In the year of our Lord 1417 June 15, in Florence,
Pay as is the custom 1000 Florins at 40 pence to the florin to whoever is appointed by Giovanni de' Medici and partners in London. May Christ protect you.
He signs the note. But it is not the signature that is important. It is all the handwriting on the bill. Whoever is to pay out the cash in London will have an example of that handwriting and match it carefully with the bill. In general, all the branches of the Medici banks and all those acting as correspondents for them will have examples of the handwriting of all the managers who have the authority to order payments."
"The term central bank, which now seems perfectly normal, sounded like yet another way to pander to speculators while fleecing the innocent. To Jefferson, the term bankers doubtless conjured an instant picture of the lenders who had him in their clutches for most of his life. That the cure for this problem was to stop borrowing and start living within one's means sounded to him more like a prison sentence that a way of life.
Unlike the earlier subject of assumption, which the treasury secretary admittedly saw as a way to enormous power, Hamilton thought of a bank straightforwardly as simply an institution that could expand the money supply and extend credit principally to business -therefore a normal help to the process of government. But in this innocent view, Hamilton had more enemies than friends. Adams, for example, who had not personally suffered from debt, and therefore had not endured many interest payments, is said to have considered every bank in America as "an enormous tax upon the people for the profit of individuals." That Jefferson agreed with this is obvious, for he was paying huge amounts of interest to bankers. While he managed to talk civilly to these men when circumstances forced him to, he called the banking business "a succession of felonious larcenies."
-Charles A. Cerami
Dinner at Mr. Jefferson's
"A bill to charter the Bank of the United States for twenty years met no initial opposition at all. It went through the Senate in January 1791. But as the House studied the bank bill, it became clear that a new clash between Hamilton and Madison was forming. And it was seen to be serious. The flat disjuncture between the agricultural way of life that Jefferson and Madison prized and the money-changing ways of the business community was an invitation to real hatred. People who were debtors by nature simply could not abide the ways of the banker. If a bank took just 1 percent interest on a loan, that 1 percent was seen as robbery. Phrases like "the prostitution of money for illicit gain" and "considering a bank to be like a house of ill fame. portrayed a feeling so deep that logic could not begin to soften it."
Charles A. Cerami
Dinner at Mr. Jefferson's
Although he managed to contain the financial damage that the nation was suffering from the bursting bubble, the impression that Hamilton's plans could easily go awry was growing. For the most part, Hamilton continued to give the illusion of being in full charge: yet there was an undercurrent in the nation that had begun to question Hamilton's ultimate wisdom and effect on American life. Jefferson, who so often seemed closer to the pulse of the people, strongly argued that the Bank of the United States had "taken possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition." No one knew what that meant, but it seemed to describe the country's widespread frustration perfectly. It was a muted triumph for Thomas Jefferson-quiet but enduring. And it would not be the last."
Charles A Cerami
Dinner at Mr. Jefferson's
"Some people think the Federal Reserve banks are United States Government institutions. They are not government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers. The Federal Reserve banks are the agents of the foreign central banks. Henry Ford has said, 'The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debts.' The truth is the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the Government of the United States by the arrogant credit monopoly which operates the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks."
-Louis McFadden (Rep of the House Banking and Currency Committee June 10,1932)
"This is an enormous power, because increasing the money supply can cause the re-election of an administration, while decreasing it can cause an administration to be defeated. Friedman goes on to criticize the Federal Reserve, "How is it that an institution which has so poor a record of performance nevertheless has so high a public reputation and even commands a considerable measure of credibility for its forecasts?"
"As the years rolled on, it became more apparent to me that the leadership for a return to sound money would never come from the U.S. Congress. Of course, Congress could abolish the Fed tomorrow if it wanted to. The representatives' ignorance of economics, as well as the benefits they enjoy from irresponsible spending, prevent this. Our leaders will only respond when the people of this country rise up and demand honest money."
End The Fed
"We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests."
"Every effort has been made by the federal Reserve Board to conceal its powers, but the truth is....the Fed (Federal Reserve system) has usurped the government. It controls everything here (Congress) and it controls all our foreign relations. It makes and breaks governments at will."
Louis T. McFadden ex-Chairman of the House committee on Banking and Currency (seems to have met with a questionable death)
My college economics professor taught us that banks are financial intermediaries between savers and borrowers: A saver makes a deposit, and the bank lends that money to a borrower to finance a business or home. But that isn't the way it really works.
