venerdì 10 luglio 2009

Are we nearly there?

Are we nearly there? Bridging UK supported funds and a post 2012 climate architecture

The Bretton Woods Project along with Bond's Development and Environment Group have published a new report highlighting the need for an equitable financial architecture for addressing international climate change (1) interventions. The report highlights the elements needed for such an architecture and looks at whether or not current pilot projects, primarily those funded by the UK and housed under the World Bank, will set us on the necessary course to reach that architecture.
http://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/nearlythere

Note:

1) 'Climate change' is a codeword meaning the change of climate between customers and bankers.

Fine del signoraggio USA

IL COMMENTO

Il potere degli emergenti

di FEDERICO RAMPINI, La Repubblica, 10 luglio 2009


Archiviato il primo giorno di summit nel formato ormai obsoleto del G8, l'allargamento della seconda giornata alle cinque potenze emergenti (Cina India Brasile Messico e Sudafrica) ha rivelato la forza tremenda del "fronte dei veti". Gli emergenti hanno una visione del mondo lontana dalla nostra. Hanno altre priorità. Hanno il peso economico e politico per esercitare un formidabile potere d'interdizione.

E' questo il vero senso della giornata di ieri. La coalizione degli esterni al G8 non è più "la periferia". Al contrario, Cina e India rappresentano potenzialmente i motori della crescita mondiale, gli unici giganti ad essersi sganciati dal ciclo recessivo. Ma allargare la rappresentanza della governance globale fino a includerli, espone al rischio della paralisi decisionale: tanto ampio è il divario degli interessi.

"E' un buon inizio, non è un compito da poco riuscire a colmare le distanze fra così tanti leader, ed è ancora più difficile riuscirci nel bel mezzo di una recessione". Con il suo energico ottimismo Obama ha voluto imprimere un segno positivo al vertice. Quel suo giudizio si riferiva all'accordo sul clima, firmato da paesi che generano l'80% delle emissioni carboniche del pianeta. Ma poco prima la delegazione cinese aveva suonato tutt'altra musica: "L'accordo sul clima non vincola la Cina, che ritiene fondamentale prendere in considerazione le diverse condizioni dei paesi emergenti". Dall'India all'Egitto, altri hanno appoggiato la posizione cinese, respingendo l'impegno di ridurre del 50% le emissioni di CO2 entro il 2050. La controproposta: che i paesi industrializzati si impegnino a fare molto di più, tagliando del 40% le loro emissioni entro il 2020; e che offrano fondi e tecnologie ai paesi meno avanzati per la riconversione a uno sviluppo sostenibile.

Pechino articola una posizione che fa il pieno di consensi in tutto il mondo non-occidentale. Primo: la Cina ci ricorda che storicamente l'inquinamento accumulato nel pianeta lo abbiamo prodotto in massima parte noi "vecchi ricchi" nei decenni in cui eravamo i soli protagonisti dell'industrializzazione. Secondo: le nostre multinazionali hanno un ruolo decisivo nel trasferire verso le nazioni emergenti le produzioni più distruttive per l'ambiente. Terzo: il tenore di vita dei cinesi e degli indiani resta molto inferiore al nostro, in fatto di consumo frugale noi dovremmo imparare qualcosa da loro. Conclusione: non si può chiedere ai colossi asiatici di fermare le centrali a carbone solo perché loro sono troppo numerosi. Questa non è una divergenza "negoziabile" su cifre e date; è lo scontro tra visioni, interessi e bisogni profondamente diversi.

Per la stragrande maggioranza dell'umanità lo sviluppo resta la priorità, l'urgenza, l'imperativo assoluto. Riuscire a cambiare la qualità di quello sviluppo, esige soluzioni profondamente innovative che fuoriescono dall'arcaica cultura negoziale delle diplomazie e degli sherpa. "Tra vecchi paesi ricchi e nazioni emergenti - osserva Kim Carstensen del Wwf - non è stato superato il grande fossato della diffidenza".

D'altra parte quando il fronte degli emergenti sprigiona la sua grande forza d'interdizione, mette a nudo anche i limiti di audacia dei leader occidentali. A parte l'aver ripudiato finalmente il "negazionismo" di Bush sul cambiamento climatico, di concreto sull'ambiente Obama cos'ha fatto? Sta spingendo faticosamente al Congresso una legge sul trading di diritti d'emissione, copiata dal modello europeo che ha dato risultati deludenti. Non ha neppure messo all'ordine del giorno un aumento delle tasse sulla benzina, che al distributore in America costa meno che in Cina.

Non è solo sul clima che l'apparente concordia è stata ottenuta solo annacquando all'infinito i contenuti. G8 più G5 si sono "impegnati a resistere al protezionismo e a incoraggiare l'apertura dei mercati", promettono una "conclusione ambiziosa ed equilibrata dei negoziati sulla liberalizzazione dei commerci" (Doha Round) nel 2010. Ma non c'è alcun cenno alla grande disputa sul protezionismo agricolo europeo e americano, immenso ostacolo all'accordo di Doha. Neanche una parola sulle malefiche clausole protezioniste infilate surrettiziamente in tutte le manovre di spesa pubblica anti-recessione, dal Buy American di Washington al Buy Chinese di Pechino. (L'Italia, piccola economia molto dipendente dall'export, ha tutto da perdere se avanza indisturbata questa marea neoprotezionista).

La vacua convergenza sul rilancio della crescita globale è stata raggiunta solo dopo aver messo fra parentesi un'altra sfida poderosa lanciata dai cinesi: l'attacco a sua maestà il dollaro. Chiedendo di "promuovere un sistema monetario internazionale più diversificato", la delegazione di Pechino ha comunque sancito l'inizio di un processo inevitabile. Il signoraggio del dollaro, che primeggia sia nelle riserve delle banche centrali sia nei pagamenti dei commerci fra nazioni, è l'eredità di un'epoca in cui la supremazia economica americana era incontrastata. Ora la Cina moltiplica gli accordi bilaterali con India, Russia, Brasile, Argentina; in quel club già si abbandona il dollaro per passare a pagamenti bilaterali con le valute nazionali. E' naturale che questo avvenga. Basti pensare che la Cina ha sostituito gli Stati Uniti come primo partner economico del Brasile: perché gli imprenditori di Shanghai e Sao Paulo dovrebbero continuare a usare dollari nelle loro relazioni, esponendosi alla capricciosa volatilità di una moneta che riflette le debolezze del bilancio federale di Washington? Il tramonto del vecchio ordine è nei fatti. Ma quello che si disegna nel post-G8 è un mondo assai più complicato, e non necessariamente più stabile.

'Government Sachs'

Influence is in the bag for 'Government Sachs'

Section:

By John Crudele
New York Post
Thursday, July 7, 2009

http://www.nypost.com/seven/07092009/business/influence_is_all_in_the_ba...

When I last wrote about Goldman Sachs in late March, the most politically-connected and luckiest firm on Wall Street was in the middle of rigging the stock market -- again.

"Something smells fishy in the market. And the aroma seems to be coming from Goldman Sachs," is the way I put it in that March 28 column.

Well, a lot has changed in just the past few weeks. And I'd like to put it all together for you, and for the rest of the media should it choose to follow what is shaping up to be the most incredible financial story ever.

Back in March I noted that the rally occurring in the stock market had the indisputable fingerprints of Goldman all over it. There were numbers to back it up.

Despite the fact that regular investors seemed to be pulling their money out of the market or -- at best -- investing conservatively, stock prices were zooming. The reason was simple: Big investors were pouring money into equities.

And Goldman Sachs was the biggest of the big.

According to the New York Stock Exchange figures for the week of April 13 that I quoted, Goldman executed twice as many big trades -- called "program" trades by the industry -- as any other firm. And the bulk of the 1.234 billion shares bought by Goldman that week were paid for with the firm's own money.

Of course, Goldman would have to be mighty confident that stock prices were going up to risk so much of its own capital. Or, perhaps, it knew stocks would be rising.

This was the time, remember, when banks were trying to recapitalize by selling shares to the public. Goldman, you'll also recall, had turned itself into a bank holding company so it could take $10 billion in government money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Goldman also sold billions worth of new stock to the public while all this was happening.

How much harder would it have been for banks to sell stock to nervous investors if the market was swooning rather than booming?

Goldman's sudden and inexplicable optimism about stocks was incredibly opportune for the banking industry in general, for Goldman in particular, and -- here's where the conspiracy starts to unfold -- for the government.

