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"Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves."
Norm Franz in Money and Wealth in the New Millennium, 2001
MSM: "EU Offers Ukraine $15 Billion, But Help Hinges On IMF Deal" [03/07/14] "The European Union offered a 'larger than expected' package of 'aid' to Ukraine on Wednesday, saying it was willing to provide $15 billion in loans and grants over the next several years to help get the shattered economy back on its feet. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the assistance, to be discussed by European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, would 'require widespread reforms by the new Ukrainian government' and the 'signing of a deal between Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund'. The EU had been expected to come up with a package of short-term assistance worth around 1 or 2 billion euros, but instead presented a more comprehensive program that perhaps by coincidence matched the amount Russia had offered Ukraine before president Viktor Yanukovich's government collapsed. [...]" Note: This article ought to be titled: "Broke EU Offers Ukraine (Oligarchs, Neo-Nazis) $15 Billion, But Help Hinges On IMF Deal (To Strip Ukraine Of Assets)" Related: See below: "Ukraine (Gov’t Of US-Installed Fascist Thugs) Seeks $15 Billion ‘Rescue’ From IMF" [03/04/14]; "Central Banker PM Says Ukraine Ready for IMF Auction Block" [03/04/14]; "Any Government Willing To Cooperate With The IMF Will Be Heralded As Legitimate" [03/02/14]; "Kiev Interim Players Expected Quick Power Grab, Desperately Need Money’" [03/02/14]; "IMF, Ukraine & the Profitability of Manufactured Revolutions" [03/01/14]; "IMF Vultures Swoop to Asset-Strip Ukraine" [02/28/14] and "Why the EU Has No Leverage Over Russia In This Ukraine Stand-Off"
MSM: "China Is Headed For A Severe Economic Slowdown And First Corporate Bond Default" [03/06/14] [0:00] "While everyone was focusing on the threat of tumbling debt dominoes in China’s shadow banking sector, a new threat has re-emerged: regular, plain vanilla corporate bankruptcies, in the country with the $12 trillion corporate bond market (these are official numbers – the unofficial, and accurate, one is certainly far higher). And while anywhere else in the world this would be a non-event, in China, where corporate – as well as shadow banking – bankruptcies are taboo, a default would immediately reprice the entire bond market lower and have adverse follow through consequences to all other financial products. This explains is why in the past two months, China was forced to bail out not one but two Trusts with exposure to the coal industry as we reported previously in great detail. However, the Chinese Default Protection Team will have its hands full as soon as Friday, March 7, which is when the interest on a bond issued by Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology a Chinese maker of solar cells, falls due. That payment, as of this moment, will not be made, following an announcement made late on Tuesday that it will not be able to repay the CNY89.8 million interest on a CNY1 billion bond issued on March 7th 2012. [...]"
MSM: "28-Year-Old Bitcoin Exchange CEO Found Dead, Media Says "Suspected Suicide" [03/06/14] "There have been a lot of dead bankers turning up lately and now a young female entrepreneur who ran the First Meta bitcoin exchange, Autumn Radtke, was found dead in her flat on February 28 in Singapore. [...]"
MSM: "Russia Mulls Seizing Foreign Assets Over Sanctions Threat" [03/06/14] "The upper house of Russia’s parliament is mulling measures allowing property and assets of European and US companies to be confiscated in the event of sanctions being adopted against Russia over its threatened military intervention in Ukraine. The bill’s author, Federation Council constitutional legislation committee head Andrei Klishas, said Wednesday that lawyers are currently studying whether the proposed confiscations would be constitutional. “But we have no doubts that it clearly corresponds to European standards,” Klishas told RIA Novosti. “The recent events in Cyprus spring to mind, where the confiscation of assets was the main demand made by the European Union in return for economic aid.” [...]" Related: "Russia Threatens To Confiscate U.S. Assets" "A top Russian lawmaker has revealed he is working on a bill that would freeze the assets of European and American companies operating in Russia in reply to Western economic sanctions. The chairman of the upper house committee for constitutional law, Andrey Klishas, is sure that Russia must have an enough leverage to deal with the threat of sanctions coming from foreign countries.A team of lawyers are currently preparing a separate federal bill that would allow the Russian president and government to confiscate foreign owned property in Russia, including assets belonging to private companies, the senator told the RIA Novosti news agency. [...]"
Commentary: "Shadowstats’ John Williams Warns Russian Dollar Dump Could Crash Financial System" [03/06/14] [8:51] "Economist John Williams says if Russia sells its U.S. dollar holdings it could trigger hyperinflation. Could it collapse the financial system? Williams contends, “Yes, it certainly has a potential to do that. Looking outside the United States, there is something over $16 trillion dollars in cash or near cash. That’s about the same size as our GDP. If the rest of the world believes this is what’s going to happen, people who have been wanting to get out of the dollar for some time very easily could front-run the Russians. The scare is on. People will try to get out of it as rapidly as they can. We have not seen an economic recovery. We have not seen a return of health to the banking system. So the system is very vulnerable and if the Russians carry through with their threat, you have indeed the risk of it collapsing the system.” On the overall economy Williams says, “It is rolling over and the numbers are starting to show we are starting into a new recession. Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with John Williams of Shadowstats.com. [...]"
Commentary: "Russia Threatens To Abandon The U.S. Dollar And Start Dumping U.S. Debt" [03/05/14] "The Obama administration and the hotheads in Congress are threatening to hit Russia with "economic sanctions" for moving troops into Crimea. Yes, those sanctions would sting a little bit, but what our politicians should be made aware of is the fact that Russian officials are promising "to respond" if economic sanctions are imposed on them. As you will read about below, one top Kremlin adviser is even suggesting that Russia could abandon the U.S. dollar and start dumping U.S. debt. In addition, he is also suggesting that if sanctions are imposed that Russian companies would not repay the debts that they owe U.S. banks. Needless to say, Russia could do far more economic damage to the United States than the United States could do to Russia. The U.S. financial system relies on the fact that the rest of the planet is going to use our currency to trade with one another and lend gigantic piles of it back to us at super low interest rates. If the rest of the world starts changing their behavior, we are going to be in a massive amount of trouble. Those that believe that the United States is "economically independent" are being quite delusional. In order for U.S. economic sanctions against Russia to be effective, Europe would also have to get on board. But that simply is not going to happen. As I noted yesterday, Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas on the planet. And Russia is also Europe's largest supplier of energy. There is no way that Europe could risk having Russia cut off the gas, especially considering the economic condition that Europe is currently in. [...] And according to the Telegraph, even the UK has already completely ruled out economic sanctions... "Europe would be pushed back into recession, Russia into financial meltdown. This is not the sort of self-harm Europe is prepared to contemplate right now. Indeed, thanks to the indiscretion of a UK official, who was snapped going into Downing Street with his briefing documents on display for all the world to see, we know this to be the case. Trade and financial sanctions have already been ruled out." [...] On the flip side, the Russian Foreign Ministry is promising "to respond" if the United States does impose economic sanctions... Russia said on Tuesday that it would retaliate if the United States imposed sanctions over Moscow's actions in Ukraine. "We will have to respond," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. "As always in such situations, provoked by rash and irresponsible actions by Washington, we stress: this is not our choice." Lukashevich did not say, but top Kremlin adviser Sergei Glazyev is suggesting that Russia could abandon the U.S. dollar and refuse to pay back loans to U.S. banks... "In the instance of sanctions being applied to stated institutions, we will have to declare the impossibility of returning those loans which were given to Russian institutions by U.S. banks," RIA quoted Glazyev as saying. "We will have to move into other currencies, create our own settlement system." He added: "We have excellent trade and economic relations with our partners in the east and south and we will find a way to reduce to nothing our financial dependence on the United States but even get out of the sanctions with a big profit to ourselves." Glazyev also stated that Russia could start dumping U.S. debt and encourage other nations to start doing the same. Glazyev also stated that Russia could start dumping U.S. debt and encourage other nations to start doing the same. The following comes from a Russian news source... "We hold a decent amount of treasury bonds – more than $200 billion – and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner," he said. "We will encourage everybody to dump US Treasury bonds, get rid of dollars as an unreliable currency and leave the US market.[...]"
Commentary: "Fed Nominee (and US/Israeli Citizen) Stanley Fischer Has a Citigroup Problem" [03/05/14] "Last evening, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee made the unexpected announcement that it was postponing the confirmation hearing of Stanley Fischer to serve as Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Two other Fed nominees were to be vetted today. The hearing had been scheduled for 10 a.m. this morning in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. No reason was given for the postponement. There are surely some veteran lawyers at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hoping the nomination of Fischer has been scuttled. The thought that Stanley Fischer, a former Vice Chairman of the serially corrupt Citigroup, could become Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, a regulator of mega banks like Citigroup, is not a source of comfort. Fischer was nominated for the post by President Obama, whose devotion to failing up on Wall Street regularly sets new heights. As if as on cue, news broke just yesterday that Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to Citigroup in a money-laundering investigation, a topic with which the bank is intimately familiar. During Fischer’s stint at Citigroup, from February 2002 through April 2005, he “amassed a personal fortune of between $14.6 million and $56.3 million” according to Bloomberg News. During that same period, Citigroup was repeatedly charged with fraud and embarked on its own exotic financial shenanigans that would end up collapsing the firm in 2008. [...]"
Commentary: "Ukraine (Gov’t Of US-Installed Fascist Thugs) Seeks $15 Billion ‘Rescue’ From IMF" [03/04/14] "Ukraine’s interim government said Monday it wants a $15 billion rescue from the International Monetary Fund as officials from the emergency lender kicked off a 10-day visit to shape a bailout of the struggling economy. Ukraine’s newly appointed economy minister, Pavlo Sheremeta, said the government is aiming for a two-year IMF loan modeled on Ukraine’s previous bailout program. The interim government in Kiev, established after the ouster of the (elected) former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych by protesters late last month, last week requested international financial assistance to help stabilize its struggling economy. Many of the conditions the IMF has previously required for emergency financing for Ukraine will most likely remain. The IMF halted loan payments in 2011 after Kiev failed to meet key terms, which included phasing out gas-price subsidies and slashing government spending. [...]" Related: "Central Banker PM Says Ukraine Ready for IMF Auction Block" "Expect more separatist and ethnic violence after IMF victimizes Ukraine [...] Arseniy Yatseniuk, the central bankster PM of post-coup Ukraine, has signaled IMF-inspired fire sales are on schedule. On Monday Yats, as the U.S. State Department fondly calls him, said Naftogaz Ukrainy, the national oil and gas company of Ukraine, will be put on the auction block. Ukrtransgaz, a Naftogaz Ukrainy subsidiary, operates the natural gas pipelines in Ukraine. The pipelines are used to transit Russian natural gas to eighteen European countries, including France and Italy. Naftogaz is the sole importer of Russian natural gas provided by Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas and one of the largest companies in the world. Yats is also ready to impose IMF austerity on Ukraine, already one of the poorest nations in Europe. “Yatsenyuk is the kind of technocrat you want if you want austerity, with the veneer of professionalism,” Vladimir Signorelli, president of boutique investment research firm Bretton Woods Research LLC in New Jersey, told Forbes last month. “He’s the type of guy who can hobnob with the European elite. A Mario Monti type: unelected and willing to do the IMFs bidding [...]" Note: See also, below: "Any Government Willing To Cooperate With The IMF Will Be Heralded As Legitimate" [03/02/14]; "Kiev Interim Players Expected Quick Power Grab, Desperately Need Money’" [03/02/14]; "IMF, Ukraine & the Profitability of Manufactured Revolutions" [03/01/14]; "IMF Vultures Swoop to Asset-Strip Ukraine" [02/28/14]
MSM: "The Relentless, Systematic Tear-Down Of The Dollar Hegemony" [03/03/14] "China’s rapidly aging 1.3 billion folks are all trying to make it in the modern world, and they’ll see to it that their country will have major economic and political heft in the future. So in practically no time, China has become the second largest economy in the world. OK, its credit bubble of strenuously obfuscated magnitude will require a miracle, or else the noise of hot air hissing out of it will be deafening. One of the long-term goals of consecutive Chinese governments has been to make China number one in just about everything. Including its currency. Displacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency would be nice, and that’s certainly on the list, but first the yuan must become the most used payment currency. How long would that take, barring the accidental annihilation of the dollar as the Fed yanks on yet another experimental lever with unknown consequences? Not that other currencies haven’t already tried to trounce the dollar, most notably – don’t laugh – the euro. At the time of its invention, the thinking went that it would be the common currency of the entire European Union, a concept anchored in the treaties that each member state signed. There are 28 of them, now that Croatia has joined the ever expanding group. The next candidates have been cooling their heels for years, namely Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. OK, Turkey, whose membership has been hung up in discord since 2004, has hit some big speed bumps recently. But hey. A slick regime change, and off we go. But to the greatest chagrin of the Eurocrats, and quite inexplicably, only 18 of the 28 member states have adopted the sacrosanct currency, and a third of them quickly became casualties of the euro debt crisis and had to be bailed out to keep the Eurozone together. [...]"
MSM: "Treasury Secretary Jack Lew At AIPAC: "The Future Of The United States Is Tied To The Future Of Israel" [03/03/14] "... And as everyone here recognizes, the future of the United States is tied to the future of Israel. This is something that every President since Harry Truman has understood ... An IMF program should be the centerpiece of the international assistance package, and the United States is prepared to supplement IMF support in order to make successful reform implementation more likely and to cushion the impact of needed reforms on "vulnerable Ukrainians".[...]"
Commentary: "Saudi Royal Gold Ransacked in London to Prevent Default" [03/02/14] "The following came out of a conversation, a string of messages shared with some colleagues and a London source. “There will be no easy heads-up alert on the quick changes to the gold market. My suspicion is that when the gold price starts rising, it will mean that China no longer has been given the big wide berth in high volume cheap gold purchases. A rising gold price will internally mean that the banks are breaking, at the same time the Chinese are to be frustrated. The Boyz are stealing all the Saudi gold now, left unprotected in London and Switzerland. The Saudis (and all Arabs) are the new targeted victims for stolen wealth in order to keep the system going. A massive disruption is coming.” The Arab Spring might have an ulterior motive to create enough disruption and chaos, so that their gold can be stolen from central banks. Notice the oil wealth from Iran is being converted to gold, which angers the Anglo-American duo. The rehypothecation of official gold accounts has entered a new phase. The gold owned by defenders of the Petro-Dollar is being seized, confiscated, pilfered, and stolen for the unspoken purpose of continuing the fiat paper currency regime with the tainted debauched USDollar at the center. The Saudi gold in London will be totally gone in a few more months. To be sure, it is going mostly to China. The Saudis are being gutted. They will likely be on the run soon, their gold bars cut loose. They might be hunted. [...]"
Commentary: "X22 Report #302: Will The Ukrainian Coup d'Etat Spark WWIII?" [46:36] "X22 Report is a daily show that covers issues surrounding the economic collapse. All our reports and Daily Alerts are backed up by source links. I work very hard to bring you the facts and I research everything well before presenting the report.[...]" Note: Pretty informative overviews of what is happening geopolitically, covering much more than the main headline itself. Related: "X22 Report #301: China Says U.S. Economy Is Fake And Nothing Backs The Dollar" [02/27/14] [37:20]
Interviews: "Any Government Willing To Cooperate With The IMF Will Be Heralded As Legitimate" [03/02/14] "Western proposed financial aid will not solve Ukraine’s economic problems Jeffrey Sommers, Professor of Political Economy told RT. But what will have an immediate impact, is if Russia raises gas prices directly impacting Kiev’s export potential. [...]" Related: "Kiev Interim Players Expected Quick Power Grab, Desperately Need Money’" "Rhetoric coming from the self-imposed government in Ukraine is heavily influenced by the lack of any funds in the budget, political commentator Aleksandr Nekrasov told RT, adding they were not prepared for any resistance against their power grab. [...]"
MSM: "EU Prepares Poisoned Loan For Ukraine" [03/02/14] "The EU reported its willingness to provide significant financial assistance to Ukraine. This is allegedly done to cover the need of $35 billion for this and subsequent years. Experts believe that the EU will strongly promote their loan because geopolitical ambitions are at stake. But what would it mean for Kiev? Pravda.Ru tried to figure this out. The economic situation in Ukraine is close to a collapse. The new authorities have announced that the treasury was empty, while the upcoming expenses will be significant. By July, Ukraine will have to pay $410 billion dollars of debt, and about $3 billion to Russia (including Gazprom). By the end of 2015, Ukraine must pay foreign creditors $17 billion, not including interest. The total financial needs of Ukraine for the current year are estimated by Russian economists at $25 billion, Bloomberg reported. [...]"
Fail: "$473 Million In Bitcoins Vaporize As Mt. Gox Exchange Files Bankruptcy" [03/01/14] "Due to inherent problems within the exchange mechanism used to trade the Bitcoin crypto-currency, the Mt. Gox exchange has closed up shop and filed for bankruptcy. Some $473,000,000 worth of BTC has simply vanished in what could be one of the largest digital heists in history. Investigators in Japan are inquiring into the unregulated exchange and the U.S. Federal government is also looking into it, but because of the nature of Bitcoin itself the money is, for all intents and purposes, gone. The operator of the exchange Mark Karpelès, who may or may not be involved in the disappearance of user funds has apologized for “causing trouble.” If you don’t hold it in your hand, there is always the possibility of counter party risk, as is clearly the case with the Mt. Gox Bitcoin debacle. [...]"
MSM: "The Rape of Ukraine: Phase Two Begins" [03/01/14] An legitimately-elected (said by all international monitors) Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich, has been driven from office, forced to flee as a war criminal after more than three months of violent protest and terrorist killings by so-called opposition. His “crime” according to protest leaders was that he rejected an EU offer of a vaguely-defined associate EU membership that offered little to Ukraine in favor of a concrete deal with Russia that gave immediate €15 billion debt relief and a huge reduction in Russian gas import prices. Washington at that point went into high gear and the result today is catastrophe. A secretive neo-nazi military organization reported linked to NATO played a decisive role in targeted sniper attacks and violence that led to the collapse of the elected government. But the West is not finished with destroying Ukraine. Now comes the IMF with severe conditionalities as 'prerequisite' to any Western financial help. [...]" Related: See below.
Commentary: "IMF, Ukraine & the Profitability of Manufactured Revolutions" [03/01/14] "Whether the government of Ukraine asked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assess their needs for money, or Christine Lagarde, acting director of the IMF simply felt it was a good sound investment, there are now talks of indebting this region to the technocrats. Lagarde said: “We are ready to respond and, in the coming days, will send an IMF fact-finding team to Kiev to undertake a preliminary dialogue with the authorities. “This will enable the IMF to make its usual technical, independent assessment of the economic situation in Ukraine and, at the same time, begin to discuss with the authorities the policy reforms that could form the basis of a Fund-supported program.” In essence, the IMF is determining if their investments in this country will yield a decent return. As of now, the Ukrainian government owes $13 billion to banking institutions. Russia has frozen accounts for Kiev worth $15 billion; making the transition into democracy quite easy. In a white paper , the IMF explained that inequality is fostering this nation’s growth as citizens watch the wealthy redistribute their money amongst themselves. [...]" Related: See below.
Commentary: "IMF Vultures Swoop to Asset-Strip Ukraine" [02/28/14] "Following a western-backed coup, the IMF is wasting little time in sending its vultures to asset strip Ukraine, with the announcement that the International Monetary Fund will offer financial assistance in return for “policy reforms”. Issuing the IMF’s first official response to the crisis, managing director Christine Lagarde said IMF officials would be dispatched to Ukraine to, “start discussing with the Ukrainian authorities which policy reforms would be required in exchange for an emergency loan program,” reports the Associated Press. In other words, just as it did in Greece, the IMF is about to turn Ukraine into its latest debt slave, helping western banks in looting the country of its prized assets and natural resources while imposing draconian austerity measures on the population in order to fill a $35 billion dollar hole and stop the country going into default. While Euromaidan protesters may have been deluded into thinking they were fighting for “democracy” in ousting an elected president, the kind of “democracy” the IMF practices – installing unelected technocrats accountable only to itself while robbing the host population through onerous taxes, the sell-off of public infrastructure, and painful austerity fascism – is going to make Viktor Yanukovych look like a populist in comparison. In reality, Ukraine is merely passing from being under the control of one gang of crooks to another. The rich oligarchs who once enjoyed the bounty of the resource rich country will now go scuttling back to Russia with Yanukovych, only to be usurped by IMF scavengers who will if anything intensify the pillaging. In addition, while the Yanukovych government was satisfied with its own crony brand of corruption, the IMF will impose the kind of “reforms” that will ensure Ukraine’s sovereignty is completely eviscerated and that the country remains firmly shackled with the chains of globalist debt for decades to come. As investigative reporter Greg Palast has documented, this method is part of a tried and tested formula that the IMF has used time and time again to absorb nations into the new world order. [...] In April 2001, Palast obtained leaked World Bank documents that outlined a four step process on how to loot nations of their wealth and infrastructure, placing control of resources into the hands of the banking elite. One of the final steps of the process, the “IMF riot,” detailed how the elite would plan for mass civil unrest ahead of time that would have the effect of scaring off investors and causing government bankruptcies. “This economic arson has its bright side – for foreigners, who can then pick off remaining assets at fire sale prices,” writes Palast, adding, “A pattern emerges. There are lots of losers but the clear winners seem to be the western banks and US Treasury.” In other words, the banking elite creates the very economic environment – soaring interest rates, spiraling food prices, poverty, lower standards of living – that precipitates civil unrest – and then like a vulture swoops down to devour what remains of the country’s assets on the cheap. [...]"
Commentary: "Gold Price Rigging Fears Put Investors On Alert" [02/27/14] "Gold may post its fourth week of gains as concern of prolonged political unrest in Ukraine raises fears of a sovereign default and contagion. This is adding to safe haven demand for gold - particularly in Eastern Europe and Russia. A breakthrough peace deal for Ukraine has halted days of violence and may bring sweeping political change, meeting many of the demands of the pro-European opposition. However, there are considerable financial and economic challenges facing Ukrainian banks, the Ukrainian pension system and the wider economy. There remains the risk of a default that could lead to contagion. [...] The Financial Times reports this morning that global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50% of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013, according to analysis by Fideres, a consultancy. The findings come amid a probe by German and UK regulators into alleged manipulation of the gold price. Prices are set twice a day by Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Societe Generale in a process known as the London gold fixing. Fideres' research found the gold price frequently climbs, or falls, once a twice-daily conference call between the five banks begins, peaks or troughs, almost exactly as the call ends, and then experiences a sharp reversal, a pattern it alleged may be evidence of "collusive behavior." Fideres concluded that this "is indicative of panel banks' pushing the gold price upwards on the basis of a strategy that was likely predetermined before the start of the call in order to benefit their existing positions or pending orders." "The behavior of the gold price is very suspicious in 50% of cases. This is not something you would expect to see if you take into account normal market factors," said Alberto Thomas, a partner at Fideres. Pension funds, hedge funds, commodity trading advisers and futures traders are most likely to have suffered losses as a result, according to Mr Thomas. He said that many of these groups were "definitely ready" to file lawsuits.[...]"
Interviews: "The Secret Constitution and Bank Wars with Karen Hudes" [02/27/14] [31:22] "World Bank whistleblower Karen Hudes joins Buzzsaw to talk about the secret other Constitution, banking corruption on a global scale, and how secret orders have undermined freedom around the world. Unpayable debt, the worth of gold and the possibility of reforming a broken banking system is all discussed in this interview hosted by Sean Stone. [...]"
Commentary: "Bombshell Documents Vanish in the JPMorgan-Madoff Investigation" [02/26/14] "According to a Freedom of Information Act response received by Wall Street On Parade, Federal law enforcement may share the blame with JPMorgan Chase for allowing Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme to be perpetuated for so long. [...]"
MSM: "James Stuart Jr., Prominent Lincoln Banker, Found Dead" [02/26/14] "A successful Lincoln businessman and member of a prominent local family died last week. Former National Bank of Commerce CEO James Stuart Jr. was found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz., the morning of Feb. 19. A family spokesman did not say what caused the death. A Scottsdale, Ariz., police spokesperson could not be reached over the weekend. [...]"
Historical: "The Richest Swindler Prince Of The New World" [02/25/14] "In the early 1800s, a Scot named Gregor MacGregor appealed to the brave, adventurous side of his people in an attempt to get them to help him colonize a fertile, rich land that he had recently been made prince of. The land was Poyais, and there were promises of gold, silver, friendly natives, and riches for everyone. The only problem was that Poyais didn’t exist as he advertised, and that was only discovered after MacGregor raked in £3.6 billion ($5.8 billion) in today’s money and sent several ships of settlers off to the uncharted land. [...]"
MSM: "Another Sudden Death of JPMorgan Worker: 34-Year Old Jason Alan Salais" [02/25/14] "On the evening of Sunday, December 15 of last year, six weeks before the onset of the latest rash of tragic deaths of young men in their 30s employed at JPMorgan, the Pearland, Texas police received a call of a person in distress outside a Walgreens pharmacy at 6122 Broadway in Pearland. The individual in distress was Jason Alan Salais, a 34-year old Information Technology specialist who had worked at JPMorgan Chase since May 2008. A family member confirmed to Wall Street On Parade that Salais died of a heart attack on the same evening the report of distress went in to the police. The incidence of heart attack or myocardial infarction among men aged 20 to 39 is one half of one percent of the population [...]"
Interviews: "An American Military Coup & Dead Banksters — Dave Hodges" [02/24/14] [28:56] "Dave Hodges from The Common Sense Show.com discusses the very real possibility of a US military coup in the US, and other topics. Dr. Jim Garrow ('former' CIA) told Dave on his show that "a coup is in process." We also discuss EU plans to confiscate the savings accounts of its citizens, Obama's MyRA which is the US government's attempt to seize OUR savings, and we discus the lengthening list of dead Banksters about which Dave says; "This is a criminal mafia organization that's trying to run the planet and key witnesses who might speak out are disappearing... I believe this is evidence tampering through murder." [...]" Related: "Spying Insider Says US Is All Set Up For Coup" [02/15/14] [19:45] "Dr. Steve Pieczenik ('former' CIA), with over 20 years experience in the Intel Community over 5 US administrations, talks about how we are being manipulated by the US civilian and military Intel Community that is only concerned about its own survival, draining billions to support itself in the dynamic that is destroying the United States.[...]"
MSM: "Ukraine Faces Default As Russia Stalls" [02/23/14] "Russia said earlier this week it was ready to buy Ukrainian government bonds -- part of a $15 billion financial aid package agreed in December -- but appears to have got cold feet as anti-government protests escalated. The Ukrainian finance ministry canceled the planned bond sale late Thursday. "It was Russia that refused to buy the bonds because Moscow said [the president] did not have control in his country," said Anders Aslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Ukraine desperately needs the cash because it has to repay as much as $13 billion in debt this year. Three months of political turmoil have left the country dangerously short of the foreign currency reserves it needs to service its debts and pay for imports, including natural gas. It now faces a real risk of default, which would plunge the ailing economy even deeper into the mire. The protests were sparked by President Viktor Yanukovych's decision in late November to strengthen economic ties with Russia and spurn a far-reaching trade deal with the European Union. Moscow stumped up $3 billion in December but further payments have been put on hold due to the political uncertainty. Yanukovych and opposition leaders said Friday they had reached a political deal, including early presidential elections and constitutional reforms, but it remains unclear whether this will end the crisis and unlock financial support. Ukraine is due to repay about $3 billion to the International Monetary Fund in the first half of this year. [...]"
MSM: "US Stock Market-To-GDP Ratio Favored By Warren Buffett Points To Imminent 50% Crash" [02/23/14] "Whenever the Sage of Omaha is pushed on how he judges whether the US stock market is trading too high or too low he refers to the ratio between the value of US stocks and GDP as a reliable gauge of where the market stands. Analyst Doug Short has a version of the ‘Warren Buffett Indicator’ which uses the value of the Wilshire 5,000, a very broad index. It shows that stocks are more expensive than they were before the 2008 crash and almost as expensive as they were before the dot-com crash in 2000. Warren Buffett is not exactly shouting it from the roof tops but his favorite indicator is pointing to an imminent 50 per cent crash in US stocks. The main indexes are all far too high. You don’t need to be a genius like Warren Buffett to see it. [...]"
Commentary: "12 Banker Suicides Linked To JP Morgan Investigation For Forex Manipulation" [02/22/14] [17:04] "Christopher Greene of AMTV explains the link between 12 banker suicides and JP Morgan Chase. [...]"
MSM: "China Starts To Make A Power Move Against The U.S. Dollar" [02/21/14] "... So if China is not going to stockpile U.S. dollars or U.S. debt any longer, what is it going to stockpile? It is going to stockpile gold of course. In fact, China has been voraciously stockpiling gold for quite some time, and their hunger for gold appears to be growing. According to Bloomberg, more than 80 percent of the gold that was exported from Switzerland last month went to Asia… Switzerland sent more than 80 percent of its gold and silver bullion and coin exports to Asia last month, the Swiss Federal Customs Administration said today in an e-mailed report. It imported most from the U.K. Hong Kong was the top destination at 44 percent on a value basis, with India at 14 percent, the Bern-based customs agency said in its first breakdown of the gold trade data since 1980. Singapore accounted for 8.6 percent of exports, the United Arab Emirates 7.9 percent and China 6.3 percent. When China imports gold, most of it goes through Hong Kong. We know that imports of gold from Hong Kong into China are at an all-time record high, but we don’t know exactly how much gold China has accumulated at this point because they quit reporting that to the rest of the world a number of years ago. When it comes to global finance, China is playing chess and the United States is playing checkers. China knows that gold is a universal currency that will hold value over the long-term. As the paper currencies of the world race toward collapse, China could end up holding most of the real money and that would be a huge game changer when they finally reveal that fact… The announcement of China’s new gold hoard will send shockwaves through the financial markets, and make China and the Chinese yuan (their national currency) even bigger players at the international table. International banking expert James Rickards compared it to a game of Texas Hold ‘Em poker: “You want a big pile of chips. The U.S. has a big pile of chips, Europe has a big pile of chips. The U.S. has 8,000 tonnes [metric tons] of gold, 17 members of the euro system have 10,000 tonnes. China at 1,000 tonnes is not a player, but at 5,000 tonnes, they are a player.” [...]" Related: "China Sells An Enormous $48 Billion Worth Of U.S. Treasuries" [02/20/14] [0:59] |"China Dumps $50 Billion in US Treasury Paper, Leaving Europe to Pick Up Slack" "Some are saying that this latest dump by Beijing is indicative of a larger trend – of buyers remorse, as Asia moves to limit its exposure from a presumed abandonment of the dollar as the world reserve currency. [...]"
MSM: "Secret Society Plutocrats Gather To Eat, Drink, Cross-Dress, And Laugh At The Poor" [02/20/14] "Writing for New York, Kevin Roose reports on the annual gathering of the secretive Wall Street fraternity Kappa Beta Phi at New York’s St. Regis Hotel, where members indulged in an evening of eating, drinking, cross-dressing, and telling homophobic and sexist jokes. The current Kappas roster includes CEO’s, billionaires, and hedge fund managers from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Blackrock, AIG, Morgan Stanley Chase, Home Depot, as well as former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and ex-New Jersey governor Jon Corzine. [...] I wasn’t going to be bribed off my story, but I understood their panic. Here, after all, was a group that included many of the executives whose firms had collectively wrecked the global economy in 2008 and 2009. And they were laughing off the entire disaster in private, as if it were a long-forgotten lark. (Or worse, sing about it — one of the last skits of the night was a self-congratulatory parody of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” called “Bailout King.”) These were activities that amounted to a gigantic middle finger to Main Street and that, if made public, could end careers and damage very public reputations. After several more minutes spent trying to do damage control, Ross and Lebenthal escorted me out of the St. Regis. [...] The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis. The second thing I realized was that Kappa Beta Phi was, in large part, a fear-based organization. Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting. Their cowardice had reduced them to sniping at their perceived enemies in the form of satirical songs and sketches, among only those people who had been handpicked to share their view of the world. And the idea of a reporter making those views public had caused them to throw a mass temper tantrum. The last thought I had, and the saddest, was that many of these self-righteous Kappa Beta Phi members had surely been first-year bankers once. And in the 20, 30, or 40 years since, something fundamental about them had changed. Their pursuit of money and power had removed them from the larger world to the sad extent that, now, in the primes of their careers, the only people with whom they could be truly themselves were a handful of other prominent financiers.[...]" Note: Audio tracks of some of the bizarre speeches given by the members are available to listen to on the page.
MSM: "3 Former Barclays Bankers Now Charged In LIBOR Scandal" [02/19/14] "Three former Barclays bank employees have now been charged with “conspiracy to defraud” in the continuing LIBOR scandal, bringing the total to 13 people charged in America and the U.K. It has been reported that three ex-ICAP brokers are next on the list for helping traders manipulate interest rates. LIBOR is an interbank benchmark used to set the interest rates on trillions in loans all over the world. The investigation into LIBOR’s deliberate manipulation began in 2008, and it has come to light that traders at various banks all over the world have benefited financially from turning in false interest rate reports since. Thus far, Barclays and other mega banks including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland have been forced to pay billions in regard to rigging interest rates. The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that authorities in the United States, United Kingdom and EU are currently investigating a group of traders from various banks for manipulating Euribor, the euro interbank interest rate, as well. [...]"
Commentary: "5 Signs America's Super-Rich Are Going Off The Deep End" [02/19/14] "Is it us, or have America’s ultrawealthy been sounding increasingly unhinged lately? Despite the fact that the wealth of the 1 percent jumped 31 percent from 2009 to 2012 while the other 99 percent of America saw a gain of only 0.4 percent, the rich are very upset, and they need to tell us about it. Maybe it’s all the talk about income inequality that’s gotten them so stirred up. Whatever it is, here are five signs that the zillionaires seem to be losing it. [...] (all followed by details) 1. The rich are mouthing off in epic rants. 2. The Ivy League apologists are out ‘splainin’ in full force. 3. A new field of psychology is emerging to treat the uberwealthy. 4. They’re barricading themselves in. 5. Buying sprees are getting weirder." Related: "5-Year Torture Campaign To Take 12 Inches Of Neighbor’s Land Backfires On Crazed Banker"
Commentary: "As Bank Deaths Continue to Shock, Documents Reveal JPMorgan Has Been Patenting Death Derivatives" [02/19/14] "The probability of two vibrant young men in their 30s who are employed by the same global bank but separated by an ocean dying within six days of each other is remote. And few companies are in as good a position to understand just how remote as is JPMorgan: since 2010, it has received four patents on quantifying longevity risks and structuring wagers via death derivatives. Wall Street veterans have also commented on the fact that JPMorgan may actually stand to profit from the early deaths of the two young men in their 30s. [...]As we reported in March of last year, when the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released its report on JPMorgan’s high risk bets known as the London Whale debacle, its Exhibit 81 showed that JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office was also overseeing Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) and Corporate Owned Life Insurance (COLI) plans which allow the corporation to reap huge tax benefits by taking out life insurance policies on workers – even low wage workers – and naming the corporation the beneficiary of the death benefit. Both the buildup in the policy and the benefit at death are received tax free to the corporation. [...] That things are starting to go seriously wrong was evident in a Bloomberg News report that emerged last Friday. AIG reported that it was taking a $971 million impairment charge before taxes for 2013 on its holdings of life settlement contracts because people were living longer than expected. AIG is the company that was bailed out by the U.S. taxpayer to the tune of $182 billion during the financial crisis because of bets gone wrong.[...]"
Commentary: "Hong Kong Man Becomes 7th Banker To Die Under Mysterious Circumstances" [02/18/14] "Yet another banker has committed suicide, with a JP Morgan forex trader leaping to his death from the top of the firm’s Chater House headquarters in Hong Kong. Over the past few weeks at least seven bankers have died under mysterious circumstances, including another JP Morgan senior manager who jumped off the top of a skyscraper in London last month. [...]"
Commentary: "$205 Trillion in Unfunded Liabilities" [02/18/14] "The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is acting in a bipartisan way to cover up the biggest single threat to the bipartisan political alliance that is stripping America of its wealth: the United States Congress. There is no question that the following policy is bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are completely agreed that the following information should not get out to the American people, namely, that the present value of the United States government’s off-budget liabilities is over $200 trillion. The man who has followed this for the longest time is Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University. He has created a great deal of embarrassment for the government by his relentless pursuit of the statistical implications of the statistics released by the Congressional Budget Office. The Congressional Budget Office has a way to avoid this, namely, to cease publishing the statistics that Kotlikoff has used to expose the real condition of the United States government. Kotlikoff referred to this suppression of information in an article that appeared in Forbes.[...] The CBO has two sets of books. This is what any Ponzi scheme requires. It releases one set of books to the rubes in the financial media, who are perfectly content to quote from it, when they are even aware of it. This is called the Extended Baseline Forecast or EBF. The second set of books is called the Alternative Fiscal Scenario or AFS. Here’s how Kotlikoff describes the difference. In past years, the CBO simultaneously released what it calls its Alternative Fiscal Scenario. This forecast is what CBO actually projects future taxes and spending to be given not just the laws in place, but also how Congress and the Administration have been bending and changing the laws through time. In short, the Alternative Fiscal Scenario (AFS) is what the CBO thinks we’re facing absent a truly dramatic and sustained shift in fiscal policy. Because of Kotlikoff’s ability to get news coverage for the AFS, the CBO decided this year not to publish it. Using the AFS figures, the unfunded liability is $205 trillion. This is the figure that the CBO does not want the general public, meaning the financial media, to be aware of.[...]"
MSM: "George Soros (aka György Schwartz) Doubles His Bet That The Market Is Heading For A Crash" [02/18/14] "Soros Fund Management has doubled up a bet that the S&P 500 SPX is headed for a fall. Within Friday’s 13F filings news was the revelation that the firm, founded by legendary investor George Soros, increased a put position on the S&P 500 ETF SPY -0.04% by a whopping 154% in the fourth quarter, compared with the third. (A put or short position basically gives the owner the right to sell a security at a set price for a limited time, and in making such a bet, an investor generally believes the security is going to decline.) [...]" "In his book “The Age of Fallibility,” Soros wrote, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.” He announced in 2003 that it is necessary to “puncture the bubble of American supremacy.” In the Atlantic Monthly of February 1997, he wrote, “The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.[...]"
Commentary: "Following The Bodies: “We Are At The Precipice Of Something So Big, It Will Shake The Financial World" [02/17/14] "In the investigative report below, Douglas Hagmann of the Northeast Intelligence Network delves deep into a world that most only believe exists in the realm of cinematic thrillers. It’s one of intrigue, corruption and murder, and it involves some of the world’s most influential firms, business leaders and politicians. There are billions, if not trillions, of dollars on the line. When the nefarious agendas of these sycophants are threatened it’s not much of a stretch of the imagination to suggest that those involved will do whatever is necessary to protect their wealth, power and influence. For them, the only way to deal with the problem is to silence it – permanently. One can chalk off the recent string of banker suicides to coincidence, but what if there were more to it? What if, for example, 39 year old Vice President of JP Morgan Gabriel Magee, who emailed his girlfriend to tell her he was “leaving the office and would see her shortly,” didn’t actually throw himself off of a 33-story building in what police claim was a “non-suspicious” fatal fall? What if the circumstances surrounding many of the deaths of these bankers and a Wall Street Journal financial reporter were the result of, as one financial insider noted a week before the deaths unfolded, a “clean up” of people who knew too much and posed a threat to the overall agenda? Much of this may be difficult to stomach for some, but considering that the people responsible for collapsing the global economy five years ago not only never faced justice for their crimes, but were rewarded with billion dollar bank deals as a result, is it foolish to suggest that there’s much more going on here than the mainstream media and Justice department officials would have us believe? It all just seems… a bit too convenient. [...]"
Commentary: "Judge Rules Bank Of America Foreclosures Are Unconstitutional" [02/17/14] [13:16] "Susanne Posel, Chief Editor at THE US INDEPENDENT joins Gary Franchi to break down her investigation onto the recent ruling against Bank of America's Unconstitutional foreclosures... and what it means. [...]"
MSM: "Wall Street Using Loopholes In Financial Legislation To Seize Control Of Entire Industrial Chains" [02/16/14] "Wall Street watchers have been concerned for some time about the monopolizing trend among big banks. One of the most alarming developments in recent years is a buying spree in which megabanks have been gobbling up physical assets. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has delved into this story in his characteristically colorful way, shining a light on how this particular activity took off, namely through an overlooked provision in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. This arcane-sounding piece of Clinton-era legislation ranks high on the list of Very Bad Ideas coming out of Washington since the 1980s. It essentially overturned Depression-era regulations that had kept the banking sector under control and opened the door for commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies to merge their businesses. The fine print of the bill also allowed commercial banks to dive into any activity that is “complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally.” So what exactly classifies as “complementary” to financial activity? In reality, it has meant pretty much everything. Like, for example, oil tankers and raw materials. The result is something the public never signed off on — banks getting their mitts on entire supply chains and industrial processes. Taibbi explains how this is going down: “Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and, most infamously thanks to a recent high-profile scandal, aluminum.” Recently, something rotten occurred in Denmark, as Goldman Sachs launched its bid to buy a 19 percent stake in the national electricity provider, a deal that would give it control of key management decisions. The streets erupted in protest as Danes (some carrying images of vampire squids) raged at the idea that government ministers could have invited an American investment bank to exert so much control over the state energy grid. The deal actually set off a crisis in the Danish government. [...]"
