Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

March 8, 2009

Bailout Fever Meets with Resistance

bank-bailoutBailout fever is no longer the style as the Senate Banking Committee, notably Republicans, are rising up against the prospect of moral hazard.

Read article on Associated Content by E. Manning

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October 30, 2008

Economic Hurricane Ravages Globe

U.S. economic contraction is in the news again as quarterly statistics pour in. Central bankers in economies across the world are cutting interest rates in the vain hope of sustaining banking rates for lending. While the United States is reporting the sharpest economic contraction in seven years, this statement is likely quoted to throw you off the economic trail that this is the worst economic fallout in a century. Why? It makes no sense to quote such a fact when the rest of the world is reeling with fear and trepidation with a full factual account. We are still on the front side of the hurricane as it comes into shore.

U.S. business collateral damage is being reported as U.S. citizen bail out of making major purchases and cut back on spending in an effort to avoid the plight of shrinking prosperity. Business have been hit hard by consumer cutbacks and lack of credit. Huge job losses have the nation staggering as confidence wanes. The talk of fiscal stimulus is in the air, now a constant topic in U.S. Congressional hearings. Strangely, many bankers, notably on Wall Street are still trying to issue bonuses to commissioned employees despite record losses and major taxpayer bailouts.

One bright light in the eyes of many is huge cash infusion and enlargement of central banking swap lines. This is seen as relieving the stress of frozen interbank lending even though this has not been thoroughly proved. U.S. bankers of any size have been notoriously resistant to anything but their own interests as they seek government guarantees for every aspect of their businesses. The other down side is the deflationary havoc that this will ultimately play on the dollar in the long term. However, short-term stability is main concern of most parties across the globe.

The International Monetary Fund has become the latest scorekeeping organization for tracking the plight of foreign and emerging economies in crisis. In any event, the news is overwhelmingly bad. While the news is mostly bad, it isn’t bad for everyone. Economic damage from the recession has slowed global growth, but has strengthened the dollar, allowing for a temporary export blitz for many capital goods like in the aviation industry. This temporary bonus can’t last, but is the lone bright spot in business on the U.S. horizon. The United States has once again become a global store house for many investors that need the feeling of safety.

The world certainly isn’t over, but Americans and other economies are going to have to reduce their expectations and living standards for some time while everyone waits for the cyclical upturn. Unfortunately, we are still seeing downturns in most markets, notably in the housing industry as nearly 2700 homes are day are foreclosed by U.S. bankers. This is putting a huge strain on the housing market and the U.S. economy. For the first time in history, the U.S. government has seen fit to bail out everyone but the American people. In the past, the American people were the ONLY recipients of U.S. economic bailouts.

The banking criminals that brought this debacle about are hanging in the dark shadows, hoping that the massive crisis will render them bulletproof as far as criminal prosecution is concerned. Unfortunately, ignorance continues to rear its ugly head. Government, business and the people are so overwhelmed, they really can’t see the forest for the trees. Whether the nation has the will to punish for past conduct as well as protect against future conduct of abusive practices remains to be seen. It is clear that the world cannot afford another financial debacle like this again. Politicians are looking to the upcoming Summit for answers and ideas. Have no doubt that security is on the minds of most politicians and global citizens. Decisions will be made with that in mind.
~ E. Manning

October 8, 2008

Nationalizing U.S. Banks; Globalizing Banks

global bailout fever

global bailout fever

If there was ever a question about the nationalization of U.S. commercial banking, that question may be at an end. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson signaled the government may invest in banks as the next step in trying to resolve the deepening credit crisis. What does investing in banks mean?

The bailout legislation that Congress passed last week to rescue financial institutions gave Henry Paulson broad authority that he intends to use beyond buying mortgage-related assets on bank balance sheets. Paulsen intends on using the initial $700 billion for a far grander notion. He intends to boost the capital of firms with cash infusions with idea of making the nation’s financial system stronger.

The International Monetary Fund has published that banks worldwide are not raising enough capital to offset losses to the tune of a $150 billion deficit. Henry Paulson and the U.S. Federal Government have arrived on their white horse to save the day.

There has been some discussion within the ranks of international central bankers and the G-7 finance ministers of a global banking bailout using identical policies. Britain has questioned this idea. Still, the turmoil is a global phenomenon that central bankers see advantage in addressing to secure their control. Undoubtedly, this will involve an enhanced system of controls and tools to manage the global economy. The real question remains: Are banks globalizing under a single economic control structure?

