Most Oil Sellers and Brokers Fail – Crude Oil Selling Procedures That Sell in Today’s Internet Era

Most Crude Oil And Petroleum Product Sellers, Brokers and Agents, in the International “Secondary” Oil Market, Do Not Make Any Sales Or Income. Do You Ever Wonder Why?

A MAJOR “HIDDEN SECRET” OF OIL SELLERS & BROKERS: MOST DO NOT MAKE ANY SALES or INCOME

Crude oil and petroleum products sellers, and their brokers and agents, who operate in the so-called “secondary market” of the international oil market today, do not usually speak about this, or like to do so. Or like the fact about this to be known. In deed, many of them would rather that it be kept obscured, or simply misrepresented. But, the fact is that one distinctive part of their business “reality” is this: as a group, they frequently close no deals nor make any sales for the oil product they purport to have available to sell, and, in fact, the vast majority of them often go for months, even years, or perhaps for ever, without ever landing even a single sales contract or deal. It is probably what might simply be called “the open secret” of the oil selling industry!

C. Keila Nakasaka, a California attorney and real estate investor and entrepreneur, who conducted extensive market research and investigations into the D2 diesel oil trade to see if he could prudently recommend taking up the commission broker’s job to his clients, says he came away from his research greatly disillusioned and disappointed. According to him, the “stories that these brokers concoct are that the seller has some direct connection with a refinery. Some even claim that the seller is, in fact, one of the leading energy companies in Russia… [but] what bothered me [the most] is that almost every one of these brokers failed to be forthcoming. They often misrepresented themselves as mandates, direct representatives, and even buyer and sellers.”

Probably the principal and most sensitive thing about which most such sellers and intermediaries (the agents, facilitators, mandates, brokers, etc.) are least “forthcoming” and “misrepresenting” about, is concerning the number and volume of sales deals they have ever closed, if any, or the income they have earned in the trade, if any. Simply put, almost all of these operatives generally close no deals, and earn almost nothing. Most of them go for months, even years – or forever – without successfully closing any sales deals, not to speak of earning even a dime in commission income!

As Nakasaka put it, describing his findings: “Another factor which I thought was odd was that most of the brokers I spoke with never closed a D2 deal despite their months and sometimes years in this business. There was one broker who claimed that he had pending deals, and two who stated that they did in fact close these deals. However, I did not find them credible.”

MAJOR REASONS FOR THIS, WHICH ACCOUNT FOR WHY MOST “SECONDARY MARKET” SELLERS & THEIR INTERMEDIARIES NEVER CLOSE ANY DEALS

Why is this so – that they make no sales or income? Many factors account for it. They could roughly be summed up as follows:

1. MOST SELLERS (and their intermediaries) ARE FAKE, ANY WAY, WITH NO CRUDE OR OIL PRODUCT TO SELL

A fact that is by now well-established and not subject to any disputation whatsoever among credible experts in the industry, is that the overwhelming majority of selling offers peddled by crude oil and petroleum product “sellers” in the so-called “secondary” oil markets, and their brokers, agents, and other intermediaries, are fake and bogus. In deed, some objective studies and research have put its extent at a whopping level of some 99.999999 percent of all offers presented for sale. Probably the only thing of much redeeming value that could be stated about this, is that with particular respect to those who act as foreign brokers and intermediaries in the business, some of them may often be engaged fraudulently in the business but innocently and unwittingly, mistakenly believing that the deal or selling operation is authentic and legitimate, when it actually is not.

2.LACK OF PROPER TRAINING, SKILLS OR KNOWLEDGE IN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE BUSINESS

Put very simply, perhaps nowhere is the saying that “we live in a wide interconnected world” more applicable today than in the world of the international buying and selling of crude oil and petroleum products. For the most part, virtually all that one needs in order to become a “seller” of crude oil or petroleum product, or his agent, legitimate or not, who are operating out of any part of the world, is simply to have an access to a computer and an Internet connection. That’s just about all! Unfortunately, however, one dire negative effect of this so-called “revolution of the Internet” (among many others), has been that many who now claim to be, or operate as, “sellers” or the sellers’ “brokers” or “agents,” are largely uneducated or semi-illiterate, untrained and unskilled, and are lacking in any knowledge of the proper fundamentals of international oil trading.

Kamal J. Southall, one of the foremost experts on the subject, whose book, “Trade Fraud, Financial Fraud, and the Joker Broker,” is one of the most authoritative texts on the phenomenon, puts it this way:

“Have you noticed that as you’ve searched Google and libraries, and looked high and low, finding bits of information here and there, you encounter interesting phenomena: very little practical information on the art and science of dealing in International trade as an independent trader exists in any comprehensive way. Certain practices, documents, and procedures; mysterious acronyms such as “NCND” or “MPA,” are thrown back and forth, badly corrupted model documents and forms may filter your way, but the reality is that most attempted home based traders, brokers – or, more properly, intermediaries – learn through highly expensive ‘trial and error,’… often re-inventing the wheel each time, in that ever-elusive search for a deal and knowledge on how to close that deal.”

Southall estimates, citing another expert’s calculation, that out of some one million individuals currently trying to make it as brokers or trade intermediaries in the world, “perhaps no more than 1% has the training and skill needed to ever close a deal… [meaning that] the overwhelming majority, are trading blindly, [hence] deals are collapsing… and more to the point, [oil dealers are] being defrauded – sometimes massive..”

