Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

June 21, 2011

A Chronicle of the Euro Crisis

Filed under: banking, economy, government, money — Tags: , , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 5:43 am

euroWhen the euro crisis started in Greece in October 2009, nobody had any idea how quickly or broadly it would spread — or how difficult it would be to solve. Below, some key dates in this still-unfolding saga.

October 2009 Greece revised its 2009 budget deficit to 12.5 percent of GDP from 3.7 percent. The dramatic news sparked a raft of downgrades by credit-rating agencies. By November, Greece’s budget deficit had ballooned to 15.4 percent of GDP.

February 2010 Greece is forced to put its budget under EU monitoring. Dramatic austerity measures are implemented in a bid to clean up the country’s finances in the coming years.

March 2010 The first Greek austerity package is passed: Value-added tax is raised by 2 percentage points, and salaries for civil servants are frozen. The size of annual savings is estimated to be roughly €4.8 billion ($6.8 billion).

May 2010 Euro-zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agree on an aid package for Greece worth €110 billion over three years. Officials plan to monitor Greece’s efforts to trim costs every three months.

A second austerity package is passed by the Greek parliament. Emergency measures aim to save €30 billion by 2013. Value-added tax is once again lifted by two percentage points, bringing it to 23 percent. Spending on defense, health and pensions is slashed.

May 2010 In a bid to prop up other financially ailing member states, the EU finance ministers and the IMF agree on a provisional safety net worth €750 billion to be in effect until 2013.

November 2010 Ireland asks for EU assistance. Under the safety net, the EU finance ministers agree on a bailout package with the IMF worth more than €85 billion over three years.

January 2011 The Irish parliament agrees to a drastic austerity plan.

March 2011 The European Council gives the green light to a permanent stability mechanism (ESM). Designed to take effect as of mid-2013, the fund will be worth €700 billion.

April 2011 Portugal asks the EU for financial assistance.

May 2011 The EU and the IMF sign off a bailout package for Portugal worth €78 billion. In return, Portugal pledges to enforce a program of cost-cutting measures and economic reforms.

June 2011 Greece plans a further raft of austerity and privatization measures. Meanwhile, the euro-zone countries, the ECB and the IMF argue about the structure and amount of future financial aid.

April 14, 2009

Bernanke: It’s All About the System

monopoly moneyPresident Obama declares that the sun is coming out as the economic storm wanes. “The financial and economic risks posed by a collapse of AIG would have been at least as great as those created by the demise of Lehman. In the case of AIG, financial market participants were keenly aware that many major financial institutions around the world were insured by or had lent funds to the company. The company’s failure would thus likely have led to a further sharp decline in confidence in the global banking system and possibly to the collapse of other major financial institutions. At best, the consequences of AIG’s failure would have been a significant intensification of an already severe financial crisis and a further worsening of economic conditions. Conceivably, its failure could have triggered a 1930s-style global financial and economic meltdown, with catastrophic implications for production, incomes, and jobs. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury agreed that in the environment then prevailing, AIG’s failure would have posed unacceptable risks for the global financial system and for our economy.” – Ben Bernanke in speech to Morehouse College

Magic Money T-ShirtThe American taxpayers have been put on the hook to bail out Wall Street.  Success is still not guaranteed despite a recently sunny disposition. Meanwhile the European Union supports a new monetary system and retirement of the dollar as the prop of the global community that central bankers have long proffered. The general undercurrent in much of the EU underwrites “the collapse of the Bretton Woods system based on the US Dollar as sole pillar of the global monetary system.” This was predicted by some parties in the EU last year, but so far has not come to pass because of the creativity and financial manipulation of the International Society of Central Bankers.

March 29, 2009

Geithner Admits Fed Role in Economic Collapse

geithner charlie roseThe Obama administration wants to add a glimmer of hope to the global fiscal crisis that started with corrupted U.S. corporate policy and banking investment greed. Despite efforts of many to put lipstick on the ongoing economic recession and remove blame from corporate bankers and government, in a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Tim Geithner admitted

“a deepening recession. You’re seeing the recession intensify here and really around the world. You know it started here, but the world is sort of catching up. That’s putting more pressure on business and the financial system as we see it. We start with this deepening recession, intensifying housing crisis, a deep fiscal hole in the financial system that’s in some ways very damaged. Parts of it are working well, parts of it are still very damaged. It’s going to take a lot to work through this. Again, we start with a — just a deep mess. It is our obligation to clean it up and to fix it…”

“I want to be clear. Again, we start with a mess, a deep mess, made worse by the deepening recession. And these things are pitting on themselves. And it’s very important for people to understand, it’s going to take some time to work through this. But what I want people to know is that we’re going to do what’s necessary to get through it. And these things will get traction. They will start to help unfreeze things, and they will help lay the foundation for recovery.”

