May 18, 2013
This Is What Tyranny Looks Like
Here is a woman we will need to learn much more about in the coming weeks. Sarah Hall Ingram is a highly valued employee at the IRS. In the last three years she has received $103,390 in bonuses for her excellent work. She was the Commissioner of the Tax-Exempt and Government Entitles Division. Under her leadership, groups that expressed a fear of large, out-of-control government were systematically crushed by her branch of our large, out-of-control government. They were specifically singled out for harassment for political reasons. Secret information about the conservative applicants was leaked to leftist opposition groups to facilitate further harassment.
This was an organized political operation using State power to silence opposition voices. It is part of every tyrant’s playbook. It tells you everything you need to know about the current state of our country to see that those who favor a limited government, the explicit goal of our founding documents, are now considered enemies of the State.
In a 2009 speech, Ms. Ingram explained her approach:
As a practical matter, we cannot subject every application for tax-exempt status to a painstaking, leave-no-rock-unturned review. Nor can we audit every organization’s 990 every year. Nor would you want us to do so, right? To govern is to choose, and we must choose appropriately which applications or 990s to focus most attention on.
It is clear now that by "choose appropriately", she meant to harass the limited-government groups endlessly and let liberal and Islamic groups sail right through the approval process.
The good news is that this woman is no longer in charge of that department. The bad news is that she has been promoted and is now the head of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office. She and her comrades could have access to all your medical records. They will "choose appropriately" who has trouble with the state-controlled medical system and who sails right through. They will decide if it is appropriate to share your medical history with others.
But don’t worry. I heard the outgoing IRS Commissioner say in Friday’s congressional hearings that he has reviewed the situation and found that there was "no partisanship" in the years-long practice of singling out conservative groups for IRS harassment. None at all. There is just no reason to think that specifically targeting one side of the political spectrum had anything to do with politics.
And when Commissioner Steven Miller was asked why conservative groups were targeted for prolonged scrutiny, he said that it just happened because people were trying to be efficient. Sure. Months and months of delays with endless demands for more paperwork is the efficient way to go.
Miller was forced to admit that secret information gathered from certain conservative groups was passed along by the IRS to their leftwing political opposition. So the IRS illegally gathered information and illegally passed it along for political reasons. Mr. Miller said that these actions were "inadvertent".
There is more evidence of direct lies from IRS officials in Kevin Williamson’s column, "The Nine Lies of Lois Lerner". One thing we learn from Williamson’s article is that the current campaign by some officials to act surprised and disappointed by the news of IRS criminality is just a scam to deflect their own culpability. Everyone knew the Inspector General’s report on the IRS was about to be released. The IRS needed to jump ahead of the report and act concerned. They were not concerned for years prior to being caught.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat May 18, 2013 12:49 am
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THE CHART TO PUT SHYSTERS LIKE BARRY RITHOLTZ IN THEIR PLACE
Posted on 11th May 2013 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues
Barry Ritholtz, Gold
I’ve noticed that the idiots who missed the entire 12 year gold bull market, like fat ass Barry Ritholtz, have been cackling and crowing about how idiotic gold buyers have proven to be. Ritholtz is nothing but a Wall Street shyster trying to convince you he is a guru. His blog has gotten tiresome and boring. His visitor counts have been dropping, while sites like Zero Hedge continue to grow.
His blog has deteriorated to nothing but a commercial for his paid appearances at conferences, his book, and his pitiful excuse for an investment firm. This is a dude who was stranded for weeks after Sandy, living with relatives because he was too stupid to buy a gas generator. He’s nothing but a shyster lawyer pretending to be an investment genius. While he was cackling about the decline in gold, it jumped $150 in two weeks.
I’m sure he’d make some sarcastic asshole remarks about the chart below. His idiocy in missing out on one of the greatest bull markets in history is there for all to see. He also thinks stocks have a lot further to rise. We’ll see about that.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun May 12, 2013 1:00 am
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April 25, 2013
Like It or Not, War Is Interested in You
By Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison
One of the most famous sayings of the Bolshevik revolutionary Leon Trotsky was this: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." It’s one of the few correct things that violent Communist ever said.
President Obama is clearly not interested in war. And he has stacked his administration with people who are similarly not interested. This is especially true when it comes to Islamist terrorists. They may make war on us, but to Mr. Obama and his minions, these are "man-caused disasters" or, preferably, domestic crimes to be dealt with in the normal course of the administration of justice.
Catch them mass-murdering here, then read them their Miranda rights and let them be "lawyered up" with free counsel. Members of what former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy calls "the al-Qaeda bar" can always be found to represent those accused of mass murderers pro bono.
