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We are loaning $2 trillion to who?

December 14th, 2008

Bloomberg Anywhere Bloomberg Professional About Bloomberg
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Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion (Update2)

By Mark Pittman

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed responded Dec. 8, saying it’s allowed to withhold internal memos as well as information about trade secrets and commercial information. The institution confirmed that a records search found 231 pages of documents pertaining to some of the requests.

“If they told us what they held, we would know the potential losses that the government may take and that’s what they don’t want us to know,” said Carlos Mendez, a senior managing director at New York-based ICP Capital LLC, which oversees $22 billion in assets.

The Fed stepped into a rescue role that was the original purpose of the Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The central bank loans don’t have the oversight safeguards that Congress imposed upon the TARP.

Total Fed lending exceeded $2 trillion for the first time Nov. 6. It rose by 138 percent, or $1.23 trillion, in the 12 weeks since Sept. 14, when central bank governors relaxed collateral standards to accept securities that weren’t rated AAA.

‘Been Bamboozled’

Congress is demanding more transparency from the Fed and Treasury on bailout, most recently during Dec. 10 hearings by the House Financial Services committee when Representative David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, said Americans had “been bamboozled.”

Bloomberg News, a unit of New York-based Bloomberg LP, on May 21 asked the Fed to provide data on collateral posted from April 4 to May 20. The central bank said on June 19 that it needed until July 3 to search documents and determine whether it would make them public. Bloomberg didn’t receive a formal response that would let it file an appeal within the legal time limit.

On Oct. 25, Bloomberg filed another request, expanding the range of when the collateral was posted. It filed suit Nov. 7.

In response to Bloomberg’s request, the Fed said the U.S. is facing “an unprecedented crisis” in which “loss in confidence in and between financial institutions can occur with lightning speed and devastating effects.”

Data Provider

The Fed supplied copies of three e-mails in response to a request that it disclose the identities of those supplying data on collateral as well as their contracts.

While the senders and recipients of the messages were revealed, the contents were erased except for two phrases identifying a vendor as “IDC.” One of the e-mails’ subject lines refers to “Interactive Data — Auction Rate Security Advisory May 1, 2008.”

Brian Willinsky, a spokesman for Bedford, Massachusetts- based Interactive Data Corp., a seller of fixed-income securities information, declined to comment.

“Notwithstanding calls for enhanced transparency, the Board must protect against the substantial, multiple harms that might result from disclosure,” Jennifer J. Johnson, the secretary for the Fed’s Board of Governors, said in a letter e-mailed to Bloomberg News.

‘Dangerous Step’

“In its considered judgment and in view of current circumstances, it would be a dangerous step to release this otherwise confidential information,” she wrote.

New York-based Citigroup Inc., which is shrinking its global workforce of 352,000 through asset sales and job cuts, is among the nine biggest banks receiving $125 billion in capital from the TARP since it was signed into law Oct. 3. More than 170 regional lenders are seeking an additional $74 billion.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would meet congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system.

The Freedom of Information Act obliges federal agencies to make government documents available to the press and public. The Bloomberg lawsuit, filed in New York, doesn’t seek money damages.

‘Right to Know’

“There has to be something they can tell the public because we have a right to know what they are doing,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Arlington, Virginia-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

“It would really be a shame if we have to find this out 10 years from now after some really nasty class-action suit and our financial system has completely collapsed,” she said.

The Fed’s five-page response to Bloomberg may be “unprecedented” because the board usually doesn’t go into such detail about its position, said Lee Levine, a partner at Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz LLP in Washington.

“This is uncharted territory,” said Levine during an interview from his New York office. “The Freedom of Information Act wasn’t built to anticipate this situation and that’s evident from the way the Fed tried to shoehorn their argument into the trade-secrets exemption.”

The Fed lent cash and government bonds to banks that handed over collateral including stocks and subprime and structured securities such as collateralized debt obligations, according to the Fed Web site.

Borrowers include the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Citigroup and New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co., the country’s biggest bank by assets.

Banks oppose any release of information because that might signal weakness and spur short-selling or a run by depositors, Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs for the Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington trade group, said in an interview last month.

