Thursday, August 27, 2015

“The Banksters Did It”: The Central Banks Have Engineered This Financial Collapse

from globalreasearch

Global Research, August 26, 2015

Good news, everybody! The markets are rebounding! Yes, we just a hit a minor bump in the road there, but don’t worry, everything is back to normal now. Let’s forget about the tail end of last week and this week’s Black Monday, shall we? Pay no mind to the uncomfortable low lights of the global stock rout:
Nope, nothing to see here. And now that this dead cat bounce is underway, surely there will be no more commodity deflation or global economic slowdown or worldwide currency war orhistorically unprecedented bond bubbles to worry about, right?
OK, enough sarcasm. Readers of this column will know by now that the phony baloney stock markets, manipulated as they are from top to bottom and juiced as they are on the Fed’s QE heroin, are no longer reflective of economic reality. The only question is how far this particular dead cat market will bounce, and whether it will be helped along with more heroin from the Fed.
But there is already one vitally important take away from these events that the independent media must articulate now, before it’s too late. Namely: This crisis was engineered by the central banks. It is their fault.
Let me repeat that again in case you missed it: This crisis was engineered by the central banks.
stock-market-bubbleThis point is not even controversial. It has been the universal consensus of institutions ranging from the Bank for International Settlements to the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, and from OECD officials toformer Fed Governors and even Alan “Bubbles” Greenspan himself.
In fact, analyst after analyst and pundit after pundit–including the most mainstream of mainstream publications–have been sounding the alarm on the stock market bubble for much of the past year.
This tells us two things: the current market mayhem was perfectly predictable (and predicted), and the central banks not only stayed the course but actually doubled down with more and more QE injections.
It is the central banks that have created this mess, and what’s more they have created this mess in the full knowledge that their actions would lead to disaster. And now, one can be sure, the same central bankers and their political puppet mouthpieces will use this crisis to continue the construction of the “New World Order” that they called for in the wake of the 2008 collapse.
Anyone who can’t see the endgame now–global government by the bankers, of the bankers and for the bankers–is either blind or wilfully ignorant.
It is especially important to state these obvious truths now, because we can already see a false narrative underway. This narrative has two main thrusts: one is to paint China as the culprit for the global downturn and the other is to assume that only central banks can save the day (with even greater liquidity injections and even deeper rate cuts).
The China-as-economic-villain narrative ranges from the subdued (“China’s ‘Black Monday’ sends markets reeling across the globe“) to the blatant (“Chinese Economy Causes Markets to Fall“) to the silly (“Don Yuan Causes Heartbreak“), but they all convey the same message: China has brought this on the world all by itself. It’s not that China is reacting to a global monetary environment created by the Fed and fostered by other central banks, or a global economic slowdown that is biting into a heavily export-driven economy, or the conflicting pressures on the country as it tries to navigate its way toward global reserve currency status. Nope, it’s just a bull in a china shop (or is that a China in a bull market?) knocking things over and causing mayhem (Trump was right!).
central-bankers-28-2The only-central-banks-can-save-us narrative is even more infantile, but also more dangerous. We are told that the crash came because China’s central bank failed to act. We are told that it’s now up to Turkey’s central bank to bolster the flagging lira. We are told that the Lehman collapse occurred because of too little central bank intervention. We are told that only the European Central Bank is capable of “riding to the rescue” and preventing a market rout.
In other words the very same institutions that engineered this crisis are the only ones that can save us.
It is the height of insanity that anyone would believe this nonsense, but then again the world fell for it after Lehman, and they’re likely to fall for it again. Unless we spread the word.
The banksters did it. And unless we derail their agenda, they’re going to do it again.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Strict Bank Bailout Rules Tie EU’s Hand in Rescues

