Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

August 1, 2010

Digital Privacy Once Again in the Air

Did you know that a proposed amendment to U.S. surveillance law leaves even lawmakers guessing on privacy implications for internet users? Now why would this be? Invasion of privacy in the United States has been ongoing since Bush and 911. With this amendment, many fear the unlimited reach of the FBI where email and internet surfing are concerned. The royal question is being credited against the Obama administration over the responsibility of the lawmakers in the Senate and House. Last I heard, the Senate and House had little to do with the President. Since the Senate and House have more to say with the construction and final wording of this amendment, clearly a visit to your local lawmakers is in order if you care about such things.

Anyone that has been keeping track of digital privacy and security knows that A.T.&T. is already working in collaboration with the federal government to store and rake through all the data that comes into and leaves the States. Suddenly, fear is rampant about the FBI having free access to all that data without a court order, judge approval or oversight. Suspicion or wrongdoing doesn’t enter the picture, just being relevant to an intelligence or terrorism investigation. This amounts to a free season on personal information, as well as all that spam that you get in your email daily. In effect, little has changed in technical terms.

The FBI has already engaged in widespread and serious misuse of its privilege so far. They illegally collect data from both  Americans and foreigners, based on a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general that was concluded in 2007. FBI officials issued 192,499 national security letter requests from 2003 to 2006.

The FBI and other internal agencies like the NSA, have come to rely on free access to your personal email and the like. They have free access to information from telephone providers, banks, credit bureau and business, already holding wide powers where personal information is concerned.

The law already requires Internet service providers to produce the records. The want the power to get whatever details they need from internet sources without litigation or preview by judges. A few lawmakers like Patrick Leahy of Vermont have suddenly become concerned about privacy issues and civil liberties, as if these have not already been violated. It’s all about having the necessary tools to “keep Americans safe.”

If you are wondering why anyone should be concerned, all you to do is to examine the vagueness that “law” is written with. The interpretation is often left to the user or implementing agency to decide. Proponents of this amendment say that it is merely clarifying what Congress intended back in 1993. Oh really?

Since a 2008 justice department opinion, some providers have refused access to internet records and web surfing histories. What do you think? If you aren’t watching what you say in your emails and where you browse, you might think twice.

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July 26, 2010

Plague of Home Foreclosures in U.S. Continues

The miraculous recovery that has been proffered by the Banking Elite hasn’t happened. Central Bankers and Wall Street profiteers believed that they could continue to operate with wild speculation while reaping the results and encouraging more of the same. The financial wizards have not proved their financial literacy. Their speculative downfall started with bundling speculative instruments tied to U.S. housing debt that never should have happened to begin with. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of Americans bought homes that never really qualified. The hot market was bolstered until the superheated financial bubble burst, leaving a worldwide recession based on what amounts to Wall Street gambling on highly leveraged contracts that have bankrupted the system. The reality is that the problem isn’t with foreclosures themselves, but with the bundled securities and expected profits that are tied to the failing mortgages. No doubt, these securities have been packaged and sold dozens of times even though they are worth nothing now.

More than three years into a U.S. housing crisis that started a worldwide recession, home foreclosures continue to further the devaluation of the U.S. economy. The waves of foreclosures no longer come from sub-prime loans that have defaulted. Foreclosures come from formerly respectable borrowers that have lost their jobs in an impoverished and drained economy that no functions to support a nation of hard-working Americans, but functions only to serve the Banking Elite.

In the first half of 2010, more than 1.6 million U.S. properties are in the midst of foreclosure filings, which include bank repossessions, default notices and auction sale notices. This is an 8 percent increase from the first half of 2009 which puts the United States on target to reach 3 million filings this year. These numbers show the fragile state of housing and real estate investment, which has been decimated. Government programs have been ineffective at stopping the national hemorrhage. Little has changed except that more Americans are living in rentals, with friends and family, in tents or on the streets, depending on their financial fortunes.

