsasser and think back to all of Judge Torphy’s prosecutorial objections to Wanta’s answers – even to the way Chavez asked the questions. Do you see the imbalance? To me, as an author, it is stunning. The definition of the word “hearsay” has suddenly changed… as in Wanta’s explanations that his wife told him she filed the tax returns. Under the definition of hearsay used when Wanta was questioned by his counsel, Chavez, the demands Haag was making of Wanta to agree that Joanne Wanta had filed the tax returns would have been deemed “hearsay” and would have been disallowed (as these comments should have been).

One of the problems in Wanta’s testimony is that he is much more intelligent than Mr. Haag. He hears the details of the questions asked… details of which Mr. Haag, himself, is unaware are part of the words he uses to form his questions. When Leo Wanta answers a question in response and exemplifies having heard the detail that Mr. Haag is unaware exist in his words, Haag become totally irate. One good example of this appears on page 71 – and even Judge Torphy, obviously a member of the prosecution team, corrects Haag and proclaims Mr. Wanta’s response to be accurate.  Haag had used a plural and Wanta insisted it was a singular.

One challenge to readers is the need for you to be able to discern the difference between personal and corporate cash flow and income. When he is asked questions about checks made out to him from AmeriChina and New Republic, for example, Wanta answers the questions as a person, not as a corporation. The funds about which Assistant Attorney General Douglas Haag is asking questions are corporate funds. Corporate funds do not represent personal income to Wanta. They only represent cash flow to the corporation in which Wanta is an executive relative to moving money from one corporate account to another.  These transfers of cash prove nothing relative to personal income.

Ineffective counsel Chavez never once brings this to the attention of the jury! So, because there are no appropriate objections made by the ineffective defense provided by attorney John Chavez, readers are left to sort this out for themselves. Just bear in mind as you read about Haag's questions regarding funds involving AmeriChina and New Republic being moved to banks around the world, it has nothing to do with Leo Wanta's personal income – and that is what the criminal charges are based on:  personal income. The court disallows Wanta from making this point and the idiot lawyer representing Wanta in court is evidently part of the prosecution team, or is perhaps displaying symptoms of the drug and/or alcohol abuse for which he would lose his law license in the State of Wisconsin in the not-too-distant future after this trial. He does nothing in this entire trial to point out to the jury that when Wanta was signing checks and otherwise making bank transfers as a corporate employee, it had nothing to do with personal income. Rather, it had to do only with corporate cash flow and income.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

110 Predictions for the Future


· People will be fluent in every language. With DARPA and Google racing to perfect instant translation, it won't be long until your cellphone speaks Swahili on your behalf. 

· Software will predict traffic jams before they occur. Using archived data, roadside sensors, and GPS, IBM has come up with a modeling program that anticipates bumper-to-bumper congestion a full hour before it begins. Better yet, the idea proved successful in early tests—even on the Jersey Turnpike. 

· Climate-controlled jackets will protect soldiers from extreme heat and cold. The secret to all-weather clothing, according to former MIT student Kranthi Vistakula, is Peltier plates, which can be used to warm you up or cool you down by sending an electric current across the junction between two different metals. U.S. soldiers have put the lightweight tech to the test. So have soldiers in India. Based on early reviews, it won't be long until others enlist. 

· Nanoparticles will make chemotherapy far more effective. By delivering tiny doses of cisplatin and docetaxel right to cancerous cells, the mini messengers will significantly reduce the pain and side effects of today's treatments. 

· Electric cars will roam (some) highways. Who says you can't road-trip in a Tesla? In a few years, the 1350-mile stretch of Interstate 5 spanning Washington, Oregon, and California will be lined with fast-charging stations—each no more than 60 miles apart. In some areas you will find stations to the east and west too. Don't get any bright ideas, though. If you try to cross the country, you won't get much farther than Tucson. 

· Athletes will employ robotic trainers. Picture a rotor-propelled drone that tracks a pattern on your T-shirt with an onboard camera. Now imagine it flying in front of you at world-record pace. That's just the start—a simple concept developed by researchers in Australia. 

· Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete. Invented by University of Michigan engineer Victor Li, the new composite is laced with microfibers that bend without breaking. Hairline fractures mend themselves within days when calcium ions in the mix react with rainwater and carbon dioxide to create a calcium carbonate patch. 