Mr. R. Ambardar, a broker of over 10 years of wide experience in international market development and advisory services, calls “lack of experience and knowledge” one of the principal reasons why many brokers and facilitators fail in crude oil endeavors. “Many people are attracted into this business because of [the tales they hear about the] kind of money one can earn on account of successful deals. Many agents fail, [however], to understand that requirements to succeed in this business are very demanding, [and that] Only those who have years of hands-on experience and thorough knowledge of the industry can strive to do well as middle-men.”

A great many number of brokers, Ambardar adds, forget that “To become a ‘Facilitator’ in oil business,… what you actually need is right knowledge and expertise [since this is what will help] you hook up genuine buyers and sellers. One should be in the industry for long to have acquired knowledge related to the dynamics of this business.”

Consequently, one fundamental way in which this general lack of competence or knowledge about the basics of the oil trade manifests itself, is in the inability of the average person among the string of brokers and agents and intermediaries that operate in the trade, to craft good deals and successfully close sales deals even after several months or years in the business.

3. BYE AND LARGE, MOST BROKERS AND AGENTS LEARN THEIR CRAFT FROM THE INTERNET, AND THIS HAS SOME SERIOUS DRAWBACKS

There is, for the average contemporary seller’s agent or broker, one other serious shortcoming and negative consequence that emanates directly out of the fact that the primary source of their education and training by which they learn the workings of the oil trading business, is essentially the Internet. Again, Kamal J. Southall sums up these negative consequences this way:

“The expertise in recognizing a questionable trade lead or tender request from a strong one, is generally lacking through the Internet, [and] there is no critical filtering of the leads you end up reading. Anything that can be put out there, is put out there, from the genuine to the questionable, to the fraudulent. Moreover, the nature of the “broker network” is such that information is often passed about with little critical filtering, lack of knowledge of proper trading procedures and the general tendency of information to become corrupted as it trades hands, [and this] leads to dangerous results.”

4.LONG STRING OF BROKERS, AGENTS AND MIDDLEMEN, MOST OF WHOM UNDERCUT EACH OTHER.

Partly as a result of the virtual lack of any objective requirements for qualification as an agent or middleman in the trade, and the ease of entry into it, these operators generally tend to function in a climate of little or no rules or standards, and of loose or no ethics, in which the “dog eat dog” mentality seem to prevail – a climate in which each broker, agent, or mandate, being only selfishly concerned with just his own personal gains and self-interest, is constantly trying to undercut and circumvent the other in deals. Thus, often leading to the ultimate detriment of ALL the parties involved in an offer, as ALL of them, as a whole, and not just one party or the other, invariably wind up the losers since NO deal at all is had with any buyer.

“[One] reason why it’s difficult to ascertain the truth [concerning the oil product market],” reported C. Keila Nakasaka, the California attorney and entrepreneur who investigated the industry in 2010 for possible recommendation of the trade to his clients, “is that there are multiple brokers involved in any given transaction; and they’re all afraid of circumvention. Hence, it’s almost impossible to know the end buyer or seller. Now, I understand that sometimes it requires teamwork to put a large transaction together, but what bothered me is that almost every one of these brokers failed to be forthcoming. They often misrepresented themselves as mandates, direct representatives, and even buyer and sellers.”

THE “JOKER BROKER” CHARACTER

Sure, admittedly, there’s no question that the phenomenon of having a lengthy string of players, including brokers, agents and intermediaries, in a business transaction, is a necessary aspect of international business. Even more so, especially, in today’s Internet world in which we are all so interconnected globally. Certainly, in oil sales transactions, it should come as no surprise or anything unusual to anyone that such operations, because they often tend to involve huge sums of money and elaborate logistics, would sometimes require teamwork to put the transactions together. And hence, should sometimes involve a multiple number of parties – traders, agents, intermediaries, brokers, mandates, buyers, distributors, etc – to conclude a deal. However, what is different here, is not so much the fact that in the Internet crude oil dealings one encounters a string of too many brokers and middlemen. Rather, it is the fact that most of these brokers and middlemen or intermediaries that get involved in it, typically act and behave in the detrimental manner of what is known as the so-called “Joker Brokers.”

As Kamal J. Southall put it, “But the experience of the underground string of international brokers trading meaningless offers and circumventing each other, left and right, illustrates well the term “Joker Broker” and resembles, often, a Zoo full of monkeys.”

Adding that “the character, [which is] often scorned as ‘the Joker Broker,’ is one thing most people encounter very quickly in their forays into the world of trading,” Southall, the author of a classic on the “Joker Broker” character, gives a definition and explanation of the essence of this “Joker Broker” behavior, this way:

“Defined in the first instance as a bit of a time waster, the joker broker is an individual who knowingly or unknowingly peddles and plies deals and products that, in the vast majority of instances, are non-existent, or badly defined. Characterized by a tendency to bluff his way through transactions, the Joker Broker is one… [who goes about] plying deals often involving a string of brokers from one end of the planet to another, and yet not a single one has verified the very existence of the goods at hand.”

.One significant result of this?

With a multiplicity of brokers and chain of agents often involved in a trade, and each party operating selfishly and undercutting and sabotaging each other in a working environment in which each party is untrusting of the other in a transaction, and is scared of being circumvented by the other; most deals which the “secondary” market sellers and their brokers and agents undertake, are automatically doomed to failure, even from the very beginning. And often do fail.

