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Economic Article Archive for 2014

 

Economy
 
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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – of 2008
By Pam Martens
Posted December 31, 2014

Fed is looking like Wizard of OzWe are watching a collapse in industrial commodity prices, including crude oil. Yields on junk bonds (high yield debt) have risen dramatically. Investors have sought out the safe haven of U.S. Treasury notes, driving the yield lower as junk bond yields rise from an exit flight out of higher risk securities.

The above paragraph could just as well be describing December of 2008. Unfortunately, it's also an apt description of where we find ourselves on December 30, 2014. Aside from the irrationally exuberant U.S. stock market, there are two other serious mismatches that don't compute between December of 2008, in the midst of the greatest financial collapse on Wall Street since the Great Depression, and December 2014. First, the publicly traded stocks of the largest Wall Street banks were in precipitous decline in late 2008, as they should have been, since rising levels of distressed debt and crashing industrial commodity prices mean the economy is weakening and banks will take a hit to earnings. Bizarrely, today, the share prices of Citigroup, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase are actually higher than where they started the year. More...

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Hedge Funds cannibalize public-teacher pension funds
By Danny Weil
Posted December 30, 2014

srealing public pensionsIf you are a public-school teacher in the state of Kentucky, you should be aware that the state has a memorandum in place for you: You have no right to know the details of the investments being made with your retirement savings, how they are being managed, by whom and why. Your investments and contributions to your pension funds for your retirement are now controlled by the same Wall Street financial gang-bangers and cabal that brought down the US economy. This is one of the biggest enigmas as to why the 'stock market' is so high; the privatization of public-pension funds.

The lack of transparency, accountability and the denial of information about teacher-retirement funds was the latest case of public officials obstructing the release of data about how they are managing billions of dollars of public employees' retirement 'nest eggs' in the interest of Wall Street predators. Although some of the fine print of the public-pension investments has occasionally oozed through to pensioners, the agreements are tightly retained in the majority of states and cities where teachers work, live and breathe. More...

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Going off the reservation: investing in the Free Lakota Bank
By Scott Baker
Posted December 26, 2014

Free lakota Bank coinsMany people are looking to escape the traditional commercial banking system. Nearly 3,000 S&L banks went under during the S&L crisis of the early 1990s, and over 500 commercial banks (S&Ls were essentially extinguished as a class of banks after the S&L crisis) have joined them since the 2008 crisis. Today, the 6 largest banks control over 2/3 of all bank assets. And these huge banks don't make many loans, and even less to small businesses. JP Morgan, one of the largest banks, has just a 31% loan-to-asset ratio. The rest goes towards derivatives, wealth management, mergers and proprietary trading.

As for the bankruptcies of the cascade of failing small banks Too Small to Survive (TSTS), the FDIC has, so far, been able to handle such bank defaults by combining failing banks with stronger ones, or offering up its own money (the FDIC fund is currently set at $25B, though they have access to Treasury money at low rates), typically over a weekend, so that depositors seamlessly, albeit surprisingly, discover the bank they had deposited into on Friday is different from the one they have deposits in on Monday. However, a recent American Banker article claimed the small banking model was "not sustainable." More...

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The Morality and Legality of Debt Jubilee, Part III
by Jeff Nielson
Posted December 23, 2014

debt jubileeIn Parts I and II (click Sprott News), readers saw how all of the public debts of our nations (past and present) were the direct result of fraud, and thus legally unenforceable – on two bases. Firstly; the bankers of these Big Banks proclaimed themselves the world's foremost financial experts. On that basis; they not only received privileged treatment for these Big Banks, they were recipients of confidential financial and economic information from our governments, as fiduciaries who were claiming to be acting in our best interests.

In reality, these Con Men never had anything on their minds other than burying our nations in debt, in their own best interests. However, based upon the well-established legal doctrine of "fraudulent misrepresentation"; these fiduciary financial "experts" owed us a duty of honesty. Having violated that duty (incessantly); the multi-trillion dollar IOU's that the One Bank is holding (in the form of our national debts) are illegal and unenforceable. But there is also a second basis for legally repudiating these debts, in full. More...

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Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives
by Ellen Brown
Posted December 21, 2014

no more bailoutsThe sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses; and the FDIC could be liable, following repeal of key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act last weekend.

Senator Elizabeth Warren charged Citigroup last week with "holding government funding hostage to ram through its government bailout provision." At issue was a section in the omnibus budget bill repealing the Lincoln Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, which protected depositor funds by requiring the largest banks to push out a portion of their derivatives business into non-FDIC-insured subsidiaries. More...

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IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar
by Brandon Smith
Posted December 19, 2014

this is the end gameThis is it, folks; this is the endgame right in front of our faces. The year of 2014 is the new 2007, with all the negative potential but 100 times more explosive going into 2015. Our nation has wallowed in slowly degrading financial conditions for years, hidden by fake economic statistics and manipulated stock prices. All of it has been a prelude to a much more frenetic and shocking event.

The delusion perpetuated in the mainstream media is that the IMF is a U.S.-dominated institution. I have outlined on many occasions why this is false. The IMF like all central banks is dominated by the international corporate banking cartel. Central banks are merely front organizations for globalists.

We expect a hailstorm of geopolitical crises over the next year to provide cover for the shift away from the dollar. Ultimately, the death of the dollar will be hailed in the mainstream as a "good and necessary thing." They will call it "karma." They will call it "progress." They will even call it "decentralization" and a success for the free market. But it will not feel like a positive development for the American public, who will suffer greatly as the dollar crumblesThe long-term goal of globalists has been to consolidate all currency systems and central banks under the outward control of the International Monetary Fund and the Bank Of International Settlements, as I outlined in "The Economic Endgame Explained." More...

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Elizabeth Warren Offers 9 Damned Good Reasons to Split Citibank into Pieces
by Steven Rosenfeld
Posted December 17, 2014

Titanic was also Too Big To FailThe Massachusetts senator says enough is enough: it's time to end too-big-to-fail. The banking giant Citigroup is a puppetmaster pulling the strings behind many key economic policy decisions being made in Washington, according to Massachusetts' Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. She called the corporation's unbridled power and influence "unprecedented," and said it is hurting the country.

Warren singled out Citigroup in the last of a series of speeches that she gave in recent days to oppose a provision in the just-passed 2015 federal budget that made taxpayers again responsible for losses from extremely risky trades by investment banks—the same activity that ignited the financial crisis and worldwide recession in 2008. After that meltdown, Congress passed the so-called Dodd-Frank law to reform excessive, greed-fueled Wall Street behavior, including ending taxpayer bailouts for those banks. More...

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Remarks by Senator Warren on Citigroup and its bailout provision
Posted December 15, 2014



Looks like the money that the big banks "invested" in our government for the 2014 campaigns is already paying off.
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Bail-In and the Financial Stability Board: The Global Bankers' Coup
by Ellen Brown
Posted December 15, 2014

Wall street coupOn December 11, 2014, the US House passed a bill repealing the Dodd-Frank requirement that risky derivatives be pushed into big-bank subsidiaries, leaving our deposits and pensions exposed to massive derivatives losses. The bill was vigorously challenged by Senator Elizabeth Warren; but the tide turned when Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorganChase, stepped into the ring. Perhaps what prompted his intervention was the unanticipated $40 drop in the price of oil. As financial blogger Michael Snyder points out, that drop could trigger a derivatives payout that could bankrupt the biggest banks. And if the G20's new "bail-in" rules are formalized, depositors and pensioners could be on the hook.

The new bail-in rules were discussed in my last post here. They are edicts of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), an unelected body of central bankers and finance ministers headquartered in the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. Where did the FSB get these sweeping powers, and is its mandate legally enforceable? More...

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The Mother of all Bank Runs!
By Bill Holter
Posted December 10, 2014

bank runDo you remember seeing old pictures of the Great Depression which depicted "lines"? There were two types, bread lines and also lines to the front doors of banks. While we don't see any bread lines today, trust me, there are bread lines in every single state, and long ones at that. Nearly 50 million people in the U.S. survive on SNAP, EBT cards or whatever they are called in your state. Can you imagine the "confidence" it would instill if each day on your way to work you saw massive lines of people waiting for breakfast? Or, when you came home from work you turn on your television only to see long lines again, this time for supper?

I can see it now, some reporter out on the street giving us the "good" unemployment, inflation or GDP news with a line of people in the background waiting for food. My point? False economic news would be harder to "sell" and even harder to "stomach" (pun intended). Back during the Great Depression there were also the other type of lines, these formed in front of banks. Many banks either "ran out of money" or had poor investments which led to their demise. We also had this type of activity in the U.S. in 2008-09 …but again, we just didn't see them. More...

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Gambling Banksters - How Many Warnings Do You Need?
By Rudy Avizius
Posted December 4, 2014

derivatives implosionSo you think your money is safe? Let's examine why that assumption could cost you all or part of your savings. Would you be surprised to learn that money sitting in everyday peoples' savings accounts in Cyprus was confiscated in order to "stabilize" the banks? If you are surprised by this news, hopefully this article will provide you with an incentive to do some research. This article is filled with links to more information, and I encourage you to follow them. If you are aware of this bank confiscation, do not make the mistake of believing that it is an isolated event that "cannot happen here".

So you still think that this "cannot happen here" because the FDIC will protect your money? Consider that our largest banks have derivative contracts with a notional value of more than $700 trillion (think $700,000 BILLION!). The entire world GDP is only $70 trillion, therefore the liabilities of the big banks could not be covered by the entire GDP of the United States. Does this sound similar to what happened in Cyprus? Does this sound similar to the gambler at the beginning of this article? What is very important to keep in mind is that Cyprus is a small country and that much larger outside forces came in to "stabilize" the banks. If one (or more) of the large U.S. banks experiences a derivative failure, there is not enough money on the planet to "stabilize" them. More...

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New Banking Rules: Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Take Deposits and Pensions
by Ellen Brown
Posted December 3, 2014

Cyprus deposit confiscationsOn the weekend of November 16th, the G20 leaders whisked into Brisbane, posed for their photo ops, approved some proposals, made a show of roundly disapproving of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and whisked out again. It was all so fast, they may not have known what they were endorsing when they rubber-stamped the Financial Stability Board's "Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution," which completely changes the rules of banking.

Rather than reining in the massive and risky derivatives casino, the new rules prioritize the payment of banks' derivatives obligations to each other, ahead of everyone else. That includes not only depositors, public and private, but the pension funds that are the target market for the latest bail-in play, called "bail-inable" bonds.

"Bail in" has been sold as avoiding future government bailouts and eliminating Too Big To Fail (TBTF). But it actually institutionalizes TBTF, since the big banks are kept in business by expropriating the funds of their creditors. More...

