domenica 14 novembre 2010

Trichet: ECB support temporary not QE, backs recovery

Trichet: ECB support temporary not QE, backs recovery

Posted Saturday November 13, 2010 1 day, 4 hours ago

Article courtesy of Reuters

By Marc Jones

TUTZING, Germany (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's crisis support measures are temporary in nature and should not be confused with quantitative easing, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Saturday.

"All our non-standard measures help restore a more normal monetary policy transmission mechanism which is necessary to fulfill our primary mandate of accomplishing price stability," Trichet said in a speech at a conference organized by Germany's Political Club.

"It is not to be confused with quantitative easing policies that aim to reduce longer-term interest rates."

Trichet repeated the ECB's recent views that the euro zone economic recovery would continue for the rest of the year and that inflation was under control.

Trichet was speaking by a picturesque lake on the cusp of the Alps in one of Germany's most affluent and conservative regions.

He reiterated the ECB's opposition to EU leaders' recent decision to jettison ECB-backed calls for more automatic punishments to be included in new fiscal debt rules being drawn up.

"The ECB considers that they do not represent the quantum leap in the economic governance that is needed," he said.

"We need quasi-automaticity in the application of sanctions, based on clearly defined criteria and with less discretion over outcomes. And we need ambitious targets for the reduction of public debt toward the 60 percent of GDP ceiling."

Intense tensions about the debt levels of Ireland, Portugal and Greece remain center-stage in global economic fears.

Ireland is in talks to receive emergency funding from the European Union and is likely to become the second euro zone country after Greece to obtain an international rescue, official sources told Reuters on Friday.

The premiums investors demand to hold Irish and Portuguese debt have shot to record highs in recent weeks as fears escalate that both countries could eventually default on their debt.

"We need more European unity, more responsible European unity," Trichet said.

"We urge all governments to step up consolidation...It is essential that countries pursue credible multi-year consolidation plans and fully implement the planned consolidation measures."

(For full speech click: http://www.ecb.int/press/key/date/2010/html/sp101113_1.en.html)

(Reporting by Marc Jones)

sabato 13 novembre 2010

Usa, derivati: Wall Street si prende 4 miliardi dai contribuenti

Usa, derivati: Wall Street si prende 4 miliardi dai contribuenti
di Matteo Cavallito - 13/11/2010

Fonte: il fatto quotidiano



Travolti dal ciclone derivati, gli enti locali e gli atenei americani sono impegnati a chiudere i contratti con le major finanziarie. E così le tasse dei cittadini finiscono in mano alle grandi banche Il dato è stato reso noto dall’agenzia Bloomberg. Dal 2008 ad oggi centinaia di enti locali statunitensi hanno sborsato più di 4 miliardi di dollari per chiudere i contratti derivati siglati con le grandi società di Wall Street e rivelatisi terribilmente svantaggiosi. Una cifra micidiale scaricata di fatto sulle spalle dei contribuenti e finita nelle tasche di quelle stesse banche – tra cui Citigroup, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs e Morgan Stanley – grazie alle quali le agenzie si erano illuse di ottenere un risparmio.

Il fenomeno coinvolge una moltitudine di sventurati, dall’autorità per le risorse idriche della California fino al distretto scolastico di Butler, Pennsylvania, passando per le più prestigiose università d’America, come Harvard o la Cornell. Tutti coinvolti in un disastroso piano di ristrutturazione debitoria avviato alcuni anni fa. La storia è nota: prima della grande crisi, gli enti statunitensi avevano finanziato le proprie attività emettendo obbligazioni per un controvalore di 2.800 miliardi di dollari. Il rischio, a quel punto, era che i tassi di interesse, già ritenuti elevati, potessero salire ancora facendo crescere di conseguenza il debito. Un’eventualità da evitare a tutti i costi. A risolvere la situazione ci pensarono le banche che, chiamate ad assicurare i bond, misero sul piatto qualcosa come 500 miliardi di dollari di derivati. Un autentico arsenale.

I contratti in questione sono noti come interest rate swaps e servono ad ammortizzare le oscillazioni dei tassi. Le due parti si scambiano periodicamente denaro sotto forma di interessi sul capitale delle obbligazioni. Uno dei contraenti versa sempre un tasso fisso, l’altro ne eroga uno variabile (calcolato su un interesse di riferimento di mercato) che deve essere compreso entro un limite massimo ed uno minimo. Per anni, aveva già rivelato il Wall Street Journal, gli enti avevano versato alle banche rate fisse anche superiori al 3% ricevendo in cambio la quota variabile che, alla discesa dei tassi, si era attestata in molti casi anche al di sotto dello 0,5%. Le banche, in altre parole, si sono trovate a versare rate minime ricevendo in cambio pagamenti anche sei volte superiori. Un vero affare.

Inizialmente convinti di risparmiare, gli enti Usa si impegnano ora a chiudere i contratti ma questo, come detto, comporta una perdita di 4 miliardi (il cosiddetto termination payment). Alla chiusura del contratto, il dipartimento californiano delle risorse idriche ha sganciato oltre 300 milioni a Morgan Stanley mentre l’amministrazione pubblica del North Carolina ne ha versati quasi 60, più o meno la somma dei salari annuali di 1.400 impiegati statali. All’Università di Harvard è andata ancora peggio: l’ateneo ha infatti sborsato più di 800 milioni per farla finita con i maxi swap da 1,8 miliardi siglati a suo tempo con JP Morgan e Goldman Sachs.

La vicenda statunitense richiama da vicino la nota esperienza italiana. Secondo gli ultimi dati disponibili a finire nel tritacarne della finanza strutturata sarebbero stati dal 2002 almeno 664 enti pubblici della penisola responsabili della firma di contratti derivati per un valore complessivo pari a 35 miliardi, all’incirca un terzo del debito accumulato dalle amministrazioni (107 miliardi). Proprio gli interest rate swap sono al centro del processo per truffa aggravata contro quattro istituti (Deutsche Bank, Ubs, JP Morgan e Depfa Bank) e due ex amministratori coinvolti nella stipula di contratti con il Comune di Milano a protezione di un’emissione di obbligazioni da 1,68 miliardi. Il procedimento aveva preso il via con un esposto avanzato proprio da Palazzo Marino nel gennaio 2009. L’advisor legale Pavia e Ansaldo, si è scoperto di recente, aveva segnalato le criticità contrattuali al sindaco Letizia Moratti quasi un anno prima.

Sterilizing Money at the QE Corral

Sterilizing Money at the QE Corral

leadimage

11/12/10 Tampa, Florida – There are a lot of intricacies in the Federal Reserve’s evil ways, especially as concerns creating $900 billion in the next six months in another round of quantitative easing, and one of them is explained by Daniel R. Amerman of DanielAmerman.com. He says, “There is something else essential for investors and savers to understand about the process which the Federal Reserve has just outlined. The Federal Reserve is not directly purchasing treasury bonds from the US government. Instead, US banks are purchasing the bonds from the US Treasury to fund the deficit, and then selling an equal amount of other bonds (likely at a nice profit) to the Federal Reserve.”

If you are a normal person, then you are positively terrified by the prospect of inflation, which means that you are terrified of the Federal Reserve creating so much, so incredibly much, so staggeringly much, so unbelievably much money – which is to be almost $900 billion in the first six months of 2011 – because a lot less monetary insanity than this gigantic clot of extra money caused ruinous inflations in stocks, inflations in bonds, inflation in consumer prices, inflation in housing, inflation in the sheer suffocating size of government and severe, bankrupting macroeconomic distortions and mal-investments.

Obviously, then, I am on to something when I say that “Inflation is the worst thing that can happen, other than the Earth being invaded by creatures from outer space to make us their slaves, forcing us to mine di-lithium crystals on some barren planet in the faint, farthest reaches of the Federation of Planets.”

So, besides keeping an eye on the skies for alien invaders from outer space and watching the neighbors to see what nefarious schemes they are plotting against me, I keep tabs on the money supply.

