Feb 16

“…a moratorium on printing new high denomination notes would make the world a better place.”

– Larry Summers, Harvard Professor

… and the world would be a much better place without …

Larry Summers, Robert Rubin: Will The Harvard Shadow Elite Bankrupt The University And The Country?


Larry Summers Launches The War On Paper Money: “It’s Time To Kill The $100 Bill”:

esterday we reported that the ECB has begun contemplating the death of the €500 EURO note, a fate which is now virtually assured for the one banknote which not only makes up 30% of the total European paper currency in circulation by value, but provides the best, most cost-efficient alternative (in terms of sheer bulk and storage costs) to Europe’s tax on money known as NIRP.

500 euro

That also explains why Mario Draghi is so intent on eradicating it first, then the €200 bill, then the €100 bill, and so on. Continue reading »

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May 09

001-timothy-geithner-cfr

Tim Geithner Admits “Too Big To Fail” Hasn’t Gone Anywhere (And That’s The Way He Likes It) (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 9, 2014):

But it is now clear that Geithner never believed his own talking points. To him, too-big-to-fail and the so-called moral hazard, or safety net, that it would create can’t really ever be fully taken away. During his lecture to Summers’s class, one student asked a question about “resolution authority,” a provision of the reform laws that is supposed to let the government wind down a complex financial institution without creating a domino effect. The question prompted Geithner onto a tangent about too-big-to-fail. “Does it still exist?” he said. “Yeah, of course it does.” Ending too-big-to-fail was “like Moby-Dick for economists or regulators. It’s not just quixotic, it’s misguided.”– From The New York Times Magazine article, What Timothy Geithner Really Thinks

Never in a million years did I think I’d ever use an article by Andrew Ross Sorkin as the basis of a blog post, but here we are. While probably entirely unintentional, his article serves to further solidify as accurate the prevailing notion across America that former head of the New York Federal Reserve and Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is nothing more than an addled, crony, bureaucratic banker cabin boy.

There are so many choice nuggets in this article, all of which make Geithner look worse and worse as you read on. It’s almost as if he is some sort of lab created, android bankster butler sent back to earth from the future in order to ensure Wall Street bonuses never experience a downtick. It’s truly remarkable. Early in the article, we learn a little bit about Timmy’s family history, and how, shocker, it overlaps quite nicely with Obama’s own family history.

The following lines from this day forth should be forever referred to as “the paragraph that launched a thousand conspiracy blogs.” We learn that: Continue reading »

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Sep 16

More on Larry Summers down below.


Larry Summers withdraws name for Federal chairmanship (Guardian, Sep 16, 2013):

Barack Obama says he will ‘always be grateful’ to his former economic aide for his ‘tireless work and service’

Barack Obama’s hopes of a smooth transition of power at the US Federal Reserve were dealt a significant blow on Sunday night when Larry Summers unexpectedly pulled out of the running to replace Ben Bernanke when he stands down in January.

Summers, a former Treasury secretary under President Clinton, had been frontrunner to take charge of US monetary policy during a crucial phase in the economic recovery but is understood to have been deterred by the prospect of bumpy Senate confirmation hearings.

Despite an impeccable track record as an economist and policymaker, Summers remains widely associated with the period of laissez-faire economic policy-making that led up to the banking crash and his decision to step aside on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the crisis shows how raw the politics remain in Washington.

The White House will issue a report on Monday detailing the steps it has taken to reform Wall Street and repair the economy, but has been criticised by Democrats for failing to tackle the entrenched power of the banks.

Obama paid tribute to the role of Larry Summers in dealing with the aftermath of the financial crisis as director of the White House economic council from January 2009 until November 2010.

“Earlier today, I spoke with Larry Summers and accepted his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for Chairman of the Federal Reserve,” Obama said in a statement. “Larry was a critical member of my team as we faced down the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it was in no small part because of his expertise, wisdom, and leadership that we wrestled the economy back to growth and made the kind of progress we are seeing today.”

Continue reading »

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Jan 10

Secrets and Lies of the Bailout (Rolling Stone, Jan 4, 2013):

It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you’d think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we’ve been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right?

Wrong.

It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.

Continue reading »

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Jul 19

This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied – The Sequel (ZeroHedge, July 19, 2012):

Two years ago, in January 2010, Zero Hedge wrote “This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied” which became one of our most read stories of the year. The reason? Perhaps something to do with an implicit attempt at capital controls by the government on one of the primary forms of cash aggregation available: $2.7 trillion in US money market funds. The proximal catalyst back then were new proposed regulations seeking to pull one of these three core pillars (these being no volatility, instantaneous liquidity, and redeemability) from the foundation of the entire money market industry, by changing the primary assumptions of the key Money Market Rule 2a-7. A key proposal would give money market fund managers the option to “suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets.” In other words: an attempt to prevent money market runs (the same thing that crushed Lehman when the Reserve Fund broke the buck). This idea, which previously had been implicitly backed by the all important Group of 30 which is basically the shadow central planners of the world (don’t believe us? check out the roster of current members), did not get too far, and was quickly forgotten. Until today, when the New York Fed decided to bring it back from the dead by publishing “The Minimum Balance At Risk: A Proposal to Mitigate the Systemic Risks Posed by Money Market FUnds“. Now it is well known that any attempt to prevent a bank runs achieves nothing but merely accelerating just that (as Europe recently learned). But this coming from central planners – who never can accurately predict a rational response – is not surprising. What is surprising is that this proposal is reincarnated now. The question becomes: why now? What does the Fed know about market liquidity conditions that it does not want to share, and more importantly, is the Fed seeing a rapid deterioration in liquidity conditions in the future, that may and/or will prompt retail investors to pull their money in another Lehman-like bank run repeat?

