Ron Paul: Stealing is Stealing, Even if You Vote for It

ronpaulfreestuff

In the most recent episode of Ron Paul’s Myth-Busters series, Dr. Paul tackles government redistribution and the politicians that justify it, whether they subscribe to the progressive or conservative ideology. He also talks about racism and 9/11. Continue reading

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Ron Paul (1988): Abolish the CIA, the FBI and the IRS

Ron-Paul

Dr. Ron Paul has been saying this for years, while most of the country sat in their stupor, claiming he was a kook, making fun of him, making fun of his supporters. Now as we sit back and watch this go around for the run to the President of the US, what do we see? A whole lot of Bernie Sanders supporters, who are basically claiming that the old Bernster deserves to be POTUS because of a few things he has in common with Ron Paul. What’s even worse? Bernie is calling for a very extreme form of socialism, and anyone with any sense at all knows that socialism needs to be implemented before full communism can take it’s form.  Continue reading

10 Things The US Government Doesn’t Want You To Know

united-states-secrets

When it comes to governance, especially in the case of a democratic government, the voters get to choose trusted leaders to deal with all the affairs involved in running the country. This means that the population entrusts the country to a few people, who are supposed to be accountable to them, responsible in all their actions, innovative in problem solving and selfless when it comes to executing their duties in office. During the campaign period, the leaders in question always promise the voters heaven on earth, only for them to get to office and fall short on all their promises. This is the situation in all parts of the world, and it begs the question “what changes in an individual when he or she ascends to power?”
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Feds Collect RECORD $3.2 Trillion in Taxes For ’15, $21,833 Per Worker

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government took in a record of approximately $3,248,723,000,000 in taxes in fiscal 2015 (which ended on Sept. 30), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

That equaled approximately $21,833 for every person in the country who had either a full-time or part-time job in September.

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Every Federal Reserve Branch in the US Maintains a Stash of Bills for Paying Ransoms

bernanke-dees

This was the logic behind U.S. policy, and yet the government has paid ransoms to criminal organizations, such as drug cartels.Every Federal Reserve branch in the U.S. maintains a stash of bills to be used to pay ransoms. Corporations routinely take out ransom insurance for employees stationed abroad, and the F.B.I. even facilitates such payments. It’s only when the kidnappers are part of an acknowledged terrorist group that payments become illegal.

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16 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True

dollar-bill

(The Truth) – Are you a conspiracy theorist?  If not, perhaps you should be.  Yes, there have certainly been a lot of “conspiracy theories” over the years that have turned out not to be accurate.  However, the truth is that a large number of very prominent conspiracy theories have turned out to actually be true.  So the next time that you run into some “tin foil hat wearing lunatics”, you might want to actually listen to what they have to say. They may actually know some things that you do not.  In fact, one recent study found that “conspiracy theorists” are actually more sane than the general population.  So the next time you are tempted to dismiss someone as a “conspiracy theorist”, just remember that the one that is crazy might actually be you.  The following are 16 popular conspiracy theories that turned out to be true…
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Rasmussen Poll Reports Majority of U.S. Support Nullification

 

In what must be bad news to Attorney General Eric Holder (and his boss in the Oval Office), results of a new Rasmussen poll indicate that 49 percent of respondents believe that the regulation of gun ownership is a state or local issue.

On May 3-4, 2013, Rasmussen Reports polled the opinions of 1,000 likely voters. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points.

What is even less favorable to the administration’s program to exalt the federal government above the states is the poll’s finding that 44 percent of those who participated in the survey believe states retain the right to nullify any act of the federal government they deem constitutionally invalid.

Simply stated, nullification is the exercise by a state or states of the right to hold as null, void, and of no legal effect any act of the federal government that exceeds the boundaries of the powers given to it by the states in the Constitution.

The issue, while not new, has regained prominence recently as the federal government has enacted ObamaCare and various gun control restrictions. Opponents of these efforts point to the fact that the authority to do neither of these things is granted to the federal government in the Constitution. Therefore, states are flexing their sovereign muscles, nullifying these and other attempts by the federal government to constrict the scope of liberty.

Of more particular interest to those in the liberty movement (especially elected officials looking to communicate with likely supporters) is the Rasmussen report that of “mainstream voters” who participated in the survey, 52 percent say that state governments have the right to refuse to enforce any federal act with which they disagree “on legal grounds.”

Read that again: A majority of Americans who vote believe that the federal government does not have the exclusive or the ultimate right to impose its rule on states that regard its acts as unconstitutional or illegal.

And it must be pointed out that nullification is not the right of states to nullify any federal act. Rather, it is the right of states to choose to not enforce any federal act that fails to conform to the constitutionally established limits on the authority of the federal government.

Nullification presupposes that there are myriad (albeit limited) areas over which the Constitution has given purview to the federal government: defense, naturalization, foreign relations, interstate commerce, etc.

When Washington decides to go walkabout, however, and start legislating (or issuing edicts, in the case of President Obama) in areas not within its constitutional boundaries (healthcare, education, gun ownership), the states reserve the right to check that usurpation by refusing to afford such acts the power of law. Conversely, it would be a usurpation on the part of the states should they attempt to disregard federal laws that are constitutionally sound.

Americans, it seems, are getting the message that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison sent out over 200 years ago in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.

As Madison wrote in the Virginia Resolution of 1798,

In case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.

And:

that a spirit has in sundry instances, been manifested by the federal government, to enlarge its powers by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them; and that implications have appeared of a design to expound certain general phrases… so as to destroy the meaning and effect, of the particular enumeration which necessarily explains and limits the general phrases; and so as to consolidate the states by degrees, into one sovereignty, the obvious tendency and inevitable consequence of which would be, to transform the present republican system of the United States, into an absolute, or at best a mixed monarchy.

If they are an accurate measure of public opinion, then, these Rasmussen poll numbers are surely music to the ears of the scores of state lawmakers who have boldly put themselves on record as opposing federal overreach by voting in favor of numerous nullification bills currently wending their way through the legislative process in state capitals nationwide.

Lately, federal wrath has been turned on Topeka as the state legislature passed and the governor signed a law prohibiting the enforcement of federal gun control regulations on guns manufactured and maintained within the state of Kansas.

As The New American has reported, Attorney General Eric Holder recently “reminded” Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas that his state’s attempt to nullify federal gun control statutes was “unconstitutional” and that the Obama administration would “take all appropriate actions” to make sure Kansas toed the federal line.

To his credit, Brownback wrote back to Holder, informing him that he would not bow to federal pressure and would continue to support his state’s constitutional prerogative to nullify unconstitutional federal acts.

In fairness, regardless of the swelling support for nullification in the homes of “mainstream voters,” there remains in academia an almost apoplectic revulsion to the concept.

Earlier this year, several articles and op-ed pieces were published on blogs and in newspapers where the authors labeled nullification as “nuts” and a “bizarre fad.”

To the contrary, the Rasmussen poll results suggest that it is the notion of an all-powerful, always-supreme federal government that is being pushed further and further into the hinterlands of the political landscape.

 

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He can be reached at jwolverton@thenewamerican.com

http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/item/15333-rasmussen-poll-reports-majority-of-u-s-support-nullification

Why Are Central Banks Buying Gold?

Anyone who wants to get to the truth behind the inflationary threats to their wealth should ignore everything the Central Banks say about inflation and look instead at their actions.

Worldwide gold demand in 2012 was another record high of $236.4 billion in the World Gold Council’s latest report. This was up 6% in value terms in the fourth quarter to $66.2 billion, the highest fourth quarter on record. Global gold demand in the fourth quarter of 2012 was up 4% to 1,195.9 tonnes.

Central bank buying for 2012 rose by 17% over 2011 to some 534.6 tonnes. As far as central bank gold buying, this was the highest level since 1964. Central bank purchases stood at 145 tonnes in the fourth quarter. That is up 9% from the fourth quarter of 2011, and the eighth consecutive quarter in which central banks were net purchasers of gol

http://247wallst.com/2013/02/14/central-banks-buy-the-most-gold-since-1964/#ixzz2LMLOfBPK

Note… Central Banks, while talking down money printing and denying the presence of inflation, bought more Gold in 2012 that any year dating back to 1964. Indeed, However, since becoming net buyers of Gold in 2010, the Central Banks have been increasing their Gold purchases rapidly.

In 2010, Governments worldwide bought 77 tonnes of Gold. In 2011 it was 457 tonnes. And last year it was a whopping 535 tonnes. All told, they’ve accumulated  1,000 tonnes of Gold since 2Q09. At today’s price of $1600 per ounce, this stash is valued at over $56 billion.

The key issue here is not the amount ($56 billion in Gold purchases is nothing compared to the over $10 trillion in new money Central banks have printed since 2007), but the trend: Central Banks were net sellers of Gold for decades until 2010.

Other major investors are looking to get their hands on Gold… not the promise of Gold, but the actual metal.

Germany has the second largest Gold reserves in the world behind the US. Since the early ’80s, it has stored the majority of these reserves with the NY Fed (45% vs. 13% in London, 11% in Paris and the remaining 31% in Frankfurt).

With that in mind, everyone needs to be aware that last Monday Germany’s Bundesbank announced it will be moving a major portion of its reserves from the US and all of its reserves from France back to Frankfurt.

Nearly half of Germany’s gold reserves are held in a vault at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — billions of dollars worth of postwar geopolitical history squirreled away for safe keeping below the streets of Lower Manhattan.

Now the German central bank wants to make a big withdrawal — 300 tons in all.

On Wednesday, the Bundesbank said that it would begin moving some of the reserves, the second-largest stock in the world after that of the United States. The goal is to house more than 50 percent of German gold in Bundesbank vaults in Frankfurt by 2020, up from a little less than a third today, the bank said…

The new policy will include the complete withdrawal of 374 tons of German gold stored at the Banque de France in Paris, about 11 percent of the total. Bundesbank officials were quick to note that the decision was not a reflection of French trustworthiness. Rather, because France and Germany now share the euro, there is no need for reserves as insurance against currency crises.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/business/global/german-central-bank-to-repatriate-gold-reserves.html

This announcement came with the usual political statements that the decision had nothing to do with a lack of trust between the Bundesbank and the US Fed or Bank of France, but the message is obvious: Germany sees the writing on the wall and is moving to secure its Gold reserves.

The same goes for Texas:

Texas Republican State Representative Giovanni Capriglione authored the bill demanding state owned gold bars be returned to the Lone Star State. The legislation to pull $1 billion in gold reserves from a Federal Reserve vault in New York is supported by Governor Rick Perry.

The financial crisis in Cyprus which prompted a run on the bank and ultimately a closure of the financial institutions reportedly bolstered support for the Texas gold bar return bill. State Representative Capriglione had this to say about why he penned the bill:

“For us to have our own gold, a lot of the runs on the bank and those types of things, they happen because people are worried that there’s nothing there to back it up.”

Governor Perry stated that if Texas owns the gold, then no one else should be able to determine if the state can reclaim possession of the bars of precious metal. Representative Capriglione also noted that Texas is not interested in implementing its own gold standard. According to the Republican’s statements about the gold bars bill, he simply wants to bolster the state’s fiscally secure reputation. The Texas public servant also feels that such a solid financial persona would be beneficial in case an international of national fiscal crisis occurred.

The legislation notes the state does not merely want gold certificates from the Federal Reserve, they want the actual gold bars to store inside a planned Texas Bullion Depository. Moving $1 billion in gold bars from New York to Texas would be a huge task, one some are calling impractical. State Representative Capriglione suggested selling the gold currently housed inside the New York vault and then repurchasing the same amount in Texas.

http://www.inquisitr.com/600185/texas-wants-gold-stored-at-federal-reserve-returned-to-lone-star-state/#XHeg60ztpexhAROW.99

Investors forget that the single most important role played by Central Banks is to maintain confidence in the system. For that reason they will NEVER admit inflation is a problem. But if inflation isn’t a problem, WHY ARE CENTRAL BANKS LOADING UP ON GOLD?

Watch what they do, not what they say.

 

 

To learn more about Private Wealth Advisory…

 

Best Regards,

Graham Summers
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/why-are-central-banks-buying-gold/#AD11VJB1LRmRodrl.99

Yuan reaches record high against the US dollar

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The yuan reached a record high yesterday as the central bank fixed its midpoint against the US dollar at the strongest level ever.

That sparked anticipation of further appreciation this year and stoked inflationary pressure on the mainland and Hong Kong.

The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint at 6.2506 yuan per US dollar – up from the fixing of 6.2578 on Thursday – ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Asia. The yuan jumped to 79.775 Hong Kong dollars per 100 yuan, just near the record of 79.729 on Wednesday.

China often allows the yuan to appreciate faster before visits by officials from Western countries, who usually push for exchange rate liberalisation.

However, the yuan is set to strengthen this year. Inflows of capital are expected to generate higher demand for the yuan than last year as the mainland economy recovers, economists said.

“In 2013 we’ll see greater risks of capital inflows to China, rather than two-way movements in the yuan exchange rate or capital outflows as last year,” said Chang Jian, an economist at Barclays Capital. Barclays expects the yuan to strengthen 2 per cent against the greenback this year, after considering China’s intention to protect exporters in the still shaky economic recovery.

The yuan rate in the spot market touched 6.1903 per dollar yesterday, the highest since 1994. The yuan spot rate has risen 0.6 per cent so far this year, after hitting highs in the past couple of weeks.

Economists at Standard Chartered forecast the spot rate for yuan would reach 6.18 by the end of June and 6.10 by the end of this year. They said China was unlikely to follow Japan in depreciating its currency, as Japanese exporters are not its major competitors.