from wsj

Greek example highlights drawbacks of hard and fast rules

Customers wait to enter a Eurobank Ergasias bank branch in Athens in July. Uninsured deposits in Greek banks were spared in the country's latest bailout. ENLARGE
Customers wait to enter a Eurobank Ergasias bank branch in Athens in July. Uninsured deposits in Greek banks were spared in the country's latest bailout. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS
The bailout deal for Greece added another chapter to the eurozone’s struggles to limit the costs of saving broken banks. But the bloc's new, stricter rules on imposing losses on banks’ investors and creditors mean that the flexibility shown to Greece, where economic concerns trumped political considerations, might not last.
At their meeting last Friday, eurozone finance ministers decided that shareholders and subordinated and senior creditors in Greek banks would be “bailed in,” or lose their claims, before any public money could be used to recapitalize the banks. Uninsured deposits, which include household savings above €100,000 ($111,000) and corporate bank accounts, however, would remain untouched.
“This is a meaningful victory for economic sanity,” says Nicolas Véron, a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.
There is no public data on how much of the €159 billion in deposits that were left in Greek banks when capital controls were introduced at the end of June is uninsured. But European officials say that during the months of uncertainty over Greece’s financial future the vast majority of individual savers had drawn down deposit accounts above €100,000. Left exposed were small and medium-size companies, which need money in the bank to pay suppliers and salaries.
Bailing in those accounts would have delivered another painful blow to Greece’s already-battered economy, pushing up bad loans that in turn would have required lenders to boost their capital buffers even more.
It would have been “taking with one hand and having to give with the other,” says a European official.
The decision to spare those accounts stands in contrast to the 2013 bailout for Cyprus, where uninsured depositors had to give up almost half their savings. It also falls short of strict European Union bank restructuring and resolution rules that require the “bail in” of uninsured deposits.
While this legislation, known as BRRD, doesn’t come fully into force until January, eurozone finance chiefs had previously made clear they would push for early implementation in cases where European taxpayer money was involved.
That Greece would be different wasn’t a foregone conclusion. Eurozone governments were eager to limit the bailout’s €86 billion tab, €25 billion of which has been set aside for recapitalizing banks. And in negotiations leading up to last week’s deal, Germany and Austria—at times with the support of the Netherlands and Slovenia—favored uninsured depositors taking a hit, according to European officials.
It required an intervention by European Central Bank PresidentMario Draghi to convince ministers that depositors should be spared this time around, these officials say. Mr. Draghi also argued that this decision needed to be communicated clearly now, rather than after a round of stress tests uncovers the banks’ actual capital needs by the end of this year.
For the EU’s broader struggle with the question of how to deal with failing banks, this decision sends different and somewhat contradictory signals.
It is a sign of how far the bloc has come since 2008, when banks were bailed out in almost every country, with even shareholders often walking away without losing their claims. A first push against this regime of cautiousness came in 2010, when Irish demands to impose losses on bondholders in their own failing banks were squashed by then-ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, who feared such a move would spread panic across Europe’s financial system.
The 2012 rescue deal for Spain established a new order. Shareholders and subordinated creditors were bailed in. Mr. Draghi noted that in the worst cases, where banks were so broken that they needed to be wound down, even senior bonds would no longer be sacrosanct.
It took until the next spring, and a huge banking crisis in tiny Cyprus, for that taboo to fall, taking with it the unwritten rule that even uninsured deposits were safe in the currency union.
That the coming bail-in of senior bonds in Greek banks went largely unnoticed on financial markets indicates that investors are now prepared for losses—at least when it comes to poor eurozone governments that don’t have the money or clout to bail them out.
“This gives an indication of the considerable change that has occurred in Europe,” says Mr. Véron.
At the same time, the Greek example highlights the drawbacks of setting hard and fast rules on bank restructuring. Once the bloc’s new bail-in rules become legally binding next year, political deals to protect uninsured depositors will be more difficult to seal—especially with growing demands for such action from powerful countries such as Germany.
EU finance ministers and parliamentarians spent two years wrestling with the question of how strict the new bail-in rules should be. The result was a loophole that allows some liabilities, such as uninsured deposits, to be spared to preserve financial stability—but only after losses have been imposed on at least 8% of a bank’s total liabilities, including capital.
In Greece, that could have meant cuts to deposits of as much as 39%, according to calculations by Brussels-based economic-policy think tank Bruegel.
Guntram Wolff, the director of Bruegel, believes that countries where the entire banking system is in crisis may still get special treatment. But, he warned, “it will be harder to make this kind of exception” under the new rules.

