… and this is not over yet. The worst is yet to come. This crisis has only just begun, no matter what they tell you.
|Government bank bail-outs have been controversial in the US|
The global credit crunch has cost governments more than $10 trillion, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.
The IMF says that rich countries have provided $9.2tn in government support for the financial sector, while emerging economies spent $1.6 tn.
About $1.9tn represents up-front expenditure, while the rest is made up of guarantees and loans.
Governments are likely to recover most of these sums when the world economy recovers, but big deficits will stay.
The financial bail-out costs include:
- Capital injections: $1.1tn
- Purchase of assets: $1.9tn
- Guarantees: $4.6tn
- Liquidity provision: $2.5tn
July 30 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. and seven other U.S. banks paid $32.6 billion in bonuses in 2008 while receiving $175 billion in taxpayer funds, according to a report by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo analyzed 2008 bonuses at nine banks that received Trouble Asset Relief Program financing from the U.S. government. New York-based Citigroup and Merrill, which has since been taken over by Bank of America Corp., received TARP funding totaling $55 billion, Cuomo said.
An Afghan child allegedly hurt during a U.S.-led air strike earlier this year.
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — Civilian casualties resulting from Afghanistan’s war have spiked, jumping some 24 percent above figures from last year, the United Nations reported Friday.
The Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan announced it recorded 1,013 civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the first six months of this year. That compares to 818 Afghan civilians who were killed during the same period in 2008, while 684 civilians were killed during the first half of 2007.
See also: Tamiflu drug made with cocktail of chemical ingredients, linked with bizarre behavior (Natural News)
Children report a range of side-effects, but the official advice is that Tamiflu is safe
More than half of children taking the swine flu drug Tamiflu experience side-effects such as nausea and nightmares, research suggests.
An estimated 150,000 people with flu symptoms were prescribed the drug through a new hotline and website last week, according to figures revealed yesterday.
Studies of children attending three schools in London and one in the South West showed that 51-53 per cent had one or more side-effects from the medication, which is offered to everyone in England with swine flu symptoms.
The research by the Health Protection Agency emerged as Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said that swine flu infections “may have reached a plateau”.
Releasing the latest figures, Sir Liam said that an estimated 110,000 new cases of the H1N1 virus were diagnosed by doctors in the week to Sunday. That did not include those using the new National Pandemic Flu Service for England to obtain antiviral drugs without seeing their GP.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Paul Craig Roberts
Last week on NPR a professor in the Sloan School of Management at MIT explained that what is really at stake in the health care bill is the US government’s ability to borrow. In other words, the bill is about cutting health care costs, not about providing hard-pressed Americans with health care.
The professor said that if we didn’t get health care costs under control, in 30 years the US government would not be able to sell Treasury bonds.
It is not at all clear that the Treasury will be able to sell its debt instruments in 30 months, and it has nothing to do with health care costs. The Treasury debt marketing problem has to do with two back-to-back US fiscal year budgets, each with a $2 trillion deficit. The size of the US deficit exceeds in these troubled times the supply of world savings available to fund the US government’s wars, bailouts and stimulus plans. If the Federal Reserve has to monetize the Treasury’s new borrowings by creating demand deposits for the Treasury (printing money), America’s foreign creditors might flee the dollar.
The professor didn’t seem to know anything about this and gave Washington 30 more years before the proverbial hits the fan.
One looks in vain to the US financial media for accurate economic information. Currently, Wall Street, the White House, and the media are hyping a new sign of economic recovery–”surging” June home sales. John Williams at shadowstats.com predicted this latest reporting deception.
Here is the way Williams explains how statistics can produce false signs of recovery. The economy has been contracting for so long that a plateauing of the falloff in home sales compared to the previous time period’s more rapid contraction can appear like a gain.
According to a CNN report, the military will assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant swine flu outbreak in the U.S. this fall, stoking fears that the pandemic, which has claimed relatively few lives so far, will be used as an excuse to implement martial law and a mandatory vaccination program.
“The plan calls for military task forces to work in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There is no final decision on how the military effort would be manned, but one source said it would likely include personnel from all branches of the military,” states the report.
The proposal, which was drawn up by U.S. Northern Command’s Gen. Victor Renuart, is awaiting final approval from Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The first step would be to sign an “execution order” which would authorize the military to begin detailed planning on how to implement the proposal, before actual orders to deploy military personnel are given.
The amount of troops required or whether they would come from the active duty or the National Guard and Reserve forces has not yet been determined.
Northcom has been preparing for mass flu pandemics for years and indeed, Gen. Victor Renuart spoke of the threat of a flu pandemic emerging out of Mexico just weeks before it actually happened.
Testifying back in March, Renuart said Northcom would provide “assistance in support of civil authorities” during an epidemic, adding “when requested and approved by the Secretary of Defense or directed by the President, federal military forces will contribute to federal support.” However, Renuart then added, “USNorthCom does not wait for that call to action.”