Nathan Chow, a DBS Bank economist, expects the strengthening of the yuan to continue to put pressure on inflation in Hong Kong because the city’s currency is pegged to the US dollar.

“The inflationary pressure caused by the yuan appreciation is inevitable, as Hong Kong imports a variety of goods, such as food and medical supplies, from the mainland,” Chow said.

A 1 per cent rise in the yuan would result in a 0.05 percentage point increase in Hong Kong’s consumer inflation, the Monetary Authority says.

 

 

http://www.scmp.com/news/article/1213468/yuan-reaches-record-high-against-us-dollar

Kyle Bass: “I’d Much Rather Own Gold Than Paper”

We’ve moved to an ideology of unlimited printing.

“I’m perplexed as to why gold is as low as it is.  The largest central banks in the world have all moved to an unlimited printed ideology.  If monetary policy is the only game in town, then we’re all in for a world of trouble.”

 

 

 

http://dailybail.com/home/kyle-bass-id-much-rather-own-gold-than-paper.html

The More FEDS Spend, The More They Tax: Gov’t Spends $50,074 Per Household, EXCEEDS Median Income. FEDS To Collect RECORD TAXES In 2013!

 

Government Spending Per Household Exceeds Median Household Income

As reported in my new book, “Completely Predictable,” the combined spending of federal, state and local governments per American household actually exceeded the median household income for 2010, which is the latest year for which all relevant government data are available.

In fiscal 2010, according to numbers published by the Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), net spending by all levels of government in the United States was $5,942,988,401,000. That equaled $50,074 for each one of the 118,682,000 households in the country.

In that same year, according to the Census Bureau, the median household income was $49,445.

Read more:

http://www.sumnerbooks.com/books/view/completely-predictable

Revealed: Obama to collect record taxes in 2013

The federal Treasury expects to collect a record $2.712 trillion in taxes on Americans and U.S. business this year, shattering the 2007 high of $2.5 trillion in taxes.

Despite the sputtering economy and sustained high unemployment, the fine print in President Obama’s budget belatedly presented Wednesday revealed that the administration expects to take more in taxes than the Congressional Budget Officeprojects. CBO put the 2013 estimate at $2.708 trillion.

Republicans have seized on the number to bolster their fight against Obama’s goal of raising taxes, especially on the wealthy.
http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-more-feds-spend-the-more-they-tax-govt-spends-50074-per-household-exceeds-median-income-feds-to-collect-record-taxes-in-2013/#8x3KKjsztTKAahIz.99

Big Banks Attempt Secret Coup Against Cheap Loans

Too Big Banks Try End Run to Kill Growing Public Banking Movement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an international treaty negotiated in secret – hidden even from congressmen who oversee such treaties – which threatens to destroy national sovereignty.

Public banks – such as the Bank of North Dakota – can provide low-cost loans to Main Street, when Wall Street insists on high interest rates … or won’t even extend credit.

More and more states are considering launching their own public banks.

A 2011 study from Demos – a non-partisan public policy organization – in conjunction with the Center for State Innovation, analyzed the potential for “partnership banks” across the country, including numerous states already considering such legislation.   The study found:

Across the country, states are considering proposals to move general revenue deposits out of the Wall Street banks that dominate the banking business today, and use them to capitalize a new local public structure with a mission to grow the local economy. A “Main Street Partnership Bank” would be modeled on the nearly 100-year-old public Bank of North Dakota (BND). This public policy innovation—also known as a Public Bank or State Bank—could contribute to the health of local community banks, state budgets and small business job growth in an era of rapid banking concentration, budget deficits and disinvestment on Main Street.

Partnership Banks can raise revenue for states without raising taxes, and increase loans to small businesses precisely when Wall Street banks have cut back on lending and raised public borrowing costs. A Partnership Bank would act as a “banker’s bank” to in-state community banks and provide the state government with both banking services at fair terms and an annual multi-million dollar dividend.

If modeled on the successful Bank of North Dakota, Partnership Banks in other states would:

  • Create new jobs and spur economic growth. Partnership Banks are participation lenders, meaning they partner—never compete—with local banks to drive lending through local banks to small businesses. If Washington State had a fully-operational Partnership Bank capitalized at $100 million during the Great Recession, it would have supported $2.6 billion in new lending and helped to create 8,212 new small business jobs. A proposed Oregon bank could help community banks expand lending by $1.3 billion and help small business create 5,391 new Oregon jobs in its first three to five years. All of this would be accom- plished at a profit, which Partnership Banks should share with the state.
  • Generate new revenues for states directly, through annual bank dividend payments, and indirectly by creating jobs and spurring local economic growth…
  • Lower debt costs for local governments. Like the Bank of North Dakota, Partnership Banks can get access to low-cost funds from the regional Federal Home Loan Banks. The banks can pass savings on to local governments when they buy debt for infrastructure investments. The banks can also provide Letters of Credit for tax-exempt bonds at lower interest rates.
  • Strengthen local banks even out credit cycles, and preserve real competition in local credit markets. There have been no bank failures in North Dakota during the financial crisis. BND’s charter is clear that its goal is to “be helpful to and to assist in the development of [North Dakota banks]… and not, in any manner, to destroy or to be harmful to existing financial institutions.” By purchasing local bank stock, partnering with them on large loans and providing other sup- port, Partnership Banks would strengthen small banks in an era when federal policy encourages bank consolidation.
  • Build up small businesses. Surveys by the Main Street Alliance in Oregon and Washington show at least 75 percent support among small business owners. In markets increasingly dominated by large corporations and the banks that fund them, Partnership Banks would increase lending capabilities at the smaller banks that provide the majority of small business loans in America.

These various proposals would “move general revenue deposits out of the Wall Street banks that dominate the banking business today, and use them to capitalize a new local public structure with a mission to grow the local economy.”

This would obviously cut into the big banks’ profits.  Indeed, the big banks have engaged in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments (see thisthis and this), scalped local governments by manipulating interest rates, and engaged in all sorts of other shenanigans to fleece governments, businesses and citizens.

And the big banks are using dirty tricks to try to kill the growing public banking movement, so as to protect their racket.

Les Leopold writes:

Clearly, from Wall Street’s perspective, the North Dakota bank must go, and all other state efforts to replicate it must be thwarted. Wall Street’s stealth weapon may be lodged within the latest corporate trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which currently is being negotiated in secret. We already know that Wall Street is seeking to remove all tariff restrictions that prevent the U.S. financial services industry from doing business in countries like Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The biggest banks also want the treaty to eliminate “non-tariff” barriers including regulations that create “unfair” competition with state-owned financial enterprises.

Depending on the final language, it is possible that the activities of the Bank of North Dakota could be ruled illegal because “foreign bankers could claim the BND stops them from lending to commercial banks throughout the state” ….  How perfect for Wall Street: a foreign bank can be used as a shill to knock out the BND.

Truthout explains:

Legislators around the world are being kept in the dark about what they’re voting on until the deal [on TPP] is hammered out; it’s expected to be completed this year. When it’s finished, if the experience of Congress here is any indication, legislators will be feeling extraordinary pressure from corporate lobbyists and their heads of state to accept the deal without a fuss. [Indeed, lawmakers often vote on legislation without ever reading it.]

***

Publicly owned enterprises, for example, are being targeted by negotiators. One such entity in the United States that has been the subject of considerable interest in recent years is the Bank of North Dakota (BND) – the only fully publicly owned financial institution in the country. The BND, which is only allowed to lend wholesale, was a stabilizing force that helped keep the already energy-rich state insulated from the shock of the financial crisis (Alaska, for example, didn’t fare as well). It has also brought a small fortune to the state’s treasury – $340 million in net tax gain between 1997 and 2009. Legislators in at least 13 different states have proposed studying or emulating the North Dakota model – state-owned development of central-bank style institutions guaranteed by tax revenue. But if the TPP is passed, that option might not be available. [Barbara Weisel, the top American government  negotiator for TPP] said that State Owned Enterprises (SOE) are routinely “competing directly with private enterprises, and often in a way that is considered unfair.”

Some of the advantages that can be conferred on State Owned Enterprises are things like preferential financing,” Weisel said. “Those are things that wouldn’t be provided to private companies – preferential provision of goods and services provided by a government.”

She said that “State Owned Enterprises – which in some cases can comprise a significant percentage of an economy – can be used to undermine what we’re otherwise trying to gain from this free trade agreement.”

A spokesperson for the BND declined to comment on whether or not this outlook was perceived by the bank to be an institutional threat. But, depending on the report’s language, foreign bankers could claim that the BND stops them from lending to commercial banks throughout the state.

Citigroup’s Johnston [Rick Johnston is a a senior vice president and director for international government affairs at Citigroup], in response to another question from the audience, said that corporations weren’t exactly enamored of competition with publicly owned enterprises – and that they are prodding TPP delegates into doing something about it.

“The companies that are running up against the problem and the challenges of the state-owned enterprises, they obviously feel strongly enough about it that the problem is being addressed within the negotiations,” he said.

***

There can be no guarantee, until the draft is finally released, that the TPP will protect entities like the BND, especially when considering, as critics have contended, that the deal’s boosters are pushing an agreement that more firmly entrenches capital flow as a form of trade.

“When you hear the word ‘trade‘ in today’s business world, it doesn’t just mean goods moving across borders,” Johnston said. “It doesn’t even mean just services moving across borders. It also means investment. And that’s something where the TPP is really gonna make a big difference.”

Trade, according to Black’s Law dictionary, is defined as “Traffic; commerceexchangeof goods for other goods, or for money.” Yet this trade pact could usher in a rash of reforms, with minimal oversight and virtually no public hearings, treating investment rules as a trade issue, even though they haven’t traditionally been dealt with as such.

A lobbyist’s world-view on this issue is instructive.  As Michael Wendell told the Congressional Subcommittee on Trade:

SOEs [state-owned enterprises], by definition, are interested in promoting the interests of their home country, and are all too often guided by state interests, rather than commercial interests.

Why does this matter? Let’s consider a Chinese SOE. Chinese SOEs benefit enormously from below-market-rate financing by state-owned banks at rates well below what American companies pay. Many of these loans may not have to be repaid at all. How does a commercial entity here in the U.S. compete with the U.S.-based operations of an SOE that sets up shop here?

***

There are many ways that disciplines on SOEs can be developed as part of the TPP talks. The best approach would be to ensure that all transactions are based on commercial considerations.

Basing all transactions on “commercial considerations” may sound okay initially.  But that would – in essence – mean that the interests of the banks in making high-interest rate loans are more important than the interests of the people in obtaining cheap loans.

Moreover, America as a nation is arguably paying trillions of dollars to the big banks in unnecessary interest costs which public banks would render moot. See this and this.

And  remember, the Founding Fathers’ vision of prosperity was largely based around public banking.

However we decide to treat foreign state-owned enterprises, banks owned by the American people will help to create prosperity for we the people and our small businesses.

Indeed, both conservative and liberal economists point out that the big banks are already state-sponsored institutions … so the government should create a little competition through public banking.

State-owned public banks – like North Dakota has – would take the power away from the big banks, andgive it back to the people … as the Founding Fathers intended.

Don’t trust the federal government? That’s fine … we’re not talking about state – not federal – banks. Don’t trust your state?  Then support a county-level bank.

Postscript:  Obama is a shill for TPP.  So is Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who told the Senate:

As Deputy Secretary of the State Department, I actively promoted the United States’ entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

Arizona passes law making gold and silver legal tender

 

(DailyMail) -States are now rushing to push bills through allowing for gold and silver to be recognized as legal tender as politicians fear that the U.S. economy is going to collapse.

The push from states like Arizona, which passed through their House of Representatives on Monday allowing gold and silver to be considered legal tender, comes as conservatives fear that the Federal Reserve is running the country’s economy into a deep hole.

Lawmakers say the global economy is on the precipice of financial ruin and the U.S. dollar could soon be worth less than the paper used to make it.

New money: More than a dozen states have pushed laws through so that gold and silver can be used as legal tenderNew money: More than a dozen states have pushed laws through so that gold and silver can be used as legal tender

These doomsayers are pushing forward legislation that would declare privately minted gold and silver coins legal tender, no different under state law than the U.S. dollar printed by the federal Department of Treasury.

Arizona is one of more than a dozen states to incorporate similar laws into their roster, as many conservatives are harboring a growing distrust in government-backed money.

‘This is the type of currency we have had over the history of mankind,’ Republican state Representative Steve Smith said of the Arizona law.

In 2011, Utah became the first state in the country to legalize gold and silver coins as currency.

Lawmakers in Minnesota, North Carolina, Idaho, South Carolina, Colorado and other states have debated similar laws in recent years.

Many investors have invested their money in precious metals in recent years as a hedge against the declining value of the dollar.

Loss of faith: Conservative politicians are concerned about the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserveLoss of faith: Conservative politicians are concerned about the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserve

When the value of the dollar declines, gold prices rise.

Gold rose $12, nearly 1 per cent, to $1,604.60 per ounce on Monday with news of Europe’s bailout plan for cash-strapped Cyprus. Silver inched slightly higher, up 2.3 cents to $28.874 per ounce.

The dollar was up against the euro, the currency used by 17 European countries, as well as the Japanese yen and the Canadian dollar in February.

The Arizona bill, which advanced in a 4-2 vote by a House committee Monday, states that gold and silver should be legal currency not subject to tax or regulation as property.

The Republican-led Senate gave the bill its blessing in February in a 17-11 partisan vote.

