Argghh! Portugal, Tons and Tons of Pot! and Guess Who Got Blacklisted

Portugal blame game…

Image courtesy of nirots/

Image courtesy of nirots/

If you’re just as annoyed as I am about the havoc being wreaked on the markets today, then join me in pointing the finger at Portugal. One of the country’s biggest financial firms, Espirito Santo International, is very rudely causing headaches, and not just in Europe, when it curiously delayed payment to some of the entities holding onto its debt securities. Delaying payment is bad enough but then throw in the fact that an audit done in May showed “irregularities” in its accounting and you’ve got yourself a major problem – for the firm, the investors and even the country of Portugal itself. The company blamed some of the issues on an IT mistake. In the meantime the firm sought judicial protection against its creditors. Hmmm. Since when do IT mistakes require judicial protection?

Pot-tastic study…

Image courtesy of Paul/

Image courtesy of Paul/

Results of a new study have just been released. But it’s not just the results that are newsworthy but the study itself since it’s the first one done, post-pot legalization, using actual sales data instead of survey responses from people whose sobriety might be questionable. Now for the drum roll, please: “This study finds total marijuana demand to be much larger than previously estimated.” Ya think? In fact, demand for residents of the open-minded state of Colorado came in at 121 metric tons for its residents and 9 more tons for enthusiastic tourists. The study was conducted by the Marijuana Inventory Tracking System (MITS – and don’t forget that “S”) by Colorado’s Department of Revenue. The study also found a third of the state’s pot consumers consume their weed less than once a month and that visitors account for 44% of sales in the Denver area. On average, an ounce of marijuana will set you back about $220. But you’re worth it.

Closed for American business…

Image courtesy of iosphere/

Image courtesy of iosphere/

In case you were in the market for components to add to your personal stash of surveillance drones, you might want to check with the US Treasury first to see if your vendor of choice has been blacklisted by Uncle Sam. And in case that vendor was Stars Group Holding, well then, you’re going to have to take your business elsewhere. Unfortunately, Stars Group Holding is among those blacklisted because it likes to play nice and chillax with members of terrorist organization, Hezbollah. Coincidentally (or not) both Hezbollah and Stars Group Holding hold court in Lebanon. Stars Group helped the anti-humanitarian organization pick up parts for unmanned aerial vehicles  – UAV’s if you’re in the know, which were used for Syria’s murderous Assad Regime and to spy on the democratic and diplomatic state of Israel, which Hezbollah is hell bent on annihilating. Americans are banned from doing business with the company that “…relied on false-end user certificates, mislabeled air waybills, and other fraudulent methods.” Charming, huh?

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