Commentary: "Subprime Mortgages Are Back…This Time Marketed As “Second Chance Purchase Programs" [02/16/14] "With interest rates up sharply from the lows and Blackstone and other private equity firms holding billions of dollars with of properties with no one to sell to, the time is ripe for a little muppet fleecing. Leading the charge to find new tax-payer backed subprime loans to take some properties off the hands of Mr. Schwarzman is none other than Wells Fargo. I previously forecasted this in my piece: Stage Two of the Housing Bubble Begins: Blackstone to Lend to Others for “Buy to Rent.” They aren’t the only ones though. Citadel Servicing Corp, the country’s biggest subprime lender, is also getting in the action. The best and worst part of this story is the way these new loans are being marketed. Specifically, as ”Low Credit Score Debt Consolidation Program” as well as a “Second Chance Purchase Program.” This Central Bankster game isn’t complicated. Provide access to cheap funds to financial cronies, pump the bubble, fleece the serfs. Rinse. Repeat. [...]"
Commentary: "20 Signs The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire" [02/15/14] "If you have been waiting for the "global economic crisis" to begin, just open up your eyes and look around. I know that most Americans tend to ignore what happens in the rest of the world because they consider it to be "irrelevant" to their daily lives, but the truth is that the massive economic problems that are currently sweeping across Europe, Asia and South America are going to be affecting all of us here in the U.S. very soon. Sadly, most of the big news organizations in this country seem to be more concerned about the fate of Justin Bieber's wax statue in Times Squarethan about the horrible financial nightmare that is gripping emerging markets all over the planet. After a brief period of relative calm, we are beginning to see signs of global financial instability that are unlike anything that we have witnessed since the financial crisis of 2008. As you will see below, the problems are not just isolated to a few countries. This is truly a global phenomenon. Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve and other global central banks have inflated an unprecedented financial bubble with their reckless money printing. Much of this "hot money" poured into emerging markets all over the world. But now that the Federal Reserve has begun "tapering" quantitative easing, investors are taking this as a sign that the party is ending. Money is being pulled out of emerging markets all over the globe at a staggering pace and this is creating a tremendous amount of financial instability. In addition, the economic problems that have been steadily growing over the past few years in established economies throughout Europe and Asia just continue to escalate. The following are 20 signs that the global economic crisis is starting to catch fire... [...]"
Commentary: "6 Financial Monsters That Have Only Gotten Bigger After Destroying the Economy" [02/15/14] "Before the crash of September 2008—the worst economic downturn in the United States since the 1929 crash that marked the beginning of the Great Depression—most Americans had never heard the term "too big to fail." But that term became all too familiar when hundreds of billions of dollars were set aside to bail out the nation's largest financial institutions. And many of the mega-banks that caused the panic of 2008 have become even larger. [...]"
MSM: "Norway: No Bank Should Be Promised "Eternal Life" [02/15/14] "The governor of the Central Bank of Norway (Norges Bank) has called for his country to intensify reforms so that the country's taxpayer will not have to bail out its banks in a future financial crisis. "No bank should be promised eternal life," Øystein Olsen said in his annual address on Thursday, as he called for a new national agency to be set up to deal with distressed banks. "A market functions best when there is scope for new entrants and for the closure of loss-making companies. The same applies to financial markets." Norway's banks escaped the 2008 financial crisis unscathed, partly as a result of the reforms that followed Norway's major banking crisis from 1988 to 1993, which saw two out of the country's four largest banks lose all their capital. "It may be necessary to provide support to banks in distress. But it comes with a major drawback," he said. "Banks will also expect support in the future, which is a source of moral hazard." [...]"
Max Keiser: "Banksters’ Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy" [02/14/14] [25:46] "In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the thousands of think tanks convincing populations to think of the King Joffrey Defense as a legitimate one when an elite murders innocent bystanders or financial markets. They also discuss the housing that is killing productivity in Australia and the UK, but policymakers in both countries are in love with their housing market captors. In the second half, Max and Simon Rose of Save Our Savers diagnose the UK economy with Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy, the Stockholm Syndrome & being trapped in the Matrix. [...]"
Commentary: "Europe Considers Wholesale Savings Confiscation, Enforced Redistribution" [02/14/14] "At first we thought Reuters had been punk’d in its article titled “EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap” which disclosed the latest leaked proposal by the European Commission, but after several hours without a retraction, we realized that the story is sadly true. Sadly, because everything that we warned about in “There May Be Only Painful Ways Out Of The Crisis” back in September of 2011, and everything that the depositors and citizens of Cyprus had to live through, seems on the verge of going continental. In a nutshell, and in Reuters’ own words, “the savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.” What is left unsaid is that the “usage” will be on a purely involuntary basis, at the discretion of the “union”, and can thus best be described as confiscation. The source of this stunner is a document seen be Reuters, which describes how the EU is looking for ways to “wean” the 28-country bloc from its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other investment. [...] The only remaining question is: why leak this now? Perhaps it’s simply because the reallocation of “cash on the savings account sidelines” in the aftermath of the Cyprus deposit confiscation, into risk assets was not forceful enough? What better way to give it a much needed boost than to leak that everyone’s cash savings are suddenly fair game in Europe’s next great wealth redistribution strategy[...]""
Commentary: "All Wars Are Bankers' Wars" Michael Rivero [02/14/14] Video clip [43:33] "I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this. The United States fought the American Revolution primarily over King George III's Currency act, which forced the colonists to conduct their business only using printed bank notes borrowed from the Bank of England at interest. After the revolution, the new United States adopted a radically different economic system in which the government issued its own value-based money, so that private banks like the Bank of England were not siphoning off the wealth of the people through interest-bearing bank notes. "The refusal of King George 3rd to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, was probably the prime cause of the revolution." -- Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father [...] But bankers are nothing if not dedicated to their schemes to acquire your wealth, and know full well how easy it is to corrupt a nation's leaders. Just one year after Mayer Amschel Rothschild had uttered his infamous "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws", the bankers succeeded in setting up a new Private Central Bank called the First Bank of the United States, largely through the efforts of the Rothschild's chief US supporter, Alexander Hamilton. Founded in 1791, by the end of its twenty year charter the First Bank of the United States had almost ruined the nation's economy, while enriching the bankers. Congress refused to renew the charter and signaled their intention to go back to a state issued value based currency on which the people paid no interest at all to any banker. This resulted in a threat from Nathan Mayer Rothschild against the US Government, "Either the application for renewal of the charter is granted, or the United States will find itself involved in a most disastrous war." Congress still refused to renew the charter for the First Bank of the United States, whereupon Nathan Mayer Rothschild railed, "Teach those impudent Americans a lesson! Bring them back to colonial status!" The British Prime Minister at the time, Spencer Perceval was adamently opposed to war with the United States, primarily because the majority of England's military might was occupied with the ongoing Napoleonic wars. Spencer Perceval was concerned that Britain might not prevail in a new American war, a concern shared by many in the British government. Then, Spencer Perceval was assassinated (the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated in office) and replaced by Robert Banks Jenkinson, the 2nd Earl of Liverpool, who was fully supportive of a war to recapture the colonies. Financed at virtually no interest by the Rothschild controlled Bank of England, Britain then provoked the war of 1812 to recolonize the United States and force them back into the slavery of the Bank of England, or to plunge the United States into so much debt they would be forced to accept a new private central bank. And the plan worked.[...]"
Commentary: "At Least 20 Dead Bankers: Celente On Alex Jones" [02/14/14] [9:20] "According to this brand new video just released on the Gerald Celente YT channel with Alex Jones from Infowars, at least 20 bankers have mysteriously died within the last several weeks. While it has been reported that 5 top level bankers have been suicided, Alex’s research has found an entirely new slew of lower level bankers also ‘eliminated’. This video shares more proof of an organized campaign to ‘eliminate’ those who could imprison the ‘criminal elite’ for their financial crimes against the rest of humanity. Dead bankers can’t talk. Celente and Jones share more proof that the markets are rigged and that a massive cover-up is in progress. [...]"
MSM: "House On Tuesday Approved A Debt Ceiling Increase Without Conditions" [02/13/14] "With narrow Republican support, the House on Tuesday approved a debt ceiling increase without conditions. The bill allowed an extension of the federal government’s borrowing authority for one year. [...]"
Commentary: "JPMorgan Vice President’s Death in London Shines a Light on the Bank’s Close Ties to the CIA" [02/13/14] "The nonstop crime news swirling around JPMorgan Chase for a solid 18 months has started to feel a little spooky – they do lots of crime but never any time; and with each closed case, a trail of unanswered questions remains in the public’s mind. One reason that JPMorgan may have such a spooky feel is that it has aligned itself in no small way with real-life spooks, the CIA kind. [...] If JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, needed a little crisis management help from operatives, he has no shortage of people to call upon. Thomas Higgins was, until a few months ago, a Managing Director and Global Head of Operational Control for JPMorgan. (A BusinessWeek profile shows Higgins still employed at JPMorgan while the New York Post reported that he left late last year.) What is not in question is that Higgins was previously the Senior Officer and Station Chief in the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, a component of which is the National Resources Division. (Higgins’ bio is printed in past brochures of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation, where Higgins is listed with his JPMorgan job title, former CIA job title, and as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for 2013.) According to Jeff Stein, writing in Newsweek on November 14, the National Resources Division (NR) is the “biggest little CIA shop you’ve never heard of.” One good reason you’ve never heard of it until now is that the New York Times was asked not to name it in 2001. James Risen writes in a New York Times piece: [the CIA’s] “New York station was behind the false front of another federal organization, which intelligence officials requested that The Times not identify. The station was, among other things, a base of operations to spy on and recruit foreign diplomats stationed at the United Nations, while debriefing selected American business executives and others willing to talk to the C.I.A. after returning from overseas.” Stein gets much of that out in the open in his piece for Newsweek, citing sources who say that “its intimate relations with top U.S. corporate executives willing to have their companies fronting for the CIA invites trouble at home and abroad.” Stein goes on to say that NR operatives “cultivate their own sources on Wall Street, especially looking for help keeping track of foreign money sloshing around in the global financial system, while recruiting companies to provide cover for CIA operations abroad. And once they’ve seen how the other 1 percent lives, CIA operatives, some say, are tempted to go over to the other side.” We now know that it was not only the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Treasury Department’s FinCEN, and bank examiners from the Comptroller of the Currency who missed the Madoff fraud, it was top snoops at the CIA in the very city where Madoff was headquartered.[...]" Related: See below
Corbett Report: "Bankster Suicides and Bank Run Chatter" [02/13/14] [14:11] "Video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. [...]"
MSM: "Another JP Morgan Banker Dies: Ryan Henry Crane, Executive Director Global Program Trading" [02/12/14] "Ryan Henry Crane of Stamford died Monday, Feb. 3. He was 37. Crane was born Jan. 8, 1977, and grew up in Long Valley, N.J. He graduated from The Delbarton School in Morristown in 1995. He graduated from Harvard University in 1999, after which he spent the next 14 years at J.P. Morgan in New York. He was an executive director in the Global Equities Group. [...]"
Commentary: "Justice Dept. Sued Over Validity Of $13 Billion Chase Mortgage Settlement" [02/11/14] "Remember back in November when JPMorgan reached the massive $13 billion settlement with the Justice Dept. over allegations tied to toxic mortgage-backed securities sold to investors before the housing market went kerflumpp? A non-profit group filed suit today against the DOJ, challenging the validity of the deal and asking for a court to review it. The group, Better Markets, filed the complaint [PDF] in a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., claiming that in exchange for the $13 billion, the DOJ gave Chase “complete civil immunity from DOJ for years of pervasive, egregious, and knowing alleged fraud and other illegal conduct related to the worst financial crash in the U.S. since 1929.” In spite of the fact that this was the largest settlement ever reached by the government in a suit involving a single bank, Better Markets says nothing about the process was transparent. “[T]his contract was the product of negotiations conducted entirely in secret behind closed doors, in significant part by the Attorney General personally, who directly negotiated with the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, the bank’s ‘chief negotiator,’” reads the complaint. “No one other than those involved in those secret negotiations has any idea what JPMorgan Chase really did or got for its $13 billion because there was no judicial review.” Better Markets maintains that because of the lack of disclosure about the settlements and the negotiation process “no one has any ability to determine if the $13 Billion Agreement is fair, adequate, reasonable, and in the public interest or if it is a sweetheart deal” for Chase. Among the questions raised by the complaint: How much did Chase’s victims ultimately lose through these alleged frauds? Perhaps more importantly, how much did Chase profit? [...]"
MSM: "Suspicious Death Of JPMorgan Vice President, Gabriel Magee, Under Investigation In London" [02/10/14] "London Police have confirmed that an official investigation is underway into the death of a 39-year old JPMorgan Vice President whose body was found on the 9th floor rooftop of a JPMorgan building in Canary Wharf two weeks ago. An intense investigation is now underway into the details of exactly how Magee died and why his death was so quickly labeled “non suspicious.” An upcoming Coroner’s inquest will reveal the details of that investigation. According to numerous sources close to the investigation of Gabriel Magee’s death, almost nothing thus far reported about his death has been accurate. This appears to stem from an initial poorly worded press release issued by the Metropolitan Police in London which may have been a result of bad communications between it and JPMorgan or something more deliberate on someone’s part. [...] The Independent newspaper in London flatly stated that Magee “died after falling from the roof.” The London Evening Standard tweeted: “Bankers watch JP Morgan IT exec fall to his death from roof of London HQ,” which linked to their article which declared in its opening sentence that “A man plunged to his death from a Canary Wharf tower in front of thousands of horrified commuters today.” At this moment in time, police have yet to produce a single witness who saw Magee jump from the rooftop of this building, let alone “thousands of horrified commuters.” Both the Independent and London Evening Standard newspapers are majority owned by Alexander Lebedev, a Russian and former KGB agent. No one in the media seemed to notice that Iain Dey, Deputy Business Editor of the Sunday Times in London, flatly disputed the notion that a plunge from the rooftop had been observed by anyone when he reported that: “Gabriel Magee’s body lay for several hours before it was found at 8am last Tuesday.” No solid evidence exists currently to suggest that the death was a suicide. In fact, there is a strong piece of evidence pointing in the opposite direction" [...]"
MSM: "Rich Chinese Flee To United States…And Bring Their Money With Them" [02/09/14] "Many of China’s wealthy are fleeing their home country and settling in the United States, where better schools and other opportunities await. The 2012 Annual Report of Chinese International Migration shows immigration from China is growing, with most heading to the U.S. Nearly 90,000 Chinese became permanent U.S. residents in 2011. The migration includes a significant number of rich Chinese. At least 25% of those worth more than $16 million have fled the country, and nearly half of this group (47%) is thinking of leaving, according to the report. The United Nations reported last year that the number of foreign-born Chinese Americans in the U.S. doubled between 2000 and 2010. There are about 3.8 million Chinese in the country, of which 2.2 million were born in China. The Chinese ex-pats cite various reasons for leaving their Asian homeland, including “political reform, infrastructure improvements, pollution, and education,” according to the study. However, the single biggest motivator, by far, is their dissatisfaction with China’s education system. About 80% say they want a better education for their children, and hope to find it in the U.S. or the other countries to which they’ve relocated. Parents say China’s schools emphasize too much rote learning, taking tests, and “patriotic education” approved by the Communist Party. Departing China, Mark Kitto explained in a farewell letter, according to GlobalPost, that “one overriding reason” for leaving his home country was “want[ing] to give my children a decent education. The domestic Chinese lower education system does not educate. It is a test center. And then there is the propaganda.” [...]" Note: As if there is none of that here. Related: "Keiser Report: Fraud De Facto Business Model" [25:45] "We discuss the tigers, flies and naked officials fleeing China for the U.S. where corruption is not being cracked down on. We also discuss the naked pork bun running London and what to expect for the housing bubble if China does crackdown on corruption. In the second half, Max interviews Linda Kaucher of Stop TTIP about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as a plan for permanent neoliberalism and regulatory harmonisation. Under the deal, ‘trade irritants’ such as biased national laws will be eradicated via an arbitration panel which will judge ONLY on free trade criteria. Max notes that David Cameron seems to be benchmarking UK policy against US disasters. [...]"
MSM: "UK: Barclays Account Details For Sale As 'Gold Mine' Of Up To 27,000 Files Is Leaked" [02/09/14] "Barclays Bank is reeling from an unprecedented security breach after thousands of confidential customer files were stolen and sold on to rogue City traders. In the worst case of data loss from a British High Street bank, highly sensitive information, including customers’ earnings, savings, mortgages, health issues and insurance policies, ended up in the hands of unscrupulous brokers. The data ‘gold mine’ - also containing passport and national insurance numbers - is worth millions on the black market because it allowed unsuspecting individuals to be targeted in investment scams. Barclays last night launched an urgent investigation and promised to co-operate with police. It is not clear how the records were stolen, but the bank could face an unlimited fine if found guilty of putting customers’ details at risk. The leak was exposed by an anonymous whistleblower who passed The Mail on Sunday a memory stick containing files on 2,000 of the bank’s customers. He claimed it was a sample from a stolen database of up to 27,000 files, which he said could be sold by shady salesmen for up to £50 per file. ‘This is the worst [leak] I’ve come across by far,’ said the former commodity broker. ‘But this illegal trade is going on all the time in the City. I want to go public to stop it getting bigger.’ Barclays, which was fined £290 million in 2012 for its part in the Libor rigging scandal, said it would contact the customers as soon as possible. The loss is a breach of its obligation under the Data Protection Act to keep personal information secure. The Barclays data appears to have been actively stolen and ended up in the hands of unscrupulous salesmen. The revelation comes as the bank is bracing itself for a row over bonuses, with as much as £2.4 billion set to be handed out to staff. [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "U.S. Post Office Banking Could Be Start Of Something Big" [02/08/14] "With one in four American households partially or entirely excluded from the current banking system, and with the U.S. Post Office in search of additional revenue, why not use the postal system to offer banking services to lower-income households? In fact, this is an idea whose time has already come, more than once. Many nations – among them Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Israel, and Brazil – provide or have provided some form of postal banking services. So did the United States, until 1966. It’s hardly a radical idea. The U.S. system was voted into law in 1910, during the presidency of William Howard Taft. In any case, a better way to describe it would be as a beginning. What better way to start a much-needed transformation of our financial sector than by providing services to those communities the financial industry refers to as the “unbanked”? Right now those communities are routinely victimized by predatory payday lenders. [...] Sen. Elizabeth Warren has endorsed the postal-banking concept, which David Dayen describes in more detail here. As Sen. Warren wrote recently, “if the Postal Service offered basic banking services — nothing fancy, just basic bill paying, check cashing and small-dollar loans — then it could provide affordable financial services for underserved families, and, at the same time, shore up its own financial footing.” The report that stimulated all this new discussion [PDF] was written by the Post Office’s Inspector General, and it makes a compelling case." [...] Who wouldn’t benefit from this proposal? Well, there are the payday lenders, of course. Then there are the politicians they support, and to serve them in return, like Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. The other politicians and lobbyists who feed at the trough, a spectacle which only becomes publicly visible when their lobbying succeeds – which is often. And then there are the big banks who underwrite the payday lending industry to a large, and largely invisible, extent. Those banks were bailed out by the American taxpayer, and continue to benefit from implicit and explicit government subsidies. As the big-money interests band together to decry postal banking as “socialism,” it might be worth asking them why it’s not socialistic to keep bailing out the private-sector predators who currently dominate this market. [...] But there are other reasons to support this concept, too. If it works – and it will, if managed correctly – it will be a great boon for the transformative idea of public banking. Public banking can include state-owned lending institutions like the Bank of North Dakota, county banks, and cooperatives. Obama’s MyRA savings plan is also a form of public banking. Even Sen. Warren’s plan to link student loan rates to the rates which private banks get from the Federal Reserve is a variation on the public-banking theme.[...]"
Concepts and Practices: "US Government Hits Debt Limit Again" [02/08/14] [4:33] "The US government has once again hit its debt limit four months after Washington diffused last year's government shutdown. Under the budget deal passed by Congress in October, the debt limit was temporarily suspended to end the government shutdown. However, the suspension ended on Friday, which means the federal government’s borrowing limit will reset on Saturday to the current level, which is about $17.2 trillion. The Treasury Department has resorted to “extraordinary measures” to stay under the debt limit and temporarily prevent a default. The department warned that the government could default by the end of the month if Congress does not raise the limit on public borrowing. [...]" Related: "Boehner: ‘We’re Not Going To Default’ On Debt" | "The Persistence Of Selective Deficit Disorder" "Cognitive dissonance" is the clinical term used to describe stress that arises from holding contradictory beliefs. In politics, this term is a misnomer, because while many lawmakers, operatives and activists present oxymoronic views, many of them don't appear to feel any stress about that. When it comes to budgetary matters, such a lack of remorse translates into something even worse than cognitive dissonance — something more akin to pathology. It is what I've previously called Selective Deficit Disorder — and it was hard to miss in the last few weeks. [...]"
Commentary: "Bank Of England Encouraged Currency Manipulation By Private Banks" [02/08/14] "This report by Bloomberg confirms that yet another conspiracy theory is fact, as at least one central bank has been exposed to not only have known about a criminal activity that is now costing the jobs of hundreds of traders (and should lead to jail time), but to have urged it on. From Bloomberg: "Bank of England officials told currency traders it wasn’t improper to share impending customer orders with counterparts at other firms, a practice at the heart of a widening probe into alleged market manipulation, according to a person who has seen notes turned over to regulators. A senior trader gave his notes from a private April 2012 meeting of currency dealers and two central bank staff members to the Financial Conduct Authority about six weeks ago because of mounting media coverage of the investigation, said the person, who asked not to be named while probes are under way. Traders representing some of the world’s biggest banks told officials at the meeting that they shared information about aggregate orders before currency benchmarks were set, three people with knowledge of the discussion said. The officials said there wasn’t a policy on such communications and that banks should make their own rules, according to the people. The notes could drag the U.K. central bank into another market-rigging scandal two years after it was criticized by lawmakers for failing to act on warnings that Libor was vulnerable to abuse. If traders can show “they made Bank of England officials aware of practices in the FX market some time ago, then the bank will be at risk of being characterized as having endorsed, by its silence and inaction, the very practices which are now under investigation,” said Simon Hart, a lawyer at RPC LLP in London. [...]
Commentary: "SAC Capital Ex-Trader Convicted Of Insider Trading" [02/07/14] "A former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager was convicted Thursday of helping the company owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen earn more than a quarter-billion dollars illegally through trades based on secrets about the testing of a potential breakthrough Alzheimer's drug. The verdict capped a monthlong trial that featured testimony from two prominent doctors who confessed to spilling secrets to Mathew Martoma during paid consultations in the summer of 2008. Martoma was expressionless as the jury forewoman announced he was guilty of two counts of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Tears streamed down the face of his wife, Rosemary, whose hands were folded on her yellow dress. No sentencing date was set. When prosecutors announced the case in November 2012, they said it may be the most lucrative insider trading scheme of all time. The trial also put a spotlight on Cohen, showing he had a 20-minute phone call with Martoma a day before the Stamford, Conn.-based firm began selling a large position in pharmaceutical stocks that enabled what prosecutors said were mammoth illegal profits. Martoma is the eighth portfolio manager or research analyst at SAC Capital to be convicted or plead guilty to criminal charges in an insider trading case. Despite his conviction, prosecutors appeared no closer to what his lawyer claimed during trial was their chief goal: to prosecute Cohen. Prosecutors, in a press release on the verdict, declined to even name Cohen, referencing him only as the "SAC Owner."[...]"
Buffoonery: "JPMorgan’s Blythe Masters To Join CFTC ‘Swaps Regulator Panel’" [02/07/14] "Blythe Masters, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s commodities division, is joining an advisory committee of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said Steve Adamske, a spokesman for the regulator. Masters, 44, was invited by acting Chairman Mark Wetjen to sit on a global markets committee at the Washington-based regulator of futures and swaps, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Masters is scheduled to participate in a CFTC meeting on Feb. 12 to discuss cross-border guidance on rules, the person said. JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, is selling the part of its commodities division dealing in physical assets, such as metals and oil, as regulators examine whether federally backed lenders should be involved in those markets. Masters probably wouldn’t join Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., which is in exclusive talks for the unit, a person with knowledge of the auction said this week. [...]" Note: She should be in prison for what she has done. See the link at the top of this panel entitled "Creation of Credit Derivatives" Related: "Blythe Masters Withdraws From CFTC After Furious Twitter Backlash"
MSM: "Fed Rattling Emerging Markets to Keep U.S. Propped Up -Gregory Mannarino" [02/06/14] [25:01] "Analyst and stock trader Gregory Mannarino says the market meltdown this week was caused by the Fed and weak economy. Mannarino says, “We understand there is a dynamic that has been changing here in the market with regard to the Fed’s purchasing mortgage-backed securities and bonds. This has rattled the emerging markets. They’re having problems with their currencies . . . The Federal Reserve has created an environment of distortions. By them pulling back some of this liquidity from the global economy, they’ve caused problems in these emerging markets, and this is being done on purpose.” What is the Fed trying to accomplish by destabilizing emerging market countries? Mannarino claims, “So, by rattling the emerging markets here, they are going to force investors into U.S. equities and into the U.S. bond market. It’s sort of a backdoor stimulus. . . . This just keeps the party going. That’s all this is.” This may work in the short term, but it is not long term bullish for the markets. Mannarino warns, “We have this issue with the U.S. economy. They have been force feeding us nonsense . . . [...]"
Commentary: "Goldman Sachs Sued for Selling Libya Billions in “Worthless” Options" [02/06/14] "Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street investment bank, is being sued in London for selling Libya “worthless” derivatives trades in 2008 that the country’s financial managers did not understand. Libya says it lost approximately $1.2 billion on the deals, while Goldman made $350 million. At the time, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which invests profits from the country’s oil and gas exports, had assets worth $60 billion under former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.Goldman Sachs convinced LIA to buy long-term call options on six companies: Allianz, a German insurance and investment company; Banco Santander, a Spanish bank; Citbank, a U.S. bank; Électricité de France, a French state utility; ENI, an Italian oil company; and UniCredit, an Italian bank. What the Libyans did not understand was that if the stocks in these six companies did not rise, their investments would become worthless. Instead the LIA executives weretaken in by a trip to Morocco as well as “small gifts, such as aftershaves and chocolates” and an offer of an internship for Mustafa Mohamed Zarti, the brother of the Libyan fund’s deputy executive director, in Dubai and London. “The unique circumstances allowed Goldman Sachs to take advantage of the LIA’s extremely limited financial and legal experience to deliberately exploit its position of influence and to take advantage in a way that generated colossal losses for the LIA but substantial profits for Goldman Sachs,” said LIA Chairman AbdulMagid Breish in a statement. [...]"
Commentary: "Government Pockets $66 Billion In Profit From Student Loans: GAO Report" [02/05/14] "The Government Accountability Office released a report on Friday stating that it is impossible to precisely set borrowing interest rates in advance on federal student loans. As a result, the federal government has earned an estimated $66 billion in profits from loans originated from 2007 to 2012. The GAO report was ordered as a part of a compromise on student loan rates last year. The “Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act” of 2013 ended months of cantankerous debate and replaced a sunsetted provision that set federal loans rate at 3.4 percent. The new bill tied the interest rates to the rate of the 10-year Treasury notes plus 2.05 percent, with maximum rate caps established. The Direct Loan rate is currently at 4.65 percent. "This is obscene. The government should not be making $66 billion in profits off the backs of our students,’’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a statement in response to the report.[...] The GAO report cautioned that the $66 billion estimate is dependent on the repayment of the loans, which could take as long as 40 years. Per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, over 7 million student loan borrowers are currently in default and roughly a third of all Federal Direct Loan Program borrowers have chosen an alternative repayment scheme. The GAO report was ordered due to reports from the summer of 2013 indicating that the Education Department was prepared to pocket a $41.3 billion profit from its fiscal year 2013 loans — a decrease from fiscal year’s 2012 profit by $3.6 billion, but enough to make the Department of Education the third most-profitable corporation in the world if the agency was a for-profit organization. [...] The Department of Education called the allegation misleading, as it does not acknowledge market conditions, borrowers’ willingness to repay the debt (market risk) or administrative costs. The report found that administrative costs have grown from $314 million to $864 million from 2007 to 2012. However, the cost per borrower has stayed steady and the growth came from a 300 percent growth in the number of Direct Loans serviced due to the federal government’s termination of the private lender program in 2009." Note: Yeah, it's a boondoggle based on an archaic social promise to the young which fell apart in the 1970's ... so it is profit based on deception, and little effort was ever made conceptually to ever connect the idea of employment directly with education, in a similar way that it used to be done in Japan, at the very least.
Commentary: "Dead Bankers, Missing Reporter, And Unfolding Wall Street Scandals" [02/05/14] "In a span of four days last week, two current executives and one recently retired top ranking executive of major financial firms were found dead. Both media and police have been quick to label the deaths as likely suicides. Missing from the reports is the salient fact that all three of the financial firms the executives worked for are under investigation for potentially serious financial fraud. The deaths began on Sunday, January 26. London police reported that William Broeksmit, a top executive at Deutsche Bank who had retired in 2013, had been found hanged in his home in the South Kensington section of London. The day after Broeksmit was pronounced dead, Eric Ben-Artzi, a former risk analyst turned whistleblower at Deutsche Bank, was scheduled to speak at Auburn University in Alabama on his allegations that Deutsche had hid $12 billion in losses during the financial crisis with the knowledge of senior executives. Two other whistleblowers have brought similar charges against Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank is also under investigation by global regulators for potentially rigging the foreign exchange markets – an action similar to the charges it settled in 2013 over its traders’ involvement in the rigging of the interest rate benchmark, Libor.[...]"
Commentary: "Death and Derivatives: Towards the Implosion of the Global Financial System" [02/04/14] "On Sunday a former Senior Deutsche Bank manager, William Broeksmit, was found hanged at his house. He was the retired Head of Risk Optimization for the bank and a close personal friend of Deutsche’s Co-Chief Executive, Anshu Jain. Mr Broeksmit became head of Risk Optimization in 2008. He retired in February 2013. Early this morning, Gabriel Magee, a Vice President of CIB (Corporate and Investment Banking) Technology at JP Morgan jumped to his death from the top of the bank’s 33 story European Headquarters in Canary Wharf. As a VP of CIB Technology Mr Magee’s job would have been to work closely with the Bank’s senior Risk Managers providing the technology which monitored every aspect of the bank’s exposure to financial risk. These deaths could well be completely unrelated and just terribly sad for their respective families. On the other hand neither of these men had any obvious problems and both were immensely wealthy. So why would two senior bankers commit suicide within a couple of days of each other? [...] One place to start is to note that JP Morgan Chase had, at the end of 2012, a mind boggling, but only silver medal, $69.5 Trillion with a ‘T’ gross notional Deriviatives exposure . While the gold medal for exposure to Derivative risk goes to …Deutsche Bank, with $72.8 or €55.6 Trillion Gross Notional Exposure. Gross Notional means this is the face value of all the derivative deals it has signed. Which the bank would be very quick to tell you would Net Out to far, far less. Netting Out, for those of you who do not know just means that a bet/contract in one direction is considered to balance or cancel out a similar sized bet/contract betting the other way. But as I wrote in Propaganda War – Risk Weighted Lies and further in Propaganda Wars – Balance Sheet Instabilities , …this sort of canceling out is fine on paper but in reality is more akin to people trying to swap sides in a rowing boat. Both of the men who killed themselves were intimately concerned with judging and safeguarding their bank from risk."To give you an idea what sort of risk that size of a derivatives book is, consider that the entire GDP of Germany is €2.7 Trillion. Remember that Derivatives are what Warren Buffet dubbed “weapons of financial mass destruction.” Next question might be, when do these weapons become dangerous? The answer obvioulsy varies in accordance with the type of derivative you are considering. One huge group of derivatives that both JP Morgan and Deutsche both deal very heavily in are currency and interest rate swaps. They become dangerous when there are large moves in currency values and interest rates.[...]"
MSM: "Third Banker, Former Fed Member, “Found Dead” Inside A Week" [02/01/14] "If the stock market were already crashing then it would be simple to blame the dismally sad rash of dead bankers in the last week on that – certainly that was reflected in 1929. However, for the third time in the last week, a senior financial executive has died in what appears to be a suicide. As Bloomberg reports, following the deaths of a JPMorgan senior manager (Tuesday) and a Deutsche Bank executive (Sunday), Russell Investments’ Chief Economist (and former Fed economist) Mike Dueker was found dead at the side of a highway in Washington State. Police said the death appeared to be a suicide. [...]"
MSM: "World Bank Ex-Chief Economist: Replace National Currency Reserve Concept With A Global Currency" [01/31/14] "Former World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin warned that “the dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises,” we suspect the world will begin to listen (especially the Chinese. Lin, now – notably – an adviser to the Chinese government, concludes that internationalizing the Chinese currency is not the answer (preferring a basket approach) but ominously concludes, “the solution to this is to replace a national currency with a global currency,” as it will create more stable global financial system. [...]"
Overview: HSBC Bank background articles:[01/30/14] See below: 2014: "HSBC Bank Allegedly On Verge Of Collapse: Second Major Banking Crash Imminent" [01/26/14]; "Furious Backlash Forces HSBC To Scrap Large Cash Withdrawal Limit"[01/26/14]; "Big Banks Launder Billions of Illegal Drug Cartel Money … But Refuse to Provide Services for Legal Marijuana" [01/15/14] ; 2013: "Money Laundering and The Drug Trade: The Role of the Banks" [10/21/13]; "HSBC Money Laundering Whistleblower Tells All" [10/12/13]; "Fives Tons Of Customer Gold Leave The HSBC Vault" [09/26/13]; "Whistleblower: HSBC Still Laundering Money For Terrorists, Drug Cartels" [09/21/13]; "Banks Face £1billion Bill For Misrepresenting Credit Card Fraud Insurance" [07/21/13];"HSBC Judge Approves $1.9B Drug-Money Laundering Accord" [07/02/13] "the bank agreed not to contest criminal charges of failing to maintain an effective anti-money-laundering program, failing to conduct due diligence, and violating the Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act."; "Former VP of HSBC: "We Were Laundering 100′s Of Millions for Drugs" [06/23/13]; "Argentina Hits HSBC With Fresh Claims The Bank Laundered $100 million" [03/20/13]; "DOJ Urges Federal Court to Approve Sweetheart Deal with Drug-Tainted HSBC" [03/12/13]; "Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail" Mat Taibbi, Rolling Stone" [02/15/13]; "HSBC Buys $876 Million Worth of Silver" [01/24/13] (List of related 2012 articles available from the 2012-B Banking archives): "Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations HSBC Money Laundering Case History" PDF [12/17/12]; HSBC Backlash: Oregon Sen. Merkeley Accuses DoJ of Violating Congress's Laws Against Terrorism; British Role Exposed" [12/16/12]; Video -"HSBC Couldn't Track $60 Trillion in Suspicious Activity?" [5:29] [12/16/12]; Greek Journalist Acquitted for Blowing Tax Fraud Whistle" [11/14/12]; Widespread Corruption Linked to Private HSBC Accounts" [11/14/12] ; "Obama May Levy Carbon Tax To Cut The U.S. Deficit, HSBC Says" [11/08/12] ; "HSBC Caught in New Drug Money Laundering Scandal" [11/05/12] ; "HSBC Caught in New Drug Money Laundering Scandal" [11/05/12] ; "Criminal Banking Cartel Dominates US, British Governments" [08/05/12]; "Drug Money And Terrorism Fuel HSBC? – Senate Probe" [07/18/12] ; "Many Wall Street Executives Says Wrongdoing Is Necessary: Survey" [07/11/12]; and of course "How 9 Banks Are Exposed To $200 Trillion Worth Of Derivatives" [04/24/12] " Combined, these nine banks are exposed to $228.72 trillion in derivatives, a shockingly high number. That number, as Demonocracy states, is worth approximately three times the entire world economy. ... HSBC has a derivative exposure of $4.321 Trillion dollars. HSBC is a Hong Kong based bank and its original name is The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. You will find HSBC working a lot with JP Morgan Chase. Both HSBC and JP Morgan Chase have strong interest in gold & precious metals. HSBC and JP Morgan Chase are often involved together in financial scandals. Lately HSBC has been sued for allegedly funneling more than $8.9 billion to the largest ponzi-scheme in history - Bernie Maddof's investment business. HSBC (along w/ JP Morgan Chase) has been sued for alleged conspiracy suppressing the price of silver and gold, partially through precious metal DERIVATIVES and making billions of dollars on it. State of Hawaii is suing HSBC (and other banks) for deceptive credit card lending practices. DZ Bank in Germany is suing HSBC (and JP Morgan) for deceptive (lying) practices when selling home-loan-backed securities. HSBC is also under investigation for laundering billions of dollars. [...]"
MSM: "Let Banks Fail "Is Iceland Mantra As 2% Joblessness In Sight" Bloomberg [01/30/14] "Iceland let its banks fail in 2008 because they proved too big to save. Now, the island is finding crisis-management decisions made half a decade ago have put it on a trajectory that’s turned 2 percent unemployment into a realistic goal. While the euro area grapples with record joblessness, led by more than 25 percent in Greece and Spain, only about 4 percent of Iceland’s labor force is without work. Prime Minister Sigmundur D. Gunnlaugsson says even that’s too high. [...]"
Commentary: "Celente: Economic Turmoil & Revolution Trends In 2014" [01/29/14] [7:17] "In this video Luke Rudkowski interviews business consultant Gerald Celente on the upcoming future U.S economy and revolutionary trends for 2014. Gerald Celente is an American trend forecaster, publisher of the Trends Journal, business consultant and author who makes predictions about the global financial markets and other events of historical importance. [...]"
Legal Case: "Sheldon Adelson Scorched in Derivative Lawsuit" [01/29/14] "Sheldon Adelson cost investors in his Las Vegas Sands Corp. money by allowing "bribery, kickbacks, money laundering and other wrongful behaviors" a shareholder claims in a derivative complaint. W.A. Sokolowski sued Adelson, Las Vegas Sands Corp. and nine other members of Sands board of directors in Federal Court. The complaint accuses Adelson et al. of a laundry list of allegedly wrongful and sometimes illegal acts, in this country and Macau. Sokolowski claims, inter alia, that Adelson and his board: [...] Sokolowski claims that Adelson personally benefited from the wrongdoing by receiving $2.5 million annually for security and transportation and giving jobs to his wife and stepdaughter. Sokolowski seeks punitive damages for violations of the Securities Exchange Act, breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, unjust enrichment, breach of duty of candor, breach of duty of loyalty, breach of contract and negligence."
Date With Destiny: "Two Top American Bankers Commit Suicide In London" [01/29/14] "One jumps 500ft to his death from JP Morgan skyscraper and another hangs himself in luxury home. Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan bank executive, died early this morning after he jumped 500ft from the top of the bank's European headquarters. His body was discovered on the ninth floor roof, which surrounds the 33-story Canary Wharf skyscraper. Just two days earlier, on Sunday, fellow American banker, William 'Bill' Broeksmit, 58, was found hanging in his South Kensington home. Broeksmit - who retired last February - was a former senior manager at Deutsche Bank and had lived in London many years. He started working for the bank in 1996 but left for a period of 7 years before returning in 2008. [...]"
Commentary: "The 20 Richest Americans: Takers, Not Makers" [01/29/14] "The top individuals on the 2013 Forbes 400 list are generally believed to be makers of great companies or concepts. They are the role models of Paul Ryan, who laments, "We're going to a majority of takers versus makers in America." They are defended by Cato Institute CEO John A. Allison IV, who once protested: "Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let's call it an attack on the very productive." But many of the richest Americans are takers. The top twenty, with a total net worth of almost two-thirds of a trillion dollars, have all taken from the public or from employees, or through taxes or untaxed inheritances. [...] Bill Gates may be a knowledgeable and hard-working man, but he was also lucky and opportunistic. He was a taker. In 1975, at the age of 20, he founded Microsoft with high school buddy Paul Allen. This was the era of the first desktop computers, and numerous small companies were trying to program them, most notably Digital Research, headed by brilliant software designer Gary Kildall. His CP/M operating system (OS) was the industry standard. Even Gates' company used it. But Kildall was an innovator, not a businessman, and when IBM came calling for an OS for the new IBM PC, his delays drove the big mainframe company to Gates. Even though the newly established Microsoft company couldn't fill IBM's needs, Gates and Allen saw an opportunity, and so they hurriedly bought the rights to another local company's OS -- which was based on Kildall's CP/M system. Kildall wanted to sue, but intellectual property law for software had not yet been established. Kildall was a maker who got taken. David Lefer, a collaborator for the book They Made America, summarized: "Gates didn't invent the PC operating system, and any history that says he did is wrong."[...] At first glance, Warren Buffett seems to be a different breed of multi-billionaire, advocating for higher taxes on the rich and a reasonable estate tax. But his company, Berkshire Hathaway, hasn't been paying its taxes. According to the New York Post, "the company openly admits that it owes back taxes since as long ago as 2002." A review of Berkshire Hathaway's annual report confirms that despite profits of over $22 billion in 2012, a $255 million refund was claimed, while $44 billion in federal taxes remain deferred on the company's balance sheet. Berkshire Hathaway has another little surprise hidden in the small print of its income statement. It shows an income tax expense of almost $7 billion, all of it hypothetical. [...]"