In Paulson’s mind, regulators will take measures to limit the systemic risk from any single bank failure. The reality is that the systemic risk has already been introduced due to the same lack of regulation. Allowing the same watchdogs to monitor the system is a questionable move that is apparently unavoidable. ~ E. Manning

September 19, 2008

Total Meltdown or Financial Reconstruction?

What is happening on Wall Street? Everyone wants to know why government has waited so long and who will be held accountable. Now we are in the midst of a financial panic. Communication at the top of government during the panic has been in contention among politicians. Some are pointing fingers of blame. Most are simply carrying a stiff upper lip and wearing a poker face.

hundreds of billions of dollars

bailout: hundreds of billions of dollars

There has been plenty of talk about effectively sucking up the bad securities with a vaccuum cleaner style policy that has yet to be revealed. This miraculous policy is what authorities will be working on today and this weekend in order to avoid what some say is an inevitable collapse. In essence, everything needs shoring up and the government seems intent on taking care of the world. Open the newspaper or check out the internet to see the flurry of activity by authorities “to address the underlying problem.” All of this is being touted to cost the American taxpayer far less than allowing the crushed system to play itself out. If you like big government or have the idea that only marketing matters, this may be the ultimate solution for you.

Recently bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be used to bolster the system, but all measures in place are deemed as “not enough.” Liquidity must be restored. Government is working to eliminate selling short by profiteers, which has worked to undermine the solidity of the system. They expect to buy out all of the securities, modernize the system to today’s standards and then set up new rules so that what led to the collapse can never happen again. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has revealed right now that saving the system from total collapse is what is on the financial and political plate this weekend rather than worrying about the idea of regulating the new policies that they want to put in place. Obviously, flooding the monetary system with a cash infusion yesterday has done nothing to take care of the crisis. That is no surprise.

Now a lame duck president is setting the direction for this nation with very little consultation, much like what he has done with other issues during his terms in office. There must be no controversy and authorities are in a great rush to action. Is that action warranted? Will the nation default on its debt? What will happen after the policy miracle of this weekend? Like it or not, prepare for a roller coaster ride. ~ E. Manning

August 13, 2008

Federal Reserve Loans Not Working

The U.S. economy has seen the Federal Reserve System bail out banking for the last 9 months with very little to show for its efforts. Commercial banks have been involved in a national interbank liquidity freeze, reluctant to lend to each other since the credit squeeze started last year. While the reason isn’t readily discussed by most venues, shady and fraudulent banking instruments designed to make money is the reason for the interbank lending crisis. Banks simply don’t want to get stuck with other banks bad debt and securities. The cancer of bad securities is touching most commercial banks profoundly. Bank capital is tied up for everyone as a result, making credit access to firms and individuals difficult.

Credit auctions continue to be overbid for amounts often doubling available credit from the Fed. There are consistently more bidding institutions than available credit funds. 64 bidders sought $54.8 billion out of 25 billion available from the Fed in a recent auction. In a new stretch, the Fed and Global Central Bankers ( G8 ) are extending limited credit for 84 days instead of the traditional 25 day credit leash.

The 84 day Fed credit wasn’t enough to meet demand, so the Fed is ramping up for another standard banking auction so that commercial bankers can continue to bolster solvency levels. Banking reputations have been thoroughly smeared as even Swiss Bankers have been involved with billions in bad securities. Bank shareholders have been hit hard because bankers went with the natural flow of high-profits banking based on securities fever. The bleeding from subprime and now prime loans continue to erode the profitability of bankers, despite the fact that bankers have the power of the fractional reserve. Unfortunately, in tough times, even the fractional reserve has a way of biting back since banks have minimum financing standards for solvency. This is currently the battle that many U.S. banks are now facing.

uneasy banking alliance?

changing balance of power

In the words of the BBC there are few winners. “The financial turmoil has proved poison for policymakers dealing with it, it has provided rare meat for economists, commentators and opposition politicians.” The cash crisis in banking has driven the growth of sovereign wealth funds, giving insurance and pension entities a place to invest more of their colossal wealth in corporate assets.

Bankers have been grateful for the huge infusion of cash (credit) from foreign powers to cover their skyrocketing losses. The reality in many cases is that bankers are literally giving up the bank to outside foreign politics in order stay operational. The balance of power in the world is changing. The Federal Reserve has had little recent effect outside of pacifier value and confidence building. ~ E. Manning

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