“They (the Fed) projected that optimism in the future and that created the conditions where people took more risks than they should have, and they, frankly, didn’t pay enough attention to the possibility that when this ended, came apart, that the consequences would be as damaging as they did. Now, I spent almost every day from the first time I walked into the New York Fed about five years ago working with my colleagues on ways to try to make the system stronger so we were going to be better able to withstand the kind of pressures when this came apart, and we did some very important, powerful things, but many of the things didn’t have enough traction, and we share with really all parts of the financial oversight bodies here and around the world a deep responsibility for not having done more and a really deep obligation for trying to fix this quickly and put in place the kind of reforms to prevent this from happening again.”

“Our system was not designed to sustain a shock, a crisis of this magnitude. It’s the tragic failure of financial regulation in this country. It was just not designed to tolerate anything of this magnitude. The critical test of any financial system in some senses is how you deal with stress and shock because you want a system that’s going to be strong and resilient enough to handle almost anything it could face. And this system didn’t meet that test because we had a regulatory framework that was designed, largely, 90 years ago and did not adapt to take account of these huge changes in the structure of our financial system.”

March 11, 2009

U.S. Economy: Prepare for Depression and Inflation

Central Bankers Support More Inflation Now

European Union Rejects Breakneck Fiscal Stimulus

economic-knife

Article on Associated Content by E. Manning

We are living on the edge of an economic knife. The U.S. government is bailing virtually everyone in the financial system out. If this continues, the U.S. can expect hyperinflation that hasn’t been seen since post-war Germany down the road.

February 23, 2009

PM Brown: New Global Economy

pm-brown-berlusconi-romeBritish Prime Minister Gordon Brown has stressed the importance of April’s G20 ‘Economic Recovery Summit’ in London in the bid to strike a “global deal” that will “speed up the recovery of the world economy”. He and other European Union members are advocating a new global financial system, but have backed off somewhat due to the reluctance of U.S. support. His recent statement in Rome revealed that all nations need to inject resources into their own economies as well as agree on ways to reform international institutions.

Currently, he is recommending new policies that he calls ‘fairness principles’ against “old excesses” in the banking community, a standard of stewardship instead of speculation. In the meantime, Brown and other European Union members are advocating unity in opposing moves towards protectionist trade policies. They see the U.S. as a major opponent where such policies are concerned.

Back in the United States, international bank holding company, Citigroup continues its precipitous decline. The U.S. government is looking at boosting its’ controlling interest in the banking firm to boost confidence and maintain solvency from toxic debt, part of the speculation that PM Gordon Brown was referring to.  Britain is dealing with similar issues relating to the Royal Bank of Scotland. ~ E. Manning

February 3, 2009

EU Complains about US Protectionism

made-in-usaAt a time when global job loss in 2009 is expected to top 51 million, the European Union is complaining about the protectionist policy exhibited in the recent stimulus plan heralded by President Obama. U.S. economic output has further contracted by 3.8% in the last quarter of 2008. President Obama has announced a new task force to look after ‘middle-class American families’, to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden. This task force is designed to work on creating well-paid jobs for middle-class working families in America. In line with that thinking, the current stimulus legislation contains a clause seeks to ensure that only U.S. iron, steel or manufactured goods are used in projects.

The reality remains that most of the stimulus money in the current plan is designed to support the government and state safety net for government activities, benefits and the disadvantaged over actual economic business stimulus. Still globalist politicians consider that the precedent set in the stimulus bill is policy that encourages nothing less than more protectionistic policies in future at a time when the global economy is in tailspin.

Many would reason that at times like this, any domestic government should encourage the consumption of home produced goods. Globalist leaning politicians and lobbyists don’t color their world in such a way.

The EU is threatening to file a complaint with World Trade Organization about the protectionist policy and are considering other retalitory moves against the U.S. The reality is that the brain trust at the EU realizes that their options are quite limited as far as dealing with the new trade direction that the U.S. seems to be taking, but see their only option as taking it up with the watchdog WTO. Many foreign trade partners are fearful of President Obama dismantling the NAFTA agreement which gives them preferential treatment in trading while continuing to put the economy of the United States at a disadvantage during a time of record economic heartbreak in the U.S. For decades, the United States has quietly supported a global expansionist policy. Now the support is in question during dark economic times. Where the Obama administration really stands regarding ‘free trade’ is in question as concern and fear rises among foreign powers and authority. ~ E. Manning

For those wondering about the health of the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve has extended the date of all expiring liquidity programs through October 30, 2009 in an effort to improve the ailing economy. They will have the privilege of extending the programs again when October comes around barring better ideas.

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

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