Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

December 31, 2010

2011: A New Year for Dogs & Ponies

It’s been a great year if you haven’t looked much at the world around you, but there is always potential, especially for Wall Street leveraging and central bankers. Since I’ve retired in earnest, I sometimes shut off the news because I’d rather think about something else. Perhaps you’ve been doing this too. If so, you may not for much longer. Scuttlebutt at the G20 has it that the dollar won’t be the darling of the world much longer. So what, you say! That kind of talk has been going on for years. Apparently, the G20 finance ministers have decided that on May 4, 2011 that the dollar will no longer be the “world reserve currency.” So what you say? Even if you don’t believe it, the scenario is rather entertaining, i.e., would make a great movie. It’s a real dog and pony show.

Even now silver and gold paper is highly leveraged, much like the dollar is with the fractional reserve. There is so much leveraged paper out there that the system in place is likely to implode from the panic. There isn’t enough silver and gold bullion in the marketplace, or rather, in the storehouses. This is already heating up into a potential crisis, a run on the bank, as it were. Won’t that make gold and silver more valuable? Only if you have your gold or silver in real gold or silver. In that case, you won’t have worthless paper securities, but a real danger of having your life taken from you if anyone knows you have it. Because of this, you won’t be able to spend it either, because if you did, somebody would know you had it.

As I said, the demand for the real gold and silver will be terrific as the former world reserve currency plunges into oblivion. Either singular scenario means hyperinflation. With OPEC oil being the USA major import, the nation will shut down from lack of fuel or rather, the ability to buy it. The nation has an oil reserve, but that won’t last long the way America consumes it. Too bad we can’t leverage the oil reserve to pretend there’s more. I’m not finished yet.

The Fed has initiated Quantitative Easing (known as QE2) that spells an end to the Bretton Woods accord with the idea of replacing it with a different system. Trading partners are nervous, but they aren’t the only ones. For now, export-dependent nations recycle capital to USA markets in order to sustain demand. The Federal Reserve decided that the only way to fight deflation and high unemployment in the USA was by weakening the dollar to make USA exports more competitive. That means that the USA will be battling for the same export market as the rest of the world, which will shrink global demand for goods and services. Never mind that China’s decision to back off on the dollar would be enough to cause a dollar crisis. Never mind that the multinationals will hate this as profits plunge. Government officials will wet their pants in panic. Number of jobless Americans will go through the roof, if we had one. Wal-Mart, so dependent on China exports will close. Inventories will be short. National GDPs will shrink. Economies will contract. Ooh. It’s not pretty.

Paul Volcker recently opined: “The growing sense around much of the world is that we have lost both relative economic strength and more important, we have lost a coherent successful governing model to be emulated by the rest of the world. Instead, we’re faced with broken financial markets, underperformance of our economy and a fractious political climate…” Everyone has rode the pony too hard. Now the powers that be are preparing to run the show in a way that is untested. We aren’t sure whether the dogs can carry the weight. All those “risk-free” treasury bonds are in real danger. The whole system is bankrupt. The USA stands to lose all its status. Central bankers know this, but they already hold all the valuables, and the means for a new system.

The world doesn’t care about the USA deficit, as long as it’s used to bail out the world in some sense. 100 major cities are facing bankruptcy this year unless they get a federal bailout. Even though Great Britain opted for austerity measures, the USA doesn’t really have this for a choice because they hold the debt bag for the global standard. Central bankers have the valuables and the credit to prolong the current system as they please or not. Meanwhile, Main Street and the population is more tightly squeezed than ever. Those trained dogs are walking a tightrope, but for how long? President Obama needs to hold everything together with a grand distraction so that he will be handily re-elected. What do you think that will be? It’s sure to be glorious.

In the meantime, go ahead and shut off your TV until something better comes along. Have a party while you can. You might not have long to wait.

October 15, 2010

US Inflation Not High Enough Says Bernanke

Wages are stalled, job numbers are anemic, prices are up and social security payments are frozen. The Fed’s policymaking committee “is prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed to support the economic recovery and to return inflation over time to levels consistent with our mandate.” Apparently, action is needed, even though Bernanke is speaking in yesterday’s terms.

