Friday, October 5, 2012

There's No Politics Like Deep-Dish Chicago-Style Politics

This is mythically corrupt (in reference to the rigged unemployment rate)
- Friend of Dave in Denver
Former General Electric CEO, Jack Welch, referred to today's unemployment report as being the epitome of Chicago-style politics in action:  "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers."  Miraculously, the unemployment rate dropped 30 basis points from last month to 7.8%.  Recall that Obama promised in 2008 to get the unemployment rate below 8%.  Obviously, we are only discussing theoretical numbers here, as the Government's employment report numbers - as dissected ad nauseum on this site and many others - is quite likely the most fraudulently reported statistic in the history of the planet.

Obama has taken a lot of campaign heat for failing to deliver on this promise, as the "unemployment rate" has been over 8% since he was elected.  Miraculously, two days after Obama was thoroughly trounced in debate, the Government releases a monthly employment report which purports an 7.8% unemployment.  Quite honestly, unless we're talking about someone who is completely brain-dead, this attempt at credibility has to challenge the ability to suspend disbelief of even the most passionate Obama supporters.

Recall that yesterday I surmised that we might see a surprise in the actual number of jobs "created" due to the temporary hiring by the Government of workers in connection with the Presidential election.  Indeed, as compiled by my friend and colleague, "Hal," who coincidentally happens to live in Chicago, it turns out that 582,000 of the 114,000 jobs "created" are accounted for by part-time jobs.  Incidentally, for those paying attention to the math, that means somewhere buried in the calculations behind the numbers, roughly 460,000 full-time jobs were lost.  You can go through the numbers to your heart's content using this LINK  But don't bother wasting your time because, as I pointed out to Hal earlier, what makes the entire media/analyst circus surrounding this monthly report entirely absurd is the undisputed fact that the numbers are completely fictitious/fraudulent and bear absolutely no fathomable true relationship with the actual number of unemployed vs. employed in this country.

I don't want to spend any more time on this exercise other than to point out the absurdity of all the media analysts and political commentators (especially on CNBC and the Sunday morning political tragicomedy programs) who discuss, debate and dissect the Government economic reports.  Here's the picture:  you have a bunch of supposedly educated and experienced analysts sitting around a table discussing numbers which are completely fabricated.  I can't think of a bigger waste of time...It's too bad the likes of Charles Dickens or William Thackery are not around to at least convert the absurdity into readable entertainment...

On to something real and concrete that can be discussed:  Manning vs. Brady on Sunday.  I'm not sure an early-season football game can have any more excitement and anticipation than the match-up between the Denver Broncos against the New England Patriots, featuring two of the arguably top-5 QB's of all time.  With Denver coming off of a beat-down of the Oakland Raiders that rivals the beat-down of Obama by Romney Wednesday night, I like Denver's chances of winning on the road this week.  Have a great weekend:


  1. when you look at the detail numbers it shouts out how "strange" things are. There are a number of large numbers -unusually large numbers floating around in this report. And many of the numbers appear to contradict other numbers.

    But then again its election season, and it's the "Chicago" way. Vote early and vote often.

  2. Geezus, you do fly the Bronco flag.

    Where can I get some of that action, Dave?

    Btw, thanks for those miners been researching them all week...


  4. (Quinn in Littleton)

    Dave: I almost can't even take it anymore. I mean, the fact that people run around believing this shit is unfathomable.

    I have the feeling that the Administration truly believes that most American's are a bunch of dumb Geico-like cavemen. Hell, I am starting to think they might be right.

    What a fraud!

  5. These numbers don't FEEL true therefore they AREN'T! My conservative brain can't handle reality being different from what I want! I know they're tricking us SOMEHOW...don't ask me how but I KNOW. Never mind that I was all for the BLS report when it was good news for my candidate! Never mind that former Bush aides say this charge is ridiculous, and never mind that no president, not even Nixon, has ever tampered with the BLS data...

    Sarcasm aside, just know that if this is true, the manipulation will come out and Obama will easily lose the election. Keep those hopes up Mittketeers!

