You’re Either at the Table or On the Table. — Old Wall Street adage
Cerberus is named after the mythological three-headed dog that guarded the gates of Hades aka the (Bill?) Gates of Hell.
With a serpent’s tail, a mane of snakes, and a lion’s claws, it guards the entrance of Hell to prevent those who entered from ever escaping. Cerberus is featured in many works of ancient Greek and Roman literature and in works of both ancient and modern art and architecture.
This week, Cerberus Capital Management announced it was buying Safeway Supermarkets for $9 billion, just as California is going into a never before experienced historical water and food crisis. Their timing is incredible in that after this acquisition they will have more than doubled their control over our major supermarkets in California and beyond.
Last year, a Cerberus-led investor group spent $3.3 billion in cash and debt assumption buying 887 stores from Supervalu Inc., with the names Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and StarMarket. Cerberus already owned some Albertsons stores, which it bought in 2006. In the fall, Albertsons said it would buy 50 stores operated by Texan chain United Supermarkets.
In the U.S., more than 19% of market share in the U.S. grocery industry belongs to Kroger, whose chains include Ralphs and Food 4 Less, according to Euromonitor International. Safeway, which has 1,335 stores, follows with 9.1%. Albertsons and its 1,075 stores closing out the top five with a 3.8% share. Kroger and Safeway also have mutual agreements to accept each others “club cards”. (Source).
On a relevant sidebar, Safeway this week settled a lawsuit brought about by 9 Northern California counties and had to pay out $2.5 million because Safeway charged consumers more than the lowest advertised prices, misrepresented the weights of Safeway brand products and implied that some produce was “locally grown” when it had come from out of the country.
The complaint also alleged that Safeway failed to abide by a 2008 injunction requiring it to minimize price discrepancies by offering customers free items or $5 gift cards when pricing flaws occurred. In its statement, Safeway said it would “take additional steps to make our scan guarantee policy more visible to our customers and well-understood by our employees”. (Source)
Additionally, last week’s news that the Federal water agency that doles out water from the Sierras to 3300 water suppliers throughout California had this to say to all residents and commercial farmers of California: “We cannot give what we don’t have. It’s just not there.” (Source)
The Federal government is setting precedent by breaking a 54-year agreement with the state to provide water to all of California from mountain runoff. The critical problem, according to the head of the Federal Water Agency is, “It’s just not there”, meaning the snowpack from the Sierras that allows the Feds to allot the water to the state for the coming year ahead.
The state’s worst drought in decades has left its reservoirs half-naked, if not skeletal. Officials say 17 communities could run out of drinking water this summer, some are considering mandatory rationing, and 500,000 acres in the state may be left fallow. For the first time in its 54-year history, the California State Water Project—the world’s biggest plumbing network and the way millions of state residents get hundreds of billions of gallons of water—is essentially shutting down.
In 2012 the project moved 815 billion gallons of fresh water from Northern California’s rivers to 25 million people and a million acres of farmland in the arid central and southern parts of the state. Last year, the driest on record, the system delivered 490 billion gallons, down 40 percent. This year, the planned water distribution is zero. Two-thirds of California’s 38 million people and most of its $45 billion farm products depend on snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain watersheds, imported via thousands of miles of pipelines, canals, and the Colorado River.
Although snowfall is up this winter in the Rockies, precipitation in both mountain watersheds has been going down over the last 14 years, raising scary questions for the nation’s most populous state.
So who is this Cerberus Capital Management with its impeccable timing to acquire critical food distribution sources just as food prices in the U.S. are about to soar due to America’s breadbasket being empty come mid-summertime?
Let’s take a deeper look at the how dots connect.
Cerberus manages more than $20 billion in capital. Together, the companies it owns generate annual revenue of about $60 billion — more than either Amazon, Cisco, McDonald’s or Coca-Cola. With just 200 of its own employees, Cerberus owns or has pieces of over 50 companies with more than 175,000 employees.