“Because Mexico is our neighbor and disasters do not respect national boundaries, we are focused on developing and improving procedures to respond to potentially catastrophic events such as pandemic influenza outbreak, mass exposure to dangerous chemicals and materials, and natural disasters,” he testified.
Northcom was only relatively recently assigned its own fighting unit – the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, which had been fighting in Iraq for five years before that. As we have previously reported, the Armed Forces Press Service has initiated a propaganda campaign designed to convince the American people that deploying the 3rd Infantry Division in the United States in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act is a good thing, with images of soldiers from the brigade helping in “humanitarian” rescue missions, such as car wrecks. This is all designed to condition Americans to accept troops on the streets and highways as a part of everyday life.
The assignment of the 1st Brigade Combat Team to Northcom alarmed the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “This is a radical departure from separation of civilian law enforcement and military authority and could, quite possibly, represent a violation of law,” said Mike German, ACLU national security policy counsel.
(Cartoon from The Economist, click to enlarge)
NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) – The sound money set remains concerned that the Federal Reserve’s emergency actions to corral collapse could ignite hyperinflation. In particular, they point to the explosion of excess reserves inside the banking system, which they call dry tinder just waiting for the spark of recovery. Bill Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, says this isn’t an issue because the Fed now pays interest on excess reserves. It’s a good argument, but only in the short run.
To liquefy the banking system, the Fed drastically expanded its balance sheet, which, as you can see in the chart to the right, has led to an explosion of excess reserves at banks.
For decades they never rose above $10 billion. Now they’re above $700 billion. To understand why this level of excess reserves has some worried about hyperinflation, it helps to understand what they are.
The Fed requires banks to keep a certain level of assets in reserve against deposits, either cash in the vault or reserves held at the Fed. Reserves held over this required amount are referred to as “excess” reserves which banks are free to lend out.
When banks lend money into the economy, the money borrowed typically ends up as a deposit in another bank. Say I borrow to buy a house; the mortgage I get from the bank is money I give to the seller, who then deposits the cash in his own bank.
Lent money turns into a new deposit, which turns into more lent money, which turns into another deposit, and so on. As the supply of money multiplies, you get inflation. If it multiplies too quickly, you get hyperinflation. The multiplication of money that might come from banks lending out over $700 billion of excess reserves is the stuff of inflationary nightmares.
But banks aren’t lending it out. Why not? As Dudley points out in his speech, it’s because the Fed is now paying them an interest rate.
The Fertile Crescent is left dry as Turkish dams reduce the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to a trickle (AP)
Is it the final curtain for the Fertile Crescent? This summer, as Turkish dams reduce the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to a trickle, farmers abandon their desiccated fields across Iraq and Syria, and efforts to revive the Mesopotamian marshes appear to be abandoned, climate modellers are warning that the current drought is likely to become permanent. The Mesopotamian cradle of civilisation seems to be returning to desert.
Last week, Iraqi ministers called for urgent talks with upstream neighbours Turkey and Syria, after the combination of a second year of drought and dams in those countries cut flow on the Euphrates as it enters Iraq to below 250 cubic metres a second. That is less than a quarter the flow needed to maintain Iraqi agriculture.
Tensions have been growing since May, when the Iraqi parliament refused to approve a new much-needed trade deal with Turkey unless it contained binding clauses on river flows. But Turkey appears in no mood to compromise. In July, it announced the final go-ahead for yet another dam, the Ilisu on the Tigris.
Meanwhile, according to Hassan Partow at the UN Environment Programme, Iraq’s hydrological misery is compounded by Iran, which is also building new dams on tributaries of the Tigris. “Some of these rivers have run completely dry,” he told New Scientist. And Iraq itself is set to worsen the problem with its own dam building, he says. This year construction is set to begin on another Tigris tributary at Bekhme Gorge in Iraq’s northern province of Kurdistan. At 230 metres it will be one of the world’s tallest dams.
In ancient times, the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers through Iraq were bountiful – irrigating fields that sustained civilisations like Sumer and cities like Babylon. But the combination of drought, dams and Iraq’s own desire to revive its agriculture is placing huge pressure on the last remnant of that bounty, the Mesopotamian marshes, which form where the Tigris and Euphrates meet and flow to the sea.
(NaturalNews) A federal report has concluded that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil has a 400 percent higher rate of adverse effects than another comparable vaccine, the Menactra anti-meningitis shot.
“It is unusual for there to be such a big discrepancy between two vaccines used in similar populations involving serious and relatively rare life threatening adverse events and autoimmune disorders,” the researchers from the federal Vaccine Events Reporting System wrote.
Gardasil, marketed by Merck, prevents againt the strains of HPV believed to be responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases and 90 percent of genital warts cases. GlaxoSmithKline’s competing Cervarix vaccine protects against the same cervical cancer-causing strains.