Here is how the Fed frames the problem in the abstract: Continue reading »

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May 16

Related article:

Charlie Munger: Gold Is For Holocaust-Era Jewish Families To Sew Into Their Garments; Civilized People Don’t Buy Gold

Got gold and silver?


Must Read: “Another Perspective” (ZeroHedge, May 14, 2012):

From Paul Brodsky and Lee Quaintance of QBAMCO

Another Perspective (pdf)

Two weeks ago, before Jamie Dimon’s thoughtful diversion, Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway instructed viewers of CNBC that “civilized people don’t buy gold, they invest in productive businesses”. Munger was right in that civilized people invest in productive businesses and was right to imply that gold is a non-productive rock, but, in our humble opinion, he was wrong to suggest that gold does not have significant upside as an investment currently (even more than BRK/A?).

Continue reading »

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Feb 20

INSIDE JOB (Documentary – Official Trailer in HD):

Amazon.com:
Inside Job
Inside Job [Blu-ray]

Only now does the Guardian report about this documentary. Just in time before the next crisis: The Greatest Depression.

See also:

– Former Governor Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory: Wall Street

– Former Assistant Secretary of Housing Catherine Austin Fitts: The Looting Of America


The film Inside Job brilliantly exposes the corruption in US banking that led to the 2008 crash. We ask four bankers for their verdict on this damning indictment of their world

Peter Bradshaw reviews Inside Job

An aerial view of Wall Street, the heart of the global financial meltdown. Photograph: Cameron Davidson

When Michael Moore made his debut feature, Roger and Me, he set about vilifying the boss of General Motors, the now deceased Roger B Smith, for destroying his home town of Flint, Michigan. Charles Ferguson’s film Inside Job attempts to blame a wider cast list for the banking crash of 2008 and explains why so little has been done to reform the financial world or bring criminal prosecutions against the main protagonists.

His villainous lineup includes bankers, politicians (many of whom were previously bankers), regulators, the credit ratings agencies and academics. When Glenn Hubbard, George Bush’s chief economic adviser and dean of Columbia Business School, is shown as a partisan advocate of deregulation, we have one of the movie’s punch-the-air moments. During the interview, Hubbard, who denies he was corrupted by his paid-for relationships with government, angrily barks: “You’ve got five minutes, mister. Give it your best shot.”

The spotlight has largely bypassed academics in the UK. There are plenty of economists who believed the banks understood what they were doing and supported deregulation. Whether they took large slugs of cash for writing poorly researched, cheerleading reports on the economic miracle in Iceland (pre-crash), as former US central banker Frederic Mishkin is found doing, is less clear. Over here, the relationship between academia and business appears to be more arm’s length, though London Business School dean Sir Andrew Likierman sits on the Barclays board, while Howard Davies, who argued for light-touch regulation while head of the Financial Services Authority, has become director of the London School of Economics. The UK’s chief villian, however, is probably the disgraced, but largely unpunished, banker Sir Fred Goodwin, the former boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, once the fifth-largest bank in the world.

In Inside Job, the name that keeps cropping up is Larry Summers, a friend of President Bill Clinton and more recently Barack Obama. Summers exemplifies the links between cheerleaders in academia, Wall Street, supine regulators and an ignorant Capitol Hill that Ferguson stresses were at the root of the problem. It helps that Summers looks like a mafia boss, but the difficulties in making the case against him are shown by the need to explain financial products like credit default swaps and how securitisation was used by banks to increase their borrowing.

Continue reading »

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Jan 26

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is releasing its report Thursday.

The New York Times has a preview of the report, which shows that the Commission will slam the right people for causing the financial crisis.

Barry Ritholtz gives a good summary of the Times’ article:

The many causal factors highlighted in the FCIC report:

• Alan Greenspan’s malfeasance — his refusal to perform his regulatory duties because he did not believe in them — allowed the credit bubble to expand, driving housing prices to dangerously unsustainable levels; Greenspan’s advocacy for financial deregulation was a “pivotal failure to stem the flow of toxic mortgages” and “the prime example” of government negligence;

• Ben S. Bernanke failed to foresee the crisis;

• The Bush administration’s “inconsistent response” — saving Bear, but allowing Lehman to crater — “added to the uncertainty and panic in the financial markets.”

• Bush Treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. wrongly predicted in 2007 that subprime meltdown would be contained.

• The Clinton White House, including then Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, made a crucial error in “shielding over-the-counter derivatives from regulation [CFMA]. This was “a key turning point in the march toward the financial crisis.”

• Then NY Fed President, now Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner failed to “clamp down on excesses by Citigroup in the lead-up to the crisis;” Further, a month before Lehman’s collapse, Geithner was still in the dark about Lehman’s derivative exposure;

• Low interest rates brought about by the Fed after the 2001 recession “created increased risks” but were not chiefly to blame, according to the FCIC (I place some more weight on Ultra-low rates than they do);

• The financial sector spent $2.7 billion on lobbying from 1999 to 2008, while individuals and committees affiliated with the industry made more than $1 billion in campaign contributions. The impact of which an incestuous relationship between bankers and regulators, Congress and bankers, and classic regulatory capture by the industry.

• The credit-rating agencies “cogs in the wheel of financial destruction.”

• The Securities and Exchange Commission allowed the 5 biggest banks to ramp up their leverage, hold insufficient capital, and engage in risky practices.