It is hardly possible for Americans to defend ourselves if the Obama administration refuses even to name what it is we are fighting against. War — even "holy war" — is interested in us, whether Mr. Obama’s appointees recognize it or not.
In the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the left-wing media was hoping for a white, right-wing perpetrator — another Tim McVeigh. They openly dreaded the thought that this heinous terrorist attack might have come from a jihadist. When the Tsarnaev brothers were caught, some conservative jabbed that the left had gotten its wish: they are Caucasians, but they are Muslims from the Russian province of Chechnya.
President Obama’s man at CIA, Director John Brennan, notoriously denounced even the use of the terms jihad, jihadist, jihadi. In 2010, he said that jihad is a "legitimate tenet of Islam."
It staggers the mind to think that Mr. Brennan is now in charge of central intelligence. He deliberately looks away from obvious answers to international terrorism.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was under no such misapprehension. On a Sunday news talk show recently, Sen. Feinstein, who chairs the Intelligence Committee, correctly pointed out the jihadist motives of the Tsarnaev brothers. She said:
However, we do know that there was very likely a call from Russia before he went back to Dagestan and Chechnya, asking about it. I think just conjecture would lead one to believe that this may have come from his running jihadist sites on his Web site.
Anyway, he went home for six months. That’s a lapse. We will find out what happened during those six months. I think there is likely going to be an assessment that this was somebody who did want to participate in a jihadist event.
We cannot possibly counter the murderous aims of jihadists if we refuse to admit that jihad has taken on the form of terrorist attacks. We will then, in Andy McCarthy’s telling phrase, have willfully blinded ourselves.
If you cannot even name the threat, you will never see it. What Sen. Feinstein’s statement proves is that there are still liberals who are willing to name the threat — however much we may disagree about how to counter it.
The Boston Marathon bombing should at least expose the unseriousness of CIA Director John Brennan. Will he guard us against jihadists intent on mass murder?
Compare President Obama’s trivializing of the terror threat with the idealistic but unflinching realism of President Reagan. In his 1989 Farewell Address to the Nation, Mr. Reagan welcomed the new thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations and recognized that Communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev was different from all his predecessors in the Kremlin.
I think he knows some of the things wrong with his society and is trying to fix them. We wish him well. And we’ll continue to work to make sure that the Soviet Union that eventually emerges from this process is a less threatening one. What it all boils down to is this: I want the new closeness to continue. And it will, as long as we make it clear that we will continue to act in a certain way as long as they continue to act in a helpful manner. If and when they don’t, at first pull your punches. If they persist, pull the plug. It’s still trust but verify. It’s still play, but cut the cards. It’s still watch closely. And don’t be afraid to see what you see.
"Don’t be afraid to see what you see." That is exactly what we cannot do with the self-blinded CIA headed by John Brennan. The hunt for the Boston Marathon killers was widely described as "searching for a needle in a haystack." With John Brennan’s blinkered view, we cannot not find even the haystack.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:27 am
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Top Gold Analyst – “We Can’t Imagine What It Would Be Like If There Was True Chaos”
The Daily Sheeple
April 14th, 2013
In the 1930?s, when President Roosevelt seized physical gold from Americans, gold mining companies remained untouched by the draconian move. And, while stocks in the United States dropped precipitously and remained depressed for a decade, companies whose primary business was the exploration and mining of gold and silver rose to new highs. Homestake mining, a gold mining firm operating during FDR’s Presidency, was one such company that saw its shares skyrocket over 500%.
A similar effect occurred in the 1970?s, after the US dollar was taken off the gold standard. By the early 1980?s gold had once again reached new highs – highs that were not surpassed until the debt crisis of 2008 took hold, nearly thirty years later.
This crisis, like the deflationary depression of the 1930?s and the inflationary recession of the 1970?s, won’t be much different, as panicked investors hoping to protect their wealth will once again turn to the tried and true hard asset of choice during times of crisis: gold.
If you take all the gold that’s ever been mined and that’s currently being mined… you can fit that into Dallas Cowboys stadium. Just to put that in perspective.
Gold is a very rare thing because the economic deposits of gold are very rare. It is a precious metal.
If you invest in one of those companies that finds and proves up an economic gold deposit, you can make anywhere from ten to a hundreds time your money.
We always start with people. That’s the most important thing when you invest… who are the guys running this company that I am going to invest in.
One deal that Rick Rule, Doug Casey and I are very large shareholders in because we absolutely respect the management team and we believe they’re going to bring significant returns and profits for us is a company called Brazil Resources, which already has gold in the ground. They’ve got millions of ounces of gold…their exploration projects are fantastic…. but more importantly, the management is top tier.
