giovedì 18 novembre 2010

Bank of Canada Secret Documents Stolen

What? You mean central banks keep things secret?

Section:

Anybody seen Bill 'Smash and Grab' Murphy?

* * *

Bank of Canada Secret Documents Stolen

By Louise Egan
Reuters
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1725205420101117

OTTAWA, Canada -- Classified Bank of Canada documents were stolen from Governor Mark Carney's car earlier this month but none of the missing papers contained information that could move markets, a bank spokesman said on Wednesday.

About one week after meeting with other G20 finance officials in Korea, Carney was in Montreal for private meetings when someone smashed in the window of the bank's locked, official vehicle and removed a bag.

"The car was broken into. Essentially the window was smashed and a bag containing some personal effects and some documents was stolen from the car," said central bank spokesman Jeremy Harrison.

Two other recent security breaches by government ministers have been politically embarrassing and career-limiting. Former Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier was forced to step down in 2008 after leaving classified briefing papers at his girlfriend's house.

There were no immediate signs that Carney, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who is very highly regarded in government, would be reprimanded.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty suggested Carney held no responsibility in the incident.

"He's a victim of a crime and that's an unfortunate thing," Flaherty told reporters.

Police confirmed they had recovered Carney's bag but neither they nor the bank would say whether the documents had been found.

The papers were not related to interest rate decisions -- the bank's next rate announcement is scheduled for Dec. 7 -- and were not of the highest security classification.

"The documents in the bag did not contain any market moving information nor did the bag contain any documents that had government of Canada security classification," Harrison said.

"But it did contain Bank of Canada internal administrative documents with various internal security classifications such as staffing notes, briefing notes etcetera."

Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman Luc Thibeault could not say whether there were any suspects in the case.

The incident raised questions about the bank's policies for safeguarding confidential information.

"Clearly there has been a potentially harmful breach," said Finn Poschmann, vice-president of research at the C.D. Howe Institute think tank, who called on the bank to review its procedures.

The bank has already taken steps to carry out a review of security policies and training, including those specifically regarding official vehicles, Harrison said.

The bank has not directly blamed anyone but its description of the mishap seemed to suggest neglect by Carney's official chauffeur, who may have left the car unattended.

But one opposition politician said Carney himself should come forward and take responsibility.

"You don't blame the driver. ... I don't buy that. You're responsible for your stuff," said Thomas Mulcair, a legislator for the New Democratic Party and frequent critic of Carney's Goldman Sachs connection.

Paolo Savona chiede l'uscita dell'Italia dall'euro

Paolo Savona chiede l'uscita dell'Italia dall'euro

17 novembre 2010 (MoviSol) - Paolo Savona, ex ministro e presidente del Fondo Interbancario di Tutela dei Depositi, ha proposto che l'Italia si liberi del "cappio europeo che si va stringendo al collo", considerando la convenienza di uscire dall'Euro o dall'Unione. Si tratta della prima figura autorevole, rappresentativa di una parte dell'establishment politico-economico, a rompere il tabù imposto negli ultimi vent'anni, e a mettere in discussione una scelta che per l'Italia si sta rivelando sempre più disastrosa.

In una lettera al direttore de Il Foglio, Savona ha scritto il 10 novembre che entrando nell'Euro fin dalla sua nascita, l'Italia ha accettato "il vincolo esterno nella promessa di un futuro migliore che non si è realizzato; anzi stringe la corda attorno al collo che si è volontariamente posta".

Ben presto si è capito che una moneta senza governo non avrebbe funzionato; data l'impossibilità di governare la moneta con un organismo politico, fu introdotta una "governance delle regole", e cioè i parametri di Maastricht e il Patto di Stabilità. Però, il meccanismo è fallito e ora si cerca di riformarlo senza passare per i Parlamenti, come prevede il Trattato, e farlo approvare direttamente dai capi di stato. "Dal governo delle regole si passa al governo del loro aggiramento. L'Italia si troverà di fronte a uno di quei momenti storici che richiedono una scelta importante (...)

"Anche se si fa finta che il problema non esista, il cappio europeo si va stringendo attorno al collo dell'Italia. È giunto il momento di comprendere che cosa stia effettivamente succedendo nella revisione del Trattato di cui si parla e nella realtà delle cose europee, prendendo le necessarie decisioni; compresa quella di esaminare l'opportunità di restare o meno nell'Unione o nella sola euro area, come ha fatto e fa il Regno Unito gestendo autonomamente tassi di interesse, creazione monetaria e rapporti di cambio. Se l'Italia decidesse di seguire il Regno Unito – ma questa scelta va seriamente studiata – essa attraverserebbe certamente una gravi crisi di adattamento, con danni immediati ma effetti salutari, quelli che ci sono finora mancati: sostituirebbe infatti il poco dignitoso vincolo esterno con una diretta responsabilità di governo dei gruppi dirigenti. Si aprirebbe così la possibilità di sostituire a un sicuro declino un futuro migliore attraverso il re impossessamento della sovranità di esercitare scelte economiche autonome, comprese quelle riguardanti le alleanze globali".