‘Complete Truth’

“Americans don’t want to get blindsided anymore,” Mendez said in an interview. “They don’t want it sugarcoated or whitewashed. They want the complete truth. The truth is we can’t take all the pain right now.”

The Bloomberg lawsuit said the collateral lists “are central to understanding and assessing the government’s response to the most cataclysmic financial crisis in America since the Great Depression.”

In response, the Fed argued that the trade-secret exemption could be expanded to include potential harm to any of the central bank’s customers, said Bruce Johnson, a lawyer at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle. That expansion is not contained in the freedom-of-information law, Johnson said.

“I understand where they are coming from bureaucratically, but that means it’s all the more necessary for taxpayers to know what exactly is going on because of all the money that is being hurled at the banking system,” Johnson said.

The Bloomberg lawsuit is Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Pittman in New York at mpittman@bloomberg.net;

Last Updated: December 12, 2008 17:12 EST


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take on Zeitgeist: The Addendum (IMPORTANT)

October 30th, 2008

1) Is the Federal Reserve Engaged in Acts of Economic Warfare Against America?

“If the actions pursued by the Federal Reserve were being masterminded by Al-Qaeda, they would be denounced as acts of war. In World War II, such actions were deliberate acts of war. Targeting the economy for destruction by flooding the money supply with counterfeit currency is, by any measure, a threat to any nation.”

http://www.naturalnews.com/024427.html

2) Meet the World’s New Reserve Currency: The Chinese Yuan

“Surely, the present financial malaise which has its roots in Wall Street and at the Federal Reserve, has demonstrated that the dollar must be replaced as the world’s “reserve currency” and that America must be deposed as the de facto steward of the global economic system. Leadership implies responsibility and the US must be held to account for its failings. It’s time for a change.”

http://www.prisonplanet.com/meet-the-worlds-new-reserve-currency-the-chinese-yuan.html

-

3) Zeitgeist: The Addendum

“Zeitgeist: Addendum, attempts to locate the root causes of this pervasive social corruption, while offering a solution. This solution is not based on politics, morality, laws, or any other “establishment” notions of human affairs, but rather on a modern, non-superstitious based understanding of what we are and how we align with nature, to which we are a part.”

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

————————–

If people’s beliefs are invested in lies and delusions, how will they know the truth when they hear it? And how do you inform people when they refuse to believe the truth?

———-

IT’s TIME FOR an ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to watch ‘”Zeitgeist: The Addendum”

- the follow-up to the “Zeitgeist” video. Though the 2-hour video is

freely available on their web site, I purchased the DVD for $7.00 (which

includes postage) and after watching it – purchased an additional 10

copies for friends and family. Even if you haven’t yet seen the initial

“Zeitgeist” video – be sure to check out the sequel for a superb

behind-the-curtain look at how and why the current monetary system is in

reality a crime against humanity. And though I still believe that

technology is the product of a cosmic virus infecting our program – after

watching “The Addendum” – I can now see a theoretical cure for the

contamination. But the bottom line is still the same: All the old corrupt

institutions need to totally collapse before any new spiritual programming

can begin. And the only way to insure this result is for everyone to stop supporting these activities by refusing to pay taxes.

Cheryl

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Some frightening economic info

October 22nd, 2008

 

 

frightening but you should watch this

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9-tBGxVU6o

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Think we have bad $?

October 10th, 2008

 

Thanks to Denise for this!

If the Aborigine drafted an I.Q. test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it. – Stanley Garn

 

Subject: World’s Worthless Money

Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 15:50:39 -1000

 

 

World’s Worthless Money

Published on 8/15/2008 

 

 10 million Zimbabwean Dollars = US$4

If you think the American economy is bad, take heart that its nowhere near the ultra-super-hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, once one of the richest countries in Africa. The countrys central bank has recently issued a Z$100 billion note (yes, Z$100,000,000,000). So, what would a Z$100 billion note buy you? About two loaves of bread (it wont even get you lunch – youd need at least Z$250 billion for lunch). 

