Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

April 3, 2011

The World’s Greatest Ponzi Scheme

Filed under: central bank, credit, economy, government, inflation, money, recession — Tags: , , , , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 9:11 pm

house of cardsIn the month of March, the U.S. government spent more than eight times its monthly tax receipts, including money spent for maturing U.S. treasuries.

The U.S. treasury cleared $128.18 billion in tax receipts during the month of March, but paid out a total of $1.05 trillion, which included $49.8 billion in Social Security benefits, $47.4 billion in Medicare benefits, $22.58 billion in Medicaid benefits and $37.9 billion in defense spending. The real financial beating springs from maturing U.S. treasuries where the U.S. paid out $705.3 billion.

In order for the U.S. government to stay afloat with only $128.18 billion in tax receipts, it had to spend $72.5 billion from the balance of cash on hand. This closed the month at $118.1 billion, including the sales of $18 billion worth of TARP assets. Most importantly, the U.S. treasury had to sell $786.5 billion in new treasury bonds, which it will be required to mature at a still higher in the future in order to keep the shirt of its’ back. Surely this is the greatest Ponzi scheme ever executed on the world as the government endlessly seeks to outrun the debt that it creates. The nation is able to fund government expenditures and pay off maturing debt instruments by issuing new and larger amounts of debt. Up to now the Federal Reserve interest has made this debacle survivable.

At this time the interest payments on the United States national debt is the government’s largest monthly expenditure. The world is waking up to the fact that the U.S. government is truly insolvent and that the benefits of propping up the U.S. dollar will no longer be worth the expense to foreign creditors. The U.S. government Ponzi scheme is being exposed for the world to see.

China is becoming more reluctant to continue buying U.S. treasuries as it positions the yuan to be the world’s new reserve currency. Japan needs to raise $300 billion to rebuild parts of their country that were destroyed by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. They will be unable to invest handily in the U.S. or may opt to invest outright in China as money is available. The U.S. desperately needs Japan and the Arab world to roll over national treasuries into larger amounts of new ones. With Arab revolutions taking place across major Saudi states and the U.S. occupying Libya for no good reason at all, the nation is likely see a global disdain for its previously valued treasures that it must sell to cope with the runaway spending and deficits of Congress.

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November 5, 2010

USA Economy: Bernanke Gets ‘Creative’

The Federal Reserve has been mandated by Congress to reduce unemployment while holding their interest rate near zero.  They plan to buy $600 billion in Treasury securities to keep prices from falling and reduce further the long-term borrowing costs, even as 8,000 commercial banks are being locked out of the money flow that could be used to begin financial healing on Main Street.

Bernanke plans to use the tools created during the recession to pump life into the USA economy. They have been projecting that the USA economy has been expanding for 15 months, but not to their satisfaction. They want the USA economy to grow at a larger rate. The reaction of the market has caused the dollar to fall and stocks to rise, as if Wall Street is a true measure of the USA economy. The focus is on Wall Street. Main Street be damned.

Bernanke hopes that he can encourage Wall Street investors to take more risks without risking inflation or encouraging price bubbles of assets by pushing the unemployment rate, which has been above 9 percent since June 2009.

Allen Sinai, the chief global economist at Decision Economics Inc. in New York claims that the Federal Reserve is not working up to standard. He criticized that they are paid to do the job more effectively, but their work is not up to standard. The fact remains that no human institution is truly equipped to deal with the crisis. We are in new economic territory with a global currency at stake, currently propped up by Wall Street as a distraction from the truth.

To push the rate of unemployment down, the central bank wants to spur the rate of US economic growth above a 2.5 annual growth rate.

November 1, 2010

Federal Reserve Adds Bank Fees to Fatten Profits

Filed under: banking, business, corporatism, credit, economy, federal reserve, globalization, government, money — digitaleconomy @ 9:54 am

 

Fed ever hopeful

Today, the Federal Reserve Board announced the approval of fee schedules, starting January 3, 2011, for services the Federal Reserve Banks provide to depository institutions, a kind of double taxation. The Board also approved maintaining the current earnings credit rate on clearing balances.

The “Reserve Banks” (12 in number) project that they will recover 102.0 percent of their priced services costs in 2011, recovering all of their actual and theoretical expenses, while earning a profit that is above their return on equity. Part of this “need for fees” has been justified through the electronic collections system in banking. As more consumers and banks use paper checks less and because fewer checks are being processed through their system, as expected, they will bring their profit expectations more in line with previous years. The real issue in profitability is that consumers are no longer having check return fees issued against them for lack of account funding. As a result, the Fed has seen profits drop 20 percent. Now, we have the admission by the Fed that they were behind the rise of banks covering deficient bank balances in exchange for fees.

The Fed also approved the 2011 private-sector adjustment factor (PSAF) for priced services of $39.5 million. The PSAF is a “theoretical fee” based on the allowance for income taxes and other imputed expenses that would have been paid and profits that would have been earned if the Federal Reserve was allowed to operate as a regular commercial bank. Their excuse? The Monetary Control Act of 1980 requires that the Federal Reserve establish fees to recover the costs of providing priced services over the long run, as well as “promoting competition” between the Reserve Banks and private-sector service providers. It’s all about the money. As usual, the Fed, like other bankers, never create enough credits to keep them happy. The corporate oligarchy of central bankers continues to run amok as they give themselves more authority.