Mentre Savona ha auspicato un dibattito nazionale su questo tema, nessuno dei vari Giavazzi, Boeri ecc. ha avuto il coraggio di rispondere. Lo ha fatto Giorgio La Malfa, antico collega e amico di Savona, il quale ha scritto che "un Paese governato seriamente potrebbe scegliere la strada che oggi suggerisce Savona". Ma teme che "il problema della partecipazione/esclusione dall’euro possa essere il detonatore della divisione del Paese fra una parte che si sente in condizioni di condividere le politiche della Germania e una parte che non è in condizioni di farlo". Per cui, "non abbiamo alternative, oggi come oggi, alla partecipazione all’euro".

L'argomento di La Malfa è in realtà stato confezionato da ambienti filo-separatisti come l'Economist e la Commissione EU di Barroso, ed è il contrario della realtà. L'Euro ha provocato un decennio di declino economico che ha aumentato il divario nord-sud; se cerchiamo un detonatore della spaccatura finale del paese va cercata proprio nella permanenza nell'Eurozona. La stretta deflazionistica che si preannuncia, blindata dalla riforma del Patto denunciata da Savona, non farà che esasperare il divario nord-sud e far crollare la capacità di sostenere gli squilibri nazionali.

Ironicamente, il vantaggio supremo dell'uscita dall'Euro non è affrontato nemmeno da Savona: si tratta del ripristino del credito pubblico sovrano, e quindi della capacità di finanziare investimenti su larga scala per garantire la ripresa.

Another domino ready to fall

James Turk: Another domino ready to fall

Section:

11:45p ET Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GoldMoney founder, Free Gold Money Report editor, and GATA consultant James Turk writes tonight that Ireland has become another impossible insolvency for the European Union, in worse shape than California and Illinois. Turk writes: "So barely six months after bailing out Greece with a massive giveaway that placed a burden on the rest of the EU and called into question the fundamental worth of the euro, EU officials are again facing the disintegration on the fringes of the cockamamie empire of Brussels' bureaucrats. Another European domino is ready to fall, and after it topples, a lot more are lined up around the globe, including the biggest debtor of them all -- the U.S. government."

Turk's commentary is headlined "Another Domino Ready to Fall" and you can find it at the FGMR Internet site here:

http://www.fgmr.com/another-domino-ready-to-fall.html

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

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:


Ireland's "grey army" fearful of IMF gird for pain
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE6AG1DQ20101117
Reuters, 17 November 2010

Argentina to repay Paris Club debt without IMF review
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7262e9f2-f199-11df-bb5a-00144feab49a.html#axzz15d8RNhN9
Financial Times, 16 November 2010

Debate on new reserve currency gathers steam
http://www.koreaherald.com/business/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20101114000318
Korea Herald, 14 November 2010

Colombia: Doing business, killing workers
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46076
Green Left, 13 November 2010

Doing business - battle within the Bank
http://bosco.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/11/05/battle_within_the_bank
Foreign POlicy, 12 November 2010

The next head of the IMF will be...
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/11/12/the-next-head-of-the-imf-will-be/
Wall Street Journal, 12 November 2010

La carenza di circolazione monetaria

Agenzia ABRUZZOpress >>> Nazionale

Servizio Stampa - CF 93030590694 - Tel. 0871 63210 - Fax 0871 404798 - Cell. 333. 2577547 - Dir. Resp. Marino Solfanelli


Ap – La banca del tempo


La carenza di circolazione monetaria

da troppo tempo affligge tutto il mercato italiano


di Savino Frigiola

Stante il divieto imposto dal trattato di Maastricht di utilizzare altro strumento econometrico all'infuori dell'Euro, tra i vari tentativi messi in campo per supplire a questa grave deficienza strutturale del nostro sistema economico e produttivo, nell'ambito del volontariato oltre dieci anni fa si è pensato di ricorrere al baratto delle rispettive e reciproche prestazioni personali. Le diverse organizzazioni operando in tal senso hanno dato vita alle così dette "banche del tempo". Attualmente la più movimentata circolazione econometrica esistente sul territorio nazionale, parallela a quella dell'Euro è proprio quella che non utilizza alcun strumento monetario, ma semplici annotazioni di dare ed avere delle ore di lavoro reciprocamente scambiate tra i vari soggetti aderenti al circuito, per le varie e diverse prestazioni corrisposte o ricevute.