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The scheme to seize depositors' money
by Mike Krauss
Posted December 2, 2014

Cyprus banks seized depositsRecently, the heads of state of the G20, the developed nations, met in Brisbane, Australia. One piece of business was the advancement of new banking rules that will allow what were called the Too Big to Fail Banks, and are now called Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs) to seize depositors money to save themselves in the next crash. Worried that the politicians they have bought won't stay bought, that their nerve may fail them when confronted with a demand for trillion dollar bail outs in the next crash and that democratic government might assert itself, the banksters have a Plan B: an automatic "bail in."

This is what the FSB calls "robust arrangements for dealing with stress in the financial system." In this soon to be global paradigm, as one commentator explained, "banks [will] no longer recognize your deposits as money, but as liabilities and securitized capital owned and controlled by the bank or institution, just part of a commercial bank's capital structure." More...

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Senate Report: Scale of Wall Street Holdings Are "Unprecedented in U.S. History"
By Pam Martens
Posted November 29, 2014

Senator LevinLast Thursday, the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin, released an alarming 396-page report that details how Wall Street's too-big-to-fail banks have quietly, and often stealthily through shell companies, gained ownership of a stunning amount of the nation's critical industrial commodities like oil, aluminum, copper, natural gas, and even uranium. The report said the scale of these bank holdings "appears to be unprecedented in U.S. history."

Adding to the hubris of the situation, the Wall Street banks' own regulator, the Federal Reserve, gave its blessing to this unprecedented and dangerous encroachment by banking interests into industrial commodity ownership and has effectively looked the other way as the banks moved into industrial commerce activities like owning pipelines and power plants. More...

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The Fraud in Fractional Reserve Banking
By Frank Hollenbeck
Posted November 28, 2014

fractional reserve banking is fraudSuppose you bring a fur coat to a dry cleaner, and discover that the owner allowed his wife to wear it before cleaning it (which is also the subject of an episode from Seinfeld). Or, suppose you gave your car keys to a hotel valet and, when attempting to pick up the car later, were told your automobile was lent to teenagers who took it for a joy ride while you slept at the hotel. You would not be too happy, and for good reason. When you surrendered your clothes or your car keys it was a bailment. You retained ownership and gave the clothes or car keys for safekeeping. In no shape or form, did you surrender ownership of the items or lend out your property.

Suppose you lived in the 18th century and had 100 ounces of gold. It's heavy and you do not live in a safe neighborhood, so you decide to bring it to a goldsmith for safekeeping. In exchange for this gold, the goldsmith gives you ten tickets where each is clearly marked as claims against 10 ounces. Now, gold is heavy and burdensome to carry, so in a short period of time, those claims will start circulating in place of gold. This is the creation of near monies. This doesn't mean you have given up your ownership claims on gold, but have used a simpler way of transferring ownership of this gold. More...

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Prosperity Amidst the Ruins
by Charles Hugh-Smith
Posted November 27, 2014

prosperity for the fewAll the blather about "growth" and GDP is just propaganda to misdirect our attention from the real problem: the total domination of governance and finance by a class of vested interests and mega-wealthy cartels/oligarchies.

It's striking: as economies stagnate, the top tier is living even larger while the low-income masses sink further into marginalized poverty. I call this widening divide between the vested interests/wealthy and the rest of society prosperity amidst the ruins. How can the top slice prosper while the rest of the populace suffers from higher taxes, stagnant wages and a collapse of employment/enterprise opportunities? More...

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Treasury Nominee Eligible for "Revolving Door" Rewards
By Michael Smallberg
Posted November 23, 2014

another Wall St executive at TreasuryPresident Obama's nominee for a senior post at the Treasury Department could receive a variety of financial benefits from his current Wall Street employer if he's confirmed for the position, according to newly posted ethics records. The nominee's financial disclosure shows how a Wall Street firm can reward an executive who moves into a powerful government position where he can help shape regulatory policy and affect the fortunes of the financial industry.

Antonio Weiss is currently the Global Head of Investment Banking at Lazard, which describes itself as the "world's leading independent financial advisory and asset management firm." Last week, President Obama nominated Weiss to serve as Treasury's Under Secretary for Domestic Finance. In certain circumstances, when the government hires Wall Street veterans, it allows them to receive accelerated financial rewards from their long-term pay plans that would normally mature (or "vest") over time. Weiss is eligible for several of these rewards, according to documents posted online this week by the Office of Government Ethics. According to Weiss's financial disclosure form, his retirement agreement with Lazard provides for the "acceleration of vesting of restricted stock units, restricted stock, deferred compensation, and restricted LAM interests." More...

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Wall Street Journal Reports: Bank of North Dakota Outperforms Wall Street
By Ellen Brown
Posted November 22, 2014

Ellen BrownWhile 49 state treasuries were submerged in red ink after the 2008 financial crash, one state's bank outperformed all others and actually launched an economy-shifting new industry. So reports the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing the Bank of North Dakota (BND) and its striking success in the midst of a national financial collapse led by the major banks.

The reason for its success? As the sole repository of the state of North Dakota's revenue, the bank has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in Bakken shale-oil production from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In fact, the bank played a crucial part in kick-starting the oil frenzy in the state in 2008 amid the financial crisis.

That is how the Wall Street-owned media routinely write off the exceptional record of this lone publicly-owned bank, crediting it to the success of the private oil industry. But the boom did not make the fortunes of the bank. It would be more accurate to say that the bank made the boom. More...

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Enough Is Enough: The President's Latest Wall Street Nominee
by Elizabeth Warren
Posted Novemebr 21, 2014

Elizabeth WarrenLast Wednesday, President Obama announced his nomination of Antonio Weiss to serve as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department. This is a position that oversees Dodd-Frank implementation and a wide range of banking and economic policymaking issues, including consumer protection.

So who is Antonio Weiss? He's the head of global investment banking for the financial giant Lazard. He has spent the last 20 years of his career at Lazard -- most of it advising on international mergers and acquisitions.

The over-representation of Wall Street banks in senior government positions sends a bad message. It tells people that one -- and only one -- point of view will dominate economic policymaking. It tells people that whatever goes wrong in this economy, the Wall Street banks will be protected first. That's yet another advantage that Wall Street just doesn't need. More...

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The Economic End Game Explained
by Brandon Smith
Posted November 14, 2014

move towards centralized currencyThroughout history, in most cases of economic collapse the societies in question believed they were financially invincible just before their disastrous fall. Rarely does anyone see the edge of the cliff or even the bottom of the abyss before it has swallowed a nation whole. This lack of foresight, however, is not entirely the fault of the public. It is, rather, a consequence caused by the manipulation of the fundamental information available to the public by governments and social gatekeepers.

What the past proves, time and time again, is that establishment trained and educated economists are perhaps the most useless of all analysts. They are perpetually wrong. Only independent analysts have ever been able to predict anything of value as far as our economic future — not because they are psychic, but because they have the advantage of standing outside the foggy propaganda of brainwashed financial academia. More...

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Despite Outcry of Opposition, Obama Pushes "Horrific" Trade Deal in Asia
by Jon Queally
Posted November 11, 2014

TPP, deal for the 1%Though president once railed against so-called "free trade" agreements, he has now become outspoken champion of secretive deals that critics call attack on democracy, workers, and the planet. Despite consistent and vocal opposition from organized labor, environmentalists, progressive economy experts and others warning against the damaging impacts of a trans-Pacific trade agreement that remains under negotiations by the U.S. and twelve other nations, President Obama on Monday once again voiced his support for what he said would be a "historic" agreement.

In Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart and to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Obama championed the so-called "free trade" deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), even though critics have described the agreement as a "horrific" corporate giveaway that would further codify the undemocratic mechanisms of global trade, breaking down protections for workers, consumers, and the planet's natural systems. More...

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The Unequal State of America:Redistributing Up
By Deborah Nelson & Himanshu Ojha
Posted November 6, 2014

wealth redistributed upThe federal government has emerged as one of the most potent factors driving income inequality in the United States - especially in the nation's capital. In the town that launched the War on Poverty 48 years ago, the poor are getting poorer despite the government's help. And the rich are getting richer because of it.

The top 5 percent of households in Washington, D.C., made more than $500,000 on average last year, while the bottom 20 percent earned less than $9,500 - a ratio of 54 to 1. That gap is up from 39 to 1 two decades ago. It's wider than in any of the 50 states and all but two major cities. This at a time when income inequality in the United States as a whole has risen to levels last seen in the years before the Great Depression. More...

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Members of the world's richest club make half-a-million bucks per minute
by Barbara Kollmeyer
Posted November 1, 2014

extreme wealth Indeed, the rich are getting richer. And as the notorious financier, Gordon Gekko says, in the 1980s film "Wall Street:" "Rich enough to not waste time."

The wealthiest 85 people on the planet saw their collective net worth grow a whopping $668 million every day, between March of this year and March 2013, said Oxfam, in a report released Wednesday.Put another way, the ultra-rich generated the equivalent of nearly a half-a-million dollars—every minute of every day, for a year.That's wealth even Gordon Gekko might envy.

But those ballooning riches only serve to highlight the sort of troubling income inequality illustrated by economists like Thomas Piketty, in his "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." More...

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Inflation 101 - Why Prices Always Go Up
by W. P. Miller
Posted October 31, 2014

inflationDo you ever stop to wonder why prices for the great range of consumer goods and services relentlessly increase over time? (I like the "TP Index": toilet paper - something we all use, doesn't require much explaining, demand stays consistent. Price has roughly doubled in the past decade.) Most of us are struggling these days to maintain an adequate lifestyle in the face of stagnant or declining (or absent) wages, and this is made more difficult by the fact that the cost of living seems to go up year after year after year.

We commonly think of this as inevitable as the laws of physics, yet money is a human-created institution. How does it come to be that money buys less each year? Why should prices routinely increase? An apple in the year 1914 is still an apple in year 2014, but why does it now cost 10 or 20 times more? More...

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Τhe Transnational Elite and the New World Order (NWO)
By Takis Fotopoulos
Posted October 30, 2014

transnational elitesThis article attempts a brief historical description of the emergence of the New World Order (NWO) based on neoliberal globalization, in the last thirty or so years ago. The Transnational Elite is defined in this context as a network of interconnected elites controlling each major field of social life (economic, social, ideological and so on) and its function is similar to that of the national elite in the pre-globalization era of nation-states.

Last weekend thousands of European citizens across Europe took part in demonstrations against the New World Order (NWO) of neoliberal globalization and the Transnational Elite (TE) ― mainly the transnational elites' network based in the G7 countries ― which runs it. The reason was the latest TE plan for a transatlantic trade deal called "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" (TTIP). More...

