Nov 30

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Promising “a new era of openness in our country,” President Obama  …

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency,” Obama said. Source: CNN

So much for transparency!


change-we-can-believe-in

WASHINGTON – President Obama will maintain a lid of secrecy on millions of pages of military and intelligence documents that were scheduled to be declassified by the end of the year, according to administration officials.

The missed deadline spells trouble for the White House’s promises to introduce an era of government openness, say advocates, who believe that releasing historical information enforces a key check on government behavior. They cite as an example the abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Cold War, including domestic spying and assassinations of foreign officials, that were publicly outlined in a set of agency documents known as the “family jewels.’’

The documents in question – all more than 25 years old – were scheduled to be declassified on Dec. 31 under an order originally signed by President Bill Clinton and amended by President George W. Bush.

But now Obama finds himself in the awkward position of extending the secrecy, despite his repeated pledges of greater transparency, because his administration has been unable to prod spy agencies into conformance.

Some of the agencies have thrown up roadblocks to disclosure, engaged in turf battles over how documents should be evaluated, and have reviewed only a fraction of the material to determine whether releasing them would jeopardize national security.

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Nov 30

google-chrome

What is going on at Google? I only ask because last night when I typed “Global Warming” into Google News the top item was Christopher Booker’s superb analysis of the Climategate scandal.

It’s still the most-read article of the Telegraph’s entire online operation – 430 comments and counting – yet mysteriously when you try the same search now it doesn’t even feature. Instead, the top-featured item is a blogger pushing Al Gore’s AGW agenda. Perhaps there’s nothing sinister in this. Perhaps some Google-savvy reader can enlighten me…..

UPDATE: Richard North has some interesting thoughts on this. He too suspects some sort of skullduggery. Continue reading »

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Nov 30

Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock exchanges suffered record one-day losses on Monday on fears over debt defaults, pushing London’s FTSE 100 index lower in morning trading.

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Shares on Dubai’s stock market suffered their biggest one-day fall in more than a year, while Abu Dhabi posted a record one-day drop.

Dubai’s index sank 7.3pc, its biggest one-day fall since October last year. Abu Dhabi’s Securities Exchange endured the largest one-day loss in its history as it ended the session down 8.3pc.

London’s index of Britain’s 100 biggest companies was down around 33 point – or 0.6pc – at 5212 just before 11am after opening up slightly.

While investors judged that the fall-out from Dubai’s debt crisis will not be enough to derail a global recovery, they remained jittery about the possible fallout for banks which have loaned money to the Gulf state.

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Nov 30

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DUBAI — The Sunday London Times newspaper was removed by authorities from shelves in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday amid intensive reporting of Dubai’s debt problems, an executive at the paper said.

The National Media Council ordered the paper blocked by distributors without providing a reason, an executive at the paper in Dubai told Zawya Dow Jones.

The Sunday Times edition available in the U.A.E. on Nov. 29 featured a double-page spread graphic illustrating Dubai’s ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum sinking in a sea of debt. The Times wasn’t given a reason for the block, or a timeframe when it will be lifted, the executive said.

A government official in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the U.A.E., said that the picture of Sheik Mohammed, which accompanied a story entitled: The sinking of Dubai’s dream, was “offensive.”

Under the U.A.E.’s media code, publications are prohibited from criticizing the sheikdom’s rulers. Local media and government officials have criticized international press coverage of Dubai’s debt crisis. Markets around the world fell last week after the government requested a debt standstill for one of its biggest conglomerates.

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Nov 30

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Marina residences at ‘The Palm Jumeirah’ development, also known as Palm Island, built by property developers Nakheel PJSC in Dubai is seen in this undated handout photo released to the media on Nov. 27, 2009. Source: Nakheel via Bloomberg

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) — Dubai’s government said it hasn’t guaranteed the debt of Dubai World, the state-controlled holding company struggling with $59 billion in liabilities, and that creditors must help it restructure.

“The company received financing based on its project schedule, not a government guarantee,” Abdulrahman Al Saleh, director general of the emirate’s Department of Finance, said in an interview with Dubai TV, when asked whether the government was backing the debt. “Lenders should bear part of the responsibility.”

Dubai’s government said Nov. 25 that Dubai World would seek a standstill agreement with creditors and an extension of loan maturities until at least May 30, 2010. The announcement led to the biggest declines in Asian shares in three months last week and Europe’s worst rout since April. Investors were concerned the proposal risks triggering the biggest sovereign default since Argentina in 2001.

Dubai shares tumbled and Abu Dhabi’s stock index today fell the most in at least eight years on the first trading day since the announcement.

Nakheel PJSC, Dubai World’s property unit whose $3.52 billion Islamic bond is due Dec. 14, asked the Nasdaq Dubai stock market today to suspend its securities “until it is in a position to fully inform the market.”

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Nov 30

I told you that the plan of the elite is to destroy the middle class, the dollar and to turn the US into a Third World country.

- Food Banks: 25 Million Americans Relying on Pantries; Surge in First Timers; Up 150 Percent Jump in Demand (AP)

- Government report: 15% of Americans have trouble putting food on the table – a record high (CNN Money)

- New Record: Americans on Food Stamps Tops 36 million – Study: Half of US Kids Will Receive Food Stamps (Reuters)


Food Stamp Use Soars, and Stigma Fades

food-stamp-use-soars
A GROWING NEED FOR A PROGRAM ONCE SCORNED Greg Dawson and his wife, Sheila, of Martinsville, Ohio, help feed their family of seven with a $300 monthly food stamp benefit. Center and right, the food pantry in Lebanon, Ohio, where residents can also enroll in what is formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

MARTINSVILLE, Ohio – With food stamp use at record highs and climbing every month, a program once scorned as a failed welfare scheme now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children.