So far this year, the country ravaged by hyperinflation has been forced to print 100-million, 250-million and 500-million notes in rapid succession. All of them are now almost worthless. has become common now for Zimbabweans to talk of their daily expenses in trillions (one trillion is 12 zeros). 

 

 

 500,000 vietnamese Dongs = US$30

 

An early-1980s U.S. embargo hobbled exports, leading to price controls and the printing of excess currency. 

 

 

 100,000 Indonesian rupiah = US$11

 

During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the rupiah lost 80 percent of its value within months, sparking riots in Jakarta (and soon ending President Suharto’s 32-year rule). 

 

 50,000 Iranian Rial = US$5

 

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran’s inflation rate has hovered around 15 percent, thanks in part to ever-rising oil prices. 

 

 50,000 São Tomé Dobra = US$3.47

 

This African island nation’s economy is tied to the volatile price of its chief export, cocoa, and is measured against its trading partners’ robust euro. 

 

 10,000 Guinean Francs = US$2.33

 

In 2002, the mineral-rich African country refused to implement reforms mandated by the International Monetary Fund; foreign cash dried up, and the central bank printed too much money. 

 

 

A government big enough to give you everything you want,               

is big enough to take away everything you have. – Thomas  Jefferson

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Solution to the financial crises: end fiat money

October 7th, 2008

If you do not know what fiat money is, you need to read this article.


The solution to the financial crisis is end fiat money <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTMYEBeiv-6ALmRMLxU37UWwlMJbCqFQ8KEMFlfn2rXFh0Y_eSXSD6MGdC70exkklmEP2NFzxsLjsxSTUjXIag34GpToxkFQNVgtf3H-Jg1cLAQynCFMN3ydLnReWgSD7y27qW6cQXAowA==> . The word fiat in Latin means “let there be.” Fiat money is paper currency made legal tender by pronouncement, but not convertible into an asset with value such as gold or silver.  
President Kennedy was one of the most aggressive presidents in the 20th century to attempt to free us from being enslaved by the Federal Reserve or the Fed. He sought to tackle the monsters of war and a privately owned central bank (the Fed) as together they are the primary drivers of debt.

To begin the process to free us from fiat money, on June 4, 1963, President Kennedy signed Executive Order 11110 <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTPGtidvYRSFSwsO2sJ3K5affKvw_RZchFNJkgh8zO6qD00oLd-m87Cuyf6GSP9_AsuyxyFsiiIu_0NlDy0__sVSFWrJJKvm31AFeaVBZaS1OwlI1iLe1dl1GQIo0ShazBlAgMupTifymhn09623lWXg> ordering the US Treasury, not the Fed, to issue silver-backed currency.

Kennedy and his Comptroller of the Currency, James J. Saxon, saw the Fed as a national security threat because it is an agency of fiat money that creates inflation.

Fed created money increases the money supply which has a negative impact on the purchasing power of the dollar also known as inflation. As a result a dollar in your pocket today will be worth less each and every year. For this reason inflation is a hidden tax and the Fed system, by design, increases the national debt. The increasing debt has only one conclusion, another great depression. Events can repeat themselves. In 1963 the Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) argued in his book the Monetary History of the United States <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTN9pyCWkg9DYv9RQII9TJRfp2JOq8irukRMz5__T_mFNtDmUe3od4eu0pVO4oFujDLzHez53UfrvYA0KnzR-n6YftxIbOoTbPh2R1YELflr4yp83huPXceo-16d0bX-jpDt4cSQsciMv5FQtJUhTEgF0k1wcLbgN1w=> that the Fed caused the Great Depression.

The Fed was crafted in November 1910 by a small group of bankers, who met in secret on Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia. They met secretly because Americans did not trust the large banking families and secrecy was essential in order to fool the U.S. government. Congress and the president were fooled into hasty action just before the 1913 Christmas holiday. The Federal Reserve Act became law on December 23, 1913.

