Paul Volcker is worried about the future of the dollar and for good reason. The Fed has initiated a program (Quantitative Easing) that presages an end to Bretton Woods 2 and replaces it with different system altogether. Naturally, that's made trading partners pretty nervous. Despite the unfairness of the present system--where export-dependent countries recycle capital to US markets to sustain demand---most nations would rather stick with the "devil they know", then venture into the unknown. But US allies weren't consulted on the matter. The Fed unilaterally decided that the only way to fight deflation and high unemployment in the US, was by weakening the dollar and making US exports more competitive. Hence QE2.
If the Obama administration wants to advance peace, it should attach strict conditions on aid to Israel. MJ Rosenberg. The Obama administration has abandoned its feckless effort to induce Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to accept a 90-day settlement freeze designed to kick start peace negotiations — and save Israel from suicidal settlement expansion. Any doubt that the settlements could be Israel's death warrant should have been eliminated by the recent fire that consumed northern Israel. The Minister of the Interior, an ultra-Orthodox 18th-century man - and 21st century political hack - named Eli Yishai chose funnelling resources to settlements rather than investing in firefighting equipment.
On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan. The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been
Who rules America? Sociologists and political scientists have debated this question since C. Wright Mills published his 1956 book The Power Elite. Writing in the 1950s, Mills argued that the United States was ruled by a triangle of power between the federal government, large corporations, and the military industrial complex (with many people moving between these sectors). Robert McNamara went from CEO of Ford Motor Company to Secretary of Defense under the Kennedy-Johnson administrations (modern examples include Dick Cheney, Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, etc). Since the late 1960s, sociologist G. William Domhoff has revised, updated, and increased the sophistication of power elite theory. If we look at the composition of cabinet-level and other White House appoints since the Reagan administration, it is clear that there is a significant movement between Wall Street and the Federal Reserve Bank and Treasury Department. But why? The answers are found in the social and economic crises of the 1960s and 1970s.
The phone companies are soaking all of us for a good chunk of money every month, and they're allowed to conceal it in the fine print of your monthly bill. Next time you open your phone bill, check out the numerous anonymous charges listed on it. In particular, note the one identified as the "FCC Line Charge" or the "Federal Subscriber Line Charge" (SLC). Ask yourself two questions: What is it for and why am I paying it?
With the Federal Reserve now actively participating in capital markets, it should be noted that just like every other asset manager, the Fed has to be held accountable for its trading efficacy. After all, the Treasury takes every opportunity to remind the US public how courtesy of record amounts of new government debt, it has managed to make "profits" on its assorted investments, which are merely transfers of risk from one entity to another, and the "another" being the US taxpayer, although not directly, but indirectly via the now ludicrous amount of US debt which will never be repaid.
The US doled out $12.3 trillion dollars to finance bailouts, a figure far higher than what was previously stated. The US Federal Reserve chairman looked depressed in an interview with the television show 60 minutes because the economy may be heading for a depression, says Danny Schechter. Go, Wall Street, Go! Never mind the rise in unemployment and foreclosures. Never mind the folks waiting to know if they will get the benefits they need before they are cut off. Never mind the growing gap between rich and poor, and the rapid spread of poverty. (Did you know that inequality in the US is at the highest level of any industrialised country?) Does any of this matter? The idea of equality as a social goal is apparently passé. Christmas has a special meaning on Wall Street: It’s bonus time. Just five too big to fail bankster companies have stashed $90 billion for payouts to prized employees. They know that the beat on The Street is fading, so it seems to be take the money and run time. Incidentally, that "bonus pool" will rise with end of the year earnings.
Another giveaway to the rich is being justified in the name of "bipartisan compromise." President Obama announced that he made a deal with Republicans on extending tax cuts for the richPresident Obama announced that he made a deal with Republicans on extending tax cuts for the rich. TIMES ARE tough, workers are suffering, and the president says that he can't stand by any longer--he has to act. So what's Barack Obama's proposal? A crash program to create jobs for the millions of long-term unemployed? Double spending on projects to rebuild America's crumbing infrastructure? A new government initiative to stem the surge in hunger since the economic crisis began?
