The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-06-25 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 354 references
[Comments enabled]  

What won't stop?

Out-of-scope data collection, correlation and sales.

In other words forced divulging of data from you, or about you, for other than the purpose you reasonably both expected and agreed to.

Let's take Android.  You turn on maps, which is a Google-provided program to get you from "X" to "Y".  That Google would use your location during that time to provide you not only that service but also possibly ads related to where you are is reasonably-foreseeable and something that makes sense you'd agree to in order to get the requested service.

But now let's look at the other side.  You have a weather application on your phone.  That application has ads.  The ads are context sensitive so (for example) knowing that you're near a sub shop it might show you an ad for that.  Fine, thus far.

But not so fine when Google pops up a prompt to review that sub shop should you set foot inside when you didn't use Maps, or any other Google software that could have reasonably known that.

Oh, and you can't turn that off either -- that is, you're forced to allow one company to have access in order for anyone else to.  Google ensures this by not allowing you to "gate" applications so they only have access an can run when in the foreground (e.g. visible on the screen) -- but they sure will gate their Youtube app so you can't listen to the audio associated with a video being played unless you are physically watching it (and thus can see their ads!)

Now that particular example (which is really common) is just annoying, never mind costing you money (since the traffic to do that on the network you pay for yet you get nothing in return.)

But what happens when that data, which Google and dozens of other firms now have, is sold to a data broker who in turn uses it to set a risk profile for your health insurance and thus what you pay for it?

What about when it goes into your car insurance or homeowner's insurance pricing?

Or, that you did not go past a Best Buy means that Amazon charges you a higher price for something that you could have bought at Best Buy -- and might have, had you gone by there.

Think all of this is theoretical?

It's not.

It's happening.  All of it.  Right now, in real time.

And utterly none of that is something you reasonably expected to happen when you "gave consent" nor would you likely give consent if you knew in advance.

I'll give you an example.  My Android phone is idle right now.  I deliberately closed all of the apps, and force-closed everything in the app drawer.  Of course some of them immediately started back up.  I also blocked a lot of Google's stuff.

Nonetheless, look at this which is a tiny snippet of what goes on all the damn time:

09:32:34.368602 IP D5.Denninger.Net.47430 > Flags [P.], seq 1:518, ack 1, win 343, options [nop,nop,TS val 175172 ecr 359567624], length 517
09:32:34.395562 IP > D5.Denninger.Net.47430: Flags [S.], seq 3364819207, ack 4270951170, win 28960, options [mss 1460,sackOK,TS val 359567660 ecr 175168,nop,wscale 5], length 0
09:32:34.400981 IP > D5.Denninger.Net.47430: Flags [.], ack 518, win 939, options [nop,nop,TS val 359567665 ecr 175172], length 0
09:32:34.401909 IP > D5.Denninger.Net.47430: Flags [P.], seq 1:153, ack 518, win 939, options [nop,nop,TS val 359567666 ecr 175172], length 152
09:32:34.402726 IP D5.Denninger.Net.47430 > Flags [.], ack 1, win 343, options [nop,nop,TS val 175175 ecr 359567624], length 0
09:32:34.405302 IP D5.Denninger.Net.47430 > Flags [.], ack 153, win 343, options [nop,nop,TS val 175175 ecr 359567666], length 0
09:32:34.407235 IP D5.Denninger.Net.47430 > Flags [P.], seq 518:569, ack 153, win 343, options [nop,nop,TS val 175176 ecr 359567666], length 51

The traffic out of the WiFi interface (if it's on) is continuous and it's all encrypted.  I have no way to know what the **** is being sent or who the actual target is; being encrypted I can't see what is in the data payloads.  Akamai is a common "cloud" data aggregation and delivery system but the point remains -- what's being sent, to whom, and by what?  I have no way to know and no way, other than shutting off both cellular and WiFi, to stop it.