In North America we’ve had such a good time that we can’t imagine what it would be like if there was true chaos. But when it happens, they’ll call the people who invested in gold and had actual physical gold, they’ll call them ‘lucky.’ But the true definition of lucky is being prepared when the opportunity arises.
Indeed, should the worst happen in America, those who prepare will be few and far between, and those who failed to foresee the coming calamity will view them as “lucky” for having spent the time, effort and sweat to position themselves appropriately.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:35 pm
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The big banks are breathlessly proclaiming that now is the time to sell your gold. They are warning that we have now entered a “bear market” for gold and that the price of gold will continue to decline for the rest of the year. So should we believe them? Well, their warnings might be more credible if the central banks of the world were not hoarding gold like crazy. During 2012, central bank gold buying was at the highest level that we have seen in almost 50 years. Meanwhile, insider buying of gold stocks has now reached multi-year highs and the U.S. Mint cannot even keep up with the insatiable demand for silver eagle coins. So what in the world is actually going on here? Right now, the central banks of the world are indulging in a money printing binge that reminds many of what happened during the early days of the Weimar Republic. When you flood the financial system with paper money, that is eventually going to cause the prices for hard assets to go up dramatically. Could it be possible that the banksters are trying to drive down the price of both gold and silver so that they can gobble it up cheaply? Do they want to be the ones sitting on all of the “real money” once the paper money bubble that we are living in finally bursts?
Over the past few weeks, nearly every major newspaper in the world has run at least one story telling people that it is time to sell their gold. For example, the following is from a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled “Goldman Sachs Turns Bearish on Gold“…
Another longtime gold bull is turning tail.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Wednesday that gold’s prospects for the year have eroded, recommending investors close out long positions and initiate bearish bets, or shorts. The shift in outlook was the latest among banks and investors who have soured on gold as its dozen-year runup has been followed by a 12% decline in the last six months.
Goldman began the year predicting gold would decline in the second half of 2013, but said Wednesday the drop began earlier than expected and doesn’t appear likely to reverse. Like others, the firm said the usual catalysts that have been bullish for gold during its run are no longer working.
Major banks over in Europe are issuing similar warnings about the price of gold. The following is from a Marketwatch article entitled “Sell gold, buy oil, Societe Generale analysts say“…
Analysts at Societe Generale predict in a note Thursday that gold prices will fall below $1,400 by the year’s end and continue heading south next year.
They cite two main reasons:
1. Inflation has so far stayed low and now investors are beginning to see economic conditions that would justify an end to the Fed’s quantitative easing program.
2. The dollar has started trending higher, which should make gold prices move lower as the physical gold market is extremely oversupplied without continued large-scale investor buying.
And even Asian banks are telling people to sell their gold at this point. According to CNBC, Japanese banking giant Nomura is another major international bank that has turned “bearish” on gold…
Nomura forecast gold prices will fall in 2013, on Thursday, becoming the latest bank to turn bearish on the precious metal which has been a favorite hedge for investors who fear aggressive monetary stimulus will lead to rising inflation.
“For the first time since 2008, in our view, the investment environment for gold is deteriorating as economic recovery, rising interest rates and still benign Western inflation (for now) will likely leave some investors rethinking their cumulative $240 billion investment in gold over the past four years,” wrote Nomura analysts in a sector note on Thursday.
A lot of financial analysts are urging people to dump gold and to jump into stocks where they “can get a much better return”. They make it sound like it is only going to be downhill for gold from here. The following is from a recent CNBC article entitled “Gold’s ‘Death Cross’ Isn’t All Investors Are Worried About“…
Gold is flashing the “death cross” but the bearish chart pattern is not the only thing scaring investors.
The magnetic appeal of a rising stock market has pulled some investment funds away from the yellow metal. Since the beginning of the year, stocks are up nearly 7 percent and gold is down nearly 6 percent.
But if gold is such a bad investment, then why are the central banks of the world hoarding gold like crazy?
According to the World Gold Council, gold buying by global central banks in 2012 was at the highest level that we have seen since 1964…
Worldwide gold demand in 2012 was another record high of $236.4 billion in the World Gold Council’s latest report. This was up 6% in value terms in the fourth quarter to $66.2 billion, the highest fourth quarter on record. Global gold demand in the fourth quarter of 2012 was up 4% to 1,195.9 tonnes.
Central bank buying for 2012 rose by 17% over 2011 to some 534.6 tonnes. As far as central bank gold buying, this was the highest level since 1964. Central bank purchases stood at 145 tonnes in the fourth quarter. That is up 9% from the fourth quarter of 2011, and the eighth consecutive quarter in which central banks were net purchasers of gold.