• Leverage at the nation’s five largest investment banks was wildly excessive: They kept only $1 in capital to cover losses for about every $40 in assets;

• The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency along with the Office of Thrift Supervision, “federally pre-empted” (blocked) state regulators from reining in lending abuses;

• The report documents “questionable practices by mortgage lenders and careless betting by banks;”

• The report portrays the “bumbling incompetence among corporate chieftains” as to the risk and operations of their own firms:

-Citigroup executives admitting that they paid little attention to the risks associated with mortgage securities.
-AIG executives were blind to its $79 billion exposure to credit default swaps;
-Merrill Lynch top managers were surprised when mortgage investments suddenly resulted in billions of dollars in losses;

Continue reading »

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Dec 16

If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.
– New York Post

When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News

There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.
– CNBC

Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
– The Wall Street Journal

A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.
– The Economist

Rage against the Fed, the Media and all things else

Added:15. December 2010

On Wikileaks:

Who Is Really Behind Wikileaks?

Wikileaks: A US Government Con Job

–  Wikileaks: Brought to you by the CIA or Mossad

More with Gerald Celente:

America – The End of Liberty (Documentary)

Interview With Gerald Celente: The Gestapo of Food

Overdose – The Next Financial Crisis (Documentary)

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: And Now We’re Headed For The GREATEST Depression

Continue reading »

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Jun 11

“BP Atlantis”!


the-spill-the-scandal-and-president-obama
President Obama in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, May 28, 2010.

This article originally appeared in RS 1107 from June 24, 2010.

(Rolling Stone Magazine) — On May 27th, more than a month into the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, Barack Obama strode to the podium in the East Room of the White House. For weeks, the administration had been insisting that BP alone was to blame for the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf – and the ongoing failure to stop the massive leak. “They have the technical expertise to plug the hole,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs had said only six days earlier. “It is their responsibility.” The president, Gibbs added, lacked the authority to play anything more than a supervisory role – a curious line of argument from an administration that has reserved the right to assassinate American citizens abroad and has nationalized much of the auto industry. “If BP is not accomplishing the task, can you just federalize it?” a reporter asked. “No,” Gibbs replied.

Now, however, the president was suddenly standing up to take command of the cleanup effort. “In case you were wondering who’s responsible,” Obama told the nation, “I take responsibility.” Sounding chastened, he acknowledged that his administration had failed to adequately reform the Minerals Management Service, the scandal-ridden federal agency that for years had essentially allowed the oil industry to self-regulate. “There wasn’t sufficient urgency,” the president said. “Absolutely I take responsibility for that.” He also admitted that he had been too credulous of the oil giants: “I was wrong in my belief that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.” He unveiled a presidential commission to investigate the disaster, discussed the resignation of the head of MMS, and extended a moratorium on new deepwater drilling. “The buck,” he reiterated the next day on the sullied Louisiana coastline, “stops with me.”

What didn’t stop was the gusher. Hours before the president’s press conference, an ominous plume of oil six miles wide and 22 miles long was discovered snaking its way toward Mobile Bay from BP’s wellhead next to the wreckage of its Deepwater Horizon rig. Admiral Thad Allen, the U.S. commander overseeing the cleanup, framed the spill explicitly as an invasion: “The enemy is coming ashore,” he said. Louisiana beaches were assaulted by blobs of oil that began to seep beneath the sand; acres of marshland at the “Bird’s Foot,” where the Mississippi meets the Gulf, were befouled by shit-brown crude – a death sentence for wetlands that serve as the cradle for much of the region’s vital marine life. By the time Obama spoke, it was increasingly evident that this was not merely an ecological disaster. It was the most devastating assault on American soil since 9/11.

Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency’s culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years. He calibrated his response to the Gulf spill based on flawed and misleading estimates from BP – and then deployed his top aides to lowball the flow rate at a laughable 5,000 barrels a day, long after the best science made clear this catastrophe would eclipse the Exxon Valdez.

noaa_estimate_64000_to_-110000_barrels_-a_day
Hours after BP’s rig sank on April 22nd, a white board in NOAA’s “war room” in Seattle displays the administration’s initial, worst-case estimate of the spill — 64,000 to 110,000 barrels a day.

Even after the president’s press conference, Rolling Stone has learned, the administration knew the spill could be far worse than its “best estimate” acknowledged. That same day, the president’s Flow Rate Technical Group – a team of scientists charged with establishing the gusher’s output – announced a new estimate of 12,000 to 25,000 barrels, based on calculations from video of the plume. In fact, according to interviews with team members and scientists familiar with its work, that figure represents the plume group’s minimum estimate. The upper range was not included in their report because scientists analyzing the flow were unable to reach a consensus on how bad it could be. “The upper bound from the plume group, if it had come out, is very high,” says Timothy Crone, a marine geophysicist at Columbia University who has consulted with the government’s team. “That’s why they had resistance internally. We’re talking 100,000 barrels a day.”

The median figure for Crone’s independent calculations is 55,000 barrels a day – the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez every five days. “That’s what the plume team’s numbers show too,” Crone says. A source privy to internal discussions at one of the world’s top oil companies confirms that the industry privately agrees with such estimates. “The industry definitely believes the higher-end values,” the source says. “That’s accurate – if not more than that.” The reason, he adds, is that BP appears to have unleashed one of the 10 most productive wells in the Gulf. “BP screwed up a really big, big find,” the source says. “And if they can’t cap this, it’s not going to blow itself out anytime soon.”

Even worse, the “moratorium” on drilling announced by the president does little to prevent future disasters. The ban halts exploratory drilling at only 33 deepwater operations, shutting down less than one percent of the total wells in the Gulf. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the Cabinet-level official appointed by Obama to rein in the oil industry, boasts that “the moratorium is not a moratorium that will affect production” – which continues at 5,106 wells in the Gulf, including 591 in deep water.