It's tough, however, to do what needs to be done to rescue the market when pesky journalists and annoying bloggers are looking over your shoulder.

So a couple weeks ago the NYSE suddenly announced that brokerage firms would no longer have to report their program trades. The new rule takes effect next week.

Convenient!

Wall Street and Washington have been playing footsie for decades.

Back in the late 1980s, President Reagan determined that the stock market was so vital to the country that he signed an executive order creating the President's Working Group on Financial Markets. What the president wanted from this group was unclear, but the precipitous drops in stock prices in 1987 and 1989 had made everyone nervous.

Soon afterward, Robert Heller, a former Federal Reserve governor, came right out and proposed what the president was probably thinking -- the stock market should be rigged in times of impending disaster. But instead of going through all the trouble of buying actual stock, as firms do in program trades, Heller suggested a shortcut -- the purchase of stock index futures contracts.

From that point on everyone suspected that Washington would jump in to calm the stock market whenever the waters got rough.

Goldman has so many top executives who've moved into government that the company is now not-so-affectionately called "Government Sachs."

Hank Paulson, the incompetent Treasury secretary during the last Bush administration, was a former chairman of Goldman. Paulson almost slipped about the cozy relationship Washington had with Wall Street when he was being interviewed on TV and blurted out that it was part of his job to speak frequently with "market participants."

No, it's not.

Was he tipping information to Goldman during these conversations, like interest-rate decisions? Was Goldman some sort of ex-officio government conduit?

The clincher came last week in the most bizarre and unexpected twist to this unpredictable decades-long tale.

Federal prosecutors accused a guy named Sergey Aleynikov of stealing proprietary "black box" computer codes from Goldman. The assistant U.S. attorney in charge of the case said the following in court: "The bank (Goldman) has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate the market in unfair ways."

What was Goldman doing with a program that could "manipulate the market in unfair ways"?

The answer: It was using it to manipulate the market.

Audit would harm crooks, Fed vice chair warns

Kohn Warns Against Political Interference in Fed

By Alister Bull and Emily Kaiser
Reuters
Thursday, July 9, 2009

http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNewsAndPR/idUSN0945907120090709

WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn on Thursday launched a robust defense of the U.S. central bank's independence and warned that efforts to put monetary policy under political sway would hurt the economy.

Curbing the Fed's independence could both result in higher long-term interest rates and hurt the United States' credit rating, Kohn said.

"Any substantial erosion of the Federal Reserve's monetary independence likely would lead to higher long-term interest rates as investors begin to fear future inflation," Kohn said in remarks prepared for delivery before a congressional committee.

Kohn is due to testify later on Thursday. A copy of his remarks was released before the hearing.

Kohn's testimony comes as Congress debates President Barack Obama's plan for regulatory reform, which envisions the Fed taking on the role of systemic risk regulator, in a bid to fix a system that failed to prevent a financial crisis last year.

The proposal to expand the Fed's powers has increased calls for accountability at the central bank, and a bill put forward by Republican Congressman Ron Paul to expose it to a full audit by a government watchdog has won support from a majority in the House of Representatives.

Kohn said such a move could be highly detrimental.

"The bond rating agencies view operational independence of a country's central bank as an important factor in determining sovereign credit ratings, suggesting that a threat to the Federal Reserve's independence could lower the Treasury's debt rating and thus raise its cost of borrowing," he said.

Kohn said allowing that the Government Accountability Office to audit Fed monetary policy would be a bad mistake.

"The Federal Reserve strongly believes that removing the statutory limits on GAO audits of monetary policy matters would be contrary to the public interest by tending to undermine the independence and efficacy of monetary policy," he said.

Hedge Fraud against Workers

Hedge Fund Would Rather Shut Down a Plant Than Pay Its Workers a Fair Wage

By Art Levine, AlterNet. Posted July 10, 2009.


The hedge fund "thought they could refuse to bargain with us ... break the law, tear up our contract ... and break the union."

Every morning at 6 a.m, starting in August 2008, a group of striking workers came to stand outside the Stella D'Oro cookie and biscuit factory in the Bronx, N.Y. They were fighting for what they saw as their right to a fair contract, and the middle-class way of life they spent decades building with their loyal work.

For many workers facing trouble paying their mortgages, sending their kids to college or even going out for a meal, remaining on strike was not easy.

Elizabeth Francisco told the Bronx Times Reporter during a recent rainy day on the picket line: "It's hard. When my daughter asks, 'Mommy, I want to eat dinner outside,' I have no money. Out here [on the picket line], I'm depressed."

It was especially rough when some of the 50 or so low-paid replacement workers, or "scabs," came out for their lunch break and literally waved their paychecks in the faces of these strikers who have been subsisting on little more than unemployment benefits and a $105-a-week union stipend.

Stella D'Oro workers returned to work Tuesday morning. The day before, Byrnwood Partners, the private equity firm that owns the plant, had decided to shut it down in October rather than maintain wage levels. As part of that proposal, the workers accepted an offer from the company to return to work at their original pay until the plant closes.

Meanwhile, despite the odds, union leaders vow to fight the plant closing; they are reaching out to the state's political leaders and seeking a buyer for the plant. On Tuesday, the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. denounced the closing and said his office would try to find another buyer.

"Stella D'Oro has been a Bronx institution for decades, providing thousands of jobs to Bronxites over the decades." said My office will do everything it can to prevent this hastily made decision and keep Stella D'Oro, and the much-needed jobs it provides, in Kingsbridge [in the Bronx]."

Last week, a National Labor Relations Board administrative judge ordered the workers reinstated and the company to bargain in good faith with the union; the judge found that the company sabotaged negotiations by refusing to provide verifiable financial information to support its demand for concessions.

"The private-equity predators at Byrnwood Partners thought they could refuse to bargain with us, deny us information, break the law, tear up our contract, force a strike and break the union," Joyce Alston, president of Local 50 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, said last week. This week, Alston says of the closing, "They're doing it out of spite: if they can't get you one way, they'll try another."

Before the plant shutdown, 30-year employee Eddie Marrero, a foreman who oversaw the oven operations, had explained to AlterNet, "We're now fighting for jobs, fighting for respect and we're trying to make a point: Capitalists can't come here and destroy decent-paying jobs."

But on Monday, Byrnwood Partners did just that by giving the legally required notice of at least 60 days or more to shut down the plant under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN Act). A company statement proclaimed Monday, "Since the strike began almost a year ago, the company has been actively evaluating strategic alternatives to its high cost of production in the Bronx facility."

Both the union and the NLRB judge challenged the company's failure to prove that it was losing money at the plant and condemned the firm for bargaining in bad faith.

Even so, given the peril facing the plant's workers, Joyce Alston says, "We're taking them seriously, and we're going to try everything we can to keep the plant open and find another buyer." She told AlterNet Monday, "It's our view that they're using the WARN Act to circumvent the judge's order."

For months, with chants of "No contract, no cookies," union workers have been protesting the unyielding offer by Byrnwood to slash wages by as much as $5 an hour over five years, end all sick days and most paid holidays and drastically cut benefits, including their pensions.

When the judge's decision against Byrnwood was announced last week, there was jubilation mixed with caution on the picket line. When lead mechanic and shop steward Mike Fillipou got the news on his cell phone from a New York Post reporter, at first he didn't quite believe it, and then he quietly went around the corner to print out the NLRB decision for himself at a local store.

As he returned to tell the news to his fellow strikers, they erupted with cheers, hugs and not a few tears. "It was a big victory not just for us, but for the whole labor movement," he says.

Yesterday, when he walked through the factory gates in the morning with his fellow strikers, they still kept alive some sense of triumph. "We accomplished our mission to go back," he says. But he and other union members were shocked by the dilapidated conditions they say they found inside the plant: a horrid smell instead of the sweet aroma of baked goods, broken lockers, dirty toilets. [more]


Workers Will Lose Unemployment Benefits Soon

Hundreds of Thousands of Workers Will Lose Unemployment Benefits Soon

By Marie Cocco, Washington Post Writers Group. Posted July 10, 2009.

Workers laid off early in the downturn are soon to be left without the basic sustenance of an unemployment check.

WASHINGTON -- When a virulent disease is ravaging you like a cancer, you don't want a cacophony of voices promoting different or contradictory cures. Yet that is what we're starting to hear about the economic crisis, not only from a politically divided -- and pretty scared -- capital, but from within the Obama administration itself. In just the past few days, Vice President Joe Biden has said the young administration misread the depth of the recession -- an honest account, since most private economists did as well. Laura Tyson, an outside economic adviser to the White House, said it's wise to start preparing another stimulus package.