Mr. Dan Quayle, former VP of the United States and who served with former President George H. W. Bush Sr., joined Cerberus in 1999 and is chairman of the company’s Global Investments Division. Former Treasury Secretary, John Snow is also on the Cerberus payroll.
|Cerberus CEO, Stephen Feinberg|
Behind the scenes at Cerberus is the secretive Co-Founder CEO, Stephen A. Feinberg. The low-profile Feinberg moves in rarefied circles. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was an investor in 2001 in his fund, according to government ethics disclosures. Hedge-fund legend Michael Steinhardt is a shareholder and director in Cerberus’ lending arm, Ableco LLC. Michael Dell’s private-investment firm has joined with Cerberus and home-builder Lennar Corp. to develop upscale residential communities. His roster of investors also includes public pension funds such as TIAA-CREF and the largest pension fund in the country, California State Teachers’ Retirement System.
Feinberg has been described as “secretive” in the New York Times. In 2007, Feinberg told Cerberus shareholders, “If anyone at Cerberus has his picture in the paper and a picture of his apartment, we will do more than fire that person. We will kill him. The jail sentence will be worth it.” (Source)
Cerebus Capital Management owns DynCorp, the private data collection agency for the alphabet spy agencies. (CIA, DHS, NSA, FBI, DEA, etc.). Cerberus bought DynCorp for $1.5 billion in 2006. (Source)
DynCorp is one of the three preeminent private mercenary corporations in the world, and is the dominant entity for training security forces in the Middle East. Herbert “Pug” Winokur a lead investor and creator of DynCorp—he was CEO from 1987 to 1991—previously chaired the finance committee at Enron, where he somehow escaped the scrutiny of federal prosecutors.
DynCorp is ubiquitous; it manages the congressional telephone system and does the computerized bookkeeping for a dozen federal agencies, including DOD and HUD, and as such has presided over the loss (or theft) of trillions of dollars. DynCorp has a contract to manage the police and court systems in the US-occupied Iraq. Arthur Anderson is the financial auditor of DynCorp, the same auditor which handled Enron’s books. The HUD Inspector General testified before Congress that HUD had lost $17 billion in 1998 and $59 billion in 1999.
In September, 2001 it was disclosed that the Pentagon could not account for $1.1 trillion for the fiscal year 2000. In a separate loss, it later became public that the DOD could not account for $2.3 trillion dollars, amounting to over 25% of its assets. The DOD budget is $480 billion a year, more than all the non-American military spending in the world combined, yet they managed to lose trillions.
The financial data processing for the US government accounting systems is performed by DynCorp and Lockheed-Martin. DynCorp was given a $322 million contract to develop, produce, test, and store FDA licensed vaccines for the DOD. DynCorp owns the former Blackwater renamed Xe, renamed Academi, the company that employs the majority of the tens of thousands of security contractors in Iraq. (Source)
DynCorp has also been brought up in front of Congress, along with Dick Cheney’s old company, Halliburton, for their alleged roles in international sex slave rings.
“A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and US and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington’s political elite. Reporters for this newspaper examined hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal cards and made payable to the escort service operated by the homosexual ring. (Source) – Washington Times, 6/29/1989
Mr. Secretary, I watched President Bush deliver a moving speech at the United Nations in September 2003, in which he mentioned the crisis of the sex trade. The President called for the punishment of those involved in this horrible business. But at the very moment of that speech, DynCorp was exposed for having been involved in the buying and selling of young women and children. While all of this was going on, DynCorp kept the Pentagon contract to administer the smallpox and anthrax vaccines, and is now working on a plague vaccine through the Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program. Mr. Secretary, is it [the] policy of the U.S. Government to reward companies that traffic in women and little girls?
Rumsfeld: “Thank you, Representative. First, the answer to your first question is, is, no, absolutely not, the policy of the United States Government is clear, unambiguous, and opposed to the activities that you described. The second question.”
McKinney: “Well how do you explain the fact that DynCorp and its successor companies have received and continue to receive government contracts?”
Rumsfeld: “I would have to go and find the facts, but there are laws and rules and regulations with respect to government contracts, and there are times that corporations do things they should not do, in which case they tend to be suspended for some period; there are times then that the – under the laws and the rules and regulations for the – passed by the Congress and implemented by the Executive branch – that corporations can get off of – out of the penalty box if you will, and be permitted to engage in contracts with the government. They’re generally not barred in perpetuity.”
McKinney: “This contract – this company – was never in the penalty box.”