President Woodrow Wilson later regretted that he had not vetoed the Federal Reserve Act. He said: “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world – no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”

After the Fed was created, many members of Congress <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTOryGvTo9kMu9oplfDYF-SAycmRmvCw5WrRtTlNxKwUOnS-WZcBWALS_KlxgbdICbC8m77Ch_pSBZZGEdHCx-rcaH48g0bMjwrP_7jmsieF-JkhRFOK-qcnwW-i5dojO8y32TIXiEfqsd6tGZgj76ar> learned the true purpose of the Fed although some believe control of the media, propaganda, paid agents, public ignorance, and assassinations enable ongoing support for the fiat money system. The problem with fiat money is the system has to end in economic collapse. For readers wondering how U.S. monetary policy is related to teaching peace, in a global banking system this total economic collapse will bring about suffering, starvation, and wars around the world.

Total meltdown happens the day confidence in the currency vanishes. No one knows when that will happen, but it may well happen in our lifetime.
As the national debt grows, which is required for a fiat money system to continue, the confidence in the U.S. dollar declines. Countries around the world that play the same game with their own fiat money, like dominos in a line, run the risk of total financial collapse when another fiat money country, especially the U.S., has a financial crisis.

Increased government spending, as is the proposed bailout, delays the meltdown, but builds up the pressure for its eventually occurrence. The  problems that flow from not bailing out are insignificant when compared to what will one day happen to us unless Kennedy’s Executive Order 11110 is dusted off.  

Had Kennedy lived, the silver-backed currency would have “freed” the U.S. from the Fed and fiat money. Freedom from the Fed private banking cartel was underway with $4,292,893,815 in silver-backed currency authorized by Kennedy. Lyndon B. Johnson, upon becoming president, quickly recalled the “Kennedy bills” and had them destroyed.

Unless we end fiat money, someday our unemployed children and grandchildren will ask us “how did you let this happen?”

One of the most important times we will ever have to contact members of Congress <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTOVOKTg2RI0F1y8YF0dnOUbpaZ8J-2DFjNKjT6xo1yAMAamLjFCkkevyfI_CsXRzYubeAZN6e9_fDV_gKhwdsw10mqTReHYnShMipt9PHueWWw1xBCovLvIKukine4Xg_E_WYUSgJ2i_UntC-w0p2Jh> is right now. On Friday the House is voting on the plan <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTMjhn8dZRE45VrKjTcD24lhtqi7FT1yRhqYkEGIIL7KD0oovpTC8QepDvvncBOelqPuUtdYBIz25hK_s9wmPzrs2Dk3jBKI3jzkN6Oq-WzN9CmysTIr8TClQVS6Li1uEsosWd50u7IVvTvLTrgRxUO1FR3n4UuuyUlm5SC2GS5BpuPqm858on_twZTbyl2oL_L2EvGmzxXDjUM6nwGt0lA1HC9z> the Senate approved on Wednesday. Do not fall for the same scare tactics that fooled so many Americans to believe Iraq was going to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons. Join me and the millions of Americans who are standing up to defend our country by opposing a bailout.

Victory for us is not limited to defeating a bailout, but waking people up to see that there is a solution to the even bigger financial crisis on the horizon. From this perspective, I am happy to share with you that we have had numerous “Thank you for explaining what is really happening and I’m contacting my respresentatives!” responses.

A brighter future is possible when we end fiat money.

Please share this information with your friends and peace be with you!

