A classicial economist… and Harvard professor… preaching to the world that one’s money is not safe in the US banking system due to Ben Bernanke’s actions? And putting his withdrawal slip where his mouth is and pulling $1 million out of Bank America? Say it isn’t so…
Since the magical moment of its inception on Dec. 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve System has been a source of controversy and even contempt for a growing number of Americans, many of whom are still feeling the sting of the latest financial crisis.
A large part of the discomfort with the Federal Reserve System can be traced back to a dusty document known as the US Constitution, a historic manuscript that predates “The Fed” by 125 years, in which it clearly states (Section 8, Article 5): “Congress shall have power to coin money, regulate the value thereof.”
Yet, despite its officious-sounding title, the Federal Reserve System is not an actual branch of the US government, nor does the US government have any control over its monetary monkeying, which involves the printing of money as well as setting interest rates.
These awesome powers were admitted by no less a respectable figure than Alan Greenspan, who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006.
December 23rd, 1913 is a date which will live in infamy. That was the day when the Federal Reserve Act was pushed through Congress. Many members of Congress were absent that day, and the general public was distracted with holiday preparations. Now we have reached the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve, and most Americans still don’t know what it actually is or how it functions. But understanding the Federal Reserve is absolutely critical, because the Fed is at the very heart of our economic problems.
Since the Federal Reserve was created, there have been 18 recessions or depressions, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by 98 percent, and the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger. This insidious debt-based financial system has literally made debt slaves out of all of us, and it is systematically destroying the bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.
If nothing is done, we are inevitably heading for a massive amount of economic pain as a nation. So please share this article with as many people as you can.
The following are 100 reasons why the Federal Reserve should be shut down forever:
“The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland; a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank… sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.” – Carroll Quigley, member of the Council on Foreign Relations
If one wishes to truly understand the actions behind private Federal Reserve policy, one must come to terms with a fundamental reality – everything the Fed does it does for a reason, and the most apparent reasons are not always the primary reasons. If you think that the Fed simply acts on impulsive stupidity or hubris, then you haven’t a clue what is going on. If you think the Fed only does what it does in order to hide the numerous negative aspects of our current economy, then you only know half the story. If you think the Fed does not have a plan, then you are sorely mistaken…
If policymakers were gunfighters, they’d be out of bullets: They have run out of effective policy tools to improve the economy.
So the question is simple: If there is a recession in 2014, and policymakers are out of bullets, how will it play out across the American economy?
Recently, Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid very astutely pointed out that the current “expansion” of the U.S. economy is on its fifth year—the seventh longest in history.
Jim Rogers hope-driven wish is that the politicians were smart enough at some point to say (to the central bankers), “we’ve got to stop this, this is going to be bad.” He adds, on the incoming QEeen, “she’s not going to stop it, first of all she doesn’t believe in stopping it, she thinks printing money is good.” However, Rogers warns in this excellent interview with Birch Gold, “eventually the markets will just say, “We’re not going to play this game anymore”, and we’ll have a serious collapse.” The world is blinded by central bank liquidity, and as Rogers somewhat mockingly notes “if everybody says the sky is blue, I urge you to look out the window and see if it’s blue because I have found that most people won’t even bother to look out the window…” Rogers concludes, “everybody should own some precious metals as an insurance policy,” because as he ominously warns, when ‘it’ collapses, “there will be big change.
Rachel Mills, Birch Gold Group (BGG): This is Rachel Mills for Birch Gold, and I am very pleased to be joined today by Jim Rogers, legendary investor. Thank you so much Jim for joining me.
Jim Rogers: I am delighted to be here Rachel.
BGG: So today I wanted to talk a little about stock market highs and Quantitative Easing and inflation and a little bit of Federal Reserve and when is the taper is going to happen and currency wars. But there is one question that I don’t have to ask you, which you get asked a lot, I know, and that is what your secret to being so prescient in the marketplace?
