End the illusion banner

Social Articles 2009

.

One Nation Under Surveillance
Share |
.
 

An Open Letter to the Federal Reserve
by Matt Koppenheffer and Morgan Housel
Posted November 22, 2009

We are writing today to formally solicit your help in obtaining approvals to start a new bank holding company, Money Unlimited. We of course understand that the approval process for a new bank is typically done through the FDIC, but as the Federal Reserve plays a crucial role in our business plan, we hope that you can expedite the process.

It's quite simple, really. We're going to borrow money from the Federal Reserve at 0%, then lend it back out to the U.S. Treasury at 3%. The Treasury can then use that money for fantastic programs like Cash for Clunkers. If we leverage our $1 billion asset base 20-to-1, we'll pull in $600 million in year one without breaking a sweat.

Because we want to do what's right for the economy, we plan to keep operating expenses to a bare minimum and limit our bonuses to $20 million each for the first five years. By plowing the remaining money back into the bank -- and, of course, leveraging it at 20-times -- we'll be able to grow like a weed. Assuming you folks at the Federal Reserve continue to do your part by lending money at 0%, we expect to clear $120 billion in assets in five years flat. More...
(for those who may be a little slow, this is sarcasm and humor)

.

Goldman Sachs CEO says he’s ‘doing God’s work’
Posted November 18, 2009

Goldman Sachs CEO says he’s ‘doing God’s work,’ and rejects the idea that Goldman profits from gov’t support.

Blankfein dismisses any suggestion that Goldman needed to be bailed out, and, by extension, rejects any notion that the firm is now profiting from public support. Sure, he took $10 billion from Washington’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp). But the bank has since repaid the cash, with healthy interest — 23%. Goldman also benefited from the federal bail-out of the huge US insurance firm AIG. Goldman had bought $20 billion worth of insurance from AIG and received billions of dollars — perhaps as much as $13 billion — when Washington pumped $90 billion into the stricken giant. But Blankfein insists Goldman was “hedged” against any AIG losses, in the best possible way — with cash. More...

.

Financial System Designed Almost Exclusively to Benefit the Rich
by Bob Chapman
Posted November 15, 2009

The American journey that began on 8/15/71 is going to end over the next several years. The problems that have manifested themselves over the past few years signal the final stages of a destructive process that has stifled production and innovation and encouraged fraud in Wall Street and banking. The injection of money and credit into the financial system via the Fed and the Treasury has almost exclusively benefited the wealthy financial sector and has spread only crumbs to American citizens.

The residential housing sector is dying, as now is the bubble in commercial real estate. It is now only a matter of time that the stock markets new bubble is broken. Insolvency in insurance, banking and on wall Street has been temporarily papered over. These are the culprits who created our problems along with their mentor the Federal Reserve. These are the same people who created fraudulent CDOs and MBSs, which caused the credit collapse. For that they have been rewarded. More...

.

Tobin Tax, Making Wall Street Pay Its Fair Share
by Ellen Brown
Posted November 11, 2009

In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, Goldman Sachs is having a banner year. According to an October 16 article by Colin Barr on CNNMoney.com:“While Goldman churned out $3 billion in profits in the third quarter, the economy shed 768,000 jobs, and home foreclosures set a new record. More than a million Americans have filed for bankruptcy this year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. A September survey of state finances by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities think tank found that state governments faced a collective $168 billion budget shortfall for fiscal 2010. Goldman, by contrast, is sitting on $167 billion in cash . . . .”

Barr writes that Goldman’s “eye-popping profit” resulted “as revenue from trading rose fourfold from a year ago.” Really. Revenue from trading? Didn’t we bail out Goldman and the other Wall Street banks so they could make loans, take deposits, and keep our money safe? That is what banks used to do, but today the big Wall Street money comes from short-term speculation in currency transactions, commodities, stocks, and derivatives for the banks’ own accounts. And here’s the beauty of it: the Wall Street speculators have managed to trade in practically the only products left on the planet that are not subject to a sales tax. While parents in California are now paying 9% sales tax on their children’s school bags and shoes, Goldman is paying zero tax to sustain its gambling habit. More....

.

5 evil things credit card companies can (still) do
By Julianne Pepitone
Posted October 23, 2009

President Obama discussed credit-card reform in Rio Rancho, N.M., in May.Credit card companies are socking it to consumers left and right. They're hiking interest rates to as much as 36% and doubling minimum monthly payments, frustrating customers who are already cash-strapped and credit-crunched. At the same time, credit card companies have been hard at work coming up with new ways to boost profits while sidestepping the reforms.