5. PERVASIVENESS OF “The Joker Broker” MENTALITY AMONG THE INTERNET BROKERS, AGENTS & OTHER INTERMEDIARES

However, probably the most fundamental and central factor which accounts for why most intermediaries involved in the “secondary” oil market are generally not able to, and do not, close any sales deals or earn any income or commission as brokers and agents even after several months or years of peddling their oil product, could simply be condensed into one broad term: namely, the powerful pervasive grip that the “The Joker Broker” mentality has come to have on the brokers and agents, most of whom today are merely Internet-based brokers and agents.

What Is meant by this?

Put very simply, many brokers and agents, driven and limited by the fact that they generally lack much training or knowledge in the fundamentals of international trading, and by the fact, in today’s Internet era, that their only “qualification” for assuming the mantle of being a “broker” or “agent” in the oil business, is simply that they have an access to the Internet and a computer, often behave in their conduct of the oil selling operation, in a manner that “resembles, often, a Zoo full of monkeys” – in the words of Kamal J. Southall, the author of a classic on “‘the Joker Broker” character. A common characteristic of these brokers and agents, is that they peddle, knowingly or unknowingly, crude oil deals and products that on the face of it, are in most instances seemingly non-existent or questionable, or at least badly defined, while yet acting as though all is well with the product they offer, and that there’s absolutely nothing for the prospective buyer to worry about concerning it. They are mostly blinded by greed and false belief that they “are going to be super rich next week or next month” by doing nothing, other than, just shoving around a few copied documents on the Internet usually passed down to them from other jokers, none of which any of them has usually verified as to the very existence of the goods they purport to be selling.

Apart from the fact that a good many of them would, whether they do it knowingly or not, frequently try to push fake deals on the Internet, they generally act out of many misconceptions and beliefs which are simply not true, usually passed down to them from other jokers. Many times, mainly concerned with “making a quick, fast buck,” they are innocently and naively trying to close a deal for someone who they believe or merely hope to be real, but who is, in fact really not. But oftentimes, they are too proud or conceited to simply accept or concede that their own beliefs and procedures are simply incorrect, refuse to change their ways, and continue to waste their time and others’ time for months and years still trying to push deals – until, perhaps, it finally begins to dawn on them that for so long no deals have been closed, or are likely to be closed, and not a dime of income has been, or would be, earned!

But above all else, perhaps the most detrimental factor that results in the lack of business or income for most “Internet” crude oil brokers and agents, is the fact that, lacking much experience or real understanding of the true workings of international business or the way it actually works, they are often totally unrealistic and impractical about the conditions and requirements they demand of, or expect that, prospective buyers would accept in order to buy the products they purport to have for sale. That is, they often present sales offers and proposals that are so impracticable, unworkable and outrageously unreal, and are totally contrary to the way normal and legitimate business has traditionally been done in the real world.

As one analyst put it, “Some of them [the “Internet” brokers or joker brokers] are quite entertaining [in the notions about business workings they present], and remind us of the Nigerian scam artists. The world simply does not work like that.”

EXAMPLE OF JOKER BROKER OFFER THAT CAN’T WORK

The following is a good example of the Joker Broker-type of offer that the oil sellers and their brokers and agents, most of whom operate mostly online today, typically demand of intending buyers. It is presented in the form of the transactions PROCEDURES they demand that the would-be oil buyer should meet and follow, such as these:

TRANSACTIONS PROCEDURES:

1) The Buyer submits ICPO (Irrevocable Corporate Purchase Order) & banking details
2) Seller issues FCO (Full Corporate Offer) on his letterhead with full contact details.
3) Buyer returns the FCO duly signed and stamped.
4) Seller and buyer sign contract.
5) Seller and buyer exchange the Proof of Product (POP) and Proof of Funds (POF) in the following sequence/order:
6). First: Seller issues POP to the buyer. Second: After buyer verification and within 7 banking days, buyer’s bank issues POF to seller’s bank.
7) Buyers bank opens non-operative Letter of Credit (L/C) to seller’s bank/or Bank Guarantee (at seller’s choice).
8) Seller issues 2% Performance Bond (PB) to activate L/C.
9) Shipment commences as per the agreed contract.

TO TODAY’S BUYERS, THIS IS WHAT THESE PROCEDURES ARE SAYING TO THEM

In point of fact, actually the procedures such as the above-outlined, are “standard” and should, in NORMAL and proper circumstances, ordinarily be a workable and acceptable set of terms and conditions or requirements for a credible prospective buyer to do business by. However, here’s what brings about the big difference here: there is one very serious and fundamental factor that is grossly missing here. And that is this: typically, such offer requiring the intending buyer to comply with these procedures, is made, NOT by or from by a known or established or even readily identifiable person or entity, or necessarily by an AUTHENTIC crude seller or supplier. But merely by an Internet “seller.” It is typically presented by someone who merely writes (or phones) and claims, usually via some Internet connection or communication (a portal, email or website), that he is a crude “seller,” or the broker or agent of one, who supposedly has some oil available to sell. And it is typically presented by someone who, invariably, would present virtually no tangible evidence or proof whatsoever establishing his (or her) bona fides and credentials as an authentic seller, or an intermediary of one, nor shows any real track record of having previously performed in the crude oil selling business, or any other products.