“…if everybody says the sky is blue, I at least urge you to go and look out the window and see if it’s blue because I have found that most people won’t even bother to look out the window…”
JR: As far as I know, I’m not quite sure. I do know that I have learned over the years, always, when nearly everybody is thinking the same way that means somebody’s not thinking that means we got to start thinking about it and see if there’s not another way, another approach. Because if everybody says the sky is blue, I at least urge you to go and look out the window and see if it’s blue because I have found that most people won’t even bother to look out the window. If they see on the television or in the newspaper or something that everybody says the sky is blue, I at least urge them to look out the window. I find that most people don’t want to do their homework, that’s the first problem that many people have, is just doing simple homework.
“…no matter what we all know today, it’s not going to be true in 10 or 15 years…”
It is becoming increasingly obvious that we are seeing the disconnect between financial markets and the real economy grow. It is also increasingly obvious (to Citi’s FX Technicals team) that not only is QE not helping this dynamic, it is making things worse. It encourages misallocation of capital out of the real economy, it encourages poor risk management, it increases the danger of financial asset inflation/bubbles, and it emboldens fiscal irresponsibility etc.etc. If the Fed was prepared to draw a line under this experiment now rather than continuing to “kick the can down the road” it would not be painless but it would likely be less painful than what we might see later. Failure to do so will likely see us at the “end of the road” at some time in the future and the ‘can’ being “kicked over the edge of a cliff.” Enough is enough. It is time to recognize reality. It is time to take monetary and fiscal responsibility – “America is exhausted…..it is time.”
#10 According to an official government report, the Federal Reserve made 16.1 trillion dollars in secret loans to the big banks during the last financial crisis. The following is a list of loan recipients that was taken directly from page 131 of the report…
Citigroup – $2.513 trillion
Morgan Stanley – $2.041 trillion
Merrill Lynch – $1.949 trillion
Bank of America – $1.344 trillion
Barclays PLC – $868 billion
Bear Sterns – $853 billion
Goldman Sachs – $814 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland – $541 billion
JP Morgan Chase – $391 billion
Deutsche Bank – $354 billion
UBS – $287 billion
Credit Suisse – $262 billion
Lehman Brothers – $183 billion
Bank of Scotland – $181 billion
BNP Paribas – $175 billion
Wells Fargo – $159 billion
Dexia – $159 billion
Wachovia – $142 billion
Dresdner Bank – $135 billion
Societe Generale – $124 billion
“All Other Borrowers” – $2.639 trillion
Following his inconvenient truthiness yesterday, Andrew Huszar appeared on Bloomberg TV today (having dismissed the comic-book-written discussion he faced in CNBC’s Fast Money yesterday). As usual Bloomberg gave him more time to speak, listened, and challenged some of what he said, but we were struck by the man-who-ran-the-Fed’s-mortgage-book’s points that “we are eerily similar to 2008.” Simply out, he implores, “the structure of our economy has not changed,” and his apology (on behalf of the Fed), is because the Fed “helped squander an opportunity to see change in America.” The fact of the matter, this was folly, “The Fed does not have the ttols to help the economy.”
The biggest US banks would be required to hold enough easily sold assets to survive a 30-day credit drought under proposed new Federal Reserve liquidity rules.
The Federal Reserve liquidity coverage ratio proposal, approved unanimously at a meeting in Washington, goes further than the Basel III measure adopted in January and calls for earlier implementation than the EU.
In this exclusive interview with Birch Gold Group, former Congressman Ron Paul shares his opinions on a number of topics, including investing in physical gold and silver, the future of the U.S. dollar and the role of the Federal Reserve.
Rachel Mills for Birch Gold Group (BGG): This is Rachel Mills for Birch Gold Group. I am speaking with Ron Paul today. How are you, Ron Paul?
Ron Paul (RP): I am doing very well. Nice to talk to you Rachel.