Unless you are holding a long-term certificate of deposit, you have immediate access to the money you deposit in your bank. If you borrow money from the bank, you also have immediate access to the funds in the account that the bank created in your name when it made the loan. When a loan is issued, the bank's accountant enters two numbers in the bank's accounting records: She records the borrower's promise to repay the loan as an asset, and the money the bank puts into the borrower's account as a liability.
At first glance, it looks like these entries cancel each other out, which in a sense is true. The key is that neither entry existed previously. With the accountant's entries, the bank created new money from nothing in the amount of the loan principal and caused the amount of money in the economy as a whole to increase. At the same time, the borrower acquired a legal obligation to repay the principal with interest.
This, in fact, is how all money (except for coins and some special notes) is created. It should be noted that the bank-created money is purely electronic. There isn't even a paper record. You might say it has no existence outside the human mind."
-David C. Corten
Agenda For a new Economy: from Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth
"If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency...the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
"The refusal of King George III to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of money manipulators was probably the prime cause of the Revolution."
"The name 'London Banker' had especially a charmed value. He was supposed to represent, and often did represent, a certain pecuniary sagacity and educated refinement which was scarcely to be found in any other part of society."
-Walter Bagehot Lombard Street 1873
"The bowels of the banks, with us the great money-lenders, close with the snap and tenacity of steel-traps; and then general panic, for want of commercial confidence, brings on a paralysis of the domestic exchanges, and wide-spread bankruptcy and ruin."
Atlantic magazine 1857 written during a Panic
"The money that began to appear in circulation a week ago, December 21,1942, was really printing press money in the fullest sense of the term, that is, money which has no collateral of any kind behind it. The Federal Reserve statement that "The Board of Governors, after consultation with the Treasury Department, has authorized federal Reserve Banks to utilize at this time the existing stocks of currency printed in the early thirties, known as "Federal Reserve Banknotes'. We repeat, these notes have absolutely no collateral of any kind behind them."
-Henry hazlitt Newsweek Magazine Jan 4, 1943
"Credit, the disposition of one man to trust another, is singularly varying. In England, after a great calamity, everybody is suspicious of everybody as soon as that calamity is forgotten, everybody again confides in everybody."
-Walter Bagehot 1876
"To be blunt, credit is successfully re-established when financial elites say, 'When." Credit is close to a synonym for the mood of the ruling class. To say our economy is based on credit is to say it is based on animal mysteries. Glamour, prestige, elan, sprezznatura, cutting a figure....that is what the economy is made of."
The Unwisdom of crowds
"Added to fractional banking was the concept of 'fiat' money, intrinsically worthless paper money made acceptable by law or decree of government. An early example of this system was described by Marco Polo during his trip to China in 1275. Polo noted that the emperor forced his subjects to accept black pieces of paper with an official seal on them as legal money under pain of imprisonment or death. The emperor then used this fiat money to pay all his own debts. "one is tempted to marvel at the (emperor's) audacious power and the subservience of his subjects who endured such an outrage," wrote author G. Edward Griffin, "but our smugness rapidly vanishes when we consider the similarity to our own Federal Reserve Notes. They are adorned with signatures and seals; counterfeiters are severely punished; the government pays its expenses with them; the population is forced to accept them; they-and the 'invisible' checkbook money can be converted-are made in such vast quantity that it must equal in amount to all the treasures of the world. And yet they cost nothing to make. In truth, our present monetary system is an almost exact replica of that which supported the warlords of seven centuries ago."
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"It is very difficult to remove from the minds of many people the impression that banks lend the money deposited with them."
testimony of the secretary of the New Zealand Treasury in 1955 before a Royal Commission on Banking
"The banks cannot, of course, loan the money of their savings depositors."
Graham Towers, former governor of the Bank of Canada
"The money illusion was transferred to a new object with the rise of demand deposits, better known as checking accounts.....It took generations for the public to overcome its natural distrust of checks, but by 1900 most people were persuaded. Personal checks, written by the buyers themselves, were accepted as just as valuable as dollar bills. the nationalization of currency issuance, completed with the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, simply continued this arrangement. A new dimension of trust had added tot he illusion. Finally, the last prop for the the money illusion was kicked away in this century: the gold standards was abandoned."
The Fiat Money System
It is important to understand our current monetary system. We operate under a fiat currency. Fiat currency is paper money that has no intrinsic value. Fiat money is made legal tender through a government decree.
