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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: "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. [...]"
Commentary: "Did Putin Quietly Play the Debt Card Over Syria?" [09/30/13] "They (the Americans) are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy. They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar. If [in America] there is a systemic malfunction, this will affect everyone. Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities. There should be other reserve currencies." – Vladimir Putin in 2011. I believe both Russia and China covertly played the Treasury debt card in order to protect their client states, Syria and Iran, from the impending US invasion. An attack would undoubtedly have escalated with troops on the ground, opening the way for a land assault against Iran, the ultimate real target. After all, the gas pipeline for Washington's Sunni client states that even offering to pay for the military action is far less important than taking Iran down. [...]"
MSM: "Analysis: Default Or Not, Asia A Hostage To U.S. Debt" [09/30/13] "Unless the U.S. Congress settles a political showdown to raise the country's debt ceiling in coming weeks, it will be left on the edge of an unprecedented default. But America's main creditors in Asia may be the least of its worries. [...]"
MSM: "Dollar Extends Drop Against Yen With Government Shutdown Looming" [09/30/13] "The dollar dropped to a one-month low against the yen as political budget wrangling threatens a U.S. government shutdown. [...]" :
MSM: "China Wins $2 Billion Oil Deal In Uganda" [09/30/13] "China’s state-owned CNOOC has secured a $2-billion deal to develop a petroleum field in Uganda and help propel the east African nation into the club of oil-producing countries, an official said Friday. [...]"
MSM: "As Shutdown Looms, Agencies Buy Up Big" [09/29/13] " Congress is still squabbling over next year's federal budget, but government agencies only have until tomorrow to spend as much of this year's budget as possible before that money disappears. And so they are. Yep, it's "use it or lose it" season in DC, reports the Washington Post, which rounds up some of the crazier expenditures. Like the $562,000 spent on artwork by the Department of Veterans Affairs last week. Or the $144,000 worth of toner cartridges the Agriculture Department bought in a single day. And then there's the "cubicle furniture rehab" purchased for $178,000 by the Coast Guard, which replaced high-walled cubicles with low-walled cubicles to improve air-flow. It wasn't a high-priority project, says a spokesperson—just one they could get done by tomorrow. "The money was going to be spent anyway," he says. The agencies don't just lose the money they don't spend—they also face having next year's budget slashed if they underspend. "Instead of being praised for not spending all your money, you get cut for not spending all your money," says one congressman. "And so we’ve got a perverse incentive in there" [...]"
Commentary: "Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation Is Now Happening All Over The Globe" [09/29/13] "Now that "bail-ins" have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again. In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world. As you will read about below, private pension funds were just raided by the government in Poland, and a "bail-in" is being organized for one of the largest banks in Italy. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The precedent that was set in Cyprus is being used as a template for establishing bail-in procedures in New Zealand, Canada and all over Europe. It is only a matter of time before we see this exact same type of thing happen in the United States as well. From now on, anyone that keeps a large amount of money in any single bank account or retirement fund is being incredibly foolish. Let's take a look at a few of the examples of how Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is now moving forward all over the globe... [...]"
Commentary: "The Large Families That Rule The World" [09/29/13] "Some people have started realizing that there are large financial groups that dominate the world. Forget the political intrigues, conflicts, revolutions and wars. It is not pure chance. Everything has been planned for a long time. Some call it “conspiracy theories” or New World Order. Anyway, the key to understanding the current political and economic events is a restricted core of families who have accumulated more wealth and power. We are speaking of 6, 8 or maybe 12 families who truly dominate the world. Know that it is a mystery difficult to unravel. We will not be far from the truth by citing Goldman Sachs, Rockefellers, Loebs Kuh and Lehmans in New York, the Rothschilds of Paris and London, the Warburgs of Hamburg, Paris and Lazards Israel Moses Seifs Rome. Many people have heard of the Bilderberg Group, Illuminati or the Trilateral Commission. But what are the names of the families who run the world and have control of states and international organizations like the UN, NATO or the IMF? To try to answer this question, we can start with the easiest: inventory, the world’s largest banks, and see who the shareholders are and who make the decisions. The world’s largest companies are now: Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.Let us now review who their shareholders are. [...]"
MSM: "Fed Is Looking Into Suspicious Trading After Meeting" [09/28/13] "The Federal Reserve is concerned about suspiciously heavy trading of gold futures after its meeting last week that may have been triggered by a premature release of market-sensitive information. In a statement, the central bank said Tuesday that news organizations that receive embargoed information from the Fed agree to withhold information until the time set for its release. The Fed statement said, "We will be conducting follow-up conversations with news organizations to ensure our procedures are completely understood." After the meeting, the Fed said it would hold off on slowing its $85-billion-a-month in bond purchases. That surprised markets and led to a day of record highs on Wall Street. Trading in financial markets is now dominated by automated computer systems, which make trades in tiny fractions of a second that can lead to millions of dollars in profit. Receiving the data early — even by a few milliseconds — can give an unfair advantage to some firms. The security of sensitive, market- moving information has become a concern for federal officials. Possible leaks of government data have already led the Labor Department to tighten its procedures for distributing information early to reporters, including the closely monitored monthly employment report. [...]"
MSM: "Kenya To Host First Yuan Clearing House In Africa" [09/27/13] "Kenya wants to host a clearing house for China’s yuan currency – a bold African first that would deepen the continent’s ties with Beijing, already a big investor from The Cape to Cairo. Such a venture would not eclipse the dollar in Africa anytime soon, however, because the yuan is tightly managed and traders are wedded to the greenback’s flexibility. Africans can already get quotes for their currencies against the yuan . A clearing house would cut the need for dollar settlements, speed things up and reduce costs. But the real prize for Kenya, or any other African host, would be the symbolism of being the continent’s business gateway with Asia’s economic emperor, even if business starts modestly. Such an exchange would also be the first outside Asia. Its prospect is a measure of China’s challenge to Africa’s traditional partners in Europe and the United States and reflects the increasing attractions of a continent with some of the world’s fastest growing economies. In 2012, the total volume of China-Africa trade reached $198.49 billion, a rise of 19 percent over the previous year, Chinese government figures show. China accounted for 18.1 percent of Africa’s total trade volume in 2012, up from 3.8 percent in 2000. [...]"
MSM: "Gold Shipment Disappears From Air France Flight To Zurich" [09/26/13] "Some 44 kilograms of gold bars from an overall cargo of 300 kg of precious metal have mysteriously disappeared from a flight bound to Zurich. An insider operation could be to blame for a €1.5 million heist at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. France’s national aviation police (GTA) is now investigating how and by whom the gold was stolen from the aircraft, after Air France said it had filed a complaint with police. “We hope the investigations will allow us to quickly determine the sequence of events and identify those responsible,” a spokesman for Air France was quoted by the Local. [...]"
Commentary: "Fives Tons Of Customer Gold Leave The HSBC Vault" [09/26/13] "On Monday 173,582 ounces, or roughly five tonnes, of customer gold was withdrawn the HSBC warehouse. [...]" Related: See below: "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]; "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 $100million" [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] (with list of related 2012 articles available from the 2012 Banking archives)
Commentary: "National Credit Union Administration Sues 13 Banks In Libor Rate-Fixing Case" [09/25/13] "The US credit union regulator has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against 13 major international banks as part of the global crackdown in the Libor rate-rigging scandal. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said it aims to recover some of the funds lost by five corporate credit unions it supervised and which have since failed, according to a statement posted on the NCUA website Monday. The complaint — that the banks violated both federal and regional anti-trust laws — was filed in a Kansas court, the agency said. The NCUA noted that around 40 lawsuits have been filed around the world in relation to rate manipulations at Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate, a leading benchmark used in financial transactions. So far, three banks — UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays — have been fined a total of around $2.5 billion to offset the losses. In addition to these three banks, the NCUA has now filed suit against Societe Generale, UBS and Crédit Suisse, as well as JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds Banking Group, WestLB, Raiffensen Bank, Norinchukin Bank, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ et Banque royale du Canada. In a separate statement, the regulatory agency announced another lawsuit against Morgan Stanley and eight other international banks for having sold nearly $2.4 billion in “faulty securities” to credit unions.[...]"
Max Keiser: "Banksters' God Complex- E501" [09/25/13] [25:46] "In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, discuss the US Federal Reserve Bank as 'the greatest hedge fund' in history and ask whether or not their quantitative easing policy is like trying to pass pork off as a prime cut of beef. In the second half, Max interviews precious metals trader, Andrew Maguire, about JPMorgan whistleblowers and the Federal Reserve Bank taper hoax. [...]"
Commentary: "Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – Terrifying US Collapse Ahead" [09/25/13] MP3 "Here’s the situation for the Fed: All of the markets, and the solvency of the big banks, are totally dependent on the Fed buying the bonds. If they don’t buy the bonds, then the interest rates are going to rise, the prices of all debt-related instruments are going to go down, the insolvency of the banks again reappears, the bond market collapses, and the stock market collapses. So they can’t stop QE because the whole system is rigged- dependent on that (QE). The other part of the trap they are in is that the longer they carry on QE, the closer they get to the time when the rest of the world simply loses all confidence in the dollar because of the enormous rate at which new dollars are being created, and they bail out (of dollars). And when there is a run on the dollar the Fed loses control and the whole system blows up. So what the Fed is doing is preventing a short-term blowup with QE -- that is, with rigging bond prices, but the consequence is there is going to be a long-run blowup when there is a run on the dollar. So what the Fed is doing is simply keeping the system going as long as it can. I don’t see how they can avoid a crash. If they stop QE it’s going to crash. If they don’t stop it, it’s going to crash later. So the Fed is manipulating everything to keep the system intact. And to repeat myself, they can do that, until there is a run on the dollar, and when there is a run on the dollar they lose control. At that point, (the price of) gold and silver will explode.” [...]" Related: "X22 Rpt: High Probability Of Something Big Happening Very Soon" [34:08] |Flashback: "Gregory Mannarino: October 2013 Stock Market Crash Possible" Aug 2013 [13:16] Note: It seems like all major financial events in history have happened in October ...
Commentary: "Eric Sprott: The Fed Has Lost Control Of The Bond Market" [09/25/13] [27:05] "CEO of Sprott Asset Management Eric Sprott discussed his thoughts on the Fed’s no-taper, why he believes the cartel took down gold this spring, the evidence that a bail-in is coming to the US and Canada, and the US fiscal debt crisis. [...]"
Max Keiser: "Crimes & Cracks of Capitalism - KR500" [09/23/13] [25:45] "500th show. We discuss what the economy and financial sector look like five hundred episodes later. They find an economy where the wealth and income gap is the highest ever, median income has collapsed and the mainstream media alleges the government is ‘assaulting’ JP Morgan with all the fines for the bank’s many criminal activities. In the second half, Max interviews Professor Steve Keen about banking and leverage five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. [...]" Note: Entertaining, with plenty of mocking and derision directed toward the financial system. Good and informed overview of significant dynamics that have happened in the 'financial world'.
Max Keiser: "We Are On A Gold Standard Now, Even Though It Is Not Recognized" [09/23/13] "If you believe that gold no longer plays a role, think again. In effect, if you know what to look for, the world is on a gold standard now. In 1971 the US ‘closed the gold window’ starting an era of global fiat money reference pricing that has been unprecedented in history. Never has the world operated on the basis of no country having a currency tied to something with intrinsic value like Gold. The ‘petro-dollar’ - a US dollar exchange rate based on the deal struck (by Henry Kissinger) between Saudi Arabia and America - for the US to buy their oil and for the Saudis to buy US dollars and bonds in return - started a period of oil companies (with the military machinery in their pocket) bullying the world into buying US dollars or getting cut off from oil and dollar supplies led to our current political situation with the US now involved in multiple wars in various oil dependent economies and their satellites - and this lulled many into believing that Gold no longer played a role, but recent events prove these assumptions wrong. [...] The price of gold is telling you that the Fed Ponzi is running at full tilt and that the ravages of having such a destructive mechanism at the heart of the economy are unraveling. Because even with all that effort, the trend of the price of Gold is still higher and at some point the ability to keep it down will fail and then; as Warren Buffett also said; ‘You can see who’s not wearing a bathing suit when the tide goes out.’ [...]" Related: See below
Commentary: "Rise Of The Petro-Yuan" [09/23/13] "History is being written in the East. As the U.S. stays distracted with stone age warriors in Central Asia and the Middle East, the last platform of the American economic foundation, the U.S. Dollar's currency reserve status, is being undermined by their trade partners in Asia. Both Australia and Japan are set to start direct-trading in Chinese currency and they are not the only ones. There are almost 20 countries whom have currency swaps in place with China all in order to side-step the U.S. Dollar in global trade. At the China Money Report, we have written extensively on the "Rise of the Renminbi". What is new and largely unreported and what we will cover in this article is the "Rise of the Petroyuan," as China is now converting its oil imports into Chinese Yuan as opposed to U.S. Dollars. This will be a new challenge and possibly the fatal blow to the U.S. Dollar as the dominant global reserve currency. With their industrial base all but gone, the housing market bubble popped, and the Federal Resereve funding the majority of the government debt with printed currency, the American economy can ill-afford a new challenge to its currency's reserve status. It is this very reserve status which has led to America being able to consume more than it produces for decades upon decades as foreign countries were willing to trade consumer products for paper IOU's. The Dollar's reserve status came about naturally after WW2 as the U.S. was the world's larget trading nation, exporter, and creditor. Today, China occupies all of these slots. [...]" Related: "World War 3: The Unthinkable Cost Of Preserving The Petrodollar" [10:29] "The real agenda is to protect the Petrodollar system, because it is the only thing that is currently preventing the total collapse of our fiat currency. [...]"
Commentary: "Goldman Sachs Is the Financial Kingpin of False Flag Attacks" [09/22/13] "... If one wants to predict the next false flag attack, one merely has to watch the actions and the money movements of Goldman Sachs. In the days leading up to the attacks on 9/11, Goldman Sachs “shorted” the sale of airline stocks which plummeted in the aftermath of the attacks. Just a coincidence you say? In the days leading up to the housing bubble, Goldman Sachs shorted housing stocks which ignited the bubble. The Federal government fined Goldman Sachs, but in typical fashion nobody went to jail. Just another coincidence you say? As I documented in my seven-part series, The Great Gulf Coast Holocaust, Goldman Sachs executed a “put option” for preferred insiders invested in Transocean stock, thus protecting the profits of these preferred insiders on the morning of the explosion. Transocean was the owner of the ill-fated oil rig. Goldman Sachs also sold the lion’s share of its stock less than two weeks before that fateful day on April 20, 2010. Nalco was the subsidiary of Goldman Sachs and BP at the time of the explosion. Who is Nalco? Nalco was the exclusive manufacturer of the deadly oil dispersant, Corexit. Corexit has done more to wreck the ecology of the Gulf as well as the health of the Gulf Coast residents than the oil spill itself. Again, this is all documented in my seven-part series. By the way, I count another three coincidences in this paragraph alone and if you are keeping score, we are looking at a total of five amazing coincidences. But wait, there is more! The moral of this story is clear: if there is to be a significant false flag event, the financial actions of Goldman Sachs will prove to be the key. And Goldman Sachs’ actions have signaled yet another oncoming false flag. As I reported in April, Goldman Sachs instructed its brokers to sell short on gold stocks. And then after the bulk of the gold market panicked and the price of gold plummeted in a massive sell off, the Goldman Sachs boys did it again. The Goldman Sachs brokers began to purchase gold in massive amounts, for its elite clients, at a greatly depressed price. By the way, Goldman Sachs employed the EXACT same strategy with regard to the Gulf Oil tragedy. When Goldman Sachs sold off BP stock in the days before the explosion, they purchased massive amounts of BP stock at a greatly reduced price in June of 2010. The coincidence meter is now up to seven. [...]"
Commentary: "Whistleblower: HSBC Still Laundering Money For Terrorists, Drug Cartels" [09/21/13] Video [5:45] "As a former Anti-Money Laundering Officer at HSBC, Everett Stern was arguably never actually supposed to catch money laundering activity. Instead, with little training but an inclination to make a difference, Stern caught massive levels of fraud, and contacted CIA and FBI officials in the summer of 2010 to alert them of systematic financing for terrorist organization, drug cartels and other shady entities. HSBC was eventually fined $1.9 billion dollars by the U.S. Treasury, but Stern recently joined Occupy Wall Streets’ Alt Banking protest (See video) – despite being a self-described conservative Republican – to call for criminal charges and accountability over what he says is continued money laundering on the part of HSBC officials. [...] Stern, who wanted to become a clandestine CIA agent to fight terrorism, says he’s now under threat of legal action from HSBC, but shrugged it off, telling Luke Rudkowski that he considers blowing the whistle about these activities to be a “national security issue.” Stern previously testified as a federal witness in the U.S. Government’s probe into HSBC money laundering, but unsatisfied, he continues his efforts through the grassroots to demand justice for officials involved and an end to their activities. As Taibbi wrote, “the U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks’ profit – but they didn’t extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.” HSBC, based in London, with U.S. offices in Delaware and around the world, is by no means the only major bank involved in money laundering for terrorists and drug dealers. In 2011, the London Guardian reported on how Wachovia – now part of Wells Fargo – also found itself in hot water for “failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme” back in 2006 after Mexican troops intercepted a plane carrying 5.7 tonnes of cocaine and $100 million, which were later traced back to laundering activities through the bank. Charges were brought against the bank, but resulted in only a relatively small fine." [...]"
Commentary: "USA Starts Blackmailing Russian Banks Over Syria" [09/20/13] "Here we go, not only has it gotten to the point that there have been allegations of Moscow, they say, of being a Damascus accomplice in their use of chemical weapons against insurgents and civilians, but now it’s gone as far as blackmailing Russia with the possibility of sanctions against the largest Russian banks, and this is predominantly done by the government. As they say, all’s fair in love and war! But this is just going too far! It seems that, from intensively thinking of how to get themselves out of a bind, which Washington has brought upon itself through Obama’s menacing and peremptory threats calling for air strike on Syria, some people on Capitol Hill have “lost their marbles”. Although, one cannot discount the possibility that the White House is behind this move, trying to twist Russia’s arm or, at the very least, test her “resilience”. Consequently, four American senators, two democrats and two republicans, appealed to the American government to impose sanctions against a few large Russian banks, such as Gazprombank, VTB and VEB. The reason for this, in the senators’ opinion, is that the banks, they say, finance the activities of the Syrian government. According to the senators’ letter to the State Treasury, VEB handles payments for the delivery of S-300 missile batteries to Syria, Gazprombank provides a financial channel to pay for supplies of Syrian oil and VTB holds assets of the president Bashar al-Assad. The letter addressed to the Finance Minister Jacob Lew was signed by senator-democrats Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut) and Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire), and the republicans John Cornyn (Texas) and Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire). “According to numerous reports, banks such as VTB, Vneshekonombank, and Gazprombank are carrying on ‘business as usual’ with Syria, and have repeatedly undermined American, European Union, and United Nations sanctions. Veneshekonombank’s facilitating Syrian payments for S-300 missile batteries, VTB’s holding President Assad’s personal funds, and Gazprombank’s making payments for crude oil,” states the letter. In the senators’ opinion, the assistance of Russian banks is helping the Syrian government buy weapons and continue the civil war. “In our view, these institutions are complicit in prolonging the brutal conflict in Syria and should be barred from the U.S. financial system,” state the American legislators. Senator Blumenthal clarified to the Politico newspaper, “We can freeze their assets. We can stop them from doing business in the United States, prevent their employees from traveling here.” The Treasury representative did not comment on the senators’ letter but he noted that Washington has already imposed sanctions to pressure the Syrian government. [...]"
Commentary: "Bill Gertz: Pentagon Ignoring Concept Or Reality Of Economic Warfare Against U.S." [09/20/13] [3:14]
MSM: "JPMorgan Agrees To Pay $920 Million For London Whale Loss" [09/20/13] "JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), seeking to end probes of a $6.2 billion trading debacle, admitted to violating federal securities laws and agreed to pay about $920 million for failing to implement adequate controls and providing incomplete information to regulators and its board. Senior management knew in April 2012 that the bank’s chief investment office in London, which was responsible for the loss, was using aggressive valuations that hid $750 million in losses, the Securities and Exchange Commission said today in a statement. Some executives “expressed reservations” at signing off on JPMorgan’s first-quarter earnings filings last year as required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the SEC said. [...]" Related: See below, "JPMorgan Whale Fines Said to Reach at Least $750 Million" [09/17/13]
MSM: "The Chinese Golden Dragon Is Set To Breathe Fire On The US Dollar" [09/19/13] [13:15] "In the third edition of Venture Capital, Katie Pilbeam explores the reasons why the world's largest producer of gold, China, is buying up the shiny commodity in record quantities. This sudden gold rush is igniting speculation that the country is getting set to create a new gold standard for its currency. [...]" Related: "China Converting US Debt To Gold: Wikileaks" 2011 [09/18/13] [4:33] "Wikileaks has revealed how China has been adapting to holding too much US debt. It seems they've also managed to find a way to undermine the US dollar as a the world's reserve currency at the same time. [...]"