BGG: It’s good to talk to you again, and by the way of information for Birch’s audience, I was your last press secretary on Capitol Hill in Congress and I worked for you for the 5 years. So I may be cheating a little bit because a lot of your answers to my questions I maybe have a pretty good guess at what you might say.
The U.S. Capitol looms in the background of a sign on the National Mall reminding visitors of the closures to all national parks due to the federal government shutdown in Washington October 3, 2013. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, professor of economics, founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Montreal and editor of the globalresearch.ca website.
The ‘shutdown’ of the US government and the financial climax associated with a deadline date, leading to a possible ‘debt default’ by the federal government, is a money-making undertaking for Wall Street.
Several overlapping political and economic agendas are unfolding. Is the shutdown – implying the furloughing of tens of thousands of public employees – a dress rehearsal for the eventual privatization of important components of the federal state system?
A staged default, bankruptcy and privatization is occurring in Detroit (with the active support of the Obama administration), whereby large corporations become the owners of municipal assets and infrastructure.
The important question: could a process of ‘state bankruptcy’, which is currently afflicting local level governments across the land, realistically occur in the case of the central government of the United States of America?
This is not a hypothetical question. A large number of developing countries under the brunt of IMF ‘economic medicine’ were ordered by their external creditors to dismantle the state apparatus, fire millions of public sector workers as well as privatize state assets. The IMF’s Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) has also been applied in several European countries.
With two days to go to until dreaded October 17 D-Day (on which incidentally, very little of note will happen, because as Goldman explained earlier today, that is simply the date past which the Treasury can no longer borrow, but still has some $30 billion in cash which could last to fund the Treasury’s needs as long as the end of the month if not longer) Washington is now openly playing with fire. Because for all the hopeful talk of an imminent deal on Thursday, then on Friday, then today, not only is there nothing substantive on the table, but Obama will not even meet with the Senate, let alone the House, until tomorrow morning. At that point there will be about 36 hours until October 17. But what is worse for all the end is nigh-ers, who are absolutely certain the world will end if Congress crosses the D-Day deadline (which, again, asGoldman said earlier “going slightly past the October 17 deadline is entirely possible“) is that as The Hill explains, Senate could still miss the debt deadline, assuming there is a debt deal in the first place. Which is a big if.
Here’s how someone (coughcruzcough) so inclined (and there are quite a few conservative someones out there) could delay the process so that the magical October 17 deadline is breached.
Authored by Marc Faber, originally posted at The Daily Reckoning blog,
For the greater part of human history, leaders who were in a position to exercise power were accountable for their actions. If they waged wars or had to defend their territories from invading hostile forces, they frequently lost their lives, territories, armies, power and crowns. I don’t deny that some leaders were irresponsible, but in general, they were fully aware that they were responsible for their acts and, therefore, they acted responsibly.
The problem we are faced with today is that our political and (frequently) business leaders are not being held responsible for their actions. Thomas Sowell sums it up well:
“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
When political leaders or economic policymakers are seen to fail, the worst that will happen to them is that they won’t be re-elected or reappointed. They then become a lobbyist or an adviser or consultant, and give speeches, earning in the process a high income on top of their pension.
The U.S. government defaulted after the Revolutionary War, and it defaulted at intervals thereafter. Moreover, on the authority of the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, the government means to keep right on shirking, dodging or trimming, if not legally defaulting.
Default means to not pay as promised, and politics may interrupt the timely service of the government’s debts. The consequences of such a disruption could — as everyone knows by now — set Wall Street on its ear. But after the various branches of government resume talking and investors have collected themselves, the Treasury will have no trouble finding the necessary billions with which to pay its bills. The Federal Reserve can materialize the scrip on a computer screen.
Things were very different when America owed the kind of dollars that couldn’t just be whistled into existence. By 1790, the new republic was in arrears on $11,710,000 in foreign debt. These were obligations payable in gold and silver. Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury, duly paid them. In doing so, he cured a default.