Mr. Amerman, whom I now suspect of being in concert with my wife to cause me to have a heart attack and die on the spot from the sheer horror of it all, writes that “by the end of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage security purchase program (the previous ‘quantitative easing’), about 10% of the approximately $12 trillion in US banking system assets consisted of sterilized money held at the Federal Reserve.”

Sterilized money? What’s that? It sounds a lot like the end-days of my relationship with Susan, when she suddenly announced that, from now on, if I wanted to kiss her, I had to first sterilize my lips with boiling water. As you can probably guess, things went downhill pretty fast after the first few times! Parenthetically, looking back on it, it was not worth it.

My amorous misadventures aside, the answer is that “while a (desperate) central bank wants to be able to spend money without limits, letting that new money escape into the general money supply can lead to major inflation in a hurry. So with the previous rounds, the Fed and ECB each used their ‘sterilization’ powers to essentially put a corral up around the new money, and keep it from escaping out into the economy.”

He goes on that “because the banks can’t really spend their ‘sterilized’ money, but must have an ever larger share of their balance sheet assets consist of those economically meaningless excess reserve balances.”

He figures that by June of next year this would mean “about 16% of total US bank assets would consist of ‘sterilized money’, i.e. balances at the Federal Reserve that can’t be used anywhere else.”

I immediately saw this as a chance to get my own economic house in order! At breakfast, I happily told the kids that I was going to quadruple their allowances! This wonderful news made them, as they said, “Happy for the first time in our miserable lives!”

I admit that I positively reveled in smug self-satisfaction as they fell all over themselves apologizing for hating my guts, and apologizing about how they regret calling me a horrible, stingy, miserly, gold-bug, silver-bug, worthless loser of a father who spends every dime on gold, silver and oil stocks so that I can make a lot of money when their prices shoot “to the moon” when the monetary insanity of the Federal Reserve creating so freaking much money, so that the insane Obama administration can deficit-spend almost $2 trillion a year, makes inflation in consumer prices start climbing to hyperinflationary levels.

After I was finished eating and having had enough basking in the fawning adulation, I broke it to them that while I was indeed quadrupling their allowances, being the generous, loving father that I am, I was “sterilizing” the money by making them keep it in my bank account.

Well, their reaction was immediate outrage, as compared to the lack of it demonstrated by the silly “journalists” (in every sneering, disrespectful, pejorative use of the word) of the mainstream media and neo-Keynesian econometric halfwits infesting the majority of the nation’s universities at such a monetary monstrosity.

Their loud hostility was not quelled one iota by my gently reminding them that the Federal Reserve was doing this same thing right now, and the Fed’s bank account has risen by more than a trillion dollars in one year, and which is apparently okay with the “silly ‘journalists’ (in every sneering, disrespectful, pejorative use of the word) of the mainstream media and neo-Keynesian econometric halfwits infesting the majority of the nation’s universities” as mentioned so prominently in the previous paragraph.

Well, what started out as a delightful breakfast with the family soon devolved into a distressing shouting match of sorts, with the kids telling me, “We hate you more now than we ever hated you before!” me yelling at them, “Morons! If you knew the kind of inflationary horror that is going to happen to us because of the Federal Reserve creating so much money, then you would happily give up one of your three generous portions of cold gruel per day to let me buy MORE gold, silver and oil!” and my wife pleading, “Everybody please shut up and calm down!” to no avail.

It was scene of insane pandemonium for awhile, which we can all agree shows the degree of insanity rampant in the world today, as is this sterilized quantitative easing, which Mr. Amerman says is “an insane strategy for a government that is desperately trying to revive the private sector economy, which is one of the reasons I find further sterilization to be unlikely.”

With all due respect to Mr. Amerman, I figure that the money was not actually sterilized at all, and although it did not enter the economy as a result of business and consumer loans, it entered into the economy via government deficit-spending.

Which, if either, is worse than the other from an economic standpoint is, of course, a matter for rigorous theoretical analysis, which means that it won’t come from me because it sounds like work, and I hate even the word “work,”, even if I could do the analysis, which I can’t because I haven’t a clue how to even start.

But I like making money without working, and I know (thanks to the Austrian Business Cycle Theory and 4,500 years of history) that buying gold, silver and oil will make me a lot of money because of all of this monetary and fiscal insanity.

And all without lifting a finger, which is so deliciously brainless that I say, “Whee! This investing stuff is easy!”

The Mogambo Guru
for The Daily Reckoning

Author Image for The Mogambo Guru

The Mogambo Guru

Richard Daughty (Mogambo Guru) is general partner and COO for Smith Consultant Group, serving the financial and medical communities, and the writer/publisher of the Mogambo Guru economic newsletter, an avocational exercise to better heap disrespect on those who desperately deserve it. The Mogambo Guru is quoted frequently in Barron's, The Daily Reckoning , and other fine publications.

The articles and commentary featured on the Daily Reckoning are presented by Agora Financial.

Banche: Associazione per delinquere?

Ascoli Piceno 13/11/2010

Visita il nostro Forum www.forumantiusura.org

14^ COMUNICATO

45^ settimana del 2010
– Scarica il file in PDF (clicca qui)

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

21 Novembre 2010 TUTTI a ROMA*

1^ CONVENTION del FORUM

SCARICA IL PROGRAMMA (clicca qui)

Stiamo a 300 metri dalla Stazione Termini – X chi è in Macchina trova parcheggio riservato dentro il Palazzo Barberini.

“Banche: Associazione per delinquere?” scarica il comunicato stampa (clicca qui) . La denuncia trae origine dall’Interrogazione Parlamentare depositata lo scorso 12.10.2010 (clicca qui).

Altra interrogazione parlamentare contro le Banche che sponsorizzano i Tribunali: Tra queste c’é la Cassa di Risparmio di Teramo (clicca qui). Non possiamo risolvere la crisi economica se non chiudiamo in galera i criminali che hanno commesso le frodi (clicca qui).

Avete mai visto la faccia di un Banchiere in Prigione? ECCOLA (clicca qui).

Altri Giudici che Pilotavano le sentenze tributarie (clicca qui).

Vi siete persi l’ultimo comunicato? (Scaricatelo cliccando qui).

Gli Avv.ti Argento e Liddo ci hanno trasmesso un provvedimento del Tribunale di Urbino riguardante gli SWAP (clicca qui).

Proponiamo altro interessante articolo sul convegno promosso dal Coordinatore del Forum Toscana, a Firenze, pubblicato in migliaia di Blog (clicca qui).

A presto

EMIDIO e lo staff www.orsiniemidio.it

Note:

* E’ stata individuata una giornata festiva per offrire a tutti la possibilità di partecipare senza sacrificare una giornata lavorativa. Con l’occasione saranno consegnate le nomine agli avvocati referenti per le aree territoriali e consegnati gli attestati di partecipazione al seminario del 30 ottobre 2010. Per chi volesse portare la famiglia, informiamo che la Sala Stampa del Circolo degli Ufficiali delle Forze Armate, presso il Palazzo Barberini, é nel pieno centro storico. Vicina al Quirinale, a due passi dalla Stazione Termini, dalla Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Spagna, Via Veneto.

venerdì 12 novembre 2010

1^ Convention Nazionale del Forum Antiusura Bancaria

COMUNICATO STAMPA

Il 22.11.2010, in occasione dalla 1^ Convention Nazionale del Forum Antiusura Bancaria, tutela Consumatori e Contribuenti, che si terrà in Roma presso il Circolo Ufficiali delle Forze Armate, Palazzo Barberini, via XX Settembre, n. 2, l’On.le Dr. Domenico Scilipoti, consegnerà ed illustrerà ai responsabili Regionali e Provinciali del Forum la denuncia per Associazione per Delinquere nei confronti delle Banche aderenti all’A.B.I., da depositare presso tutte le Procure della Repubblica .
Tale denuncia si fonda sul presupposto che gli Istituti Bancari aderenti all’Associazione Bancaria Italiana (ABI) avrebbero organizzato e posto in essere un accordo associativo per l’attuazione di programmi delittuosi finalizzati alla elusione delle norme bancarie – in particolare della L. 154/92 e del Testo Unico Bancario D.Lgs. 385/93, che resero “NULLE” e da considerare “NON APPOSTE” le clausole contrattuali di rinvio agli usi piazza per la determinazione dei tassi di interesse –, al fine di sottrarsi alla restituzione dei maggiori interessi applicati allo sterminato numero dei propri correntisti, con ciò appropriandosi indebitamente di miliardi di Euro .