It has grown so rapidly in places so diverse that it is becoming nearly as ordinary as the groceries it buys. More than 36 million people use inconspicuous plastic cards for staples like milk, bread and cheese, swiping them at counters in blighted cities and in suburbs pocked with foreclosure signs.

Virtually all have incomes near or below the federal poverty line, but their eclectic ranks testify to the range of people struggling with basic needs. They include single mothers and married couples, the newly jobless and the chronically poor, longtime recipients of welfare checks and workers whose reduced hours or slender wages leave pantries bare.

While the numbers have soared during the recession, the path was cleared in better times when the Bush administration led a campaign to erase the program’s stigma, calling food stamps “nutritional aid” instead of welfare, and made it easier to apply. That bipartisan effort capped an extraordinary reversal from the 1990s, when some conservatives tried to abolish the program, Congress enacted large cuts and bureaucratic hurdles chased many needy people away.

From the ailing resorts of the Florida Keys to Alaskan villages along the Bering Sea, the program is now expanding at a pace of about 20,000 people a day.

There are 239 counties in the United States where at least a quarter of the population receives food stamps, according to an analysis of local data collected by The New York Times.

The counties are as big as the Bronx and Philadelphia and as small as Owsley County in Kentucky, a patch of Appalachian distress where half of the 4,600 residents receive food stamps.

In more than 750 counties, the program helps feed one in three blacks. In more than 800 counties, it helps feed one in three children. In the Mississippi River cities of St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans, half of the children or more receive food stamps. Even in Peoria, Ill. – Everytown, U.S.A. – nearly 40 percent of children receive aid.

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Nov 30

Gold acquires new investment aura

When HSBC closes its vaults to hundreds of American gold bugs (investors) next July, it will be shutting the door on one of the fastest growing trends in the investment community.

gold
Gold ingots of various weights,. Investors see it as a safe haven in unsettled times Photo: Julian Simmonds

Although the British-based bank has decided to stop retail investors depositing the shiny stuff at its New York vaults in favour of storing gold for higher paying institutional customers, it has not stopped the rest of the world from clamouring to join the gold rush.

From the Indian central bank – rumoured to be buying another 200 tonnes from the International Monetary Fund – to hedge fund manager John Paulson – in the process of setting up a new gold only fund – everyone is buying gold. Even Harrods is getting in on the act by selling gold bars. Changed days from the end of the last decade when the UK joined other parts of the world in ending the “gold standard”.

In spite of HSBC’s actions, one of the fastest growing areas of gold investment is ordinary investors buying actual bars of gold. Data from the World Gold Council shows that the number of retail investors buying gold in its physical form – as opposed to investing in gold futures contracts or gold miners – rose by 11pc in the three months to September, compared to the previous three months.

In monetary terms this was equivalent to $7bn (£4.25bn), some $5.7bn of which went on physical gold, in the form of bars and official coins, while the remaining $1.3bn was spent on exchange traded funds (ETFs), which invest in real gold and not futures or contracts.

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Nov 30

The entire system is based on fraud:

Global Warming Scam Exposed:

Prof. Ian Clark: ‘Rises in C02 lag 800 years behind temperature rises. So temperature is leading CO2 by 800 years!’

So the Al-Gore link is the wrong way round and CO2 can’t be responsible for rises in temperature and global warming.

- Study: CO2 levels remained constant since 1850! (University of Bristol)

It is all about the money!


European Climate Exchange chief Patrick Birley defends the carbon trading system

The coal-fired Fiddlers Ferry power station in Warrington emits vapour into the night sky
The coal-fired Fiddlers Ferry power station in Warrington emits vapour into the night sky Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

“Why should it be different as a commodity to the way people trade oil or gas?”

As the man in charge of the world’s biggest exchange for companies, banks and hedge funds to trade permits to emit carbon dioxide, Birley is fed up with the environmentalists’ charge that dirty capitalists should not profit from the global effort to tackle climate change.

Ahead of the Copenhagen summit next week, campaigners such as Friends of the Earth have argued that the entire system is so flawed it may need to be demolished in favour of a straightforward tax on polluters.

Firstly, they insist, the European system has failed in its fundamental aim to reduce emissions, meaning its only effect is to redistribute wealth among companies and traders. Secondly, the market is a magnet for derivatives that few people understand, brewing up a second sub-prime bubble. Lastly, the opportunities for fraud are vast, given the intangible nature of the product. .

These well-worn concerns are resurfacing as the whole concept of carbon trading stands at a crossroads. This totally invented $126bn (£76bn) market has the potential to flare into a $2 trillion green giant over the next decade, if US President Obama manages to push his carbon trading bill through the Senate early next year.

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Nov 29

Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai is under mounting pressure to explain the emirate’s debt problems, after Abu Dhabi indicated that it will not write a blank cheque to bail out its neighbour.

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Race is on: power brokers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are trying to find the right formula to solve the latter’s debt problems. The Yas Marina grand prix circuit in Abu Dhabi is pictured Photo: PA

According to officials, Abu Dhabi, the richest state in the United Arab Emirates, will be cautious about how and whether to assist Dubai World, the state holding company that this week suspended repayments on a $3.5bn (£2.1bn) Islamic bond due in mid-December.

Any sign that Abu Dhabi’s support may not yet be secured could push global markets further into turmoil tomorrow, analysts said, especially if Dubai’s ruler maintains his silence on the crisis beyond this weekend’s Eid religious holiday. Sources said he may be forced to disrupt the 10-day Islamic break to make a statement as early as tomorrow.