MSM: "Justice Department Inquiry Takes Aim At Banks’ Business With Payday Lenders" [01/28/14] "Federal prosecutors are trying to thwart the easy access that predatory lenders and dubious online merchants have to Americans’ bank accounts by going after banks that fail to meet their obligations as gatekeepers to the United States financial system. The Justice Department is weighing civil and criminal actions against dozens of banks, sending out subpoenas to more than 50 payment processors and the banks that do business with them, according to government officials. In the new initiative, called “Operation Choke Point,” the agency is scrutinizing banks both big and small over whether they, in exchange for handsome fees, enable businesses to illegally siphon billions of dollars from consumers’ checking accounts, according to state and federal officials briefed on the investigation. The critical role played by banks largely plays out in the shadows because they typically do not deal directly with the Internet merchants. What they do is provide banking services to third-party payment processors, financial middlemen that, in turn, handle payments for their merchant customers. [...] Yet the crackdown has already come under fire from congressional lawmakers, including Representative Darrell Issa, the Republican from California who heads the House Oversight Committee, who have accused the Justice Department of trying to covertly quash the payday lending industry. In the first action under Operation Choke Point, Justice Department officials brought a lawsuit this month against Four Oaks Bank of Four Oaks, N.C., accusing the bank of being “deliberately ignorant” that it was processing payments on behalf of unscrupulous merchants — including payday lenders and a Ponzi scheme. As a result, prosecutors say, the bank enabled the companies to illegally withdraw more than $2.4 billion from the checking accounts of customers across the country. The lawsuit, which includes reams of internal bank documents, offers the most vivid look yet at how some senior bank executives brushed off warning signs of fraud while collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees. While the bank has reached a tentative $1.2 million settlement with federal prosecutors, the impact of the lawsuit extends far beyond Four Oaks, and federal prosecutors say this points to a problem rippling fast across the banking industry.[...]"
MSM: "America’s Crisis is Rooted in the Fact that the Economy Is Rigged for the Wealthiest" [01/28/14] "... Professor C. J. Polychroniou calls the current system “Predatory Capitalism.” We have passed the era of industrial capitalism and have entered finance capitalism based on expansion of the neoliberal economic model globally. This is fundamental to understand because it is this model that is driving all of our crises. Neoliberal economics is not related to liberalism in ideological terms, but liberalism in terms of a freeing of the market from any regulation and a freeing up of our resources to be used by private corporations for profit. In this model, government actively serves the financial elite, as Polychroniou describes: “Policies that increase the upward flows of income and the availability of public property for private exploitation rest at the core of the global neoliberal project, where predatory capitalism reigns supreme. So does privatizing profits and socializing losses.” It is predatory capitalism that drives the race to the bottom in worker rights and wages and that drives the dismantling of our public institutions and privatization of education, transportation, health care, the postal service, prisons and more. Predatory capitalism sells our resources to the highest bidder without regard for destruction of the planet, displacement of families or poisoning of communities. [...] Predatory capitalism is directly linked to the growing national security state and militarism. As poverty and suffering increase, so does resistance by the people and those in power fear mass revolt. As corporations require access to resources around the world, the military is necessary to secure them. And it also happens that the national security and military industrial complexes profit greatly by finding new markets for their weapons and security products. Spying on people in the US and around the world continues to become more sophisticated. The New York Times reports that the NSA can retrieve data stored in computers or USB cards using radio waves even when the computer is turned off. In Kiev this week, the government used cell phone technology to locate people and send them a text message warning them that they were considered to be part of a mass protest, which has now been deemed illegal. The overreach of the state is starting to backfire. Recently, an independent federal review board concluded that the collection of cell phone calls by the NSA is illegal and must be stopped. Obama’s own review board called for an overhaul of the NSA, but last week the President announced only minimal reforms that protect the surveillance program. Instead of announcing real changes, he worked to reassure the public that spying is perfectly normal and acceptable. Chris Hedges interpreted his speech for us describing how faux reforms were designed to mollify Americans while “as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, along with our courts, continue to eviscerate those rights.” And the Electronic Frontier Foundation decoded the proposed reforms, giving Obama a 3.5 out of a possible score of 12 for what is considered the bare minimum of necessary overhaul.[...]"
Commentary: "Regulators Investigating Bank Of America For Front Running Its Clients' Large Trading Orders" [01/27/14] "Front running is a pretty simple trick. You (the bank) know your client is going to place a big order for a security. Since you know the price of the security will go up after that big buy, you place the bank's order ahead of your client's order. Sometimes this results in the price of the security going up for your client. In this case, according to Reuters, that client was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This was disclosed in a BrokerCheck filing on regulator FINRA's website. BrokerChecks allow anyone to look at a specific trader's professional background, and this report was filed with a former Bank of America trader named Eric Beckwith based in NYC. A bank spokesperson said the trader left the bank in July 2013. The filing dates back to June 2013. [...]"
MSM: "China Halts Bank Cash Transfers" [01/27/14] "Due to the system maintenance of People’s Bank of China, Domestic RMB Fund Transfer through Citibank (China) Online and Citi Mobile will be delayed during January 30th 2014, 16:00pm to February 2nd 2014, 18:30pm. As to the fund availability at the receiving bank, it depends on the processing requirements and turnaround time of the receiving bank. We apologize for any inconvenience caused." In short, there will be a three-day suspension of domestic renminbi transfers. There will also be a suspension, spanning nine calendar days, of conversions of renminbi to foreign currency. The specific reason given—“system maintenance” at the central bank—is preposterous. It is not credible that during the highest usage period in the year—the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday beginning January 31—the central bank would schedule an upgrade and shut down cash transfers. A better explanation is that the country’s banking system is running dry. [...]"
Commentary: "UK: Lloyds ATMs Stop Working" [01/27/14] "First HSBC bungles up an attempt at pseudo-capital controls by explaining that large cash withdrawals need a justification, and are limited in order “to protect our customers” (from what – their money?), which will likely result in even faster deposit withdrawals, and now another major UK bank – Lloyds/TSB – has admitted it are experiencing cash separation anxiety manifesting itself in ATMs failing to work and a difficult in paying using debit cards. Sky reports that customers of Lloyds and TSB, as well as those with Halifax, have reported difficulties paying for goods in shops and getting money out of ATMs. All three banks are under the Lloyds Banking Group which said: “We are aware that some customers are unable to use their debit cards either to make purchases or to withdraw money from ATMs. “We are working hard to resolve this as swiftly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused.” [...]"
MSM: "HSBC Bank Allegedly On Verge Of Collapse: Second Major Banking Crash Imminent" [01/26/14] "Concerns about an imminent bank crash were further fuelled today at news that HSBC are restricting the amount of cash that customers can withdraw from their own bank accounts. Customers were told that without proof of the intended use of their own money, HSBC would refuse to release it. This, and other worrying signs point to a possible financial crash in the near future. Forensic Asia on Tuesday began its coverage of Britain’s largest banking group with a ‘sell’ recommendation, warning the lender had between $63.6bn (£38.7bn) and $92.3bn of “questionable assets” on its balance sheet, ranging from loan loss reserves and accrued interest to deferred tax assets, defined benefit pension schemes and opaque Level 3 assets. According a report by the BBC’s MoneyBox Programme, HSBC customers have gone to withdraw cash from their accounts, only to find HSBC would not release the funds. Customers were told to make a bank transfer instead, unless they provided documentation proving the intended use of the money. [...]" Note: Laundering all that global drug money is coming back to haunt them. Related: "Furious Backlash Forces HSBC To Scrap Large Cash Withdrawal Limit" "...The bank issued a statement this morning defending their actions - 'it's for your own good - but rescinding the decision' - "following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals." After all the last thing the bank, which over the past few years has been implicated in aiding an abetting terrorists and laundering pretty much anything, wants is an implied capital shortfall to become an all too explicit one. [...] Indeed, as one HSBC customer exclaimed, "you shouldn't have to explain to your bank why you want that money. It's not theirs, it's yours."
MSM: "Media Blackout Over Wisconsin’s Falling Unemployment and $912 million Budget Surplus" [01/26/14] "Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker (R) has put his conservative economic policies into practice – and with stunning results, in what proponents are referring to as “A Blueprint for Prosperity”. “What do you do with a surplus?” he said. “Give it back to the people who earned it. It’s your money.” “The state of Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is “rapidly falling” and the government’s budget ended the year with a $912 million surplus, Limbaugh explained. He says the dramatic turnaround is due in large part to the conservative policies of Gov. Scott Walker. What’s even more amazing, he continued, is the fact that Walker is going to “rebate the money in the form of tax cuts to the people, who he said own the money.” Limbaugh says the news is “earth-shattering” because, in one of the bluest states, Walker was targeted for removal twice but continued to implement conservative policies that he was confident would help his state — and his strategy appears to be working. He’s going to cut income taxes and property taxes, and he made the point that it’s not just a gimmick of budgeting or accounting. It’s the result of serious, significant policy changes”. … It was not reported on one cable network, much less all of them. It was not reported in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the LA Times,” he added. “It was reported in Wisconsin. There was an AP story on it, maybe some local papers picked it up, but just as a filler.” … Walker is proposing a $504 million property and income tax cut plan as a means to return some of the surplus money to the people of Wisconsin. Some Democrats and Republicans are already criticizing the plan and are calling for changes. The unemployment rate in Wisconsin dropped to 6.2 percent in December and has been dropping steadily since 2011. [...]"
MSM: "SEC Judge Suspends 'Big Four' China Units Over Audits" [01/24/14] "A U.S. judge has ruled that the Chinese units of the "Big Four" accounting firms should be suspended from practicing in the United States for six months, an escalation in a long-running dispute between U.S. and Chinese regulators over access to audit documents. In a harshly worded 112-page ruling, Securities and Exchange Commission Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot censured the Chinese units of KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst and Young. Elliot censured a fifth firm, Dahua, previously a member of the BDO international network, but did not impose a six-month suspension. Elliot, an SEC judge who operates independently, sided with the agency and said the companies "willfully" failed to give U.S. regulators the audit work papers of certain Chinese companies under investigation for accounting fraud. Wednesday's ruling does not go into effect immediately, and the firms might appeal. That process would take time because it must first be made to the five-member commission before it can be heard in a U.S. federal appeals court. The decision is not expected to be immediately disruptive to the U.S.-listed Chinese companies relying on these firms to review their 2013 books. But if the decision ultimately stands, it could have a major impact on the estimated 200 Chinese companies that rely on the Big Four to audit their books. "This decision will be a huge shock in Beijing. The SEC has pushed a lot of chips out on the table," said Paul Gillis, an accounting professor at Peking University in Beijing. [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "London Seeks To Reform 100-Year-Old ‘Gold Fix’" [01/23/14] "Pricing probes have forced London’s biggest banks to consider a systemic overhaul of the dated practice of "fixing" gold prices, which sets spot pricing for the world’s $20 trillion physical gold market. A committee has been set up to consult on improving the fixing, which is set twice a day by five banks - Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc, and Societe General SA, Bloomberg News reports, citing an anonymous inside source who wasn’t named because the review is not yet public. The practice dates back to 1919 and helps determine the price of the precious metal on exchanges worldwide. The ‘fixing’ method has come under fire from US, UK, and European regulators who say it lacks transparency. Representatives of the five banks set the benchmark gold price in a teleconference call, and either recommend a higher or lower price to meet supply with demand. The prices are then used as a guide for miners, jewelers, as well as traders that sell securities tied to metals prices. Deutsche Bank AG will withdraw from participating in setting gold and silver benchmarks in London, a decision linked to a larger strategy to cut the bank’s commodities and raw materials divisions. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority started its investigation into possible gold benchmark rigging in November, but a larger investigation started last April when the authority started looking into the forex trading practices of Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, and UBS. Six other regulators are helping with the worldwide investigation. US and European authorities are also closely reviewing the case, but haven’t accused banks of any wrongdoing in either gold or forex fixing. However, experts do say the practice is out of date, and susceptible to abuse because of lax oversight. Germany’s financial regulator was the first to comment, and likened possible gold, silver, and forex manipulation to the scale of the Libor-scandal, which led to $6 billion in fines against banks The method of ‘fixing’ benchmarks, especially those which hold such a crucial grip on the financial sector, has been questioned in the aftermath of the Libor-rigging scandal, when bankers fixed the interbank lending rate to company gain. Control over the Libor rate, which is tied to over $300 billion in loans, securities and derivatives may transfer to supervisory hands, possibly to an agency like Reuters or Bloomberg, which have less direct ‘gain’ in setting interbank interest rates higher or lower. Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, has already dismissed currency traders over probes involving alleged forex manipulation. Libor manipulation has raised questions over other lending rates like the Euribor, WM/Reuters, and the Platts oil benchmark. [...]"
MSM: "Terrorism Funding Just One Thing Banks Getting Away With’ – HSBC Whistleblower" [01/23/14] [27:05] "Banks say they are the pillar of the modern society – ruling the streams of money across the globe and keeping a tight grip on the world’s economy; What is going on in offices of top level management is kept in a most valuable secrets. Even governments are afraid to get in confrontation with the enormous financial giants. But today we talk to a man who single-handedly fought the corrupt banking system, with no one behind his back; whistleblower Everett Stern is today’s guest on Sophie&Co. [...]" Note: "Print Transcript"
MSM: "S&P: Government Fraud Case Is Revenge For 2011 U.S. Debt Downgrade" [01/23/14] [3:09] " Stuart Varney [...]"
MSM: "Fed’s Dirty Little Secret: “The Gold Isn’t There… Exists As Paper IOU’s" [01/22/14] [17:04] "The assumption by global depositors who have entrusted their national savings with the Federal Reserve and US Government has always been that when they request to repatriate their holdings the Fed would simply open the vault, access said assets and ship them back to where they belong. That’s exactly what Germany expected would happen last year when the country requested that the Federal Reserve return about one-fifth of their gold reserves. But that’s when things got really dicey. The Fed announced that Germany’s gold would be returned… but it would take seven years to get back home. The response to Germany’s request turned heads all over the world and raised concerns that the Federal Reserve had squandered its gold holdings. But this isn’t the only red flag that was raised. Public pressure reached such levels that the Fed was forced to take steps to maintain confidence in its operations, so it started shipping gold to Germany. Except it turns out that the gold being sent back to the Bundesbank wasn’t actually German gold. It contained none of the original serial numbers, had no hallmarks, and was reportedly just recently melted. The implications are earth shattering and hit the very core of the problems facing America today. The whole system as it exists is just one big paper IOU. In this must-watch interview with Future Money Trends, Jefferson Financial CEO Brien Lunden weighs in on Germany’s gold, what is happening at the Fed and what other central banks are doing right now. Brien also shares his thoughts on where the gold market is today, what to expect in coming years as gold supplies tighten up, how mining companies like Brazil Resources are taking advantage of the current environment, and how to profit from gold in coming years. [...]" Related: "Bundesbank Plans To Repatriate 30 To 50 Metric Tons Of Gold Stored In New York" "The central bank transferred 32 tons of gold from Paris and five tons from New York last year, according to a Bundesbank spokesman. The bank expects to repatriate the reserves at a pace of about 50 tons a year, he said. The Bundesbank said a year ago it will repatriate 674 tons of gold from vaults in Paris and New York by 2020 to restore public confidence in the security of Germany’s reserves. [...]" Note: Yeah, we'll see what happens when they don't get their gold from the US ... |"Bottom Line Of Deutsche Bundesbank Gold: The Fingerprints Are Gone" [17:53]
Commentary: "Mega Default Of Financial Trust In China Scheduled For January 31" [01/22/14] " Chinese state media reported that China Credit Trust Co. warned investors that they may not be repaid when one of its wealth management products matures on January 31, the first day of the Year of the Horse. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China sold the China Credit Trust product to its customers in inland Shanxi province. This bank, the world’s largest by assets, on Thursday suggested it will not compensate investors, stating in a phone interview with Reuters that “a situation completely does not exist in which ICBC will assume the main responsibility.” There should be no mystery why this investment, known as “2010 China Credit-Credit Equals Gold #1 Collective Trust Product,” is on the verge of default. [...]"
Commentary: "William Black: System Is Ungovernable, It Has Already Largely Imploded" [01/20/14] [36:39] "Professor William Black is a former financial regulator and an expert in white collar crime. According to Professor Black, the financial system is headed for an even bigger collapse. As a major warning sign, Professor Black points to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s recent complaint about no money for regulation in the recent budget deal. Professor Black says, “Jack Lew is the anti-canary in the coal mine because Lew has been gutting regulation for virtually all of his professional life. . . . Lew is saying, we’ve gone so far we’re going to cause the collapse of the system. . . . You know when Jack Lew keels over, you know that carbon monoxide has already killed everybody reasonable.” Professor Black goes on to say, “The system is ungovernable . . . It has already largely imploded.” Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Professor William Black, who recently updated and re-released his popular book “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. [...]"
MSM: "CFPB Fines Lender For Hiding Mortgage Kickbacks As Rent Payments" [01/19/14] "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ordered a Missouri mortgage lender to pay over $81,000 related to an illegal kickback scheme. The company, Fidelity Mortgage Corporation, was found to be unlawfully in cahoots with a local bank. Here’s how it worked: the bank funneled potential mortgage borrowers to Fidelity. Fidelity leased office space from the bank. In return for all of those juicy referrals, Fidelity sent the bank cash that it tried to disguise as “inflated lease payments.” Giving or receiving kickbacks for referrals of business relating to federally-related mortgages, however, is illegal. And trying to pretend your thank-you cash is just extra rent does not make it any more legal. Fidelity is being required to pay back all the proceeds from the illegal referrals, a total of $27,076. The remaining $54,000 is a civil penalty payment to the CFPB. CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement, “Kickbacks harm consumers by hampering fair market competition and by unnecessarily increasing the costs of getting a mortgage. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will continue to take action against schemes that steer consumers to lenders through unscrupulous and illegal business practices.” [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "Bitcoin 2.0, The NSA, And Derivatives" [01/19/14] [25:46] "In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss Bitcoin 2.0. The currency application of Bitcoin was version 1.0, now there are dozens of new and innovative ideas riding the blockchain and, in the process, creating Capitalism 2.0. In the second half, Max interviews Reggie Middleton of BoomBustBlog.com about his own Bitcoin 2.0 application for hedging. Reggie says that if Bitcoin were a car, it would be one which also comes with its own road and which can go faster than any other car on the road and pay no tolls - it is an intelligent currency, unlike dumb fiat.[...]" Related: "Slow Burn Continues & Technology Speeds Up - Catherine Austin Fitts" [1:34:59] "Fitts goes into tech and the financial system [...]"
MSM: "Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank Discontinue Payday Loan Products" [01/19/14] "The small victories are adding up in the battle against predatory loans this week. Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank announced they will discontinue high-risk payday lending programs. Wells Fargo announced its Direct Deposit Advance service would be discontinued beginning Feb. 1 for new customers, while existing customers will have access to the program until mid-year. U.S. Bank’s Checking Account Advance service will end effective Jan. 31. for new customers and May 30 for current account holders. Banks’ deposit advance services differ little from the typical storefront payday loan operation – both offer high-interest, short-term loans meant to get consumers out of emergency financial situations, but in reality have been found to trap them in an ongoing cycle of debt. [...] In November, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which oversee institutions such as Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, issued a 22-page guidance document essentially telling the banks to end payday loan-esque practices. Friday’s announcements by Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank come just two days after Regions Bank, supervised by the Federal Reserve, said it would discontinue its deposit advance service. The three banks make up a large chunk of the depository institutions that still offer direct deposit advance loans. Fifth Third Bank, supervised by the Federal Reserve, is the sole large bank providing payday loans to consumers, the Center For Responsible Lending reports."
MSM: "Capital Controls Ratcheting Up Worldwide" [01/18/14] "Countless people have been telling us of how they are unable to transfer their capital out of their own countries and they have been contacting us to see if we can help and if the information we will be divulging at the conference can help them internationalize their assets. The short answer, in almost every case, has been yes. But the stories have been unbelievable… yet believable at the same time because I have personally seen it happen countless times and hear of horror stories worldwide about how difficult it is to transfer funds outside of your country. One of the most interesting came from Ibai Basabe, a Spanish born person who is currently in the US studying but trying to help himself and his family get their assets out of Spain. We asked if we could reprint his story and he said yes... here is his story:[...] It is not terribly surprising to hear that Spain has been cracking down on the ease of taking funds outside of the country. Xevi Mato has been covering the situation in Spain, in Espanol, at TDV Spain for a number of months and he tells us that things are quickly getting worse there. He says it has become a police state nearly as bad as the US, there are currently fairly major riots going on in Burgos, a large city, and that Spain is quickly falling. Video clip [1:11] Secessionist movements have moved forward in Catalonia amidst a current 57.7% youth unemployment rate." [...]" Amongst the countless stories we've heard this week was an American who recounted how he has a large amount of money at Chase bank in the US and he has been shut down at every turn trying to transfer the money outside of the US. Just like with Ibai, above, they have demanded more and more documentation just for the privilege of moving his money as he'd like. Further, they informed him that he can only transfer a maximum amount of $50,000 per month outside of the country. We had previously reported on this in October when we wrote, "Capital Controls Officially Begin for US Business with JP Morgan" and included the following screenshot of a customer account.[...]"
MSM: "Precious Metal And Currency Manipulation Worse Than Libor Interest Rate Scandal" [01/17/14] "Germany’s top financial regulator said possible manipulation of currency rates and prices for precious metals is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal, which has already led to fines of about $6 billion. The allegations about the currency and precious metals markets are “particularly serious, because such reference values are based -- unlike Libor and Euribor -- typically on transactions in liquid markets and not on estimates of the banks,” Elke Koenig, the president of Bafin, said in a speech in Frankfurt today. Koenig is the first global finance regulator to comment publicly on the investigations as probes into the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, expand into other benchmarks. Joaquin Almunia, the European Union’s antitrust chief, said yesterday that its preliminary probe into possible foreign-exchange manipulation covers similar practices as in the regulator’s probe into Libor-rigging. Bonn-based Bafin said yesterday it is investigating currency trading, joining regulators in the U.K., U.S. and Switzerland, who are examining whether traders at the world’s largest banks colluded to manipulate the WM/Reuters rates, used by money managers to determine the value of holdings in different currencies. At least a dozen firms have been contacted by authorities and more than 13 traders have been suspended, fired or put on leave in the currency case. Regulators are examining how traders, who communicated in instant-message groups, exchanged information on client orders and agreed how to trade at the time of the fix, five people with knowledge of the probes said last month. “That the issue is causing such a public reaction is understandable,” Koenig said. “The financial sector is dependent on the common trust that it is efficient and at the same time, honest. The central benchmark rates seemed to be beyond any doubt, and now there is the allegation they may have been manipulated.” [...]"
Commentary: "UK Banks Have Threatened To Charge Current Accounts If Broken Up" [01/17/14] "Banks have threatened to charge for current accounts if they are broken up to create more competition. And it is feared this would mean the poorest customers would be effectively dumped and left without an account. The Big Five banks – Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Santander and Barclays – have held a stranglehold over personal and small business customers for years. Consumer advocates say their domination allows them to rip off account holders by charging higher prices for overdrafts and small business loans. They also argue that customers suffer from too little choice. Plans to break up the banks are intended to introduce more competition and create a better deal for customers. One executive said: ‘If you go down this route the people who will suffer will be the lowest earners. This would be a disaster for financial inclusion and mean many people will be left without current accounts.’ Shadow Treasury Minister Chris Leslie hit back, saying: ‘It’s almost predictable that banks will stoop so low as to use these appalling scare tactics to preserve the status quo and avoid major reforms of the banking sector.’ [...]" Note: The UK ... eternally out to screw its population hard, and rapidly ....
Commentary: "Fed Owns 64% More U.S. Government Debt Than China" [01/17/14] "The Federal Reserve owned 64 percent more U.S. government debt than entities in the People’s Republic of China did as of the end of November, which is the latest period for which the Treasury has reported on the foreign ownership of U.S. government debt. As of January 9, the latest day on the Fed’s last weekly accounting sheet, the Fed had increased its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities to $2.2 trillion. The $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasury securities that entities in mainland China owned as of the end of November set a record for China. [...]" Note: So if the govt owes the Fed (debt), and the Fed owns the debt, doesn't that cancel out? How convoluted could it get, especially because its fiat and just a conceptual format in the mind.
Commentary: "US Congress Unveils Austerity Budget As Senate Delays Extension Of Jobless Benefits" [01/16/14] "Congressional negotiators released a bipartisan proposal for the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill Monday night, which if approved would spend $1.1 trillion to fund US government operations through October. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the budget bill Wednesday, giving the public less than 48 hours to review its contents. The budget negotiations, which were led by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (Republican of Kentucky) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (Democrat of Maryland), built upon a framework reached in early December. This framework included cuts to retirement benefits for federal workers and military retirees and the imposition of regressive consumption taxes. The budget is receiving strong bipartisan support, illustrating the commitment of both parties to the social counter-revolution implemented by the American ruling elite since the crash of 2008. [...] Crucially, the budget leaves in place automatic across-the-board cuts in domestic spending implemented under “the sequester,” which have already reduced social spending by more than 8.8 percent over the course of two years, former investment banker and Obama administration insider Steven Rattner told the New York Times. If fully implemented, the cuts enacted through sequestration and continued in the bipartisan budget deal will reduce social spending to levels that existed before Johnson’s War on Poverty program 50 years ago. In two separate votes on Tuesday, US Senators blocked legislation from coming to the floor, which would have approved an emergency extension of long term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans. The first vote, on a Democratic proposal to extend benefits for 11 months, was defeated 52 to 48. The second Republican-backed vote, which proposed a three-month extension of benefits tied to a continuation of the sequester cuts through 2024, lost by a vote of 55 to 45. Congress allowed the benefits to expire last year on December 28, leaving millions of unemployed workers and their families in the lurch. Taken together, these developments illustrate the determination of the entire political establishment to forge ahead with far-reaching austerity measures. The budget also proposes to (illegally) send $1.525 billion in aid to the Egyptian junta, in a clear signal that Washington will continue backing the authoritarian regime that emerged from last year’s military coup." Related: " Senate Just Blocked The Unemployment Insurance Extension" "Republicans (all millionaires, out of touch with normal reality) just blocked the three month unemployment insurance (UI) extension bill leaving little hope that benefits will be extended. Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement on a way to offset the cost of an eleven month extension and the talks broke down into partisan bickering over amendments. [...]" |"Financial Repression 101" | Note: Continuing the traitorous process of destroying society and peoples lives, according to IMF/World Bank dictates (demands for 'austerity'), these unaccountable individuals are despicable. Ironically, 300,000,000 people can't figure out how to get rid of the existing 525 people in Congress who are causing them harm. Storming the place and tearing them limb from limb will have to be left to the small band of zombies that will remain.
MSM: "Farage: We Are Now Run By Big Business, Big Banks and Big Bureaucrats" [01/16/14] [2:32] "Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the 'Europe of Freedom and Democracy' (EFD) Group in the European Parliament [...]" Note: Again, one of the few simultaneous voices there .. Related: "The Real Causes Of The Catastrophic Crisis in Greece And The "Left"
MSM: "French Presidential Address: A Call For Austerity And Militarism" [01/16/14] "The Hollande administration has been undermined by growing popular anger and disillusionment with its reactionary policies. It has become France’s most unpopular government since World War II, falling to 15 percent approval over unpopular wars overseas and rising unemployment. In upcoming municipal and European elections this year, it faces a rout and a possible first-place finish by the neo-fascist National Front (FN). Before his press conference, the financial press called on Hollande to accelerate his austerity measures. The Economist magazine pressed Hollande to impose the type of cuts that have devastated Europe‘s so-called “peripheral” countries—Greece, Ireland, and Spain. It complained, “Far from copying the deep structural reforms undertaken in peripheral countries, he has barely begun liberalizing labor and product markets or trimming France’s social-welfare spending, the highest in the OECD rich-country club.” Hollande responded at his press conference yesterday by trying to rally support in the ruling class, pledging draconian social cuts justified with militarist and anti-immigrant rhetoric. It was a thoroughly scripted affair, from the gilded woodwork of the Elysée palace to the equally wooden questions of the invited journalists—to which Hollande replied with professions of belief in various free-market nostrums and the military power of French imperialism. [...]"
Commentary: "Big Banks Launder Billions of Illegal Drug Cartel Money … But Refuse to Provide Services for Legal Marijuana" [01/15/14] "The big banks have laundered hundreds of billions of dollars for drug cartels. Indeed, drug dealers kept the banking system afloat during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis . The HSBC employee who blew the whistle on the banks’ money laundering for terrorists and drug cartels says said: “America is losing the drug war because our banks are [still] financing the cartels“, and “Banks financing drug cartels … affects every single American“. And yet, the banks refuse to provide banking services for LEGAL marijuana in states like Colorado. The big banks have also been laundering money for terrorists (the HSBC employee who blew the whistle on the banks’ money laundering for terrorists and drug cartels says that the giant bank is still laundering money, saying: “The public needs to know that money is still being funneled through HSBC to directly buy guns and bullets to kill our soldiers …. Banks financing … terrorists affects every single American.” He also said: “It is disgusting that our banks are STILL financing terror on 9/11 2013“. [...]" Related: Flashback: "Opening Banks To Marijuana Business" Denver Post [09/12/13] "The U.S. Department of Justice offered some encouragement this week that the conflict between banking regulations and pot businesses could be solved. Anyone who cares about public safety should hope the agency succeeds. The Justice Department, which previously had signaled that banks that dealt with marijuana businesses would be in violation of federal law, is now suggesting there may be ways to work with banking regulators on the issue without having to get congressional approval. Here is the problem: Federal law bars banks from doing business with criminal organizations, and while medical marijuana is legal in Colorado and recreational sales will be legal in January, the drug is still illegal under federal law. Thus, pot shops and related businesses have been prohibited from taking credit cards or checks. They can accept only cash, which they can't put into bank accounts. Marijuana-related enterprises also pay their taxes in cash and complain they can't even hire armored cars because of federal laws. The whole situation sets up an enormous public safety problem. With large amounts of cash exchanging hands continually, the 200 or so pot shops in Denver will make tempting targets for armed robbers. The large and steady flow of cash also could be tempting for organized crime groups that want to launder money through marijuana businesses. And the cash-only system hampers auditors being able to square sales with inventory or to see if taxes are really being paid. If possible, the federal government should craft a solution that brings these transactions onto the books and into the banks. [...]" Note: The Denver Post article from Sept 2013 spelled out a problem ... ignoring it was a de facto way to deliberately create problems and interfere with state operations; sales are counted on to supplement state budgets.
Documentary: "To Catch A Trader" [01/14/14] [52:42] "Frontline documentary, To Catch A Trader, reported on the current Justice Department investigations and prosecutions into insider trading activity at SAC Capital Advisors, L.P. – a hedge fund founded by Steven A. Cohen in 1992. The documentary revealed a problematic loophole in the statutes regulating the financial industry. Unlike the criminal laws that apply to most individuals and businesses in the U.S., there is apparently no provision for prosecution based on the charge of criminal negligence. As a result, there is a higher burden of proof required for the prosecution of financial crimes since the threshold of intent must be established through evidence. Frontline suggests this is the reason why Cohen has not yet been formally charged even though his hedge fund has already pleaded guilty to all counts in the indictment (securities fraud and wire fraud). For comparison, BP pleaded guilty to felony counts of misconduct and neglect in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion which killed 11 people and polluted a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Most Americans are deeply troubled that Wall Street executives have generally been immune from prosecution for their roles in the 2008 financial crisis that caused the Great Recession. Now, we know a major reason why the DOJ has been hesitant in filing charges. Since this problem is so severe and likely to occur again, I’m calling on Congress and all concerned citizens to discover why this loophole exists and to actively work on closing it. Our future economic prosperity may be at stake. [...]" Related: "Watch Billionaire Steven Cohen Stumble Over Insider Trading Rules" 4 "In a never-before-published video, hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen, whose firm this week agreed to plead guilty to securities fraud, describes federal securities laws as “vague,” and asks for an explanation of the basic Securities and Exchange Commission rule that prohibits insider trading. Under questioning in a video deposition obtained exclusively by FRONTLINE, Cohen is asked whether he is familiar with Rule 10b5-1.[...] On Monday, SAC Capital, the firm that bears Cohen’s initials, agreed to pay $1.2 billion in fines and plead guilty to what prosecutors described as insider trading “on a scale without any known precedent in the history of hedge funds.” Cohen, who was not charged personally by federal prosecutors, is facing charges in a separate S.E.C. investigation alleging he failed to supervise his employees and prevent misconduct under his watch. In the video deposition, which was taken as part of a 2011 civil suit, Cohen describes his firm’s trading rules as “general guidelines” and says that he gives his traders latitude to use their judgment when making deals. This excerpt begins with attorney Michael Bowe reading a portion of SAC Capital’s compliance manual to Cohen. The video offers a rare glimpse of the secretive billionaire investor at the center of the biggest insider trading prosecution in U.S. history talking about the very issues that have put him and his firm under such intense scrutiny. The two-day deposition got testy at times. At one point, a combative Cohen insists that he takes the issue of insider trading “very seriously,” but then admits that he doesn’t remember if he’s read Rule 10b5-1. “I rely on my counsel,” he says. Cohen is also asked by Bowe whether he would be comfortable trading on a tip from a reporter about an imminent negative news story. As you can see, he struggles with his answer. The deposition was part of a civil lawsuit by Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings, which claimed that SAC Capital had conspired with other hedge funds to spread false information in an attempt to drive down Fairfax’s stock price. A judge later dismissed the suit, but that decision is currently under appeal. The transcripts of the deposition have been previously published by Bloomberg and Reuters.[...]"
MSM: "Washington’s Millionaire Boys Club" [01/14/14] "Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from last year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate. (There is currently one vacancy in Congress.) As for their most popular investments, 74 members reported owning shares in defense contractor and appliance maker General Electric, which shelled out $4.6 million in campaign contributions during the 2012 election cycle and spent more than $21 million on lobbying in 2012. Second on the list was Wells Fargo – 58 members have shares. Its 2012 campaign contributions were almost $3.8 million, lobbying was another $6.8 million. Other top ten stock picks include Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Apple, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, IBM, Cisco Systems and AT&T, each of which makes sure to throw campaign cash at those members who help grease the skids. However, the Center notes, “real estate was the most popular investment for members of Congress. Their investments in real estate in 2012 were valued at between $442.2 million and $1.4 billion.” So it’s like they say in the real estate business about making money: it’s all about location, location, location. Especially if your location is Capitol Hill. You can read the complete list of members, their assets and favorite investments here. [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "Banks Used Structured Finance to Saddle Consumers and Institutional Investors with Losers" [01/13/14] "Banks and investment banks were large direct and indirect subprime lenders. I’ve written extensively how desperate banks accelerated sales of fraud-riddled residential mortgage backed securities and collateralized debt obligations as the market unraveled. In addition, variable-rate auction securities (also known as auction-rate securities or ARS), backed by municipal bonds, student loans, subprime mortgages, and/or subprime backed collateralized debt obligations, comprised a $330 billion market. By the end of 2007, municipal bond insurers, including MBIA and Ambac, that credit wrapped the ARS were in trouble after writing credit default protection on toxic collateralized debt obligations with banks. The same banks that blew up the monoline bond insurers dumped doomed ARS on investors. [...] Banks sold long-dated auction rate securities as if they were money market instruments. They told customers that if there were no buyers at the regular short-term interval auctions at which the ARS coupons reset, the banks would buy back the securities. Retail investors and condominium associations were told these were a prudent substitute for T-Bills, just before the market fell apart. To be clear, banks lied to unsophisticated buyers to foist losses on them.[...]" • Pension Fund Shortfalls: How Much Is Due to Corruption, Predation, and Mismanagement? • Wall Street’s New Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
Commentary: "The Rothschild Formula -- Michael Noonan" [01/13/14] [35:14] "Discussion with writer and researcher Michael Noonan. We cover the precious metals, the stock market, and what Michael calls ‘the Rothschild Formula’ which has been the recipe the Banksters have used to tie down people and nations for centuries. [...]"
MSM: "French Adopt Alternative Currencies Amid Euro Distrust" [01/13/14] [5:32] "An alternative currency (or private currency) is any currency used as an alternative to the dominant national or multinational currency systems (usually referred to as national or fiat money). They are created by an individual, corporation, or organization, they can be created by national, state, or local governments, or they can arise naturally as people begin to use a certain commodity as a currency. Mutual credit is a form of alternative currency, and thus any form of lending that does not go through the banking system can be considered a form of alternative currency. When used in combination with or when designed to work in combination with national or multinational fiat currencies they can be referred to as complementary currency. Most complementary currencies are also local currencies and are limited to a certain region."
MSM: "World Bank's Lending Arm Linked To Deadly Honduras Conflict" [01/12/14] "The World Bank's private lending arm failed to apply its own ethical standards in disbursing millions of dollars to a palm oil company accused of turning a region of Honduras into a war zone, according to an internal bank investigation. The audit, released Friday by the World Bank’s Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, says IFC staff underestimated the social and environmental risks related to the security and land conflict associated with its investment in palm oil giant Corporacion Dinant. The audit and the bank’s response to it are a major test of World Bank President Jim Kim’s pledge to learn from mistakes made in the multi-billion dollar business of providing loans and risk guarantees for IFC private sector projects. The CAO investigation found the IFC disbursed $15 million to Dinant in November 2009, even though the client was in “apparent non-compliance with its [environmental and social] undertakings in a risk environment that had deteriorated significantly since appraisal a year earlier.” That “risk environment” involved the killing, kidnapping and forced eviction of farmers, journalists and lawyers in Honduras’ northern Aguan Valley. [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "China’s E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Bans Bitcoin" [01/12/14] "Alibaba said that as of January 14 it would stop its users from doing any deals in Bitcoins or other virtual currencies such as Litecoins, and would bar merchants from selling any Bitcoin mining software or offering any related products. The decision was taken to “promote the healthy development of Taobao Marketplace and to more effectively protect the interests of Taobao members,” Alibaba said in a statement. It added that the ban stemmed from the central bank’s ruling in December that prohibits any payment companies or financial institutions from handling Bitcoins. [...]"
MSM: "Catherine Austin Fitts: On The New Head of the Fed" [01/11/14] [2:33:11] "Catherine Austin Fitts talk with George Norry about the confirmation of Janet Yellin as the new head of the Federal Reserve. Yellin is well-qualified for the position, Fitts commented, but the challenge she’s going to face is dealing with the two sides of the financial equation the federal budget, and the monetary policy which the Federal Reserve manages. [...]" Interview begins around 10:00 Related: See below: "Delusional Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen "Sees Stronger Growth This Year" [01/10/14]
MSM: "Obama Nominates Former Bank Of Israel Chief Stanley Fischer As Fed Vice Chairman" [01/11/14] " Obama nominated former Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve on Friday. Fischer's nomination had been expected for weeks. An internationally recognized economist, he had been considered a dark horse candidate to replace Chairman Ben Bernanke at one point. Fischer would succeed Janet Yellen, who was confirmed by the Senate on Monday to lead the Fed after Bernanke's term expires at the end of this month. [...]"
Commentary: "Six Reasons Why The Government Is Destroying Value Of The Dollar" [01/10/14] "The United States government has six interrelated motivations for destroying the value of the dollar: • Creating money out of thin air on a massive basis is all that stands between the current state of hidden depression, and overt depression with unemployment levels potentially rivaling those seen in the Great Depression of the 1930s. • It is the most effective way to not just pay down current crushing debt levels using devalued dollars, but also to deal with the rapidly approaching massive generational crisis of paying for Boomer retirement promises. • It creates a lucratively profitable $500 billion a year hidden tax for the benefit of the US government — a tax which is not understood by voters or debated in elections. • It creates a second and quite different form of hidden taxation by way of generating artificial market highs, which while non-existent in inflation-adjusted terms, do create artificial investment profits that are fully taxable and highly profitable for the US government. • It is the weapon of choice being used to wage currency war and reboot US economic growth • It is an essential component of political survival and enhanced power for incumbent politicians. [...] In this article we take a holistic approach to understanding how individual short, medium and long-term pressures all come together to leave the government with effectively no choice but to create a significant rate of inflation that will steadily destroy the value of the dollar over time. If you have savings, if you rely on a pension, if you are a retiree or Boomer with retirement accounts — any one of these six fundamental motivations is by itself a grave peril to your future standard of living. [...]"