Thus, in effect, what is essentially happening here, is that a set of well-meaning procedures which have legitimately been designed by the industry professionals to be used by LEGITIMATE crude sellers, and have traditionally been used by RELIABLE and respectable crude sellers and buyers alike to do business, have suddenly been hijacked by a new breed of “Internet” brokers and agents – Joker Brokers – who now demand that prudent crude buyers are to adopt precisely those same procedures in transacting business with them! To put it another way, were these Internet brokers and crude “sellers” to have been some of the so-called oil Majors – such as Chevron, Valero, Shell Oil, Exxon Mobile, British Petroleum, Total Oil, etc. – meaning companies and business entities that are well-known, already established, readily recognizable, reputable and trustworthy, there would have been absolutely no problem or question about the crude buyers using those “standard” procedures and conditions set forth above in doing business with the Internet sellers and brokers. However, that is not the case all, here. Rather, quite to the contrary, these Internet-type brokers and agents (and the purported sellers whose offers they peddle), are largely Internet-based; and are generally obscure operations, or even non-existent, with no known identity, no recognized base of operations, or established record or history of past performance as crude sellers.

WHY THE INTERNET BROKERS’ PROCEDURES LARGELY DON’T & CAN’T WORK WITH BUYERS

Yet, this is, in the vast majority of instances, the kind of supposed crude “sellers” who want and ask that would-be buyers should be submitting to those same procedures and conditions in dealing with them. Clearly, that’s a ridiculous “Joker Broker” type of day-dreaming – virtually no credible crude oil buyer anywhere in the world would accept to submit an ICPO (Irrevocable Corporate Purchase Order) to a mere unknown, unproven, dubious Internet “seller” of crude oil to solicit business with such an entity. And certainly, no credible crude oil buyer anywhere in the world would accept to submit its Proof of Funds or financial and banking details to such an entity, or to even sign a contract with it – an entity about whom it knows practically nothing, and whose bona fides, credentials or existence as a supposed crude oil supplier, is largely dubious and unestablished.

A major, well-known, recognizable, or reputable entity or crude dealer, yes. But NOT an obscure, dubious, unknown entity, largely existing merely on the Internet.

Analysts at the JokerBroker.com website, which is a site devoted to extensive compilation of a database of the most notorious “Joker Brokers” persons and companies, sums it up this way, describing why most credible crude buyers would generally reject accepting such procedures and conditions often demanded of them by Internet brokers, outright:

“When a deal starts off with “send ICPO with BCL or Soft Probe, [POF], NCND and IMFPA,” this is “broker language.” Those that know broker language know what this means: “I’m a joker broker. I don’t have any real product for sale, and I don’t know anyone who has any, so I want you to give me an Irrevocable Purchase Order with your full financial details disclosed, so I can run around with your order and your money in my hands looking for product, and the next thing you see will be your company and banking details exposed to the whole world, running around unsecured on the Internet between thousands of other joker brokers.”… That is what this language means. I suggest you learn the language, and please do not send me even one “deal” which starts off with this procedure. Please just put them straight into the rubbish bin, which is exactly where I put them whenever anyone sends them to me.”

Kamal J. Southall, author of “Trade Fraud, and the Joker Broker,” describes the following as “some of the most notorious Joker Broker Documents”:

“The Irrevocable Purchase Order/IPO ICPO: Sometimes known as the Irrevocable Corporate Purchase Order, such a document simply does not exist. Or to put things more rudely, the ICPO is crap. There, we have said it, let the chips fall.”

SUMMARY

Here’s what might probably be called “the open secret” of the so-called secondary market oil industry: as a group, the crude oil and petroleum products sellers, and their long string of brokers, agents and intermediaries, generally close no deals nor make any sales or income out of the oil product they purport to sell, frequently after several months, even years, or perhaps for ever, of doing the business. There are several reasons which account for this. They range from the fact that most oil sellers and their brokers and other intermediaries, are fake operatives with no crude or petroleum product to sell, in the first, to lack of proper training and knowledge by these operatives in the fundamentals of the business, to the existence of certain serious drawbacks and shortcomings inherent in the fact that, bye and large, the principal source by which most brokers and agents today learn their craft today as oil dealers, is merely the Internet.

However, probably the most fundamental and most central factor of all which accounts for the above reality, could simply be condensed into one broad term: namely, the powerful pervasive grip that the “The Joker Broker” mentality has come to have on the brokers and agents, most of whom today are merely Internet-based brokers and agents. Typically lacking much experience or real understanding of international business or the way it actually works, and frequently blinded by greed and false belief that they “are going to be super rich next week or next month” by doing nothing, other than, perhaps, simply shoving around a few copied documents on the Internet, the conditions, requirements, and procedures often proposed by the “Internet” brokers and agents for prospective buyers to buy from a seller, are usually unrealistic, impracticable, outrageously unreal, even laughable and ludicrous atimes. They are unworkable conditions and requirements that are completely contrary to the way normal and legitimate business has traditionally been done in the real world. And consequently, credible buyers generally reject outright the sales offers coming from such Internet sales operatives, thus resulting in common lack of sales or commission income for such operatives, month after month, and even year after year.

For example, most of the selling offers one gets today for the sale of oil, are usually from Internet “sellers” – persons who merely claim, via an Internet communication, that they are “sellers” of crude or petroleum products with some product to sell, but typically have NO known identity, show no credible record or history of past performance as an AUTHENTIC crude seller or supplier, nor present any solid evidence that the supposed seller even exists. Yet, these mere “Internet” sellers would typically demand and expect a serious buyer of oil, to simply sign an “ICPO,” and enter into a binding contract with them committing itself to obligations valued in the several hundreds of millions of dollars with such a yet unproven and dubious Internet “sellers” (or brokers and agents), or to submit its most sensitive financial and banking details to them, etc! Demands which, clearly, virtually no credible crude oil buyer anywhere in the world would accept or submit to with merely a dubious, unknown, yet-to-be-established entity! On top of all that, add to that the reality that those harsh conditions are being demanded of intending buyers by the sellers and brokers in an oil industry that is, by all credible accounts, full of too many fakes and fraud in the contemporary oil selling industry!