October 12, 2010

U.S. on the Way to the Third World?

Everyone is talking about unemployment, but nobody is talking about the long-term reality of the U.S. economy. Wall Street is playing investment games with agricultural commodities to make money, which is now impacting prices apart from traditional supply and demand. This translates to higher prices despite a poverty-stricken economy. Food processors and manufacturers are cutting products sizes and raising prices, which means that Americans continue to get the short shrift on all sides.

Then there are the jobs. This month the U-6 category from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (a measure of unemployment that includes those who have stopped looking for work)  jumped to 17.1%, yet another red flag.

Also, consider the U.S. trade deficit that sends billions of dollars overseas to foreign countries, never to return, evaporating into the global economy. The deficit means that the Fed will print more money to add to an already robust global dollar supply.

The nation has another banking crisis, where it has been revealed that fraudulent foreclosure documents were signed without evaluation. This could plunge both the the mortgage industry and the banking industry into another “too big to fail” bailout. Who are we kidding? Messy lawsuits could be the order of the day as buyers and investors seek redress for damages, either real or imaginary. All this financial pressure will undoubtedly influence exporting more jobs outside of America to cut corporate costs. That is why you are hearing all the media hype about Americans not being trained enough for sophisticated jobs that they no longer qualify for. They are preparing you for the ugly truth, even if the reasons are really fiction.

Many Americans struggle to pay for necessities now as those prices continue to rise. Food basics are once again on the rise. Food processors are likely to pass that on American consumers. To counter all the bad news, the Fed is considering creating inflation with the hope of boosting the economy. Printing more dollars to send overseas is hardly a solution. Printing dollars to keep those dollars here is the only viable solution, but hardly an option since most corporate shareholders only care about the bottom line as they send the bulk of their work to cheaper labor markets. Whether that bottom line rests on foreign factories or in American ones doesn’t matter to them.

This short-sided thinking is unsustainable at best, even as corporations seek government funding because they are unwilling to take risks in the U.S. marketplace. They seek that money only because the U.S. government is stupid enough to offer incentives to those that don’t really need the cash. It just pads the bottom line for larger corporations, as that money evaporates forever with little reward for Americans. Meanwhile, the media continues to boast that small business is responsible for a robust economy, even as the U.S. government penalizes small business. Enjoy the new American third world and the decline of the nation in favor of funding multinational corporations.

August 1, 2010

Digital Privacy Once Again in the Air

Did you know that a proposed amendment to U.S. surveillance law leaves even lawmakers guessing on privacy implications for internet users? Now why would this be? Invasion of privacy in the United States has been ongoing since Bush and 911. With this amendment, many fear the unlimited reach of the FBI where email and internet surfing are concerned. The royal question is being credited against the Obama administration over the responsibility of the lawmakers in the Senate and House. Last I heard, the Senate and House had little to do with the President. Since the Senate and House have more to say with the construction and final wording of this amendment, clearly a visit to your local lawmakers is in order if you care about such things.

Anyone that has been keeping track of digital privacy and security knows that A.T.&T. is already working in collaboration with the federal government to store and rake through all the data that comes into and leaves the States. Suddenly, fear is rampant about the FBI having free access to all that data without a court order, judge approval or oversight. Suspicion or wrongdoing doesn’t enter the picture, just being relevant to an intelligence or terrorism investigation. This amounts to a free season on personal information, as well as all that spam that you get in your email daily. In effect, little has changed in technical terms.

The FBI has already engaged in widespread and serious misuse of its privilege so far. They illegally collect data from both  Americans and foreigners, based on a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general that was concluded in 2007. FBI officials issued 192,499 national security letter requests from 2003 to 2006.

The FBI and other internal agencies like the NSA, have come to rely on free access to your personal email and the like. They have free access to information from telephone providers, banks, credit bureau and business, already holding wide powers where personal information is concerned.

The law already requires Internet service providers to produce the records. The want the power to get whatever details they need from internet sources without litigation or preview by judges. A few lawmakers like Patrick Leahy of Vermont have suddenly become concerned about privacy issues and civil liberties, as if these have not already been violated. It’s all about having the necessary tools to “keep Americans safe.”

If you are wondering why anyone should be concerned, all you to do is to examine the vagueness that “law” is written with. The interpretation is often left to the user or implementing agency to decide. Proponents of this amendment say that it is merely clarifying what Congress intended back in 1993. Oh really?

Since a 2008 justice department opinion, some providers have refused access to internet records and web surfing histories. What do you think? If you aren’t watching what you say in your emails and where you browse, you might think twice.