Commentary: "JPMorgan Chase Is Worse Than Enron" [01/10/14] "It’s beginning to look as if JPMorgan Chase has had a hand in every major banking scandal of the last decade. In fact, it’s the Zelig of Wall Street crime. Take a snapshot of any major bank fraud and chances are you’ll see JPMorgan Chase staring out at you from the frame. Foreclosure fraud, investor fraud, cheating customers, market manipulation, LIBOR … and now, the coup de grâce to JPM’s tattered reputation: a $2 billion fine for closing its eyes and covering up as Bernie Madoff literally bilked widows and orphans, along with a lot of other families and charities. (Here’s a list of investors.) Does Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO, still think people don’t say enough nice things about him? Do his friends? More importantly, how does the largest bank in the country (measured in assets) get away with being worse than Enron? That one’s easy: By being the largest bank in the country. [...]"
MSM: "Delusional Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen "Sees Stronger Growth This Year" [01/10/14] "Incoming US Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said in an interview published Thursday that she sees the US economy picking up in 2014. Our policy is aimed at holding down long-term interest rates, which supports the recovery by encouraging spending.” That in turn spurs job creation and higher incomes, she said. [...]" Note: She is delusional. As Dr. Paul Craig Roberts says below, "There is no income to drive the economy and there is no credit expansion to drive the economy, then how does it go anywhere? You can’t possibly have a recovery."
Commentary: "Paul Craig Roberts-U.S. Markets Rigged By Its Own Authorities" [01/09/14] "Economist Dr. Paul Craig Roberts says, “We have a situation where all the markets are rigged. All the markets are manipulated.” As an example, Dr. Roberts points to the stock market. Dr. Roberts contends, “We have a stock market at all-time highs, and where is the economy? There’s not one. There’s no recovery.” Dr. Roberts goes on to say, “53% of Americans earn less than $30,000 per year. Well, the poverty rate for a family of four is something like $24,000. There is no income to drive the economy and there is no credit expansion to drive the economy, then how does it go anywhere? You can’t possibly have a recovery.” When asked how long can this go on, Dr. Roberts replied, “How long can they fool people?” When asked about the recent Fed “taper” of $10 billion a month in bond purchases with printed money, Roberts said, “Foreigners are getting nervous because they see the Fed creating all this new money.” Roberts thinks the appearance of cutting back the money printing “is a way to protect the dollar.” Obama Care is another headwind for the economy as monthly premiums for many double. Dr. Roberts says, “The whole thing is constructed to produce massive income for the insurance companies, and that drains the economy.” [...]" Related: "Currency Collapses & Gold" [41:40] "Former Assistant Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts says, "The West is draining itself of physical bullion. . . If there is a currency collapses and you try to flee into gold, there won't be any there. The Chinese will have it." |"Latest Gold ‘Flash Crash’ Leads To Questions Regarding Manipulation"
Commentary: "Globalists Exploit New U.S. Tax Law for World Taxation Regime" [01/08/14] "Socialist luminaries and international bureaucrats at various outfits funded primarily by U.S. taxpayers are seizing on a “devastating” new American taxation scheme, known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, to help foist a radical tax information-sharing regime on the world. The repercussions for Americans and people around the globe — especially when it comes to financial privacy and economic freedom — will be crushing, experts argue. Analysts say the end goal, meanwhile, is the creation of a planetary taxation authority. Leading the charge to create the new global tax regime is the Group of 20 (G-20), a coalition of governments and brutal dictatorships that are in the process of building what virtually every major media outlet recently described as a “New World Order.” Top officials in the outfit, which includes the ruthless Communist regime ruling mainland China, among other barbaric autocracies, publicly announced a plot in recent years to share financial data and more on all citizens with each other. The goal, for now: extract as much wealth as possible. To implement what critics call their nightmarish vision of a “World Tax Organization” — supposedly aimed at stopping tax evasion — the G-20 asked the United Nations-linked Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to take the lead. The widely criticized “cartel” of tax-hungry politicians, infamous primarily for fanatical efforts to crush national sovereignty and for bullying jurisdictions with relatively low taxes into surrendering their competitive advantage, is now working to develop the taxation regime and prod its member governments into adopting it. [...]"
MSM: "More Austerity For U.K. Despite Recovery" [01/08/14] "Britain faces fresh government spending cuts worth $41 billion, signaling the scars of the financial crisis in one of Europe's strongest economies have far from healed. Faster growth is not generating enough revenue to allow the U.K. to start reducing its debt mountain, and the government doesn't want to raise taxes further. Around half of the cuts will hit welfare programs, putting more strain on some of the country's most vulnerable residents. [...]" Note: As if the British haven't suffered enough already. As with other Western countries, they need to beat swords into plowshares and take care of their people ... but that's apparently too hard for the intractable sequentials stuck in experiential loops to comprehend.
Commentary: "Nearly Two Thirds Of 2013 Government Waste, Fraud Came From Health And Human Services" [01/07/14] "The estimated amount of taxpayer-funded payments that the federal government doled out through fraud, waste, and errors slightly decreased in 2013 to $106 billion from $108 billion the previous year, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). On Dec. 31, FederalTimes.com reported the estimated government-wide improper payments dollar figure for fiscal 2013, citing Frank Benenati, an OMB spokesman as the source. Benenati did not provide a breakdown of the 2013 payment errors by government program, saying that information would not be available for weeks, according to the FederalTimes.com article. However, an analysis of government financial data by Breitbart News found that the Department of U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) was the primary driving force behind all federal payments considered improper in fiscal 2013. On Jan. 2, Breitbart News reported that HHS made an estimated $65.3 billion in payment errors that year. The HHS improper payments amounted to 62 percent of all government-wide payment errors in 2013. HHS was also the primary contributor to the estimated government-wide improper payments in 2012. The $64.8 billion in mistakenly disbursed funds by HHS that year made up 60 percent of the total $108 billion in erroneous payments. [...]" Related: "Improper Payment Rate Falls Again" Federal Times "Improper federal payments totaled an estimated $106 billion in fiscal 2013, down slightly from the 2012 figure of $108 billion, an Office of Management and Budget spokesman said Tuesday. The estimated improper payment rate dropped from 3.74 percent in 2012 to 3.53 percent last year, according to another OMB official. Improper payments are typically defined as money spent in the wrong amount, for the wrong recipient or for goods and services not received. The erroneous payments include underpayments as well as overpayments. Some arise from honest mistakes, while others are the result of fraud. Only about one-third of improper payments are generally recoverable, OMB Controller Danny Werfel has said. [...]"
MSM: "IMF Paper Warns Of ‘Savings Tax’ And Mass Write-Offs As West’s Debt Hits 200-Year High" [01/06/14] "Much of the Western world will require defaults, a savings tax and higher inflation to clear the way for recovery as debt levels reach a 200-year high, according to a new report by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF working paper said debt burdens in developed nations have become extreme by any historical measure and will require a wave of haircuts, either negotiated 1930s-style write-offs or the standard mix of measures used by the IMF in its “toolkit” for emerging market blow-ups. “The size of the problem suggests that restructurings will be needed, for example, in the periphery of Europe, far beyond anything discussed in public to this point,” said the paper, by Harvard professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. The paper said policy elites in the West are still clinging to the illusion that rich countries are different from poorer regions and can chip away at their debts with a blend of austerity cuts, growth, and tinkering (“forbearance”). [...]"
MSM: "SEC Head Wants Companies That Break Laws To Actually Admit They Broke Laws" [01/05/14] "Businesses are in the habit of making amends for their errors without actually admitting they made any errors. Weasel words hide a multitude of sins; “mistakes were made” and “customers were affected.” A company can agree to pay millions of dollars to rectify a mistake or action they do not legally agree to having made. It’s a legal tangle that would be funny if it weren’t tied to so much real-world wrong: “Here’s a billion dollars to fix a crime that we don’t acknowledge we committed.” In an interview with the LA Times, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White talks about getting large companies actually to confess their wrongdoing, as well as other changes she’s been brining to the SEC since taking over the top position in April, 2013. The agency has more power than it has perhaps been using, White explains. ”I think what I brought from the private sector was a real appreciation of how much leverage — respect, if you will — that the SEC has,” White told the Times. ”Major companies, in particular, really don’t want to be at war with their primary regulator. The SEC may not have appreciated just how great our leverage is.” And as part of that leverage, White wants wrongdoers to ‘fess up when they’ve done wrong. Being “sorry” isn’t enough, she explains: What we are focused on is the enhanced public accountability and the admission of the conduct, the wrongdoing. That’s the most effective kind of admission, frankly. I know in the past there have been criticisms of other agencies where the admission has taken the form of an apology only.… An apology is easy. We want you to admit what you did. The SEC did just that with JPMorgan Chase, requiring the megabank to admit it broke securities laws during the “London Whale” trading disaster–an admission that was joined by $1 billion in penalties. [...]"
Commentary: "Sun Zhaoxue: US Intends To Suppress Gold To Ensure Dollar’s Dominance" [01/04/14] "... At the Lujiazui Forum River Nocturne sub-forum held today, China National Gold Group Corporation General Manager Zhaoxue said the United States intends to suppress gold to ensure the Dollar’s dominance, that the fall in the price of gold premeditated, and a part of the currency war. "The hottest topic at the moment is oil and gold. The ground war we are seeing around the world is I think war for oil whereas gold is the currency war. Why? We observe that the integrity was the driver for US Dollar to become world reserve currency. The US Dollar and gold decoupling from 1971 caused the US Dollar to depreciate massively. From 1990 onwards, the Eurozone was in consultation to form a strong Euro to counter the US Dollar, in order to prevent the latter from stripping Europe of its wealth. The Euro was born in 1999, supported by its strong economy and 11,000 tons of gold. With the birth of the Euro a competitor to the US Dollar was created, and so the US decided to lay a trap for the Eurozone as part of the currency war. Some countries in the Eurozone violated the Eurozone’s norms by issuing bonds. Which entities participated in the issuance? US investment banks. After the debt was issued, it was US ratings agencies that struck a blow to the Eurozone by saying that its economies had problems. Only gold remains on par with the US Dollar to benefit from the Eurozone and Euros collapse. This is why the US began to suppress gold by issuing a statement two months ago that the Eurozone will sell its gold when it is unable to service its debt, then stating three days later that the news was false. Furthermore Goldman Sachs made a forecast for the gold price at the beginning of the year but suddenly changed its course saying the gold price will fall to $1300. Buffet said that he would not buy gold even if its price fell to 800USD. Our research indicates that Buffet made a lot of money from four gold companies. So his statement is inconsistent with his personal action. Bernanke’s speech followed, saying that monetary easing will end, that the US economy is improving. This series of examples shows that the fall of the gold price is premeditated. So I say that this process is a genuine currency war. Many people say that gold is just a beautiful thing. Then we have to ask the US why they store so much gold but instead of selling gold, they issue debt to other countries to rescue the financial market. The US owes Germany so much gold but instead of repaying immediately, sets a 2020 deadline to return the gold. From this example and process as well as some typical factors, this is a downright currency war to maintain US Dollar hegemony by defeating all other currencies. I shall stop here.”[...] " Note: Here we already see signs that he is right with this ludicrous piece from Yahoo News: Related: MSM: "Yahoo Says to Avoid Gold, "Bear Market Has 18 Years to Go"
Commentary: "10 Reasons Why China Would Not Be The “Next Reserve Currency" [01/03/14] "#1: I do not believe the world will ever again have a global hegemon quite like the US in the post World War 2 era. With the advent of the internet, the informational playing field is being leveled. The US once had a monopoly on how to spread debt and death around the world. That playbook served the American empire very well over the past decades, but the world has watched and learned. The nations of the world that did not benefit from the current paradigm will not enable it much more. The recent example of Vladamir Putin acting as a peace maker against the Nobel Peace Prize winner for more war in Syria. #2: We are heading for massive decentralization of power and the elimination of counter party risk. Power will devolve to the most local and responsive level. A fracturing of the global super power will allow regional actors to exhibit more regional influence, but it would take years for any one currency to begin to try to supplant the role of the current US Dollar. #3: The collapse of the dollar will dramatically affect how people deal with risk. The Yuan is fundamentally no different than the dollar. It is a fiat, debt based currency, they will be subject to the same contagion. [...]"
MSM: "Bloomberg Administration Made 6,773 Municipal Corruption Arrests" [01/03/14] "When it comes to cracking down on public corruption, Mayor Bloomberg’s record is tough to beat, his investigations commissioner said. During his three terms, records obtained by the Daily News show his administration made 6,773 municipal corruption arrests. That’s nearly double the rate of his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, who averaged 1,299 arrests per term, and far more than David Dinkins, whose one term yielded 431 corruption arrests. The biggest scandal in the Bloomberg years was CityTime, in which a gang of sophisticated but dirty consultants stole all they could during a bloated effort to computerize the city’s payroll. DOI was slammed for taking a long time to charge anyone in the scandal despite multiple tipoffs and exposés by City Council member Letitia James and Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez. Hearn noted the early tips didn’t touch the full scope of the corruption and that all of the CityTime defendants were convicted and the city recovered $506 million from the contractor, Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) . [...]"
Commentary: "This Could Be The Start Of The Greatest Global Economic Crisis" [01/02/14] "There’s no near-term resolution in sight,” warns TCW Group’s David Loevinger, as “Thailand has entered an extended period of political instability.” This uncertainty has led to foreigners abandoning the nation’s stock market in record size - and collapsing the Thai Baht at the same time. Why should US investors be worried? Thailand was the catalyst that started the 1997 Asian crisis, broke LTCM, and instigated the most epic experiments in central bank liquidity provision on record. With the Fed Tapering, both Indonesia and Thailand (and Turkey) are already seeing major currency collapses but of course, as long as US equities rise, no one cares (which is exactly what they said last time)… Bloomberg’s Chart of the Day shows that the baht has plunged 5.1 percent since the end of October to a three-year low as international investors pulled a net $2.75 billion out of equities, the worst outflow in at least 14 years. Investors are dumping Thai assets as two-month-old protests against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra intensify, threatening to deepen a slowdown in the second-largest southeast Asian economy. Opposition parties are trying to topple Yingluck after she pushed for a bill that would provide amnesty for her brother, Thaksin, who was ousted as premier in a 2006 coup and has lived in self-imposed exile overseas. [...]" Related: "1997 Asian Crisis Redux – Thailand Is Imploding"
MSM: "Wolf Of Wall Street" Film Criticized For Glorifying Psychopathic Behavior" [01/01/14] "The daughter of a man linked to the discredited financial schemes depicted in Oscar-tipped drama The Wolf of Wall Street has attacked the film’s director, Martin Scorsese, and its star Leonardo DiCaprio, for glamorising a lifestyle of “fun sexcapades and coke binges”. Christina McDowell, whose father, Tom Prousalis, was a business associate of Jordan Belfort, the titular crooked stockbroker portrayed by DiCaprio in the film, accused her targets of “exacerbating our national obsession with wealth and status and glorifying greed and psychopathic behaviour” in an open letter published in LA Weekly. McDowell, who says she was forced to change her name after discovering her father had stolen her identity to launder money prior to his eventual incarceration for financial fraud, says The Wolf of Wall Street amounts to a “reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining, even as the country is reeling from yet another round of Wall Street scandals”. [...] The open letter emerged as it was revealed that Belfort is set to benefit from the newfound notoriety heaped upon him by Scorsese's film with a new reality-TV show. The former stockbroker, who now works as a motivational speaker and financial guru in California, could be in line for a series in which he helps people who have hit rock bottom rebuild their lives, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Wolf of Wall Street has emerged as an awards-season contender, and already has two Golden Globes nominations in the bag. But the film has been hit with a raft of negative publicity in recent weeks amid suggestions it could be too controversial to win the hearts of older Oscars voters.[...]" Related: "Former-Trader: ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Isn’t Wrong About The Coke And Strippers" "Is "The Wolf of Wall Street" what Wall Street is really like? Former trader Raj Mahal offers his review of the movie — and some real-life stories about just how wild it was."
Interviews: "Celente: 2014 Will Be A Year Of Extremes" [01/01/14] [17:05] "People have tried (with varying success) to predict the future, from soothsayers to reading tea leaves, from Nostradamus to calling Miss Cleo. But one man, Gerald Celente, has made a career out of forecasting trends as the founder of the Trends Research Institute and publisher of "Trends Journal." RT's Anastasia Churkina sits down with Celente to talk about his predictions for 2014. [...]" Note: At around 5:20 there is a break in the video and a 'restart' of the interview, with other information that is not repeated earlier.
Commentary: "Congress Letting 55 Tax Breaks Expire At Year's End" [01/01/14] "In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty — once again — for millions of individuals and businesses. Lawmakers let these tax breaks lapse almost every year, even though they save businesses and individuals billions of dollars. And almost every year, Congress eventually renews them, retroactively, so taxpayers can claim them by the time they file their tax returns. No harm, no foul, right? After all, taxpayers filing returns in the spring won't be hurt because the tax breaks were in effect for 2013. Taxpayers won't be hit until 2015, when they file tax returns for next year. Not so far. Trade groups and tax experts complain that Congress is making it impossible for businesses and individuals to plan for the future. What if lawmakers don't renew the tax break you depend on? Or what if they change it and you're no longer eligible? [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "How the Constitution’s Contracts Clause Was Gutted" [01/01/14] "The Constitution lists several things states may not do. Article I, Section 10 provides that “No State shall . . . pass any . . . law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.” This clause was inserted to curb state “debtor relief” laws that the Framers believed were immoral and rendered bad economic conditions worse. Founding-Era debtor relief laws included, but were not limited to, measures permitting debtors to enjoy complete moratoria on payment (“stay laws”) or to repay in installments amounts actually due in full (“installment laws.”) To be sure, the constitutional ban extended beyond stay and installment laws, but they were the ban’s clearest targets. [...] The Contracts Clause did not prevent judges from relieving debtors from fraud or other creditor overreaching. Nor did it prevent courts from applying the particular remedy fairest to all concerned. And debtors could still declare bankruptcy if they chose. The Clause was designed only to prevent demagogic politicians from meddling, ad hoc, with honest bargains. The Framers believed that stay and installment laws were immoral, because they allowed favored people to receive money or value from disfavored people on a promise of payment—and then break their promises. The Framers also believed such measures were bad for the economy. This was because they created uncertainty in the credit markets, which in turn led to higher interest rates and more arduous loan conditions. They also prevented debtors (and creditors) from proceeding to an orderly bankruptcy or loan restructuring so all parties could cut their losses and make a new start. Were the Founders right about the bad economic effects of such laws? Recent evidence suggests they were. Our own recovery from the Great Recession has been painfully slow, and one reason seems to be constant federal interference with mortgage loans and other obligations. (The Contracts Clause does not apply to the federal government.) For most of our constitutional history, the Supreme Court enforced the Contracts Clause. During the Depression of the 1930s, however, states once again began to adopt stay and installment laws as a way to “help” debtors."
Commentary: "New U.S. Tax Regime is “Devastating,” Experts Say" [12/31/13] "Millions of Americans living and working abroad are preparing to deal with a deluge of even bigger problems in 2014, when a Byzantine new tax regime starts going into effect. Known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, the deeply controversial and incredibly complex scheme is supposedly aimed at preventing tax evasion and gathering extra funds for the federal government. In reality, it will prove to be devastating, experts say — especially for middle-class Americans overseas and the U.S. economy. Opposition to the draconian scheme, however, is mounting quickly even before FATCA has been fully implemented. Among the growing chorus of critics: the business community, bankers, Americans abroad, some members of Congress, investors, and even the Republican National Committee. More than a few trade associations and voluntary organizations are now either urging lawmakers to repeal FATCA entirely, or at least calling on the Obama administration to delay implementation and enforcement until the fiasco can be sorted out. Around the world, outrage about the scheme is mounting as well, with foreign governments and financial institutions pointing out that the new tax regime essentially makes them unpaid agents of the IRS. About a dozen national governments have inked unconstitutional “agreements” with the Obama administration so far, laying the foundation for a global tax-information sharing regime. International bureaucrats working fiendishly for planetary taxation are celebrating, along with some attorneys and accountants hoping to profit, but serious concerns about the pseudo-treaties are growing. Despite millions of taxpayer dollars squandered on the scheme, implementation of FATCA thus far has been an unmitigated disaster. According to a recent report by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, the IRS remains unprepared to implement the scheme. “Their incompetence threatens to compromise the information of both Americans and the foreign institutions coerced into serving the IRS,” observed Center for Freedom and Prosperity chief Andrew Quinlan, adding that the agency has gone “well outside the bounds of the law.” “FATCA is pound-for-pound the single worst tax law on the books,” Quinlan argued. “Any serious reform must start with FATCA repeal.” Among other concerns, Quinlan said the scheme is harming the U.S. economy, “devastating Americans abroad,” alienating the global community, “violating fundamental privacy rights,” and being used to undermine the separation of powers via “intergovernmental agreements.” It will also do little to combat tax evasion, he said. [...]"
Flashback: "Harbinger: 23 Countries Begin Setting Up Swap Lines To Bypass Dollar" Nov 2013 [12/30/13] "For several years, financial analysts, primarily those outside the mainstream of academia, have been warning that any day could be the black swan event that collapses the dollar, and ends U.S. hegemony as caretaker of the world's reserve currency. That day has finally arrived as on Nov. 18, a former head trader for a major financial institution issued a harbinger and stated that 23 countries, and 60% of the world's GDP, are right now setting up new swap lines which bypass the dollar, SWIFT, and the BIS, and will usher in a new global currency system which will kill the dollar. The list of the 23 countries which are creating new swap lines outside of the dollar include China, Russia, India, and surprisingly, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. This means that the Eurozone itself is abandoning the dollar, and preparing for transition to a new central banking system. To facilitate the transfer of currencies and swap lines, there needs to be a bank of sufficient size and stature to aid in handling of this monumental task. One year ago, China, along with the BRICs nations of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, loaned money to a new financial institution they established and labeled the BRICs bank. This bank was created with the intention of bypassing the dollar, and allowing free trade to occur between nations without the need to trade for dollars first, as is currently the format under the petrodollar system. In fact, the new BRICs bank will function both as a bank of international settlement, as well as a lender of last resort, eliminating the need for the BIS and IMF, which currently reside under dollar dominion. The only thing that stands in the way of the world's final rejection of the dollar is the wavering trust that Saudi Arabia and OPEC have with the U.S. in assuring oil transactions remain denominated in dollars under the 1970's Petrodollar agreement. But as the world has seen recently, even the Saudi kingdom is hedging towards a new global system, and has publicly stated that their ties to the U.S. are open for re-negotiation. What started in September of last year, when an agreement between China and Russia ended the dollar's stranglehold over oil and how it was purchased, the past 14 months have seen a momentous rush towards setting up the infrastructure to replace the dollar completely in global transactions. And with 23 countries, including those from the BRICs nations and the Eurozone, preparing for new swap lines outside of dollar hegemony, the fuse has been lit on the dollar's death rattle, and the when has changed into the now.[...]"
Legal Case: "California Judge Rules San Jose's Public Pensions Can't Be Cut" [12/29/13] "A state court judge has barred the city of San Jose, Calif., from imposing voter-approved pension cuts on current municipal workers in a ruling with implications for cash-strapped local governments across California, and perhaps the United States. As public employee unions and many U.S. cities lock horns over retirement costs blamed for municipal budget crises, Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas ruled that a ballot initiative forcing workers to contribute more to their pensions was invalid. In her ruling, dated from last week but publicly released Dec 23rd, Lucas said the city was entitled under the ballot measure to cut workers' pay to save money, but she held that vested pension benefits were protected by state law and thus off limits. The court fight in San Jose over pensions has been closely watched because other cities in California, and across the country, are targeting cuts in existing retirement plans as a way to reduce budget deficits. The emergency manager appointed to oversee the finances of bankrupt Detroit has said he wants to slash pension costs there, a move already under challenge by public employee unions in that city. Illinois is also battling public unions in an attempt to cut pensions. [...]"
Commentary: "The Coming Chinese Invasion of America" [12/29/13] "Contrary to what the power brokers would have you believe in order that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life that people live in a third world country, the globalists want you to believe that your nation is broke and there is nothing you can do about it. America is not broke, in fact the opposite is true. The United States of America is awash in an unimaginable amount of mineral wealth. What belongs to the people has been transferred, in the greatest theft in world history, from the workers and consumers to the government as well as the banks and the portfolios of the criminal elite gangsters which control the politicians with insider-trading and outright bribes. The banks are able to loan against the value at a ratio of 9 to 1 in this modern day version of fractional reserve banking. However, the biggest theft of American assets is literally happening right below our noses. The banks will soon forsake their holdings as the government, as I am being told, will move to nationalize every bit of mineral resource wealth in this country under Executive Order 13603. Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined. Despite this grim statistic which reveals the wealth imbalance in this country, our nation has never been wealthier. [...] Far beneath the ground, the federal government and its bankster puppeteers, own the rights to mineral and energy leases, from which they receive royalties, rents, and bonus payments, states the Institute for Energy Research, an industry group. According to their estimates, government states that the assets are worth $128 trillion. That’s almost eight times the national debt. [...] These resources could be leased to third parties and could subsequently earn the state and national government huge royalties, rents, and bonus payments that estimates could total almost $150 billion over 10 years, just for the oil and gas leases alone”. Then why isn’t this being done? Simple, ask yourself who would lose money if this were to come to fruition? These vast resources have been promised to the Chinese and they are moving to take possession. Already, the Chinese are in Hawaii to take possession of what gold America has left. Speculation abounds that this is why Obama is in Hawaii to personally supervise the transfer and to arrange for the transfer of mineral wealth. Many of my military sources tell me that a series of international “inland ports” will be created in conjunction with known mineral rich areas and control of these areas will be handed off to the Chinese. Further, the Chinese military will be stationed around these inland ports to ensure safety and security of the Chinese investment and its mining and geological personnel. This will be the foothold of their invasion force. For reasons to be discussed in the latter part of this article, there is a much more ominous reason why the Chinese troops will soon be a common occurrence on American soil. This will constitute only the beginning of the short-range take over the Chinese have planned for America. [...] Confirmation of the fact that the Chinese will soon be taking possession of American mineral resources, comes from a former CIA agent. On December 22, 2013, I interviewed Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the man who delivered the message which ended the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Dr. Jim Garrow, who was indeed a 43 year deep-cover CIA agent. [...]" Related: "Millions of Tons of Metals Stashed in Shadow Warehouses" "Banks, hedge funds, commodity merchants and others are stashing tens of millions of tons of aluminum, copper, nickel and zinc in a hidden system of warehouses that span the globe. These facilities are known to some in the industry as “shadow warehouses” because they are unregulated and don’t disclose their holdings. They operate outside the London Metal Exchange system of warehouses, the traditional home for these metals. As of October, a record seven million to 10 million tons of aluminum were being housed in these facilities, in countries as far apart as Malaysia and the Netherlands, according to estimates from several analysts. [...]"
Commentary: "DHS Insider Gives Final Warning" Douglas J. Hagmann [12/28/13] "Under the cover and amid the distraction of the seasonal bustle, I had my last “official” contact with a source inside the Department of Homeland Security known as “Rosebud” in my writings. My source is leaving his position, retiring along with numerous others choosing to leave this bureaucratic monstrosity. For this contact, my source took unprecedented measures to be certain that our contact was far off the radar of prying government eyes and ears. I was stunned at the lengths he employed, and even found myself somewhat annoyed by the inconvenience that his cloak-and-dagger approach caused. It was necessary, according to my source, because all department heads under FEMA and DHS are under orders to identify anyone disclosing any information for termination and potential criminal prosecution. “DHS is like a prison environment, complete with prison snitches,” he said, referring to the search for leaks and leakers. And the warden is obsessed. Ask anyone in DHS. No one trusts anyone else and whatever sources might be left are shutting up. The threats that have been made far exceed anything I’ve ever seen. Good people are afraid for their lives and the lives of their families. We’ve all been threatened. They see the writing on the wall and are leaving. It’s not a joke and not hype.” The following is a narrative from my source, prefaced with the instructions to “take it or leave it,” and “disregard it at your own peril.” He added that it’s now up to each American to act on the information themselves or suffer the consequences. “I’ve resigned myself to the fact that most [Americans] will never be convinced of the reality that is taking place right in front of them.” [...] “According to every internal document I’ve seen and read, and from the few people I’ve spoken with who understand what’s going on, preparations have been finalized to respond to a crisis of unprecedented magnitude within the United States. The response will include the use of lethal force against U.S. citizens under the instructions of Barack Obama.” But why? “‘It’s the economy, stupid,’” he began, paraphrasing a campaign slogan coined by James Carville for Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. ”Just as I disclosed in our first meeting, the crisis will be rooted in an economic collapse.[...]"
Commentary: "The Fed’s Creation Of Boom And Bust" [12/28/13] "The next chart (courtesy Goldman Sachs) shows the total failure of central bank intervention in trying to eliminate peaks and troughs in the economy. The chart shows 10 year US Treasury yield from 1790 to 2013. Between 1790 and 1913 interest rates fluctuated between 3% and 8% with very few violent swings. Since 1913 we have seen swings in the 10 year rate of incredible proportions going from a low in 1945 of 1.7% to 15.8% in 1981 (with Fed Funds at 20%) and down to 1.6% in 2012. So as the chart shows that, rather than eliminating booms and busts, the Fed actually creates them and makes the situation exponentially worse than it would have been in a free market without interference. I would expect rates to reach the 16% level at least in the next few years as investors dump worthless government bonds. So the 100 years of the Fed is nothing to celebrate. It will in retrospect be seen as a lost century which destroyed the world economy for many generations to come. [...]"
Buffoonery: "Bloomberg TV Anchor’s Bitcoin Stolen On Primetime TV" [12/26/13] " Over the past two weeks, Bloomberg anchor Matt Miller has been on a crusade to popularize Bitcoin, which intuitively makes sense: having risen ten-fold in the past year, the mainstream financial media is now paying attention and furthermore, is providing its audience the desired information about the hot meme du jour. To be sure, it is quite possible that his interest is sincere instead of merely the latest pageview-generating gimmick used by a majority of the other Series X preferred stock round media outlets. Which is why it was ironic (and humorous) that in his quest to demonstrate just how “accessible” Bitcoin is on live TV, the anchor was “robbed” in broad daylight by an enterprising Reddit hacker named “milkywaymasta” who screengrabbed the QR code shown by Miller and promptly confiscated the $20 equivalent. [...]"
Commentary: "Why Economics Will Never Be A Legitimate Science" [12/25/13] "If we expect an economic theory to behave like a theory of physics, with non-trivial predictions about the future, we're never going to get one." Back in August I explored Why Isn't There a Demonstrably Correct Economic Theory?. Many commentators have noted the obvious, that economics is a pseudo-science rather than a real science: beneath the fancy quantification and math, economics is fundamentally the study of human behavior, and that complex mix of dynamics cannot be reduced to a tidy econometric model that spits out accurate predictions. One key element of science is that the results must be reproducible, that is, the same experiment/conditions should yield the same results time and again. I suspect that economic models are not applicable across all times and situations; a model might "work" in one era and in a very specific set of circumstances, but fail in another era or in a similar set of circumstances. Since human behavior is based in culture as well as in naturally selected (genetically driven) behavior, then cultural milieus and values obviously play critical roles in shaping economic behaviors. So presenting an economic model as "scientific" and quantifiable is in effect claiming that the bubbling stew of human culture can be reduced to quantifiable models that will yield predictions that are accurate in the real world. This is clearly false, as culture is not a static set of objects, it is a constantly shifting interplay of feedback loops. This helps explain why human behavior is so unpredictable. Virtually no one successfully predicted World War I in 1909, and no one predicted the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1985. Another reason all economic theories fail as scientifically verifiable models is that economics boils down to a very simple dynamic: those in power issue financial claims on resources as a "shortcut" way of gaining control of the resources without actually having to produce the resources or earn the wealth via labor and innovation. I think this is the one fundamental dynamic of economics, and it does not lend itself to reductionist models. Longtime correspondent Chuck D. recently explained why economics will never be predictive (i.e. a real science) like physics: [...]"
MSM: "American Express to Pay $75 Million Over Credit-Card Practices" [12/25/13] "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered American Express to pay more than $75 million to settle claims that it charged improper fees and misled its credit card customers over so-called add-on products like identity fraud protection. American Express will have to refund $59.5 million to more than 335,000 consumers over what the bureau called “illegal credit card practices.” American Express will also have to pay a $9.6 million cash penalty to the bureau, according to a statement issued on Tuesday. [...]"
MSM: "Miami And Los Angeles Sue Banking Giants Over The Sub-Prime Mortgage Debacle" [12/24/13] "The cases, all of which were filed in the Southern District of Florida, focus on the banks' treatment of minority borrowers. According to the city, minority residents were routinely charged higher interest rates and fees than white loan applicants, regardless of their credit history. They were also stuck with other onerous terms—such as prepayment penalties, adjustable interest rates, and balloon payments—that increased their odds of falling into foreclosure. It's no secret that some big banks discriminated against minority borrowers during the housing bubble. Racial bias ran so deep inside Wells Fargo's mortgage division that employees regularly referred to subprime mortgages as “ghetto loans" and African American borrowers as “mud people," according to testimony from former bank officials. In 2011, Bank of America paid $355 million to settle a Justice Department lawsuit, charging that its Countrywide Financial unit steered hundreds of thousands of minority borrowers into predatory mortgages. Lawyers for the city of Miami, which is roughly 60 percent Latino and 20 percent African American, argue that these discriminatory practices are one key reason that the fallout from the sub-prime lending frenzy hit the city so hard. "The State of Florida in general, and the City of Miami in particular have been devastated by the foreclosure crisis," reads the city's complaint. "As of October 2013, the State of Florida has the country’s highest foreclosure rate, and Miami has the highest foreclosure rate among the 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country." The city is seeking compensation for the drop in real estate tax revenue due to foreclosures, which have further depressed property values, and for the cost of providing municipal services to abandoned homes. [...]"
Interviews: "Despite The Propaganda, The US Economy Is Collapsing" [12/24/13] "With continued uncertainty around the globe, today a man who has been involved in the financial markets for 50 years, and whose business partner is billionaire Eric Sprott, told King World News that despite the propaganda, the US economy is collapsing. He also discussed what this means for investors around the world in major markets, including gold. Below is what John Embry had to say in this powerful and timely interview. [...]"
MSM: "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Spying On Personal Financial Data" [12/23/13] [2:58] "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aimed to monitor 80 percent of all credit card transactions this year. That equals over 42 billion transactions on over 933 million credit cards. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) is concerned the CFPB meta data collection program is violating the 4th Amendment. The CFPB is not under the jurisdiction of Congress, rather the Federal Reserve and this program has very little oversight or transparency, much less than the NSA. Morgan Drexen, a legal support firm, is suing the CFPB for requesting their clients sensitive personal financial data because sharing this data would have violated state bars laws. In response, the CFPB launched a counter suit against Morgan Drexen saying the company violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule. Morgan Drexen says the company is unconstitutional, illegitimate, and willing to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court. RT’s Perianne Boring takes a look. [...]" Related: "CashCall Tries To Collect On Illegal Payday Loans, CFPB Says "Nice Try" "Collecting a debt from people who owe money is one thing. Collecting a debt from people who don’t legally owe because those loans should never have been written in the first place? That’s another problem altogether, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is very upset with one company . A lawsuit (PDF) the CFPB filed yesterday alleges that online lender CashCall, its subsidiary WS Funding Inc, and its affiliate Delbert Services Corporation, violated the laws of at least eight separate states. Because of these violations, CashCall and the others were not legally entitled to collect money from borrowers in those states, and therefore people are being targeted for collections on debts they do not actually owe. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, is the first legal action the relatively new agency has taken against an online lending operation. It asks for the court to require that CashCall provide refunds to borrowers in states where the loans should never have been made, or to nullify any financial obligations of affected borrowers in these states. The complaint also seeks additional damages and civil penalties.[...]"
MSM: "Ukrainians Protest Oligarchic Rule That Has Stripped the Country of Its Wealth" [7:28] "Massive demonstrations are continuing in Ukraine over the government's push for closer economic ties to Russia versus the E.U. After U.S. Senator John McCain addressed demonstrators in Kiev Saturday, he told NBC News on Sunday the U.S. Congress could pass sanctions on Ukraine if it signs a trade agreement with Russia. Now joining us to discuss this is Jeffrey Sommers. He's an associate professor and senior fellow of the Institute of World Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He's also visiting faculty at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. [...]" Related: See below:
MSM: "IMF Blasts Ukraine, Demands It Freeze Its Citizens" [12/23/13] "In a scathing Dec. 19 report, the International Monetary Fund ("Press Release No. 13/531") lashed into Ukraine's economic policies. Their number-one demand is that it slash and phase out energy subsidies, a suicidal move which the IMF nevertheless called "essential" and "indispensable." This particular demand is repeated no less than four times in the five-page report. When Ukraine recently broke off negotiations for EU associate status, the IMF's demand for a 40% fuel-price hike for Ukrainian citizens was reportedly one of the factors which precipitated it. Their other ukases include the demand that Ukraine terminate exchange controls and cease to support the value of its currency, stem wage and pension increases, and limit the indexation of pensions to inflation. In view of Ukraine's failure to take these steps to date, the IMF says that the magnitude of any future loans should be scaled back, and even recommends creating new procedures to terminate loan agreements before maturity, even when payments are current as Ukraine's payments are. "The bailout from Russia, which Mr. Putin described at a news conference on Thursday as a gesture toward a 'brotherly' country, comes without the requirements demanded by the IMF. That, however, could come back to haunt the Kremlin. The IMF has said that without comprehensive reforms, including some tough austerity measures, any money provided to the Ukrainian government would essentially be thrown into a black hole." [...]" Note: The IMF cannot be trusted ... ever. Related: "Washington’s Dirty Game In Ukraine" "Weeks of Ukraine street protests continue. Washington’s dirty hands are involved. They’re manipulating things disruptively. Imperial ruthlessness operates this way. International law is clear and unequivocal. Meddling in the internal affairs of other countries is illegal. Doing so is longstanding US policy. It’s to eliminate independent sovereign states. It’s about replacing them with pro-Western vassal ones. It’s about weakening major rivals. It aims to eliminate them altogether if possible. It’s for unchallenged global dominance. It’s to make the world safe for corporate American profiteers. [...]" | "Russia Denies Blackmailing Ukraine Over EU Deal" "Russia has never threatened Ukraine with sanctions over a cooperation agreement with the European Union, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. But Moscow did warn Kiev in advance that Ukraine could lose its favorable status in trade relations with Russia, Lavrov said. “We have not blackmailed anyone,” the minister told Rossiya 24 television after a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels. “We are not talking about sanctions, we are simply saying that we would return to normal trade relations with Ukraine or any other country that would choose this way [association with EU].” Lavrov said that the sides agreed that Ukraine’s sovereignty should be respected and that people should have a free choice as to how they want their state to develop. [...]" | "Meddling McCain Pimps for CIA-spawned Color Revolution in Ukraine" "On Sunday, Arizona’s Republican Senator, John McCain, told thousands of protesters in Kiev, Ukraine, that the United States will take “concrete action” against Ukraine’s government if it moves against the demonstrations. McCain said sanctions against Ukraine “would deserve serious consideration” by Congress if Viktor Yanukovych and the Ukrainian government entered into a custom and trade agreement with Russia. Yanukovych has resisted pressure to sign off on a deal to bring the former Soviet Union republic into the European Union. Large and occasionally violent demonstrations occurred after Yanukovych signaled he would not sign the EU agreement. “We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe,” McCain said on Sunday. He traveled to Ukraine with Connecticut Democrat Senator Chris Murphy. “We … want to make it clear to Russia and Vladimir Putin that interference in the affairs of Ukraine is not acceptable to the United States,” said McCain, who is considered a leading voice on U.S. foreign policy. [...]"
MSM: "Bernanke To Grads: "Money Can't Buy Happiness" [12/22/13] "Your parents were right. Money can't buy you happiness. That was the message from the Federal Reserve chairman on Saturday to graduates of the University of South Carolina. [...] Bernanke's startling comments: "It is possible that doing the ethical thing will make you feel, well, unhappy," Bernanke told the graduates. "In the long run, though, it is essential for a well-balanced and satisfying life." "We all know that getting a better-paying job is one of the main reasons to go to college. ... But if you are ever tempted to go into a field or take a job only because the pay is high and for no other reason, be careful!" Ben Bernanke said in his commencement address. "Having a larger income is exciting at first, but as you get used to your new standard of living and as you associate with other people in your new income bracket, the thrill quickly wears off," he said. Then he takes it all away when he says, "The Fed's goals include promoting economic growth and employment. Richer countries tend to report higher levels of satisfaction because they tend to be healthier, have more leisure time to pursue hobbies and have more interesting work, Bernanke pointed out. Richer countries tend to have few citizens in deep poverty, he added.[...]" Note: But doing the 'ethical thing' would only make one unhappy if one were a psychopath ... acting unethically is their MO ...