Angry Arizonans: The Arizona House of Representatives passed the law through and now it continues through the process before it goes ahead an is enacted in the stateAngry Arizonans: The Arizona House of Representatives passed the law through and now it continues through the process before it goes ahead an is enacted in the state

Proponents of the switch to gold and silver argue paper money is too vulnerable to government manipulations.

When central banks boost the amount of currency in circulation to drive down interest rates, the value of that currency relative to others can decline.

Gold-backed money fell out of favor during World War I because the U.S. and many other countries needed to print more cash to pay for the war.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon formally abandoned the gold standard. Now Republicans are pushing for it to come back as they do not trust President Obama and the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserve.

Federal Reserve goofs and releases minutes early

Oops. The Federal Reserve accidentally emailed the minutes from its March meeting to about 100 people a day early.

While no major news was expected to come from the minutes, they are nevertheless a key document that can move markets from time to time. Wall Street players often dig deep into the minutes for hints about when the central bank may pull back on its bond-buying policy or raise interest rates.

For that reason, the minutes are usually highly protected by the central bank and their release is supposed to be executed carefully.

A Fed spokesman told CNNMoney the mistake was “entirely accidental,” and it was a “human error,” not a technological one. The roughly 100 individuals on the list mostly included Congressional employees and employees of trade organizations. They received the minutes shortly after 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

After discovering the error this morning, the Federal Reserve decided to release the minutes to the broader public at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

At this point, it’s not clear whether any trading took placed based on the early release, but the Federal Reserve Board’s Inspector General will conduct an initial investigation of the error.

“We will be working with market regulators, the SEC and CFTC to insure they have the information they need to evaluate the incident,” a Fed spokesman said.

What the minutes said

The minutes contained very little new information about Fed policy. The main takeaway is most Fed members think the central bank should continue buying $85 billion a month in assets a month, at least through midyear.

But some members argued in favor of tapering down the purchases gradually while others didn’t see a need to decrease the purchases until the third quarter. Two said some purchases would probably continue into 2014.

The Federal Reserve’s current policy includes buying $45 billion in Treasuries and $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month. The main intent is to lower long-term interest rates. But this program, known as quantitative easing, is cited by some as a main reason the Dow and S&P 500 are now at record highs.

The central bank has also kept short-term interest rates near zero since 2008, with an aim to boost economic activity.

The Fed has said it plans to keep that rate near zero until the unemployment rate falls below 6.5% or inflation exceeds 2.5% a year. Most Fed officials don’t expect that to happen until 2015.

Related: When will the Federal Reserve be led by a woman?

The minutes capture general themes from the Fed’s internal policy meetings, the last of which took place March 19-20. When Fed officials met at that point, it looked like the job market was gaining momentum.

Data released since then, however, has shown that job growth slowed in March.

Many economists still expect the Fed to start gradually decreasing its asset purchases later this year and end them completely in early 2014. But if the March jobs report marks the start to a weaker trend in hiring, that timetable could change.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in March that he will be watching for signs of a “spring slump” in hiring, and other Fed officials have reiterated that sentiment since then. Speaking Wednesday morning on CNBC, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said he wants to get beyond a mid-year “swoon.”

“I think we need a few more months of really solid data and solid evidence that the recovery is moving ahead,” he said.

The Fed’s next meeting is a two-day meeting that concludes on May 1.

IRS to Reduce Audits of Big Businesses by 18%

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University has released a report, IRS Audits Slump, Staff Down Long-term Impact Uncertain:

The IRS plans to expend 18% percent less effort auditing businesses with assets of $10 million or more compared with just two years ago, according to a very timely IRS planning document.

For the same period, the IRS also projects a 14% drop in the amount of available time for the specialized revenue agents it needs to conduct these audits in FY 2013 — the year ending on September 30 — compared to what it was in FY 2011.

These declines — neither of which take into account the probable impact of the sequestration cuts in the months ahead — were described in a special agency report now being made available to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) on a monthly basis. This series of internal IRS management reports — the last one covers the period ending in January 2013 — are provided by the IRS thanks to a court order granted TRAC as a result of a suit filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

IRS Large Business and International Division Direct Examination Staff Years

FY 2011
FY 2012
FY 2013
Change 2013 v. 2011
Annual Plan
Total 3,567 3,320 2,935 -18%
Individual 189 173 306 62%
Corporations 1,103 1,043 807 -27%
Partnership 191 196 159 -17%
Subchapter S Corp 184 180 115 -37%
Coordinated Industry Cases 1,083 1,081 1,011 -7%
Other 816 647 537 -34%
Actual Revenue Agent Years
Total 3,319 3,155 2,852 -14%
Individual 258 214 283 9%
Corporations 864 912 762 -12%
Partnership 211 215 179 -15%
Subchapter S Corp 185 225 205 11%
Coordinated Industry Cases 1,011 952 865 -14%
Other 790 637 559 -29%

April 9, 2013 in TaxThink Tank Reports | Permalink

SENATOR: “Banks Still Owe Us For The Bailouts!”

(Daily Bail) “Hank Paulson is the world’s greatest salesman.  We gave $700 billion to Wall Street and nobody cares.”

Outstanding new interview.  Inhofe beats on Henry Paulson.

Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change interviews Senator James Inhofe about his opposition to TARP and martial law threats he received from Henry Paulson.

Not stopping TARP was my biggest failure.

“Think about how big it was — $700 billion given to an unelected bureaucrat, with no accountability, to do anything he wanted with it.  Can this happen?  It did.”

Fort Knox on Lockdown, Shots Fired, Reports Coming in America’s Gold has been Stolen!

 

(dailypaul.com) Breaking News: Updates as they come in. Please help with links.

Fort Knox Shooting has Army Post on Lockdown
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/03/fort-knox-shooting-has-…

Ft. Knox Lifts Lockdown After Shooting

“LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Ft. Knox spokesman says the post lifted its lockdown just after 7 p.m., in the midst of a shooting investigation on post.

There was no word on casualties as of 7:25 p.m.; however, the shooting took place late Wednesday afternoon in the vicinity of Human Resources Command, which employs roughly 3,800 people.”

Comment section available;
http://www.wdrb.com/story/21874718/ft-knox-on-lockdown-after…

Civilian Hospitalized After Shooting at Fort Knox

“A civilian was flown by helicopter to a hospital, but there was no immediate word on the victim’s condition, a military official told NBC News.

The shooting occurred shortly after 5 p.m. ET near the Army’s Human Resource Command, which is headquartered at Fort Knox. The base was placed on full lockdown, but it was lifted early Wednesday evening, the official said.

The military base, which sprawls over 170 miles in three counties about 30 miles south of Louisville, Ky., is separate from but adjacent to the famous federal gold depository.”

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/03/17590029-civilian…

Fort Knox and the gold dipped tungsten bars (Michael Rivero show)

Anonymous Educational Series: Brad Meltzer; Is there gold in Fort Knox???

The Anger Phase Of Humanity Is Coming

It Will Not End Well: Europe’s Economic Crisis Is Now Worse Than The Great Depression While The European Union Is Splits Into Two, And Europe Suffered Three Disasters In Just The Last Month!

 

Stunning: Europe’s Economic Crisis Is Now Worse Than The Great Depression [CHART]

From Paul Krugman: The trajectory of Europe’s real GDP per capita today vs. its real GDP per capita back during The Great Depression. No commentary necessary.

 

032913krugman4 blog480

Paul Krugman

 

 

Europe Suffered Three Disasters In Just The Last Month

Europe should be really happy that March is over. It was a disastrous month.

 

There were three main stories; all of them bad.

Italy can’t form a government. Italy’s parliamentary election took place at the end of February, and it was immediately clear that no single party won enough seats in both houses of Parliament to be able to form a government. Center-left candidate Pier Luigi Bersani had the best shot of establishing a coalition, but he was unable to come to any deals with Berlusconi’s party, and he was unable to pick away any support from Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star party, and bring them over to his side.

That all came to a head at the end of this past week. The ball has now been thrown into the court of Italian President Napolitano (a separate position than PM, who serves a seven-year term, and whose job it is to facilitate the establishment of a government). Another election this year looks very likely.

Since the February election, there have been polls in Italy showing strength for Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, so if there were another election there’s a good shot that the winner would be someone who doesn’t have the same inclination to play nice with the rest of the Eurozone.

Cyprus. This was a fiasco on so many levels.

Run for the Hills‘ Now, I’m Doing It: Jim Rogers – CNBC

The EU/IMF raiding bank accounts in Cyprus to bail out the country’s financial system sets a dangerous precedent and investors should “run for the hills” said investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, on “Squawk on the Street”Thursday.

Rogers said that with Cyprus, politicians are saying that this is a special case and urging people not to worry, but that is exactly why investors should be concerned.

“What more do you need to know? Please, you better hurry, you better run for the hills. I’m doing it anyway,” Rogers said. “I want to make sure that I don’t get trapped. Think of all the poor souls that just thought they had a simple bank account. Now they find out that they are making a ‘contribution’ to the stability of Cyprus. The gall of these politicians.”

 

 

 

The Euro Is Destroying Europe By Ripping It In Two

A key part of Lucke’s argument is that the euro must be sacrificed to save the greater European project (the European Union), as the status quo is tearing apart the continent.

 

 

This line from Lucke is critical:

We think that the euro currently splits the European Union into two parts – a segment of an economically unsuccessful southern part, and a more northern, or more central, European part, which currently seems to benefit from the misery of the southern European countries, because all of the capital flows back from southern Europe to Germany, and the Netherlands, and other stable countries, where it helps us to do cheap investment, but which is at the expense of those southern European countries, and which certainly is the cause for envious sentiment and angry sentiment in the southern European countries, so that the political tensions within the European Union actually rise.

 

 

Spain’s Banking Crisis

Recall that Bankia is the large Spanish bank that was partially nationalized’ in 2012, and that received 18 billion euros in new equity funds at the end of 2012. At that time Bankia shares fell by 25% to 41 euro cents (41/100 of one euro). At that same time Bankia said it expected to report a 19 billion euro loss for 2012. See my January 3 commentary titled Spain: Bankia and its parent! where I said “My assumption with respect to Bankia and other large Spanish banks is that ‘we have yet to hear the worst of it”.

On Monday, following a ‘forced revaluation’ by Regulators to 1 euro cent (1/100th of one euro) announced after the financial markets closed on March 22, Bankia shares closed at just under 15 euro cents (15/100 of one euro), down over 40% on the day. That ‘forced revaluation’ is said to have been a ‘condition’ of Bankia receiving a further capital injection of 10.7 billion euros from European rescue funds in circumstances where in February Bankia reported a 19.2 billion euro loss (as had been expected) for 2012. Standard & Poor’s is reported as having lowered Bankia’s rating by one notch to BB-.

In February Bankia reported that it expected a quick return to profitability following a ‘clean-up’ of its balance sheet.

Bankia strikes me as needing to be on every trader and investors radar screen going forward, given its size and what I think has to be its possible impact (positive or negative) on Spain, the eurozone, and perhaps the banks and banking systems of both Spain and other countries – the latter pursuant to possible contagion issues.

In other Spanish bank news, yesterday afternoon Banco CEISS, BMN and Caja 3, three comparatively small Spanish banks reported 2.5 billion euros, 3.7 billion euros, and 1.0 billion euros losses respectively for their latest fiscal years. These losses were all driven by previously unrecognized real estate exposure losses, or in the case of BMN writedowns on property holdings.

 

The Cyprus Debacle Proves The Eurozone Is Dangerous And Must End

The punishment regime imposed on Cyprus is a trick against everybody involved in this squalid saga, against the Cypriot people and the German people, against savers and creditors. All are being deceived.

It is not a bail-out. There is no debt relief for the state of Cyprus. The Diktat will push the island’s debt ratio to 120pc in short order, with a high risk of an economic death spiral, a la Grecque.

Capital controls have shattered the monetary unity of EMU. A Cypriot euro is no longer a core euro. We wait to hear the first stories of shops across Europe refusing to accept euro notes issued by Cyprus, with a G in the serial number.

The curbs are draconian. There will be a forced rollover of debt. Cheques may not be cashed. Basic cross-border trade is severely curtailed. Credit card use abroad will be limited to €5,000 (£4,200) a month. “We wonder how such capital controls could eventually be lifted with no obvious cure of the underlying problem,” said Credit Suisse….

 

5 of 10 Top Economies in the World Drop the Dollar

Activist Post

The U.S Dollar is quickly losing its status as the world reserve currency. Five of the top ten economies in the world, plus a few others, no longer use the dollar as an intermediary currency for trade. This trend poses a huge risk to the dollar and the United States along with it.

ZeroHedge points out today that Australia, the world’s 12th-ranked economy, has now joined a growing list of nations that have agreed to bypass the dollar in bilateral trade with China. China, ranked 2nd behind the U.S., also has similar agreements with Japan (3rd), Brazil (6th), India (9th), and Russia (10th).

Although unilateral agreements have been in place for some time between China and the countries listed above, last week the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India & China) agreed to set up a development bank to compete with the IMF, indicating it’s gearing up to compete in a post-dollar world.

Additionally, Brazil, who agreed in principle to drop the dollar with bilateral trade with China some time ago, just made it official with $30 billion in annual currency swaps which will facilitate around 50% of all trade between them.

Besides those agreements with China, some of these nations have made other similar agreements with each other. India and Japan began swapping $15 billion in each other’s currency in 2011 to handle their bilateral trade. And the sanctions against Iran haven’t stopped them from trading oil with China, Russia, and India in anything but the dollar.

