When the Internal Revenue Service admits to violations of law by targeting limited government advocate organizations, you know that the non-divulged crimes are much worse. The discloser in the mainstream media is a pleasant astonishment. The usual pattern of protecting “Big Government” is still intact, while the noise and agency diversion on the abuses of the IRS avoid the fundamental problem with federal taxation, based upon a system of deductions, exemptions, incentives and grants. The extortion and intimidation in the enforcement of the tax code is the entrusted role assigned to the IRS by the political hacks that administer the social engineering experiment that is fundamentally changing America.
The politicalization of the system is premeditated. The revelation that Obama governance resulted in IRS scrutiny went beyond Tea Party, targeting of conservative groups broader than thought, should not be shocking. The sycophants in federal employment have a deranged hostility towards any voice that defends and promotes constitutional federalism. Foxnews reports:
“The internal IG timeline shows a unit in the agency was looking at Tea Party and “patriot” groups dating back to early 2010. But it shows that list of criteria drastically expanding by the time a June 2011 briefing was held. It then included groups focused on government spending, government debt, taxes, and education on ways to “make America a better place to live.” It even flagged groups whose file included criticism of “how the country is being run.”
By early 2012, the criteria were updated to include organizations involved in “limiting/expanding government,” education on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and social economic reform.”
The game of citing partisan hypocrisy in describing respective “enemy lists” avoids the necessary task of replacing the taxation labyrinth, designed to select winners and losers. Every administration uses the bureaucracy to punish political foes and most presidencies intentionally engage in illegal retribution, but all share the virtual immunity from prosecution for their misdeeds. What can we reasonably expect from this Obama scandal? It certainly has the hallmark of being a far more severe constitutional violation than those committed in the heyday of the LBJ, Nixon and Clinton outlaws.
Now be forewarned, that the IRS is charged with overseeing compliance under Obamacare. Giving a mandate for expansion under this current cloud of criminality is the height of arrogance. Notwithstanding, the irreversible loss in credibility, the wholesale revamping of the method of taxation should be examined and a trustworthy replacement adopted. However, before reviewing one such alteration, it must be pointed out, that collecting taxes to finance governmental operations is not the primary purpose of the current system.
Perpetual trillion dollar deficits demonstrate that raising revenue to pay for federal programs lacks the ability to balance budgets. The principal function of the Internal Revenue Service is to facilitate the tax avoidance practices of corporatist transnational conglomerates. The retaliatory mission against working class citizens is ostensibly a disciplinary process to maintain control over the finances of producing contributors. Inhibiting upward mobility for the populace, while accelerating elite’s wealth accumulation, is the destructive result of the tax code.
The Hill offers a solution in the article, House GOP seeks to abolish IRS, replace income tax with consumption tax.
“The FairTax Act, from Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), would abolish the 16th Amendment, which was ratified 100 years ago this February. That amendment gives Congress the power to impose income taxes without having to spend the revenues evenly among the states.
Woodall’s bill, H.R. 25, would replace the current tax system with a 23 percent consumption tax on all new goods and services. He said Thursday that this change would eliminate the need for a complicated tax code, and would be the kind of tax reform that helps reinvigorate the economy.”
The merits or criticism of a consumption tax and certainly any final amount of the levy certainly deserves a vigorous national debate. However, the need for eliminating the byzantine complexity and inherent inequity in the present punitive tax collection system should be unanimous.
Obviously, the prospect that the establishment ruling class would allow the slaughter of their cash-cow is zero. The entire existence of the Tea Party movement grew out of a desire to restore the principle of no taxation without representation. Yet, the efforts out of the authoritarian globalists are to ramp up even more draconian measures to monitor and intrude into every financial affair of normal people.
The only prudent political response to this intolerable obliteration of our eternal right to the pursuit of happiness is to require a return to the pre income tax system of revenue collection. Just listen to the screams, from those progressive socialists, who demand that the State must use their penalizing power to force egalitarian redistribution upon every wealth creator or economic producer.
The calculated fear factor imbedded into the Internal Revenue Service goes well beyond targeting just conservative groups. Every self-respecting American shares a vested interest in restoring a constitutional government. As it stands now, the prospect of achieving even a reasonable prospect of legitimate authorities is incompatible as long as the IRS is allowed to run amok over the masses who are attempting to petition and redress their government.
USA Today reports, Obama calls purported IRS targeting “outrageous”, from the latest Obama presidential press conference.
“Obama says first learned about the IRS controversy from news reports. He called the purported targeting of conservative groups by IRS personnel “outrageous and there is no place for it.” The IRS has to have “absolute integrity, ” Obama adds.
“You don’t want the IRS ever being perceived to be biased,” Obama said.
The president adds that his administration will get to the bottom of what happened at the IRS. “I have no patience for it. I will not tolerate it.”
How can anyone believe that Obama has clean hands or that some faction within the Internal Revenue Service was operating without his knowledge? Well Mr. President, prove the meaning in your words and put forth the political capital to pass the H.R. 25 legislation.
Intense speculation on the ‘ruling elite’ many believe is running the world from behind the scenes can lead to the presumption that it is all-powerful and infallible. But is it? Identifying the human foibles and underlying desires of those who may be planning centralised domination could lead to a greater chance to offset their agendas.
In my book The Truth Agenda, I explore a widely-held hypothesis in certain quarters: that the world might be controlled by a powerful ruling elite, which puts its own narrow interests and convictions above ours through manipulation and engineered global crises to help bring about an Orwellian-style ‘One World Government’.
The book also considers the possibility that our planet is about to undergo a huge change, social, spiritual or cosmological, something seemingly anticipated by several ancient cultures around the world in the now renowned 2012 prophecies. The exploration of these ideas throws up disturbing possibilities and more pieces of evidence to support them than is entirely comfortable.
However, if all that the most extreme speculation achieves is to help prevent such a grim picture from reaching full fruition, then it will have served a useful purpose. It is also crucial that a note of optimism is struck.
An often valid criticism of conspiracy theorists, or ‘truthseekers’, is that their fevered investigations into humankind’s worst nightmares can leave some listeners feeling more fearful, and risks driving them into a state of disempowered paralysis, putting up the shutters when what is needed is engagement. Yet the unavoidable truth is that looking a potentially tough situation in the eye does mean facing up to disturbing realities that may have been swept under the carpet, for they might require urgent action.
Lifting the blindfold even just a little means that we might not run into the approaching wall at such a great velocity. If the idea of a secretive but all-pervading cabal running the world leaves some feeling shocked, the act of simply contemplating such an idea may in itself spark a new awakening of consciousness.
What psychologically motivates this elite, however? What kind of minds are we really dealing with? How can we attempt to understand them, so that solutions and strategies for dealing with their actions may become clearer?
The Elite and its Motivations
Something too often missed in all the conspiracy speculation is the realisation that if we are being governed by a powerful cabal trying to twist the world to its own ends, then we are still essentially dealing with fellow human beings (putting ET/reptilian bloodline theories aside for a moment).
Like every other person on the planet, they must have physical, social and emotional needs, even if the latter faculty may be too easily set aside in the kind of mind that would plan 9/11-type scenarios (an event widely suspected to have been deliberately staged by Western sources as part of a march towards the ‘New World Order’). The personalities involved must have loved ones of their own, and experience thoughts, feelings and cares in at least some directions. They also, like most of us in our lives, probably think they are doing the right thing, however much we may see their schemes as misguided.
This is an important point. We all have reasons for doing what we do, and can often justify actions to ourselves in the face of serious challenges from the outside. Hard though it may be to comprehend, the motivation of those who might think that wiping out their own people would be a positive move, or who believe that planning wars and economic breakdowns to effect the creation of a unifying world government is an acceptable strategy, the fact is that many seemingly well-intentioned visionaries throughout history have voiced the need for such approaches. This does not make them right, of course, but there is plainly a significant, if small, seam of humanity that believes a bigger picture should be put before the needs of the masses. Those who have expressed support for eugenics and depopulation strategies, for instance, often have deep-seated environmental concerns or feel strongly that we have lost our balance with nature and must put the planet’s future ahead of the requirements of the common people.
One of the most prominent promoters of the term ‘New World Order’ was the famous and much revered writer H G Wells, who believed passionately that the only answer to global strife would be the creation of the eponymous hierarchy, actively proposing it in his 1940 book The New World Order. This is clearly not a modern concept, and has roots going back even further than Wells’ idealistic vision of it. Some believe both World Wars were deliberately coordinated, or at least used, to help bring about a mandate for world government. As early as 1913, writing in his book The New Freedom, President Woodrow Wilson made clear that some formidable force already underpinned the commercial, and probably political, infrastructure of the USA:
Some of the biggest men in the US, in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
What is striking in H G Wells’ writings, however, is his sense of excitement and enthusiasm for the idea of a dominating collective that would put all to rights and avert “the disastrous extinction of Mankind.” There is no sense of negative intention nor a Malthusian dislike for humanity. Yet at the same time Wells was an advocate of eugenics. Many find this concept entirely repugnant, but here is the paradox – the very kinds of people truth-seekers tend to single out as the enemies of humanity very likely see themselves as its saviours. It is all a matter of perspective and of where one chooses to draw the moral line.
The philosopher Bertrand Russell openly accepted the inevitability of a controlling One World Government, founded on the basis of hard scientific values, and was disturbingly frank about the culture that would result. Writing in his 1953 book The Impact of Science on Society, he states:
Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible…
…Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organised insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton.
On the surface, Russell’s thoughts appear to encourage such a world, rather than condemn it, and such thinking seems outrageous, even if it does come close to identifying the very philosophy that may now be actively shaping our society. However, although it seems difficult, almost distasteful, for some to contemplate, there is a thought to be considered here: What if such thinking were definitively shown to be right? What if humankind’s very survival did rest on the notion of more control, not less? What if the choice were demonstrated to be between total destruction through over-population, pollution and over-stretched resources, or a selectively-bred, closely-monitored world that regulated itself and continued on? What if an anarchy-ridden post-2012 apocalypse society could be shown to stand no real chance of survival, whereas a tightly-controlled disciplinarian civilisation would?
Uncomfortably, in the light of the world’s current challenging issues, it can be seen, at least to a small extent, how arguments could be made in these directions when looked at from a certain viewpoint. The problem comes, as ever, with the massive issue of who gets to decide. Those in comfortable circumstances looking down from on high must inevitably see things rather differently to those scraping an existence lower down the rungs, at their mercy.
We already hold the power of genetic manipulation in our hands, and it will not be too long before required characteristics of children will be able to be routinely selected and engineered. Also, with life spans ever increasing, and our understanding of tissue and brain cell regeneration growing by the year, how long will it be before life can be sustained indefinitely? When that occurs, the population problem will clearly explode if unlimited access to such power is allowed (that is, if the majority of humankind is permitted to survive in the first place – depopulation conspiracy theories are rife). A world of immortals would risk stagnation, but also domination from those who attained the status of immortality first. They would effectively decide who would be offered the gift from thereon. In the end, the gene pool would almost certainly be controlled by such authorities, the new eugenics having arrived through the back door.
These issues are already reality, not dystopian fiction. The power of genetic engineering, which is currently changing our food, both animal and vegetable – and thus our entire ecosystem, as spliced and altered genes make their way into nature through pollination and cross-breeding – means that humankind has already taken the entire planet’s evolutionary destiny into its own hands, and there is no going back. Do those calling the shots have the moral compass to carry such a huge responsibility? Can they serve as the gods they are setting themselves up to be?
In a society of angels, perhaps a charter of rigid regulation, surveillance and genetic population control could be applied with compassion and the wide agreement of a common consensus – but we are nowhere near such a state of being. With the motivation of those governing our world today clearly in question, it seems impossible that the kinds of agendas many feel the ruling elite is implementing could work in any way other than being a simple attack on the larger percentage of humankind. Without common consensus, whatever the supposedly good intentions that might exist somewhere behind the plans, any attempt to regulate the world by coercion and draconian measures remains an immoral one.
The problem with global cover-ups is that they arrive and build up – as deception does so often for all of us – through a lack of honesty largely sparked by the fear of what people might think or do if they were to perceive the true vulnerability within. The elite appears to fear us and our reactions as much as we may fear it – otherwise it would not need to manipulate and control. Many disingenuous actions are borne of inner psychosis; a lack of trust that other people will understand. Our leaders appear to have got so used to playing deceptive games that they cannot now operate any other strategy. Everything from the banking system to Parliamentary administration appears to be based on subterfuge. Right now we are clearly not trusted by those affecting our lives so strongly and as a result we do not trust them.
Not that some of the elite would be remotely bothered about what any of us thinks of their actions. For those who may feel that caveats to explain such motivation is too generous to people who maim, kill and deceive to get their way, for whatever reason, it should be noted that there do also appear to be those pulling the strings who simply seek power for power’s sake. The lessons of history tell us that selfishness, greed and excited bloodlust cannot be ruled out as prime movers in some cases, at least. And, to acknowledge the not-insubstantial suspicion of a ‘reptilian agenda’, if it were to turn out that this highly exclusive club was indeed the result of a dominating extra-terrestrial gene seeded aeons ago (as some believe, based on ancient myths) and being exploited and/or activated by celestial visitors today, then it admittedly might explain why concern for the needs of humanity appears to be as low down the list of its priorities as our general concern for the welfare of livestock is today.
As for what kind of people may comprise the global elite, the well-intentioned and the not-so well-intentioned, most likely we are largely dealing with high-ranking politicians, academics, intellectuals (as with Wells and Russell), monarchies, and very rich and influential families – with a mixture of political, religious and occult undercurrents. In other words, all the obvious candidates. Numerous books and websites go into the detail, so there is little need to explore it here. How much of the grand plan all of them know, however, and whether there are pyramids-within-pyramids amongst even the power structures near the top, is another matter.
Factions Within Factions
The presumption is often made that the very existence of a ruling elite means that those involved must be all-powerful and of one mind, accurately manipulating domino events that hit the required spot every time, all to a predetermined agenda. But this may apportion them an unwarranted infallibility.
There is evidence to show that there are factions and disputes within the echelons of those with great influence over our lives. After all, the world is a big and complex place. Even with a general agreement on how it should move forward, the pressures of regional needs and personal biases are almost certain to blur the clarity of purpose from time to time. Going on the word that does sneak out from Bilderberg meetings and the suchlike, it seems that as many disagreements, compromises and negotiations arise there as within any supposedly democratic Parliament. If this weren’t the case, the meetings would not presumably need to take place, so pre-orchestrated would the scheming be.
As with Masonic and other secret society structures, there is also a pecking order to consider. It is doubtful that all those ‘in’ on a global conspiracy seeking centralised control would be party to every machination, and certain players may themselves be manipulated from within without realising it. From the outside, for example, it appears that British ex-prime minister Gordon Brown, for all his many references to creating a ‘New World Order,’ seemed destined to be a fall-guy from the start, set up to come to power just as the world economy took a tumble. The question is, did Brown know the full plan? Was he someone faithfully playing a game with a known outcome of outward failure, while secretly ensuring success in an agenda of weakening the UK on the world stage to quicken a move towards One World Government? Or did he cling on in the genuine belief that all would come right and that he would one day be hailed as a political hero?