In sintesi, la denuncia chiede di accertare se risponda al vero che le Banche aderenti all’ABI, avrebbero costituito un CARTELLO - una ASSOCIAZIONE PER DELINQUERE-, prevista e punita dall’articolo 416 del codice penale, finalizzata a commettere più delitti, al fine di conseguire immensi profitti, abusando del proprio potere dominante e dello stato di sudditanza e di necessità, oltre che di indigenza e di bisogno, di milioni di loro utenti .

La legge 154/92, trasfusa nel Testo Unico Bancario del 1993, sconosciuto alla sterminata massa dei correntisti, ma non alle Banche, ha regolato, in maniera oltremodo chiara ed insuscettiva di equivoci sul punto, le modalità con le quali le Banche avrebbero dovuto provvedere alla sostituzione dei tassi di interesse fino ad allora applicati e facenti riferimento alle condizioni praticate usualmente sulla piazza, c.d. “uso piazza”.

Per effetto delle indicate norme, tutte le Banche avrebbero dovuto compulsare la rinegoziazione dei precedenti contratti indeterminati ed ancora in atto, e, per i nuovi rapporti, avrebbero dovuto stipulare contratti con l’indicazione esatta e puntuale, sia degli interessi che degli altri costi applicati.

Ciò avrebbe comportato la restituzione, in favore dei correntisti, dei maggiori interessi (cosiddetti ultralegali) - con tutte le spese e commissioni non espressamente pattuite in forma scritta - applicati fino all’entrata in vigore della Legge 154/92, corrispondenti a svariati miliardi di Euro, che dovevano gravare sui bilanci delle Banche stesse.

Alla luce delle risultanze emerse nei procedimenti giudiziari civili, instaurati al fine del recupero degli interessi ultra legem e di opposizione alle azioni monitorie inopinatamente promosse dagli Istituti bancari, emerge in maniera evidente come la pressoché totalità degli Istituti di Credito non si è MAI uniformata alle statuizioni del TUB, che sanciscono, come detto, la nullità degli interessi “uso piazza”.
Calcolando i rischi ed i guadagni, appare evidente come la scelta delle Banche, di non uniformarsi ai precetti indicati dal TUB, ha comportato, da un lato, l’appropriazione in proprio favore di ingenti capitali, per miliardi di Euro, dall’altro, l’instaurarsi di contenziosi civili che, qualora tempestivamente proposti, hanno comportato e comportano un irrilevante obbligo risarcitorio in capo agli Istituti stessi.

Appare di elementare comprensione il fatto che, a fronte di tale deduzione, alle Banche sia convenuto non applicare la legge, e tanto hanno fatto consapevolmente, in danno soprattutto dei consumatori e delle piccole e medie imprese, con ripercussioni sull’intera economia nazionale, allo scopo evidente di conseguire immensi profitti.

La denuncia è analitica e documentata al fine di evidenziare la responsabilità delle Banche che, per mezzo delle denunciate attività illecite, hanno distrutto migliaia di realtà imprenditoriali ed artigianali, contribuendo in maniera sostanziale a determinare l’attuale crisi economico finanziaria del Paese .

On.le Domenico SCILIPOTI

Hypocritical U.S. is tops at currency manipulation

Hypocritical U.S. is tops at currency manipulation

Section:

By Aaron Task
Tech Ticker
Yahoo Finance
Friday, November 12, 2010

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/535604/U.S.-of-%22Irony-and...

After the G20 failed to reach any consensus on currency issues and trade imbalances, President Obama took a direct shot at China Friday, saying the renminbi "is undervalued ... and China spends enormous amounts of money intervening in the market to keep it undervalued."

The president's comments cap (at least for now) a period of extraordinary public debate among politicians and policymakers -- past and present -- over currencies and the Fed's QE2 program.

Ahead of the G20 confab, Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble called U.S. policy "clueless," while foreign ministers from China, South Africa and France (among others) questioned the wisdom of QE2.

Adding insult to irony, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan piled on in The FT, where he warned the U.S. is "pursuing a policy of currency weakening." That in turn, prompted a sharp rebuke from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who told CNBC: "We will never seek to weaken our currency as a tool to gain competitive advantage or to grow the economy."

Michael Pento, senior economist at Euro Pacific Capital, says the U.S. doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to discussions about currencies, calling Alan Greenspan's comments the "height of irony and hypocrisy," given his easy-money policies at the Fed.

"The U.S. is the No. 1 currency manipulator on the planet," he says. "We print up a lot of dollars" and "we can consume more than we produce because of that."

But that policy makes for a "chronically weak" dollar and puts America at the mercy of its foreign creditors, Pento says, restating a warning about the risks of a true dollar crash and skyrocketing interest rates if we don't change course, soon.

It won't happen overnight, but China is plotting its own exit strategy by slowing rolling its Treasury holdings into the short end of the curve, he says, suggesting other foreign investors will follow suit.

"The credibility of this country is falling faster than the dollar," Pento says. "One day you'll have a Treasury auction without indirect bidders and only Ben Bernanke" will want to buy U.S. debt, he says.

To avoid such a "watershed event," Pento recommends we adopt the bulk of the deficit commission's recommendations, as detailed here. He also wants a return to the gold standard, a controversial idea World Bank President Robert Zoellick broached this week.

Going back to the gold standard "would be painful" and even lead to a depression in the near term, Pento concedes. But "all the imbalances would be reconciled and we can start over again with a real economy."

Gibbs wants to join silver manipulation class action

Law firm Girard Gibbs wants to join silver manipulation class action pig pile

Section:

Company Press Release via Business Wire
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Girard Gibbs LLP Investigates J.P. Morgan, HSBC for Violations of Antitrust Laws in Silver Futures Trading

Lawsuits Allege that the Banks Manipulated Prices of Silver on the COMEX Exchange

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101111006211/en/Girard-Gibbs-LLP...

SAN FRANCISCO -- Girard Gibbs LLP (www.GirardGibbs.com) is investigating allegations that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and HSBC violated federal laws by conspiring to lower the price of silver futures and options contracts. The banks are accused of accumulating heavily concentrated positions in silver futures and options on the Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX), beginning in early 2008.

Lawsuits have been filed against HSBC and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, alleging that the banks manipulated the prices of COMEX silver futures by building up large short positions in silver futures contracts they had no intent to fill, in order to force silver prices down at a time when silver should have been trading at higher levels.

The banks' actions are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). On October 26, 2010, CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton issued a statement, saying:

"[I] believe violations to the Commodity Exchange Act have taken place in silver markets and that any such violation of the law in this regard should be prosecuted."

If you bought or sold COMEX silver futures since March 1, 2008, Girard Gibbs is interested in speaking to you. If you wish to discuss our investigation or have any questions concerning your rights in this case, please contact attorney Elizabeth Pritzker (ecp@girardgibbs.com) at Girard Gibbs LLP or call us at 866-981-4800.

Girard Gibbs LLP, with offices in San Francisco and New York, is one of the nation's leading law firms in prosecuting class actions and other lawsuits on behalf of consumers and investors.

World Chaos - Global Success Story?

World Chaos - Global Success Story?

