domenica 1 novembre 2009

US Workers Starved Into Service

US Workers Starved Into Service

Global Research, October 30, 2009
Common Dreams - 2009-10-23

It was only a matter of time before the nation’s skyrocketing unemployment translated into new recruits for the most powerful military force in the world.

With the official US unemployment rate at 10 percent and climbing (that’s more than 15 million people struggling to put food on the table) and nearly double that number if you include part-time wage-earners who need full-time jobs, never mind all of those ‘discouraged workers,’ it’s little wonder that so many of the nation’s jobless are flocking into its military recruitment offices.

After all, what better way for an unemployed American worker to survive the Great Recession of 2009 than in the ‘service’ of his or her country?

Americans have a long history of consuming and/or killing their way out of crisis. And it isn’t looking as if that model will be up for reassessment anytime soon. The parameters of what we like to call the “national conversation” are as narrow as ever, and they are not widening under the current leadership. So far at least, even Obama’s ‘Clean Energy Economy’ has failed to deliver enough ‘green jobs’ (or any other color jobs for that matter) to begin the process of meaningful transition. With the season of consuming just around the corner, many Americans – especially those in blue collar jobs like construction, manufacturing and retail service – are staring into the economic abyss.

It is hardly surprising in such an environment that a young person with dismal employment prospects and plummeting self esteem would be easily seduced by an ad that promises “more than $49,000 in GI Bill Benefits” as does the US military’s current promo. The same ad promises that young recruits can “connect with military and veteran-friendly schools that offer VA approved education programs,” or “get information” about high-paying degrees like Criminal Justice, IT and Legal Studies.

So, when the Pentagon announced on October 13, 2009 that the military had met all of its recruitment goals for the first time since 1973, and that this just happened to coincide with the highest national unemployment rate since the government started keeping track in 1976, it wasn’t surprising that the news was met with a Big National Yawn.

The Few, the Proud, the Desperate

It’s hard not to wonder what would happen if, instead of dutifully reading from the Pentagon’s script on October 13, the media had done their job and informed the public about the real nature of the ‘service’ that potential enlistees were signing up for. Maybe if they had, those recruitment officers would not have been quite so busy recruiting – and stealing the lives of – unsuspecting young people in desperate need of employment.

Maybe those eager masses of young men and women wouldn’t have been so hot to sign up if, for instance, they understood that anyone enlisting in the military right now – whatever branch – is required to sign a document that states: "Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me. Such changes may affect my status, pay allowances, benefits and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces REGARDLESS of the provisions of this enlistment/re-enlistment document.” (DD Form4/1, 1998, Sec.9.5b).

In their book Army of None, published in 2007, Aimee Allison and David Solnit advise those who expect the military to pay for their college to “read the fine print.” The authors point out that only a fraction of recruits who signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill received a dime, and that 65 percent “received no money at all for college.” If you receive a less than honorable discharge (as one in four do), leave the military early (as one in three do), or later decide not to go to college, “the military will keep your deposit and give you nothing.”

And when it comes to those signing bonuses, maybe if potential recruits understood that they will be forced to repay the money if he or she leaves the military before the agreed term of service (that’s eight years for first time enlistees), perhaps they would reconsider signing away life and limb to get it. If those same applicants understood the army data from 2007 revealing that the top bonus of $20,000 was given to only 6 percent of enlistees who signed up for active duty, they might have figured out another way to survive the recession. They might be further divested of their illusions if they knew that military statistics show that 48 percent of enlistees report having “financial difficulty” and that some 33 percent of homeless men in the US are veterans, with nearly 200,000 veterans homeless on any given night.

And another thing: The military does not have to place recruits in their chosen career field or give them the specific training requested. Even if enlistees do receive training, it is often to develop skills that will not transfer to the civilian job market – like firing an M 240 machine gun.

By the way: Military recruiters are notorious liars.

Back in 2004, the New York Times reported that nearly one in five US Army recruiters was investigated for offenses ranging from "threats and coercion to false promises that applicants would not be sent to Iraq." It’s doubtful that has changed just because the focus is now on Afghanistan. One veteran recruiter told a reporter for the Albany Times Union that, after recruiting for years, he couldn’t think of one recruiter who wasn't dishonest about it, admitting that, “I did it myself."

Military Service is Not the Only Option

Just because the Obama administration lacks the political courage to challenge the status quo doesn’t mean there are no other options. But Americans will need to ‘unlearn’ a lot of what we’ve been taught if there is to be a meaningful transition to a peacetime economy.

We will need, for instance, to unlearn that the military is the only legitimate form of national service. We will need also to be willing to challenge those who tell us that being an artist, a pre-school teacher or (god-forbid) an activist, is not a respectable way to earn a living – or to serve one’s country.

And while we’re un-learning things, maybe we should reconsider the US military budget.

By most estimates, maintaining the warfare state now consumes 54% of every federal tax dollar. Without first challenging that, we might as well kiss off any chances of ever seeing a ‘Clean Energy Economy’ or, for that matter, anything resembling a future worth living. But first we’ll have to rid ourselves and our children of the idea that a culture rooted in killing and consuming can also be ‘sustainable.’

Maybe then we’d have a real war tax revolution.

Since the turn of the century, a growing number of high-ranking military officers are questioning the wisdom of – and the motivation behind – the US warfare state. In an open letter dated July 8, 2004, Special Forces Vet Stan Goff wrote to US military troops in Iraq:

“The big bosses are trying to gain control of the world's energy supplies to twist the arms of future economic competitors. That's what's going on, and you need to understand it, then do what you need to do to hold on to your humanity … Your so-called civilian leadership sees you as an expendable commodity. They don't care about your nightmares, about the DU that you are breathing, about the loneliness, the doubts, the pain, or about how your humanity is stripped away a piece at a time. They will cut your benefits, deny your illnesses, and hide your wounded and dead from the public. They already are. They don't care. So you have to. And to preserve your own humanity, you must recognize the humanity of the people whose nation you now occupy and know that both you and they are victims of the filthy rich bastards who are calling the shots."

Humanity has passed the tipping point – economically, culturally and environmentally. The ‘consuming and killing’ model embraced by Americans as cultural norm is, in reality, a cultural aberration. It is destroying everything and everyone in its wake – including those who are fighting and dying to preserve it. In accepting such a model – often without question – Americans have become victims of their own complacency.

The price of such acquiescence may be our humanity.

Sandy LeonVest is a radio and print journalist and the editor-publisher of SolarTimes, an independent quarterly energy newspaper with a progressive slant. SolarTimes is available online at, and distributed in hardcopy throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Sandy LeonVest's work has been published locally, as well as internationally, and includes 15 years at KPFA Radio in Berkeley, CA.