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Battle for Control of the Monetary System: The Public Good vs. Private Banks
by Jim Tarbell
Posted October 21, 2014

"Let us control the money of a nation, and we care not who makes its laws" –Maxim of the House of Rothschilds

Main St prosperityMoney's invention 2300 years ago provided humans with a powerful tool to carry on an economic system. But maximum benefit from the monetary system depends on the monetary system serving the common good. We all rely on a well-functioning monetary supply for our daily bread. For the first two thousand years, maximum benefit from the monetary system was ensured by keeping the
money supply under public control.

As capitalism developed, and wealthy merchants increasingly exercised the private power that money gave them, a pitched public vs. private battle grew over control of monetary systems. More...

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The Road To Serfdom: Connecting Detroit, Argentina and Greece
by Carl Gibson
Posted October 17, 2014

privatizing public assetsIf you want to fully understand the game at play in the bankruptcies and privatization of public assets in Detroit, Argentina, and Europe, play Monopoly.

The game of Monopoly was originally known as "The Landlord Game," which was meant to show players the perils of unregulated capitalism. In the game, wealthy investors buy up property, including utilities like electricity and water, along with the railroad systems, with the end goal of owning everything. Monopoly inevitably ends with all the wealth accumulating to one player while the other is forced to sell off everything they own to pay off their debt. And if one plays the right card, they can even get out of jail free. The global game of Monopoly has now opened a board in one of America's largest cities.

Detroit may have just made a deal to sell off enough public assets to satisfy Syncora, one of its top creditors. The bond insurer lays claim to some $400 million of insurance on Detroit's bonds, and is demanding a bailout from the city's taxpayers and pensioners as a result of its gambling loss. More...

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Building an Ark: How to Protect Public Revenues from the Next Meltdown
by Ellen Brown
Posted October 13, 2014

protecting public moneyConcerns are growing that we are heading for another banking crisis, one that could be far worse than in 2008. But this time, there will be no government bailouts. Instead, per the Dodd-Frank Act, bankrupt banks will be confiscating (or "bailing in") their customers' deposits.That includes local government deposits. The fact that public funds are secured with collateral may not protect them, as explained earlier here. Derivative claims now get paid first in a bank bankruptcy; and derivative losses could be huge, wiping out the collateral for other claims.

Besides their reckless derivatives gambling, these monster-sized banks have earned our distrust by being caught in a litany of frauds. In an article in Forbes titled "Big Banks and Derivatives: Why Another Financial Crisis Is Inevitable," Steve Denning lists rigging municipal bond interest rates, LIBOR price-fixing, foreclosure abuses, money laundering, tax evasion, and misleading clients with worthless securities. Particularly harmful to local governments have been interest rate swaps misrepresented as protecting government agencies from higher rates. More...

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Argentina and Wall Street's Vulture Funds: "Economic Terrorism" and the Western Financial System
By Peter Koenig
Posted October 11, 2014

vulture funds force Argentina default"Today you pretend making a coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but in fact you're their allies," Those are the frank words by Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, the Argentinian President, spoken in a calm and secure voice at the UN General Assembly last Friday, 3 October 2014.

Similarly, she referred to the western financial system as economic terrorism, as in vultures – the vulture funds that thanks to New York judge Griesa have put Argentina – a solvent country, willing and capable of paying their debt, in default. He ruled that the vulture funds, Griesa's clients and paymasters, needed to be paid in full, i.e. 100%, equal to US$ 1.5 billion, when close to 93% of all creditors agreed on a restructured reimbursement rate of about 20%. More...

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5 U.S. Banks Each Have More Than 40 Trillion Dollars In Exposure To Derivatives
by Michael Snyder
Posted September 27, 2014

banker casinoWhen is the U.S. banking system going to crash? I can sum it up in three words. Watch the derivatives. It used to be only four, but now there are five "too big to fail" banks in the United States that each have more than 40 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives. Today, the U.S. national debt is sitting at a grand total of about 17.7 trillion dollars, so when we are talking about 40 trillion dollars we are talking about an amount of money that is almost unimaginable.

And unlike stocks and bonds, these derivatives do not represent "investments" in anything. They can be incredibly complex, but essentially they are just paper wagers about what will happen in the future. The truth is that derivatives trading is not too different from betting on baseball or football games. Trading in derivatives is basically just a form of legalized gambling, and the "too big to fail" banks have transformed Wall Street into the largest casino in the history of the planet. When this derivatives bubble bursts (and as surely as I am writing this it will), the pain that it will cause the global economy will be greater than words can describe. More...

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The Myth That Sold the Financial Bailout
By Dean Baker
Posted September 21, 2014

bailout was not neededMonday marked the sixth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The investment bank's bankruptcy accelerated the financial meltdown that began with the near collapse of the investment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008 (saved by the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan) and picked up steam with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac going under the week before Lehman's demise. The day after Lehman failed, the giant insurer AIG was set to collapse, only to be rescued by the Fed.

With the other Wall Street behemoths also on shaky ground, then–Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ran to Capitol Hill, accompanied by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner. Their message was clear: The apocalypse was nigh. They demanded Congress make an open-ended commitment to bail out the banks. In a message repeated endlessly by the punditocracy ever since, the failure to cough up the money would have led to a second Great Depression. More...

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America's Rotting Empire: Billionaires Galore & A Crumbling Infrastructure
By CJ Werleman
Posted September 20, 2014

billionaires starve the rest of usAmerica has the most billionaires in the world, but not a single U.S. city ranks among the world’s most livable cities. Not a single U.S. airport is among the top 100 airports in the world. Our bridges, road and rail are falling apart, and our middle class is being guttered out thanks to three decades of stagnant wages, while the top 1 percent enjoys 95 percent of all economic gains.

A rigged tax code and a bloated military budget are starving the federal and state governments of the revenue it needs to invest in infrastructure, which means today America looks increasingly like a second rate nation, and now new data shows America’s intellectual resources are also in decline. More...

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A Public Bank Option for Scotland
By Ellen Brown
Posted September 18, 2014

public bank for Scotland?The People of Scotland have an opportunity to extricate themselves from the socio-psychopathic global corporatists and the temple of outrageous and excessive abject materialism. However, it is not going to be an easy ride . . . .

If Alex Salmond and the SNP [Scottish National Party] are serious about keeping the Pound Stirling as the Currency of Scotland, there will be no independence. Likewise if Scotland embraces the Euro, Scotland will rapidly become a vassel state of the Euro-Federalists, who will asset strip the nation in the same way that, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain have been stripped of their entire national wealth and much of their national identity. More...

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Bogus Trading, Speculation in the Silver Market
By Bill Holter
Posted September 17, 2014

silver manipulationI wrote an article titled "Kill Switch" a couple of weeks back where I hypothesized the Chinese are the ones behind the very high (and very curious) open interest in COMEX silver, I want to revisit this. I want to revisit this because of the action this past week and this past Thursday in particular.

Silver dropped almost 50 cents on Thursday and broke through the $19 level to the downside. Please remember that silver has a global "all in cost" of production somewhere near $25 per ounce so these prices will only augur for much less supply. "Supply" in this case is REAL supply of raw silver to be used for electronics, solar panels, jewelry, investment etc.. Common sense tells you if you must sell your product for a loss you will either sell less of it, not sell any of it, or sell all that you can for cash flow and go bankrupt …supply will dry up. More...

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Economic Hitmen Robbing Public Resources Across Detroit, Argentina and Greece
by Carl Gibson
Posted September 15, 2014

economic hitmenIf you want to fully understand the game at play in the bankruptcies and privatization of public assets in Detroit, Argentina, and Europe, play Monopoly.

The game of Monopoly was originally known as "The Landlord Game," which was meant to show players the perils of unregulated capitalism. In the game, wealthy investors buy up property, including utilities like electricity and water, along with the railroad systems, with the end goal of owning everything. Monopoly inevitably ends with all the wealth accumulating to one player while the other is forced to sell off everything they own to pay off their debt. And if one plays the right card, they can even get out of jail free. The global game of Monopoly has now opened a board in one of America's largest cities. More...

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Preparing To Asset-strip Local Government? The Fed's Bizarre New Rules
by Ellen Brown
Posted September 12, 2014

cash strapped citiesIn an inscrutable move that has alarmed state treasurers, the Federal Reserve, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, just changed the liquidity requirements for the nation's largest banks. Municipal bonds, long considered safe liquid investments, have been eliminated from the list of high-quality liquid collateral. assets (HQLA). That means banks that are the largest holders of munis are liable to start dumping them in favor of the Treasuries and corporate bonds that do satisfy the requirement.

Muni bonds fund the nation's critical infrastructure, and they are subject to the whims of the market: as demand goes down, interest rates must be raised to attract buyers. State and local governments could find themselves in the position of cash-strapped Eurozone states, subject to crippling interest rates. More...

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Profits Soar As Pentagon Leans on Private Corporations for Special Ops
by Jon Queally
Posted September 10, 2014

private military contractsPrivate military contractors are reaping billions of dollars in profitable rewards from the U.S. government's global network of clandestine counter-terrorism and other overseas operations, according to a new report that examines the high-levels of integration between for-profit corporations and the Pentagon's global military and surveillance apparatus.

The new report—titled US Special Operations Command Contracting: Data-Mining the Public Record—written by researcher Crofton Black and commissioned by the U.K.-based Remote Control Project, shows that "corporations are integrated into some of the most sensitive aspects" of operations conducted by the U.S. Special Operations Command (or USSOCOM). Those activities, according to the report include: flying drones and overseeing target acquisition, facilitating communications between forward operating locations and central command hubs, interrogating prisoners, translating captured material, and managing the flow of information between regional populations and the US military. More...

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No Economy For Americans
By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (Asst. Sec. of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration)
Posted September 9, 2014

low paying jobsAs I have reported for many years, the US economy no longer is capable of creating goods producing jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics August payroll jobs report shows zero manufacturing jobs. I read the other day that the US now has four or five times more people on food stamps than in manufacturing jobs.

The jobs of the New Economy are in lowly paid, nontradable domestic services–the jobs that characterize a Third World Economy. Deregulated free-market America has created an economy that serves only the few, which explains the extraordinary concentration in the 21st century of income and wealth in fewer and fewer hands–another defining characteristic of a Third World country.

American capitalism has failed. It can no longer produce jobs for the work force, and its profits come from its political ability to impose costs on the American population. More...