And so, here you have it: why most supposed “secondary” market Internet oil sellers and their brokers and agents typically make no sales or income in their stint into crude oil and petroleum product selling business today in this Internet era, for months and years.

FOR A FOLLOW UP

WISH TO FOLLOW UP ON GETTING A CRUDE OIL OR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS SELLER OR BROKER WITH WORKABLE, REALISTIC PROCEDURES THAT A CREDIBLE BUYER CAN READILY ACCEPT? Please see the instructional information in the author’s resource box below

America: True Democracy, or Beholden to Power Brokers?

American identity is a composite of both the history provided in the archival record, and the stories authored by writers that now make up the corpus of American literature over the past three centuries. However, those in power in America were primarily the ones whose stories concretized the national memory that we now acknowledge to be our unique idea – the one that gives us “Americanness.” Those who have been in power in America for two and a half centuries have sought – and often succeeded – in crafting the legislature to suit their desires.

Power is obtained through two primary ways: the accumulation of wealth (be it through cash or landholding); or by force, which includes or implies the threat of death.

This paper will seek to develop the relationship by which wealthy – and most often landed – elites have leveraged this to empower themselves in ways that allow them to subjugate certain classes, to control the flow of information in various media, and explore how this has remained the status quo throughout much of United States’ history. Moreover, we will explore contemporary America and how these “upper casters” as I will term them, continue doing so to this day. Lastly, we will analyze how this affects and shapes American identity both within – and how our national character is viewed from without.

Truly, the wealthiest people in a society with different class systems truly can never be democratized, if by a democracy we mean “a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.” Yet, how is it that over the long course of American history these power elites have been able to wield so much influence over so many people? Those who are in power succeed in gaining what they want because they have the power to change the laws that codify how society is to act. The poor are rarely able to set the laws in their favor. The institution of early American debtor prisons was around for centuries, breaking apart families and leaving people locked up who certainly could not afford bailment or a lawyer. It took great reformers who helped persuade those in power that poorness was a condition, not a crime. Certainly today we know that it is not a crime to be poor – but the landholding forefathers in our country would not have agreed with you.

One question that must be asked is what truly is American identity today? And is it really much different today than it was 50, 100 or even 350 years ago following first contact? The identity is absolutely different; but the power structures of the upper-casters has changed very little. Certainly, dozens of wars have occurred, and these undoubtedly shape feelings of patriotism and American identity. Wars stir up patriotism, which is a major enabler of a cohesive national identity. Twain wrote of the residents of St. Louis thusly: “Their patriotism was strong, their pride in the flag was of the old-fashioned pattern, their love of country amounted to idolatry.” Wars always have been a great way to incite patriotic fervor, rouse the country around a particular symbol (frequently the American flag, as in the case of post-9/11 flag lapel pins, which are still en vogue seven years later).

Another way to help discern contemporary American identity objectively is to view it through the lens of an outsider. This was what de Toqueville did as the French author made his way to America, traveling across many cities exploring the young country and learning what he could about democracy in this country. Looking at the present, how do foreigners view American identity today, in this world of global communications, mass media and instant messaging?

In many regards, Europeans today chide our citizens as slothful, obese and lazy. In many European countries, where CEO’s of global corporations ride mass transit alongside their employees, business interests think of American CEO’s as contemporary “robber barons,” with $100 million golden parachutes and annual salaries often approaching more than 1,000 times that of their lowest-paid employees. Additionally, another defining characteristic of American is the encroachment of highly-organized, very conservative Christian religion upon the normally secular governmental systems. Contrast this to early America, however, and similarities already begin to appear. Puritan New England, where many pilgrims and other migrants settled to escape religious persecution back in Europe, was a hotbed of such extreme or otherwise right-wing religion. Europeans today are similarly alarmed by the rampant religiosity in America and how it is permeated not only our legislation and politics but our social systems as well. So what of these views of America, then? The inherent American identity is internally structured by our wealthy business and political leaders, and they still seek to portray our country as the only political heavyweight on the world stage; as the policeman of the world; and as the arbiters of the Global War on Terrorism.

As the landholding elite in America today – as well as big business and their associated lobbyists – increase in numbers, dollars and thus influence, the face of our nation has steadily evolved over the past several centuries. The elemental roots of this took hold as early as the seventeenth century, when titles to huge tracts of often hundreds of thousands of acres of land were granted by English Lourdes to their wealthy family members and other well-connected persons of the social elite. The headright system perpetuated this, and literature from the colonial period through the antebellum period reflects this. Hawthorne’s character Colonel Pyncheon is a paradigm of this behavior at its worst: co-opting Mr. Maule’s land through subversive tactics and questionable legislation by influencing town ordinances, Maule ended up “executed for the crime of witchcraft.”

The ability of one singular individual to wield so much power, and craft public policy so as to forcibly remove someone from their rightful land is truly astonishing – and yet it has happened probably tens of thousands of times, if not more, in our nation’s history. The ability of the aristocratic and “elite” to shape the history, present and past through information control empowered them to influence and shape the feelings, opinions and beliefs of those around them in their early settlements. In this fishing village it was no different. Pyncheon’s ability to set the agenda allowed him as one of the few “landed gentry” to obtain by false pretenses the land which he coveted.