Friday, November 12, 2010 – by Daily Bell


Mervyn King

Crunch time approaches for world economy ... There was a belated admission from Mervyn King (left) on Wednesday; ignore the Inflation Report, he seemed to be saying, because its forecasts may amount to no more than tomorrow's chip paper. The Bank of England, headed by King, has had its credibility tested close to destruction by its repeated failure to meet the inflation remit. OK, so of course he didn't use those exact words, but rarely has the Bank of England's Governor hedged his quarterly update with so many conditions and caveats. Given the record, which for the past three years has pretty consistently seen the Bank miss both its inflation and growth forecasts, you might think him wise to do so. In any case, "uncertainty" of outlook was the Governor's preferred message du jour. Looking at the range of challenges faced by both the domestic and world economy, few would fault his diagnosis. Markets took the slightly higher forecasts for both inflation and growth to mean there was now less chance of further quantitative easing, but that wasn't what Mr. King was trying to say. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: Everything is going to Hell.

Free-Market Analysis: The most important thing in the world from our out point of view as professional "meme watchers" is figuring out whether the current global chaotic economic situation is in some sense created or whether it has somehow spun out of control. Perhaps both at the same time? In other words, the creation of chaos brings with it the danger of a chaotic system that the power elite cannot easily handle. Thus the creation of chaos becomes a bet: Will it be controllable over time and lead eventually to that most cherished or all elite goals ... one-world government?

In this article, we will offer up an analysis of whether the current Western (and world) difficulties are indeed being controlled or whether they are symptoms of larger difficulties that the elite is having. We will start by looking at how the Internet has affected the power elite and then apply that knowledge to how the economy is unfolding and finally try to reach a conclusion. (Note: We have previously attempted a variant of this article; but then our analysis dealt with various approaches to defining the power elite rather than directly with the power elite's agenda. You can see the article here: Is the Elite Destabilizing the World on Purpose?

To begin with we will discuss how the Internet has affected the power elite and the dominant social themes that the Anglo-American axis of powerful families and industrial and religious adjuncts uses to influence world events. These fear-based promotions are intended to frighten middle classes into giving up more wealth and personal control to Western elites in our opinion. During the 20th century this strategy worked very well but in the 21st century the truth-telling of the Internet has undermined this approach in our view. Thus the power elite's NWO goal is in some jeopardy.

As we have postulated throughout most of the 21st century one way or another the dominant social themes offered up by the Anglosphere have been continually less effective. This is because human beings are storytelling creatures and stories are ultimately what provide the cohesiveness for ruling classes. This is why it was so important for the elite to control the means of communication. And this is also why we have postulated this control is breaking up in the 21st century.

Today, the tools of storytelling are in conflict with one another. The elites that have so long controlled ALL the means of communication in the 21st are struggling against an Internet that has debunked or at least cast doubt on much of the fear-based mythos that the powers that be promoted in the 20th century. The themes still resonant of course and are still being actively marketed but they are not by any means so successful as in the 20th century.

We can tell this objectively. The elite has had considerable difficulty with global warming which was a core promotion evidently and obviously. It imploded once emails were placed on-line showing a conspiracy to present only certain views and statistics supporting globlal warming. The Internet itself is an unintended consequence of technology the elite was developing vie NORAD to support military industrial plans. Many 20th century memes seem to be less persuasive as well judging from the debunking making its appearance on the Internet and Youtube.

We would thus argue that some of the dominant and sub-dominant themes of the Western power axis have become undone as a direct result of Internet truth-telling – at least we observe it to be so. That brings us then to the issue that we will examine for the rest of this article – whether the current economic unraveling taking place throughout the West is planned or not.

There is evidence on both sides regarding this thesis. Let us examine the position first of all – one that we have argued in the past – that the unraveling of Western economies has happened to quickly and too publicly for the elite's liking. We have pointed to numerous observable signs that this is so. One of the most prominent was the public spat between Germany and Europe over establishing a bailout fund for the PIGS. France's Sarkozy threatened to pull France out of the EU unless German's Merkel agreed to such a fund. That did not sound like a smooth discussion of events already planned. It sounded like an argument (even granting that it was resolved).

We also note the continued, steady unraveling of the European and American economies and the "push back" against many additional power elite themes, even the most basic such as the primacy of regulatory democracy and the sway of central banking. This in our view CANNOT be in the best interests of an elite that has spent a hundred years building up these dominant social themes, which facilitate the rule of the elite via mercantilism. The initial austerity riots in Europe and the growing Tea Party movement in America are also evidently and obviously not to the liking of Western elites.

Finally, there is the G20 arm-twisting taking place – again in Seoul Korea today. The Western elites want the rest of the world's powerful economies to agree, basically, to let the American dollar purposefully lose value against other currencies. This allows the US to inflate away its debts, ease its economy and not-so-coincidentally devalues the hoard of dollar securities that foreign powers such as China have been amassing. Unlike in previous eras, however, it would seem that other nation-states are objecting more vigorously than usual and threatening to undermine the world's dollar reserve status. Chief among these countries are the so-called BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The above is a fairly rudimentary perspective – which could go on for pages – as to why the Western economic meltdown seems to spiraling out of elite control. Does the elite fear civil unrest more in America than Europe? This we do not know. But we would note that elite-backed legislation and federal agencies have been trying to disarm US citizens (especially in the Red states) for decades. That they have not yet succeeded is further evidence that their control is limited and that they have not achieved all their goals.

Now let us take a quick peek at arguments that propose that Western elites are in fact trying to inflict maximum chaos on the world in order to "save" it with world government and a new financial regime – one perhaps run by the IMF which would assume global central banking duties. In order for this to happen, we have to assume that the West retains primacy throughout the world and can in a sense command the rest of the world's nations in terms of telling them what to do. Within this context, the current political infighting becomes a mere charade intended to convince observers that global government is not in fact preordained when it is.

Is it possible that it is so? Does the West in its current bothered state retain the clout necessary to create global government after an appropriate level of chaos has been realized? We look for Western influence – and evidence of it – in China especially. And we have noticed recently certain reports about American corporations and famous banking firms and Chinese economy. In addition to certain Chinese franchises that have just been granted to the Rothschild dynasty, there are reports of a Chinese car company taking a big stake in GM. These are just the latest reports we can find. And we have previously noted that some major Chinese families apparently consider themselves Jewish (Western) by bloodline.

There is also the whole issue (as we have written recently) of whether China itself (or its leaders) are really in a position to resist Western economic pressures. We have argued continuously that the Chinese economy is in a delicate state and were it to collapse the "leadership" might collapse with it. This gives rise to the argument that the Western elites are well positioned to impose an enlarged global solution to the world economic crisis.

Finally, it is evident and obvious that the West has made considerable inroads in influence with both Brazil and India. US President Barack Obama has concluded what seems to have been a fairly successful tour of India and Brazil, meanwhile, generally supports many Western industrial interests. There are huge car plants in Brazil from both America and Japan in Brazil, among other Western industrial interests. Russia, which may not be so industrially integrated with the West at this point, is making conciliatory political noises regarding the West. Russia has been helpful when it comes to the Afghanistan war and is helping to train local troops on NATO's behalf.

These, as we stated above are only a few clues of many that we have observed regarding the Anglo-American axis' clout when it comes to imposing a new, Western-run economic solution world-wide. If the Anglo-American axis has the ability to push through the IMF-run global central bank and a new currency such as a "bancor" then it makes sense that the axis would not effectively ameliorate the current chaos but would only pretend to do so with an eye toward implementing a larger solution that brings the world a good deal closer toward a single unified government by in a sense unifying the currency.

We don't have any firm conclusion when it comes to all of this. There have been reports recently in the American media of talk-show-hosts on both the left and right inciting "patriot" violence that would allow the US civilian and military forces to "crack down." There has been a good deal of dark speculation about "false flag" events as well, especially in America. Again, such events would allow for further authoritarianism in America which would then ease, additionally, a new economic order and ultimately the NWO itself.

Sorting through all of this, we fall back on the paradigm that we began with so many years ago. There is a battle being waged between the truth-telling of the Internet and the Western powers-that-be. What might have been a much easier implementation of an NWO has been complicated by this new communication technology. It is difficult to pursue a global conspiracy when one's moves are being dissected constantly by a thousand blogs and analyzed by a million readers – or ultimately much more.