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NATO Dead, King Dollar Wrecked
By Jim Willie
Posted September 6, 2014

dollar and NATO collapseA climax is fast approaching. The USDollar is stuck in the implosion stage. Its many supporting structures are in simultaneous collapse. The paradox worth repeating is that the USDollar will rise and rise and rise, then vanish, as the United States must take its rightful place in the Third World. The USDollar will be rejected, the climax of its dismissal to come from the pain it causes. No nation can compete with the USDollar, as it is printed off the Weimar press by the US Federal Reserve, the oil burning, the screech audible from afar.

The USGovt is left with no more options than war, since the financial front has been lost to insolvency, market interference, bond fraud, and leveraged corruption. The King Dollar has been wrecked, knocked off its throne, never to return to prestige. Emerging is the new Eastern Alliance based upon the three centers of Russia, China, and Germany. The Eurasian Trade Zone is coming into view. The difficult decisions must be made by Germany. More...

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Breaking Up [the Banks] May Not Be Quite So Hard To Do
Bartlett Naylor
Posted September 1, 2014

Break up the big banksAs America approaches the sixth anniversary of the 2008 financial crash, here's an encouraging thought: The mega-banks can be broken up. It's already in the law. Forty-one words of the 2,000-page Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act empower the regulators to take this step. To exercise this momentous power, the regulators must take some initial steps in preparation. And on August 5, 2014, the regulators did just that.

These banks were simply too big to fail (TBTF). What's more, the government's crisis managers actually made the TBTF problem worse by consolidating some of the smaller, failing firms, with the largest failing firms. To JP Morgan's sprawling empire, for example, the government added Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. More...

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How The Coming Silver Price Bubble Will Develop
by Ted Butler
Posted August 28, 2014

silver price manipulatedThe stage is set for something the world has never experienced previously – an asset bubble accompanied with an industrial shortage. The two greatest upward price forces known to man, an asset bubble and a genuine commodity shortage, appear set to combine in silver. Either one, alone, would have a profound impact on the price, but the combination seems both inevitable and almost impossible to contemplate in terms of how high the price of silver could be driven. And it's hard to see how intense investment buying wouldn't trip off industrial user attempted inventory stockpiling or vice versa; it doesn't matter which comes first.

Tying everything together, there is one and only one explanation for why silver is so undervalued and the asset bubble/industrial shortage hasn't occurred yet – the ongoing price manipulation on the COMEX. Massive amounts of paper contracts traded between two groups of large speculators (technical funds and commercials), measuring in the hundreds of millions of ounces and completely unrelated to the supply/demand fundamentals have set the price of silver. This COMEX price control is both the curse and the promise in that it not only explains the undervaluation, it will explain why it seems inevitable for an asset bubble/user shortage to develop. More...

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Plundering the Planet: Rigged Corporate "Free Trade Partnerships" and "Climate Change Agreements"
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted August 27, 2014

plundering the planetWhat do rigged corporate trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Treaty, an international climate agreement to be signed in 2015, have in common? They are both tools being pushed by the power elite to rip away our hopes for democracy and to commodify all things to monetize them for profit.

It is this drive by multinational corporations to patent and control even living beings such as plants and animals and to privatize even elements that are essential to life such as water which connects all human beings on the planet. We are in a global battle of the people versus the plutocrats and this battle has a ticking timer called the climate crisis. More...

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Gold And Silver Low Prices Are NOT The Reason To Own Precious Metals
by Michael Noonan
Posted August 25, 2014

DHS ordered 3 billion hollow point bullets"ISIS poses a greater threat than 9/11. This is way beyond anything we have ever seen. We must prepare for everything. Get ready!" US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.

Whoa, Chuckie...back off a bit, here. Just who do you think it was that helped create the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, aka ISIS, fund them, train them, and provide the best weapons for them? Can you spell U S, as in a part of your title description as Secretary of Defense? Are you really telling America, and the world, that you are actually that clueless?

Nobel Peace Prize recipient and primary world warmonger, Barack Obama, has been itching to start a war in Syria. Why? To stop Russia from achieving its flow of LNG from East to West, a fact to which Obama will not openly admit. Turns out, bloggers on the internet can accept some credit for exposing Obama's false flag excuses for attempting to overthrow Assad. How did Obama's war machine, [mostly CIA-led], plan to oust Assad? By backing ISIS in every way possible: funds, training and weapons. ISIS is as much of an outgrowth of Western [US] meddling in that part of the Middle East as anything else. More...

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Tear Gas, Stun Grenades, Sound Cannons: Companies Profiting From Police Crackdowns Like Ferguson
by Alex Kane
Posted August 24, 2014

Money to be made on conflictSales of all those military grade weapons are making people rich.he tear-gas, rubber bullets and smoke bombs fired in Ferguson, Missouri have fed outrage over police militarization in the U.S. In response to the shocking images, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said, "We need to de-militarize this situation." Journalists reporting live on the demonstrations sparked by the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown expressed befuddlement as to why the police needed high-caliber weapons better suited for war zones than protests in an American city.

But one group of people is decidedly happy about the militarized response in Ferguson: those who work in the weapons industry. The array of police forces--the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Louis county and city police and local Ferguson officers--that descended on the largely black Missouri city have used the products these corporations are selling in abundance. Tear gas, rubber bullets, smoke bombs, stun grenades, armored personnel carriers, sound cannons and high-caliber rifles have all been deployed to quell the unrest, though they have contributed to anger over police tactics. More...

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Senator Elizabeth Warren Versus Paul Krugman on Too Big to Fail
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted August 20, 2014

Elizabeth Warren takes on KrugmanYesterday, Krugman's Dodd-Frank fantasy lost further credibility when Senator Elizabeth Warren released a letter that she and eleven of her Congressional colleagues had sent to the Federal Reserve, warning that one of its Dodd-Frank proposed rules "invites the same sort of backdoor bailout we witnessed five years ago."

Senator Warren and her colleagues clearly smell the possibility of another Citigroup-type situation occurring again. In the letter, they request that the Fed adopt a broader definition of insolvent "so that the Board could not use its emergency lending program to save an institution that is on the verge of bankruptcy." More...

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NAFTA Is 20 Years Old – Here Are 20 Facts That Show How It Is Destroying The Economy
by Michael Snyder
Posted August 18, 2014

TPP why so secretBack in the early 1990s, the North American Free Trade Agreement was one of the hottest political issues in the country. When he was running for president in 1992, Bill Clinton promised that NAFTA would result in an increase in the number of high quality jobs for Americans that it would reduce illegal immigration. Ross Perot warned that just the opposite would happen. He warned that if NAFTA was implemented there would be a "giant sucking sound" as thousands of businesses and millions of jobs left this country. Most Americans chose to believe Bill Clinton. Well, it is 20 years later and it turns out that Perot was right and Clinton was dead wrong. But now history is repeating itself, and most Americans don't even realize that it is happening. As you will read about at the end of this article, Barack Obama has been negotiating a secret trade treaty that is being called "NAFTA on steroids", and if Congress adopts it we could lose millions more good paying jobs.

It amazes me how the American people can fall for the same lies over and over again. The lies that serial liar Barack Obama is telling about "free trade" and the globalization of the economy are the same lies that Bill Clinton was telling back in the early 1990s. More...

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement represents one of the greatest threats to our sovereignty as nations will come under the juristiction of corporate run tribunals.

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The Bank for International Settlements' Backdoor Betrayals
by Bruno de Landevoisin
Posted August 15, 2014

BIS laundered Nazi goldThe Bank for International Settlements, otherwise known as the BIS, should more aptly be named the Bank for International division and domination. It's clearly an institution with global reach, whose hidden covert purpose is to impose the financial globalist's agenda on all sovereign nation states. The above luminous photo is of their luxurious Headquarters.

Ten times a year, once a month except in August and October, a small group of well dressed men arrives in Basel, Switzerland. Carrying elegant overnight bags and stylish brief cases, they discreetly check into the Euler Hotel, across from the railroad station. They come to this quiet city from places as disparate as Tokyo, Paris, Brasília, London, and Washington, D.C., for the regular meeting of the most exclusive, secretive, and powerful supranational club in the world. More...

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Critical Moment To Stop The TPP & Other Rigged Trade Agreements
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted August 14, 2014

TPP is a NAFTA on steroidsThe TPP and TAFTA represent a new era of deception and back-room dealing to pass laws that have nothing to do with trade, but that hand even greater power to multinational corporations to profit from everything no matter the consequences for the health of people and the planet. For the first time, the text of the agreements has been classified and they are being negotiated in secret with hundreds of corporate advisers and minimal involvement by Congress. In order to complete the agreements without transparency and public input, the President has asked Congress to grant him the authority to sign them, 'Fast Track,' a form of Trade Promotion Authority.

As elections get closer, Democratic Party leaders in Congress are getting the message out to inside-the-beltway activists groups that they are unifying to support giving President Obama some form of Fast Track. Congress be warned: The people are watching and are onto the rigged trade corruption scheme. Members of Congress will pay a political price, with the end of their careers, if they continue to force their failed trade strategy on the nation and the world. More...

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The De-industrialization of America
by Paul Craig Roberts, Dave Kranzler, and John Titus
Posted August 13, 2014

closed factoryAlthough you would never know it from the reports from the US financial press, the poor job prospects that Americans face now rival those of India 30 years ago. American university graduates are employed, if they are employed, not as software engineers and managers but as waitresses and bartenders. They do not make enough to have an independent existence and live at home with their parents. Half of those with student loans cannot service them. Eighteen percent are either in collection or behind in their payments. Another 34% have student loans in deferment or forbearance. Clearly, education was not the answer.

Jobs off-shoring, by lowering labor costs and increasing corporate profits, has enriched corporate executives and large shareholders, but the loss of millions of well-paying jobs has made millions of Americans downwardly mobile. In addition, jobs off-shoring has destroyed the growth in consumer demand on which the US economy depends with the result that the economy cannot create enough jobs to keep up with the growth of the labor force. More...

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Engineering Failed States: The Strategy of Global Corporate Imperialism
By Gilbert Mercier
Posted August 12, 2014

corporate imperialismImperialism has long been a collective disease for humanity. In its current perverse capitalist incarnation, imperialism's methods have become even more brutal and ruthless. If the physical destruction of a country's infrastucture is still in the foreground, this is used in conjunction with the creation or revival of civil wars, ethnic or bloody sectarian conflicts in previously stable national entities. Corporate imperialism aims to break the national spirit. The few remaining sovereign nations are the final obstacles to the looming threat of a global transnational corporate empire. Corporate imperialism's only concern is the bottom line: it is on a permanent quest to maximize profit.

