In the news today
Monday May 7, 2012 Greg's comments: Elections are just for show anyways. Nothing will change except the faces.
British voters give Cameron a thrashing
May 6, 2012
BRITAIN’S ruling coalition has sustained punishing losses in local elections, with final results showing the Conservatives and their partner Liberal Democrats giving up hundreds of seats in a stinging rebuke to the two-year-old government of Prime Minister David Cameron.
The results showed the opposition Labour Party gaining 823 seats – winning control of key cities including Birmingham and Cardiff – in what analysts saw as a protest against the Conservatives’ tough austerity drive, the flagging economy, and a series of missteps that left voters questioning the competence of the government.
The Conservatives, however, won a major consolation prize – the re-election of London’s eccentric mayor, Boris Johnson.
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He defeated his Labour challenger, Ken Livingstone, who had formerly held the top job in Europe’s largest city. The win further positions the gaffe-prone, blunt-talking Mr Johnson as a potential challenger to Mr Cameron’s leadership of the Conservatives in the years ahead.
But elsewhere, the results amounted to a major setback for the coalition.
A beaming Ed Miliband, head of the Labour Party, revelled in the opposition’s success, saying the local elections foreshadowed the national race in 2015. Seats on local councils are considered key to garnering votes in national elections. More…
Sunday May 6, 2012 Greg's comments: Bravo, could not have said it better.
Bill Black: Geithner Channels Greenspan and Airbrushes Fraud out of our Crises May 2nd Jesse's Cafe Americai
Tim Geithner is a creature of the system, and no doubt a part of the problem. But only a part. He is appointed and serves at the pleasure of the President.
The root of the problem is the pervasive corruption of American politics, intellectual discussion, and public policy by Big Money. And a culture that tolerates a total lack of shame for the abuse of power and trust in the pursuit of personal power and gain. After all, greed is good. And greed is the will to power.
And some public figures of the last twenty years, both political and financial, have been rather proud of their ability to twist words to dissemble and obfuscate, and mean whatever they wish to promote their agendas.
And the lesser leaders, the CEO's, have no problem taking enormous sums of money for superior performance, but willingly feigning almost complete ignorance of the business which they manage when it suits their purposes. Why not, when those in positions of power set the example.
When there are no significant social penalties, much less serious legal consequences, for deceit and dishonor in positions of trust, when personal integrity is not even considered important compared to wealth and power, when all are compromised so that none need even feel embarrassment, truth has no purchase, and justice is a unloved stepchild.
Saturday May 5, 2012 Greg's comments: The only reason that you see this in Forbes is because they are taking one step back to take two steps forward. Garner the trust of the masses that they are reporting accurately and then when all shit breaks loose they'll have some credibility when calming the public; - assuring us that we are getting a good fair shake when the plutocrats crack down on us. Child psychology 101. What do you think jouralism is all about? Manipulating minds for money. Where do you think the money comes from? 2 +2 my friends!
Economists' Malign Influence on Taxes
By Lee Sheppard Forbes Magazine
May 3, 2012
If Occupy Wall Street supporters are looking for new places to protest, they might think about picketing the economics departments of the most prestigious American universities.
Not only would they find a more convivial place to camp than an ugly concrete slab in lower Manhattan, but protesting at universities would serve two purposes.
First, those who are unemployed and burdened with non-dischargeable student debt — which now exceeds U.S. consumer debt —could make a point about the inutility and expense of American higher education.
Second, and more important, protesters could confront another group of elites who are responsible for the financial meltdown and have yet to apologize: the nation’s academic economists.
Free market economic “literature” as economists call it — and their papers frequently are works of fiction — gave succor and intellectual respectability to the decades of deregulation and tax cuts that have bankrupted the country. Congress is compromised, to be sure, but lobbyists and members need economic studies as cover for what they are doing.
The United States is a plutocracy, with an income and wealth distribution that rivals South America’s worst cases, but economists refuse to acknowledge that these outcomes are attributable to ill-advised public policies on taxation, regulation, trade, and education spending over the last several decades.