Then there's "markmonitor" -- which is the target of some of the traffic on  When did I consent to my device sending something encrypted to them?  Their claimed "business model" is "brand protection."  What are they snooping for and in which app did that get into my device?  This one I have been able to track down -- Google's apps are sending to them.  Why is Google snooping around in my device and what are they sending to a "brand protection" company?

10:08:34.540999 IP6 2600:8807:8600:ea1:c978:9379:2f6c:c861.41337 > Flags [.], ack 1, win 395, options [nop,nop,TS val 345828 ecr 3390397241], length 0

There are dozens -- if not hundreds -- of others.  Some are from apps, but that belies the problem as well: Is not Google responsible for that which is in their app store?  Is not Apple responsible for that which is in theirs?  They create the "ecosystem", they profit from the "ecosystem" they should be responsible for what the apps in said ecosystem do.

Some of the traffic is identifiable as legitimate and expected.  Transmissions going to and from "googleusercontent", for example, or the IPSEC communications necessary for WiFi calling to work.  If I actually use an app then obviously it may have to go get something from the network and that's legitimate too.

But this traffic is all happening on a device that is sitting idle and yet it is continually collecting and exchanging data with a lot of "someones" unknown and unnamed, for unknown purposes.

What's worse is that all of these companies -- Facebook, Google, Apple, Snap, etc -- do this sort of thing and yet claim that they "deidentify" you.  This is nonsense; anyone with more than a few bits of these data pieces from multiple sources can with a very high degree of certainty attach your name to said "anonymous" advertising numbers, and poof -- you are known with certainty and forever, personally.

Oh, and incidentally it's just a matter of time before some nefarious jihadi type group buys up and correlates some of this data and then uses it to target people they want to kill by group.  It would be utterly trivial, for example, to identify active-duty military personnel in this fashion -- or cops, firefighters, etc.

How do we know they haven't already done this and are simply deciding when to use said data?

We don't, but it's incredibly naive to believe they haven't thought of it or won't do it.  They both have and will, and when it happens it will be our fault for allowing this crap to go on for as long as it has.  It will be our willful and intentional blindness to ridiculous exploitation and abuse served up on the American population daily that will be directly responsible for these deaths, and they will number in the thousands "all at once", making 9/11 look like a Girl Scout convention.

Let me point out once again that I did not consent to some unknown thing sending data on me all the time on a literal second-by-second basis -- and not just once, but dozens of times which nearly all appear to be wildly "out of scope" to what I did consent to.

Not only does all of this trash my battery and cost me money it also costs me anything that might be considered "privacy" too, and there is no way for me to know what that data is, who it's being sent to or why.

There are a number of relatively simple mandates that could take care of a big part of this problem.  Not all of it -- but a large part of it.  Specifically, the law could require that:

  • "Bundling" of application permissions is barred as a matter of law.  In other words it is explicitly prohibited for a manufacturer of an operating system, phone or other device to "whitelist" their apps and force you to take them and their demands to be able to see and transmit data as a group.  The impact of this today is that it is functionally impossible for me to have a weather application able to "see" the GPS or network location data (to know where I am) without Google's apps also being able to see the same thing.

  • Permissions must be able to be set separately for "with focus" and "in background", defined as when not in focus on a granular, per-application basis. Objecting to a mapping application being able to see your location while you're actively looking at it is stupid -- obviously, it can't work without that capability.  The same capability when the app is not visible is another matter, and what's worse is apps that stick pieces of themselves in the background and run without your knowledge, often at startup and on a permanent, persistent basis.  The current "model" of permissions where you can "deny" location, for example, to a mapping program is one that Google (and Apple) knows is worthless.  Denying location to a map application makes it worth nothing, of course, but denying it location when not in the foreground would make it impossible for it to grab your location when not being actively used and send it to "whoever."

  • Denying the ability of an application to run in the background must be one of the supplied permissions.  Maybe you wish to let Facebook run in the background, and perhaps you do not.  Some things (like a message app) might require that ability in order to be useful but a whole host of apps are perfectly useful without this ability and yet they frequently register and use background components.  All of the benefit of that is for the app developer (and whoever he sells data to) and none of that benefit is for you.  The inability to prevent this is outrageous.