Then President Barack Obama made everything perfectly muddy when he said in an ABC News interview that the seriousness of the downturn and how to attack it is "something we wrestle with constantly." Yet in the next breath, he expressed concern about the burgeoning deficit. But if anyone's looking for some clear voices, there are 650,000 of them just waiting to be heard. That is roughly the number of long-term unemployed who will begin losing their jobless benefits in September, according to the National Employment Law Project. Remember, the recession didn't start last fall when the government bailed out AIG and the financial system froze. It began in December 2007 -- and 6.5 million jobs have been lost since then. Depending on which state and the sort of triggers that apply to benefits, hundreds of thousands of workers laid off early in the downturn are soon to be left without the basic sustenance of an unemployment check.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department says, the number of unemployed people out of work for 27 weeks or longer continues to grow, reaching 4.4 million last month. In June, three out of 10 jobless workers had been out of work for at least six months, according to the department's data. The stimulus package the president signed soon after taking office did provide extended benefits, and boosted weekly payments. But even that extension runs out on Dec. 26, and would not apply to all the unemployed. Does anyone really believe that a significant portion of the unemployed will have found new work by then? Hardly. Both private and government economists now predict that unemployment will continue to rise at least through the end of this year.

"We can't ignore this moment when all these folks are running out (of benefits)," says Maurice Emsellem of the National Employment Law Project.

"That needs to be a top priority, to help these workers." Let's stop kidding ourselves. In no contemporary economic crisis -- not even those that unfolded on the Republicans' watch -- has Congress left the unemployed completely in the lurch. So some sort of spending package -- call it stimulus, call it stopgap emergency aid, whatever works -- is going to have to be passed.

The unemployment emergency helps feed another crisis Congress is going to be forced to address: the state budget disasters unfolding around the country. So far, 42 states have cut budgets that already had been enacted for fiscal 2009, according to the National Governors Association. More and deeper cuts are expected next year.

Already states have laid off and furloughed workers -- including, in some states, the very workers who process unemployment claims. Generally speaking, states are required to balance their budgets each year, a mandate that forces them to pull money out of the economy through spending reductions and tax hikes, counteracting the federal government's efforts to juice things up. "That is what happened during the Great Depression, we had states working against what the federal government was doing," says Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute. With red states and blue, Republican governors and Democrats, all struggling against the same relentless, recession-driven drops in tax revenue, an almost irresistible political coalition for more aid to states eventually will take shape. And with the fast-approaching September deadline for extending some unemployment benefits, there will likely emerge one of those must-pass measures that may or may not be called another stimulus bill.

Any hot air expended trying to stop it serves no purpose but to fuel political fires. Remember, that is the whole point of those now huffing and puffing most heartily. They don't want to figure a way out of this morass; they just want to figure out a way to unseat those now in office.


Big Bankers Sneak Attack on Consumers

Big Bankers Mounting Sneak Attack on Consumers

By Jim Hightower, AlterNet, July 10, 2009.

The largest banking chains are going out of their way to stiff us.

Have you received your thank-you note? I'm still waiting for mine.

More than a year into the Wall Street bailout, I've yet to get any sort of "thank you" from even a single one of the big banks that you and I propped up with $12 trillion in direct giveaways, indirect giveaways, government guarantees and sweetheart loans. You'd think their mommas would've taught them better. But I've begun to think that waiting on a simple gesture of banker gratitude is like waiting on Donald Trump to have a good hair day -- ain't gonna happen.

Far from showing appreciation, the largest banking chains are now going out of their way to stiff us. Instead of nice notes, they are quietly slipping new gotchas into our monthly credit card bills and bank statements. In June, for example, Bank of America abruptly raised its fee for a basic checking account by 50 percent. Citibank jacked up the interest rate on some of its cards to 29.99 percent. And JPMorgan Chase more than doubled the required minimum payment on its cards.

Across the board, fees have skyrocketed to their highest levels on record, including assessments for such common occurrences as overdrafts (as high as $39), stop-payment actions ($39 -- double what it was 10 years ago), balance transfers (up more than 50 percent in the past year) and ATM use (nearly doubled in 10 years).

To add insult to injury, the banks blame us for their rate increases. Because the economy is such a wreck (massive job losses, falling incomes, millions of home foreclosures and other unpleasantness), industry spokesmen say there is a greater risk that customers will bounce checks or fall behind on their credit-card payments. Thus, claim purse-lipped bankers, they must protect themselves from us by ratcheting up rates and fees. "There is an increased riskiness around repayment because of the recession," spaketh one lobbyist for the financial giants.

Glade doesn't make enough "Spring Lilac" to cover up the stench of this argument. Come on -- it was the greed and incompetence of Mr. Jolly Banker that wrecked our economy, caused the recession and forced the odious bailout on us. They want us to pay for that?

The truth is, they are socking it to their customers for two reasons: 1) they can, and 2) fee hikes are a shifty way to snatch enormous levels of new income for themselves without doing anything to earn it.

These are the geniuses who made an ugly mess of the core business of banking -- which is to make good loans. To make up for their huge losses in that business, bankers have essentially been reduced to flim-flam fee-scammers. Last year, assessment of consumer fees became the main business of banks, totaling 53 percent of the industry's income!

That was before the current outbreak of fee frenzy. In the first three months of this year, for example, Bank of America's fee income rose 50 percent above the same period of 2008 -- an extra $4 billion in revenue for the bank.

"Fees 'R' Us" is what big banks have become. This is why they are panicked by reforms presently coming out of Washington. Already, President Obama has signed a bill to restrict credit-card gouging, and Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan (which control about 58 percent of the nation's credit-card market) are scrambling to jack up their rates and fees before the new law takes effect next February.

Now, the bankers are lobbying frantically to kill Obama's plan to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would have regulatory power to prohibit a wide range of finance-industry abuses. For the first time, we consumers would have our own seat at the regulatory table -- an agency with the independence and clout to counter the Federal Reserve and other agencies that primarily serve big banks.

From the bailout to the explosion in fees, we've seen that Wall Street's financial titans won't control their greed. For the sake of the economy, the well-being of America's majority and the advancement of our nation's democratic values, we must do it for them. For more information, contact Americans for Financial Reform: www.ourfinancialsecurity.org.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.


Laura Goldman labeled antisemite because of Madoff

www.barrychamish.com

IT'S NOT ME, IT'S THE JEWS
by Barry Chamish

In the April '09 issue of Vanity Fair, I met a soul sister who tried to warn the Jews that Bernie Madoff was a fraud who would destroy their community;

Laura Goldman of Tel Aviv-based LSG Capital decided not to invest with Madoff. She even sent anti-Madoff articles to members of the Palm Beach Country Club. "I was expecting a thank you, all I got back in return was a hostile response. Some of the Madoff investors said I was behaving unprofessionally and was bad-mouthing a competitor. Oh, they were nasty. Nasty! They said the publications were jealous of Bernie. They were being anti-Semitic. People called me an anti-Semite. I'm not only a Jew, I live in Israel."