This all comes on the heels of decades when global central banks were net sellers of gold. Marcus Grubb, a Managing Director at the World Gold Council, says that we are witnessing a fundamental change in behavior by global central banks…
Central banks’ move from net sellers of gold, to net buyers that we have seen in recent years, has continued apace. The official sector purchases across the world are now at their highest level for almost half a century.
Meanwhile, insiders seem to think that gold stocks are actually quite undervalued right now. In fact, insider buying of gold stocks is now at a level that we have not seen in quite some time. The following is an excerpt from a recent Globe and Mail article entitled “Insider buying of gold stocks surges to multi-year highs“…
The TSX global gold index has lost about a third of its value over the past two years. The S&P/TSX Venture Exchange, stock full of gold mining juniors, hit a multi-year low this month.
Yet, executives and officers who work within those businesses are showing remarkable confidence that the sector is poised for better times.
In addition, the demand for physical silver in the United States seems to be greater than ever before. According to the U.S. Mint, demand for physical silver coins hit a new all-time record high during the month of February.
And demand for silver coins has not abated since then. Just check out what has been happening in April so far…
The US Mint has updated April sales statistics for the first time since last week, and to no surprise, the Mint again reported more massive sales, with another 833,000 silver eagles reported sold Monday! The April total through 6 business days is now 1.645 million ounces, bringing the 2013 total to a massive 15.868 million ounces. In response to the continued massive demand for silver eagles, the mint also has begun rationing sales of silver eagles to primary dealers resulting in supply delays! Just as was seen in January, tight physical supplies have seen premiums on ASE’s skyrocketing over the weekend and throughout the day, as ASE’s are rapidly becoming as scarce as 90%!
Something does not appear to add up here.
I also found it very interesting that according to Reuters, Cyprus is being forced to sell most of their gold reserves in order to help fund the bailout of their banking system…
Cyprus has agreed to sell excess gold reserves to raise around 400 million euros (341 million pounds) and help finance its part of its bailout, an assessment of Cypriot financing needs prepared by the European Commission showed.
So exactly who will they be selling that gold to?
And I also found it very interesting to learn that Comex gold inventories have been falling dramatically over the last few months. The following is from a recent article by Tekoa Da Silva…
A stunning piece of information was brought to my attention yesterday. Amid all the mainstream talk of the end of the gold bull market (and the end of the gold mining industry), something has been discretely happening behind the scenes.
Over the last 90 days without any announcement, stocks of gold held at Comex warehouses plunged by the largest figure ever on record during a single quarter since eligible record keeping began in 2001 (roughly the beginning of the bull market).
In particular, something very unusual appears to be happening with JP Morgan Chase’s gold…
JP Morgan Chase’s reported gold stockpile dropped by over 1.2 million oz.’s, or rather, a staggering $1.8 billion dollars worth of physical gold was removed from it’s vaults during the last 120 days.
So what does all of this mean?
I don’t know. But I would like to find out. Someone is definitely up to something.
Meanwhile, the central banks of the globe seem determined to put their reckless money printing into overdrive.
For example, the Bank of Japan actually plans to double the monetary base of that country by the end of 2014 as a recent Time Magazine article described…
On Thursday, the new governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ), Haruhiko Kuroda, announced that the central bank would double the monetary base of the country — adding an additional $1.4 trillion — by the end of 2014 in an attempt to end the deflation plaguing the economy. To achieve that, Kuroda will buy government bonds and other assets to inject cash into the economy — what has now become familiar as quantitative easing, or QE — to bump inflation up to a targeted 2%. The plan is part of a greater strategy ushered in by new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to restart the economy through massive fiscal and monetary stimulus. It also expands on the efforts by the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and European Central Bank to stimulate growth and smooth over financial turmoil by infusing huge sums of new money into the global economy.
Many in the western world have been extremely critical of this move, but the truth is that we actually started this “currency war”. The Federal Reserve has been recklessly printing money for years, and even though we are now supposedly in the midst of an “economic recovery”, the Fed is actually doing more quantitative easing than ever.
Anyone that thinks that gold and silver are bad investments for the long-term when the central banks of the world are being so reckless should have their heads examined.
However, I do believe that gold and silver will experience wild fluctuations in price over the next several years. When the next stock market crash happens, gold and silver will go down. It happened back in 2008 and it will happen again.
But in response to the next major financial crisis, I believe that the central banks of the globe will become more reckless than anyone ever dreamed possible. At that point I believe that we will see gold and silver soar to unprecedented heights.
Yes, there will be huge ups and downs for gold and silver. But in the long-term, both gold and silver are going to go far, far higher than they are today.