Likewise, when Bill Clinton found himself under threat of impeachment following the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, was this all part of a contrived drama, or a sign of factions within factions very genuinely trying to remove him after an unplanned gaffe? And did Richard Nixon go rogue or was he just playing a pre-auditioned role? On a smaller level, when a man in the crowd died after being pushed to the ground by a policeman during the 2009 G20 protests in London, it took all the seemingly contrived focus away from images of a few people smashing a bank window, and suddenly all the headlines became howls about police brutality. Was this an ongoing twist to deliberately stir civil unrest or was it (as many suspect) something going unexpectedly wrong and changing the script? Does every war and false-flag terror attack really go to plan, or is there as much ‘cock-up’ involved as conspiracy?
How organised, then, is this global elite, and is it really as united as some truth seekers give credit for? The evidence suggests that there are chinks in the armour and disagreements within, and weaknesses and unpredictable elements always arise in any grand plan. This offers hope. The foibles of human nature and the sheer universality of chaos theory may ensure that unexpected events and peculiar side tracks undermine the apparent solidity of the control agenda just when they are least expected. We could therefore be dealing with something far less coordinated than feared – indeed, the wide truth seeker presumption of the elite’s potency may make it seem more of a problem than it really is. But can we take the chance of becoming complacent?
It is clear that certain events and trends do seem to be part of an unfolding pattern that suggests an attempt to engineer a mandate for centralised power. Whilst we must not become petrified into inaction by this, nor, however, should we take the opposite risk of assuming there is no real threat, even if the conspirators are found to be less competent than some believe. Either way, it is important at the very least to call attention to the appalling deeds committed by those at least trying to be an all-powerful force.
Consent by Apathy
If plans for world domination are being laid on any level, a simple fact needs to be recognised – that it only goes on because we collectively allow it. Even with obvious governmental deceptions such as the weapons of mass destruction debacle in Iraq, such things only continue to occur as widely as they do because too few people stand solidly against them or fully call their leaders to account. We have allowed apathy and the distractions of (apparent) comfort, trivia and entertainment to hold us in our armchairs in the hope that anything dark ‘out there’ will remedy itself in due course, without our input, energetically or even electorally (voter turnouts for Western elections, whatever they are worth, are generally perilously low).
By having become so disconnected with what goes on around us in our names, we have not stood up in our collective power – and are therefore as responsible as any global elite for having created the world we live in today. With the consent granted by our passivity, we have watched obvious lies and manipulations take away our strength, resolve and liberty, and have done little or nothing about it. As such, we have given away our personal responsibility. The energy spent complaining loudly but emptily in the pub or bus queue about the shortcomings of today’s society, if applied in more proactive and positive directions, could be used to offset the very things being complained about. The problem is that we have been trained to think that we cannot make a difference – when, in truth, we can, especially when we match the tangible power of the collective mind with the practical rewards of direct action, as I explore more in The Truth Agenda.
Much of the awakening process that HAS begun has come from the kind of people drawn to be part of the truth seeking community. Unfortunately, their often unseen efforts are generally rewarded by undeserved ridicule and sidelining by a culture that has shut its eyes and ears to anything but the skewed vision it is fed by those who prefer to keep us dumb. People who question the status quo are easily neutered in the mainstream by being branded with false ‘wacko’ stereotypes created by a media that is all too often either itself controlled, fearful or just lazily stupid. Truth seeker enthusiasm does allow things to spill over into fanaticism and lack of discernment sometimes, no doubt, but the fact is that there are also absolutely vital questions and observations being raised by very reasonable, normal people, which could make a real and positive difference to people’s lives – if ever given a chance.
It doesn’t take long for the average person to see through manipulation once obvious anomalies are pointed out. Assuming the masses will always be dumb may be an arrogant and huge mistake on the part of our masters. When discussed in an accessible and objective way, the concept of a ruling global elite, which believes that some kind of catastrophic cosmological or climatic change may be imminent and has thus been implementing a regime of draconian restrictions by nefarious means to ensure it retains control during and after the chaos, is nowhere near as far-fetched as it may at first seem. It can all be made to sound credible when expressed in balanced tones, and when sensible evidence is presented.
Tones are important. Extreme conspiracy dogma, passionately but indiscriminately shouted, can repel potential support and plays into the hands of the mainstream’s characterisation of all alternative thinkers as uneducated fanatics. Those with the power of insight who can rise above this have a responsibility to convey a user-friendly overview of the control agenda. Successful outreach requires initial moderation – and compassion. Newcomers can be confused by all the many complex sources of information out there, and may shrink from the at-first disturbing idea of a manipulative ruling elite if not properly approached. The uncertain era we live in now, with glimpses of the truth shining in through the cracks, provides a unique opportunity for those with the insights to offer another view of the world – while they can.
There may be more than one reason why a world of centralised control would be desired by a ruling elite, and we cannot fully presume to understand from the outside. But no strategy that imposes an undeclared agenda without transparency or choice can be right, and any regime of underhand manipulation must be resisted. To resist successfully, however, those with awareness must hold on to optimism and strike an appropriate tone if they are to be listened to and people awakened so that a self-elected and questionable minority’s vision for the world is not allowed to ride roughshod over the needs of everyday people.
No elite, of any kind, can be infallible, and this offers true hope for the future – if enough people can rise above their fears and speak out, loudly and clearly.
Adapted from The Truth Agenda by Andy Thomas (Vital Signs Publishing 2009, revised 2011)
ANDY THOMAS is a leading researcher into unexplained mysteries and is the author of the acclaimed The Truth Agenda (Vital Signs Publishing, 2009, revised 2011). His many other books include Vital Signs, described widely as the definitive guide to crop circles. Andy also edited Geoff Stray’s seminal Beyond 2012. Andy extensively writes and lectures, and has made numerous radio and TV appearances around the world. For further information, visit www.truthagenda.org.
Source: The New Dawn
Now that the financial hype is celebrating a new all time high in the stocks, the time to exit the market may well be at hand. So what will that Oracle of Omaha do with all the insider information available from his compadre network? The business press swoons all over Warren Buffett with every report, while only a few intrepid journalists would dare write about the dark side of Wall Street’s favorite equity cheerleader. The guru of sweet heart deals floats in the rarified air of a political cronyism ongoing honeymoon. So what is likely for his Berkshire Hathaway flagship company now that the ticker is breathing on pure oxygen?
At the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting, the forecast projects that the market will continue to rise. Berkshire Cash Hits Record $49.1 Billion as Profit Climbs, cites Bill Smead, portfolio manager of the Smead Value Fund, “Warren has organized the company around the rebirth of the United States economy over the next 10 years and this is the beginning of that rebirth.”
Not everyone looks at the next decade as a boom for the economy. The easy money out of the Federal Reserve ultimately fuels the hysteria that is pushing the current rally. For the average consumer the markets smell of an elitist stench. The venerability of a top and a collapse has many remnants of the former middle class scared. Should the expectation be that a House of Cards is on the horizon or should the deal from the bottom of the deck continue as the insiders pump and dump their latest speculative fizz?
Examine just how Buffett operates. His reputation as a stock picker largely ignores any of the dirty laundry that follows in his wake. In the event you forget, the audacious reporting of Charles Gasparino, reminds of the methods employed in the investment culture of his associates. Cited in Saint Warren’s dark side, the working of the protecting racket that rewards the Buffett organization, smacks of the very definition of “too big to fail”.
“The SEC interviewed Buffett last year over one of the most sordid corporate affairs I’ve seen in a long time: His longtime aide and one-time heir-apparent bought shares in a company called Lubrizol just before Buffett purchased the outfit.
The executive, David Sokol, made a hefty profit from the purchase, and even advised Buffett to buy the company in the first place.
Insider trading? I can’t say if it was outside the law. But the SEC is looking into the matter. (SEC and Sokol spokesmen declined to comment on the probe’s status; Buffett didn’t return repeated calls seeking comment.)
Yet I don’t recall any major media outfit bringing up the sordid affair while Buffett was lecturing the nation on tax fairness. Nor did any jump on Buffett’s bizarre initial reaction as Sokol was resigning from Berkshire last year: He defended Sokol’s actions — which, even if they weren’t illegal, still smack of the kind of corporate favoritism that Obama and the rest of the left continually denounce.”
Barrons report another sordid episode swept under the rug in the article, A Buffett Bubble in BYD?
“In September of 2008, just after Lehman Brothers’ collapse had taken the financial crisis to a new level, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway scooped up 9.9% of Chinese battery and electric-car maker BYD for HK$8 (US$1.03) a share. Even a renowned long-term value investor had to be impressed by the near-term sizzle: Within 18 months, BYD shares had rocketed to HK$88. Then the engine started to sputter.
BYD also may have been spoiled by the Buffett bubble built into the shares, which some analysts estimate could be as big as a 30%. “People regard Buffett well as an investor and are happy to stick with the stock as long as he is still holding it,” says Lewis. His departure could have have a huge adverse effect, they say. “A big Berkshire [BRK.A] premium is the only way you could justify where the stock is trading right now,” says Lewis. “You’ve got to ask yourself: Would Warren make the same decision today on BYD? I suspect not.” At the least, he will see Berkshire’s stake diluted by the offering and local reports say Berkshire won’t subscribe further. BYD trades at more than 50 times earnings.”
Finally, Forbes reflects on the big daddy of deals with that great vampire squid in the analysis, Goldman Sachs Reworks $5B In Warrants Held By Buffett’s Berkshire.
“Essentially, Buffett had the right to purchase 43.5 million shares of Goldman at $115 apiece until October 1, 2013. Under the new terms, Buffett will receive “the number of shares of common stock equal in value to the difference between the average closing price over the 10 trading days preceding October 1, 2013 and the exercise price of $115 multiplied by the number of shares of common stock covered by the warrant (43,478,260).”
The short form: instead of paying Goldman $5 billion in cash for stock worth considerably more, Buffett will simply take the amount of stock equivalent to the difference without paying the company.”
Now are their examples of special circumstances just the sign of astute investing or is this a pattern of synergetic regulatory favoritism and fusion with ruling governmental outlaws? Poor old uncle Warren, licking his ice cream cone while playing the ukulele. When will the anti-trust laws apply to the game rigging plutocrats? Evidently, the Buffett’s of the fixed exchanges have bought and paid for the best political protection available. Avoiding a speculative melt down is impossible for the man on the street, but the privileged globalists are well entrenched in their protected palaces built upon ill-gotten gain.
Run Buffett out of town on one of his rails, for railroading free enterprise into a dark tunnel. The derailment of our economy benefits the market manipulators, as the rest struggles to dig out of the collapsed slide of rubble that buries us alive. Elevating Buffett as an investment sage defies common sense.
Any discussion on liberty presupposes an understanding of human nature. Today, the utter confusion and distorted mindset of humankind, relegates animal instincts, as the premier motivation for salacious existence. The criteria for a cordial civilization have long been “consigned to the dustbins of history“. Standards for civil and moral conduct are debased by a global disintegration to achieve the ‘good’ for the hunt of acting ‘nice’. Polite and pleasant facades are no substitute for truth and meaning. Yet, the heights of evil transactions seem to be hailed routinely, as the only achievement that power hungry sociopaths aspire to impose on the rest of the planet. Never-ending conflict is inherent in the human condition, while the state of liberty is unusual and resides within the character of the ethical spirit.
The spread of international humanism as a social value-system is fundamentally hedonistic. The pretence of caring about humanity by adopting a regulatory anatomical structure of benign coercion has relegated individual dignity to the graves of a universal cemetery. At every turn in the propaganda evangelism cycle, the media masters preach a gospel of fake tolerance and respect, while implementing policies and dictates, based upon hate and oppression.
The confessedly exposed religion of their belief is in a hegemonic demon of worldwide enslavement. The defect in the progressive creed requires the extermination of individualistic sovereignty. The whole, as long as it conforms to the orthodox version of subjugation, requires every unique person, to obey the community master of social welfare.
According to the Barack Hussein Obama II epithet, the epistle of his self-indulgence lecture is offered up as a path to worldly happiness. Mere mortals need to sacrifice their integrity to a demon deity, upon an altar of desolation and abandonment. The devil of state adoration demands mandatory veneration.
Hell on earth is the inevitable result from the elimination of personal liberty. The foundation of civilization rests upon the free will of each mortal and the cement of society is the ability of every person to make independent decisions and accept responsibility for their actions. The principles of the Christian gospel, the sacred heritage of the worth in each person and the traditional values of the golden rule are immutable and indisputable. Even so, the collectivist culture rejects the very core cornerstone that has provided the only intermittent sanctuary from the pillaging of the barbarians.
Even an eastern establishment agent like The Atlantic has to admit the evident in the article, There’s No Room for Civil Liberties in Obama’s Inauguration View of America. Wendy Kaminer uses the erroneous illusion of a difference in a partisan political ideology. “The authoritarian right and egalitarian left meet in the middle on at least one issue: Neither side values the rights of the individual.” Stating the obvious, there is no manifest departure within the communalist system that hates any citizen objections to the supremacy of the State. Ms. Kaminer continues:
“Civil libertarians have been cataloguing and futilely litigating the gross abuses of post-9/11 era for years. They include, but are probably not limited to, summary detention and torture; the prosecution of whistleblowers; surveillance of peaceful protesters; the criminalization of journalism and peaceful human-rights activism; extensive blacklisting that would have been the envy of Joe McCarthy; and secrecy about a shadow legal system that makes the president’s “we the people” trope seem less inspirational than sarcastic.
Precisely because civil libertarians have focused on these abuses, they’re old news — which means that progressives reveling in Obama’s speech can’t claim ignorance of them. When they applaud the president’s “muscular liberalism,” without qualification, they’re effectively applauding his strong-arm security state.
When Obama praised collective action in his address, he wasn’t praising efforts by individuals to organize against government abuses. He was praising organized support for government programs.”
Conversely, concluding that the state is the ultimate enemy of the individual, missing the true lesson of the human experience. The addiction to authoritarian discipline is not motivated primarily out of a fear of reprisals, but more often stems from a desire to belong to a social order. The dread of being labeled an outsider and a social misfit creates more self-imposed compliance, with an acceptable politically correct stance, than the threat of fines or incarceration.
The artificial disposition of public or even interpersonal discourse, illustrates the extent and length people go to avoid asking the most profound questions, much less an attempt to discover answers for social issues. The lack of meaningful dialogue is symptomatic of a terminal disease that strips away the flesh from the bone of a cadaver, awaiting a funeral.
The essence of a reasoned relationship with another person or an entire society must be founded upon a mutual respect and common interest. How can a solitary national bear loyalty to a government that tramples inherent rights, which are ordained by God at birth, not delegated by government fiat?