Monday, August 10, 2015

An economic earthquake is rumbling


Posted on 

dollar sign on fault line with american flag as the ground

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While the people sleep, an economic earthquake rumbles underneath. The day that they begin to feel the quake draws near.
History will record that in this decade more people will lose more money (forget about the trillions of dollars already lost) than at any time in our history, including during the Great Depression.
At the same time, a very small group has made and will make huge sums of money.
During the Y2K scare (a real hoax) many people stored food. Then, after Y2K, many people wanted to dump their cache; and some did.
We advised readers of my Bob Livingston Letter at the time to store food simply because of the crisis world we live in, but to store those foods that you could rotate and consume. Stored food is a hedge against inflation. It’s a hedge against natural disaster. It’s a hedge against economic collapse. It was our advice before, and it has been our advice since.
This advice is still valid. People who don’t have some stored food don’t realize how dependent they are on the system and government. Of course, the system was designed and created to make the people dependent on government. That makes them easier to control.
Many people have been in hard times since 2008, thanks to bursting housing and derivatives bubbles — both fueled by the Federal Reserve’s money printing and both predicted by me in my Letter and by many other writers. For those of us who are not well-connected (those of us who are not in the 1 percent), there has been no relief. While the banksters got bailouts and Wall Street and the banksters benefited from the money printers, the middle class was impoverished. Savings were wiped out.
More working-age people than ever before are not working. More young workers than ever before are still living with their parents because they are either out of work or working at low-paying jobs. More people than ever before are on the government dole. Welfare pays more than most jobs. Retirement funds have been cashed out and spent on living expenses.
Wages have not kept up with inflation — not the phony inflation numbers peddled by the Fed and the propaganda media, but real inflation.
Printing-press money is fertile ground for expanding world crisis. Crisis is excellent cover for national and international chicanery. Boy, we have it!
How can anyone who is paying attention not recognize these tremors for what they are?
The default rate of companies with the lowest credit rating is at its highest level since 2013.
The auto loan debt bubble is at $900 billion, fueled by easy credit and long-term loans (more than 60 months on even used cars) that put the car buyer upside down as he drives off the lot and keeps him there. U.S. mortgage holders are carrying the most non-mortgage debt they’ve had in more than 10 years; 81 percent of that is automobile debt. Student-loan debt held by mortgage holders is the highest it’s ever been, with the average balance owed at nearly $35,000. Almost 5.7 million homeowners remainunderwater on their mortgages.
We see bad inflation in the immediate future. Inflation in housing and consumer goods exceeds the Fed’s stated inflation goal of 2 percent, but Fed Chair Janet Yellen is talking about raising interest rates to kick-start more inflation. But a deflationary collapse has started in commodities, oil and gold. The dollar is rising. Today’s dollar index chart mirrors the dollar index chart pre-2008 collapse.
U.S. dollar assets are in a slow-motion crash. A financial asset is any paper asset, such as CDs, bank accounts, U.S. government bonds, etc. While we sleep, we are losing our savings. The U.S. stock market is in a QE-driven bubble that will soon burst.
Inflation and deflation are both forms of wealth destruction and impoverishment. Now think about this: The U.S. government has an official and stated policy of currency destruction through inflation. This is voluntary destruction of the currency. If instead we have deflation because of the collapse of debt, we still have currency destruction.
Besides, the U.S. dollar and U.S. financial assets pay almost no interest. Plus, it’s now official U.S. and World Bank policy to take your money in the event of another collapse as we saw in 2008. They call it a “bail in.” That is a code word for “what’s yours is really theirs.”
Wisdom dictates getting out of dollar assets ASAP! I long ago, way before the 2008 crash, cashed out my IRA and took the penalty. Many of the readers of my Letter did, too. It was well worth it. The government is also eyeballing your IRA, 401(k) and pension even now. Stealing it from you and replacing it with government paper would knock a big hole in the so-called “government debt” and prop up the system for a while longer.
The Greeks ignored the warning signs of their failing economy to their detriment. They were left standing in long lines, waiting to withdraw meager amounts of their own rationed cash, and diving in dumpsters for food because the shelves were bare.
Sooner or later, inflation skyrockets. Paper money economies always crash in the end, and their currencies end up worthless.
At some point, there will be a panic. Many people will realize that the debt pyramid is collapsing. Most who see what’s happening will not act. The herd instinct suggests that only a few will bail out in time; but the majority will act in panic, too late. We saw it in Greece. We saw it in Cyprus.
“Oh, yes,” you say. “It cannot happen here in the U.S.; or if it does, it won’t be for some time.” But it has awesome potential at any time. Why in the world take the chance? Prudent and wise people always plan for eventualities that the crowd can’t see.
In hyperinflation, there is actually a shortage of paper money. The paper money production cannot keep up with prices. Now that we have electronic money, prices and inflation can go higher than the mind can imagine. The Fed is manipulating the consumer price index to cover inflation. This allows them to maintain zero interest rates on U.S. debt, but it also means zero interest on savings.
Things are in place for huge inflation now. They think the people won’t know if they just kill the indicators. This is really a fantasy world. Since the money creators own the mass media, it seems that they can make the people believe anything, more fiction than fact.
When we tell you to buy gold and silver coins and gold stocks; to store some food, water and ammo; and to buy Swiss annuities in Swiss francs, we are talking preservation of your assets, as well as survival financially and physically.
Don’t trust the banks. Most are bankrupt. Don’t put your gold and silver coins in the safe deposit box. Keep them at home and keep them secret. Don’t keep more cash in the bank than is necessary to cover about a month’s worth of bills. This is a flashing red alert.
Many tens of thousands of people who have their trust in the government system (U.S. currency) are headed dead ahead into impoverishment.
P.S. — Will you take the steps now to prepare for disaster and collapse? If you do, they will end up making you financially stronger… more independent…more self-reliant… even healthier… than you are now. Click Here for a complete manual that will give you a protocol you can follow in order to ensure your survival and prosperity starting today.
Personal Liberty