The U.S. government and banking profiteers built a house of cards on the idea that the cost of housing would always rise and that the profits would never cease. After massive bailouts, they are still stuck without a financial course to chart and exploit, beyond tapping government bailouts. The Federal Reserve holds trillions in useless notes and obligations in the hope that someday they will be worth more than the paper they are printed on. The economy continues to spiral downward despite limited attempts by big money multinationals to bolster the market.

Corporate multinationals and banking bigshots aren’t here as charities. They demand to make money for shareholders. For decades they have profited from U.S. tax law and from the backs of manufacturing slaves in the third-world. Now they seek to hold the bottom line and to keep their organizations alive. Now they are cannibalizing inept governments to sustain themselves. Stagnation is preferable to loss as the United States becomes the new third-world in their great plan to level the national playing field through globalization. Welcome to the brave new world of globalism, where everyone is equal except for the corporate oligarchy.

It isn’t pretty, but is pretty much as advertised.

July 11, 2010

Recession: The Ol’ Double Dip?

What is happening in the U.S. economy? The  newborn atmosphere of a slow recovery has plummeted since the start of the year when financial agencies were debating when to announce an interest rate increase. That is no longer the case.

The tax credit for first-time home buyers for up to $8,000 was over in April. Since then, housing transactions have nearly vanished. The mortgage loan interest rate has fallen to historic lows. The economic upturn that authorities claimed earlier this year simply the result of economic stimulus measures by the United States government.

Events are just as somber outside of the United States. From all appearances, a $1 trillion relief package ended the financial crisis that hit Europe. Still there is not a sign of recovery. Germany provided the needed stimulus funds, but is no longer providing capital to keep failed economies that have squandered credit with bankers solvent. Efforts to revive the economy have resulted only in more loss as bankers continue to plunder with their derivative cons. The U.S. has been fearful of making changes for the banking and finance community. Central bankers are still in charge, printing dollars as if there were no tomorrow.

Job are gone in the United States, likely forever. This is the admission of VP Joe Biden a little more than a week ago. States are looking at emergency measures to see what they can do to avoid the bleeding of jobs to other lands and to other peoples. Arizona is due to begin enforcement of a controversial immigration policy that is designed to return employment back to Arizona residents since measures by the federal government have been lackluster to non-existent in many places. The nation is full of illegals, the exact number unknown.

The price of a global economy is likely to be high. Every economy is subject to bring another one down. No one has discovered a way to move out of the doldrums. $787 billion in the U.S. was designed to boost domestic consumption, but the market is still cold. Congress has moved to bolster the economy through The Buy American Act, a ancient law passed in 1933 that requires the suppliers of the government to use American made products. Lawmakers are afraid to close tax loopholes that have remained open for corporations since 1991. As a result, nothing changes.

This has cooled temporary benefits of trade by corporations in the U.S.  known as the trade deficit. Corporations don’t care about this public denuding of wealth. They simply look to their own profits, not a sustainable relationship over time. Politicians outside of the U.S. want to promote free trade, as if the United States has more to offer in this regard. Even during the recession, the States were the primary agent of consumption for the world. Reckless spending, careless law and the rise of the corporate oligarchy has resulted in a new world, with a more level playing field. That is, after all, what globalists have wanted. This means that the big players that the globe depended on for economic sustenance are no longer the powerhouses they once were.

The nation is in an economic quagmire because it has ceded its wealth to corporations, a.k.a. multinationals and central bankers. The common opinion is that nations should not try to survive at the expense of other nations. Even so, the reality is that this has always been the case. The homogenized sameness of global balance supports only those that are in place to take advantage of it. The majority of the world will suffer at the hand those few that won’t. What’s new about that? It’s simply more political pandering that benefits a few.

