Monday, September 28, 2009
Carl and I were on the ground photo documenting this military style takeover of an American city by our own national guard, who violated the Posse Comitatus Act by manhandling and arresting civilians because the civilians were not responding to their Martial Law maneuver dictates, such as “move along or step back” commands to their liking.
It was very clear that the local governing bodies: city and county officials were made impotent as they were pushed aside by higher commanding authorities. Watching the invasion was not unlike witnessing what one has seen occur in other countries.
The comical part of the display of brand new “GI Joe toys”, equipment and riot gear “outfits” accessorized the Martial Law-like invasion. The several thousand paramilitary Jackboots swarmed Pittsburgh from as far as Tucson, Arizona, and Border Patrol stations, as well as from Montgomery County, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and a variety of surrounding towns and suburbs encompassing Western Pennsylvania, in addition to other locations around the country, which were not noticed. In addition to these Jackboots, there were troops from the Pennsylvania National Guard, Port Authority police, Homeland Security suits, Secret Service suits, FBI suits, Norfolk and Southern police, Allegheny County police, Pennsylvania State police, Coast Guard, and others that manned the skies with surveillance aircraft and helicopters.
This was a show-of-force never before seen in any city in the United States! Of course, there were similar “Force Invaders” seen in cities hosting presidential nominating national conventions, and in Seattle, Washington during the World Trade Organization gathering.
It was perfectly clear that more paramilitary forces were being trained in the execution of Martial Law. Forces in Pennsylvania have now experienced how such actions are performed. One can say that 3000-4000 protesters made up of college and university students, labor, anti-war, single-payer health care, and anti-G20 demonstrators, as well as others, including Tibetans, Burmese Monks, Africans, and individuals and groups objecting to free-trade policies, and the theft of global capitalism by the world’s financial and corporate elites who have destroyed the nation’s economy and manufacturing sectors appeared to be a national security threat. What has amazed all of us was what was so frightening about these protesters who have been given the right to protest their government under the U.S. Constitution? Theoretically, to have had around one
“Force Invader” for every 75 square feet was an occupation.
But wait! There were 25-50 twenty-something “anarchist” types referred to as Black Blockers and sympathizers. Now, that must have been why the “Force Invaders” were so scared, and the G-20 held up in the fenced off Pittsburgh Convention Center’s Green Zone needed so much protection!!! For every single anarchist-type, a mass of 1000 “Force Invaders” were required to keep the peace.
On Thursday, in a section of the city called Lawrenceville, around 400-500 people gathered in Arsenal Park with signs to begin their protest march. What would have been a mile and one half walk toward the city had been cut off because their permit had been denied in spite of multiple requests. This angered the crowd.
I, and many others, have to believe this permit was denied to incite trouble. The “Force Invaders”, who turned into “Force Herders” wanted to anger the protesters enough so they could practice maneuvers and strategies that would likely be used under an authorized and declared Martial Law scenario.
The core 25-50 protesters were immediately blocked from the streets and so began the “Force Herding” process. The attempt to herd the protesters began to immediately break down as the protesters found alternative routes in their attempt to fulfill their protest march objective. Once the protesters realized that the “Force Herders” would use all tactics to break up their crowd, the tactics failed completely.
Surrounding Arsenal Park were paramilitary and military forces numbering up to two dozen each covering street corners within 2-3-4 square block areas.
The “Force Herders” were in full regalia donning brand new riot gear outfits with shiny new crowd control weapons, and Transformer-like helmets. They brought in an LRAD deafening sonic sound machine mounted on the back of a spanking new armored assault pickup truck, along with a Brinks sized armor plated newly bought flat black assault monster truck. The LRAD had never before been used on U.S citizens, so this was its national debut test run. Unfortunately, the renegade marauding anarchist-types decided to fight back and unleashed their vengeance upon LRAD forces by pushing a rolling Dumpster down from the top of the hill they had occupied for a brief moment. The Dumpster came twisting and rolling down the fairly steep hill finally coming to an abrupt stop by making contact with the LRAD pickup. The anarchist types dressed in black pants and black T-shirts, sneakers, chain belts, tattoos, and pierced skin, as well as face masks resembling 1880 cowboy bank robbers, cheered and jumped up and down in victory, and then vanished into the allies and back streets of Lawrenceville evading the Keystone Cop type troopers who showed signs of fatigue after chasing the kids all around the several block area. Remember, the cops wore over 60 pounds of riot gear as they carried smoke and tear gas weapons, in addition to rubber and real bullet weapons, while the kids wore only their Keds, P.F. Flyers, Michael Jordans, and Sketchers. Watching all of this was not unlike observing the Roadrunner out smarting Elmer Fudd dressed up as a soldier. The cat and mouse game the youthful anarchist-types engaged in demonstrated their anger and strategy by breaking a few store windows and turning over Dumpsters in the roadways so as to block the “Force Herders” in their pursuit.