  • Permissions must include access to the network.  If an app cannot obtain location information, cannot scan data on the device and cannot transmit or receive information when it is not in the foreground then a huge amount of the current data mining becomes instantly impossible.

  • Users must be able to change (1) the resolvers used for DNS lookups and (2) firewall and host mapping tables.  My device, my decision on what it can talk to and under what conditions.  Right now both Google and Apple deny access to these parts of the system although both are present.  Both Linux and the base IOS kernel have packet filtering available and both also trivially use a file called "resolv.conf" to determine where name resolution takes place.  These must be under user control so that I can, for example, block all traffic to and from one of those above-identified places should I choose to do so.  This is my piece of hardware, I own it and I have the right to control how it operates.  Period.

  • System services (e.g. Google's internal "play" services, etc) must not be able to circumvent these constraints.  Right now they both can and do.  The background "services" (those things that run "headless") must inherit the permission of the requesting application or program.  In other words Google's "Play Services" may not obtain your location unless the requesting caller has permission to obtain it in the current context (e.g. background or foreground) nor may it on its own collect and transmit said data independently.

  • App developers, including device vendors, must be compelled to disclose what they collect and why they collect it before you consent to loading such an application or, in the case of a pre-loaded app, before or at first use but before any collection and transmission occurs.  They must be barred under criminal and civil penalty, from sale of such data "out of scope" to anyone and any sort of "blanket permission" must be barred. In other words if you collect data "to provide better advertising" to me then you can't sell it to anyone who does not have as the sole and only purpose of its use providing said better advertising.  If you, for example, sell it to someone who is using as part of producing a "Credit risk score" you get shut down, your executives go to prison and you're financially ruined.  The use of such language as "or any other legitimate business purpose" must be explicitly unlawful.

  • This must be applied to all consumer devices, not just phones.  If your television is running an app platform (all the new ones are) this must be applied there too, with the same granularity.  Your "smart speaker"?  Same.  Refrigerator?  Same.  Washing machine?  Same.  Cellphones are just the most-obvious and pervasive example of this problem so far, but are far from the only one.  As another example I have already had to block a crazy number of IP addresses and ports from being able to be hit from a couple of webcams I have here.  They're nice and inexpensive but by default try to send a hell of a lot of data to god-knows-who for god-knows-why.  Good thing I control the device between them and the Internet and thus can interdict and stop all of that traffic, right?  You can't do it with a phone because (1) it has WiFi in it and while you control your home WiFi you don't control it anywhere else and (2) you don't control any of the cellular infrastructure.  Thus, the capacity for user control and interdiction for a cellphone must be at the device level (the above bullet point.)

  • These changes must be retroactive and a duty to destroy all existing data collected and stored without said consent must be imposed.  None of what has gone on so far has been legitimate or with consent.  The only difference between******and sex is consent folks.

If these changes are not made now then these firms -- including all the big ones -- need to be shut down and criminally prosecuted right here, right now.

All of them, without exception.

Why?  Because all of them are grabbing data from you with no real consent as to what they're taking and the "big data" paradigm today means that they are using it beyond the scope of anything you did -- or could have -- reasonably consented to and understood.

If we don't demand and enforce this we will wake up one morning to find that a large swath of people have been targeted using these "technologies" and killed, or worse it will be used to map critical infrastructure and movement of people related to same, resulting in the death of millions all at once.

You've been fairly warned.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2017-06-24 11:32 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 357 references
[Comments enabled]  

There's a relatively-common view among certain people, exposed in public by a person who recently registered on my system, claimed to be a retired MD, and promptly got banned.

He was commenting on my 100 Million Dead article -- where I laid out the utter impossibility of what the so-called "health system" has been doing on a fiscal basis for the last 30+ years, and what it proposes to continue to do backed by the people in Congress and the President -- screw Americans to the wall with an ever-increasing piece of the total economic picture.