Dave Dionisi
Teach Peace Foundation
539 J Street
Davis, CA 95616
530-554-7061

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – Additional resources 1. Federal Reserve Introduction video <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTMYEBeiv-6ALmRMLxU37UWwlMJbCqFQ8KEMFlfn2rXFh0Y_eSXSD6MGdC70exkklmEP2NFzxsLjsxSTUjXIag34GpToxkFQNVgtf3H-Jg1cLAQynCFMN3ydLnReWgSD7y27qW6cQXAowA==>
2. Federal Reserve 101 <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTPWiAsSXnke-2fbzMD-pKLypQj3rNaWb_2n9eST3GxCPCTDFWRRf37Cwd5gDPTDRGwWBw5HUvlD9KZgjAwmQHn9vCwlBtzPYhqrh6XRAmbvQAPfybh-Ot3B3bhTOhe7UfeKkzvc6m26PwPZcnh5tjsV>
3. Money as Debt <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTPzGtjxyzqhvRm11iZJI9Eeson6mK9LFt4fba5P96ycUiBzROO6HQl4UegI9G2cujkBhYjM24GiZyus_KyEfev_fFrDbR8l9vJhBxcTT6ovkydPcNMM5Eq8znl3tdc7DFo=>
4. Cash for trash and the war with Iran connection <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTMg1HmaB3H9Q_wKiof9a3pHL6p3vPP64brumEBTrcxEAEMzwfIapxrN6chlgwk0k_QfQINkwOKBfyUB8SI6GkNqGKJzT-K7V3bPbJVxxaLFnb_dORHQPxwuLKJVVPrLRl4=>
5. Picture of a 1963 Kennedy bill <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTPLcTp2RCVpNniQ9un9dqGlYGW8s092okCJWKFLy81vSoVQQgZC6WGii9H1JDdj0GHo8g2XPLVgW3o3dhH3BBSVRBDn7Hlz2lDgzIby9z8qDJnEV44uMGvGyI26cFKYz7QKKYy3lrlzuQ==>
6. Executive Order 11110 <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTPGtidvYRSFSwsO2sJ3K5affKvw_RZchFNJkgh8zO6qD00oLd-m87Cuyf6GSP9_AsuyxyFsiiIu_0NlDy0__sVSFWrJJKvm31AFeaVBZaS1OwlI1iLe1dl1GQIo0ShazBlAgMupTifymhn09623lWXg>
7. Senator McFadden on the Federal Reserve <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTOryGvTo9kMu9oplfDYF-SAycmRmvCw5WrRtTlNxKwUOnS-WZcBWALS_KlxgbdICbC8m77Ch_pSBZZGEdHCx-rcaH48g0bMjwrP_7jmsieF-JkhRFOK-qcnwW-i5dojO8y32TIXiEfqsd6tGZgj76ar>
8. Freedom to Fascism <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTMiyy3USwYgMIUWtgrpQROiv6B6mplyKgXsKwoXisbQmAcnpkEvCnJYhhS2S4SlPXWCOFHg_GkEYngfhpd0FZpYpp7qVqZAuzIpGigoH5uFYY0WVGxhTKX83U5u_pvpZM8=>
9. The history of deception <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTOOjHNkeLLmdFXfPhl_NKwpAtenDkZN5zBunpx7vjNmprSICEihN7z8ed0YqRDMaQmM8jNfhu32dsFJKkVdE6qUUMoUM3DfagFfOuh-LnVaxQhuMiZl84DwwzV12xAOcSSQyRwP5VPSAENL80C8JsHOkaGN2jhWSac=>
10. Martin Luther King, Jr. on debt and programs of social uplift <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTPQtonoXSI1_m2u_9LEzTfPTibt–6-auPATvAifBlN10C_MoaX0bNDiuRx7oJmUqRleOBF2a2j8k8U4TRysqZQuUjNN3_qcQMG7ct–3DWLedfWb0LNX8y77p_nMeHUPGCtVxSk6Obuw==>
11. Senate passes $700 billion rescue <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0019-i_PytAtTMjhn8dZRE45VrKjTcD24lhtqi7FT1yRhqYkEGIIL7KD0oovpTC8QepDvvncBOelqPuUtdYBIz25hK_s9wmPzrs2Dk3jBKI3jzkN6Oq-WzN9CmysTIr8TClQVS6Li1uEsosWd50u7IVvTvLTrgRxUO1FR3n4UuuyUlm5SC2GS5BpuPqm858on_twZTbyl2oL_L2EvGmzxXDjUM6nwGt0lA1HC9z>


    

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reality is glum news

October 7th, 2008

My friend, Mika, sent this today;

bit glum, but likely accurate… 

 

Time for a change of lifestyle to a sustainable way of living know where to get food and water cause that is really what matters for survival of the body.

Might be a good time to stock food before there is a run on it.

I have checked into survival foods and many companies are way backordered???