With the unholy alliance of the corporatist/state fascist economy, the model of a system of psychopathic delusion becomes the official reality. People relish in their self-induced mental illness and celebrate their diminished capacity from accepting their subservient and docile role. Liberty cannot survive when citizenry willingly surrender.
Mark Tapscott makes the case that Individual liberty cannot survive a republic of civic dunces.
“As with so much else, James Madison captures the profoundly serious implications of raising a generation politically crippled by its gross civic ignorance in a single concise statement about the difference between Europe and America: “In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example … of charters of power granted by liberty.”
If you don’t grasp how Madison’s simple equation makes all the difference in the world in how this country is governed, then you probably don’t understand why liberals and conservatives disagree on just about everything.”
The Obama administration is engaged in the Europeanization of America. Note this transition removes the historic race, ethnic and cultural differences, that created the vibrant civilization, which produced Western thought and social institutions. In its place, a new world order of an ecumenical hierarchy of globalist plutocrats, running a technological prison planet of apes, is in the making.
No liberty exists for anthropoids! Ironically, “the Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago”, applies to the authoritarians that would be King Kong in domain of Dr. Zaius. When George Taylor laments, “YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!’; the fans of the POTUS dictatorship, whoever is in office at the time, deserves their oblivion.Is it so difficult to see the destructive conversion going on in a country that once understood the purpose of the American Revolution? The preachers from the pulpits of press conferences want you to believe that their pronouncements are from on high. The fools, who extend them credibility in the face of official tyranny, much less their acquiescence and submission, are endorsing treason.
Liberty must be defended, not with superior firepower, but with eternal determination. Since the lack of willpower is the critical problem, what would it take to motivate the lethargic minions to take real affirmative action? Pray tell the squeamish dare not get involved. Just the mere thought of offending your overlords, is far too audacious, in a feeble attempt to practice personal self-respect.
The village of the damned is as close as your adjacent neighborhood. Living a life of liberty is too intrepid of a concept for most registered party voters. As the evidence mounts that, the dictatorship of the proletariat is not confined solely to Marxist regimes, but is eminently thriving in the land of the former brave and bold.
The Madisonian framework model of federalism and separation of powers is long dead. Even the appearance of Liberty in public institutions is scorned upon as an affront to the supremacy of state authority. Individual autonomy and specific actions is the principle purpose of the genuine patriot, while the last refuge of the scoundrel is the pledge of allegiance to the admiralty flag.
Since the decline of the original Republic, the chronicle into totalitarianism is nearly complete. Now the gatekeepers of the oligarchy look and act like Dr. Zaius. When he admits that he has always known that human civilization existed long before apes ruled the planet, he really is saying that the nation was once lead by representatives of sovereign individuals and is now ruled by egomaniac tyrants that like to whip their knuckle dragging serfs.The reason the country is doomed lies squarely upon the shoulders of the docile. With the criminalization of society, the faint-hearted demand harsher penalties for anyone, who defies the slave state. Do not just blame the elites sitting on high for all the ills of our national plight. The little people, gaming the system, bear the scarlet letter of shame for their lust of government adoration. As long as the rebellion of courage remains in a stage of limbo, the cowardly primates of Amerika will obey their orders.
The planting season is in full swing as is the transfer of subsidies to big agriculture and social welfare food stamps. Which has more worth, paying the Monsanto and property tax bill or running a public assistance program that allows for the buying of lottery tickets? Well, if you are Congress, both have benefit, but mostly for their political value.Why are food stamps part of the Farm Bill? Nancy Marshall-Genzer makes a shrewd observation.
“There’s been an explosive expansion of the food stamp program. To understand why, you have to go back to the ’90s and President Clinton’s welfare reform, which trimmed welfare rolls. To help those cut off, Congress and President Bush made it easier to qualify for food stamps. That was in 2002. Since then, the food stamp program has more than doubled.
That’s about one in seven Americans. Many of them lost their jobs during the great recession. But why is the food stamp program in the farm bill, anyway? Like most things in Washington, it all boils down to politics.
Chad Hart is an economist at Iowa State. He says farm-state legislators needed a way to connect with more urban members of Congress, so the city slickers would support farm subsidies.”
Is it necessary to expand exponentially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to relieve starvation when a “Happy Meal” can be purchased at every turn? Yet the socialization culture boasts of the dietary benefits of being on the government dole, as the urban society continues to consume every cuisine of fast foods.
The Washington Times notes that under the Food stamp president: Enrollment up 70 percent under Obama and that present legislation “allow for those with higher incomes to take food stamps — the logic being that helping people before they reach crisis financial level will actually stimulate the economy.”
What did people do for food before the era of the “Great Society”? Farming was a way of life for rural America from the inception of the country. In spite of struggling out a livelihood from an often-harsh pastoral environment, agriculture capacity grew into the breadbasket of the world. Today, the gentleman farmer needs to master the skills of trading future contracts and applications for assistance.
A starting point for subsidies ”can supplement a farmer’s income and as well as provide funds for rental payments for land and assistance when the market price of a crop is low. Farm subsidies also play a role in the cost and availability of certain agricultural commodities.”
- Contact the Farm Service Agency office in your state
- Determine which farm subsidy you will apply for
- Find out what type of government subsidized crop and animal insurance is available in your area
- Determine if your farm is eligible for the Direct Payment subsidy program
- Ask about the special loan programs the federal government has available for new farmers and ranchers who have been in business for at least three years but less than ten years
Farming as a productive enterprise is rapidly becoming big business. The family farm is no longer an independent endeavor based upon market prices and ingenious management. The quasi-government debt and subsidy cycle, demands a public partnership with federal and state agencies that distort production and consumer prices at every level. Economy of scale seems to be the only path left to plow the fertile fields of government subsidies.
The corporate agriculture conglomerates have become integral constituents of the seed, fertilizer and chemical industry. Both collaborators hire their political lobbyists to expand financial supports, resistive food labeling disclosures and apply economic pressure to stamp out holistic food competition.
The taxpayer should be concerned over the institutionalization and dependency of the SNAP mentality that eats at the fabric of a viable market economy. However, even more diabolical is the destructive subsidization of farming that dramatically benefits corporatist agriculture at the expense of organic agrarian alternatives.
US News takes the position that the Farm Bill’s Corporate Welfare Is Unacceptable.
“Under current law, businesses that produce commodity crops-corn, soy, cotton, or wheat for example-receive a variety of federal supports. One of these, direct payments, provides a per-acreage subsidy for certain farmland owners, regardless of prices, crop yield, or profitability. As a result some farm businesses making hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars each year also receive a generous annual check from the federal government even if they don’t grow a crop.
Federal crop insurance is out of control. In fiscal year 2012, the total cost of the crop insurance program set a new record at $14 billion-$3 billion more than FY2011. And here’s the kicker-2012 was a year of near record profits for agriculture, even before crop insurance payouts, despite and in part because of the drought many parts of the country experienced this past summer. In every state, participants in the crop insurance program have received more in claims payments than in premium dollars put in over the past 15 years. And remember, for every $1 in premiums, agribusinesses only chip in 38 cents to insure their own crops while taxpayers pick up the remaining 62 cents. That is not insurance or a safety-net, that’s a hand out.”
A comprehensive overhaul of government agriculture policy may not seem very probable from a political will perspective. Nevertheless, the gravy train of public money cannot be a substitute for tilling the soil and weeding the crops. When government legislation attempts to maintain an inexpensive retail food price with public grants, loans and subsidies, the true cost of national nourishment is unsustainable.
The urbanization of the political electorate dictates that the bottom feeders expect their groceries be delivered from a full service supermarket. As any rural resident knows, the nature of the land has its own set of rules and demands. Famine and undernourishment applies to much more than the food supply. It resides in the destructive and distorted government protection racket that leaves the public with a deep hunger in their belly.
Derivatives turn the financial system into a casino. And the House always wins.
Photo Credit: Jean Lee/ Shutterstock.com
Cyprus-style confiscation of depositor funds has been called the “new normal.” Bail-in policies are appearing in multiple countries directing failing TBTF banks to convert the funds of “unsecured creditors” into capital; and those creditors, it turns out, include ordinary depositors. Even “secured” creditors, including state and local governments, may be at risk. Derivatives have “super-priority” status in bankruptcy, and Dodd Frank precludes further taxpayer bailouts. In a big derivatives bust, there may be no collateral left for the creditors who are next in line.
Shock waves went around the world when the IMF, the EU, and the ECB not only approved but mandated the confiscation of depositor funds to “bail in” two bankrupt banks in Cyprus. A “bail in” is a quantum leap beyond a “bail out.” When governments are no longer willing to use taxpayer money to bail out banks that have gambled away their capital, the banks are now being instructed to “recapitalize” themselves by confiscating the funds of their creditors, turning debt into equity, or stock; and the “creditors” include the depositors who put their money in the bank thinking it was a secure place to store their savings.
The Cyprus bail-in was not a one-off emergency measure but was consistent with similar policies already in the works for the US, UK, EU, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, as detailed in my earlier articles here and here. “Too big to fail” now trumps all. Rather than banks being put into bankruptcy to salvage the deposits of their customers, the customers will be put into bankruptcy to save the banks.
Why Derivatives Threaten Your Bank Account
The big risk behind all this is the massive $230 trillion derivatives boondoggle managed by US banks. Derivatives are sold as a kind of insurance for managing profits and risk; but as Satyajit Das points out in Extreme Money, they actually increase risk to the system as a whole.
In the US after the Glass-Steagall Act was implemented in 1933, a bank could not gamble with depositor funds for its own account; but in 1999, that barrier was removed. Recent congressional investigations have revealed that in the biggest derivative banks, JPMorgan and Bank of America, massive commingling has occurred between their depository arms and their unregulated and highly vulnerable derivatives arms. Under both the Dodd Frank Act and the 2005 Bankruptcy Act, derivative claims have super-priority over all other claims, secured and unsecured, insured and uninsured. In a major derivatives fiasco, derivative claimants could well grab all the collateral, leaving other claimants, public and private, holding the bag.
The tab for the 2008 bailout was $700 billion in taxpayer funds, and that was just to start. Another $700 billion disaster could easily wipe out all the money in the FDIC insurance fund, which has only about $25 billion in it. Both JPMorgan and Bank of America have over $1 trillion in deposits, and total deposits covered by FDIC insurance are about $9 trillion. According to an article on Bloomberg in November 2011, Bank of America’s holding company then had almost $75 trillion in derivatives, and 71% were held in its depository arm; while J.P. Morgan had $79 trillion in derivatives, and 99% were in its depository arm. Those whole mega-sums are not actually at risk, but the cash calculated to be at risk from derivatives from all sources is at least $12 trillion; and JPM is the biggest player, with 30% of the market.
It used to be that the government would backstop the FDIC if it ran out of money. But section 716 of the Dodd Frank Act now precludes the payment of further taxpayer funds to bail out a bank from a bad derivatives gamble. As summarized in a letter from Americans for Financial Reform quoted by Yves Smith:
Section 716 bans taxpayer bailouts of a broad range of derivatives dealing and speculative derivatives activities. Section 716 does not in any way limit the swaps activities which banks or other financial institutions may engage in. It simply prohibits public support for such activities.
There will be no more $700 billion taxpayer bailouts. So where will the banks get the money in the next crisis? It seems the plan has just been revealed in the new bail-in policies.
All Depositors, Secured and Unsecured, May Be at Risk
The bail-in policy for the US and UK is set forth in a document put out jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England (BOE) in December 2012, titled Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.
In an April 4th article in Financial Sense, John Butler points out that the directive does not explicitly refer to “depositors.” It refers only to “unsecured creditors.” But the effective meaning of the term, says Butler, is belied by the fact that the FDIC has been put on the job. The FDIC has direct responsibility only for depositors, not for the bondholders who are wholesale non-depositor sources of bank credit. Butler comments:
Do you see the sleight-of-hand at work here? Under the guise of protecting taxpayers, depositors of failing institutions are to be arbitrarily, de-facto subordinated to interbank claims, when in fact they are legally senior to those claims!
. . . [C]onsider the brutal, unjust irony of the entire proposal. Remember, its stated purpose is to solve the problem revealed in 2008, namely the existence of insolvent TBTF institutions that were “highly leveraged and complex, with numerous and dispersed financial operations, extensive off-balance-sheet activities, and opaque financial statements.” Yet what is being proposed is a framework sacrificing depositors in order to maintain precisely this complex, opaque, leverage-laden financial edifice!
If you believe that what has happened recently in Cyprus is unlikely to happen elsewhere, think again. Economic policy officials in the US, UK and other countries are preparing for it. Remember, someone has to pay. Will it be you? If you are a depositor, the answer is yes.
The FDIC was set up to ensure the safety of deposits. Now it, it seems, its function will be the confiscation of deposits to save Wall Street. In the only mention of “depositors” in the FDIC-BOE directive as it pertains to US policy, paragraph 47 says that “the authorities recognize the need for effective communication to depositors, making it clear that their deposits will be protected.” But protected with what? As with MF Global, the pot will already have been gambled away. From whom will the bank get it back? Not the derivatives claimants, who are first in line to be paid; not the taxpayers, since Congress has sealed the vault; not the FDIC insurance fund, which has a paltry $25 billion in it. As long as the derivatives counterparties have super-priority status, the claims of all other parties are in jeopardy.
That could mean not just the “unsecured creditors” but the “secured creditors,” including state and local governments. Local governments keep a significant portion of their revenues in Wall Street banks because smaller local banks lack the capacity to handle their complex business. In the US, banks taking deposits of public funds are required to pledge collateral against any funds exceeding the deposit insurance limit of $250,000. But derivative claims are also secured with collateral, and they have super-priority over all other claimants, including other secured creditors. The vault may be empty by the time local government officials get to the teller’s window. Main Street will again have been plundered by Wall Street.
Super-priority Status for Derivatives Increases Rather Than Decreases Risk
Harvard Law Professor Mark Row maintains that the super-priority status of derivatives needs to be repealed. He writes:
. . . [D]erivatives counterparties, . . . unlike most other secured creditors, can seize and immediately liquidate collateral, readily net out gains and losses in their dealings with the bankrupt, terminate their contracts with the bankrupt, and keep both preferential eve-of-bankruptcy payments and fraudulent conveyances they obtained from the debtor, all in ways that favor them over the bankrupt’s other creditors.
. . . [W]hen we subsidize derivatives and similar financial activity via bankruptcy benefits unavailable to other creditors, we get more of the activity than we otherwise would. Repeal would induce these burgeoning financial markets to better recognize the risks of counterparty financial failure, which in turn should dampen the possibility of another AIG-, Bear Stearns-, or Lehman Brothers-style financial meltdown, thereby helping to maintain systemic financial stability.
In The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences, David Skeel agrees. He calls the Dodd-Frank policy approach “corporatism” – a partnership between government and corporations. Congress has made no attempt in the legislation to reduce the size of the big banks or to undermine the implicit subsidy provided by the knowledge that they will be bailed out in the event of trouble.