Today’s landholding elite and corporate powerbrokers also seek to fashion legislation that will benefit the very few while enriching themselves. The current White House administration has repeatedly sought to abolish any sort of taxation on inheritance. Their carefully crafted strategy of preserving their wealth utilized the double sword: they use fear to keep money and hence power. Labeling it the “death tax,” politicians and lobbyists refer to how the death tax will usher in the demise of the family farm – even though no incidents of such can ever be cited. Nevertheless, the fear of this cultural institution being destroyed has pushed this plutocratic agenda further than anyone could ever imagine. Conservative legislators Truly prefer that as much wealth as possible be passed along, with the obvious intention and goal of preserving that wealth to maintain a majority for as long a period of time as possible. This was akin to the ‘great estates’ of the landed aristocracy that Toqueville was familiar with in the England and France of his era.

In de Toqueville’s work he also makes a point of focusing on the discernible differences between those who resided in New England versus those in the South. The landed gentry in the South, who frequently originated from the regions in England where the cavalier society was prevalent, continued to perpetuate their class-based, oligarchical beliefs in the new nation. If oligarchy is not the correct phraseology, then “nobleman” is certainly not correct, for many of these men – though wealthy representatives of the merchant class, for instance – were of money but not nobility. Toqueville furthers the distinction when he writes “their influence was not altogether aristocratic… since they possessed no privileges, and slave labor denied them tenant farmers and thus they had no patronage.”

During the antebellum period in the United States, we can note the earliest divergence in American identity taking place: the contraposition between North and South. While these two culturally distinctive regions within the United States were becoming more and more different in the antebellum period, there was also another parallel development occurring at this time in the South: the noticeable lack of development of a distinctive middle class in the southern states. As a blue collar society was elevating individuals in the North, yearnings for equality were growing amongst people of all stripes. In Mills’ On the Subjection of Women, his arguments for women’s rights were premised on the belief that women could do things they were forbidden to – if only they were allowed to try and give demonstrable evidence thereto. The albeit tiny middle class that was developing in the South did not espouse these beliefs of equality, and hence remained on a path divergent from their Northern counterparts. Conversely, it was the established belief of the “southern middle class… that industrial slavery would be the best way to modernize.” This put them at odds with both the Northern middle class, as well as the agrarian interests in the South, who still feared anything urban or industrial. The further and deeper South one went, the stronger this sentiment.

How do we reconcile this with national identity? John Gillis wrote, “The mere notion of identity comes from a national memory… shared by people who have never seen or heard of one another, yet who regard themselves as having a common history.” Some figures in American history immediately come to mind: Christopher Columbus, General George Patton, and Pocahontas/John Smith. All of these figures represent histories that have been intentionally miswritten order to perpetuate particular American myths. What is the point of such myths? Unquestionably to foster national cohesiveness, concretize common bonds and propagate the “American Story.” It is stories such as these that have framed our national identity through their telling and retelling, whether fictional or not.

The writers of history are the ones who create the memory – whether true or not. If historians are truly conservative in their analysis of history – and its presentation as fact – then they must thus sift through mountainous piles of primary source documents: journals, archives, letters, diaries, newspapers from the time and even books written at the time. While this may be a monumental task, it is up to historians to continually strive to separate the “stories” from the history. If history is written by the winners, than those with the most land, money and power will be apt to shape history in the way they want to be portrayed. This is an inherently dangerous way for our society to thrive, and yet it happens regularly.

How can anyone truly say that in these contemporary times, America is anything but a democracy; rather, we live in a plutocracy that espouses some democratic ideals — a nation of corporate business interests and landholding elites. They are the ones who wield the power in America today, and the Millsian sentiment that he does not like anybody that doesn’t look like him — probably applies to most plutocrats today.

How to Read Binary Brokers Terms and Conditions

Let’s look at some Terms & Conditions in order to understand in practical terms.

In order to speed up and simplify the analysis, copy and paste the Terms in MS Word, and look for the keywords “withdraw” and “bonus”, and you will find the most delicate and important sections for you.

But first let’s look at how to understand the location of the legal office and the competent jurisdiction.

Broker’s legal head office

If you want to know where the legal office of the broker is located, not always the address indicated in the “contacts” section is the legal address, because for marketing purposes the address mentioned could be the one of the call center or, even more frequently, only the phone numbers, email addresses, IM and online chat tools are shown. In order to know without doubt the legal jurisdiction of the broker (and of the disputes arising between the broker and the customers), you have to look in the Terms & Conditions, and see if within the first clauses the corporate name and the address of the broker are published; if in the Terms & Conditions this information is not given, then it is necessary to look at the end of Terms & Conditions and find at least the legal jurisdiction competent in case of legal disputes arising between the broker and the customers: you won’t know the precise address but at least the country where the broker is located.

Here are a couple of examples.

In the first, the Terms & Conditions of the broker indicate precisely corporate name (that we have hidden) and legal address.

“1. This Agreement is entered into by [broker name] registered under the laws of _The British Virgin Islands having its registered office at [broker’s address] (hereinafter referred to as: the “Company”) and yourself (hereinafter referred to as: “you” or “Customer”) (In this Agreement the Company and you may be referred to collectively as the: “Parties”).”

In the second, only the jurisdiction competent for legal disputes is indicated (Cyprus), which means that the broker is legally located in Cyprus.