· Digital "ants" will protect the U.S. power grid from cyber attacks. Programmed to wander networks in search of threats, the high-tech sleuths in this software, developed by Wake Forest University security expert Errin Fulp, leave behind a digital trail modeled after the scent streams of their real-life cousins. When a digital ant designed to perform a task spots a problem, others rush to the location to do their own analysis. If operators see a swarm, they know there's trouble.n style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica,argin: 0px; padding: 0pxle="font-size: 19px;">· It will interact with other vehicles to prevetyle="font-size: 19px;">

· Scrolls will replace tablets. Researchers have already reproduced words and images on thin plastic digital displays. If they want those displays to compete with the iPad, they need to fine-tune the color and refine the screens so you can put your feet up and watch LeBron throw down on YouTube. 

Your Car Will Be Truly Connected

· It will communicate with traffic lights to improve traffic flow.

· It will interact with other vehicles to prevent accidents.

· It will let you drag and drop a playlist from your home network.

· It will find the gas station with the deepest discount and handle the payment.

· It will notify you when someone dents your door and supply footage of the incident. 

As we branch out as a species, it's quite reasonable to think that we'll send 3D printers to other planets to print habitats for humans prior to our arrival. — Dave Evans, Chief Technology Officer and Resident Futurist, Cisco Systems 

· Your genome will be sequenced before you are born. Researchers led by Jay Shendure of the University of Washington recently reconstructed the genome of a fetus using saliva from the father and a blood sample from the mother (which yielded free-floating DNA from the child). Blood from the umbilical cord later confirmed that the sequencing was 98 percent accurate. Once the price declines, this procedure will allow us to do noninvasive prenatal testing. 

Read more: 110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years - Popular Mechanics 

Read more: 110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years - Popular Mechanics 

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Superhuman Workplace

"Imagine becoming superhuman. Or, at the very least, becoming superhumanly good at your job. A new prescription allows you total focus. Total composure. Genius-level clarity of thought, and the ability to stay up, in the zone, for two days straight. Aural and optical implants, gene transfers, and even bionics keep you sharp and operating at peak ability well into your retirement years.  

Imagine that those technologies used by the military to augment soldiers are turning you into a super-worker capable of moving ahead in your profession, and up the career ladder, with beyond-human, almost √úbermenschen abilities.

Now, imagine that everyone in your office is on the same tip. Imagine that you’re being forced to stay in line, too, just to keep up—that you’re becoming a medical experiment in human efficiency just to retain your job.

The latest research suggests that we’re not too far off from this sort of labor ecosystem. A new report compiled by the Royal Society (the United Kingdom’s national science academy) summarizes the findings of British academics, doctors, professionals and futurists, and it suggests, somewhat cautiously, that jacked-up worker ants could soon be marching en masse. 

“Work will evolve over the next decade,” the report, titled Human enhancement and the future of work, states, “with enhancement technologies potentially making a significant contribution. Widespread use of enhancements might influence an individual’s ability to learn or perform tasks and perhaps even to enter a profession; influence motivation; enable people to work in more extreme conditions or into old age, reduce work-related illness; or facilitate earlier return to work after illness.” 

Those “enhancements” include chemical cocktails, such as the sleep-annihilating drug Modafinil, and surgical improvements like directed-brain stimulation and bionic limbs. While many of these technologies are already available, their increasing proliferation in the workplace is expected to raise serious issues. Will those who can’t afford them be hopelessly outpaced by those who can? Even more disturbingly, will workers soon be socially pressured, or even overtly coerced into going superhuman? 


Many of the technologies the report describes are still in early development stages. Still others, including Modafinil, are already widespread. Sometimes marketed as Provigil, it’s a drug designed to treat narcolepsy. It allows users to stay awake and productive for up to two days straight. Not surprisingly, Modafinil cuts across professional and class lines, appealing to students, professionals, truck drivers, soldiers, and anybody else who might need to stay alert for extended periods of time.

Modafinil and other cognitive enhancers are becoming de rigeur for students, with users potentially extending the habit later into their careers. Dr. Barbara Sahakian, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge, suggests that 16 percent of American students are on cognitive-boosting drugs.

The drug—which is being studied by select researchers as a potential addiction treatment for that other workplace marching-powder standby, cocaine—is a favorite among doctors, scientists and academics, with the performance of users clearly outpacing those who don’t. It’s even used on the International Space Station to manage the sleep disruptions caused by experiencing sixteen sunsets and..... 

Read the rest at 


Friday, October 19, 2012

The Worm Turns!

THE Campaign Poster to End All Posters



THE campaign poster to end all posters
This is too good... Be sure to check out where the "quote" came from
The Quote of the Decade:
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006 Pass it on 'til eternity...

(it was so nice of him to give us this great quote for posterity!) SO, USE IT!!!
Only 86% will send this on. Should be a 100%.
Please send it on if only to one person.


Mary Anne

No virus found in this message.Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com/Version: 2012.0.2221 / Virus Database: 2441/5305 - Release Date: 10/02/12