Bancarotta Per Gruppo Usa "Cit", Buco Da 65 Miliardi

Crisi: Bancarotta Per Gruppo Usa "Cit", Buco Da 65 Miliardi

domenica, 1 novembre 2009 - 23:20 CET

(AGI) - Washington, 1 nov. - Cit Group, uno dei piu' grandi e antichi gruppi di credito alle piccole e medie imprese degli Usa, ha chiesto di ricorrere al Chapter 11, la bancarotta pilotata. Nella documentazione depositata in Tribunale Cit Group ha reso noto di avere 65 miliardi di dollari di debiti e asset per 71 miliardi di dollari. La societa', fondata 101 anni fa, era gia' stata salvata a luglio del Tesoro (NYSE: TSO - notizie) con un investimenti di 2,3 miliardi di dollari. Il 28 ottobre aveva ricevuti un'ulteriore iniezione di 4,5 miliardi di capitali. (AGI) Gis

Edward J. Epstein explains the Diamond Racket

The Daily Bell

Issue 458 • Sunday, November 01, 2009

Inserisci link
"To say "I love you" one must first be able to say the "I.""
- Ayn Rand

Edward J. Epstein explains the Diamond Racket and how De Beers and others Managed its Trade

Dr. Edward J. Epstein

The editors of The Daily Bell are pleased to present an exclusive interview with investigative reporter Dr. Edward J. Epstein.

Introduction: Edward Jay Epstein studied government at Cornell and Harvard, and received a PhD from Harvard in 1973. During this time he published two books - his master's thesis, "Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth," and his PhD thesis "News From Nowhere: The Selection of Reality On Television." After teaching at MIT and UCLA for a year, he became a full time author and joined the staff of the New Yorker magazine while still at Harvard. He wrote press criticism for the magazine, which also became a book, "Between Fact and Fiction." He was sent to New Orleans to investigate DA Jim Garrison. This also became a book "Counterplot." He then did a biography of Lee Harvey Oswald, "Legend." His most famous book is probably "The Rise and Fall of Diamonds."

Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us. You are a fine writer and researcher. Growing up did you always want to be an investigative reporter?

Epstein: No. I wanted to be a professor. But by the time I had gotten my PhD in government, I had published two books - my master's thesis, "Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth," and my PhD thesis "News From Nowhere: The Selection of Reality On Television." So after teaching at MIT and UCLA for a year, I became a full time author.

Daily Bell: Give us a little more background on your life and choice of topics. Bring us up to the point where you began researching the diamond trade.

Epstein: I joined the staff of the New Yorker magazine while still at Harvard, and wrote press criticism for it, which became "Between Fact and Fiction." I also was sent to New Orleans to investigate its DA, Jim Garrison. This also became a book "Counterplot." I then did a biography of Lee Harvey Oswald, "Legend."

Daily Bell: You are noted for your book exposing the diamond conspiracy. How did you decide to write a book on the diamond intervention and where can it be found?

Epstein: The German magazine Geo, starting an American edition, proposed I write about the diamond mines of Africa. While staying in the guest houses of De Beers, and chatting with their engineers and executives, I realized that the diamond business was really not so much an extractive industry but an operation based on the suppression of production. This limitation was crucial to maintain the illusion that diamonds were forever rare and valuable. So I decided to write about the creation of the illusion. The book, "The Rise & Fall of Diamonds" (Or in the UK, "The Diamond Invention") can be found at bookstores.

Daily Bell: Free market types maintain that a monopoly can only be maintained with government intervention. Is this true in your opinion?

Epstein: De Beers is not a monopoly. It is an arrangement among producers to limit the number of diamonds that reach the market. To achieve this goal, it had been until this year a buyer of last resort, and contracts with other producers to buy up their production, which it then warehouses in its vault.

Daily Bell: Explain the thesis of your book on the diamond intervention and how the main players manage to maintain their cartel.

Epstein: Diamonds are not rare. They are, after TV sets, the most common possession in America. Yet, to sustain the illusion that they are rare, the diamond cartel has to convince the public not to see their diamonds, ever, because they will gain in value. This requires controlling the number of rough diamonds that are cut and sold by allotting the major cutters a quota.

Daily Bell: Why is understanding the diamond cartel so important from a free market standpoint?

Epstein: It illustrates the extent to which "value" is a function of the manipulation of public opinion.

Daily Bell: What is the difference between gold, silver and diamonds from your perspective?

Epstein: Unlike diamonds, Gold and silver are fungible, which means that a given quantity can be exchanged for another given quantity with loss. If an once of gold is worth $1,000, it can be traded for another ounce, borrowed against, or used to back a currency. An ounce of diamonds cannot be traded for another ounce, since the value of each ounce can vary enormously depending on its individual quantities and is in the eye of the beholder. In this respect, diamonds are more like art or antiques.

Daily Bell: What is your impressions of De Beers Diamond Trading Corporation at this point in time, some years after the book?

Epstein: The new De Beers circa 2009 is not the old De Beers. It can no longer afford to be the buyer of last resort so has this year effectively turned over the cartel to the Russians. Instead, it is branding itself and opening retail stores. Whether or not it succeeds, it is no longer interesting to me.

Daily Bell: What is your impression of the Anglo-American Corporation at 44 Main Street in South Africa. Have they been affected by the increased socialism of the government?

Epstein: I have always been impressed by the skill and acumen by the people at Anglo and De Beers. They have always been good at dealing with governments, even hostile ones, and as they have enormous skills at organizing and running mining industries, I assume they will be of great value to the present-day leaders of Africa, whether they are capitalists, socialists or dictators.

Daily Bell: Anglo-American executives who explained De Beers' diamond mining strategy included Peter J. R. Leyden, the manager of Diamond Services, L. G. Murray, the chief geologist for De Beers, Barry R. Mortimer, the chief public relations consultant for De Beers, and Ivor Sanders, the public affairs officer at Anglo-American. Can you give us more details on how De Beers generally - or controlled -- controls the diamond trade through indirect levers?

Epstein: First, De Beers has made deals with other diamond producers - Angola, Russia, Sierra Leone, to buy their production. So it limits the quantity of diamonds that reach the market. Next, it makes deals with the major cutters, furnishing them with "boxes" of diamonds at a take-it-or-leave-it price on condition the cutter follow its rules in pricing these diamonds to retailers. Third, it maintains demand through ad campaigns.

Daily Bell: Can you give us a more detailed explanation on how Cecil Rhodes fits into the diamond picture and De Beers?

Epstein: In Kimberley, South Africa, huge mines, called pipes, were found in the late 1800s that could be mined with a steam-shovel. So diamonds were no longer rare, and the price fell to less than $5 a carat. Rhodes stepped in and organized the dozens of mine-owners that shared land in these pipes into a single entity - De Beers. He then limited production to the numbers of engagements per year in America (the principal market). So he limited production.

Daily Bell: How does the Jewish diamond establishment interact with De Beers and Anglo American?

Epstein: Otto Oppenheimer controlled the Diamond Syndicate in London, which distributed diamonds, and was financed by Jewish bankers. After WW I, he managed to get control of the diamonds in the former German colony of Namibia. De Beers needed these diamonds to complete its control of production. So Oppenheimer merged the diamond syndicate with De Beers, giving him effective control.

Daily Bell: Please expand on Oppenheimer's plan to jettison several tons of diamonds into the North Sea.