She found out, the way I did, that there is something psychologically diseased about the Jewish mind. You live in Israel, you expose a crook, and the Jews defend the crook and call you, an anti-Semite. There is no standard definition in the annals of psychology to explain the sickness. But as their community is being destroyed by their own, the Jews stand up for the wreckers. And any Jew who tries to warn the Jews, is a Jew hater.
And the hatred for the exposer doesn't verge on psychotic, it is mass insanity.
It's just too easy to destroy the Jews. You murder a third of them and they learn nothing from their history except jingoes. NEVER AGAIN! Yeah, right.
Madoff stole $55b of his $65b right from the Jews, and that included many of the most established Jewish charities. And as $55b, half of Israel's annual GDP, is lost for good, and as thousands (13,000 Madoff "clients") go homeless and penniless, who remembers Laura Goldman, the "anti-semite," who did what she could to bail them out while there was still time?
No one, of course. Most of the victims will go to the penury lines believing she was just a loud-mouthed Jew hater who accidentally got one thing right.
Dumbest morons of any people, these Jews!
Now from our point of view, shall I try again? Sure, why not. It's a nice day.
Does anyone recall my piece about Yad Vashem, the official Jerusalem Holocaust memorial, rehabilitating Rudolph Kastner, the representative of Labor Zionism, who let Eichmann murder 850,000 Hungarian Jews while saving 3,500 friends and advocates? It happened in the past year. If you don't know what a butcher he was, read the classic expose of him, Perfidy, by Ben Hecht. I'm too whipped to rehash the ghastly story.
Now Yad Vashem has a new project to whitewash; the rehabilitation of Pope Pius 12, the Holocaust pope:

Foundation Announces Plan to Initiate Process

NEW YORK, JULY 2, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A foundation announced plans to nominate Pope Pius XII for the "Righteous Among the Nations" honor, traditionally given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
Gary Krupp, Jewish Papal Knight, president of the New York-based Pave the Way Foundation, an organization that promotes interreligious dialogue, affirmed this Wednesday in a statement to ZENIT. He reported that the foundation has the nomination guidelines from the Righteous Among the Nations Department of the Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and will open the case soon. Krupp stated that the foundation has "devoted years to gathering original documentation and video testimony on this controversial papacy and we believe we have uncovered enough pertinent material to now begin to seek the notarized written testimonies to officially begin this judicial procedure [with] Yad Vashem."
The president, himself a Jew, explained, "In most cases of those who have been honored as Righteous Among the Nations, the honoree has directly acted to save individual lives all while risking his or her own life to do so."
He continued: "The actions of Eugenio Pacelli [Pope Pius XII] do not fit this general description. However, we can establish the direct intercession of the Pope to act resulting in saving hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives. "But obviously because of the nature of the high office he held, Pacelli would almost never have been in direct contact with those he saved."
Krupp reported one exception, when the Pontiff personally interceded "on behalf of his best friend Dr. Guido Mendes, an Orthodox Jewish boyhood friend," sending the family to Palestine in 1938.
The president added, "We can also establish that the life-saving actions of Pacelli were carried out under the threat of death."

Now my readers know what a dire threat the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR) is to the future of Judaism and Israel, and I'll be damned if I'm going to retell this horrendous tale again. If you want to learn something, buy my books at www.lulu.com. Just know, that the leader of Israel, thus supposedly the Jewish world, was a CFR member in 1988. And he's every bit as dangerous as Madoff.

http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/roundtable/CFRL-Rlist.html#N
2803. NEMAN RICHARD A,, 1988 annual rpt
2804. NETANYAHU BENJAMIN,, 1988 annual rpt
2805. NEUMAN STEPHANIE G,CFR '92,

Now Jews, back to the charitable country club, get a good tan, marry a gentile, ignore your heritage, and accept that a Jewish anti-Semite once again tried to disturb your dinner with the Adelmans and their lovely children Josh and Wendy.

end

This week I was interviewed by my usual gentile radio hosts. (Add www.thebyteshow.com press guests). But I did two Jewish shows, Howard Riell, and in Hebrew:
http://emetaheret.org.il/2009/07/07/%d7%a8%d7%90%d7%99%d7%95%d7%9f-%d7%98%d7%9c%d7%a4%d7%95%d7%a0%d7%99-%d7%91%d7%9c%d7%a2%d7%93%d7%99-%d7%a2%d7%9d-%d7%91%d7%90%d7%a8%d7%99-%d7%97%d7%9e%d7%99%d7%a9/

Hebrew listeners, tell you friends, and add:
www.geocities.com/barrychamish

Dow Jones Equity REIT Index


Chart of the Day

For some perspective on the all-important US real estate market, today's chart illustrates the 2004 to 2009 trend of the Dow Jones Equity REIT Index. As today's chart illustrates, the unwinding of the real estate/credit bubble initially (early 2007 to mid-2008) occurred at a fairly moderate pace. That pace accelerated (mid-2008 to early 2009) as major financial institutions began to collapse. When all was said and done, the peak to trough decline of the Dow Jones Equity REIT Index ended up being 75.8%. Since the trough of early 2009, REITs have rallied and are currently up 38% (though remain 66% below the 2007 peak). As today's chart illustrates, the Dow Jones Equity REIT Index remains within the confines of a moderate downward sloping trend channel and currently trades near resistance.

Japanese arrested had papers signed by Bernanke, Greenspan

The Japanese arrested with $134.5 billion had papers signed by Bernanke, Greenspan

by Benjamin Fulford

The two “Japanese” (one is Philippino and the other Chinese) arrested in Italy recently with $134.5 billion worth of US Treasury certificates were also carried a series of documents signed by the likes of Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. They themselves are innocent and were released immediately because they were carrying genuine diplomatic passports. The Pictures of the documents they carried are attached and we would like to hear some expert opinion on their contents.

According to the official story put out to the corporate media, the Treasuries were forgeries (no doubt they will say the same about the documents pictured here) but if that is the case, why were the people carrying the “forgeries” immediately released?

The truth is the Treasury certificates they carried were legitimate and are now in the safe hands of the managers of the new financial system. The money will be used to finance part of a Marshall plan aimed at ending war, poverty and environmental destruction. It will also be used to develop previously forbidden technology. We may see some visible changes as early as next week now that Bernanke’s latest check has bounced but, as mentioned before, things could drag on to the September 30th secret fiscal year end a possibly a bit beyond that date. The information above comes from very highly placed sources.

http://benjaminfulford.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c647c53ef011570f60dd3970c-pi

A Master Stroke of Silver Manipulation

A Master Stroke of Silver Manipulation

leadimage

07/09/09 Tampa Bay, Florida

Federal Reserve Credit dropped $58.5 billion last week, taking the total amount of Federal Reserve credit that they created to a hefty $1.997 trillion. Now, one does not have to be a paranoid, gold-bug, gun-nut, Austrian-school economist lunatic moron like me to see that if you take this weekly decrease in Fed credit and multiply it by 52 to get the yearly total, it comes to a staggering $3.042 trillion a year, which be a whopping 40% decrease in the M2 money supply, which would be plenty bad enough if that were the end of it, but this is Fed Credit, which is the stuff of legend where it appears as if by magic – poof! – in the books of the banks (although it is not magic that put it there, but the mere whim of Ben Bernanke), which the banks use to lend out gigantic multiples of that increase in credit! Gaaahhh!

If you are a new Junior Mogambo Ranger (JMR), then you may be unaware that the “Gaaahhh!” appended to the foregoing paragraph is a secret coded signal, and according to the highly secret Mogambo Highly Secret Code System (MHSCS), the three “a’s followed by three “b’s after the original “g” is a secret code, a “highly secret” secret code, that means “Some moron is jerking monetary policy around willy-nilly, and that kind of stupidity is so highly dangerous that not even professionals should try this at home, which means that you should be buying gold, gold, gold!”

And if you look at the bottom of the MHSCS entry, you will see the Three Best Mogambo Action Recommendations (TBMAR) to respond to this situation are “Buy gold and silver. Hole up in a bunker. Trust no one.”

Now you know why I spend such an inordinate amount of time locked inside the Mogambo Hopefully Impregnable Bunker (MHIB), although it does not explain why the price of silver is so low as to be absolutely ludicrous, what in the hell any of this has to do with silver in the first place, or why I spend so much of my time telling other people to buy silver to take advantage of these low, low, insanely-low prices when I should take the advice given to me so, so many times by so, so many people throughout my life, which is to “Shut your Stupid Mogambo Mouth (SMM),” especially since I recall that the alternative was usually a veiled threat in the form of a “knuckle sandwich” to stick in my SMM.

I think that the reason that I cannot keep the secret of silver being so under-priced to myself is because it does not matter! Nobody is going to listen to me anyway, and that means that I can keep buying silver at these low, low prices until finally reality catches up with the silver market, and when it does, I will be Sitting Mighty Pretty (SMP) with more money than I ever imagined, and people will say, “Why didn’t you tell us to buy silver, too, so that we, would have a lot of money, too? Or at least have enough to buy dinner instead of having to stand here, broke and hungry, watching you stuffing your Stupid Mogambo Face (SMF) with succulent appetizers, entrees and desserts, and watching pieces of food are falling out of your mouth, down your chin, bouncing off of your shirt, and into your lap; you are a disgusting, filthy pig!”

Ted Butler, independent silver market observer, has never commented on my seeming lack of table manners or has actually told me “Shut your Stupid Mogambo Mouth (SMM),” and if you call him up to verify it, he will immediately reply “What? Who is this? What’s a Mogambo?” before hanging up, which ought to prove it to everyone’s satisfaction as it does mine!