Undergirding this approach is what Skeel calls “the Lehman myth,” which blames the 2008 banking collapse on the decision to allow Lehman Brothers to fail. Skeel counters that the Lehman bankruptcy was actually orderly, and the derivatives were unwound relatively quickly. Rather than preventing the Lehman collapse, the bankruptcy exemption for derivatives may have helped precipitate it. When the bank appeared to be on shaky ground, the derivatives players all rushed to put in their claims, in a run on the collateral before it ran out. Skeel says the problem could be resolved by eliminating the derivatives exemption from the stay of proceedings that a bankruptcy court applies to other contracts to prevent this sort of run.
Putting the Brakes on the Wall Street End Game
Besides eliminating the super-priority of derivatives, here are some other ways to block the Wall Street asset grab:
(1) Restore the Glass-Steagall Act separating depository bankingfrom investment banking. Support Marcy Kaptur’s H.R. 129.
(2) Break up the giant derivatives banks. Support Bernie Sanders’ “too big to jail” legislation.
(3) Alternatively, nationalize the TBTFs, as advised in the New York Times by Gar Alperovitz. If taxpayer bailouts to save the TBTFs are unacceptable, depositor bailouts are even more unacceptable.
(4) Make derivatives illegal, as they were between 1936 and 1982 under the Commodities Exchange Act. They can be unwound by simply netting them out, declaring them null and void. As noted by Paul Craig Roberts, “the only major effect of closing out or netting all the swaps (mostly over-the-counter contracts between counter-parties) would be to take $230 trillion of leveraged risk out of the financial system.”
(5) Support the Harkin-Whitehouse bill to impose a financial transactions tax on Wall Street trading. Among other uses, a tax on all trades might supplement the FDIC insurance fund to cover another derivatives disaster.
(5) Establish postal savings banks as government-guaranteed depositories for individual savings. Many countries have public savings banks, which became particularly popular after savings in private banks were wiped out in the banking crisis of the late 1990s.
(6) Establish publicly-owned banks to be depositories of public monies, following the lead of North Dakota, the only state to completely escape the 2008 banking crisis. North Dakota does not keep its revenues in Wall Street banks but deposits them in the state-owned Bank of North Dakota by law. The bank has a mandate to serve the public, and it does not gamble in derivatives.
A motivated state legislature could set up a publicly-owned bank very quickly. Having its own bank would allow the state to protect both its own revenues and those of its citizens while generating the credit needed to support local business and restore prosperity to Main Street.
For more information on the public bank option, see here. Learn more at thePublic Banking Institute conference June 2-4 in San Rafael, California, featuring Matt Taibbi, Birgitta Jonsdottir,Gar Alperovitz and others.
Source: Ellen Brown | Alternet
The International Monetary Fund is an extortion financier’s outfit for a gang of exploiter banksters. The colonists of global mercantilism operate on extending credit with strings attached and assets targeted for attachment. Poor and underdeveloped economies beg for roll over extensions of old debt in an endless circle of currency debasement and resource transfer. So why anyone would get excited over a competing banking house, seems to escape implications within the news publications.
The Global Post describes in the article, BRICS countries to form new development bank.
“The bank is intended to fund development and infrastructure projects in BRICS nations and elsewhere. First discussed a year ago, it has been described as an alternative to the IMF and World Bank for developing countries.
Although the plan is the biggest announcement to come out of a summit of BRICS leaders in Durban, South Africa, where they signed an accord today, details such as how much capital the bank will have, its structure and its location have yet to be worked out.”
Would this development bank become simply a Chinese dynasty investment structure based upon the weight of their financial leverage within the system? Or would the union of eager modernizing countries really be the future formula for economic growth and wealth? On the surface the positive foreign reserves and lower indebtedness seem to answer a resounding yes, but look a little deeper.
Without specific details, the viability of such a scheme is unknown. The article, BRICS Seek to Cement Position in Global Economic Landscape, does not exactly envision a smooth maturation.
“The planned development bank “is feasible and viable,” leaders confirmed in a statement on Wednesday. Such a bank would “supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.”
However, officials speaking earlier during the summit admitted that various key details remain to be worked out before the proposed bank can become fully operational – a process that is expected to take years. For instance, disagreements have already surfaced among the BRICS on the specifics of the bank’s mandate, and how exactly the institution would be financed.”
The question, missing from the depths and significance of news analysis is whether a competing fund for international lending from a group of rival countries will improve on the sorry record of Western banking.
Venky Vembu from First Post in BRICS Bank is just a castle in the air, points out the infighting among participating partners.
“Analysts who attend the BRICS deliberations point out: ”By day they talk grandly of multilateral action to tip the playing field in favour of poorer nations, while by night they scheme shamelessly against each other, often in conjunction with their supposed economic oppressors in the West.” There is, he adds, virtually nothing that unites them other than resentment and suspicion of Western monopoly – not all of which is justified.”
Another viewpoint that brings the discussion down to earth is written by Ruchir Sharma in The Economic Times article, Brics summits are so last decade: All members are slowing down.
“All the Brics are slowing sharply. China’s economy has slowed from an average annual growth rate of 11% in the last decade to less than 8% in 2012. That has taken the wind out of economies that set sailBSE 0.56 % by selling raw materials to China, particularly Brazil and Russia, where GDP growth slipped to 1% and 3.5%, respectively, last year. Investors are heading for other destinations, and in dollar terms the Brics stock markets are trading 30-40 % below the peaks of the last decade. But, once again, the politicians are a step behind.
The Brics no longer look like a rising economic axis. On average, the growth rate of Brazil, Russia and South Africa is likely to be around 2.5% over the next few years, about the same pace as the US. That would be a terrible disappointment for these developing nations eager to catch up to the West, as their per capita income is much lower than that of the US. Owing in good part to the Brics slowdown, the US economy is now growing at the same pace as the global average for the first time since 2003, leading to stabilisation in its share in the world economy at around the long-term average of 23%.”
These foreign press items reflect a much different understanding from the news report on the BRICS announcement video, ‘Hegemonic corporations scared as BRICS plan bank to rival IMF‘.An optimistic projection that the global economy will generate sensible growth and prosperity because of BRICS leadership, is a stretch at best. This concern is certainly no endorsement of the existing Western debt created money-banking model. However, the power of the IMF and World Bank is based upon the military enforcement arm of the NATO machine.
The concept of central banking is immutably defined by the dominance of empire. The peaceful relinquishment of international finance to the BRICS is about as probable as a soft landing from the world debt bubble.
Evolving is a testing of world markets for a transfer to a different banking centercolossus. In order for that hypothesis to be even remotely possible, the world reserved currency status of the U.S. Dollar must be replaced with a basket of other currencies.
The BRICS countries have their own set of internal economic shortcomings. Much of their cash flow is export trade related. The collapse of global trade is the biggest risk that looms over a brighter future for especially undeveloped economies. Another quasi-IMF stratagem that presents a top down banking compliance is not an alternative to the existing fraud.
Looking for altruistic benefactors that are willing to finance capital requirements, from usury lenders is a fools dream. Setting off a turf war, results in collateral damage, for everyone. Financial conflict is predictable when business is based upon a destructive banking version for an imbalance in commerce obligations. A butting of heads between the BRICS, the EU and the USA is just as inevitable.
What more time-honored practice in the long history of state sponsored servitude than the institutionalization of prisoners? Incarceration for offenses against government laws is a cornerstone for power and survivability of any regime. Prisons may have been hellholes over the centuries, but seldom has the internment of convicted lawbreakers been a growth industry for private profit. It almost makes one wonder exactly who are the crooks. While most hard-pressed citizens want a safe and secure society, few ever give even a passing thought to the insatiable corporatist criminalization of the criminal justice system. Just how many Americans agree with the proposition, if you did the crime, you need to serve the time.
All loyal law and order proponents can take pride in the one area where the imperium of government discipline still ranks first among nations. A Global Research article - The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery? – points out some staggering facts.
“There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.”
Just imagine the hidden solution to the high unemployment economy is staring in our faces without even a hint of public reaction. The ultimate entrepreneurial partnership allows for corporate security firms to house government dissenters or rebellious non-conformers.
“Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America(CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, “the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners.” The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA.”
The dramatic increases in prison population are not from violent convicts or rapists and killers. The majority of offense categories are property, drug and especially public-order related. The goal of social rehabilitation is a quaint concept of another era. The pretense of reclamation from a conviction of prosecutorial discretion is a standard that few DA’s or judges ever consider. Sentencing guidelines are based upon retribution and punishment, in order to keep the prisons filled with a growing number of new inmates. The supposition is that if you are charged with a crime, the suspect will plea bargain or the jury will follow the directions of the government and convict.
For 2011, the US Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate. Such a record implies a culture of criminalization or a hard road for an innocent suspect to navigate. No wonder, the private company screws are such staunch supporters of the transgression and disorder society.
The video, Private prisons - the most profitable real estate in the US? – provides a distressing analysis of the consequences of incentivizing revenue return motivated companies as the jailer overseers.
From the report Prison Labor and Crime in the U.S. - Industry, Privatization, Inmate Facts and Stats – Prison Industries and Inmate Labor – section:
“Many companies are now directly involved in some form of profiting off of incarceration or the labor of inmates. Since 1980 when there was only one prison industry operating as a privatized entity, there are now thirty eight states and at least five county jails with privatized prison industry productions or factory operations. Together state and federal factories now number over three hundred nationwide with between six hundred thousand and one million inmates working in some form of manufacturing or services. Hundreds of companies using inmate labor for manufacturing, services and other duties are now partnered with these operations. This is done under the federal Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) under 18 USC 1761(c).
Clearly companies, businesses and corporations have become heavily invested in, and dependent upon incarceration for cheap labor and profit. In 2009 total sales of prisoner made products totaled $2.4 billion. Some research places that figure as high as $5 billion and this is in addition to the “prison industry” figure of $34 billion used previously.”
Another RT video details the Prison labor booms in US as low-cost inmates bring billions. Is society really safer from the dramatic increase in the prison population, or is this method of crowding a growing herd of cheap labor simply a strategy to enrich politically connected companies?
As the rapid implosion of the economy accelerates, the prospect of even greater numbers of government prosecutions will surely increase. How many Jean Valjean’s are there in Les Misérables penal confines baking bread?
Now if you are sympathy challenged and are as hard as the rocks that need to be broken, why is the political class virtually exempt from accountability. Remember the once popular bumper sticker; “I’ll Buckle Up When Ted Bundy Does”. Well, no compassion for a serial killer is certainly understandable and proper.
However, where is the justice when a professional bankster felon like Jon Corzine skates after his crimes in the MF Global theft? The rules for ex Goldman Sacks predators allows for financing publicly traded private jail companies, but are exempt of ever working on the assembly line making license plates. What is next: a hedge fund totally devoted to the management of a privatized infrastructure of FEMA camps.
Michael Snyder writes in The Economic Collapse article, Private Prisons: The More Americans They Put Behind Bars The More Money They Make.
“If you can believe it, three of the largest private prison companies have spent approximately $45,000,000 combined on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade.
Just look at what has happened to the U.S. prison population over the past several decades. Prior to 1980, there were virtually no private prisons in the United States. But since that time, we have seen the overall prison population and the private prison population absolutely explode.
For example, between 1990 and 2009 the number of Americans in private prisons grew by about 1600 percent.
Overall, the U.S. prison population more than quadrupled between 1980 and 2007.”
Hard core criminals that violate civic community standards and endanger public safety should pay a price for their transgressions. Conversely, political prisoners that challenge the crony corruption within the governmental hierarchy do not deserve a sentence in a sweatshop.
With the abandonment of a police ethic that was dedicated to keeping the peace for an apparatus of law enforcement for arbitrary and dishonest statutes, which only serve the privileged elites; our society is sentenced to a death penalty. Slavery was eliminated a century ago, right? Thus far, that message has not filtered down to the penal plantation. An inmate deserves the solitude of solitary confinement.
The most effective private prison is the one that interns the personal guilt of wicked deeds. If public officials would act upon the moral judgments of their conscience, the perversion within the laws that they pass, adjudicate or administer, would exempt or reduce the unequal application of legitimate legislation, now deemed as criminal acts.
Human nature being what it is; evil acts are instinctive within malevolent souls. Accepting a corrosive punitive system, that enriches private companies, is a horrible departure that prison is a valid tool that protects society. The most dangerous and violent forfeit their social freedom by their predatory actions. However, the sheer numbers of confined prisoners does not justify a structure that exploits a captured population for forced labor.
Do we really need to criminalize society as the price to coexist in the era of Guantanamo justice? America once strived to maintain a balance among competing factions. Today there are only Statists that absolve government transgressions as acceptable and the dissenters that are now in the sights for retribution and eventual arrest. The criminalization of citizens for capricious infractions is the sign of a doomed society. When the hacks patrol the halls to enforce proper public behavior, the entire country becomes a prison.
The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts. In fact, Cyprus-style “bail-ins” are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. This new budget actually proposes “to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks” in Canada. “Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this “bail-in regime” was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted. So exactly what in the world is going on here? In addition, as you will see below, it is being reported that the European Parliament will soon be voting on a law which would require that large banks be “bailed in” when they fail. In other words, that new law would make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation the law of the land for the entire EU. I can’t even begin to describe how serious all of this is. From now on, when major banks fail they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts. This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the western world.
What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada.
The following comes from pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which you can find right here. Apparently the goal is to find a way to rescue “systemically important banks” without the use of taxpayer funds…
Canada’s large banks are a source of strength for the Canadian economy. Our large banks have become increasingly successful in international markets, creating jobs at home.
The Government also recognizes the need to manage the risks associated with systemically important banks — those banks whose distress or failure could cause a disruption to the financial system and, in turn, negative impacts on the economy. This requires strong prudential oversight and a robust set of options for resolving these institutions without the use of taxpayer funds, in the unlikely event that one becomes non-viable.
So if taxpayer funds will not be used to bail out the banks, how will it be done? Well, the Canadian government is actually proposing that a “bail-in” regime be implemented…
The Government proposes to implement a “bail-in” regime for systemically important banks.This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada. Implementation timelines will allow for a smooth transition for affected institutions, investors and other market participants.
So if the banks take extreme risks with their money and lose, “certain bank liabilities” (i.e. deposits) will rapidly be converted into “regulatory capital” and the banks will be saved.
In other words, the banks will just be allowed to grab money directly out of your bank accounts to recapitalize themselves.
That may sound completely and utterly insane to us, but this is how things will now be done all over the western world.
Sometimes a “bail-in” can be done by just converting unsecured debt into equity, but as we just saw in Cyprus, often when there is a major bank failure a lot more money is required to “fix the banks” than can possibly be raised by converting unsecured debt into equity. That is when it becomes very tempting to dip into uninsured back accounts.