12 Law and Jurisdiction

The laws of the state of Cyprus shall govern the use of the Site and all its consequences including the Terms of Use. The competent court in Larnaca, Cyprus shall have sole jurisdiction over any matter involving use of the Site.”

Now let’s proceed with the two most delicate point of the Terms & Conditions: the withdrawal process and the restrictions attached to the bonus.

Withdrawal process

With “withdraw” you will get also “withdrawal”, “withdrawing” etc. In these sections you will find the conditions of the withdrawal procedure: documents to be submitted, data verification process by the broker for security purposes, number of days the broker reserves for the whole process, the ways and the fees of the money transfer from the broker to the credit card or the bank account of the trader. It is important to know that the data and personal documents controls are necessary for the anti-laundering laws, and that for the same reasons the broker will transfer to the credit card, from which the first deposit originated, an amount not higher that the deposits and will transfer the excess amount to the bank account of the trader. All this means that the broker must accurately control the trader identity and the bank account to be credited. Usually, from these sections you can see brokers who want a fair number of days to perform the security controls and brokers who take advantage of the need to control the data and require up to 15 to 20 days before transferring the money. Also the withdrawal fees differ a lot among brokers, and also this must be taken into consideration in selecting the broker.

Bonuses

The sections concerning the “bonus” keyword are even more important, because they list the conditions and the contractual limits binding the customers when they accept the bonuses.

Case 1

“8 SPECIAL OFFERS, BENEFITS AND BONUSES

8.2 Unless stated otherwise in the terms of the offer, a precondition for making withdrawals after using the bonus/benefit is to buy options of 15 times the amount of the bonus/benefit.

8.4 The bonuses/benefits must be used within the period defined in the details of the special offer. Should the bonus/benefit fail to be used within this time frame, the bonus/benefit will be withdrawn from the client’s account.

8.5 Once receiving the bonuses/benefits, the client has 3 (three) calendar months to complete the total amount of investments required as a precondition for withdrawal. If the required total amount of investments is not reached during this time period, the company will withdraw the bonuses/benefits funds from the client’s account according to its discretion.”

Under these conditions, in the presence of a bonus, if the value of the transactions do not reach 15 times the value of the bonus within 3 calendar month, only the bonus value is at risk and can be canceled by the broker from the account, but the investor is free to withdraw the available money on the account; clearly he will not be able to withdraw the value of the bonus, or part of it.

Case 2

Special Offers, Benefits & Bonuses

PLEASE READ ALL TERMS & CONDITIONS BELOW BEFORE ACCEPTING A BONUS. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ACCEPT A BONUS. A TRADING BONUS IS OPTIONAL FOR ALL ACCOUNT HOLDERS. EVERY BONUS REQUIRES A TRADING TURNOVER BEFORE ANY WITHDRAWAL IS MADE BY THE ACCOUNT HOLDER. BY ACCEPTING A BONUS YOU ARE AGREEING TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BELOW. ALL BONUS INSERTIONS ARE FINAL.

Special Offers, Trade Refunds, Benefits and Bonuses

Please read carefully before accepting a special offer, trade refund, benefit, or bonus.

2. Unless stated otherwise in writing from [broker name] and only [broker name], the terms of the offer, a precondition for making withdrawals after using the bonus/benefit is to buy options of 20 times the amount of the bonus/benefit plus the deposit amount. Example: (deposit + bonus x 20 = required turnover for withdrawal)

4. The bonuses/benefits must be used within the period defined in the details of the special offer. Should the bonus/benefit fail to be used within this time frame, the bonus/benefit will be withdrawn from the client’s account.

5…

By accepting a bonus into your account, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions above. NOTE: If the required turnover is not met when making a withdrawal request – the withdrawal request will be automatically canceled. NOTE: [Broker name] DOES NOT RECOMMEND TAKING A BONUS UNLESS YOU KNOW HOW MAKE IT WORK IN YOUR ADVANTAGE AS LEVERAGE. BY ACCEPTING A BONUS YOU ARE AGREEING TO THE ABOVE TERMS.

Dormant Accounts Procedure

1. [broker name] client accounts in which there have been no transactions (trading / withdrawals / deposits), for a set period of 12 months, will be considered by [broker name] as being dormant accounts. 2. Dormant accounts will be charged an annual maintenance fee of US$25 or the full amount of the free balance in the account if the free balance is less than US$25. There will be no charge if the free balance is zero. Consequently, all accounts with a zero free balance will be closed.

Before making a withdrawal in the presence of a bonus, there must be a number of trades for a value of 20 times the value of the bonus plus the deposit, which means:

Required transactions value = (deposit) + (bonus x 20).

The broker can also set deadline within which these transactions must be performed, otherwise the bonus can be canceled.

There is no limitation in the absence of a bonus: this might be an obvious assertion but there are certain brokers which impose a minimum value of trades also with no bonus given to the trader before the he/she can withdraw, even partially, his/her money (case 7).

The accounts inactive for 12 months are charged $25 or, if the balance is less than $25, an amount equal to the balance, therefore in this last case set to zero and then canceled.

Case 3

Bonus conditions:

Bonuses are only available for withdrawal after trading X times the volume of the bonus value.

For example if a bonus of 100$ is granted, the trader must complete a total trading volume of x times 100$ before the bonus is available for withdrawal (subject to account balance).

In the event that the entire or part of the deposit on which the bonus is given is withdrawn before X times the bonus has been traded, then the following shall apply:

1. The bonus shall be canceled.

2. In the case of trading losses, all the trading losses will be deducted from the original deposit and the remaining balance may be withdrawn.

