Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

November 3, 2008

Admission of Recession Before the Election?

consumer business crisis

consumer business crisis

Corporate results and outlooks have worsened. Automotive companies worldwide declared October figures were the weakest in 20 years. Economies have continued to weaken and as consumer credit and cash have dried up. Why wouldn’t they? Corporations, with the blessings of the U.S. Congress have sent a treasure trove of jobs overseas, milking the economy and American citizens for everything of real value for years while using the credit carrot to support spending. The federal government has added to the damage with heavy taxation and irresponsible governmental overspending. The mortgage crisis, compounded through a heavily compromised banking system has ensured an early downward trend in the national, if not global, economic cycle.

Before the election, no one wants to admit the evidence or the reality that the United States is in a recession. The European Union readily admits their recession. The U.S. government and its house of paid economists proudly hang onto false hope as if a recession is the end of the world.

Americans cannot deny the effects of the current economic crisis. Admitting a recession is likely to do little where the election is concerned, but there is always hope for the current administration. What most Americans do realize is that the economic crisis is a national security issue that was brought about by politicians in Congress and compounded by short-sightedness.

Trillions of dollars in bailouts have avoided a banking collapse. Congress is eagerly seeking to make things right by spending more taxpayer money than American taxpayers don’t have in the form of a fiscal stimulus package. Congress is remaining very independent before the election, scarcely mentioning the upcoming global summit in New York City. A public date for the summit hasn’t been set as the nation and much of the globe looks in the yawning chasm of a recession of unknown breadth and depth. The current administration is doubtful that anything real will come from the summit. ~ 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 30, 2008

Financial Collapse: Fear & National Resentment

monetary whirlpool

monetary whirlpool

Global reports state that the global credit crisis has deepened. Banks have stopped lending to one another. Britain and Europe are encountering many of the same problems as the United States. Central bankers are dumping cash onto the market and playing the same game as the Federal Reserve through auctions to keep commercial banks on life support. Who is to blame? Today, the blame is being cast on the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but the reality is a tragic loss of confidence brought on by bankers themselves. Some of the best educated men and women on the planet have been powerless to improve the situation.

Commercial bankers have locked up the market and the only option central bankers think they have is to dump money into banks, in effect, satisfying the “need for cash.” The need for cash and credit is a symptom of the larger problem: panic by bankers because of their poor choices.

Economists publicly expect the longest recession in a quarter century with or without a bailout plan to rescue the battered banking industry. Most say the next six months are going to be very difficult. Market scare tactics say that if a bailout is not approved, a depression is likely as credit freezes up and markets collapse. The global consortium of central banks dumped an additional $630 billion into the global financial system, which will fuel both inflation and devalue currencies simultaneously. Central bankers are doing the same thing with other major currencies, portending a global debacle in an effort to keep the cash and credit flowing. On the other hand, the central bankers don’t want to be caught holding devalued cash, so now is the time to cleanse their palates. Central bankers only collect and horde gold among themselves since that is how they settle their accounts against each other.

stormy economic skies

stormy economic skies

Whether disaster can be averted or not, the United States has a right to do nothing, even to fail. The reality is that this is already what has happened as politicians and money managers stubbornly cling to the hope of sustaining what currently exists in the current power structure. The problem remains as a global crisis that even central bankers are ill-prepared to deal with.

George Bush warned Congress that they must act or damage to the U.S. economy will be painful and lasting. Congress seems to have rejected that notion. What the nation really has is a credibility crisis. Authorities seem to be more interested in their reputations than possible solutions. Meanwhile, many American scrimpers and savers are in a panic and most American voters resent the bailout efforts, convinced that the rescue effort is for the good of Wall Street and not the average man in America. Considering the decline in the U.S. living standard over the last few decades, the popular opinion to let banks fail and allow the system to unwind naturally is seen as likely to have little effect on meaningful personal assets in the eyes of most Americans. The real problem that panics bankers and politicians lies in the market correction and pricing standards in a bankrupt economy as values fall through the floor, creating still more bankruptcy and poverty for business and citizens.

The correction in the U.S. housing market bore a decline of more than 16 percent in July 2008 alone as the accounting totals have come rolling in. Americans are quickly becoming “upside-down” on mortgages on their homes, encouraging more defaults and foreclosures, even as more Americans lose their employment from an already failing economy.

The public line is that business must have a huge amounts of credit available. Business, like consumers have become increasingly dependent on credit while overpaying executives and paying stockholders instead of reinvesting in themselves. With credit becoming increasingly tight, businesses may find it tough to obtain short-term loans to meet payrolls or purchase inventory. That may lead to job layoffs, which could ripple through the economy in a matter of weeks. The bottom line is that solvent businesses do not need large amounts of credit for everyday business. In the “old days,” business used to borrow for expansion purposes only. Business needs were met by the influx of cash coming in from clients and customers. Have business standards declined so dramatically in the name of personal profit taking or is this statement simply a political red herring to generate urgency?

