Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

September 22, 2008

Robbery from American Taxpayers

bailout or pork barrel?

bailout or pork barrel?

“It is a big package because it’s a big problem,” Bush told reporters at a news conference. “The risk of doing nothing far outweighs the risk of the package.” Yet, most Americans seems to be irritated, if not entirely incensed about the prospect of bailing out wealthy bankers and insurance companies along with buying up worthless securitized bonds built by greed and corruption. Do Americans seem to care, even though authorities say that the alternative is total economic devastation? Americans do care, but realize that what the Bush Administration intends to do is not without substantial risk. Even more important are the real moral principles involved in the bailout. Moral and ethical concerns is exactly what the Bush Administration, Republicans and the Congress have been bereft of during the last two terms of office. An undercurrent of seething rage foments in the underground of American souls.

Americans have focused most of their indignation on having to foot the bill for irresponsible lenders and borrowers. The fact that little benefit to the economy or decent jobs for the American people will result from the trillion dollar bailout doesn’t make the bitter pill easier to swallow. However, the fact that Main Street America will suffer has some Americans rethinking their position.

the legacy of Bush

the legacy of Bush

What Americans fail to realize is the economic devastation that will plague America regardless of a bailout. The U.S. economy is in a king-sized pickle with a stalled economy and poor prospects. Politicians and economists alike seem to have temporarily forgotten that bailout or not, stagflation is on the way, a difficult prospect that the panicked authorities have suddenly ignored in the interest of saving their immediate power. The trillion dollar economic bailout is not a miracle, just a different road down the same mountain of decline.

A few have suggested that the bailout is not a bailout. The government is not handing out cash and have advertised that they might actually stand to make a great deal of money out of this. The bottom line is that when the bad securitized bonds gain value, that value will trickle down to the American taxpayer. The big problem is that most Americans no longer believe in the lie of “trickle-down economics,” a political theory that seems to have been fully subverted by bad business practices, corrupt politics and even more incompetent regulators while Americans follow the rules. Furthermore, money doesn’t trickle down from government except through the welfare system. This make the prospect of “trickle down” even more unlikely and unpalatable. The taxpayer does not expect to see the money, but knows that the government will continue to spend with wild abandon. The national rage is palpable as American taxpayers are made to bail out the world. ~ E. Manning

September 7, 2008

Freddie & Fannie: The American Dream

For years, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have bragged that they are in the “American Dream Business.” If that is the case, the American Dream has just gone bust. In many respects, it is the beginning of the end although the U.S. Treasury wants to paint the idea of a new beginning.

The process ends a 70-year experiment that began as an attempt to get a struggling nation back on its feet after World War II, ending in arguably the largest nationalization in global history. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been forever tainted by the mortgage meltdown and securitized loans.

Essentially, the mortgage twins are a colossal fraud full of failed policy decisions and misplaced trust. Banks loan the “creditworthy” money for mortgages. Fannie and Fannie bought the loans as-is and packaged them into bundles to create bonds that external investors could purchase. All the while, the government and taxpayers are on the hook for the entire spectacle as the entire scheme for profits unraveled with the introduction of the mortgage meltdown.

For decades, the perception of these bonds has been the same as the safety of the U.S. government bonds. The mortgage twins were established with the complete backing of the federal government. What could be safer? Whether such a guarantee ever actually existed is the subject of much financial debate now. The “government-sponsored enterprises”, now failed is the result of twelve months of slow painful devaluation in the mortgage market combined with the idea of government guarantees that couldn’t solve the problem of worthless securitized bonds and suffering confidence.

mad lady liberty

mad lady liberty

The disingeniunity of the government and the mortgage twins was so large and the undercapitalization so pronounced, that investors bailed out in large quantities. That reality is also a reflection of the deceptive state of mind of the U.S. federal government. The federal government is no longer based in any kind of true reality where policy or money is concerned. They have lost their way and their collective minds, hopelessly addicted to wishful thinking and the addiction to monetary power without the ability to back it.

The Feds were limited as to how much they could borrow to cover the mortgage twins. Now that Fannie and Freddie are nationalized, the federal government vainly hopes that full confidence will be restored so that investors can be coaxed back into the fold of business. The burden on the U.S. taxpayer is huge and the moral hazard brought about by carelessness is no smaller.

How can anyone trust an agency or body of people so corrupt or hopelessly addicted to wishful thinking. Politicians and bureaucrats are addicted to notions that have permanently altered and depressed the perception of the American Dream of owning a home.

will lawmakers wake up?

will lawmakers wake up?