Epstein: In the depression, the demand for diamonds disappeared in America. Meanwhile, even though De Beers shut its mines, the stockpile kept growing because of outside purchases. Concerned that if it had to sell this stockpile it would forever destroy the illusion of diamonds, Oppenheimer considered dumping it in ocean, but didn't.

Daily Bell: Can you detail for us the diamond smuggling that went on during World War II, how Hitler managed to obtain industrial diamonds and whether diamond smuggling continues today. Did the diamond syndicate, despite its Jewish population deal directly with Germany during World War II, and did the Anglo-American governments countenance it?

Epstein: Germany needed industrial diamonds to cut tungsten steel for its tanks. So it bought the diamonds on the black market. Anglo was not involved in these activities, but discouraged government investigations that might cast light on shadier parts of its world-wide operations.

Daily Bell: What is Israel's role in all this?

Epstein: Israel, created in 1948, became a major cutting center-second only to Antwerp-for De Beer's diamonds

Daily Bell: How have synthetic diamonds had an impact on the diamond industry?

Epstein: Synthetic diamonds replaced industrial diamonds. They have had little effect on gem diamonds?

Daily Bell: Who was Goldfinger?

Epstein: He is a fictional character in an Ian Fleming novel and James Bond movie. Fleming may-or may not-have modeled the legal part of his business on that of Charlie Engelhard, who legally exported gold from Hong Kong in the form of manufactured goods. Other than that, the character had nothing to do with that of Engelhard (who was a good friend of Fleming.)

Daily Bell: Are diamonds of any kind a good investment?

Epstein: No, because they are not fungible.

Daily Bell: What have you been doing since the publication of the diamond book in the 1980s? What kind of reporting and writing have you been pursuing?

Epstein: The 13 books I have written include subject matter as varied as the CIA, KGB, and Armand Hammer. My last book, "The Big Picture," is about money and power in Hollywood.

Daily Bell: What are your concerns today regarding diamonds and the economy in general?

Epstein: If the recession continues through 2011, I doubt that it will be possible to sustain the illusion that diamonds are valuable.

Daily Bell: Any closing comments on gold, silver or diamonds?

Epstein: Gold and silver derive their value from supply and demand. No one stores them for sentimental value. The largest supply of diamonds is held by the public in vaults and jewelry boxes for sentimental value. If that sentiment changes, and people no longer believe diamonds are forever, the illusion that sustains the diamond market will shatter-and prices will plunge.

Daily Bell: Thanks for your time and for a fascinating interview.

Epstein: It was my pleasure.

After Thoughts with Scott Smith

Scott SmithThanks, once again, to Dr. Epstein for this interview. As one can gather from reading the interview, Dr. Epstein was not only a precocious writer and (former) student, his interests and intellectual acumen, as they have developed, are varied and impressively wide. His career has obviously concerned it with delving into some of the biggest secrets and most secretive organizations in the Western world.

It is a terrific pleasure to listen to - and read - the wisdom and insights of such an erudite individual. Dr. Epstein has truly pursued a career focused on the life of the mind and he is to be fully credited for doing so in an epoch where such creative acts are unfortunately but inevitably diminished.

If we had one tiny criticism to make of Dr. Epstein's magnum opus - his book examining the diamond cartel - it would have to be his statement that the De Beers' organized management of the diamond industry did not amount to a monopoly.

It is not our intention herein to get into a large discussion of what constitutes a monopoly. However, if a given product or commodity has one "real" value but a provider of said commodity through "management" of the market inflates the commodity's value over a long period of time, then that entity is exhibiting monopoly-like powers and the product's price history itself could be said to be the result of a monopoly.

Dr. Epstein, of course, points out that De Beers is not a monopoly but an arrangement among producers to limit the number of diamonds that reach the market. "To achieve this goal," he explains to us "it had been ... a buyer of last resort, and contracts with other producers to buy up their production, which it then warehouses in its vault."

We do not know nearly as much as Dr. Epstein about any of these affairs. However, as free-market enthusiasts and amateur Austrian economists, we have come to believe in the classic definition of a monopoly, as alluded to above: It is government driven.

This stands to reason because in the free-market if a price is too high, then other producers will come in and drive the price down. Why wouldn't they? A regulated (government mandated) market is easy to spot because prices never go down much and indeed may go up year to year (look at the auto industry.)

Contrast so-called mature industries with relatively unregulated ones such as the computer industry and you will see a big difference. Computers, as yet relatively unregulated, have seen prices drop regularly over the years. Fifty years ago, computers cost millions. Today, they cost hundreds, and some day they may literally be given away (assuming they are not subject to some sort of regulatory onslaught).

Prices always seem to drop in unregulated industries. This goes for the mining industry itself, which is always developing better extraction equipment. Absent regulation and (government/private) manipulation, prices eternally move gently downward in almost any given industrial situation.

For this reason, we are just not sure - or not entirely sure - that it was the private market itself, which sustained the De Beers manipulation. In fact, the only way such a manipulation could take root and continue over decades is, in our opinion, if it was aided and abetted by governments.

In fact, we noted Cecil Rhodes involvement with the diamond industry with considerable interest because Rhodes was a big supporter of the British Crown - and thus a kind of mingling of private and public/national interests. This sort of approach is also known as mercantilism.

In our opinion, the diamond market has probably been subject to a sustained onslaught of aggressive mercantilism - in which a private cartel joined forces with governments to sustain the price of a commodity. (Peruse the Internet and you will find plenty of intimations of this as regards to diamonds). This can be done by having the governments ensure that only certain individuals can gain mining licenses or by having governments hamper the free-enterprise system in other ways.

We know Dr. Epstein did not seem to come to this conclusion in his book or even in his interview. He seems to blame the free-enterprise system entirely for the price inflation of diamonds. It is to our mind, a single question mark in an otherwise fascinating work. Indeed, the quibble is likely minor in relation to the gamut of scholarly and popular reports that Dr. Epstein has authored.

Nonetheless the Internet is a teaching instrument. For anyone who accepts the tenets of marginal utility or the invisible hand, it is ultimately impossible to believe that private markets can be manipulated over the long term. The only force capable of sustaining artificial prices for any length of time is the government - through force.

The endless canards of 19th and 20th century scholarship as regards the sins of the private market may finally be ending as a result of Internet education about markets and economics. We hope so. Market prices, absent government interference, are almost inevitably efficient. (They may not be "right" - but that's a topic for another day.) Prices only become inefficient over longer periods of time when they are interfered with by governments. There is no other logical conclusion. One must jettison everything one has painfully amassed about economics to conclude otherwise, in our humble opinion.

Un punto dell'economia: il debito pubblico

Un punto dell'economia: il debito pubblico 

Autore Sandro Trento, Blog di Di Pietro, 1 novembre 2009

Oggi per la video-rubrica "Un Punto dell’Economia" parleremo di rapporto tra debito pubblico e Pil e dell’insostenibilità della situazione italiana.

Il debito pubblico oggi è un indice mostruoso di cui i cittadini ignorano le conseguenze.

Per la popolazione il Golem del debito è lì, sanno che “è un problema” ma non sanno come può cambiare le sorti dell’Italia e sconvolgere le loro quotidianità.