Here’s how the current reign of the US dollar compares to previous world reserve currency:

Source

It appears that the dollar is certainly nearing the end of its reign, which could lead to severe economic hardship for the United States.

Dave Hodges writes:

The United States’ good economic fortune is due solely to the fact that world must use the dollar, the Petrodollar if you will, in order to make their nation’s individual oil purchases; this provides the only source of backing for the U.S. dollar that the Federal Reserve requires in order to somewhat sustain our back-breaking debt that the banker-occupied United States government has passed along to the American taxpayer in the form of bailouts.

And Marin Katusa of Casey Research writes:

If the US dollar loses its position as the global reserve currency, the consequences for America are dire. A major portion of the dollar’s valuation stems from its lock on the oil industry – if that monopoly fades, so too will the value of the dollar. Such a major transition in global fiat currency relationships will bode well for some currencies and not so well for others, and the outcomes will be challenging to predict. But there is one outcome that we foresee with certainty: Gold will rise. Uncertainty around paper money always bodes well for gold, and these are uncertain days indeed.

America’s imperialism, combined with its ultra-fiat status of unending debt creation, appears to have created a final downward spiral that has caused many of the top economies to abandon a sinking ship. It might not be too much longer before the rest follow suit. Now might be a great time to consider diversifying into other currencies, and even digital currencies, to mitigate growing losses in the U.S. dollar.

Do not use Safety Deposit Boxes

(dinarvets.com) U.S DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HAS TOLD BANKS – IN WRITING – IT MAY INSPECT SAFE DEPOSIT BOXES WITHOUT WARRANT AND SEIZE ANY GOLD, SILVER, GUNS OR OTHER VALUABLES IT FINDS INSIDE THOSE BOXES!

According to in-house memos now circulating, the DHS has issued orders to banks across America which announce to them that “under the Patriot Act” the DHS has the absolute right to seize, without any warrant whatsoever, any and all customer bank accounts, to make “periodic and unannounced” visits to any bank to open and inspect the contents of “selected safe deposit boxes.”

Further, the DHS “shall, at the discretion of the agent supervising the search, remove, photograph or seize as evidence” any of the following items “bar gold, gold coins, firearms of any kind unless manufactured prior to 1878, documents such as passports or foreign bank account records, pornography or any material that, in the opinion of the agent, shall be deemed of to be of a contraband nature.”

DHS memos also state that banks are informed that any bank employee, on any level, that releases “improper” “classified DHS Security information” to any member of the public, to include the customers whose boxes have been clandestinely opened and inspected and “any other party, to include members of the media” and further “that the posting of any such information on the internet will be grounds for the immediate termination of the said employee or employees and their prosecution under the Patriot Act.” Safety deposit box holders and depositors are not given advanced notice when failed banks shut their doors.

If people have their emergency money in a safe deposit box or an account in a bank that closes, they will not be allowed into the bank to get it out. They can knock on the door and beg to get in but the sheriff’s department or whoever is handling the closure will simply say “no” because they are just following orders.

Deposit box and account holders are not warned of the hazards of banking when they sign up. It is not until they need to get their cash or valuables out in a hurry that they find themselves in trouble.

Rules governing access to safe deposit boxes and money held in accounts are written into the charter of each bank. The charter is the statement of policy under which the bank is allowed by the government to do business. These rules are subject to change at any time by faceless bureaucrats who are answerable to no one. They can be changed without notice, without the agreement of the people, and against their will. People can complain but no one will care because this is small potatoes compared to the complaints that will be voiced when the executive order that governs national emergencies is enforced.

That order allows the suspension of habeas corpus and all rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.

A look at the fine print of the contract signed when a safety deposit box is opened reveals that in essence the signer has given to the bank whatever property he has put into that deposit box. When times are good people will be allowed open access to their safe deposit box and the property that is in it. This also applies to their bank accounts.

But when times get really bad, many may find that the funds they have placed on deposit and the property they thought was secured in the safe deposit box now belong to the bank, not to them. Although this was probably not explained to them when they signed their signature card, this is what they were agreeing to.

During the Great Depression in the early 1930’s people thought that many banks were going to fail. They were afraid they would lose their money so they went in mass to take it out, in what is known as a run on the banks. The government closed the banks to protect them from angry depositors who wanted their money back. Throughout history, governments have acted to protect the interests of banks and the wealthy people who own them, not the interests of depositors or box holders.

In a time of emergency, people will have no recourse if access to their safe deposit box and bank accounts is denied. If they are keeping money in a bank that would be needed in an emergency or in a time when credit is no longer free flowing, they may not be able to get it out of the bank. The emergency may occur at night or on a weekend or holiday when the bank is closed.

The solution is to take emergency cash or valuables out of the safe deposit box or bank account and secure them somewhere else, like in a home safe. An even better idea may be to close the safe deposit box account completely, letting someone else entertain the illusion of safety.

Americans have learned a few things since the Great Depression. They now have the FDIC to liquidate any failed banks.

The FDIC promises to set up a series of dates and times when safe deposit box renters can access their boxes by appointment to remove their property and surrender their keys. The FDIC also promises to mail bank customers an announcement of the dates for such events and include a question and answer page that addresses safe deposit box access.

The people have the FDIC to give them back the money they had on deposit that they were unable to get out of any failed bank that carries FDIC insurance. Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, promises that depositor`s money will be available in 24 hours or less. But people should remember that the FDIC is just another bureaucracy, and it`s probably best not to rely on a bureaucracy in an emergency.

THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR STORAGE FACILITIES

DON’T PUT ANYTHING VALUABLE AND/OR NON-REPLACEABLE IN ANY BANK OR STORAGE FACILITY

 

Note: We’ve been asked to site sources for this article but we did not write it, the source in which it came from is at the top. Also see this,  http://investmentwatchblog.com/u-s-department-of-homeland-security-has-told-banks-in-writing-it-may-inspect-safe-deposit-boxes-without-warrant-and-sieze-any-gold-silver-guns-or-other-valuables-it-finds-inside-those-boxes/

The Global Elite Plan To Raid Your Bank Account

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(Economic Collapse) -Don’t be surprised when the global elite confiscate money from your bank account one day.

They are already very clearly telling you that they are going to do it.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is the president of the Eurogroup – an organization of eurozone finance ministers that was instrumental in putting together the Cyprus “deal” – and he has said publicly that what has just happened in Cyprus will serve as a blueprint for future bank bailouts.

What that means is that when the chips are down, they are going to come after YOUR money. So why should anyone put a large amount of money in the bank at this point? Perhaps you can make one or two percent on your money if you shop around for a really good deal, but there is also a chance that 40 percent (or more) of your money will be confiscated if the bank fails. And considering the fact that there are vast numbers of banks all over the United States and Europe that are teetering on the verge of insolvency, why would anyone want to take such a risk?

What the global elite have done is that they have messed around with the fundamental trust that people have in the banking system. In order for any financial system to work, people must have faith in the safety and security of that financial system. People put their money in the bank because they think that it will be safe there. If you take away that feeling of safety, you jeopardize the entire system.

So exactly how did the big banks in Cyprus get into so much trouble? Well, they have been doing exactly what hundreds of other large banks all over the U.S. and Europe have been doing. They have been gambling with our money. In particular, the big banks in Cyprus made huge bets on Greek sovereign debt which ended up failing.

But what happened in Cyprus is just the tip of the iceberg. All over the planet major financial institutions are being incredibly reckless with client money. They are leveraged to the hilt and they have transformed the global financial system into a gigantic casino.

If they win on their bets, they become fabulously wealthy.

If they lose on their bets, they know that the politicians won’t let the banks fail. They know that they will get bailed out one way or another.

And who pays?

We do.

Either our tax dollars are used to fund a government-sponsored bailout, or as we have just witnessed in Cyprus, money is directly confiscated from our bank accounts.

And then the game begins again.

People need to understand that the precedent that has just been set in Cyprus is a game changer.

The next time that a major bank fails in Greece or Italy or Spain (or in the United States for that matter), the precedent that has been set in Cyprus will be looked to as a “template” for how to handle the situation.

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem has even publicly admitted that what just happened in Cyprus will serve as a model for future bank bailouts. Just check out what he said a few days ago

“If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?’. If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders”

Dijsselbloem insists that this will cause people “to think about the risks” before they put their money somewhere…

“It will force all financial institutions, as well as investors, to think about the risks they are taking on because they will now have to realise that it may also hurt them. The risks might come towards them.”

Well, as depositors in Cyprus just found out, there is a risk that you could lose 40 percent (and that is the best case scenario) of your money if you put it in the bank.

Why would anyone want to take that risk – especially in a nation that is already experiencing very serious financial troubles such as Greece, Italy or Spain?

As if that was not enough, Dijsselbloem later went in front of the Dutch parliament and publicly defended a wealth tax like the one that was just imposed in Cyprus.

Dijsselbloem is being widely criticized, and rightfully so. But at least he is being more honest that many other politicians. His predecessor as the head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, once said that “you have to lie” to the people in order to keep the financial markets calm…

Mr. Dijsselbloem’s style contrasts with that of his predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s prime minister, who spoke in a low mumble at news conferences and was expert at sidestepping questions. Mr. Juncker once even advocated lying as a way to prevent financial markets from panicking—as they did Monday after Mr. Dijsselbloem’s comments.

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” Mr. Juncker said in April 2011. “If you have pre-indicated possible decisions, you are feeding speculation in the financial markets.”

But Dijsselbloem is certainly not the only one among the global elite that is admitting what is coming next. Just check out what Joerg Kraemer, the chief economist at Commerzbank, recently told Handelsblatt about what he believes should be done in Italy…

“A tax rate of 15 percent on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100 percent of gross domestic product”

Yikes!

And as I wrote about the other day, the Finance Minister of New Zealand is proposing that bank account holders in his nation should be required to “take a haircut” if any banks in his nation fail.

They are telling us what they plan to do.

They are telling us that they plan to raid all of our bank accounts when the global financial system fails.

And calling it a “haircut” does not change the fact of what it really is. The truth is that when they confiscate money from our bank accounts it is outright theft. Just check out what the Daily Mail had to say about the situation in Cyprus…

People who rob old ladies in the street, or hold up security vans, are branded as thieves. Yet when Germany presides over a heist of billions of pounds from private savers’ Cyprus bank accounts, to ‘save the euro’ for the hundredth time, this is claimed as high statesmanship.

It is nothing of the sort. The deal to secure a €10 billion German bailout of the bankrupt Mediterranean island is one of the nastiest and most immoral political acts of modern times.

It has struck fear into the hearts of hundreds of millions of European citizens, because it establishes a dire precedent.

And when you cause paralysis in the banking system, a once thriving economy can freeze up almost overnight. The following is an excerpt from a report from someone that is actually living over in Cyprus…

As it stands now, nowhere in Cyprus accepts credit or debit cards anymore for fear of not being paid, it is CASH ONLY. Businesses have stopped functioning because they cannot pay employees OR pay for the stock they receive because the banks are closed. If the banks remain closed, the economy will be destroyed and STOP COMPLETELY. Looting, robberies and theft are already on the rise. If the banks open now, there will be a massive run on the bank, and the banks will FAIL loosing all of its deposits, also causing an economic crash. TONIGHT there are demonstrations at most street corners and especially at the parliament building (just 2 miles from me).

Many are thinking that the ECB and EU are allowing Cyprus to fail as a test ground for new financial standards.

Just wanted all you guys to know the real story of whats going on here. Prayers are appreciated (although this is very interesting to watch) many of my local friends have lots of money in the banks.

Would similar things happen in the United States if there was a major banking crisis someday?

That is something to think about.

In any event, the problems in the rest of Europe continue to get even worse…

-The stock market in Greece is crashing. It is down by more than 10 percent over the past two days.

-The stock markets in Italy and Spain are experiencing huge declines as well. Banking stocks are being hit particularly hard.

-The Bank of Spain says that the Spanish economy will sink even deeper into recession this year.

-The latest numbers from the Spanish government show that Spain’s debt problem is rapidly getting worse

“The central government’s interest bill surged 15 percent last year to 26 billion euros, while tax receipts slumped 21 percent. The cost of servicing debt represented 30 percent of the taxes collected at the end of December, up from 20 percent a year earlier.”

-The euro took quite a tumble on Thursday and the euro will likely continue to decline steadily in the weeks and months to come.

For a very long time I have been warning that the next major wave of the economic collapse is going to originate in Europe.

Hopefully people are starting to see what I am talking about.

As this point, the major banks in Europe are leveraged about 26 to 1, and that is close to the kind of leverage that Lehman Brothers had when it finally collapsed. As a whole, European banks are drowning in debt, they are taking risks that are almost incomprehensible and now faith in those banks has been greatly undermined by what has happened in Cyprus.

Anyone that cannot see a crisis coming in Europe simply does not understand the financial world. A moment of reckoning is rapidly approaching for Europe. The following is from a recent article by Graham Summers

At the end of the day, the reason Europe hasn’t been fixed is because CAPITAL SIMPLY ISN’T THERE. Europe and its alleged backstops are out of money. This includes Germany, the ECB and the mega-bailout funds such as the ESM.

Germany has already committed to bailouts that equal 5% of its GDP. The single largest transfer payment ever made by one country to another was the Marshall Plan in which the US transferred an amount equal to 5% of its GDP. Germany WILL NOT exceed this. So don’t count on more money from Germany.