3. In the case of profits, the trading profits shall be canceled and the original deposit may be withdrawn.”

If the trader receives a bonus, the minimum turnover in transactions required is equal to “X” times the value of the bonus before the investor is able to make any kind of withdrawal from his account, even out of the original deposit. The multiplier is not specified in the general Terms & Conditions, but it is set for each specific bonus. If the trader would like to withdraw even partially from the account after having received the bonus and before reaching the minimum required value of transactions, the bonus is canceled together with the profits generated while the bonus present on the account; the losses instead remain and charged to the account and the trader can only withdraw the original deposit less the losses incurred; in the best scenario then, the trader will withdraw no more than the original deposit.

We strongly suggest that before accepting a bonus you must know precisely the Terms of the same bonus.

Case 4

11. Withdrawal Procedure

For bank wire transfers, [broker name] covers the withdrawal fee for the first withdrawal of a given month, any subsequent withdrawal using bank transfer will accompany a processing fee of $30, which covers the transfer fee.

Once a withdrawal request has been submitted, it can take [broker name] up to 3 business days to process the request. Once the request has been approved please allow an additional 5-7 days for the funds to show in your account.

12. Investment Reward and Bonus Policy

… Unless stated otherwise on specific promotions the default promotional terms apply to all bonuses as shown below:

Withdrawal of funds which have received additional rewards, bonuses, or promotions, require a trading volume fulfillment of 30 times the bonus or in the even of a refund bonus 20 times the bonus amount. The trade volume requirement begins upon receipt of the bonus in the traders account. Upon receipt of the bonus, the trading requirement must be fulfilled prior to withdrawing funds from the account… “

Apart from some redundant concepts, also in this case without any bonus there are no limitations to withdraw.

Binary Broker Terms & Conditions to refuse

Case 1

7. Specific Conditions of Use

Withdrawals:… § 30 active trading days are necessary in order to ask for a withdrawal.§15 times the trading volume is required in order to make a withdrawal and also withdraw the Bonus § Processing the withdrawal request takes a period of 3 to 5 business. if the conditions are fulfilled and the request is approved, the sum will be paid within a period of 7 to 10 working days. § You will be charged a penalty fee of 45€ for any withdrawal of sums less than or equal to 300 Euros. § A fee of 15% will be charged for all withdrawals above 300 Euros.§ [broker’s name] authorizes withdrawals up to a maximum value of 5000 USD or Euros per month. In the event that a trader wishes to withdraw earnings of a value greater than 5000 USD or Euros, they will be forced to spread out the withdrawal over several months.

Bonus:

… There is never any obligation to accept these bonuses… “

Three are the constraints quite burdensome:

  • the need to carry out trading activities for 30 days before you can withdraw,
  • the obligation to make operations for a value of 15 times the initial deposit regardless of the presence of the bonus,
  • the excessive fee of 15% of the value of the withdrawal, with a minimum fee of €45.

It does not matter that much if within the bonus section the broker underlines that there is no obligation to accept the bonus: the constraint of the minimum turnover in binary operations is valid even without the bonus.

And incredible is also the condition for those willing to withdraw more than €/$ 5.000; apart from the fact that the wording of the article seems to refer only to withdrawals of profits, therefore excluding the case of withdrawals of funds deposited, limiting the withdrawal to $5,000 and divide the surplus in withdrawals to be made in “several months” without even indicating how many months of delay seems too unfair.

Not to mention the English style, quite approximate and superficial.

For all the above reasons, these Terms & Conditions seem unfair and unjust, and for that not be accepted at all.

Case 2

“19… Withdrawals shall be made according to the site procedures and will take up to fourteen (14) banking days or as determined by the billing services provider of the site, the longer between the two.

21. The Company, at its sole discretion, may decide (but not be obliged to do so) to offer bonuses, promotional offers or any other kind of benefits to the Client, to set its conditions, and/or change them without prior notice to the Client. The Company shall not be subject to reason its decision nor to be forced to do the same in future transactions of the Client. Once a bonus has been awarded/accredited to a clients account, they will be subject to execute transactions in an amount of at least ten (10) times the deposit amount and might also subject to minimum deposit and/or minimum volume of trading and/or a certain time limit. Furthermore, the Company may, at its sole discretion, credit the Client with up to Thirty five Percent (35%) bonus for each deposit made by the Client up to a maximum of one thousand five Hundred ($1500). “

The important and unfair conditions are:

· the delay of 14 days before transferring the money is quite long and unjustified even for all possible controls for identity security and anti-laundering purposes;

· the broker reserves the right to credit on the customer’s account a bonus up to 35% of the deposit, with no possibility for the customer to reject it, which means that the broker has the right to artificially create the bonus and to impose the subsequent bonus conditions of the minimum turnover of transactions, which could mean that the broker can avoid any request of withdrawal by simply crediting the bonus!

These conditions must be considered unfair and unjust and for that not acceptable.

To conclude, looking at the Terms & Conditions of the different brokers, it is clear that there are brokers which are highly professional and serious, as well as brokers which take advantage of the fact the potential customers do not read the contract between them and the broker and chose the broker on the basis of marketing campaigns, advertising, promotion activities in general.

It is therefore necessary to carefully read both the T&C regulating the trading account and the relationship between broker and customer, and the specific conditions of the trading bonuses that brokers offer constantly to attract new customers.

We hope that this article has been of your interest.