Interviews: "Karen Hudes Predicts Lawlessness when U S Dollar Loses International Currency Status" [09/19/13] [34:37] "Karen Hudes, a former 20 year employee of the World Bank, contends the U.S. credit rating is on very dubious ground. Hudes says, "This is actually an underhanded move because they know the U.S. dollar is going to lose its status as an international currency." What would that look like to the man on the street? Hudes predicts, "Prices would change on a daily basis. They would double. The number of families that would be employed would be in the minority . . . there would be lawlessness." Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with former World Bank lawyer Karen Hudes. [...]"
Commentary: "The Financial Armageddon Looting Machine: Looming Mass Destruction from Derivatives" [09/18/13] "Increased regulation and low interest rates are driving lending from the regulated commercial banking system into the unregulated shadow banking system. The shadow banks, although free of government regulation, are propped up by a hidden government guarantee in the form of safe harbor status under the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act pushed through by Wall Street. The result is to create perverse incentives for the financial system to self-destruct. Five years after the financial collapse precipitated by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, the risk of another full-blown financial panic is still looming large, despite the Dodd Frank legislation designed to contain it. As noted in a recent Reuters article, the risk has just moved into the shadows: [B]anks are pulling back their balance sheets from the fringes of the credit markets, with more and more risk being driven to unregulated lenders that comprise the $60 trillion “shadow-banking” sector. Increased regulation and low interest rates have made lending to homeowners and small businesses less attractive than before 2008. The easy subprime scams of yesteryear are no more. The void is being filled by the shadow banking system. Shadow banking comes in many forms, but the big money today is in repos and derivatives. The notional (or hypothetical) value of the derivatives market has been estimated to be as high as $1.2 quadrillion, or twenty times the GDP of all the countries of the world combined. [...]"
MSM: "Treasury Secretary on How Unstable U.S. Government Finances Are" [09/18/13] "Treasury Secretary Jack Lew made the following statement during remarks today before the Economic Club of Washington D.C.: "We are relying on investors from all over the world to continue to hold U.S. bonds. Every Thursday, we roll-over approximately $100 billion in U.S. bills. If U.S. bond holders decided that they wanted to be repaid rather than continuing to roll-over their investments, we could unexpectedly dissipate our entire cash balance. [...]"
Commentary: "Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class" [09/17/13] "In this study, we decided to identify in detail the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world. Because of overlaps, there is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world. [...]"
MSM: "Canadian Billionaire Predicts End Of US Dollar As World’s Reserve Currency" [09/17/13] [7:23] "Canadian billionaire businessman Ned Goodman predicts the end of the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. He predicts the transition out of the U.S. Dollar will become, “…quite ugly.” He delivered the lecture at Cambridge House’s Toronto Resource Investment Conference 2013 on Thursday, September 12, 2013. [...]"
MSM: "JPMorgan Whale Fines Said to Reach at Least $750 Million" [09/17/13] "JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) has agreed to pay at least $750 million to resolve U.S. and U.K. regulatory probes of its record trading loss last year, people with knowledge of the negotiations said. The bank’s bad bets on derivatives, placed by U.K. trader Bruno Iksil, prompted authorities on two continents to open investigations into the firm’s controls and disclosures last year as losses surpassed $6.2 billion. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority are among watchdogs planning to sanction the New York-based lender, the people said. Some settlements may be announced as early as this week, and total penalties may yet change, one of the people said. Iksil, who became known as the London Whale because his trading book was so large, agreed in June to testify against his colleagues after U.S. prosecutors promised not to charge him. [...]" Note: "JP Morgan agrees to settle for $750 million in September 2013. The CME Group had $750 million in long term debt that matured in August 2013. JP Morgan is done with commodities and Blythe Masters appears to be on the way out and the whole issue linchpins on the rating agencies valuation of credit default swaps. Nothing to see here, folks, but a few coincidences … move along ..." Source
Commentary: "Five Years After Market Crash, U.S. Economy Seen As ‘No More Secure’" [09/17/13] "The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted September 4-8 among 1,506 adults, finds that 54% say household incomes have “hardly recovered at all” from the recession. Nearly as many (52%) say the job situation has barely recovered. [...]"
MSM: "Larry Summers Withdraws Name For Fed Chair" [09/16/13] "The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel is reporting Larry Summers has withdrawn his name for Fed chair. "I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the Administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation's ongoing economic recovery," Summers wrote in a letter to President Obama, Wessel writes. Summers was facing opposition from left-leaning pundits, as well as more than 200 economists who signed an open letter in support of current Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen. [...]" Note: Good
Commentary: "Agenda in Syria: Larry Summers and Cronies Opening the World to Criminal Banksters" Daniel Estulin [09/15/13] "Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted. Syria is now in the cross-hairs. Why? Here is one overlooked scenario. In an August 2013 article titled “ Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization. The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen. Publicly-owned banks are also a threat to the mushrooming derivatives business, since governments with their own banks don’t need interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, or investment-grade ratings by private rating agencies in order to finance their operations. Bank deregulation proceeded according to plan, and the government- sanctioned and -nurtured derivatives business mushroomed into a $700-plus trillion pyramid scheme. Highly leveraged, completely unregulated, and dangerously unsustainable, it collapsed in 2008 when investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, taking a large segment of the global economy with it. The countries that managed to escape were those sustained by public banking models outside the international banking net. These countries were not all Islamic. Forty percent of banks globally are publicly-owned. They are largely in the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—which house forty percent of the global population. They also escaped the 2008 credit crisis, but they at least made a show of conforming to Western banking rules. This was not true of the “rogue” Islamic nations, where usury was forbidden by Islamic teaching. To make the world safe for usury, these rogue states had to be silenced by other means. Having failed to succumb to economic coercion, they wound up in the crosshairs of the powerful US military. Here is some data in support of that thesis. [...]"
Commentary: "Asset Freeze on Syrian Nationals Kept in Place" [09/14/13] "Two Syrian nationals with ties to President Bashar al-Assad's brutal regime have no basis to fight the freeze on their assets, Europe's general court ruled Friday. The Council of the European Union has been freezing the assets of individuals involved with the violent repression of peaceful protests in Syria in 2011. Lawmakers first blacklisted Syrian intelligence officer Eyad Makhlouf - brother of Syrian billionaire Rami Makhlouf and Assad's cousin - for his role in suppressing what was known then as the Beirut Spring. When the council extended the freeze to individuals and benefits benefiting from or supporting the Assad regime later that year, it added agribusiness tycoon Issam Anbouba to the list. Council documents supporting Anbouba's inclusion accused him of "providing financial support for the repressive apparatus and the paramilitary groups exerting violence against the civil population in Syria" and "providing property (premises, warehouses) for improvised detention centers," according to a court statement.[...]"
Commentary: "Greg Palast: A Memo that Confirms Every Conspiracy Nightmare About International Bankster Collusion & Criminality" [09/14/13] [9:12] "Luke Rudkowski interviews investigative journalist Greg Palast about the secret memo he uncovered. The End Game memo uncovered how top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to benefit themselves. The memo indicates high level politicians like Larry Summers, who is most likely going to be appointed the next chairman of the Federal Reserve by Obama. [...]" See below
Commentary: "Secret Memos With Summers And Geithner To Deregulate The Market" [09/13/13] [3:50] "1996 emails have just come to light between Larry Summers, Obama’s current nominee to chair the federal reserve, and Tim Geithner detailing plans to deregulate international markets and effectively set the stage for the global financial collapse. We discuss the news on this clip from the Buzzsaw news with Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace. [...]"
Flashback: "How the Economy was Lost, Doomed by the Myths of Free Trade" [09/12/13] "The American economy has gone away. It is not coming back until free trade myths are buried six feet under. America’s 20th century economic success was based on two things. Free trade was not one of them. America’s economic success was based on protectionism, which was ensured by the union victory in the Civil War, and on British indebtedness, which destroyed the British pound as world reserve currency. Following World War II, the U.S. dollar took the role as reserve currency, a privilege that allows the U.S. to pay its international bills in its own currency. World War II and socialism together ensured that the U.S. economy dominated the world at the mid 20th century. The economies of the rest of the world had been destroyed by war or were stifled by socialism [in terms of the priorities of the capitalist growth model. Editors.] The ascendant position of the U.S. economy caused the U.S. government to be relaxed about giving away American industries, such as textiles, as bribes to other countries for cooperating with America’s cold war and foreign policies. For example, Turkey’s U.S. textile quotas were increased in exchange for over-flight rights in the Gulf War, making lost U.S. textile jobs an off-budget war expense. [...] In pursuit of ever more profits, financial institutions began betting on the success and failure of various debt instruments and by implication on firms. They bought and sold collateral debt swaps. A buyer pays a premium to a seller for a swap to guarantee an asset’s value. If an asset “insured” by a swap falls in value, the seller of the swap is supposed to make the owner of the swap whole. The purchaser of a swap is not required to own the asset in order to contract for a guarantee of its value. Therefore, as many people could purchase as many swaps as they wished on the same asset. Thus, the total value of the swaps greatly exceeds the value of the assets.* The next step is for holders of the swaps to short the asset in order to drive down its value and collect the guarantee. As the issuers of swaps were not required to reserve against them, and as there is no limit to the number of swaps, the payouts could easily exceed the net worth of the issuer. This was the most shameful and most mindless form of speculation. Gamblers were betting hands that they could not cover. The US regulators fled their posts. The American financial institutions abandoned all integrity. As a consequence, American financial institutions and rating agencies are trusted nowhere on earth.[...]"
Commentary: "Nigel Farage On The Series of EU Economic Summits" [09/12/13] [6:19] The financial collapse of the EU is not far off.
Commentary: "On-Going Collapse Of The U.S. Treasury Bond Market Is A Disaster In The Making" [09/09/13] "With an endless amount of criminality originating from Washington DC and the on-going rush to war against Syria there is one very critical development that has gone largely unnoticed outside of financial circles. The U.S. Treasury bond market which has been artificially propped up through the Federal Reserve’s bond purchasing policies has really started to unravel over the past few months. The interest rate on the 10-year note has quickly moved up from roughly 1.5% this past May and is now floating around the 3% mark. We have also seen the U.S. government run massive annual deficits around the $1 trillion mark that are piling on to an already enormous debt level. The official U.S. national debt total recently passed $16 trillion and that’s not including all of the unfunded liabilities which would make that number multiple times higher. If both the national debt level and bond interest rates continue to rise, it will soon become impossible for the U.S. government to service its existing debt obligations. Needless to say this type of situation would cause an untold amount of havoc to not only the American economy but the global economy as well. To counter this possibility the Fed will likely expand their bond purchasing programs but we are quickly reaching a point where these policies will soon have no effect in bailing out the system. [...]"
MSM: "Poland Confiscates Half Of Private Pension Funds To "Cut" Sovereign Debt Load" [09/09/13] "While the world was glued to the developments in the Mediterranean in the past week, Poland took a page straight out of Rahm Emanuel's playbook and in order to not let a crisis go to waste, announced quietly that it would transfer to the state - i.e., confiscate - the bulk of assets owned by the country's private pension funds (many of them owned by such foreign firms as PIMCO parent Allianz, AXA, Generali, ING and Aviva), without offering any compensation. In effect, the state just nationalized roughly half of the private sector pension fund assets, although it had a more politically correct name for it: pension overhaul. By way of background, Poland has a hybrid pension system: as Reuters explains, mandatory contributions are made into both the state pension vehicle, known as ZUS, and the private funds, which are collectively known by the Polish acronym OFE. Bonds make up roughly half the private funds' portfolios, with the rest company stocks. And while a change to state-pension funds was long awaited - an overhaul if you will - nobody expected that this would entail a literal pillage of private sector assets. [...]"
MSM: "G20 Agrees On Worldwide Access To All Information On The Wealth Of The Citizens For Global Taxation" [09/08/13] "The G-20 summit has made a major decision that will enable the DEFLATIONARY destruction of the World Economy and life as we knew it. From here on out, the control of all data being collected internationally (including NSA) regarding the wealth of citizens worldwide, will be made available to every member state.Under the cover of terrorism, there is no profit in stopping terrorists. It is all about using them to further power. They are arming and funding terrorist organization in Syria. But if they turn those weapon against the USA, it will get more power. [...]"
MSM: "10 Year Treasury Note Fast Approaching 3%" CNBC [09/06/13] Related: "At 3.5% For 10Y Yields, All Hell Will Break Loose In The Financial World" See also, below: "What Is Going To Happen If Interest Rates Continue To Rise Rapidly?" [08/17/13]; "The Most Important Number In The Entire U.S. Economy" [08/04/13]
Commentary: "Syria Could Become A Rallying Point Against The Banksters" [09/03/13] "Both my insider sources and some of my prominent colleagues in the alternative media are now reporting that Obama may have to wait as long as eight weeks, or more, to launch a decisive military strike against Syria. To our foreign friends and our fellow countrymen, I say take a bow as we have won some breathing room, but we must press on. However, any news of peace is not welcome news to the globalist-serving minions such as Secretary of State, John Kerry, who stated that sarin gas has been found in chemical weapons residue in Damascus, and this implicates Assad as being the source of the chemical weapons attack. That is like saying that a gun has been found at the scene of a homicide and the ownership of the gun can be ascribed to whatever political enemy deemed necessary. But apparently, that is Secretary Kerry’s story and he is sticking with it. Yet, Kerry’s logic is so horribly flawed. Why would Assad do the one thing that would allow the United States and her allies to wage war on Syria based on a pretext provided by Assad himself? Further, the chemical weapons attack occurred in a residential area under the control of the rebels. Assad is not stupid and he would never hand a loaded gun to Obama. Further, the chemical weapons target had no military value. In other words, there was nothing to gain for Assad to have launched the attack. However, we should not confuse Obama and Kerry with the facts. [...] It is obvious to most neutral observers that the most that the CIA backed al-Qaeda led rebels could hope to achieve in the Syrian Civil War was a stalemate. Consequently, Obama needed a game changer because, as I have pointed out in several recent articles, the bankers are holding no less than six Watergate-type scandals (e.g. Benghazi) over Obama’s head as they blackmail him into producing results in the Middle East, which will culminate in saving the petrodollar. The game-changing event that Obama needed appears to most of us in the alternative media to consist of a false flag chemical weapons attack which could be used to implicate Assad. Of course, in this scenario, this event would be followed by military strikes which would be launched against Syria and a regime change would surely take place. The United Nations can investigate the event all they want, however, they will never be able to determine which side did it to any degree of certainty unless they are in on the fix. [...]" Related: See below: "US ‘Banksters’ Have Syria In Sights" [08/27/13]
MSM: "Hungary Makes History: Sheds Banksters’ Shackles And Kicks Out The IMF" [09/02/13] "Hungary is making history of the first order. Not since the 1930s in Germany has a major European country dared to escape from the clutches of the Rothschild-controlled international banking cartels. This is stupendous news that should encourage nationalist patriots worldwide to increase the fight for freedom from financial tyranny. Already in 2011, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán promised to serve justice on his socialist predecessors, who sold the nation’s people into unending debt slavery under the lash of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the terrorist state of Israel. Those earlier administrations were riddled with Israelis in high places, to the fury of the masses, who finally elected Orbán’s Fidesz party in response. According to a report on the German-language website “National Journal,” Orbán has now moved to unseat the usurers from their throne. The popular, nationalistic prime minister told the IMF that Hungary neither wants nor needs further “assistance” from that proxy of the Rothschild-owned Federal Reserve Bank. No longer will Hungarians be forced to pay usurious interest to private, unaccountable central bankers. Instead, the Hungarian government has assumed sovereignty over its own currency and now issues money debt free, as it is needed. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. The nation’s economy, formerly staggering under deep indebtedness, has recovered rapidly and by means not seen since National Socialist Germany. The Hungarian Economic Ministry announced that it has, thanks to a “disciplined budget policy,” repaid on August 12, 2013, the remaining €2.2B owed to the IMF—well before the March 2014 due date. Orbán declared: “Hungary enjoys the trust of investors,” by which is not meant the IMF, the Fed or any other tentacle of the Rothschild financial empire. Rather, he was referring to investors who produce something in Hungary for Hungarians and cause true economic growth. This is not the “paper prosperity” of plutocratic pirates, but the sort of production that actually employs people and improves their lives. [...]" Related: "World Bank: Money Laundering Criminals- Interview with Whistleblower Karen Hudes" [8:38] "Abby Martin talks to Karen Hudes, former senior executive at the World Bank, about her experience blowing the whistle on the high level corruption within the international financial system and how her story was censored.[...]"
Commentary: "Russia Restructures Cyprus Debt; Cyprus Prohibits US Strikes On Syria" [09/01/13] "Yesterday afternoon, Russia agreed to restructure Cyprus’ EUR 2.5 billion loan terms to a much more affordable 2.5% semi-annual coupon through 2016 and a principal re-payment over the following four years. While probably still out of reach for the desperate economy, it was a positive step. Of course, this ‘offer’ by Russia has its quid pro quo. This morning, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has stated that Cyprus territory will not be used to launch military strikes against Syria, as “Cyprus wants to live up to its responsibility as a shelter if needed for nationals of friendly countries who evacuate from Middle East”. It would appear Obama’s influence is fading everywhere… [...]"
Commentary: "Former US Treasury Official – U.S. To Experience Total Collapse in 2014" [09/01/13] "Today a former US Treasury Official shocked King World News when he warned that the U.S. would experience a total collapse. He also warned that the entire Western financial system will be brought to its knees because, unlike 1980 when he and others saved the United States from collapse, the collapse cannot be stopped this time. This is without question one of the most powerful interviews Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has ever done. Dr. Roberts: “The (U.S.) deficit projections, if they are honestly done by the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget, will show a larger deficit projection then Congress faced the last time they refused to deal with the issue. So, what will they do when as of mid-October the new Treasury Secretary has said that ‘The Treasury will have run out of tricks’ to get around the debt ceiling limit. For example, what the Treasury has done to evade this limit is to pay itself dividends out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. [...] Eric King: "Do you see a scenario that you see going forward — global stock markets collapsing and gold and silver skyrocketing?” Dr. Roberts: “Yes. I think that’s the most likely effect. I think it probably starts this fall/winter, and next year will be a dismal year in terms of economic history. That’s what the supply-side economic program did — It solved the problem for 20 years. But the problem we have now is that policy doesn’t address it. Supply-side economics can’t solve the problems we have now, and there is really no known economic solution. It really doesn’t have a solution at this point. It’s gone on too long.” King: “Dr. Roberts, the people that were looking for a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the financial system 33 years ago (1980), is that (finally) in front of us now?” Dr. Roberts: “I think it’s likely that we are going to see that. But what they were looking at then (in 1980) had a different cause. The problem then is not related to the problem now. There was a solution (in 1980), and it was solved. So it (the collapse) did not come about. The situation today is in no way comparable to 1980. When you’ve got 3 or 4 American banks with derivative exposure that is three of four times larger than all of the wealth in the world combined, these bets can’t be covered. No amount of money can be printed to bail that out. It’s the Americans that deregulated and destroyed their own financial system. It will have repercussions worldwide because, to varying degrees, every part of the world is connected to the American financial system. The ones most connected will be hurt the worst. I think the results of the toll will fall on the United States and Europe. So it will be Western civilization which is simply moved aside, and is no longer the #1 arbiter and decision-maker (in the world). They (countries in the West) have brought failure to themselves. They, the United States and Europe, are going to become 2nd world, and 3rd world countries.[...] Gold and silver will surge in September and they will both make substantial new highs in 2014. Gold will go up hundreds of percent from current levels, and possibly even thousands of percent. But, sadly, gold going up means a total mismanagement of the world economy, and at some point the disastrous destruction of paper money."
Commentary: "Pentagon Can’t Afford Syria Operation; Must Seek Additional Funds" [08/31/13] "The U.S. military, struggling after defense cuts of tens of billions of dollars, will be unable to pay for attacks on Syria from current operating funds and must seek additional money from Congress, according to congressional aides. [...]"
Commentary: "Jackson Hole Conclave: Central Bankers Plan Global Theft, Massive Pain" [08/30/13] "The annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this past week (August 22-24), sponsored by the Federal Reserve, elicited a collective yawn from the establishment media. Since Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had announced earlier that he would not be attending — the first time in 24 years a Fed chairman has missed the annual confab — most media reports downplayed the significance of the conference and focused on speculation over how soon the Fed might begin its announced “tapering” program (Will it be in September, December, or January?), and by how much (Will it be a reduction of $10 billion/month, or $15 billion, or $20 billion?). An even bigger diversion was the speculation over the anticipated departure of Bernanke from the Fed and who his replacement is likely to be — with Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers leading the short list of candidates. [...]"