According to Bernanke, current inflation numbers are well below the Fed’s objective of 2%. He is worried about deflation caused by printing dollars. Now the Fed will print more dollars and buy securities on the back end in a sort of mock economic transaction. Inflation and Fed profits are the main concern. Inflation allows central bankers to take an additional cut of economic life blood for their services.  In the past, Bernanke has tried upselling to Wall Street. Today, many news articles are claiming that the Fed plans to tame inflation.  He expects to create inflation, but does the Fed have the control it needs to regulate that inflation?  Bernanke thinks so. Bernanke claims to believe that the Fed’s intervention will stimulate the economy, reduce unemployment and prevent deflation. Clearly, the Fed thinks they are large and in charge. This comment and others were made to show intent about “avoiding a double-dip recession.”

Chairman Ben Bernanke said this morning that the Federal Reserve is prepared to take new action to boost the economy.  Inflation has been too low of late and unemployment is poised to come down too slowly. They intend to create inflation. Are you ready for the fallout?

Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, Justice Minister Ken Clarke warned that world is “in grave danger of financial collapse.” He warned that western nations are “not out of the woods yet”…”We have rescued ourselves for the moment from being bracketed with the weaker brethren with doubts about our credit rating and the costs of our borrowing, but if we fail to deliver the kind of program we have set out we will be back there all too soon if we are not too careful.”  Clarke’s comments come only six days before the coalition government’s massive spending cuts are announced. The U.K. government argues that the cuts are necessary to restore the economy to health. Opponents claim they will push the U.K. into a double-dip recession.

 

August 7, 2010

Dollar Deflation & the Grave Economy

Dark economic clouds are gathering over the United States as a second stage of national distraction arrives. Now that the BP disaster is over with, a new topic of angst is needed. Right on cue, the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke are considering the economic pains of their patient while looking after their own corporate bottom line and the continued enrichment of international bankers.

Bernanke warned in a speech eight years ago that “sustained deflation can be highly destructive to a modern economy” by leading  to a slow death from a rising real burden of debt. “Sufficient injections of money will ultimately always reverse a deflation,” claimed Bernanke.

New banking assessment by big commercial banking interests (Barclays, RBS, et al.) outside the U.S. show that the dollar is in a corner. Wedged tighter in that corner is the United States, which is now wholly dependent on the banking debt that continues to strip the nation. Uncle Ben and his international banking buddies are facing deflationary pressures as economic pressures fueled by rampant unemployment. Their perfect answer will be to start up the printing presses and to flood the international market with still more dollars, which I must admit will only fuel the fire of deflation.

One answer is to create another crisis with competing currencies. The Euro is a perfect candidate for more distraction, while international bankers continue to drain European and Asians nations of their wealth wherever possible. The Wall Street expansion into Europe and Asia has created still more opportunities to distract from dollar reality. Believe it or not, there are still more precious resources to drain. Multinational corporations are now in the cross hairs.

President Obama doesn’t really enter the equation. Perhaps he will once again arise to take “full responsibility” as he did in the BP debacle. No matter. The Washington lawmakers that create brilliant policy don’t matter, except to approve the imaginary creation of still more greenbacks, ringing their hands in political pretense as they hold out their hands for kickbacks and such. All of these cronies are mere cosmetic agents as international bankers continue the next phase of their rape and pillage policy. Bernanke is preparing to start with massive quantitative easing.

The warfare manual for international bankers says to print more dollars. They haven’t hit their 5 trillion dollar target yet. That is their goal. To completely denude the resources and capital of nations so that they can create their own nation that officially rules over all nations. They have the nations and banking community. They now seek the sustenance of the corporate oligarchy. Wall Street is simply a vehicle to bring this about. They seek ultimate power while pretending to be obsequious and eager to please. The idea is to bring the current system to its knees. Even though we have been conned by phoney money, they hold almost all of the real resources of value. We think the debt is real and have traded all manner of resources and labor for it.