Anyway, Mr. Butler has been a long time looking at the obvious manipulation in the silver market with just a few “players” actually controlling the price so as to, I figure, run a scam, and up to now it has been up to Mr. Butler to identify the blatant criminality in the Comex futures market, while it has been up to me (as the other member of the team) to call all the people involved in the scam a bunch of “lowlife scumbag thieving cheating lying pieces of crap” and demand that they all be taken out and shot or given prison terms of 150 years each, ala Bernie Madoff, who was also a “lowlife scumbag thieving cheating lying piece of crap.”

But while I am doing this, see, I am buying more and more silver more and more cheaply and Mr. Butler is, I assume, buying more and more silver more and more cheaply, and everyone who has looked at the insane imbalances in silver are buying more and more silver more and more cheaply since the price of silver does not rise even though the purchasing power of the dollar is in a downward trend, thanks to the seemingly-impossible amounts of federal government borrowing and deficit-spending that will be financed by the Federal Reserve creating the seemingly-impossible amounts of money and credit to loan to the government.

But those halcyon days may be over, as things may be changing, as Mr. Butler notes that “On June 24, the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a 247-page report entitled, ‘Excessive Speculation in the Wheat Market’ where they found that ‘the CFTC failed to uphold commodity law, by allowing large index traders to hold long positions in wheat well above the proscribed speculative position limits of 6,500 contracts.’” The Senate found that the CFTC “failed to uphold commodity law”!

The problem, beyond mere criminality and fraud, is that traders with large positions can cause prices to be distorted, which Mr. Butler phrases, “If a futures market position grows too large it will affect the underlying cash market.”

He goes on that this is serious business, in that “The report indicated that the large long positions of index traders caused the price spike in wheat and other markets last year” by which they intend to remedy the situation by recommending “that the CFTC scale back their permission to hold positions above the limits, and lower those limits if necessary.”

In wheat, Mr. Butler says that there are “roughly 25 to 30 long index traders operating in the Chicago wheat market at any time,” which is plenty enough to prevent collusion, and even so, “the Senate report concludes that in wheat the limit should be no more than (the existing) 6,500 contracts and perhaps 5,000 contracts.”

And if you are thinking, “How did the report determine this number of contracts?” he explains that while it seems kind of arbitrary, “the 6,500 contract position limit in wheat is equal to 32.5 million bushels (5,000 bushels per contract). The total US annual wheat crop is 2 billion bushels. World annual wheat production is ten times that, at over 20 billion bushels. Therefore, the position limit of 6,500 futures contracts represents 1.6% of the total US wheat crop (32.5 million bushels vs. 2 billion bushels).”

And to the effect that US speculative markets influence world markets, “Relative to the total world wheat crop, the 6,500 position limit represents 0.16% of the total 20 billion bushel crop”, which pretty much rules out any global plots, schemes or scams to corner the wheat markets.

On the other hand, things are ripe for plucking, because “In silver, there are no hard position limits in force. There used to be, but the CFTC allowed the COMEX to replace hard position limits many years ago. Instead, now there is an ‘accountability limit’ of 6,000 contracts.”

The trouble is that “Since there are 5,000 ounces in a COMEX futures contract, the accountability limit is equal to 30 million ounces”, which means that “Whereas the position limit in wheat was 1.6% of the US crop, the accountability limit in COMEX silver is almost 52 times larger, at more that 83% of total US mine production (estimated at 36 million oz by the USGS).”

As for the chance to stick it to the whole world, “While the position limit in wheat was 0.16% of the world wheat crop, the COMEX accountability limit is 28 times larger, at 4.5% of the world silver mine production (660 million oz. per the US Geological Survey).”

The point of all of this is that the Happy Days for the slimy insiders in the silver futures and options market, and those glorious days when you and I could buy ounce after ounce silver at these low, low, unheard-of low prices, are almost certainly all gone, now that the Senate has found willful corruption, and so the day will soon come when silver, free from the slimy manipulations of insiders that one could even argue violate the 14th Amendment, will rise, perhaps a dozen-fold, in price, re-establishing the 16:1 ratio of silver to gold, which will also be, almost certainly, up.

At that point, which you will know from the newspaper headlines proclaiming, “The Mogambo was right! We’re freaking doomed!” the population of the world will be divided into people who either say, “Oh, of course I am so smart that I always saw the inexplicable and unsustainable 70:1 ratio of silver to gold, which is far outside the historical ratio of 16:1, but I was just waiting for the perfect moment to make my move into silver and I, like all the other experts, missed the boat because of some excuse, and people who followed our advice missed the whole thing and did not make a dime”, or they will be the other people, the ones who were buying silver the whole time and who were now saying, “Whee! This investing stuff is easy!

AIM link in 'boiler-room scam'

Aim link in 'boiler-room scam'

The London Stock Exchange is facing potentially embarrassing questions following the revelation that an alleged US based boiler-room operation had extensive links to the Aim market.

US prosecutors brought criminal charges – including securities, wire and mail fraud – against Ross Mandell, Sky Capital founder, president and chief executive and five others connected to the company, on Wednesday. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed civil charges.

All six surrendered to FBI agents and later appeared in Manhattan federal court and entered pleas of not guilty before being released on bond. The SEC - which described the alleged fraud as a "trans-Atlantic boiler room scheme" – claim that Sky Capital raised $61m (£37.3m) between 2002 and 2006 from investors, but then prevented them from selling their stocks in Sky Capital Holdings and Sky Capital Enterprises, which were listed on AIM until 2006.

The Office of the US Attorney in Manhattan accused the men of enriching themselves with client money. "Investor funds were substantially used to enrich the defendants and others; to pay excessive undisclosed commissions to brokers and to pay off victims who had lost money through prior purported investment opportunities," the office said.

The allegations are a fresh blow for Aim, which has long been criticised for its light touch regulation. Two years ago Roel Campos, the US Securities and Exchange commissioner, attacked what he said was the "casino" culture of London's junior market.

The recession has taken a further toll on the market. In the last three months 73 companies have quit aim – while eight new companies have listed. Almost half of those that de-listed did so because of financial stress or insolvency.

A London Stock Exchange spokesman said that Sky Capital Holdings was de-listed almost three years ago and it was a "historic, closed case" that was unrepresentative of the "quality small companies on Aim today and the high regulatory standards that the London Stock Exchange promotes".

"The Exchange has an active programme of monitoring both AIM companies and nomads (nominated advisers)," he said.


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EU's regulation of City would 'strangle' London

EU's regulation of City would 'strangle' London, says Mayor Johnson

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said yesterday that European plans to regulate the financial services sector threatened to drive hedge funds out of London and Europe, even though they were "blameless" for the crisis.

By Angela Monaghan
Telegraph, 09 Jul 2009

London mayor Boris Johnson, who said, 'My greatest worry is that this is just the start of a flood of draft directives that will start to filter out of Brussels.'
London mayor Boris Johnson, who said, 'My greatest worry is that this is just the start of a flood of draft directives that will start to filter out of Brussels.'

Speaking at a conference in London he said: "It's utterly crazy that we should allow the EU to launch an attack on the City's alternative investment funds. I believe this EU directive is a mistake and against the interests of Europe," he said.

"Hedge funds won't go to Paris or Frankfurt, they'll go to New York or Shanghai. What is good for London is good for the UK and what is good for London is good for Europe."

The Mayor's office said it was estimated that hedge funds contributed about £3bn in tax a year, and employed 35,000 people directly and indirectly in London. Mr Johnson said that the right thing to do would be for regulation at the global level – by the G20 – reflecting financial services' worldwide nature.

That way, he argued, regulation could be formed that worked for London and its competing cities, including New York, Geneva, Hong Kong and Singapore. Otherwise the City of London would be "strangled".

"My greatest worry is that this is just the start of a flood of draft directives that will start to filter out of Brussels," he said.

The Mayor called on Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, and the Government to help him to resist. However, Lord Mandelson, who spoke immediately after Mr Johnson, said that it was in Britain's best interests to co-operate with Europe.

"We've got to be involved in the regulation. We won't influence EU policy by cutting ourselves out of Europe. I hope that's a message Boris takes to his colleagues," he said, adding that London must stay alert to competition in the rest of the world and stay ahead of the curve.

He added: "Cultural change in the boardrooms and back offices will need to take place. Old-fashioned banking needs to return to the City."

The Mayor also urged London businesses to double the size of their apprenticeship schemes to ease the impact of rising unemployment.