MSM: "Insider Traders Begin Dumping Monsanto Stocks as Reality of GMOs Sinks in Across Wall Street" [08/27/13] "Monsanto executives and insiders are dumping Monsanto stock in record volumes, sending the stock price spiraling downward. CEO Hugh Grant just sold off 40,000 shares at $97.74, and both Janet Holloway and Gerald Steiner -- both high-level Monsanto executives -- recently ditched more than 10,000 shares each. Tom Hartley also bailed on another 6,000 shares at $100.15. Hedge funds, meanwhile, are also dumping Monsanto stock, most likely due to sharply increased "negative sentiment." This means people increasingly don't like Monsanto, and that's a direct result of all the growing realizations about the dangers of GMOs, Monsanto's predatory business practices, the company's dangerous experiments that have already unleashed genetic pollution, and the fact that GM corn has been experimentally found to cause widespread cancer tumors in rat studies. Just the fact that Monsanto's GE wheat trials got out of control and contaminated a wheat field in Oregon -- causing Japan and South Korea to ban U.S. wheat imports -- has resulted in 150 groups now demanding the USDA keep a tighter lid on Monsanto's GMO experiments. These groups are fed up with seeing the market value of their crops destroyed by sloppy "open field" experiments being conducted by Monsanto that spread genetic pollution across the country and contaminate non-GMO crops. (Monsanto goes even further and actually sues the farmers whose fields they contaminated!) [...]"
MSM: US ‘Banksters’ Have Syria In Sights" [08/27/13] [3:50] "An American author and journalist says war profiteers and “banksters” in the United States have embarked upon a vigorous “media campaign” to bring Washington closer to another war in the Middle East. “The banksters are looking for a pretext to get at the oil, natural gas and pipeline roots that run through Syria,” Dean Henderson said in an interview with Press TV on Monday. They seek to "destroy" Syria and would like to see the country descend further into chaos like Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, he said. “Because in chaos they make a lot of money, they ‘rebuild’ a lot of stuff, and there is a lot of contracts.” “This fascist regime of bankers [is] basically using the United States government, the British government and the French government who are all just servant to these people,” Henderson said. He made the remarks as a growing number of Republicans and Democrats in Congress are urging the administration of President Barack Obama to approve military action against Syria following reports of a deadly chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus last week. “It’s obvious that the rebels were behind these attacks,” Henderson said. The CIA and the Israeli Mossad are using the militants as their “puppets” to incriminate the Syrian government and make the United States launch a military offensive against the Arab country, he suggested. “It’s a lie. Hopefully enough of the world will wake up to prevent it from happening.” President Obama said last year that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government was “a red line” that would provoke a military response. [...]"
MSM: "Obama Administration Sees Mid-October Default Deadline" [08/27/13] "The Obama administration warned Congress on Monday that the United States could run out of money to pay its bills soon after mid-October if lawmakers do not move swiftly to raise a limit on government borrowing. [...]" Related: "Treasury Warns Congress Over Raising Debt Ceiling"
MSM: "JPMorgan Chase Hit With China Bribery Probe" [08/25/13] "JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the Big Four banks of the United States, is facing yet another scandal — and another federal probe for possible crimes and improprieties. This time the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether JPMorgan Chase violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by hiring Chinese “princelings” — sons and daughters of China’s super-wealthy Communist Party officials — in order to win business contracts from China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs). While it is not illegal for U.S. companies to hire people who are politically connected, doing so with the expectation of winning business from their relatives is considered bribery. It is hardly shocking that JPMorgan Chase may be guilty of this practice; what else would one expect when one of the wealthiest and most corrupt banks in the world partners with one of the wealthiest, most corrupt, and ruthless regimes in the world? But JPMorgan Chase is hardly alone; virtually all of the big investment banks operating in China have been using the “hire-a-princeling” strategy as standard operating procedure for the past two decades. Last week, two of the bank’s former London traders — Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout — were indicted for allegedly concealing massive bank losses in the infamous “London whale” debacle. When we reported on the matter last year, the losses were listed as $2 billion. Now, it turns out, those losses were seriously under counted; the real losses are around $6.2 billion. So far, the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, has not only managed to evade any personal responsibility for the company’s ongoing massive scandals, but continued to profit — at taxpayer expense. Dimon, a top Wall Street insider, continues to serve as a Class A Director of the Board of Directors of the New York Federal Reserve and JPMorgan Chase continues to enjoy its sweetheart status with the Fed as a “primary dealer,” giving it access to the Fed’s magic money- out-of-thin-air machine. For helping create the mortgage meltdown crisis of 2008, Dimon’s bank was rewarded with $390 billion in emergency “loans” from the Fed. [...]"
Commentary: "Crime Without Punishment: Canada’s Investment Fraud Problem" [08/25/13] "A 2012 survey conducted by the British Columbia Securities Commission found that 17 per cent of Canadians over 50 believe they have already been the victim of an investment fraud at some time in their lives, a number that jumps to 29 per cent among people who say they are active investors. Given the regulatory and legal resources available to victims of fraud, few of these individuals will get help. For years, victims and investor advocates have complained that smaller securities fraud cases – those that don’t get national media attention – rarely lead to criminal charges and jail sentences. Laws on parole and sentencing for white-collar criminals have been tightened in recent years, but that hasn’t brought more scam architects before the court. [...]"
Commentary: "The Myth of War Prosperity" [08/24/13] [49:26] "Lecture presented by Robert Higgs at the Mises Circle in Houston: "Great Economic Myths," Saturday 29 January 2008; Sponsored by Jeremy S. Davis. Robert Higgs, Ph.D. is an American economist of the Austrian School. His writings in economics and economic history have most often focused on the causes, means, and effects of government growth. Some of the books he has authored include, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government; Resurgence of the Warfare State: The Crisis Since 9/11, and Depression, War and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy. He is also the editor of the collections, Re-Thinking Green: Alternatives to Environmental Bureaucracy; The Challenge of Liberty: Classical Liberalism Today; and Opposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global Interventionism. [...]" Note: See the Myth being used with the build-up to the concept of a Syrian war. See more Higgs lectures on the Notable Videos panel.
Commentary: "The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis" Greg Palast [08/23/13] "When a little birdie dropped the End Game memo through my window, its content was so explosive, so sick and plain evil, I just couldn't believe it. The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak’s fantasy: that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet. When you see 26.3 percent unemployment in Spain, desperation and hunger in Greece, riots in Indonesia and Detroit in bankruptcy, go back to this End Game memo, the genesis of the blood and tears. The Treasury official playing the bankers’ secret End Game was Larry Summers. Today, Summers is Barack Obama’s leading choice for Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, the world’s central bank. If the confidential memo is authentic, then Summers shouldn’t be serving on the Fed, he should be serving hard time in some dungeon reserved for the criminally insane of the finance world. [...]"
Concepts and Practices: "The Source Of Systemic Crisis: Risk And Moral Hazard" [08/23/13] "Programs that backstop banks and social insurance systems like Medicare are not like fire or life insurance, and therein lies the source of systemic crisis. There are all sorts of candidates for the root cause of the systemic global financial crisis, but if we separate the wheat from the chaff we're left with risk and moral hazard. Pointing to human greed and cupidity as the cause doesn't identify anything useful about this era's crisis, as human greed, self-interest and opportunism are default settings. That institutions have failed is self-evident, as is their inability to structurally reform themselves. If we ask why this is so, we eventually come back to the source: risk and moral hazard. The key to understanding risk is to ask where it is being offloaded. Risk cannot be disappeared, it can only be transferred or cloaked. The question is: who is it being transferred/offloaded to? What are the consequences of risk pooling up in these reservoirs? Moral hazard is a fancy way of saying those who have no risk act quite differently from those burdened with risk. Here's an easy way to grasp the concept: imagine two gamblers in a casino. One is backstopped up to $1 million by a wealthy patron; every loss he incurs will be made good until the $1 million is consumed. The other gambler has only his own cash to put at risk. Moral hazard means risk has been separated from consequence. The backstopped gambler can make hugely risky bets with abandon because the risk of losses have been offloaded to the patron. There is literally no consequence to losing speculations until the backstop is exhausted. The gambler using his own cash is exposed to consequence at every bet: a few bad bets and he's busted, broke, and unable to continue gambling. The systemic backstopping of speculative losses incurred by banks was and remains the source of the global financial crisis. Simply put, systemic moral hazard leads to self-reinforcing feedback loops of risky bets and catastrophically poor decision-making by speculators and policy makers. [...]" Note: The playground of psychopaths... theft with no consequence and no risk ...
Commentary: "As Its Currency Collapses, India Doubles Down On Big Brother Surveillance" [08/22/13] "What’s a clueless government trying to micromanage the affairs of over a billion people supposed to do when the wheels start coming off the wagon? If you’re India, you blame the country’s financial and societal woes on the buying of gold and attempt to prevent people from purchasing it. When that doesn’t work, and your currency continues to collapse, then what? Well, you decide to double down on a surveillance state. That’s precisely what the enlightened government bureaucrats at India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have decided to do. [...]"
Commentary: "18 Signs That Global Financial Markets Are Circling The Drain" [08/20/13] "Of course a lot of people believe that we will never see another major financial crisis like we experienced in 2008 ever again. A lot of people think that this type of "doom and gloom" talk is foolish. It is those kinds of people that did not see the last financial crash coming and that are choosing not to prepare for the next one even though the warning signs are exceedingly clear. Let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst, and right now things do not look good at all. The following are 18 signs that global financial markets are entering a horrifying death spiral... [...]"
MSM: "Why Bankers Don't Go to Jail: Taibbi Visits with Bill Moyers" [08/19/13] [15:19] "Had the great honor to visit again with the incomparable Bill Moyers, one of my favorite people and someone I've always looked up to. This week, we talked about Mary Jo White, the wrist-slapping HSBC and UBS settlements (about which a full Rolling Stone feature is coming, hitting newsstands next week), and the whole question of why some people go to jail and others don't. [...]"
MSM: "Demand For Physical Gold Threatens To Break The Back Of The Conceptual 'Paper Gold' Market" [08/17/13] "The demand for physical gold is exploding all over the world, and bullion banks are now experiencing a supply crunch that is absolutely unprecedented. As physical demand continues to rise, the massive Ponzi scheme that the bullion banks have been engaged in is going to become increasingly obvious, and at some point the lack of physical gold is going to break the back of the paper gold market and we are going to see the price of gold go to levels that we have never seen before. You see, the truth is that the central banks of the world and the bullion banks have made “paper promises” that vastly exceed the amount of actual physical gold in existence. This kind of scheme works fine if everyone does not come asking for their gold at the same time. Unfortunately for the ones running this scheme, people are now starting to ask for their gold back and it is causing huge problems. [...]"
Commentary: "What Is Going To Happen If Interest Rates Continue To Rise Rapidly?" [08/17/13] "If you want to track how close we are to the next financial collapse, there is one number that you need to be watching above all others. The number that I am talking about is the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries, because it affects thousands of other interest rates in our financial system. When the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries goes up, that is bad for the U.S. economy because it pushes long-term interest rates up. When interest rates rise, it constricts the flow of credit, and a healthy flow of credit is absolutely essential to the debt-based system that we live in. Just imagine someone squeezing a tube that has water flowing through it. So yes, we all need to be carefully watching the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries. On Friday, it opened at 2.76% and hit a high of 2.86% before closing at 2.83%. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries is up nearly 120 basis points since the beginning of May, and almost everyone on Wall Street seems convinced that it is going to go much higher. We are truly moving into unprecedented territory, because we have been in a bull market for U.S. Treasuries for the last 30 years. Many investors don't even know that it is possible to lose money on U.S. Treasuries. They have been described as "risk-free" investments, but that is far from the truth. In fact, we could see bond investors of all types end up losing trillions of dollars before it is all said and done. [...]" Related: See below: "The Most Important Number In The Entire U.S. Economy" [08/04/13] 2.63% At market close Fri Aug 2, 2013.
MSM: "International Investors Dump $40.8 Billion In Treasuries, The Most Ever" [08/16/13] "It was an absolute disaster for the bond market — and for good reason: Foreign holders dumped a whopping $40.8 billion in long-term Treasuries, the biggest exodus from bonds in the history of the U.S. Worse, June was actually the third month of mass dumping in the past four, for a total of $79 billion. China, the biggest holder of our bonds, unloaded $21.5 billion, while Japan, the second-largest holder, dumped $20.3 billion. [...]"
Commentary: "U.S. Plans To Arrest 2 Former JPMorgan Employees Over $6B Loss" [08/15/13] "Authorities are planning to arrest two former JPMorgan Chase employees suspected of masking the size of a multi-billion-dollar trading loss. Javier Martin-Artajo, a manager who oversaw the trading strategy from London, and Julien Grout, a low-level trader responsible for recording the value of the soured bets, are facing a possible extradition under British authorities in the coming days for masking a 6 billion dollar trading loss in 2012. The loss came from outsized wagers from the bank's chief investment office in London, using derivatives to bet on large corporations like American Airlines. These wagers completely tanked last year, racking up a steep $6 billion loss for JPMorgan Chase. After almost a year in investigating, federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. have decided the pair intentionally misrepresented the losses by over $400 million to hide the information from executives in New York. [...]"
Interviews: "'On the Edge' with Max Keiser - Stefan Molyneux" [08/15/13] [22:53] On concept of economics based on volunteerism, and the fundamental flaws in thinking about the nature of society, and that there are principles that work that are being ignored in terms of how society is conducted.
Commentary: "Unsealed Court-Settlement Documents Reveal Banks Stole $Trillions' Worth Of Houses" [08/13/13] "Back in 2012, the major US banks settled a federal mortgage-fraud lawsuit for $1B. The suit was filed by Lynn Szymoniak, a white-collar fraud specialist, whose own house had been fraudulently foreclosed-upon. When the feds settled with the banks, the evidence detailing the scope of their fraud was sealed, but as of last week, those docs are unsealed, and Szymoniak is shouting them from the hills. The banks precipitated the subprime crash by "securitizing" mortgages -- turning mortgages into bonds that could be sold to people looking for investment income -- and the securitization process involved transferring title for homes several times over. This title-transfer has a formal legal procedure, and in the absence of that procedure, no sale had taken place. See where this is going? The banks screwed up the title transfers. A lot. They sold bonds backed by houses they didn't own. When it came time to foreclose on those homes, they realized that they didn't actually own them, and so they committed felony after felony, forging the necessary documentation. They stole houses, by the neighborhood-load, and got away with it. The $1B settlement sounded like a big deal, back when the evidence was sealed. Now that Szymoniak's gotten it into the public eye, it's clear that $1B was a tiny slap on the wrist: the banks stole trillions of dollars' worth of houses from you and people like you, paid less than one percent in fines, and got to keep the homes. [...]" Related: "Big 6 Banks Have Stolen More than $30 Billion from Local Governments"
Commentary: "Swiss Authorities: $650 Billion Deposits Can Be Seized To Save Two Swiss Banks" [08/13/13] "A paper published by the Swiss banking regulator FINMA is causing an uproar in Switzerland, and confirming all allegations raised by Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) against the planned "Quantitative Stealing" which is known as “new bank resolution plans” across Europe and in the United States (Dodd-Frank Act Title II). The paper says that up to 600 billion Swiss Franc (487 billion Euro, or $650 billion) of depositors money is included in the “bail-in” chest to save the two large Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, alone. The FINMA paper was issued on Aug. 7 and was published in English on the FINMA website. The paper is an assessment of how the bail-in procedures introduced in Switzerland at the end of 2012 would work in the case of the two "too-big-to- fail" Swiss banks, and is shockingly candid in its admissions. For instance: [...]"
Commentary: "Federal Court Rules That the Bitcoin Is Money" [08/11/13] "When the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Trendon Shavers, the founder of Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST) with running a Ponzi scheme, Shavers challenged the agency by claiming that bitcoins didn't fall under their definition of securities and so therefore he and his company were exempt from SEC rules. Federal Judge Amos Mazzant ruled otherwise, which was bad news for Shavers but good news for bitcoin owners who have been using the digital currency as money ever since it was invented in 2009. [...]"
Satire: "Markets In Turmoil As Price Of Money Skyrockets To $90 A Dollar" The Onion [08/11/13] [1:36] "After fluctuating wildly this morning between $1 and $35, the price of money spiked to an unprecedented $90 a dollar in afternoon trading, plunging international financial markets into chaos. [...]"
Historical Research: "During The Best Period Of Economic Growth In U.S. History There Was No Income Tax And No Federal Reserve" [08/10/13] "The mainstream media would have us believe that unless we have someone "to pull the levers" our economy would descend into utter chaos, but the truth is that the best period of economic growth in U.S. history occurred during a time when there was no income tax and no Federal Reserve. Between the Civil War and 1913, the U.S. economy experienced absolutely explosive growth. The free market system thrived and the rest of the world looked at us with envy. The federal government was very limited in size, there was no income tax for most of that time and there was no central bank. To many Americans, it would be absolutely unthinkable to have such a society today, but it actually worked very, very well. Without the inventions and innovations that came out of that period, the world would be a far different place today. It is amazing what can happen when the government just gets out of the way. Check out all of the wonderful things that Wikipedia says happened for the U.S. economy during those years... [...]"
Commentary: "The Pareto Threshold" [08/09/13] "Human history is a depressing cycle of repetition. Societies/economies rise; societies/economies crumble. The patterns of these cycles are virtually identical, yet living through thousands of years of this “history”, we have learned nothing . Indeed, our understanding (and thus our “memory”) of history is worse than useless, as it is characterized by fundamental misconceptions which guarantee the repetition of this Cycle of Futility. Ironically, just a few years before Santayana’s time, an economist (and Jack-of-all-trades) named Vilfredo Pareto was born (1848 – 1923) in Italy. Pareto himself was not a “thinker” he was an observer. What Pareto observed around him was that he quite often encountered bizarre “80/20 splits” in the allocation of a particular resource (or resources), where a 20% minority held an (inverse) 80% share – while the 80% majority held only a 20% share. Pareto remains blameless in History. He merely reported what he observed. It was the idiot-economists who came after him who took his data and managed to pervert it into the most-preposterous conclusion which one could draw from Pareto’s observations: the “Pareto Principle”. [...] The economic zealots who propound this pseudo-science assert that this grossly disproportional allocation of resources is, in fact, an “equilibrium”. Thus the supporters of this Great Myth assert that such an unequal, 80/20 allocation of resources is actually (supposedly) appropriate, and thus the Pareto Principle is often expressed instead as “Pareto equilibrium.” Within these Zealots is a cadre of extremists who take this idiocy an order of magnitude further. Not only do they presume these 80/20 splits to represent “equilibrium”, but they actually insist that such a division is optimal. Thus to the extreme Zealots, the Pareto Principle is simply the expression of “Pareto optimality”; that an unequal 80/20 division of resources is not merely appropriate – but it is an ideal to which we should aspire. Clearly none of these economic Zealots ever heeded the warning of Santayana, and learned their history. If they had done so (with any diligence), then undoubtedly they would have come across another “principle”, nearly 2,000 years older than the observation put forth by Pareto, from a Greek philosopher named Plutarch, who was living in Rome at the time. The Plutarch Principle was not only considered “wisdom” in its own time (and thus has survived 2,000 years), it has been confirmed again and again and again since then by our Cycle of Futility: “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all Republics.” Two thousand years ago, it was old news that a grossly disproportionate allocation of wealth was not “optimal”, but rather suicidal. Two thousand years ago, it was old news that the Pareto Principle was nothing more than a recipe for disaster. threshold – n. The point that must be exceeded to begin producing a given effect or result. equilibrium – n. A state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces. What have we seen throughout our Cycles of Futility since Plutarch uttered his own, immortal Principle? Virtually every time we see economic/ societal collapse (or even revolution) we see simultaneously that the Rich have gotten very, very rich, and the Poor have gotten very, very poor." Note:  Primarily because of the continued reincarnation of the same individual spirits, over and over again, in positions of power .... things change, but 'stay the same', and they are myopic and in it for the 'short-term' .... no imagination and foresight ... failure is the only possible outcome, because the nature of this temporary civilization here always precluded their 'success', and they suffer from their own lack of discernment and immaturity. Related: See more buffoonery below:
MSM: "Fed Will Bankrupt the US Trying to “Create” Jobs" [08/09/13] "The primary myth being perpetuated by the Central Banks of the world is the belief that loose monetary policy and money printing will lead to economic growth. This is the reason why Central banks have cut interest rates more than 511 times since June 2007. It’s also why they’ve expanded their balance sheets by over $10 trillion (this doesn’t count unofficial lending windows and off balance sheet programs). It’s a strange idea, especially when you consider that there is literally no evidence that printing money creates jobs. Look at Japan, they have and continue to maintain QE efforts equal to 40+% of their GDP and unemployment hasn’t budged in 20 years. The UK has engaged in QE equal to over 20% of GDP with no success. [...]"
MSM: "US Debt Six Times Greater Than Declared – Study" [08/07/13] "The United States has accumulated over $70 trillion in unreported debt, an amount nearly six times the declared figure, according to a new study by University of California-San Diego economics Professor James Hamilton. The unique aspect of Hamilton’s study is that he examines federal debt that has not been publicly released, specifically the government’s support for “housing, other loan guarantees, deposit insurance, actions taken by the Federal Reserve, and government trust funds.” Since the global economy hit rock bottom in 2008, US federal debt has gone through the roof, increasing from $5 trillion to an estimated $12 trillion in 2013. Meeting the interest payments alone on that debt burden presents a formidable challenge for US taxpayers: In addition to the debt, Americans must pay back around $220 billion annually just in interest. [...]"