Meanwhile, economic contraction is in the wings for the United States. The leading indicator per the Economic Cycle Research Institute is falling faster than since World War II. CPB Netherlands shows real issues with world trade. There is plenty more behind the scenes that shows a truly grave problem for thinking inside the box. Prepare for the unthinkable.

June 27, 2010

Jobs & G20: Budget Slashing Fever & Fantasy

To hear the G-20 proclaim it, the U.S. and other “prime economies” had better slash their budget deficits before the world comes to an end. The U.S. Senate quashes continued aid for the unemployed. Wall Street investment firms and banking succeeds in watering down financial reform. The fantasy continues while economists and politicians worry behind the scenes.  Even VP Joe Biden openly admitted that the United States will not regain the jobs that were lost in the “Great Recession.”

The official jobless rate, projected at below 10%, is pure fiction and must treated as such by those that seek the truth. It doesn’t consider many unemployed people that have dropped off the charts into oblivion. Underemployment is a national plague that the Labor Bureau of Statistics has revealed. Many are the discouraged job seekers and those that have settled for part-time work. The U.S. Labor Department shows that there are 79 million men in America between the ages of 25 and 65. Nearly 18 million of them, a record 22%, are out of work. This doesn’t include the underemployed. The impact is larger in African-American men.

The financial markets, like the government lawmakers, could care less about the deficit. Perhaps they should. As a result, investment rates in bonds is down. Almost all of them ignore engineered inflation which pays off central bankers to the tune of about 10% yearly, the real loss in buying power for the nation. In the meantime, the official inflation rate is a “convenient” 3% most years. Powers that be project an inflation rate 2.3% yearly for the next 30 years. Dreamland. Because of what is really a stagflation economy, falling prices and deflation of the dollar are more likely.

Wall Street and multinational capitalism seems to be in robust condition, to the cost of everyone but them. Corporate profit margins have reached record levels at 36% as the average American is short circuited entirely. These profits have never been so high since record keeping began. These figures are much the same as they were in the Reagan administration.

More than half of the national budget funds defense (don’t forget the wars), national debt interest and Social Security/Medicare. Politicians are eyeballing cuts on the latter, often silent as a senior political voice fades away. Don’t kid yourself. You’ll pay for seniors and the disabled one way or the other. Don’t kid yourself about the other major expenses either. Meanwhile, the national budget has climbed steadily for decades in the 6% to 10% range, much higher than the professed inflation rate.

There are no easy answers beyond beginning to live within our means as a nation. For years, Americans had forgotten about this necessity, encouraged by the system to spend endlessly, until the recession hit us between the eyes. Only bankers, multinationals and Wall Street have profited in their own economic bubble. Government has forgotten what economic balance and locally productive jobs mean, threatening to destroy their own system of weights and balances with unfettered spending and wars overseas, designed to keep terrorist attacks overseas and out of America. We have created our own reality. Are we willing to change?

March 4, 2009

U.S. Mortgage Panic Ensues

tsunami-financeA mortgage panic is setting in. More than 8.3 million U.S. residential mortgage holders owed more on their loans in the fourth quarter than their property was worth as the recession cut home values by $2.4 trillion last year. An additional 2.2 million borrowers will be underwater if home prices decline another 5 percent. Do you have one of these mortgages? Probably not if you have been in your home more than 5 years and made sensible choices with financing. 10 million homes is small potatoes compared to number of residential mortgages out there in the United States. However, the crooked system of weights and balances that bankers designed are now a house of cards ready to crash as more Americans appear to be losing their homes.