Non sanno, perché nessuno vuol approfondire e scendere nel dettaglio: nessuno vuol avvilire un termine da professionisti del mestiere, da competenti finanzieri e di cui parlano solo i notabili dell’economia mondiale. Falso, il debito pubblico è una priorità dell’operaio, del lattaio, del commerciante, della massaia, il debito pubblico deve far paura, può evocare l’esclusione dall’euro-zona come l’assalto alla diligenza argentina, come il blocco dei conti correnti o un più intangibile declino dei servizi e della qualità dello Stato, meno autobus, sanità scadente, l’assenza dell’informatica nelle scuole d’infanzia, la chiusura delle scuole nei piccoli borghi, l’aumento delle tariffe dovute a privatizzazioni di beni pubblici. Buona visione.

Pubblico di seguito anche una lettera aperta al Presidente della Confederazione Nazionale dell’Artigianato, della Piccola e Media Impresa, Ivan Malavasi scritta a quattro mani con Antonio Di Pietro.

In breve l’amara conclusione circostanziata nel testo che sotto riporto: questo governo, per l’ossatura e la struttura portante del sistema economico italiano, la piccola e media imprenditoria, non ha fatto nulla di nulla se non accelerare la chiusura e il fallimento delle attività per migliaia di realtà.

Caro Presidente Malavasi,

nella sua Relazione del 22 ottobre, lei ha richiamato con forza l’attenzione sul ruolo fondamentale che le piccole e medie imprese ricoprono nell’economia italiana. Condividiamo pienamente l’idea che 4 milioni e 400 mila piccole imprese e gli 11 milioni e 800 mila lavoratori che in esse sono occupati costituiscano la vera ricchezza del Paese.
Partire dalla Piccola Impresa è il motto al quale lei vorrebbe che fosse ispirata l’azione di politica economica, perché se si affrontano e risolvono i problemi dei piccoli imprenditori si affrontano e risolvono gran parte dei problemi dell’Italia.
La sua Relazione, Presidente Malavasi, riassume con efficacia i nodi che vanno assolutamente sciolti per evitare che la crisi si trasformi in crollo catastrofico.

- Uno Stato più snello: è assurdo e troppo costoso “avere nove livelli di decisione politica (circoscrizioni, comuni, associazioni di comuni, comunità montane, aree metropolitane, province, regioni, Stato, Europa)” (pag.9)
- Basta con i monopoli, soprattutto se originati da società pubbliche, come i servizi pubblici locali (pag. 11)
- Occorre riformare la Pubblica Amministrazione (pag. 12)
- Meno norme formali e più controlli sostanziali (pag.12)
- Ridurre il carico fiscale sulle imprese, iniziando dall’IRAP (pag.12)
- Basta con un fisco iniquo che periodicamente ricorre a forme di condono su redditi e capitali sfuggiti all’accertamento (p.12)
- Accrescere l’efficienza della giustizia (“attendere in media, come devono fare gli imprenditori italiani, quasi tre anni per vedere concluso un processo civile di primo grado, sostenere costi per oltre 1 miliardo di euro solo per il ritardo della riscossione dei crediti” sono fattori che rendono meno competitive le imprese) (pag.13)
- Impedire che il 25 per cento della nostra ricchezza nazionale sia prodotta da un’economia sommersa, con tutti gli effetti di concorrenza sleale che ne derivano per le imprese oneste (pag. 13)
- Dall’emergenza deve nascere un nuovo sistema di tutele sociali, contrattuali, legislative (pag. 25)
- Dalla cassa integrazione in deroga si deve passare alla riforma degli ammortizzatori sociali (pag. 25)
- Serve un’azione per favorire la patrimonializzazione delle imprese e una più ampia deducibilità degli interessi passivi (pag. 26).
- Va riattivata la misura automatica di sostegno delle spese in ricerca e innovazione riservata alle piccole imprese (pag. 26)
- Va all’allargato l’ambito di applicazione del regime dell’IVA per cassa (pag. 26)
- Servono tempi di pagamento della Pubblica amministrazione che siano rapidi.

Ebbene alle sue domande non c’è stata risposta. Il Governo anzi ha fatto la sua solita politica degli annunci: si è annunciato il taglio e la morte dell’IRAP ma nell’arco di due giorni tutto è svanito come una bolla di sapone.
Berlusconi risponde agli artigiani e alle imprese con le promesse per nascondere il totale vuoto dell’azione di Governo per le piccole e medie imprese.
Il Governo non ha fatto nulla per le piccole imprese, ma ha fatto molto per salvare una grande impresa come l’Alitalia, usando un fiume di soldi pubblici.
Il Governo non ha fatto nulla per le piccole imprese, ma ha fatto un condono fiscale/amnistia a tutela dei grandi evasori che hanno portato all’estero milioni di euro e commesso reati penali come il falso in bilancio. Così, oggi, il piccolo commerciante che per la terza volta viene colto in fragrante per non aver emesso uno scontrino fiscale di pochi euro deve subire la chiusura del proprio negozio mentre il grande evasore, che ha evaso il fisco per milioni di euro, può mantenere l’anonimato e pagare un piccola somma per mettersi in regola.
Il Governo non ha fatto nulla per assicurare il credito alle piccole imprese visto che i Tremonti-Bonds sono stati un flop clamoroso.
Il Governo non ha fatto nulla per creare un sistema di ammortizzatori sociali universale che si applicasse a tutti i lavoratori.
Il Governo non ha fatto nulla per le piccole imprese ma ha concesso incentivi per la rottamazione delle autovetture e si accinge a rinnovare il provvedimento.
Ma il paradosso è che a fronte di questo immobilismo il Governo è stato capace di far crescere il debito pubblico italiano di oltre 10 punti di PIL!! Siamo passati da un rapporto debito/PIL che era 105 nel 2008 a un rapporto di 115 nel 2009. La Commissione europea ha, da poco, aperto una procedura d’infrazione per eccesso di disavanzo pubblico contro il Governo italiano. Quindi non è vero che si è rimasti fermi perché si volevano mettere al sicuro i conti pubblici.
Il Governo Berlusconi tratta gli imprenditori come dei minori incapaci di distinguere tra le chiacchiere e i fatti.
Lei, Presidente Malavasi, oggi ha detto che: “ Il Governo gode di un’ampia maggioranza parlamentare”. Ci aspettiamo che la utilizzi per fare quelle riforme che servono al Paese e al suo apparato produttivo”(pag.23)

“Il rischio è la perdita definitiva di molte imprese artigiane oggi attive.”

Sappiamo che questo Governo non ha a cuore le sorti del Paese, ma solo gli interessi personali del Capo del Governo.
I piccoli imprenditori sempre più apertamente stanno comprendendo il grande inganno di cui sono stati vittime ad opera del centro-destra.
E’ ora di un riscatto morale e collettivo per evitare che l’economia italiana subisca un tracollo.

Antonio Di Pietro, Sandro Trento

Le società BONIFICATE "investono"....