MSM: "Obama Intends To Collapse Us Economy -Ann Barnhardt" [08/07/13] [31:23] "In this exclusive interview with Ann Barnhardt, founder of the former Barnhard Capital Management, Barnhardt exposes the blatant fraud in US financial markets, the recent IRS scandal, the financial enslavement of the American people, and Obama conspiring to collapse the economy [...]"
MSM: " Corporate Right-Wing Agenda And Austerity Policies Driving Thousands To Suicide Worldwide" [08/06/13] "Virginia’s suicide rate is now the highest it’s been in the last 13 years; Virginians are now three times more likely to die from suicide than they are from homicide. And Virginia is not alone. Over the past decade, our nation’s suicide rate has been steadily climbing, rising a staggering 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 700,000 emergency room visits in 2010 alone for self-inflicted injuries. The fact is, America’s suicide rate is on the rise, and Conservative economic policies are to blame. In a study released in May, Professors David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu of Oxford University in England found that suicide rates in both the U.S. and U.K. increase when working class wages and wealth decline. The study calculates, for example, that there were 4,750 “excess” suicides during the recession period in the U.S., compared with suicide rates before the recession. Stuckler and Basu conclude their report by saying that, “what we’ve learned is that the real danger to public health is not recession per se, but austerity.” That’s right. The very same austerity policies that Republicans in Washington are constantly pushing on us are the same policies that are driving Americans to kill themselves. [...] And these findings are nothing new. Australian research shows that suicides increase under Conservative governments. Australian scientists found that suicides in that country increased markedly when a Conservative government was in power. And, they found similar results for the U.K. The team of Australian scientists analyzed suicide statistics for the New South Wales area of Australia between 1901, when the Australian federal government was established, and 1998. They then looked at which political parties had control in both state and federal governments in New South Wales, which have consistently been under either Labour (like the Democratic Party in the U.S.) or Conservative control. And surprise, the scientists found that the highest rates of suicide occurred when Conservative state and federal governments were in power. And then here’s another smoking gun: When Conservative-backed austerity policies began to ravage Greece in 2010, the suicide rate shot up by 18 percent. In Athens alone, the suicide rate soared 25 percent. Before austerity came to Greece, that nation had the lowest suicide rate in the entire European Union. In other European nations hit with austerity, the results are the same. In Italy, for example, the suicide rate has also increased thanks to devastating austerity policies. [...]" Related: See below: "US Treasury Secretary to Greece: "Stick with Austerity" [07/22/13]; "UK Austerity: ‘Diverting Money From Poor To Rich Under Guise Of Economic Crisis’" [07/01/13] ("Austerity historically has been discredited. It doesn’t work in times of recession); "How EU Austerity Is Falling Foul Of The Law" [06/20/13]; "JPMorgan Calls For Authoritarian Regimes In Europe" [06/18/13]; "IMF Admits: “We Failed To Realise The Damage Austerity Would Do To Greece" [06/06/13]; "Krugman: Austerity Policies Based On 'A Mythical 70s That Never Was'" [05/20/13] ; "Study: Austerity Has Cost The U.S. Economy 2.2 Million Jobs" [05/07/13] ; "Goodbye To Austerity" [04/29/13]; "EU Backs Off Austerity" [04/23/13] ; "Academic Paper Often Used To Make The Case For Austerity Cuts Contains Major Errors" [04/21/13]
Commentary: "The Detroit Bail-In Template: Fleecing Pensioners To Save The Banks" [08/06/13] "The Detroit bankruptcy is looking suspiciously like the bail-in template originated by the G20’s Financial Stability Board in 2011, which exploded on the scene in Cyprus in 2013 and is now becoming the model globally. In Cyprus, the depositors were “bailed in” (stripped of a major portion of their deposits) to re-capitalize the banks. In Detroit, it is the municipal workers who are being bailed in, stripped of a major portion of their pensions to save the banks. Bank of America Corp. and UBS AG have been given priority over other bankruptcy claimants, meaning chiefly the pensioners, for payments due on interest rate swaps they entered into with the city. Interest rate swaps – the exchange of interest rate payments between counterparties – are sold by Wall Street banks as a form of insurance, something municipal governments “should” do to protect their loans from an unanticipated increase in rates. Unlike ordinary insurance, however, swaps are actually just bets; and if the municipality loses the bet, it can owe the house, and owe big. The swap casino is almost entirely unregulated, and it is a rigged game that the house virtually always wins. Interest rate swaps are based on the LIBOR rate, which has now been proven to be manipulated by the rate-setting banks; and they were a major contributor to Detroit’s bankruptcy. Derivative claims are considered “secured” because the players must post collateral to play. They get not just priority but “super-priority” in bankruptcy, meaning they go first before all others, a deal pushed through by Wall Street in the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005. Meanwhile, the municipal workers, whose pensions are theoretically protected under the Michigan Constitution, are classified as “unsecured” claimants who will get the scraps after the secured creditors put in their claims. The banking casino, it seems, trumps even the state constitution. The banks win and the workers lose once again. [...] The argument for the super-priority of derivative claims is that nonpayment on these bets represents a “systemic risk” to the financial scheme. Derivative bets are cross-collateralized and are so inextricably entwined in a $600-plus trillion house of cards that the whole financial scheme could go down if the betting scheme were to collapse. Instead of banning or regulating this very risky casino, Congress has been persuaded by the masterminds of Wall Street that it needs to be preserved at all costs. [...]"
Commentary: "Bond Losses at Federal Reserve Top $192 Billion" [08/05/13] "The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries has surged 66% over the past three months. And bond investors, especially those with jumbo-sized positions, are getting hammered. If interest rates continue to head higher, the value of the Fed's liquid assets that it could sell would decline and further undermine its capital cushion. And if the velocity of rate increases intensifies, the Fed, with only $62 billion in capital, could see its entire capital base completely wiped out. This could have a serious domino effect. It could paralyze the Fed's ability to defend the dollars purchasing power, causing Treasury prices to fall further and thereby push interest rates even higher. Just imagine ... a weakened and impotent Fed. [...]" Related: See below
Commentary: "The Most Important Number In The Entire U.S. Economy" [08/04/13] "There is one vitally important number that everyone needs to be watching right now, and it doesn't have anything to do with unemployment, inflation or housing. If this number gets too high, it will collapse the entire U.S. financial system. The number that I am talking about is the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries. When that number goes up, long-term interest rates all across the financial system start increasing. When long-term interest rates rise, it becomes more expensive for the federal government to borrow money, it becomes more expensive for state and local governments to borrow money, existing bonds lose value and bond investors lose a lot of money, mortgage rates go up and monthly payments on new mortgages rise, and interest rates throughout the entire economy go up and this causes economic activity to slow down. On top of everything else, there are more than 440 trillion dollars worth of interest rate derivatives sitting out there, and rapidly rising interest rates could cause that gigantic time bomb to go off and implode our entire financial system. We are living in the midst of the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and the only way that the game can continue is for interest rates to stay super low. Unfortunately, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries has started to rise, and many experts are projecting that it is going to continue to rise. On August 2nd of last year, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries was just 1.48%, and our entire debt-based economy was basking in the glow of ultra-low interest rates. But now things are rapidly changing. On Wednesday, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries hit 2.70% before falling back to 2.58% on "good news" from the Federal Reserve. [...]The Federal Reserve has tried to keep long-term interest rates down by wildly printing money and buying bonds, and even the suggestion that the Fed may eventually "taper" quantitative easing caused the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries to absolutely soar a few weeks ago. So the Fed has backed off on the "taper" talk for now, but what happens if the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries continues to rise even with the wild money printing that the Fed has been doing? At that point, the Fed would begin to totally lose control over the situation. The yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries was hovering around the 6 percent mark back in the year 2000. Back in 1990, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries hovered between 8 and 9 percent. If we return to "normal" levels, our financial system will implode. There is no way that our debt-addicted system would be able to handle it. So watch the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries very carefully. It is the most important number in the entire U.S. economy. If that number gets too high, the game is over. [...]" Current 10 Year Treasury Rate: 2.63% At market close Fri Aug 2, 2013.
Interviews: " Karen Hudes – World Bank Whistleblower" [08/04/13] [120:00] "Interview with Karen Hudes, the Whistleblower from the World Bank. This is a wide ranging discussion covering her time at the World Bank and what led her to blow the whistle on the corruption she found there. In the process her view of the worldwide corruption widened to include governments and the overall monetary system. We discuss the ‘backwardization’ of gold, the manipulation of the dollar and the need to replace the current fiat system with a gold or asset backed currency and the plans of the cabal to create chaos and institute the NWO. [...]"
MSM: "Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why" [08/03/13] "Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast. Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods. In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. [...] Fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made a fortune betting on the subprime mortgage meltdown, is clearing out of U.S. stocks too. During the second quarter of the year, Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., dumped 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase. The fund also dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee. Finally, billionaire George Soros recently sold nearly all of his bank stocks, including shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the three banks, Soros sold more than a million shares. So why are these billionaires dumping their shares of U.S. companies? 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. “Companies will be spending more money on borrowing costs than business expansion costs. That means lower profit margins, lower dividends, and less hiring. Plus, more layoffs.” 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.[...]"
MSM: "Former Israeli Intelligence Operatives Who Helped With US Wiretapping Now Work For Hedge Funds" [08/02/13] "A company staffed with former operatives of Israel’s top intelligence agencies and founded with the help of the former head of the Mossad is being used by hedge funds looking for an edge in the financial markets. Kela Israeli Intelligence has increasingly become a popular service on Wall Street. The firm employs about 40 former intelligence operatives and analysts, most of them ex-members of the Israeli army’s secretive 8200 unit, which is often described as Israel’s equivalent to the National Security Agency and believed to be behind the Stuxnet computer worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities. Kela also employs former agents of Israel’s Mossad spy agency and the company was founded with the help of Shabtai Shavit, the director general of the Mossad from 1989 to 1996, who sits on Kela’s advisory board. Founded in 2009 with an eye toward harnessing the intelligence talent in Israel for use in the corporate sector, Kela does work for insurance companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, but it has found its services are greatly in demand by hedge funds. Some 80% of its business is currently coming from hedge fund managers in New York, London and Hong Kong, according to Yigal Naveh, Kela’s chief executive officer and co-founder.[...]"
MSM: "The Australian Economic Nightmare In One Chart" [08/02/13] "Australia's commodities-driven economy surged when China's economy was accelerating and importing commodities like crazy. Now it's getting slammed with China's economy decelerating.[...]"
Commentary: "Old System Struggling and Dying-Catherine Austin Fitts: How Violent will Things Get?" [08/01/13] [44:27] "Money manager Catherine Austin Fitts says, “You are seeing a tug of war between the new system that’s coming up and the old system that’s struggling and dying.” Fitts explains it by saying, “Let’s pretend we have a company called USA, and we create a new company called Breakaway Civilization. We move all of our assets out of USA and put them in Breakaway Civilization. We leave union obligations and pension funds . . . in the old USA economy.” Fitts warns, “I think bail-ins are coming . . . the big question is not will we be able to get out insured deposits. I think the big question is how violent will things get?” Fitts biggest worry is not financial collapse. Fitts contends, “I don’t think the people who run the U.S. military or run the United States government are going to say we’re happy to collapse rather than go to war. They are going to go to war. They’re going to shake somebody down.”[...]"
Commentary: "Bank Of England Refuses Comment On Huge Discrepancy In Custodial Gold Reports" [08/01/13] "The Bank of England refuses to explain what appears to be a huge discrepancy in its accounting of the gold it holds in custody, a difference of as much as 1,200 tonnes between the total reported in the bank’s annual report in February and the total reported in a “virtual tour” of the bank posted this month at the bank’s Internet site. [...]" Related: "London Metals-Fraud Revealed" "Approximately a month ago, the Corporate Media began leaking bits-and-pieces of information about “warehouse problems” involving the London metals-cabal: comprised of the LME (London Metal Exchange) and the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association). Being a close follower of this propaganda machine, I was well aware that such leaking was always the first step by these media Drones to explain/cover-up yet more financial crime being perpetrated by the One Bank. In hearing of these massive, preposterous delays to “ship” metal which had already been purchased, my assumption was that the real story here must involve precious metals. Gold and silver are the only metals markets where supplies are tight, thus the rational conclusion was that these were the metals at the root of these “shipping delays”, and I wrote a commentary based on that hypothesis. [...]"
MSM: "Bank Of England Helped Sell Looted Nazi Gold" [08/01/13] "The Bank of England played a vital role in one of the darkest episodes in central banking history, facilitating the sale of gold looted by the Nazis after their invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938. According to a hitherto unpublished history of the BoE’s activities in and around the Second World War, the U.K.’s central bank sold gold on behalf of the Reichsbank – which Germany’s central bank had seized from its Czech counterpart – after the U.K. government had frozen all Czech assets held in Britain following the Nazi invasion. In March 1939, gold valued at the time at £5.6-million ($8.8-million) was transferred from the National Bank of Czechoslovakia’s account at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the so-called central bankers’ bank, to an account managed on behalf of the Reichsbank. The episode has long weighed on the reputation of the BIS. However, what has received less attention is the role of the BoE in the affair. What emerges from the history, which appeared on the BoE’s website on Tuesday, is that the U.K.’s central bank prioritized the appeasement of the BIS over the British government’s wishes to freeze the sale of Czech assets. The BoE, which then held the chair of the Basel-based institution through Otto Niemeyer, the director in charge of its overseas and foreign department, stored much of the BIS’s gold in its vaults at Threadneedle Street. That the BoE held the gold caused controversy after the story broke in the British media in May 1939. The history, written by BoE officials and completed in 1950 but never published, also records that the U.K. central bank sold gold after this date on behalf of the Nazis – and without waiting for the consent of the British government – on the back of pressure from the BIS. [...]" Related: "The 25 Largest Banks In The World" | "U.S. Pays Public Benefits to Suspected Nazi War Criminals" "At least 10 suspected Nazi war criminals ordered deported by the United States never left the country, according to an Associated Press review of Justice Department data – and four are living in the U.S. today. All remained eligible for public benefits such as Social Security until they exhausted appeals, and in one case even beyond. Quiet American legal limbo was the fate of all 10 men uncovered in the AP review. The reason: While the U.S. wanted them out, no other country was willing to take them in. All have been in the same areas for years, stripped of citizenship and ordered deported, yet able to carry out their lives in familiar surroundings. Dozens of other Nazi war crimes suspects in the U.S. were also entitled to Social Security and other public benefits for years as they fought deportation.[...]"
Commentary: "Dutch Royal Shell Investigated For $1.3 Billion Money Laundering Scheme" [07/31/13] "The British police are probing an allegation that a $1.3 billion Nigerian oil bloc deal involving Royal Dutch Shell and Italy's Eni SpA may have involved money laundering. Most of the money was allegedly paid to a company linked with Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Dan Etete. Nigerian President General Sani Abacha appointed Etete Minister of Petroleum in March 1995 and he served in that role until 1998, when he went into exile following Abacha’s death. In 2007 Etete was convicted of money laundering in France. Last week a British High Court issued a judgment, Shell and its by-then-partner ENI paid the federal government $1.3 billion, including a $207 million signature bonus paid into a government account, in return for the right to operate the offshore OPL 245 bloc concession. A Shell subsidiary paid the signature bonus, and an ENI subsidiary paid the $1.1 billion balance. The court further ruled that convicted felon Etete should pay at least $110.5 million to Emeka Obi, the owner of Energy Venture Partners for helping him facilitate the sale of OPL-245. [...]"
MSM: "The Coming Shortage Of Physical Gold That Will Change Everything" [07/29/13] "According to the Reserve Bank of India, “the traded amount of ‘paper linked to gold’ exceeds by far the actual supply of physical gold: the volume on the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) OTC market and the major Futures and Options Exchanges was OVER 92 TIMES that of the underlying Physical Market.” In other words, there is a massive amount of paper out there, but very little actual physical gold to back it up. And right now, we are witnessing voracious hoarding of physical gold all over the globe. This is especially true in Asia. All of this hoarding is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on those that have made all of these “paper promises”, because the truth is that there really isn’t all that much physical gold on the planet. In fact, Warren Buffett once estimated that if all of the gold in the entire world was brought into one place, it could be formed into a cube that would only be 69 feet long by 69 feet high by 69 feet wide. As the emerging shortage of physical gold becomes increasingly apparent, the massive Ponzi scheme that the bullion banks have been running for decades is going to completely fall apart. [...]"
MSM: "JPMorgan Chase Stops Selling Physical Commodities Amid Federal Pressure" [07/28/13] "JPMorgan Chase & Co is exiting physical commodities trading, the bank said in a surprise statement on Friday, as Wall Street’s role in the trading of raw materials comes under unprecedented political and regulatory pressure. After spending billions of dollars and five years building the banking world’s biggest commodity desk, JPMorgan said it would pursue “strategic alternatives” for its trading assets that stretch from Baltimore to Johor, and a global team dealing in everything from African crude oil to Chilean copper. [...] The firm will explore “a sale, spinoff or strategic partnership” of the physical business championed by commodities chief Blythe Masters, the architect of JPMorgan’s expansion in the sector and one of the most famous women on Wall Street. The bank said it will continue to trade in financial commodities such as derivatives and precious metals. Pressured by tougher regulation and rising capital levels, JPMorgan joins other banks such as Barclays PLC and Deutsche Bank in a retreat that marks the end of an era in which investment banks across the world rushed to tap into volatile markets during a decade-long price boom. But JPMorgan is the first big player to exit physical commodities entirely and attention will now turn to Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, which face similar pressures." Note: Masters ought to be hung from the yardarm for all the distress she has caused in the world ... everything this reincarnated retread has conceived of has turned out to be a criminal enterprise at some point. It's why I refer to her as deserving the 'galactic bitch' award, because she contributed heavily to ruining the economy of the planet ... See "Creation of Credit Derivatives" link at the top of this panel.
Commentary: "Financial Elite Considers Re-Implementation Of Glass-Steagall ‘An Act Of War’" [07/27/13] [10:51]
Commentary: "Hearing On Goldman And JPM's Commodity Cartel" [07/26/13] "Back in June 2011 we first reported how "Goldman, JP Morgan Have Now Become A Commodity Cartel As They Slowly Recreate De Beers' Diamond Monopoly" in an article that explained, with great detail, how Goldman et al engage in artificial commodity traffic bottlenecking (thanks to owning all the key choke points in the commodity logistics chain) in order to generate higher end prices, rental income and numerous additional top and bottom-line externalities and have become the defacto commodity warehouse monopolists. Specifically, we compared this activity to similar cartelling practices used by other vertically integrated commodity cartels such as De Beers: "While the obvious purpose of "warehousing" is nothing short of artificially bottlenecking primary supply, these same warehouses have no problem with acquiring all the product created by primary producers in real time, and not releasing it into general circulation: once again, a tactic used by De Beers for decades to keep the price of diamonds artificially high." Over the weekend, with a 25 month delay, the NYT "discovered" just this, reporting that the abovementioned practice was nothing but "pure gold" to the banks. It sure is, and will continue to be. And while we are happy that the mainstream media finally woke up to this practice which had been known to our readers for over two years, the question is why now? The answer is simple - tomorrow, July 23, the Senate Committee on Banking will hold a hearing titled "Should Banks Control Power Plants, Warehouses, And Oil Refiners." [...]" Related: See also below: "MillerCoors Urges Federal Reserve Crackdown On Wall Street's Aluminum Dealings" [07/24/13]; "Goldman Sachs Creating Artificial Shortage Of Metals – Has Collected $5 Billion Just By Holding On To Aluminum" Video [5:23]
Commentary: "China’s Yuan Set To Become Global Reserve Currency With Gold Backing?" [07/26/13] "Recent media reports in China and Russia suggest that China is continuing to consider backing the yuan with gold. Since 2005, we have said that such a move by China was likely as China seeks to become a superpower and lessen and undermine U.S political dominance. We have in the past discussed the possibility of the Chinese pegging their currency to gold bullion. This decision, if taken, may lead to huge volatility in foreign exchange markets, a depreciating dollar and ultimately an international monetary crisis. John Butler in his book ‘Golden Revolution’ and Jim Rickards in his book ‘Currency Wars’ have warned that China and or Russia could move to back their currencies with gold which would then lead to the U.S. and EU having to follow suit in order to prevent currency crises thereby leading to a new gold standard. According to media reports, the People’s Bank of China is considering phasing out the dollar as the reference currency or peg for the yuan, and to start using gold as the reference point. The reports have not been confirmed officially, but there has been official comments to that effect in recent years and Chinese academics have advocated backing the renminbi or yuan with gold. [...]" Note: Since their economy is about to tank (See below, "China Headed for Economic Collapse in 6 Months" [07/23/13] ) they may decide to do this. Related: See also, below: "Game Over - "It’s All A Farce, The Fed & German Gold Is Gone" [07/10/13]; "A Global Currency Reset" [06/24/13] Video [3:51]; "Gold Deliveries Into China Soar To 1,000 Tons" [04/23/13]
Legal Case: "Prison Time for Three Former UBS Executives" [07/25/13] "A federal judge sentenced three former UBS executives to at least a year each in prison for corrupting the competitive bidding process on public works projects. At a five-week trial last summer, federal prosecutors showed that Peter Ghavami, Gary Heinz and Michael Welty participated in multiple fraud conspiracies and schemes between March 2001 and November 2006. These conspiracies involved various financial institutions and a broker, the Justice Department said. Prosecutors showed that Ghavami, Heinz and Welty conspired with other financial institutions and with a broker to corrupt the bidding process for more than a dozen investment agreements. The investment deals were offered to the governments and agencies of various states, counties and localities, as well as nonprofit entities, throughout the United States. Public entities use these kinds of investments, funded by the proceeds of municipal bonds and other sources, to raise money for public projects and other development, the Justice Department explained. It added that public entities typically hire a broker to assist them in investing their money and to conduct a competitive bidding process to determine the winning provider. The executives meanwhile corrupted this process to drive more volume and profits for UBS, prosecutors said. Sometimes, the executives and their co-conspirators arranged for UBS to receive kickbacks in exchange for the manipulation, according to the government's case. Ghavami, Heinz and Welty thus "deprived the municipalities of competitive interest rates for the investment of tax-exempt bond proceeds that were to be used by municipalities to refinance outstanding debt and for various public works projects, such as for building or repairing schools, hospitals and roads," the Justice Department added. "Evidence at trial established that they cost municipalities around the country and the U.S. Treasury millions of dollars." The court reportedly heard evidence of 26 corrupted bids, including 76 recorded conversations made by the co-conspirator financial institutions. [...]"