Most troubling of all, the government has allowed BP to continue deep-sea production at its Atlantis rig – one of the world’s largest oil platforms. Capable of drawing 200,000 barrels a day from the seafloor, Atlantis is located only 150 miles off the coast of Louisiana, in waters nearly 2,000 feet deeper than BP drilled at Deepwater Horizon. According to congressional documents, the platform lacks required engineering certification for as much as 90 percent of its subsea components – a flaw that internal BP documents reveal could lead to “catastrophic” errors. In a May 19th letter to Salazar, 26 congressmen called for the rig to be shut down immediately. “We are very concerned,” they wrote, “that the tragedy at Deepwater Horizon could foreshadow an accident at BP Atlantis.”

The administration’s response to the looming threat? According to an e-mail to a congressional aide from a staff member at MMS, the agency has had “zero contact” with Atlantis about its safety risks since the Deepwater rig went down. Continue reading »

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Jun 06

Bilderberg Meetings
Sitges, Spain 3-6 June 2010


Final List of Participants

Honorary Chairman BEL Davignon, Etienne Vice Chairman, Suez-Tractebel

DEU Ackermann, Josef Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank AG
GBR Agius, Marcus Chairman, Barclays Bank PLC
ESP Alierta, César Chairman and CEO, Telefónica
INT Almunia, Joaquín Commissioner, European Commission
USA Altman, Roger C. Chairman, Evercore Partners Inc.
USA Arrison, Sonia Author and policy analyst
SWE Bäckström, Urban Director General, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
PRT Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, S.G.P.S.; Former Prime Minister
ITA Bernabè, Franco CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
SWE Bildt, Carl Minister of Foreign Affairs
FIN Blåfield, Antti Senior Editorial Writer, Helsingin Sanomat
ESP Botín, Ana P. Executive Chairman, Banesto
NOR Brandtzæg, Svein Richard CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
AUT Bronner, Oscar Publisher and Editor, Der Standard
TUR Çakir, Ruşen Journalist
CAN Campbell, Gordon Premier of British Columbia
ESP Carvajal Urquijo, Jaime Managing Director, Advent International
FRA Castries, Henri de Chairman of the Management Board and CEO, AXA
ESP Cebrián, Juan Luis CEO, PRISA
ESP Cisneros, Gustavo A. Chairman and CEO, Cisneros Group of Companies
CAN Clark, W. Edmund President and CEO, TD Bank Financial Group
USA Collins, Timothy C. Senior Managing Director and CEO, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC
ITA Conti, Fulvio CEO and General Manager, Enel SpA
GRC David, George A. Chairman, Coca-Cola H.B.C. S.A.
DNK Eldrup, Anders CEO, DONG Energy
ITA Elkann, John Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
DEU Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus SAS
ESP Entrecanales, José M. Chairman, Acciona
DNK Federspiel, Ulrik Vice President Global Affairs, Haldor Topsøe A/S
USA Feldstein, Martin S. George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University
USA Ferguson, Niall Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University
AUT Fischer, Heinz Federal President
IRL Gallagher, Paul Attorney General
USA Gates, William H. Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chairman, Microsoft Corporation
USA Gordon, Philip H. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
USA Graham, Donald E. Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
INT Gucht, Karel de Commissioner, European Commission
TUR Gürel, Z. Damla Special Adviser to the President on EU Affairs
NLD Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
USA Holbrooke, Richard C. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
NLD Hommen, Jan H.M. Chairman, ING Group
USA Hormats, Robert D. Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs
BEL Huyghebaert, Jan Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
USA Johnson, James A. Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC
FIN Katainen, Jyrki Minister of Finance
USA Keane, John M. Senior Partner, SCP Partners
GBR Kerr, John Member, House of Lords; Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc.
USA Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
USA Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
TUR Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.Ş.
USA Kravis, Henry R. Founding Partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
USA Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc.
INT Kroes, Neelie Commissioner, European Commission
USA Lander, Eric S. President and Director, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
FRA Lauvergeon, Anne Chairman of the Executive Board, AREVA
ESP León Gross, Bernardino Secretary General, Office of the Prime Minister
DEU Löscher, Peter Chairman of the Board of Management, Siemens AG
NOR Magnus, Birger Chairman, Storebrand ASA
CAN Mansbridge, Peter Chief Correspondent, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
USA Mathews, Jessica T. President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
CAN McKenna, Frank Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group
GBR Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
FRA Montbrial, Thierry de President, French Institute for International Relations
ITA Monti, Mario President, Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
INT Moyo, Dambisa F. Economist and Author
USA Mundie, Craig J. Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation
NOR Myklebust, Egil Former Chairman of the Board of Directors SAS, Norsk Hydro ASA
USA Naím, Moisés Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Policy
NLD Netherlands, H.M. the Queen of the
ESP Nin Génova, Juan María President and CEO, La Caixa
DNK Nyrup Rasmussen, Poul Former Prime Minister
GBR Oldham, John National Clinical Lead for Quality and Productivity
FIN Ollila, Jorma Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc
USA Orszag, Peter R. Director, Office of Management and Budget
TUR Özilhan, Tuncay Chairman, Anadolu Group
ITA Padoa-Schioppa, Tommaso Former Minister of Finance; President of Notre Europe
GRC Papaconstantinou, George Minister of Finance
USA Parker, Sean Managing Partner, Founders Fund
USA Pearl, Frank H. Chairman and CEO, Perseus, LLC
USA Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
ESP Polanco, Ignacio Chairman, Grupo PRISA
CAN Prichard, J. Robert S. President and CEO, Metrolinx
FRA Ramanantsoa, Bernard Dean, HEC Paris Group
PRT Rangel, Paulo Member, European Parliament
CAN Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
SWE Renström, Lars President and CEO, Alfa Laval
NLD Rinnooy Kan, Alexander H.G. Chairman, Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER)
ITA Rocca, Gianfelice Chairman, Techint
ESP Rodriguez Inciarte, Matías Executive Vice Chairman, Grupo Santander
USA Rose, Charlie Producer, Rose Communications
USA Rubin, Robert E. Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
TUR Sabanci Dinçer, Suzan Chairman, Akbank
ITA Scaroni, Paolo CEO, Eni S.p.A.
USA Schmidt, Eric CEO and Chairman of the Board, Google
AUT Scholten, Rudolf Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
DEU Scholz, Olaf Vice Chairman, SPD
INT Sheeran, Josette Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme
INT Solana Madariaga, Javier Former Secretary General, Council of the European Union
ESP Spain, H.M. the Queen of
USA Steinberg, James B. Deputy Secretary of State
INT Stigson, Björn President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
USA Summers, Lawrence H. Director, National Economic Council
IRL Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
GBR Taylor, J. Martin Chairman, Syngenta International AG
PRT Teixeira dos Santos, Fernando Minister of State and Finance
USA Thiel, Peter A. President, Clarium Capital Management, LLC
GRC Tsoukalis, Loukas President, ELIAMEP
INT Tumpel-Gugerell, Gertrude Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
USA Varney, Christine A. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust
CHE Vasella, Daniel L. Chairman, Novartis AG
USA Volcker, Paul A. Chairman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board
CHE Voser, Peter CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
FIN Wahlroos, Björn Chairman, Sampo plc
CHE Waldvogel, Francis A. Chairman, Novartis Venture Fund
SWE Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB
NLD Wellink, Nout President, De Nederlandsche Bank
USA West, F.J. Bing Author
GBR Williams, Shirley Member, House of Lords
USA Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman, Wolfensohn & Company, LLC
ESP Zapatero, José Luis Rodríguez Prime Minister
DEU Zetsche, Dieter Chairman, Daimler AG
INT Zoellick, Robert B. President, The World Bank Group