So what do you think will happen to gold and silver in the years ahead? Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
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Cyprus decides to steal everything it can from depositors, is this like 1931 and the Credit Anstaldt bankruptcy?
Posted on 31 March 2013
Depositors in the beleaguered Bank of Cyprus are now facing losses of 60 per cent on deposits over 100,000 euros as the Cyprus Government seems to have woken up to the fact that this is its last chance to steal money off these mainly foreign depositors. It’s an absolute travesty and a red letter day for European Union banks.
Bank of Cyprus customers will have 37.5 per cent of their deposits above 100,000 euros converted into what are practically worthless shares, said the Nicosia-based central bank in an e-mailed statement seen by Bloomberg. A further 22.5 per cent of these deposits will be ‘temporarily withheld’ to ensure the lender meets the terms of its recapitalization.
Even smaller depositors are currently blocked from withdrawing more than 300 euro per day via ATM from their accounts under unprecdented capital controls. The European Union is supposed to safeguard the free movement of people, trade and capital as its raison d’etre.
These capital controls also mean that the remaining 40 per cent of Bank of Cyprus deposits above 100,000 euros that are not subject to the bail-in will also be ‘temporarily frozen to ensure the lender’s liquidity’, said the central bank, though it promised that this money, ‘which won’t be used to recapitalize the lender’, will receive interest at 10 per cent above current levels and be released ‘within a short time-frame’.
To any honest observer it is pretty obvious what has happened. The Cyprus Government is looking after its own people now, and realizing that the game is up as an offshore banking centre it is holding on to these deposits under any ruse for as long as possible.
How can this be happening inside the EU? Where are the competent EU authorities? How can they be participating in a bail-in that behaves like this? What message does this send to anybody with funds in an EU bank in one of its many heavily indebted member states?
Stealing from deposits
Money in EU bank accounts is clearly now up for grabs by any government that recapitalizes its banking sector. Moreover, the Cyprus precedent is going to cause a run on the weaker banks that will make this sort of recapitalization inevitable. Standby for a systemic banking crisis in the EU.
What the EU has done in Cyprus is the modern equivalent of the failure of the Credit Anstaldt in 1931 that brought on the Great Depression with thousands of banking falures around the world.
The ArabianMoney investment newsletter published today advocates a shift to non-euro cash deposits as financial markets face a 2008-style correction.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:11 am
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What would you do if you woke up one day and discovered that the banksters had “legally” stolen about 80 percent of your life savings? Most people seem to assume that most of the depositors that are getting ripped off in Cyprus are “Russian oligarchs” or “wealthy European tycoons”, but the truth is that they are only just part of the story. As you will see below, there are small businesses and aging retirees that have been absolutely devastated by the wealth confiscation that has taken place in Cyprus. Many businesses can no longer meet their payrolls or pay their bills because their funds have been frozen, and many retirees have seen retirement plans that they have been working toward for decades absolutely destroyed in a matter of days. Sometimes it can be hard to identify with events that are happening on the other side of the globe, but I want you to try to put yourself into their shoes for a few minutes. How would you feel if something like this happened to you?
For example, just consider the case of one 65-year-old retiree that has had his life savings totally wiped out by the “wealth tax” in Cyprus. His very sad story was recently featured by the Sydney Morning Herald…
”Very bad, very, very bad,” says 65-year-old John Demetriou, rubbing tears from his lined face with thick fingers. ”I lost all my money.”
John now lives in the picturesque fishing village of Liopetri on Cyprus’ south coast. But for 35 years he lived at Bondi Junction and worked days, nights and weekends in Sydney markets selling jewellery and imitation jewellery.
He had left Cyprus in the early 1970s at the height of its war with Turkey, taking his wife and young children to safety in Australia. He built a life from nothing and, gradually, a substantial nest egg. He retired to Cyprus in 2007 with about $1 million, his life savings.
He planned to spend it on his grandchildren – some of whom live in Cyprus – putting them through university and setting them up. There would be medical bills; he has a heart condition. The interest was paying for a comfortable retirement, and trips back to Australia. He also toyed with the idea of buying a boat.
He wanted to leave any big purchases a few years, to be sure this was where he would spend his retirement. There was no hurry. But now it is all gone.
”If I made the decision to stay, I was going to build a house,” John says. ”Unfortunately I didn’t make the decision yet.
”I went to sleep Friday as a rich man. I woke up a poor man.”
You can read the rest of the article right here.
How would you feel if you suddenly lost almost everything that you have been working for your entire life?
And many small and mid-size businesses have been ruined by the bank account confiscation that has taken place in Cyprus.