The residents of the community watched their neighborhood being taken over by the “Force Herders”. The people began to cheer for the underdogs in this reenactment of Martial Law.
Later, well into the cat-and-mouse, catch-me-if-you-can-Kopper game, the anarchist-types moved a few blocks north where the “Force Herders” began to unleash their frustrations from being fooled-with onto a bicyclist who did not “step back” fast enough, whereby several “Force Herders” pounced on him. What was so poignant was in front of the broken plate glass windowed Boston Chicken, where nearly two dozen bike cops had amassed ready to offer support to the herd of riot cops blocking Baum Boulevard, around 4-6 African American middle school and high school kids began laughing and taunting the “Force Herders” by yelling out in chant “Who do you serve. Who do you protect?” They laughed out loud and pointed at the riot cops totally unafraid of the Jackboots, since such encounters were not foreign to them.
One reason the Jackboots were protecting this street’s intersection from onlookers was because the world’s lady elites left the G-20 Green Zone and were chauffeured along the overpass as their limos drove off to Theresa Heinz’ estate for drinks and catered finger foods showing off their glittered gowns of glamour.
As evening fell over Pittsburgh, the exercise in Martial Law went into full riot mode as college students, in the section called Oakland, were herded and controlled. Another bicyclist was clubbed off her feet, as a single student was muscled by a few National Guard soldiers into an unmarked tan Crown Victoria. We could not figure out if this was set up by the military to scare the protesters, or if it was real.
Now the jailed amounted to somewhere between 75-95. Ooh, the bad kids were locked up and off the streets. I feel saver already.
Friday pushed away the drizzly rain for nice protesting weather as a peaceful gathering of marchers assembled in Oakland, and with an approved permit, headed toward downtown Pittsburgh, the site of the G-20, along 5th Avenue to the front entrance of the City-County Building, where speakers and musicians had been eagerly waiting on the steps. Cindy Sheehan was in the crowd witnessing all the excitement.
The “Force Invaders” had erected Jersey Barriers, and paramilitary, along with military from everywhere had assembled covering every 5 feet of sidewalk for blocks of downtown Pittsburgh. The riot machinery had been moved in and was on the prowl ready to engage in trouble. Yet, none occurred.
Later that night, in the student section of Oakland, around 400 young people amassed to the chagrin of numerous riot police. Crowd control was executed, while most of the G-20 members and their entourage got the hell-outa-town! Rolling highway closures were in full usage. President Obama’s ceremonial closing remarks were now a thing of the past, as many students were taken away to the jail.
All-in-all, this was a waste of hundreds of millions of dollars, probably exceeding billions, when considering salaries, benefits, relocation expenses, all the new equipment, outfits, rentals, machines, commercial aircraft diversions, air space control, and more spent on the Martial law exercise. Added to the cost would be lost wages, and lost business for those who never saw a penny of the G-20 money.
Now, Pittsburgh can resume its normal life without all the blockade cages, para-military and military forces embarrassing the city.
Thanks for reading, jerry
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Mr. Jim Cramer of the popular investment television program called Mad Money, on CNBC, is just a tool for the corporate elite: those 10% of all the income earners who now earn 50% of all the nation’s income.
If you want to make a statement and shake up Wall Street, then sell all your equities soon. I suggest that date be around October 23, 2009. Wall Street has demonstrated that it can push the DOW up without any real recovery.