As regular readers know, the biggest (and most important) disconnect in the US banking system is the divergence between commercial bank loans, which most recently amounted to $7.32 trillion, a decrease of $9 billion for the week, and are at the same the same level when Lehman filed for bankruptcy having not grown at all in all of 2013 (blue line below), and their conventionally matched liability: deposits, which increased by $60 billion in the past week to $9.63 trillion, an all time high. The spread between these two key monetary components – at least in a non-centrally planned world – which also happen to determine the velocity of money in circulation (as traditionally it is private banks that create money not the Fed as a result of loan demand) is now at a record $2.3 trillion.
Which, of course, also happens to be the amount of reserves the Fed has injected into the system (i.e., how much the Fed’s balance sheet has expanded) since the great experiment to bailout the US financial system started in September 2008, in which Ben Bernanke, and soon Janet Yellen, stepped in as the sole source of credit money. The only difference is that while the Fed is actively pumping bank deposits courtesy of the fungibility of reserves, loan are unchanged.
Now that Janet Yellen has been named to lead the Federal Reserve the global financial markets should factor out any possibility that the Fed will diminish their Quantitative easing program anytime during her tenure. In fact, financial forecasts should assume that not only is a taper off the table, but that the QE program is now more likely to be perpetuated and expanded.
Unlike her predecessors, Janet Yellen has never had a youthful dalliance with hawkish monetary ideas. Before taking charge of the Fed both Alan Greenspan, and to a lesser extent Ben Bernanke, had advocated for the benefits of a strong currency and low inflation and had warned of the dangers of overly accommodative policy and unnecessary stimulus. (Both largely abandoned these ideals once they took the reins of power, but their urge to stimulate may have been restrained by a vestigial bias against the excesses of Keynesianism). Janet Yellen, who has been on the liberal/dovish end of the monetary spectrum for her entire professional career, has no such baggage. As a result, we can expect her to never waver in her belief that stimulus is the answer to every economic question.
President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday and said she is a proven leader who knows how to build consensus in managing the Fed’s dual mandate of controlling inflation and increasing employment.
At a White House event, Obama also paid tribute to current chair Ben Bernanke, whose term on the board ends in January. Obama urged the Senate to confirm Yellen as soon as possible.
Obama called Bernanke a voice of wisdom during a time of market volatility who helped repair the U.S. economy from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
This video documents how the U.S created Al”qaeda to foment ww3. And to be an extension of the U.S army, to overthrow the opposition forces, and keep the World bankers in power. World bankers need ww3 to acquire the existing powers they have not yet brought into control. After ww3 they will control us as slaves since there will be no more opposition. We need to stop ww3 and to do this we have to end the federal bank. We can do this by refusing to elect their president puppets into office again. Don’t be fooled again.
Karen Hudes is a graduate of Yale Law School and she worked in the legal department of the World Bank for more than 20 years. In fact, when she was fired for blowing the whistle on corruption inside the World Bank, she held the position of Senior Counsel. She was in a unique position to see exactly how the global elite rule the world, and the information that she is now revealing to the public is absolutely stunning. According to Hudes, the elite use a very tight core of financial institutions and mega-corporations to dominate the planet. The goal is control. They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns. Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works.Remember, this is not some “conspiracy theorist” that is saying these things. This is a Yale-educated attorney that worked inside the World Bank for more than two decades. The following summary of her credentials comes directly from her website:
In a world in which all the matters is “scale”, the ability to Martingale down on losing bets as close to infinity as possible (something which JPMorgan learned with the London Whale may not be the best strategy especially when one can’t print money out of thin air), and being as close to the Fed’s Heidelberg rotary printer as possible, it was expected that that “expert” of government backstops and bailouts, the Octogenarian of Omaha, Warren Buffett, would have only kind words for Ben Bernanke. But not even we predicted that Buffett would explicitly admit what we have only tongue-in-cheek joked about in the past, namely that the Fed is the world’s greatest (and most profitable) hedge fund. Which is precisely what he did: “Billionaire investor Warren Buffett compared the U.S. Federal Reserve to a hedge fund because of the central bank’s ability to profit from bond purchases while accumulating a balance sheet of more than $3 trillion. “The Fed is the greatest hedge fund in history,” Buffett told students yesterday at Georgetown University in Washington. It’s generating “$80 billion or $90 billion a year probably” in revenue for the U.S. government, he said.