We could make the budget deficit disappear and fully fund Social Security and Medicare without raising taxes, if we only outspend our biggest military rival by threefold. The United States spends more on its military and security services than the rest of the world combined, yet in the midst of a major debate over our fiscal situation, that enormous drain on our national treasure isn't really "on the table" in any serious way. Obama's deficit commission recommended cutting the Pentagon's purse, but the thrust of its focus was on veterans' pensions and health-care -- rather than, say, maintaining costly bases to defend such imperiled allies as Italy and Germany -- and the spending reductions were largely symbolic relative to the level of bloat that plagues our security budget.
Hollywood used to be the place where creative people went to cook up outlandish horror plots. But Hollywood has been displaced. Now people go to Washington to spin their wild tales of looming disaster. The national agenda has been dominated by such tales over the last two years. Most recently we have had the story of the bond market vigilantes doing to the United States what they have already done to Greece, Ireland and Portugal. This story requires suspending disbelief, but people who report on economic and political issues for major news outlets are good at ignoring reality.
More tax breaks for the rich in exchange for another year's worth of unemployment benefits for the desperate: Now there's a compromise that makes me proud to be an American. My father wouldn't have been surprised. He grew up during the Great Depression and worked in factories before he was drafted and served in the Army during World War II. Dad told me that the harder he worked (physically), the less he got paid. And he told me there was nothing like repetitive and physically-grueling factory work to make you want to improve yourself. By becoming a civil servant (a firefighter), he escaped the factory and its dismal pay for a job that paid enough to provide five children with a lower-middle-class existence.
The Euro is at risk of collapse as economic crisis sweeps the continent, Britain’s independent Treasury watchdog warned last night. ‘General consensus’ is that currency unions ‘eventually fail’, Professor Steve Nickell, a senior member of the Office for Budget Responsibility, told MPs on the powerful Treasury Select Committee. And the OBR’s chairman, Robert Chote, added: ‘We are not assuming a cataclysmic outcome for the eurozone but, as Steve said, monetary arrangements come and monetary arrangements go.’
For years, people have been laughing at the horrific economic decline of Detroit. Well, guess what? The same thing that happened to Detroit is now happening to dozens of other communities across the United States. From coast to coast there are formerly great manufacturing cities that have turned into rotting, post-industrial war zones. In particular, in America's "rust belt" you can drive through town after town after town that resemble little more than post-apocalyptic wastelands. In many U.S. cities, the "real" rate of unemployment is over 30 percent. There are some communities that will start depressing you almost the moment you drive into them. It is almost as if all of the hope has been sucked right out of those communities.
As unemployment in the U.S. nears the dreaded 10 per cent mark, it is a chart to chill the bones of any job hunter. Comparing previous recoveries from all 10 American recessions since 1948 to the current financial crisis, the stark figures show almost no improvement in employment figures in the past year. Some commentators have described the comparison as 'the scariest jobs chart ever', pointing to the fact that only the 2001 recession took longer to bring employment back to pre-crisis levels.
Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke said it was 'certainly possible' the US Federal Reserve would embark on a further round of quantitative easing. America may need a third dose of quantitative easing (QE) to avoid its economy slumping back into recession, Ben Bernanke predicted last night.
The Wall Street Pentagon Papers: Biggest Scam In World History Exposed - Are The Federal Reserve's Crimes Too Big To Comprehend?What if the greatest scam ever perpetrated was blatantly exposed, and the US media didn’t cover it? Does that mean the scam could keep going? That’s what we are about to find out. I understand the importance of the new WikiLeaks documents. However, we must not let them distract us from the new information the Federal Reserve was forced to release. Even if WikiLeaks reveals documents from inside a large American bank, as huge as that could be, it will most likely pale in comparison to what we just found out from the one-time peek we got into the inner-workings of the Federal Reserve. This is the Wall Street equivalent of the Pentagon Papers.
The increase in house prices seen across the globe over the past 12 months is dropping off, with the annual rate of inflation falling to 3.1% in the last quarter, a survey says. Global house price rises begin to slow European house price rises have been declining throughout 2010. The rise in global house prices is slowing down, with average annual house price growth around the world falling to 3.1% in the third quarter of the year, down from 4.3% in the previous quarter, a survey shows.