    1. We've got fewer people working now than we did in 2007...yet somehow the unemployment rate went "lower". The economy is "improving"..yet we have record numbers of people on food stamps

      calling you stupid would be an insult to stupid people everywhere


  6. Sorry but its hard for me to believe -- based on your incredulity about the numbers which I subscribe to as well -- that you would be a Mittketeer (I don't believe you penned that or that anyone else did as well). Mitt is even more dishonest than Obama. How many times did he lie during that debate? They are politicians and lie their asses off to get power that they don't even know how to use. If you want to vote for Romney be my guest but things will only get worse under him as they will under Obummer.

    1. LOL. "Mittketeer." That's rich - I love it!

      If you read some of my earlier posts on Romney, you'll see that I completely detest him. I detest them both equally. I'm an equal opportunity detester. They are both completely vile - wastes of human flesh.

      The only reason I watched the first debate was for the hope of priceless entertainment. I must say, they both delivered. I loved watching Obama flounder. Completely helpless without his teleprompter and without either Robert Rubin or George Soros with their arm up his ass, working him like the hand-puppet he is.

      Mitt flogged him mercilessly. Like the flogging a tetherball gets from from meth-addled schoolyard children on some playground in Oakland, California.

      The only reason I have any hope for the next debate is to see if Obama can bounce back like one of those punching clowns and counterpunch back with equally brutal blows. Our only hope for that though, is if Obama's handlers have the ability to pre-program Obama with the right material and correctly anticipate any "re-directs" fired at him by Mitt, since Obama is clearly incapable of thinking on his feet or effective improv. If that can happen, we have the potential for epic entertainment.

      The other ploy Team obamma could use would be to have someone slip a note in front of Romney informing him that his year's supply of food in the basement of his house has mysteriously disappeared. We might get to see him soil his magic underwear if they can pull that off...

  7. Pardon my ignorance (I'm just an average guy trying to make sense of things down there from up here, in Canada), but is Chicago the most politically corrupt city in America? I keep seeing references to such a thing and if it's true, how did it come about?

    1. Yes and maybe do a google search on it. Chicago/Illinois gave us JFK instead of Nixon. But go back to Al Capone days. How about Seagrams? Surely you've had booze made by Seagrams. The Pritzker family was a bootlegging family (as were the Kennedys originally). They smuggled booze from Toronto into the U.S. via Lake Michigan through Chicago.

      It's called "The Windy City" NOT because of the cold winter wind that blows off Lake Michigan...

      I spent two years in Hyde Park at the University of Chicago. Google "Cabrini Green." Back when I was there, it was one of the most dangerous housing projects just off the outskirts of downtown Chicago. Little did I know then, but all the city Aldermen (city councilmen) were busy buying up options on the land all around CB. Now, Cabrini Green is a luxurious real estate development...

    2. Yep. Seagrams has that beautiful plant on the beautiful St. Claire river. It's lit up like a Christmas tree at night. Yummy. LoL

    3. In certain Italian dialects, Chicago is slang for "shit", at least according to some of the Italian guys I work with. Any Italian speakers here who can verify this?

    4. I read Chicago was a native American word meaning "smell onion". The shitty was built on marshes.

  8. Joke jobs report but then again what about the markets are not a joke at this point?

    Agree, great matchup with Manning vs. Brady! Should be the Sunday night game, not the 4pm game IMO. Weather here says will be steady rain just to add to the drama. Best of luck, but I am pulling for the home boys!

  9. Chicago is absolutely notorious for corruption particularly the Mayors. When I was a kid, Mike Royko wrote about it all the time. I laughed even then at how corrupt it was.

    I had a good friend, a homicide detective, tell me that they took payouts all the time to look the other way on drug dealers, pimps, and bookies. He very unashamedly said fuck that city. He had no remorse. Mayor Daley, mayor Thompson waaayyy back. Now Rahm Immanuel- that little prick. The only city that I have ever found that can rival Chicago and perhaps beat it in terms of top to bottom corruption is New Orleans. They don't take a back seat to anyone.

    Dave check out this link at naked capitalism if you haven't seen it already. The real unemployment numbers.

  10. Dave, you're going too MSM on me. You haven't posted a Friday Grateful Dead video in ages.

    1. LOL. It's football season. But you're right, I need to start posting some Friday music vids. I was listening to live Phish tune - Bathtub Gin - while I wrote the blog piece.