The banking and finance system has plowed virtually every mortgage into a profit making system of toxic securities. The system of high finance is beginning to panic as it realizes that it must comply with trimming and modifying home loans to keep their customers viable as they lose their bottom line. Why are the system of bankers and high finance trembling in their boots? Confidence continues to dwindle and stock prices fall. Trading value is the bread and butter of publicly-traded companies. Banking and high finance are trembling due to the toxic securities that they built to underscore and enhance their profits. With toxic mortgage-based securities failing, this puts banks, investors and insurers like AIG in the position of holding the bag of spoiled goods that were originally designed to spur runaway profits and build a system of financial prosperity.

mortgage-tsunamiWe are witness to what has happened. Bankers and high finance have designed their own self-destruction that has been left squarely in the hands of government and citizens to miraculously rectify. The fallout from all the speculation and rampant leveraging has been an enhanced recession which is likely to lead to a depression. No man lives on an island. The world of finance is no exception. Sooner or later, greed and fraud bite back. The only problem for the nation is that the taxpayer is covering the systemic failure with their own blood, sweat and tears. ~ E. Manning

January 1, 2009

Fed Fearful of Deflation

creditcrunchBankers, especially central bankers strive to be boring while blending into the background. They simply don’t want the attention or someone looking over their shoulder. Unfortunately for them, their inability to follow reason or right and the resulting tough economic times has cast the spotlight unpleasantly on them.

Central bankers, steadily losing the illusion of control, have hit bottom, now using their “own resources”. For example, the Federal Reserve has been using it’s own balance sheet more and more to battle the economic onslaught since March of 2007. Otherwise, the bottom would have already dropped out of the bottom of the U.S. economy and we would be enjoying a profound depression today. Since the dollar is the stock and trade of global currency, central bankers have taken an active interest is propping the dollar up. What has scared many is the idea that the taxpayer of the United States is somehow responsible for all the debt and all the funny money created from thin air by the Federal Reserve, even though the national debt now outstrips the yearly gross national product of the nation.

Now, the Fed is loaning money at theoretical zero. “The Federal Reserve will employ all available tools to promote the resumption of sustainable economic growth and to preserve price stability.” The Fed has proven the point, manipulating and managing accounting parlor tricks to keep the U.S. economy at the preferred magical 3% inflation rate for more than thirty years.

To make matters worse, Fed economists are uncertain whether the balance-sheet politics will work, although they are hopeful that psychology will. Now the idea of dropping prices and falling employment rates has the Fed buggered once again. They fear that inflation could fall too low or to make matters more clear…deflation of the national currency.

Back in December of 2003, Ben Bernanke wrote about the “Downside Danger.”

The potential harm of very low inflation or deflation depends on the economic environment. Deflation can be particularly dangerous when a financial system is shaky, with household and corporate balance sheets in poor shape and banks undercapitalized and heavily burdened with bad loans. Under such conditions, deflation increases the real burden of debts—that is, it forces borrowers to repay in dollars that are more expensive than the dollars they borrowed—and may exacerbate the financial distress. (Unexpectedly low inflation has a similar effect.) This phenomenon, known as “debt deflation,” factored prominently in the global economic turmoil of the 1930s and may have played an important role in Japan’s recent troubles.

November 8, 2008

Where has inflation gone?

inflationary-dollarFor those that are wondering where all the inflation-talk has gone, look no farther than the back-burner economic news articles. In fact, Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher says that inflationary forces have vaporized. Don’t you believe it. Right now, the only concern is for the hope of stability and authorities are bent on that match. The economy is so depressed coupled with global recession that the immediate inflationary pressures have moderated. Other than housing prices, do you see any real pricing changes? Are prices down at all? America still has inflation, but hyperinflationary pressures have cooled.

securityWages are down. The middle class and below is suffering. America has stagflation, a nasty mix of inflation and a stagnant economy. What’s more, any measure of heightened inflation in the future isn’t being discussed with the idea that if we don’t talk about it, inflation won’t happen. The United States faces the same plight as Japan did in the 1990’s. However, right now, the U.S. dollar is not deflated in comparison with other benchmark currencies because of the global span of the crisis. Mr. Fisher says the dollar isn’t deflated, but admits that we will see “headline inflation.” Every measure taken in an effort to insure economic stability is destined to propel inflation to new heights. That isn’t now, so who cares as long as we can cool the heat now. This detracts from the idea that the United States has a major national security issue. ~ E. Manning

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