Bob Livingston

founder of Personal Liberty Digest™, is an ultra-conservative American author and editor of The Bob Livingston Letter™, in circulation since 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.
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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Holder proves you can go home again

from journalnow


Posted: Friday, August 7, 2015 8:30 pm
Novelist Thomas Wolfe famously wrote: “You can’t go home again.” But Eric Holder has proven him wrong.
Holder, who served as President Barack Obama’s attorney general until stepping down earlier this year, recently returned to his old home — Covington & Burling.
Where’s that? Well, it’s not actually a place, but a powerhouse Washington lobbying and lawyering outfit. It runs interference in Washington for such Wall Street heavyweights as Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — and it’s a place where Holder definitely feels at home.
After serving as a deputy attorney general in the 1990s, Holder was invited in 2001 to leave his government job and join the corporate covey of Covington & Burling lawyers. There, he happily hauled water for corporations until tapped to re-enter the government in 2009.
The most striking thing about Holder’s six-year run as America’s top lawyer was his ever-so-delicate treatment of the Wall Street banksters who crashed our economy in 2008.
Despite blatant cases of massive fraud and finagling, Holder failed to prosecute even one of the top Wall Streeters involved. Indeed, he kindly de-prioritized criminal prosecutions of mortgage fraud, and even publicly embraced the soft-on-corporate-crime notion that Wall Street banks are “too big to fail” and “too big to jail.”
It’s no surprise that Holder is once again spinning through the revolving door of government service to rejoin his corporate family at Covington & Burling. In fact, in his years away, the firm kept a primo corner office empty for him, awaiting his return home.
In a way, he never really left. But now his paycheck for serving corporate interests will be many millions of dollars a year. That should make this a happy homecoming.
Jim Hightower is the editor of the newsletter The Hightower Lowdown.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bankster Prosecutions Plunged After Bush’s Presidency


Home / Editorials / Bankster Prosecutions Plunged After Bush’s Presidency
Eric Zuesse