Conclusion: The latest and perhaps most important G20 meeting should be over today, complete with thousands of articles analyzing who won and who lost, and whether the US achieved its objectives or was stymied by the Chinese. We would propose that the reports regarding the G20 be parsed for detail. Best case, they will cast light on what is really taking place behind the scenes and how much influence the West really has. Of course there is always the thought that the elites may WANT the G20 to be unsuccessful. Meme watching isn't easy.

REAL MONEY AND THE WINTER OF DISCONTENT

REAL MONEY AND THE WINTER OF DISCONTENT

By Michael LeMieux
November 12, 2010
NewsWithViews.com

The ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in an interesting age,”[1] is upon us. We are currently living in a time, future generations will teach, that will either be the defining moment to the destruction of America or its salvation. Not from extremist attacks, nuclear war, or domination by another world super power, but from within the halls of Congress and their defiance of Constitutional boundaries.

Financially, 1913 ushered in what would lead to our current global nightmare. Much has been written concerning these events and I will not focus greatly on this in this article, but would like to discuss the movement from sound, constitutional, money to the current fiat currency we currently are enslaved too.

Constitutionally, money has a specific meaning and directs those who have the responsibility concerning it. Article 1, Section 8, states that Congress is: “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures. To Provide for the Punishment counterfeiting and Securities and current Coin of the United States.” Article 1, Section 10, declares a prohibition on the states to: “…coin money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts…”

Nowhere in the Constitution is there a clause that grants the Congress the power to abdicate that responsibility to any other entity. More specifically to grant such power to a private banking consortium whose membership is secret, whose books cannot be fully audited without an act of Congress, and whose chairman is appointed from a list of potential appointees, provided to the President, derived from the board of the Federal Reserve.[2]

So here we have the Congress creating an unconstitutional organization to manage the nation’s money supply, by an unconstitutional grant of power which Congress did not have the authority to grant. So what was the goal in creating this organization?

According to the Federal Reserve:[3]

“The Federal Reserve sets the nation’s monetary policy to promote the objectives of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. The challenge for policy makers is that tensions among the goals can arise in the short run and that information about the economy becomes available only with a lag and may be imperfect.

Goals of Monetary Policy

The goals of monetary policy are spelled out in the Federal Reserve Act, which specifies that the Board of Governors and the Federal Open Market Committee should seek ‘to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.’ Stable prices in the long run are a precondition for maximum sustainable output growth and employment as well as moderate long-term interest rates. When prices are stable and believed likely to remain so, the prices of goods, services, materials, and labor are undistorted by inflation and serve as clearer signals and guides to the efficient allocation of resources and thus contribute to higher standards of living. Moreover, stable prices foster saving and capital formation, because when the risk of erosion of asset values resulting from inflation—and the need to guard against such losses—are minimized, households are encouraged to save more and businesses are encouraged to invest more.”

The Federal Reserve was created during a time of volatile markets and a series of boom and bust recessions. Part of the rationale for the Fed was to stop this cycle and create a mechanism to ensure these things did not happen, and for a short time it did.

Remember the roaring 20’s? Money started to flow better, confidence in the market was high, and money was becoming easier to get. But following the boom of the 1920’s came the worst recession and ultimately the worst depression, up until that time. All with the Federal Reserve at the helm! The very thing that the Fed was instituted to prevent was made worse because of the Federal Reserve policies.

Since the great depression America has experienced a roller coaster of failed monetary policy that has eroded the value of America’s dollar to the worst financial shape of its history.[4] But when the Fed first took over, America’s currency was still on the gold standard. Even though we had paper bills, they were backed by gold and silver. In fact they were not called notes, as they are today, but were called certificates and were redeemable in either gold or silver.

But today we have “Federal Reserve Notes.” What is a note? According to Black’s Law Dictionary a note is: “A written promise by one party (the maker) to pay money to another party (the payee) or to bearer. “In other words a note is an IOU or a debt instrument. On the other hand a certificate is defined as: “A document in which a fact is formally attested.” In dealing with money the certificate attests to the actual fact that it is worth a specific commodity.

I mentioned “fiat currency” earlier. For those that may not know -- the term “fiat” is defined in Black’s as “An order or decree, especially an arbitrary one.” In other words our currency is money only because the government says it is and that money has no value other than what the government says it has. Black’s goes on to define “fiat money” as: “Paper currency not backed by gold or silver.”

But what many people will find interesting is that Black’s Law Dictionary also defines the meaning of “real money,” that’s right real money – because what we are using is not real money. Real money is: “Money that has metallic or other intrinsic value, as distinguished from paper currency, checks, and drafts.” What we have is currency, government talking heads use this term a lot, not real money.

In essence we have not been using real money in America since President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlawed private gold ownership and confiscated all gold bullion and coin.[5] We then moved into the Bretton Woods era where primarily only governments traded in gold at an agreed upon rate of $35 and ounce, until 1971 when President Nixon ended the practice.[6] We have not had any link between our currency and real money since.

So why does this matter? Because we can no longer pin the value of our currency to something tangible, its worth is only what the confidence in the market says it is worth. Today our currency, though not completely devalued, is at the lowest in modern history. With the recent announcement of Quantitative Easing II (QE2) an additional $600 billion dollars will be dumped into the system. Because the current dollar reflects the value of the American Market, adding additional currency into the pool dilutes the overall value of the dollar and will, by design and intent, create inflationary conditions.[7]

What this means is higher prices for nearly everything we will be purchasing in the near future. This winter is what I have come to call “the winter of discontent,” as many of us who are living paycheck to paycheck will no longer be able to make our paychecks cover the increased costs of food, gas, clothing, etc, but will have to decide between fixed costs, such as our mortgage and the new inflated costs for the products we need to live.

How do we know this is coming? We know based primarily by looking at commodity costs. When any business produces a finished product they must first purchase the base commodities to construct that product. For manufacture of metal parts the company purchases raw steel from which the part is fashioned. Food products in the grocery store are provided by vendors that produce the various products from the raw food items. If these base commodity prices are increased the final product in turn increases in price.

Because there is a lag time between when the products are made and when they end up on our store shelves, the cost is also lagged (in most cases – gas is one exception) until the new product hits the shelf.

Here are a few of the commodity price increases that have occurred recently:[8]

Corn is up 17.59%
Wheat is up 10.37%
Sugar is up 21.94%
Cotton is up 15.92%
Rubber is up 6.53
Tin is up 9.46%
Soy Bean costs rose by 4% in one day (Nov 9)

Over the past 12 months we have seen increases anywhere from .03% (Oranges) to over 102% (Iron ore). In turn each product will increase in cost at the register in a comparable percentage. This kind of volatility does not lend to confidence in the market and with the Fed monetizing another 600 billion dollars into our already fragile economy -- further inflation is a certainty.

The only thing maintaining value today is real money (Gold and Silver), and as long as we allow our government to steal from the American people and put our children and grand children’s future at risk they will continue to do so until there is nothing left.[9] We must demand the end of the Fed and a return to sound “real money.”

Footnotes:

1, Frederic R. Coudert, Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, 1939
2, The Structure of the Federal Reserve System
3, Overview of the Federal Reserve System, pdf
4, Decline of the US Dollar
5, The Great Gold Robbery of 1933
6, What Was The Gold Standard?
7, Bernanke Sees Case for ‘Further Action’ on Inflation
8, Commodity Prices
9, Rep Tom Perriello “if you don’t tie our hands, we will keep stealing.”

Giovanna Canzano intervista Marco Saba

Giovanna Canzano intervista Marco Saba

Fiano, 29 ottobre 2010





giovedì 11 novembre 2010

Banche, credito negato e rischio di cadere nell’usura

Toscana Oggi, 11/11/2010

Banche, il credito negato e il rischio di cadere nell’usura

di Federico Fiorentini

Giovedì 4 novembre a Palazzo Medici Riccardi, sede della Provincia di Firenze, si è svolto il convegno «Il credito negato», durante il quale i rappresentanti del Forum Nazionale Antiusura bancaria hanno mosso aspre critiche al sistema creditizio italiano: Silvestro Dell’Arte, coordinatore regionale per la Toscana, ha affermato che «la gravità delle situazioni di mancato accesso al credito si scontrano con i dettami costituzionali e con i più basilari diritti umani alla vita, alla proprietà e al lavoro.