MSM: "Bloomberg: London Gold Vaults Are Virtually Empty, All The Gold Has Been Transferred To Hong Kong" [12/22/13] [2:53] Related: "U.S. Suffers Huge Gold Deficit As Record Amounts Are Exported To Switzerland, London & Hong Kong" "In a stunning development over the first seven months of the year, the United States has run up a huge gold deficit as it has exported a record 424 metric tonnes of gold. This is indeed a significant amount when we find that the U.S. exported a total of 488 metric tonnes for the entire year in 2011. According to the USGS July Gold Mineral Industry Survey, the U.S . only imported 188 metric tonnes of gold between Jan-Jul, but exported 424 metric tonnes leaving a huge shortfall. Some of this deficit was made up by the U.S. domestic gold mine supply. [...]" |"Global Currency Reset - Lindsey Williams" Dec 7 [56:22] "Pastor Lindsey Williams on GoldSeek Radio speaking with Chris Waltzek on 4th December 2013 talking about a global currency reset that if the Elite have their way will take place within 90 days. He confirms this is not the collapse or a devaluation of the American dollar, but it will cause the dollar to lose its world reserve status. This will be the biggest financial event in the last 1,000 years from the perspective of Williams' Elite friends. Every person on the globe will be affected. 204 nations have agreed with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to revalue their currencies to within 3 to 5% of each other based upon the assets of each country. This will end the currency wars and give the New World Order full control with a new gold backed currency. It will mean the US dollar will be reset down by 30% of its current value. He says that bank holidays are still another year off and that 30-50% of private, state and federal retirement funds are to be nationalised and/or confiscated between now and then.[...]" Note: We shall see how things unfold, since Obamacare was flubbed.... things aren't working well for them. About time reference [10:11] he begins to talk about the concept of a 'total collapse' (the banks close) and at [10:45] says he thinks there is "probably a year to a year and a half" to 'total collapse' ... at [11:00] he goes on to describe things he believes will happen. |"Frightening Financial Reality Worldwide Heading Into 2014" Ha! what a game.
MSM: "The Future Of Reserve Currencies" IMF- Cohen [12/22/13] "For nearly a century, the U.S. dollar has reigned supreme, but are those days over? The global economic crisis has again raised the question of the future of reserve currencies. For nearly a century, the U.S. dollar has reigned supreme as the world’s top international money. In recent decades, however, confidence in the greenback has been undermined by the United States’ persistent current account deficits and growing foreign debt. Increasingly, observers have predicted an end to the dollar’s dominance. For many, the dollar’s fate seemed sealed following the collapse of the U.S. housing market in mid-2007, which triggered the greatest upheaval in U.S. financial markets since the Great Depression. As it turned out, the crisis proved to be anything but fatal for the dollar. Not even the troubles of the U.S. financial sector, which required massive government interventions, sufficed to tip preferences decisively. Instead, ironically, the crisis temporarily reinforced the greenback’s global standing, as investors fled to the dollar for safety. Late last year, global demand for U.S. treasury bills was so intense that yields fell to zero or below. Nonetheless, the dollar’s future continues to be hotly debated (Helleiner and Kirshner, 2009). Over the longer term, it is widely held, the decline of the greenback will undoubtedly resume, ending the currency’s reign once and for all. But that begs a critical question: What would replace the dollar? Some say it will be the euro; others, perhaps the Japanese yen or China’s renminbi. And some call for a new world reserve currency, possibly based on the IMF’s Special Drawing Right or SDR, a reserve asset. None of these candidates, however, is without flaws. In fact there is no obvious alternative to the dollar lurking in the wings, just waiting to take center stage. To paraphrase Winston Churchill’s famous remark about democracy, the dollar may turn out to be the worst choice—except for all the others. The most probable outcome is apt to be more ambiguous—more like the interregnum between the two World Wars, when Britain’s pound sterling was in decline and the dollar on the rise but neither was dominant. Coming years, I submit, will see the emergence of something similar, with several monies in contention and none as clearly in the lead as in the recent past. The economic and political impacts of a more fragmented currency system could be considerable. [...]"
Commentary: "Dollar Hegemony & “Monetary Geopolitics”: Symbiosis Between Global Finance And Power Politics" [12/22/13] "... Consequently, not unlike nations, currencies rise and fall too. “An examination of the long history of reserve currencies shows the tendency for one currency to dominate, with any change in status often reflecting a shift or rebalancing of economic and political power” (Lee, 2010). Accordingly, “currency internationalization does indeed impact directly on the power position of issuing states” (Cohen, 2009). Hence, there seems to be a persistent symbiotic link between geopolitics and finance that represents an element which is considered by statesmen in order to properly assess national power. Indeed, it is known that nowadays Central Bankers and political leaders actively collect intelligence information on the behavior of currencies and periodically test their relative strength, in order to “adjust their strategies accordingly” (Stroupe, 2005). However, hegemonies, both geopolitical and monetary, are not perpetual: “historical experience demonstrates the speed and pervasiveness of changes in national economic power; since hegemony is transitory, so must be any international monetary system that takes hegemony as its basis” (Eichengreen, 2003), which indicates that “the international monetary system has always rested and depended upon political foundations” (Kirshner, 2003). The following graph, based on data from a study on the evolution of monetary hegemony (Dwyer & Lothian, 2002), shows the historic succession of dominant international currencies from the 5th century B.C. onwards. Not surprisingly, as can be clearly seen, currencies occupy a dominant position when the nation that mints them becomes a great power. [...] At this point, it is important to emphasize that ‘reserve currency’ status is the highest position a currency can attain because it is “something which evolves over time through combination of international economic and political power and convenience to the greatest number of users rather than abruptly as the result of conscious decisions by a single country”(Eslake, 2009). Moreover, there are other evident advantages provided that “the issuers of currencies that are widely used by others as reserve assets […] can finance deficits simply by printing more of their own money” (Cohen, 2008). Therefore, there is a “link between the distribution of economic power and the allocation of reserve currencies” (Drezner, 2010). Hence, “the great bulk of reserves is held in the form of highly liquid assets denominated in one of the small handful of moneys at the peak of the Currency Pyramid” (Cohen, 2009). A reserve currency is thus defined by three essential attributes: [...]"
Commentary: "Government’s Plan To Raid Public Pensions ‘Illegal,’ Says EU Court" [12/21/13] "Retired people protest in Lisbon over plans to cut pensions. The pattern of seizing workers’ retirements by slashing pension benefits or raiding the funds in order to reduce budget deficits has been seen across Europe and in the U.S. In states like Illinois and large cities like Detroit in the U.S., as well as in countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, the U.K., and elsewhere, pension agreements have been treated as 'dispensable contracts' in the wake of the financial crisis that took hold in 2008. Even as wealthy individuals and corporations remain insulated from higher taxes, governments have increasingly looked at gutting public worker pensions as a way to pay off debt or reduce annual deficits. But in Portugal on Thursday, where the government has imposed draconian austerity policies in order to please the “Troika”—the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank—a court ruled that a new government ploy to cut pension payments to retired workers would be “illegal” as it would threaten the “principle of trust” on which such agreements are based. The government had planned to slash public sector pensions over 600 euros a month by 10%, but the court ruled that would constitute a “violation of trust”. The decision represents a significant reverse for the centre-right government’s 2014 austerity budget. It would have saved some 388 million euros, or nearly 10% of the 3.9 billion euro public spending cuts the government wants to introduce. Other ways of making savings must now be sought, with the government warning it may have no alternative but to raise taxes. [...]"
MSM: "Irish Banking World Rocked As Three Financiers In Court" [12/21/13] "A former chief executive of Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) and two other former bankers will stand trial on charges of conspiring to mislead Anglo Irish Bank investors in the run-up to the banking crisis of September 2008. One of the three men charged is Denis Casey (54) from Raheny, Dublin, who becomes the first chief executive officer (CEO) who was in charge of an Irish financial institution during the crash to have charges brought against him. The trials will be closely watched by investors who lost out as a result of their decision to hold on to Anglo Irish Bank shares and junior bonds in the period before the bank was nationalised. Investors will be seeking any evidence that could help them make legal claims to recoup losses. The three former senior bank executives will stand trial accused of conspiring to mislead Anglo Irish Bank investors in relation to €7.2bn transactions. [...]"
MSM: "PMorgan Chase CEO Could Face Jail Time If Woes Continue" [12/21/13] [3:33] "Despite the long list of violations already committed by JPMorgan Chase over the past several years, CEO Jamie Dimon added one more to the list. The executive explicitly violated a federal statute that has the potential to put him in jail for decades. The law violated can be found in Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which aimed to reform accounting practices and protect investors. RT’s Meghan Lopez asks William K. Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, why Dimon nor any other fraudulent have not been charged for their crimes. [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "Death: The New 'Retirement' For US Citizens" [12/20/13] "I thought about calling this article, "Retirement: The New Heaven" (for US citizens at least), but found it too opaque. So, I simplified. Retirement is a "20th century relic," according to Wells Fargo's annual surveys on retirement. The bank finds year-after-year that middle class Americans anticipate they will work until illness or death. If this trend continues, respondents will indicate they will be forced to work from the grave. That's why we highly urge you to join the record number of citizens contributing to the brain drain of US society. In the fall of 2011, Harris Interactive found that a quarter (25%) of middle class Americans say they will "need to work until at least age 80" to live comfortably in retirement. That number was at 34% in the 2013 survey. "This is the first time we asked if people thought they would work until they die or become too sick," said Laurie Nordquist, head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. Thirty-seven percent of Americans surveyed believe they will work until they fall ill or die. This means that just under two in five US citizens believe they won't retire. Ever. Fifty-nine percent surveyed say their main financial concern is everyday bills. Forty-two percent told Wells that it is impossible to pay them and save for retirement. The survey also found that 75% of middle-class American's have no confidence in the stock market as a way to plan for retirement. This is true for both the young and old. Respondents in their 20s are most skeptical of the stock market, as 80% say they are not confident about investing in stocks. Wells Fargo asked what the young would do if given $5,000 to invest. Most said they'd put it into a savings account. Forty-five percent of respondents said they have so few assets there is no reason for them to have a plan for retirement, with 25% saying they don't know how to create one.[...] That the plurality of middle class Americans expect to work well into "retirement" - and even to the grave - has serious social and economic implications for the US. Questions arise, such as will aging Americans - who have feasted upon GMO corn and chemical-laden meats their whole lifelong - be physically and mentally able to work later into their retirement ages? Since the earliest parts of the 20th century, and quite likely beforehand, US citizens anticipated working until they were 65, and thereafter retiring with an employer-paid pension plan. Defined-benefit pensions don't happen in the private sector these days and government employees are receiving them less often, as well. And so, their backup plan? Work themselves to death. [...]"
MSM: "Credit Suisse Fraud Exceeded $1 Billion" [12/20/13] "Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) defrauded investors of more than $1 billion by misrepresenting the risks of its residential mortgage-backed securities, acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in an interview. Hoffman’s office sued Credit Suisse over claims it misled investors about the risk involved in more than $10 billion in securities issued in 2006 and 2007, before the housing market collapsed. The lawsuit follows one by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who claimed last year that the bank misled investors about its review of mortgages underlying securities. Credit Suisse, the second-biggest Swiss bank, faces other state and federal investigations that could lead to a consolidation of claims filed by governments, Hoffman said. The Zurich-based bank has asked a judge to dismiss the New York case, and criticized the New Jersey complaint announced yesterday. “This complaint is without merit,” Drew Benson, a Credit Suisse spokesman, said in an e-mail. “It recycles baseless claims and uses inaccurate and exaggerated figures. We look forward to presenting our defense in court.” [...]"
MSM: "Government Using NSA to Change Amount in Bank Accounts, Warns Panel" [12/20/13] "A White House review panel report into the activities of the NSA suggested that the government was using the spy agency to launch cyber attacks against financial institutions and change the amounts held in bank accounts. The 300 page report prepared for President Barack Obama by the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology called for the NSA to be stripped of its power to obtain bulk collections of telephone records. Page 221 of the panel’s report states;(1) Governments should not use surveillance to steal industry secrets to advantage their domestic industry; (2) Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems. Trevor Timm from the Electronic Frontier Foundation responded to the report by suggesting that the NSA was targeting major financial institutions. [...] In the aftermath of the Edward Snowden revelations it was confirmed that, “The National Security Agency (NSA) widely monitors international payments, banking and credit card transactions,” under the auspices of an international branch called Follow the Money (FTM), and that the spy agency has full access to the VISA and SWIFT payment systems. “Top financial experts say that the NSA and other intelligence agencies are using information gained from spying to profit from this inside information. And the NSA wants to ramp up its spying on Wall Street … to “protect” it. “Whose money, exactly, is the NSA “protecting” … and how are they protecting it?” asks Washington’s Blog, “What about the money of people that the U.S. government considers undesirables?” The government’s ability to use the NSA to directly amend bank accounts increases the risk of Americans being subjected to a Cyprus-style “bail-in” where a tax on savings deposits is directly levied in the name of austerity."
Commentary: "Inside the Web’s $156 Billion Invisible Industry" [12/19/13] "Data brokers, the companies that track our every move and then sell private details about our personalities to businesses, have become a $156 billion industry—that’s more than half of the entire internet ecosystem. And it’s almost completely invisible. No one really knows where the data’s coming from, how much information they have, or who’s buying it. That's a lot of money and sensitive data swirling around "behind a veil of secrecy," as a new government report put it. The Senate commerce committee published today the result of a year-long investigation into the business of collecting and selling our private data. It found that data brokers are amassing a huge amount of detailed data on consumers, and worse, they're doing it unbeknownst to their targets. This, the government has some beef with. [...]"
MSM: "FBI Is Global ‘Stakeholder’ In Crypto-Currency, Currently Owns Largest Bitcoin Wallet" [12/19/13] "When the FBI shut down the Silk Road, an internet black market, in October it also seized the accused owner’s assets and inadvertently became one of the wealthiest bitcoin operators in the world. When the FBI shut down the notorious online marketplace it made international headlines and began a worldwide discussion about how stable the future of bitcoin really is. Investigators have admitted that they seized hundreds of thousands of bitcoins from the Silk Road and its operator Dread Pirate Roberts, allegedly the online persona of one Ross Ulbricht. A new report from Wired magazine indicates that the FBI is now in control of two addresses, or wallets, holding bitcoin worth as much as $120 million. That total would make the law enforcement agency the second-largest bitcoin holder in the world behind only Satoshi Nakamoto, the currency’s inventor, who is thought to have mined one million bitcoin in the technology’s earliest days. There is a total of 12 million bitcoins in circulation and the FBI’s haul from the Silk Road raid means the bureau has more than even Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The Winklevoss twins, who became famous when they sued Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea for Facebook, said in July of this year that they had taken control of roughly one percent of all bitcoins. [...]"
MSM: "Bitcoin Crashes After Chinese Bank Bans Deposits In Yuan" [12/19/13] "The virtual currency Bitcoin crashed in China on Wednesday, falling almost 50 percent after the country’s biggest trading platform BTC China banned deposits in yuan following new restrictions imposed by the central bank. Two weeks ago the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, ordered financial institutions not to provide Bitcoin-related services and products and cautioned against its potential use in money-laundering. Reports earlier this week said it had banned domestic third-party payment companies from providing clearing services for virtual currency trading platforms, and on Wednesday BTC China said it was stopping taking yuan deposits — but withdrawals were still allowed. Analysts said the central bank instruction, if confirmed, could cripple Bitcoin trading in China. “If the channel for depositing yuan in the platforms was completely cut off, all domestic exchanges would be invalid,” James Gong, a digital currency expert and member of the US-based Bitcoin Foundation, told AFP. [...]"
MSM: "Denmark’s Finance Regulator Exempts Crypto-Currencies From Its Function" [12/18/13] "The Financial Supervisory Authority of Denmark has issued a statement warning against the use of bitcoin, litecoin and the like as “unsafe”, but also saying they will not be regulating crypto-currencies exchanges should they appear. In total, Tuesday’s statement echoed the European Banking Authority warning that crypto-currencies exchanges are not a safe place with users risking their money as the latter might get stolen or become inconvertible into real money at any point. However, the formidable preamble was followed by a sudden declaration: As crypto-currency is not money at all, then the FSA has no job in regulating crypto-currencies exchanges. [...] “Companies do not need permission to be able to establish their operation in Denmark if they want to run bitcoin Exchanges that also include exchanging real money,” the Authority says. The decentralized, crypto-currency bitcoin, one of about hundred virtual currencies in the world, was introduced in January, 2009 and cost then $0.05 per unit. It has so far been free from any government or central bank control. Currency is sold and bought at online exchanges, and those transactions can be virtually anonymous. Now bitcoin’s tipping on the controversy edge. In late November it’s value hit over $1,000 per bitcoin while many institutions as police or universities eye to use the e-currency for payments. [...] However, a number of high profile scams involving bitcoins has also been registered. Last month a Danish bitcoin payment processor with a free online wallet service lost over $1 million worth of bitcoins after a security attack on its server. While in China a bitcoin platform swindle scooped up $4.1 million in bitcoins before disappearing. This made global players wary of the crypto-currency. The European Banking Authority issued a statement on bitcoin last Friday saying there is “no guarantee that currency values remain stable,” and that it intends to investigate bitcoin further “in order to identify whether virtual currencies can and should be regulated and supervised.” Despite the concerns, the bitcoin remains in the limelight, with exchange ATMs popping up across Canada and Europe. In Sweden, Safello has launched a machine, which allows users to change bitcoins for actual cash. [...]" Note: A more ethereal version of financial buffoonery ....
MSM: "Greedy London Bankers ‘Expect’ 44% Bonus Increase" [12/17/13] "Managing directors at banks in London are expecting a 44 percent rise in bonuses for 2013 even as European authorities seek to scale back compensation, according to a recruiter’s survey. The average bonus for managing directors may increase to 166,955 pounds ($271,686) from 115,618 pounds a year earlier, Astbury Marsden said in an e-mailed statement. That’s more than double their average salary, up from 88 percent in 2012, the recruitment firm said. Britain was home to 2,188 investment bankers earning more than 1 million euros in 2012, the largest share in the EU, while Spain had 37, the London-based EBA, set up in 2011 to harmonize banking rules in the EU, said in a survey last month. France and Germany had 117 and 100, respectively. [...]"
Commentary: "All Wars Are Bankers' Wars" [12/17/13] [43:24] Note: Written version here.
MSM: "Bitcoins Fail Currency Test in Scandinavia’s Richest Nation" [12/16/13] "Bitcoins were dealt a blow in Norway as the government of Scandinavia’s richest nation said the virtual currency doesn’t qualify as real money. “Bitcoins don’t fall under the usual definition of money or currency,” Hans Christian Holte, director general of taxation in Norway, said in an interview. “We’ve done some assessments on what’s the right and sound way to handle this in the tax system.” Norway will instead treat Bitcoins as an asset and charge a capital gains tax, after Germany in August said it will impose a levy on the virtual currency. “I don’t think you can even call something a currency if it can change in value by 20 percent to 30 percent a day,” Sophocles Sophocleous, a director at Argos Capital Management in Cyprus, said in a telephone interview today. “At the end of the day, I think people want something backing a currency.” The digital currency plunged last week after China’s central bank barred financial institutions from dealing in it. That followed a sudden surge in value in November after a U.S Justice Department official described Bitcoins as a “legal means of exchange.” The European Banking Authority today released a warning on the risks of using unregulated digital money that is susceptible to hackers. “Cases have been reported of consumers losing significant amounts of virtual currency with little prospect of having it returned,” the EBA said in a statement on its website. “When using virtual currency for commercial transactions, consumers are not protected by any refund rights under EU law.” [...]"
MSM: "PayPal's NSA Involvement Being Covered Up" [12/16/13] [5:48] "What about the connections between PayPal, the CIA and the data mining company they founded — Palantir? Is PayPal owner Pierre Omidyar an altruistic billionaire who cares deeply about investigative journalism or did he work with US government to financially strangle WikiLeaks and prosecute the PayPal14? Is Omidyar’s new journalism company a move by the CIA and globalist banksters like PayPal to co-opt authentic journalism and control public debate about the NSA? [...]"
MSM: "The 'Iceland Model: How To Deal With Bankers Should Be Standard For Whole World'" [12/15/13] [3:53] "In Iceland four former bank chiefs have been jailed for fraud - the sentences go as far as five years behind bars. They're accused of concealing that a Qatari investor bought a stake in their firm, using cash lent from the bank itself - illegally. The deal took place just ahead of the collapse of the bank due to huge debts. RT talks to economic expert Charlie McGrath, founder of news website Wide Awake News about Iceland's economy. [...]" Related: "A Wish List, and a Tale of Two Countries: What We'd Like To See In The West" Satire | "Iceland’s Jailed Bankers ‘A Model’ For Dealing With ‘Financial Terrorists’" " By jailing four top officers of Iceland's failed Kaupthing Bank, the country showed the world the right way to deal with the people largely responsible for the 2008 financial crisis, said Charlie McGrath, founder of news website, Wide Awake News. The US and other nations must take it as a model for the next time the too-big- to-fail corporations screw things up and ask for a bailout with taxpayers’ money, he added. [...]"
Interviews: "Global Finance Capitalism Is A Fraud" [12/14/13] "Iceland can be viewed as a successful example of a country that is breaking away from global financial capitalism, a system designed to drive countries forever into debt, Rodney Shakespeare, Professor of Binary Economics told RT. [...] Rodney Shakespeare: Iceland is quite right to make an upright challenge to the global financial system. Unless you say that you are going to throw it out the window, they will always succeed in creating money out of nothing, lending to you with administration cost and interest, lending it for anything except the real economy. Lending it for anything except the spreading of the real economy and putting you into debt. And the debt becomes repayable. You must rely on your own national bank for your own uses, for your own real economy and for the spreading of it. And if you don’t do that, you’ll be trapped in debt in the same way that …. well, you’ve got Greece, you’ve got Iceland, you’ve got every country in the world trapped in increasing debt and all that happens is that they increase the levels of the debt and smash the populations down. We need a revolt against this global financial system and in its own way Iceland is setting a reasonable example.[...]"
MSM: "J.P. Morgan To Pay Over $1 Billion To Settle U.S. Criminal Probe Related To Madoff" [12/13/13] "J.P. Morgan Chase is expected to pay more than $1 billion in penalties to the Justice Department to end a criminal probe into whether it provided adequate warnings about Bernard L. Madoff. The deal, which would also include a deferred-prosecution agreement with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, could be wrapped up by the end of year, said others close to the case. Prosecutors have been looking for whether the bank failed to alert regulators despite numerous red flags. A central component of the case is why the bank didn’t provide a formal report raising concerns about Mr. Madoff in the U.S. despite filing such a document with authorities in the U.K. Mr. Madoff had a two-decade-long relationship with J.P. Morgan before his arrest in December 2008. [...]" Related: "JPMorgan's Reported Madoff Deal Proves Some Banks Too Big To Jail" "Prosecutors, including U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, considered and rejected the idea of making the bank actually plead guilty to criminal charges, according to the NYT. That's disappointing, considering it was Bharara who declared this summer: "I don't think anyone is too big to indict, no one is too big to jail. There's enough moral hazard in the industry. If you give people a blank check and tell them they have a get-out-of-jail-free card because of their size...that's a very dangerous thing." That seems to be exactly what happened in this case -- giving JPMorgan a get-out-of-jail-free card because of its size -- marking at least the third time in the past two years the bank has managed to dodge an indictment. [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "Rationalizing Usury: The Time Value Hoax" [12/13/13] "The idea that ‘the lender can’t use the money when he lends’ is the classical argument to rationalize Usury. But the bank doesn’t lend anything. It’s all credit by bookkeeping. The ‘time value of money’ is the notion that holding money today is worth more than tomorrow. Between today and tomorrow there will be inflation and the missed opportunity of investing it. It is at the core of modern theory of finance. It is the rationale for Usury, it can be heard each and every time when people defend it. It is the defining belief that creates acceptance for interest on loans of money. [...]"
Commentary: "Global Power Project: The Group of Thirty, Architects of Austerity" [12/12/13] "The Group of Thirty, a preeminent think tank that brings together dozens of the world’s most influential policy makers, central bankers, financiers and academics, has been the focus of two recent reports for Occupy.com’s Global Power Project. In studying this group, I compiled CVs of the G30′s current and senior members: a total of 34 individuals. The first report looked at the origins of the G30, while the second examined some of the current projects and reports emanating from the group. In this installment, I take a look at some specific members of the G30 and their roles in justifying and implementing austerity measures. For the current members of the Group of Thirty who are sitting or recently-sitting central bankers, their roles in the financial and economic turmoil of recent years is well-known and, most especially, their role in bailing out banks, providing long-term subsidies and support mechanisms for financial markets, and forcing governments to implement austerity and “structural reform” policies, notably in the European Union. With both the former European Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Trichet and current ECB President Mario Draghi serving as members of the G30, austerity measures have become a clearly favored policy of the G30. [...]" Related: See below.
MSM: "Bank Of Israel’s Ex-Leader To Join US Federal Reserve" [12/12/13] "The former chairman of Bank of Israel has been asked to be the US Federal Reserve's next vice chair, a source says. "He's been offered the job," said the source on Wednesday, referring to Stanley Fischer, who led the Bank of Israel for eight years from 2005 until June 2013. The Fed’s current vice chair, Janet Yellen, is expected to take over as the chief of the Federal Reserve by winning approval from the US Senate next week. Current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in January, was once a student of Fischer’s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology along with Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB). As the Fed vice chair, the 70-year-old economist would have a strong hand in shaping policies. Earlier reports by Bloomberg News and Israeli channel 2 had portrayed Fischer as the front runner for the post. The White House and the Fed, however, refused to comment on the issue. Fischer was the vice president at the World Bank from January 1988 to August 1990. He then joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the first deputy managing director from September 1994 until the end of August 2001. [...]" Zambian-American-Israeli economist Stanley Fischer left mega-bank Citigroup to head up Israel‘s central bank. He is the former number two honcho at the globalist loan sharking operation, the IMF, and the former chief economist at the World Bank. As an MIT economics prof Fischer tutored the current Fed boss, Ben “Helicopter” Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Fischer is a member of the influential Group of Thirty.
Concepts and Practices: "JPMorgan Patents Bitcoin-Like Payment System" [12/11/13] "JPMorgan Chase has patented a digital payment system that could rival Bitcoin. The system includes digital wallets, the ability to transfer money to anyone and anonymity too, according to a patent application filed to the U.S. Patent and Trade Office on Aug. 5. The Financial Times first reported the story. JPMorgan has also patented payment software that would latch onto your Internet browser and allow you to shop without pausing to fill out forms with personal financial information. And with what the bank calls its Internet Pay Anyone Account, moving funds would be anonymous and as easy as sending an email. “The credit pushes can be made completely anonymously, with the recipient of the credit having no way to determine from where the credit originated,” the bank says in the application.” Another aspect of the digital payment system is a virtual private lockbox. Think of it as a bank account that can only accept funds. That way, users can receive funds from anyone by publishing its digital address publicly without fear that someone can pull money out of it. The impetus for the project is likely Bitcoin, the independent electronic currency created in 2009 that has gained lots of recent attention. But the patent application shows no mention of Bitcoin. This patent is a renewal of the original filed in 1999; 14 years ago. This means that the patent pre-dates the surge in Bitcoin and the inception of crypto- currencies. Earlier this month, Bank of America (BoA) Merrill Lynch experts stated that “as a medium of exchange, Bitcoin has clear potential for growth.” [...]" Note: It just doesn't occur to these conceptually hobbled sequentials how ludicrous the whole dynamic is ... JPM, bringing misery to the world for years.
Commentary: "Bitcoin Proves Idea Of 'Paradise' Would Be Hell On Earth" [12/11/13] "Bitcoin as a 'currency' is horribly unstable. Sure, the entire Bitcoin economy is not run by criminals. But still, there is a price to pay for the freedom and anonymity that Bitcoin provides, and the price is a lack of enforceable laws that benefit the most ruthless. Just 47 individuals own nearly one-third of all Bitcoins. About 927 people control half the entire currency. There are just over 1 million Bitcoin.[...]"
Quotes: "In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press...They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. "An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers." -- U.S. Congressman Oscar Callaway, 1917
MSM: "Swiss Clocks Ticking: Hidden US Accounts Soon To Be Revealed" [12/11/13] [3:24] "A US ultimatum to Swiss banks has yielded results - with the first alpine hideaway giving up on centuries of total confidentiality. Washington is threatening fines and even jail time for any bank that doesn't share information on American citizens. But it's thought that some, will nevertheless stay defiant. RT's business presenter Katie Pilbeam speaks with Rory Suchet about the possible ramifications of it all. [...]" Related: "Real Reason for the US's Global Tax Levy" One thing is for certain: This amped-up regulatory regime is not about taxes. It’s about control … not just of Swiss banking facilities but ultimately of banks around the world, large and small. In fact, the top elites already run central banks around the world, so this merely adds another layer of control. And when it comes to running banks, the place where banks supposedly had the most freedom was Switzerland, so that region was attacked first – just to provide an object lesson.
MSM: "UK: Payday Loan Advert Is Broadcast Every 78 Seconds" [12/11/13] "The explosion in TV adverts for payday lenders was revealed today, with shocking figures they were viewed 7.5billion times last year. The number of load adverts seen by children has leapt by a third, amid warnings the likes of Wonga and QuickQuid are ‘grooming’ children to become the next generation of borrowers. TV watchdog Ofcom revealed how the number of adverts has soared from just 17,000 in 2008 to 400,000 last year, which would take 138 days to watch back-to-back around the clock. Payday loan firms are accused of particularly targeting using daytime TV to persuade the unemployed and those raising children to take out loans charging more than 5,000 per cent APR interest. Charities and unions called for a crackdown on the adverts which 'prey' on the vulnerable and influence even very young children. [A survey on MoneySavingExpert.com found a third of parents reported their under-10s repeating payday lenders’ slogans, while 14 per cent said that when they had refused to buy a toy, their child had nagged them to take out a payday loan. 'Lenders’ targeting of young people and those on low incomes is coupled with industry failures to make sure loans are only given to people who can afford to repay. Citizens Advice has found 61 per cent of loans do not come with proper checks to ensure the borrower can pay back the loan. Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: 'This research paints a horrific picture of a generation of children and young people being groomed into a culture of debt by this bombardment of advertising. 'It is not just children being infected by this payday loan culture. Research has shown that people are borrowing £660 a month just to pay for the necessities of life - food, housing and heating....]" Related: "More On The Depravities Of Wonga" Note: Absolutely disgusting that the UK governments allow THIS, on top of everything else they're doing to the people over there. "V For Vendetta" type protests against the sadistic, greedy institutions in the UK are forthcoming.
Commentary: "Icelanders Overthrow Government and Rewrite Constitution After Banking Fraud" [12/10/13] " Can you imagine a group of randomly chosen private citizens rewriting the U.S. constitution to include measures banning corporate fraud? It seems incomprehensible in the U.S., but Icelanders did just that. Icelanders forced their entire government to resign after a banking fraud scandal, overthrowing the ruling party and creating a citizen’s group tasked with writing a new constitution that offered a solution to prevent corporate greed from destroying the country. The constitution of Iceland was scrapped and is being rewritten by private citizens; using a crowd-sourcing technique via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. These events have been going on since 2008, yet there’s been no word from the U.S. mainstream media about any of them. In fact, all of the events that unfolded were recorded by international journalists, overseas news bureaus, citizen journalists and bloggers. This has created current accusations of an intentional cover up of the story by mainstream U.S. news sources. An “iReport” on CNN, written by a private citizen in May 2012, has questioned the reasons why this revolution has not been widely covered in the U.S., suggesting that perhaps the mainstream media is controlled by large corporate interests and thus has been unwilling to report on Iceland’s activities. That report is currently making its way around social media. CNN today placed a statement on its website saying: “We’ve noticed this iReport is being shared widely on Facebook and Twitter. Please note that this article was posted in May 2012. CNN has not yet verified the claims and we’re working to track down the original writer.” It is interesting to note that CNN’s European version, CNN Europe, already covered the story of the protests and the government’s resignation, leading many to question why CNN would now need to “look into” the claims. Besides CNN Europe’s own coverage of the scandal, the events in Iceland were widely covered by international media and are easily verified by a simple search on Google which leads to a variety of reputable international news sources that ran numerous stories on the Icelandic revolution. A whole documentary has been made on the governmental overthrow called Pots, Pans and Other Solutions, and now, the conversation is focused on whether or not the citizens’ actions actually worked to make Iceland a more equitable nation. To understand the enormity of what happened in Iceland, it’s best to draw parallels between the initial banking fraud that caused Iceland’s economy to collapse and the banking fraud in the U.S. that caused the mortgage crisis six years ago. [...]" Related: See below: "Iceland PM Tells Failed Banks To Pay Up" [12/06/13]; "Iceland Thumbs Nose At International Opposition To Advance $1.2 Billion Debt Relief Plan" [12/03/13]
Commentary: "Billionaire Eric Sprott - The End Game Is Absolutely Horrifying" [12/09/13] "Sprott: ... What we are really talking about here is an acceleration of the confiscation of wealth. What’s being proposed around the world, the wealth taxes and some of these other things, it is the confiscation of wealth going forward -- that’s the theme by governments, isn’t it. “That is the ongoing thing that is happening. There was some work done in the UK saying that by having zero interest rates you help the banking system by 120 billion pounds a year. But of course the opposite side of that is the savers don’t make 120 billion pounds. And with this financial repression ongoing, people can’t better themselves. They are losing out to inflation. As you would undoubtedly agree, we have inflation which is understated. If you imagine what’s going to happen post-January 1st in the US, when one of your biggest costs in a US household already is healthcare and now we’re talking about premiums going up 50% to 100%, it’s just shocking the relevance of it to the 99%. This is what’s going on: Everything that’s been done since 2008 is to save the banking system -- to let the banks make money because they had lost a lot of capital. Of course the opposite is whatever they make, some saver doesn’t make. So, yes, the transfer just keeps moving on from the people to the banks, people to the banks. Ultimately, the consumer can’t spend what he (or she) doesn’t have, so we are going to see that manifested. I can’t even imagine in the US when people have to face this reality of their healthcare bills. Of course we are all ignoring it in a way. We talk about how bad the website is. Forget the website, what about the cost of insurance? It seems to me that the cost of insurance is escalating dramatically for everyone, and it’s a big cost for everyone already. So it’s not going to be pretty.” People in power want to stay in power. And if it means abrogating your debt obligations, pension fund obligations, Medicare obligations, and/or seizing assets, in a sense, in the previous part of this conversation, they are seizing assets already. They are not letting the savers make money so that the banks can make money. It’s already a seizure of assets that’s taking place. Governments have overspent and there is nothing they can do about it. They are going to fail on their obligations, and when they fail the economic impact will be so dire. And when someone thinks they are going to get their $100,000 pension, or $50,000 pension, and the next thing you know they are informed, ‘Well, you know your $100,000 became $16,000,’ or ‘your $50,000 became $8,000,’ just think of the shift that has to take place here. Think of the poor guy making $8,000 and he finds out his health care bill is over $8,000. The whole thing makes no sense. The numbers don’t work. And we are going to face that reality. [...]" Related: "Detroit Bankruptcy Ruling Triggers Calls For Pension Cuts Across The US" | "Pension Theft: Class War Goes to the Next Stage" "In the past two days we've seen a federal judge rule that Detroit can go bankrupt, putting its workers' pensions in jeopardy, and we have seen Illinois' Legislature vote for substantial cuts in its retirees' pensions. Undoubtedly these two actions are just the tip of the iceberg. We have opened up a new sport for America's elite: pension theft. [...]"
Flashback: "Godfrey Bloom: The State Is An Institution Of Theft" [12/09/13] [1:24] "European Parliament, Brussels, 21 November 2013. Speaker: Godfrey Bloom MEP, Ind. (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire), Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group. Debate: Action programme for taxation in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 [...]"
MSM: "Chinese Yuan Has Overtaken Euro" [12/09/13] [13:23] "Katie Pilbeam explores how the Chinese Yuan has overtaken the Euro as the second most widely used currency in this week's episode of Venture Capital. David Kuo from The Motley Fool offers his view on the changing role of China in global trade. Also, as the political situation in Ukraine intensifies so does the risk of an economic default -- we ask economist Daniel Bruno from First National Innovation Brokers if Kiev was right to turn away from the EU Free Trade zone. [...]"
Buffoonery: "The Bitcoin Derivatives Market Has Arrived" [12/09/13] " Predictious, the Dublin-based prediction market, this week unveiled Bitcoin Option Spreads enabling both long- and short-positions to be constructed on the already extremely volatile 'asset'. Regulatory clamp-down in 3..2..1... [...]"
MSM: "The Pathology of the Rich - Chris Hedges" [12/08/13] [23:38] "JAY: So last time we talked a lot about something you had said in 2008 and you've written more recently about: one of the greatest weaknesses of the left was not creating a viable vision of what an alternative politics and economy looks like, a viable vision of a socialism. But you've written more recently about some other weaknesses, you could say, of the people's movement, and here's one. And I'll read it back. This is a piece you wrote called "Let's Get This Class War Started", which I guess is a play on Pink's song, is it? "Let's Get This Party Started". The quote is: "The inability to grasp the pathology of our oligarchic rulers is one of our gravest faults." What are you talking about? HEDGES: Because we don't understand the pathology of the rich. We've been saturated with cultural images and a kind of cultural deification of wealth and those who have wealth. We are being--you know, they present people of immense wealth as somehow leaders--oracles, even. And we don't grasp internally what it is an oligarchic class is finally about or how venal and morally bankrupt they are. We need to recover the language of class warfare and grasp what is happening to us, and we need to shatter this self-delusion that somehow if, as Obama says, we work hard enough and study hard enough, we can be one of them. The fact is, the people who created the economic mess that we're in were the best-educated people in the country--Larry Summers, a former president of Harvard, and others. The issue is not education. The issue is greed. And I, unfortunately, had the experience of being shipped off to a private boarding school at the age of ten as a scholarship student and live--I was one of 16 kids on scholarship, and I lived among the super-rich and I watched them. And I think much of my hatred of authority and my repugnance for the ruling elite comes from having been among them for so long. [...]"
MSM: "Daily Show" Criticizes The Media For Not Reporting Blackstone’s Shady Deal" [12/07/13] [7:00] "Like something straight out of gangster film “Goodfellas,” private equity firm Blackstone has been making some underhanded financial dealings — that are somehow totally legal. Bloomberg first broke the news, as “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart explains: Earlier this year Blackstone bought something called a credit default swap on debt that Codere owed to a third party. Which means Blackstone would make money if Codere blew a lone payment to the other guys. So far, so good. Then a short time later Blacksone offers Codere a $100 million loan with the condition that Codere pay the other loan to the other company late. The loan Blackstone had already bet that they would in fact pay late. So Blackstone loans Codere $100 million. Codere deliberately pays the other loan two days late. A credit default swap is triggered and Blackstone collects $15 million in insurance money. But the outrage doesn’t end there — in a brilliant segment policing the media, “Daily Show” financial correspondent Samantha Bee investigated why virtually no media outlet has reported this story, including the New York Times. The Times’ Gretchen Morgenson defended the paper’s silence, saying, “You know, this is just another day on Wall Street.” [...]"
Commentary: "International Monetary Fund Rolls Out ' Dangerous' “Wealth Tax” Proposal" [12/07/13] "The populist notion of taxing the rich once again turned up in the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Monitor Report released in October, but scarcely anyone noticed. In an arcane chart-laden 107-page-long report that was competing at the time with the government shutdown, the failing rollout of ObamaCare, and other concerns, crises, and disasters, why should they? Here’s why. On page 49, the authors said, “The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a ‘capital levy’ — a one-time tax on private wealth — as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability.” Let’s be clear: That tax would apply to all private wealth on the planet. And it wouldn’t balance budgets but would only bring them down to a slightly more manageable level so that government borrowing and spending could continue without interruption. The levy would have to be implemented rapidly, before the wealthy could react and move their assets, or themselves, out of harm’s way: “The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible … [will not] distort behavior.” If such a tax were delayed in implementation, governments that had borrowed and spent too much might not be able to confiscate enough money to escape short-term financial trouble and would have to default on their promises or inflate them away: The conditions for success are strong, but also need to be weighed against the risks of the alternatives, which include repudiating public debt or inflating it away (these, in turn, are a particular form of wealth tax — on bondholders). This is where the IMF’s interests really lie: Those bondholders, including central banks, which have allowed governments to exceed their borrowing capacity and are now facing the threat of severe haircuts through either default or inflation. [...]"