Why did he get banned?  It started here:

I'm a retired MD and can tell you the current system is a criminal enterprise.

In other words he admits that the current system is a criminal enterprise to which he was a part.

It gets better (as if self-stating that his own profession is a criminal enterprise isn't enough), and that got him banned:

Tickerguy your timeline on the meltdown is not clear. Why not health care become 30-40% of the economy. We have squandered money on a far worse "noble lie"ie The Cold War.
Why not the Fed take their balance sheet to $20 trillion. I can see the farse going longer than you imagine. I realize we may need to decide if titanium is going into joint replacement or weapon systems but it seems the charade may be far from over.

Thus emerged the fabled "MMT" nonsense, which is propounded upon by people who have advanced degrees but either failed middle-school math (where you learned exponents) or, much worse, they're intentional peddlers of a fraud just as is anyone running a ponzi scheme.

You see, it's easy to print money, especially when you can do it with a mouse-click.

But you can't print value, and since "money" is simply a divisor when you print money you devalue all existing stock of same at the exactly moment you do so by the exact percentage you emit.

That's arithmetic, and arithmetic is, like all physical laws, not subject to suggestion.

You see, the "justification" he tried to run is that despite admitting it's a criminal enterprise he then wants another criminal enterprise (fraud) to cover it up -- and what's worse he thinks it will work.

Well, no.  It won't.

And the disaster is here, in your face, now.

I know, I know, you don't believe my numbers.  Many of you don't believe the MTS either -- the canonical statement of the US Treasury, released monthly, that tells you exactly what is taken in and spent, where, and when.  You can't really argue with the MTS, so instead politicians and people on the street alike stick their fingers in their ears and scream "na na na na na na na na" when you bring it up, exactly as does a 2-year old being told it is bedtime.

I understand that people look at me -- just a guy who ran a multi-million dollar corporation and thus saw all sides of the balance sheet as I had to write the checks, along with matching them with my expectations from my original business plan, as "not credible."  That's ok -- I don't have a bunch of letters after my name for what I believe are perfectly good reasons and many of them have names matching those running these claims in the media on "MMT" and its derivatives right here and now, or even worse, are sitting in places like the Eccles Building in Washington DC.

But then you have an article like this, published by Bloomberg:

Take a good stare at that folks.

If you just retired at 65 your medical expense is projected to be $280,000.

If you're 55 right now and a male (you die earlier) your expected health care costs from 65 to death total a half million dollars.

If you're 45 it's nearly $800 large.

If you're female it's far worse, since women live longer.  About 2-3 years longer, to be exact.  If you're female the total is anywhere from 30-42% higher.

Are you understanding the problem of escalation -- that is, exponents -- here?  10 years previous that total was about $150k.  10 years prior to that -- if you retired in 1997 - it was under $75,000 total, or about $3,750 a year.  That many people could pay but right now most of those people are in the process of dying, and in another 5-10 years they will all be dead.

This article was written to scare people into the stock market, among other things.  I'm sure of it.  But what it ought to do is have the exact opposite effect: It should result in a revolt, right here, right now, today.

There is not one person in ten who can pay the amount of money demanded today, say much less of those who will retire 10 or 20 years from now.  As a single person you can easily eat quite well on $300 a month, or $3,600 a year.  A couple can do so on about 50% more; it's simply how the economics of scale work when it comes to food at home.  Yes, there's inflation in food, but over 20 years @ the Fed's 2% "target" it will add about 50% to those costs before you die.

We can therefore simply extrapolate (and skip the spreadsheet or 20 calculator operations, adding them up.)  The man in this instance will consume approximately $100,000 in food over that retirement lifetime.

Bloomberg projects that he will consume anywhere from roughly three times that much (retiring today) to eight times as much if he's 45 today.

If you're in the 0.1%, you can pay this.

If you're not, you can't.


You can't pay that amount of money over the next 20 years if you retire today and you sure as hell can't pay it if you are 55 or 45.  While you might be able to amass that amount in retirement funds if you spend it on health care you'll have nothing for food and shelter -- and will be in the street, starving to death.