In fact, some European politicians are openly admitting as much. According to RT, the European Parliament will soon be voting on a new law which will make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation a permanent part of the solution when major banks fail throughout the EU…
A senior lawmaker told Reuters the Cyprus model may not be an isolated case, and is perhaps a future template in dealing with troubled European banks.
The new template is now likely to turn into a full-scale EU law, letting taxpayers off the hook in case a bail-out is needed, but imposing major losses on bigger savers on a permanent basis.
“You need to be able to do the bail-in as well with deposits,” said Gunnar Hokmark, member of European Parliament, who is leading negotiations with EU countries to finalize a law for winding up problem banks, Reuters reported.
“Deposits below 100,000 euros are protected … deposits above 100,000 euros are not protected and shall be treated as part of the capital that can be bailed in,” Hokmark told Reuters, adding that he was confident a majority of his peers in the parliament backed the idea.
The European Commission has written the draft of the law, which now awaits approval from eurozone member states and the parliament on whether and when it can be implemented. It’s been reported, the law is planned to take effect in the beginning of 2015.
Are you starting to understand?
The other day when I said that “The Global Elite Are Very Clearly Telling Us That They Plan To Raid Our Bank Accounts“, I was not exaggerating.
And for those in Cyprus with deposits of over 100,000 euros, the news just keeps getting worse and worse.
When the crisis first erupted, they were told that 10 percent of all deposits over 100,000 euros would be confiscated.
Then a few days later they were told that it would be 40 percent.
Now, according to the Washington Post, those with deposits over 100,000 euros at the second largest bank in Cyprus may lose as much as80 percent of those deposits…
A deal was finally reached in Brussels with other euro countries and the International Monetary Fund early Monday. The country’s second-largest bank, Laiki, is to be split up, with its healthy assets being absorbed into the Bank of Cyprus. Savers with more 100,000 euros ($129,000) in either Bank of Cyprus and Laiki will face big losses. At Laiki, those could reach as much as 80 percent of amounts above the 100,000 insured limit; those at Bank of Cyprus are expected to be much lower.
Sadly, the truth is that those people will be lucky to ever see any of that money ever again.
How would you feel if someone came along and wiped out your life savings so that banks that took incredibly reckless risks could be bailed out?
Needless to say, a lot of people in Cyprus are very, very angry right now. The following reactions from outraged depositors in Cyprus are from Sky News…
“They have stolen our money,” Milton Loucas told Sky News.
“I have been working for 60 years. I am 80 years old. I cannot work again for my living – they have cut the lot.
“Our money, our social insurance – they have cut them. How are we going to live?”
Another Cypriot, Stelios, came out of the bank empty handed.
“I tried to get my February wages and they gave me a piece of paper only,” he said.
“I have two children in the army and they asked for money – I don’t have money to give them.
“The Government didn’t pay anybody. My old parents didn’t get their pension.”
A lot of people have just had their entire lives turned upside down.
But there were some people that were told ahead of the crisis and were able to get their money out in time.
According to the BBC, foreigners pulled a whopping 18 percent of their money out of Cyprus banks during the month of February alone…
Information from the Central Bank of Cyprus released on Thursday showed that foreign depositors had already withdrawn 18% of their cash from the nation’s banks during February, before the current crisis hit home.
So how did they know to pull their money out and who told them?
In addition, branches of the two largest banks in Cyprus were kept open in Moscow and London even after all of the banks in Cyprus itself were shut down. So wealthy Russians and wealthy Brits have been able to take all of their money out of those banks while the people of Cyprus have been unable to. It is hard to even find the words to describe how unfair that is. The following is from a recent article by Mark J. Grant…
So let us then turn back to Cyprus and see why the Russians are not quite so upset as they were at the beginning of the crisis. The answer to this question is Uniastrum bank which is headquartered in Moscow. Eighty percent (80%) is owned by the Bank of Cyprus. After the crisis began and right up until the capital controls were implemented the bank wasopen for business with no restrictions upon withdrawals. So the crisis began, was all over the Press and the Russian depositors walked into the local bank and withdrew their money from Uniastrum, the Bank of Cyprus, or had it wired in from the other local Cyprus banks and it was then withdrawn. Problem solved!
At the same time Laiki bank and the Bank of Cyprus had operating branches in London. There were no restrictions there either so people could walk into those banks and withdraw their money as well. No restrictions at all right up until the time of the Capital Controls. In the meantime, in Cyprus, people and institutions could not get at their money so the Russians and many British took out their money, closed their accounts while the people in Cyprus were left high and dry.
The wealthy always seem to come out ahead somehow, don’t they?
Meanwhile, those in Cyprus with deposits under 100,000 euros are now dealing with some very stringent capital controls. In other words, there are some very tight restrictions on what they can do with their money. For example, the maximum daily cash withdrawal has been set at 300 euros. The following are some of the other restrictions that are in force right now…
As well as the daily withdrawal limit, Cypriots may not cash cheques.
Payments and/or transfers outside Cyprus via debit and or credit cards are allowed up to 5,000 euros per person per month.
Transactions of 5,000-200,000 euros will be reviewed by a specially established committee, with applications for those over 200,000 euros needing individual approval.
Travellers leaving the country will only be allowed to take 1,000 euros with them.
When the next great wave of the economic collapse strikes, capital controls and bank account confiscation will suddenly become “normal” all over the world.
So get prepared while you still can.
One thing that you can do is make sure that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket. The following is what Jim Rogers recently told CNBC…
“I, for one, am making sure I don’t have too much money in any one specific bank account anywhere in the world, because now there is a precedent,” he said. “The IMF has said ‘sure, loot the bank accounts’ the EU has said ‘loot the bank accounts’ so you can be sure that other countries when problems come, are going to say, ‘well, it’s condoned by the EU, it’s condoned by the IMF, so let’s do it too.’”
The more places that you have your money, the more difficult it will be for “the powers that be” to loot it.
The global elite are fundamentally changing the game. From now on, no bank account on earth will ever be able to be considered “100% safe” again. This is going to create an atmosphere of fear and panic, and no financial system can operate normally when you destroy the confidence that people have in it.
Confidence is a funny thing – it can take decades to build, but it can be destroyed in a single moment.
None of us will ever be able to have confidence in our bank accounts again, and I fear that the next wave of the economic collapse may be closer than I had first anticipated.
Source: The Economic Collapse
The American Middle Class Is Almost Gone…
The culture of the United States of America is beginning to adjust to the new economic status brought on by the trade treaties and the world government legislation passed by our elected officials. The vibrant middle class that was a Hallmark of the nation has succumbed to the exportation of millions of high paying jobs to cheaper locales and the retail outlets that were supported by that former affluence are beginning to close their doors.
A poorer society cannot support the broad selection of retail opportunities American shoppers have enjoyed and store closings are beginning to restrict the selection in marginal cities.
Prior to the Real Estate debacle the Florida town where I live was expanding at a record rate. A South Florida developer had purchased a large horse farm and gotten approval to construct homes and a major outdoor shopping center. Construction began. Dillards opened, Dicks Sporting Goods, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble, Kohls, H. H. Gregg, McAllisters Deli, Panera Bread and McDonalds. Scores of additional stores were constructed and several small businesses leased space. The real estate crash halted construction. Many of the smaller stores went out of business leaving acres of newly constructed retail spaces and residential lots that may never be used. The anchor stores now stand as lonely lumps in an emaciated skeleton starved by the death of the middle class.
On the other side of a major highway an older indoor shopping Mall has lost two anchor stores and has several vacancies. The Gap just closed. New renters are textile stores on short leases; some of these have opened and closed within a month or two. A new shop just opened offering a Chinese foot massage. The Mall was built in the 1980s and the high end jeweler that closed the beginning of this year and the men’s clothing store that just closed a couple of months ago were anchor stores. These are stores that like The Gap have been supported by the upper Middle class.
Wikipedia has a list of significant business failures by year going back into the 1930s. I counted the failures during the last decade of the Twentieth Century and the First decade of the Twenty First Century. My figures may not be exactly accurate but the comparative rates are astounding. I counted 87 failures during the 1990s compared to 327 from 2000 through 2010. Read recent statistics here.
According to a Pew survey the middle class net worth dropped 28 percent in the decade following 2001 while the upper one percent edged higher. They attributed this distinction to plummeting home values that impacted the middle class while wealthier people held broader based assets. While inflation has torn away at the value of the dollar middle class family income has declined by about 4 percent in the new century. From 1970 into the new century the percentage of total income enjoyed by the wealthy has risen from 29 percent to 46 percent while the middle class share has declined from 62 percent to 45 percent. Read the results of the survey here.
In this new world created over the heads of the American people the United States will bear no resemblance to the proud, affluent and powerful nation that emerged victorious after WWII. The objective is to flatten out the nations of the world making them more homogeneous and easier to govern. United States wealth is long gone replaced by trillions of dollars of debt that will enslave its citizens for generations..
Hitler’s Germany has been propagandized as the primary Satan of the Twentieth Century but it is a myth created to hide the wholesale wickedness of the Russian Revolution. Several decades ago Norman Dodd, then Director of Research to the Reece Committee, visited Alan Gaither, President of the Ford Foundation to explain why Congress was investigating foundations. Before he could explain, Mr. Gaither said, “Mr. Dodd, all of us who have a hand in the making of policies here, have had experience operating under directives, the substance of which is, that we use our grant-making power so as to alter life in the United States that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.”
It seems apparent now that what Henry Kissinger and President Nixon promised the Chinese during their visits in 1971 and 1972 was the United States of America offered up like the head of John the Baptist. No wonder the Chinese were interested! A scant 30 years later China is not only beneficiary of our manufacturing base but it also holds mortgages on our massive supplies of coal and oil.
A stupendous world change has occurred during the past several decades. Assets of the world’s wealthiest nation were peacefully removed by a legislative agenda sold to the people as beneficial and passed by their democratically elected politicians. This legislative agenda was planned in advance with the wile of The Serpent and as the devastating results set in a War on Terrorism was used to hide them and to deflect the animosity. The United States of America has now become the puppet of the money powers who have cannily used debt to enslave the world.
The time for redemption has passed. The horse is out of the barn. America cannot be redeemed! We are no longer a nation of pseudo-Christians with European roots. Immigration policies have filled our fruited plains with a variety of hungry immigrants who have been granted an opportunity made possible by several generations of hard working legally upright citizens. It was given away as if it had no value and used as a tool to balkanize and divide the country. Consensus is now extremely difficult. The goal has been accomplished, it cannot be stopped.
It has been the biggest peaceful coup in the history of mankind
While giant, world-wide, corporations spawned and nourished in America are forced to move their production to low wage countries by international agreements made over the heads of citizens, our balkanized nation must compete with this cheap labor. The competition includes China, Japan, India, Singapore, and Korea. These are nations of hungry, intelligent, well educated, industrious people that are willing to work seven days a week to acquire some of the luxuries Americans have enjoyed for decades. This transition will take more than a generation and by the time it is over the United States will be an insignificant part of the world.
It was not honest competition that sank the good ship America but a massive burglary carried out in darkness. So far the theft has been successful. We know who the burglars are but they are holding the citizens hostage while they remain free..
We are no longer the righteous nation that Alexis de Tocqueville so brilliantly described nearly two centuries ago. The transition started in earnest with the success of the ACLU’s legal challenges to Christianity. Under the false assumption that separation of church and state meant that Christianity had to be removed from government and from the public square the ACLU conducted a legal war against Christianity that succeeded in banning any overt conduct of the nation’s primary religion. This Kosher war against Christianity was not only evident in government but included our institutions of higher learning as well. The Christian Church failed to mount an aggressive counter attack allowing Satan’s minions to achieve a victory.
Now, as the American middle class disappears and businesses begin to close we can begin to see the fruition of what Alan Gaither of the Ford Foundation said to Norman Dodd over fifty years ago. We are beginning to resemble the Soviet Union.
Don’t be surprised when the global elite confiscate money from your bank account one day. They are already very clearly telling you that they are going to do it. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is the president of the Eurogroup – an organization of eurozone finance ministers that was instrumental in putting together the Cyprus “deal” – and he has said publicly that what has just happened in Cyprus will serve as a blueprint for future bank bailouts. What that means is that when the chips are down, they are going to come after YOUR money. So why should anyone put a large amount of money in the bank at this point? Perhaps you can make one or two percent on your money if you shop around for a really good deal, but there is also a chance that 40 percent (or more) of your money will be confiscated if the bank fails. And considering the fact that there are vast numbers of banks all over the United States and Europe that are teetering on the verge of insolvency, why would anyone want to take such a risk? What the global elite have done is that they have messed around with the fundamental trust that people have in the banking system. In order for any financial system to work, people must have faith in the safety and security of that financial system. People put their money in the bank because they think that it will be safe there. If you take away that feeling of safety, you jeopardize the entire system.
So exactly how did the big banks in Cyprus get into so much trouble? Well, they have been doing exactly what hundreds of other large banks all over the U.S. and Europe have been doing. They have been gambling with our money. In particular, the big banks in Cyprus made huge bets on Greek sovereign debt which ended up failing.
But what happened in Cyprus is just the tip of the iceberg. All over the planet major financial institutions are being incredibly reckless with client money. They are leveraged to the hilt and they have transformed the global financial system into a gigantic casino.
If they win on their bets, they become fabulously wealthy.
If they lose on their bets, they know that the politicians won’t let the banks fail. They know that they will get bailed out one way or another.
And who pays?
Either our tax dollars are used to fund a government-sponsored bailout, or as we have just witnessed in Cyprus, money is directly confiscated from our bank accounts.
And then the game begins again.
People need to understand that the precedent that has just been set in Cyprus is a game changer.
The next time that a major bank fails in Greece or Italy or Spain (or in the United States for that matter), the precedent that has been set in Cyprus will be looked to as a “template” for how to handle the situation.
Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem has even publicly admitted that what just happened in Cyprus will serve as a model for future bank bailouts. Just check out what he said a few days ago…
“If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?’. If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders”
Dijsselbloem insists that this will cause people “to think about the risks” before they put their money somewhere…
“It will force all financial institutions, as well as investors, to think about the risks they are taking on because they will now have to realise that it may also hurt them. The risks might come towards them.”
Well, as depositors in Cyprus just found out, there is a risk that you could lose 40 percent (and that is the best case scenario) of your money if you put it in the bank.
Why would anyone want to take that risk – especially in a nation that is already experiencing very serious financial troubles such as Greece, Italy or Spain?
As if that was not enough, Dijsselbloem later went in front of the Dutch parliament and publicly defended a wealth tax like the one that was just imposed in Cyprus.
Dijsselbloem is being widely criticized, and rightfully so. But at least he is being more honest that many other politicians. His predecessor as the head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, once said that “you have to lie” to the people in order to keep the financial markets calm…
Mr. Dijsselbloem’s style contrasts with that of his predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s prime minister, who spoke in a low mumble at news conferences and was expert at sidestepping questions. Mr. Juncker once even advocated lying as a way to prevent financial markets from panicking—as they did Monday after Mr. Dijsselbloem’s comments.