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Defending the Right to Water

Defending the Right to Water

YES! Magazine, Summer 2009: The New Economy

YES! Magazine graphic: Thumb Up
More than 20 countries have signed a declaration recognizing water as a basic human right. The declaration was presented as an alternative to a weaker statement on water access issued at the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul in March.

The World Water Forum, held every three years, is led by The World Water Council, an association dominated by private water corporations. Activists and many governments have argued that such industry involvement undermines the credibility of the meetings and has led to water policies that promote corporate profit over human health and access.

Hundreds of activists protested outside the Istanbul forum, shouting “water for life, not for profit.”

Sixteen countries have also signed a second statement calling on the United Nations to assume leadership of the international water meeting. Maude Barlow, Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, has backed this proposal.

“This creates terrific momentum in the U.N. to responsibly steward our water commons, to ensure that water is not a commodity and that people and nature receive their fair share,” says Barlow.

Worldwide, more than 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and scientists predict global warming will lead to more frequent and severe water shortages in years to come.

—Daniel Moss lives in Mexico and co-coordinates Our Water Commons, www.onthecommons.org/water.

Interested? Watch an interview with the director of Flow: How do a handful of corporations steal our water?

HOW THE STATE CAN BEAT ITS BUDGET WOES

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’:
HOW THE STATE CAN BEAT ITS BUDGET WOES


“As goes California,” says the adage, “so goes the nation.” All eyes are therefore on the Golden State as it attempts to solve its $26 billion budget deficit. The world’s eighth largest economy is not going quietly into that pit of debt and devastation that has devoured Third World countries whole. The State’s voters have drawn a line in the sand against further tax hikes, while Democratic leaders have drawn a line at further cuts in services or selloff of public assets. State legislators are deadlocked, caught between the rock of tax ceilings and the hard place of debt limits.

“Expect the best and accept nothing less,” says another adage that typifies the attitude sometimes called “California dreaming.” You create your own reality. Instead of trying to prop up an old model that has failed, you can dream up a new one. If anyone can come up with an original solution to the problem, Californians should be able to. But what? While waiting for developments, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has started paying the State’s bills with IOUs (“I Owe You”s evidencing debt, technically called “registered warrants”).

Hmm . . . Pay the bills with IOUs. Not a bad idea! That was, in fact, the original innovation that got the American colonists out of their financial straits back in the 18th century, when they lacked the silver and gold used in the Old World for conducting trade. Money, after all, was just a medium of exchange, an acknowledgment of goods and services delivered or a debt owed. The notion that the government could pay in paper receipts was first hit on by the governor of the province of Massachusetts in 1691, when he needed money to fund a local war. The use of a paper currency had been suggested in an anonymous British pamphlet in 1650, but the proposal was modeled on the receipts issued by London goldsmiths and silversmiths for the precious metals left in their vaults for safekeeping. The problem for the colonies was that they were short of silver and gold. The Massachusetts Assembly therefore proposed a different kind of paper money, a “bill of credit” representing the government’s “bond” or IOU. The paper money of Massachusetts was backed only by the “full faith and credit” of the government.

Other colonies followed suit with their own issues of paper money. Some were considered government IOUs, redeemable later in “hard” currency (silver or gold). Others were issued as “legal tender” in themselves. They were “as good as gold” in trade, without bearing debt or an obligation to redeem the notes in some other form of money later. The new paper money not only made the colonies independent of the British bankers and their gold but actually allowed the colonists to finance their local government without taxing the people. Colonial assemblies discovered that provincial loan offices could generate a steady stream of revenue in the form of interest income by taking on the lending functions of banks.

The same solution was employed in other countries later. When Argentina’s government workers were faced with massive layoffs, their unions persuaded six state governments to pay them instead with state bonds or IOUs in small denominations. The IOUs could then be used to pay for state services and taxes, and everyone in the local economy accepted them in trade.

There’s Just One Problem . . .

Why couldn’t California do the same thing? The problem with calling its IOUs “legal tender” today is that the ruse violates the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 10, says, “No State shall . . . coin money [or] emit bills of credit.” The Cornell University Law School Annotated Constitution gives this definition:

“Within the sense of the Constitution, bills of credit signify a paper medium of exchange, intended to circulate between individuals, and between the Government and individuals, for the ordinary purposes of society.”

U.S. Supreme Court cases are cited from the 1830s, in which “interest bearing certificates, in denominations not exceeding ten dollars, which were issued by loan offices established by the State of Missouri and made receivable in payment of taxes or other moneys due to the State, and in payment of the fees and salaries of state officers, were held to be bills of credit whose issuance was banned by this section.”

That all seems pretty clear cut, until you read a bit further. Article I, Section 10, also says that no State shall “make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” When was the last time any State paid its bills only in gold and silver coin? The States could argue that the Constitution needs to be updated.

They could make some other compelling arguments. The States agreed to give up their right to issue their own currencies because they delegated that power to Congress. Article I, Section 8, enumerates among the powers given to Congress, “To coin Money [and] regulate the Value thereof.” Scholars continue to argue about the meaning of “to coin money,” but the Constitution clearly gives no entity except Congress the power to create money and regulate its value, and Congress failed to properly husband that authority. It issued coins, but it allowed privately-owned banks to issue “banknotes,” which soon made up the bulk of the nation’s money supply. Bankers, not Congress, thus “regulated the value” of the currency, through the laws of supply and demand: the more notes they created, the smaller the value of each. In 1913, Congress went so far as to allow a privately-owned central bank called the Federal Reserve to issue its own Federal Reserve Notes and call them the exclusive national paper currency. These notes were then lent to the U.S. government, at interest.

Today, however, Federal Reserve Notes compose only about 3% of the money supply (M3). The other 97% is issued by private banks in the form of loans. “Bank credit” is created simply by entering numbers into the accounts of borrowers, as many authorities have attested. One of the most clear statements of this process came from Graham Towers, Governor of the Bank of Canada from 1935 to 1955, who acknowledged:

“Banks create money. That is what they are for. . . . The manufacturing process to make money consists of making an entry in a book. That is all. . . . Each and every time a Bank makes a loan . . . new Bank credit is created -- brand new money.”

Congress has not only reneged on its agreement to create the national money supply, but it has refused to front the funds to bail out California from its relatively modest $26 billion budget shortfall. Californians are justifiably upset, since Congress hardly batted an eye before earmarking some $700 billion in bailout money for the private banking system, and the Federal Reserve has committed trillions more for that dubious purpose. Nearly ten times the sum needed by California was allotted to bailing out AIG, a private insurance company; and half the sum needed by California went to pay off the gambling debts of AIG to Goldman Sachs, a single bank. California underwrites a substantial portion of the federal government’s budget, sending a dollar in tax revenue for every 80 cents it gets back. Yet the federal government has even rejected California’s request for a loan guarantee, which could have saved the State hundreds of millions of dollars in interest. The clear message is, “You’re on your own.”

Creative Problem Solving

The situation looks pretty dire, but it may just need some thinking outside the box. The law does not allow the States to issue “bills of credit,” but it does allow them to create another form of money called “checkbook” money. All a State has to do is to form its own bank. Quoting again from the Cornell University Law School Annotated Constitution:

Bills issued by state banks are not bills of credit; it is immaterial that the State is the sole stockholder of the bank, that the officers of the bank were elected by the state legislature, or that the capital of the bank was raised by the sale of state bonds.”

If private banks can create credit on their books, so can the world’s eighth largest economy. Indeed, there is longstanding precedent for this approach. The State of North Dakota has owned its own bank for nearly a century. North Dakota is one of only two States (along with Montana) that are not currently facing budget shortfalls. North Dakota has beaten the Wall Street credit freeze by generating its own credit. By law, ever since 1919 the State’s revenues have been deposited in its own bank, the Bank of North Dakota (BND). Using the “fractional reserve” lending scheme open to all banks, these deposits are then available to be used as the “reserves” for creating many times their face value in loans. Other banks in the State do not see the BND as a threat, because it partners with them and backstops them, serving as a sort of central bank for North Dakota. BND’s loans are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) but are guaranteed by the State.

If California followed suit, it would not need to meet the FDIC’s capital requirements but could designate state-owned property (parks, buildings and so forth) as its capital base. Applying the “multiplier effect” by which capital is lent and relent many times over, this base could then generate hundreds of billions of dollars in “credit.” The State could deposit its revenues in the State bank and pay its payroll through it, generating an even larger deposit base for making new loans. Enough credit could be generated to allow the State not only to meet its short-term budget needs but to buy back its outstanding bonds (or debt). Bond interest and redemption costs on California’s General Fund for the current year are estimated at nearly $5 billion -- about 20% of the budget shortfall. All of that money could be saved in interest, since the State would be paying interest to itself.