Barack Obama mentioned that the bailout must somehow protect taxpayers. Republicans have made no such statement to date. Still, the truth is that taxpayer protection as a result of government oversight and abuse of regulation shows the moral and financial bankruptcy of the federal government is the worst way. They are incapable of any measure of trust or faith.

To make matter worse for Republicans, they have touted smaller government and lower taxes while promoting and acting out the opposite. The takeover of the mortgage twins implies that anything the current government order says is implicitely flawed, a mere placation of the public. John McCain and Sarah Palin are tied into that reality directly by the Bush Administration and Republican policy.

The Congress is not free from blame either and Democrats are guilty by implication as well. The struggle for power and the adoption of ideas that clearly don’t work are rarely corrected. Instead, the steamroller of Congressional law makes constant adjustments in failed policies that will somehow become miraculously repaired if lawmakers just care enough and spend more money that the nation doesn’t have from international bankers and foreign sovereign nations.

The bottom line is that American taxpayers have been greatly wounded and no placation offered by the current administration or long-term politicians have the respect of true patriots. We see the lies, the seduction and the abandonment. Government and lady liberty has become hopelessly addicted to vain thinking where money and endless promises are concerned. The nation is a laughingstock of pathetic liars, made worse by bumbling incompetence and mismanagement. The American people are muddied by corruption and slavery through ineffective and misguided leadership. ~ E. Manning

August 22, 2008

The National Deficit Time Bomb

national security time bomb

national security time bomb

Discussion of the U.S. national debt is reasonably prominent on this website and is core to what is often discussed. Recently, Warren Buffet, famed trader extraordinaire has taken some of the spotlight to warn about the excesses and pitfalls of the U.S. national debt that continues to build unabated.

If the U.S. doesn’t move quickly to tame the federal government’s debts, the idea is that the nation will enslave coming generations with economic problems that make this bad year in economic finance look very rosy indeed. Warren Buffet and Pete Peterson are fielding the idea that the national deficit matters this election year. It does, but do the politicians and the nation of people realize it?

Tops in the discussion and recent advertising for the documentary movie “I.O.U.S.A.” is the idea that the United States will continue to be enslaved for future generations to debt that we are creating now. Buffet, Peterson and many others are considering not only the huge $10 trillion dollar national debt, but the projected needs for a soon bankrupt Medicare and Social Security system that threaten to swallow up the system that Congress built. When the additional debt is considered, the U.S. is looking at a national deficit of more than $50 trillion. Keep in mind that this is the future and whether these brilliant money mongers say so or not, is not indefinitely sustainable.

This writer, from all my vast experience in corporate finance and economics, says that the United States doesn’t have the time to indulge in fantasy-land thinking. The future of the nation as the United States is actually at stake now and the crossroads of no return is somewhere in the immediate future. A nation of people cannot continually spend more than they make and put off paying for today tomorrow, while sending huge quantities of economic resources overseas. The International Society of Bankers, at some point and time are going to cut off the “worthless, self-destructive” attitudes that Americans insist on bathing their collective lives in, politicians included. This nation is quickly running out of the clout and the economic strength that it needs to continue to garner the interest and affection of global bankers, the holders of all the credit based on the money system that has been developed. The United States is bleeding itself to death as politicians and business continue the carnage for their own empowerment.

“Our situation is a lot worse than advertised, and we need to start making some tough choices if we want our future to be better than our past,” announced former U.S. Comptroller David Walker. Mr. Walker, the bottom line is that the nation doesn’t have a future if politicians and business interests don’t take notice of the impending crisis. They are too busy dealing with their own self-absorbed ideas and plans for profit. In essence, the people that you are listening to in the documentary “I.O.U.S.A.” are the very ones that had a role in bringing this financial crisis about.

Naturally, the knowledgeable know that the national debt has mushroomed like a nuclear cloud since George Bush took office, which has been in the last eight years. Before that, we screamed about the national debt without realizing what would be cast upon us by reckless politicians in the new millennium. Republican “cost-cutting” and “low taxation” are a myth because politicians have become something other than what they represent themselves to be. The definition of party politics has become a definition bordering on meaninglessness for most of the lawmakers that America continues to appoint. Politicians have denuded the U.S. economic and financial landscape for the appearance of power and the personal interests for the short term with the idea that the United States of America is a “forever deal”.