MSM: "Iceland PM Tells Failed Banks To Pay Up" [12/06/13] "Following his controversial announcement on November 30th to wipe 150 billion króna off household mortgage debt, the Icelandic prime minister now intends to pass the bill on to the failed banks. Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has said it’s time to speed up the exit strategy of recovery programs for Glitnir Bank HF and Landsbanki, under supervision of committees comprising of foreign creditors. This will help the country ease capital controls that are hampering the country’s progress. He also intends to start taxing these banks as a ‘natural next step’ towards raising money to offer relief to ordinary Icelanders who have suffered financial pressure since their collapse in 2008. This proposal will see banks paying 0.366 per cent on debt instead of the present 0.041, affecting their creditor’s pockets as well. Previously he hinted that these creditors would have to take a write-off hit as well. [...] “When the failed banks collapsed in 2008 it was at a tremendous cost for the society as a whole,” Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said in an interview. “Similar companies in other countries, which have been either resurrected or saved by the government, have had to pay much increased taxes and, in some countries, fines.” But the banks, not all of whom had to be saved, have hit back, complaining in a letter to parliament that it violates the constitution. The Financial Services Association in Reykjavik says banks have forgiven $2 billion in debt since 2008, which is extremely generous relative to the nation’s GDP." [...]" Related: See below: "Iceland Thumbs Nose At International Opposition To Advance $1.2 Billion Debt Relief Plan" [12/03/13]
MSM: "Every Minute Of Every Day, A Bank Is Under Cyber Attack" [12/06/13] "Cases are rarely publicised, but online crime is one of the financial system’s biggest threats. Threats range from teenagers in their bedrooms engaging in adolescent “hacktivism”, to sophisticated criminal gangs and state-sponsored terrorists attempting everything from extortion to industrial espionage. Though the details of these crimes remain scant, cyber security experts are clear that behind-the-scenes online attacks have already had far reaching consequences for banks and the financial markets. [...]" Related: "JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack: Almost Half A Million Corporate Customers’ Data Breached, Bank Warns"
Concepts and Practices: "Bitcoin Developer Confirms He's Working With Gov. To Give Them Control/Power Over Bitcoin" [12/06/13] [42:33] "Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik explicit confirms on TV he is working with government and keeps updating the bitcoin protocol often to give control and power to US government. Time ref begins at [15:30] Bring mouse to 15:30 point, or a little before, on the track and click . [...]" Related: "Bitcoin Tumbles After China Central Bank Bans Financial Companies From Using Digital Currency"
Commentary: "Goldman Sachs Threatens To Leave London If Britain Leaves EU" [12/05/13] "Goldman Sachs has said it would move much of its European business out of London if Britain leaves the European Union. The warning from the world’s most powerful investment bank comes as political pressure for Britain to leave the EU mounts. David Cameron has committed to holding a referendum on Britain’s membership if the Conservatives win the next election and some Tory MPs have been agitating for an early vote on the matter. Michael Sherwood, co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs International, said: “In all likelihood we would transfer a substantial part of our European business from London to a eurozone location – the most obvious contenders being Paris and Frankfurt.” The City of London became the hub for international financial companies as they went global in the late 1980s. The financial sector is supported by a large network of law firms, accountants and other support services that employ millions. International banks such as Goldman and Morgan Stanley employ thousands in Britain working on projects and trading assets across Europe. Goldman employs 6,000 of its 7,000 European staff in the UK. [...]"
Documentary: "Corporate Fascism" [12/05/13] [101:52] "A new kind of fascism has taken over America: the merger of corporations and government whereby corporate power dominates. With the emergence of ever-larger multinational corporations -- due to consolidation facilitated by the Federal Reserve's endless FIAT money -- the corporatocracy has been in a position to literally purchase the U.S. Congress.[...]"
Commentary: "China Is On A Debt Binge And A Buying Spree Unlike Anything The World Has Ever Seen Before" [12/04/13] "When it comes to reckless money creation, it turns out that China is the king. Over the past five years, Chinese bank assets have grown from about 9 trillion dollars to more than 24 trillion dollars. This has been fueled by the greatest private debt binge that the world has ever seen. According to a recent World Bank report, the level of private domestic debt in China has grown from about 9 trillion dollars in 2008 to more than 23 trillion dollars today. In other words, in just five years the amount of money that has been loaned out by banks in China is roughly equivalent to the amount of debt that the U.S. government has accumulated since the end of the Reagan administration. And Chinese bank assets now absolutely dwarf the assets of the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England combined. You can see an amazing chart which shows this right here. A lot of this "hot money" has been flowing out of China and into U.S. companies, U.S. stocks and U.S. real estate. Unfortunately for China (and for the rest of us), there are lots of signs that the gigantic debt bubble in China is about to burst, and when that does happen the entire world is going to feel the pain. [...]"
MSM: "Biggest Drop In Savings For 40 Years, Bank Of England Figures Reveal" [12/04/13] "Bank figures show £23 billion taken out of long-term savings in past 12 months, equivalent to £900 for every UK household. They either spent the cash – which in many cases was earning little more than 1 per cent interest – or moved it to easy-access current accounts. The Bank’s figures suggest that record low interest rates have convinced many to give up on the prospect of meaningful returns on their nest eggs. However, the withdrawals may also have helped to power Britain’s economic recovery, with much of the cash being spent on consumer goods. Experts said on Monday night that the figures would raise fresh fears about the sustainability of the recovery. They urged the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement on Thursday to encourage saving for the future. “The problem is no economy can thrive in the long run without people saving. You can’t run it on borrowing and debt, you need to save and invest for the future. If you just withdraw money and spend you are talking about a recipe for long-term economic decline.” [...]" Related: However, the banks plan on stealing their savings in the future: "Deposit Confiscation Confirmed At ‘Future Of Banking In Europe’ Conference" "A major conference on the future of banking yesterday heard contributions on a European banking union which is being negotiated by Eurozone finance ministers. One of the aspects of that union will likely be a ‘bail-in’ of deposits when banks fail in the future. The EU, UK, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand all have plans for bail-ins in the event of banks and other large financial institutions getting into difficulty."
MSM: "Iceland Thumbs Nose At International Opposition To Advance $1.2 Billion Debt Relief Plan" [12/03/13] "Iceland’s government has announced that it will be writing off up to 24,000 euros ($32,600) of every household’s mortgage, fulfilling its election promise, despite overwhelming criticism from 'international financial institutions'. The measure was introduced by the county’s Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, the leader of the Progressive Party which won the late-April elections on a promise of household debt relief. According to the government’s website the household debt will be reduced by 13 percent on average. Citizens of Iceland have been suffering from debt since the 2008 financial crisis, which led to high borrowing costs after the collapse of the krona against other currencies. “Currently, household debt is equivalent to 108% of GDP, which is high by international comparison,” highlighted a government statement, according to AFP. "The action will boost household disposable income and encourage savings.” The government said that the debt relief will begin by mid-2014 and according to estimates the measure is set to cost $1.2 billion in total. It will be spread out over four years. The financing plan for the program has not yet been laid out. However, Gunnlaugsson has promised that public finances will not be put at risk. It was initially proposed that the foreign creditors of Icelandic banks would pay for the measure. [...] International organizations have [understandably] confronted the idea with criticism. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have advised against it, citing economic concerns. Iceland has “little fiscal space for additional household debt relief” according to the IMF, while the OECD stated that Iceland should limit its mortgage relief to low-income households. In the meantime, ratings service, Standard & Poor's, cut back on its outlook for Iceland's long-term credit rating to negative from stable, stating that the economic measure 'could affect the confidence of foreign investors' if it ends up being paid for by the existing creditors of Icelandic banks. [...]" Note: Wow ... what a reasonable plan ... The IMF can go and pound sand.
Commentary: "Why Bank and Bankers Are Parasites And Not Part Of The Real Economy" [12/03/13] [9:36] "Economist Michael Hudson Explains Bank and Bankers Are Parasites And Not Part Of The Real Economy. [...]"
Fail: "Boris Johnson Red-Faced After Failing IQ Test Live On Air" [12/03/13] Video clip [4:15] "Boris Johnson was put on the spot on live radio today when he failed to answer a single question correctly in an IQ test. The Mayor’s embarrassing performance came after his controversial speech last week in which he suggested some people were simply not intelligent enough to progress in life. He also struggled to give the cost of a single cash fare from his home to his work on the day of his fares announcement, one of his biggest of the year. [...]" Related: See below: "London Mayor: Gulf Between Rich And Poor Inevitable Because Millions Of People Are Too Stupid" [11/28/13]; Boris Johnson Invokes Thatcher Spirit With ‘Greed Is Good’ Speech" [11/28/13]
Commentary: "America: Host or Parasite" [12/02/13] [55:00] "Interview with economist, Dr. Michael Hudson. Dr. Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of "Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire". We discuss the US balance of payments trade deficit which creates US credit to finance the US national debt and war abroad; Russian economic shock therapy as the final stage of the cold war; the real estate bubble; permanent war and the inevitable collapse of the current US dominated global economic system. [...]" Related: Flashback: "The Way We Were, And What We're Becoming" 2011 [15:00] Part 2 [15:00]| Part 3 [15:00]| Part 4 [15:00] "With financial economist and historian, Dr. Michael Hudson. We begin with an analysis of the continuing bailout of insurance giant AIG and Monday's stock market selloff; price and debt deflation; the two sectors of the economy; two definitions of 'free markets'; the classical economists; revolution from the right and the former Soviet states; the threat of war; IMF/World Bank resurgence; the dollar versus the euro; analogies to Rome and neo-feudalism [...]"
Commentary: "Major Stock Market Crash Possible In January As Overall Pattern Similar To 1929" [12/02/13] "A stunning analogy between the current day Dow Jones Industrial Index compared with the time period 1928-1929 leading up to the memorable stock market crash. The overlap is interesting .... [...]"
Commentary: "Michael Hudson: Oligarchy Will Never Cancel The Debt We Owe" [12/01/13] [8:37] "The oligarchy would rather annul the right of the bottom 90 percent to live than to annul the money owed to them. They'd rather strip the planet and shrink the population than give up their claims. That's the political fight of the 21st century [...]" Related:"US Will Never Pay The Debt Back - Gerald Celente" [16:28]|"America: 3 Million Oligarchic Overlords, 300 Million Serfs" | "Politizane - Wealth Inequality In America" [6:24] "Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is." | "World’s Richest And Global Poverty" "The world's 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion in 2012 – enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over, Oxfam has revealed, adding that the global economic crisis is further enriching the super-rich. [...]" Note: The mega-rich Oligarchs are building houses with security that far eclipses anything seen in The Purge. Forbes has a pretty hilarious rundown of the insane security features deployed by some people whose wealth and paranoia are both limitless. Who are they afraid of? Everyone they've stolen from. What are they afraid of? Death.| "Oligarchy: The Cancer in Human History" 1994 [99:38] "Webster Tarpley gives a class on 2,000 years of rule by Oligarchy, both its headquarters, which has existed within the empires of Babylon (the magi), Greece (the Cult of Apollo at Delphi) , Rome, Byzantium, Venice, and its current London (the Square Mile) location, plus its modus operandi of usury, genocide, slavery, monetarism, racism, and aristocratic feudalism. [...]"|
MSM: "53% Of Bankers Say Ethics Inhibit Career Progression" [12/01/13] "The Economist found, rather sadly, despite all the glad-handing and happy-talk, that 53% of financial services executives believed that strict adherence to ethical conduct would make career progression difficult. As this former Wall Street trader told The Guardian, “a precedent needs to be set, to slow down Wall Street’s wild behavior. A reminder that rules are there to be followed, not exploited.” The reason, among others, is summed up by the following, “if a customer wants a red suit, you sell them a red suit. If that customer is Japanese, you charge him twice what it costs.” [...]"
Commentary: "China Is Literally Buying Gold By The Ton" [12/01/13] [12:36] Related: "Germany Asks US Fed Reserve For Its Gold And Told To Go Pound Sand" [4:38]
MSM: "Brazen Act Of Financial Terrorism By UK’s Royal Bank Of Scotland" [11/30/13] [8:05] "Max Keiser is clearly over-the-top but he reflects the outrage that many feel today at the behaviour of the taxpayer-rescued bank RBS – which has today been confirmed to have been engaged in the systematic theft of business customers’ assets and other forms of outrageous skullduggery. [...]"
Interviews: "Gerald Celente on Economic and Military Trends Across The Globe" [11/29/13] [41:35] "David Knight is joined via Skype by Gerald Celente of Trends Journal to discuss the global financial outlook and the history of Governments crashing markets to control a populace. [...]"
Max Keiser: "Elite Overproduction" [11/29/13] [25:46] "We discuss elite overproduction as oligarchs, billionaires and multi-millionaires fight over the finite number of thrones available. They predict a near future in which a thousand billionaires disappear and in which too many ‘elite hemorrhoids,’ like Tony Blair, lead to revolution. In the second half, Max interviews James Howard Kunstler of Kunstler.com about the financial hypertrophy of swindles and fraud in an economy in which the Strasbourg goose has Crohn’s disease and markets have a whack attack on taper talk. [...]" Note: Very amusing. Related: See below.
Buffoonery: "London Mayor: Gulf Between Rich And Poor Inevitable Because Millions Of People Are Too Stupid" [11/28/13] "The growing gulf between rich and poor is inevitable because millions of people are too stupid to get on in life, top Tory Boris Johnson suggested tonight. Mr Johnson said that the resentment felt towards the super rich in the wake of the financial crisis and “fives years of recession” was irrational. “It would be wrong to persecute the rich, and madness to try and stifle wealth creation and futile to try to stamp out inequality,” he said. [...]" Note: What an idiot to think that wealth is proportional to intelligence. Gulf between rich and poor is inevitable because losers who can't do anything creative to generate resources for themselves steal from the real producers. Related: "Boris Johnson Invokes Thatcher Spirit With ‘Greed Is Good’ Speech" "Boris Johnson has launched a bold bid to claim the mantle of Margaret Thatcher by declaring that inequality is essential to fostering "the spirit of envy" and hailed greed as a "valuable spur to economic activity". In an attempt to shore up his support on the Tory right, as he positions himself as the natural successor to David Cameron, the London mayor called for the "Gordon Gekkos of London" to display their greed to promote economic growth. [...]"
MSM: "US Already Third World Economy: American Economist" Paul Craig Roberts [11/28/13] "A prominent American economist says the United States has already become a Third World economy as the world superpower continues to offshore its gross domestic product (GDP). "If jobs off-shoring continued, the US would be a Third World economy in 20 years,” Paul Craig Roberts wrote in a column for the Press TV website on Thursday. “America is in the toilet, and the rest of the world knows it,” he wrote, noting, “More small businesses close, as memberships decline in golf clubs, as more university graduates return home to live with their parents, who are drawing down their savings to live.” “The decline in the dollar’s exchange value and the domestic inflation that results will force the Fed to stop printing. What then covers the gap between revenues and expenditures? The likely answer is private pensions and any other asset that Washington can get its hands on,” noted Roberts in his article.[...]" Related: "The Dying Dollar" "Since 2006, the US dollar has experienced a one-quarter to one-third drop in value to the Chinese yuan, depending on the choice of base. Now China is going to let the dollar decline further in value. China also says it is considering undermining the petrodollar by pricing oil futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange in yuan. This on top of the growing avoidance of the dollar to settle trade imbalances means that the dollar’s role as reserve currency is coming to an end, which means the termination of the US as financial bully and financial imperialist. This blow to the dollar in addition to the blows delivered by jobs offshoring and the uncovered bets in the gambling casino created by financial deregulation means that the US economy as we knew it is coming to an end. The US economy is already in shambles, with bond and stock markets propped up by massive and historically unprecedented Fed money printing pouring liquidity into financial asset prices. This month at the IMF annual conference, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said that to achieve full employment in the US economy would require negative real interest rates. Negative real interest rates could only be achieved by eliminating cash, moving to digital money that can only be kept in banks, and penalizing people for saving. The future is developing precisely as I have been predicting. As the dollar enters its death throes, the lawless Federal Reserve and the Wall Street criminals will increase their shorting of gold in the paper futures market, thereby driving the remnants of the West’s gold into Asian hands. [...]"
MSM: "Peter Schiff - Another Bubble Set to Burst" [11/28/13] [5:15] "Peter Schiff is saying that the U.S. Government is giving out misleading information about the economy to paint a rosy picture. According the government, the economy is doing well, yet the third quarter GDP grew only 1.7%, which after the government revises the numbers, as they always do, the growth will be closer to zero. An economic disaster is imminent [...]"
MSM: "Godfrey Bloom: The State is an Institution of Theft" [11/27/13] [1:24] "European Parliament, Brussels, 21 November 2013. Speaker: Godfrey Bloom MEP, Ind. (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire), Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group. Debate: Action programme for taxation in the European Union for the period 2014-2020. “It won’t be long before they storm this chamber and they HANG YOU, and they’ll be right.” [...]" Related: Flashback: "Nigel Farage: I Hope Taxpayers All Over Europe Listen To This" [3:57] | "Nigel Farage's First Interview After Plane Crash (16May10)" [6:51] "UKIP's Nigel Farage talks about the airplane crash that nearly killed him and his pilot.[...]"| "This is Why They Tried to Assassinate Nigel Farage" [4:58] "Nigel Farage on Starbucks CEO's hypocrisy [...]"
Legal Case: "Lawsuit In U.S. District Court Accuses Fed Of “Embezzling” $7 Trillion From The United States" [11/27/13] [4:44] "Scribd link to case[...]"
MSM: "NY Federal Judge Says Government Had a Hand In Creating Mortgage Mess" [11/26/13] "Judge Jed Rakoff, a senior federal judge for the Southern District of New York, and former chief of the fraud unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the same district, thinks that bankers who commit fraud ought to be prosecuted and, if convicted, sent to jail, and doesn't understand why that's not happening. On Nov. 12, he delivered a speech to a meeting of securities lawyers in New York (the full prepared text of which was subsequently posted by the Financial Times can be found here), in which he theorized on why bankers aren't being prosecuted and knocked down the arguments by the Department of Justice as to why it says it's not prosecuting bankers for the 2008 financial crash. One of the reasons he gives for why prosecutors aren't going after bankers, is the role that the government itself played in creating the crisis: "The government had a hand in creating the conditions that encouraged the approval of dubious mortgages. It was the government, in the form of Congress, that repealed Glass-Steagall, thus allowing certain banks that had previously viewed mortgages as a source of interest income to become instead deeply involved in securitizing pools of mortgages in order to obtain the much greater profits available from trading. It was the government, in the form of both the executive and the legislature, that encouraged deregulation, thus weakening the power and oversight not only of the SEC but also of such diverse banking overseers as the OTS and the OCC. [...]"
MSM: "Federal Government Books $41.3 Billion In Profits On Student Loans" [11/26/13] "The federal government made enough money on student loans over the last year that, if it wanted, it could provide maximum-level Pell Grants of $5,645 to 7.3 million college students. The $41.3-billion profit for the 2013 fiscal year is down $3.6 billion from the previous year but still enough to pay for one year of tuition at the University of Michigan for 2,955,426 Michigan residents. It’s a higher profit level than all but two companies in the world: Exxon Mobil cleared $44.9 billion in 2012, and Apple cleared $41.7 billion. [...]"
Commentary: "Is Bitcoin a Government Conspiracy?" [11/25/13] "Bitcoin continues surging towards heady heights, closing in on $1000. Following growing demand in China and US validation after a convivial Senate hearing, the total transaction volume of the futuristic money has now surpassed PayPal. But bitcoin’s momentum has revived an old debate. Is bitcoin, like Tor and the internet itself, the creation of the US government? And is Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s auspicious prophet—who, by the way, is still the largest individual holder of the cryptocurrency—really an agent working under instructions for the NSA and DARPA? The idea may not seem as far fetched as it sounds. “The IMF has been openly calling for a digital, one-world, deflationary currency for 2 decades,” one conspiracy theorist tantalizing wrote. “OPENLY. It has been discussed and promoted OPENLY at G8 and G20 summits” The user cites an NSA investigation on cryptographic money networks that began in the early-'90s and believes that Satoshi is actually Tatsuaki Okamoto, one of the main NSA researchers. “Scientific technology grants issued by government and intelligence agencies are how these labs are funded and promoted,” the Reddit user nicolaosq writes. “The regulation and control of bitcoin has been actively developed alongside the development of the network.” However unlikely, the notion isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. Despite the libertarian wet dreams of bitcoin’s initial ambitions, the pseudo-anonymous currency may actually be the perfect way for governments to keep an NSA-like eye on the world’s transactions. It’s for this reason that the Department of Homeland Security embraced the crypto currency at the Senate hearing on Monday. As bitcoin becomes assimilated into the financial system, which the US still controls with an iron grip, it becomes orders of magnitude easier to monitor than physical cash.[...]"
Commentary: "Money Changers Serenade: A New Bankers’ Plot to Steal Deposits" [11/24/13] "... This vast con game remains unrecognized by Congress and the public. At the IMF Research Conference on November 8, 2013, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers presented a plan to expand the con game. Summers says that it is not enough merely to give the banks interest free money. More should be done for the banks. Instead of being paid interest on their bank deposits, people should be penalized for keeping their money in banks instead of spending it. To sell this new rip-off scheme, Summers has conjured up an explanation based on the crude and discredited Keynesianism of the 1940s that explained the Great Depression as a problem caused by too much savings. Instead of spending their money, people hoarded it, thus causing aggregate demand and employment to fall. Summers says that today the problem of too much saving has reappeared. The centerpiece of his argument is “the natural interest rate,” defined as the interest rate at which full employment is established by the equality of saving with investment. If people save more than investors invest, the saved money will not find its way back into the economy, and output and employment will fall. Summers notes that despite a zero real rate of interest, there is still substantial unemployment. In other words, not even a zero rate of interest can reduce saving to the level of investment, thus frustrating a full employment recovery. Summers concludes that the natural rate of interest has become negative and is stuck below zero. How to fix this? The way to fix it, Summers says, is to charge people for saving money. To avoid the charges, people would spend the money, thus reducing savings to the level of investment and restoring full employment. Summers acknowledges that the problem with his solution is that people would take their money out of banks and hoard it in cash holdings. In other words, the cash form of money provides consumers with a freedom to save that holds down consumption and prevents full employment. Summers has a fix for this: eliminate the freedom by imposing a cashless society where the only money is electronic. As electronic money cannot be hoarded except in bank deposits, penalties can be imposed that force unproductive savings into consumption. [...]"
Commentary: "What’s Coming: Largest Financial Collapse This Planet Has Ever Seen" Charlie McGrath [11/24/13] [4:50] "Inevitably, when this Ponzi scheme of stealing from our future in order to pay for fraudulence now comes to an end it is going to lead to the largest financial collapse this planet has ever seen… and most people are going to be absolutely blindsided by it.[...]"
Commentary: "Harbinger: 23 Countries Begin Setting Up Swap Lines To Bypass Dollar" [11/23/13] "For several years, financial analysts, primarily those outside the mainstream of academia, have been warning that any day could be the black swan event that collapses the dollar, and ends U.S. hegemony as caretaker of the world's reserve currency. That day has finally arrived as on Nov. 18, a former head trader for a major financial institution issued a harbinger and stated that 23 countries, and 60% of the world's GDP, are right now setting up new swap lines which bypass the dollar, SWIFT, and the BIS, and will usher in a new global currency system which will kill the dollar. [...] The list of the 23 countries which are creating new swap lines outside of the dollar include China, Russia, India, and surprisingly, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. This means that the Eurozone itself is abandoning the dollar, and preparing for transition to a new central banking system. To facilitate the transfer of currencies and swap lines, there needs to be a bank of sufficient size and stature to aid in handling of this monumental task. One year ago, China, along with the BRICs nations of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, loaned money to a new financial institution they established and labeled the BRICs bank. This bank was created with the intention of bypassing the dollar, and allowing free trade to occur between nations without the need to trade for dollars first, as is currently the format under the petrodollar system. In fact, the new BRICs bank will function both as a bank of international settlement, as well as a lender of last resort, eliminating the need for the BIS and IMF, which currently reside under dollar dominion." Note: Sequentials aligning themselves with the 'Orion faction' have their way with the 'rebel Orion faction' ... See the extended NOTE attached to the article entitled "The BRICS: An Emerging Challenge For The West" [11/20/13] on the Special Articles and Overviews panel.
Commentary: "China Announces That It Is Going To Stop Stockpiling U.S. Dollars" [11/22/13] "China just dropped an absolute bombshell, but it was almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media in the United States. The central bank of China has decided that it is “no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves”. During the third quarter of 2013, China’s foreign-exchange reserves were valued at approximately$3.66 trillion. And of course the biggest chunk of that was made up of U.S. dollars. For years, China has been accumulating dollars and working hard to keep the value of the dollar up and the value of the Yuan down. One of the goals has been to make Chinese products less expensive in the international marketplace. But now China has announced that the time has come for it to stop stockpiling U.S. dollars. And if that does indeed turn out to be the case, than many U.S. analysts are suggesting that China could also soon stop buying any more U.S. debt. Needless to say, all of this would be very bad for the United States. For years, China has been systematically propping up the value of the U.S. dollar and keeping the value of the Yuan artificially low. This has resulted in a massive flood of super cheap products from across the Pacific that U.S. consumers have been eagerly gobbling up. Thanks to the massively unbalanced trade that we have had with China, tens of thousands of our businesses, millions of our jobs and trillions of our dollars have left this country and gone over to China. And now China has apparently decided that there is not much gutting of our economy left to do and that it is time to let the dollar collapse. [...] It isn’t going to happen overnight, but the value of the U.S. dollar is going to start to go down, and all of that cheap stuff that you are used to buying at Wal-Mart and the dollar store is going to become a lot more expensive. But of even more importance is what this latest move by China could mean for U.S. government debt. As most Americans have heard, we are heavily dependent on foreign nations such as China lending us money. Right now, China owns nearly 1.3 trillion dollars of our debt. Unfortunately, as CNBC is noting, if China is going to quit stockpiling our dollars than it is likely that they will stop stockpiling our debt as well… If the Federal Reserve starts tapering bond purchases and China quits buying our debt, who is going to fill the void? And just this week there was another major announcement which indicates that China is getting ready to make a major move against the U.S. dollar. According to Reuters, crude oil futures may soon be priced in yuan on the Shanghai Futures Exchange… If that actually happens, that will be absolutely huge. China is the number one importer of oil in the world, and it was only a matter of time before they started to openly challenge the petrodollar. But even I didn’t think that we would see anything like this so quickly. The world is changing, and most Americans have absolutely no idea what this is going to mean for them. As demand for the U.S. dollar and U.S. debt goes down, the things that we buy at the store will cost a lot more, our standard of living will go down and it will become a lot more expensive for everyone (including the U.S. government) to borrow money. [...]"
Interviews: "'US Hiding Real Debt, Worse Than Greece' Economic Collapse" MSM [11/21/13] [14:33] "The US national debt is twenty times higher than is officially reported, approaching $222 trillion, reputed American economist Laurence Kotlikoff told RT. Much of the U.S Debt is hidden and purposely being hidden to deceive Americans and the World. [...]" Transcript Good interview updating the current situation ....
Commentary: "Whistleblower Haim Bodek Explains High-Frequency Trading "Scalpers" & Stock Exchange Back Doors" [11/20/13] [7:53] "Ever since one former Goldman trader, Haim Bodek, told the SEC that stock exchanges are giving high frequency trading firms an advantage over average investors, HFT has become the hot topic of conversation. But the problem with that is, despite the fact that 60% of all trading is HFT, people rarely know how HFT works, what the relationship between exchanges and high frequency traders really is, or what's at stake for regular investors. [...]"
MSM: "U.S. Financial Industry Pushes Congress To Pass Cybersecurity Bill" [11/20/13] "Three financial-industry trade groups have issued a letter to senior members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligenceto re-energize a campaign for moving forward with cybersecurity legislation. The trade groups, representing the U.S. largest financial institutions, said their ability to prevent cyberattacks will be hindered unless Congress acts. [...]"
MSM: "The Pentagon's Doctored Ledgers Conceal Epic Waste" [11/19/13] "Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense's accounts. Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon's main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy's books with the U.S. Treasury's - a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies. [...]" Related:"$8.5 Trillion Doled Out By Congress To The Pentagon Since 1996 Has Never Been Accounted For"
MSM: "Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Joins Wall Street Equity Firm" [11/19/13] [5:23] Revolving door
Commentary: "Unspoken, Festering Secret At The Heart Of Shadow Banking: "Self-Securitization" [11/18/13] "By now everyone has heard of securitization: the process whereby banks take risky assets on their books, package, tranche them, and then re-sell them to yield chasing fiduciaries of widows and orphans. The conversion process can be nebulous, usually involving a 20 year-old evil French mastermind working for Goldman, and a billionaire hedge fund manager, who select the worthless securities put into the weakest tranche, just so the abovementioned two parties can short it while misrepresenting their conflicts of interest, and make a boatload of money when the whole securitized structure implodes. The process usually takes place "off balance sheet" via Special Purpose Vehicles so it is completely unregulated, and as such allows massive leverage. According to many, the hidden leverage embedded in the securitization pipeline is what catalyzed the 2008 near-death experience of the financial markets. All of this is well-known to most. What however is certainly not known, because until a few days ago the concept did not technicall exist, is what emerged deep from the bowels of the FSB's 2013 "Global Shadow Banking report", and what is barely even defined anywhere in popular literature, which thus we have defined as the "unspoken, festering secret at the heart of shadow banking." Presenting self- securitization. What is "self-securitization"? Go ahead and Google it: there doesn't exist any technical definition of this heretofore unheard of phrase. Rather the term, conceived by the FSB as a means of making the total size of the $71 trillion shadow banking sector somewhat more palatable, is defined as follows: Self-securitisation (retained securitisation) is defined as those securitisation transactions done solely for the purpose of using the securities created as collateral with the central bank in order to obtain funding, with no intent to sell them to third-party investors. All of the securities issued by the Structured Finance Vehicle (SFV) for all tranches are owned by the originating bank and remain on its balance sheet. At this point alarm bells should be going off. And if they aren't, here is some more color: [...]"
Commentary: "JPMorgan’s Fruitful Ties To A Member Of China’s Elite" [11/17/13] "To promote its standing in China, JPMorgan Chase turned to a seemingly obscure consulting firm run by a 32-year-old executive named Lily Chang. Ms. Chang’s firm, which received a $75,000-a-month contract from JPMorgan, appeared to have only two employees. And on the surface, Ms. Chang lacked the influence and public name recognition needed to unlock business for the bank. But what was known to JPMorgan executives in Hong Kong, and some executives at other major companies, was that “Lily Chang” was not her real name. It was an alias for Wen Ruchun, the only daughter of Wen Jiabao, who at the time was China’s prime minister, with oversight of the economy and its financial institutions. JPMorgan’s link to Ms. Wen — which came during a time when the bank also invested in companies tied to the Wen family — has not been previously reported. Yet a review by The New York Times of confidential documents, Chinese public records and interviews with people briefed on the contract shows that the relationship pointed to a broader strategy for accumulating influence in China: Put the relatives of the nation’s ruling elite on the payroll. And the Wen family’s sway was not just political. After Ms. Wen’s father joined the inner circle of China’s rulers as vice prime minister in 1998, the family amassed a secret fortune through a series of partnerships and investment vehicles, a 2012 investigation by The Times found. Now, United States authorities are scrutinizing JPMorgan’s ties to Ms. Wen, whose alias was government approved, as part of a wider bribery investigation into whether the bank swapped contracts and jobs for business deals with state-owned Chinese companies, according to the documents and interviews. The bank, which is cooperating with the inquiries and conducting its own internal review, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. [...]"
Commentary: "A Who’s Who of the Conspirators Behind the Detroit Bankruptcy" [11/16/13] "Two weeks of testimony in the Detroit bankruptcy case have exposed the pre-meditated character of the July 18 decision by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to initiate the largest municipal bankruptcy proceeding in US history. The bankruptcy, which is being backed by the Obama administration, was not necessitated by financial imperatives. Instead it was a political decision—long in preparation—which was aimed at setting a precedent for the ripping up of the wages, pensions and benefits of city workers, and the selling off of public assets like the artwork of the Detroit Institute of Arts. The evidence presented brought to light the extent to which, starting with its January 2011 inauguration, the administration of Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, gathered around it a virtual shadow government of law firms, private consultants, investment bankers and top officials from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Their plan was to use the state’s anti-democratic emergency manager law to install an unelected financial dictator in Detroit who would use the bankruptcy courts to override every obstacle to the wholesale looting of the city by the big banks and corporations. Below we post part one of the “Who’s Who” of the main players in the Detroit bankruptcy. [...]" Related: "Another U.S. City Mulls Bankruptcy Due To Soaring Wages And Pensions" "A resort town in California warned on Tuesday that it will run out of money by March due to burdensome salary and pension costs and could join other U.S. cities that have recently filed for bankruptcy protection. A bankruptcy filing by Desert Hot Springs, a city of 26,000 about 110 miles east of Los Angeles, would make it the third California city along with San Bernardino and Stockton to seek court protection from creditors. San Bernardino and Detroit - the biggest U.S. city to seek Chapter 9 protection - are likely to set precedent on whether retirees or Wall Street bondholders suffer the most when a city goes broke. Nearly 70 percent of the city's budget was consumed by police costs, most of which were spent on salaries and pension payments to the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers. Calpers is America's biggest public pension fund, with assets of $277 billion. It has argued strenuously in court that pension payments cannot be touched, even in a bankruptcy.[...]"
MSM: "Moody’s Downgrades 4 US Giant Lenders" [11/16/13] "Moody’s is to cut the credit rating of US major banks, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Bank of New York Mellon. The rating agency thinks the government is now less likely to support the lenders in times of new financial difficulties. [...]"
Commentary: "Senior Bank Executives Explain How US Dominance Is Declining" [11/15/13] "By the early 4th century AD, the Roman Empire was suffering tremendous turmoil, including plague, barbarian invasions, deep recession, civil wars, coups, etc. Much of this had been brought on by Rome’s utterly dismal economic condition. The government simply did not have enough money to sustain its operations, let alone pay for all the generous welfare programs needed to placate the population. So as you could imagine, they decided to make up the difference by debasing the currency. Roman coins were being debased so rapidly that they eventually lost credibility as a medium of exchange among the merchant class. As a result, the empire’s once vast trade network practically collapsed. With such an abrupt decline in commerce, the government’s tax revenue also declined. In 301 AD, things got so desperate that Diocletian stepped in with a ‘solution’. First, he blamed evil speculators for all the inflation, imposing the death penalty on some of them. Then he issued what is arguably the dumbest law in the history of the world– his now infamous Edict on Maximum Prices, which imposed price controls for a thousand goods and services from wine to clothing to wages. Of course, any high school economics student can tell you that price controls don’t work. And they didn’t work for Diocletian either. The long-term effect of the law was devastating. Inflation and shortages soon prevailed. And there was a mass exodus of rich and poor alike who fled the empire seeking a better life elsewhere. One could argue that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Rome. Ironically, Diocletian was actually attempting to ‘reform’ the system, not to send Rome over the cliff. Yet this is one of countless historical examples of how the road to ruin is almost always paved with good intentions. [...] Just like Diocletian, our modern politicians continually make attempts to ‘fix’ things. Yet their attempts fail miserably, typically making the situation worse. Two of the most destructive laws recently passed by the US government, for example, are the the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Like Diocletian’s Edict, these laws are attempts to reform the system. Yet the results have been disastrous. In particular, they’ve destroyed one of the last competitive advantages that the United States has today: the dominance of its banking system. [...] Nearly every bank in the world relies on the US banking system. It’s critical. Yet each of these laws creates debilitating, onerous regulations that foreign banks are required to follow. It’s the height of arrogance that the US government expects to be able to regulate and control foreign banks. But the only thing the laws are really doing is accelerating the creation of a new standard for international banking– one that minimizes US influence. As I’ve been on the ground here in Singapore for the last several days meeting with a number of bankers, this is becoming very clear. Many senior bank executives have explained to me that they are rapidly expanding their regional ‘corresponding bank’ relationships. They’ve also told me how non-US dollar cross border trade is really taking off. In other words, Asia is beginning to declare its financial independence by establishing its own system to avoid the US banks. Places like Singapore and Hong Kong are becoming the primary settlement and correspondence centers, rather than the US. All of this substantially reduces US power and influence. So like Diocletian’s Edict, these ‘reform’ laws have had the exact opposite effect as the US government intended. Foreign banks are complying for now. But quite soon, the United States will end up losing one of the few remaining jewels of its global financial dominance.[...]"
Interviews: "Thom Hartman's The Big Picture: Why There Would Be A Crash Around 2016" [11/15/13] [7:34] Related: "Russian Lawmaker Seeks To Ban U.S. Dollar, Predicts 2017 Collapse"
Commentary: "Narco-Business Revenues Created To Save Banking System: Russia's Anti-Drug Czar Ivanov" [11/14/13] "Speaking in Moscow on Nov 12, Russia's Director of the Federal Service for Drug Control, Viktor Ivanov, said revenues from the narco-business are absorbed by the banking system and help eliminate their liquidity squeeze that appeared due to the world financial crisis in recent years. Ivanov's statement was issued a day before the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued its annual report that showed a massive rise in opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan in 2013. In the report, the U.N. agency said the area of Afghanistan being cultivated for poppy production has risen to 209,000 hectares, higher than the previous peak of 193,000, reached in 2007. It said this year's poppy harvest resulted in 5,500 metric tons of opium, a rise of 1,800 tons over the 2012 yield. [...]" Related: "DEA Whistleblower Exposes Dept of Justice Corruption" [17:54] "Robert Mazur, the man who successfully infiltrated the Medellin Cartel in Columbia, also joins the broadcast to reveal how corrupt mega banks stay above the law while laundering money for crime syndicates with complete impunity. [...]" |"United States And Afghanistan: The Drug Problem" See more below
MSM: "How Opium Greed Is Keeping US Troops In Afghanistan | Brainwash Update" [11/14/13] [3:34 "Abby Martin takes a look at a shocking statistic that puts opium production in Afghanistan at a record high, and puts into perspective the different corporate interests that could be keeping US forces in Afghanistan well beyond 2014. [...]"
Commentary: "One Of The Most Financially Stable Jurisdictions On The Planet" [11/13/13] "Singapore is a great place to hold such an event as it’s easily one of the most financially stable jurisdictions on the planet. Think about it– the government here has ZERO net debt. They run generous budget surpluses each year. In fact, they’re awash with so much money that they have to find creative ways to give it back to taxpayers. [...]" Related: "China Opens Largest Private Gold Vault" "It was not enough for China to buy JPM’s landmark former downtown Manhattan headquarters, once the stomping grounds of David Rockefeller and the current location of the firm’s massive, and arguably largest in the world, gold vault (which, as Zero Hedge first demonstrated, is located just next to gold vault of none other than the NY Fed). It seems that for the nation that has unleashed the world’s biggest ever buying spree of physical gold -oblivious what the price of paper gold does on a daily basis – having purchased over 2000 tons of gold in the past two years. Not surprisingly, in the Chinese bastion of capitalism, where there is demand, there will be supply. And in this case, the supply of gold storage is to be found in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, where the physical gold ends up in custodial limbo as it is not considered “imported” by China. In fact, the gold is theoretically in no man’s land and as such can be re-exported out of China, or sent deeper into the mainland, to China’s banks or private buyers, on a whim. Of course, all that is on paper. If and when the Communist Party says “enough” all the gold in the FTZ would be “re-appropriated.” Shanghai is home to the country’s biggest physical gold exchange, founded by the People’s Bank of China. Gold volume on the Shanghai Gold Exchange rose to a five-month high of 22,703 kilograms on Oct. 8. As levered paper trades are unwound, the underlying physical gold finds its way in China. For now, since the developed market has convinced itself there is no need for truly safe collateral, the premium on, and demand for, paper gold has tumbled, as has the associated re-hypothecation velocity on the underlying. And should the same level of demand for gold return as was seen in any of the prior years, then one will have to pay substantially more in fiat for the privilege of holding a truly safe asset. Especially since that actual physical asset will ultimately be located behind a massive safe door some 80 meters below the ground in Shanghai, which in turn will allow China to demand whatever fiat price it wishes for those once again scrambling into the safety of the yellow metal. [...]"
Documentary: "The Impending Collapse of the World Economy" [11/13/13] [110:06] Note: Very good documentary.
MSM: "Max Keiser: US/EU Deal Makes Genocide Legitimate Business Model" [11/12/13] [6:28] "A single market for Europe and America means not just regulatory differences between the two sides will be removed - but it's claimed big business will also be able to overrule the will of governments. However, the EU is promised big benefits - of 119 billion euros annually. RT discussed this Max Keiser, and he was very critical about the deal. [...]" The US and EU’s Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) aims to hand foreign corporations ways to evade domestic laws and courts while giving “them the ability to sue the countries for compensatory damages from the economies that they’ve just devastated,” Keiser told RT. “It gives all the power to the entities that have destroyed the European economy, the big banks that have gutted the European economy,” Keiser said.
Commentary: "Australian Treasurer Warns Of Spending Cuts, Declining Living Standards" [11/12/13] "In his first major speech in Australia since the Liberal-National coalition took office in September, Treasurer Joe Hockey warned last Friday that he is preparing major spending cuts in next May’s budget, as part of the government’s efforts to dismantle public healthcare, education, welfare and other basic services.Both in his public remarks in the US, and Friday’s speech in Sydney, Hockey reprised the central themes of an address he gave last year declaring the end to the “age of entitlement.” Hockey, then shadow treasurer, insisted that in every country, public funding of “a range of social programs, including education, health, housing, subsidised transport, social safety nets and retirement benefits” would have to be eliminated or radically reduced. Claiming that “very harsh political and social decisions” were required, he concluded that austerity measures were “likely to result in a lowering of the standard of living for whole societies as they learn to live within their means. [...]"