July 26, 2010

Plague of Home Foreclosures in U.S. Continues

The miraculous recovery that has been proffered by the Banking Elite hasn’t happened. Central Bankers and Wall Street profiteers believed that they could continue to operate with wild speculation while reaping the results and encouraging more of the same. The financial wizards have not proved their financial literacy. Their speculative downfall started with bundling speculative instruments tied to U.S. housing debt that never should have happened to begin with. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of Americans bought homes that never really qualified. The hot market was bolstered until the superheated financial bubble burst, leaving a worldwide recession based on what amounts to Wall Street gambling on highly leveraged contracts that have bankrupted the system. The reality is that the problem isn’t with foreclosures themselves, but with the bundled securities and expected profits that are tied to the failing mortgages. No doubt, these securities have been packaged and sold dozens of times even though they are worth nothing now.

More than three years into a U.S. housing crisis that started a worldwide recession, home foreclosures continue to further the devaluation of the U.S. economy. The waves of foreclosures no longer come from sub-prime loans that have defaulted. Foreclosures come from formerly respectable borrowers that have lost their jobs in an impoverished and drained economy that no functions to support a nation of hard-working Americans, but functions only to serve the Banking Elite.

In the first half of 2010, more than 1.6 million U.S. properties are in the midst of foreclosure filings, which include bank repossessions, default notices and auction sale notices. This is an 8 percent increase from the first half of 2009 which puts the United States on target to reach 3 million filings this year. These numbers show the fragile state of housing and real estate investment, which has been decimated. Government programs have been ineffective at stopping the national hemorrhage. Little has changed except that more Americans are living in rentals, with friends and family, in tents or on the streets, depending on their financial fortunes.

The U.S. government and banking profiteers built a house of cards on the idea that the cost of housing would always rise and that the profits would never cease. After massive bailouts, they are still stuck without a financial course to chart and exploit, beyond tapping government bailouts. The Federal Reserve holds trillions in useless notes and obligations in the hope that someday they will be worth more than the paper they are printed on. The economy continues to spiral downward despite limited attempts by big money multinationals to bolster the market.

Corporate multinationals and banking bigshots aren’t here as charities. They demand to make money for shareholders. For decades they have profited from U.S. tax law and from the backs of manufacturing slaves in the third-world. Now they seek to hold the bottom line and to keep their organizations alive. Now they are cannibalizing inept governments to sustain themselves. Stagnation is preferable to loss as the United States becomes the new third-world in their great plan to level the national playing field through globalization. Welcome to the brave new world of globalism, where everyone is equal except for the corporate oligarchy.

It isn’t pretty, but is pretty much as advertised.

July 11, 2010

Recession: The Ol’ Double Dip?

What is happening in the U.S. economy? The  newborn atmosphere of a slow recovery has plummeted since the start of the year when financial agencies were debating when to announce an interest rate increase. That is no longer the case.

The tax credit for first-time home buyers for up to $8,000 was over in April. Since then, housing transactions have nearly vanished. The mortgage loan interest rate has fallen to historic lows. The economic upturn that authorities claimed earlier this year simply the result of economic stimulus measures by the United States government.

Events are just as somber outside of the United States. From all appearances, a $1 trillion relief package ended the financial crisis that hit Europe. Still there is not a sign of recovery. Germany provided the needed stimulus funds, but is no longer providing capital to keep failed economies that have squandered credit with bankers solvent. Efforts to revive the economy have resulted only in more loss as bankers continue to plunder with their derivative cons. The U.S. has been fearful of making changes for the banking and finance community. Central bankers are still in charge, printing dollars as if there were no tomorrow.

Job are gone in the United States, likely forever. This is the admission of VP Joe Biden a little more than a week ago. States are looking at emergency measures to see what they can do to avoid the bleeding of jobs to other lands and to other peoples. Arizona is due to begin enforcement of a controversial immigration policy that is designed to return employment back to Arizona residents since measures by the federal government have been lackluster to non-existent in many places. The nation is full of illegals, the exact number unknown.

The price of a global economy is likely to be high. Every economy is subject to bring another one down. No one has discovered a way to move out of the doldrums. $787 billion in the U.S. was designed to boost domestic consumption, but the market is still cold. Congress has moved to bolster the economy through The Buy American Act, a ancient law passed in 1933 that requires the suppliers of the government to use American made products. Lawmakers are afraid to close tax loopholes that have remained open for corporations since 1991. As a result, nothing changes.

This has cooled temporary benefits of trade by corporations in the U.S.  known as the trade deficit. Corporations don’t care about this public denuding of wealth. They simply look to their own profits, not a sustainable relationship over time. Politicians outside of the U.S. want to promote free trade, as if the United States has more to offer in this regard. Even during the recession, the States were the primary agent of consumption for the world. Reckless spending, careless law and the rise of the corporate oligarchy has resulted in a new world, with a more level playing field. That is, after all, what globalists have wanted. This means that the big players that the globe depended on for economic sustenance are no longer the powerhouses they once were.

The nation is in an economic quagmire because it has ceded its wealth to corporations, a.k.a. multinationals and central bankers. The common opinion is that nations should not try to survive at the expense of other nations. Even so, the reality is that this has always been the case. The homogenized sameness of global balance supports only those that are in place to take advantage of it. The majority of the world will suffer at the hand those few that won’t. What’s new about that? It’s simply more political pandering that benefits a few.

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