No current laws cap credit card interest rates, according to Pamela Banks of Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, so technically the sky's the limit. But the CARD act will help curb abusive practices. As of February, issuers won't be able to arbitrarily raise rates on existing balances. But cardholders will still be subject to interest hikes for late payments and various other infractions. Fees aren't just rising -- they're multiplying. Cardholders are getting slapped with fees they've never seen before. The hitch: New laws can address only existing fees and business practices; they can't predict what credit card companies will do in the future. Consumer outrage is boiling over. More...

.

5 evil things credit card companies can (still) do
By Julianne Pepitone
Posted October 23, 2009

President Obama discussed credit-card reform in Rio Rancho, N.M., in May.Credit card companies are socking it to consumers left and right. They're hiking interest rates to as much as 36% and doubling minimum monthly payments, frustrating customers who are already cash-strapped and credit-crunched. At the same time, credit card companies have been hard at work coming up with new ways to boost profits while sidestepping the reforms.

No current laws cap credit card interest rates, according to Pamela Banks of Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, so technically the sky's the limit. But the CARD act will help curb abusive practices. As of February, issuers won't be able to arbitrarily raise rates on existing balances. But cardholders will still be subject to interest hikes for late payments and various other infractions. Fees aren't just rising -- they're multiplying. Cardholders are getting slapped with fees they've never seen before. The hitch: New laws can address only existing fees and business practices; they can't predict what credit card companies will do in the future. Consumer outrage is boiling over. More...

.

Peter Schiff, You Are Wrong on Health Care in the U.S
by Joseph Rouse
Posted October 12, 2009

Medical insurance premiums in the US now the equal of the average monthly mortgage payment. Never in the history of the US have medical insurance costs risen to such levels as they are today. In fact, the US spends twice as much on health care for it’s citizens when related to health care costs in other countries around the world. The lack of anti trust regulation permits the US government to turn a blind eye on the price fixing monopolization of the health care industry that is crippling the financial condition of it’s citizenry.

The absence of free market capitalism within the US Health Care System has created a monopoly that can not be dismantled overnight. Accordingly, the need for a direct competitor equal to the monopolistic size of the US health insurance companies must exist for any meaningful reform to take place. More...

.

Wendell Potter on Profits Before Patients
Posted October 12, 2009

Potter attended a "health care expedition," a makeshift health clinic set up at a fairgrounds, and he tells Bill Moyers, "It was absolutely stunning. When I walked through the fairground gates, I saw hundreds of people lined up, in the rain. It was raining that day. Lined up, waiting to get care, in animal stalls. Animal stalls."

Potter sees an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. According to Potter, insurers have every incentive to deny coverage — every dollar they don't pay out to a claim is a dollar they can add to their profits, and Wall Street investors demand they pay out less every year. Under these conditions, Potter says, "You don't think about individual people. You think about the numbers, and whether or not you're going to meet Wall Street's expectations." More...

.

The Third Rail of Academia
By Gary North
Posted September 16, 2009

Social Security system has long been described as the third rail of American politics. "Touch it, and you die." You get electrocuted. If you should somehow survive, the next subway train will cut you in pieces.

There is such a rail in academia: the Federal Reserve System.The Federal Reserve, through its extensive network of consultants, visiting scholars, alumni and staff economists, so thoroughly dominates the field of economics that real criticism of the central bank has become a career liability for members of the profession, an investigation by the Huffington Post has found. This dominance helps explain how, even after the Fed failed to foresee the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, the central bank has largely escaped criticism from academic economists. In the Fed's thrall, the economists missed it, too. In addition, the FED has editors of the academic journals on its payroll or grants list. "It's very important, if you are tenure track and don't have tenure, to show that you are valued by the Federal Reserve," says Jane D'Arista, a Fed critic and an economist with the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. More...

.

Wall Street’s New Gilded Age
By Niall Ferguson
Posted September 11, 2009

A year after the crash, a few financial giants are back to making millions, while average Americans face foreclosure and unemployment. What's wrong with this picture?

Last year's crisis made this problem worse in two ways. First, it wiped out three of the Big 15: goodbye Bear, Merrill, and Lehman. Second, because the failure of Lehman was so economically disastrous, it established what had previously only been suspected—that the survivors were TBTF, effectively guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Yes, folks, now it's official: heads, they win; tails, we the taxpayers lose. And in return, we get … a $30 charge if we inadvertently run up a $1 overdraft with our debit card. Meanwhile, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs executives get million-dollar bonuses. What's not to dislike?. More....

.

California's Real Death Panels: Insurers Deny 21% of Claims
by Thomson Reuters
Posted September 5, 2009

More than one of every five requests for medical claims for insured patients, even when recommended by a patient's physician, are rejected by California's largest private insurers, amounting to very real death panels in practice daily in the nation's biggest state,according to data released today by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.