The following is a bank account statement that was originally posted on a Bitcoin forum that has gone absolutely viral all over the Internet. One medium size IT business has lost a staggering amount of money because of the “bail-in” that is happening in Cyprus…
The following is what the poster of this screenshot had to say about what this is going to do to his business…
Over 700k of expropriated money will be used to repay country’s debt. Probably we will get back about 20% of this amount in 6-7 years.
I’m not Russian oligarch, but just European medium size IT business. Thousands of other companies around Cyprus have the same situation.
The business is definitely ruined, all Cypriot workers to be fired.
We are moving to small Caribbean country where authorities have more respect to people’s assets. Also we are thinking about using Bitcoin to pay wages and for payments between our partners.
Special thanks to:
- Jeroen Dijsselbloem
- Angela Merkel
- Manuel Barroso
- the rest of officials of “European Comission”
With each passing day, things just continue to get worse for those with deposits of over 100,000 euros in Cyprus. A few hours ago, a Reuters story entitled “Big depositors in Cyprus to lose far more than feared” declared that the initial estimates of the losses by big depositors in Cyprus were much too low.
And of course the truth is that those that have had their deposits frozen will be very fortunate to ever see any of that money ever again.
But just a few weeks ago, the Central Bank of Cyprus was swearing that nothing like this could ever possibly happen. Just check out the following memo from the Central Bank of Cyprus dated “11 February 2013″ that was recently posted on Zero Hedge…
Sadly, the truth is that the politicians will lie to you all the way up until the very day that they confiscate your money.
You can believe our “leaders” when they swear that nothing like this will ever happen in the United States, in Canada or in other European nations if you want.
But I don’t believe them.
In fact, as an outstanding article by Ellen Brown recently detailed, the concept of a “bail-in” for “systemically important financial institutions” has been in the works for a long time…
Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlier here); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds.
If you do not believe that what just happened in Cyprus could happen in the United States, you need to read the rest of her article. The following is an extended excerpt from that article…
Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay. (See here and here.) But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.” The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.
The 15-page FDIC-BOE document is called “Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.” It begins by explaining that the 2008 banking crisis has made it clear that some other way besides taxpayer bailouts is needed to maintain “financial stability.” Evidently anticipating that the next financial collapse will be on a grander scale than either the taxpayers or Congress is willing to underwrite, the authors state:
An efficient path for returning the sound operations of the G-SIFI to the private sector would be provided by exchanging or converting a sufficient amount of the unsecured debt from the original creditors of the failed company [meaning the depositors] into equity [or stock]. In the U.S., the new equity would become capital in one or more newly formed operating entities. In the U.K., the same approach could be used, or the equity could be used to recapitalize the failing financial company itself—thus, the highest layer of surviving bailed-in creditors would become the owners of the resolved firm. In either country, the new equity holders would take on the corresponding risk of being shareholders in a financial institution.
No exception is indicated for “insured deposits” in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive. The FDIC is an insurance company funded by premiums paid by private banks. The directive is called a “resolution process,” defined elsewhere as a plan that “would be triggered in the event of the failure of an insurer . . . .” The only mention of “insured deposits” is in connection with existing UK legislation, which the FDIC-BOE directive goes on to say is inadequate, implying that it needs to be modified or overridden.
You can find the rest of her excellent article right here. I would encourage everyone to especially pay attention to what she has to say about derivatives.
Sadly, what is happening in Cyprus right now is just the continuation of a trend. In recent years, governments all over the world have turned to the confiscation of private wealth in order to solve their financial problems. The following examples are from a recent article posted on Deviant Investor…
October 2008 – Argentina’s leftist government, facing a gigantic revenue shortfall, proposes to nationalize all private pensions so as to meet national debt payments and avoid its second default in the decade.
November 2010 – Headline – Hungary Gives Its Citizens an Ultimatum: Move Your Private Pension Fund Assets to the State or Permanently Lose Your Pension – This is an effective nationalization of all pensions.
November 2010 – Ireland elects to appropriate ten billion euros from its National Pension Reserve Fund to help fund an eighty-five billion euro rescue package for its besieged banks. Ireland also moves to consider a regulatory move that compels some private Irish pension funds to hold more Irish government debt, thereby providing the state with a captive investor base but hugely raising the risk for savers.
December 2010 – France agrees to transfer twenty billion euros worth of assets belonging to its Fonds de Reserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the funded portion of its retirement system, to help pay off recurring social benefits costs. No pensioners are consulted.
April 2012 – Argentina announces that its Economy Ministry has taken an emergency loan from the national pension fund in the amount of $4.3 billion. No pensioners were consulted.