L’Italia è l’unico paese europeo dal quale sono esclusi dalla operatività bancaria oltre 25 milioni di cittadini». Gli istituti di credito adoperebbero le centrali di rischio come mezzo di pressione «per ottenere somme spesso non dovute», iscrivendo arbitrariamente nelle banche dati degli insolventi soggetti colpevoli di ritardi irrisori nei pagamenti, e minacciando di espropriare la casa a circa 1 milione e 300 mila nuclei famigliari. «La valutazione giuridica – prosegue Dell’Arte – degli abusi delle banche dovrebbe essere equiparata a quella degli usurai comuni, dato che tassi d’interesse applicati e comportamenti in caso di mancato pagamento frequentemente risultano assimilabili».

Sulla stessa lunghezza d’onda l’avvocato Roberto Di Napoli, della sezione romana del Forum: «Anche prima della crisi gli imprenditori hanno affrontato lotte quotidiane con gli istituti i credito, destinate comunque alla sconfitta, dal momento che, anche quando queste ultime vengono portate in tribunale, riescono immancabilmente a “mangiarsi” il privato cittadino». Le banche dovrebbero acquisire non solo una maggiore professionalità, ma anche una sensibilità differente, dato che «devono capire che non si tratta solamente di denaro, ma dell’esistenza di esseri umani».

A fare da contraltare a queste accuse Giorgio Clementi, presidente della Federazione toscana delle Banche di Credito Cooperativo (BCC), che ha ricordato come esistano differenze rilevanti fra i grandi istituti di credito, che basano la propria attività in primis sulle operazioni finanziarie, e queste realtà bancarie locali, che per statuto svolgono soprattutto una funzione intermediaria. La Federazione regionale (che associa 31 istituti) rappresenta solo una parte di un’organizzazione che, su scala nazionale, riunisce 418 banche che, nel loro complesso, rappresentano la quarta realtà creditizia italiana. Clementi ha rimarcato il diverso atteggiamento delle BCC, il cui obiettivo è «il profitto a esclusivo vantaggio dei soci», e che dunque mantengono un rapporto stretto con famiglie e piccoli imprenditori «guardati spesso con sospetto dalle altre banche, che in periodi di incertezza economica preferiscono finanziare categorie, come la grande imprenditoria, in grado di offrire maggiori garanzie». Le BCC, viceversa, che nascono con scopi mutualistici, «rimangono ancorate al territorio e ai suoi abitanti, e sono pronte a scommettere insieme loro senza tirarsi indietro».

Fra le associazioni più impegnate nell’agevolazione dell’accesso al credito si segnala la Fondazione Toscana per la Prevenzionedell’Usura: nata su iniziativa della Misericordia di Siena, è oggi diffusa su tutto il territorio regionale, con l’adesione di 41 Misericordie che hanno dato vita ad altrettanti «centri di ascolto». Il vice presidente Leandro Chiarelli ha esposto le modalità tramite le quali agisce la Fondazione: «Chi si rivolge ai nostri centri d’ascolto viene sottoposto a uno screening bancario e psicologico. Il nostro servizio si rivolge esclusivamente a soggetti “meritevoli”: famiglie che hanno subito un lutto, situazioni di malattia o di perdita di posto di lavoro». La Fondazione funge da garante presso gli istituti bancari (essendo nata a Siena, gode di un rapporto privilegiato con il Monte dei Paschi), che accordano un prestito al richiedente: durante i suoi primi dieci anni di attività (1999-2009), la Fondazione si è adoperata nell’affido dei crediti per un totale di quasi 51 milioni di euro. A fine settembre 2010 la cifra complessiva è già arrivata a 59 milioni (8 milioni in nove mesi contro una media annua di poco superiore a 5) a dimostrazione di una situazione di particolare disagio economico. Per quanto riguarda la Provincia di Firenze, nell’anno in corso sono stati erogati finanziamenti per 2 milioni e 665 mila euro.

Altra realtà con obiettivi analoghi – per quanto si muova in ambito più circoscritto – il Fondo «Essere», la cui attività è stata illustrata da Antonio Bandino (presidente della onlus a esso collegata, «Amici di Essere»): «Il Fondo – “associazione di associazioni” che raccoglie 29 fra parrocchie, società sportive, Caritas e Case del Popolo del Quartiere 4 di Firenze – nasce nel 2002 con il fine di costruire una comunità solidale i cui membri si aiutino reciprocamente, tramite versamenti, anche minimi, da parte di privati cittadini cui possono accedere persone in momentanea difficoltà. Si tratta di “prestiti di solidarietà”, senza interessi, il cui tetto massimo è 2500 euro. Modalità e tempi della restituzione vengono concordati caso per caso, ma generalmente si parla di una cifra che va dai 20 ai 50 euro al mese, che il beneficiario si impegna a restituire senza obblighi formali sotto forma di donazione». A fine 2009 Essere aveva erogato circa 400 crediti per un totale superiore ai 400 mila euro, con un recupero che si attesta intorno al 60%.

Oltre 23 mila in mano agli usurai
Durante il convegno «Il credito negato» è stato affrontato anche il tema dell’usura, conseguenza diretta del difficile accesso ai finanziamenti bancari. Antonella Coniglio, assessore alle Politiche Sociali e coordinatrice dell’incontro, ha denunciato la mancanza di sostegno adeguato delle banche alla cittadinanza in questa congiuntura economica critica: «Numerose famiglie toscane versano in gravi difficoltà: in questo momento corriamo il rischio di non essere in grado di garantire il “benessere”, valore alla base di ogni politica sociale, con conseguenti ripercussioni sulle condizioni psico-fisiche di larghe fasce della popolazione».

Il procuratore generale sostituto di Firenze Aldo Giubilaro ha riportato i dati Fipe (Federazione Italiana Pubblici Esercizi) 2009 relativi alle dinamiche dell’usura, che «fotografano un fenomeno che ha mosso 30 miliardi di euro, con 150 mila esercizi interessati, dei quali 23.500 si sono rivolti a organizzazioni criminali». Il procuratore, ricollegandosi alla propria esperienza personale, ha notato come il numero dei processi per usura sia estremamente esiguo, concludendo necessariamente che «sono le denunce a essere poche: chi subisce l’usura, sia per ragioni psicologiche, dato che l’usuraio diventa un “amico”, una persona che gli ha dato una mano, sia perché lo teme, preferisce non rivolgersi alla giustizia. Occorre che le istituzioni - che comunque già fanno molto - acquistino una affidabilità ancora maggiore agli occhi delle vittime, che devono vederle come uniche reali fonti di protezione».

Il tenente colonnello Domenico Rizzo della Guardia di Finanza di Firenze si è ricollegato all’analisi di Giubilaro, sottolineando che l’usura è un fenomeno diffuso in tutto il paese, per quanto non in maniera omogenea: «A differenza che in altre regioni, in Toscana le associazioni mafiose, pur presenti, sono impegnate soprattutto nel riciclaggio di denaro sporco, lasciando il racket dello strozzinaggio alle figure degli “usurai della porta accanto”. Il nostro duplice compito consiste nel combattere la crescente attività della criminalità organizzata in questo ambito e cercare di tenere sotto controllo i canali dell’usura tradizionale».