    2. No football post. I'm from Detroit. It hurts too bad. LOL. You can bash GM all you want. It's what I live for. Amtrak II bitchez!

  11. at least 2 comments:

    1) John Williams Shadow Stats got his opening when he noticed changes in govt data reporting starting think in 1992 under clinton. Birth Death Model began under Clinton and Bob Rubin before the 96 election exchanged the marketable securities and cash in soc sec trust for treasuries. The Bush adm exacerbated the changes and magnitude of the , for the lack of a better word, lies and Obama, not to be outdone, has further exacerbated the lies. Maybe a better word is disinformation.

    Rumor has it (I read this many years ago) that Lyndon Johnson used to get the jobs figures on wednesday nite and change them to his liking with a pencil.

    2) Chicago--there is a massive residential development just north of the loop called Sandburg Village. It was built, in the 60's as low income housing using fed --err, taxpayer money. Somehow a Chicago Developer named Rubloff got hold of it and it became rental housing for, Boomers just out of school who wanted to live in a hot gold coast/lincoln park area. I am certain the Chicago Machine led by the first Mayor Daley (if you can't help your friends and family who can you help)and Rubloff were tied together.

    Thats now long gone condo and Rubloff and Daley are gone but Rubloff owned with his partners many a real estate building in Chicago. I knew things were getting tough when in 1971 the Rubloff Group offered me a piece of a partnership that they were having trouble selling the subscription.

    That's the Chicago Way

  12. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to Professor William K. Black about Deferred Prosecution Agreements, the Financial Conduct Authority and London as the capital of fraud.

  13. Nanex: Investors Need To Realize The Machines Have Taken Over

    Submitted by Adam Taggart of Peak Prosperity,

    In the blink of an eye, the market moves what used to take humans thirty minutes

    High Frequency Trading (HFT) deeply concerns Erik Hunsader, founder of Nanex. He worries that today's investors, our regulators, -- heck, even the HFT algorithms themselves -- don't fully understand the risks market prices face in the brave new era of bot-dominated trading.

    For instance, Hunsader estimates that HFT algorithms are responsible for 70%(!) of all completed transactions on our exchanges, and for 99.9%(!!!) of all exchange quotes.

    The pictures of trading floors you see on TV, where the people in bright jackets appear frantically busy in making their trades, have no bearing -- claims Hunsader -- on the actual trading action. The real action happens across fiber-optic cables, on racks of servers in cooled rooms; where an arms race defined by cable length and switching speeds is being waged

    The reality is that the machines have taken over. When you buy or sell a security, the odds are extremely high the other side of the trade is being placed by an algorithm -- one that cares nothing for the fundamentals of the underlying instrument. It simply is looking to make a quick profit, oftentimes measured in fractions of pennies. And this has vast repercussions for the stability and the fairness of our financial markets.

    Because of speed advantages, HFT algos can see and react to prices faster than you can. Ridiculously faster. A second on the clock, to an HFT algo, is an eternity.

    1. The CIA and Jeff Bezos Bet on Quantum Computing
      With funding from the Amazon founder and the CIA's investment arm, the Canadian company D-Wave is gaining momentum for its revolutionary approach to computing.

      Inside a blocky building in a Vancouver suburb, across the street from a dowdy McDonald's, is a place chilled colder than anywhere in the known universe. Inside that is a computer processor that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the CIA's investment arm, In-Q-Tel, believe can tap the quirks of quantum mechanics to unleash more computing power than any conventional computer chip. Bezos and In-Q-Tel are in a group of investors who are betting $30 million on this prospect.

      D-Wave's supercooled processor is designed to handle what software engineers call "optimization" problems, the core of conundrums such as figuring out the most efficient delivery route, or how the atoms in a protein will move around when it meets a drug compound. "Virtually everything has to do with optimization, and it's the bedrock of machine learning, which underlies virtually all the wealth creation on the Internet," says Geordie Rose, D-Wave's founder and chief technology officer. In machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, software examines information about the world and formulates an appropriate way to act in the future. It underpins technologies such as speech recognition and product recommendations and is a priority for research by companies, such as Google and Amazon, that rely on big data.