MSM: "Alert: Cyber Attack “War Game” To Test London Banks On November 12" [11/11/13] "Thousands of staff across dozens of London financial firms will be put through a “war games” scenario on Tuesday to test how well they can handle a major cyber attack, people familiar with the matter said. In one of the largest exercises of its kind in the world, the test dubbed “Waking Shark II” will bombard firms with a series of announcements and scenarios, such as how a major attack on computer systems might hit stock exchanges and unfold on social media. It will be co-ordinated from a single room housing regulators, government officials and staff from banks and other financial firms, people familiar with the matter said. Hundreds more people are expected to be involved from their own offices as the “war game” plays out, they said. Simulations are likely to include how banks ensure the availability of cash from ATM machines or deal with a liquidity squeeze in the wholesale market and how well firms communicate and coordinate with authorities and each other. [...]"
MSM: "Australia Raises Debt-Ceiling To A$500bn to Avoid US-Like Crisis" [11/10/13] "We need not look any further than the recent events in the United States to realize how imperative for stability and certainty is for confidence." [...]"
MSM: "Government's "Gravy Train" for Lobbyists and Behind the Goldman Curtain" [11/08/13] [28:03] "A new Federal Reserve research paper posits changing the goalposts for raising short-term interest rates, a big sell-off of Tesla stock triggered the NASDAQ's short sale circuit-breaker, and the CFTC's Bart Chilton announced he's stepping down from his leadership role. We sit down with Jack Abramoff, DC's most infamous lobbyist, about Dodd Frank and the "gravy train" that is the government. Plus, we discuss organizational drift at Goldman Sachs with Steven Mandis, author of the new book "What Happened to Goldman Sachs." In today's Big Deal, we look into the brain drain on Wall Street, as prestigious universities see their graduates head off to the tech industry. [...]"
Commentary: "US Banks Get House Bill Passed To Rollback Protections Put In Place In 2008" [11/07/13] [4:46] "The U.S. House just passed a bill called H.R. 992 — the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act — that was literally written by mega-bank lobbyists. It repeals the laws passed in 2010 to prevent another meltdown like the one that crashed our economy in 2008. The repeal was cosponsored by a former Goldman Sachs executive and passed with bipartisan support from some of the House’s largest recipients of Wall Street cash. It’s so appalling… so unbelievable… so blatantly corrupt… that you’ve got to see it to believe it: In 2010, Congress passed the “Dodd-Frank” law to clamp down on risky “derivatives trading” that led to the financial collapse of 2008. Dodd-Frank was weakened by banking lobbyists from the start and has been under attack by those lobbyists ever since. Now a new law written by Citigroup lobbyists (we couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried) exempts derivatives trading from regulation, and was passed this week by the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support. It sounds bad… but don’t worry, it gets much, much worse: The New York Times reports that 70 of the 85 lines in the new House bill were literally written by Citigroup lobbyists (Citigroup was one of the mega-banks that brought our economy to its knees in 2008 and received billions in taxpayer money.) The same report also revealed “two crucial paragraphs…were copied nearly word for word.” You can even view the original documents and see how Citigroup’s lobbyists redrafted the House Bill, striking out ideas they didn’t like and replacing them with ones they did. The bills are sponsored by Randy Hultgren (R – IL), and co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) and others. Himes is a former Goldman Sachs executive, and chief fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Maplight reports that the financial industry is the top source of campaign funding for 6 of the bills’ 8 cosponsors. Maplight’s data shows that members of the House received $22,425,740 million from interest groups that support the bill — that’s 5.8 times more than it received from interest groups opposed. “House aides, when asked why Democrats would vote for this proposal even though the Obama administration opposes it, offered a political explanation. Republicans have enough votes to pass it themselves, so vulnerable House Democrats might as well join them, and collect industry money for their campaigns.” — New York Times [...] For the full story, check out this revealing piece by 'Represent.Us' Communications Director Mansur Gidfar. You can also find out if your Rep. voted for H.R.992 here."
Documentary: "Backlight: The Wall Street Code" [11/06/13] [50:30] "A thriller about a genius algorithm builder who dared to stand up against Wall Street. Haim Bodek, aka The Algo Arms Dealer. From the makers of the much-praised Quants: the Alchemists of Wall Street and Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box. Now the long-awaited final episode of a trilogy in search of the winners and losers of the tech revolution on Wall Street. Could mankind lose control of this increasingly complex system? [...]" Related: "Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box" [48:23] "Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box is a thriller based on actual events that takes you to the heart of our automated world. Based on interviews with those directly involved and data visualizations up to the millisecond, it reconstructs the flash crash of May 6th 2010: the fastest and deepest U.S. stock market plunge ever. [...]" | "Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street" [47:49]
Commentary: "Usury: Weapon of Control and Enslavement" [11/06/13] "The world economy is based on the sand foundation of usury, which was considered a sin and tool of covert warfare for thousands of years. The world financial system seems complex but it is actually very simple: a cabal of bankers has conquered the world by lending people and governments money that does not exist and charging interest on it. No lasting economic recovery or increased standard of living is possible for the majority unless usury and the political power of bankers are abolished. [...]" Related: Part 2
Commentary: "JPMorgan, With Eight Criminal-Civil Investigations, Remains “Enforcement Partner” With NYPD" [11/05/13] "While most law enforcement bodies around the U.S. would instantly weed out serial wrongdoers as job hires, Bloomberg and Kelly have created an art form out of joint policing ventures with Wall Street, operating both a rent-a-cop program with Wall Street as well as pumping at least $150 million of taxpayer money into the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center where Wall Street employees sit elbow to elbow with NYPD officers. Under some Orwellian concept of citizen surveillance, the very Wall Street banks that proved they were a far greater threat to the United States than any foreign terrorist when they collapsed the Nation’s financial system in 2008, are part of a joint venture with the NYPD to use high-tech spy equipment to monitor the comings and goings of citizens in the streets of Manhattan – the majority of which, unlike Wall Street, are law abiding citizens. [...] Last week, JPMorgan Chase revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is under eight separate investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice. Some of the investigations involve potentially criminal matters ranging from allegations of hiring well-connected family members to get business in Asia; turning a blind eye to fraudulent transactions that Bernard Madoff ran through his business bank account at JPMorgan; rigging the Libor interest rate index; manipulating energy trading markets; gambling in London with insured deposits (London Whale episode); to improper credit derivatives and mortgage bond sales. One of the most serious crimes for which JPMorgan is under investigation is the decades-long Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard Madoff, which stole $17 billion in actual cash from thousands of investors while producing account statements showing the fictitious portfolios had grown to $64 billion. The fraud left hundreds of families destitute or forced to move in with children.[...]"
MSM: "China To Fund Iran Development Projects With $20 Billion In Sanction-Barred Oil Money: Report" [11/04/13] "A report by an Iranian media website says China has agreed to finance $20 billion in development projects in Iran using oil money not transferred to the Islamic Republic because of international sanctions. The tasnimnews website published a report Saturday quoting prominent lawmaker Hasan Sobhaninia saying the deal was reached during talks between Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani and Chinese leaders. Larijani visited China this week and Sobhaninia accompanied the speaker. Iran government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nowbakht said last week that some $22 billion dollars of Iranian oil money is stuck in China because of sanctions. The U.S. and its allies have imposed oil and banking sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program. Iran frequently uses barter arrangements because of the sanctions. China is Iran's top crude oil importer. [...]"
Commentary: "Economic Coup d’Etat: Debt and Deficit as Shock Therapy" [11/03/13] "Using the unnerving 2008 financial crash, the ensuing long recession and the recurring specter of debt default, the financial oligarchy and their proxies in the governments of core capitalist countries have embarked on an unprecedented economic coup d’état against the people, the ravages of which include extensive privatization of the public sector, systematic application of neoliberal austerity economics and radical redistribution of resources from the bottom to the top. Despite the truly historical and paradigm-shifting importance of these ominous developments, their discussion remains altogether outside the discourse of mainstream economics. The fact that neoliberal economists and politicians have been cheering these brutal assaults on social safety-net programs should not be surprising. What is regrettable, however, is the liberal/Keynesian economists’ and politicians’ glaring misdiagnosis of the plague of austerity economics: it is all the “right-wing” Republicans’ or Tea Partiers’ fault, we are told; the Obama administration and the Democratic Party establishment, including the labor bureaucracy, have no part or responsibility in the relentless drive to austerity economics and privatization of public property. Keynesian and other liberal economists and politicians routinely blame the abandonment of the New Deal and/or Social-Democratic economics exclusively on Ronald Reagan’s supply-side economics, on neoliberal ideology or on economists at the University of Chicago. Indeed, they characterize the 2008 financial collapse, the ensuing long recession and the recurring debt/budgetary turmoil on “bad” policies of “neoliberal capitalism,” not on class policies of capitalism per se. Evidence shows, however, that the transition from Keynesian to neoliberal economics stems from much deeper roots or dynamics than pure ideology; that neoliberal austerity policies are class, not “bad,” policies; that the transition started long before Reagan arrived in the White House; and that neoliberal austerity policies have been pursued as vigorously (though less openly and more stealthily) by the Democratic administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as their Republican counterparts. Indeed, it could be argued that, due to his uniquely misleading status or station in the socio-political structure of the United States, and equally unique Orwellian characteristics or personality, Mr. Obama has served the interests of the powerful financial oligarchy much better or more effectively than any Republican president could do, or has done—including Ronald Reagan. By the same token, he has more skillfully hoodwinked the public and harmed their interests, both in terms of economics and individual/constitutional rights, than any of his predecessors. [...]"
MSM: "China’s Gold Hoarding: Over 2,200 Tons Imported In Two Years" [11/03/13] "Paper gold in the developed world may trade based on the whims of marginal momentum chasers, and of course, the day trading mood of the BIS gold and FX trading desk, but when it comes to physical gold and China’s appetite for it, one word explains it best: unstoppable. [...]" Related: "China Imports Another 109 Tonnes Of Gold In September"
Concepts and Practices: "Electronic Payment System Based On Cryptographic Proof Instead Of Trust" [11/02/13] "Bitcoin is a distributed peer-to-peer digital currency that functions without the intermediation of any central authority. The concept was introduced in a 2008 paper by a pseudonymous developer known only as "Satoshi Nakamoto". The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes. As of July 2013, there is relatively small use of bitcoins in the retail and commercial marketplace in comparison to relatively large use by speculators.[...]"
MSM: "House Passes Deregulation Bill Written by Citigroup" [11/02/13] [7:37] "Both parties support Wall Street’s effort to deregulate derivatives. An analysis of the 80 lines of the bill when it was first introduced showed that 75 of them were written by Citicorp, including entire paragraphs in which the only thing changed was to make some words plural by Congress. And this has been adopted by the House of Representatives by a greater than two-to-one margin, with virtually all Republicans supporting it and 70 Democrats supporting it. And there's been a study that shows the people that are cosponsoring this kind of bill get $18 from the banking industry and finance industry for every $1 that goes from that industry to people who oppose the bill. So you get what you pay for type of thing. And, by the way, this is one of eight bills that the House has passed. This particular bill probably won't become law this year, because the Obama administration has said it's not in favor of it, and simply the time of the year and such. [...]"
Commentary: "Projected 'Financial System Reset' 2014-2015" [11/01/13] "The global financial system will 'reset' in 2014-2015, regardless of official pronouncements and financial media propaganda hyping the "recovery." Despite the wide spectrum of forecasts (from rosy to stormy), nobody knows precisely what will transpire in 2014-2015, so we must remain circumspect about any and all predictions-- especially our own. Even as we are mindful of the risks of a forecast being wrong (and the righteous humility that befits any analysis), it seems increasingly self-evident that financial systems around the world are reaching extremes that generally presage violent resets to a new equilibrium--typically at much lower levels of complexity and energy consumption. John Michael Greer has described the process of descending stair-step resets (my description, not his) as catabolic collapse. The system resets at a lower level and maintains the new equilibrium for some time before the next crisis/system failure triggers another reset. There is much systems-analysis intelligence in Greer's concept: systems without interactive feedbacks may collapse suddenly in a heap, but more complex systems tend to stair-step down in a series of resets to lower levels of consumption and complexity--for example, the Roman Empire, which reset many times before reaching the near-collapse level of phantom legions, full-strength on official documents, defending phantom borders. In the present, we can expect the overly costly, complex, inefficient, fraud-riddled U.S. sickcare (i.e. "healthcare") system to reset as providers (i.e. doctors and physicians' groups) opt out of ObamaCare, Medicare and Medicaid; like the phantom armies defending phantom borders of the crumbling Empire, the vast, centralized empire of sickcare will remain officially at full strength, but few will be able to find caregivers willing to provide care within the systems. [...] Just as much of the collateral supporting the stock, bond and housing bubbles is phantom, many other centralized systems will reset to phantom status. As local and state governments' revenues are increasingly diverted to fund public union employees' sickcare and pension benefits, the services provided by government will decline as the number of retirees swells and the number of government employees actually filling potholes, etc. drops. Local government will offer services that are increasingly phantom, as stagnating tax revenues fund benefits for retirees rather than current services. On paper, cities will remain responsible for filling potholes, but in the real world, the potholes will go unfilled. In response, cities will ask taxpayers to approve bonds that cost triple the price of pay-as-you-go pothole filling, as a way to dodge the inevitable conflict between government retirees benefits and taxpayers burdened with decaying streets, schools, etc. and ever-higher taxes.[...]"
MSM: "What Will China Buy? Beijing Goes Shopping In The U.S." [10/31/13] "China is forecast to spend roughly $1 trillion over the next decade buying up foreign assets, including about $15 billion to $20 billion a year on U.S. investments, according to the Kiplinger Letter. But what, exactly, are Chinese firms buying? Kiplinger offers its best guess as to which sectors will be targeted: [...]"
Commentary: "Hidden Corporate Cash Behind America’s Out-of-Control Nat'l Surveillance State" Tom Ferguson, et al [10/30/13] "Long before President Obama kicked off his 2008 campaign, many Americans took it for granted that George W. Bush’s vast, sprawling national security apparatus needed to be reined in. For Democrats, many independents, and constitutional experts of various persuasions, Vice President Dick Cheney’s notorious doctrine of the "unitary executive" (which holds that the President controls the entire executive branch), was the ultimate statement of the imperial presidency. It was the royal road to easy (or no) warrants for wiretaps, sweeping assertions of the government’s right to classify information secret, and arbitrary presidential power. When Mitt Romney embraced the neoconservatives in the 2012 primaries, supporters of the President often cited the need to avoid a return to the bad old days of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld National Security State as a compelling reason for favoring his reelection. Reelect President Obama, they argued, or Big Brother might be back. But that’s not how this movie turned out: The 2012 election proved to be a post-modern thriller, in which the main characters everyone thought they knew abruptly turned into their opposites and the plot thickened just when you thought it was over. [...] Even now, the suggestion that the Obama administration embodies a distinctively new form of extensively privatized National Security State organically linked with the famously contentious Bush-Cheney structures takes some getting used to. In particular, many readers are likely to wonder what a bitter, partisan stalemate such as the U.S. just witnessed over raising the debt ceiling can possibly mean in a situation where Big Brother and Big Money are working hand in hand through it all. [...]"
US Politics: "Ted Cruz’s Wife Is A Goldman Sachs VP And CFR Member" [10/29/13] "... The faux government shutdown with its intense partisan squabbling and meticulously orchestrated theatrics provided Cruz and the reformulated Tea Party Republicans with a stage to present themselves as the answer to politics as usual. According to the script, a staid GOP dominated by the likes of old guard John McCain and John Boehner is afraid of Cruz and the supposedly renegade faction of Tea Party activists in the House. But it’s all show business. For all his allure as an outsider, Canada-born Ted Cruz is in fact an insider playing a role similar to the one Barack Obama played back in 2008 when his handlers portrayed him as the hope and change candidate out of nowhere. Cruz’s insider connection is a family affair. His wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs vice president in Houston, Texas, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also served as an economic advisor for the Bush administration. In 2011, a Cruz campaign spokesman portrayed Heidi as “an expert on North American trade,” in other words she is savvy when it comes to globalist transnational trade deals like NAFTA, the single most destructive government move against the American worker in history. She was also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations (see her bio at Claremont McKenna College), a position that expired prior to her husband’s attack on the globalist organization. In October, 2011, Ted Cruz reportedly characterized the CFR as “a pernicious nest of snakes” that is “working to undermine our sovereignty.” He previously called the CFR “a pit of vipers” during a speech delivered on October 13, 2011, to a Republican women’s group in Sugarland, Texas. Ben Smith, writing for Politico, attempted to associate Cruz with Texas residents Ron Paul and Alex Jones in order to pass him off as a rightwing conspiracy theorist on the same page as fringe libertarians and starry-eyed constitutionalists. He is, of course, nothing of the sort. Like the domestication of the Tea Party and the expulsion of its more purist liberty-minded activists, the Cruz the warrior pitted against the establishment motif is another slick subversion directed at the political elite’s most puissant opposition – the real Tea Party and a threatening number of patriot activists gnawing at the edges of the political establishment. [...]"
MSM: "George Soros (Who Placed 'Put Options' Against The US) Pledges $25,000 For Clinton Run In 2016" [10/28/13] "The liberal financier on Thursday pledged $25,000 to the independent political action committee, 'Ready For Hillary', which is backing a potential Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016. [...]" Related: "George Soros Bet $1.25 Billion On Put Option For US Financial Collapse" [10/17/13] " Delusional psychopathic retread losers, both of them.
Investigations: "Inside The Hidden World Of Thefts, Scams And Phantom Purchases At The Nation’s Nonprofits" [10/28/13] "For 14 years, the American Legacy Foundation has managed hundreds of millions of dollars drawn from a government settlement with big tobacco companies, priding itself on funding vital health research and telling the unadorned truth about the deadly effects of smoking. Yet the foundation (cached page), located just blocks from the White House, was restrained when asked on a federal disclosure form whether it had experienced an embezzlement or other “diversion” of its assets. A Washington Post analysis of filings from 2008 to 2012 found that Legacy is one of more than 1,000 non- profit organizations that checked the box indicating that they had discovered a “significant diversion” of assets, disclosing losses attributed to theft, investment fraud, embezzlement and other unauthorized uses of funds. The diversions drained hundreds of millions of dollars from institutions that are underwritten by public donations and government funds. Just 10 of the largest disclosures identified by The Post cited combined losses to nonprofit groups and their affiliates that potentially totaled more than a half-billion dollars. The Post found that nonprofits routinely omitted important details from their public filings, leaving the public to guess what had happened — even though federal disclosure instructions direct nonprofit groups to explain the circumstances. About half the organizations did not disclose the total amount lost. The findings are striking because organizations are required to report only diversions of more than $250,000 or those identified as having exceeded 5 percent of an organization’s annual gross receipts or total assets. Of those, filing instructions direct nonprofits to disclose “any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization’s assets other than for the organization’s authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft.”[...] As part of its analysis, The Post assembled the first public, searchable database of nonprofits that have disclosed diversions, available at (link). Groups on the list were identified with the assistance of GuideStar, an organization that gathers and disseminates federal filings by nonprofits. Examples of financial skullduggery abound in the District, throughout the Washington region and across the United States. [...] Investment fraud was blamed for some of the largest losses identified. Funds linked to Madoff’s scheme, which bilked investors across the country for decades, reportedly drained $106 million from Yeshiva University and its affiliates, $38.8 million from the Upstate New York Engineers Health Fund and $26 million from New York University, according to the disclosures they filed. But hefty sums disappeared in many other ways, too:[...]"
Commentary: "The Chart That The Fed Fears The Most" [10/27/13] "Inflation, meh! Growth, bleh! Unemployment, whatever! The terrifying news is that it seems, despite the ongoing 'surge' to new all-time highs in stocks, they are losing the confidence of the "rich". With everything hinging on the 'wealth effect' of more QE and a levitating US stock market, the fact that Bloomberg's Comfort Index for the most affluent earners just collapsed (and stayed at) seven-month lows - in the face a rip-your-face-off rally in stocks - suggests even the wealthy know when the music is beginning to end... In the short-term, the "belief" of the wealthy is fading... and the overall economic index is diverging badly... The bottom-line is that if even the wealthy ain't buying it, then just who is this farce for? [...]" Note: The bankers, I'd guess.
Commentary: "Brain Drain: Funding And Industry Leave America, Followed By Top Minds" MSM [10/26/13] "... Two fundamental building blocks for any modern technological, progressive economy are discovery research and scientific investigation. By their nature, these two pursuits carry a much slower return on the investment. In the past, the US could afford to be patient because its thriving industrial sector was a magnet for the word’s talent and investment - which is why successive governments have routinely placed their dollars there. That engine which used to power the US juggernaut has been disassembled and shipped overseas. [...] Put aside for one moment, the delusional wisdom of Washington DC and the excesses of Wall Street. The rest of the world now refers to America as a “mature economy”, which you can translate as meaning: zero growth. In economic terms, zero growth = zero investment, which in turn means zero future in an economy dominated by rent seekers. Nearly two decades of breakneck federal spending, and bloated budgets, coupled with the feverish outsourcing of manufacturing in America to the Far East and Latin America, swelling ranks of illegal immigrants - has forced factors which are counterproductive to an advanced competitive economy - high unemployment, and high inflation. High costs of goods and services, high costs of education, high costs of fuel and a high cost of living means that America is no longer competitive. The writing has been on the wall for a while. What politician didn’t know, or care to know during the naughty 1990s, is that you cannot support a vibrant scientific commercial research and development (R & D) sector without the actual industrial sector that’s meant to nurture it. Modern transnational corporations have no allegiance to flag anymore, only to shareholder dividends. The US Congress and Senate are no different, as most of them amass their personal fortunes while in office playing the stock market. As a result, a significant chunk of the productive US economy has long since been off-shored to China, India and elsewhere. No amount of government funded money pumped into R & D can replace whole missing industries. [...]" Related: "US Already Third World Economy: Paul Craig Roberts" "If jobs off-shoring continued, the US would be a Third World economy in 20 years,” Paul Craig Roberts wrote in a column for the Press TV website on Thursday. “America is in the toilet, and the rest of the world knows it,” he wrote, noting, “More small businesses close, as memberships decline in golf clubs, as more university graduates return home to live with their parents, who are drawing down their savings to live.” [...] “The decline in the dollar’s exchange value and the domestic inflation that results will force the Fed to stop printing. What then covers the gap between revenues and expenditures? The likely answer is private pensions and any other asset that Washington can get its hands on,” noted Roberts in his article.[...]"
MSM: "Rand Paul Moves To Put Yellen Nomination On Hold To Force Consideration of "Audit The Fed" Bill" [10/26/13] [1:15] "CNBC 10/26"
Commentary: "Derivatives Can Collapse The Global Economy" [10/26/13] [9:18] Note: Valueless fraudulent side-bets.
MSM: "China's Top 5 Banks Triple Debt Write-Downs To Avoid Defaults" [10/25/13] "Five of China’s biggest banks have tripled the size of debt forgiveness to the country’s enterprises in the first six months of the year. The world’s biggest foreign lender is now seeking to avoid a wave of domestic defaults. The world’s most profitable lender, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, together with its four biggest domestic rivals, wrote down a total of 22.1 billion yuan ($3.65 billion) of debt, a threefold increase on the 7.65 billion yuan last year, Bloomberg reports. The move came as a part of China’s overall initiative to make the banking buffers more crisis-proof. Earlier in April the China Banking Regulatory Commission urged banks to set aside more funds, write off bad loans, as well as cut dividend payments in order to be ready for domestic defaults. [...]"
Commentary: "IMF Pushes Plan to Plunder Global Wealth" [10/25/13] "A controversial report PDF released this month by the International Monetary Fund outlines schemes to have big-spending governments with out-of-control debts plunder humanity’s wealth using a mix of much higher taxes and outright confiscation. The goal: Prop up Big Government. Because people and their assets are generally mobile, the radical IMF document, dubbed “Taxing Times,” also proposes measures to prevent them from escaping before they can be fleeced. Of course, the real problems — debt-based fiat currency, lawless bank bailouts, and a cartel-run monetary system — are virtually ignored. Pointing to absurd and rising levels of government debt, as well as increasing income inequality, the IMF document suggests there are few remaining options for desperate policymakers to explore. Two that are mentioned include “repudiating public debt” — in other words, defaulting on government bonds — or “inflating it away” by having privately owned central banks conjure even more gargantuan amounts of fiat currency into existence at interest. Both of those plots, of course, would still represent a massive transfer of wealth. However, even though it hides behind the passive voice, the IMF preference for dealing with the debt problems appears to be simply confiscating the wealth more directly. “The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a capital levy, a one-off tax on private wealth, as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability,” the report claims. “The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible, and there is a belief that it will never be repeated, does not distort behavior (and may be seen by some as fair).” [...]"
MSM: "EU Parliament Votes To Suspend US From Financial Databank To Avoid Spying" [10/24/13] "The European Parliament voted Wednesday for US access to the global financial database held by a Belgian company to be suspended because of concerns that the US is snooping on the database for financial gain rather than just to combat terrorism. The Strasbourg based parliament voted 280 in favor, with 254 against, with 30 abstentions, and called for a suspension of US access until a full enquiry clarifies the situation. “We need full transparency, especially with all the NSA revelations. Europe cannot accept that the data of private citizens is being accessed without anyone knowing about it", Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberals in the European Parliament, told Reuters. EU lawmakers are concerned that the US is covertly using information from the SWIFT database following leaked US documents aired by Brazil’s biggest television network Globo, which indicated that the US has secretly tapped into SWIFT. Under current agreements the US has limited access to the SWIFT database. The deal is part of transatlantic cooperation following the September 2001 attacks, and allows certain data from SWIFT to be shared with the US treasury. [...]"
MSM: "Bank of America Loses Fraud Trial Over Mortgages" [10/24/13] " Bank of America Corp was found liable for fraud on Wednesday on claims related to defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit, a major win for the U.S. government in one of the few big trials stemming from the financial crisis. Following a four-week trial, a federal jury in Manhattan found the Charlotte, North Carolina bank liable on one civil fraud charge. Countrywide originated shoddy home loans in a process called "Hustle" and sold them to government mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government said. [...]"
Commentary: "EU Threatened With Insolvency In Mid-November" [10/24/13] "Conditions in Europe as in the U.S. may soon prevail: The EU threatened with insolvency in mid-November, when Parliament will grant no supplementary budget, Barroso warns. The alleged cash shortages are the result of a power struggle between the major EU institutions. It’s about a supplementary budget for the EU for 2013, amounting to 14 billion euros. This was necessary because the EU has committed to advance issues that they now can not pay. This budget was split into several tranches, three parts of almost seven billion euros have not been approved by Parliament and the Council of Member States.[...]"
MSM: "Obama Adviser Furman Says U.S. Shutdown Cost 120,000 Jobs" [10/23/13] "The partial government shutdown this month trimmed 0.25 percentage point from fourth-quarter economic growth and cost the U.S. 120,000 jobs in October, President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser said. An analysis of daily and weekly economic data through Oct. 12 showed weakness in such areas as retail sales, economic confidence and mortgage applications, some of which was directly related to the 16-day shutdown, said Jason Furman, head of the Council of Economic Advisers. “This all just really underscores how unnecessary and harmful the shutdown and the brinkmanship was for the economy, why it’s important to avoid repeating it,” Furman said at a White House briefing today. The administration released a report on the CEA’s findings today, the same day a separate Labor Department report showed that job growth slowed in the month before the shutdown began. The White House may use the projections to bolster its bargaining position as talks get under way with Congress to meet a December deadline for a revenue and spending plan.[...]" Related: "Shutdown May Slow Wall Street Earnings, Lower Tax Revenues"
MSM: "Alan Greenspan On The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" [10/23/13] [6:47] ""The Map and the Territory" author Alan Greenspan shares insights into human nature he learned while on Wall Street. Greenspan explains why bankers are so terrible at self-regulation. [...]" Note: According to Greenspan, when brokers were allowed to dump partnerships (where they would have had to behave) in favor of incorporating, it opened the floodgates of dishonesty and added to the total abandonment of accountability on Wall Street. Aired on Monday, Oct 21. Related: "Extended Interview - Part 2" [7:08] "Alan Greenspan discusses the need for increased capitalization in the global financial system."
Commentary: "Disaster Capitalism on the Battlefield and in the Boardroom" [10/22/13] "There is a new normal in America: our government may shut down, but our wars continue. Congress may not be able to pass a budget, but the U.S. military can still launch commando raids in Libya and Somalia, the Afghan War can still be prosecuted, Italy can be garrisoned by American troops (putting the “empire” back in Rome), Africa can be used as an imperial playground (as in the late nineteenth century “scramble for Africa,” but with the U.S. and China doing the scrambling this time around), and the military-industrial complex can still dominate the world’s arms trade. In the halls of Congress and the Pentagon, it’s business as usual, if your definition of “business” is the power and profits you get from constantly preparing for and prosecuting wars around the world. “War is a racket,” General Smedley Butler famously declared in 1935, and even now it’s hard to disagree with a man who had two Congressional Medals of Honor to his credit and was intimately familiar with American imperialism. [...] Consider one more definition of war: not as politics or even as commerce, but as societal catastrophe. Thinking this way, we can apply Naomi Klein's concepts of the "shock doctrine" and "disaster capitalism" to it. When such disasters occur, there are always those who seek to turn a profit. Forever war is forever profitable. Think of the Lockheed Martinsof the world. In their commerce with the Pentagon, as well as the militaries of other nations, they ultimately seek cash payment for their weapons and a world in which such weaponry will be eternally needed. In the pursuit of security or victory, political leaders willingly pay their price.[...]"
Commentary: "Money Laundering and The Drug Trade: The Role of the Banks" [10/21/13] "The American government maintains that there is no alternative but to vigorously prosecute their zero tolerance policy of arresting drug users and their dealers. This has led to the incarceration of over 500,000 Americans. Meanwhile the flood of illegal drugs into America continues unabated. One thing the American government has not done is to prosecute the largest banks in the world for supporting the drug cartels by washing billions of dollars of their blood stained money. As Narco sphere journalist Bill Conroy has observed banks are ”where the money is” in the global drug war. HSBC, Western Union, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase&Co, Citigroup, Wachovia amongst many others have allegedly failed to comply with American anti-money laundering (AML) laws. The Mexican drug cartels have caught the headlines again and again due to their murderous activities. The war between the different drug cartels and the war between the cartels and government security forces has spilled the blood of tens of thousands of innocent people. The drug cartels would find it much harder to profit from their murderous activity if they didn’t have too big to fail banks willing to wash their dirty money. In March 2010 Wachovia cut a deal with the US government which involved the bank being given fines of $160 million under a ”deferred prosecution” agreement. This was due to Wachovia’s heavy involvement in money laundering moving up to $378.4 billion over several years. Not one banker was prosecuted for illegal involvement in the drugs trade. Meanwhile small time drug dealers and users go to prison. Charles A. Intriago, president of the Miami-based Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists has observed, “… If you’re an individual, and get caught, you get hammered. “But if you’re a big bank, and you’re caught moving money for a terrorist or drug dealer, you don’t have to worry. You just fork over a monetary penalty, and then raise your fees to make up for it. “Until we see bankers walking off in handcuffs to face charges in these cases, nothing is going to change,” Intriago adds. “These monetary penalties are just a cost of doing business to them, like paying for a new corporate jet.” This failure on the behalf of the US government to really crack down on the finances of the drug cartels extends to British banks as well. [...]"
MSM: "JPMorgan Reaches $13 Billion Tentative Deal With Justice Department" [10/20/13] "JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reached a tentative resolution of all civil mortgage-bond related matters with the U.S. Department of Justice, a person familiar with settlement negotiations said. The settlement amount, which increased from $11 billion to $13 billion during negotiations last night, the person said, includes a $4 billion accord with the Federal Housing Finance Agency over the bank’s sale of mortgage- backed securities. The pact, which isn’t yet final, doesn’t include a release of potential criminal liability, the person said, at the insistence of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who told JPMorgan Chairman Jamie Dimon during talks that such a release wouldn’t be forthcoming as part of any deal. The proposed accord will probably require the bank to cooperate in criminal investigations of individuals tied to wrongdoing associated with the bank’s mortgage practices, said the person, who requested anonymity because the matter isn’t public. The deal also includes pending investigations by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the person said. JPMorgan is the target of investigations in the U.S. and abroad, including probes of its hiring practices in Asia. The bank has tapped $8 billion of $28 billion in reserves set aside since 2010 to cover its legal costs. . Attorney General Eric Holder and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, along with two lawyers, struck the deal Friday after the market close. This week, JPMorgan Chase also reached a tentative $4 billion deal with the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency. The deal settles claims that the bank misled government-sponsored mortgage agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, about the quality of mortgages it sold them during the housing boom, according to a person familiar with the matter. [...]" Related: See below: "US To Fine JPMorgan $4 Billion For Selling 'Junk Mortgages'" [10/19/13]
MSM: "Corporate Rule Hurts The US More Than Shutdown" [10/19/13] [11:49] "The federal government reopened Thursday, as the country narrowly avoided defaulting on its debts, which could have led to a global financial meltdown. Yet, instead of focusing on the financial and global consequences of congressional inaction, politicians in Washington seemed more concerned with furthering their political agendas. Earlier in the week, President Barack Obama said he hoped that Congress wouldn't take a crisis-driven approach in the future, such as when the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling deals run out in early 2014. RT's Ameera David talks to Richard Wolff, professor of economics emeritus at UMass-Amherst, about how governing by crisis and brinkmanship is having a negative effect on the US economy. [...]"
MSM: "Keiser Report: Walmart & Wall Street's Sugar Daddy (E511)" [10/19/13] [25:48] "In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, discuss the EBT 'free lunch' card chaos at Walmart when an 'unlimited' benefits glitch causes card holders to pile shopping carts high with 'free' goods, while on Wall-Street, the 'free lunch' card of Quantitative Easing has caused a similar misallocation of capital into property and toxic debt instruments. Finally, they discuss the world about to shut off America's 'free lunch' card, otherwise known as the Exorbitant Privilege' of having the world's reserve currency. In the second half, Max interviews Alasdair Macleod of GoldMoney.com about the $640 million sell order of gold. They also discuss Alasdair's new theory on money supply (FMQ) and his differences with Professor Fekete, a recent guest on the Keiser Report, regarding whether or not there is deflation. [...]"
Commentary: "US To Fine JPMorgan $4 Billion For Selling 'Junk Mortgages'" [10/19/13] "JPMorgan Chase will pay $4 billion to settle allegations that it sold billions of dollars worth of bottom-quality mortgages to state housing finance companies, the Wall Street Journal said Friday. The Journal said JPMorgan had reached a deal to settle the charges that it overstated the quality of the mortgages it sold on to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, resulting in significant losses for the two companies that required government bailouts. The deal would be less than the $6 billion originally sought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, the Journal said. It said the bank hoped to wrap that settlement into a larger deal, possibly $11 billion, to get past a range of charges of misbehavior dating to the financial crisis that involve the Justice Department and other agencies. [...]"
Commentary: "The Sun Is Setting On Dollar Supremacy, And With It, American Power" [10/18/13] "All great empires – from the Greek, to the Roman, the Spanish and the British - have at their heart a dominant means of exchange which is very much part of their political and social hegemony. Once upon a time, it was Roman coinage which was the world's pre-eminent currency. In more recent times it was the British pound. Today, it's the US dollar to which international investors flock as a safe haven for their money. Highly liquid and apparently reliable – until recently at least – nothing else comes even remotely close to the greenback's dominant position in the international monetary system. That this position – what Giscard d'Estaing referred to as America's "exorbitant privilege" – could so casually be put at risk by politicians on Capitol Hill is an extraordinary spectacle that may be indicative of a great power already seriously on the wane. With the pound, the fall from grace was swift. Britain emerged from the devastation of the First World War an irreparably damaged economic and military power, with crushing debts and a deeply impaired manufacturing sector. The dollar was able quickly to usurp the pound's position. Final defeat for sterling came with Britain's decision to leave the gold standard in 1931 – an economically sensible decision but a psychological turning point for sterling from which it never recovered. Lack of any credible alternative means it won't happen so quickly with the dollar. For all the progress of the last 30 years, China for now remains a much smaller economy than the US and in any case is nowhere near ready financially to assume such a role. [...] Dollar hegemony has long been a de-stabilising force at the centre of the international monetary system; it's a major part of the sharp build-up in global current account imbalances and cross border capital flows that have been at the heart of so many of the problems in the world economy. The unprecedented accumulation of dollar foreign exchange reserves has in turn caused new challenges for the US, making it more difficult to maintain fiscal and financial stability within its own borders. Policies that may or may not be good for the US are in all probability bad for everyone else. Loose monetary policy in the US since the crisis began has induced unwanted demand and asset bubbles elsewhere in the world. Serious alternatives to the dollar, such as a global reserve currency, are still a long way off, but the latest shenanigans on Capitol Hill have given the search for them renewed and added momentum. The US is recklessly throwing away its future. [...]"
MSM: "Escobar: More Shutdowns Ahead As US Ruled By Casino Capitalism" [10/18/13] [5:20] "The budget brinkmanship has cost the world’s largest economy billions of dollars – as well as the trust of investors around the globe. And it also sparked calls to de-Americanize the world economy. For more, RT talks to Pepe Escobar, Asia Times Online roving correspondent. [...]" Related: See below: "China's Official Press Agency Calls For New Reserve Currency, And New World Order" [10/14/13]; "UK China Establish Currency Swap Line" [10/14/13] and attached related stories.
Commentary: "Government Shutdown Ended, Austerity Drive (Systemic Theft) Lives On" [10/18/13] "... Despite the end of the dramatics, however, progressive commentators note that no victories can be claimed in the political fight and warn that even with government workers back on the job Thursday and the threat of default now subsided, the painful austerity policies that have ruled Washington economic policy in recent years-including across-the-board spending cuts known as 'sequestration' and the continued push for further cuts to key social programs-remain dangerously front and center for lawmakers in both major parties. Such misguided policies, they claim, will continue to burden the economy with recession-like unemployment and make a true financial recovery for millions of middle class and working poor Americans impossible. [...] With or without the bipartisan deal, says Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute, the "larger crisis is the extraordinary degree of spending-side austerity" which has been embraced in Washington since 2009. "In fact," Bivens says, "this extreme cutback in public spending can entirely explain why the recovery from the Great Recession has been so sluggish compared to recoveries following previous recessions." Citing empirical data, Bivens shows that the continued push by "deficit hawks" to cut programs like Medicare and Social Security has no sound basis in fiscal responsibility, but has been pushed-and will be pushed in the future-for purely political and ideological reasons. [...] And according to Richard Eskow at the Campaign for Americas Future, the end of the government shutdown may have averted an immediate catastrophe, but says that Democrats will now "face powerful inducements in coming months to compromise with the austerity economics crowd by agreeing to a menu of further spending cuts, destructive entitlement “reform,” and tax code tinkering that starves the government of needed revenue while protecting corporations and the wealthy." Noting that the shutdown fiasco "wasn't the work of the Tea Party," but of the Republican Party establishment itself, Eskow warns that unless a progressive agenda-backed by an organized movement from the left-emerges in the next three months, "we’ll be going through this whole charade again.[...]"
MSM: "Debt Limit Deal Passes US Senate" [10/17/13] "The US Senate has approved a short-term deal to fund the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The Senate voted 81 to 18 for the deal, which has no major provisions on the Affordable Care Act and would end a 16-day government shutdown.[...]" Related: "Becker: Debt Limit Deal ‘Dangerous’ For People" "An American political commentator says a deal reached between Republican and Democratic leaders in the US Senate to end the government shutdown is a “dangerous deal” which is the “result of the pressure of Wall Street and the big banks. “Reform has come to be a codeword for attacking, in this context it’s become a codeword for launching attacks on Medicare, Medicaid, and social security, vital programs which are sometimes called entitlement programs but are really fundamental rights that the people have won over many decades of struggle,” he added. Explaining the potential danger of the deal between Senate Democrats and Republicans, Becker said there could be “massive cutbacks in these programs or even privatization of some of these vital programs.” This way, he said the big banks will be protected against a default while the basic social programs will be scrapped or cut in the long run.” [...]" "Who Voted How" | "Full Text Of The Bill" Note: Congress created the fiasco .... and it cost the country $24 Billion in economic activity (CBS). Funds the government through Jan. 15 and 'suspends' the debt ceiling through Feb. 7. The bill does not include a provision to set up a bicameral budget conference. Instead, Senate leaders have a separate agreement that sets up the conference. It will end no later than Dec. 13. House Vote: The House followed suit, voting 285-144, to end the latest damaging battle of divided government in a polarized Congress. Obama said he would reopen the government immediately to "lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease" that settled on the nation and start fixing the damage.
