Pompeo says US intel only OCCASIONALLY ‘gets things wrong’, after bragging about ‘lying’ CIA


04-06-19 09:56:00,

US intelligence agencies occasionally make mistakes but should still be trusted and taken at their word, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who once famously boasted that the CIA “lies, cheats and steals.”

In an interview with Euronews, the former CIA chief insisted that US intelligence agencies are right to consider Chinese telecom giant Huawei a national security threat – a claim that has been disputed by Washington’s European allies.

There’s no doubt the intelligence community gets things wrong from time to time but their overall body of work is excellent and to be relied upon and trusted.

He bragged further that “Western countries, liberal democracies share a common value set. The Chinese don’t share that value set.”

While the US insists Huawei products contain “backdoors” which can be used to spy on behalf of the Chinese government, no proof of the alleged snooping operation has yet been produced. Unconvinced by the unsupported claims, some of Washington’s closest allies have rejected US pressure to end cooperation with the Chinese firm. Germany, for example, announced in March that it would not prevent Huawei from bidding on contracts to develop the country’s 5G networks.

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Berlin and others are right to be weary of Washington’s evidence-scarce accusations against Huawei. In just the last two decades, US intelligence agencies have been repeatedly accused of misleading and lying to the American public and the international community.

Their less than stellar track record includes providing dubious intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction program, and runs right up to the current day.

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‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’: Pompeo offers honest, if disturbing admission about CIA activity

Anonymous sources in the intelligence agency were repeatedly cited by the media to push now-debunked Russiagate. Former CIA Director John Brennan even predicted that there would be big-name indictments before the release of Robert Mueller’s deflating report. When the indictments never came, Brennan suggested that he “may have received bad information.”

Pompeo himself has seemingly contradicted his own assertion that America’s spooks should be trusted.

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Intel Is To Portugal, As Microsoft Is To Switzerland… But It’s Not A Tech Bubble

Intel Is To Portugal, As Microsoft Is To Switzerland… But It’s Not A Tech Bubble

07-06-18 07:33:00,

While Goldman Sachs, in a new report, goes out of its way to ‘prove’ that the current bubble in big tech is not a bubble at all, it has a funny way of showing it… by highlighting just how extreme valuations and market caps have become.

For instance, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have a combined market capitalisation greater than the annual GDP of Africa (54 countries).

Via Goldman Sachs,

Technology is dominating economies and stock markets alike. Since the start of the financial crisis we have seen a dramatic rise in the dominance of technology in stock markets as well as the influence of technology on sectors in traditional industries. Quite how successful and dominant it has become is difficult to overestimate. But such dominance of sectors and stocks is not without precedents and, as we will show, can be very long lasting.

The current size of the largest most powerful technology companies globally is put into some perspective in the ‘map’ above which compares some of the tech giants to the current annual size of GDP of some of the major European economies. Of course this is not a like for like comparison (a company value is the net present value of future expected cash flows whereas the size of GDP is an annual snapshot of an economy) but it nonetheless is fairly striking even when you compare the top technology stocks in size to other major markets.

But as the chart below shows that widens the comparisons to include stock market indices, the top 5 US technology stocks have a combined market capitalisation of more than the EuroStoxx 50 companies together. The top 20 global technology companies are bigger than the value of the STOXX 600 index of Europe.

But while tech dominates US markets, there are other examples of sectors that have achieved very strong growth which, like technology, has been driven by strong fundamentals.

One interesting example is the European luxury sector. The similarities are not immediately apparent but, like technology, luxury goods are a global sector with long duration and so benefit from relatively weak growth.

Also this is one of the few sectors where Europe ‘dominates’ an industry and are often seen as having few substitutes.

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