The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines. A soft landing for America 40 years from now? Don’t bet on it. The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines. If Washington is dreaming of 2040 or 2050 as the end of the American Century, a more realistic assessment of domestic and global trends suggests that in 2025, just 15 years from now, it could all be over except for the shouting.
Bernanke ramps up defense of Fed's Treasury bond purchases by pointing to weak economy. Fed chair says economy struggling to be self sustaining Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is stepping up his defense of the Fed's $600 billion Treasury bond-purchase plan, saying the economy is still struggling to become "self-sustaining" without government help.
In 2007 Shrewsbury Road in Dublin was the sixth most expensive street in the world. Now, post-crash, homes have been abandoned and the tycoon residents have run for the hills. There is a padlock on the gate of Walford, the most expensive house in the priciest street in Ireland. Graffiti adorn the conservatory windows, the lawn is overgrown and old mattresses are piled up in the front room.
The US Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday released documents on emergency measures it took between 2007 and 2010, using taxpayer funds, to bail out major financial firms in the US and around the world. The sums involved are staggering. Fed bailout loans outstanding reached a high of $3.3 trillion, but the cumulative amount of cash funneled by the US central bank to banks, hedge funds and major industrial corporations reached the tens of trillions of dollars.
The US unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in November, the highest in seven months, and an indication that the economic slump that was triggered by the September 2008 Wall Street crash has far from run its course. November was the 19th consecutive month that more than 9 percent of the labor force were out of work, the longest span since the federal government began reporting such figures after World War II.
Berlin claims that €50m contribution disappeared into US treasury coffers with 15% 'administrative fee' taken by army. The US military has been charging its allies a 15% handling fee on hundreds of millions of dollars being raised internationally to build up the Afghan army. Germany has threatened to cancel contributions.
It appears we are caught in the middle of a nightmare from which we are unable to wake. While the president insists we must accept the global economy, we can see the devastating effects of this system of global banking, mounting famine and starvation, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the massive decline in wages and the standard of living here in the US. If this is what a global economy does, and if unlawful trade agreements are constructed to facilitate this, I say we reject it totally; it is killing us all.
Robert Wenzel reports on the scheming of big banks and their Republican leadership to stop Ron Paul from getting the monetary policy subcommittee chairmanship.
Roger Lowenstein profiles Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase. The piece, titled “Jamie Dimon: America’s Least-Hated Banker,” is generally sympathetic, but in every significant detail it confirms that Mr. Dimon is now – without question – our most dangerous banker. Mr. Dimon is not dangerous because he is in any narrow sense incompetent. On the contrary, Mr. Dimon is very good at getting what he wants. And now he wants to run a bigger, more interconnected, and more global bank that – if it were to fail – would cause great chaos around the world.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund are providing a multibillion-dollar "rescue" of the Irish economy--on the condition that the Irish working class pay the price through slashed social programs and increased regressive taxes. The established political parties seem prepared to push through these measures that will cut working-class living standards, but there is building resistance from below. On November 27, more than 100,000 people took to the streets of Dublin for an inspiring demonstration against austerity.
Angela Merkel Angela Merkel at the EU summit on 28 October. According to witnesses, during an discussion with the Greek prime minister at dinner, she said: "If this is the sort of club the euro is becoming, perhaps Germany should leave." Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA
The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America--and Spawned a Global Crisis, written by Michael W. Hudson. They’re not the same person. The book’s author, Michael W. Hudson, is a reporter at the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity. In fact, the two are so often mistaken for each other – same name, similar subject matter – that they recently wrote a piece together to help dispel the confusion and share their ideas about how people help themselves to other people’s money. In this excerpt adapted from The Monster, Michael W. Hudson writes about the nation’s largest subprime lending empire through the fortunes of its owner and one of its customers.
"Unless the President and Democrats explain why the economy still stinks for most Americans and offer a plan to fix it, the Republican explanation and solution – it’s big government’s fault, and all we need do is shrink it – will prevail," argues Robert Reich. A. Big government, bureaucrats, and the cultural and intellectual elites who back them. B. Big business, Wall Street, and the powerful and privileged who represent them. These are the two competing stories Americans are telling one another. Yes, I know: It’s more complicated than this. In reality, the lousy economy is due to insufficient demand – the result of the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income at the top. The very rich don’t spend as much of their income
Europe is in the middle of its worst financial crisis for decades, and many are feeling the pain as people across the continent demonstrate against government cuts. As unemployment grows, public services are slashed and billions of Euros go to bailing out the banks, and the continent's hard pressed taxpayers are being asked to embrace austerity and contribute more.