Rapporteurs
GBR Bredow, Vendeline von Business Correspondent, The Economist
GBR Wooldridge, Adrian D. Business Correspondent, The Economist

Source: Bilderberg Meetings

See also:

Spanish PM to Open Secretive Bilderberg Club Meeting in Sitges

Bilderberg 2010: The Shadowy Global Elite Is Meeting In Sitges

Bilderberg investigation revealed to European Parliament

The Elitist Takeover of Poland: IMF’s Marek Belka, Polish Ex-PM and Bilderberg Member Proposed as Polish Central Bank Head

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Apr 24


Date: 22nd Apr 10

More from Gerald Celente:

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente on ObamaCare, Dollar Devaluation And Gold

Gerald Celente: This time they will close the Banks & Wall Street (03/27/10)

Gerald Celente: ‘It’s the greatest bank robbery in world history and the banks are doing the robbing.’

Gerald Celente: ‘The Crash is Coming in 2010.’

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: Financial Mafia Controlling US and Wall Street

Survivor, America: ‘It’s Only Going to Get Worse,’ Gerald Celente Says

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: The Terror And The Crash of 2010

If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.
– New York Post

When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News

There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.
– CNBC

Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
– The Wall Street Journal

A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.
– The Economist

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Mar 09


Added: 3. März 2010

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Jan 30

JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs: Why the Market Was Down for 7 Days in a Row

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We are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Geithner/Summers/Rubin). Left strewn on the battleground could be your pension fund and 401K.

The late Libertarian economist, Murray Rothbard, wrote that U.S. politics since 1900, when William Jennings Bryan narrowly lost the presidency, has been a struggle between two competing banking giants, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The parties would sometimes change hands, but the puppeteers pulling the strings were always one of these two big-money players. No popular third party candidate had a real chance at winning, because the bankers had the exclusive power to create the national money supply and therefore held the winning cards.

In 2000, the Rockefellers and the Morgans joined forces, when JPMorgan and Chase Manhattan merged to become JPMorgan Chase Co. Today the battling banking titans are JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that gained notoriety for its speculative practices in the 1920s. In 1928, it launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp., a closed-end fund similar to a Ponzi scheme. The fund failed in the stock market crash of 1929, marring the firm’s reputation for years afterwards. Former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers all came from Goldman, and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rose through the ranks of government as a Summers/Rubin protégé. One commentator called the U.S. Treasury “Goldman Sachs South.”
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Jan 23

This article is a MUST-READ!

This is not a conspiracy. This is politics and economics.

Wake up America! You will lose everything, if you do not act NOW.

Prepare yourself for a complete controlled meltdown. The greatest financial collapse in world history.

A hyperinflationary depression. THE Greatest Depression.

The Fed and the US government are destroying America!

(More information at the end of the following article.)


“The people no longer have elected representatives; they have elected traitors.”

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By Stewart Dougherty

Stewart Dougherty is a specialist in inferential analysis, the practice of identifying historic and contemporary patterns and then extrapolating their likely effects upon the future. Dougherty was educated at Tufts University (B.A., magna cum laude), and Harvard Business School (M.B.A. and an academic Fellow).