What we continuously hear is how homes are selling slightly up, but when compared from a year ago, it remains negative. We hear how consumer buying is slightly up, but when compared to a year ago, it still is way down and remains in negative territory. With savings significantly up, how can the consumer, who is strapped for expendable cash, be spending? If it isn’t a Cash-For-Something-government program, then there is no real spending.
Look at the facts. Credit card default is increasing, as is commercial real estate defaults. So, where is the recovery?
Without the real economy recovering, there is no spending. Without wages increasing, and people going back to work, then there is no real recovery, but only a hyped one by the likes of such people as Ben Bernanke and the money mad hatters. President Obama continues to hide the real facts.
If you want to send a powerful message to Wall Street, President Obama, Ben Bernanke and TimmieG Geithner that the other 90% of the wage earners will not support the economic crime syndicate and the top 10% damaging the real economy at the expensive of everyone else, then pull your money out of equities and bonds and put it into money markets or cash. Force our officials to tell the truth and pass legislation that helps the Real Economy and not just the Investment-Corporate Elite Economy.
Even if it were for a month or two, the message would be sent. The Market would drop 1000 or 2000 points in a matter of hours and days. The message would be that unless there was fairness, as well as market regulation and controls, the real people would not play. Also, if the Justice department continues to seriously resist a grand jury investigation that would delve deeply into the economic financial investment banking crime syndicate, then the Real People will not play. We need to know why the economy went south, who were those that were responsible, what criminal activity led up to it and ran through it, and why it was allowed to occur in the first place, to just list a few basic questions.
Ben Bernanke appears to have committed fraud when threatening Congress to hand over $700 billion in the form of TARP or else the economy would collapse. It appears that the threat was erroneous. He said that unless the billions were given up, the commercial paper market would freeze and businesses would come to a halt. The threat made it look like business would not be able to function unless TARP (Toxic/Troubled Asset Relief Program) was put into place. Yet, the next day, Bernanke opened up a commercial paper facility, whereby he was open for business buying commercial paper. Bernanke had the authority to do this without Congress’ cash. This looks like fraud, as well as extortion.
And, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, another field marshall for the financial crime syndicate bosses told Congress that if they did not issue TARP, Marshall Law would likely have to be put into place. He threatened that if a bailout was not passed, then the economy would collapse, there would be panic in the streets, a run on the banks, and Marshall Law instituted by the likes of LittleBoy Bush. This sounds like blackmail!
The investment banks were thrilled! They got their bonuses and Goldman Sachs, along with AIG got billions to bailout their counterparty colluders.
By keeping your money in equities, bonds, and mutual funds, instead of shifting over into cash or money market funds, then you are supporting this theft and fraud.
President Obama has shown his complete support for Bernanke, the Fed Field Marshall for the financial crime syndicate. TimmieG Geithner allowed these investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, as well as the others located in New York to go unregulated when he was the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. This is their game, which is to keep them flowing with cash, while looking the other way, and lending them U.S dollars at zero percent interest. Now, the FDIC is considering asking these investment banks to loan it money, since it is almost broke. This is like asking bank robbers for a loan. Oh, isn’t that exactly how the Mob operates?
It is not all that painful. You have had worse!! Just sell and put your holdings into cash. Keep it there for a month or two, and then buy again, if you wish, at new lower prices. The message will be sent if the nation does this. Change would occur because the FatCats would not know when the Real people would pull this stunt again.
This is the change WE can make happen!!! We cannot wait any longer.
Thanks for reading, jerry
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The G-20 group members will be swarming into Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 24-25, 2009, to discuss the state of economic failure that originated right here in the great U.S.A. The global crisis was concocted by fraudulent make-believe mortgage-backed securities/derivatives, and credit default swap swindles that permeated the entire globe. Out of Reaganomics, Laissez-faire capitalism purported by Alan Greenspan-- the has-been Federal Reserve chairman, and Supply-Side economics soothsayers rallying the grandiose plan to trickle down wealth to the working class suckers through the great idea of modest-to-stagnant wages and inexpensive credit deals with escalating compounding interest etched into fine print contracts, as well as the masquerading of homes as ATM machines, the rich became richer beyond their wildest dreams.