      Whether or not D-Wave can satisfy Aaronson and other skeptics doesn't necessarily matter to investors and technology companies. That's because in so many areas of business, computing power is crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage, says Steve Jurvetson, a partner at venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, who has invested in D-Wave twice and calls it "the most singular swing-for-the-fences technology" he ever funded. "The application space for this," he says, "is anywhere we've had to fall back on an heuristic—a rule of thumb—to solve a problem: day traders, molecular modeling, anyone in e-commerce and the Googles and Microsofts of the world." Companies such as Lockheed, Amazon, and big pharma companies are most familiar with the limits of conventional computers and will be first in line, says Jurvetson, but designing a new car or a new online store could also benefit.

  14. Children forced to palm scan for school lunch

    Instead of paying for their lunches with crumpled dollar bills and loose change, students in Carroll County schools are having their palms scanned in a new check-out system — raising concerns from some parents that their children’s privacy is being violated.

    The county is one of the first localities in Maryland to use the PalmSecure system, in which children from kindergarten to 12th grade place their hands above an infrared scanner. It identifies unique palm and vein patterns, and converts the image into an encrypted numeric algorithm that records a sale.

    Though the school system does not store those images, some parents have complained about the implications of having their children’s hands scanned. About 20 percent of parents have declined to participate in the program, said supervisor of food services Karen Sarno.

    “I didn’t appreciate how they handled it,” said Mike Richmond, who has two children at Westminster’s Cranberry Elementary School. He said that the school scanned their hands before sending the opt-out form. “I’m concerned about it. I know it’s the way of the future, but it’s fingerprinting, it’s palm-printing.”

    School officials defend the system, noting that the algorithm is the only piece of data stored; it is used to identify a child’s account. If students opt out of the service, they give their names to the cashier, who manually charges their accounts.

    “With students, this presents unique privacy threats,” Barnes said. “We’re talking about elementary school students, and that type of technology can make children less inclined to the rights of privacy. Imagine being tracked from age 8 to age 16, and then a university continues to use it, it becomes old hat and makes them less inclined to recognize privacy threats.”

  15. Hey Dave,AAAAuuIiYUk~,qPWDGbccYuKswbnPr4IPsCZWtVYLcdze&bctid=1839260280001

    Il Folletto

    1. China Sums Up US Financial Innovation: "Smart Kids Picking People's Pockets Is Not Very Good"

      He expressed concern about a society in which “all the best engineers are engineering financial products.”

      “You have all the smartest kids to design these products, the only purpose of which is to get money out of other people’s pockets,” he said. “That is not very good.”

      Gao said he tries to avoid relying on financial models in his own investments because he doesn’t trust them.

  16. Outlook from Blackrock Natural Resources


    QE3 is good for commodities, at least in the short term. That this round of easing is open-ended and may be accompanied by additional quantitative measures could well provide the impetus for a more sustained uptrend. Longer-term, supply/demand fundamentals remain broadly supportive of gold prices. Gold equities are trading at attractive valuations on a number of metrics. A feature of the industry is an increase in dividend payments. In our view, this trend is likely to continue and could increase the attractiveness of gold shares relative to their key competitor - gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – and so could aid a re-rating.

  17. How the banking crash sparked a credit union boom

    People are turning away from casino finance and towards a more democratic system that isn't just about money-making

    According to Move Your Money UK, over 500,000 people have joined credit unions in this year alone. In the US, the figures are even more remarkable: from the start of 2009 to mid-2010, 1.5 million members joined credit unions in a year – the number of new members usually expected in a 14-year period. When you examine how credit unions works, it's easy to see why.

    Unlike big banks, credit unions don't engage in any form of casino finance. When you deposit money into a credit union account, it isn't invested anywhere or gambled in any way. The only time it is used by the credit union is when it is loaned to other account holders; and even then it is guaranteed by an FSA scheme, meaning that it won't be lost if the loan repayments aren't met. Those who join credit unions are not customers, but members – like a co-operative. This allows their interests to be put first, and gives them a share of the profit at the end of the year in the form of a dividend. In credit unions, there are no shareholders demanding more money, no dodgy loans or credit cards, no millionaire CEOs and no bonuses.

    But there are also wider social reasons for joining a credit union, and indeed many do so because they value being part of a financial system that is not simply a utility or a money-maker, but something that improves people's quality of life.