The ECB is chock full of garbage debts which have been pledged as collateral for loans. If anyone of significance defaults in Europe, the ECB is insolvent. Sure it can print more money, but once the BIG collateral call hits, money printing is useless because the amount of money the ECB would have to print would implode the system.

And then of course there are the mega bailout funds such as the ESM. The only problem here is that Spain and Italy make up 30% of the ESM’s supposed “funding.” That’s right, nearly one third of the mega-bailout fund’s capital will come from countries that are bankrupt themselves.

What could go wrong?

Right now, close to half of all money that is on deposit at banks in Europe is uninsured. As people move that uninsured money out of the banks, the amount of money that will be required to “fix the banks” will go up even higher.

It would be wise to try to avoid the big banks at this point – especially those with very large exposure to derivatives. Any financial institution that uses customer money to make reckless bets is not to be trusted.

If you can find a small local bank or credit union to do business with you will probably be better off.

And don’t think that this kind of thing can never happen in the United States.

One of the key players that was pushing the idea of a “wealth tax” in Cyprus was the IMF. And everyone knows that the IMF is heavily dominated by the United States. In fact, the headquarters of the IMF is located right in the heart of Washington D.C. not too far from the White House. When I worked in D.C. I would walk by the IMF headquarters quite a bit.

So if the United States thought that confiscating money from bank accounts was a great idea in Cyprus, why wouldn’t they implement such a thing here under similar circumstances?

The global elite are telling us what they plan to do, and the game has dramatically changed.

Move your money while you still can.

Unfortunately, it is already too late for the people of Cyprus.

Texas takes step toward secession with Rick Perry’s plan to hoard gold

 

 

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) points off into the distance. Photo: Flickr user Robert Scoble, creative commons licensed.

 

(Raw Story) -Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and freshman state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione have a plan to create a “Fort Knox of Texas” so that the state can start hoarding gold.

Giovanni has filed a bill to establish a Texas Bullion Depository to store the $1 billion worth of gold bars that are owned by University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO), which are currently being housed by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Speaking to conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, Perry said that lawmakers were in the process of “bringing gold that belongs to the state of Texas back into the state.” Beck has been a longtime paid spokesperson for the precious metal seller Goldline, which agreed to refund up to $4.5 million to former customers last year after being sued for marking up gold more than 50 percent.

 

“If we own it, I will suggest to you that that’s not someone else’s determination whether we can take possession of it back or not,” Perry told Beck.

Former Rep. Ron Paul on Thursday explained to The Texas Tribune that the gold would be safer in the hands of Texans.

“If you think gold is a hedge, or a protection, you always want it as close to the individual and the entity as possible,” Paul said. “Texas is better served if it knows exactly where the gold is rather than depending on the security of the Federal Reserve.”

For his part, Capriglione said that he had gotten the idea while attending a tea party rally with Perry in Tarrant County earlier this year.

“Something on the scorecards of a lot of these businesses in deciding whether they want to come to Texas is stability and gold as being one of those items,” Capriglione insisted. “I think it’s been in his consciousness for a while in trying to get some sort of depository in the state of Texas.”

“We don’t want just the certificates. We want our gold. And if you’re the state of Texas, you should be able to get your gold.”

 

Tangent Capital Partners senior managing director Jim Rickards speculated to Yahoo Finance on Thursday that creating a “Fort Knox of Texas” could be a step in Texas creating its own currency and eventually moving to secede.

“This bill contains a provision that says to the federal government that you, the federal government, purport to confiscate this Texas gold, we, the state of Texas, consider that to be null and void,” Rickards pointed out. “And under the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution, they have that power.”

Earlier this year, more than 100,000 people signed a petition on the White House website calling on President Barack Obama’s administration to allow the state to secede.

White House Office of Public Engagement Director Jon Carson responded by noting that the Supreme Court in 1869 that states do not have a right to secede.

Carson noted that the Founding Fathers established a Constitution and “enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot — a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it.”

In a 2009 interview, Perry had joked that Texas was “thinking about” becoming an independent republic, but he dismissed the call to secede last year.

Programs That Should Be Cut – But Won’t Be Cut – From The Federal Budget

 

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(Alt Market) – Washington is laying on the malaise pretty thick lately over automatic budget cuts set to take effect in March, with admonitions and partisan attacks galore. Of course, those of us who are educated in the finer points of our corrupt puppet government are well aware that the public debate between Democrats and Republicans amounts to nothing more than a farcical battle of Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots with only one set of hands behind the controls. The reality is, their decisions are scripted, their votes are purchased, and they knew months ago exactly how America’s fiscal cliff situation would progress. The drama that now ensues on the hill is meant for OUR benefit and distraction, and no one else.

The Obama Administration warns that “sequestration” (austerity) will result in a return to recession for the U.S. News Flash, folks! The country never left the recession that officially began in 2008. Sorry to burst that inflated recovery hopium bubble…

Janet Napolitano warns that cuts will result in a greater risk of terrorist attacks. Apparently, an extra $85 billion per year buys us complete safety from the Muslim boogeyman, though the DHS has been far more concerned with “homegrown extremists” (people like me) than Al-Qaeda lately…

The White House and DHS has warned that funding for border control may be diminished, and the southern border will be left “wide open” to infiltration. Apparently, the White House is not aware that the southern border is ALREADY wide open. If they were truly concerned about the porous border, maybe they would refrain from decisions to release over 10,000 illegal immigrants from holding before cuts have even been finalized, sending a clear message to Mexico that there will be no consequences for anyone sneaking into the U.S. without permission…

The DOD warns that cuts to defense will result in a weakened military posture for America, and yet, our posture has already been greatly weakened by our numerous illegal wars in the Middle East (some overt, some covert). I have yet to see any tangible assessments on how our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has made our nation safer…

Let’s put all of this into perspective; America’s current annual deficits have exceeded $1 trillion for the past four years. Our official national debt has expanded nearly $7 trillion in the span of five years. Through QE3 (QE infinity), the Federal Reserve is now pumping over $85 billion (that we know about) per month into our financial system. And in March, the federal government is being asked to cut $85 billion over a span of six months?

It sure seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the massive expenditures already taking place. Yet, these moderate cuts are being heralded as a sign of fiscal apocalypse by the White House and others. Why? Because America has reached the point at which any disruption in government liquidity will damage our recovery fantasy, and the establishment is acclimating us to the coming crisis so that we don’t immediately take up our torches and pitchforks. The lie is so tenuous, that the fiat must forever flow, or the illusion crumbles. Not only must spending continue unabated, it must also EXPAND with each passing year in order to handle the growing liabilities of entitlements and interest payments on capital already borrowed. Even the smallest of cuts could indeed send our economy into a tailspin (with a little help from the Federal Reserve and reduced currency creation), because that’s exactly how desperate our circumstances are.

Of course, the establishment plans to make matters worse by applying cuts where they will be most painfully felt by the populace. The fear mongering is reaching fever pitch with threats of wide open borders, weakened military superiority, lost government jobs, unemployed teachers, etc. But let’s imagine, just for one blissful moment, that the government was NOT utterly criminal and subversive; what kind of cuts would an honest government make right now in order to counter the dangers of debt disintegration and dollar devaluation?

…I really don’t know because I’ve never lived under an honest government. I have little personal experience in how one would behave. However, here is what I would cut from the budget…

Unnecessary Foreign Aid

Will some cuts be made to foreign aid after “sequestration”. Yes. But nowhere near enough. The U.S. spends around $50 billion a year on foreign aid, including $3 billion in “direct assistance” to Israel (meaning they get a lot more money and equipment through indirect means), $2 billion to Iraq, $1.7 billion to Pakistan, $1.4 billion to Egypt, $1.2 billion to Haiti (the Hatians are the only people on the list so far that actually need the money), and $1 billion to Kenya (…Kenya?). The list goes on and on. Even Mexico gets around $400 million a year in foreign aid from the U.S.

The establishment has conditioned the general public to consider any suggestion of cutting foreign aid to be taboo. Politicians on both sides of the aisle will wail and scream at the thought of reducing aid to Israel or other Middle East nations. That said, the bottom line is that we cannot afford it. You may believe every dollar to these countries results in the thwarting of evil doers and the filled bellies of orphan children. It doesn’t matter, because we can’t afford it. You may believe the whole of America’s international reputation and diplomatic sway hangs in the balance over foreign aid expenditures, but this is irrelevant, because we can’t afford it.

The most detrimental threats to the U.S. are INTERNAL and financial, not external, and cutting foreign aid would alleviate those detrimental threats by about $50 billion dollars. I’m a little tired of hearing how America is supposed to “export democracy” and keep its fingers in the cookie jars of nations around the world. This is a globalist philosophy that has never borne fruit and never will. It is time to bring the money back home where it might actually do some legitimate good.

Occupation Wars

The Neo-Cons played the American people like a banjo for nearly a decade claiming first that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were necessary in order to defuse Al Qaeda influence. Then, when we realized that the resource rich fields of the Middle East were the true target, rather than the “terrorists”, they changed their tune and claimed that now it would be “irresponsible” to leave the region, regardless of the fallacy of the mission, because if we did innocent people would be left to chaos and ruin.

Ultimately, the Neo-Cons never cared about the innocent citizens of Iraq or Afghanistan, they only cared about manipulating the American public into acquiescing to continued occupation, and that is exactly what they did. Today, the Obama Administration carries on exactly where the Neo-Cons left off, using the same propaganda and the same lies with a new face and a new presentation.

Original cost estimates of the two invasions were around $100 billion for a two year involvement, and the American people were assured that this was all that was needed. Today, over a decade later, the costs have escalated to at least $4 trillion (Obama’s claim of a $1 trillion price tag is an outright fabrication), and still have not abated. If the government truly wanted to save massive amounts of capital and shield the populace from debilitating service and entitlement cuts, they would bring the troops home; ALL OF THEM, and stop flushing money down the toilet in the Middle East.

Instigations Of Foreign Insurgencies

Why is the Obama Administration continually pouring money into the coffers of Middle Eastern insurgencies led by Al Qaeda operatives that supposedly hate the U.S.? They did it in Egypt, they did it in Libya, and now they are doing it in Syria. Is Obama an idiot, or, is there a greater purpose at work? Is the goal to deliberately destabilize the region, or are they doing it out of blind hubris and stupidity? In either case, all the money being showered on these civil wars is a wretched waste, and should be stopped.

TSA Thugs

The Transportation Security Administration is the most hated institution in America. It is reviled across the country and its dubious purpose is questioned by almost everyone. Americans, no matter how uneducated and oblivious, still do not like being molested by blue gloved bureaucratic freaks with preexisting criminal records. We do not like having our small children molested by them either. We do not like being irradiated so that our naked pictures can be stored in a central database. We do not like thugs, brown shirts or blue shirts, ordering us around and looking down their noses at us. Frankly, Americans have a history of shooting those kinds of people…

DHS head Janet Napolitano has already released warnings ahead of budget cut decisions stating that the TSA may be on the chopping block, and that this would put American travelers “at risk”. I highly doubt that this is the plan, though…

The TSA is not meant to protect the citizenry in any way. It is a conditioning machine for the masses, and nothing more. It is designed to inhibit our natural rebellion against personal search and seizure tactics, and make us apathetic to deeper intrusions into our privacy. That is all. I find it highly unlikely that the establishment would dismantle such a useful tool of oppression. But, if Napolitano is sincere, then I say go for it Janey, do your worst! Abolish the whole damned agency, because if you don’t, eventually, we’ll do it for you.

The Criminal ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has a long history of questionable and often illegal activities, usually ending with the murder of civilians with dissenting views. However, the latest snafu involves a much larger conspiracy, culminating in the agency being caught red handed feeding American weapons to violent Mexican drug cartels in an effort to stigmatize gun ownership in the U.S. and to wrongly attribute deaths in the border region to American gun dealers. This debacle is known as “Fast and Furious”.

Eric Holder, Attorney General of the U.S. and a staunch proponent of the ATF, has defended the Fast and Furious agenda to the point of contempt of Congress. Holder is a gun control advocate and key player in the current attacks on the 2nd Amendment, despite his habit of protecting agencies that feed weapons to psychopathic drug lords.

Any agency with this much schizophrenic disregard for the rights and safety of Americans should be wiped from the ass-end of history. It also has an annual budget of $1.2 billion, which could be spent in far better places, to be sure.

Big Brother DHS

What exactly does the Department of Homeland Security do that the FBI and the CIA did not already do before its inception? The great lie spread in the wake of 9/11 was that various alphabet agencies were not “in communication” with each other, and that intelligence gathered was not “reaching the right people”. Of course, Bush had received several warnings pre-9/11 of impending attacks, and the FBI and CIA on more than one occasion had the opportunity to apprehend Osama Bin Laden, but were thwarted by the Administration itself, sending a clear message that the government catches “terrorists” only when it WANTS to catch a terrorist.

The DHS was established as a means to centralize information sharing, but it has become much more. It now encompasses and directs much of the internal law enforcement outfits of the U.S. through so-called fusion centers, and even plays a growing role in external matters. Much of the analytical paperwork coming out of the agency, though, does not deal with foreign enemies like Al Qaeda. Rather, the agency is almost obsessively focused on “domestic threats”, like returning war veterans, Constitutionalists, gun rights champions, Ron Paul supporters, and Liberty Movement activists.

In the end, the DHS is intended to combat a specific opponent, and that opponent is obviously the American people.

The DHS is set to absorb $2.6 billion in cuts if sequestration goes though, causing the organization to spew dire prophecies of doom. Yet, the DHS is projected to have a $9 billion surplus by the end of 2013, and apparently has enough funding to place orders for over 2 billion rounds of combat ammunition (not for training purposes, sorry disinfo-agents). I say cut the head off the beast. Remove DHS, save American liberties, and spend those billions elsewhere.