Little Boy Bush took an infection upon the body of the economy and drove it deep to the bone allowing it to become systemic, while poisoning the very marrow that made this country great. Once Greenspan was sent out to pasture upon the cushion of his Lazy Boy recliner, Ben Bernanke took the helm of the pirate ship called the Federal Reserve Bank, a member bank of the world’s central banks centered within the International Bank of Settlement.
The Federal Reserve Bank was established in 1913 by Congress under a veil of darkness giving it the power to be the sole issuer of our U.S. dollar. The Treasury collects taxes, and revenues and issues Treasury bonds and bills, which are then bought by the Federal Reserve. Now, since the Fed has bought up Treasuries, they are entitled to receive interest due upon their expiration. In other words, the taxpayers pay interest to a bank that is allowed to print and issue the American dollar.
Without going into detail, the Fed takes, for example, a $100 bond, and banks $10 of the $100 and then loans out $90 at zero percent interest to their broker-dealers and investment banks, which then takes that $90, deposits $10 and then, loans out $80. From $100, $170 is created. $70 created out of thin air via the fractional reserve method. So, what have the investment banks been doing with their Federal Reserve bootie? They (Goldman Sachs, BoA, and the rest) have been gambling on Wall Street pushing the DOW into positive territory. This manipulation is being done by the “Insiders of Wall Street” for their own gain. These investment-banking institutions engage in “front running”, which means that because of their computerized trading capabilities, they can jump ahead of a trading stock that is being pushed up getting ahead of others who are also making the buy and get that stock for a “front-of-the-pack” price.
What we are now witnessing is how the Treasury and the Federal Reserve are part of what could be called a syndicate to serve the financial needs of the corporate financial oligarchs instead of working to repair the damage done to the economy by those members of this syndicate. The American people are left out.
The investment banks that have been provided trillions of dollars through the Federal Reserve through various programs have not been committed to investing in the real economy, but only in themselves. Credit remains locked up. Actually, there is plenty of liquidity but many cannot or will not borrow. Many banks are hoarding their available liquidity.
If we go back to February 2009, and revisit Timmy Geithner’s objectives just after he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury, we see that his total intention was to recapitalize the very banks—the syndicate---with over a trillion dollars of the government’s capital. Even back on day one, Geithner was planning to feed the zombie beasts taking them from undernourished zombies full of unexposed and hidden toxic mortgage debt poisoning their balance sheets and viability, to obese zombies with the same unaccounted for toxic debt. His intention was to allow them to borrow Fed funds at zero percent and gamble with it so as to accumulated big profits in order to cushion or pad their balance sheets against the day when they will have to write down their virtually worth-less toxic mortgage debt holdings. It was not about taking care of the economic health of the nation, but to feed the evil beasts.
Yet, Ben Bernanke proclaims that the recession is basically over! Hurray for this Psychotic Reaction!
Geithner said, “We have to both jump start job creation and private investment, and we must get credit flowing again to businesses and families.” This objective has been a failure. Unemployment continues. When counting people that are no longer being counted, August really had 800,000 unemployed Americans. Tent cities in Tennessee, California, Florida, and elsewhere continue to grow. The underemployed numbers are growing, as well. Consumer spending is in decline as Americans save their fragile incomes and work to pay down debt.
Yet the zombie followers of the 9-12 Washington, DC protest last week hate the idea of a public option or a government health plan. Please tell them to give up their Medicare, or Medicaid. How many of the kook-turds are one step away from a lay-off and NO health insurance, or a job change with a jacked up co-pay and a shrunken benefit plan? Oh well. They loved the free ride provided by one of the 41 sponsors funded by the health care insurance industry. They got all-they-could-drink Kook-Aid.
Geithner had his pipedream of creating a public-private partnership to buy illiquid assets from the zombie banks as the way to get them recapitalized and rid of their worth-less mortgage debt burden. FAILURE! This Obama confidante actually believed that from his pipedream plan he could magically create as much as $1T. He then dreamt up a concocted plan that the private part of this partnership would “determine the prices for current troubled and previously illiquid assets.” But it never worked. The holders of this worth-less debt did not want to sell at the assessed price of 23 cents on the dollar. They wanted the FDIC and Treasury and the private sector to suck up 78 or 80 cents on the dollar. There solution was to just hold on to it.