MSM: "German Bank Executives Go On Trial For Breach Of Fiduciary Trust" [07/25/13] "Former directors of bailed-out German lender HSH Nordbank will appear in court today in the first case of the entire executive board of a European bank facing trial for actions in the build-up to the financial crisis. Hamburg prosecutors are charging the six men, who include former chief executive Dirk Jens Nonnenmacher and his predecessor Hans Berger, with breach of fiduciary trust. Mr Nonnenmacher and former capital markets head Jochen Friedrich face additional charges of accounting fraud. The defendants have previously said they are not guilty, although in Germany an official plea is only presented at the final stage of a trial. If found guilty, the former directors could face up to 10 years behind bars, although judges have often handed defendants in similar cases fines rather than jail sentences. HSH, along with other regional state-owned German lenders known as landesbanks, lost billions of euros on risky investments in the financial crisis, forcing its owners to prop it up with a €3 billion capital injection and an additional €10 billion in loan guarantees. While policy makers have responded to the financial crisis with rafts of new banking rules to prevent taxpayers from having to foot billions of euros in bailout bills, relatively few bank executives have so far been tried. In Germany, where the second biggest lender Commerzbank and four landesbanks were among those taking state aid - so far only the former CEO of corporate lender IKB has been convicted. [...]"
Commentary: "Bankers Own the World - And Are Ultimately Destroying It" [07/25/13] " ... How is it that companies that produce nothing and only move digital representations of money from point to point now control far more wealth than the companies that actually produce the things that makes money useful at all? Well, that's just how the system works. And this is something that nobody in power wants to talk about. While we may decide that such as system is just, or unjust, or evil, or good, such judgments are merely the emotionally laden descriptors we might assign to a system that – by its very design – accumulates wealth from the many to the few. This is why compound money systems have been tried and tried again, yet have never proved sustainable. Even ancient religious texts described them as requiring a Jubilee every 7 periods of 7, or 49 years. The Jubilee, of course, was a reset mechanism that wiped out the inevitable concentration of wealth so that things could start all over again with a fresh slate. So it really should not be any surprise that banks, in particular – with their extraordinary power to lend money out of thin air (that's what 'fractional reserve' allows) and their unlimited-duration corporate lives – are able over time to accumulate, accumulate some more, and finally end up owning everything. While we're not quite there yet, we are well on the way. [...] Perhaps we should really be asking ourselves if this truly serves our society to anoint financial players with the privilege of walking off with the vast majority of our total national and global income." Related: See below.
Commentary: "When Will The Economy Collapse?" [07/25/13] [12:38] "When will the economy collapse? Well in order to answer that question we have to first look at the geopolitical variables holding the dollar up, in particular the petrodollar. [...]" Note: Good review.
Legal Case: "Simmtech Sues Citibank For $73 Million Over "Knock-In Knock-Out" Derivatives" [07/25/13] "Simmtech sues Citibank for $73 million, claiming the bank fraudulently induced it to invest in so-called "knock-in knock-out" derivatives, in New York County Supreme Court. [...]"
Commentary: "JPMorgan Chase in California 'Enron' Crime Spree" [07/25/13] "JPMorgan Chase is estimated to have cost California electricity rate-payers about $160 million dollars in fraudulent costs in 2012, and Michigan rate-payers another $83 million, through its electricity market "merchant bank investments" which were prohibited when the Glass-Steagall Act was in force. The megabank is reportedly about to agree to a fine of $500 million for the electricity price-rigging — a fine not by a banking regulator — what, us? do banking? — but by the Federal Electricity Reliability Council (FERC). FERC has also just levied a $470 million fine for the same activity on Barclays Bank, which is refusing to pay, insisting it did nothing not merely British in character. [...]"
MSM: "Fed Criticized on Oversight of Bank-Owned Commodity Units" [07/25/13] "The Federal Reserve faces new pressure to explain why it lets banks trade raw materials and control supplies after congressional witnesses said regulators can’t really grasp what lenders are doing in industrial businesses. Officials from the Fed and Commodity Futures Trading Commission may testify at hearings in September, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown said in an interview yesterday after witnesses told his Senate subcommittee that commodities operations owned by lenders are hurting customers and endangering the financial system. He’ll also seek testimony from bankers. “Should the public generally be forced to feel around in the dark to figure this stuff out?” Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said during the hearing. “This is too important,” he added later. “It does significant potential damage to the economy.” [...]" Related: "Glass-Steagall Raised in Hearing on Wall Street Control of Commodities" "The big Wall Street parasites, among them JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, have been involved in the physical trade of commodities and in commercial operations of large corporations, such as energy companies, so that they can pad their bottom line at the expense of the rest of us. This situation is similar to that which existed from about the 1890's until the New Deal regulations passed in the 1930's in the wake of the Great Depression. Those regulatory structures have, however, been dismantled, beginning with the passage of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act which repealed the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and opened the way for these Wall Street firms to again take over and control ever larger chunks of the American economy for their sole profit. This was all the subject of a sparsely attended hearing, chaired by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) of the Senate Banking Committee, this morning. [...]" Note: See below for a related article on banking and commodities.
Commentary: "MillerCoors Urges Federal Reserve Crackdown On Wall Street's Aluminum Dealings" [07/24/13] "The Federal Reserve should toughen oversight of big banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase due to their negative influence over commodities, including the aluminum in beer cans, brewer MillerCoors will urge on Tuesday. The maker of popular beers Coors Light and Miller High Life will tell the Senate Banking Committee that financial groups, through their ownership of warehouses, are distorting the aluminum market by controlling how much aluminum flows out of their storage facilities, leading to extra rent and other costs for industrial companies. Tim Weiner, MillerCoors global risk manager of commodities and metals, said in prepared remarks that rules exploited by banks and other warehouse owners have cost his company tens of millions of dollars in recent years as a result of an "economic anomaly in the aluminum and other base metal markets." The alleged gaming has cost aluminum purchasers overall an extra $3 billion, an expense that likely has been passed on to beer and soda drinkers. The beverage company's statement comes as regulators at the Fed and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission weigh possible action against the banks for their commodities activities. The Fed is revisiting a landmark 2003 decision that for the first time allowed banks to enter the physical commodities business, the central bank said Friday. The CFTC is probing the metals warehousing business, the source of MillerCoors's complaints, people familiar with the matter said. The inquiries could lead to full-blown investigations by the CFTC or a Fed ban on certain activities by banks in markets for commodities such as aluminum and oil, curtailing a key source of profit. Ten major global banks have generated nearly $50 billion in revenue off their commodities business over the last five years, according to Coalition, a financial data provider. JPMorgan, Goldman and Morgan Stanley last year were the top three global banks in commodities revenue, with the 10 leading institutions generating about $6 billion in revenue off commodities activities. [...] MillerCoors is part of a loose coalition of end-users that include beer brewers, automakers, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Reynolds Consumer Products that has accused big banks, including Goldman and JPMorgan, of anti-competitive behavior in the aluminum market. The complaints have prompted investigations in the U.S. and in Europe as regulators and policymakers debate the extent to which financial companies should be allowed involvement in physical commodities. In addition to Fed and CFTC reviews, the allegations have prompted a Senate probe into Wall Street's expansion into the commodities business as an increasing number of companies claim that the broader economy is being hurt by banks using important raw materials to boost their own profits." Related: "Goldman Sachs Creating Artificial Shortage Of Metals – Has Collected $5 Billion Just By Holding On To Aluminum" [5:23] "The precious metal has been hoarded by the financial institution to create an artificial shortage causing the value of the metallic material to rise. RT’s Bob English has more on how it works. [...]"
Commentary: "The Coming Black Swan From China" [07/24/13] "Another “growth story” is dying before our very eyes. China is rapidly approaching ZERO growth. This is not less growth, but ZERO growth as in full-scale economic collapse from the days of 12% GDP growth per year. Over 99% of “analysts” are missing this, but it is a fact. If you ignore the ridiculous GDP numbers (which even China’s Premiere has admitted are a joke in the past) and look at more accurate metrics, it’s clear China is collapsing at an alarming rate. Case in point, Electrical consumption rose by just 2.9% in the first quarter of this year. How on earth can you generate GDP growth of 7% when you electrical consumption is rising by just 2.9% is beyond me. And when you consider that China is experiencing this weak growth despite having pumped over $1 trillion into its economy in the same quarter (an amount equal to 14% of China’s total GDP) you begin to understand the scale at which things are imploding in the People’s Republic. [...]" Related: See below.
Commentary: "China Headed for Economic Collapse in 6 Months" [07/23/13] [3:19] "It is too late to avoid a hard-landing,” said Patrick Chovanec from Silvercrest Asset Management and a former professor at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. “To keep growth going they have to push extremely high levels of investment to even more extreme levels, and that is becoming very hard to do and very hard to finance.” “The economic return on credit is rapidly declining. They increased loans by $1 trillion in the first quarter, but growth slid anyway and is now below levels seen in early 2009 after the Lehman crisis. It is no longer out of the question that GDP will actually fall,” he said. Diana Choyleva, from Lombard Street, said the official Chinese figures show that the economy contracted by 0.2pc in the second quarter, rather than growing 1.7pc (7.5pc year-on-year) as claimed by the government. The discrepancy comes from the inflation assumptions used by Beijing. The government relies on a fixed basket of prices that can flatter the true health of the economy. A better benchmark is the “GDP deflator”, which uses an evolving measure of prices that better reflect the reality of China’s fast-changing economy. “If you measure it that way, China is much closer to deflation than people realise,” she said. [...]"
Commentary: "The 9/11 Fed Cash Flows Mystery" [07/23/13] [27:54] "Prime Interest .... An investigation by the the New York Times reveals that Goldman Sachs has been manipulating the aluminum market for years. Coca Cola and other end users have complained that waiting times for shipments have gone from weeks to months. In the meantime, our Goldman friends charge needless storage fees. And the same shenanigans exist in copper and crude oil thanks to Jamie Dimon's JP Morgan. We'll be covering this story in depth this week. Today, we expose another mysterious event with a former Federal Reserve economist. He was fired from the Fed for exposing billions in suspicious cash transfers just prior to 9/11. [...]"
Buffoonery: "US Treasury Secretary to Greece: "Stick with Austerity" [07/22/13] "U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Greece to persevere with tough economic reforms during a one-day trip to Athens designed to demonstrate Washington’s support for the crisis-plagued country. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Greece on Sunday to continue its crushing austerity policies “to ensure prosperity and growth for generations to come.” Lew is on a one-day visit to Greece after attending the Group of 20 summit in Russia. [...]" Note: Lew is delusional. The 'austerity' concept has already been demonstrated to have the opposite effect ... it's like these people are stuck so far in their delusional 'movie' they aren't even aware of what has been said by 'prominent sources' about this in the news: Related: See below: "UK Austerity: ‘Diverting Money From Poor To Rich Under Guise Of Economic Crisis’" [07/01/13] ("Austerity historically has been discredited. It doesn’t work in times of recession); "How EU Austerity Is Falling Foul Of The Law" [06/20/13]; "JPMorgan Calls For Authoritarian Regimes In Europe" [06/18/13]; "IMF Admits: “We Failed To Realise The Damage Austerity Would Do To Greece" [06/06/13]; "Krugman: Austerity Policies Based On 'A Mythical 70s That Never Was'" [05/20/13] ; "Study: Austerity Has Cost The U.S. Economy 2.2 Million Jobs" [05/07/13] ; "Goodbye To Austerity" [04/29/13]; "EU Backs Off Austerity" [04/23/13] ; "Academic Paper Often Used To Make The Case For Austerity Cuts Contains Major Errors" [04/21/13]
Commentary: "Massive Fire Reported In Basement Vault Of JPM Building - Gold Force Majeure?" [07/22/13] "A journalist on scene on Wall Street this evening has just sent us footage of a massive fleet of Fire trucks and ambulances in front of the JP Morgan Chase building, with fire-fighters stating they are responding to a commercial vault fire in the basement. FDNY has confirmed that the fire is in a commercial vault at JPMs old HQ of 15 Broad St. With JPM’s gold inventory plunging 66% Friday to an all-time low of 46,000 ounces, and with reportedly over 502,000 ounces still standing against JPM for the JUNE gold contract, is the long anticipated force-majeure event in progress? .[...]"
UK: "Banks Face £1billion Bill For Misrepresenting Credit Card Fraud Insurance" [07/21/13] "Millions of bank customers mis-sold useless credit card theft insurance are set for payouts from a £1billion compensation fund. Customers of HSBC, Barclays, Santander, NatWest and Nationwide will be paid compensations over the next few months. It follows an investigation last year by the Financial Conduct Authority into CPP, a company which sold so-called card and identity theft cover via banks between 2005 and 2011. The City watchdog found many debit and credit card customers were duped into buying these policies which offered unnecessary cover if you lost your credit card or were victim to identity fraud. These policies, which together cost £120 a year, promised cover of up to £100,000 if crooks went on a wild spending spree with a stolen card. But banks already cover customers for this for free. And customers who thought they would be covered for up to £60,000 in losses suffered through identity theft later found out this was for legal or administration expenses – not the fraudulent debts run up. But the cost of meeting such debts is usually met by the bank itself, triggering doubts about why customers even had to pay for such a policy. After months of talks, the banks, CPP and City regulator are now close to a final compensation deal. The banks will shortly begin sending out letters to affected customers with details of how to claim. The compensation will leave the banks with an estimated £1billion bill but there are fears that it could be higher.[...]"
MSM: "Detroit Bonds Drop, Judge Seeks To Halt Bankruptcy Filing" [07/20/13] "Investors dumped Detroit's municipal bonds a day after the city's historic bankruptcy filing even as a ruling in state court raised questions about whether the bankruptcy will stand up to court review. Attempts by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to put a positive spin on the filing failed to reassure investors. Prices on some Detroit bonds plunged and there were wider declines in the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market. The state court judge in Michigan's capital of Lansing ordered Orr to withdraw the bankruptcy petition because the state law that allowed Snyder to approve the bankruptcy violated the Michigan Constitution. The governor lacks the power to "diminish or impair pension benefits," according to the ruling by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. Under the state law that created the emergency manager position, Detroit could not file for bankruptcy without the governor's approval. Lawsuits by pension funds and city workers, filed earlier this month, had sought to prevent a filing. But on Thursday, Orr filed the bankruptcy petition, with Snyder's permission, just minutes before Judge Aquilina was set to rule on a petition to stop the process. [...]"
MSM: "U.S. Regulators Charge City Of Miami And Its Ex-Budget Director With Fraud" [07/20/13] "The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the city of Miami and its former budget director with fraud on Friday, for allegedly making misleading statements and omissions in bond documents in order to mask general fund deficits. The regulatory agency said it was seeking injunctive relief and financial penalties from the city as well as former budget director Michael Boudreaux. [...]"
Trends: "US Cities Face Financial Collapse" [07/20/13] [6:36] "RT speaks with Richard Wolff, professor of economics Emeritus, UMass. [...]" Related: "World Financial Collapse Coming Soon 2014 - 2016" [05/11/13] [8:03] | "Planned Economic Collapse 2013-2014 " [03/02/13] [46:11] |"Meltdown - The Secret History Of The Global Financial Crisis" [02/28/13] [44:59]
MSM: "Deadline Postponed For Mandatory Reporting On Americans With Foreign Bank Accounts" [07/19/13] "The US Treasury Department recently announced that it will extend the deadline to compel foreign banks to provide detailed information on US account holders overseas by six months. The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, was signed into law in 2010, and it requires financial institutions outside of the country to report the account information of potential tax evaders directly to the IRS. The teeth of the FATCA, legislation lie in potential penalties levied against foreign banks that fail to report on the six million US citizens that live abroad. Specifically, institutions that are found to be noncompliant would face a 30 per cent withholding tax on securities transactions originating in the US. Critics argue that the legislation overreaches, both by potentially violating privacy laws in other countries, as well as including American nationals that might owe no US taxes, own no property in the US and may not have lived in the US in decades, if at all. The financial industry, meanwhile, has slammed the new law as too costly, reports the Wall Street Journal. FATCA was set to be enacted in January 1 of 2014, though last Friday the Treasury said that due to a “groundswell of international interest,” it will extend the deadline to comply for six months to July 1, 2014 [...]"
MSM: "JPMorgan In Talks To Settle Energy Manipulation Case For $500 Million" [07/18/13] "It is unclear whether FERC will pursue a separate action against Blythe Masters, a senior JPMorgan executive. JPMorgan Chase is aiming to settle accusations it devised “manipulative schemes” that transformed “money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers,” a deal that is expected to cost the bank, the nation’s largest, about $500 million. JPMorgan and the regulator of the nation’s energy markets are still negotiating a potential fine, according to people briefed on the matter, and the talks are not yet final. The $500 million figure could shift as the two sides inch closer to a settlement, a potential record for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. [...]"
MSM: "Warren: Profits From Student Loans Are ‘Obscene’" [07/18/13] "The federal government will make $51 billion in profits off student loans,” she said at Generation Progress’s Make Progress National Summit . “That’s more than wrong. It’s obscene.” Warren used her address at the conference of young activists to make the case for her Bank On Students Loan Fairness Act, which she has said would provide a one-year fix to the Stafford loan interest hike that went into effect on July 1. The bill, she said, would allow students to borrow at the same rate that big banks do, a rate around 0.75 percent. The interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans has increased from 3.4 to 6.8 percent, while Congress continues to try to come to agreement on the issue. The rate increase will only affect loans that were issued after July 1, 2012, but overall, educational debt is an issue for approximately 37 million student loan borrowers, with the majority of borrowers in 2012 with outstanding balances less than $10,000. “Instead of helping our students, the government is making a profit on student loans,” she said. “We can hear some booing at this point.” [...]" Related: "U.S. Senators Said to Reach Deal to Temporarily Hold Down Student Loan Rates" "U.S. senators reached a deal on Wednesday to temporarily hold interest rates on student loans at lower levels as they raced to get the measure completed before an August deadline, a Senate aide said. An aide for another senior senator said an outline of the plan had begun to emerge, but no deal had been reached and no vote on it was set yet. Interest rates on new federal Stafford loans doubled to 6.8 percent this month when lawmakers failed to meet a July 1 deadline to prevent an automatic increase. According to details of the Senate plan, students would see interest rates dialed back to 3.4 percent for a couple of years, but then rates could be allowed to rise sharply. [...]"
MSM: "Collapse Going To Be Worse Than 1929, Sometime Within The Next Two Years" [07/17/13] [20:21] "Before anybody in America ever cared about AIG, credit markets or bailouts, Karl Denninger had warned that the fuse was burning and had “gone inside the box.” This was in September of 2008, about a month before the bottom fell out of global markets and the giant kaboom was heard ’round the world. He had repeatedly sounded the alarm. A “credit event” was coming, and it couldn’t be stopped. No one listened. The aftermath of the credit detonation that followed will go down in history as one of the most severe economic crises since the Great Depression. Now, nearly 5 years on, we’re right back to where we started. In fact, we’re much worse off than ever before and in all likelihood we’re going to experience an event so severe it’ll make the Great Depression look like a picnic. The time is fast approaching when the US government, the Federal Reserve and private banking conglomerates lose control of the entire system. When that occurs, confidence by the public, as well as our foreign creditors, will be lost. And according to Karl Denninger, the math says it’s going to happen within two years time. [...]" Note: If life were to go on, here, it would be quite a nightmare .... good overview of the financial and economic situation during endgame ...watch it.