That's a fact for 95% or more of the population. It's math and the simple reality that most people do not make enough to cover that bill.  They don't now and they never will; that amount of money is so wildly beyond the median earnings power less expenses (that is, what someone can save and invest) that fully 9 out of 10 -- or more -- Americans cannot pay it.


It also can't be shifted to the "taxpayer"; if you attempt to do so the federal government instantly collapses.

Illinois is already in the throes of this. Michigan and their cops are not far behind. Virtually all states will be in this situation 10 years from now.

This, more than anything else, is why I came to the conclusion more than five years ago that I had to get rid of the extra weight I was carrying and keep it off.  It wasn't a choice -- yes, I have some money but even with my level of wealth this sort of escalation threatened to screw me and if there was a catastrophic problem on top of it even in my personal situation I'd be in the street.

Look folks, you have one thing you must do right now, and that is get any metabolic disease issues solved on a permanent basis, right here, right now, today.  This means you cannot be fat.

This is not a "fat shaming" thing it's a matter of literal economic and physical suicide if you don't do it today.

If you are overweight or obese today then there is exactly one means that has solid scientific evidence that supports it working on a permanent basis (yo-yo dieting does you no good and might hurt you even more than just remaining fat): Get the damn carbs out of what you eat.  Simply put you not only have to get rid of the extra weight you must keep it off indefinitely.

The above, however, ought to sink into everyone who is a politician, a law enforcement agency that is currently ignoring the rampant violations of both consumer protection and federal anti-trust law, a doctor or surgeon who currently willingly participates in these schemes, a hospital administrator who knowingly and willingly is a part of it, a pharmaceutical business employee who is part of the scheme to charge people in the US 5, 10 or 100x what others in the rest of the world pay for the same thing and more.

You are all responsible for this.  You are either responsible for causing this situation or refusing to act under 100+ year old law to put a stop to it.

Every one of you.

We could start with this bill -- a one-sentence bill -- and then go from there to the link at the bottom of that page.  It's obscene that such a one-sentence bill hasn't been introduced and passed years, even a decade or more ago.

We can still do it now, and we must, because the alternative is going to destroy this nation.  That's not speculation it's a certainty -- whether you wish to admit it or not.

When, not if, there are millions of older people who cannot pay these amounts the entire group of the above people are going to have a very large problem.

If you're lucky that problem comes at the ballot box and in the pew on Sunday, when you get spat on.  It comes when your car breaks down and the tow truck driver demands $10,000 -- 100x more than he demands of someone who isn't in these fields just as you ****ed his father who needed medical care out of 100x as much money as he should have paid.  It comes when there's a hurricane or tornado, your roof gets damaged, and the roofer looks at you and says you go last because you screwed his mother out of 50x what she should have paid for a drug -- and then it rains in your house for the next six months and destroys everything in it.  It comes with indictments, asset stripping and even prison sentences for virtually everyone in the medical and pharmaceutical industry.  And yes, even the latter is if you're lucky.

See, if you're unlucky then some small percentage of those tens of millions of older people decide they can't get justice at the ballot box or by mere social shaming.  You might even pass some more laws to call such shaming "discrimination", perhaps.  These older people recognize they're going to die soon enough anyway, and decide that they're going to live to the postulate that you can only execute a man once, and test the premise that there is in fact no Hell.

That small percentage, a very small percentage of the people who you have ****ed relentlessly for decades, and who you have all laughed at for the last 30 years and continue to laugh at, will decide to go hunting.

For trophy, not food.

That's the end of the civil society folks, and it will happen if this horsecrap medical-system wide isn't stopped now.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2017-06-24 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 326 references
[Comments enabled]  

It just happened folks.

The FBI has apparently declared that the Scalise shooting (at the baseball park) was spontaneous and not premeditated.

This, despite the fact that they found multiple pictures of the ball field in his possession.

They have also declared that he had no particular target in mind.