Come riporta "La Stampa del 25 ottobre" ben 450 banche del tempo sono attualmente operative sul territorio nazionale, create per la necessità obbiettiva di potersi scambiare le più elementari prestazioni senza ricorrere al corrispettivo in denaro per carenza del medesimo. Ciò evidenzia ancor più e dimostra inequivocabilmente i disagi ed i disastri che determina sempre l'asfittica circolazione monetaria sul territorio. Non sono mancati incoraggiamenti da parte del mercato nella vana e velleitaria speranza di realizzare un'impossibile surrogato alla carenza di circolazione monetaria imposta dal sistema bancario- monetario, nella più assoluta indifferenza di quasi tutto l'apparato politico, in gran parte ignorante in materia, abilmente plagiato dagli abilissimi agenti del sistema monetario sparsi su tutto il Paese. Occorre anche aggiungere che all'insaputa dei generosi e volenterosi promotori delle "banche del tempo", i medesimi agenti, con azioni subliminali e con molta abilità, hanno favorito ed assecondato questa forma particolare di volontariato essenzialmente per due motivi:

A ) rafforzare l'errato convincimento che l'iniziativa, una volta innescata sarebbe stata in grado di sopperire alla carenza di circolazione monetaria e potersi così affrancare dal pizzo imposto dal sistema bancario-monetario;

B ) per distrarre e fuorviare l'attenzione delle persone dall'unica soluzione efficace e corretta per ovviare ai guai che si verificano sempre quando la quantità di moneta messa a disposizione del mercato è inferiore alle sue necessità e quando viene gravata di costi d'interessi che travalicano di gran lunga quelli di gestione.

La soluzione alla quale ci si riferisce è semplice, pochissimo costosa, collaudata con favore per cento anni duranti i quali lo Stato italiano ha battuto moneta in proprio emettendo direttamente certificati monetari invece di quelli di debito che bisogna scontarli presso i banchieri privati, come oggi avviene con i: BOT, CCT, BTP ecc. ecc. per avere denaro, gravato subito di interessi passivi.

La deflazione monetaria all'interno dei gangli vitali del Paese è talmente soffocante e di tale dimensione, all'interno di tutte le attività nazionali, da rendere assolutamente ininfluente ai fini dell'economia nazionale la pur vasta azione di ben 450 "banche del tempo", come si è dovuto constatare in questi lunghi anni di attività nei quali si sono scambiati servizi senza utilizzare alcun strumento econometrico, ma semplicemente mediante il semplice ma vischioso baratto.


L'esigenza della disponibilità di adeguati strumenti econometrici da potersi utilizzare da tutti in campo nazionale per le più disparate necessità è così fortemente indispensabile all'attività ed allo sviluppo economico del Paese che pensare di surrogare tale deficienza computerizzando le operazioni di dare ed avere, invece di utilizzare il mastrino e la scheda personale di ognuno sulla quale accreditare od addebitare le prestazioni corrisposte o ricevute, risulta totalmente velleitaria, capace solo di fuorviare e ritardare la ricerca nell'unica direzione possibile. Senza voler disconoscere il merito di queste iniziative di volontariato, se non altro per le positive ricadute nei rapporti sociali tra i singoli soggetti, dobbiamo riconoscere che se si fosse dedicato anche solo il 10% del tempo e delle energie a spiegare ed acculturare in questo senso le persone oggi ci troveremmo più vicini alla soluzione reale e molto più preparati a gestire e superare questa crisi economica che da oltre due anni attanaglia tutti. Analogo atteggiamento ma molto più severo deve essere riservato a coloro che pur conoscendo benissimo tutte le problematiche monetarie, hanno generato confusione finendo per travisare l'opinione delle persone, come se fosse stato il compito loro assegnato, sostenendo che la soluzione al grave malessere causato dalla distorta funzione bancaria-monetaria si sarebbe raggiunta mediante la realizzazione delle così dette "monete locali".

Che Marco Della Luna e Nino Galloni & C. da sempre su queste posizioni, strumentalmente alfieri della moneta locale contro quella di Stato, abbiano recentemente e con decisione imboccato la strada che debba essere lo Stato a provvedere alla monetizzazione dell'asfittico mercato nazionale, giunto ormai in situazione pre agonica, non può non rallegrarci. Con questa improvvisa folgorazione sulla strada di Damasco, "meglio tardi che mai", rimane comunque il disappunto di aver per tanto tempo procrastinato la realizzazione di un fronte comune per mettere in evidenza i guasti causati dalla gestione privata del più alto strumento di pubblica utilità e per conseguenza l'inadeguatezza degli attuali schieramenti politici.