June 2012 – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unilaterally appropriates $45 billion from US federal pension funds to help tide over US deficits for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.
January 2013 – Treasury Secretary Geithner again announces that the government has begun borrowing from the federal employees pension fund to keep operating without passing the approaching “fiscal cliff” debt limit. The move effectively creates $156 billion in borrowing authority from federal pension funds.
March 2013 – Open Bank Resolution finance minister, Bill English, is proposing a Cyprus style solution for potential New Zealand bank failures. The reserve bank is in the final stages of establishing a rescue scheme which will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their banks. Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep distressed banks afloat.
Can you see the pattern?
As I wrote about the other day, no bank account, no pension fund, no retirement account and no stock portfolio will be able to be considered 100% safe ever again.
And once the global derivatives casino melts down, there are going to be a lot of major banks that are going to need to be “bailed in”.
When that day arrives, they are going to try to come after your money.
So don’t leave your entire life savings sitting in a single bank – especially not one of the banks that has a tremendous amount of exposure to derivatives.
Hopefully we can get more people to wake up and realize what is happening. We are moving into a time of great financial instability, and what worked in the past is not going to work in the future.
Be smart and get prepared while you still can.
Time is running out.
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I know a number of people who align themselves generally with the Democratic Party who are very much in favor deep reform in public schools, and school choice. But the teachers unions roll all over these folks.
Many teachers are under the mistaken notion that schools exist for their employment. They like things the way they are. They like having summers off. And a week off at Christmas. And another at Easter. And snow days. They like state and county funded pensions. That the public school system has been failing in many parts of the country for decades (and it is certainly not due to lack of funds) is simply not as important to many teachers (but absolutely, definitely not all teachers) as getting a check.
Reforms are fought on all fronts by the unions, to the detriment of our young people.
(From Reason Magazine)
Reason: Describe what it’s like to try to challenge union control of the education system as a Democrat.
Romero: Where do I begin? When we talk about education and education reform, it automatically means change agents have to take on and confront the No. 1 political force in California, and that’s the [California Teacher’s Association]. Simply to talk about education reform, to enact legislation means you’re dealing with the power of money. Unfortunately we’d been stymied in many of our reform efforts because of the power of money. I still think we have to try. We have made progress. We’ve gone two steps forward, one step back. If we can’t get it through the ballot box or legislature, we have to go through the courts.
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What Will ‘Debt Jubilee’ Look Like?
Written by Jeff Nielson
Monday, 18 February 2013 14:20
The economies of the West (with few exceptions) are all hopelessly insolvent. Globally, debt-levels have reached such an extreme, bloated magnitude that outside of the banksters’ derivatives casino this is our new “biggest bubble.” For reasons which will be made clear shortly; many readers are unaware of the severity of this global debt-crisis. Let’s review the facts.
Virtually all Western nations are sitting with their highest debt-loads in history, meaning their debt-to-GDP levels are their highest ever – and most are well past the level which constitutes an official “debt crisis.” Worse still, all of these debtors have debts which are increasing at a much, much faster rate than economic growth (and this gap continues to increase).
In other words, those nations which are already insolvent have no rational hope of ever becoming solvent again; while those nations which are merely “nearly insolvent” have no rational hope of avoiding insolvency. Yet we have this collection of debtors assuring us again and again and again that they are “bailing out” each other.
How is this possible? It’s not. As an elementary premise of arithmetic/logic; it is impossible for one debtor to ever “bail out” another – directly. In fact there are only two ways in which one debtor may attempt/claim/pretend to be “bailing out” another debtor:
a) Borrowing more money one’s self, and then giving (i.e. gifting) it to the other debtor
b) ‘Kiting’ a cheque, and then giving that (illusory) “money” to the debtor
However, our governments have never claimed/admitted doing either one of those things. Here is what our governments are telling us.
They claim to have “bailed out” these insolvent debtors (starting with Greece) by lending them more money. Again, as an elementary premise of arithmetic/logic it is impossible to “bail out” an insolvent debtor by lending that debtor more money.
Not only does it make the insolvent debtor even more insolvent; it instantly turns that debt-market into an open Ponzi-scheme. Only ever-increasing quantities of new loans can delay implosion, and the longer the Ponzi-scheme is perpetuated the more damaging/devastating the ultimate collapse must become.
The original rebuttal of our governments (and bankers and the media) to such obvious criticism was simple: none of these debtors “would ever default”; such as when Greece’s banker – EU “monetary chief” Olli Rehn – told reporters over and over (in 2010) that there was “no possibility” of a Greek default. Obviously these “leaders” were forced to stop making this inane assertion after Greece defaulted on its massive debt.