FOREWORD: At certain times, focusing on the big picture is important not just for investment success, but for personal welfare, and even survival. We believe such times are here. It is estimated that 98% of Americans have never held a gold coin in their hands. Yet 100% of Americans regularly handle Federal Reserve Notes. From a contrarian standpoint, the financial message from those two statistics is clear. Even so, gold is much more than money or an investment medium; it stands for liberty and throughout history has facilitated escape and ensured freedom. Never having touched a gold coin is the monetary equivalent to never having breathed fresh air, felt the warmth of sunshine, looked up at the stars or risen from the gutter. Fiat Federal Reserve Notes are becoming nothing more than sewage decomposing in the vast, toxic septic tank of predatory Washington politics, epic Federal Reserve arrogance and error, blatant Wall Street fraud and outright Master Class plunder. Below, we outline America’s troubling and compounding predicament, and urge you to think about how to protect yourself from its consequences, both financially and personally.

Thanks to the endless barrage of feel-good propaganda that daily assaults the American mind, best epitomized a few months ago by the “green shoots,” everything’s-coming-up-roses propaganda touted by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, the citizens have no idea how disastrous the country’s fiscal, monetary and economic problems truly are. Nor do they perceive the rapidly increasing risk of a totalitarian nightmare descending upon the American Republic.

One stark and sobering way to frame the crisis is this: if the United States government were to nationalize (in other words, steal) every penny of private wealth accumulated by America’s citizens since the nation’s founding 235 years ago, the government would remain totally bankrupt.

According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent report on wealth, America’s private net worth was $53.4 trillion as of September, 2009. But at the same time, America’s debt and unfunded liabilities totaled at least $120,000,000,000,000.00 ($120 trillion), or 225% of the citizens’ net worth. Even if the government expropriated every dollar of private wealth in the nation, it would still have a deficit of $66,600,000,000,000.00 ($66.6 trillion), equal to $214,286.00 for every man, woman and child in America and roughly 500% of GDP. If the government does not directly seize the nation’s private wealth, then it will require $389,610 from each and every citizen to balance the country’s books. State, county and municipal debts and deficits are additional, already elephantine in many states (e.g., California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York) and growing at an alarming rate nationwide. In addition to the federal government, dozens of states are already bankrupt and sinking deeper into the morass every day.

The government continues to dig a deeper and deeper fiscal grave in which to bury its citizens. This year, the federal deficit will total at least $1,600,000,000,000.00 ($1.6 trillion), which represents overspending of $4,383,561,600.00 ($4.38 billion) per day. (The deficit during October and November, 2009, the first two months of Fiscal Year 2010, totaled $296,700,000,000.00 ($297 billion), or $4,863,934,000.00 ($4.9 billion) per day, a record.) Using the GAAP accounting method (which is what corporations are required to use because it presents a far more accurate and honest picture of a company’s finances than the cash accounting method primarily and misleadingly used by the U.S. government), the nation’s fiscal year 2009 deficit was roughly $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion), or $24,700,000,000.00 ($24.7 billion) per day, as calculated by brilliant and well-respected economist John Williams. (www.shadowstats.com) Fiscal Year 2010’s cash- and GAAP-accounting deficits will likely be worse than 2009’s, given government bailout and new program spending that is on steroids and psychotic.

Putting Fiscal Year 2009’s $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion) deficit another way, 17% of America’s private wealth, accumulated over a period of 235 years, was wiped out by just one year’s worth of government deficit spending insanity.

Given this, is it any surprise that Treasury Secretary Geithner has announced that the release of the nation’s FY 2009 supplemental GAAP financial statements has been delayed? Remember, this is the same Secretary Geithner who bullied people to cover up the sordid details of the AIG, or more accurately, the taxpayer-funded, multi-billion dollar, Santa Claus bailout and bonus bonanza for Goldman Sachs. Do you really think this government, characterized as it is by fiscal and monetary secrecy, lies, chicanery, cronyism and stonewalling, wants the people to know what is actually happening? Obviously, it does not, so it hides from the public the inexcusable facts.

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Jan 16

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By Harry R. Lewis:

Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard and former Dean of Harvard College

MUST-READ!


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Harvard University

Harvard’s Secret Seven

At the heart of the new system of power, says Janine Wedel, is “a decline in loyalty to institutions” and “the proliferation of players who swoop in and out of organizations with which they are affiliated.” There is no more vivid example of this phenomenon than Harvard University, which for centuries was held together by institutional loyalty. Today, that loyalty has eroded, and those at the top act much more flexibly. Yet they still enjoy almost unlimited power. Like all forms of mismanagement, Harvard’s woes call for transparency and accountability. The story resonates to Washington, where Harvard’s power elite is deeply entangled.

Harvard lost $11 billion from its endowment last year, plus another $2 billion by gambling with operating cash and $1 billion in bad bets on interest rate fluctuations. Harvard had been borrowing vast sums to leverage its assets and to expand its physical plant; its president, Lawrence Summers, had described as “extraordinary investments” what ordinary people would call crushing debt. The only way to balance the looming deficits was through huge investment returns. The speculating worked for a while, but when the bubble burst, Harvard was left almost insolvent.

A presidential resignation might have been expected, but Summers, the president most responsible for Harvard’s unsustainable growth plan, had resigned already–he is now a top economic adviser to Barack Obama. In any case, plenty of costly mistakes were made after he left. In this era of heightened corporate accountability, one might have expected instead a shake-up of Harvard’s board. But Harvard’s directors are invulnerable.

Legally, the Harvard Corporation consists of the president and six “Fellows,” who serve for life if they wish and cannot be unseated by anyone except themselves. In spite of the privileges it receives as a tax exempt charity, Harvard is not subject to the financial and risk disclosure rules that protect the shareholders of public corporations.

The Corporation is stunningly secretive. The members are listed on a Harvard web page–but with no contact information. Their meetings and agendas are unannounced, their decisions unreported. The Fellows, scattered across the country, are isolated from the institution they govern. Even the university’s statutes–the closest thing to a constitution limiting the Corporation’s discretionary power–are almost impossible to locate. The colonial-era board structure is failing the modern university.