Money from banks today is not created solely from depositors' money but on the premise that the borrower will pay. The banks began to lend money in paper form. Eventually, banks realized that not all the depositors would come in on the same day to withdraw their money. so they printed more money that the actual amount of gold in the vault. the banks began creating, "virtual money", which finally got regulated. This is known as the Fractional Reserve System, which puts a limit on the amount of fictional money to be created to lend to borrowers. Today, the Federal Reserve creates money out of nothing. for every physical dollar they actually have, they can loan nine dollars. Only 3% of all money is physical and 97% is digital money that is in circulation. To better understand the banking fiasco you can watch. America: Freedom to Fascism,. Money as Debt...
"It is manifestly imperative that there should be a complete mobilization of the banking reserves of the United States. The burden and the privilege (of the Allied loans) must be shared by every banking institution in the country. I believe that cooperation on the part of the banks is a patriotic duty at this time, and that membership in the Federal Reserve system is a distinct and significant evidence of patriotism."
-Woodrow Wilson October 13, 1917
"Assurance has been added to our hope for the future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things that have been happening in the last few weeks in Russia. Here is a fit partner for a League of Honor."
-U.S. President Wilson in his "War Message in 1917"
"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt to Colonel Edward House
"I was as furtive as any conspirator. Discovery, we knew simply must not happen, or else all our time and effort would have been wasted. If it were to be exposed that our particular group had got together and written a banking bill, that bill would no chance whatever of passage by congress. i do not feel it is any exaggeration to speak of our secret expedition to Jekyll Island as the occasion of the actual conception of what eventually became the Federal Reserve System."
From farm boy to Financier 1935 autobiography
"Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of wealth; the tyranny of plutocracy."
"I guess I should warn you: if I turn out to be particularly clear ,you've probably misunderstood what I said."
-Alan Greenspan former chairman of the Federal Reserve
"Today, money is increasingly only numbers in a computer accessed by plastic cards at ATMs. There is nothing to back it up. Yet as this illusionary money is loaned by institutions, interest is added. As the total amount grows, the value of the money decreases. This is called inflation, in effect a built-in tax on the use of money."
"Bankers live on debt. If there is no debt, there is no money and no interest."
Wright Patman (Former Chairman of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee)
See: "The Mystery Of Banking" by Murray Rothbard
Dr. Paul Samuelson (Nobel laureate)
"Charging interest on pretended loans is usury, and that has become institutionalized under the Federal Reserve system"
"...oddly enough, American paper money continues to be different from money elsewhere. In other countries, to use the pleasant description of Britain's Radcliffe Committee in 1959, currency is "the part of the National Debt on which no interest is paid"-the notes are obligations of an agency of the national government (the Bank of England was nationalized in 1946), and are printed to pay part of the expenses of government. But all the bills in an American's pocket are Federal Reserve Notes, obligations of one of the twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which are publicly controlled but privately "owned" by their member banks (The letter in the rosette on the gray side of the bill identifies the bank of issue.) The apparent result of this arrangement is that the United States Government unlike all the others in the world must pay interest on all its debt, a situation that infuriated Thomas A. Edison. "It is absurd, " he wrote, "to say that our country can issue thirty million dollars in bonds but not thirty million dollars in currency. Both are promises to pay. But one promise fattens the usurers, and the other helps the people."
"In my speeches as a governor of the Federal Reserve, one of my hardest tasks was to convince people of the fact that we do not know as much about money as people think."
"It is no accident that banks resemble temples, preferably Greek, and that the supplicants who come to perform the rites of deposit and withdrawal instinctively lower their voices into thee registers of awe. Even the most junior tellers acquire with weeks of their employment the officiousness of hierophants tending an eternal flame. I don�t know how they becomes so quickly induced into the presiding mysteries, or who instructs hem in the finely articulated inflections of contempt for the laity, but somehow they learn to think of themselves as suppliers of the monetarized DNA that is the breath of life."Most people have heard that in some mysterious manner banks can create money out of thin air, but few really understand how the process works. Few understand that all our money arises out of debt and IOU operations."" A man comes to our green-covered table in Florence, in Rome, or after 1400 it might be Naples, after 1402 Venice. He wants money. He is a merchant most probably, in any even creditworthy, otherwise we won't deal with him. He wants, say, 1,000 florins. Why should we give it to him, if we can't ask for interest? He isn't a friend or relative. He offers us an exchange deal. he will take the florins and repay us in pounds sterling, in London. No harm in that. The cashier consults with the branch consults with the branch director. Depending on the conditions of his contract, the director may have to write to the head office. But eventually the money is brought from the strongbox. In return, the merchant-or he might be a magistrate-writes us a cambiale, or bill of exchange.