PacifiCare denied 40 percent of all California claims in the first six months of 2009. Cigna, which gained notoriety two years ago for denying a liver transplant to 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan of Northridge, Calif. and then reversing itself, tragically too late to save her life, was still rejecting one-third of all claims for the first half of 2009. More....

.

How to Lower the U.S. Deficit Without Killing Social Security
by Shamus Cooke
Posted September 4, 2009

Workers are not so naive to think that the Bush/Obama bailouts — the fiscal crime of the century — will earn them “profits.” Just the opposite is the case. The profits that some giant banks are reporting are direct results of the bailout, itself a gigantic “forced borrowing” from working Americans, who will be paying the debt with their cherished social programs unless they mount an organized protest.

Make no mistake, the corporate elite want the U.S. deficit taken care of and they don’t want to pay higher taxes to do it. They rightfully fear that foreign investors — most notably China and Japan — will quit feeding the American debt machine unless the deficit is drastically reduced. Instead of making workers pay off the deficit, the corporate elite should be forced to. A plan of action to accomplish this might look something like this:
More....

.

Why No One Won a Pulitzer for Financial Reporting
Posted August 16, 2009
by Mike Stathis

Amidst the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression (if not ever) and the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, (the real estate-banking Ponzi scheme) not one of the 65 Pulitzer Prizes was awarded for coverage of the events surrounding the “financial crisis.” Ironically, the media has yet to identify this crisis as the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, confirming their incompetence.

Today, America’s mainstream media machine is primarily owned by a small group of men. And they don’t just own television networks or newspapers. They own television networks AND newspapers AND radio stations. This is why you get the same bull regardless where you turn. This carefully guarded control has created a very dangerous form of censorship that few realize because America’s media industry puts out the same messages and rarely allows an open platform for the exchange of opposing viewpoints by credible experts. I know this from first-hand experience. More....

.

Bioweapons, Dangerous Vaccines, and Threats of a Global Pandemic
by Stephen Lendman
Posted July 6, 2009


On February 27, 2009, various news agencies including Helen Branswell in the Canadian Press, reported: Baxter International that "released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed (today) that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses." The WHO said the incident occurred at the company's research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria, but claimed "that public health and occupational risk is minimal" thus far. What's not known, however, "are the circumstances" behind the incident that, according to some, raise suspicions while others call it a willful criminal act.
Security experts expressed alarm that something this serious could happen, calling the co-mingling (or reassortment) of human H3N2 with H5N1 avian viruses a dangerous practice that should never occur because of the potentially devastating effects to human health. "If someone exposed to a mixture of the two had been simultaneously infected with both strains, he or she could have served as an incubator for a hybrid virus able to transmit easily to and among people," who, in turn, could transmit it to enough others to potentially cause a pandemic. More...

One issue that was not covered in this article is the fact that this incredible story was totally ignored by the US corporate media. I was able to find information on this only on Bloomberg's site and even that disappeared after about a week. The story was carried by some European and Canadian news outlets but never received wide circulation.

.

 

February 25, 2009
Massive unemployment could lead to riots
by Zbigniew Brzezinski

BrezinskiMaking an appearance on the Morning Joe television show, the National Security Advisor to President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski believes it is time for the rich who have made billions during the Clinton and Bush administrations help out the poor and struggling masses. Said Brzezinski:

Where is the monied class today? Why aren’t they doing something: the people who made billions, millions. Why don’t they get together, and why don’t they organize a National Solidarity Fund in which they call on all of those who made these extraordinary amounts of money to kick some back in to [a] National Solidarity Fund?
.
January 9, 2009
Why we are here?
End the illusion, we cannot continue with “business as usual”
by Rudy Avizius

As one takes stock of what is happening to our nation, using simple common sense it becomes evident that things are not working. It does not take an “expert” with a PhD in economics or political science to figure out that things have gone horribly wrong on many fronts: economic, social, justice, community, environment, to name just a few.
It seems that our political leaders and government regulators have had their heads buried in the sand, ignoring the warning signs of the impending huge economic and financial storm that was brewing, all while taking contributions and being influenced by the very people who were driving our economy and nation over a cliff. Simultaneously while this was happening, the best our corporate controlled media could do was to lamely ask “are we in a recession yet”?

Click here for full article

.
Disclaimer: Nothing contained anywhere on this site constitutes advice or recommendations on any type of investments. This information is provided for people to read and be aware of our economic, social, political, media, and judicial environment. Any actions taken or purchases of any type investment are at the sole discretion of the reader. Any opinions in the articles are those of the writer(s) themselves and not necessarily those of endtheillusion.com. In our effort to promote a many viewpoints, we select articles from a wide range of writers.