The State could do more than just chase the wolf from its door. It could generate enough credit to engage in the sort of economic “stimulus” being undertaken by the federal government. It could create jobs for the 11.5% of the State’s population that are currently unemployed, augmenting the tax base and supplying the incomes necessary to prop up the languishing housing market. Loans for income-producing projects (transportation, energy, housing) could be repaid with the profits generated by the funded projects. And if some of the newly-issued loans were not paid back, they could simply be refinanced. The federal government has been rolling over its loans ever since 1835, the last time the federal debt was actually paid off (under Andrew Jackson).

In boom times, this approach could result in unwanted inflation. But today the economy is suffering from a serious shortage of money, because virtually all of our money comes from bank loans, and bank lending has dried up. Since neither the federal government nor the Federal Reserve has stepped in to fill the void, the States must do it themselves; and like the 18th century colonial governments, they can do it by taking over the lending functions of banks.

California’s taxpayers and legislators are doing the right thing digging in their heels and drawing the line at further austerity measures. California is being watched not only by the nation but by the world. We the people did not precipitate this credit crisis; the banks did. We should not have to pay for the damage with increased taxes or decreased services or our public parks and parking meters. Like the American colonists, we can replace the old model with something better. If California legislators act quickly, they can have a State-owned bank up and running before their 45-day IOUs run out. With today’s new online banking possibilities, the State would not even need to invest in a “brick and mortar” building. The whole business could be done by computer. Weary legislators trying to agree on a budget could all shake hands and go home, without budging an inch from their respective platforms. They could have it all, and so could we the people.

Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back.

Nicaragua Rejects “Absurd” IMF Demands


Nicaragua Rejects “Absurd” IMF Demands

July 10,2009

MANAGUA – The leftist government of Nicaragua declared Tuesday that the International Monetary Fund suddenly had made “absurd demands” that would have a traumatic effect on the Central American country.

President Daniel Ortega’s top economic adviser, Bayardo Arce, said at a press conference that the IMF asked the government to eliminate all tax exemptions on non-profit institutions and entities.

“This means that Catholic and Protestant churches, non-governmental organizations, civil associations that bring donations into the country, which contribute to alleviating the situation of poverty confronting our people, could not continue bringing those donations if they don’t pay taxes,” he said.

Arce emphasized that a single group, the American-Nicaraguan Foundation, funnels more than $100 million per year in aid to the country in the form of food, medicine and medical equipment, and that logically it would not be disposed to pay taxes for this cooperation.

He added that another “absurd and out-of-bounds” demand made by the IMF was to “disappear” pension increases for retirees.

“The policy of President Daniel Ortega has been to revalue the pensions of retirees and of all sectors protected by Social Security because there are people who were receiving $20 per month as a pension,” Arce said.

These demands are “absolutely unacceptable,” Arce insisted, going on to say that the government reached the conclusion that “there’s nothing that can be done” with regard to the IMF technical mission that just wrapped up a visit to Managua.

Therefore, he said, the government’s strategy is to send a mission to Washington comprised of government officials, businessmen and civic leaders to meet with IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Arce said that Strauss-Kahn had said at international forums that the IMF needs to know how to respond to the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

“They can’t take the $750 billion that the IMF has been injecting since last April and give any more money to rich countries and the banks, when those who need it more are the poor countries,” he said.

The presidential adviser said that the Ortega government should receive a $60 million reward this year because it is complying with other conditions proposed by the IMF.

“They can’t come to us, at the last minute and amid an economic and financial crisis that has clobbered all countries, to ask us to keep doing things above and beyond complying with an economic program. It’s completely out of line,” he said.

Nicaragua is the second-poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. EFE

giovedì 9 luglio 2009

Signoraggio: Costituzione e decisione Cassazione

In una comunicazione personale all'autore, l'esimio giurista prof. Valerio Onida, docente di Giustizia Costituzionale presso l'Università degli Studi di Milano, così si è espresso:

"Dovrei vedere la sentenza della Cassazione, che non conosco, nel suo testo integrale. In generale, in base alla giurisprudenza costituzionale, si ritiene che i trattati europei non possano giustificare l'eventuale "ingresso" nell'ordinamento interno di norme o atti delle istituzioni europee contrastanti con i principi supremi del nostro ordinamento costituzionale o con i diritti inviolabili della persona (cd contro limite). Il diritto al giudice (art. 6 convenzione europea dei diritti dell'uomo) dovrebbe dal canto suo essere garantito anche nell'ordinamento comunitario"
.

Pagano della Torre: continua il mistero

Non si trovano più i documenti su Pagano della Torre: andarono distrutti... Vedi anche:

La cartamoneta di Milano - Anno Domini 1240

































Filippo Maria fu l’ultimo dei Visconti. Alla sua morte, nel 1447, la neonata Repubblica Ambrosiana decretò la distruzione del castello di Cusago, simbolo del passato potere, e l’incameramento di tutti i beni ad esso collegati. Ma in pratica l’edificio fu soltanto svuotato e abbandonato...

Domanda: c'è qualcuno che è oggi in possesso dei documenti sottratti dal Castello?

Fed audit bill to expose gold manipulation

Paul says Fed audit bill means to expose gold price manipulation

Section:

12:22a ET Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Speaking Wednesday on Judge Andrew Napolitano's "Freedom Watch" program on Fox News, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, remarked that one of the purposes of his increasingly popular legislation to audit the Federal Reserve is to expose how the Fed has been manipulating the price of gold to support the dollar. Paul's interview has been posted at YouTube here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cnx6a5mlM9M#t=4m21s

His comment on gold price manipulation comes at 4 minutes and 30 seconds into the interview.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

mercoledì 8 luglio 2009

Omaggio a Ezra Pound

Lug 09 7
Omaggio a Ezra Pound
Pubblicato da Domenico De Simone

Omaggio a Ezra Pound , forse il più grande poeta del '900 e uno dei padri fondatori del pensiero contro l'usura delle Banche e contro la mentalità ecomicista, che sottopone i valori umani al denaro.

Ho messo prima il testo in inglese e poi la traduzione in italiano.La poesia è tratta dal Canto LXV e si intitola Contro l'Usura.

Canto LXV

With usura hath no man a house of good stone
each block cut smooth and well fitting
that delight might cover their face,

with usura

hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
harpes et luthes
or where virgin receiveth message
and halo projects from incision,

with usura

seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
no picture is made to endure nor to live with
but it is made to sell and sell quickly

with usura, sin against nature,
is thy bread ever more of stale rags
is thy bread dry as paper,
with no mountain wheat, no strong flour

with usura the line grows thick

with usura is no clear demarcation
and no man can find site for his dwelling
Stone cutter is kept from his stone
weaver is kept from his loom

WITH USURA

wool comes not to market
sheep bringeth no gain with usura
Usura is a murrain, usura
blunteth the needle in the the maid's hand
and stoppeth the spinner's cunning. Pietro Lombardo
came not by usura
Duccio came not by usura
nor Pier della Francesca; Zuan Bellin' not by usura
nor was "La Callunia" painted.
Came not by usura Angelico; came not Ambrogio Praedis,
No church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.
Not by usura St. Trophime

Not by usura St. Hilaire,

Usura rusteth the chisel
It rusteth the craft and the craftsman
It gnaweth the thread in the loom
None learneth to weave gold in her pattern;
Azure hath a canker by usura; cramoisi is unbroidered
Emerald findeth no Memling

Usura slayeth the child in the womb
It stayeth the young man's courting
It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth
between the young bride and her bridegroom

CONTRA NATURAM

They have brought whores for Eleusis
Corpses are set to banquet

at behest of usura.