The FDIC (government/taxpayer) was to kick it the lion’s share of the determined price as a way to entice the private sector to take the bait. IT FAILED. Geithner said this: “This program will provide markets working again for the legacy [toxic] loans and assets [the candy coated way of saying debts] that are now burdening the entire financial system.”
In addition, Mr. Wizard Geithner had another scheme and that was called TALF-- (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility), whereby he would take a lump of $100B from the Treasury’s bake house and roll and stretch it out into a nice slab totaling up to $1T of new, freshly made capital in order to jump start new lending in hopes to sucker in consumers and business to borrow once more during a time of total insecurity and mistrust. OH YEAH!
Every morning Timmie Geithner, Treasurer Extraordinaire, must drink a gallon of the magic Kool-aid to believe what he is mixing up is the true elixir for the nation’s economic health.
Now, our Treasurer Extraordinaire was in London and spoke before the G-20, on September 4-5, 2009, defining his position. The UK Telegraph reported that Mr. Wizard Geithner said “You are seeing the first signs of positive growth now in this country and countries around the world.” TimmieBOY, a jobless recovery, with massive deflation, a declining US dollar, and tightened spending are not positive signs.
What he was coding was that Wall Street was showing positive growth. That is all that matters to Mr. Wizard Geithner. While TimmieG said it was too early to withdraw economic stimulus, meaning that he and Ben Bernanke must continue to funnel huge amounts of newly printed cash into the biggest financial institutions so they can continue to gamble on Wall Street and help the Fed chairman mop up Treasuries being unloaded by foreign central banks, Nicholas Sarkozy, the French president, will continue to push for tighter regulation of the financial services industry, as he did at the last G-20, and has promised to do it again when they all reconvene in Pittsburgh.
This means that he has had enough of Geithner allowing the US financial-banking giants to continue to go unregulated, and without transparency as they hide their debts off their balance sheets and manipulate markets as they have been doing.
What is a big laugh for all of us following the G-20 sham is that the world’s richest nations have pledged more than $1 trillion to help pull the global economy through the recession. That is like pocket change for the entire group of nations. Geithner and Bernanke printed up $1.5 trillion since February to hand over just to the top few investment banks right here at home.
The New York Times wrote on 9-11-09 that little has changed on Wall Street, but Mr. Wizard Geithner in tow with his gallon jug of Kool-aid continues to believe that stimulation of the biggest financial-banking institutions continue to be the order of the day so they can persist with their gambling on Wall Street by manipulating the process of trades. This is Mr. Wizard’s way to pave the road to recovery. Yet, he is not talking real reform of the financial sector. He is not talking about using the Anti-Trust laws to break up the too-big-to-fail financial institutions, or to keep them from growing even bigger so as to never again allow any company to hold the U.S. economy hostage.
Here is what Alex Berenson wrote in the NYT:
“Backstopped by huge federal guarantees, the biggest banks have restructured only around the edges. Employment in the industry has fallen just 8 percent since last September. Only a handful of big hedge funds have closed. Pay is already returning to precrash levels, topped by the 30,000 employees of Goldman Sachs, who are on track to earn an average of $700,000 this year. Nor are major pay cuts likely, according to a report last week from J.P. Morgan Securities. Executives at most big banks have kept their jobs. Financial stocks have soared since their winter lows.”
“For now, banks still sell and trade unregulated derivatives, despite their role in last fall’s chaos.” “In fact, though, regulators and lawmakers have spent most of the last year trying to save the financial industry, rather than transform it.”
“Simon Johnson, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, said that the seeds of another collapse had already sprouted. If major banks are allowed to keep making bets that are ultimately backed by taxpayer guarantees, they will return to the practices that led them to underwrite trillions of dollars in bad loans, Professor Johnson said.”
“They will run up big risks, they will fail again, they will hit us for a big check,” he predicted.” “But even some senior Wall Street executives acknowledge the lack of change surprises them, given how poorly the industry performed last fall and the degree of government support necessary to keep it from collapsing.”
“There was a general feeling that an enormous amount of additional regulation should be put in place to prevent what happened that weekend from happening again,” said Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Services and the former chief investment strategist for Morgan Stanley and Pequot Capital. “So far, we haven’t seen a lot of action.”
