Archive for May 26th, 2012
I wouldn’t travel to Greece if I was Ms. LaGarde; she might find herself on the receiving end of the sort of animosity she has displayed for the Greek people…..
“I think they should also help themselves collectively,” Ms Lagarde said.
She added: “I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time.
“Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens.”
And when asked if she was saying to the Greeks and other European nations that they had had a nice time and it was now payback time, Ms Lagarde responded: “That’s right.”
She also reiterated that the IMF had no intention of softening the terms of Greece’s austerity package.
I agree — they should help themselves.
They should start by placing all the bonds they issued and which LaGarde’s IMF, along with the other banksters, lent upon into the paper shredder and send the bits to the ECB and LaGarde via FedEx. After all every one of these institutions was part and parcel of increasing credit into their economy at a greater rate than GDP, and thus was fully aware they were effectively counterfeiting Euros into the Greek economy.
That this action was legal doesn’t change the moral depravity of the act, nor does it excuse those who committed it from the consequences.
The consequence, incidentally, is that you lose your money as you don’t get repaid, and the bogus nature of your claimed “asset valuations” and lack of capital behind your positions is exposed.
This detonates your firm (and maybe your central bank too.) Awwwww… cry me a river.
None of this changes the fact that Greece cannot spend more in its government than it taxes. That has to change, and it has to change right now.
But it is manifestly unjust, and should be corrected through whatever means are necessary, that only the Greeks should bear that consequence while the banksters who knew damn well what they were doing get away with being willing and active co-conspirators.
This nonsense will not stop until someone stands up to these jackals and points out that they’re not going to get paid as the lender was fully aware they were emitting unbacked credit into the system with no mathematical possibility of repayment. That is, they were willingly and intentionally promulgating a Ponzi Scheme.
The other nations in Europe should likewise erect the middle finger, simultaneously having the necessary debate with their citizens over the services that they want government to provide and implement the tax structure necessary to do so.
Greece, in a word, needs to reply quite simply ”No” and make clear that it is explicitly authorizing its citizens and military to resist by whatever means are appropriate and necessary should any part of the “Troika”, or any bank associated with same, attempt to tamper with the nation’s internal affairs.
Enough is enough.
As An Encore to Bailing Out the Big Banks, Government to Backstop Derivativees Clearinghouses … In the U.S. and Abroad
The government has allowed the amount of derivatives to reach 1.2 quadrillion dollars.
What is the government doing for an encore? Bailing out the derivatives clearinghouses.
As the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday:
Little noticed is that on Tuesday Team Obama took its first formal steps towardputting taxpayers behind Wall Street derivatives trading — not behind banks that might make mistakes in derivatives markets, but behind the trading itself. Yes, the same crew that rails against the dangers of derivatives is quietly positioning these financial instruments directly above the taxpayer safety net.
The authority for this regulatory achievement was inserted into Congress’s pending financial reform bill by then-Senator Chris Dodd.
Specifically, the law authorizes the Federal Reserve to provide “discount and borrowing privileges” to clearinghouses in emergencies.
To get help, they only needed to be deemed “systemically important” by the new Financial Stability Oversight Council chaired by the Treasury Secretary.
Last year regulators finalized rules for how they would use this new power. On Tuesday, they began using it. The Financial Stability Oversight Council secretly voted to proceed toward inducting several derivatives clearinghouses into the too-big-to-fail club. After further review, regulators will make final designations, probably later this year, and will announce publicly the names of institutions deemed systemically important.
We’re told that the clearinghouses of Chicago’s CME Group and Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange were voted systemic this week, and rumor has it that the council may even designate London-based LCH.Clearnet as critical to the U.S. financial system.
U.S. taxpayers thinking that they couldn’t possibly be forced to stand behind overseas derivatives trading will not be comforted by remarks from Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler. On Monday he emphasized his determination to extend Dodd-Frank derivatives regulation to overseas markets when subsidiaries of U.S. firms are involved.
If there’s one truth we’ve learned about government financial backstops, it’s that sooner or later they will be used. So eventually taxpayers will have to bail out one derivatives clearinghouse or another. It promises to be quite a mess.
(The government has actually been backstopping derivatives for some time).
Indeed, Nobel prize-winning economist George Akerlofdemonstrated that if big companies aren’t held responsible for their actions, the government ends up bailing them out. So failure to prosecute directly leads to a bailout. Bailing them out- in turn – creates incentives for more economic crimes and further destruction of the economy in the future.