It is not about bringing the supposed gift of civilization to savages anymore, unlike the old-fashioned imperialist adventures. In this context, why bother to rebuild the shattered countries when the only goal is to plunder resources, either natural or human? Public resources are allocated to reconstruction, but these resources usually disappear in black holes of corporate war profiteers such as Halliburton in the US. Wrecked countries are never rebuilt because they are easier to exploit while they are in a shambles. More...

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Why Germany is Backing Away from a Trade Deal that Lets Corporations Sue the Government
by Alexis Goldstein
Posted August 9, 2014

rejecting corporate tribunals in TPPThe deal is called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA. It's part of a new wave of large, aggressive trade deals that also includes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) between 12 countries of the Pacific Rim.

Corporations have used the NAFTA tribunals to win big-ticket monetary settlements from the taxpayers of nations whose domestic laws interfere with corporate profits. According to a report by the consumer-rights advocacy group Public Citizen, there are 17 pending claims in which corporations are seeking a total of $38 billion through NAFTA and other deals. More...

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Too Big To Fail Is Alive And More Dangerous Than Ever
by David Stockman
Posted August 8, 2014

Too bog to fail even biggerPractically since the day Lehman went down in September 2008 Washington has been conducting a monumental farce. It has been pretending to up-root the causes of the thundering financial crisis which struck that month and to enact measures insuring that it would never happen again. In fact, however, official policy has done just the opposite.

At the same time, the giant regulatory diversion known as Dodd-Frank has actually permitted the TBTF banks to get even bigger and more dangerous. Indeed, JPM and BAC were taken to their present unmanageable size by regulators—ostensibly fighting the last outbreak of TBTF—who imposed or acquiesced to the shotgun mergers of late 2008. So now these same regulators, who have spent four years stumbling around in the Dodd-Frank puzzle palace confecting thousands of pages of indecipherable regulations, slam their wards for not having sufficiently robust "living wills". C'mon! This is just another Washington double-shuffle. More...

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Don't Be Fooled: Banks Still Too Big to Fail
by Michael Winship
Posted August 6, 2014

banks still too big to failAnalyzing a government report is like eating and digesting a meal — better to take it slowly than gobble quickly and suffer the possible consequences.

Example: last Thursday's report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on whether or not large financial institutions were still perceived as "too big to fail."

The immediate takeaway by many in the media, government and investment community was that the need for a taxpayer subsidy like the bailouts of 2008 "may have declined or reversed in recent years" and, in the words of Mary J. Miller, the Treasury Department's under secretary for domestic finance, "We believe these results reflect increased market recognition of what should now be evident – Dodd-Frank ended 'too big to fail' as a matter of law." But with just a little time to digest the GAO's findings, much of the response has shifted to, "Not so fast." More...

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Internationalists Are Pushing The World Towards Globally Engineered Economic Warfare
by Brandon Smith
Posted August 3, 2014

Bank for International Settlements - Tower of BabelWe are all aware of the prevalence of the false Left/Right paradigm in American politics. Hopefully most people in the Liberty Movement understand, for example, that any impeachment or lawsuit proceedings against Barack Obama will be nothing more than a crafted circus designed to accomplish nothing – a con game to placate conservatives with useless top-down solutions while the country burns around their ears.

It is all about false paradigms; dividing the masses into numerous conflicting sides and pitting them against each other when they should be fighting against the elites.

The false East/West paradigm is perhaps the most dangerous lie facing free men today. It is a lie that may very well define our generation if not our century. I have outlined in multiple articles the substantial evidence that proves beyond a doubt that Russia and China are members of the globalist agenda, and that the tensions between our two hemispheres are completely fabricated. More...

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Will the Global Financial System Survive? What are the Triggers for a Crash?
By Lars Schall
Posted August 2, 2014

financial behemothsThe financial sector is so powerful vis-à-vis politics because a very unhealthy one-sided relationship exists between the political system and the financial industry. Let's take a closer look: How does a government fund itself? It collects taxes, and it sells government bonds. Who buys these government bonds for the most part? Banks and insurance companies! So who holds the reins here? It's the creditor, of course, who gives the commands and who says which laws can and cannot be passed against him. This is also the reason why nothing has changed since the crisis in 2008. The hand that gives is always above the hand that takes.

Moreover, the financial industry has succeeded in establishing structures outside of the law and saturating itself with cheap money from the central banks. This has made them even bigger, more powerful and, most importantly, more systemically important, which has only increased their ability to coerce governments and citizens when the next crisis comes. More...

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You Can't Taper a Ponzi Scheme: Time to Reboot
By Ellen Brown
Posted July 31, 2014

Federal Reserve ChairAt one time, manipulating interest rates was the Fed's stock in trade for managing the money supply; but that tool too has lost its cutting edge. Rates are now at zero, as low as they can go – unless they go negative, meaning the bank charges the depositor interest rather than the reverse. That desperate idea is actually being discussed. Meanwhile, rates are unlikely to be raised any time soon. On July 23rd, Bloomberg reported that the Fed could keep rates at zero through 2015.

One reason rates are unlikely to be raised is that they would make the interest tab on the burgeoning federal debt something taxpayers could not support. According to the Treasury's website, taxpayers pay about $400 billion a year in interest on the federal debt, just as they did in 2006 — although the debt has nearly doubled, from $9 trillion to over $16 trillion. The total interest is kept low by extremely low interest rates. More...

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Forget What They Say And Watch What They Do
by Mark St. Cyr
Posted July 30, 2014

bail in = confiscationOne of the (and I do mean the) most ominous signs I have seen over the last few years where if something were to go wrong the very place that is supposedly the safest in most people's eyes and where a great bulk of ordinary people's money is parked; was just quietly approved permission that in the event they deem as "a panic" (my word not theirs) they will put up gates. i.e., Separate you from your money.

This seemingly inconsequential event as is being portrayed by the under reporting of it through out all the media is absolutely breath-taking. The vast majority of people have absolutely no clue, and for all intents and purposes appear to not want too either. This is where things can go bad very, very, quickly in my opinion.

The troubling fact that gives this issue credence as the one you should pay close attention to, is when you also hear in concert heads of state from not only other countries but right here at home where the tenor and tone starts to ring tones of "bail in" i.e., Bail out was how the banks got your money via you tax dollars. Bail in will be how the banks are going to get your money via your deposits. That's what surely is being proposed or considered should another crisis occur and the banks need to be bailed out – again. More...

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Israel Grants First Golan Heights Oil Drilling License To Dick Cheney-Linked Company
by Michael B. Kelley
Posted July 24, 2014

Dick Cheney crony capitalistIsrael has granted a U.S. company the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights, John Reed of the Financial Times reports.

A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy — which is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — will now have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights.

That geographic location will likely prove controversial. Israel seized the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. Its administration of the area — which is not recognized by international law — has been mostly peaceful until the Syrian civil war broke out 23 months ago. More...

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You Know a Politician or Talking Head Is Clueless When...
by Rudy Avizius
Posted July 20, 2014

Often you watch TV and some politician or talking head starts spouting on some subject as if they are an expert in that field. It is easy to be taken in unless you are knowledgeable in that subject. This video is on a subject that affects everyone (money) and after watching it, you will be able to spot a clueless politician or talking head.

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Capitalism's Deeper Problem
By Richard D Wolff
Posted July 18, 2014

deep problems in capitalismRecent press reports refer to troubling price increases for such assets as real estate, government bonds, companies targeted for acquisition and artwork. A New York Times front-page headline read "The Everything Boom, or Maybe the Everything Bubble."

Yet while asset prices soar, the production of goods and services, employment and workers' incomes are not recovering and resuming growth. Instead, Western Europe, North America and Japan are stuck in a longer, deeper crisis than almost anyone expected. Millions have left the labor force. Wages, benefits and job security are declining; the so-called "middle classes" are evaporating. Having promised "recoveries," desperate governments inject massive new quantities of money into their economies. What they accomplish most are fast-rising asset prices. More...

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The Real Purpose Of The IMF
by Luke Eastwood
Posted July 16, 2014

IMF = Debt slaveryTo much trumpeting the IMF have kindly agreed to help out desperate and war torn Ukraine. How wonderful they are we are all meant to think, but the truth couldn't be more opposite.

The International Monetary Fund was set up in 1945, describing itself as an "organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world."

This all sounds very laudable, but in reality the IMF has a very different purpose from that which is stated. If you look at the history of the IMF's intervention in countries around the world you will see a trail of disaster and looting that repeats time and time again wherever they go. More...

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U.S. Government Ties El Salvador USD 277 M Aid Package to Monsanto's GMO Seeds
by John and Ocean Robins
Posted July 11, 2014

Monsanto harmful corporationIt has come to light that the U.S. government is withholding $277 million in aid money from El Salvador in order to pressure it to accept Monsanto's GM seeds.

The President of the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technologies (CESTA), Ricardo Navarro, has demanded that the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, stops pressurizing the Government of El Salvador to buy Monsanto's GM seeds rather than non-GMO seeds from domestic suppliers. "There is a harmful corporation on the planet called Monsanto … it is truly disturbing that the U.S. is trying to promote them …" concluded Navarro, who hopes that the Members of the El Salvadoran Legislative Assembly do not accept any manipulation by the U.S. More...

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18 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Accelerating As We Enter H2 2014
by Michael Snyder
Posted July 4, 2014

economic crisis accelaeratingA lot of people that I talk to these days want to know "when things are going to start happening". Well, there are certainly some perilous times on the horizon, but all you have to do is open up your eyes and look to see the global economic crisis unfolding. As you will see below, even central bankers are issuing frightening warnings about "dangerous new asset bubbles" and even the World Bank is declaring that "now is the time to prepare" for the next crisis.

Most Americans tend to only care about what is happening in the United States, but the truth is that serious economic trouble is erupting in South America, all across Europe and in Asian powerhouses such as China and Japan. And the endless conflicts in the Middle East could erupt into a major regional war at just about any time. We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and people need to understand that the period of relative stability that we are enjoying right now is extremely vulnerable and will not last long. More...

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Detroit and Iraq: Plundered by the Same Bandits
By Margaret Kimberley
Posted June 28, 2014

Detroit plundered by criminals in suitsThe ugly face of empire and disaster capitalism is visible all over the world. Detroit, Michigan, was once a thriving city but was sent into a tailspin by the deindustrialization of the United States, white flight, and institutional racism which blamed black people who were in fact the victims of catastrophe. The coup de grace was delivered by big banks like UBS, Bank of America and Barclays, which sold risky derivatives schemes to corrupt Detroit politicians. When the financial deal inevitably headed south, the banks were the creditors first in line for a payout.