Robert J. Shiller, the Yale University economics professor who predicted the dot-com crash and the housing bust, said the window for change may be closing. “People will accept change at a time of crisis, but we haven’t managed to do much, and maybe complacency is coming back,” Professor Shiller said. “We seem to be losing momentum.”
Kenneth C. Griffin, founder and chief executive of the Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago-based hedge fund that manages $13 billion, said that regulators and lawmakers needed to impose rules so failing banks could be shut, rather than allowed to operate indefinitely with taxpayer support.”
“Mr. [Nassim Nicholas] Taleb[, a statistician, trader, and author,] warns that the system has grown riskier since last fall. The extensive government support that began after Lehman collapsed will lead investors to assume that governments will always prevent major banks from collapsing, he said.”
“So investors will lend money to the financial industry on easy terms. In turn, financial institutions will use that cheap money to make risky loans and trades. The banks will keep the profits when their bets pay off, while taxpayers will swallow the losses when the bets go bad and threaten the system.” “But legislation that would allow regulators to close giant institutions in an orderly fashion has been stalled for months.”
“Another proposed change would require banks to list and trade derivatives through a central clearinghouse, just as stocks and options are traded through exchanges, but it has yet to go anywhere.”
“Moreover, some banks oppose opening derivatives trading, because it would cut their profits by making pricing more visible and as a consequence competitive. For now, legislation to force derivatives trading onto exchanges has stalled, and banks are still writing contracts with limited regulatory oversight.”
Everyone in the G-20 knows that the emperor’s wizard wears no clothes, when he believes that he wears the finest of robes. It is clear to many that little has changed, but Geithner is basically saying, “Don’t worry. Be happy. Mr. Wizard is here to fix it.”
So, what will Mr. Wizard Geithner try and sell to the G-20 members? Oh, the U.S. is in recovery!!! Let us all have a shot and a beer, along with French fries packed into our sandwiches! (A Pittsburgh tradition!)
Here is an excerpt from “Will U.S. Consumer Debt Reduction Cripple the Recovery?” gotten from Mike Whitney’s piece, “The Long Adjustment. How Bad Will It Get?”:
“Over the past decade US household spending has served as the main engine of US economic growth. From 2000 to 2007 US annual personal consumption grew by 44%, from $6.9 trillion to $9.9 trillion—faster than either GDP or household income. Consumption accounted for 77% of real US GDP growth during this period…The US has accounted for one-third of the total growth in global private consumption since 1990…” “The amount of US household debt amassed by 2007 was unprecedented whether measured in nominal terms, as a share of GDP (98%) or as a ratio of liabilities to personal disposable income (138%).”
So people, without consumer spending there is no recovery; therefore, to believe the recession is over is delusional.
Will Bada Bing Bernanke, or TimmieG proclaim to the G-20 that the scam they have perpetrated upon Americans and the world is over? Here is Dr. Dean Baker, in “Reverse Bank Robbery” stating that “Even that giant corpse Citigroup is showing signs of life. Its stock is now selling for more than five times the lows it hit earlier this year. Its market capitalization is up nearly $57bn, a bit more than the $45 billion that the government lent them through the Troubled Assets Relief Programme, or TARP.”
So, their profits are a result of the taxpayer’s generosity, and self-sacrifice. Right! It is all about just one of the financial banking crime syndicate programs, and this is called TARP.
Dr. Baker went on to write: “On the other side, banks can buy up US government bonds that are currently paying around 3.5%.” “This means that we lend the banks the money that they lend to us, albeit at a considerably higher interest rate. To take round numbers, lets say that the banks have borrowed $1 trillion from the Fed’s various lending facilities. (The Fed’s total loans are now over $2T.) Suppose they pay an average interest rate of 0.2% on this money. If the banks then buy up government bonds that pay a 3.5% interest rate, they can pocket the difference of 3.3 percentage points. On a trillion dollars of lending, this will give the banks $33bn a year in net interest or profit. This is the extra money that the government is paying the banks to borrow back the money that it lent them through the Fed.” “We…have shrewd traders like [the] Goldman Sachs crew…[that] take the money that they borrowed, either directly from the government or with the government’s guarantee, and use it to speculate in items like oil and other commodities.”