Speculatori all'attacco

Speculatori all'attacco
di Ugo Gaudenzi - 11/11/2010

Fonte: Rinascita

http://www.rinascita.eu/mktumb640.php?image=1289415430.jpg


E’ dal 1993, senza soluzione di continuità, che questo quotidiano lancia l’allarme sulle strategie di profitto sulle crisi messe in atto dalla grande finanza affamatrice dei popoli.
E’ dal 1993 che abbiamo denunciato con tutte le nostre forze l’appena allora avvenuta svalutazione della lira, la conseguente fuoriuscita della nostra valuta dallo Sme, il sistema monetario europeo, la stessa caduta di Craxi per opera di Transparency International, la predazione dell’intera Italia da parte dei finanzieri “magnati” alla Soros, dalla Banca Mondiale, dai Trattati di Maastricht e dal loro figlio spurio, l’euro, dai banksters, dai Privatizzatori e Liberalizzatori alla Ciampi, alla Prodi, alla Draghi...
Una Voce, la nostra, antipatica e controcorrente, da chiudere tra spessi pannelli isolanti, con la consegna, all’informazione omologata radiotelevisiva o stampa, della censura e del cordone del silenzio.
Badate bene, non è un lamento, è una constatazione. Prima del 1993, questo stesso quotidiano era presente in ogni “tribuna politica”, in ogni rassegna stampa. Appena mutato il vento, ecco calata la cortina di gomma. Con una serie di eccezioni particolari: ogni nostra indicazione, dopo qualche tempo, veniva riveduta, corretta e trasformata in qualcos’altro. La ritrovavamo tra le parole di tizio e di caio, negli slogans dei congressi altrui, tra gli “scoop” (li definiscono così) di organi d’informazione altri. Esempi classici la denuncia delle torture e delle stragi in Iraq, da Abu Ghreib a Fallujah, i nostri no a Maastricht, all’euro, alle privatizzazioni folli delle aziende strategiche italiane, alle regalie dalemiane alle scuole cattoliche e alle società di lavoro in affitto, alla distruzione dello stato sociale, alle perfide lesioni della sovranità nazionale, al sostegno delle guerre atlantiche a mo’ di gurkha, alla politica multiculturale estirpatrice delle radici identitarie nazionali, all’immigrazione selvaggia... e chi più ne ha più ne metta.
Unico quotidiano nazionale, abbiamo, anche, ricordato come l’amico di Prodi, il citato Georges Soros, per gli stessi crimini attuati in Italia era stato condannato a morte in Malesia. E come Prodi, legato alle multinazionali e alla finanza anglosassone come il mentore Andreatta e l’erede Draghi, lo avesse invece “laureato honoris causa” a Bologna in economia per... aver speculato sulla lira e innescato il processo senza fine dell’indebitamento dello Stato con enti privati o usurai.
Da gennaio scorso, nell’assordante silenzio della stampa “autorevole”, quella specializzata in cronache rosa e verdi, in spiate dal buco della serratura delle case dei vari Berlusconi e Marrazzo, avevamo avvisato della Grande Speculazione contro gli Stati nazionali europei più deboli guidati da politicanti legati al carro della grande finanza cosmopolita.
Avevamo, primi in Italia, parlato dei “Pigs”, dei maiali - così l’acronimo inventato dalla stampa d’affari londinese per definire Portogallo, Italia/Irlanda, Grecia e Spagna - quali obiettivo della destabilizzazione monetarista inventata dalle banche d’affari, dalla cupola della finanza mondiale.
E adesso è resa dei conti.
La speculazione sui “titoli sovrani” (che eufemismo!) è più dura che mai. Dopo Grecia e Spagna, ecco Portogallo e Irlanda. Ora tocca all’Italia.
Di cosa si tratti i nostri lettori lo sanno bene, e lo sanno anche gli addetti ai lavori che manovrano i burattini della politica politicante nazionale.
Le banche d’affari prestano il denaro per fare in modo che gli Stati paghino rispettosamente gli interessi sui prestiti che le finanze pubbliche hanno contratto con le stesse banche d’affari.
Il sistemino circolare è un girocollo per impiccati. Sempre più stretto, sempre più stretto.
Il profitto è profitto. I cittadini non hanno più lavoro, più assistenza sociale?
La cupola se ne frega.

Bank of America Is in Deep Trouble

Bank of America Is in Deep Trouble, and There May Be Financial Disaster on the Horizon

Its stock value has dropped 40 percent since April, and the bank is mum on what losses it's hiding on its $2.3 trillion balance sheet.

Will Bank of America be the first Wall Street giant to once again point a gun to its own head, telling us it'll crash and burn and take down the financial system if we don’t pony up for another massive bailout?

When former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was handing out trillions to Wall Street, BofA collected $45 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to stabilize its balance sheet. It was spun as a success story -- a rebuke of those who urged the banks be put into receivership -- when the behemoth “paid back” the cash last December. But the bank’s stock price has fallen by more than 40 percent since mid-April, and the value of its outstanding stock is currently at around half of what it should be based on its “book value” -- what the company says its holdings are worth.

“The problem for anyone trying to analyze Bank of America’s $2.3 trillion balance sheet,” wrote Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Weil, “is that it’s largely impenetrable.” Nobody really knows the true values of the assets these companies are holding, which has been the case ever since the collapse. But according to Weil, some of BofA’s financial statements “are so delusional that they invite laughter.”

Weil points to the firm’s accounting of its purchase of Countrywide Financial -- the criminal enterprise at the center of the sub-prime securitization market. Bank of America, Weil notes, hasn’t written off Countrywide’s entire value. “In its latest quarterly report with the SEC,” he wrote, “Bank of America said it had determined the asset wasn’t impaired. It might as well be telling the public not to believe any of the numbers on its financial statements.”

With investors valuing BofA at half the worth that the bank claims, it’s one titan of Wall Street that may be on the brink of collapse. But it’s not alone. “Everybody was doing this, this is not just something that Countrywide and Bank of America were doing," legendary investor Jim Rogers told CNBC. As a result, the banks’ balance sheets are "full of rotten stuff" that “is going to be a huge mess for a long time to come.”

And that “rotten stuff” will continue to be a drag on the brick-and-mortar economy until the mess gets cleaned up. Which, in turn, is a powerful argument for a second dip into the public trough.

When the financial crisis hit, those of us who view the free market as more than a hollow slogan urged the government to take over the ailing giants of Wall Street, wipe out their investors, send their parasitic management teams to the unemployment line and gradually unwind the huge pile of “toxic” assets that they’d amassed before selling them back, leaner and meaner, to the private sector.

It worked in the past -- it was Ronald Reagan’s response to the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s. But that was then, and today Reaganite policies are deemed to be “creeping socialism” -- thoroughly unacceptable. We were told the banks were too big to fail, and Bush saw eye-to-eye with Republicans and Blue Dogs in Congress and bailed the banks out without exacting a penalty in exchange for the taxpayers' largesse. They socialized the risk, but the financial industry went right back to its old tricks, paying its execs fat bonuses and playing fast and loose with its accounting.

Much of that toxic paper remains on their books -- somewhere. The assets are still impossible to price and now several Wall Street titans appear to be approaching a tipping point, poised to once again to extort a mountain of cash from our Treasury by claiming to be too big -- and interconnected -- to crash and burn as the principles of the free market would otherwise dictate.

But there’s a difference between then and now. At the time, most of us saw the crash as a result of hubris and greed run amok in an under-regulated financial sector. Now, we know the financial crisis was the result of unchecked criminality -- that fraud was perpetrated, in the words of University of Missouri scholar (and veteran regulator) William Black, “at every step in the home finance food chain.” As Black and economist L. Randall Wray wrote recently:

The appraisers were paid to overvalue real estate; mortgage brokers were paid to induce borrowers to accept loan terms they could not possibly afford; loan applications overstated the borrowers' incomes; speculators lied when they claimed that six different homes were their principal dwelling; mortgage securitizers made false [representations] and warranties about the quality of the packaged loans; credit ratings agencies were overpaid to overrate the securities sold on to investors; and investment banks stuffed collateralized debt obligations with toxic securities that were handpicked by hedge fund managers to ensure they would self destruct.

That homeowners would default on the nonprime mortgages was a foregone conclusion throughout the industry -- indeed, it was the desired outcome. This was something the lending side knew, but which few on the borrowing side could have realized.

And since the crash, they’ve committed widespread foreclosure fraud, dutifully whitewashed by the corporate media as nothing more than some “paperwork” problems resulting from a handful of “errors.”