Rumsfeld: “I’m advised by DR. Chu that it was not the corporation that was engaged in the activities you characterized but I’m told it was an employee of the corporation, and it was some years ago in the Balkans that that took place.” Rumsfeld’s effort to shift the blame away from the hierarchy at Dyncorp and onto the Dyncorp employees was a blatant attempt to hide the fact that human trafficking and sex slavery is a practice condoned by companies like DynCorp and Halliburton subsidiaries like KBR. What else are we to assume in light of recent revelations that Halliburton subsidiary KBR and DynCorp lobbyists are working in tandem with the Pentagon to stall legislation that would specifically ban trafficking in humans for forced labor and prostitution by U.S. contractors?
And the likely real reason former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Obama’s home state of Illinois was sacked and jailed, was due to his dogged inquiry into the international sex slave business.
“In a letter expected to go to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Friday, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he is troubled by the Pentagon’s inaction on human trafficking and called on Rumsfeld to take aggressive measures to protect human rights.
“The time to act is now,” Blagojevich told Rumsfeld, according to a copy of the letter provided by the governor’s office. The letter also touts a new Illinois law, which takes effect Sunday, that Blagojevich says will create stiff new penalties for anyone engaged in trafficking.” (Source)
for an undisclosed group.) (Source)
On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger completed a classified 200-page study, “National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) was a grave threat to U.S. national security. Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200 outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries through birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser (the same post Scowcroft was to hold in the Bush administration), was put in charge of implementing the plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture.
There were several measures that Kissinger advocated to deal with this alleged threat, most prominently, birth control and related population-reduction programs. He also warned that “population growth rates are likely to increase appreciably before they begin to decline,” even if such measures were adopted.
A second measure was curtailing food supplies to targeted states, in part to force compliance with birth control policies: “There is also some established precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of assistance requirements by AID [U.S. Agency for International Development] and consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production. In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion.
Mandatory programs may be needed and we should be considering these possibilities now,” the document continued, adding, “Would food be considered an instrument of national power? … Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing to help people who can’t/won’t control their population growth?
Kissinger also predicted a return of famines that could make exclusive reliance on birth control programs unnecessary. “Rapid population growth and lagging food production in developing countries, together with the sharp deterioration in the global food situation in 1972 and 1973, have raised serious concerns about the ability of the world to feed itself adequately over the next quarter of century and beyond,” he reported. (Source)
Cerberus Capital Management, Sandy Hook Elementary and the Hunter NYTimes, Nov. 26th, 2011:
In recent years, many top-selling brands — including the 195-year-old Remington Arms, as well as Bushmaster Firearms and DPMS, leading makers of military-style semiautomatic — have quietly passed into the hands of a single private company. It is called the Freedom Group — and it is the most powerful and mysterious force in the American commercial gun industry today.
Never heard of it?
You’re not alone. Even within gun circles, the Freedom Group is something of an enigma. Its rise has been so swift that it has become the subject of wild speculation and grassy-knoll conspiracy theories. In the realm of consumer rifles and shotguns — long guns, in the trade — it is unrivaled in its size and reach. By its own count, the Freedom Group sold 1.2 million long guns and 2.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the 12 months ended March 2010, the most recent year for which figures are publicly available.
Behind this giant is Cerberus Capital Management, the private investment company that first came to widespread attention when it acquired Chrysler in 2007. (Chrysler later had to be rescued by taxpayers). With far less fanfare, Cerberus, through the Freedom Group, has been buying big names in guns and ammo.
From its headquarters on Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, Cerberus has assembled a remarkable arsenal. It began with Bushmaster, which until recently was based here in Maine. Unlike military counterparts like automatic M-16’s, rifles like those from Bushmaster don’t spray bullets with one trigger pull. But, with gas-powered mechanisms, semiautomatic can fire rapid follow-up shots as fast as the trigger can be squeezed. They are often called “black guns” because of their color. The police tied a Bushmaster XM15 rifle to shootings in the Washington sniper case in 2002.
After Bushmaster, the Freedom Group moved in on Remington, which traces its history to the days of flintlocks and today is supplying M24 sniper rifles to the government of Afghanistan and making handguns for the first time in decades. The group has also acquired Marlin Firearms, which turned out a special model for Annie Oakley, as well as Dakota Arms, a maker of high-end big-game rifles. It has bought DPMS Firearms, another maker of semiautomatic, military-style rifles, as well as manufacturers of ammunition and tactical clothing.