Walker and the movie cite government figures that show the U.S. government owed roughly $53 trillion more than it had at the end of the 2007 fiscal year. According to the documentary promoters $11 trillion of that debt covers the publicly traded government debt, the amount the federal government owes to employee pensions and the cost of environmental cleanup of federal land. The rest of the $53 trillion figure accounts for projected shortfalls in Medicare and Social Security.

Dealing with such luxuries as land cleanup and the future of health care and retirement won’t matter if the nation spends itself into oblivion and poverty. Even pensions, government guarantees and publicly traded debt won’t matter if politicians don’t get a grasp on some of the realities of what they are doing. The finances of the federal government of the United States threaten the nation more than any subprime mortgage crisis. The mortgage and housing crisis is merely a prelude to an economic house of cards.

Dollar devaluation is in the now and in the future in a very real way as the Federal Reserve continues to serve its’ ailing and senile patient, the U.S. economy. The Federal Reserve is one of many leeches that hang on the national economy, draining it of its lifeblood and purpose. This election year may rank as among the most important in this country, but for all the “wrong” reasons and the people of the country don’t fully realize it. Perhaps the movie “I.O.U.S.A.” can have a profound effect if enough citizens take interest and are willing to demand accountability and change. It won’t be easy. Whether the nation will survive depends on the resolve of the people and their determination to force the current attitudinal corruption out of politics. The problem remains that most Americans live in a very self-absorbed world of their own making, refusing to deal with anything other than what immediately affects them. That is the national Achilles heel. This is a national security issue larger than any war could ever be.

Powers come and go. Like Rome that preceded us and every power before and since, nations rise and fall. Our failures are due to our own corruption and selfishness.

~ E. Manning

August 4, 2008

U.S.: What Banking Fraud Means to Depositors

There have been a number of bank failures and the recent accumulation is increasing in pace. The FDIC sees many bank failures down the road. If you are uncertain why banks should fail, you are at the right place. “Busted: Bankers” highlights corruption and fraud in the global banking industry without the restrictions of mainstream media and politics.

The public word is that regulators are bracing for 100-200 bank failures over the next 12-24 months. If the FDIC is anywhere near right, the United States has what could be considered to be an alarming increase in the number of U.S. commercial bank failures. This debacle, despite props from the Federal Reserve, has been caused by creative banking instruments and outright fraudulent activities in the name of profits for bankers and investors. The resulting contraction of the housing market and credit squeeze on a global basis are of their making, a hefty portion at taxpayer expense.

FDIC insurance is the ultimate standard for protecting the assets of banking depositors in the United States. The FDIC has raised their mandatory banking insurance rates to cover the expected expense of bailout. The government claims that the FDIC has ample resources. While this reality is debatable if several shoes drop at once, the U.S. federal government backs the FDIC. Deposits that meet requirements under the $100,000 account limit are fully protected, as good as the government that backs them.

How do you protect your money and keep that money in a safe bank? To begin, always look for the FDIC logo at your bank branch. If you are using online services or a bank, look for the logo as well. However, don’t assume that the FDIC label is accurate in the name of safety and healthy skepticism.

Simply go to the fdic.gov and locate “bank find“. In this way, you can be certain that the bank that you selected is FDIC insured. The FDIC also has a list of bank rating agencies on its Web site that can evaluate the financial stability of a bank. To get a free evaluation, check out bankrate.com, remembering where your loyalty lies. Banking information is generally set up to secure confidence. The information you are given is designed to that end. However, regardless of bank strength, FDIC insurance will secure compliant deposits. That is what you really need to know about.

As an individual, personal deposits are insured up to $100,000 in an FDIC-insured institution, including savings, checking, certificates of deposit and money market accounts. This assumes that your accounts are non-brokered. When you register with the bank directly, make sure that your deposits are non-brokered and will reside with the institution instead of being handled by a third-party. This will ensure your financial safety.

While banking fraud has meant plenty as far as creating a troubled economy, as a depositor, you are fully protected with FDIC insurance. The protection is as good as the government protection that is trusted in, which in essence, comes straight out of taxpayer pockets. Bank runs and panic aren’t a necessary part of your reactions.

In the meantime, investing and spending with a certain amount of prudence is importance. If you are involved in large financial transactions, plan ahead without waiting until the last moment. Some depositors with IndyMac put off dealing with large transactions until the last moment, putting a financial kink in meeting their obligations. The problems could have been prevented by securing a cashier’s check a few days ahead instead of at the last minute. A good rule of thumb is to avoid putting off anything that you can do today, especially where your financial life is concerned. ~ E. Manning

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