Gazzetta Parte II n. 120 del 17-10-2009


Iscritta nell'elenco generale
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Registro delle imprese di Verona,
c.f. e p.iva n. 04020770261
AVVISO DI CESSIONE CREDITI PRO SOLUTO - Avviso di cessione di crediti
in blocco e pro soluto ai sensi del combinato disposto degli
articoli 1 e 4 della Legge 30 aprile 1999, n. 130 ("Legge sulla
Cartolarizzazione") nonche' informativa ai sensi degli articoli 13
comma 4 e comma 5 del Decreto Legislativo 30 giugno 2003, n. 196
("Codice di protezione dei dati personali")

Globaldrive (Italy) IV S.r.l., societa' costituita ai sensi della
Legge sulla Cartolarizzazione, con sede legale in Via G. Spontini n.
1 - 37131 Verona (Italia) e n. 04020770261 di iscrizione al Registro
delle Imprese di Verona, iscritta al n. 37649 dell'elenco generale
tenuto presso la Banca d'Italia ai sensi dell'articolo 106 del Testo
Unico Bancario ed al n. 33172 dell'elenco speciale presso la Banca
d'Italia ai sensi dell'articolo 107 del Testo Unico Bancario (Spv)
che la stessa Spv, in forza di un contratto di cessione, avente ad
oggetto crediti pecuniari individuabili "in blocco" ai sensi e per
gli effetti di cui al combinato disposto degli articoli 1 e 4 della
Legge sulla Cartolarizzazione e dell'articolo 58 del decreto
legislativo 1 settembre 1993 n. 385 (Testo Unico Bancario), stipulato
in data 21 novembre 2008 con FCE Bank plc, succursale italiana, con
sede in Roma, via Andrea Argoli 54, c.a.p. 00143, (FCE), ha
acquistato in blocco e pro soluto da FCE tutti i crediti pecuniari
(per capitale, interessi, anche di mora, diritti accessori e
connessi, spese, ulteriori danni e quant'altro) derivanti da
contratti di finanziamento per l'acquisto di autoveicoli e veicoli
commerciali, di cui risultava titolare alle ore 24.00 del 30
settembre 2009 con le seguenti caratteristiche:
(a) crediti regolati dalla legge italiana;
(b) crediti denominati in Euro;
(c) crediti i cui debitori non sono enti a cui si applica il R.D.
24 novembre 1923, n. 2440;
(d) crediti i cui debitori sono residenti in Italia ovvero nella
Repubblica di San Marino;
(e) crediti per finanziare l'acquisto di un'automobile,
fuoristrada o veicolo commerciale sia nuovi che usati (ciascuno un
(f) crediti il cui contratto di finanziamento prevede il rimborso
almeno 36 mesi prima della data del 31 dicembre 2018;
(g) crediti di cui almeno una rata e' stata pagata dal debitore e
il cui pagamento non e' stato successivamente restituito;
(h) crediti il cui debitore non e' indicato nella contabilita' di
FCE Bank plc - succursale italiana come essere in mora da piu' di
giorni 30 (trenta) per il rimborso;
(i) crediti per finanziare l'acquisto di un nuovo Veicolo la cui
scadenza rimanente del credito non eccede i 59 (cinquantanove) mesi
ovvero, nel caso di contratti di finanziamento con maxirata finale,
36 (trentasei) mesi;
(j) crediti derivanti da contratti di finanziamento per
l'acquisto di veicoli usati la cui scadenza rimanente del credito non
eccede 47 (quarantasette) mesi ovvero, nel caso di contratti di
finanziamento con maxirata finale, 24 (ventiquattro) mesi;
(k) crediti con lo scopo di finanziare:
(i) l'acquisto di (1) un Veicolo nuovo di marca Ford, Jaguar,
Mazda, Land Rover o Volvo, ovvero (2) di un veicolo usato di
qualsiasi marca purche', nel caso di un Veicolo nuovo di marca Jaguar
o Land Rover, il relativo credito sia stato fatturato entra una data
che cade non oltre il giorno 1 giugno 2009;
(ii) se cosi' concordato con il soggetto finanziato, il
pagamento del premio assicurativo, dei costi di manutenzione del
Veicolo e dei costi relativi al finanziamento;
(l) crediti derivanti dai contratti di finanziamento
contrassegnanti da un numero di riferimento compreso tra il numero
1128055 e il numero 1128673 ovvero tra il numero 7019637 e il numero
(m) crediti derivanti da contratti di finanziamento stipulati
dopo il 22 novembre 2005;
(n) il contratto di finanziamento relativo ai crediti non e'
stipulato con un dipendente di FCE;
inoltre, qualora il contratto di finanziamento preveda anche il
pagamento della rata finale mediante consegna dell'autoveicolo al
concessionario e tale consegna sia stata effettuata, (i) i crediti
nei confronti di tale concessionario relativi alla rata finale cosi'
come previsto dal relativo contratto di finanziamento ovvero (ii) ove
cio' sia espressamente previsto dal relativo accordo con il
concessionario, i crediti derivanti dal ricavato della vendita del
Veicolo consegnato.
Unitamente ai crediti oggetto della cessione sono stati altresi'
trasferiti a Spv, senza bisogno di alcuna formalita' e annotazione,
come previsto dal comma 3 dell'articolo 58 del Testo Unico Bancario,
tutti gli altri diritti derivanti a FCE dai crediti pecuniari oggetto
del summenzionato contratto di cessione, ivi incluse le garanzie, i
privilegi, gli accessori e, piu' in generale, ogni diritto, azione,
facolta' o prerogativa, anche di natura processuale, inerente a
suddetti crediti.
Spv ha inoltre conferito incarico a FCE affinche' proceda
all'incasso ed al recupero delle somme dovute in relazione ai crediti
ceduti. In forza di tale incarico, i debitori ceduti e gli eventuali
loro garanti, successori o aventi causa, sono legittimati a pagare a
FCE ogni somma dovuta in relazione ai crediti ceduti.
I debitori ceduti e gli eventuali loro garanti, successori o aventi
causa potranno rivolgersi per ogni ulteriore informazione presso FCE,
nonche' presso la sede di Spv dalle ore 9.00 alle ore 13.00 di ogni
giorno lavorativo bancario.
Spv informa i debitori ceduti e i loro eventuali garanti che i loro
dati personali (di seguito i "Dati") contenuti nei documenti relativi
ai crediti ceduti, sono stati comunicati a, e saranno trattati anche
da Spv e dal soggetto incaricato della riscossione dei crediti, quali
autonomi titolari del trattamento.
I Dati continueranno ad essere trattati con le stesse modalita' e
per le stesse finalita' per le quali gli stessi sono stati raccolti
in sede di instaurazione dei rapporti. In particolare, FCE, in
qualita' di "servicer" dell'operazione, continuera' a gestire i
rapporti, i relativi crediti e l'incasso dei medesimi.
I Dati saranno comunicati, oltre che a Spv, anche alle seguenti
categorie di soggetti, per trattamenti che soddisfano le finalita'
(a) a FCE e agli altri soggetti incaricati della riscossione dei
crediti ceduti, inclusi i legali incaricati di seguire le procedure
giudiziali che si rendano eventualmente necessarie nell'ambito della
riscossione suddetta;
(b) ai revisori contabili e agli altri consulenti legali, fiscali
e amministrativi di Spv per la consulenza da essi prestata;
(c) alle autorita' di vigilanza in ottemperanza ad obblighi di
(d) ai soggetti incaricati di effettuare analisi del portafoglio
ceduto e/o di attribuire merito di credito ai titoli che verranno
emessi da Spv;
(e) ai soggetti incaricati di tutelare gli interessi dei
detentori dei titoli.
Inoltre, i Dati potranno essere comunicati ai soggetti che Spv
potra' incaricare della riscossione dei crediti, in sostituzione di
FCE quali nuovi Servicer. In tal caso, il nuovo incaricato della
riscossione operera' quale autonomo titolare del trattamento ed in
conformita' con l'art. 13 del Codice di protezione dei dati personali
sara' data comunicazione dell'identita' del nuovo titolare nelle
stesse forme di cui al presente avviso.
L'elenco completo di tali soggetti sara' a disposizione presso FCE
all'indirizzo sotto indicato.
Titolari autonomi del trattamento dei Dati sono Spv, con sede
legale in Via G. Spontini n. 1 - 37131 Verona (Italia), ed FCE con
sede legale in via Andrea Argoli 54 - 00143 Roma. La lista completa
dei responsabili del trattamento dei Dati e' disponibile presso FCE
all'indirizzo sopra indicato. I debitori ceduti e gli eventuali loro
garanti potranno rivolgersi al titolare ed al responsabile del
trattamento per esercitare i diritti riconosciuti loro dall'articolo
7 del Codice di protezione dei dati personali tra cui il diritto di
accedere ai propri Dati, cancellarli, aggiornarli, rettificarli e
bloccare il trattamento per ragioni legittime.
Verona, 12/10/2009