MSM: "Directive Bans EU Financial Support To Israeli Settlements" [07/17/13] "The EU will block all future financial assistance to the Israeli settlement zones as they are illegal under international law. Israel, who opposes the directive, warned it will affect “all realms of cooperation” and create “bad blood” with the EU. The new regulation will come into effect on Friday and will “make a distinction between the state of Israel and the occupied territories when it comes to EU support.” It essentially means that funding, scholarships and cooperation will not be granted to any individual or organization in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights settlements. Every future deal that is struck with Israel will be required to include a written clause exempting the settlement territories from the terms of the agreement. The ban will apply to all areas beyond the ‘Green Line,’ which includes all territories acquired by the Israelis since the 1967 Middle East War. “The EU has made it clear that it will not recognize any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East Peace Process,” a copy of the guidelines seen by Reuters said. The move comes amid EU frustration at the ongoing Israeli settlement program in spite of international pressures. [...]"
Commentary: "Financial Times Pushes Harder For Glass-Steagall" [07/16/13] "Following its July 12 editorial endorsing Glass- Steagall ("and not just for the U.S."), London's Financial Times ran a July 14 article entitled "Markets make best case for Glass-Steagall." Among its arguments for reinstating Roosevelt's Glass Steagall law, FT says the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall led to disaster for stockholders, the super-concentration of banking institutions, and the bailouts of the speculators. FT points out that in the "Glass Steagall era" before repeal, "there were hardly any bank runs (and economic growth was steady)" compared to the previous decades when "bank runs had been endemic in the U.S. Deposit Insurance, and a requirement that banks that took deposits could not also play at investment banking, vanquished that problem." [...]"
MSM: "Shoplifting Allegation Dogs Incoming Israel Bank Chief" [07/16/13] "The appointment of Jacob Frenkel as Israel's next central bank governor has come under a cloud over his failure to disclose a past allegation of shoplifting, local media said Sunday. The Haaretz newspaper said that a committee on senior civil service appointments has asked the JP Morgan Chase International chairman to explain why he failed to inform it of a 2006 incident in a duty-free shop at Hong Kong international airport. Frenkel, 70, was named last month to replace former World Bank chief economist Stanley Fischer, 69, who is stepping down from the central bank governorship after eight years on the job. The nomination still needs cabinet approval. Frenkel previously held the post from 1991 to 2000. [...]"
MSM: "France Fails To Win Backing For International Rules Targeting Online Companies In Run-Up To G20 Summit" [07/15/13] "France has failed to secure backing for tough new international tax rules specifically targeting digital companies, such as Google and Amazon, after opposition from the US forced the watering down of proposals that will be presented at this week's G20 summit. Senior officials in Washington have made it known they will not stand for rule changes that narrowly target the activities of some of the nation's fastest growing multinationals, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been told to draw up a much-anticipated action plan for tax reform at the gathering of G20 finance ministers this Friday, but the US and French governments have been at loggerheads over how far the proposals should go. While the Americans concede that the rules need to be updated, they are understood to be pushing for moderate change. They are believed to want tweaks to the existing wording of international tax treaties rather than the creation of wholly new passages dedicated to spelling out how the digital economy should be taxed. This has put the US at odds with several G20 nations, particularly France, which in January published radical proposals for new concepts in international tax treaties designed to counter some of the avoidance measures deployed by internet firms. Officials at the G20 governments have been working closely with the OECD, a club for the world's industrialised nations, over the proposals. Despite opposition from the US, the French position – which also includes a proposal to link tax to the collection of personal data – continues to be championed by the French finance minister [...]"
Commentary: "Financial Engineering As The ATM Of The Prosperous Classes" [07/15/13] "The Fed’s frenetic interest rate cutting and renewed commitment to the Greenspan Put after December 2000 generated another spree of financial engineering. In all three variations, buybacks, buyouts, and M&A takeovers, the common effect was equity extraction from the business sector. However, unlike the case of mortgage equity withdrawal by households, where the cash windfall was distributed widely across the middle class, corporate equity withdrawal resulted mainly in cash distributions to the very top of the economic ladder. In generating a cornucopia of CEW, therefore, financial engineering functioned as the ATM of the prosperous classes. [...]"
Commentary: "Money on the Mind" [07/15/13] [8:56] "In a series of startling studies, psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that "upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals." Ongoing research is trying to find out what it is about wealth — or lack of it — that makes people behave they way they do. [...]"
Documentary: "The Secret World of Gold" [07/14/13] [42:33] Historical examination of the role of gold in civilization.
Buffoonery: "Argentineans Turn To Bitcoins For Safe Haven" [07/12/13] [8:10] "This documentary is about Bitcoin's impact in Argentina. [...]" Note: Hahaha ... they'll be camping out on the pampas, soon, die on the plains and be eaten by wolves. They'll be thinking about Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing', all the while.
Commentary: "Rothschilds Want Iran's Banks" Snordelhans [07/12/13] [4:25] "An on-the-money précis of the motivation behind the push for war in Iran [...]"
Commentary: "Giant Banks Take Over Real Economy As Well As Financial System … Enabling Manipulation On a Vast Scale" [07/11/13] "Big Banks Move Into Uranium Mining, Petroleum Products, Aluminum, Ownership and Operation Of Airports, Toll Roads, and Ports, and Electricity [...]"
UK: "Russell Brand and Boris Johnson appear on Question Time June 2013" [07/10/13] [60:09] "BBC One, 10:35PM Thu, 20 Jun 2013 [...]"
Interviews: "Game Over - "It’s All A Farce, The Fed & German Gold Is Gone" [07/10/13] "Today one of the savviest and well connected hedge fund managers in the world shocked King World News by taking us once again on a trip down the rabbit hole that was nothing short of breathtaking. Outspoken Hong Kong hedge fund manager William Kaye spoke with KWN about the missing Fed and German gold, where it has gone, and how much gold the People’s Bank Of China (PBOC) really owns. This interview is going to stun readers around the world. [...] So the Fed gold, that Americans think is theirs, is gone. The gold that the Germans have been told they will get back in 7 years, they’ll never get back because it doesn’t exist anymore (at the Fed). I own it. The People’s Bank of China owns it. The Reserve Bank of India owns it. The central bank of Russia owns it. But the people of Germany (and America) don’t own it.” [...]"
MSM: "A Dark Magic: The Rise Of The Robot Traders" [07/08/13] "Financial trading has undergone a computerised revolution akin to Amazon's takeover of the High Street. All the real action has moved to cyberspace. Take the New York Stock Exchange. These days, most trading does not take place behind its famous neoclassical facade just off Wall Street, but in far less glamorous New Jersey. That is where the NYSE has set up a vast electronic trading facility covering 10 acres (four hectares), housing row upon row of computer servers. And many more acres are occupied by the servers of the robot trading firms hooked up to it. Computerised trading is an inherently secretive world. The trading firms keep a tight hold of their trading strategies, people and computer code (or "algorithms"). Otherwise a rival might figure out their complex-yet-fully-automated trading patterns, and then copy them, or worse still, dupe their computers into handing over millions. Remco Lenterman, the head of one such firm, IMC in the Netherlands, is trying to demystify his business. He says: "In the old days, 10 years ago, a desk of equity traders would have between 80 and 100 of human traders at an investment bank. Today there's maybe eight of them left. What they do is operate algos that effectively are mimicking what traders used to do, and they're tweaking constantly these algos and monitoring the risk of what goes on in the market." Firms such as Lenterman's make their money by scraping a tiny profit margin on an unthinkably huge volume of rapid-fire buying and selling. [...] Different algo traders use very different strategies. But they all share the need to identify trading opportunities - fleeting discrepancies between the available market price and where the computer deems the price ought to be - and then react to them faster than anyone else. It is called the "race to zero". And it has led to the investment of billions of dollars in faster, smarter computers, and in the fastest possible connections. At stock exchanges across the planet, traders pay hefty fees to "co-locate" their servers directly next to the exchanges. And hundreds of millions have been spent on building straighter cables to shave a few fractions of a second off the time it takes to transmit orders between the world's big trading centres: London, New York, Chicago and Tokyo. All this can seem a little irrational when the UK and US governments are struggling to scrape together enough money to upgrade the infrastructure needed to ferry humans from one place to another. There is, however, a darker side to this rush to computerise. For example, accidents can happen.[...]"
MSM: "Banks Rigged €10 Trillion Derivatives Market, Brussels Says" [07/07/13] "Thirteen big banks colluded to shut out competition from the multi-trillion euro derivatives market, according to an investigation by the European Commission. The EU's executive arm said that its investigation, which began in 2011, had uncovered anti-competitive practices during the 2008-9 financial crisis. The commission investigation focuses on the credit default swap (CDS) market which allows banks and businesses to hedge against possible losses. However, more controversially, they were used by Goldman Sachs and others to speculate on the probability of a Greek debt crisis in 2010. There are almost 2 million active CDS contracts with a joint notional amount of €10 trillion worldwide. Most CDS contracts are negotiated privately between so-called 'over the counter' derivatives. However, critics of the practice say that the lack of transparency distorts the market and increases the risk of the parties being unable to meet their obligations. [...]"
MSM: "Domestic Hyperinflationary Environment Should Evolve… Before the End of Next Year" [07/06/13] "According to Shadow Stats founder John Williams, who has taken a unique approach to analyzing fundamental economic data well beyond official government statistics, we will soon begin to see the fruits of the monetary and financial games taking place behind the scenes. Unfortunately, the end result is not going to be recovery. Far from it. As Williams notes in his latest report, what we should expect is continued degradation throughout this year and into 2014, at which point a hyperinflationary environment will take hold. [...]" Note: We won't be here to see it happen, though.
Commentary: "Egyptian President’s Ouster Likely Delays IMF Bailout Money For Now" [07/05/13] "The deposing of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi by the military Wednesday likely freezes any chance for an International Monetary Fund bailout for the ailing economy until an internationally-recognized government is installed. In recent months, a handful of neighboring countries such as Qatar have been keeping Egypt’s economy afloat by loaning the country’s central bank cash. That has bought Morsi government time to delay implementing the politically-sensitive measures the IMF has sought as a precondition before it gives Cairo a $4.8 billion credit line. In particular, the IMF had said that Egypt must raise taxes and begin phasing out fuel subsidies. It’s not the only cash at stake. Other international donors have vowed another $9.7 billion for the country once the IMF program is in place. Roughly $1.55 billion in bilateral aid from Washington could also be held up: under U.S. law, the administration can’t loan money to countries where the military is involved in an unconstitutional change in government. The fund typically only engages with a government if there’s widespread recognition by the international community that a legitimate government has been installed. The IMF isn’t likely to negotiate with military authorities in Cairo without such international consensus given that the fund’s board represents the world’s powers, and it’s unclear how long that process could take. [...] Related:"41 IMF Bailouts And Counting – How Long Before The Entire System Collapses"
Commentary: "Goldman Takeover Complete: Glimpse Inside The Bank Of England Where Mark Carney Is Now Presiding" [07/02/13] "Back in April 2012 we first suggested - to loud jeers by the “pundits” who were convinced there is no chance in hell of it happening – that Goldman’s take over of the world’s central bank triumvirate: the NY Fed (Bill Dudley), the ECB (Mario Draghi) and the Bank of England, would soon be completed with Mark Carney taking over the world’s oldest central bank located on Threadneedle street. Today, this process has concluded and we have photographic evidence. Behold Goldman’s Mark Carney attending his first BOE Monetary Policy briefing (don’t miss Michael Cross, Head of Foreign Exchange, and Executive Director for Markets, of Fleecebook fame sitting on the lower left).[...]" Related: MSM: "Mark Carney Is Hailed As A Saviour – But What Do We Really Know About Him?" "The new Bank of England governor's CV contains details that should give one pause – such as that decade spent in the Goldman Sachs shark pool [...]" Mark Carney Starts At Bank of England [1:03] The new governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney took up his post at the bank's headquarters in Threadneedle Street on July 1. He looked relaxed as he arrived to chair his first Monetary Policy Committee briefing, ahead of Thursday's vote on interest rates and economic stimulus"
Trends: "Companies Switch to Prepaid Cards for Payroll, Employees Pay Ridiculous Fees" [07/02/13] "A growing number of American workers are confronting a frustrating predicament on payday: to get their wages, they must first pay a fee. For these largely hourly workers, paper paychecks and even direct deposit have been replaced by prepaid cards issued by their employers. Employees can use these cards, which work like debit cards, at an A.T.M. to withdraw their pay. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, using the card involves a fee. And those fees can quickly add up: one provider, for example, charges $1.75 to make a withdrawal from most A.T.M.’s, $2.95 for a paper statement and $6 to replace a card. Some users even have to pay $7 inactivity fees for not using their cards. [...]"
MSM: "EU Charges 13 Banks, ISDA, Markit With Breaching EU Antitrust Rules" [07/02/13] "Financial data company Markit, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and 13 banks were charged with blocking two exchanges from entering the credit derivatives market in the last decade in breach of EU antitrust rules. The European Commission said the group, which included Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and UBS, shut out Deutsche Boerse and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from the CDS business between 2006 and 2009. Credit default swaps (CDS) are over-the-counter contracts that allow an investor to bet on whether a company or country will default on its bonds within a fixed period of time. Lack of transparency on such derivatives is a key target of regulators following the 2007-2009 crisis. The case is one of several opened by the EU antitrust regulator into the financial services since the crisis. Banks and other companies involved could be fined up to 10 percent of their global turnover if found guilty of infringing EU rules. [...]"
MSM: "UK Austerity: ‘Diverting Money From Poor To Rich Under Guise Of Economic Crisis’" [07/01/13] "The UK’s austerity policy is ideologically driven and is aimed at diverting finance from the poor to the rich under the pretext of the economic crisis, writer John Wight told RT. Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is announcing billions more in the government spending cuts while austerity measures are already biting for many people across the UK. Osborne claimed that British economy is “out of intensive care.” RT asked Wight if he thinks that is really the case. Wight: " If you are considering these policies on the basis of economics, then clearly it is completely irrational. The US economist Paul Krugman lately described it as “a medieval doctor draining a patient’s blood,” and when that doesn’t work, draining more blood from the patient. This is entirely appropriate to describe this economic policy. Austerity historically has been discredited. It doesn’t work in times of recession. [...]"
MSM: "Vatican’s Offshore Bank Allowing Organised Criminals, Even Terrorists, To Launder Money With Impunity" [07/01/13] "It’s like the end of the Berlin Wall,” said a high-ranking Vatican official last week after an invisible financial barrier marking the legal separation between the Vatican and Italy was breached for the first time. According to officials at the Bank of Italy, the Institute for Works of Religion – the Vatican’s own offshore bank – has for years been allowing organised criminals, even terrorists, to launder money with impunity. On Friday, Italian tax police arrested a high-ranking Italian prelate, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who until last month was working as a senior accountant inside the Vatican’s financial administration. They also arrested a financial intermediary and an agent from Italy’s secret services on charges of conspiring with Mgr Scarano to commit crimes of embezzlement and money laundering. Mgr Scarano is alleged to have masterminded a plot that sounds like an airport novel. He attempted to bring €20million in cash belonging to a wealthy family of shipowners from a Swiss bank to Rome in a private plane, thereby evading customs and tax controls. [...]" Related: "Vatican Monsignor Arrested Smuggling $26 Million In Cash In Private Jet" [06/29/13] [2:46] "6.28.13 BBC News[...]"
MSM: "Foreign Central Banks Selling U.S. Treasuries" [06/29/13] "Foreign central banks’ overall holdings of U.S. marketable securities at the Federal Reserve fell in the latest week, data from the U.S. central bank showed on Thursday. The Fed said its holdings of U.S. securities kept for overseas central banks fell $29 billion in the week ended June 26, to stand at $3.3 trillion. The breakdown of custody holdings showed overseas central banks’ holdings of Treasury debt fell by $32.4 billion to stand at $3.0 trillion. [...]"
MSM: "New EU Plan Will Make Every Bank Account In Europe Vulnerable To Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation" [06/28/13] "Amazingly, this announcement received very little notice in the international media. The fact that bank account confiscation will now be a permanent part of the plan to bail out troubled banks in Europe should have made headline news all over the globe. According to this new plan, bondholders will be the first to be required to “contribute” when a bank bailout is necessary. Do you want to guess what that is going to do to the price of European bank bonds? Shareholders of the bank will be the next in line to get hit when a bank bailout happens. After that, they will go after those that have more than 100,000 euros in their bank accounts. EU officials say that such a plan is needed because bailing out banks with taxpayer money was "creating too many problems"… [...]" Related: "Europe Strikes Deal To Push Cost Of Bank Failure On Investors" "The European Union agreed on Thursday to force investors and wealthy savers to share the costs of future bank failures, moving closer to drawing a line under years of taxpayer-funded bailouts that have prompted public outrage. After seven hours of late-night talks, finance ministers from the bloc’s 27 countries emerged with a blueprint to close or salvage banks in trouble. The plan stipulates that shareholders, bondholders and depositors with more than 100,000 euros ($132,000) should share the burden of saving a bank. [...]"
Commentary: " Hoenig & Bair Recommend Glass-Steagall To Congress; British MP Tells Chancellor "Glass-Steagall Or Crash" [06/27/13] "U.S. bank regulators told a key House of Representatives committee today, that restoring the Glass-Steagall Act would solve the "too-big-to-fail banks" problem, while a senior British MP demanded of the British Chancellor that Glass-Steagall be enacted in Britain immediately to stop a bank debt meltdown. There was a dramatic turning point in the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee hearing June 26 on "The Federal Reserve and Too-Big-To-Fail Banks". Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) asked all the witnesses, well-known and respected bank regulators, "If you could restore the Glass-Steagall Act now as the solution, would you do it, if you had the power?" Capuano is a co-sponsor of the House bill to do just that, HR 129, the Return to Prudent Banking Act, which now has 67 House sponsors and a Senate companion bill, S987. [...]"
MSM: "US Congress Quickly And Quietly Rolls Back Insider Trading Rules For Itself" [06/27/13] "...So... with very little fanfare, Congress quietly rolled back a big part of the law late last week. Specifically the part that required staffers to post disclosures about their financial transactions, so that the public could make sure there was no insider trading going on. Congress tried to cover up this fairly significant change because they, themselves, claimed that it would pose a "national risk" to have this information public. A national risk to their bank accounts. It was such a national risk that Congress did the whole thing quietly, with no debate. The bill was introduced in the Senate on Thursday and quickly voted on late that night when no one was paying attention. Friday afternoon (the best time to sneak through news), the House picked it up by unanimous consent. The House ignored its own promise to give Congress three days to read a bill before holding a vote, because this kind of thing is too important to let anyone read the bill before Congress had to pass it. And, of course, yesterday, President Obama signed it into law. Because the best way to rebuild trust in Congress, apparently, is to roll back the fact that people there need to obey the same laws as everyone else. That won't lead the public to think that Congress is corrupt. No, not at all. [...]"
MSM: "81.5% of Money Created through Quantitative Easing Gathering Dust" [06/27/13] "There is a massive misconception about where the Bernanke Fed’s stimulus landed. Although the Bernanke Fed has disbursed $2.284 trillion in new money (the monetary base) since August 1, 2008, one month before the 2008 financial crisis, 81.5 percent now sits idle as excess reserves in private banks. The banks are not required to hold excess reserves. The excess reserves exploded from $831 billion in August 2008 to $1.863 trillion on June 14, 2013. The excess reserves of the nation’s private banks had previously stayed at nearly zero since 1959 as seen on the St. Louis Fed’s chart. The banks did not leave money idle in excess reserves at zero interest because they were investing in income earning assets, including loans to consumers and businesses. [...] We’ve repeatedly pointed out that the Federal Reserve has been intentionally discouraged banks from lending to Main Street – in a misguided attempt to curb inflation – which has increased unemployment and stalled out the economy." [...] The Bernanke Fed’s policy was a repetition of what the Fed did in 1936 and 1937 which helped drive the country into a second depression. Why does Chairman Bernanke, who has studied the Great Depression of the 1930′s and has surely read the classic 1963 account of improper actions by the Fed on bank reserves described by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz, repeat the mistaken policy? [...]"
Commentary: "Ratings Agency Moody’s Becomes Political Enforcement Arm Of Washington DC" [06/26/13] "International financial ratings agency Moody’s is not known for being a political enforcement arm of Washington DC… until now that is. In a move which sets a dangerous precedent of politicizing the world’s markets, Moody’s just made an aggressive move towards global financial warfare between Washington and China, and perhaps the rest of the world as well – by downgrading 9 major Hong Kong banks today. That will wipe a lot off money off a lot of wealthy investors’ balance sheets. [...]"