“We will look at Dubai’s commitments and approach them on a case-by-case basis. It does not mean that Abu Dhabi will underwrite all of their debts,” a senior Abu Dhabi official said.

“Until things become clearer, it is very difficult to make any further investment decision on the bonds. Many things have to be clarified by Dubai.”

Dubai World’s $59bn of liabilities make up the majority of the emirate’s total $80bn debts.

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Nov 29

Bankers from Rothschild have been appointed to help restructure Dubai World with a mandate to dispose of some of the stricken conglomerate’s famous assets.

Paul Reynolds, head of Rothschild’s advisory operations in the Middle East, was this week asked to work for the Dubai government’s chief restructuring officer alongside Aidan Birkett of Deloitte, who was appointed on Wednesday.

The team is tasked with assessing the group’s assets, which is likely to result in a large scale sell-off of assets as varied as the QE2 cruise liner; Turnberry, the golf course that hosted this year’s Open Championship; and a raft of properties.

A spokesman for the Dubai department of finance confirmed that all options and asset sales would be considered, except for the DP World subsidiary that bought P&O, the British ports company. “I’m sure all of the assets of Dubai World will be reviewed,” he said. “The QE2 is one of them. It’s part of the restructuring process, though it’s too early to say whether there’s any sale in mind.”

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Nov 29

- Judge: Federal Reserve Must Release Reports on Emergency Bank Loans (Bloomberg by Mark Pittman)

- Federal Reserve Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion (Bloomberg by Mark Pittman)


mark-pittman
An undated photo of Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman. Source: Family Photo via Bloomberg

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) — Mark Pittman, the award-winning investigative reporter whose fight to open the Federal Reserve to more scrutiny led Bloomberg News to sue the central bank and win, died Nov. 25 in Yonkers, New York. He was 52.

Pittman suffered from heart-related illnesses. The precise cause of his death wasn’t known, said his friend William Karesh, vice president of the Global Health Program at the Bronx, New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

A former police-beat reporter who joined Bloomberg News in 1997, Pittman wrote stories in 2007 predicting the collapse of the banking system. That year, he won the Gerald Loeb Award from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the highest accolade in financial journalism, for “Wall Street’s Faustian Bargain,” a series of articles on the breakdown of the U.S. mortgage industry.

“He was one of the great financial journalists of our time,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York and the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics. “His death is shocking.”

Pittman’s fight to make the Fed more accountable resulted in an Aug. 24 victory in Manhattan Federal Court affirming the public’s right to know about the central bank’s more than $2 trillion in loans to financial firms. He drew the attention of filmmakers Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, who gave him a prominent role in their documentary about subprime mortgages, “American Casino,” which was shown at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival in May.

‘One Reporter’

“Who sues the Fed? One reporter on the planet,” said Emma Moody, a Wall Street Journal editor who worked with Pittman at Bloomberg. “The more complex the issue, the more he wanted to dig into it. Years ago, he forced us to learn what a credit- default swap was. He dragged us kicking and screaming.”

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Nov 29

Appearing on The Alex Jones Show yesterday, Lord Christopher Monckton went further than ever before in his vehement opposition to the elitists running the climate change scam, calling for the UN to be shut down and for fraudulent peddlers of global warming propaganda like Al Gore to be arrested and criminally prosecuted.

Monckton said that those who are threatening to shut down economies, bankrupt nations, and deepen the problems of the third world by implementing draconian policies in the name of global warming should be indicted, prosecuted and imprisoned “for a very long time”.

“The fraudsters and racketeers from Al Gore to the people at the University of East Anglia who have been making their fortune at the expense of taxpayers and the little guy,” should be criminally charged, said Monckton, in response to the climategate scandal.

“We the people have got to rise up worldwide, found a party in every country which stands for freedom and make sure we fight this bureaucratic communistic world government monster to a standstill – they shall not pass,” he added.

Monckton said that the United Nations should be “closed down,” adding that he talked to a senior UN ambassador in Canada who told him that he no longer saw any purpose in the UN and it exists “only to enrich itself at the expense of the nations it claims to serve, it’s time it was brought to an end.”

“We would all save billions if we shut down the UN and just about all of its hideous bureaucracy,” said Monckton.

Lord Monckton emphasized how the emails released as a result of climategate prove that global warming alarmism was still prevalent in public but behind closed doors, warmist scientist are admitting that the “deniers” as they label people like Monckton are correct.

“Publicly they’re saying the science is settled, we’re all doomed unless you close down the economies of the west, whereas privately they’re saying to each other ‘we’ve got it wrong, none of this adds up and it’s a travesty that we can’t explain it’.”

Monckton also slammed Obama’s science czar John P. Holdren, who in his 1977 book Ecoscience called for draconian population measures to be enforced by a “planetary regime” in the name of saving the earth, as an “openly admitted communist”.

Monckton pointed out how Holdren had been once of the most prominent alarmists in the 70’s warning about the onset of rapid “global cooling”.

“Now with seamless mendacity he says that what we’re now facing is global warming,” said Monckton.

“How can anyone like Holdren stand up with a straight face and expect anyone to believe it,” he added.

Monckton said that the agenda behind the global warming movement was to set up a communistic world government which will be run by people who “do not care how many people they kill with their policies” and that their goal is to “do away with democracy forever by stealth using the excuse to save the planet.”

Monckton said that the people running the scam had a “deliberate desire to control population by killing people in large numbers deliberately if necessary.”

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Nov 29

Thanks to James Delingpole and to all the other blogs on the internet we now have a discussion.

Those criminals would have just covered it all up.


Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with the Climategate whitewash

climategate-is-the-worst-scientific-scandal-of-our-generation
CO2 emissions will be on top of the agenda at the Copenhagen summit in December Photo: Getty

A week after my colleague James Delingpole, on his Telegraph blog, coined the term “Climategate” to describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, Google was showing that the word now appears across the internet more than nine million times. But in all these acres of electronic coverage, one hugely relevant point about these thousands of documents has largely been missed.

The reason why even the Guardian‘s George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Philip Jones, the CRU’s director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC’s key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph which 10 years ago turned climate history on its head by showing that, after 1,000 years of decline, global temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level in recorded history.

Given star billing by the IPCC, not least for the way it appeared to eliminate the long-accepted Mediaeval Warm Period when temperatures were higher they are today, the graph became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement.

Since 2003, however, when the statistical methods used to create the “hockey stick” were first exposed as fundamentally flawed by an expert Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre, an increasingly heated battle has been raging between Mann’s supporters, calling themselves “the Hockey Team”, and McIntyre and his own allies, as they have ever more devastatingly called into question the entire statistical basis on which the IPCC and CRU construct their case.

The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC’s scientific elite, including not just the “Hockey Team”, such as Dr Mann himself, Dr Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, but Ben Santer, responsible for a highly controversial rewriting of key passages in the IPCC’s 1995 report; Kevin Trenberth, who similarly controversially pushed the IPCC into scaremongering over hurricane activity; and Gavin Schmidt, right-hand man to Al Gore’s ally Dr James Hansen, whose own GISS record of surface temperature data is second in importance only to that of the CRU itself.

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Nov 29

“What You Have Done Unto The Least of These, You Have Done Unto Me”

What you have done unto these children, you have done unto me.

The Catholic church abused, raped and murdered people through all the centuries.

Why are you still giving your power and your children away to those criminals?

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

… or by their (hand-) signs  …


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Pope Benedict XVI remained silent over the devastating abuse report

Eighty files are to be sent to the Republic’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) by a garda team investigating fresh complaints of clerical child abuse.

The complaints were made after publication in May of the Ryan report, which detailed horrific physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by members of religious orders.

The revelation comes as gardai turn their attention to investigating priests in the Dublin Archdiocese who are the subject of the Murphy report, which was published this week.

Bishops who served in the Dublin Archdiocese while children were being sexually abused were desperately resisting calls for their resignations last night.

Pope Benedict XVI remained silent over the devastating abuse report, which accused the Church of “denial, arrogance and cover-up”, with survivors saying there was no regard within the Catholic Church for child welfare.

The Pope’s representative in Ireland gave an assurance to the Irish public that Pope Benedict was committed to rooting paedophile priests from the ranks of the Irish clergy.

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Nov 29

It took a while but now here is the Times reporting on Climategate …


Leaked emails have revealed the unwillingness of climate change scientists to engage in a proper debate with the sceptics who doubt global warming

The storm began with just four cryptic words. “A miracle has happened,” announced a contributor to Climate Audit, a website devoted to criticising the science of climate change.

“RC” said nothing more — but included a web link that took anyone who clicked on it to another site, Real Climate.

There, on the morning of November 17, they found a treasure trove: a thousand or so emails sent or received by Professor Phil Jones, director of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

Jones is a key player in the science of climate change. His department’s databases on global temperature changes and its measurements have been crucial in building the case for global warming.

What those emails suggested, however, was that Jones and some colleagues may have become so convinced of their case that they crossed the line from objective research into active campaigning.

In one, Jones boasted of using statistical “tricks” to obliterate apparent declines in global temperature. In another he advocated deleting data rather than handing them to climate sceptics. And in a third he proposed organised boycotts of journals that had the temerity to publish papers that undermined the message.

It was a powerful and controversial mix — far too powerful for some. Real Climate is a website designed for scientists who share Jones’s belief in man-made climate change. Within hours the file had been stripped from the site.

Several hours later, however, it reappeared — this time on an obscure Russian server. Soon it had been copied to a host of other servers, first in Saudi Arabia and Turkey and then Europe and America.

What’s more, the anonymous poster was determined not to be stymied again. He or she posted comments on climate-sceptic blogs, detailing a dozen of the best emails and offering web links to the rest. Jones’s statistical tricks were now public property.

Steve McIntyre, a prominent climate sceptic, was amazed. “Words failed me,” he said. Another, Patrick Michaels, declared: “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.”

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Nov 29

November 25, 2009:

A Current Affair interviews three people about global warming and the emissions trading scheme, all of whom agree the public is being duped without the reporter or presenter suggesting these people are speaking anything other than plain sense.

It has been revealed Kevin Rudd’s Emissions Trading Scheme will send the average family’s bills soaring about $1100.

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Nov 29

- UAE faces up to $184 billion total debt: BofA-Merrill Lynch (Reuters):
LONDON (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirate (UAE) has total debt amounting to $184 billion at the end of 2009, according to estimates by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, which said the region faces a heavy redemption schedule until 2013.



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates’ central bank is saying it “stands behind” local and foreign banks operating in the country, offering them access to money in a sign the Gulf Arab nation’s federal government is racing to curtail investor fears over Dubai’s crushing debt.

The UAE’s official WAM news agency said Sunday the central bank issued a notice to Emirati banks and foreign banks with branches in the country saying it would make available “a special additional liquidity facility linked to their current accounts at the central bank.”

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Nov 29

Related info:
Government report: 15% of Americans have trouble putting food on the table – a record high

- New Record: Americans on Food Stamps Tops 36 million – Study: Half of US Kids Will Receive Food Stamps


Of 25 Million Americans Relying on Pantries, Many Were Middle Class Who Lost Jobs, Had Wages Cut.