Globaldrive (Italy) Iv S.R.L. Il Presidente
Davide Soardo

Elenco di società BONIFICATE dalla BCE

Elenco di società *beneficiate* che godono della finestra di sconto presso la BCE:

Arcobaleno Finance S.r.l., MEDIA FINANCE SRL), Zephyros Finance S.r.l., Apulia Finance N.4 S.r.l., Finmeccanica Finance S.A., Globaldrive (Italy) IV S.r.l., Locat Securit. Vehicle S.r.l., Guercino Solutions S.r.l., Berica 7 Residential MBS S.r.l, Cordusio RMBS Securitisation, Italfinance RMBS S.r.l., IFIS Collection Serv. S.r.l., Pami Finance S.r.l., 24-7 Finance S.r.l., Pharma Finance S.r.l., Adriano Finance S.r.l., Quarzo S.r.l., SPQR II S.r.l., Agri 2008 S.r.l., Marche Mutui 3 S.r.l., Adriatico Finance SME S.r.l., Claris Finance 2008 S.r.l., Adriatico Finance RMBS S.r.l., A-Leasing Finance S.r.l., Locat SV S.r.l. Series 2008, Grecale ABS S.r.l., Asti Finance S.r.l., Vela Mortgages S.r.l., Italfinance Sec.Vehicle 2 Srl, Sestante Finance S.r.l., Mars 2600 S.r.l. Series 2, Siena Mortgages 07-5 S.p.A., Gold. Bar(Securitisation)S.r.l,. Pharma Finance 3 S.r.l., Eurohome (Italy) Mrtges S.r.l., Siena Mortgages 07-5 S.p.A., BPL Mortgages S.r.l., Cap. Mtge Srl, SPQR II S.r.l., Island Refinancing S.r.l., Auto ABS S.R.L., Cassa Ctrle Securitisation Srl, Posillipo Finance S.r.l., BP Mortgages S.r.l., Cordusio RMBS Securitisat. Srl, Mecenate S.r.l., Capital Mortgage S.r.l., Italfinance Sec.Vehicle 2 Srl, Commune of Genoa, Panacea S.r.l., Credico Finance 7 S.r.l., Sestante Finance 4 S.r.l., Locat SV S.r.l. Series 2006, Voba Finance S.r.l., Venus-1 Finance S.r.l., Rubino Finance S.r.l., Agri Securities 06-1 S.r.l., Jump S.r.l., Marche Mutui 2 S.r.l., Ducato Consumer S.r.l., Vela Home S.r.l. -Series 4-, Green Finance S.r.l., Atlante Finance S.r.l., Sunrise S.r.l., F-E Gold S.r.l., D Annunzio S.r.l., Vela ABS S.r.l., Kimono Fin. S.r.l. - Mercurius, Cairoli Finance S.r.l., Taurus CMBS No. 2 S.r.l., Asti Finance S.r.l., Sestante Finance 3 S.r.l., Vela Home S.r.l.Series 3, Mars 2600 S.r.l. Series 1, Claris Finance 2005 S.r.l., Vela Lease S.r.l. -Series 2-, FIP Funding S.r.l. Classe A2, Tricolore Funding S.r.l., Credico Finance 4 S.r.l., F-E Mortgages S.r.l., Cartesio S.r.l., PMI 2 Finance S.r.l., Berica Residential MBS 5 S.r.l, Split 2 S.r.l., Vela Public Sector S.r.l. Class A2, ABF Finance S.r.l., Apulia Mtgs Fin. No. 3 S.r.l., FL Finance S.r.l., Locat Securitisation Vehicle 2, Societa' di Cartolarizzazione Italiana Crediti a r.l. - S.C.I.C. a r.l. Classe A2, Argo Mortgage 2 S.r.l., ,.Credico Funding 2 S.r.l., Atlantide Finance S.r.l., Girasole Finance S.r.l., Bipielle Residential S.r.l., Credico Finance 3 S.r.l., F-E Green S.r.l., Spoleto Mortgages S.r.l., Vela Home S.r.l.Series 2, Berica Residential MBS 1 S.r.l, Siena Mortgages 2003-4 S.r.l., Claris Finance 2003 S.r.l., Lombarda Lease Finance 3 S.r.l, F-E Personal Loans Sec. S.r.l., , Apulia Finance No. 2 S.r.l. Romagna Finance S.r.l., C.P.G. Società di cartol.S.r.l, Mutina S.r.l., Mantegna Finance II S.r.l., Giotto Finance S.p.A., INTRA Mortgage Finance 1 S.r.l, BCC SECURIS S.r.l., Dolomiti Finance S.r.l., Heliconus S.r.l., Quarzo Lease S.r.l., Agri 2002-1 S.r.l., Secursel S.r.l., Manzano Bond S.P.V. S.r.l., Apulia Finance S.r.l., Entasi S.r.l., COLOMBO S.r.l., Seashell II S.r.l., Argo Mortgage S.r.l.Berica 2 MBS S.r.l., Mecenate S.r.l., Giotto Finance S.p.A., F-E Blue S.r.l., Astrea S.r.l.