*******************************************************

CONTRO L'USURA

Con usura nessuno ha una solida casa
di pietra squadrata e liscia
per istoriarne la facciata,
con usura
non v'è chiesa con affreschi di paradiso
harpes et luz
e l'Annunciazione dell'Angelo
con le aureole sbalzate,
con usura
nessuno vede dei Gonzaga eredi e concubine
non si dipinge per tenersi arte
in casa ma per vendere e vendere
presto e con profitto, peccato contro natura,
il tuo pane sarà staccio vieto
arido come carta,
senza segala né farina di grano duro,
usura appesantisce il tratto,
falsa i confini, con usura
nessuno trova residenza amena.
Si priva lo scalpellino della pietra,
il tessitore del telaio
CON USURA
la lana non giunge al mercato
e le pecore non rendono
peggio della peste è l'usura, spunta
l'ago in mano alle fanciulle
e confonde chi fila. Pietro Lombardo
non si fe' con usura
Duccio non si fe' con usura
nè Piero della Francesca o Zuan Bellini
nè fu "La Calunnia" dipinta con usura.
L'Angelico non si fe' con usura, nè Ambrogio de Praedis,
nessuna chiesa di pietra viva firmata :"Adamo me fecit".
Con usura non sorsero
Saint Trophine e Saint Hilaire,
usura arrugginisce il cesello
arrugginisce arte ed artigiano
tarla la tela nel telaio, nessuno
apprende l 'arte d'intessere oro nell'ordito;
l'azzurro s'incancrena con usura; non si ricama
in cremisi, smeraldo non trova il suo Memling
usura soffoca il figlio nel ventre
arresta il giovane amante
cede il letto a vecchi decrepiti,
si frappone tra giovani sposi
CONTRO NATURA
Ad Eleusi han portato puttane
carogne crapulano
ospiti d'usura.

Bartering for Health Care

Kaiser Health News Reports On Bartering for Health Care

By Rochelle Sharpe

(This article shows the valuable health care services trade exchanges offer their clients.)

With no health insurance and little money, Gilberto Carrasco, a Reno (NV) auto mechanic, didn't see much point in getting a physical. At 50, he felt healthy and couldn’t afford treatment even if a doctor found a medical problem.

But then his girlfriend, Eren Hernandez, figured out a way to get Carrasco a free checkup. She found a family physician who was willing to barter his services. During the physical, the doctor discovered that Carrasco had prostate cancer, catching it before the disease had spread. “We couldn’t have afforded Carrasco’s examination,” said Hernandez, who also uses bartering to get extensive medical and dental care for other family members.

With the economy in recession and many people strapped for cash, bartering of various kinds has increased. But now health care is surpassing auto repair and advertising as the service in most demand, say people who run local barter exchanges.

Alan Zimmelman, a spokesman for ITEX Corporation, the largest network of barter exchanges in North America, says in the past two years the demand for health care has jumped by more than 20%. The company has 551 physicians and 618 dentists who participate in its 100 local barter groups.

Barter is little more than a stopgap solution for the uninsured. But with doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, chiropractors and even cosmetic surgeons offering their services, bartering is providing a temporary safety net of sorts for some workers who have lost their jobs and health coverage. And in some cases, people who have inadequate insurance are using barter to get critical services, such as dental and vision benefits.

There are two main types of bartering: direct and indirect. In the former, people engage in direct trades of goods and services without using money. In the latter, small-business owners and individuals accumulate credits, or barter dollars, by providing specific products and services. Those barter dollars can be used to buy the services of any other network member. That way, a barber with a toothache can barter for dental work, without having to find a dentist who wants a haircut.

Many of these exchanges are designed for small business owners seeking to conserve cash. “Nearly 400,000 businesses participate in about 500 trade exchanges in the United States,” reported Ron Whitney, executive director of the International Reciprocal Trade Association, which promotes the barter industry.

In Carrasco’s case, he used barter dollars to buy the services of Quinn Pauly, a 44-year-old family physician who joined the barter network six years ago to expand his practice. Like most doctors who participate in exchanges, he accepts barter dollars only for his services, not for lab tests or hospital expenses. Pauly said he prefers being paid in cash, and now has plenty of paying patients. But he continues to participate in the trade exchange. “I wasn’t going to fire my patients who see me with barter,” he explained.

Debbie Lombardi, president of Barter Business Unlimited in Bristol (CN), said she's fielding about 20 calls a day from members seeking medical help, compared to just occasional calls in past years. During the past six months, she pointed our that nearly every person wanting to join her group has been looking for health care. One man recently brought his Harley Davidson to Lombardi’s office, hoping to trade it for orthodontia treatment for his daughter.

“People want to keep their standard of care up, even if they can’t afford it,” she noted; adding that she has helped people get dental implants, Lasik surgery, even the services of an obstetrician to deliver twins. “In some cases, we’re their only health insurance.”

“In North Carolina, one woman bartered for more than $200,000 of medical care in hopes of finding a cure for her fibromyalgia,” said Maurya Lane, president of the Barter Business Exchange Inc., in Cary. “At one point,” Lane said, “the woman gave her chiropractor a $10,000 laser, which he then used to treat her.”

One of the doctor’s in Lane’s group is Ellen Gray, a psychiatrist in Chapel Hill, who like many physicians joined the local barter exchange to get more business referrals. But now, she feels she’s doing her part “to expand access to therapy both for people who don’t have insurance as well as for those who don’t want their insurance companies to know they are struggling with mental-health issues. Plus, I just like the idea that people are taking matters into their own hands,” she said.

Many doctors, including Gray, will participate only in indirect barter (trade exchanges), which typically charge members 6% fees on all purchases and sales. She thinks direct barter violates medical ethics because doctor-patient relationships should focus only on healing. She said she would never want a patient who had cleaned her carpets to think he was getting substandard care because the carpets still looked dirty.

The American Medical Association has no specific policy on bartering, but supports doctors’ freedom to choose how they want to be paid, a spokesman said. The government only bars doctors from bartering for more than the cash value of their services from Medicare, the federal program for the elderly, and Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor and disabled. Anyone who barters more than $600 in goods and services a year must pay taxes on the transactions.

Direct bartering is conducted mostly on Web sites. A dentist in Washington (DC), used Craigslist this past winter to offer his services in exchange for tickets to President Barack Obama’s inauguration. This spring, Peter Fountain, 50, of East Norton (PA), posted a plea on Craigslist for a surgeon to remove a cataract. “I will paint your house, refinish your antiques, anything in the general maintenance field,” he wrote. “I need to regain my vision in order to provide my employer with the skills I have.”

Fountain, who works as a maintenance superintendent at the Western Union building in Philadelphia, said no one has responded. “I figured a lot of people considered it a joke,” he said.

Last fall, Zeo Solomon helped launch a new direct-barter Web site called Favorpals which has already had several successful health care exchanges. A dermatologist did a checkup in exchange for having his office cleaned; a psychiatrist saw someone a few times in exchange for help on a Web site design, and a family doctor conducted a physical in exchange for pastries from a famous New York bakery. “More than 20% of the 10,000 people who joined the barter site were seeking or offering health care,” Solomon said.

Direct barter appears to be most common in rural areas and in the South. In Cambridge (VT), Deb Richter, a primary-care doctor, said that she and her colleagues only barter with a few patients at any given time, and that what they receive in trade rarely comes close to compensating them for their work. “This is our way to make life a little nicer and increase community spirit,” said Richter, whose medical practice is the only one in a 25-mile radius. She has received vegetables, cords of wood and lots of pies in trade for medical services. She has also swapped Viagra samples for maple syrup.

Strengthening communities is the focus of another kind of exchange system, called time banking, developed in 1980 by Edgar Cahn, a law professor at the University of the District of Columbia law school. In these groups, people trade their time rather than the cash-equivalent of goods or services. With everyone's time considered of equal value, one hour of medical care is equivalent to one hour of painting.

Dozens of time banks operate across the country, with many offering extensive health-related services, ranging from exercise classes to medical appointments to help getting to the doctor. At Hour Exchange in Portland, Maine, which has 171 medical practitioners, more than one-fourth of the 20,000 hours that were exchanged last year related to health care, according to member Lesley Jones.

A few hospitals, meanwhile, have devised exchange programs of their own. At Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, artists without health insurance earn credits toward free care if they perform or work with patients and staff. More than 400 people, including former Broadway actors, have participated in Artist Access since it began in 2005, painting murals on walls, drawing with sick children, and coaching medical residents on breaking bad news to patients.

At Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Maine, indigent patients can work off their bills by doing volunteer work. If the patients are too ill, friends or relatives can do the volunteer work for them. Valerie Taylor, 67, tried to pay off her $13,000 bill for colon surgery a few years ago. But, because she had to retire early due to health problems, she could only pay the hospital $50 a month.

She joined the hospital’s Contract for Care program, performing about 300 hours of administrative chores over the course of a year and worked off her bill. “People do want to pay their own way, and sometimes circumstances prevent that,” she said.