Food banks across the country report about a 30 percent increase in demand on average, but some have seen as much as a 150 percent jump in demand from 2008 through the middle of this year, according to Feeding America.

food-banks-report-surge-in-first-timers
Shelves are stocked at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf in Burlington, Vt., Wednesday. Around Vermont, demand is up at food shelves as Vermonters lose jobs, try to make ends meet on unemployment and struggle with heating, food and fuel costs. Many charities say they have been able to meet the demand with donations from food drives at businesses, church groups and schools, but wonder if they’ll raise enough during the upcoming holiday season. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

(AP) Prentice Jones worked construction jobs around Chicago for most of his 60 years and is quick to boast of a foreman job he once held at a revamped city college and 23 years at a steel company.

But these days, work has been so scarce that the man with a penchant for cowboy hats has been forced to move in with his mother and do something this week he never expected – visit a food pantry.

“There’s no work now,” Jones said while waiting in line at St. Columbanus Parish for a frozen turkey and bags of apples, bread and potatoes. “I pray it’s temporary.”

A surge in first time visitors has contributed to the greatest demand in years at food banks nationwide, according to Feeding America, a Chicago-based national food bank association. Many of the first timers were middle class but lost jobs or had their wages cut.

“They were doing pretty well,” said Ross Fraser of Feeding America. “They’ve completely had the rug pulled out from under them.”

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Nov 29

See also:

- Former governor Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory: 9/11

- Former governor Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory: 911 Pentagon Attack (Full Episode)


pentagon-9-11
This aerial photograph of the Pentagon taken on Sept. 14, 2001, shows some of the destruction caused when the hijacked American Airlines flight slammed into the building on Sept. 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of the building and followed similar attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Cedric H. Rudisill. Source: Department of Defense

(PilotsFor911Truth.org) – Newly decoded data provided by an independent researcher and computer programmer from Australia exposes alarming evidence that the reported hijacking aboard American Airlines Flight 77 was impossible to have existed. A data parameter labeled “FLT DECK DOOR”, cross checks with previously decoded data obtained by Pilots For 9/11 Truth from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) through the Freedom Of Information Act.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 77 departed Dulles International Airport bound for Los Angeles at 8:20 am Eastern Time. According to reports and data, a hijacking took place between 08:50:54 and 08:54:11[1] in which the hijackers allegedly crashed the aircraft into the Pentagon at 09:37:45. Reported by CNN, according to Ted Olson, wife Barbara Olson had called him from the reported flight stating, “…all passengers and flight personnel, including the pilots, were herded to the back of the plane by armed hijackers…”[2]. However, according to Flight Data provided by the NTSB, the Flight Deck Door was never opened in flight. How were the hijackers able to gain access to the cockpit, remove the pilots, and navigate the aircraft to the Pentagon if the Flight Deck Door remained closed?[3]

Founded in August 2006, Pilots For 9/11 Truth is a growing organization of aviation professionals from around the globe. The organization has analyzed Data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for the Pentagon Attack, the events in Shanksville, PA and the World Trade Center attack. The data does not support the government story. The NTSB/FBI refuse to comment. Pilots For 9/11 Truth do not offer theory or point blame at this point in time. However, there is a growing mountain of conflicting information and data in which government agencies and officials along with Mainstream Media refuse to acknowledge. Pilots For 9/11 Truth Core member list continues to grow.

http://pilotsfor911truth.org/core.html for full member list.

http://pilotsfor911truth.org/join to join.

[1] Hijacker Timeline – http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=17

[2] Common Strategy Prior to 9/11/2001 – http://pilotsfor911truth.org/pentagon.html

[3] Right click and save target as here to download csv file with “FLT DECK DOOR” parameter. Continue reading »

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Nov 28

Breaking news from the splendid Bishop Hill. It seems the AGW establishment has launched an urgent damage limitation exercise in order to whitewash the Climategate scandal in time for Copenhagen.

Here’s the (so far unconfirmed) story:

1) Lord Rees (Royal Society) to be asked by UEA to investigate CRU leak.

2) Foreign Office and government leaning heavily on UEA to keep a lid on everything lest it destabilises Copenhagen.

3) CRU asked to prepare data for a pre-emptive release in past couple of days but trouble reconciling issues between data bases has stopped this.

The appointment of Lord Rees, if confirmed, is especially worrying. It’s the rough equivalent of appointing King Herod’s grand vizier to investigate a mysterious outbreak of mass baby killing in Judaea. Continue reading »

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Nov 28

“Being ignored by the likes of the BBC does not really bother me, not when there are much bigger problems at stake.
I might not be on TV any more but I still go around the world campaigning about these important issues. For example, we must stop the dest­ruc­tion of trop­ical rainforests, something I’ve been saying for 35 years.”

“Mother nature will balance things out but not if we interfere by destroying rainforests and overfishing the seas.
That is where the real environmental catastrophe could occur.”

David Ballamy is exactly right and we have to rebuilt the forests and allow nature to heal itself now.

Just take a look at what happened to Italy, Greece and Spain.

All of those countries had huge forests before they were cut down for their growing empires.

Now look what happened to the climate there.

Man-made global warming is a scam.


david-ballamy
SHUNNED: Naturalist David Bellamy

FOR YEARS David Bellamy was one of the best known faces on TV.

A respected botanist and the author of 35 books, he had presented around 400 programmes over the years and was appreciated by audiences for his boundless enthusiasm.

Yet for more than 10 years he has been out of the limelight, shunned by bosses at the BBC where he made his name, as well as fellow scientists and environmentalists.

His crime? Bellamy says he doesn’t believe in man-made global warming.