So when these debtor-governments, and their bankers, and the “economic experts” in the media claim that these nations are being “bailed out” they are lying to us. They are lying as a matter of simple logic. And the lies have been demonstrated as such, empirically, through the harsh prism of hindsight.
This brings us to what our governments have not been telling us: where are they getting the “money” for these phony “bail-outs”? Obviously the lesser-debtors are not borrowing the money to give to the greater-debtors. Even our political drones can operate a calculator well enough to understand that borrowing money, and then throwing it away by funneling it into these Ponzi-scheme debt markets would make the “lesser-debtors” also greater-debtors; and in about as much time as it takes to say the words “compound interest.”
This means our lying governments have been kiting cheques in order to perpetrate these sham bail-outs, the only other economic possibility. Of course these serial-liars don’t admit to this either; rather, they tell us they are “using their printing press.”
What does a Deadbeat Debtor do when he/she kites a cheque? He takes an ordinary piece of paper (with absolutely nothing “backing” it), hands it his creditor, and (after signing his name to it) claims that a debt has been “paid.”
What do our Deadbeat Governments do when they use their printing press to perpetrate one of their (endless) “bail-outs”? They take an ordinary piece of paper, with nothing backing it, they hand it to creditors, and they claim that debts have been paid.
But wait! Our governments tell us that the paper which comes off of their printing presses is magic paper: it has “value” even though there is absolutely nothing backing it. How does this magic paper acquire its value? Our governments tell us the paper is valuable, and (of course) if our governments tell us something it must be true.
Such is the wonder of “fiat currencies”, where our governments can turn ordinary paper into magic paper, just by turning on their printing presses (and saying the magic words). Of course from the time we were children we have all been familiar with “magic” goods. Jack traded the family-cow for some “magic beans”, and went on to fame, fortune, and glory.
Unfortunately that’s just a children’s fairy-tale. In the real-life “fairy tales” spun by our politicians, bankers, and media talking-heads; there are no “magic beans.” Trade-in the family cow, and all you’re left with is one, less cow.
So we have our Deadbeat Debtor governments kiting cheques, injecting this fantasy-money into Ponzi-scheme debt-markets, and claiming they are “bailing out” the other Deadbeat Debtors – as part of “solving” this debt-crisis. At what point do even the most-comatose minds begin to suspect that something isn’t quite right here?
However, there is still one more lie which the politicians/bankers/media talking-heads continue to pass-off on the Sheep successfully: it’s “impossible” for any nation with its own printing press to ever default on its debts. Those readers (above the age of 10) who have ever accepted this farcical statement as truth should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
Germany’s Weimar government claimed it would/could never default, because it too had a “magic” printing press. What happened? Excessive money-printing totally destroyed the value of its currency, devastating its entire economy, impoverishing all of its citizens – and then it defaulted. Except by then its debts were a hundred times larger.
There are no “magic printing presses”; no “magic paper”. Printing infinite quantities of fiat currencies cannot prevent any debt-default. All that can ever do (as a proven proposition of history and arithmetic) is to take a (relatively) small debt-default and turn it into a gigantic debt-default – while completely destroying one’s own economy in the process.
This brings us to “Debt Jubilee”: wiping the slate clean by burning all(?) of the bad debts created by these bankers and politicians. It is a regular, recurring event throughout History; as whenever one or more governments sink to such a level of political/moral/economic corruption debt-default is usually one of their lesser sins.
So what will our 21st century Debt Jubilee look like? With History’s most-corrupt governments, expect the most-corrupt “solution.” The debts of our governments, the Big Banks, and the wealthiest Oligarchs will be totally erased. We will be told they are doing this to “save us” from drowning in their (reckless/fraudulent) debts.
However, the Little People will face a somewhat different future. Their debts will be maintained at 100-cents-on-the-dollar. The bankers, politicians and Oligarchs (via their Corporate Media) will tell us that this is necessary to “protect the integrity of the System” (their System).
Think this level of perversity/injustice is impossible? We already have precedent. After the Wall Street banks had caused (created?) the Crash of ’08 (with their reckless fraud/gambling); and after they took their $15+ trillion from the U.S. government in assorted hand-outs, 0% loans, tax-breaks, and “loss guarantees” (i.e. more hand-outs); the Wall Street banksters kept their massive bonuses.
We were told this was because of “the sanctity of contracts.”
Then after this massive give-away; various U.S. governments began unilaterally hacking-and-slashing the wages, pensions, and benefits of their own workers – which had been freely/fairly negotiated in their own contracts. The reason? After giving $trillions to the bankers; the workers were told the government “couldn’t afford” to honour their contracts.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:23 pm
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