Increasingly, Americans have become more and more detached from the wealth and prosperity of Corporate and Political America. They have become beasts of burden for the affluent. Considering the circumstances, it isn’t hard to see why many Americans don’t favor a bailout, even if they risk losing a few thousand in a retirement account they may never see anyway. There is an underground pessimism and resentment that has come to rest in much of mainstream America. ~ E. Manning

September 3, 2008

A New Banking Crisis for Britain and Europe?

British bankers have began to hoarde their reserves and have become reluctant to engage in the usual interbank lending process that commercial banking enjoys daily. The resulting freeze in liquidity and tightening of credit that will shortly result is reminiscent of the reaction of U.S. bankers during the initial stages of the U.S. mortgage and credit crisis before the Federal Reserve Auction was created.

Apparently, the pressure from bad securitized mortgage bonds continues to rack the United Kingdom bankers. As a result fearful bankers simply shut down the process of usual banking trust, freezing the free exchange of capital that the modern world has grown accustomed to.

In April, the Bank of England offered to take on shaky mortgage-backed bonds in an effort to liquify the frozen banking system. This effort has not worked. Bankers are instead working to prop up their own internal banking instead of dealing with the larger marketplace, another reaction similar to U.S. bankers.

The liquidity freeze points to the distinct possibility of more banking failures in the UK similar to Northern Rock, in which the British government nationalized the debt. Lack of confidence is once again becoming the buzz word in British banking as fears mount. Fears in the commercial banking community are showing their reflections once again as a global financial slowdown or recession looms. ~ E. Manning

August 10, 2008

Banks Eat Billions; Credit Crunch Expands

paranoid banking firms gamble on their importance

paranoid banking firms gamble on their importance

The Securities and Exchange Commission stepped in and decided that auction-rate securities have been improperly sold to the public. They haven’t said much else as they carefully watch over the fold of now paranoid bankers. Investment bankers have plenty of egg on their face with punitive action in the immediate future by the Feds.

Citigroup and Merrill Lynch have decided to buy back billions of dollars of securities without admitting liability officially because of state regulator pressure. Bank of America and Countrywide are firmly ensconced in trouble. Swiss giant UBS is in the throes of negotiating a payout that could be in the 25 billion dollar region. As private citizens and investors, we know the reality of the situation. Bankers have tried to play us for fools for the almighty dollar and perhaps investors bit off too much, too soon in the haste for profit.

In theory, when times get better larger investors and even banks should be able to sell off the securities once the markets ease and there’s more credit in the system. That is the public line, but the truth is probably altogether different. Selling off investments with major liquidity issues is a big maybe considering the quantity of these beleaguered banking instruments. Following the aftermath of the subprime mortgage debacle, this is yet another blow to the reputation of investment banks, who may struggle to sell such “sweet deals” in future times even at fire sale prices.

British banks are taking huge hits as a result of the credit crunch with increased pressure to perform for stockholders. Lloyds, Halifax and Alliance & Leicester have been fairly decimated profit-wise. Now RBS and Barclays are taking turns with profit thrashing. British banks haven’t found the credit crunch much easier than U.S. banks. Housing prices continue to drop in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Foreclosures are a uniform blight in both economies while bankers and economies struggle to adjust. The U.S. market has lost nearly a million homes to foreclosure with more on the way: the worst since the Great Depression.

January 29, 2008

Cash Infusion for Ailing U.S. Banks

Filed under: banking, federal reserve, government, money, politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 6:24 am

The fact that Federal Reserve is auctioning money to U.S. commercial banks is proof of the severity of the banking financial crisis brought on by the mortgage banking crisis. The Federal Reserve, at the expense of the American taxpayer, is bailing out U.S. banks that are willing to bid on the funds. The bottom line is added to the spiraling debt that this country carries.

The Federal Reserve, working to combat effects of a serious credit crisis, said Tuesday it had auctioned $30-billion (U.S.) in funds to commercial banks at an interest rate of 3.123 per cent.

Report On Business 1/29/2008

This occasion marked the fourth in a series of innovative auctions the Fed began last month in an effort to provide cash-strapped banks with extra reserves. The Fed’s hope is that the increased resources will keep banks lending and prevent a severe credit squeeze from pushing the country into a recession.

Mr. Bernanke has said that the current auction process will continue for as long as needed to make sure that banks have sufficient reserves.

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