“When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” Mr. Juncker said in April 2011. “If you have pre-indicated possible decisions, you are feeding speculation in the financial markets.”
But Dijsselbloem is certainly not the only one among the global elite that is admitting what is coming next. Just check out what Joerg Kraemer, the chief economist at Commerzbank, recently told Handelsblatt about what he believes should be done in Italy…
“A tax rate of 15 percent on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100 percent of gross domestic product”
They are telling us what they plan to do.
They are telling us that they plan to raid all of our bank accounts when the global financial system fails.
And calling it a “haircut” does not change the fact of what it really is. The truth is that when they confiscate money from our bank accounts it is outright theft. Just check out what the Daily Mail had to say about the situation in Cyprus…
People who rob old ladies in the street, or hold up security vans, are branded as thieves. Yet when Germany presides over a heist of billions of pounds from private savers’ Cyprus bank accounts, to ‘save the euro’ for the hundredth time, this is claimed as high statesmanship.
It is nothing of the sort. The deal to secure a €10 billion German bailout of the bankrupt Mediterranean island is one of the nastiest and most immoral political acts of modern times.
It has struck fear into the hearts of hundreds of millions of European citizens, because it establishes a dire precedent.
And when you cause paralysis in the banking system, a once thriving economy can freeze up almost overnight. The following is an excerpt from a report from someone that is actually living over in Cyprus…
As it stands now, nowhere in Cyprus accepts credit or debit cards anymore for fear of not being paid, it is CASH ONLY. Businesses have stopped functioning because they cannot pay employees OR pay for the stock they receive because the banks are closed. If the banks remain closed, the economy will be destroyed and STOP COMPLETELY. Looting, robberies and theft are already on the rise. If the banks open now, there will be a massive run on the bank, and the banks will FAIL loosing all of its deposits, also causing an economic crash. TONIGHT there are demonstrations at most street corners and especially at the parliament building (just 2 miles from me).
Many are thinking that the ECB and EU are allowing Cyprus to fail as a test ground for new financial standards.
Just wanted all you guys to know the real story of whats going on here. Prayers are appreciated (although this is very interesting to watch) many of my local friends have lots of money in the banks.
Would similar things happen in the United States if there was a major banking crisis someday?
That is something to think about.
In any event, the problems in the rest of Europe continue to get even worse…
-The stock market in Greece is crashing. It is down by more than 10 percent over the past two days.
-The stock markets in Italy and Spain are experiencing huge declines as well. Banking stocks are being hit particularly hard.
-The Bank of Spain says that the Spanish economy will sink even deeper into recession this year.
-The latest numbers from the Spanish government show that Spain’s debt problem is rapidly getting worse…
“The central government’s interest bill surged 15 percent last year to 26 billion euros, while tax receipts slumped 21 percent. The cost of servicing debt represented 30 percent of the taxes collected at the end of December, up from 20 percent a year earlier.”
-The euro took quite a tumble on Thursday and the euro will likely continue to decline steadily in the weeks and months to come.
For a very long time I have been warning that the next major wave of the economic collapse is going to originate in Europe.
Hopefully people are starting to see what I am talking about.
As this point, the major banks in Europe are leveraged about 26 to 1, and that is close to the kind of leverage that Lehman Brothers had when it finally collapsed. As a whole, European banks are drowning in debt, they are taking risks that are almost incomprehensible and now faith in those banks has been greatly undermined by what has happened in Cyprus.
Anyone that cannot see a crisis coming in Europe simply does not understand the financial world. A moment of reckoning is rapidly approaching for Europe. The following is from a recent article by Graham Summers…
At the end of the day, the reason Europe hasn’t been fixed is because CAPITAL SIMPLY ISN’T THERE. Europe and its alleged backstops are out of money. This includes Germany, the ECB and the mega-bailout funds such as the ESM.
Germany has already committed to bailouts that equal 5% of its GDP. The single largest transfer payment ever made by one country to another was the Marshall Plan in which the US transferred an amount equal to 5% of its GDP. Germany WILL NOT exceed this. So don’t count on more money from Germany.
The ECB is chock full of garbage debts which have been pledged as collateral for loans. If anyone of significance defaults in Europe, the ECB is insolvent. Sure it can print more money, but once the BIG collateral call hits, money printing is useless because the amount of money the ECB would have to print would implode the system.
And then of course there are the mega bailout funds such as the ESM. The only problem here is that Spain and Italy make up 30% of the ESM’s supposed “funding.” That’s right, nearly one third of the mega-bailout fund’s capital will come from countries that are bankrupt themselves.
What could go wrong?
Right now, close to half of all money that is on deposit at banks in Europe is uninsured. As people move that uninsured money out of the banks, the amount of money that will be required to “fix the banks” will go up even higher.
It would be wise to try to avoid the big banks at this point – especially those with very large exposure to derivatives. Any financial institution that uses customer money to make reckless bets is not to be trusted.
If you can find a small local bank or credit union to do business with you will probably be better off.
And don’t think that this kind of thing can never happen in the United States.
One of the key players that was pushing the idea of a “wealth tax” in Cyprus was the IMF. And everyone knows that the IMF is heavily dominated by the United States. In fact, the headquarters of the IMF is located right in the heart of Washington D.C. not too far from the White House. When I worked in D.C. I would walk by the IMF headquarters quite a bit.
So if the United States thought that confiscating money from bank accounts was a great idea in Cyprus, why wouldn’t they implement such a thing here under similar circumstances?
The global elite are telling us what they plan to do, and the game has dramatically changed.
Move your money while you still can.
Unfortunately, it is already too late for the people of Cyprus.
Source: The Economic Collapse
One variant of a well-known law of bureaucracy says that the amount of time spent discussing a budgetary decision is inversely proportional to the magnitude of the budget in question. Judging by what I witnessed on March 20 at the European Parliament—at the Committee on Budgets’ hearing on the “Financing of the Eastern Partnership”—the Brussels machine functions entirely in accordance with this adage.
The money involved is substantial: 2.8 billion euros ($3.6 billion) over 5 years. The project’s stated purpose is to promote “shared values”—democracy, human rights and the rule of law—in six former Soviet states deemed to be of “strategic importance” to the European Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, andUkraine. Promoting the principles of market economy, sustainable development, civic society and “good governance” is also among the objectives.
In their opening remarks, the officials involved in running the Eastern Partnership Program were self-congratulatory about its alleged achievements. That much was to be expected: lots of sinecures, cushy jobs and expense-padded missions can be extracted from a few billion. Nevertheless, the entire construct’s numerous problems and shortcomings could not be concealed:
- Conceptually, there is no clear consensus within the EU on what exactly it is trying to promote in its eastern neighborhood under the bombastic slogans of “shared values, collective norms and joint ownership.” What does it all mean, if anything, in the real world?
- Empirically, the program has followed, and still follows, a “top-down” approach of deciding in Brussels what are the goals, then telling the eastern “partners” what they need to do, and finally rewarding them accordingly—rather than developing genuine partnerships based on those countries’ real needs and attainable objectives.
- Managerially, in order for the funds allocated to the “Partnership” to be optimally utilized, they would require elaborate apparatuses of deployment, supervision and evaluation. On the basis of the presentations last Wednesday, it is clear that the EU has neither the institutional mechanisms nor the supervisory bodies capable of insuring that this is the case.
- Substantially, the elephant in the room was the issue of EU enlargement—or, rather, the extreme unlikelihood of further enlargement after Croatia’s accession next July. Without the realistic prospect of an eventual path to full membership, the EU lacks meaningful leverage over the political elites in the six eastern countries to make them change their ways.
Far from being addressed, these problems are bypassed by the tendency of the EU bureaucracy to close its eyes to the reality on the ground in the countries concerned—or, worse, still, to misrepresent that reality for reasons of institutional self-preservations. The result, to put it succinctly, is that billions of European taxpayers’ cash are poured into a bottomless pit of post-Soviet corruption, graft, and pork-barrel politics. “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us,” went the old Soviet joke. Its modern-day “Eastern” equivalent should be “We pretend to reform, and they pretend that we are doing a good job.” Instead of being properly perceived as part of the problem, terminally corrupt political “elites” are treated as partners in finding solutions.
Moldova is the prime example. On per-capita basis, this backwater squeezed between Romania and Ukraine—the poorest country in Europe—has received far more money than the other five “partners,” and the EU pretends that its objectives are being met. While I was at the European Parliament, the European Commission presented its own regional report on the implementation of the Eastern Partnership. It asserted that “significant progress was made in the implementation of the Eastern Partnership” and singled out Moldova for “showing significant progress,” “stepping up efforts to implement judicial and law enforcement reform,” and “continuing to implement reforms in the areas of social assistance, health and education, energy, competition, state aid and regulatory approximation to the EU acquis.” Moldova’s government was asked to “continue to vigorously advance reforms in the justice and law enforcement systems” as well as intensify the fight against corruption.
This is surreal, on par with the Soviet Communist Party congresses exalting the great and glorious achievements of socialism in the years of terminal decline under Brezhnev. In reality, Moldova is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, according to independent analysts, who also claim that the majority of EU assistance is being misused by local officials. The Warsaw-based EaP Institute warns that the EU is devoting considerable sums to Moldova for very little return in terms of progress in the country’s reform process: “It begs the question: Why is the EU throwing money like this at a black hole of corruption, when there is so much to do in the EU’s own member states?”
It does, indeed. Moldova has already received some €482m from the EU Eastern Partnership, which is about 110 euros ($145) for every man, woman and child in the dirt-poor country—the equivalent of an average two-weekly wage. Nobody knows for certain where it went, but we have a fair idea. Recent opinion polls say that the majority of citizens of Moldova consider their current coalition government as “totally corrupt.” According to the Transparency International 2012 report, Moldova is among the most corrupt places in Europe, with Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia topping the list. But the EU says it is doing well, because an unhealthy symbiotic relationship has been developed between the unelected and mostly unaccountable bureaucrats managing enormous funds earmarked for nebulous purposes and their foreign “clients” who gloat at the mouth-watering prospect of placing a major portion of those funds into their own pockets.
After last Wednesday’s introductory presentations, several experts and members of European Parliament (MEPs) expressed misgivings about the Eastern Partnership policy. Olaf Osica, director of the centre for eastern studies in Warsaw, declared that “in four years the policy had failed to produce any tangible political or social results.” A prominent Polish MEP and former senior government minister, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, said the entire edifice should be “completely revised”:
There are a whole multitude of projects which, as we have heard at the hearing, no one seems able to follow or understand… What we are doing is creating the illusion that the EU is helping to transform these eastern European countries when, in fact, the naked truth is that the EU is losing its eastern neighbors. What is actually needed is for the EU—and that means both the Commission and Parliament—to totally revise and revisit its Eastern Partnership policy.
All this was in stark contrast to the earlier assurances by senior officials that the current picture was “confused,” but the EU was nevertheless “doing quite well” in addressing concerns about the transparency and accountability of its funding for the six countries (Marcus Cornaro); or that the EU was determined to push ahead with closer cooperation with those countries that have “demonstrated a commitment to the reform process” (Richard Tibbels).
The lenient attitude of EU officials regarding the patchy record of their “Eastern partners” on corruption, democratisation, and the rule of law is in stark contrast with the ever-moving goal posts for a half-dozen aspiring EU members in the Western Balkans. None of them will join the EU for a decade at least, of course, and a realistic reassessment of their political and economic policies is long overdue. The EU is in a state of chronic institutional and financial crisis, and trying to get on board at this point is equal to betting on Romney last November 5. Alternatives do exist, but they call for the cold-blooded diversification of long-term strategies. Belgrade and Kiev in particular should take note.
Hurrah, 17 Senate Democrats crossed the aisle to support the keystone pipeline. No doubt, these stalwart energy proponents are looking ahead to their 2014 races. “The vote puts new pressure on the Obama Administration to approve the pipeline project. The southern portion of the pipeline, which didn’t require White House approval, is already under construction. The Senate vote indicates that even Democrats are growing impatient with the delay.” But before the champagne is uncorked, the Green army of diehard crazies form ranks to make their last stand. Putting the issue in proper perspective, the reliable Robert Bryce warns – While opponents protest, oil companies turn to railroads.
Prior to the environmental cohorts starting a run on shorting railroad stocks, opponents move to stop Keystone pipeline, altogether. “The opposition effort is now focused on Secretary of State John Kerry, who will make a recommendation to President Barack Obama on whether to green-light the project.”In order to leap to the high moral ground, that fearless leader of foreign policy must be instilled with a new sense of abandoning the Middle East oil rich gulf region for a new austerity on fossil fuel resources. Here is a sample of the tortured logic from the Barron of restraint and sacrifice.
John Kerry: The Science Is Screaming At Us, states:
“Though he uses the flip side of Pascal’s Wager, which he restates as “What’s the worst that can happen?” Kerry adopts the same basic argument in his Ross Sea speech, in which he makes the case against climate change skeptics:
“What if the other people are wrong and we are right; what’s the worst that can happen? The destruction of the ecosystem as we live with it today.”
Given that choice, as a matter of public responsibility it makes common sense to configure public policy around the available science and adopt a vigorous plan to reduce carbon emissions.”
Sure the global warming fear mongers want you to adopt their weird science as fact, while they go to extreme means to deny or suppress the economic realities that all of us must deal with. Remember that the transportation of choice for attending Keystone Pipeline demonstrations are fueled by gasoline or diesel, not their hallowed wind generated electric vehicles.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs report, In Support of Canadian Oil Sandscounters the hysteria of often-criticized techniques used to extract liquid gold from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) in Alberta, Canada.
“Now, the environmental concerns. Canada works hard to mitigate the impact of oil sands development. In August we took a trip to visit a national laboratory devoted to this pursuit entirely. Canada’s practices are equal or better than anything required in the U.S. Yes, oil sands mining operations are not pretty, but then again, neither is coal mining or heavy industry – in the U.S. or elsewhere. The focus should be on whether the activities are carried out with appropriate environmental protections and attention to reclamation. Moreover, most future growth in oil sands development will use so-called in situ technologies that extract oil without surface mining, resulting in less environmental impact and a lower greenhouse gas footprint.”
As for environmental concerns for the Keystone Pipeline itself, The Edmond Suneditorial sums up quite nicely.
“Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of State revised an environmental impact statement for the 875-mile Keystone XL pipeline. The report contains no conclusive environmental reason for the pipeline not to be built, said Congressman James Lankford, R-Edmond.
“Fortunately for people in my state of Oklahoma and states around us, the administration is running out of excuses to continue delaying the Keystone XL pipeline,” Lankford said. “The last major pipeline from Canada took 27 months to approve by the Obama Administration State Department. So far, the Keystone XL pipeline has consumed 53 months in permitting and administration delays.”
The Washington Times item, Unlocking the Keystone pipeline illustrates some of those nasty facts that cause the political blockage from an administration that is bent on fostering an unrealistic energy policy.