Commentary: "The 441 Trillion Dollar Interest Rate Derivatives Time Bomb" [06/25/13] "... The number one reason why rapidly rising interest rates could cause the entire global financial system to crash is because there are more than 441 TRILLION dollars worth of interest rate derivatives sitting out there. This number comes directly from the Bank for International Settlements - the central bank of central banks. In other words, more than $441,000,000,000,000 has been bet on the movement of interest rates. Normally these bets do not cause a major problem because rates tend to move very slowly and the system stays balanced. But now rates are starting to skyrocket, and the sophisticated financial models used by derivatives traders do not account for this kind of movement. So what does all of this mean? It means that the global financial system is potentially heading for massive amounts of trouble if interest rates continue to soar. Right now, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries is about 30 percent above its 50 day moving average. That is the most that it has been above its 50 day moving average in 50 years. Like I mentioned above, we are moving into uncharted territory and this data doesn't really fit into the models used by derivatives traders. The yield on 5 year U.S. Treasuries has been moving even more dramatically... [...] As I wrote about yesterday, the U.S. financial system is a massive Ponzi scheme that is on the verge of imploding. Unprecedented intervention by the Federal Reserve has helped to prop it up for the last couple of years, and there is a lot of fear in the financial world about what is going to happen once that unprecedented intervention is gone. So what happens next? Well, nobody knows for sure, but one thing seems certain. The last half of 2013 is shaping up to be very, very interesting." Note: Within their system, 'interest rate derivatives' are only a part of the total dynamic of derivatives, fraudulently sold to various interests. It has been estimated that it exceeds $1.5 Quadrillion ... way more than the total actual value of everything on the planet. Note: See "Creation Of Credit Derivatives" link at the top of this panel and meet JP Morgan's Blythe Masters, creator of derivatives, credit default swaps and more, the sequential bitch who aided and abetted the greedy sequential dynamic of plunder.
MSM: "Bank Of China Denies Monetary Default Amid Fund Shortage Rumor" [06/25/13] "Bank of China, the country’s leading commercial bank, has denied a media report claiming the bank had defaulted earlier on Thursday. The bank’s statement came after the official Sina Weibo account for 21st Century Business Herald said the bank had defaulted on Thursday afternoon, deferring transactions for half an hour due to a fund shortage, citing anonymous sources. The bank responded in a post on its official Sina Weibo that it has never had monetary defaults and had completed all outbound payments on Thursday in a timely manner. The bank also said that the rumors are “seriously unfounded” and the bank reserves the right to pursue legal action against those who started the rumors out of malicious intent. [...]"
MSM: "AIG-Collapse Player Appointed Bank Of Israel Governor" [06/25/13] "On June 24, 2013, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that Jacob Frenkel had been appointed to be the next Governor of the Bank of Israel. "He is the best of the bests, the most excellent among the excellent," said Netanyahu. Carried away by the frivolity of his own poetry, Netanyahu forgot to mention Frenkel's involvement in the collapse of USA's insurance giant AIG. Shocked by this, I almost forgot to mention that Frenkel's first two terms were plagued with personal corruption. Startled by that, I almost skipped the fact that under the current law regularizing the function of the Bank of Israel, no Governor can serve more than two terms. Frenkel was governor in two consecutive terms between 1991 and 2000. Netanyahu must change the law to allow his good friend a way back home. Since 2009, he was Chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and Chairman and CEO of the abovementioned Group of Thirty. Between 2004 and 2009, he had been Vice Chairman of American International Group (AIG), role that he filled during the company's collapse. From 2000 to 2004, he was Chairman of Merrill Lynch International, and Chairman of Merrill Lynch's Sovereign Advisory and Global Financial Institutions Groups. As mentioned, before that he had been Governor of the Bank of Israel. [...]"
Commentary: "J.P. Morgan Spells Out Alternative to Glass-Steagall: Fascism" [06/24/13] "...J.P. Morgan's report states that despite the volume of austerity measures which are resulting in deaths in Greece and other Euro countries, the Eurozone is only about halfway through its period of adjustment, so austerity is still likely to be a feature of the landscape "for a very extended period." The startling new feature of J.P. Morgan's report is its claim that the problem with imposing austerity is not just fiscal discipline, but that there is too much democracy in some of the European countries today, in comparison to the 1930s fascist constitutions of southern Europe. The JPM report states: [...]" Note: There are a number of articles on this panel which reveal public analyses and statements that 'austerity' is destructive to societies and should be abandoned as a function. Related: Apparently, existing realizations about 'austerity' meaning nothing to JPMorgan. See below: "How EU Austerity Is Falling Foul Of The Law" [06/20/13]; "JPMorgan Calls For Authoritarian Regimes In Europe" [06/18/13]; "IMF Admits: “We Failed To Realise The Damage Austerity Would Do To Greece" [06/06/13]; "Krugman: Austerity Policies Based On 'A Mythical 70s That Never Was'" [05/20/13] ; "Study: Austerity Has Cost The U.S. Economy 2.2 Million Jobs" [05/07/13] ; "Goodbye To Austerity" [04/29/13]; "EU Backs Off Austerity" [04/23/13] ; "Academic Paper Often Used To Make The Case For Austerity Cuts Contains Major Errors" [04/21/13]
MSM: "Mass Austerity To Be Outlined In UK Government Spending Review" [06/24/13] "The budgets of local authorities in England are to be further slashed in the Conservative Party/Liberal Democrat government’s spending review, to be announced this week. A BBC report suggests councils face a 10 percent cut in the finances they receive from central government (equivalent to £30 million per council). By the time of the next election, due in 2015, councils will have suffered an unprecedented one-third reduction in their budgets. [...]" Note: They should get rid of excess involvement between the councils and the population.
MSM: "A Global Currency Reset" [06/24/13] [3:51] "... Fiat currency is becoming a thing of the past due to ongoing pervasive fraud and devaluation of paper currency – now it will have to be backed by assets (precious metals, oil, etc.) China would like to take over the US’s position as holding the world’s reserve currency in hopes to have their currency backed by gold. However, Clinton mentioned in one of her speeches that Iraq will become the richest nation in the world due to its oil reserves. Thereby, numerous nations that hold the Iraqi Dinar are looking to the IQD becoming the global reserve currency. The Global Currency Reset will take those 198 nations currency and revalue it up or down based upon that country’s assets. For example, Canada will go up about 20 cents, along with the Dong and IQD going up. The USD may go down or not depending upon how much IQD they have in reserve – and because O had all the other nations that owe the US money agree to pay back what they owe when the reset happens taking the US out of debt. Since the US has billions worth of UQD they can do several things. Exchange the IQD for gold thus taking the USD back to the gold standard. Hence the current USD will be collected and replace by the new currency. New currency expected to be distributed in the fall. 6. At the G-8 summit this year the talk among nations was how to collect taxes from tax dodgers. Basically the global banking system is tightening up its agreements between nations and will identify those who have been slipping through the current tax holes. Thus more tax return money for the nations who track down their tax dodgers. So instead of a crash – which is inevitable given the current fiscal structure, there will be a Global Currency Reset which is in the works.[...]"
Commentary: "Former VP of HSBC: "We Were Laundering 100′s Of Millions for Drugs" [06/23/13] [7:13] "The global banking giant HSBC is a “criminal” operation, charges a former officer for the company’s southern New York region in a video interview with WND. John Cruz, a former vice president and relationship manager, has turned over to WND more than 1,000 pages of documents, including customer account ledgers for dozens of companies through which, he charges, the financial institution was laundering money each month.Cruz told WND that as a relationship manager, it was his responsibility to look up various accounts in the HSBC computer system and visit the account holders in person to offer additional banking products and services. “I pulled these documents because I thought they were evidence of suspicious activity taking place,” Cruz affirmed when presented by WND with various HSBC computer ledgers of customer accounts. “These same documents I brought to bank security and my managers in the bank.” To his surprise, HSBC management and security did not welcome his reports of suspicious activity. “My managers told me I was crazy and I didn’t know what I was talking about,” he said. “They told me it was none of my business what goes on in transactions. But that’s my job.” [...]"
MSM: "World Bank: Money Laundering Criminals | Interview with Whistleblower Karen Hudes" [06/23/13] [8:38] "Abby Martin talks to Karen Hudes, former senior executive at the World Bank, about her experience blowing the whistle on the high level corruption within the international financial system and how her story was censored. [...]"
Commentary: "Artificial Abundance, Moral Hazard and the Federal Reserve's Doomsday Machine" [06/21/13] "Today's topic is important but a bit tricky; you may want to refill your beverage container before buckling in. Moral hazard is the separation of risk from consequence. A person who knows they won't suffer the consequences of a risky bet gone bad will behave quite differently from a person who knows the full consequences of a risky bet gone bad will fall on them. A person who is insulated from risk will have an insatiable appetite for risky bets because any gains will be theirs to keep but any losses will be covered by someone else--for example, the Federal Reserve or taxpayers. Correspondent Jeff N. recently alerted me to the equivalence of the perception of abundance and moral hazard. Jeff was responding to An Abundance of Bad Decisions (June 13, 2013), which noted that decisions made in the euphoria of abundance were generally bad because they were based on 1) projecting the good times would last for the indefinite future and 2) the Status Quo, having delivered abundance, was working fine and should not be challenged or changed. As a result, both critical thinking and innovation atrophy, as neither are needed in times of abundance. Indeed, they pose an active threat to the Status Quo and are thus marginalized or suppressed. In eras of extended abundance, the populace slowly loses the ability to think critically and develop concepts outside the narrow confines of the Status Quo. When the abundance/prosperity ends, as it always does, the populace has lost the ability to make difficult choices and realistically assess cost-benefit. Magical thinking and nostalgic references to past glories dominate the conventional mindset. In How Empires Fall (April 17, 2013), I noted that two of the key characteristics of an empire in terminal decline are complacency and intellectual sclerosis, what I have termed a failure of imagination. Michael Grant described these causes of decline in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire, a short book I have been recommending since 2009: [...]"
Commentary: "Panic Deepens On World Financial Markets" [06/21/13] "Global stocks plunged Thursday in the biggest one-day sell-off so far this year, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the US central bank might consider paring back its cash infusions into the financial markets within the next six months. The panic in stock and bond markets sparked by the remarks of Bernanke, who on Wednesday suggested the Fed might start winding down its $85 billion per month in asset purchases, was compounded by the release of data on Thursday showing that Chinese manufacturing activity hit its lowest level in nine months. These developments point to two fundamental facts about the current economic situation: the continuing slump in the real economy and the extreme dependence of global financial markets on virtually free credit from the Federal Reserve and other central banks. [...]" Related: "87% Risk Of Stock Crash By Year-End"
Commentary: "Mass Carnage: Stocks, Bonds, Gold, Silver, Europe And Japan All Get Pummeled" [06/21/13] "On June 20th, U.S. stocks, European stocks, Asian stocks, gold, silver and government bonds all over the planet all got absolutely shredded. This is not normal market activity. Unfortunately, there is nothing "normal" about our financial markets anymore. Over the past several years they have been grossly twisted and distorted by the Federal Reserve and by the other major central banks around the globe. Did the central bankers really believe that there wouldn't be a great price to pay for messing with the markets? The behavior that we have been watching this week is the kind of behavior that one would expect at the beginning of a financial panic. Dick Bove, the vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets, told CNBC that what we are witnessing right now "is not normal. It is not normal for all markets to move in the same direction at the same point in time due to the same development." The overriding emotion in the financial world right now is fear. And fear can cause investors to do some crazy things. So will global financial markets continue to drop, or will things stabilize for now? That is a very good question. But even if there is a respite for a while, it will only be temporary. More carnage is coming at some point. What we have witnessed this week very much has the feeling of a turning point. The euphoria that drove the Dow well over the 15,000 mark is now gone, and investors all over the planet are going into crisis mode. The following is a summary of the damage that was done on June 20th... [...]"
Commentary: "Next Phase of Syrian Invasion Begins -- The Central Bank Connection" [06/21/13] "... In the context of Syria, it is important to understand the impetus of invasion specific to the imperialist quest against the Middle Eastern nation. While fuel for the military-industrial complex and no-bid contracts doled out to multi-billion dollar military defense firms to rebuild what was destroyed in the conflict is no doubt on the list of reasons for the destruction of Syria, it is well known that Syria represents a strategic stronghold for Russia in terms of influence in the region. Because a confrontation with both Russia and China appear to be in the cards of the Anglo-Americans, the weakening of a strategic position of Russia in the Middle East (with Iran to be the next target) would not only be considered quite the geopolitical coup, it is a virtual necessity if one is determined to engage a nation as powerful as Russia in the long run. Yet there is one more underlying reason for Western military intervention in Syria that is rarely discussed publicly, even among many alternative media outlets - the goal of total domination by the private central banking system. It is true that both debt and the control of currency is one of the most effective means of enslaving an entire population without their knowledge. Continually chasing financial freedom with no ability to pay off debt and save for the future ensures that a sizable majority of the population will not have the means, time, or energy to resist the totalitarian methods imposed upon them. Likewise, it is true that by controlling a nation’s currency, one essentially controls the nation. Governments who are beholden to third parties and private banks for their money are not governments at all – they are receiverships existing solely at the pleasure of the controlling oligarchy. As Mayer Amschel Rothschild once stated, “Give me control of a nation’s money supply and I care not who makes its laws.” Thus, when one takes a look at the worldwide banking system and, in particular, the amount of countries with government-owned, non-Rothschild affiliated central banks, one easily sees a monopolistic system coming into view. In addition, when one takes a closer look at those countries with government-owned central banks, independent of Rothschild and major financier control, it becomes even clearer that maintaining a government-mandated structure of currency and central banking places a nation on a very dangerous list. [...]"
Commentary: "How EU Austerity Is Falling Foul Of The Law" [06/20/13] "There is a simmering confrontation between some EU members’ highest courts and European authorities over the limits of austerity, interstate solidarity and human rights. German magistrates, who questioned and later approved the rescue of Greece in 2011, have this month started to review the constitutionality of the bond-buying programme of the European Central Bank (ECB) at the request of over 35,000 citizens. They allege that it is an instrument to provide struggling countries with easy money from German pockets. According to many experts, this policy helped Spain and Italy avert disastrous defaults by preventing bonds’ interest rates from escalating to unaffordable levels, which was what was happening until the ECB president Mario Draghi threatened to do “whatever it takes” to protect the euro in July and subsequently launched the bond-buying programme in September. While some Germans feel that EU bodies are betraying their own principles by failing to implement badly needed austerity in the eurozone, Spaniards, Portuguese, Romanians and Latvians have asked their highest courts to repeal part of the budget cuts and reforms imposed by Brussels with German support. [...]"
Commentary: "Follow The Money: The Secret Heart Of The Secret State" [06/19/13] "No one, anywhere, has been writing about the deeper and wider implications of the Snowden revelations than Arthur Silber. (I hope you're not surprised by this.) In a series of powerful, insightful essays, Silber has, among other things, laid bare the dangers of the oddly circumscribed 'gatekeeper' approach of the journalistic guardians (at, ironically, the Guardian) of Snowden's secrets, particularly their slow drip-feed of carefully self-censored tidbits from the famous Powerpoint presentation that Snowden secreted from the bowels of the United Stasi of the American intelligent apparat. Eschewing the Wikileaks approach, the guardians at the Guardian have not let us judge the material for ourselves, opting instead to adopt, unwittingly, the same approach of the apparat: "we are the keepers of knowledge, we will decide what you need to know." As Silber notes, this doesn't vitiate the worth of the revelations, but it does dilute their impact, leaving gaps that the apparat -- and its truly repulsive apologists all through the 'liberal media' -- can exploit to keep muddying the waters. He explores these ramifications, and others, in "In Praise of Mess, Chaos and Panic" and "Fed Up With All the Bullshit." In his latest piece, "'Intelligence, Corporatism and the Dance of Death," he cuts to the corroded heart of the matter, the deep, dark not-so-secret secret that our secret-keepers are trying to obscure behind their blizzards of bullshit: it's all about the Benjamins. [...]"
MSM: "Bank Of America Whistle-Blower’s Bombshell: “We Were Told To Lie" [06/19/13] "Bank of America’s mortgage servicing unit systematically lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications, and paid their staff bonuses for deliberately pushing people into foreclosure: Yes, these allegations were suspected by any homeowner who ever had to deal with the bank to try to get a loan modification – but now they come from six former employees and one contractor, whose sworn statements were added last week to a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Massachusetts. [...]"
Commentary: "JPMorgan Calls For Authoritarian Regimes In Europe" [06/18/13] "In a document released at the end of May, the American banking and investment giant JP Morgan Chase calls for the overturning of the bourgeois democratic constitutions established in a series of European countries after the Second World War and the installation of authoritarian regimes. The 16-page document was produced by the Europe Economic Research group of JP Morgan and titled “The Euro Area Adjustment—About Half-Way There.” The document begins by noting that the crisis in the euro zone has two dimensions. First, the paper argues, financial measures are necessary to ensure that major investment houses such as JP Morgan can continue to reap huge profits from their speculative activities in Europe. Second, the authors maintain, it is necessary to impose “political reforms” aimed at suppressing opposition to the massively unpopular austerity measures being carried out at the behest of the banks. [...]"
MSM: "Economist Warns 'Doomsday' Will Soon Strike Wall Street" [06/18/13] "In a recent interview with Newsmax TV, economist Robert Wiedemer predicted another catastrophe was about to strike the financial and housing markets, as well as the personal incomes of Americans across the country. “I would say the correct way to describe what’s coming would be ‘Doomsday,’” Wiedemer told Newsmax Financial Publisher Aaron DeHoog. “And too many people have the wool pulled over their eyes, their heads stuck in the sand, some sort of short-term memory loss, whatever you want to call it, they have no idea what’s about to hit them, and we should all be concerned.” Wiedemer rose to prominence after it came to light that his 2006 book America’s Bubble Economy foretold, with alarming accuracy, the precise chain of events that would drive the United States and global economy into the worst downturn since the Great Depression. “At the time nobody was willing to listen. It was just an around-the-clock party nobody wanted to end,” Wiedemer said when describing how the White House, Congress, Federal Reserve, and general public chose to ignore what he believed were clear warning signs. Now in his follow-up book Aftershock, he’s sounding the alarm that the worst is yet to come. [...] Wiedemer discussed why he stepped forward to film this controversial video with Newsmax TV, which has already been banned by one major media outlet with large financial ties to President Barack Obama. “Aaron, right now, folks on Main Street just borrowed $380 billion from their investment portfolios. So they’re taking actual loans out on their stocks. All so they could gamble even more that the good times ain’t ending with this fairy-tale economic turnaround,” Wiedemer told DeHoog. “The last time this happened was 2007, and those good times ended right after. What we have is a ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’ situation with our stock market, home prices, and everything related to this so-called recovery. And everybody is falling for the lie,” Wiedemer stated.[...]"
Commentary: "Billionaires Are Quietly And Rapidly Dumping Millions of Shares of Stock" [06/18/13] "After the massive crash that rocked global markets in 2008, as Congress, central bankers and major financial institutions met in secret to mitigate the crisis, billionaires like Warren Buffet were buying up shares of some of the hardest hit companies. At the time, the world was literally on the brink of an unprecedented economic collapse. It was so serious, in fact, that members of Congress were told that should they fail to come to an agreement the fallout would leave the United States in such a state of disarray that martial law would be declared and tanks would be deployed to major American cities. Now, with the stock market indicating to the masses that the promised recovery has taken hold, and with mainstream analysts arguing that happy days are here again, those same moguls of finance who were undoubtedly tipped off in 2008, are making some very big moves yet again. But these particular moves are exactly the opposite of what you might expect given that we’re at the beginning of a supposed recovery. Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast. [...]"
Commentary: "Criminal Malpractice: Fitch Blasts China, Predicts Implosion" [06/18/13] "Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history ... China's shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned. Fitch warned that wealth products worth $2 trillion of lending are in reality a "hidden second balance sheet" for banks, allowing them to circumvent loan curbs and dodge efforts by regulators to halt the excesses. For years we've been writing that the Chinese Miracle is nothing more than the Japanese Miracle writ large and that it would have a similarly messy end. This seemed obvious to us, and increasingly to others. Some background. Western powers, especially the US, made a deal with Japan in which Japan printed money and then funneled that money to the US, especially, to fund the US deficit. In return, Japanese products were facilitated in the US and the Japanese economy boomed. The result was that the Japanese economy was further Westernized and huge multinationals emerged out of Japan. The US did well, also, funding its vast military-industrial complex for a decade. When the Japanese Miracle sputtered, the same sort of deal was made with China. And that has been underway for what looks like at least two decades. Now the Western powers are gearing up to do this in Africa. Probably won't work. But there are obviously efforts underway and we've written about them a good deal. In part, we figure attention is turning to Africa because the Chinese Miracle is beginning to fizzle. It seems to be running down now just the way the Japanese one did. Central bank stimulation can only go so far before it ruins an economy, and the Chinese economy is in a fair bit of trouble now. We've explained for years, in the face of a tidal wave of mainstream China adulation – that the Chinese model of capitalism was a kind of Potemkin Village. It appeared to be competitive but at the top it was nothing of the sort. The ChiComs were in power and are still in power and when and where it mattered there was only an appearance of competition. We're supposed to believe that after thousands of years of poverty, authoritarianism and warfare, the Chinese socialist model managed in 30 years to bring peace and prosperity to 1.3 billion people. Not really ... The engine of the Great Chinese Boom is not, unfortunately, the hard work and intelligence of a cohesive, wise and ancient culture but likely the incredible monetary stimulation of the modern Chinese central bank. The great Chinese prosperity was probably in large part no more than a credit bubble, the biggest the world has ever seen. And now Fitch is saying the same thing. [...]"
