Today Wikileaks released what is, by far, the most devastating leak of the entire campaign. This makes Trump’s dirty talk video looks like an episode of Barney and Friends. Even though when Trump called Hillary the ‘founder’ of ISIS he was telling the truth and 100% accurate, the media has never stopped ripping him apart over it. Today the media is forced to eat their hats because the newest batch of leaked emails show Hillary, in her own words, admitting to doing just that, funding and running ISIS.
Mark Carney issues strong critique of City behaviour and warns of growing sense that basic social contract is breaking down
Capitalism is at risk of destroying itself unless bankers realise they have an obligation to create a fairer society, the Bank of England governor has warned.
Nearly 100 years after its creation, the power of the U.S. Federal Reserve has never been greater. Markets and governments around the world hold their breath in anticipation of the Fed Chairman’s every word. Yet the average person knows very little about the most powerful – and least understood – financial institution on earth. Narrated by Liev Schreiber, Money For Nothing is the first film to take viewers inside the Fed and reveal the impact of Fed policies – past, present, and future – on our lives. Join current and former Fed officials as they debate the critics, and each other, about the decisions that helped lead the global financial system to the brink of collapse in 2008. And why we might be headed there again. (From imdb.com)
Every dying Empire has its truth telling prophet and America had its own with Chalmers Johnson. Johnson correctly compared the decay of the American empire, with its well over 600 overseas military bases, with the fall of the Roman Empire whereas the Senate becomes a wealthy corporate club and irrelevant compared to the ruling Military Industrial Congressional Complex
Chalmers Johnson was a truth teller and prophet in a political environment where few would stand up to the interests and secrecy of the Pentagon and the intelligence community ~ and since his passing in November of 2010, many of his prophetic fears have been realized in the Obama administration.
Johnson, author of Blowback, Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis,The Last Days of the American Republic, talks in this video interview about the similarities in the decline of the Roman and Soviet empires and the signs that the U.S. empire is exhibiting the very same symptoms ~ overextension, corruption and the inability to reform. (Watch at least the first 20 minutes and also the very end where he predicts an economic collapse)
Johnson’ s main points were; The United States is treading the same three steps as the former Soviet Union;
- Inability to deal with corporate corruption.
- Imperial over-stretch is leading to fiscal insolvency ( 600 plus bases throughout the world )
- Inability to reform, thus accelerating the inevitable fall.
Collaborations and partnerships are gradually forming nation-wide to combat money in politics, specifically against the Citizens United supreme court ruling in 2010. A directory of many of them can be found at United4thePeople.org (not all listed have the same agenda).
Independent offshoots pertaining to the pursuit of money out of politics have involved stamping money with custom-made designs with messages:
- “get money out of politic$!”
- “the system isn’t broken, it’s fixed”
- “corporations are not people, and money is not free speech”
- “not to be used for bribing politicians”
- “money as speech silences us all”
“Stamp Stampede” website for stamping money out of politic$ (great photo here showing Obama “system is fixed” which he responds with Secret Service ‘joke’)
Phi Beta Iota: Defacing currency is a crime in the USA. An excellent summary with applicable passages from the law can be found at Google Answers, here (for “coin” but not cotton currency). While this is an important demonstration of public loss of faith in government (and promoting a 28th Amendment to the Constitution), getting money out of politics is not the problem. There is nothing wrong with the USA that cannot be fixed simply by restoring the integrity of the electoral process and hence of the government. Complete information on how to do this is at We the People Reform Coalition. With respect to money itself, local communities should be doing everything they can to eliminate landlords using eminent domain as needed, and moving all money from all local stakeholders into local banks.
Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis and quantitative easing, the question has been before us: How can the Federal Reserve maintain zero interest rates for banks and negative real interest rates for savers and bond holders when the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year via its budget deficits? Not long ago the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury’s credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued.
In other words, financial deregulation leading to Wall Street’s gambles, the US government’s decision to bail out the banks and to keep them afloat, and the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy have put the economic future of the US and its currency in an untenable and dangerous position. It will not be possible to continue to flood the bond markets with $1.5 trillion in new issues each year when the interest rate on the bonds is less than the rate of inflation. Everyone who purchases a Treasury bond is purchasing a depreciating asset. Moreover, the capital risk of investing in Treasuries is very high. The low interest rate means that the price paid for the bond is very high. A rise in interest rates, which must come sooner or later, will collapse the price of the bonds and inflict capital losses on bond holders, both domestic and foreign.
The question is: when is sooner or later? The purpose of this article is to examine that question.
Source and More Data
New report released by the Institute for Economics & Peace analyses the macroeconomic effects of US government spending on wars and the military since World War II.
The IEP’s latest report, Economic Consequences of War on the US Economy, analyses the macroeconomic effects of US government spending on wars and the military.
The report studies five periods – World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Afghanistan/Iraq wars – exposing the effect of war financing on debt, consumption, investment, jobs, taxes, government deficits, and inflation.
The findings of the report show devastating trends for US tax, debt and deficit debates.
Download the report here
The U.S. has paid for its wars either through debt [World War II, Cold War, Afghanistan/Iraq], taxation [Korean War] or inflation [Vietnam]. In each case, taxpayers have been burdened, and private sector consumption and investment have been constrained as a result.