“While Mr. Obama says he’s all in for boosting oil and gas production, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service contradicts him. The record of fossil-fuel production during his tenure reveals that nearly every recent increase in oil and natural-gas production was on state-owned and private property, not federal land. U.S. oil production has increased by 1.1 million barrels per day between fiscal 2007 and 2012 on state and private land, but has fallen by 7 percent on federal land. For natural gas, production since 2007 has grown by 4 trillion cubic feet – up 40 percent on state and private land, but down by 33 percent on federal land.
The Congressional Research Service places partial blame on a slowdown in the federal drilling-application process. From 2006 to 2011, the average time needed to approve applications has risen from 218 days to 307 days. The complexity of paperwork involved in getting the government’s approval of drilling sites inhibits production and contributes to higher prices at the pump.”
Significance of the Seven Reasons Why Obama Will Approve the Keystone Pipeline arguments what should be of especial concern for John Kerry at the State Department:
“If the oil doesn’t head south of the Canadian border, it will head west to China, which craves cheap oil for its military build-up and its metastasizing territorial claims in East Asia, which it is Obama’s stated policy to vigorously oppose.”
The Oil Roustabout Economy is here to stay for the near future. If the country is to reduce reliance on foreign oil from unstable sources, the manifest alternative is to tap our friendly neighbor to the north and the resources domestically in the route of the Keystone Pipeline. “Since the environmentalists base their cosmos on shifting sand, why not go for the real stuff?” Commerce in petroleum is fluid and spongeable, crossing all borders. The artificial political obstruction, which delayed and added gratuitous costs to a utilitarian project, violates our real national security.
Contrary to popular belief, Brussels is not the only major European capital which is away from the seacoast as well as devoid of a river. The Senne is a far cry from the similar-sounding Seine further south, however: it is a nasty, brutish, mercifully short waterway. By the mid-1800’s it had become so putrid and unstable that the city elders decided to cover it—the massive project was known as the voûtement de la Senne—and to build boulevards and public edifices on top. The city did not gain much in charm, but its denizens’ life expectancy was instantly improved. (Whether living a long life in Belgium’s capital is a blessing or a curse is a separate issue.)
There is an equally nasty but infinitely more brutish monstrosity in today’s Brussels that cannot be dealt with so neatly. The European Union today is like the “Socialist Community” under Leonid Brezhnev in his dotage: totalitarian yet inefficient, glorified by its self-serving nomenklatura yet unloved by its subjects, devoid of any unifying ideology beyond the worn-out phrases and platitudes parroted by the absurd men and repulsive women in dull suits.
For the reality of this “United Europe,” as it is today, let us be dryly empirical for a moment and look at a few EU-related news items reported on one day—Thursday, March 14, 2013:
- EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a two-day summit in an attempt to negotiate the dilemma between austerity and growth. Thousands of protestors from all over the 27 member nations converged outside the EU HQ.
- Eurozone employment dropped by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the third, despite the Christmas shopping season. Experts say the unemployment rate will remain above 11% until early 2018.
- European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi says that “generally unsatisfactory economic developments in Europe” will improve in the course of 2013, but only if governments implement austerity measures and structural reforms. His fellow-Eurocrat, EU-appointed Italian prime minister Mario Monti, nevertheless says he will have to ask his EU partners to grant Italy more “flexibility” in its budget deficit reduction targets.
- The troika of international lenders—the EU, the ECB, and the IMF—left Greece without resolving a dispute with the government in Athens over further budgetary cuts. In the meantime, Greek shipyard workers protested outside the development ministry and hundreds of Greek students blocked up the education ministry to protest cuts resulting from EU-imposed austerity measures.Unemployment in Greece is 26%, up from 24.8% in the third quarter of 2012. Among under-24’s it is 57.8%. The percentage of unemployed Greeks who have been looking for a job for more than one year is 65.3%.
- In Spain, eviction proceedings against defaulters have soared since 2007 to 450,000. The number of repossessions ending in evictions increased by 135% in 2012 from the year before, indicating worsening trends. Spanish retail sales dropped 10.2% in the year to January, continuing the decline of the past 31 months.
- Cyprus bailout talks are crucial to next stage of crisis, but deep divisions remain over how to manage a bailout. Without a cut in the €17bn cost, Cypriot sovereign debt will reach 145% of GDP, by far the highest in the eurozone except for Greece.
- President François Hollande has said that France won’t be able to cut the public deficit to the EU limit of 3% of GDP this year; it was more likely to reach 3.7%. Amazingly, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble subsequently corrected Hollande, saying not that he “hoped,” or “expected,” but that he was “sure that France would, like us, respect the rules” on the public deficit. (Perhaps Herr Schäuble knows a thing or two about France’s future finance policy that Monsieur le Président de la République does not!)
- Germany, meanwhile, smugly claims that its finances are the model for all humanity. Its 2014 budget plans, revealed on March 13, show the structural deficit dropping to zero. “With all modesty [sic!], this is a result of historic proportions,” economy minister Philipp Rösler declared on that occasion. “Germany is in the vanguard in Europe. Our success with a policy of growth-oriented consolidation is the envy of the world.” Ach, modesty—the quintessential German weakness…
This is but a quick selection on a randomly selected day—the day of this writing. The tenor and substance have not changed much in recent months and years; and things will likely change for worse—OK, with that oneenviable exception, perhaps—in the months and years ahead.
Unsurprisingly, anti-EU feeling is escalating all over the continent. On March 1, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party was beaten into third place in the Eastleigh by-election, in southern England, by a party that wants Britain to leave the EU. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) supporters were once described by Cameron as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”—but they accounted for 28 percent of the vote in the traditionally Tory constituency. UKIP leader Nigel Farage declared the vote “a protest against an entire political class.” Under pressure from UKIP, Cameron had earlier promised to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017 if he wins the next election, but many British Euro-skeptics see this as a mere ploy to deflect the threat from UKIP.
Marine Le Pen, who finished third in the French presidential election, also demands a referendum on France’s membership. On Mach 3 she declared that the FN wants France to leave the EU unless four reforms are agreed: the return to the franc; the abolition of the Schengen single-borderarea; the primacy of France’s economic interests over “Europe’s”; and the primacy of national law over EU law. Otherwise, Le Pen has promised to transform the European elections a year from now into a referendum for or against Europe. Having polled 18% of the vote in the presidential election last year, Mlle Le Pen has a solid base to build upon.
In Italy, two anti-austerity, anti-euro parties—led by Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo—captured over half the vote and paralyzed the political system. Berlusconi returned from the dead to take just over 29% of the vote, less than one half of one percentage point behind the first-placed Center-Left. Newcomer Grillo’s Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S, Five Star Movement), entirely created via the web outside the traditional party system, took just over 25% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies—and demolished Italy’s balance of political forces. Pro-EU Monti’s coalition came fourth with a paltry ten percent.
Even in Germany, the apparent hegemon, there is little popular enthusiasm for the Euro-project. The recently-founded Alternative for Germany (AfD) is not even a political party yet, but expects to be a serious player come federal elections on September 22. It demands dissolution of the “coercive euro association,” an orderly end of the monetary union, and a referendum to decide if “the Basic Law, the best constitution that Germany ever had,” was violated to allow the transfer of sovereignty to the EU. Dr. Bernd Lucke—the AfD co-founder, economics professor and a life-long CDU supporter until he turned against Merkel in 2011 over her bailout policies—is adamant that Germany “has a government that has failed to comply with the law… and has blatantly broken the word that it had given to the German people.” With 14,000 paid members thus far, the AfD is respectable and distinctly upper-middle-class, with a higher concentration of PhDs than any party. Among its early supporters is Hans-Olaf Henkel, ex-president of the Federation of German Industry representing 100,000 businesses. Let it be added that as of now 26% of Germans say they would consider voting for a party committed to leaving the monetary union.
It will be a tough fight. Political, media and cultural elites in the leading countries of the Union are overwhelmingly pro-EU, pro-euro, pro-immigration, and vehemently opposed to any sign of national or ethno-linguistic coherence. If those elites have their way, there will be many more “Europeans” by the end of this century than today—some atheist, but mostly Muslim; some black, but mostly brown—but there will be precious few great-grandchildren of Europeans. The native populations are aborting and birth-controlling themselves into minorities. If Euro-elites have their way, disused churches will be converted into teeming mosques. Just over a decade ago, they refused to acknowledge Christian heritage as an element of European identity—but today they insist Islam is essential to that identity. Brussels rejects the notion that Europeans are defined by blood ties, collective memories, emotional bonds, culture, and kinship. Instead, “Europe” marches along the path of “civilization, progress and prosperity, for the good of all its inhabitants, including the weakest and most deprived… to deepen the democratic and transparent nature of its public life, and to strive for peace, justice and solidarity throughout the world…”
This is the mindset of 1792 and 1917 all over again. Its derivative expressions are foreseeable. The EU relentlessly encourages abortion, sexual deviancy, and population replacement as “basic human rights.” Its political process means the manufacture of ideologically correct outcomes as defined by the unelected Brussels machine, before the quasi-democratic machine of the European Parliament and the member countries’ institutions are set in motion. The preamble of the EU Charter on Human Rights claims to be “based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law” (implying the two were not in conflict), and concludes that “Enjoyment of these rights entails responsibilities and duties with regard to other persons, to the human community and to future generations.” Those rights are naturally demarcated by those who reserve the right to decide what exactly one’s obligations to “the human community” and “future generation” happen to be.
The true meaning of “the rule of law” is defined by the European Arrest Warrant, a hideous device created by the Lisbon Treaty, under which any citizen of a member country—or even a visitor from outside the Union—is liable to arrest and extradition at the behest of a judge in any other EU member country, under one of 32 categories of “crime.” Those offenses include murder, terrorism, as well as “racism and xenophobia.” The EU thus came to equate beliefs, opinions and sentiments with the worst of actual crimes, in the best tradition of Soviet and Nazi jurisprudence.
The workings of the machine are mainly in the hands of the European Commission (EC), whose members are appointed by the 27 prime ministers who make up the Council. The EC has the authority to create and impose policies, but it cannot be removed or held accountable by any electorate. Its duty is to uphold the interests of the Union as such: its members swear that they will discard any vestige of loyalty to any nation. The only EU institution that has any claim to democratic credentials is the European Parliament, the least powerful of the three key bodies.
How and why did the monstrosity get this way? Gradually at first, with a great deal of patience and cunning exercised by its visionary creators. In 1945 Western Europe was in ruins, a shadow of what it had been only four decades previously. The old, pre-1914 balance-of-power system had collapsed, and the interwar mechanisms of collective security were neither collective nor secure. The beginnings were seemingly pragmatic: the 1951 European Coal and Steel Community—as engineered by Robert Schuman—seemed like a sound idea, a plus-sum-game if there ever was one. But the upholders of Euro-federalism had a bigger fish to fry. From the outset they held that a sense of common history had to be developed, as well as a sense of an existing and growing common identity, to complement those early economic integration mechanisms. As Jean Monnet, the father of the project (and, significantly, a man never elected to a public office), admitted six decades ago, “Europe has never existed; one has genuinely to create Europe.”
Monnet and his disciples had a long way to go. The initial ideological basis for the project was de Gaulle’s distinctly non-federalist vision of l’Europe des patries. A concert of nation-states, brought together by a common interest, would seek the withering away of their old hostilities—with France and Germany leading the way—but all of them would retain their substance and identity regardless of the institutional arrangement. This was the “Europe” of the Six, a logical heir to the pragmatic Coal and Steel Community. Euro-integralists—notably Belgium’s prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak and Monnet himself—nevertheless kept their powder dry for a more opportune moment when the European Economic Community might be steered in the direction of a political union. De Gaulle and his immediate successor, Georges Pompidou, did not want that; and until the early 1970’s the institutional framework remained essentially the same.
Then came the notion of Europe’s unity in diversity, the reverse of the Europe of the Fatherlands. (In 2000 In varietate concordia was adopted as the official motto of the European Union.) The new concept coincided with the European Community’s expansion to the Nine, then to the Twelve. Its proponents claimed that Europe was not only a mosaic of cultures but an organic whole. The implication that this whole required a single source of decision-making authority gave rise to the method of European integration Monnet had advocated from the outset: a series of gradual yet regular transfers of small slices of national sovereignty—in ostensibly technical areas—from national capitals to Brussels. The Community apparat made a quantum leap toward this goal with the Single European Act (SEA, July 1987). It was a thorough revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, but in the direction of a super-authority rather than a superstate.
The distinction is essential. The standard Eurosceptic accusation that the Brussels machine is plotting the creation of a single federal state is incorrect. The people who run the Brussels machine have never wanted the end result to be a superstate modeled after the United States. In the context of pan-European federal statehood they would be held more accountable and would come under far greater public scrutiny than if they remained faceless and continued to operate from the corridors of the monstrous EU HQ at Barleymont. The strategy was for the states to be drained gradually of statehood and their power transferred to Brussels, but without the unwelcome trappings and limitations of statehood itself. Its guiding spirit was then-Commission PresidentJacques Delors, a French Socialist. From the SEA on, the EU became—in the words of British MEP Roger Helmer—“a slow-motion coup d’etat.” In addition to the creation of the eurozone 12 years ago, which has grown to 17 member-states since, the Schengen Agreement (1990), the Maastricht Treaty (1992), the Amsterdam Treaty (1998), the Treaty of Nice (2000), and the Treaty of Lisbon (2009) have transferred vast powers from national capitals to Brussels.
The era of Delors coincided with the rise of the Generation of 1968 to the positions of power. The activists had cut their hair, put on suits and ties, and discovered that it was more fruitful and comfortable to take the Gramscian long road through the institutions than to blow them up. The veterans of the hard-left era, like Catherine Ashton and Jose Manuel Barroso, still subscribe to the concept of permanent revolution, but it is wrapped into the open-ended evolution of the EU that they now control. The result is a European Union in a state of indeterminacy and permanent flux, a postmodern edifice within which the meaning of sovereignty is relativized and the separation of foreign and domestic policies blurred to the point of interchangeability. What all of these Euro-enthusiasts share—as John Laughland has noted—is a love of indeterminacy and permanent change, and a hostility to what they regard as inadequate, old-fashioned, and simplistic certainties of classical sovereign statehood.
Far from being the “capital of Europe,” Brussels is the regional HQ of the post-Christian anti-Europe, just as Washington DC has morphed into the global HQ of the same project. The goals of the project managers are the same because their degenerate minds are the same. They cannot be shamed into changing their ways through arguments or defeated through the ballot box any more than a malignant cancer can be arrested with aspirin. A stronger medicine is needed.
To paraphrase a bad man from a time much better than our own, écrasez l’infâme!
Throughout the colorful history of organized crime in the United States, periodic eruptions of inter-gang Mafia violence have dotted the criminal landscape. When turf wars broke out between competing crime families in major cities such as New York and Chicago, the combatants would conduct their warfare from unsavory redoubts such as abandoned warehouses or low-rent hotels and apartments. In such locations, the soldiers would spend their off hours sleeping on rented mattresses until the internecine conflicts had run their course; hence the expression “going to the mattresses.”