Far back in that line were the workers and people of Detroit. The emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, whose very position they had voted against establishing, rules the city. The new mayor is a figurehead and the people have no representation as the Republican governor and emergency manager remake the city for capital and the gentrifying settler class. "All of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's incompetence could not have created the ongoing occupation of Detroit by the thieves in high places." More...

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Another Secret Trade Agreement - TISA
by James Hall
Posted June 26, 2014

WikiLeaks gets the truth outThe significance of the TPP -Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the TTIP - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement has your head spinning already, now add another globalist gift to the Corporatocracy model of total trade domination, the TISA - Trade In Services Agreement. According to the trade group, Coalition of Service Industries, "the TISA is currently being negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland with 50 participants that represent 70 percent of the world's trade in services . . .

Just one question, that never seems to get an answer. Why do all these "so called" beneficial trade agreements doom the United States to a permanent balance of trade deficit? More...

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Buying Up the Planet: Out-of-control Central Banks on a Corporate Buying Spree
by Ellen Brown
Posted June 21, 2014

Central banks buying real assets with paper they printedCentral banks have the power to create national currencies with accounting entries, and they are traditionally very secretive. We are not allowed to peer into their books. It took a major lawsuit by Reuters and a congressional investigation to get the Fed to reveal the $16-plus trillion in loans it made to bail out giant banks and corporations after 2008.

What is to stop a foreign bank from simply printing its own currency and trading it on the currency market for dollars, to be invested in the US stock market or US real estate market? What is to stop central banks from printing up money competitively, in a mad rush to own the world's largest companies? More...

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The Death Of The Rust Belt
by Michael Snyder
Posted June 20, 2014

rust beltIf you want your country to have a great economy it has got to produce wealth. And one of the primary ways to produce wealth is to make stuff. Immediately after World War II, the United States had the greatest manufacturing base the world had ever seen and we outproduced the rest of the planet combined. Great manufacturing cities sprouted up all over America and the middle class thrived. It was truly a great time to be an American.

But then we decided to start shipping in cheaper products from overseas. At first it didn't create too much of a problem for our massive economy, but eventually the floodgates opened up and we lost tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities and millions upon millions of good paying jobs. Our labor pool was merged with the labor pool of countries such as communist China where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to manufacturing workers. Needless to say, our workers could not compete with that and our middle class started to shrink rapidly. More...

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Extreme Acts of Greed Against the American People
by Paul Bucheit
Posted June 17, 2014

police protecting and serving the richExamples of extreme inequality are becoming easier to find. Progressive leaders have us thinking about revolution. If a revolution is to take place, Americans - especially young Americans - need to know the facts, and they need to know how they're getting cheated, and they need to get angry. The following should help.

U.S. wealth grew from $47 trillion to $72 trillion in the four years after the recession, largely as a reflection of continued American productivity. In other words, a full one-third of the total wealth in the U.S. in 2013 was generated since 2009. But the richest 10 percent took all of it.

That's $6 trillion per year in new wealth for the rich. In contrast, the total annual cost of 'entitlements' and the safety net is less than $2 trillion. More...

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The New World Order And The Rise Of The East
by Brandon Smith
Posted June 6, 2014

New World OrderThe call on both sides for a new monetary system and the end of the dollar as world reserve seems to greatly contradict the fantasy that the East and West are fundamentally at odds. The progression towards a world currency and/or economic governance also appears to be growing along with the consolidation of economic and military ties between Eastern nations. This would suggest that the rise of the East and the crippling of Western elements is actually advantageous to global bankers in the long term.

While disinformation agents and media shills have attempted to downplay any danger to the strength of America and the dollar, Eastern governments have been swiftly establishing alliances and decoupling from U.S. influence. More...

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Infrastructure Sticker Shock: Financing Costs More Than Construction
By Ellen Brown
Posted June 3, 2014

bonds double infrastructure costsFunding infrastructure through bonds doubles the price or worse. Costs can be cut in half by funding through the state's own bank. A general rule for government bonds is that they double the cost of projects, once interest has been paid. The San Francisco Bay Bridge earthquake retrofit was originally slated to cost $6.3 billion, but that was just for salaries and physical materials. With interest and fees, the cost to taxpayers and toll-payers will be over $12 billion.

There is another alternative. In the last five years, China has managed to build an impressive 4000 miles of high-speed rail. Where did it get the money? The Chinese government has a hidden funding source: it owns its own banks. That means it gets its financing effectively interest-free. More...

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Bilderberg 2014: War Criminals, Big Oil and "Too Big to Jail" Banksters Meet in Secrecy
By Julie Lévesque
Posted June 2, 2014

BIlderbergers - No New World orderThe highly secretive Bilderberg group is holding its 62nd annual conference in Denmark from May 29 to June 1 at the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel in Denmark. This year's conference is a mingling of military-intelligence, politicians, finance, oil, media, academia and neocon think tanks. (Click here for the official list of attendees. Note that there are always participants who are not mentioned on the list given to the public.)

While Bilderberg claims its annual conference is "to foster dialogue between Europe and North America", the Worldwide monetary system as well as the US-NATO global war agenda are slated to be discussed behind closed doors. According to Bilderberg expert Daniel Estulin, the group went as far as planning the 2008 economic crisis. More...

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U.S. Retail Economic Death Rattle Grows Louder
by James Quinn
Posted May 28, 2014

Space Available- growing trendThe absolute collapse in retail visitor counts is the warning siren that this country is about to collide with the reality Americans have run out of time, money, jobs, and illusions. The exponential growth model, built upon a never ending flow of consumer credit and an endless supply of cheap fuel, has reached its limit of growth. The titans of Wall Street and their puppets in Washington D.C. have wrung every drop of faux wealth from the dying middle class. There are nothing left but withering carcasses and bleached bones.

Once the Wall Street created fraud collapsed and the waves of delusion subsided, retailers have been revealed to be swimming naked. Their relentless expansion, based on exponential growth, cannibalized itself, new store construction ground to a halt, sales and profits have declined, and the inevitable closing of thousands of stores has begun. More...

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The (Other) Truth About The Financial Crisis: 10 "Geithner-Sized" Myths Exposed
by Jennifer Taub
Posted May 26, 2014

bank fraudAfter the crisis, many expected that the blameworthy would be punished or at the least be required to return their ill-gotten gains—but they weren't, and they didn't. Many thought that those who were injured would be made whole, but most weren't. And many hoped that there would be a restoration of the financial safety rules to ensure that industry leaders could no longer gamble the equity of their firms to the point of ruin. This didn't happen, but it's not too late. It is useful, then, to identify the persistent myths about the causes of the financial crisis and the resulting Dodd-Frank reform legislation and related implementation.

Deregulation and regulatory forbearance—too little regulation, rather than too much—contributed to the crisis. The entire toxic- mortgage supply chain was enabled by decades of deregulation and desupervision. The Levin-Coburn Report included more than eighty pages focused exclusively on the regulatory failure at one agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). It also made recommendations for further reform beyond Dodd-Frank's changes. More...

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Detroit Statement
by Matt Stannard
Posted May 22, 2014

People fighting Wall Street bankersIn solidarity with the people of Detroit, we call for a public solution to the crises caused by predatory banks and crony capitalism.

Detroit's "bankruptcy" demonstrates the failure of the big bank model to fulfill the obligations that enable the American dream. In the early 20th Century, as industrialization of cities increased in earnest, Detroit and other cities developed around a social contract –embodied in documents such as the "Treaty of Detroit" between the United Auto Workers and General Motors in 1950. The excesses of capitalism would be tempered by community responsibility; working class people would benefit along with the owning class; and shared sacrifice would minimize the impacts when times were bad.

We salute the people of Detroit for resisting a bail-in bankruptcy they did not create. We call on state, county, and municipal governments to open public banks. We ask policy makers and citizens to take further steps to democratize our economy. More...

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The Privatization Scam: 5 Horror Stories of Gov't Outsourcing to Greedy Private Companies
By Dave Johnson
Posted May 17, 2014

privatization of public assetsHere's the scam: For decades we've been subjected to constant propaganda that government is inefficient and bureaucratic and expensive. We're told that the answer is to "privatize," or "outsource" government functions to private businesses and they will do things more efficiently and everyone comes out ahead. As a result we have experienced decades of privatization of government functions.

So how has wave of privatization this worked out? Has privatization saved taxpayers money and improved services to citizens? Simple answer: of course not. If a company can make a profit doing something the government had been doing, it means that we're losing out one way or another. It's simple math. And the result of falling for the privatization scam is that taxpayers have been fleeced, services to citizens have been cut way back and communities have been made poorer. But the companies that convinced governments to hand over public functions have gotten rich off of the deal. How is this a surprise? More...

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Hoenig: Wall Street Banks "Excessively Leveraged" at 22 to 1 Ratios
By Pam Martens
Posted May 12, 2014

Ex Fed syas banks overleveragedThis past Wednesday, Thomas Hoenig, the Vice Chairman of the FDIC and former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, gave a presentation to the Boston Economic Club warning that Dodd-Frank has not put an end to taxpayer bailouts. Hoenig explained why in plain-spoken language the average person can absorb.

Hoenig has consistently shown the courage of his convictions in calling for breaking up the biggest Wall Street banks through the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act (strongly advocated by Wall Street On Parade as well) and warning that the complexity, leverage and interconnectedness of Wall Street banks that brought on the 2008 financial collapse has not ended. More...

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Time to Act: Pension Funds are Drying Up
By Peter Krauth
Posted April 28, 2014

stealing pensionsOn numerous occasions, I've told you to remain on lookout for threats to your savings, including the proposed new MyRA account. If you've been counting on your pension, whether from work or even Social Security, you may want to revise those plans, as most are way underfunded.

Research by Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund, estimates that 85% of public pensions could go bust within 30 years. Public pension funds currently have about $3 trillion in assets, but will need to pay out nearly $10 trillion over the next several decades. That would require average annual returns around 9%, but Bridgewater estimates they'll only earn about 4%, leaving pensions severely underfunded as paid benefits exceed contributions and returns. More..

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP): When Foreign Investors Sue the State
By Martin Khor
Posted April 23, 2014

TPP- great deal for the 1 percentThe investor-state dispute system, whereby foreign investors can sue the host-country government in an international tribunal, is one of the issues being negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

In the public debate surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), an issue that seems to stand out is the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system. It would enable foreign investors of TPPA countries to directly sue the host government in an international tribunal.

Under the clause on fair and equitable treatment, which is contained in many existing trade and investment treaties, investors have sued on the ground of non-renewal or change in the terms of a licence or contract and changes in policies or regulations that the investor claims will reduce its future profits. Finally, investors can sue on the ground of "indirect expropriation". Tribunals have ruled in favour of investors that claimed losses due to government policies or regulations, such as tighter health and environmental regulations. More...