Gitmo-Style Black Sites

I find it highly distasteful and disturbing that the U.S. government is operating black sites like GITMO where they can torture and murder in obscurity, rather than having to answer to the public, all while instituting these activities in our name. The common argument is that these prisons are necessary to isolate the most volatile of villains, and obtain vital data in the war on terror. Well, despite what you may have seen in the movie ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, torture rarely if ever produces reliable and concurrent intel that can be acted upon to prevent any impending attack, or apprehend any enemy agent. And, after what we saw at Abu Ghraib, the government has proven itself absolutely untrustworthy to handle incarcerated prisoners in any capacity, let alone in places where independent oversight does not exist.

Didn’t Obama make a campaign promise in 2008 to shut down GITMO, by the way? Why not do it now, save the country some cash, and end a disgusting and immoral practice that demeans the whole of our society?

Domestic Drone Programs

Why does the federal government need 30,000 drones in the skies over the heads of American citizens? Why is this being pursued? If the government seeks to make war on the American people, then by all means, admit that this is the goal and at least we will know the rationalization for spreading a spider’s web of remote controlled technotronic death from sea to shining sea. This is the only POSSIBLE purpose that such a fleet of drones could serve. If this is not the reason for the escalation of drone activity, then there is no logical reason, and they should be perfectly willing to end these programs, saving the U.S. millions if not billions of dollars.

Corporate Welfare

Long before the banker bailouts and the “too big to fails”, government has been pouring free money into the coffers of international corporations that were already claiming billions in capital. This welfare has reached epic levels; around $93 billion by some estimates. Why? Maybe because the establishment knew years ago that these companies were headed for debt implosion. Or, maybe because D.C. is a revolving door and corporate vampires like to spend time in the public sector bleeding taxpayers dry. I don’t know. What I do know is that whatever purpose corporate welfare was supposed to serve, it failed. We are in the midst of the most extensive economic crisis of all time, and many of the companies that received welfare for the past couple decades are debt addled failures that provide little in job creation. It’s time to cut our losses…

The Obama Family’s Extravagant Vacations

All this panicked discussion on budget cuts, yet, no one seems to be talking about reducing the most frivolous of expenditures. The Obama family’s four trips to Hawaii alone have cost Americans tax payers at least $20 million (this is a very conservative estimate)! Why is the nation pounding its collective head against the wall over extreme national debt obligations while this joker and his overprivileged family are spending a thousand times more on each of their vacations than any other citizen?

Hey Obama, try a trip to Florida, you money swilling bastard! Maybe you could squeeze it in for under a million? Take a swim in the Everglades perhaps, the water is fine…

One Day Soon, Everything Will Be Cut…

If Americans are frightened of a small budget cut of $85 billion, imagine what they’ll do when they realize this is just the beginning of the avalanche. It will not be long before our foreign creditors turn away from the Dollar and begin using alternative currencies like the IMF’s SDR basket. At that point, the purchasing power of the Greenback will be severely suffocated, and the numerous social services the public enjoys today will be buried as well.

Some people might question why I did not include any entitlement programs or social support in my list of needed budget cuts. I would only point out that such programs are not long for this world anyway, and though most of them shouldn’t exist in the first place, the expenditures listed above are even more peripheral. The feds will keep welfare going for as long as possible, in order to subdue public response and soften collective rage, but there will come a time when the food stamps, medicare, disability payments, and other subsidies will suddenly stop. EU members like Spain are a perfect example, stealing over 90% of social security funds in order to maintain a façade of solvency, while others are raiding retirement funds and employee pensions, all because austerity measures are exhausting entitlement pools. This is where the U.S. is headed, and it cannot be avoided. Not through fiat printing, or any other nonsensical strategy.

My goal was to merely point out that there are plenty of irrelevant federal appendages out there that could be amputated, but probably won’t be, while other more useful programs will come under fire. In the end, the budget cuts are not about saving money; they are about social maneuvering and political gain. They will be used as an excuse for everything, and will produce nothing favorable, not because cuts are not needed, but because the people in charge of them are not trustworthy.

20 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead

 

20 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead - Photo by Frank Kovalchek

(Economic Collapse Blog) – Is the U.S. economy about to experience a major downturn?  Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of signs that economic activity in the United States is really slowing down right now.  Freight volumes and freight expenditures are way down, consumer confidence has declined sharply, major retail chains all over America are closing hundreds of stores, and the “sequester” threatens to give the American people their first significant opportunity to experience what “austerity” tastes like.  Gas prices are going up rapidly, corporate insiders are dumping massive amounts of stock and there are high profile corporate bankruptcies in the news almost every single day now.  In many ways, what we are going through right now feels very similar to 2008 before the crash happened.  Back then the warning signs of economic trouble were very obvious, but our politicians and the mainstream media insisted that everything was just fine, and the stock market was very much detached from reality.  When the stock market did finally catch up with reality, it happened very, very rapidly.  Sadly, most people do not appear to have learned any lessons from the crisis of 2008.  Americans continue to rack up staggering amounts of debt, and Wall Street is more reckless than ever.  As a society, we seem to have concluded that 2008 was just a temporary malfunction rather than an indication that our entire system was fundamentally flawed.  In the end, we will pay a great price for our overconfidence and our recklessness.

So what will the rest of 2013 bring?

Hopefully the economy will remain stable for as long as possible, but right now things do not look particularly promising.

The following are 20 signs that the U.S. economy is heading for big trouble in the months ahead…

#1 Freight shipment volumes have hit their lowest level in two years, and freight expenditures have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.

#2 The average price of a gallon of gasoline has risen by more than 50 cents over the past two months.  This is making things tougher on our economy, because nearly every form of economic activity involves moving people or goods around.

#3 Reader’s Digest, once one of the most popular magazines in the world, has filed for bankruptcy.

#4 Atlantic City’s newest casino, Revel, has just filed for bankruptcy.  It had been hoped that Revel would help lead a turnaround for Atlantic City.

#5 A state-appointed review board has determined that there is “no satisfactory plan” to solve Detroit’s financial emergency, and many believe that bankruptcy is imminent.  If Detroit does declare bankruptcy, it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

#6 David Gallagher, the CEO of Town Sports International, recently said that his company is struggling right now because consumers simply do not have as much disposable income anymore…

“As we moved into January membership trends were tracking to expectations in the first half of the month, but fell off track and did not meet our expectations in the second half of the month. We believe the driver of this was the rapid decline in consumer sentiment that has been reported and is connected to the reduction in net pay consumers earn given the changes in tax rates that went into effect in January.

#7 According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence in the U.S. has hit its lowest level in more than a year.

#8 Sales of the Apple iPhone have been slower than projected, and as a result Chinese manufacturing giant FoxConn has instituted a hiring freeze.  The following is from a CNET report that was posted on Wednesday…

The Financial Times noted that it was the first time since a 2009 downturn that the company opted to halt hiring in all of its facilities across the country. The publication talked to multiple recruiters.

The actions taken by Foxconn fuel the concern over the perceived weakened demand for the iPhone 5 and slumping sentiment around Apple in general, with production activity a leading indicator of interest in the product.

#9 In 2012, global cell phone sales posted their first decline since the end of the last recession.

#10 We appear to be in the midst of a “retail apocalypse“.  It is being projected that Sears, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and RadioShack will also close hundreds of stores by the end of 2013.

#11 An internal memo authored by a Wal-Mart executive that was recently leaked to the press said that February sales were a “total disaster” and that the beginning of February was the “worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”

#12 If Congress does not do anything and “sequestration” goes into effect on March 1st, the Pentagon says that approximately 800,000 civilian employees will be facing mandatory furloughs.

#13 Barack Obama is admitting that the “sequester” could have a crippling impact on the U.S. economy.  The following is from a recent CNBC article

Obama cautioned that if the $85 billion in immediate cuts — known as the sequester — occur, the full range of government would feel the effects. Among those he listed: furloughed FBI agents, reductions in spending for communities to pay police and fire personnel and teachers, and decreased ability to respond to threats around the world.

He said the consequences would be felt across the economy.

“People will lose their jobs,” he said. “The unemployment rate might tick up again.”

#14 If the “sequester” is allowed to go into effect, the CBO is projecting that it will cause U.S. GDP growth to go down by at least 0.6 percent and that it will “reduce job growth by 750,000 jobs“.

#15 According to a recent Gallup survey, 65 percent of all Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of “economic difficulty“, and 50 percent of all Americans believe that the “best days” of America are now in the past.

#16 U.S. GDP actually contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012.  This was the first GDP contraction that the official numbers have shown in more than three years.

#17 For the entire year of 2012, U.S. GDP growth was only about 1.5 percent.  According to Art Cashin, every time GDP growth has fallen this low for an entire year, the U.S. economy has always ended up going into a recession.

#18 The global economy overall is really starting to slow down

The world’s richest countries saw their economies contract for the first time in almost four years during the final three months of 2012, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.

The Paris-based thinktank said gross domestic product across its 34 member states fell by 0.2% – breaking a period of rising activity stretching back to a 2.3% slump in output in the first quarter of 2009.

All the major economies of the OECD – the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the UK – have already reported falls in output at the end of 2012, with the thinktank noting that the steepest declines had been seen in the European Union, where GDP fell by 0.5%. Canada is the only member of the G7 currently on course to register an increase in national output.

#19 Corporate insiders are dumping enormous amounts of stock right now.  Do they know something that we don’t?

#20 Even some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warning that we are heading for an economic collapse.  For example, Seth Klarman, one of the most respected investors on Wall Street, said in his year-end letter that the collapse of the U.S. financial system could happen at any time

“Investing today may well be harder than it has been at any time in our three decades of existence,” writes Seth Klarman in his year-end letter. The Fed’s “relentless interventions and manipulations” have left few purchase targets for Baupost, he laments. “(The) underpinnings of our economy and financial system are so precarious that the un-abating risks of collapse dwarf all other factors.”

So what do you think is going to happen to the U.S. economy in the months ahead?

Virgina to advance an alternative currency plan in fear of major meltdown

 

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(NYUD) -Del. Bob Marshall did a little strategic name-dropping Thursday, and it had the desired effect.

For two years, the Prince William County Republican has been seeking a study of whether Virginia should adopt an alternative currency to replace the dollar in case the Federal Reserve System has a major meltdown.

His quest always ended in failure – until this year.

Presenting the latest version of his proposal (HJ590) to a subcommittee of the House Rules Committee, Marshall said his worry about a breakdown of the federal monetary system is no idle fear. There have been cyber attacks on banks, he said, and the Pentagon is preparing for economic warfare.

“My purpose is to have a Plan B,” he said, so Virginians would still be able to conduct commerce without using greenbacks.

Then he pulled out his trump card.

This year, he said, he has the support of Judy Shelton, an economist who happens to be a friend and neighbor of House Speaker William Howell, R-Stafford County, who chairs the Rules Committee. And the speaker himself has gotten behind the measure, Marshall added.

Then, with almost no discussion, the panel approved the bill on a 4-0 vote, advancing it to the full committee.

The cost of the study is capped at $22,560 – in greenbacks.

Paul Krugman Answers Paul Ryan on Debt Crisis: We Can Print Money

Paul KrugmanLiberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Responding to House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s warning that if the federal government continues to run annual $1 trillion deficits we will eventually face a debt crisis, liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Wednesday that that is not a legitimate worry because the U.S. government can always print money and weaken the buying power of the dollar.

Weakening the dollar, Krugman said, would be a good thing.

“The United States is a country that has its own currency–can’t run out of cash because we print the money. If you even try to think what would happen–suppose that investors get down on the United States. Even so, that would weaken the dollar, not send interest rates soaring, and that would be good. That would help our exports,” Krugman said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.”

Krugman was asked whether he thought the U.S. was “in danger of a collapse, a stall, a crisis.”

“No, there’s a whole bunch of reasons why that’s not true. First of all … that trillion dollar deficit is overwhelmingly the result of a depressed economy, and when the economy’s depressed, it’s good to run a deficit. You don’t want the government to try and balance its budget right now,” Krugman said.

C-SPAN showed a video of former GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), speaking at the National Review Institute in Washington, D.C., on dangers of debt.

“We spend a trillion dollars more than we take in each year. We can’t keep that up. If we stay on this path, we will run the risk of a debt crisis. What is that? That’s a moment where our finances collapse, our economy stalls. We will have to convince the country to change course,” Ryan said.

“The story Ryan is trying to tell just doesn’t actually make sense. There are no historical counterparts to the story he claims we’re at risk of, and of course, Ryan himself desperately, desperately is concerned about the deficit but won’t accept one penny in additional revenue to deal with it,” said Krugman, winner of the Nobel prize in economics and author of “End This Depression Now.”

“All he really wants is to cut spending. If it comes to making any sacrifice on what he cares about, which is taxes, he’s not willing to make that sacrifice,” added Krugman.

US taxpayers are set to lose $27 billion from financial bailout: Report

American taxpayers are expected to lose USD 27 billion from the 2008 financial bailout.

 
American taxpayers are expected to lose USD 27 billion from the 2008 financial bailout.
 
 
 
(PressTV)American taxpayers are expected to lose USD 27 billion from the 2008 financial bailout, as a report reveals further losses attributed to the US Treasury Department.