This, despite the fact that he had a list of Congresspeople on him at the time he committed the offense.

They have further declared that they have no particular motive either.

This, despite the reported fact that he asked one of the people there whether it was Republicans or Democrats practicing, and only after hearing it was Republicans did he go retrieve his guns and start shooting.

Oh, and this "random", "no known motive" nutbag (at least the last word is accurate) traveled the better part of 1,000 miles in a van from Illinois to Washington DC, rented a storage locker in which he deposited a nice big cache of rounds for his weapons, and then did all of the above.

This is the same FBI, I remind you, that had a Director (since fired) who went on national television and laid out every element of a criminal statute being violated by one Hillary Clinton and then proclaimed that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring the case."

I'm not sure if it was the Hillary thing, or even the 9/11 thing where the ragheads who would go on to blow up 3,000 Americans were called in by an astute citizen who thought it was damn odd they were paying in cash for simulator time and didn't want to know how to land.  After all, we were told, 9/11 was a "complex plot" with "lots of moving parts", especially the ones that were allowed to keep moving and leave the country for their native (guess which one) nation after it happened by one President Bush.

But this, well, it's just a bit beyond belief, you see.

You have a guy who drives halfway across the nation, rents a storage locker, searches on the Internet for where a 2017 GOP convention might be held, takes pictures of the very ball field where he commits his assault, has a list containing the names of six members of Congress on his person and then to put a cherry on top of all of it directly inquires of a passerby whether it's actually Republicans on that field before he starts shooting -- and is told "yes."

This, my friends, is all consistent with a random, no-notice and no-motive shooting "incident" -- not a plotted, and carried out, act of terrorism against Republicans by someone who in fact belonged to a Facebook group called "Terminate Republicans".



View this entry with comments (opens new window)

Here it is:

"Notwithstanding any other provision in state or federal law, a person who presents themselves while uninsured to any provider of a medical good or service shall not be charged a price greater than that which Medicare pays for the same drug, device, service or combination thereof."

That's it.

One sentence.

If you want to add a penalty clause with it I propose the following:

"Any bill rendered to a person in excess of said amounts shall (1) be deemed void, with all services and goods provided as a gift without charge or taxable consequence to said consumer but not deductible by said physician or facility from any income or occupational tax and (2) is immediately due to the customer in the exact amount presented as liquidated damages for the fraud so-attempted."

It ends the "Chargemaster" ripoff game.

It ends the $150,000 snake bite or the $80,000 scorpion sting.

It ends the $500,000 cancer treatment.

It ends all of that, immediately and instantly.

I remind you that Medicare is required to set pay rates by law at a level that in fact are profitable -- that is, above cost by a modest amount -- for everything it covers.  Further, those pay rates are audited regularly to prove that they in fact are above cost.

Does this solve every problem?  No, and in fact that would leave alone the existing monopolistic pricing systems that many medical providers, whether they be drug makers, device makers, service providers or otherwise have in place.  It would do exactly nothing to get rid of the 10 paper pushers hired for every doctor or nurse, none of whom ever provide one second of care to an actual person through their entire time of employment.

But it would instantly end walking into an emergency room and getting hammered with a $50,000 bill for something that Medicare will pay $5,000 for.

I remind you that even quite poor people can manage to come up with $5,000 in a life-threatening emergency.  Sure, they might wind up paying 25% interest on the credit card, they might have to stop smoking their $5 pack/day cigs, and it might take them three or five years to pay it off, but they can probably do it.

It's not an answer to the problems the mediscam imposes on society, but it would sure as hell bring down costs for people instantly and permanently, and would make the decision to not carry insurance one that people could opt for while having a rational shot at paying cash -- at least for those in the middle class or better, for whom a $5,000 surprise would be bad, but bearable.

More to the point with the crazy deductibles today the $5,000 would actually buy care and eviscerate the insurance ripoff at the same time, because today you get to pay the $5,000 plus another $10k/year in "premiums" -- for exactly nothing.