Freedom Group has expanded its sales staff in the United States and increased its business internationally. It has sold weapons to the governments of Afghanistan, Thailand, Mexico and Malaysia, among others, and obtained new business from the United States Army, including a contract worth up to $28.2 million, to upgrade the M24 sniper weapon system.
“We believe our scale and product breadth are unmatched within the industry,” the Freedom Group said in a filing last year with the Securities and Exchange Commission” (Source)
Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management announced today that it plans to sell off its investment in gun maker Freedom Group, the manufacturer of the rifle that Adam Lanza is said to have used in the Newtown shootings that killed 20 children and seven adults.
“It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level,” the firm said in a statement announcing the decision. More from the Cerberus:
As a Firm, we are investors, not statesmen or policy makers. Our role is to make investments on behalf of our clients who are comprised of the pension plans of firemen, teachers, policemen and other municipal workers and unions, endowments, and other institutions and individuals. It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators.
There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take. Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group. We will retain a financial advisor to design and execute a process to sell our interests in Freedom Group, and we will then return that capital to our investors. We believe that this decision allows us to meet our obligations to the investors whose interests we are entrusted to protect without being drawn into the national debate that is more properly pursued by those with the formal charter and public responsibility to do so. (Source)
Over a year since the alleged shootings at Sandy Hook, Cerberus still has not found a buyer for Freedom Group nor made any sales of its gun divisions partly due to business being so damn good since the likely false flag event was staged.
“Business has boomed for Freedom Group in the year since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Between January and the end of September, the company raked in $94 million in profits on more than $1 billion in gun and ammo sales, compared with just $500,000 in net profits during the same period in 2012. For the full year ending December 31, Freedom Group estimates that its net sales will be up 34 percent to $1.25 billion, according to a financial disclosure (PDF) released Monday. Though Freedom Group doesn’t release sales figures specifically for the Bushmaster XM-15 assault rifle, that weapon and similar models reportedly flew off retailers’ shelves in the weeks after Sandy Hook, snatched up by firearms enthusiasts who feared the guns would soon be outlawed.
“It’s difficult because we represent the futures of teachers. Teachers were killed at Sandy Hook, and that gun was made by a company that we partially own.”
According to the Freedom Group’s third quarter report, this year’s earnings spike came primarily from a $42 million bump in sales of “centerfire rifles,” a category which includes the XM-15. The report further notes that Freedom Group’s leading sellers were “modern sporting rifles”—the firearms industry’s euphemism for assault weapons. “Consumer concern over more restrictive governmental regulation on the federal, state, and local levels has contributed to this increase in demand,” the report says. The company would have sold even more guns, the report adds, if not for “sales demand being greater than our current production capacity in many categories.” (Source)
Soooo coincidentally, Martin Feinberg, the father of CEO of Cerberus, Stephen Feinberg, is a long-time resident in Newton, Ct. living about 6 miles from where Sandy Hook Elementary School was located. (Source)
Additionally, in 2013, Connecticut became the first state in America that has made it a felony this year if gun owners do not register their guns. The law has been characterized as one of the most restrictive in the nation. It bans over 100 firearm models outright, bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, bans certain bullets, and expands the definition of “assault weapons.” It also prohibits private sales of guns without reporting to the government and creates a database of people denied their rights without due process (medical reasons). While exempting government agents from the restrictions, it increases the penalties for anyone who breaks these onerous requirements. It also places these individuals into a “deadly weapon offender registry” for life as they suffer as lifelong felons. The state also dedicated $1 million for statewide firearms trafficking task force.
Connecting the dots we see the guardian of the Gates of Hades, Cerberus Capital Management, having acquired significant controlling interest in the nation’s food and personal protection. Combined with California’s historical “no mas agua”, should civil unrest begin in earnest this summer or beyond, they will also have a controlling interest in who gets fed and who does not.
In addition, they also control a large part of who get guns, ammo and personal protection in the near and distant future. And I hope the irony is not lost on anyone that still, the single largest investor in Cerberus and its massive gun business, is the California Teachers Retirement Pension Fund.