Costcos in California were limiting the purchase of rice last month??? 

Join together with local growers and support a new way of life.

Then it will be a great time to get things back in balance with nature and the Creator. 

The Native people saw all this coming many moons ago ..

No need to go into fear – but definitely a time to be clear on priorities – and treat each other with fairness and kindness.

There’s an old saying, “trust in God and tie up your camel – meaning – have faith everything is going to be good – and be prepared for anything!

The writing is plastered all over the wall – street!

 

 The Abyss This Time 

Whitley Strieber 

03-Oct-2008 

 

As of yesterday, the U.S. commercial paper market has failed. You won’t read or hear much about this, because so few people understand financial markets, but you will see its effects in your life, and they are going to be dramatic, and probably come at you like a runaway train. 

 

Commercial paper is the means by which companies raise working capital to produce the goods and services you use every day. Last week, $95 billion less commercial paper was sold. Instead, the money went into US Treasuries. In the past three weeks, the commercial paper market has contracted by $200 billion. Bond experts are calling the contraction “astounding,” and it is not clear that the bailout will help recharge this crucially important market. 

 

If it doesn’t, there are going to be massive and immediate cutbacks and layoffs. Even the highest rated companies are experiencing funding problems, such as GE and AT&T. This means that most companies, and especially small businesses, are finding that their credit lines are being cut or even canceled. Even the slightest past problem is now a reason for slashing a credit line. Yesterday, GMAC failed to sell $2.7 billion in loans, and Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham) defaulted on an $83 million loan payment, and it is only the first of what will be many governing entities to run out of cash. We could easily see a situation, and soon, where civil servants across the country cannot be paid–as, incidentally, happened during the collapse of the Roman Empire, beginning in the 430s, when the central government ceased to be able to coin money with any precious metal content at all. Because the situation became terminal then government, and with it civilization, collapsed. 

 

Ironically, many people in those days applauded the failure of government because it was accompanied by falling taxes. The result was that their grandchildren were illiterate, starving and half- savage, and it took Europe nearly a thousand years to recover. 

 

What does this mean to you? Well, you probably work at a company that uses a credit line to regularize its cash flow so that it can pay weekly salaries and do things like fund new product lines and everyday business activities, such as buying supplies to make products. Your doctor uses his credit line to pay his office staff regularly, while waiting for his insurance payments to be deposited. Your lawyer uses his to keep his office running between client payments. Your local Old Navy, your McDonald’s, your local restaurant–all of these companies, large and small, use their credit lines to manage cash flow. In fact, commercial paper is the blood of the economy. If it doesn’t start flowing again quite soon, this economy is going to have a heart attack. It’s that simple. 

 

The reason that commercial paper is not being bought is twofold. First, there is no money to buy it because all of that money is racing to the greater safety of treasuries. Second, the reason this is happening is because there is fear that businesses will not take in enough money to service their credit lines, and this fear extends even to very large concerns. 

 

Commercial paper is bought by money market funds, which took a terrific hit when Lehman Brothers was allowed to collapse. The result was that there have been gigantic investor withdrawals from these funds, and the placement of the money into short term US Treasury debt. 

 

This process is affecting Europe as well, meaning that money will not be flowing, as it has in the past, from European investors into the US money market. 

 

Unless the bailout passes and for some unknown reason actually stems this tide, we are going to see a massive number of job losses through the end of the year, something akin to the Great Depression. And the incredibly misinformed comments of conservative radio commentators that the bailout is somehow about “wall street fat cats,” that have inflamed so many people against this piece of finger in the dike legislation will be revealed for what it is: a mistake being made by the financially unsophisticated, pandering to their audiences’ hunger to point fingers and place blame. 