This has been the “shared sacrifice” President Obama has asked us all to endure. We have been asked to allow the financial oligarchs the right to take our money and use it to make themselves filthy rich at the expense of the real economy. We have been asked because these oligarchs own the government and need to see bigger salaries and bonuses. The “shared sacrifice” has been seen in a 33% drop in housing prices since 2007. The deleveraging of the rest of America’s debt continues. They are in the process of reducing their debt as a group by $2.5 trillion and lower their debt-to-equity ratios to a much lower expectation. The $14 trillion in accrued household debt over the last 7 years had doubled and can no longer be sustained. Americans are foreclosing on their homes, asking for revaluations of their mortgages, and abandoning payments accumulated on their credit cards.
I don’t think the recession is over, but just getting started! Will Mr. Wizard Geithner begin talking about Change We Can Believe In? Doubtful.
Mike Whitney excerpted from McKinsey Global Institute’s “Will US Consumer Debt Reduction Cripple the Recovery?”, in his Counterpunch piece titled Chairman Milquetoast’s Solutions-Band-Aids for the Recession, 8-28-09:
“Homeowners withdrew “$2.3 trillion in home equity loans and cash-out refinancings between 2003-2008”. Most of the money was spent on personal consumption. Where will the money come from now that home equity has gone negative?”
How much clearer can it be spelled out even to the one-dimensional toy soldiers brought to D.C., wound up and told to march against a public option health care plan? It is much more about the largest financial multi-national banking institutions, the top 500 largest multi-national corporations, and the top 10% of the wealth holders. A public option may just protect the toy soldiers from bankruptcy. It should be more about protesting the take-over of our economy by the corporate thieves on Wall Street than about a public option to protect working Americans from further economic losses.
Mike Whitney excerpted Don Monkerud, “Wealth Inequality Destroys US Ideals” in the above piece, “In 1955, IRS records indicated the 400 richest people in the country were worth an average $12.6 million adjusted for inflation. In 2006, the 400 richest increased their average to $263 million, representing an epochal shift of wealth upward in the U.S.”
Mr. Whitney, in his piece, wrote: “Over 40% of GNP comes from Fortune 500 companies. According to the World Institute for Development Economics Research, the 500 largest conglomerates in the U.S. “control over two-thirds of the business resources, employ two-thirds of the industrial workers, account for 60 percent of sales, and collect over 70 percent of the profits.” He also wrote “The top 1 percent incomes captured half of the overall economic growth over the period 1993-2007. The top 14,988 households received 6.04% of income, the highest figure for any year since the data became available. The top 1% of households received 23.5% of income, while the top 10% received 49.7% of income (highest on record).”
So TimmieG, will you and the others discuss with the G-20 members, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the too-big-to-fail corporate oligarchy in this world and how they need to be broken up into not-too-big-to-fail companies for the purpose of a more realistic free market? Doubtful.
To further drive home the fact that what we have is an economic crime syndicate, Dr. Dean Baker wrote in “Bailouts Without Accountability-Bernanke’s Bad Money” that Ben Bernanke was pushing Congress to believe that his main concern was “economic and financial stability” and unless the Fed was to receive $700bn in TARP funds, we would see the opposite in our financial markets and a collapse within the overall economy. “Last September, when he [Bernanke] was telling Congress that the economy would collapse if it did not approve the $700 billion TARP bailout, he warned that the commercial paper market would shut down.” But the truth-be-known that “What Mr. Bernanke apparently forgot to tell Congress back then, [was] that the Fed [had] the authority to directly buy commercial paper from financial and non-financial companies. In other words, the Fed [had] the power to prevent the sort of economic collapse that Bernanke warned would happen if Congress did not quickly approve the TARP. In fact, Bernanke announced that the Fed would create a special lending facility to buy commercial paper the weekend after Congress voted to approve the TARP.”
This was, and continues to be, the Royal Scam, brought to all of us by President Obama, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, and Tim Geithner. They all work for the financial crime syndicate, which had Bernanke cry wolf before Congress, in September of 2008, to scare Congress into giving Treasury funds in order to bail out the banks when the Fed had the power to create these special lending facilities independent of Congress and without the TARP funds. But instead, he stole an additional $700 billion to pass out to his bank CEO crime bosses. All the instability has been created by Bernanke and is continuing today.