    Just as we saw people sitting on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral, spontaneously holding general assemblies, those who join credit unions automatically become part of its democracy: having a say in its day-to-day activities and receiving a share of the profits. It's instructive that the sudden spike in credit union deposits has occurred without the encouragement of a single frontbench MP or national newspaper. Perhaps people are losing faith in the democratic mechanisms society uses and are instead creating their own. The sudden rise of community organising in the Labour party, Citizens UK, and my own employer, Unite the Union, might also indicate a recognition that people are turning to self-organised, community-based structures when it comes to running their lives.

  18. Gary Johnson and the 2-party stranglehold on presidential debates

    We are a two-party system -- not by law, but because the Democrats and the Republicans have seized the mechanisms of government. They use their control to maintain power, and other parties can't compete. This causes a bunch of self-perpetuating, corrosive behaviors, like government-funded primaries for these major parties, which are really nothing but private organizations. Withholding the money for a Republican primary out of a libertarian's paycheck makes as much sense as taxing Jews to pay for KKK dance parties (now that's an idea for a reality show).
    Another, more pressing way the Republicans and Democrats control the process came about in the late 1980s when the two major parties created the "nonpartisan" Commission on Presidential Debates, and crowded out the League of Women Voters, which had run the general election debates up until then.

    In 1988, the League withdrew, saying in a statement that "the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter." The League was right. The debates have largely been unfair and prepackaged since then, and the Commission on Presidential Debates is currently run by a former head of the Republican National Committee and a former White House press secretary (under Bill Clinton). And no one from any other party need apply.

    We now have an estimated 90 million "unlikely voters." These are citizens eligible to cast a ballot, who likely won't bother.

    1. Congress members back legislation that could benefit themselves, relatives

      The practice is both legal and permitted under the ethics rules that Congress has written for itself, which allow lawmakers to take actions that benefit themselves or their families except when they are the lone beneficiaries. The financial disclosure system Congress has implemented also does not require the legislators to identify potential conflicts at the time that they take official actions that intersect or overlap with their investments.
      Members of Congress contact the House and Senate ethics offices thousands of times each year to seek legal advice on a range of activities, including their work on legislation that might pose a conflict. Between 2007 and 2011, lawyers for the two committees issued at least 2,800 written opinions to lawmakers, sent 6,500 e-mails containing advice and provided guidance over the phone 40,000 times, according to records kept by the two committees.
      The committees rarely discipline their own, instead providing advisory opinions that generally give support and justification to lawmakers who take actions that intersect with their personal financial holdings, according to interviews with nearly a dozen ethics experts and government watchdog groups. And though Congress has required top executive branch officials to divest themselves of assets that may present a conflict, lawmakers have not asked the same of themselves.

  19. The World's Largest Money-Laundering Machine: The Federal Reserve

    The Fed policy's first-order effect is to issue hundreds of billions in "free money" to banks; the second-order effect is to destroy the rule of law in the U.S.

    Let's start with a few questions about the proper role of the Central State and Central Bank: why should they bail out private banks? The answer boils down to something like this: "If the private banks absorbed the losses that are rightly theirs in a capitalist system, they would implode. Since the State and Central Bank have enabled these private banks to infiltrate and dominate the nation's financial system, that system is now hostage to these private 'too big to fail' banks."

    In other words, "capitalism" in America now means socializing losses and privatizing profits generated by State and Central Bank intervention. Imagine for a moment the "beauty" of this system for owners of private banks: in a truly socialized banking system, the taxpayers would absorb any losses, but the State would also benefit from any future bank-sector profits. In the U.S. system, the losses are socialized but the people draw no benefit; the profits flow to the top 1/10th of 1% private financiers.

    This is the perfection of State-financier crony capitalism.

  20. What have the economists ever done for us?

    I realize this is an excuse for the Bank of England, but it is certainly not the case for the Federal Reserve.

    Regular readers know that the reason monetary policy and regulation of financial firms don't mix is that to be good at one precludes being good at the other. Monetary policy involves a comfort with theory. Regulation of financial firms involves a comfort with minutia. These are mutually exclusive.

    The financial crisis that began in 2007 confirms that they are mutually exclusive as the Federal Reserve did not prevent the US from participating in the financial crisis even though it houses both monetary policy and regulation of financial firms.