U.S. President Barack Obama has followed through on the secret promise he made in the White House, on 27 March 2009, to Wall Street’s CEOs, and that was finally made public in full only when Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men was issued in 2011. The phrase “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks” hadearlier leaked out from the private meeting, but Obama’s promise to them had not been: “I’m not out there to go after you. I’m protecting you.” Suskind also revealed (on page 234) that Obama said on that occasion, “I’m going to shield you.” Obama asked the CEOs, in return, for cuts in their bonuses, but he didn’t press the matter, and they didn’t do that. Suskind wrote: “The bankers realized he was talking about voluntary limits on compensation until the storm of public anger passed. It would be for show.” And, it was. Their bonuses soared again. But Obama continued protecting them.
When future taxpayers pay off the exploding federal debt that was generated by the bail-outs of the inside investors in Wall Street (the “counter-parties”) — the mega-financial institutions, the controlling interests in which are owned by the global aristocracy, basically the world’s billionaires — some of that debt will have been money those CEOs scooped up from the Federal Government (some indirectly via the Federal Reserve) as a result of the Wall Street bailouts.
On 29 July 2015, Syracuse University’s TRAC Reports headlined “Federal White Collar Prosecutions At 20-Year Low,” and linked to their full study, which showed that, whereas in fiscal year 2004-2005, under George W. Bush, “Bank Fraud” had been the #1 most-prosecuted of all ”white collar crime matters,” it is, in the latest fiscal year, 2014-2015, only #3.
The Obama Administration, including his FBI and Justice Department, and his Treasury Department and IRS, have focused instead on “Fraud by wire, radio, or television,” a category that the banksters use little if at all (though some of the people who help them and whom they pay off, use it a lot). The second-most prosecuted “white collar crime” by Obama is the category, “Public money, property or records,” and this one isn’t used by the banksters in any way.
Similarly, none of the other categories of “white collar crime” is at all useful to banksters.
Though Obama’s promise to the banksters was not made public at the time, his promise to the public was entirely public immediately. The details, with the links to the published sources, are here. In a nutshell: He announced on 20 May 2009 doubling “the FBI’s mortgage and financial fraud program, allowing it to better target fraud.” Then, nearly two years later, in his State of the Union Address on 24 January 2012, he announced, “Tonight, I’m asking by Attorney General to create a special unit … to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.” But the Inspector General of the Department of Justice reported in March 2014 that, though “DOJ and its components have repeatedly stated publicly that mortgage fraud is a high priority, … we found mortgage fraud to be a low priority, or not listed as a priority, for the FBI Field Offices we visited,” and, “the number of FBI agents investigating mortgage fraud as well as the number of pending investigations decreased.”
And, of course, that also explains the reason why TRAC Reports finds that “Bank fraud” declined from #1 to #3 in the Obama Administration’s prosecutions of “white collar crimes.”
So: while Obama’s promise made in secret to the people who benefited from the corruption that produced the 2008 crash was honored by him, his promises made in public to the people who (along with their children and grandchildren and beyond) will be paying for those crimes via higher taxes and reduced government services (except services to the federal and state debts — the bondholders) have not.
NOTE: This isn’t to say that George W. Bush wasn’t as horrendous (or maybe even worse) a President than is Barack Obama. But it’s to say that regarding enforcement of the laws against elite financial crimes, Obama is worse than Bush. As I earlier noted:
On 15 November 2011, Syracuse University’s TRAC Reports had headlined “Criminal Prosecutions for Financial Institution Fraud Continue to Fall,” and provided a chart showing that whereas such prosecutions had been running at a fairly steady rate until George W. Bush came into office in 2001, they immediately plunged during his term and were continuing that decline under Obama, even after the biggest boom in alleged financial fraud cases since right before the Great Depression. And, then, on 24 September 2013, TRAC Reports bannered “Slump in FBI White Collar Crime Prosecutions,”and said that “prosecutions of white collar criminals recommended by the FBI are substantially down during the first ten months of Fiscal Year 2013.” This was especially so in the Wall Street area: “In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest projected drop in the rate of white collar crime prosecutions — 27.8 percent — was the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).”
In other words: Not only has Obama refocused away from bankster-crime, but he has refocused away from the entire broader category of “white collar crime.” (That includes not only the banksters, and of course virtually all crimes by billionaires, but also the crimes by the people they hire, including their accountants and other contractors and sub-contractors.) He’s the aristocracy’s representative, not the public’s. This is a perfect example confirming what was found in the only broad scientific study that has been done of the data regarding whether the U.S. is a democracy. That showed the U.S. is no longer a democracy; it’s ruled by its aristocracy. Obama represents them. The rest from him is essentially lies. However, this study showed that the phenomenon didn’t start with him, nor even with George W. Bush. It started with Reagan, if not perhaps even earlier than that. However,as Jimmy Carter has noted, it’s getting worse.