Economists bleat about “globalization” as though it were inevitable rather than a set of deliberate policy choices. Markets are political creations, so results produced by them are not inviolable or free from question. And they don’t always produce equilibrium. more
Friday May 4, 2012 Greg's comments: American's will learn to rue the day that they ignored Dr. Ron Paul. He will be a martyr of a crippled nation before the 20's are over.
Our central bankers are intellectually bankrupt
By Ron Paul -
May 2, 2012
The financial crisis has fully exposed the intellectual bankruptcy of the world’s central bankers.
Why? Central bankers neglect the fact that interest rates are prices. Manipulating those prices through credit expansion or contraction has real and deleterious effects on the economy. Yet while socialism and centralised economic planning have largely been rejected by free-market economists, the myth persists that central banks are a necessary component of market economies.
These economists understand that having wages or commodity prices established by government fiat would cause shortages, misallocations of capital and hardship. Yet they accept at face value the notion that central banks must determine not only the supply of one particular commodity – money – but also the cost of that commodity via the setting of interest rates.
Printing unlimited amounts of money does not lead to unlimited prosperity. This is readily apparent from observing the Fed’s monetary policy over the past two decades. It has pumped trillions of dollars into the economy, providing money to banks with the hope that this new money will spur lending and, in turn, consumption. These interventions are intended to raise stock prices, lower borrowing costs for companies and individuals, and maintain high housing prices.
But like their predecessors in the 1930s, today’s Fed governors behave as if the height of the credit bubble is the status quo to which we need to return. This confuses money with wealth, and reflects the idea that prosperity stems from high asset prices and large amounts of money and credit. More…
Thursday May 3, 2012 Greg's comments: We know what good an independent investigation into 9/11 did!
House Republicans Expected to Call for Independent Counsel to Investigate MF Global Failure
By Peter Barnes, Fox News -
May 02, 2012
A Republican member of the House Financial Services Committee is circulating a letter in Congress that calls for the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate the failure of MF Global.
Investigators and a bankruptcy trustee are trying to locate and recover a $1.6 billion shortfall in MF Global customer funds. The firm filed for bankruptcy last October after making risky bets on European debt.
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), a former FBI agent who investigated Wall Street for financial fraud, began circulating the letter today, according to sources familiar with the matter. Other House members, mainly Republicans, are expected to sign on, with formal release of the letter planned for next week when Congress returns from its current recess.
Among other things, sources said, the letter is designed to address allegations of conflict of interest in the ongoing investigations of MF Global, including one by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
CFTC chairman Gary Gensler is a former executive of Goldman Sachs where he worked with former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine. Gensler has recused himself from his agency’s probe into MF Global.
Also, President Obama’s re-election campaign disclosed last month that Corzine is a top fundraiser for the President, a so-called “blunder.” more
Wednesday May 2, 2012 Greg's comments: This is a fluff piece that is wrong on so many levels that we may as well toss in our own economic predictions; -that the final meltdown of the USD will be complete by the end of 2023 (unless Ron Paul is elected and survives assassination through two terms), and; -recovery of US Housing prices (to 2004 levels COLA adjusted) will not be before 2089. True to form, LustCORP (MediaCORP) tries to excuse away the problems...
Why U.S. House Prices Won’t Recover -SMARTMONEY MAY 1, 2012, 9:59 A.M. ET
Hough: Taking inflation into account, U.S. home prices are down to 1895 levels.
When will U.S. house prices recover? Likely never. But that’s no reason not to buy.
The latest S&P / Case-Shiller numbers, reported last week, show that prices in 20 major markets declined 3.5% over the year through February. They’re now back to 2002 levels. If we subtract for inflation, they’re back to 1998 levels. More…
Tuesday May 1, 2012 Greg's comments: Imminent shift from USD to Chinese Yuan!
London to become major offshore trading center for Chinese Yuan.
London is set to become a major offshore trading center for the yuan, as Britain teams up with Hong Kong to develop such business. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the UK Treasury on Monday agreed to launch a private-sector forum to strengthen links between Hong Kong and London in such areas as clearing and settlement, market liquidity and the development of new yuan-denominated products, the HKMA said in a news release.