    Coincidentally or not, what happened next was extraordinary. Commercial banks' balance sheets grew by the largest amount in human history....
    This balance sheet explosion was, in one sense, no one’s fault and no one’s responsibility. Not monetary policy authorities, whose focus was now inflation and whose models scarcely permitted bank balance sheets a walk-on role. And not financial regulators, whose focus was on the strength of individual financial institutions.
    Yet this policy neglect has since shown itself to be far from benign.
    Actually, this policy neglect as it occurred at the Federal Reserve is confirmation that monetary policy and regulation of financial firms don't mix.

    The lessons of financial history have been painfully re-taught since 2008. They need not be forgotten again. This has important implications for the economics profession and for the teaching of economics.
    Regular readers know that transparency so the buyer has access to all the useful, relevant information in an appropriate, timely manner so they can independently assess what they are buying is the necessary condition for the invisible hand to work properly.

    All other market imperfections, like the existence of a monopoly or accounting control fraud or information asymmetry, are examples of where the invisible hand does not work properly.

  21. Peter Finch in Network (1976): Mind Control Speech

  22. New York Sun: Is legal tender next?

    Noting a federal appeals court decision holding that denying cost-of-living raises to federal judges is unconstitutional, the New York Sun today asks: What about the rest of us? How come it's OK to debase our money?

    The Sun writes: "The idea that a dollar could be worth a different number of grains of silver or gold at the end of a contract than it meant at the beginning of a contract would have horrified George Washington and nearly all of the other Founders. (Benjamin Franklin, a printer, had a vested interest in paper money.) So would the idea that the dollar would be permitted to decline over a decade to but a sixth of the number of grains of gold at which it was valued at the start of a decade. That is what has just happened in America. ...

    "The legal tender question is the elephant in the courtroom, so to speak. If a dollar can't be diminished for judges -- that is, if the legal tender laws are not good enough for judges -- why should they be good enough for the rest of us? If they are not good enough for the contract between the government and judges, why should they be good enough for contracts between private parties?"

    The Sun's editorial is headlined "Is Legal Tender Next?" and it's posted here:

  23. When the 'Umpire' Is Playing for the Other Team

    Court watchers far smarter than me have parsed the Chief Justice's "umpire" analogy. I'm using it here only to springboard into a short series this week on the dismal state of America's state court judges. These "umpires" have always been the most perilously perched of judges, the most susceptible to mob mentality, because they don't enjoy life-tenure. But now, whatever independence they still have is being threatened: by special interest groups, by radical politicians, and even by some of their own -- judges who trade both in honor and integrity by begging for votes (and campaign contributions) from the very litigants before them.
    The result is truly disconcerting. For centuries, we've been taught that, when we go to court, we will find a fair, unbiased judge who will weigh the evidence and evaluate the law without fear or favor. We have been told that the mere appearance of judicial impartiality is a vital part of the due process guarantees of the Constitution. This has always been a bit of a lie. The playing field always has been tilted toward entrenched interests. But now the gulf between what impartial justice is supposed to look like and what it actually is for hundreds of millions of Americans is vast and widening. And no one seems willing to stop it, either.

    This means, for most Americans, that the "umpire" they see when they go to court, if they go to court, will be a state judge. The aforementioned lawmakers, who seek to limit the power of judges to decide cases, are the players seeking to preclude the "umpires" from making certain calls on the field. The legislators who seek to impeach judges for particular rulings are the players seeking to have "umpires" fired for calls with which they disagree. And the partisans who seek to rig judicial selections are the players who want to pick and chose which umpires get to play the game. How would you like to be on the "other" team?
    Indeed, none of this is fair and all of it is bad. Bad, especially, for the perception that judges should be as free as is humanly possible from undue political pressure and overt legislative retaliation. For as long as there have been judges, there have been legislators to overturn judicial rulings. Indeed, for centuries, judges often have begged lawmakers to "overrule" them by fixing bad laws. But what's happening above is an altogether different matter. This is an act of war by one branch against another, a partisan attempt to help certain litigants at the expense of other litigants by trying to restructure the judicial branch itself.

    The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all
    history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself
    or be ruled by a small elite — Thomas Jefferson

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