Harvard’s board is intertwined with the shadow elite of Wedel’s Chapter 5: the team of experts who disastrously advised the Russian government on capitalism in the 1990s. Engaged by the U.S. to show the Russians how the West controls corruption, the advisers became models of what to avoid. Here is the Cambridge-Moscow-Washington story in a nutshell. Continue reading »

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Jan 05

Must-read! Don’t miss to take a close look at the members of the the Group of Thirty!


When Henry Paulson publishes his long-awaited memoirs, the one section that will be of most interest to readers, will be the former Goldmanite and Secretary of the Treasury’s recollection of what, in his opinion, was the most unpredictable and dire consequence of letting Lehman fail (letting his former employer become the number one undisputed Fixed Income trading entity in the world was quite predictable… plus we doubt it will be a major topic of discussion in Hank’s book). We would venture to guess that the Reserve money market fund breaking the buck will be at the very top of the list, as the ensuing “run on the electronic bank” was precisely the 21st century equivalent of what happened to banks in physical form, during the early days of the Geat Depression. Had the lack of confidence in the system persisted for a few more hours, the entire financial world would have likely collapsed, as was so vividly recalled by Rep. Paul Kanjorski, once a barrage of electronic cash withdrawal requests depleted this primary spoke of the entire shadow economy. Ironically, money market funds are supposed to be the stalwart of safety and security among the plethora of global investment alternatives: one need only to look at their returns to see what the presumed composition of their investments is. A case in point, Fidelity’s $137 billion Cash Reserves fund has a return of 0.61% YTD, truly nothing to write home about, and a return that would have been easily beaten putting one’s money in Treasury Bonds. This is not surprising, as the primary purpose of money markets is to provide virtually instantaneous access to a portfolio of practically risk-free investment alternatives: a typical investor in a money market seeks minute investment risk, no volatility, and instantaneous liquidity, or redeemability. These are the three pillars upon which the entire $3.3 trillion money market industry is based.

Yet new regulations proposed by the administration, and specifically by the ever-incompetent Securities and Exchange Commission, seek to pull one of these three core pillars from the foundation of the entire money market industry, by changing the primary assumptions of the key Money Market Rule 2a-7. A key proposal in the overhaul of money market regulation suggests that money market fund managers will have the option tosuspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets. You read that right: this does not refer to the charter of procyclical, leveraged, risk-ridden, transsexual (allegedly) portfolio manager-infested hedge funds like SAC, Citadel, Glenview or even Bridgewater (which in light of ADIA’s latest batch of problems, may well be wishing this was in fact the case), but the heart of heretofore assumed safest and most liquid of investment options: Money Market funds, which account for nearly 40% of all investment company assets. The next time there is a market crash, and you try to withdraw what you thought was “absolutely” safe money, a back office person will get back to you saying, Sorry – your money is now frozen. Bank runs have become illegal. This is precisely the regulation now proposed by the administration. In essence, the entire US capital market is now a hedge fund, where even presumably the safest investment tranche can be locked out from within your control when the ubiquitous “extraordinary circumstances” arise. The second the game of constant offer-lifting ends, and money markets are exposed for the ponzi investment proxies they are, courtesy of their massive holdings of Treasury Bills, Reverse Repos, Commercial Paper, Agency Paper, CD, finance company MTNs and, of course, other money markets, and you decide to take your money out, well – sorry, you are out of luck. It’s the law.

A brief primer on money markets

A very succinct explanation of what money markets are was provided by none other than SEC’s Luis Aguilar on June 24, 2009, when he was presenting the case for making even the possibility of money market runs a thing of the past. To wit:

Money market funds were founded nearly 40 years ago. And, as is well known, one of the hallmarks of money market funds is their ability to maintain a stable net asset value – typically at a dollar per share.

In the time they have been around, money market funds have grown enormously – from $180 billion in 1983 (when Rule 2a-7 was first adopted), to $1.4 trillion at the end of 1998, to approximately $3.8 trillion at the end of 2008, just ten years later. The Release in front of us sets forth a number of informative statistics but a few that are of particular interest are the following: today, money market funds account for approximately 39% of all investment company assets; about 80% of all U.S. companies use money market funds in managing their cash balances; and about 20% of the cash balances of all U.S. households are held in money market funds. Clearly, money market funds have become part of the fabric by which families, and companies manage their financial affairs. Continue reading »

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Dec 12

The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway

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Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the expense of hardworking Americans.” Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.

Then he got elected.

What’s taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.

How could Obama let this happen? Is he just a rookie in the political big leagues, hoodwinked by Beltway old-timers? Or is the vacillating, ineffectual servant of banking interests we’ve been seeing on TV this fall who Obama really is?

Whatever the president’s real motives are, the extensive series of loophole-rich financial “reforms” that the Democrats are currently pushing may ultimately do more harm than good. In fact, some parts of the new reforms border on insanity, threatening to vastly amplify Wall Street’s political power by institutionalizing the taxpayer’s role as a welfare provider for the financial-services industry. At one point in the debate, Obama’s top economic advisers demanded the power to award future bailouts without even going to Congress for approval — and without providing taxpayers a single dime in equity on the deals.

How did we get here? It started just moments after the election — and almost nobody noticed.

‘Just look at the timeline of the Citigroup deal,” says one leading Democratic consultant. “Just look at it. It’s fucking amazing. Amazing! And nobody said a thing about it.”