Esempio di forma societaria di una delle società:

Auto ABS S.r.l.- Societa' Unipersonale -Iscritta all'Elenco Generale degli Intermediari Finanziari di cui all'art. 106 D. Lgs. n. 385/93 con il n. 38995

Iscritta nell'Elenco Speciale degli Intermediari Finanziari di cui all'art. 107 D. Lgs. 385/93

Sede legale: Via V. Alfieri n. 1 - 31015 Conegliano (TV)

Capitale sociale Euro 12.000,00-i.v.

Codice fiscale, Partita IVA e numero di iscrizione al Registro delle Imprese di Treviso 04104170263 

Tra le discussioni riguardanti l'etica e la responsabilità sociale ancora poca attenzione è stata data a uno strumento che sta vivendo un momento di forte sviluppo: la cartolarizzazione. Un'operazione discutibile sotto vari aspetti, dall'eticità della società che acquista i crediti, all'eticità dell'oggetto della cartolarizzazione, fino all'impatto della cartolarizzazione su vari stakeholder. Tale operazione, (definita anche "securitization") è una tecnica finanziaria in base alla quale gli istituti finanziari, le aziende industriali e anche gli enti pubblici (originator) possono trasformare in liquidità asset aziendali mediante l'emissione di titoli garantiti dai cash flow generati dagli stessi asset. In particolare, l'operazione viene strutturata come segue: l'azienda o banca cede alcune attività finanziarie a una banca o a una nuova società, Special Purpose Vehicle (Spv). Questa emette titoli attraverso i quali finanzia l'acquisto dei crediti, inoltre viene assegnato un rating da parte di terze società. A ciò fa seguito il collocamento dei titoli presso i mercati finanziari.

Vedi: C. Operazioni di cartolarizzazione e di cessione delle attività


Legge 30 aprile 1999, n. 130"Disposizioni sulla cartolarizzazione dei crediti"

Affaire Clearstream : Le film avec Pierre Arditi repoussé !

Affaire Clearstream : Le film avec Pierre Arditi repoussé !

Tourné dans la plus grande discrétion en février, le film inspiré par l'affaire Clearstream devait sortir le 25 novembre prochain. Patrick Nebout, conseiller en charge de la distribution du long métrage, évoque aujourd'hui de "petits problèmes techniques" ayant entraîné "une semaine ou deux de retard". Ne voulant pas se retrouver face aux grosses sorties cinéma de Noël, le film est donc repoussé dans la semaine du 13 au 20 janvier. Mouais... Lire la suite l'article
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Affaire Clearstream : Le film avec Pierre Arditi repoussé !
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Intitulé Streamfield, les carnets noirs, le film auto financé par le réalisateur Jean-luc Miesch explore une piste délaissée par la justice : celle d'une manipulation pilotée par un cabinet noir de l'Élysée et menée à bien par le patron des Renseignements généraux (RG) pour empêcher Nicolas Sarkozy d'accéder à la présidence de la République.

Jean-Pierre Castaldi interprète le "vieux Président" face à Pierre Arditi en Premier ministre. Bernard Le Coq, Catherine Jacob et Elizabeth Bourgine font partie de la distribution. Aucun des acteurs n'a perçu de salaire pour ce film qui a rencontré de grosses difficultés à trouver un distributeur.

Les débats du procès Clearstream sont clos et le tribunal correctionnel de Paris doit rendre son verdict le 28 janvier 2010. Coïncidence, il s'agit de la date d'anniversaire de Nicolas Sarkozy. Quelque chose nous dit, que ce "retard" pourrait bien se prolonger jusqu'à cette date.

Même si l'histoire racontée dans Streamfield, les carnets noirs, n'est pas exactement la même que celle qui s'est débattue devant le tribunal correctionnel de Paris, le premier ministre de l'époque, Dominique de Villepin , apparaît au coeur de l'affaire... dans les deux cas. 18 mois de prison avec sursis ont été requis contre lui, il est donc urgent... d'attendre le verdict pour la diffusion de ce long métrage !


How States Can Finance Their Own Economic Recovery

Cut Wall Street Out! How States Can Finance Their Own Economic Recovery

Saturday 31 October 2009

by: Ellen Hodgson Brown J.D., t r u t h o u t | Feature

Pouring money into the private banking system has only fixed the economy for bankers and the wealthy; it has not done much to address either the fundamental problem of unemployment or the debt trap so many Americans find themselves in.

President Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan has so far failed to halt the growth of unemployment: 2.7 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus plan began. California has lost 336,400 jobs. Arizona has lost 77,300. Michigan has lost 137,300. A total of 49 states and the District of Columbia have all reported net job losses.

In this dark firmament, however, one bright star shines. The sole state to actually gain jobs is an unlikely candidate for the distinction: North Dakota. North Dakota is also one of only two states expected to meet their budgets in 2010. (The other is Montana.) North Dakota is a sparsely populated state of less than 700,000 people, largely located in cold and isolated farming communities. Yet, since 2000, the state's GNP has grown 56 percent, personal income has grown 43 percent and wages have grown 34 percent. The state not only has no funding problems, but this year it has a budget surplus of $1.3 billion, the largest it has ever had.

Why is North Dakota doing so well, when other states are suffering the ravages of a deepening credit crisis? Its secret may be that it has its own credit machine. North Dakota is the only state in the Union to own its own bank. The Bank of North Dakota (BND) was established by the state legislature in 1919, specifically to free farmers and small businessmen from the clutches of out-of-state bankers and railroad men. The bank's stated mission is to deliver sound financial services that promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota.

The Advantages of Owning Your Own Bank

So, how does owning a bank solve the state's funding problems? Isn't the state still limited to the money it has? The answer is no. Chartered banks are allowed to do something nobody else can do: They can create credit on their books simply with accounting entries, using the magic of "fractional reserve" lending. As the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas explains on its web site:
"Banks actually create money when they lend it. Here's how it works: Most of a bank's loans are made to its own customers and are deposited in their checking accounts. Because the loan becomes a new deposit, just like a paycheck does, the bank ... holds a small percentage of that new amount in reserve and again lends the remainder to someone else, repeating the money-creation process many times."

How many times? President Obama puts this "multiplier effect" at eight to ten. In a speech on April 14, he said:
"[A]lthough there are a lot of Americans who understandably think that government money would be better spent going directly to families and businesses instead of banks - 'where's our bailout?,' they ask - the truth is that a dollar of capital in a bank can actually result in eight or ten dollars of loans to families and businesses, a multiplier effect that can ultimately lead to a faster pace of economic growth."

It can, but it hasn't recently, because private banks are limited by bank capital requirements and by their for-profit business models. And that is where a state-owned bank has enormous advantages: States own huge amounts of capital, and they can think farther ahead that their quarterly profit statements, allowing them to take long-term risks. Their asset bases are not marred by oversized salaries and bonuses; they have no shareholders expecting a sizable cut, and they have not marred their books with bad derivatives bets, unmarketable collateralized debt obligations and mark-to-market accounting problems.