June 24, 2010

The Iron Hand of the Federal Reserve

Filed under: banking, business, corporatism, federal reserve, money — Tags: , , , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 1:23 pm

Banks are notorious for sitting on their can doing little to promote the economic engine, even as they have a wealth of money creating power through the fractional reserve built into the system. They prefer to downgrade your credit worthiness while creating new ways to profit on Wall Street. The national government of the U.S. wants to look as though they are really doing something about regulatory reform. Today, the Federal Reserve has issued today’s “iron edict” for banking, which excludes credit card banks and special purpose banks. They pretend to foster financial literacy. With new powers firmly in place, the Fed intends to correct the banking system through “host state loan-to-deposit ratios.” (Applause) All banking institutions will be measured through revised figures based on compliance with section 109 of the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994. They evaluate these ratios yearly.

The act “prohibits a bank from establishing or acquiring a branch or branches outside of its home state primarily for the purpose of deposit production.” It “also prohibits branches of banks controlled by out-of-state bank holding companies from operating primarily for the purpose of deposit production.” Would you say that this has worked in the past to keep banks straight in their pursuit of profit? Hardly. That won’t stop the Fed from pretending to get bankers to follow law. It will only work if the Fed uses the law aggressively, especially where loaning money is concerned. Since the Fed shares a similar corporate structure and philosophy to banks, enforcing ratios is unlikely to have much traction.

The act also provides orders to test compliance with the statutory requirements.

“The first step in the process involves a loan-to-deposit ratio screen that compares a bank’s statewide loan-to-deposit ratio to the host state loan-to-deposit ratio for banks in a particular state.

A second step is conducted if a bank’s statewide loan-to-deposit ratio is less than one-half of the published ratio for that state or if data are not available at the bank to conduct the first step. The second step requires the appropriate banking agency to determine whether the bank is reasonably helping to meet the credit needs of the communities served by the bank’s interstate branches.”

With recent publicity, you can see where the Fed announces they are going. “A bank that fails both steps is in violation of section 109 and is subject to sanctions (italics mine) by the appropriate banking agency”: the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Don’t you feel all better now?

July 8, 2009

Pope Proposes New Financial Order

According to the Associated Press, Pope Benedict XVI has called for a new world financial order guided by ethics, dignity and the search for the common good in the third encyclical of his pontificate.

June 10, 2009

Economy: Good Prospects Beyond White Collar Jobs

Voices of reason have long proclaimed that the only key to a decent future is a college education as we trumpet excess, luxury and credit for all. The halls of academia do not suit every temperament, nor can the world operate only through the league of white collar employment and office jobs. Who will take care of the national infrastructure, manufacturing and all those green jobs that the nation has been promised? A sedentary, artery-clogging, boss-centered lifestyle is not a requirement to exist in America. Yet, hundreds of thousands of American youth have been or continue to buy into massive college loans if credit is available. Nearly half of students who start college will drop out before graduating. Our country has been facing major workforce shortages for years, which have been taken up by illegals in many cases. They are the latest attempt by big business and government to create a new subclass of American worker in which to found a new nation.

white-collar-crimeWithout question, the nation has been suffering where jobs are concerned, brought about by nothing less than white collar crime. You can’t really talk about careers since corporates nip millions of so-called careers in the bud every year due to their own self-interest. That reality existed before the recession stripped the nation of what millions of Americans see as their only self-respect: the job.

America has been convinced working a corporate job is the only way to live. The white collar job has been sold as the American stock and trade. The federal government has been very happy with this campaign as corporations and big business are highly complicit with federal law and the collection of taxes. As a result of this nearsighted approach, the American labor force has been selling itself short and has allowed itself to be deluded about the future and personal potential for the future.

We are being told that only by following rules and leadership of big business, the corporate and the academic world, can Americans possibly prosper. Has this proclaimed fact proved to be true? Are you truly being prospered now? Has the nation prospered? Think for yourself. You are your own best friend and are fully capable of supporting yourself if you are willing to think outside the box that the government, big business and corporates have made for you. There is hope. Great personal success can exist outside the cubicle. You are not a slave…at least not per the founding documents of America. ~ E. Manning

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