It is anything but. As Yves Smith, author of Econned: How Unenlightened Self-Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism, wrote in the New York Times, “The major banks and their agents have for years taken shortcuts with their mortgage securitization documents — and not due to a momentary lack of attention, but as part of a systematic approach to save money and increase profits.”

Increasingly, homeowners being foreclosed on are correctly demanding that servicers prove that the trust that is trying to foreclose actually has the right to do so. Problems with the mishandling of the loans have been compounded by the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, an electronic lien-registry service that was set up by the banks. While a standardized, centralized database was a good idea in theory, MERS has been widely accused of sloppy practices and is increasingly facing legal challenges.

Judges are beginning to demand that the banks show their work -- prove they have the right to foreclose -- and in many instances they can’t, having sliced and diced those mortgages up into a thousand securities without bothering to verify the paperwork as most states require by law. This leaves what Smith calls a “cloud of uncertainty” hanging over trillions in mortgage-backed securities -- the largest class of assets in the world -- and preventing a real recovery of the housing market. In turn, that is holding back the economy at large; according to the International Monetary Fund, it’s the drag of the housing mess that’s causing the high and sustained levels of unemployment we see today.

Big financial firms have also been cooking their books in order to obscure how shaky their balance sheets really are because honest accounting would likely bring an end to those big bonuses that drive “the Street.” Yet a day of reckoning may be fast approaching.

If the worst-case scenario should come to pass, with the banks hit by thousands of lawsuits, unable to foreclose on properties in default and with investors running for the hills, expect to hear calls for TARP II. It’d be a very heavy political lift, but given Congress’s fealty to Wall Street it could plausibly be passed.

There are alternatives. As in 2008, the federal government could put failing financial institutions into receivership. But some experts are saying that if we want to get off the roller coaster of an economy moving from one financial bubble to the next, a bolder approach is necessary: permanent nationalization of banks that can’t survive without public dollars.

“Inevitably, American taxpayers are going to pick up much of the tab for the banks' failures,” wrote Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz last year. “The question facing us is, to what extent do we participate in the upside return?” Stiglitz argued that the government should take “over those banks that cannot assemble enough capital through private sources to survive without government assistance.”

To be sure, shareholders and bondholders will lose out, but their gains under the current regime come at the expense of taxpayers. In the good years, they were rewarded for their risk-taking. Ownership cannot be a one-sided bet.

Of course, most of the employees will remain, and even much of the management. What then is the difference? The difference is that now, the incentives of the banks can be aligned better with those of the country. And it is in the national interest that prudent lending be restarted.

Leo Panitch, a professor of comparative political economy at Canada’s York University, wrote that "the prospect of turning banking into a public utility might be seen as laying the groundwork for the democratization of the economy.”

Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt, points to the success of the nation’s only government-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota. “Last year,” she wrote, “North Dakota had the largest budget surplus it had ever had…and it was the only state that was actually adding jobs when others were losing them.”

North Dakota has an abundance of natural resources, including oil, but as Brown notes, other states that enjoy similar riches were deep in the red. “The sole truly distinguishing feature of North Dakota seems to be that it has managed to avoid the Wall Street credit freeze by owning and operating its own bank.” She adds that the bank serves the community, making “low-interest loans to students, farmers and businesses; underwrit[ing] municipal bonds; and serv[ing] as the state’s 'Mini Fed,' providing liquidity and clearing checks for more than 100 banks around the state.”

Several states have considered proposals to emulate North Dakota, but such a bold move would obviously be all but impossible in Washington. But it shouldn’t be off the table. Banks provide an “intermediary good” to the economy, creating no real value. But Big Finance’s speculation economy has caused great and real pain for the rest of us. As Joe Stiglitz put it, there’s no reason in the world the incentives of the banks shouldn’t be better aligned with the interests of the country and its citizens.

News stories related to the World Bank and IMF

A selection of news stories related to the World Bank and IMF, brought to you by the Bretton Woods Project:


World Bank Must Look at Energy Project Loans' Impact, Internal Audit Says
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-04/world-bank-must-look-at-energy-project-loans-impact-internal-audit-says.html
Bloomberg, 11 November 2010

World Bank Says Asia May Need Capital Controls to Curb Bubbles
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-08/world-bank-says-asia-may-need-capital-controls-to-curb-fed-created-bubbles.html
Bloomberg, 11 November 2010

A golden opportunity for monetary reform by Robert Skidelsky
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/97d495e2-ec39-11df-9e11-00144feab49a.html#axzz14tjO4DhV
Financial Times, 10 November 2010

Greek minister: should renegotiate IMF-EU bailout
http://english.capital.gr/News.asp?id=1083268
Capital.gr, 9 November 2010

Zoellick seeks gold standard debate: World Bank chief airs disquiet with system
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/eda8f512-eaae-11df-b28d-00144feab49a.html
Financial Times, 8 November 2010

IMF criticised for "fancy footwork" rather than real reforms
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53493
IPS, 8 November 2010

Icelandic debt relief saga forces 'new ethics' on government: PM risks alienating the IMF and bank creditors
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-04/icelandic-debt-relief-saga-forces-new-ethics-as-creditors-imf-look-on.html
Bloomberg, 4 November 2010

Saba: AM-lire al convegno di Orte sulla Sovranità

Intervento di Marco Saba al convegno di Orte sulla Sovranità (30 ottobre 2010)


The Family Jewels: A Veteran's Story

The Family Jewels
A Veteran's Story


by Greg Palast
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In 1930, when my father was an 8-year-old kid in Chicago, he asked his older brother why people were outside in the cold snow in a long line.

His brother Harold said, "It's a bread line. They don't have anything to eat. They're hoping for bread."

My father ran to his mother's bedroom and grabbed her diamond brooch, ran downstairs, and gave it to a man in the line.

Later in the Depression my grandfather lost all his money.

The important thing is, that after my father gave away the jewels, no one in his family chastised him.

Here's what you need to know about my father and maybe about me: My father worked in a furniture store in the barrio in Los Angeles, where he sold pure crap on lay-away to Mexicans. Then, later on, he sold fancier crap to fancier people in Beverly Hills and he hated furniture, and he hated the undeserving pricks and their trophy wives who bought it.

Dad figured it this way: The bankers, the union-busters, the Bushes — whoever ran the show — were all a pack of vultures and the rest of us were just food.

And when I turned 8 myself, my dad gave me some important jewelry: His medals from World War II. He wanted me to lose them, to throw them away, anything. It was March 8, 1965. I know the exact date because the US Marines had landed at Da Nang, Vietnam.


Gil Palast (1921-2010)

My father won the medals in the Pacific jungles for freeing the oppressed. Then, that day in 1965, that degenerate Lyndon Johnson ordered my dad's Army to return to the jungle to oppress the free. Johnson and Nixon, and the rest of the gangsters, had turned my dad's medals into garbage.

But life wasn't all garbage and Nixon and furniture. My parents danced. In fact they were champs. Even in their 70s they won a medal in the tango.

Today my mother needs oxygen to breathe and my father, after his stroke, needed a walker frame to move. A little while back they decided to have a nice day out. My mom dressed up in her goofy red, white and blue patriotic garb, strapped on a canister of oxygen, and my father, limping a few inches at a time, made it to the local grocery store - to join the union picket line.

This past Saturday was my mother's birthday, her 89th. My father, in the hospital, told her to have a real blowout of a party. She did. It was a hell of a celebration.

The next day, as we had expected, my father died.

He was happy my sister and I had flown in on time. He was especially happy that we don't sell furniture.

His last words were to my mother, "Happy birthday."

***

My mom and dad don't want anyone to send flowers. My mother asks that if you'd like to honor Gil Palast to please send a donation to our not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund. My father was damn proud of what we do.



I'd be just as happy, if you have a couple bucks, to take your mom and dad out dancing.

***

Greg Palast is an investigative journalist and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. His reports can be seen on BBC Newsnight.

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