As financial incentive expert William Black notes, we’ve known of this dynamic for “hundreds of years”.
Note: It’s not just banks. The government has bailed out hedge funds and companies like McDonald’s and Harley-Davidson.
Indeed, drug dealers kept the banking system afloatduring the depths of the 2008 financial crisis. So are the biggest drug cartels “systemically important” and “too big to fail”? Will the U.S. government backstop the Colombian drug lords?
Sure, their actions don’t help society, and instead harm a lot of people. But so do those of the giant banks speculating in derivatives.
And there may be more overlap than admitted in polite company.
Economist David McWilliams describes what led to the crisis, who is being bailed out, the terrible policy decisions being made, and the negotiating position of peripheral countries in the Eurozone. McWilliams’ whiteboard animations are embedded following these select notes:
- The bill for individual and institutional debt that led to the crisis has been passed on to people who had nothing to do with creating that debt.
- Europe has been turned from a democracy to a bankocracy.
- There are 2 ways out of a debt crisis: squeeze the debtor, or forgive the debt. If you squeeze the debtor – a.k.a. austerity – you make it less likely that the debtor will be able to pay back the debt.
- The more austerity, the less growth. The less growth, the less tax revenue. It is like putting someone in debtor’s prison for being in debt; no one in prison has any way to make money to pay off debt.
- A fiscal union is supposed to help regions when they get into trouble – that’s what happens in the American fiscal union. In Europe, it is working the opposite way.
- The German solution will cause more recessions in the periphery.
- The ECB solution is “cash for trash”, where bust European banks give the ECB trash as collateral. In return, the ECB gives the banks cash. The insolvent banks lend that money to insolvent governments at 6%. The ECB is lending one trillion Euros to the banks in this fashion. The banks borrow at 1% and lend it to governments at 6%. The taxpayer pays the bill for the banks to be bailed out.
- The banks get all the money they need. But when the people ask to keep hospitals and schools open, they are told there is no money available.
- Central banks around the world are trying to reflate the bubble by injecting liquidity in order to avoid the consequences of the bursting of the bubble in the first place; when the next crash comes it will be bigger and more devastating.
- Over the last 3.5 years, Europe and the US have pumped $8.7 trillion into the banks. Cash looking for a home means higher prices – for oil, for example. The cash will find its way into assets and then will produce inflation. We may see Volckeresque interest rates when that happens.
- Government debts and fiscal deficits did not cause the Eurozone’s problems. For example, in 2008, Spain’s debt to GDP ratio was lower than Germany’s. Government debt and spending exploded in response to, not ahead of, the crisis.
- Financial panics do not cause the destruction of wealth; financial panics only tell you the extent to which wealth has already been destroyed by reckless speculation.
- The German elite do not want a United States of Europe; they want a Federal Republic of Europe, based on the Federal Republic of Germany. They want a Europe that looks and feels democratic, where Germany makes the important decisions.
- The Germans want the Euro to remain intact in order to sustain their strong trade position. They also benefit greatly from the weak Euro – a Deutschmark would be far stronger and would weaken their trade advantage.
Let’s get right down to it.
The European governments are not going to do the right thing, as I noted they must in my earlier post. They’re going to continue to play games with your life and futures, promising things they know they cannot deliver.
In the meantime they are meeting right now — I’m sure of it — to design a new currency system in which you will take it in the ass.
There is only one defense you can enact as an individual to this - get your money out of there and do it now, moving it somewhere safer.
I don’t think this is the “long weekend” where you’ll get screwed, but I don’t know that for certain.
What I do know for certain is that your government will not tell you when it is about to bone you in the butt, and that is about to happen.
If Greece leaves, and I expect they will, the odds are high that the entire Euro will fracture and as this happens your deposits and other financial instruments denominated in Euros will be converted to the new local currency and then immediately devalued, stealing anywhere from a few percent to half or more of every Euro you have.
Therefore you either act preemptively or you go to the store, buy a big jar of Vasoline and hunt around outside for a nice stick to insert between your teeth — because you will soon need both.
The Republican presidential field continues to grow but the recent announcement that House Rep. Thaddeus McCotter would join the race left most people scratching their heads. What does McCotter bring to the race? The most pro-forced unionism voting record of any of the candidates is what.
McCotter voted for the Card Check Forced Unionism bill.
McCotter supports legislation that seeks to bail out union pension funds and put taxpayers on the hook for $160 billion in unfunded union pension liabilities.
McCotter supported the Big Labor bailouts of the car companies.