From Buffett’s presentation at Georgetown last week:
The Fed remitted $88.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury Department last year. The payments have ballooned as the central bank built its balance sheet during the past five years.
The Fed “is under no pressure, none whatsoever to have to deleverage,” Buffett said. “So it can pick its time, and if you have somebody wise there — and I think Bernanke is wise, and I certainly expect his successor to be — it can be handled. But it is something that’s never quite been done on this scale. It will be interesting to watch.”
Good thing none of the present had any idea what Mark To Market or what DV01 are, and how, if one actually marked the Fed’s balance sheet to reality, the Fed would have already lost nearly $300 billion in the past few months (or 5 times the Fed’s own regulatory capital) courtesy of the massive and rapid blow out in rates, driven exclusively by the Fed’s own inability to communicate with markets and warn about a taper that never came, because the global market had become unhinged precisely due to fear of a Taper, aka the Fed’s Tapering Catch 22.
Which by the way, takes care of Buffett’s concerns about Fed deleveraging: it will never come if the merest hint that the leveraging would be reduced by even the tiniest amount, sent the global carry trade into a tailspin. There is a reason why some, such as Zero Hedge, nearly 5 years ago showed that once you set off on a path of bailouts, there is no exit until everything ultimately collapse into a handful of dust. And we have Ben Bernanke to thank for proving us right again and again.
Finally, regarding Buffett’s claim, he is absolutely correct that when one has unlimited capital to invest, and has no concerns about downside risk, it is easy to quite easy to become the world’s biggest and most profitable hedge fund. Well, there is one downside: losing the dollar’s reserve currency status of course. And the more incidents that get even Fed presidents to admit that Bernanke is increasingly losing credibility with the markets, the closer we get to having a peek at what the ultimate cost of Bernanke’s unprecedented error will end up being.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the longest serving Independent member of Congress in American history. While I certainly don’t agree with him on everything, I have always respected his willingness to call out the Federal Reserve for the fascist cartel that it is. He has often accurately called it “socialism for the rich.”
The Federal Reserve loaned $16.1 billion to General Electric and $3 billion to JPMorgan Chase during the 2008 financial crisis, even as Jeffrey R. Immelt of G.E. and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan sat on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York board of directors. “It is an obvious conflict of interest,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Sunday. Sanders wrote the amendment to the Wall Street reform law that required the Fed to disclose some 21,000 transactions involving more than $3.3 trillion during the financial crisis. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tried to keep the information secret. It appears that we are very much a country in which we practice socialism for the rich and rugged capitalism for everyone else.
Bernie recently took to the Senate floor to decry the plutocratic, oligarch driven Banana Republic that America has turned into ever since the Wall Street coup of 2008. In a town filled with unconscious money grabbing zombies, he is a giant breath of fresh air. Enjoy.
Markets cheered as federal open markets committee says US recovery is too fragile to cut back on $85bn-a-month stimulus
US stock markets hit record highs Wednesday as the Federal Reserve surprised investors by announcing that the economic recovery was too fragile to cut back on its massive $85bn-a-month stimulus program.
After a two-day meeting, the federal open market committee (FOMC) said it required “more evidence that progress will be sustained”. The news delighted the markets which had sunk ahead of the news on fears that the Fed was preparing to “taper” the so-called quantitative easing (QE) program. Even the threat of a slight reduction in the stimulus spooked the markets in July.
But the news also underlined the precarious state of the wider economy as a row over the US’s debt limit threatens a government shutdown. In a press conference Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman, warned that the current row could have “very serious consequences”.
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