The campaign to buy silver and force JP Morgan into bankruptcy could work, because of the liabilities accrued by its short-selling. JP Morgan is sitting on what is estimated to be 3.3bn ounce short position in silver.' For decades, the world's banking system has been on a fiat currency standard that has led to banks that are "too big to fail". They have overreached their remit of providing loans and have leeched into the political system, using our money to change the political agenda in ways that boost bank management's compensation over the interests of their depositors.
A newcomer arriving into California’s San Joaquin Valley – the most lucrative and industrialized agricultural region in the United States – might think that the entire place is burning. On the horizon in all directions the brown hue of the air suggests a distant fire. As the traveler advances along, say, Highway 99, the fire appears to peel away, a deep stain floating off in the distance, as if forever clinging to the edges of the sky.
Calling the revelations "jaw dropping," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today's disclosure by the Federal Reserve that it gave banks and other institutions an estimated $3.3 trillion in emergency loans and other assistance during the financial crisis "begins to lift the veil of secrecy at the Fed." The estimated $3.3 trillion in liquidity and more than $9 trillion in short-term loans and other financial arrangements dwarf the $700 billion Treasury Department bank bailout out signed into law under President George W. Bush.
The Austerity Hammer Starts to Fall on United States as Debt Consumes Europe Problem, Reaction, Solution: Derivatives, Crash, Too Big To Fail, Bailout, Nationalization, Budget Crisis, Privatization, Debt Slavery, Austerity, Evaporating Pensions, Central Banks, Big Government, World Government. It’s been quite a saga, but this economic crisis has been planned sabotage by design. The age of the Offshore Global Cartel is the age of economic warfare with the wealthy Western world. The 3rd World has largely already been brought to its knees. The remaining vestiges of national sovereignty must be eliminated and the middle class consumer society must be swept back to the feudal age by way of a tidal wave looting of living standards, cut wages & pensions, and the bread and circuses of cheap plastic goods and entertainment. The upper middle classes, the array of independent businesses, remaining lone giants and other true competition to the New World Order mafia economy system must be consolidated or dominated.
France has reportedly passed a law to use the assets in its €36 billion national reserve pension fund to pay off welfare system debts, as Ireland tapped its own reserve pension fund to supplement an EU-IMF bailout. The assets of the French pension fund, the Fonds de réserve pour les retraites, have been moved into the agency in charge of refinancing the country’s social debt, Cades, Financial News reported.
The private central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve, has begun purchasing $600 billion of long-term U.S. Treasury Bonds, essentially subsidising the federal deficit for the year. Many economists say the significance of this new role for the Federal Reserve cannot be overstated, especially because the agency is literally creating money at the stroke of a keyboard.
On Thanksgiving eve the English-language China Daily and People’s Daily Online reported that Russia and China have concluded an agreement to abandon the use of the US dollar in their bilateral trade and to use their own currencies in its place. The Russians and Chinese said that they had taken this step in order to insulate their economies from the risks that have undermined their confidence in the US dollar as world reserve currency.
While most countries struggle economically, Brazil, Russia, India and China are booming. Although Bric started life as just a clever acronym dreamt up by a Goldman Sachs economist, it might be time to start getting accustomed to hearing about Bric in its fullest political expression. According to some, these four countries could - in around two decades - become the dominant powers in the world.
Pockets of poverty, like the sores of some malignant disease, are spreading across America, as its states and cities go broke and bankrupt. "Camden, New Jersey, stands as a warning of what huge pockets of America could turn into," The Nation magazine reports in its Nov. 22nd issue. In fact, it has already happened, it is happening all over, and there is no signal on the horizon that poverty and blight will not continue to spread. It is not that Americans are lazy and shiftless; rather, they are reeling from betrayal---for they have been betrayed both by their employers, who have shown not an ounce of loyalty to their work forces, and they have been betrayed by their Federal government, which has lied the nation into costly criminal wars.
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