Well, there is another turf war going on, a worldwide one, one that threatens the entire economic and political landscape of the planet. It is between all the hard working savers on the planet and the ever greedy criminal bankers and their cohorts in government. The real big canary singing out an extreme danger warning to all traditional savers who wish to entrust their wealth to banks and other paper vehicles – stocks, bonds, etc., is the incredible emergency banking shutdown in the tiny island nation of Cyprus. Granted, Cyprus represents only .02% of the population of the European Union. Yet what is occurring there is the harbinger of great risk to traditional savers on every continent; and equally important, there are many more scary danger signs raising their ugly heads as well.
To recap for a moment, let’s briefly itemize the situation in Cyprus. Cyprus, like just about every other country on the planet, has for decades been politically committed to a socialist based economy. In this scenario, politicians have promised benefits to the various voting classes which have far exceeded their annual tax revenue. This has caused its government to continually accumulate deficits that have resulted in a very large national debt in relation to its GDP. This debt has been collateralized by sovereign bonds sold to and purchased by large banks in Europe and elsewhere. Now this debt has become so large the government of Cyprus can no longer afford to pay even the interest, let alone reduce principal. What happens at this juncture, is that a powerful international banking institution, in this case, the European Central Bank (substitute your favorite lender of last resort – the Federal Reserve, the IMF, the World Bank, etc., etc.), has agreed to come to the rescue of the cash strapped government and help it make its current annual debt payment.
However, this emergency funding comes with a draconian penalty for the trusting taxpaying savers. In this instance, the European Central Bank has cut a secret deal with the Cypriot government to raid the bank accounts of all the country’s bank depositors, between six and ten percent. This proposed robbery, if it comes to pass, will confiscate billions from citizens and non-citizens alike who have placed their trust in the security of Cyprus’s banks. What has resulted, of course, is riotous response throughout the nation and frantic sell-offs in world equity markets.
What is important to understand here, though, is that this same game plan has been occurring for several years now in many countries throughout the world. Here is the short list of some of the transgressions that unscrupulous governments, under pressure from their major bank lenders, have perpetrated, and continue to perpetrate upon unsuspecting savers.
October 2008 – Argentina’s leftist government, facing a gigantic revenue shortfall, proposes to nationalize all private pensions so as to meet national debt payments and avoid its second default in the decade.
November 2010 – Headline – Hungary Gives Its Citizens an Ultimatum: Move Your Private Pension Fund Assets to the State or Permanently Lose Your Pension – This is an effective nationalization of all pensions.
November 2010 – Ireland elects to appropriate ten billion euros from its National Pension Reserve Fund to help fund an eighty-five billion euro rescue package for its besieged banks. Ireland also moves to consider a regulatory move that compels some private Irish pension funds to hold more Irish government debt, thereby providing the state with a captive investor base but hugely raising the risk for savers.
December 2010 – France agrees to transfer twenty billion euros worth of assets belonging to its Fonds de Reserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the funded portion of its retirement system, to help pay off recurring social benefits costs. No pensioners are consulted.
April 2012 – Argentina announces that its Economy Ministry has taken an emergency loan from the national pension fund in the amount of $4.3 billion. No pensioners were consulted.
June 2012 – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unilaterally appropriates $45 billion from US federal pension funds to help tide over US deficits for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.
January 2013 – Treasury Secretary Geithner again announces that the government has begun borrowing from the federal employees pension fund to keep operating without passing the approaching “fiscal cliff” debt limit. The move effectively creates $156 billion in borrowing authority from federal pension funds.
March 2013 – Open Bank Resolution finance minister, Bill English, is proposing a Cyprus style solution for potential New Zealand bank failures. The reserve bank is in the final stages of establishing a rescue scheme which will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their banks. Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep distressed banks afloat.
Ladies and gentlemen, this trend is JUST getting underway. Bank failures, sovereign bond collapses, and national government bankruptcy are just around the corner. Because of the interconnectedness of world debt markets and derivatives risk, counted in hundreds of trillions of dollars, the risk to traditional investment vehicles looms ever closer. We’re at critical eleventh hour crossroads where savvy investors need to head for “the mattresses” to protect their life savings. We may be biased but we strongly feel that the very surest and safest “mattress plan” in this extremely dangerous financial environment, is to invest in the one vehicle that has survived every crisis in recorded history, precious metals. When all else fails, gold and silver will be there to save you.
To learn more about the rewards of precious metals investing, including how to fund your existing IRA with gold or silver, call Liberty Gold and Silver seven days a week at 888.751.3330. To learn about the most generous referral program in the precious metals industry, please visit the Liberty Gold and Silver Referral Program.
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Where’s the Kingfish Now That We Really Need Him?
Wrong. The truth is that support for capitalism has been steadily eroding since the Great Crash of ’08 when markets tumbled and housing prices plunged wiping out $8 trillion in home equity and leaving 5 million homeowners facing foreclosure. After that dose of cold water in the face, support for the free market system dropped precipitously from 80% (in 2002) to a titch above 54% by 2010. Interestingly, in France (according to the Economist) only 6% of the people now “strongly” support the free market. Here’s more from the article in the Economist:
“Capitalism’s waning fortunes are starkly visible among Americans earning below $20,000. Their support for the free market has dropped from 76% to 44% in just one year. The research was conducted by GlobeScan, a polling firm. Its chairman Doug Miller says American business is “close to losing its social contract” with average families.” (“Market of Ideas: Capitalism’s waning popularity”, The Economist)
“Social contract”? What social contract? You mean the social contract that allows the banks to fleece your ass at every opportunity with no chance of being held accountable?
While the report is 2 years old, it indicates something that’s fairly obvious to many, that Americans are generally pragmatic people who judge a system by its results not by the public relations blabber issuing from the business channel. “Show me the beef”, that’s what the average working slob cares about, not some horseshit about “the wondrous symmetry of the self-correcting market”. What a load of malarkey. If we’d applied the theories of the market fundamentalists after Lehman Brothers collapsed, the 10 biggest banks in the country would have been euthanized (as they should have been) and we’d be well on our way to a true recovery. Instead, the economy is still hopelessly mired in a long-term slump that shows no sign of ending. The only thing that’s “corrected” is the profit margins on Wall Street which are at record highs. Get a load of this from the WSWS:
“As the US government prepares to furlough 1 million federal workers and slash hundreds of billions in social spending, corporate executives in the United States are receiving among the highest payouts in history. USA Today reported Thursday that at least ten CEOs took in $50 million apiece in 2012, largely as a result of cashing in stocks that have soared in value with the rising market. According to the newspaper, “Early 2013 proxy filings detailing 2012 compensation show a growing number of CEOs reaping $50 million or more, gains that could prove unmatched in breadth and size since the Internet IPO craze enriched tech company executives more than a decade ago…..
Among the top pay packages according to preliminary calculation is that of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, which included stock options valued at $103.3 million this year, on top of $30 million in other compensation and stock, as well as $10.2 million in vested shares, according to USA Today.” (“US corporate executives cash in”, World Socialist Web Site)
Geez, I sure hope Mr. Starbucks can make ends meet on a measly $130 mil a year. He might have to cutback on his trips to Walmart, don’t you think?
The whole thing is laughable. This is a free market? Give me a break! The Fed is pumping $85 billion per month into financial assets pushing up stock prices, while everyone else faces the grinding deprivation of austerity. Who can support a system like that? Everything about it is a lie. Now take a look at this from Trimtabs:
“…there has been a record number of buybacks announced since the start of February. There have also been a bumper crop of new cash takeovers. The number of shares grows when companies and or insiders sell new shares. …
Here’s why this is such a big deal. In essence over the last seven weeks companies have given shareholders $120 billion in cash in exchange for shares. Compare that $120 billion with just $50 billion of new money going into all equity mutual and exchange traded funds so far for all of 2013.
Remember, 80% of US stocks are held by institutions. Institutions typically have a constant rate of cash holdings, whether 1% or 5%. When the number of share held by institutions shrinks by $100 billion, or around 80% of $120 billion, that means those institutions have more money with which to buy the fewer shares available in the equity markets. Therefore, the price of the remaining shares should go up.” (“Record Buybacks Creating Massive Float Shrink”, Trimtabs)
There’s your great stock market rally in a nutshell. 100% fake. The Fed is juicing the system, so the guys with money are following Bernanke’s lead and buying back their own stinking shares, thus, pushing prices even higher. They make boatloads of cash while you and I get bupkis. That’s fair, isn’t it?
The whole thing is a joke. There’s no free market; it’s just PR-hype geared to dupe people out of their hard-earned money. Did you know that the nation’s biggest corporations are giving record amounts of cash back to investors via dividends because they don’t have anything to invest in? Here’s the story:
“The New York Times reported earlier this month that S&P 500 companies are expected to hand investors $300 billion in dividends this year, an increase over last year’s payout of $282 billion. American corporations bought back $117.8 billion in their own stock last month, the highest total on records going back to 1985.”
Of course, the reason they have nothing to invest in because everyone is broke. Unemployment is still high, wages are falling, and the average working family is up-to-their-eyeballs in debt. So, where’s the demand for more widgets? There isn’t any. The behemoth financial institutions have cannibalized the system to the point where nothing is left but a stripped carcass. There’s no sense in investing in plants and machinery when everyone is flat busted. You’re better off just giving money back to your rich friends so they can buy another bauble at Tiffany’s. And, that’s what they’re doing.
But, at least housing rebounding, right? I mean, it’s not all bad. Here’s the scoop from the country’s Number 1 housing cheerleader, Calculated Risk, from a post titled “Existing Home Sales in February: 4.98 million SAAR, 4.7 months of supply”:
“Sales in February 2013 (4.98 million SAAR) were 0.8% higher than last month, and were 10.2% above the February 2012 rate. “
Sounds pretty good, eh? Prices are up, sales are up, and all is well with the world. There’s only one little glitch; it’s all bullshit. In fact, disproving the “Housing is Back” theory is so easy, it’s ridiculous. If you can read a chart, you can grasp why housing is NOT rebounding. Look carefully at the chart above. See where we are now as far as existing housing sales. Sales are back to what they were in 2002, right? Now–ask yourself this– what happened in 2002 that might have impacted housing sales?
Does “housing bubble” ring a bell?
There was a sharp uptick in sales due to the fact that the banks started selling homes to anyone who could fog a mirror, right? Remember the subprimes, ARMs, no-down, interest only, liar’s loans, piggybacks, ALT As, and the whole panoply of freakish mortgages that boosted sales and sent housing prices into the stratosphere? That all started right around 2002. In other words, the bubble was caused by extending credit to people who were not creditworthy to begin with, people who the banks knew, would never be able to repay the loan. THEY KNEW THAT. That WAS the scam. Sure, low interest rates did play a role, but not nearly as big a role as criminally lax lending standards that put people in homes that they would eventually lose to foreclosure.
So, now sales are back to their historic trend, which is good. But it’s silly to expect prices and sales to return to bubble-era highs unless regulations are jettisoned (again) and the banks start issuing loans to anyone who stumbles into their office. That’s not to imply, that the banks and industry leaders are not working as hard as they can to weaken lending rules and to gut the new “Ability to Repay” provision of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) “Qualified Mortgage” regulation. They are! In fact, they appear to be making great strides in that regard. (See: MBA Applauds Bill to Clarify Points and Fees Calculation for Qualified Mortgage Rule, RISMedia.)
But the point is, unless the banks are able to sabotage the new guidelines for lending, (for gov-insured mortgages) there is not going to be another housing bubble. At best, prices will rise at their traditional 1 to 2% appreciation per year. And at worst, they will resume their downward slide when the speculators (who now make up roughly 25% of all sales) flee the market for greener pastures. Bottom line: There’s nothing in the recent data that suggests that housing prices will continue to rise. It’s all interest rate stimulus, inventory suppression and aggressive mortgage mods. (keeping underwater borrowers in their homes)
When the average guy reflects on the way he got raped in the housing swindle, or the twisted way the banks were bailed out, or the way the Fed forks over $85 billion per month to his crooked friends on Wall Street (while teachers, firefighters and other public workers get their pink slips month after month); he doesn’t get a real warm and fuzzy feeling about the system. He knows the system is rigged against him, that Bernanke’s thumb is planted on the scale, and that he’s getting bent-over by lowlife vipers and miscreants. He knows all that, which is why his support for free market capitalism is tenuous at best. Just take a look at this recent survey by Gallup and you’ll see that majorities on both sides of the aisle support big government programs that put people back to work.
Majority of Party Groups Favor Each Jobs Proposal
A majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents support each of the three job creation proposals tested in a new Gallup poll. Republicans are much more supportive of business tax breaks than the new job programs, and Democrats are more likely to favor the job creation programs, while independents show roughly equal support for all three.
Implications: “Job creation proposals enjoy widespread public support, including majority backing among all party groups, even when the issue of government spending is raised in an era when deficit reduction is one of the major priorities for the federal government.” (Gallup)
Can you believe it? Even the Republicans support government jobs programs. So all that gibberish about “hating big government and loving the free market” is just a load of crap. Americans don’t hate socialism; What they hate is the word which conjures up images of the Berlin Wall, Joe Stalin and Soviet troops marching through Red Square. One of the country’s greatest political visionary’s was died-in-the-wool socialist; a man who worked his entire life to put the rich in their place and spread the wealth to ordinary working stiffs. He was America’s Hugo Chavez and his name was Huey P. Long, Governor of Louisiana, aka the “Kingfish”. Here’s a short video of Long giving speech to Congress.
“How many men ever went to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what’s intended for 9/10th of the people to eat? The only way to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of that grub that he ain’t got no business with!
Now we got a barbecue. We have been praying to the Almighty to send us to a feast. We have knelt on our knees morning and nighttime. The Lord has answered the prayer. He has called the barbecue. “Come to my feast,” He said to 125 million American people. But Morgan and Rockefeller and Mellon and Baruch have walked up and took 85 percent of the victuals off the table!
Now, how are you going to feed the balance of the people? What’s Morgan and Baruch and Rockefeller and Mellon going to do with all that grub? They can’t eat it, they can’t wear the clothes, they can’t live in the houses.
Giv’em a yacht! Giv’em a Palace! Send ‘em to Reno and give them a new wife when they want it, if that’s what they want. [Laughter] But when they’ve got everything on God’s loving earth that they can eat and they can wear and they can live in, and all that their children can live in and wear and eat, and all of their children’s children can use, then we’ve got to call Mr. Morgan and Mr. Mellon an Mr. Rockefeller back and say, come back here, put that stuff back on this table here that you took away from here that you don’t need. Leave something else for the American people to consume. And that’s the program.”
Where’s Kingfish now that we need him?
“Every man a king, but no one wears a crown.” – Huey P. long, Governor of Louisiana