 

There is certainly blame, in fact, plenty of it to spread around. The primary blame for the overall debacle we are facing is deregulation of the type that has been championed by Phil “Nation of Whiners” Gramm since the 1990s. More than any one person, Mr. Gramm is responsible for the wholesale deregulation that enabled the abuses that have taken place. It’s no wonder he blames us. Another is the fact that there was no effort at all made on the part of the US Treasury to prepare for the contingency that this financial crisis might happen, when, in fact, it has been clear for at least two years that something like it would unfold as soon as housing prices peaked and began to decline. Understand, it was absolutely certain that interest only mortgages would be abandoned if they could not be refinanced. There was never any question about this at all, which is one reason that banks tried to offset this risk, and why that did not work. The reason that this was certain could not be more simple: mortgages were granted on the borrowers’ ability to make the payments required at the time the mortgage was written, not at the time that its interest-only provision ended. 

 

Add to that the fact that middle America’s real income has been either static or declining slightly for the entire period of the Bush administration, while their taxes have not gone down, and you have an obvious and entirely predictable prescription for disaster. If their incomes weren’t rising or their taxes weren’t dropping, then how could they increase their payments? 

 

A few days ago, I heard a talk show host screaming that people whose homes go into foreclosure should lose the right to vote, and I thought to myself that we would be so much better off if the airways were not dominated by ranting, ignorant fools with easy answers that are actually invitations to the abyss. 

 

When I listened to Rush Limbaugh the other day, he said that he didn’t care “what the stock market does.” In fact, at one point, he yelled “screw the market!” 

 

Really? What’s socialist about the stock market, I wonder? I thought that the markets were the cornerstone of conservatism, not its enemy. Indeed, though, skimming across the airwaves and talk radio internet sites, you would get the impression that these guys actually want the system to fail, that there is an ideology out there at work that is so rigid that it doesn’t care what happens to us as long as its principles are served. 

 

But these folks are not serving conservative principles because they neither understand them nor care about them. They are using inflammatory rhetoric to get ratings, pure and simple, without the least care for what their false ideas and lunatic rants are doing to the quality of our discourse on this issue, upon which, quite literally, most of our lives depend. 

 

Similar sentiments were being blared across the land in 1929 and 1930, but by 1931 most of their advocates were selling apples. 

 

Free markets are cyclical, and the more artificial any rise becomes, the more catastrophic the subsequent crash will be. This was true during the Dutch tulip bubble of 1637, the British South Sea bubble of 1720, the stock market bubble of 1929, and it is true of today’s real estate bubble. And, each time, the free market system relied on state support to survive. Understand, I very much doubt that this gimcrack legislation that has just been passed is going to help very much for very long. The reason is that the total amount of derivatives now in the marketplace probably exceeds $500 trillion. That’s right, $500 TRILLION dollars, and at present all of it is, at best, salable only at a substantial discount. 

 

How do we know this? Because the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) which is what banks charge each other for loans, now has a spread that is nothing short of fantastic. This means taht banks don’t trust each other’s capitalization. That is to say, they don’t trust each other’s loan portfolios. And what do those portfolios consist of? That’s where much of that $500 trillion dollars comes in. 

 

So you can see that a $700 billion dollar bailout is just window dressing, in fact, a desperate effort to restore confidence in a vast market that has failed fundamentally. 

 

There should have been contingency plans in place for this long ago. Because there were not, we are indeed going to enter a period of de facto socialism of some kind in the near future. Otherwise, people– and this means people like you, not some vague, overextended workers you’ll never see or hear of–are going to be starving. 

 

In fact, the world economy, led by our own, is in far worse condition than it ever even approached during the Great Depression. The reason is that the amount of outstanding obligations is so vastly in excess of the actual value that underlies them. Put simply, the world economy is not worth anything close to $500 trillion dollars, and it’s becoming worth less every day. (http://www.bis.org/press/p071219.htm)

 

We are in trouble, big time. The worst economic trouble in modern times, maybe, in fact, in at least the past thousand years. I cannot say that I have a solution, either. Really, there is no solution. Whatever happens though, I can say this with certainty: the way the world works is about to change in absolutely fundamental ways, and, during the period of change, there are going to be profound and painful disruptions. 

 

So far the BAIL OUT has certainly worked in a limited sense. The wooden arrow industry has received a $2 million windfall in the form of an earmark that was attached to the bail out bill. So Robin Hood must be mightily relieved…….

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