The report shows the following economic indicators experiencing negative effects either during or after the conflicts:
- Public debt and levels of taxation increased during most conflicts
- Consumption as a percent of GDP decreased during most conflicts
- Investment as a percent of GDP decreased during most conflicts
- Inflation increased during or as a direct consequence of these conflicts
The higher levels of government spending associated with war tends to generate some positive economic benefits in the short-term, specifically through increases in economic growth occurring during conflict spending booms. However, negative unintended consequences occur either concurrently with the war or develop as residual effects afterwards thereby harming the economy over the longer term.
Phi Beta Iota: There appears to be a continued reluctance to address the real causes of our terrible situation: corruption across the board. No amount of intellectual posturing, whether in a book or in a conference, is a substitute for full transparency and the truth — the whole truth. The lack of integrity across all eight tribes — academia, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government/non-profit — is the ROOT CAUSE of our collapse.
Simon Johnson, Baseline Scenario, 8 March 2012
A dispute has broken out between the Cato Institute, a leading libertarian think tank, and two of its longtime backers – David and Charles Koch. The institute is not the usual form of nonprofit but actually a company with shares; the Koch brothers own two of the four shares and are arguing that they have the right to acquire additional shares and thus presumably exert more control. The institute and some of its senior staff are pushing back.
According to Edward H. Crane, the president and co-founder of Cato, “This is an effort by the Kochs to turn the Cato Institute into some sort of auxiliary for the G.O.P.” Bob Levy, chairman of the Cato board, told The Washington Post: “We would take closer marching orders. That’s totally contrary to what we perceive the function of Cato be.”
Far from being just an unseemly row between prominent personalities on the right, this showdown reflects a much deeper set of concerns for American politics and society. And it raises what I regard as the central question of an important book, “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty,” by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson that will be published on March 20.
Robert Steele has for some time been saying that “The truth at any cost lowers all others costs.” He has also been focusing on the importance of intelligence with integrity. Among all governments, only Iceland appears to be serious about dealing with the financial crisis as it should be dealt with: as a criminal conspiracy enabled by all of the parties in both public and private sectors who sacrificed their integrity and betrayed the public trust.
Corporations operate under public charters. It is difficult to police the corporations when the governments have themselves become criminalized, but the tide is turning — the public is beginning to recognize that governments lack integrity and intelligence and cannot be trusted — in their present form — to manage the public interest.
When Goldman Sachs goes out of business the healing can begin. Slamming PWC is a good start.
The Obama administration simulated a cyber attack on New York City’s power supply in a Senate demonstration aimed at winning support for legislation to boost the nation’s computer defenses. Senators from both parties gathered behind closed doors in the Capitol Wednesday for the classified briefing attended by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller and other administration officials. The mock attack on the city during a summer heat wave was “very compelling,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is co-sponsoring a cybersecurity bill supported by President Barack Obama. “It illustrated the problem and why legislation is desperately needed,” she said as she left the briefing. Bloomberg.
The US defense industry is in a full court press to get tens of billions in funding for cyberwarfare.
To get that funding, they need to dramatize the potential threat of cyberwarfare. Here’s how. The central method of attack in cyberwarfare is systems disruption. Systems disruption is a way to break networks to achieve extremely high levels of damage (or, in financial terms, high ROIs). One of the best ways to demonstrate that type of attack is through a disruption of the power supply (usually with NYC as a target).
Two John Robb posts, comment, and see also — university grants at risk.
CounterPunch, Weekend Edition January 27-29, 2012
In medieval times, wealthy bankers lent to kings and princes as their major customers. But now it is the banks that are needy, relying on governments for funding – capped by the post-2008 bailouts to save them from going bankrupt from their bad private-sector loans and gambles.
Yet the banks now browbeat governments – not by having ready cash but by threatening to go bust and drag the economy down with them if they are not given control of public tax policy, spending and planning. The process has gone furthest in the United States. Joseph Stiglitz characterizes the Obama administration’s vast transfer of money and pubic debt to the banks as a “privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses. It is a ‘partnership’ in which one partner robs the other.” Prof. Bill Black describes banks as becoming criminogenic and innovating “control fraud.” High finance has corrupted regulatory agencies, falsified account-keeping by “mark to model” trickery, and financed the campaigns of its supporters to disable public oversight. The effect is to leave banks in control of how the economy’s allocates its credit and resources.
If there is any silver lining to today’s debt crisis, it is that the present situation and trends cannot continue. So this is not only an opportunity to restructure banking; we have little choice. The urgent issue is who will control the economy: governments, or the financial sector and monopolies with which it has made an alliance.
Fortunately, it is not necessary to re-invent the wheel. Already a century ago the outlines of a productive industrial banking system were well understood. But recent bank lobbying has been remarkably successful in distracting attention away from classical analyses of how to shape the financial and tax system to best promote economic growth – by public checks on bank privileges.
How banks broke the social compact, promoting their own special interests
People used to know what banks did. Bankers took deposits and lent them out, paying short-term depositors less than they charged for risky or less liquid loans. The risk was borne by bankers, not depositors or the government. But today, bank loans are made increasingly to speculators in recklessly large amounts for quick in-and-out trading. Financial crashes have become deeper and affect a wider swath of the population as debt pyramiding has soared and credit quality plunged into the toxic category of “liars’ loans.”
The first step toward today’s mutual interdependence between high finance and government was for central banks to act as lenders of last resort to mitigate the liquidity crises that periodically resulted from the banks’ privilege of credit creation. In due course governments also provided public deposit insurance, recognizing the need to mobilize and recycle savings into capital investment as the industrial revolution gained momentum. In exchange for this support, they regulated banks as public utilities.
Over time, banks have sought to disable this regulatory oversight, even to the point of decriminalizing fraud.