Commentary: "George Soros Bet $1.25 Billion On Put Option For US Financial Collapse" [10/17/13] "Hedge fund titan George Soros’ biggest position is a huge bearish bet that the Standard & Poor’s 500 will go down, MarketWatch reported. Soros has a history of rolling the dice on risky propositions in the past and making giant gains. He is known as “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” because of his successful bet against the British pound that led to $1 billion in profits during the 1992 Black Wednesday U.K. currency crisis. In its 13F Securities and Exchange Commission filing for the second quarter of 2013, Soros Fund Management reported it bought a put on 1,248,643 units of the SPDR S&P 500 Trust (SPY) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the second quarter – its largest holding, according to MarketWatch. [...]" Note: What a disgusting sequential loser, trying to profit from misery and chaos ..... just like those who created put options for the Airlines just before 9/11, an act which ironically later supported the government portrayal that it was 'commercial airliners' that hit the twin towers. They were in fact remotely piloted gov't controlled aircraft which co-opted the flight paths of the two commercial aircraft. Transponders were turned on when they were turned off on the commercial flights, which were routed to a NASA facility airfield in Ohio, where the crew and passengers were disposed of (killed). So those who did the put options knew what the public script would read. Profiting through fraud, like the rest of them. There are a lot of individuals like Soros, who are some of the most existentially insecure psychopathic individuals you could imagine.
Commentary: "Early Stages Of Hyperinflation Next Year-John Williams" [10/17/13] [33:47] "Economist John Williams says the U.S. budget and debt ceiling circus is not the real problem. Williams contends, “The issue here, very simply, is the long term solvency of the United States of America. This gap based deficit is going to kill us . . . We are going to be in very serious trouble in this next year, and the global markets know this is happening.” Williams goes on to explain, “They are not going to address the long term solvency problems of the United States. That’s going to trigger a massive decline in the dollar in the not-too-distant future, and that, in turn, will give us the early stages of hyperinflation in this next year.” Williams says, “We’re basically at a point where we can’t kick the can down the road. This is it. . . . Going forward from here, you’re going to generally see a weaker dollar, and it will get much weaker. You’re going to have a dollar panic, but I can’t give you the exact timing on that.” Another potential problem is a credit downgrade of U.S. debt. Williams says, “If we get a downgrade here, that would accelerate the process of the dollar selling and moving us again into the early stages of hyperinflation.” Williams says you can protect your wealth by holding hard assets. Williams goes on to say, “If your assets are denominated in dollars and Treasury bonds, those will become worthless in hyperinflation.” Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with John Williams of Shadowstats.com. [...]"
Commentary: "Three Statistics Which Spell Eventual Doom for America" [10/17/13] "There are three numbers that every American should be paying attention to and they are (1) the national deficit, (2) the unfunded liabilities debt, and (3) the derivatives/futures debt. When any reasonable person looks at these three sets of numbers and related statistics, there can only be one conclusion, which I will present at the end of this analysis. To conduct this analysis, I am going to use some commonly agreed upon figures. The budget deficit is $17 trillion dollars, unfunded (partially or otherwise) mandated social programs constitutes another $220 trillion dollars and the credit swap derivatives total between $1 quadrillion dollars to $1.5 quadrillion dollars. In this analysis, I will use the very conservative $1 quadrillion dollar figure. These figures are not in dispute and therefore provide me with the basis to perform an analysis of what our collective economic futures hold. [...]"
Sequential Bimbonics: "Pelosi Faces Unexpected Tough Questions From CBS, Looks Like A Fool" [10/17/13] [0:59]
MSM: "Senate Leader Announces Bipartisan Budget Deal" [10/16/13] "Democratic leader Harry Reid says Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan deal to avoid default and end the government shutdown, now in its 16th day. Reid made the announcement at the start of the Senate session on Wednesday. The deal would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7. Reid thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working out an agreement. [...]" Update 12:25 PST 10.16.13 "Full Text Of The Bill"
Commentary: "The Speculative Endgame: A Multibillion Bonanza For Wall Street" [10/16/13] "The “shutdown” of the US government and the financial climax associated with a deadline date, leading to a possible “debt default” of the federal government is a money making undertaking for Wall Street. A wave of speculative activity is sweeping major markets. The uncertainty regarding the shutdown and “debt default” constitutes a golden opportunity for “institutional speculators”. Those who have reliable “inside information” regarding the complex outcome of the legislative process are slated to make billions of dollars in windfall gains. [...]" Related: "Debt Ceiling "Futures" Are Rising As Debt Ceiling "Finish Line" Finally Comes Into View"
MSM: "Fitch Puts US Credit Rating on 'Negative' Watch" [10/16/13] "As lawmakers scramble to strike a last-minute deal that would allow the government to keep borrowing money, Fitch Ratings issued a shot across the bow this afternoon: It put the nation's AAA on a "negative" watch, reports MarketWatch, meaning a downgrade is possible unless things get resolved soon. "The prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling (following the episode in August 2011) risks undermining confidence in the role of the US dollar as the preeminent global reserve currency, by casting doubt over the full faith and credit of the US." The nation hits its debt-ceiling limit on Thursday. For the record, Fitch and Moody's still have the US at the highest AAA rating, though Standard & Poor's downgraded its rating during the 2011 crisis. [...]"
Commentary: "The U.S. Has Repeatedly Defaulted: It’s a Myth that the U.S. Has Never Defaulted On Its Debt" [10/15/13] "Some people argue that countries can’t default. But that’s false. It is widely stated that the U.S. government has never defaulted. However, that is also a myth. Catherine Rampbell reports in the New York Times: The United States has actually defaulted on its debt obligations before. The first time was in 1790, the only episode Professor Reinhart unearthed in which the United States defaulted on its external debt obligations. It also defaulted on its domestic debt obligations then, too. Then in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, the United States had another domestic debt default related to the repayment of gold-based obligations. Donald Marron points out at Forbes: The United States defaulted on some Treasury bills in 1979 (ht: Jason Zweig). And it paid a steep price for stiffing bondholders. James Grant says in the Washington Post: The U.S. government defaulted after the Revolutionary War, and it defaulted at intervals thereafter. Moreover, on the authority of the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, the government means to keep right on shirking, dodging or trimming, if not legally defaulting. Default means to not pay as promised, and politics may interrupt the timely service of the government’s debts. [...]" Related: "Debunking Obama’s Latest Lie" "Obama is once again misleading people in a sad attempt to create a panic he hopes will be blamed on his opponents. Moody’s has flatly stated our credit rating is not tied to the debt limit, and not raising it does not risk default. “The government would continue to pay interest and principal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leaving its creditworthiness intact,” Moody’s Investor Services reports today. “The debt limit restricts government expenditures to the amount of its incoming revenues; it does not prohibit the government from servicing its debt. There is no direct connection between the debt limit (actually the exhaustion of the Treasury’s extraordinary measures to raise funds) and a default,” writes Moody’s. [...]" [Cross-Posted]
Commentary: "Denial in the Face of “Debt Default”: There is No "Debt Ceiling" [10/15/13] "For all the talk about the United States approaching a catastrophic Debt Ceiling and subsequent unprecedented but exceptional default that would have unpredictable but probably dire impact on pretty much everybody, one thing you don’t hear much is that There is No Debt Ceiling. Seriously, the relevant law literally does nothing to control the national debt. A serious Debt Ceiling law would prevent Congress from appropriating expenditures beyond the debt limit. Congress has never done that, Congress probably never would do that, even if it could. Congress doesn’t want to do that, and it would probably be irresponsible for Congress to do that. Presumably a president could veto any appropriation that exceeded the Debt Ceiling of the moment, but why would a president do that? The Debt Ceiling is a legal fiction, a fantasy, a mindless game the United States has been playing with itself since 1917, for reasons that defy rational comprehension. There is no compelling constitutional basis for this contra-constitutional legalism. The only other democratic country in the world with a Debt Ceiling is Denmark, where it is an empty formality that tracks with the reality of government spending and has never been manipulated to create a dishonest debt “crisis.” Even the phrase “Debt Ceiling” is false on its face. The law does nothing to stop the accumulation of debt by Congress. What the law does is hamper the executive branch, the Treasury Dept., in paying off debt that Congress voted into law. Congress, in its traditionally narrow vision, creates one law to make the president spend money and another law to prevent him from spending it, and then expects him to obey both laws. [...]"
MSM: "Lew’s Testimony On Debt Mirrors SEC's Definition Of Ponzi Scheme" [10/15/13] "When Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew testified in the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, urging Congress to enact a new law allowing the administration to increase the federal debt, his description of how the Treasury handles that debt mirrored the Securities and Exchange Commission’s definition of a Ponzi Scheme. “A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors,” says the Securities and Exchange Commission. “With little or no legitimate earnings, the schemes require a consistent flow of money from new investors to continue,” explains the SEC. “Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when it becomes difficult to recruit new investors or when a large number of investors ask to cash out.” [...] On Thursday, Lew candidly told the Finance Committee that the U.S. Treasury will not be able to pay off current government debt-holders when their debt is due if the Treasury is not able to turn around and issue an even greater amount in new debt to get the cash it needs to do so. “Every week we roll over approximately $100 billion in U.S. bills,” Lew testified. “If U.S. bondholders decided that they wanted to be repaid rather than continuing to roll over their investments, we could unexpectedly dissipate our entire cash balance.”[...]" Related: "Central Planning, Lying Career Politicians, and the US Ponzi Debt Scheme"
Commentary: "7 Mind-Blowing Facts About Money" [10/15/13] "China invented every single major form of currency: metal coins, paper money, and fiat currency not backed by precious metals, and seized gold, six centuries before Franklin Roosevelt, in order to prop up its fiat currency and prevent runaway inflation [...]" Note: Interesting reading.
MSM: "China's Official Press Agency Calls For New Reserve Currency, And New World Order" [10/14/13] "We assume it is a coincidence that on the day in which we demonstrate China's relentless appetite for gold, driven by what we and many others believe is the country's desire to have a call option on a gold-backed reserve currency when the time comes, just posted in China's official press agency, Xinhua, is an op-ed by writer Liu Chang in which he decries the "US fiscal failure which warrants a de-Americanized world" and flatly states that the world should consider a new reserve currency "that is to be created to replace the dominant U.S. dollar, so that the international community could permanently stay away from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States." Thoughts as captured in the Xinhua Op-ed: • Reform of the world’s financial system should include the introduction of a new international reserve currency to replace the U.S. dollar • The international community could thus permanently stay away from the spillover of intensifying domestic political turmoil in the U.S. • Fiscal impasse in the U.S. is a good time for “befuddled world” to start considering building a “de-Americanized world” • Impasse has left many nations’ dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community agonized • Other cornerstones should be laid to underpin a de-Americanized world, including respect for sovereignty, recognizing authority of UN in handling global hotspot issues and giving developing and emerging market economies more say in major international financial institutions • Purpose of such changes is not to “completely toss the United States aside,” rather to encourage Washington to play a much more constructive role in addressing global affairs. Of course, if and when the day comes that the USD is no longer the reserve currency, kiss America's superpower, or any power, status, which is now based purely on the USD's reserve currency status, and the ability to fund half the US budget deficit with debt promptly monetized by the Fed, goodbye. Finally, as a reminder... [...]" Related: "'De-Americanised' World Needed After US Shutdown: China Media" See also below.
MSM: "UK China Establish Currency Swap Line" [10/14/13] [0:45] "The central banks of China and the European Union have agreed to supply each other with their currencies. The deal is aimed at accelerating the internationalization of China's currency, the yuan, and increase trade and investment between the country and the eurozone. The People's Bank of China said on Thursday that it concluded the currency swap with the European Central Bank. The agreement provides a maximum of 350-billion yuan, or about 56-billion dollars, to the ECB and 45-billion euros, or 60.8-billion dollars, to the PBC. The deal is to last for 3 years with the possibility of extension if the banks consent to do so. The agreement allows the banks to borrow currency from each other to provide funds to banks in China and eurozone countries in case of financial emergencies. PBC officials say the deal will provide additional liquidity for Europe's yuan market and boost trade and investment involving the currency. China has already set up currency swap lines with Singapore and Britain to internationalize the yuan." Related: "People's Bank Of China To Facilitate RMB Exchange In London" [8:25] "About the three year reciprocal currency swap facility between China and London." | "China 14 Currency Swap Agreements And Counting" [2:48] | "China, Brazil Sign $30 Billion Currency Swap Agreement" [2:49] See also below.
Commentary: "Chinese Developer Invests $5 Billion In Brooklyn" [10/14/13] "Greenland Group, a Chinese state-owned developer, will take a majority stake in New York’s Atlantic Yards in a deal that is expected to be the biggest Chinese investment in U.S. real estate. Greenland will own 70 percent of a joint venture established with Forest City Ratner Companies to develop the vast commercial and residential project in Brooklyn, with the total investment likely to exceed $5 billion, according to the Chinese developer. Over the last year, Chinese real estate companies have started breaking into the US as they look to new markets to diversify their businesses after focusing almost all of their investment on China for the past two decades. Other major Chinese developers to enter the US over the past year include Vanke, the biggest listed Chinese property company, which is co-developing a luxury high-rise in San Francisco, and Beijing’s Xinyuan, which bought a 2-acre condominium site in New York. [...]"
MSM: "UK: George Osborne Opens Doors To Rich Chinese With New Visa System" [10/14/13] "And I want, this week, us all to take the next big step in the relationship between Britain and China. Because more jobs and investment in China mean more jobs and investment in Britain. And that equals better lives for all." As a first step the chancellor will announce that Britain will make it easier for Chinese business leaders to visit the UK by introducing a 24-hour "super priority" visa service. In the biggest step, Osborne will announce a separate pilot scheme that will allow selected Chinese travel agents to apply for UK visas simply by submitting the application form used for the EU Schengen visa. [...]"
Commentary: " Skit Illustrates Absurdity of Gov’t Voting to Raise Its Own Debt Limit" [10/14/13] [3:09] "The United States debt limit explained. A satirical short film taking a look at the national debt and how it applies to just one family. [...]"
MSM: "Janet Yellen: A Dangerous Person Heading a Dangerous Institution" [10/13/13] [7:02] "Peter Schiff interviewed"
MSM: "U.S. Justice Department Opens Criminal Probe Into Currency Market Manipulation" [10/12/13] "The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation of possible manipulation of the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, a person familiar with the matter said. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is also looking into alleged rigging of interest rates associated with the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, is in the early stages of its currency market probe, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the inquiry is confidential. Swiss regulators last week said they were “coordinating closely with authorities in other countries as multiple banks around the world are potentially implicated.” The U.S. investigation comes as the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said in June it was reviewing potential manipulation of exchange rates. [...]" Related: Max Keiser: "Banksters Banging" [25:45] "In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, discuss an America that has turned into an old hag raping and murdering itself and the currency spikes that are a sign that someone is banging the close. In the second half, Max talks to David L. Smith of the Geneva Business Insider about refining gold in Switzerland in order to satisfy demand in the Far East and a time in which governments and bankers will get their hands on gold by fair means or foul. [...]"|"Bloomberg’s Original Investigation" [08/27/13]
Interviews: "HSBC Money Laundering Whistleblower Tells All" [10/12/13] [23:10] "David Knight is joined by financial whistleblower Everett Stern to discuss the banking institutions ties to organized crime and drug dealing. [...]"
MSM: "No Default Expected On Part Of US Govt" [10/11/13] [4:50] "American economist Paul Craig Roberts says he does not expect any default on the part of the US government amid the shutdown crisis. “I don’t expect any default on the part of the government and I don’t expect Congress and the White House to push this matter so far that you have intervention by the Federal Reserve or by the president declaring a national emergency and simply seizing the power,” he told Press TV on Thursday. He made the remarks after US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Thursday a possible debt default would cause “irrevocable damage” to the economy. [...]"
MSM: "Israeli Economy Expected to Outpace All Other Western Countries" [10/11/13] "The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that it expects the Israeli economy to be the fastest growing Western economy in 2013. The Israeli economy is predicted to grow by 3.8% in 2013 and 3.3% in 2014. The U.S. economy grew by 1.6% in 2013 and 2.6% in 2014 while the Eurozone is only expected to grow by 0.4% this year and 1% in 2014. Meanwhile, the Palestinian economy is expected to shrink in 2013 after nearly a decade of rapid growth. [...]"
Commentary: "The "Thaw" -- Obama And Republicans Converging On Dirty Austerity Deal" [10/11/13] "All the talk in Washington on Thursday, was of a "thaw" — but that nasty smell in the air was more like the thawing of rotten matter, in this case, the rotten deal now being cooked up between Obama and Congressional Republicans. The shift from the dog-and-pony show over the government shutdown and Obamacare, to serious discussion of how to carry out killer austerity, became apparent on Wednesday, with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal making entitlement "reform" the issue to be resolved. By today, almost all discussion of Obamacare was dropped, in favor of a Republican plan for a short-term lifting of the debt ceiling, during which time a long-term budget agreement would be negotiated centering on deficit reduction through slashing Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Obama has all along let it be known that he is willing, even eager, to discuss all of this, once he gets his way on ending the shutdown and lifting the debt limit. The process of using the shutdown crisis, to implement the brutal austerity measures sought by both Obama and many Republicans, is now underway, and without an intervention to ram through Glass-Steagall, Wall Street's dirty game will conclude with death and destruction for the American and world population. [...]"
MSM: "In China’s Interest To ‘Buy Assets, Keep Them Going" [10/10/13] "Since purchasing US government securities to manage huge surpluses has not produced much benefit, Chinese companies are acquiring assets abroad for a higher return on investment, economist Roger Nightingale told RT. [...]"
Video Short: "Guns, Oil And Drugs: Fear Is Justification, Fear Is Control, Fear Is Money" [1:07]
Commentary: "Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why" [10/09/13] "... No investors, let alone billionaires, will want to own stocks with falling profit margins and shrinking dividends. So if that’s why Buffett, Paulson, and Soros are dumping stocks, they have decided to cash out early and leave Main Street investors holding the bag.... It’s very likely that these professional investors are aware of specific research that points toward a massive market correction, as much as 90%. One such person publishing this research is Robert Wiedemer, an esteemed economist and author of the New York Times best-selling book Aftershock. Before you dismiss the possibility of a 90% drop in the stock market as unrealistic, consider Wiedemer’s credentials. In 2006, Wiedemer and a team of economists accurately predicted the collapse of the U.S. housing market, equity markets, and consumer spending that almost sank the United States. They published their research in the book America’s Bubble Economy. The book quickly grabbed headlines for its accuracy in predicting what many thought would never happen, and quickly established Wiedemer as a trusted voice. A columnist at Dow Jones said the book was “one of those rare finds that not only predicted the subprime credit meltdown well in advance, it offered Main Street investors a winning strategy that helped avoid the forty percent losses that followed . In the interview for his latest blockbuster Aftershock, Wiedemer says the 90% drop in the stock market is “a worst-case scenario,” and the host quickly challenged this claim. Wiedemer calmly laid out a clear explanation of why a large drop of some sort is a virtual certainty. It starts with the reckless strategy of the Federal Reserve to print a massive amount of money out of thin air in an attempt to stimulate the economy. “These funds haven’t made it into the markets and the economy yet. But it is a mathematical certainty that once the dam breaks, and this money passes through the reserves and hits the markets, inflation will surge,” said Wiedemer. “Once you hit 10% inflation, 10-year Treasury bonds lose about half their value. And by 20%, any value is all but gone. Interest rates will increase dramatically at this point, and that will cause real estate values to collapse. And the stock market will collapse as a consequence of these other problems.” . .”[...]" Related: "Warren Buffett Makes $10 Billion From Financial Crisis Lending"
MSM: "US Runs Out Of Cash As Soon As October 22, Revised BPC Forecast Shows " [10/09/13] "The BPC, whose initial analysis of the US default has become the staple “go-to” analysis for Treasury cash obligations and key events in the day surrounding and following the X-Date, has released a new update on when the US runs out of money. The latest: October 22 – November 1. Which means that if it so desires, the GOP can and probably will delay a debt ceiling bargain until the last possible moment which may well be, appropriately enough, Halloween. In the meantime, the US Treasury now has about $40 billion in total cash on hand and available extraordinary measures and declining fast. [...]"
Commentary: "At Least Now It's Obvious Who's In Charge" [10/09/13] "... Stocks and bonds haven’t moved because nobody cares what’s happening in the US government anymore. And that’s because every serious investor understands that the US government long since abdicated any economic power to the banking sector. Everyone knows that the Fed is going to keep printing money, ergo they’re going to keep sending markets higher. The US government and the incompetent elected officials are just giant stooges in this deeply flawed monetary system. And this debt ceiling charade only proves it. The secret is out there in the open. And now it’s completely obvious who’s really in charge. [...]"
Commentary: "Is Homeland Security Preparing for the Next Wall Street Collapse?" [10/09/13] "... What triggered the 2008 crisis was a run, not in the conventional banking system, but in the “shadow” banking system, a collection of non-bank financial intermediaries that provide services similar to traditional commercial banks but are unregulated. They include hedge funds, money market funds, credit investment funds, exchange-traded funds, private equity funds, securities broker dealers, securitization and finance companies. Investment banks and commercial banks may also conduct much of their business in the shadows of this unregulated system. The shadow financial casino has only grown larger since 2008; and in the next Lehman-style collapse, government bailouts may not be available. According to President Obama in his remarks on the Dodd-Frank Act on July 15, 2010, “Because of this reform, . . . there will be no more taxpayer funded bailouts – period.”... The next crisis on the agenda appears to be the October 17th deadline for agreeing on a federal budget or risking default on the government’s loans. It may only be a coincidence, but two large-scale drills are scheduled to take place the same day, the “Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill” and the “Quantum Dawn 2 Cyber Attack Bank Drill.” According to a Bloomberg news clip on the bank drill, the attacks being prepared for are from hackers, state-sponsored espionage, and organized crime (financial fraud). One interviewee stated, “You might experience that your online banking is down . . . . You might experience that you can’t log in.” It sounds like a dress rehearsal for the Great American Bail-in. [...]"
MSM: "12 Very Ominous Warnings About What A U.S. Debt Default Would Mean For The Global Economy" [10/09/13] "A U.S. debt default that lasts for more than a couple of days could potentially cause a financial crash unlike anything that the world has ever seen before. If the U.S. government purposely wanted to damage the global financial system, the best way that they could do that would be to default on U.S. debt obligations. A U.S. debt default would cause stocks to crash, would cause bonds to crash, would cause interest rates to soar wildly out of control, would cause a massive credit crunch, and would cause a derivatives panic that would be absolutely unprecedented. And that would just be for starters. But don’t just take my word for it. These are the things that top financial experts all over the planet are saying will happen if there is an extended U.S. debt default. Because they are so close together, the “government shutdown” and the “debt ceiling deadline” are being confused by many Americans. As I wrote about the other day, the “partial government shutdown” that we are experiencing right now is pretty much a non-event. Yeah, some national parks are shut down and some federal workers will have their checks delayed, but it is not the end of the world. In fact, only about 17 percent of the federal government is actually shut down at the moment. This “shutdown” could continue for many more weeks and it would not affect the global economy too much. On the other hand, if the debt ceiling deadline (approximately October 17th) passes without an agreement that would be extremely dangerous. And if the U.S. government is eventually forced to start delaying interest payments on U.S. debt (which could potentially happen as soon as November), that would be absolutely catastrophic. Once again, just don’t take my word for it. The following are 12 very ominous warnings about what a U.S. debt default would mean for the global economy… [...]"
Commentary: "Plans Are Set And The Clock Is Ticking To The Next False Flag" X22 [10/08/13] [32:28] "The Government shutdown still persists and the Republicans and Democrats are doing there job putting on a show for the American people. Meanwhile the blame of the collapse can no longer be blamed on the FED because the blame has shifted now to the Government. The central bankers do now want to be blamed for a collapse so they always need to shift the blame, they tried to get the war going with Syria and that did not work so they are now onto their next move. The Government in the meantime is making their move so the collapse is not blamed on them, to do this they will need a major false flag event. Everything is now in motion, plans have already been made and the clock has started to ticking down to the event. [...]"
MSM: "U.S. Political Intransigency Unsettles Financial Markets: China Warns U.S. Against A Default" [10/08/13] "A senior Chinese official has warned that the “clock is ticking” to avoid a U.S. default that could hurt China’s interests and the global economy. China, the US’s largest creditor, is “naturally concerned about developments in the U.S. fiscal cliff,” vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao said. China holds about $1.3 trillion dollars in U.S. Treasuries. Washington must agree a deal to raise its borrowing limit by 17 October, or risk not being able to pay its bills. He asked that “the U.S. earnestly take steps to resolve” the issue. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has said that unless Congress agrees an increase in the debt ceiling by 17 October, Washington will be left with about $30bn in cash to meet its obligations – about half the $60bn-a-day needed. For many governments and investors the approaching deadlock over the debt ceiling is far more critical than the current impasse over the federal shutdown caused by Congress’s failure to agree a new budget. On Sunday Republican House Speaker John Boehner reiterated that Republican lawmakers would not agree to raising the debt ceiling unless it included measures to rein in public spending. Mr. Zhu said that China and the U.S. are “inseparable.” Beijing is a huge investor in U.S. Treasury bonds. “The executive branch of the U.S. government has to take decisive and credible steps to avoid a default on its Treasury bonds,” he said. “It is important for the U.S. economy as well as the global economy. [...]"
Commentary: "The “Hyper-Meritocracy” – An Oxymoron Led By Criminal Morons" William Black [10/07/13] "This column was prompted by William Galston’s review of Tyler Cowen’s new book Average is Over. Galston’s column worries about the huge, permanent underclass that Cowen envisions will grow in the United States. I write to challenge Cowen’s assumption that winners will prevail through a process of “hyper-meritocracy.” Cowen’s embrace of Social Darwinism assumes that the winners have a selective advantage that arises from “merit” – which Cowen conflates with the ability to create wealth. This is passing strange as we are still suffering from an orgy of wealth destruction led by the “winners.” The people who grew wealthiest were often the people must responsible for the largest destruction of wealth in history. In this first column I show that it is the most anti-meritocratic system. We do not live in a “winner-take-all” Nation. We increasingly live in a “cheater-take-all” system. What Cowen has missed is the famous (but nearly famous enough) warning sounded by George Akerlof and Paul Romer in 1993 in their classic article “Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit.” “[M]any economists still [do] not understand that a combination of circumstances in the 1980s made it very easy to loot a [bank] with little risk of prosecution. Once this is clear, it becomes obvious that high-risk strategies that would pay off only in some states of the world were only for the timid. Why abuse the system to pursue a gamble that might pay off when you can exploit a sure thing with little risk of prosecution?” (Akerlof & Romer 1993: 4-5). The result of these perverse incentives is the epidemics of accounting control fraud that drive our recurrent, intensifying financial crises. In the savings and loan debacle, for example: “The typical large failure [grew] at an extremely rapid rate, achieving high concentrations of assets in risky ventures…. [E]very accounting trick available was used…. Evidence of fraud was invariably present as was the ability of the operators to ‘milk’ the organization” (NCFIRRE 1993). The large Enron-era frauds were all accounting control frauds. Worse, when cheaters prosper market forces become perverse because of the “Gresham’s” dynamic in which bad ethics drives good ethics out of the markets and professions. George Akerlof explained this in his most famous article on “Lemons” in 1970.[...]"
MSM: "Another Slump Ahead: The True State Of The US Economy" [10/07/13] "The fact that stock prices have been drifting lower, doesn’t prove that the economy is headed for recession. Nor does political dysfunction (government shutdown), droopy home sales, plunging confidence, chronic high unemployment, rising levels of extreme poverty, unprecedented public dependence of food stamps, weak personal consumption, stagnant wages, falling middle class incomes, or gaping inequality. They may show a country that is on the wrong track and has its priorities mixed-up, but they don’t show that another recession is immanent. Even so, it’s easy to wonder how bad things have to get before the economy more closely reflects the mood of the country which is relentlessly pessimistic. To say that no one believes in Obama’s recovery would be a gross understatement. Obama supporters feel duped, misled, and despondent. Obama is not the agent of change they’d hoped for. He’s expanded the wars, slashed vital safety net programs, exonerated Wall Street criminals, and continued the vicious attack on civil liberties. He’s done everything in his power to boost the profits of the big corporations and banks, but hasn’t lifted a finger to help ordinary working people. [...] So, there is a tradeoff for all loot Obama’s friends have been pilfering from working people, and that tradeoff is trust. Americans no longer have confidence in the government, the market or the justice system. Gradually, that lack of trust will cross-over into the economy as wary consumers set aside more of their earnings to protect themselves from the government-corporate-racketeer oligarchy. A slowdown in personal consumption will impact retail sales, durable goods, hiring and capital investment. It will douse those green shoots with motor oil and push the economy back into negative territory. And while that might not happen in the next month or two, there are sectors of the economy that are showing signs of weakness already. [...]"
Trends: "Families Hoard Cash 5 Yrs After Crisis" [10/07/13] "Five years after U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, triggering a global financial crisis and shattering confidence worldwide, families in major countries around the world are still hunkered down, too spooked and distrustful to take chances with their money. An Associated Press analysis of households in the 10 biggest economies shows that families continue to spend cautiously and have pulled hundreds of billions of dollars out of stocks, cut borrowing for the first time in decades and poured money into savings and bonds that offer puny interest payments, often too low to keep up with inflation. "It doesn't take very much to destroy confidence, but it takes an awful lot to build it back," says Ian Bright, senior economist at ING, a global bank based in Amsterdam. "The attitude toward risk is permanently reset." A flight to safety on such a global scale is unprecedented since the end of World War II. The implications are huge: Shunning debt and spending less can be good for one family's finances. When hundreds of millions do it together, it can starve the global economy. [...]"
Commentary: "Real Panic Coming from the Top of the Oligarchy" [10/06/13] "The trans-Atlantic financial oligarchy is in a state of panic, and it is not because of the U.S. government shutdown or even the prospect of a U.S. default if the Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17. The panic is due to the fact that the whole system is coming down at breath-taking speed and there is nothing they can do about it within the confines of the current system. Christine Lagarde gave an interview to the Financial Times on the eve of the annual Fall meeting of the IMF/World Bank, in which she made clear that the situation is one of earth-shattering change and immense fragility. She warned that any further talk about "tapering" the quantitative easing by the Fed would be enough to set off a panic-crash of developing sector markets, and she warned that a failure to extend the debt ceiling would be catastrophic. Lagarde's hysterics were matched by Jack Lew, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, who issued a dire warning on the Department's website, declaring that any default would trigger a crisis far worse than the Great Recession of 2008. Lew spent Thursday roaming the halls of Congress to personally deliver his ultimatum. Speaker of the House John Boehner pulled together a meeting of the House Republican Caucus on Thursday to announce to all that there would not be a default. He reported, according to the Washington Post, that he would be drafting a bill to extend the debt ceiling that would aim to draw bipartisan support, even if it triggered a revolt by Tea Party and other conservative Republicans. One senior Japanese financial official warned that a major European financial crisis will begin immediately after Merkel completes her coalition talks in Germany to form a new government. [...] This week, the eleven largest U.S. banks submitted their "living wills" to the Fed and FDIC. In each case, the big banks swore that they were bailout-proof under the worst of financial crises, due to vast reserves of cash and easily liquidated securities they are sitting on. Clearly, Jack Lew and the Treasury Department are not so sanguine. The Treasury alert about the consequences of a Federal government default warned that even a brief default would cause a freeze of credit markets, a collapse of the dollar, and a spike in interest rates — all the ingredients of a systemic breakdown far worse than 2008.[...]"
LaRouche: "Behind the Shutdown and Debt Ceiling Swindle: Wall Street Orders Obama to Kill Glass-Steagall" [10/06/13] "Wall Street had demanded that President Barack Obama stop the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall at all costs and instead move ahead with more bailouts and bail-in looting of the American people to preserve their thoroughly bankrupt system. The Wall Street policy means an acceleration of crippling hyperinflation, devastating austerity and, ultimately, mass murder of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. [...]"
Commentary: "Increasing Number Of Americans Renouncing Citizenship Over Punitive Tax Laws" [10/05/13] [3:33] Related: "Financial Calamity - When Will Economic Collapse Happen?" [12:26] Good observations, however, he thinks that 'things can be changed' ... he proposes 'revolution', but that isn't in the game plan ... he's ignorant of actual context in which all this sits, at the very least.
MSM: "Swiss May Grant Unconditional Income For All" [10/05/13] [2:39] "Swiss citizens are demanding a crucial change in the constitution, pushing for the introduction of a guaranteed income for everyone. RT teamed up with RUPTLY video to follow the story. RT's Peter Oliver is in Bern where supporters of the basic income idea have gathered for a rally. [...]" Note: Again, part of a one-size-fits-all sequential perspective ...
Commentary: "LaRouche Demands Glass-Steagall Now" [10/05/13] "Lyndon LaRouche today demanded that Congress immediately break the impasse on the government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling increase by passing Glass Steagall through both Houses with a bipartisan veto-proof majority. "President Obama is playing Nero, exploiting a government shut down in a desperate effort to revive his collapsed presidency. And elements within the Republican Party are obliging him." "This nonsense is concealing a far more deadly reality," LaRouche warned. "The U.S. economy is in a collapse, the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, from the Federal Reserve to the so-called too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks, is in a breakdown that cannot be stopped. Hyperinflation, accelerated by the past decade's policy of quantitative easing, bailouts, and bail-ins, has reached the point that the standard of living of the overwhelming majority of American households is collapsing." LaRouche continued: "None of this is inevitable or unavoidable. Congress must immediately reconvene to pass Glass-Steagall by a massive bipartisan majority. This will end the bailouts and the bail-ins. Let the Wall Street gangsters go down. They are parasites on the real economy and have no rightful place except behind bars. With Glass-Steagall, we will have no more Wall Street gambling at taxpayers' expense. Commercial banks will be separated, insured and able to return to the business of lending to the real economy. Congress must return to the American System policies of Federal credit, earmarked for development projects that will build the real economy with millions of new, decent-paying productive jobs." There is no way out of the present crisis, LaRouche warned, within the framework of the current financial and monetary system and with Obama as President. The proposed "clean" continuing resolution that has been accepted by both Democrats and Republicans is a murderous collection of cuts that will accelerate the disintegration of the United States if allowed to go forward. Republicans are not wrong that Obamacare should be killed, but the real health care tragedy is the takedown of our once fine system of hospitals, clinics, research institutions and other medical services. [...]"
MSM: "Keiser: “America One Giant Hedge Fund & World's Greatest Soap Opera" [10/03/13] [5:28] "Washington's struggle to govern itself has already cost the American economy hundreds of millions of dollars on the first day of the government shutdown. And things are likely to get even more expensive, with neither Republican nor Democrat lawmakers willing to back down from their stance on Barack Obama's signature health care bill. Max Keiser gives his comment on the government shutdown, saying that financial terrorism has been levied on the United States [...]"
MSM: "Government Shutdown Careens Toward Oct. 17 U.S. Debt Blowout" "...On October 2, Obama met at the White House for an hour with a dozen top representatives of Wall Street's criminal plutocracy—including Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfein, Bank of America's Brian Moynihan, and JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon—who used the threat of an imminent default to bark out their orders to the White House and Congress: Raise the debt ceiling without drama or delay, in order to keep bailing us out, or face the apocalypse. "We told Mr. Obama exactly how bad it would be," the thuggish Blankfein told the press afterwards. The banksters also met Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling, and Senate Banking Committee ranking member Mike Crapo. Other than Hensarling, whose views on the matter are still opaque, this White House-Republican combination consists of active opponents of Congress restoring Glass-Steagall—and they control the gates of the two key committees for introducing Glass-Steagall to the floor of the two houses of Congress. What will happen if Wall Street doesn't get its way? A newsletter issued by Standard Chartered bank in New York was blunt: "A default would likely lead to a renewed sharp economic downturn, pushing the economy back into severe recession and probably another serious banking crisis." So was the London Financial Times: "Oct. 17 looms as a potentially far more dangerous moment, as it could trigger a technical default on US debt and turn America's domestic political stand-off into a global crisis." The irony, of course, is that that is also exactly what will happen if Wall Street and the British do get their way. Either way, the trans-Atlantic financial system is irreversibly disintegrating, and the only way to prevent full rigor mortis is with Glass-Steagall and the full LaRouche program. The American people are universally, understandably enraged at the destructive clown show going on in Washington. But unless they make that precise point clear to their representatives, and demand that they implement Glass-Steagall now, their fury will come to nought. [...]" Related: "Obama: No Deals On Raising Debt Limit" [0:41] "US President Barack Obama has restated his opposition to any deals with congressional Republicans over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Obama said he will engage in negotiations with Republicans only after they agree to reopen the federal government and increase the nation’s ability to borrow more money. Meanwhile, US lawmakers face a mid-October deadline for raising the federal government’s debt limit. According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the nation’s current debt ceiling of $16.7 trillion will be reached by October 17. Concerns are being raised that the US government shutdown could grow to encompass a possible default by the Treasury if congressmen fail to agree on a deal to raise the debt ceiling.[...]" | "Rand Paul: ’85 Percent of Government Is Being Funded’"
Commentary: "Obama Meets With Goldman Sachs For New Line Of Credit – In Violation Of US Law" [10/03/13] "Reuters wire reports today that US President Barack Obama has met with top bank chief executives to discuss ‘the government shutdown’, and the looming deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit. The bank chiefs he met with included such upstanding money lenders as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Michael Corbat of Citigroup, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America – and it’s worth noting here that each and every one of these men have presided over one financial fraud or scandal of some kind over the last 5 years. As it happens, JPMorgan just offered the Feds $3 Billion to end probes into its dodgy mortgage business. [...] Yes, Obama has met with Goldman Sachs and Co, in order to arrange for a new ‘debt ceiling’, or more accurately – a new line of credit. Only problem: he cannot do this during a shutdown. Such an act is in direct violation of the Antideficiency Act of 1870. It was a real law in fact, passed by Congress and also amended several times. This US law clearly prohibits a government office holders from incurring any monetary obligation – for which the Congress has not appropriated funds."
MSM: "S&P Threatens To Cut US Debt To Junk" [10/01/13] "Standard & Poors, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial, is already famous for having had the balls to strip the US of its AAA sovereign credit rating in 2011 when the debt-ceiling fight in Washington – an inexplicable charade for observers overseas – turned from silly grandstanding to utter brinkmanship, fired on by convoluted political brainstorms and upcoming primary elections. In retaliation, or so S&P claimed, and to teach all ratings agencies a lesson they’d hopefully never forget, the Department of Justice has put S&P through the wringer and in February sued it – deservedly – over its role in the financial crisis, i.e. for allegedly misleading financial institutions about the validity of its ratings. AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities as the underlying mortgages were already defaulting? No problem. The DOJ accused S&P of, among other things, having inflated ratings to pocket fatter fees from issuers. The other ratings agencies, which all played a similarly egregious role in the financial crisis but kept their mouth shut and did not downgrade the US in 2011, have not been hounded by the government. So S&P claimed that the “impermissibly selective, punitive and meritless” lawsuit was “in retaliation for defendants’ exercise of their free speech rights with respect to the creditworthiness of the United States of America.” S&P still hasn’t learned its lesson apparently and is once again lambasting Washington’s “political brinkmanship.” So it wrote in a research note, according to CNBC: “In our opinion, the current impasse over the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling creates an atmosphere of uncertainty that could affect confidence, investment, and hiring in the U.S. However, as long as it is short-lived, we do not anticipate the impasse to lead to a change in the sovereign rating.” As long as it’s short-lived. But if the shutdown drags on, the impact could be “more significant” than during the government shutdown in the mid-nineties. More ominously, S&P warned that if Congress failed to pass a debt-ceiling hike before the out-of-money date in mid-October, it would cut the U.S. to “selective default.” Selective default isn’t exactly the end of the world, but close. It “indicates the issuer … had failed to meet one or more of its outstanding debt obligations.” S&P explained that it “would analyze the changes in the political and economic landscape in determining a post-default rating,” but typically, it warned, a selective default ends up knocking credit ratings to “between CCC and B.” Junk. [...]"
Commentary: "BP May Face $18bn In Fines For Gross Negligence As Federal Trial Resumes" [10/01/13] "BP told "outright lies" as it tried to hide the amount of oil that was spilling into the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, a court heard on Monday, in a new phase of the trial that could ultimately determine how much the company will pay in fines. In opening statements of the latest phase of the trial over the fatal 2010 disaster, plaintiffs' attorney Brian Barr said BP failed to prepare for a blowout and compounded the problem by lying about how much oil was flowing from the well. He said BP was woefully unprepared for the disaster. "BP's plan was nothing more than a plan to plan," said Barr. BP attorney Mike Brock said second-guessing the company's efforts to cap the well is "Monday morning quarterbacking at its worst". He said that BP's spill response was "extraordinary" and that the company "did not misrepresent flow rate in a way that caused a delay in the shut-in of the well". US district judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, who is presiding over the trial, is already weighing whether BP's actions ahead of the disaster and during the subsequent spill reached the level of "gross negligence". The second phase of the trial, expected to last 14 days, will cover the size of the spill and BP's efforts to contain it. [...]"
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