This matters because most of the argument for so-called "health insurance" is actually about extortion -- either buy the product or be ruined with charges that are 5, 10 or even 100x what someone who has bought the product will pay.

Ending that will force health insurance companies to actually provide a product that is affordable and provides a reasonable set of benefits -- or people can simply stick up the finger and pay cash.

Pass that, which should take no more than 30 seconds to introduce and put on the floor of both the House and Senate and then we can debate this as a permanent solution.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2017-06-23 10:40 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 166 references
[Comments enabled]  

Here's the real nutshell issue with so-called "business today":

Now, Uber has for the first time has acknowledged that Levandowski informed its now-departed CEO, Travis Kalanick, that he had five disks filled with Google's information five months before joining Uber. 

In other words the company recruited and hired this guy knowing he had stolen trade secret information from Google.

If you think this sort of event is isolated, it's not.

Witness nearly one in four Medicaid recipients being prescribed opiods in the last 12 months.  I remind you that a large percentage of Medicaid recipients are kids so the percentage of opiod abuse among adults funded through Medicaid is probably within spitting distance of half of all adult recipients.  Do you really think the pharma companies and doctors don't know this?  Of course they do, but they worked mightily to conceal it because they also know damn well that their lives will be upended if it comes to light.  Then the truth eventually does come out and what is the reaction?  A few lawsuits aimed at some pharmaceutical companies instead of indictments for drug pushing, 20,000 dead people a year be damned.

How about the market generally?  "Technology" will lead?  Is it "technology" or scams?

The biggest scam of all is found in medicine where somewhere around $3 trillion a year is spent in the United States and 80% of that is either stolen or wasted.

The largest act of theft on a daily, continual basis ever in history and yet not one indictment pops out of that conduct.

In fact our own Congress wants to pass laws to make the scam greater rather than lesser, utterly ignoring 100+ year old law that says that the entirety of these schemes are illegal -- and not just civilly illegal either, felony criminally illegal.

We have a sitting Senator, Rand Paul, who has propounded that medical providers should be explicitly exempt from said lawwhich is a blatant and outrageous admission that today they are not and should all be in prison!  Never mind that there is not one but two Supreme Court decisions which confirmed that medical-related firms are not exempt from anti-trust law.  This is what Rand wants and has expressed in his legislative blueprint:

Provides an exemption from Federal antitrust laws for health care professionals engaged in negotiations with a health plan regarding the terms of a contract under which the professionals provide health care items or services.

Of course being a doctor he ought to know, right?  Or perhaps he can simply read the US Supreme Court cases dating to the early 1980s and knows that all existing physicians and medical practices, including hospital administrators, should be rotting in prison right now and would be but for our government's 30+ year long intentional refusal to enforce said 100+ year old law?

How about Amazon?  Robinson-Patman makes illegal price discrimination in goods where the effect is to exert market power to lessen competition.  Do you really believe all that so-called "artificial intelligence" doesn't result in different prices for different people buying the exact same item in the exact same quantity?  This is outrageously illegal if you have market power -- and Amazon, in the online space, most-certainly does.  The record with regard to brick and mortar retailers is clear in this regard.

How much of so-called "innovation" today is in fact simply a means of finding a way to break a law that you are quite confident the government will not enforce?  That companies once in a while get the "oh they won't enforce the law" part wrong (e.g. Volkswagen) doesn't change the general tone one bit, especially when you manage to steal trillions annually in one industry (health care) alone!

And why, may I ask, do we the people put up with the lack of enforcement when your much less-serious lawbreaking, such as speeding, results in an immediate citation, insurance surcharges and similar -- without apology or forgiveness?

Where is the outrage aimed at these jackals, both within and beyond the beltway?

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

Main Navigation
MUST-READ Selection:
A One-Sentence Bill To Force The Health-Care Issue

Full-Text Search & Archives
Archive Access

Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be sent unmodified to lawmakers via print or electronic means or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media, to republish full articles, or for any commercial use (which includes any site where advertising is displayed.)

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.