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'Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt,' by Michael Lewis
A Review by Susan Antilla
Posted April 22, 2014

Flash Boys, Wall Street revoltEvery reporter who's gone a few rounds with the powers that be on Wall Street recognizes the cue that they're on to something: The broker or bank executive or snarly in-house flack derides you as a flaming idiot for your ill-advised view of their very important work.

For his new book, "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt," Michael Lewis has earned recognition in some Wall Street circles as the flaming idiot of the moment. The most likely explanation is that his polemic against the stock market abuses of high-frequency traders has struck an acutely touchy nerve.

"Flash Boys" deconstructs the byzantine world of Wall Street's high-frequency stock trading, the algorithm-driven transactions considered a boon to smooth and inexpensive markets by some, an exploitative labyrinth by others. More...

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World Bank Whistleblower Reveals How The Global Elite Rules The World
By Michael Snyder
Posted April 21, 2014

global elite rule the worldKaren Hudes is a graduate of Yale Law School and she worked in the legal department of the World Bank for more than 20 years. In fact, when she was fired for blowing the whistle on corruption inside the World Bank, she held the position of Senior Counsel.

She was in a unique position to see exactly how the global elite rules the world, and the information that she is now revealing to the public is absolutely stunning. According to Hudes, the elite uses a very tight core of financial institutions and mega-corporations to dominate the planet.

Karen HudesThe goal is control. They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns. Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works. More...

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The Global Money Matrix: The Forces behind America's Economic Destruction
By Dr. Gary Null
Posted April 19, 2014

Money matrix destructionIn the midst of this economic turmoil there is one group that still manages to flourish: the global elite. With more than $32 trillion stashed in offshore banks around the world, the wealth of the so-called "1%" is staggeringly obscene and grows by the day.[vii] Their aggregate wealth, larger than the US GDP and national debt combined, is a testament to the tremendous influence and lobbying power held by a coterie of private interests that dominate nearly every sector of society.

Instead of reining in the inordinate control exercised by the elite, most of our elected officials have become little more than shills for these corporate overlords, creating policies that favor their campaign donors instead of the American people. Hundreds of millions of dollars were funneled into Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign by donors whose business affiliations run the gamut from real estate and finance to media and law firms. More...

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What's the Difference Between Fascism, Communism and Crony-Capitalism? Nothing
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted April 18, 2014

no difference between fascism and crony capitalismThe essence of crony-capitalism is the merger of state and corporate power--the definition of fascism.When it comes to the real world, the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is semantic. Let's start with everyone's favorite hot-word, fascism, which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini defined as "the merger of state and corporate power." In other words, the state and corporate cartels are one system.

The essence of crony-capitalism is of course the merger of state and corporate power. There are two sets of laws, one for the non-elites and one for cronies, and two kinds of capitalism: the free-market variety for small businesses that are unprotected by the state and the crony variety for corporations, cartels and state fiefdoms protected by the state.

Since crony-capitalism is set up to benefit parasitic politicos and their private-sector cartel benefactors, reform is impossible. Even the most obviously beneficial variety of reform--for example, simplifying the 4 million-word U.S. tax code--is politically impossible, regardless of who wins the electoral equivalent of a game show (i.e. Demopublicans vs. Republicrats). More...

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The Hedge Fund Managers Tax Break: Because Wall Streeters Want Your Money
By Dean Baker
Posted April 16, 2014

Wall Street wants your moneyThe coming of tax day provides a great opportunity for everyone to focus on their favorite tax break, and there are many from which to choose. However for all the sneaky and squirrelly ways that the rich use to escape their tax liability, none can beat the hedge fund managers' tax break. This is the way the rich tell the rest of us, because they are rich and powerful, the law doesn't apply to them.

The hedge fund managers' tax break, which is also known as the carried interest tax deduction, is different from other tax breaks in that it has no economic rationale. With most other tax breaks there is at least an argument as to how it serves some socially useful purpose. That is not the case with the hedge fund managers' tax break. This is simply a case where the rich don't feel like paying taxes and are saying to the rest of us, "what are you going to do about it?" More...

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How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule
by New Economy Working Group
Posted April 15, 2014

Liberate the U.S. from Wall StreetHow to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule is a report of the New Economy Working Group produced in collaboration with the New Economy Network; it is an outcome of a series of conversations focused on building a policy agenda for transforming our money system. David Korten is the lead author; participating organizations include Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, Capital Institute, Democracy Collaborative, Green America, Institute for Policy Studies, Living Economies Forum, New Economy Network, New Rules Project, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Public Banking Institute, RSF Social Finance, and YES! Magazine.

The report calls for building a money/banking/finance system of local financial institutions that are transparent, accountable, rooted in community and dedicated to funding activities that build community wealth and meet community needs. The proposed system will look quite similar to the one that existed in the United States before the wave of financial deregulation that began in the 1960s. The How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule report briefly traces that history, outlines its devastating consequences, and presents an agenda for corrective action to change the system rules, structure, and culture. More...

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Fault Runs Deep in Ultrafast Trading
By Andrew Ross Sorkin
Posted April 13, 2014

high frequency trading rigs the market"The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism, is rigged." That's what Michael Lewis told Steve Kroft on the CBS show "60 Minutes" on Sunday evening. It was a clever, if hyperbolic, way for Mr. Lewis to describe the topic of his important new book, "Flash Boys," a make-your-blood-boil read about the abusive way that high-frequency trading works.

Mr. Lewis's well-crafted narrative highlights a perverse system on Wall Street that has allowed certain professional investors to pay hundreds of millions of dollars a year to locate their computer servers close to stock exchanges so they can make trades milliseconds ahead of everyone else.

In some cases, the superfast investors are able to glean crucial information from the stream of trading data flowing into their systems that allows them to see what stocks other investors are about to buy before they are able to complete their orders. More...

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Is the US or the World Coming to an End?
by Paul Craig Roberts (Asst Secretary of the Treasury under the Reagan Administration)
Posted April 12, 2014

Us or world collapse?2014 is shaping up as a year of reckoning for the United States.Two pressures are building on the US dollar. One pressure comes from the Federal Reserve's declining ability to rig the price of gold as Western gold supplies shrivel and market knowledge of the Fed's illegal price rigging spreads. The evidence of massive amounts of naked shorts being dumped into the paper gold futures market at times of day when trading is thin is unequivocal. It has become obvious that the price of gold is being rigged in the futures market in order to protect the dollar's value from QE.

The other pressure arises from the Obama regime's foolish threats of sanctions on Russia. Other countries are no longer willing to tolerate Washington's abuse of the world dollar standard. Washington uses the dollar-based international payments system to inflict damage on the economies of countries that resist Washington's political hegemony. More...

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Money, Money, Everywhere
By Rep. Alan Grayson
Posted April 7, 2014

not helping Main StreetIn an age of disparity, corporate wealth is far from an indicator of economic health. Companies sitting on cash—the financial newsletter thinks that this is great news! Spectacular news! How nice—for them.

Here is more great news for Big Business: Corporations have been largely excused from paying taxes. The Government Accountability Office found earlier this year that the average effective tax rate on U.S. corporations is only 12.6 percent of their income. That's low enough to make Mitt Romney jealous. Hooray, say the financial newsletters! More spectacular news!

But what about the non-corporate entities in America? How are those bags of flesh and bones known as "human beings" faring? More...

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All The Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power
by Naomi Prins
Posted April 6, 2014

government partnersWhile the protests against the Vietnam War intensified in the first years of the Nixon administration, the financial elite was fighting its own war—over the future of banking and against Glass-Steagall regulations. National City Bank chairman Walter Wriston was a steadfast warrior in related battles, as he fought with Chase chairman David Rockefeller for supremacy over the US banker community and for dominance over global finance.

Rockefeller's sights were set on a grander prize, one with worldwide implications: ending the financial cold war. He made his mark in that regard by opening the first US bank in Moscow since the 1920s, and the first in Beijing since the 1949 revolution. Augmenting their domestic and international expansion plans, both men and their banks prospered from the emerging and extremely lucrative business of recycling petrodollars from the Middle East into third world countries. By acting as the middlemen—capturing oil revenues and transforming them into high-interest-rate loans, to Latin America in particular—bankers accentuated disparities in global wealth. More...

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Tax Dodging Companies Hoarding Nearly One Trillion Overseas
by Andrea Germanos
Posted April 2, 2014

tax cheats hurt Main StreetNew analysis, hearing, report make clear: tax dodging corporations siphon revenue that could help Main Street. Profits for U.S. companies are at a record high, yet companies have hoarded nearly one trillion overseas to dodge U.S. taxes, a new Moody's analysis shows.

The findings, based on an analysis that looked at U.S. non-financial, Moody's-rated companies, also reveal that these companies had stockpiled $1.64 trillion in cash at the end of 2013. That's about up about 12 percent from the year before.Leading the pack of cash hoarders is Apple, which stockpiled $158.8 billion last year.One of the companies exploiting tax loopholes to avoid paying U.S. taxes is Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar, which was scrutinized Tuesday at a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing. More...

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How Wall Street Is Sucking Huge Amounts of Money from Los Angeles
By Les Leopold
Posted March 28, 2014

Wall street parasitesLos Angeles paid at least $204 million in fees to Wall Street in 2013, and probably significantly more, in addition to principle and interest payments, according to the report, "No Small Fees: LA Spends More on Wall Street than Our Streets." The study, issued today by a coalition of unions and community organizations, shows that due to revenue losses from the "Great Recession," L.A. "all but stopped repairing sidewalks, clearing alleys and installing speed bumps. It stopped inspecting sewers, resulting in twice the number of sewer overflows." L.A. spends at least $51 million more in Wall Street in fees than it allocates for its entire budget for the Bureau of Street Services.

The researchers caution that the $204 million figure likely underestimates the true amount, because under current disclosure rules, deals made with private equity companies and hedge funds do not have to be publically disclosed. Also, because the city does not list all these fees in one centralized report, hundreds of individual documents must be reviewed to uncover the amounts. More...

Los Angeles could easily avoid these "fees" and interest payments by simply starting its own public bank. However, that may prove difficult as Wall Street will send its lobbyists with their $2000 suits to "persuade" the city legislators why they should continue with the current system of money redistribution from the city to Wall Street.