Here he reveals why – and the price he has paid for not toeing the orthodox line on climate change.

global-warming-al-gore
CLANGER: Bellamy says Al Gore has ‘no proof’ that millions will die due to global warming

“When I first stuck my head above the parapet to say I didn’t believe what we were being told about global warming I had no idea what the consequences would be.

I am a scientist and I have to ­follow the directions of science but when I see that the truth is being covered up I have to voice my ­opinions.

According to official data, in every year since 1998 world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased. Why, then, do we not hear about that?

The sad fact is that since I said I didn’t believe human beings caused global warming I’ve not been allowed to make a TV programme.

My absence has been noticed, because wherever I go I meet people who say: “I grew up with you on the television, where are you now?”

Continue reading »

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Nov 28

ron-paul

The TRUTH can only damage the economic and financial stability if it is based on fraud and illegal operations/bailouts.

The truth never damages/hurts, but it always cures illusions, lies, expectations and fraud.

Those that want to tell you that the truth may be harmful are crooks and liars.

- The Federal Reserve Doesn’t Want Banks to Increase Lending, Because of Inflation

- House Panel Approves Ron Paul’s Amendment to Audit The Federal Reserve

- Ron Paul rebuts criticism of Federal Reserve audit (19 Nov 2009)

- Ron Paul: Federal Reserve Audit Legislation ‘Gutted’, ‘There’s Nothing Left’

- New York Fed’s Secret Choice to Pay for AIG Swaps Squandered Billions of Taxpayer Money

(As a side note: Truth is the basis of love itself. Without truth there is no love.)


ben-bernanke
Ben Bernanke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Friday congressional proposals to audit the Fed and strip it of regulatory powers as part of post-crisis reforms could damage prospects for economic and financial health in the future.

“These measures are very much out of step with the global consensus on the appropriate role of central banks, and they would seriously impair the prospects for economic and financial stability in the United States,” Bernanke wrote in a column posted on the Washington Post’s website.

The rare newspaper column by a Fed chairman comes shortly before Bernanke testifies before a Senate panel on his renomination to serve a second four-year term at the helm of the central bank and answers a series of steps on Capitol Hill that could diminish the central bank’s role.

Lawmakers are angry with the Fed over its emergency bailouts of major financial firms and its failure to prevent the contagion of mortgage delinquencies that crashed the financial system. A proposal to audit the Fed’s monetary policy deliberations won a committee vote recently over the objections of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank.

Continue reading »

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Nov 28

Update:

- Dubai World Unit Faces Default Test Monday With Bond Payment (Wall Street Journal):

DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)–Debt-laden Dubai World’s unit Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, or Jafza, faces on Monday a coupon payment on a 7.5 billion U.A.E dirham ($2.04 billion) Islamic bond in the first key test of whether it will default.

- Abu Dhabi to aid Dubai “case by case”: official (Reuters):

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the world’s top oil exporters, will “pick and choose” how to assist its debt-laden neighbor Dubai, a senior Abu Dhabi official said on Saturday.

“We will look at Dubai’s commitments and approach them on a case-by-case basis. It does not mean that Abu Dhabi will underwrite all of their debts,” the official told Reuters by telephone.

- Japanese banks’ exposure to Dubai at JPY100 bln -Nikkei (Reuters):

Nov 28 (Reuters) – Japanese financial institutions, including three major banks, face loan exposures of about 100 billion yen ($1.16 billion) in Dubai, the Nikkei business daily said.

- Dubai debt woes may hit U.S. property market (Reuters):

“This downturn has had more of a global impact,” said Tony Ciochetti, chairman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Real Estate in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Dubai may have to unload some very prestigious properties at distressed prices and this will drive the price of all commercial real estate lower,” wrote Richard Bove, a banking analyst at Rochdale Securities in Lutz, Florida.


the-atlantis-hotel-in-dubai
The Atlantis hotel in Dubai.

Dubai or not Dubai — that is the question. Dubai’s sorta-kinda default (a state-owned enterprise seeking a rescheduling of its debts) is, by itself, not that big of a deal. But who else looks like Dubai? What kind of omen is this for the next stage in the financial crisis?

As far as I can tell, there are three ways to look at it — three stories, if you like, about what Dubai means.

First, there’s the view that this is the beginning of many sovereign defaults, and that we’re now seeing the end of the ability of governments to use deficit spending to fight the slump. That’s the view being suggested, if I understand correctly, by the Roubini people and in a softer version by Gillian Tett.

Alternatively, you can see this as basically just another commercial real estate bust. Either you view Dubai World as nothing special, despite sovereign ownership, as Willem Buiter does; or you think of the emirate as a whole as, in effect, a highly leveraged CRE investor facing the same problems as many others in the same situation.

Finally, you can see Dubai as sui generis. And really, there has been nothing else quite like it.

At the moment, I’m leaning to a combination of two and three. For what it’s worth (not much), US bond prices are up right now, suggesting that the Dubai thing hasn’t raised expectations of default.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

Stephen Jen from the hedge fund Blue Gold Capital has a warning for those who think that gold has risen far too high, is necessarily in a speculative bubble, and must soon come clattering back down.

gold-bars-777

Mr Jen is an expert on sovereign wealth funds from his days at Morgan Stanley. The gold story – essentially – is that the rising economic powers of Asia, the Middle East, and the commodity bloc are rejecting Western fiat currencies. China, India, and Russia have all been buying gold on a large scale over recent months.

Why should that stop when the AAA club of sovereign debtors is pushing towards the danger threshold of 100pc of GDP?

These new players account for almost all the accumulation of foreign currency reserves worldwide over the last five years, so what they do matters enormously.

