As Republicans in Congress and Democrats in the White House argue over whose role in the debt-ceiling crisis led Standard & Poor's for the first time ever to downgrade U.S debt from an AAA to AA+ rating, evidence mounts that the cause for this possible push into a double-dip recession was born in Newport Beach.
And ever-more mounting, conspiratorial, totally uncorroborated evidence suggests this may be tied to a Communist Chinese/Cuban plot based in Nouveau Riche to destroy America the Booty-full from within.
Let us follow the deflating ball, shall we?
Due to grave concerns over the outlook for the U.S. economy, S&P downgraded the rating on Friday, but Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO), home of superstar billionaire investor Bill Gross and one of the world's largest investment funds, had bet on this happening three months ago.
But betting is one thing: creating an investment strategy built around the downgrade, showing up anywhere and everywhere on radio, TV and in print predicting it was going to happen and then leaning on ratings boards like S&P to make it happen are another.
That's what Gross and PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian have been doing since April, laments economist Paul Krugman (via the New York Times) and Raymond J. Learsy (via the Huffington Post).
Reports the later:
When the rating agencies were slow to react, their credibility was put into question as well. El-Erian called for "some kind of process to evaluate the performance of the agencies." He would pronounce much in the tradition of "I'm Shocked, I'm Shocked." Rarely did El-Erian's interlocutors pin him down as to whether such a downgrade would help or hurt his book, leaving most listeners with the impression that they had received the accumulated wisdom from high on the hill unaware that the sermon being delivered was from atop a mount built upon billion dollar bets against U.S. Treasuries/U.S. Debt instruments.
And this wasn't a first for PIMCO, which in September 2008 "turned a massive about face on its much vaunted investment strategy of quality only, making huge investments in what was then widely recognized as quintessential junk, namely Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subordinated debt," snatching it up for pennies on the dollar, Learsy reminds.
Then, much as Gross and Mohamed El-Arian have today, Gross had almost unlimited access to CNBC and other broadcasters, permitting them to endlessly lecture listeners and those with authority about the systemic dangers of a Freddie and Fannie collapse, or currently to goad the rating agencies to bring about a ratings downgrade. In 2008, the coziness with the broadcasters was such that Pimco never had to answer a query of whether they would, and how they would benefit from a Fannie and Freddie bailout.
Back then, Gross boasted about his close relationship with then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.
And then, abracadabra, the Treasury without thought of renegotiation or shared risk, paid out Fannie and Freddie sub-debt at 100 cents on the dollar. It thereby set the standard for covering Wall Street speculation and all that was to come thereafter. Others could bet and lose, but Wall Street would be given a pass.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, blind greed, let them eat cake and all that. What does this have to do with the price of the teabaggers in China? Just this: the shadow cast by the Newport Center building holding PIMCO's offices covers part of the Newport Beach Country Club, where many a local investor goes to blow off steam, while a stiff 5-iron far away from that is the Balboa Bay Club & Resort, where the blue-haired parents of local investors rave about the Cobb salad. The parent company of both was just snatched up by Chinese investor Winston Chung, who has given more than $100 million to UC Riverside, home of SoCal-styled socialism.
Meanwhile, after questions were raised about the nature of trips by non-Cuban Americans to Cuba through the luxury travel firm Abercrombie & Kent--let alone how the Newport Beach-based company managed to snag one of the first permits from the Obama administration allowing non-leisure travel to the Communist country--A&K has suspended the trips.
When it comes to the -based past of the above paragraph, A&K has a "virtual office" in Newport Beach that three companies share for receiving mail and phone-answering services, and a second "office" nearby at 11 Lucania Drive, Newport Coast--which is a private residence.
The Miami Herald reports the Newport Coast address belongs to Michael and Lisa Zuccato. He's the president of Cuba Travel Services, a licensed travel service provider (TSP) to Cuba under the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) licensing that was loosened under Obama (after being tightened up by George W. Bush, after originally being loosened by Bill Clinton).
The license, which allows travel where non-Cuban Americans will interact with everyday Cubans to show we're not the capitalist devils Fidel Castro and Bill Gross make us out to be, is administered by the Foundation for Caribbean Studies. Its president is Margaret Alice Zuccato, whose relationship with Michael Zuccato has not been confirmed.
What has been confirmed is Abercrombie & Kent--partly of a Newport Coast home partly owned by Michael Zuccato, and after 13 trips since Jan. 28 that have sold out--suspended travel after getting caught touting cheap vacations with flowing mojitos, which is a no-no because Cuban resorts are known to enrich El Jefe Maximo's army.
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Just a bunch of red-scaring coinky-dinks aimed at selling blog posts? Perhaps. But consider this: during a recent Coast to Coast AM radio broadcast, a Dave of Irvine pointed out that the Illuminati was behind the downfall of ex-IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, as well as the dot-com and housing bubbles, and will be active in the forthcoming decline in gold prices. As everyone knows, the Illuminati, Communists and Islamic terrorists have intertwining plots aimed at bringing America down from within (and don't be surprised if The Partnership figures in there, too: the color of ketchup is RED, after all).
That Dave of Irvine could recognize this from his Newport Beach-adjacent perch? Chilling.