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A First Look At New Report On Crony Capitalism – Trillions In Corporate Welfare
by Michael Krieger
Posted March 28, 2014

crony capitalismOne of the primary topics on this website since it was launched has been the extremely destructive and explosive rise of crony capitalism throughout the USA. It is crony capitalism, as opposed to free markets, that has led to the gross inequality in American society we have today. Cronyism for the super wealthy starts at the very top with the Federal Reserve System, which consists of topdown economic central planners who manipulate the money supply and hence interest rates for the benefit of the financial oligarch class. It then trickles down through lobbyist money into the halls of Washington D.C., and ultimately filters down to local governments and then the average person on the street gaming welfare or disability.

As such, we now live in a culture of corruption and theft that is pervasive throughout society. One thing that bothers me to no end is when fake Republicans focus their criticism on struggling people who need welfare or food stamps to survive. They have this absurd notion that the whole welfare system doesn't start with the multinational corporations and Central Banks at the top. In reality, it is at the top where the cancer starts, and that's where we should focus in order to achieve real change. More...

In the time it takes a person to complain about the food stamp recipient buying a candy bar, Exxon will have received $9,000 in government subsidies.

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"Fairy Tale" Economics: "Sovereign Debt Default is Impossible"
By Matthias Chang
Posted March 26, 2014

Fairy tale economicsWhat prompted me to write the present article is because some central bankers have been spewing nonsense, and because if many out there don't use common sense, they will suffer enormous financial losses. Anyone who agrees that there can be no sovereign defaults has a fickle memory or no memory at all. Additionally, they have also forgotten the economic dogmas spread by Nobel Laureates, central bankers, financial advisers etc. which alas turned out to be fairy tales. And it was only just five years ago. People do have short memories.

Before we get to the bottom of the impossibility of sovereign defaults, let's examine some other "impossibilities" often touted by the so-called economic experts, those that have the "magical" alphabets behind their names – PhD, especially from Ivy League universities. I prefer to call these so-called experts "Phony Donkeys". No doubt there are exceptions, but not many. More..

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The Fourteen Year Economic Recession
by James Quinn
Posted March 25, 2014

stealing from the workersThe owners of this country (bankers, billionaires, corporate titans, politicians) want more for themselves and less for everyone else. They want an educational system that creates ignorant, obedient, vacuous, obese dullards who question nothing, consume mass quantities of corporate processed fast food, gaze at iGadgets, are easily susceptible to media propaganda and compliant to government regulations and directives. They don't want highly educated, critical thinking, civil minded, well informed, questioning citizens understanding how badly they have been screwed over the last century. I'm sorry to say, your owners are winning in a landslide.

We've become a nation of techno-narcissistic, math challenged, reality TV distracted, welfare entitled, materialistic, gluttonous, indebted consumers of Chinese slave labor produced crap. There are more Americans who know the name of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's bastard child (North West) than know the name of our Secretary of State (Ketchup Kerry). Americans can generate a text or tweet with blinding speed but couldn't give you change from a dollar bill if their life depended upon it. While the ignorant masses are worked into a frenzy by the media propaganda machine over gay marriage, diversity, abortion, climate change, and never ending wars on poverty, drugs and terror, our owners use their complete capture of the financial, regulatory, political, judicial and economic systems to pillage the remaining national wealth they haven't already extracted. More...

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25 Fast Facts About The Federal Reserve: "Biggest Ponzi Scheme in World History"
By Michael Snyder
Posted March 20, 2014

Federal ReserveAs we approach the 100 year anniversary of the creation of the Federal Reserve, it is absolutely imperative that we get the American people to understand that the Fed is at the very heart of our economic problems. It is a system of money that was created by the bankers and that operates for the benefit of the bankers. The American people like to think that we have a "democratic system", but there is nothing "democratic" about the Federal Reserve. Unelected, unaccountable central planners from a private central bank run our financial system and manage our economy.

There is a reason why financial markets respond with a yawn when Barack Obama says something about the economy, but they swing wildly whenever Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke opens his mouth. The Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else does by a huge margin. The Fed is the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of the world, and if the American people truly understood how it really works, they would be screaming for it to be abolished immediately. The following are 25 fast facts about the Federal Reserve that everyone should know. More...

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Today We're All Irish: Debt Serfdom Comes to America
By Ellen Brown
Posted March 19, 2014

debt is the slavery of the "free"In the American South (mainly New Orleans), the Irish lived in swamp land infested with disease. Here, Irish men were looked upon as actually lower than slaves. As one historian put it, if a plantation owner lost a slave, he lost an investment; if he lost a laborer, he could always get another. Because the Irish workers were plentiful and expendable, they were often sent in to do dangerous jobs for which the slave-owners were reluctant to send their valuable slaves.

This form of "debt slavery" or "debt peonage" was not just an accidental development of history. It was a deliberately-planned alternative to the slave arrangement in which owners were responsible for the feeding and care of a dependent population, and it is still with us today. Although European financiers were in favor of an American Civil War that would return the United States to its colonial status, they admitted privately that they were not necessarily interested in preserving slavery. They preferred "the European plan": capital could exploit labor by controlling the money supply, while letting the laborers feed themselves. More...

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Why commercial banks should support a publicly-owned SuperBank in Florida
By Farid Khavari
Posted March 18, 2014

public bank for FloridaTo many bankers, the first thing that comes to mind when a publicly-owned bank is proposed is "socialism". In fact, a publicly-owned bank could be the best thing that ever happened for Florida's banks, and the correct term is "Public Capitalism."

A publicly-owned SuperBank can create jobs by organizing and financing demand, and by reducing costs that otherwise absorb disposable income. A publicly owned bank can mop up the inventory of foreclosed homes and finance them for customers who would not otherwise qualify, by keeping low-interest short term mortgages in the bank's filing cabinet instead of reselling them. Most importantly, by monetizing new activity the SuperBank would inject billions of dollars per year into Florida's economy. As long as the money created supports new wealth-creating activity, adding money to the system is not inflationary. More...

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Vermonters Want To Try a New Way of Banking
By Kevin Mathews
Posted March 15, 2014

building a new economyVermont is currently considering massive changes in the way it conducts banking by instituting a public bank of its own.

The proposal would give Vermont Economic Development Authority a banking license and allocate it 10% of taxes collected by the state, rather than the current scenario where large banks outside of the state hold (and use) Vermont's money. With Vermont in control of its own finances, the state could use the money to fund projects that benefit the state and local economies, including granting loans to Vermonters.

More than 20 Vermont towns met this month to weigh the merits of public banking and the response was extremely favorable. By a margin of about 2:1, Vermonters advocated for public banking. More...

This is a critical first step in taking power away from Wall Street and giving back to the people. The Money Changers realize that if this trend were to spread, it would be a stake in their vampire hearts. Watch carefully as the Money Changers get their puppets in the media to criticize, ridicule, and generally trash this public bank in their efforts to protect the money flow into their coffers.

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Cloudy With a Chance of Radicalism. Or... Turning the Tables on the Big Banks?
By Hannah Appel & JP Massar
Posted March 14, 2014

Eminent Domain to save homeownersIn an earlier essay, Hannah and I told the story of Richmond, California, a small city with big plans to end its foreclosure crisis via a novel use of eminent domain.

If successful, this plan could set a nationwide precedent, and Strike Debt Bay Area (@StrikedebtBA), among other groups, is fighting to push it through against pressure from big banks and big government alike. But there's a new twist on the concept of using eminent domain that could have far wider implications not only for the foreclosure crisis, but also for the power of big banks. In this post we explore that twist - referred to here as "clouded chain of title" - and its potential implications. More...

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The Real Story Behind the Detroit Pension Fight and What it Means to America's Future
By Lynn Stuart Parramore
Posted March 9, 2014

is Detroit the canary in the cloal mine for the 99%?Is Detroit the canary in the coal mine for the 99 percent?

When the city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in July 2013, America sucked in a collective gasp. This was the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history by the amount of debt ($18–20 billion), and Detroit was the largest city ever to officially go bust.

A few months before the bankruptcy, the state of Michigan appointed an emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, to sort things out in Motor City. Orr was given extraordinary powers to rewrite contracts and liquidate some of the city's most valuable assets. The burning question: Who would be responsible for the enormous debt? Soon enough it became clear that the folks who would be asked to take the hit were not those who created the problems. Just as in so many other parts of the world in the wake of the 2007-'08 financial meltdown, innocent people who did nothing but get up every day and go to work would be asked to pay the bill. More...

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The Powers and Abuses of America's Mega-Corporations
By Dr. Gary G. Kohls
Posted March 6, 2014

buying powerIn 2010 the NeoConservative, pro-corporate, anti-democratic Roberts' 5/4 Supreme Court's decided in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling to grant personhood to corporations by allowing unlimited, anonymous monetary contributions to political campaigns and candidates. This ruling, called by many to be the worst Supreme Court decision of the past century, has emboldened the already powerful and corruptible multinational corporations (that now have achieved dominion over US politics as well as the economy) to "buy" any number of politicians and brain-wash voters by multi-million dollar ad campaigns that the rest of us can't afford to counter in state and national elections.

The US Supreme Court has thus made legal the absurd notion that inanimate corporations like PolyMet and GTac (potential despoilers of northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin's irreplaceable wetlands, aquifers and aboriginal land and water rights) deserve the same privileges (but not the same responsibilities) as living humans. More...

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The National Debt Cannot Be Paid Off
by Keith Weiner
Posted February 28, 2014

debt can never be repayedTo understand debt, credit and the importance of redemption, consider Joe borrowing sugar from neighbor Sue. To pay Sue back, Joe goes to the store, buys sugar and hands it to Sue. Not only is Sue repaid; the debt goes out of existence—it is extinguished. Borrowing money used to be like borrowing sugar. The repayment of debt in gold-backed dollars settled the loan and wiped the debt clean.

Not anymore, since Nixon detached the dollar from gold. By making people pay with paper-only dollars, each debt is transferred, not cleared.

Suppose Sue owed Joe $1,000, then hands Joe ten $100 bills. Sue gets out of the debt loop. But now the Fed owes Joe the $1,000. What does Joe do? He deposits his cash in a bank. Now the bank owes Joe money, while the Fed owes the bank. What does the bank do? It buys a Treasury bond. Now the Treasury owes the bank. And so on. More...

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State banks would mean jobs, credit and investment: Why don't we?
by Systemic Disorder
Posted February 23, 2014

jobs, investment, and lower taxesOne of the many problems with the current banking system is that your tax money helps fuel speculation. Unless there is a public bank that your local government can place deposits into, revenues are the playthings of big banks.

Some of that money will go toward investment via loans — at a hefty profit to the bank, of course — but a significant portion will go toward risky, socially harmful speculation. What if these public funds were instead put in a professionally run public bank? There would be more funds available for investment, significant savings on interest costs and more jobs would be created. That is the conclusion of a series of studies examining the issue. More...

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