The forum will have representatives from financial institutions in Hong Kong and London, including HSBC Holdings PLC, Standard Chartered PLC, Bank of China Ltd, Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays PLC. It will meet twice a year, and the first meeting will be held in Hong Kong in May, it said. China and Britain agreed in September to cooperate on the development of the offshore yuan business and develop London into an offshore yuan market. More…
Monday April 30, 2012 Greg's comments: America -a country of Carnies and Gypsies!
Sunday April 29, 2012 Greg's comments: Another case of America being the most cowardly nation on earth. (And we're supposedly the poster child for capitalism?).
Senate votes to slow closing of post offices
Wed, Apr 25, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate offered a lifeline to the nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday, voting to give the struggling agency an $11 billion cash infusion while delaying controversial decisions on closing post offices and ending Saturday delivery.
By a 62-37 vote, senators approved a measure which had divided mostly along rural-urban lines. Over the past several weeks, the bill was modified more than a dozen times, adding new restrictions on closings and cuts to service that rural-state senators said would hurt their communities the most. More…
Saturday April 28, 2012 Greg's comments: The opening statement is simply not true. Not even remotely close to true. In fact it is a lie. I can't imagine that Sinclair is deluded enough to believe this trash. Talk aboout MOPE! This is typical media. I surmise to idolize those that they interview is only to lionize themselves as important revealers. Preposterous!
Jim Sinclair Has Something to Say – Q&A By Daniel P. Collins Futures Magazine April 27, 2012
Jim Sinclair is not simply a gold bug; he successfully has called every major move in the precious metal — both up and down — over a generation. But he is not merely a market guru either. Sinclair has had a love affair with markets for 50 years. More…
Friday April 27, 2012 Greg's comments: "An ass may bray a good while before he shakes the stars down" said George Eliot.
Finding the Culprits
Derivatives expert Janet Tavakoli takes a hard look at what — and who — caused the financial crisis.
By Jane Wollman Rusoff April 25, 2012
...Now Tavakoli sees another huge financial crisis looming.
The University of Chicago MBA has traded, structured and sold derivatives at firms including Merrill Lynch, PaineWebber and Westdeutsche Landesbank; and she had earlier stints at Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs. Research recently talked with her about red flags and preventive solutions.
You write that, in the past three years nothing has been fixed but that we must hold Wall Street responsible for the fraud that resulted in the financial crisis. What should be done?
We need to have investigations. But with the pushback and all the lobbying, what they’ve been counting on is that the statute of limitations for some of these frauds is expiring. So if you don’t file complaints, you may not be able to.
Members of Congress are enabling the lack of punishment and covering up great misdeeds in our financial system — and they’re doing it with no fear of consequences — i.e., being voted out of office, in which case they could find themselves the subject of investigation.
What do you mean: “covering up”?
Many people are covering up for cronies who have a lot of money sloshing around. We threw money into the financial system with no accountability and thus made the problem worse. Our system has been completely infiltrated and bought off. Things aren’t changing because Big Money doesn’t want it to change.
What other indications are there of a cover-up?
The MF Global dog-and-pony show. The attitude toward bundlers like Jon Corzine [the firm’s ex-CEO], who is a big bundler for the Obama campaign, is that the guy can do no wrong. This was before he even testified. People who are raising big money for campaigns get off with no real investigation.
In the Sarbanes-Oxley age, for MF Global to say they were unaware of what they were doing beggars belief. And yet there has been no indictment.
Is President Obama part of the cover-up?
Yes, in that he’s enabled it. He’s left people in place who crashed the global financial system in the first place: [Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner and [Federal Reserve chair] Ben Bernanke. Obama had told us: “You can’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results.” So he’s been quite a hypocrite.
Who else is in the cover-up?
Mary Schapiro was appointed [by President Obama] to head the SEC. She was formerly head of FINRA, the antichrist of investor advocacy! Yet she was chosen SEC [chair] because the regulators are captive by and serve the people they’re supposed to be regulating. They do not serve investors.
In a way, Obama has been the anti-regulator because he didn’t put people in the regulatory agencies, the Fed or the Treasury who would investigate and fix things that are wrong in our global financial system. more.