Barack Obama was still just the president-elect when it happened, but the revolting and inexcusable $306 billion bailout that Citigroup received was the first major act of his presidency. In order to grasp the full horror of what took place, however, one needs to go back a few weeks before the actual bailout — to November 5th, 2008, the day after Obama’s election. Continue reading »

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Oct 23

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
– Benjamin Franklin


Added: 22. October 2009

Fall Of The Republic documents how an offshore corporate cartel is bankrupting the US economy by design. Leaders are now declaring that world government has arrived and that the dollar will be replaced by a new global currency.

President Obama has brazenly violated Article 1 Section 9 of the US Constitution by seating himself at the head of United Nations’ Security Council, thus becoming the first US president to chair the world body.

A scientific dictatorship is in its final stages of completion, and laws protecting basic human rights are being abolished worldwide; an iron curtain of high-tech tyranny is now descending over the planet.

A worldwide regime controlled by an unelected corporate elite is implementing a planetary carbon tax system that will dominate all human activity and establish a system of neo-feudal slavery.

Continue reading »

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Sep 23

Ben Bernanke IS RIGHT, ‘the recession is over.’

It is now the ‘Greatest Depression’.


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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Paul Craig Roberts

Americans cannot get any truth out of their government about anything, the economy included. Americans are being driven into the ground economically, with one million school children now homeless, while Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announces that the recession is over.

economic crisis   The Economy is a Lie, too
Switzerland World Economic Forum Davos
At the urging of Larry Summers and Goldman Sachs’ CEO Henry Paulson, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bush administration went along with removing restrictions on debt leverage.

The spin that masquerades as news is becoming more delusional. Consumer spending is 70% of the US economy. It is the driving force, and it has been shut down. Except for the super rich, there has been no growth in consumer incomes in the 21st century. Statistician John Williams of shadowstats.com reports that real household income has never recovered its pre-2001 peak.

The US economy has been kept going by substituting growth in consumer debt for growth in consumer income. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan encouraged consumer debt with low interest rates. The low interest rates pushed up home prices, enabling Americans to refinance their homes and spend the equity. Credit cards were maxed out in expectations of rising real estate and equity values to pay the accumulated debt. The binge was halted when the real estate and equity bubbles burst.

As consumers no longer can expand their indebtedness and their incomes are not rising, there is no basis for a growing consumer economy. Indeed, statistics indicate that consumers are paying down debt in their efforts to survive financially. In an economy in which the consumer is the driving force, that is bad news.

The banks, now investment banks thanks to greed-driven deregulation that repealed the learned lessons of the past, were even more reckless than consumers and took speculative leverage to new heights. At the urging of Larry Summers and Goldman Sachs’ CEO Henry Paulson, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bush administration went along with removing restrictions on debt leverage.

When the bubble burst, the extraordinary leverage threatened the financial system with collapse. The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve stepped forward with no one knows how many trillions of dollars to “save the financial system,” which, of course, meant to save the greed-driven financial institutions that had caused the economic crisis that dispossessed ordinary Americans of half of their life savings.

The consumer has been chastened, but not the banks. Refreshed with the TARP $700 billion and the Federal Reserve’s expanded balance sheet, banks are again behaving like hedge funds. Leveraged speculation is producing another bubble with the current stock market rally, which is not a sign of economic recovery but is the final savaging of Americans’ wealth by a few investment banks and their Washington friends. Goldman Sachs, rolling in profits, announced six figure bonuses to employees.

The rest of America is suffering terribly.

The unemployment rate, as reported, is a fiction and has been since the Clinton administration. The unemployment rate does not include jobless Americans who have been unemployed for more than a year and have given up on finding work. The reported 10% unemployment rate is understated by the millions of Americans who are suffering long-term unemployment and are no longer counted as unemployed. As each month passes, unemployed Americans drop off the unemployment role due to nothing except the passing of time.

The inflation rate, especially “core inflation,” is another fiction. “Core inflation” does not include food and energy, two of Americans’ biggest budget items. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) assumes, ever since the Boskin Commission during the Clinton administration, that if prices of items go up consumers substitute cheaper items. This is certainly the case, but this way of measuring inflation means that the CPI is no longer comparable to past years, because the basket of goods in the index is variable.

The Boskin Commission’s CPI, by lowering the measured rate of inflation, raises the real GDP growth rate. The result of the statistical manipulation is an understated inflation rate, thus eroding the real value of Social Security income, and an overstated growth rate. Statistical manipulation cloaks a declining standard of living.

In bygone days of American prosperity, American incomes rose with productivity. It was the real growth in American incomes that propelled the US economy.

In today’s America, the only incomes that rise are in the financial sector that risks the country’s future on excessive leverage and in the corporate world that substitutes foreign for American labor. Under the compensation rules and emphasis on shareholder earnings that hold sway in the US today, corporate executives maximize earnings and their compensation by minimizing the employment of Americans.

Try to find some acknowledgement of this in the “mainstream media,” or among economists, who suck up to the offshoring corporations for grants.

The worst part of the decline is yet to come. Bank failures and home foreclosures are yet to peak. The commercial real estate bust is yet to hit. The dollar crisis is building.

When it hits, interest rates will rise dramatically as the US struggles to finance its massive budget and trade deficits while the rest of the world tries to escape a depreciating dollar.

Since the spring of this year, the value of the US dollar has collapsed against every currency except those pegged to it. The Swiss franc has risen 14% against the dollar. Every hard currency from the Canadian dollar to the Euro and UK pound has risen at least 13 % against the US dollar since April 2009. The Japanese yen is not far behind, and the Brazilian real has risen 25% against the almighty US dollar. Even the Russian ruble has risen 13% against the US dollar.

What sort of recovery is it when the safest investment is to bet against the US dollar?

Continue reading »

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