MSM: "Some U.S. States Push To Bring Back Gold Standard" [06/17/13] [2:56] "More than a dozen states have introduced laws to recognize gold as legal currency. If the bill gets the governor's signature, Arizona will be the second state to legally consider gold as legal tender. Supporters of going back to the gold standard say the system is preferable to the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke's monetary policies. On the 80th anniversary since the Gold Standard in the U.S. was abolished, RT Correspondent Liz Wahl reports on the rush get back to gold. [...]"
Video Short: "Wars, Gold And Printing Money" [06/17/13] [15:26] UK Independent party production.
MSM: "Offshore Tax-Haven Data Made Public As Companies Brace For Scrutiny" [06/16/13] "The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on Friday made public what it calls the most extensive collection of records on offshore accounts in history, encouraging sleuths to ferret out possible tax evasion. The online portal, called the Offshore Leaks Database, contains hundreds of thousands of records showing corporations set up in so-called "tax-haven" countries, gleaned from the contents of about 2.5 million emails and financial documents that ICIJ said it received in early 2012. Over the past year, the data have been used by journalists around the world to detail alleged tax evasion by billionaires, oligarchs, emirs, princes and multinational corporations on nearly every continent. Publication of the documents may heighten scrutiny of some of the world's largest financial institutions and their clients. Governments worldwide have renewed efforts to stamp out tax avoidance as fiscal authorities, including those from Europe and the United States, confront record budget deficits and slow-growth economies. A 2012 report by the Tax Justice Network (TJN) found that untaxed wealth invested in offshore tax havens ran between $28 and $32 trillion dollars, equal to two years’ worth of U.S. economic output. The report estimated that if the money were to have been invested in home countries, even at low rates of return, it could have generated hundreds of billions of dollars per year in tax revenue. [...]"
MSM: "BofA Gave Bonuses to Foreclose on Clients, Lawsuit Claims" [06/16/13] "Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second-biggest U.S. lender, rewarded staff with cash bonuses and gift cards for meeting quotas tied to sending distressed homeowners into foreclosure, former employees said in court documents. [...]"
Commentary: "100% Bank Reserves: The Banking Revolution That Would Wipe Out US And UK Debts" [06/16/13] "... That it should now be back on the table after all this time demonstrates how little progress has been made. So how about something truly radical – the complete dismemberment of the banking system as we know it and its replacement with what is known as 100pc reserve banking? This is not as ludicrous a suggestion as is sometimes made out. What’s more, to describe it as radical may be a bit of a misnomer. Actually, 100pc reserve banking is a distinctly “conservative” approach to the problem, for its primary purpose is to make finance as low risk as possible. Nor is it the completely unrealistic, fringe idea sometimes supposed, having been treated very seriously by President Franklin D Roosevelt during the last great banking crisis in the 1930s, when it was quite widely supported by some of the leading economic thinkers of the time. In the end, the concept was shelved, but the mere threat of it helped FDR push through a banking crackdown that high finance would otherwise have regarded as completely unacceptable. Given the choice, even Glass-Steagall seemed preferable to the so-called “Chicago Plan”, named after the two Chicago-based economists, Henry Simons and Irving Fisher, who devised and articulated it. The idea has been given new legs by the outbreak of our own 21st century banking crisis, and it is again fast developing something of a cult following. Research by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof of the International Monetary Fund has found support for all four of the big claims made by Fisher of 100pc reserve banking – better control of the credit cycle, complete elimination of bank runs and a dramatic reduction of both public and private debt.
To understand how such a system would work, you have to go back to first principles. [...]"
Commentary: "On The Amount of Wealth and Power Held by 0.001% of the World Population" [06/15/13] "... In early 2013, Oxfam reported that the fortunes made by the world’s 100 richest people over the course of 2012 – roughly $240 billion – would be enough to lift the world’s poorest people out of poverty four times over. In the Oxfam report, "The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt Us All," the international charity noted that in the past 20 years, the richest 1% had increased their incomes by 60%. Barbara Stocking, an Oxfam executive, noted that this type of extreme wealth is “economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive...We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.” [...] With roughly half of the world’s offshore wealth, or some $10 trillion, belonging to 92,000 of the planet's richest individuals —representing not the top 1% but the top 0.001% — we see a far more extreme global disparity taking shape than the one invoked by the Occupy movement. Henry commented: “The very existence of the global offshore industry, and the tax-free status of the enormous sums invested by their wealthy clients, is predicated on secrecy.” In his 2008 book, "Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making," David Rothkopf, a man firmly entrenched within the institutions of global power and the elites which run them, compiled a census of roughly 6,000 individuals whom he referred to as the “superclass.” They were defined not simply by their wealth, he said, but by the influence they exercised within the realms of business, finance, politics, military, culture, the arts and beyond. Rothkopf noted: “Each member is set apart by his ability to regularly influence the lives of millions of people in multiple countries worldwide. Each actively exercises this power and often amplifies it through the development of relationships with other superclass members.” [...]" Note: Some of the most third density addicted reincarnated retreads is who they're talking about. All they've done is dig themselves deeper, while here, and they all behave like psychopathic narcissists, of course.
Commentary: "Banksters Rig $4.7 Trillion A Day Currency Markets To Profit Off Clients" [06/15/13] "The world’s biggest banks have been manipulating benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments, according to a Bloomberg investigation. Employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said five current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial. Dealers colluded with counterparts to boost chances of moving the rates, said two of the people, who worked in the industry for a total of more than 20 years. The behavior occurred daily in the spot foreign-exchange market and has been going on for at least a decade, affecting the value of funds and derivatives and all investments. The Financial Conduct Authority, Britain’s markets supervisor, is considering opening a probe into potential manipulation of the rates, according to a person briefed on the matter. Informed observers have long warned that the global $4.7-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, the biggest in the financial system has all the hallmarks of a casino. The inherent conflict banks face between executing client orders and profiting from their own trades is exacerbated because most currency trading takes place away from exchanges. [...]"
Commentary: "Financial Totalitarianism: The Economic, Political, Social and Cultural Rule of Speculative Capital" [06/14/13] "At the end of May, it was revealed that a new bill for the regulation of the banking and financial sector was, for all intents and purposes, drafted by Citigroup. This is only the latest in a long list of what can only be called legalized corruption at the highest levels of American power, which has ultimately led to no meaningful policy or legal change in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Avid readers of intrepid Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi and others cannot help but be sickened and struck by the impunity and hubris of America's financial elites, even as astute students of history will point out the previous momentswhen the power and influence of financiers has overshadowed economics and politics. Totalitarianism is not an inappropriate term, not simply because the financial realm holds such a great deal of wealth and power. The term was coined by the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to praise the system he created where the ruling ideology dominated every aspect of citizens' lives. Not only did the fascist state ruthlessly and autocratically dominate the economy and politics, it also sought to transform social life and the culture of the nation to become a total way of life. While there is no pompous fascist figurehead, we can see the tremendous power of the financial sector as a form of disorganized or ad-hoc totalitarianism where financial power and modes of thinking increasingly stain the social fabric. And like the totalitarianisms of old, the "financialization" of life is ultimately directed by and benefits a tiny minority, at the expense of everyone else. "Financialization" generally refers to two overlapping economic processes. First, it speaks to the way an increasing portion of a nation's wealth is bound up with or represented by the financial sector (generally referred to as the FIRE sector for Finance, Insurance and Real Estate), and, consequently, the tremendous influence of the financial sector over corporations, governments and individuals. [...]"
Commentary: "'Corporate Pirates': How 'Fix the Debt' CEOs Plan to Make Billions in Offshore Havens" [06/13/13] "New report finds that member corporations will make $173b in offshore windfall if tax scheme is adopted. Members of Fix the Debt, the coalition of CEOs who promote fear-mongering over the national debt as a guise for cutting social support programs, are "brazenly" pursuing new legislation to widen tax haven loopholes which, according to a new report, will earn them billions. Published Wednesday, the report—Corporate Pirates of the Caribbean (pdf)—by the Institute for Policy Studies reveals that group member corporations could gain as much as $173 billion in "windfalls" should Congress adopt the group's proposal for a "territorial" tax system. This reform—a centerpiece of "Fix the Debt" co-founders Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson's recent deficit reduction proposal—would increase incentives to exploit tax havens by permanently exempting US corporations’ foreign earnings from US federal income taxes. “These Fix the Debt corporations are like modern day pirates,” says report co-author Scott Klinger. “Their crews are not sword-wielding ruffians, but high-priced lobbyists and accountants who fight for, win, and then exploit loopholes in the tax code that allow them to avoid paying their fair share of the tax burden.” Under the current tax code, the report explains, US-headquartered corporations are required to pay a tax rate of 35 percent on their profits, regardless of where in the world those profits are earned. However, those corporations are given "full credit" for any taxes paid to foreign governments and "any profits deemed permanently reinvested offshore" are exempt from US taxes until and unless they are returned to the US. Thus, if a corporation is able to shift their overseas profits to a country where corporate profits are lightly taxed and the taxes paid there are "permanently exempted"—as would be the case under the territorial tax system—the change would be "enormously profitable" for those companies raking in offshore profits. Some of the major findings of the report include: [...]"
Trends: "Pimco Sees 60% Chance Of Global Recession In 3-5 Years" [06/13/13] High debt levels have raised the chances of a global recession in the next three to five years to more than 60 percent, said Pimco, which manages the world’s largest bond fund. The world economy goes through a recession about every six years and the frequency of global recessions tends to rise when global indebtedness is high and falling compared with when indebtedness is low and rising, Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco) said in a note published on its website late Tuesday. “Given that the last global recession was four years ago, and also given that the global economy is significantly more indebted today than it was four years ago, we believe there is now a greater than 60 percent probability that we will experience another global recession in the next three to five years,” Saumil H. Parikh, a managing director and generalist portfolio manager at Pimco said in the note. [...]" Note: If time went on, this is what an 'assessment' would be, however it appears too rosy. Any large event would precipitate a cascading collapse of society, which is under existential stress already because of the way endgame is unfolding. Of course, the folks at Pimco only see a narrow slice of reality with the perspectives they have, so they don't have a clue that it's about to be all over, permanently, here, for them, in the very near future.
Trends: "Government Spying on Americans … And Then Giving Info to Giant Corporations" [06/12/13] "... In essence, big banks and giant corporations are seen as being part of “critical infrastructure” and “key resources” … so the government protects them. That creates a dynamic where the government will do quite a bit to protect the big boys against any real or imagined threats … whether from activists or even smaller competitors. (Remember that the government has completely propped up the big banks, even though they went bankrupt due to stupid gambles.) And given that some millions of private contractors have clearance to view information gathered by spy agencies, and that information gained by the NSA by spying on Americans is being shared with agencies in other countries, at least some of the confidential information is undoubtedly leaking into private hands, even without the government’s knowledge or consent." [...] As the ACLU noted in 2004: There is a long and unfortunate history of cooperation between government security agencies and powerful corporations to deprive individuals of their privacy and other civil liberties, and any program that institutionalizes close, secretive ties between such organizations raises serious questions about the scope of its activities, now and in the future. Indeed, the government has been affirmatively helping the big banks, giant oil companies and other large corporations cover up fraud and to go after critics. The government is also using anti- terrorism laws to keep people from learning what pollutants are in their own community, in order to protect the fracking, coal and other polluting industries.[...]" Note: Corporate fascism ... Related: Flashback: "National Security Agency Helps Banks Battle Hackers" [10/26/11] "... The National Security Agency, a secretive arm of the U.S. military, has begun providing Wall Street banks with intelligence on foreign hackers, a sign of growing U.S. fears of financial sabotage. The assistance from the agency that conducts electronic spying overseas is part of an effort by American banks and other financial firms to get help from the U.S. military and private defense contractors to fend off cyber attacks, according to interviews with U.S. officials, security experts and defense industry executives. [...]"
Commentary: "Insider Trading Has Become Widespread" [06/11/13] "... There’s a host of evidence that insider trading has become widespread. The scope of something so clandestine is inherently difficult to pin down, but the number of insider-trading referrals to the S.E.C. from FINRA, the financial industry’s self-regulatory body, keeps going up. The S.E.C.’s enforcement actions have been on the rise as well, and the past three years saw more of them than any other three-year period in its history. Andrew Ceresney, the co- director of enforcement at the S.E.C., told me, “We’ve gotten better at detecting illegal activity, and at using technology that allows us to draw connections and see patterns.” But this isn’t just a case of vigilant policing giving the impression of a rise in crime; a number of studies of market-moving events have documented a boom in “suspicious activity” (that is, more trading than usual) around those events. [...]"
Interviews: "Bank Profits Soar, Wages Suffer Sharpest Decline in 60 Years" Real News [06/11/13] [10:28] "Bill Black: The economy is recovering—unless you work for a paycheck. [...]"
MSM: "UK: Cameron Faces Battle At G8 Over Anti-Corruption Deal For Firms" [06/09/13] "David Cameron's hopes of securing at the G8 summit next week a major anti- corruption agreement that would force companies to reveal who really owns them is hanging by a thread, amid fierce opposition from both the Russian and Canadian governments, as well as from many members of the US Congress. [...] Companies that hide their real owners in inscrutable, anonymous trusts and shell companies in tax havens are responsible for moving hundreds of billions of pounds a year around the world, much of which is plundered from developing countries. Often the trusts are used for tax evasion, to pay kickbacks to corrupt officials, to facilitate organised crime and to fund international terrorism. In 2011, the World Bank analysed 213 grand corruption cases over the past 20 years. In 150, a trust or shell company was used. Many of the trusts used to disguise ownership are based in British overseas territories, such as the Cayman Islands or the British Virgin Islands. A recent Africa Progress Panel report revealed that between 2010 and 2012, Congo lost at least $1.36bn from the sale of under-priced mining assets, in deals involving shell companies registered in British overseas territories. In a determined attempt to tackle the problem before the G8 summit, the prime minister has been strongly promoting a plan that would make companies legally responsible for keeping a register of their real owners and shareholders. Under one scenario proposed by Cameron, the register would be made public. Another option would be for it to be available only to the relevant authorities. [...]"
MSM: "As Mining Boom Fades, Western Australian Government Imposes Austerity Measures
" [06/08/13] "The state Liberal government plans to cut 1,500 public sector jobs. The decision follows a government announcement last month that it will increase fees and utility charges above the inflation rate. [...]"
Commentary: "Bilderberg, Google And The G8: New Global Tax Regime Already In The Works" [06/07/13] "... The convergence of the Google Summit, its tax battle, and Bilderberg 2013 may seem innocent enough on its surface, but the timing is no mere coincidence. UK leadership have whipped up a frenzy in the media over Google’s alleged tax sins, leaving the public clamoring for a solution. The words “never let a good crisis go to waste” certainly chime in well here. [...]"
Commentary: "Disney’s Electronic Wristband Illustrates Why Big Companies Push Contactless Wallets" [06/06/13] "Disney just announced an electronic wristband for visitors to its theme parks that neatly illustrates why companies like Google and cellphone networks are pushing the idea of using contactless technology in phones for payments, tickets, boarding passes and more. The short answer? They want data. Disney’s MagicBand, an ID tag that uses Bluetooth and contactless NFC technology, is being introduced at Walt Disney World in Florida. It replaces a person’s ticket and can be used to tag into rides and other attractions at the park. It can also be used to open a guest’s hotel door, and to pay in stores at the resort. In the future, the Bluetooth link will make it possible for you to wander up to an attraction or Disney character and be greeted using your first name. To sum up, a person opting to use a MagicBand could find their stay much more convenient, and perhaps even leave their wallet back at their hotel. It’s a very similar pitch to that made by companies including Google, and the consortium of major cellphone networks, Isis, for contactless “wallets” based on near field communication chips (NFC) built into phones. However, Disney’s MagicBand program has significant benefits to the company, too. The MagicBand collects valuable data each time it is tagged or used to buy something, providing a new perspective on what Disney’s customers are doing at the resort. It becomes possible to do things like look for relationships between the attractions and rides a person visits, or the characters they meet, and what they spend money on in the gift shop. Disney could look for signs of the social dynamics of groups of people that arrive at the park together. [...]" Related: See also below: "Wi-Fi Credit Cards Vulnerable To Cyber Identity Thieves Exploiting Contactless Payment Technology" (UK) [06/02/13]
MSM: "IMF Admits: “We Failed To Realise The Damage Austerity Would Do To Greece" [06/06/13] "Athens officials react to report with glee, saying it confirms that the price extracted for country's bailout package was too high. The International Monetary Fund admitted it had failed to realise the damage austerity would do to Greece as the Washington-based organisation catalogued mistakes made during the bailout of the stricken eurozone country. In an assessment of the rescue conducted jointly with the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European commission, the IMF said it had been forced to override its normal rules for providing financial assistance in order to put money into Greece. Fund officials had severe doubts about whether Greece's debt would be sustainable even after the first bailout was provided in May 2010 and only agreed to the plan because of fears of contagion. While it succeeded in keeping Greece in the eurozone, the report admitted the bailout included notable failures. [...]"
Commentary: "FED's Yellin, Following Bernanke, Says No Glass-Steagall Return" [06/05/13] "Speaking in Singapore June 3, Yellin "expressed skepticism about proposals to revive the repealed Glass-Steagall Act" in answer to a question. Instead, she insisted that the "resolution ['bail-in'] regime" for large banks had to be standardized across borders as quickly as possible — essentially demanding the global standardization of the killer Dodd-Frank Act Title II. Yellen almost matched Alan Greenspan's notorious opacity of expression when explaining what, she though, had blown out the financial system in 2007-08: "the rapid unwinding of large amounts of short-term wholesale funding that had been made available to highly-leveraged and/or maturity-transforming financial firms that were not subject to consolidated prudential supervision." No big banks to break up here! [...]"
Commentary: "Bank of International Settlements Forges ‘Simple Plan’ to Avoid Bank Bailouts in Market Crash" [06/04/13] "The Bank for International Settlements has crafted a plan to inject major lenders with more cash, in the event of financial failure, while avoiding market chaos and the need to use taxpayers’ money. According to BIS’ paper, the central bank forum laid out blueprints on how to recapitalise banks quickly and easily, while also allowing authorities to give an ironclad guarantee that insured depositors would not lose savings. “It proposes a simple recapitalisation mechanism that is consistent with the rights of creditors and enables recapitalisation of a too big to fail (TBTF) bank over a weekend without the use of taxpayers’ money,” said the paper. [...]"
Commentary: "Whistleblower Reveals World Bank Corruption" [06/03/13] "Whistleblowers continue to endure an increasing level of targeting and prosecution by an administration that touts its commitment to transparency. Despite this, many brave insiders continue to come forward to reveal the extent of corruption at the highest levels. The latest information comes from Karen Hudes, seen in the Video clip [27:48] with Sean Stone. Her bio highlights her 21-year experience at the World Bank as Senior Legal Counsel: [...] The World Bank is already notorious for its wide range of human rights violations, land-grab schemes, environmental destruction and economic attacks on sovereign nations and local communities. Hudes offers some additional details about what she asserts is one single group controlling world financial markets and media. She also offers names of people who were involved in blackmail surrounding a 2007 prostitution scandal. Hudes has now been charged by Attorney General Eric Holder with trespassing after being arrested May 13th at an office of the World Bank. It is worth noting that much of what Hudes discusses from her perspective shows the level of compartmentalization that takes place in large governmental organizations. For example, she states that she believes the World Bank is "finally fulfilling its mandate" by stopping the next world war. However, the deliberate destablization campaigns with subsequent destruction and reconstruction projects, as documented by other insiders such as John Perkins, call this idealistic view into serious question. Hudes maintains that it is exactly this type of corruption that is being rooted out, and why people like her are being targeted."
MSM: "Wi-Fi Credit Cards Vulnerable To Cyber Identity Thieves Exploiting Contactless Payment Technology" [06/02/13] "Millions of debit and credit card holders are at risk of having their personal data mined by thieves exploiting a loophole in the latest ‘contactless’ payment technology. Card numbers and personal details can be read almost instantly by a remote device such as a mobile phone, according to cyber-crime experts. [...]"
MSM: "Wealth Of Most Americans Down 55% Since Recession" [06/02/13] "Increasing housing prices and the stock market's posting all-time highs haven't helped the plight most Americans. The average U.S. household has recovered only 45 percent of the wealth they lost during the recession, according to a report released yesterday from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. While Americans continue to pay down their debt, the report says debt levels and problems with rebuilding net worth are the main reasons the recovery has been so slow. Also, the people who bore the brunt of the recession through job losses and reduced income were the ones who had borrowed the most. [...]"
MSM: "Cashing In: Former CIA Director David Petraeus Cashes In, To Head Private Equity Firm, Global Institute" [06/01/13] "Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus will take a new job with investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. as he attempts to rebuild his reputation after an extramarital affair with a biographer triggered his resignation. Petraeus has a doctorate from Princeton University and has written widely on international relations, military strategy and tactics, and national security issues. He also has taught economics and international relations at the U.S. Military Academy. [...]" Note: So he knows nothing much about the investment dynamic. Good choice.
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