Molti anni fa si scriveva, ed ora ne siamo ancora più convinti, che la più utile attività nell'ambito del volontariato è proprio quella che si prefigge di realizzare le condizioni economiche tali da non rendere più necessaria l'attività dei volontariati stessi. Per poter camminare in questa direzione, ma soprattutto per uscire da questa crisi economica occorre che l'emissione monetaria e la relativa gestione ritornino in mano dello Stato affinché la ricchezza prodotta sull'intero territorio nazionale venga equamente ridistribuita tra tutte le componenti sociali che l'anno determinata, evitando inutili speculazioni con l'esclusione tassativa dei salassi ora praticati dalle consorterie monetari e finanziare.

S.F.


Jail the Bankers or This Economy Will Never Fully Recover

Seriously, jail the Bankers or This Economy Will Never Fully Recover

AlterNet, November 17, 2010

By refusing to hold the corporate criminals at the heart of the housing crisis accountable for their crimes, we’re creating powerful incentives for future malfeasance.
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The Great Recession showed the world that the crimes that create the most victims are not committed by terrorists, gangbangers or drug traffickers, but by well-heeled crooks in Wall Street’s executive suites. Tens of millions of people have seen their jobs disappear and their pension funds fleeced, and had their homes taken out from under their feet as a result of the crash of Wall Street’s Great Casino. Yet so far, the culprits have been given little more than a slap on the wrist.
Failing to prosecute Wall Street’s high-flying crooks doesn’t only represent a great miscarriage of justice. Powerful voices within the economic establishment are now making the case that holding the bankers criminally culpable is necessary if we ever hope to stop our national economy from moving from one speculation-driven bubble to the next.
Nobel-prize winner Joe Stiglitz recently told AOL’s Daily Finance that major damage resulting from the financial disaster “has not really been taken on board, and that is confidence in our legal system, in our rule of law, in our system of justice.” His prescription? “I think we ought to go do what we did” in the wake of similar financial crises in the past, and “actually put many of these guys in prison.”
His argument is based not on the visceral satisfaction of seeing the high and mighty brought down a peg, but on cold economic grounds. At heart, economics is the study of incentives, and by refusing to hold the corporate criminals at the heart of the housing crisis accountable in any meaningful way, we’re creating powerful incentives for more malfeasance in the future.
As Stiglitz explained, “People have an incentive sometimes to behave badly, because they can make more money if they can cheat. If our economic system is going to work then we have to make sure that what they gain when they cheat is offset by a system of penalties.” With those penalties amounting to a small 5 percent or 10 percent tax on illegal profits, what’s to stop the crooks? “You’re still sitting home pretty with your several hundred million dollars that you have left over after paying fines,” Stiglitz said.
Economist James Galbraith of the University of Texas agrees. He told Bill Moyers that at the heart of the crisis was “a huge amount of” criminal fraud, which the Bush administration and the FBI knew was occurring but didn’t prosecute. “There will have to be full-scale investigation and cleaning up of the residue of” those crimes, said Galbraith, “before you can have… a return of confidence in the financial sector. And that’s a process which needs to get underway.”
According to University of Missouri scholar (and veteran regulator) William Black, there was widespread fraud “at every step in the home finance food chain.” As Black and economist L. Randall Wray recently wrote:

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.

Economists talk about “moral hazard,” which basically means that people — and institutions — behave differently when they’re insulated from the potentially negative consequences of their actions. That moral hazard has been a fixture of our under-policed financial sector for years. A shining example of that is Citigroup, which received $45 billion in TARP funds in addition to having another $300 billion in bad paper taken off its books by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. But that was only the latest round; last year, the New York Times noted that over the past 80 years, “the United States government has engineered not one, not two, not three, but at least four rescues of the institution now known as Citigroup.”
The consequences of being able to tap the public treasury when private firms near the brink of collapse are predictable. Indeed, in 1993 another Nobel Prize-winning economist, George Akerlof, teamed with Paul Romer, a renowned expert on economic growth, to study the root causes of the 1980s savings and loan crisis. The New York Times summarized their findings last year, writing that the crisis resulted from investors having “borrowed huge amounts of money, made big profits when times were good and then [leaving] the government holding the bag for their eventual (and predictable) losses.”