And in return for the favors, Big Labor PACs have contributed nearly $80,000 to the McCotter campaign.
Folks who are concerned about the forced unionism power of Big Labor can do a lot better than McCotter, but perhaps they can not do much worse.
Our take: There IS an alternative, Kerry Bentivolio for Michigan’s 11th District.
Unions have contributed much to the American economy, and will continue to do so in the future. From ensuring safe working conditions, liveable wages, and secure retirements for their members, unions brought our labor force out of the dark ages, and America’s labor force into respectability and security. Mr. Bentivolio supports Right to Work conceptually, but believes that any legislation with regards to Right to Work, should be worded carefully so as to avoid excoriating our unions. Unions are not the boogeymen they are often depicted as, and it would be unhelpful in the extreme to denounce or berate them in any legislation.
However, per our Declaration of Independence, we all have the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. These rights (and many others) are inherent in our beings, given to us by our Creator at the moment we sprang into existence, and these rights are absolute and inviolable. Our right to Liberty trumps the rights of unions to expand their memberships. Liberty includes the right of free association…being free to associate (or not) with whomever you wish…and no Earthly power has the right to force anybody to associate with any other person or group against their free will. Forced unionization is not only wrong and unethical, it is unconstitutional as well. Rep. McCotter should recognize this…Mr. Bentivolio does.
Voters have a REAL Constitutional choice this fall: Kerry Bentivolio for Congress.
For more information on conservative union members and the Right to Work issue in Michigan, please click this link:
So once again the Euro dives this morning on more chatter about Greece “leaving” the Euro.
Once again we talk about “meeting commitments.”
This discussion is both pointless and a lie, and until we start talking about the truth we cannot possibly achieve it, and therefore we also cannot possibly resolve the problems we have — here or in Europe.
That truth is simple: We cannot spend more than we take in via current taxes through government.
That’s it folks.
They can’t do it there. We can’t do it here. Nobody can do it, if we want financial stability.
I don’t care if this discussion is politically inexpedient. I don’t care if it is unpopular. I don’t care what the so-called “realities on the ground” are. I don’t care if this means that we must face (in America) our illegal immigrant problem head-on and solve it, so that our jobs go to citizens first and only to those who want to come here to this country if there are jobs remaining. I don’t care if this means we must repeal EMTALA and all anti-trust exemptions in the medical industry, collapsing the price of medical care by half or more, and remove all college education subsidies, bankrupting nearly all of them (so new universities can arise on the land where the current ones are, less the ivory tower and gilded crap and at 1/4 the current price.)
This isn’t just an American problem. It is also a European problem. Both Europe and America’s governments have intentionally made promises of benefits to citizens they know they cannot keep. That’s fraud, and yet it is not punishable fraud in a court of law, because political promises are treated as “puffery” in the legal code and are unenforceable; your means of peaceful redress is limited to the ballot box and the losses you suffer as a consequence of these frauds are not subject to recapture.
All of the hand-waving on Europe is really about whether the German people will continue to allow the Greeks, the Spaniards, the Italians and more to simply steal the fruits of production. The challenge here is quite simple – much of what Germany makes is uneconomic in the rest of the Euro zone and thus Germany is living a lie as well!
NONE of this has been recognized and discussed in the open. None of the banks involved — and it’s basically all of them at the larger institution level — were held to account for their role in 2008 and they were not forced to cut the crap — that is, the frauds – that led to that collapse. They’re still doing it, they’re still packed to the gills with garbage, they’re still lying about asset values and they’re still running around playing with ridiculous amounts of leverage and creating credit backed by nothing in the hope and prayer that something will make their bets good.
The problem with such a premise is that for their bet to be good someone else’s must go bad as wealth cannot be created by pushing paper around; it can only be mined, grown or manufactured. This means that for the banks to “win” someone else must lose, and yet when that someone else “loses” (e.g. their job) they no longer have productive income to commit to the economy.
This is a death spiral and it is the mathematically-certain result of ever-increasing debt leverage. The premise put forward by people like Ryan here in the US and the so-called “Technocrats” in Europe is a lie. The losses that were sustained must be recognized and those who made them must eat them. The government must repudiate the services it cannot manage to tax the funds to provide, and the people must have that conversation with their governments on what they demand and will pay for, resetting expectations, taxes and services.
If this is not done, and done soon — both here and in Europe — then the mathematical reality of transfers into the banks from the people will shortly come to the fore and blow up in all of our faces.
Quite simply the limits of the game that has been played for the last 30 years have been reached.
Like it or not.