So, will there be any real significant change that we could believe in when the G-20 comes to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? The history has shown nothing will change. The recession will continue and a recovery will only occur in dreams.
thanks for reading, jerry
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Here is an easy way to tell Congress, the health care industry, the insane Reichstag Republicans, the Cowardly Democrats, and the rest of the elite running corporate America that we are sick and tired of their corrupt takeover of America’s wallets.
All you have to do is sell your stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. You don’t even have to leave your home, your office or your easy chair!
Call your Congressperson and Senator’s office and tell the office person to give your legislator a message. The message conveyed would be that you will be selling all your stocks that involve drug companies, insurance companies, and health care facilities. Tell them you are divesting from the thieves and moving the cash from the sale into money market funds, CDs, or your savings account. What this action will say is that you have moved your money from their access to your access.
You then could proceed to tell that legislative aide that you will likely do the same with other stocks that involve the corporate thievery that has been going on in the country over the last 30 years. I would suggest you sell ALL stock holdings, and bond holdings, and move YOUR money into cash; even if done temporarily. This action will cause the market to tumble in a big way, ultimately resulting in a big shake up on Wall Street, in Congress, and with President Obama. By doing so, you will be sending a powerful message to corporate American and Congress. The Game Is Over!!! The Jig Is Up!!! It is time to give America back to the average American worker.
The time to dump the banking stocks is now! The same goes for insurance stocks, and REITs.
If Americans were willing to use their pocketbooks to take the country back, real change would occur.
This is the way to do it. Let Wall Street know that you are just not going to take their crap any longer. Let Congress know that enough is enough, and what you demand is real change for working Americans. It is time to fix the problems. It is time to end the wars, to rebuild the nation’s manufacturing sectors, to end corporate welfare for the richest thieves that have controlled the financial economic crime syndicate, to end the question about health care and say that all health care MUST be sold by not-for-profit companies, and in addition, financial regulation must be enforced. We must say that health care is not a privilege but a right, and that everyone, in spite of a pre-existing condition, deserves to have easily affordable health care. A single-payer or government regulated private plans must be created. We must tell the drug companies that their industry will no longer hold any patents to pharmaceuticals, but the nation, and its people will hold those patents. All our drug research should be funded by the people through the government and, by doing so, it would benefit the entire populace and not just a select few.
The people are already funding much of the drug research through the National Institutes of Health government programs. The drug companies need only to manufacture them. This would drop the price dramatically, according to Dr. Dean Baker, the author of “The Nanny State”.
The way to take this country back is by divesting from Wall Street’s gaming of the system. We are sick and tired of the revival of Reaganomics and his laissez-faire, trickle down, supply side smoke and mirrors propaganda. The economy was gamed to make sure that working people would remain indebted to the rich so they could reap huge piles of cash through that debtor-creditor trap.
In order to tell those Corporate Royalists the game would be to sell off one’s stocks and bonds quickly, and overnight.
And, the only way to force President Obama to control the financial crime syndicate is for all of us to sell off our stock, bond, and mutual fund holdings and transfer our personal savings wealth into money market accounts.
It appears that Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chair, has President Obama’s continued confidence, while much of the people know that Bada Bing Bernanke is nothing more than the senior field general for the financial crime syndicate and was set into that position so as to make sure that the financial investment crime bank bosses would continue to feed their insatiable need for cash through the pockets of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
Bernanke keeps Fed interest rates at zero percent. The banks borrow at zero, and gamble it on Wall Street stocks or buy Treasury bonds with it making easy money on the interest gained. Borrow at zero percent and buy bonds earning 3 percent interest. Forget about the real economy and those working people getting burned, as well as those business owners hoping to make payroll for another month, and keep business going throughout the next quarter.
This could be the Labor Day where Americans take back the country, or not. Here is a quote from Thomas Jefferson, "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." In other words, if we do nothing, then nothing changes, and the Corporate Royalists remain in charge.
It is all up to you now!
Thanks for reading, jerry