In a word, the investors looted. Someone trying to make an honest profit, Professors Akerlof and Romer said, would have operated in a completely different manner. The investors displayed a “total disregard for even the most basic principles of lending,” failing to verify standard information about their borrowers or, in some cases, even to ask for that information.
The investors “acted as if future losses were somebody else’s problem,” the economists wrote. “They were right.”

At the time, Akerlof predicted that the next opportunity for the bankers to loot hundreds of billions from the treasury would come in “an obscure little market called credit derivatives.”
When it comes to criminal activity, there is a more fundamental hazard: that potential loss of faith in our justice system. Stiglitz called it “collateral damage” from Wall Street’s crash, noting that “people aren’t sure that we have justice for all. Somebody is caught for a minor drug offense, they are sent to prison for a very long time. And yet, these so-called white-collar crimes, which are not victimless, almost none of these guys, almost none of them, go to prison.”
Even in the S and L crisis that Akerlof and Romer studied, those who perpetrated fraud didn’t get off with a mere fine. As financial reporter Zach Carter noted, “During the savings and loan crisis, more than 1,100 bankers went to jail for fraud.” But, he added, “for some reason, the top brass at today’s SEC seems to think that it’s very important to bring these cases against companies, so long as the perpetrators get to walk away.”
James Galbraith echoed that point, telling Bill Moyers that “the overwhelming emphasis, in the [Obama] administration’s program, I think, has been to return things to a condition of normalcy, to use a 1920s word, that prevailed five and 10 years ago.”
It’s a matter of enormous social consequence to see justice done in the wake of Big Finance’s serious crimes. But the takeaway from some of our leading economic experts is that doing so also serves a vitally important economic end; if we don’t punish the guilty, we’ll never fully recover from the collapse of Wall Street’s house of cards.

martedì 16 novembre 2010

Beginning of a monetary revolution?

14 November 2010

Beginning of a monetary revolution?

Andy Wimbush

Josh Ryan-Collins
Researcher, Monetary Reform

Mervyn King and Martin Wolf know it and the word is spreading about the bank's dirty secret - their power to create credit out of nothing and mix it up with our savings...

"The essence of the contemporary monetary system is creation of money, out of nothing, by private banks often foolish lending."

These are the words, not of a monetary crank, but of The Financial Times' Chief Economics Commentator, a member of the national Independent Commission on Banking (ICB), and probably the most decorated and prestigious economics journalist in the country. Martin Wolf wrote them in an article last week defending the Federal Reserve's right to embark on a second round of Quantitative Easing. He went on to say: "Why is privatisation of a public function right and proper, but action by the central bank, to meet pressing public need, a road to catastrophe?"

Quite so Martin. The truth is, as was explained at a conference in central London this weekend organised by Positive Money in collaboration with nef, that banks are no longer just intermediaries of our money. Rather, they are the creators of our money. Most estimates suggest that between 97-99% of the money in our economy is created as interest-bearing debt by banks when they make loans to us, the rest being cash. These loans are made, quite literally, but typing some numbers in to a computer and creating a liability for you, the borrower and an asset for the bank. It costs them nothing. There are complex rules - the Basel Framework - requiring banks to hold a very tiny amount of capital reserves in case of a 'run' - but essentially this is how fractional reserve banking works today.

Or rather, doesn't work. Because these same banks that can issue credit out of nothing for whatever they want (and make money out of it and whose shareholders have limited liability) also hold on to our hard-earned savings. If they just so happen to make some bad investments and get 'over-leveraged', our savings can go to. Unless the state jumps in of course. Which as we have seen, it has had to at a crippling expense to each and every one of us. But there's no need for radical think tanks like nef to make this point any more. We can just quote the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, who pronounced in a speech on October 25th that:

“Eliminating fractional reserve banking explicitly recognises that the pretence that risk-free deposits can be supported by risky assets is alchemy. If there is a need for genuinely safe deposits the only way they can be provided, while ensuring costs and benefits are fully aligned, is to insist such deposits do not coexist with risky assets.”

The speakers at this weekend's conference were revealing. They included a Conservative MP, Steve Baker, the Director of a company who distributes fish and meat to 6800 retailers, a former stock-broker and banker, an eco-feminist academic as well as nef and Positive Money, both NGOs. In the audience trade unionists bumped up against city traders and young students schooled in orthodox economics cheered as they heard how most of what they had been taught was nonsense.

Left and Right appeared to be in substantive agreement over the problem. The monetary and banking system as it stand breaks all the rules of the free market and at the same time utterly fails to deliver socially just and ecologically sustainable outcomes. The alternatives will no doubt be discussed and argued over for some years to come. But it appears that a monetary revolution has just begun. As King went on to admit in his speech:

"Of all the many ways of organising banking, the worst is the one we have today."

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

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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.”