After crunching the numbers, Mr Jen found that the share of gold in their reserves is just 2.2pc compared to 38pc for the Old World (perhaps we should just call them the deadbeats from now on). They would have to buy $115bn of gold at current prices to raise their bullion to just 5pc of total reserves, and $700bn to reach just half western levels.

The killer-term here is at current prices since any such move in the tiny global market for gold would send prices into the stratosphere.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

- Abu Dhabi Gets Pressure on Dubai (Wall Street Journal)

- Dubai debt crisis triggers Wall Street sell off (Telegraph)

- Dubai expansion fuelled by years of cheap money (Independent)


dubai-burj
The Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest skyscraper, towers over buildings under construction in the Business Bay area in Dubai, on Nov. 24, 2009. Photographer: Charles Crowell/Bloomberg

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) — Dubai’s debt woes may worsen to become a “major sovereign default” that roils developing nations and cuts off capital flows to emerging markets, Bank of America Corp. said.

“One cannot rule out — as a tail risk — a case where this would escalate into a major sovereign default problem, which would then resonate across global emerging markets in the same way that Argentina did in the early 2000s or Russia in the late 1990s,” Bank of America strategists Benoit Anne and Daniel Tenengauzer wrote in a report.

A default would lead to a “sudden stop of capital flows into emerging markets” and be a “major step back” in the recovery from the global financial crisis, they wrote.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

bush-blair
The ‘Axis of Liars’

Everyone knew the WMD claims were fake.

For example, Tony Blair – the British Prime Minister – knew that Saddam possessed no WMDs. If America’s closest ally Britain knew, then the White House knew as well.

And the number 2 Democrat in the Senate -who was on the Senate intelligence committee – admitted that the Senate intelligence committee knew before the war started that Bush’s public statements about Iraqi WMDs were false. If the committee knew, then the White House knew as well.

But we don’t even have to use logic to be able to conclude that the White House knew.

Specifically, the former highest-ranking CIA officer in Europe says that Bush, Cheney and Rice were personally informed that Iraq had no WMDs in Fall 2002 (and see this).

Former Treasury Secretary O’Neil – who was a member of the National Security Council – said:

In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

The CIA warned the White House that claims about Iraq’s nuclear ambitions (using forged documents) were false, and yet the White House made those claims anyway.

Indeed, a former high-level CIA analyst (who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials) says that falsified documents which were meant to show that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein regime had been trying to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger can be traced back to Dick Cheney, and that:

CIA Director George Tenet told his “coterie of malleable managers” at the CIA to create a National Intelligence Estimate “to the terms of reference of Dick Cheney’s speech of August 26, 2002, where Dick Cheney said for the first time Saddam Hussein could have a nuclear weapon in a year, he’s got all kinds of chemical, he’s got all kinds of biological weapons.”

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

How may people have died for nothing (except more profit for the elite)?

And in Afghanistan it’s the same thing:

- Former UK ambassador Craig Murray:

Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

“The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan,” Murray noted.

“There are designs of this pipeline, and if you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route. It’s what it’s about. It’s about money, it’s about oil, it’s not about democracy.”

- Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Paul Craig Roberts:

Amb. Murray learned too much and was fired when he vomited it all up. He saw the documents that proved that the motivation for US and UK military aggression in Afghanistan had to do with the natural gas deposits in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The Americans wanted a pipeline that bypassed Russia and Iran and went through Afghanistan. To insure this, an invasion was necessary. The idiot American public could be told that the invasion was necessary because of 9/11 and to save them from “terrorism,” and the utter fools would believe the lie.



missiles
Missiles shown by Iraq just before the invasion to rebut claims about its arms

Intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have access to weapons of mass destruction was received by the Government ten days before Tony Blair ordered the invasion of Iraq, the inquiry into the war was told yesterday.

Inspectors in Iraq had also told the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that they believed that Saddam might not have chemical and biological weapons. But with British and US troops massed on the border, the new intelligence was dismissed.

Sir William Ehrman, the Foreign Office’s director-general of defence and intelligence at the time, told the inquiry that information was receivedjust before the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003. “We did at the very end, I think on March 10, get a report that chemical weapons might have remained disassembled and Saddam hadn’t yet ordered their assembly,” he said. “There was also a suggestion that Iraq might lack warheads capable of effective dispersal of agents.”

Sir William said that it had not made any difference to the case for war. “I don’t think it invalidated the point about the programmes he had,” he said. “It was more about use. From the counter-proliferation point of view it just proved [Saddam] had been lying and that he had prohibited items.”

Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, told the Foreign Office at the end of February 2003 that Saddam might not have weapons of mass destruction, the inquiry was told. Mr Blair continued to say there was a risk to national security from WMD without mentioning the new intelligence.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

gold-american-eagle

US Mint suspended sales of its popular American Eagle 1oz bullion coins after demand from retail investors stripped its vaults bare.

Sales of the coins are expected to resume in early December.

Investors have been snapping up American Eagle coins, as well as Krugerrands from South Africa and Canada’s Maple Leaf coins as a hedge against inflation and the falling dollar.

Today 1oz American eagles were selling for $1,232.84 each, up $17.24. The coins have a face value of $50 but are sold by dealers at a premium to the price of gold.

Gold futures hit another record today of $1,188.60 per ounce for February delivery.

The US Mint said that it had depleted its current inventory of 1oz American Eagles after selling 124,000 ounces so far this month, up from 115,000 ounces sold in both September and October.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

And here is why: The Federal Reserve Doesn’t Want Banks to Increase Lending, Because of Inflation

And keep the following in mind when reading why the Fed really does not want the banks to lend:

“Difficulties in obtaining credit could hinder the expansion of small and medium-sized businesses and prevent the formation of new businesses,” Bernanke said on Monday. “Because smaller businesses account for a significant portion of net employment gains during recoveries, limited credit could hinder job growth.”