The Bank of North Dakota (BND) is set up as a dba: "the State of North Dakota doing business as the Bank of North Dakota." Technically, that makes the capital of the state the capital of the bank. Projecting the possibilities of this arrangement to California, the State of California owns about $200 billion in real estate, has $62 billion in various investments and has $128 billion in projected 2009 revenues. Leveraged by a factor of eight, that capital base could support nearly $4 trillion in loans.

To get a bank charter, specific investments would probably need to be earmarked by the state as startup capital; but the startup capital required for a typical California bank is only about $20 million. This is small potatoes for the world's eighth largest economy, and the money would not actually be "spent." It would just become bank equity, transmuting from one form of investment into another - and a lucrative investment at that. In the case of the BND, the bank's return on equity is about 25 percent. It pays a hefty dividend to the state, which is expected to exceed $60 million this year. In the last decade, the BND has turned back a third of a billion dollars to the state's general fund, offsetting taxes. California could do substantially better than that. California pays $5 billion annually just in interest on its debt. If it had its own bank, the bank could refinance its debt and return that $5 billion to the state's coffers; and it would make substantially more on money lent out.

Besides capital, a bank needs "reserves," which it gets from deposits. For the BND, this too is no problem, since it has a captive deposit base. By law, the state and all its agencies must deposit their funds in the bank, which pays a competitive interest rate to the state treasurer. The bank also accepts deposits from other entities. These copious deposits can then be plowed back into the state in the form of loans.

Public Banking on the Central Bank Model

The BND's populist organizers originally conceived of the bank as a credit union-like institution that would free farmers from predatory lenders, but conservative interests later took control and suppressed these commercial lending functions. The BND is now chiefly a "bankers' bank." It acts like a central bank, with functions similar to those of a branch of the Federal Reserve. It avoids rivalry with private banks by partnering with them. Most lending is originated by a local bank. The BND then comes in to participate in the loan, share risk and buy down the interest rate.

One of the BND's functions is to provide a secondary market for real estate loans, which it buys from local banks. Its residential loan portfolio is now $500 billion to $600 billion. This function has helped the state to avoid the credit crisis that afflicted Wall Street when the secondary market for loans collapsed in late 2007. Before that, investors routinely bought securitized loans (CDOs) from the banks, making room on the banks' books for more loans. But these "shadow lenders" disappeared when they realized that the derivatives called "credit default swaps" supposedly protecting their CDOs were a highly unreliable form of insurance. In North Dakota, this secondary real estate market is provided by the BND, which has invested conservatively, avoiding the speculative derivatives debacle.

Other services the BND provides include guarantees for entrepreneurial startups and student loans, the purchase of municipal bonds from public institutions and a well-funded disaster loan program. When the city of Fargo was struck by a massive flood recently, the disaster fund helped the city avoid the devastation suffered by New Orleans in similar circumstances; and when North Dakota failed to meet its state budget a few years ago, the BND met the shortfall. The BND has an account with the Federal Reserve Bank, but its deposits are not insured by the FDIC. Rather, they are guaranteed by the State of North Dakota itself - a prudent move today, when the FDIC is verging on bankruptcy.

The Commercial Banking Model: The Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The BND studiously avoids competition with private banks, but a publicly-owned bank could profitably engage in commercial lending. A successful model for that approach was the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which served both central bank and commercial bank functions. For nearly a century, the publicly-owned Commonwealth Bank provided financing for housing, small business, and other enterprise, affording effective public competition that "kept the banks honest" and kept interest rates low. Commonwealth Bank put the needs of borrowers ahead of profits, ensuring that sound investment flows were maintained to farming and other essential areas; yet, the bank was always profitable, from 1911 until nearly the end of the century.

Indeed, it seems to have been too profitable, making it a takeover target. It was simply "too good not to be privatized." The bank was sold in the 1990s for a good deal of money, but it's proponents consider it's loss as a social and economic institution to be incalculable.

A State Bank of Florida?

Could the sort of commercial model tested by Commonwealth Bank work today in the United States? Economist Farid Khavari thinks so. A Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, he proposes a Bank of the State of Florida (BSF) that would make loans to Floridians at much lower interest rates than they are getting now, using the magic of fractional reserve lending. He explains:
"For $100 in deposits, a bank can create $900 in new money by making loans. So, the BSF can pay 6 percent for CDs, and make mortgage loans at 2 percent. For $6 per year in interest paid out, the BSF can earn $18 by lending $900 at 2 percent for mortgages."

The state would earn $15,000 per $100,000 of mortgage, at a cost of about $1,700, while the homeowner would save $88,000 in interest and pay for the home 15 years sooner. "Our bank will save people about seven years of their pay over the course of 30 years, just on interest costs," says Dr. Khavari. He also proposes 6 percent credit cards and 6 percent certificates of deposit.

The state could earn billions yearly on these loans, while saving hefty sums for consumers. It could also refinance its own debts and those of its municipal governments at very low interest rates. According to a German study, interest composes 30 percent to 50 percent of everything we buy. Slashing interest costs can make projects such as low-cost housing, alternative energy development, and infrastructure construction not only sustainable, but profitable for the state, while at the same time creating much-needed jobs.


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. Her earlier books focused on the pharmaceutical cartel that gets its power from "the money trust." Her eleven books include "Forbidden Medicine, Nature's Pharmacy" (co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker) and "The Key to Ultimate Health" (co-authored with Dr. Richard Hansen). Her web sites are and

Sean Hannity/Michael Moore Debate

Sean Hannity/Michael Moore Debate 10-06-09 Segment 1 of 4

Sean Hannity/Michael Moore Debate 10-06-09 Segment 2 of 4

Sean Hannity/Michael Moore Debate 10-06-09 Segment 3 of 4

Sean Hannity/Michael Moore Debate 10-06-09 Segment 4 of 4

sabato 31 ottobre 2009

Roubini: Global Markets Could Soon Crash

Roubini: Global Markets Could Soon Crash

The global markets are at risk of crashing when the dollar rebounds, says economist Nouriel Roubini.

Roubini, a professor at NYU, is credited with long predicting the financial collapse of 2007 and 2008.

“In the short run what’s happening is there’s a wall of liquidity, not just in the U.S., but around the world, that is chasing assets,” he told CNBC.

“It’s equities, it’s commodities, it’s credit, it’s gold, it’s emerging market asset classes.”

And what does that amount to? “Now we are in the mother of all carry trades," Roubini says.

“Everybody is shorting the dollar, borrowing and investing in assets all over the world.”

That activity helped push the greenback to a 14-month low.

But there’s a risk in this, Roubini says.

“People are borrowing at zero percent interest rates in the U.S. Effectively the rate of borrowing is negative, because we have the dollar falling. You have a capital gain,” he explains.

“You are buying any assets around the world. All these assets are perfectly correlated.”

Eventually, the dollar will rebound, Roubini says.

“Once the dollar stops falling, you have a sudden reversal of the dollar, you have to close your shorts, you have to dump assets, and you could have a market crash all over the world,” he says.

Most experts see a global crash as unlikely, but they say substantial problems remain.

Have we learned the appropriate lessons from the financial crisis?

“The early signs are mixed at best,” William Galston of the Brookings Institution writes on the think tank Web site.

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