US taxpayers can expect to lose even more than the estimated USD 22 billion made in the fall last year, due to increased losses for the Treasury Department on sales of shares in bailed-out companies, according to a report released on Wednesday by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

The report said taxpayers could lose USD 5.5 billion specifically on Ally Financial – formerly called GMAC under a partnership with General Motors – in losses based on unsafe mortgages given right before the financial crisis. Ally owes USD 14.6 billion of the USD 17.2 billion in assistance it received.

The US government would also need to sell all General Motors shares it holds at USD 71.86 per share, more than double the current price of USD 28. GM still owes USD 21.6 billion of the USD 49.5 billion bailout it received.

“Taxpayers saved GMAC, and they should not be put in the position of needing to save the company again,” said Special Inspector General Christy Romero, adding that both Ally and General Motors owe more than half of the USD 67.3 billion still owed to taxpayers by companies that were bailed out during the financial crisis.

The government watchdog went on to reveal fraud related to TARP during investigations that subsequently led to criminal charges against 119 people, including 82 senior company executives.

This comes as Romero accused the Treasury Department for providing “excessive” pay for executives tied to the bailed-out corporations rescued from the financial crisis including General Motors, Ally Financial and AIG – the largest bailout recipient at USD 182 billion.

After the 2008 financial crisis, Congress authorized USD 700 billion for the bailout of some of America’s largest companies. About USD 413 billion was eventually issued.

Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings

 

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(Economic Collapse) -Does a shadowy group of obscenely wealthy elitists control the world? Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes? The answer might surprise you. Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control. And today we live in a neo-feudalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings. When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars. As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt. That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible. Under this ne0-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments. Just look around – everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier. But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth. They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations. The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet. They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line. They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system. They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world. It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.

The ultra-wealthy don’t run down and put their money in the local bank like you and I do. Instead, they tend to stash their assets in places where they won’t be taxed such as the Cayman Islands. According to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.

U.S. GDP for 2011 was about 15 trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at about 16 trillion dollars, so you could add them both together and you still wouldn’t hit 32 trillion dollars.

And of course that does not even count the money that is stashed in other locations that the study did not account for, and it does not count all of the wealth that the global elite have in hard assets such as real estate, precious metals, art, yachts, etc.

The global elite have really hoarded an incredible amount of wealth in these troubled times. The following is from an article on the Huffington Post website

Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.

The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.

The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.

He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.

But as I mentioned previously, the global elite just don’t have a lot of money. They also basically own just about every major bank and every major corporation on the entire planet.

According to an outstanding NewScientist article, a study of more than 40,000 transnational corporations conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich discovered that a very small core group of huge banks and giant predator corporations dominate the entire global economic system…

An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

The researchers found that this core group consists of just 147 very tightly knit companies…

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

The following are the top 25 banks and corporations at the heart of this “super-entity”. You will recognize many of the names on the list…

1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
4. AXA
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
7. Legal & General Group plc
8. Vanguard Group Inc
9. UBS AG
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
17. Natixis
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation

The ultra-wealthy elite often hide behind layers and layers of ownership, but the truth is that thanks to interlocking corporate relationships, the elite basically control almost every Fortune 500 corporation.

The amount of power and control that this gives them is hard to describe.

Unfortunately, this same group of people have been running things for a very long time. For example, New York City Mayor John F. Hylan said the following during a speech all the way back in 1922

The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.

They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business.

These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.

These international bankers created the central banks of the world (including the Federal Reserve), and they use those central banks to get the governments of the world ensnared in endless cycles of debtfrom which there is no escape. Government debt is a way to “legitimately” take money from all of us, transfer it to the government, and then transfer it into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy.

Today, Barack Obama and almost all members of Congress absolutely refuse to criticize the Fed, but in the past there have been some brave members of Congress that have been willing to take a stand. For example, the following quote is from a speech that Congressman Louis T. McFadden delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives on June 10, 1932

Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board has cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladministration of that law by the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.

Sadly, most Americans still believe that the Federal Reserve is a “federal agency”, but that is simply not correct. The following comes from factcheck.org

The stockholders in the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks are the privately owned banks that fall under the Federal Reserve System. These include all national banks (chartered by the federal government) and those state-chartered banks that wish to join and meet certain requirements. About 38 percent of the nation’s more than 8,000 banks are members of the system, and thus own the Fed banks.

According to researchers that have looked into the ownership of the big Wall Street banks that dominate the Fed, the same names keep coming up over and over: the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Warburgs, the Lazards, the Schiffs and the royal families of Europe.

But ultra-wealthy international bankers have not just done this kind of thing in the United States. Their goal was to create a global financial system that they would dominate and control. Just check out what Georgetown University history professor Carroll Quigley once wrote

[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.

Sadly, most Americans have never even heard of the Bank for International Settlements, but it is at the very heart of the global financial system. The following is from Wikipedia

As an organization of central banks, the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 58 member central banks. While monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation, it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies. Failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time, preferably as a simultaneous policy among all 58 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund, have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be based on unrealistic assumptions.

The ultra-wealthy have also played a major role in establishing other important international institutions such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. In fact, the land for the United Nations headquarters in New York City was purchased and donated by John D. Rockefeller.

The international bankers are “internationalists” and they are very proud of that fact.

The elite also dominate the education system in the United States. Over the years, the Rockefeller Foundation and other elitist organizations have poured massive amounts of money into Ivy League schools. Today, Ivy League schools are considered to be the standard against which all other colleges and universities in America are measured, and the last four U.S. presidents were educated at Ivy League schools.

The elite also exert a tremendous amount of influence through various secret societies (Skull and Bones, the Freemasons, etc.), through some very powerful think tanks and social clubs (the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Bohemian Grove, Chatham House, etc.), and through a vast network of charities and non-governmental organizations (the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, etc.).

But for a moment, I want to focus on the power the elite have over the media. In a previous article, I detailed how just six monolithic corporate giants control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day. These giant corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.

Considering the fact that the average American watches 153 hours of television a month, the influence of these six giant corporations should not be underestimated. The following are just some of the media companies that these corporate giants own…

Time Warner

Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Walt Disney

ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books

Viacom

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1

News Corporation

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
DIRECTV
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan

CBS Corporation

CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network

NBC Universal

Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Trio
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video

And of course the elite own most of our politicians as well. The following is a quote from journalist Lewis Lapham

“The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern the universities, control the philanthropic foundations, the policy institutes, the casinos, and the sports arenas.”

Have you ever wondered why things never seem to change in Washington D.C. no matter who we vote for?

Well, it is because both parties are owned by the establishment.

It would be nice to think that the American people are in control of who runs things in the U.S., but that is not how it works in the real world.

In the real world, the politician that raises more money wins more than 80 percent of the time in national races.

Our politicians are not stupid – they are going to be very good to the people that can give them the giant piles of money that they need for their campaigns. And the people that can do that are the ultra-wealthy and the giant corporations that the ultra-wealthy control.

Are you starting to get the picture?

There is a reason why the ultra-wealthy are referred to as “the establishment”. They have set up a system that greatly benefits them and that allows them to pull the strings.

So who runs the world?

They do. In fact, they even admit as much.

David Rockefeller wrote the following in his 2003 book entitled “Memoirs”

“For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

There is so much more that could be said about all of this. In fact, an entire library of books could be written about the power and the influence of the ultra-wealthy international bankers that run the world.

But hopefully this is enough to at least get some conversations started.

So what do you think about all of this? Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

The Great Seal Of The United States

Luxembourg Court Backs Iceland’s Decision Not to Pay Banker-created Debt

 

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(TheRealAgenda) -Who has to pay the bankers in Iceland’s banking crash? Not the Icelanders. Different from countries such as Spain and Ireland, Iceland decided that taxpayers should not pay for the excesses of an industry that had grown disproportionately, but most importantly, that had ramped up the country’s debt to a point where upwards of 90 % of the debt written under the country’s name was actually bank debt.

Iceland will compensate the British and Dutch two of the countries that had bet more heavily in the fictitious financial products offered by banks out of Iceland. The citizens said no twice through referendums, and now, five years after the collapse of its banking system, a Luxembourg court just gave the northern nation the reassurance that they did what needed to be done to get rid of the bankers’ tentacles.

The Court of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) believes that the country did not violate any law when it refused to return to 300,000 savers money deposited in foreign entities offering some interests that then seemed to good to pass. “It is a victory for democracy. It sends the message that banks can not reap the benefits and send the bill to taxpayers when things go wrong, “says Magnus Skúlasson, an Icelandic economist.

The court, which also represented Norway and Liechtenstein, provides a very interesting nuance: Iceland is not obligated to pay as “the deposit insurance fund was unable to meet its obligations in the event of a systemic crisis “. The decision by the court would be equal to the FDIC fund not having enough cash to ensure the banking entities in the United States, with bankers demanding that U.S. taxpayers assumed the responsibility of a carefully crafted collapse of the American banking system. Just as in the case of Iceland, U.S. taxpayers would not be liable for the banks’ misconduct and therefore they wouldn’t have to pick up the tab.

A community spokesman was quick to answer that Brussels clings to the obligations of the deposit insurance funds that remain “valid also if there is a systemic crisis.” Nevertheless, the European Commission says it needs time to study the ruling. “The ruling is also good for the Netherlands and the UK. If they had won, it would mean that the nation-state is responsible for all bank deposits, something no country wants, “adds Jon Danielsson of the London School of Economics.

After the bankruptcy, the governments in London and Amsterdam used their coffers to compensate customers of the Icelandic bank. Shortly after they began the legal process that came to an end yesterday, as the ruling that Reykjavik considered “satisfactory”, does not admit any appeals.

Despite the support of the courts, Iceland has ended up paying some of the money. Reykjavik has already repaid about 3,300 million euros, about half of the total paid in Icesave, that corresponds to debt that the government itself was actually responsible for. The money corresponds to the debt from Landsbanki, one of three banks that failed in 2008 and led the entire country’s banking system to bankruptcy. The amount paid is more than 90% of the guaranteed minimum that the State was obliged to return.

Mainstream Leaders Say Blogs Are Valuable News Sources

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(Washington’s Blog) -The President of the United States, Head of the Federal Reserve and Others Say Blogs Are Good Sources of News

President Obama said:

Blogs are best at debunking myths that can slip through a lot of the traditional media outlets.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke noted (according to Matt O’Brien, business and economics editor at the Atlantic):

I read blogs. Blogs have become pretty important source of intellectual exchange.

David Steele – former 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer – says  that blogging is crucial for saving our country.

Many of the top economists and financial experts have their own blogs.

The same is true in every other field: politics, law, science, history, international relations, etc.

So next time someone tells you that blogs aren’t credible, tell ‘em that mainstream leaders disagree …

Postscript: Because mainstream media and even social media tend to censor, many people are turning to blogs for unfiltered news and opinions from top experts.

China Just Threatened a Currency War If the Fed Doesn’t Stop Printing

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(Gains Pains and Capital) -The tension between Central Banks that we noted yesterday continues to worsen. This time it was China and the EU, not just Germany, that fired warning shots at the US Fed.

A senior Chinese official said on Friday that the United States should cut back on printing money to stimulate its economy if the world is to have confidence in the dollar.

Asked whether he was worried about the dollar, the chairman of China’s sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation, Jin Liqun, told the World Economic Forum in Davos: “I am a little bit worried.”

“There will be no winners in currency wars. But it is important for a central bank that the money goes to the right place,” Li said.

Speaking at the same session, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici voiced concern that the euro was becoming overvalued as a result of quantitative easing and other stimulus actions taken by other nations’ central banks.

“Certainly, the level of the euro is high and creates some problem,” he said, attributing the single currency’s recent gains partly to the return of confidence created by the European Central Bank and euro zone governments in starting to overcome Europe’s debt crisis.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/25/us-davos-currencies-idUSBRE90O10620130125

So first Germany begins pulling its Gold reserves from the US, and now China and the EU are saying publicly that the Fed’s policies are damaging confidence in the US Dollar.

This does not bode well for the financial system. The primary role of Central Banks is to maintain confidence in the system. If the Central Banks begin to turn on one another it is only a matter of time before the system breaks down.

Remember, every time the Fed debases the US Dollar it forces the Euro and other currencies higher, hurting those countries’ exports. The Fed has recently announced it will be printing $85 billion every month until employment reaches 6.5% (obviously the Fed is ignoring the mountains of data that indicate QE doesn’t create jobs).

How long will the other Central Banks tolerate this before they initiate a currency war? Both Germany and China have fired warning shots at the Fed. And we all know that just beneath the veneer of goodwill, tensions are building between the primary players of the global financial system. More importantly, how can investors profit from this? Remember, entire fortunes can be made during times of crises.

This is precisely the sort of “unquantifiable” investment analysis we specialize in with our Private Wealth Advisory newsletter.

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And this is not some flash in the pan either… Private Wealth Advisory has a history of beating the market and locking in serious gains when others are losing their shirts (we saw a 7% gain in 2008 when the markets fell over 30%)

Indeed, I’m so confident in this newsletter that it comes with a 30-day refund period. If you’re not totally satisfied with Private Wealth Advisory in the first month, simply drop us a line and we’ll refund every cent of your subscription.

You’ll have full access to the Private Wealth Advisory archives in that time. You’ll also receive two new hot off the press issues and very likely several trade signals (it’s getting close to time to close out our 7th and 8th straight winners).