Reports to the Treasury confirm what small business owners have known all year: Banks are cutting back on Main Street lending.

geithner-cfr
Treasury Secretary Geithner (Former head of the New York Fed)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Eight months after President Obama began prodding the nation’s banks to increase their small business lending, the loan numbers continue to move in the opposite direction.

The 22 banks that got the most help from the Treasury’s bailout programs cut their small business loan balances by a collective $10.5 billion over the past six months, according to a government report released Monday.

Three of the 22 banks make no small business loans at all. Of the remaining 19 banks, 15 have reduced their small business loan balance since April, when the Treasury department began requiring the biggest banks receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding to report monthly on their small business lending.

Over the six months that the reporting requirement has been in effect, the banks have cut their collective small business lending by 4%. Their cumulative balance stood at $258.7 billion as of Sept. 30, according to a Treasury Department report.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

If the Fed policy is not about expanding credit, which is what the Fed tells us that it is all about, then it is all about a hidden tax for Americans, a ‘controlled’ demolition of the US dollar as I have always said.

The Fed fears that the constant devaluation of the dollar and the still ongoing greatest financial collapse in world history will get ‘out of control’ that is all.

All the elite fears is that they are losing control (= power). The elite already has/owns all the money in the world and is now after total power. The middle class gets intentionally wiped out in this process. The Fed and the US government are looting and destroying America.

“When a country embarks on deficit financing (Obamanomics) and inflationism (Fed) you wipe out the middle class and wealth is transferred from the middle class and the poor to the rich.”
– Ron Paul

All the money and power will be even more concentrated in very few hands. And when they will have turned the US into a Third World country, then they will buy it all up for cents on the dollar, as they are already doing with the banking system and then they are planning to rebuilt America again with them as Lords and the people as slaves in the New World Order.

Remember:

McHUGH:
Well, I’m a renegade banker. I have sat in at meetings where the Federal Reserve came in, sat down and “said stop lending, we think there is a recession coming.” The very fact that we were told to stop lending caused a recession. That happened in 1990-1991. Word of that finally hit the mainstream media and one of the first acts Clinton did was that he grabbed the regulators by the throats and said, “why don’t you let the bankers start lending again.” The next time they came in, they told us to start lending.

They have that kind of power. They decide when recessions and depressions happen. They decide when hyperinflation happens.

They can do it through a lot of different tools. The hidden one is the regulatory agencies where they come in and intimidate bankers and tell them what to do. They have a lot of power. They can have the boards of directors of banks thrown in jail. They can have people fired. They use those powers behind the scenes, nobody knows about them. As a banker, I have seen the dark side of the Fed. I have watched them rate good loans as bad loans, and charge off loans when in fact, customers were fine, the loans were fine. We are in a bit of that environment again now. What happens is, the last thing these government agencies want to happen is that they get called on the carpet before Congress. So they become overzealous, overcautious at precisely the wrong times. There is a lot of action by the Fed that messes with the normal business free market cycles that would prevent excesses. A lot of the publicity in today’s market is that there wasn’t enough government intervention, there wasn’t enough regulation and that is true too, they got too far in one extreme, but they create imbalances and create these problems by overacting as well. [emphasis mine]

Source: Whether Or Not We Like It: “We shall have World Government”

More info/quotes on the Fed here: Ron Paul on Glenn Beck: Destruction of the dollar


fed

Tim Duy – Director of Undergraduate Studies of the Department of Economics at the University of Oregon and the Director of the Oregon Economic Forum – noticed an amazing sentence in the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee:

As has already been widely noted, the minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting reiterated the Fed’s eagerness to reverse, not extend, policy:

Overall, many participants viewed the risks to their inflation outlooks over the next few quarters as being roughly balanced. Some saw the risks as tilted to the downside in the near term, reflecting the quite elevated level of economic slack and the possibility that inflation expectations could begin to decline in response to the low level of actual inflation. But others felt that risks were tilted to the upside over a longer horizon, because of the possibility that inflation expectations could rise as a result of the public’s concerns about extraordinary monetary policy stimulus and large federal budget deficits. Moreover, these participants noted that banks might seek to reduce appreciably their excess reserves as the economy improves by purchasing securities or by easing credit standards and expanding their lending substantially. Such a development, if not offset by Federal Reserve actions, could give additional impetus to spending and, potentially, to actual and expected inflation. To keep inflation expectations anchored, all participants agreed that it was important for policy to be responsive to changes in the economic outlook and for the Federal Reserve to continue to clearly communicate its ability and intent to begin withdrawing monetary policy accommodation at the appropriate time and pace.

Read that carefully and realize this: An apparently not insignificant portion of the FOMC believes that there is a terrible risk that banks loosen their credit standards and increase lending at a time when, even if the economy posts expected gain, unemployment remains at unacceptably high levels. Silly me, I thought increased lending was the whole point of the exercise to lower interest and expand the balance sheet. That whole credit channel thing. If not to expand lending during a credit crunch, then what else are they expecting?

I am in shock that this sentence made it into the minutes. One can only conclude that a significant portion of policymakers are simply clueless. Or, more disconcerting, they have lost all faith in the ability of financial institutions to channel capital into activities with any hope of financial returns. Has the Fed now embraced the view that they manage the economy through little else then fueling and extinguishing bubbles?

Yves Smith has the definitive last word on the issue: Continue reading »

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