Call it what you want. It’s still Fraud!

JPMorgan Chase (JPM, -1.2%) will pay a record fine of $920M and admits wrongdoing in a settlement over market manipulation of metals futures and Treasury securities over eight years.

In the biggest penalty over the practice known as spoofing, the bank will pay a $436.4M fine, $311.7M in restitution and more than $172M in disgorgement, according to the CFTC.

Spoofing usually entails flooding derivatives markets with orders that the traders don’t intend to execute to deceive others into moving prices in a desired direction.

In the financial crash of 2008, my 5-figure money market savings account lost 54% of its value. The “expert” charged with managing that fund was fired. That wasn’t sufficient for me to continue doing business with the upper/mid-level firm I had trusted with my retirement account.

I don’t pay lots of attention to the financial industry’s movers and shakers; but, JP Morgan certainly has had a hefty enough reputation that I would have nodded assent to any friend who was thinking of sinking their savings into one of their investment products.

Now, they’re just another critter slouching in that line of trolls ready to take your hard-earned income and return a piece of the action back to you…no matter how they go about working at the increase. When crooked becomes one of the methods, we already get enough of that from Congress…who Mark Twain called “America’s only native criminal class.”

US demonstrates global leadership in healthcare — NOT

One million people worldwide have now died from confirmed coronavirus cases. It is a staggering toll — greater than the number of people estimated to have died from malaria, influenza, cholera and measles, combined, over the same period. And the real number of coronavirus deaths is almost certainly higher.

The U.S., with 4 percent of the world’s population, has suffered more than 20 percent of deaths.

Bum, Bum, Bumblebee Bum!

Christopher Lischewski, former Chief Executive Officer and President of Bumble Bee Foods LLC, was sentenced to serve 40 months in jail and pay a $100,000 criminal fine for his leadership role in a three-year antitrust conspiracy to fix prices of canned tuna…

…After a four-week trial in late 2019, he was convicted on the single count of participating in a conspiracy to fix prices of canned tuna. In imposing Lischewski’s 40-month prison sentence, the Court found that Lischewski was a leader or organizer of the conspiracy and that it affected over $600 million dollars of canned tuna sales.

Bumble Bee pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $25 million criminal fine. In September, StarKist Co. was sentenced to pay a statutory maximum $100 million criminal fine. In addition to Bumble Bee and StarKist, four executives, including Lischewski, were charged in the investigation. The other three executives pleaded guilty and testified in Lischewski’s trial.

Of course, the only words we’ve heard from the Fake President about any kind of tuna were bullshit about cans of tuna in protests against his incompetence. Predictable. Sad.

200,000+ dead / Fake President lies / plays golf


Ren Onuma, Kyodo News

The president seemingly does not care about the more than 200,000 Americans who have lost their lives as a result of the coronavirus, but we do know one thing he cares deeply about — his golf game. Before hitting the links at one own private golf courses in Virginia on Saturday — for the 298th time in his presidency — Trump took to Twitter and thumbed out a slew of attacks and lies…

Finally, the president once again promised to replace Obamacare, something he often does but never accomplishes: “Obamacare will be replaced with a MUCH better, and FAR cheaper, alternative if it is terminated in the Supreme Court. Would be a big WIN for the USA!”

But don’t fall for Trump’s lies. Although he claims a recent executive order he signed will protect pre-existing conditions, the order is toothless and mostly performative. It does not even come close to offering the same protections as the Affordable Care Act.

This fascist clown show lies like a rug. Not even a rug as good as the orange foofaraw stapled to his scalp.

Your coffeemaker been hacked [yet]?

With the name Smarter, you might expect a network-connected kitchen appliance maker to be, well, smarter than companies selling conventional appliances. But in the case of the Smarter’s Internet-of-things coffee maker, you’d be wrong…

Security problems with Smarter products first came to light in 2015, when researchers at London-based security firm Pen Test partners found that they could recover a Wi-Fi encryption key used in the first version of the Smarter iKettle. The same researchers found that version 2 of the iKettle and the then-current version of the Smarter coffee maker had additional problems, including no firmware signing and no trusted enclave inside the ESP8266, the chipset that formed the brains of the devices. The result: the researchers showed a hacker could probably replace the factory firmware with a malicious one. The researcher EvilSocket also performed a complete reverse engineering of the device protocol, allowing reomote control of the device.

As a thought experiment, Martin Hron, a researcher at security company Avast, reverse engineered one of the older coffee makers to see what kinds of hacks he could do with it. After just a week of effort, the unqualified answer was: quite a lot. Specifically, he could trigger the coffee maker to turn on the burner, dispense water, spin the bean grinder, and display a ransom message, all while beeping repeatedly. Oh, and by the way, the only way to stop the chaos was to unplug the power cord…

The cautionary tale moves on and offers humor, corrective suggestions…and not a boatload of hope for up-to-date standards. Generally, firmware updates stop in a few years…even though beaucoup electronic products work for many more. As they should.

Texas residents warned of brain-eating microbe in drinking water

Texas officials have warned residents of some communities near Houston to stop using tap water because it might be tainted with a deadly brain-eating microbe.

The commission issued an advisory warning people not to use tap water for any reason except to flush toilets in Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute and Rosenberg.

Those communities are home to about 120,000 people. Also affected are the Dow Chemical works in Freeport, which has 4,200 employees, and the Clemens and Wayne Scott state prison units, which have 2,345 inmates and 655 employees.

Some think that folks in Texas are never surprised when they receive warnings like this.