To find out more about Private Wealth Advisory and how it can help you beat Wall Street and the market…

US banks shaken by biggest deposit withdrawals since 9/11

(RT) US Federal Reserve is reporting a major deposit withdrawal from the nation’s bank accounts. The financial system hasn’t seen such a massive fund outflow since 9/11 attacks.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images / AFP The first week of January 2013 has seen $114 billion withdrawn from 25 of the US’ biggest banks, pushing deposits down to $5.37 trillion, according to the US Fed. Financial analysts suggest it could be down to the Transaction Account Guarantee insurance program coming to an end on December 31 last year and clients moving their money that is no longer insured by the government.

The program was introduced in the wake of the 2008 crisis in order to support the banking system. It provided insurance for around $1.5 trillion in non-interest-bearing accounts with a limit of $250,000. It was aimed at medium and small banks as the creators of the program believed bigger banks would cope with the crisis themselves.

So the current “fast pace” of withdrawal comes as a surprise to financial analysts because the deposits are slipping away from those banks which supposedly were safe. Experts expected savers in small and medium banks would turn to bigger players come December 31.

There are a number of reasons behind this unpredicted fund outflow. Some experts believe it has to do with the beginning of the year when the money is randomly needed here and there. Others have concluded the funds are getting down to business and being invested.

Another set of data from the US Federal Reserve shows some deposits may have moved within the banking system from one type of account to another.

ROBBING MALI TO PAY GERMANY

(WRH) That all wars are ultimately bankers’ wars doesn’t get more obvious than this.

Our story starts with the fact that many nations have deposited gold bullion at the New York Federal Reserve. That gold vault was a centerpiece for the Bruce Willis film, “Die Hard With a Vengeance.”

 

The idea is that while you and I are required to transact business with piece of paper and ink, large banks and nations still settle their accounts with gold, which is simply wheeled from one nation’s vault to another to settle a debt, all of it under the roof of the Federal Reserve Gold Depository in New York City, or the similar institutions at the Bank of England and Band of France.

Then, in 2009, a worker at a German gold bullion trader grew suspicious of a gold bar that had come in, and decided to assay the gold content. But the drill bit broke, revealing that the core of the gold car was filled with tungsten, a metal almost the exact same density as gold. The bar was cut open, and the scandal reported on German TV.

Alerted, other gold centers began to scrutinize their gold bars and more fakes quickly surfaced, including China, and the Manhattan jewelry district.

 

 

It quickly became apparent that the problem of tungsten filled bullion bars was widespread. Because many of the fake gold bars had the marking of US sources, nations began to ask for audits and tests of the gold bullion held in their name by the New York Federal Reserve. To the surprise of many, the New York Federal Reserve refused! Indeed the New York Federal Reserve refused the German government permission to simply look at their bullion! Germany’s private central bank then went public assuring the Germans that they trusted America’s private central bank and did not need to see the gold. That was followed by a bizarre editorial from CNBC’s Senior Editor Jim Carney that it didn’t really matter if the bullion was really there at the New York federal Reserve, as long as the bookkeeping said it was!

That set off everyone’s alarm bells!

The German government started demanding their physical gold to be repatriated back to Germany from both the Bank of France and the New York Federal Reserve. Germany demanded all of the 374 tons of gold held by the Bank of France, but only 300 tons of the 1500 tons of bullion held by the New York Federal Reserve. Both the Bank of France and the New York Federal Reserve have stated that the process of returning the gold will take years, five years for the French gold, and seven for the gold coming from the New York Federal Reserve. The delay makes the situation clear. Neither the Bank of France nor the New York Federal Reserve actually have the gold Germany deposited, sending tungsten fakes back to the very nation that first spotted the fraud is risky, the France and the United States are scrambling to find replacement gold.

So where did the gold go? Certainly some of it was dumped onto the market to keep gold prices low, to discourage investors from pulling their money out of the banks and equities markets and switching to gold. But most of it was likely leased out to settle over-sold gold futures contracts to keep the US commodites market from imploding, and now they cannot get it back.

Which brings us to Mali.

Mali is one of the world’s largest gold producers. Together with neighboring Ghana they account for 7-8% of world gold output. That makes them a rich prize for nations desperate for real physical gold. So, even as Germany started demanding their gold back from the Bank of France and the New York Federal Reserve, France (aided by the US) decided to invade Mali to fight “Islamists” working for “Al Qaeda.” Of course, “Islamists” has become the catch-all label for people that need to ne killed to get them out of the way of the path to riches, and the people being bombed by France (aided by the US) are not “Al Qaeda” but Tawariqs, who have been fighting for their independence for 150 years, long before the CIA created “Al Qaeda”. Left to themselves, the Tawariqs could sell gold to whoever they want for whatever they want, and right now China can outbid the US and France.

So off to war your children must go, to spill their blood for the money-junkies’ gold.

UPDATE: Switzerland has announced their intention to repatriate all of their gold held by the New York Federal Reserve and other central banks. That means the gold mines of Mali may not be enough to cover the shortfall. Nearby Ghana is also a major gold producer. Together with Mali, they account for 7% of world gold production. But even that may not be enough, and I am concerned that the US Government may order US citizens to turn in their gold to save the banking system, as Roosevelt did back in 1933.

Withdrawn: $114 Billion From Big U.S. Banks

 

(Business Week) -More than $114 billion exited the biggest U.S. banks this month, and nobody’s quite sure why.

The Federal Reserve releases data on the assets and liabilities of commercial banks every Friday. The most current figures, covering the first full week of 2013, show the largest one-week withdrawals since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Even when seasonally adjusted, the level drops to $52.8 billion—still the third-highest amount on record, and one for which bank experts and analysts were reluctant to give a definitive explanation.

The most obvious culprit is the expiration of the Transaction Account Guarantee program, the extraordinary federal effort to shore up the country’s non-gigantic banks during the 2008 financial crisis. Big banks were considered “too big to fail,” while smaller ones were vulnerable to runs. The TAG program backstopped their deposit bases by temporarily offering unlimited insurance on money kept in non-interest-bearing accounts. That guarantee ended on Dec. 31, so a decrease in deposits would be expected first thing in January.

But hold on: The Fed data show $114 billion leaving the 25 biggest banks—about 2 percent of their deposit base. Only $26.9 billion left all the others, equivalent to 0.9 percent of their deposit base. Experts had predicted that the end of TAG would hurt the nation’s small banks because the big ones are still considered too big to fail. “I think [customers] are going to go back to the mega banks,” the head of a regional bank in Bethesda, Md., toldThe Washington Post in December. “They’ve been assured by the government that mega banks are too big to fail. It’s a horrible, bad, poorly-thought-out situation.”Small banks fearfully lobbied the Senate to extend TAG, with analysts telling the New York Times that they expected $200 million to $300 million—yes, with an m—to move from affected accounts into money market funds or elsewhere.

So if the missing $114 billion is not the result of the TAG program expiration—or at least not all related to TAG—what’s going on? Paul Miller, a bank analyst with FBR Capital Markets, cautions against reading too much into the Fed’s weekly data. “It’s a noisy database,” he says. Among large U.S. banks, there have been movements of greater than $50 billion (not seasonally adjusted) during 107 different weeks since 2000. It’s not uncommon to see 11-figure swings—that is, tens of billions of dollars—from positive to negative, or vice-versa, one week to the next.

Noise can increase near the start of a year. “The first quarter is always a wacky quarter,” Miller says. And January 2013 has seen an incredible amount of change. First, the fiscal cliff drama had companies shifting dividends and had bank clients guessing what their tax liabilities would be, which might explain the $60.4 billion pumped into the largest banks during the week ending Dec. 26. (Seasonally adjusted, it was the sixth-highest level on record.) Second, the payroll tax just went up, sticking most wage earners with paychecks that are 2 percent smaller.

Third, ordinary investors may be ready to move out of federally guaranteed accounts and into investments. Stocks did very well in 2012. As Bloomberg Businessweek’s Roben Farzad wrote on Jan. 16, equity mutual funds saw their second-highest inflows on recordin the first week of the year. Economists are worrying that market exuberance is getting too high, with one measure of risk aversion at a three-decade low.

“If deposits are really trending down—and at the end of the month, we’ll be smarter than we are now—if that’s the case, it can tell us a few things,” says Dan Geller, executive vice president of Market Rates Insight. “And one thing that it could tell us is that the law of elasticity is finally catching up with deposits.” In other words, contrary to what economic theory predicts, deposits have been piling up at banks ever since the crisis, even though they offer pitiful yields. Geller says that may finally be ending—though like Miller, he says not to put too much stock in just one burst of Fed data.

“One week is just a very thin slice,” he says. Still, $114 billion is a big figure, and it’s one to keep an eye on in order to understand where the economy is headed in 2013.

Military Think-Tank Says Constitutionalists Are a Dangerous & Violent Threat

 

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(Occupy Corporatism) -According to a paper entitled “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right” published by Combating Terrorism Center, a think-tank at the West Point US Military Academy that the “far-right”, “anti-federalist” and groups that support “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government” are dangerous as “racist/white supremacy movement, an anti-federalist movement and a fundamentalist movement.”

The paper asserts that Islamic extremists are coercing populations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to assist them in gaining power with the purpose of over-throwing the US government and its allies.

In 2012, the US Armed Forces have announced wars within its ranks as they claim white supremacists are joining the military to infiltrate and overthrow what is referred to as the Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG).

The purveying scheme includes a secret infiltration of racists who are expressly trying to divide the US military. However, the controllers of this concept are the FBI-sponsored Southern Poverty Law (SPLC) Center and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) who are working with the military to train soldiers on how to spot extremists in their ranks. This is the military’s answer to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) See Something, Say Something campaign to create Stasi out of ordinary citizens.

The document states that these “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government. Extremists in the anti-federalist movement direct most their violence against the federal government and its proxies in law enforcement.”

It goes on to correlate modern movements supporting a return to a Constitutional Republic as being violent conservatives living in the past. The report reads: “While liberal worldviews are future- or progressive -oriented, conservative perspectives are more past-oriented, and in general, are interested in preserving the status quo.” the report says. “The far right represents a more extreme version of conservatism, as its political vision is usually justified by the aspiration to restore or preserve values and practices that are part of the idealized historical heritage of the nation or ethnic community.”

The report claims “while far-right groups’ ideology is designed to exclude minorities and foreigners, the liberal-democratic system is designed to emphasize civil rights, minority rights and the balance of power.”

Back in 2011, Vice President Joe Biden accused the Tea Party of having “acted like terrorists” asserting that “we have negotiated with terrorists. This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.” This comment came on the heels of assertions that talking to representatives affiliated with the Tea Party are liken to discussing buracracy with Republicans with “guns to their heads” referencing that the Tea Party wielded violent authority of the political party.

In 2010, the “US Army’s Operating Concept 2016-2028” was published and explains how armed forces in the US and overseas will behave in the future. Specific tactical operations, special “theater”, and organized forces are outlined along with the capabilities and priorities of the US armed divisions. In simple terms: a full spectrum operations manual that details stratagems both domestic and foreign.

As outlined in the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) processes are defined by operational environments in regard to battle space, effects, evaluation of threats and adversaries while determining the course of action. In regard to civil situations, and to maintain intelligence and operational purposes, preparations with regard to terrain are inconsequential.

The Marine Corp Intelligence Requirements Handbooks presents new methodology to combat civilian rebellions and is meant to inspire intelligence professionals working on computer-based intelligence efforts.

Contained within the US Army Military Police training manual for Civil Disturbance Operations are outlines describing how the US military will use the arsenal at their disposal to quell domestic riots, confiscate firearms and kill Americans during times of mass civil unrest.

The explicit use of “deadly force” when confronting “dissidents” is clearly stated with the refusal of a “warning shot” and the directives toward weapons that rioters or demonstrators will experience in the name of continuity of government.

According to Doug Haggman’s DHS informant the plan concerning a false flag attack will coincide with a staged assignation attempt on Obama that will be linked to a white supremacist group that will be used to incite black and Hispanic Americans into starting riots all across the nation.

In this scenario a race war will be the situation needed to implement martial law effectively locking down the US, US Army control of the urban cities, erecting DHS checkpoints on all major points of travel, severe restrictions on travel for all citizens and the suspension of elections to ensure that Obama remain seated as the President of the US.

The DHS informant stated: “The DHS is actively preparing for massive social unrest inside the United States. He then corrected himself, stating that ‘a civil war’ is the more appropriate term. Certain elements of the government are not only expecting and preparing for it, they are actually facilitating it.”

Reported in Haaretz back in 2010 the “Obama’s election may usher a political climate that could produce an assassination attempt…It is most likely, though, to be a lone assassin, rather than an organized network.”

The manufactured threat of US veterans stems from the 2009 Department of Homeland Security report entitled Rightwing Extremism. This report clearly outlined that veterans, because of their diverse training in tactical operations, would be a decisive threat to the US government’s plans to declare martial law against the American public in the near future. Defined in the document were domestic extremists, particularly white supremacists, were proposed to be the newest and most dangerous threat to the US since al-Qaeda.

While admitting that the agency had no definitive proof that “domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, [however] rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.”

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force have indicated to owners of gun shops and gun ranges the US government’s new definitions of domestic terrorist that coincide with their demonization of US veterans and propaganda claims that domestic terrorists are more of a threat than their manufactured insurgent groups like al-Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army.

Mainstream media has spun the propaganda perfectly by asserting that “the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”

This plot hatched over a decade ago to frame veterans as the new terrorist Boogeyman is being played out in the theater of reality as more instances of staged attacks may be looming in the not so distant future. With intentions on destroying the 2nd Amendment, along with demonizing US troops have obvious implications. Former military are trained in tactical operations and could pose a threat to the marital law scenario that the DHS is planning on implementing just in time for the collapse of the US dollar.