Lewis H. Lapham
Money and Class in America
INFLATION AND YOU: PARTNERS IN FREEDOM
"What do you do if you're running the world's largest money laundering operation but you just can't unleash your inflation tiger? The Federal Reserve Bank of New York uses The Story of Inflation, a comic book, to make an argument most Americans would dispute: that we should be thankful when our money loses value.
The Story of Inflation, one of several comics the New York Fed distributes for free, has an evenhanded, instructive tone that plays more subtly than, for example, the 1933 MGM short INFLATION: Explained by Pete Smith (a minor YouTube hit under the title "Vintage Pro-Inflation Propaganda") which promises inflation will "sock Old Kid Depression right on the button. "But it serves the same goal of accustoming Americans to the inevitability of a depleted dollar.
The nation's smart shoppers might relish seeing prices for houses, milk, and gasoline in steep decline, but The Story of Inflation makes a contrarian case for rising costs, depicting bridezillas hurrying to buy gowns and lazy construction workers bragging about their COLA increases. Still, the book's marketing ruins the illusion of asset appreciation. Why give copies away when you could call them "graphic novels" and sell them for $24.95?"
Tim Cavanaugh Reason magazine Oct 2009
See article:" Space-age Technology Can Correct the Money System" by Theordore R. Thoren From The Bent of Tau Beta Pi
"It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
Henry Ford Sr.
"Actually it was the calculated 'shearing' of the public by the World Money-Powers, triggered by the planned sudden shortage of the supply of call money in the New York money market"
Col. Curtis B. Dall (Son-in-law of FDR explaining the cause of the 'crash in his book My exploited Father-in-Law)
"I have ever been the enemy of banks. My zeal against those institutions was so warm and open at the establishment of the Bank of the U.S. that I was derided as a Maniac by the tribe of bank-mongers, who were seeking to filch from the public their swindling, and barren gains."
-Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Adams)
"Capital must protect itself in every way, through combination and through legislation. Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When, through a process of law, the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the central power of wealth, under control of leading financiers. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd."
The Bankers Manifest of 1934
"In 1991, Lawrence Summers-then the World Bank's chief economist and later Bill Clinton's Treasury secretary-wrote a memo suggesting that the bank should encourage the world's dirty industries to move to developing countries. The forgone earnings of workers sickened or killed by pollution would be lower in low-wage countries, he noted, while people in poor countries also cared less about a clean environment. "The economic logic of dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable, " he wrote."
Editorial New York Times Sept 24,2004
"Most commercial nations have found it necessary to institute banks; and they have proved to the happiest engines that ever were invented for advancing trade."
Alexander Hamilton (1781)
"Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good."
President John Adams (1819)
"IMF reminds me of fathers being sacked, economic difficulties and suicide" (said Hwang Sun-sook, a 32 year-old housewife in Seoul.) "IMF became a synonym for financial difficulty"
Seoul -a conference the South Korean government is co-hosting with the International Monetary fund to mend its image
"The Federal Reserve System is treated by nearly all economists with reverence. On no matter is their instruction of the young in the subtlety and benignity of established institutions more admiring-or, in broad effect, more successful. Corporations are flawed by an instinct for monopoly. Trade unions interfere with the market, urge trade restrictions, resist new technology and thus obstruct progress, and they can fall victim to extortionists and racketeers. The regulatory agencies of the government are notably imperfect instruments of economic guidance. The Federal Reserve System is not totally above criticism. It makes many mistakes but these are always interesting errors of judgment. they are examined not critically but respectfully to discover why men of insight went wrong. That for such error anyone should be sacked or even seriously rebuked is, for economists, nearly unthinkable. This approval goes back to the origins and can be highly negligent of circumstance. The most widely read account of the genesis of the System tells glowingly of its birth in the closing weeks of 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Wilson."
John Kenneth Galbraith
Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went
"We have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand."
-John Maynard Keynes "The Great Slump of 1930"
"Almost every aspect of its (Federal Reserve) history should be approached with a discriminating disregard for what is commonly taught or believed."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international money lenders. The accounts of the Federal Reserve System have never been audited. It operates outside the control of Congress and manipulates the credit of the United States."
"In the United States today we have, in effect, two governments.....we have the duly constituted government....then we have an independent, uncontrolled (by Congress) and uncoordinated (by Congress) government in the Federal Reserve System, operating the money powers which are reserved to Congress by the Constitution."
Wright Patman, ex-Chairman of House Banking Committee
"The sack of the United States by the Fed is the greatest crime in history."
"There also exists another alliance-at first glance a strange one, a surprising one-but if you think about it, one which is well-grounded and easy to understand. This is the alliance between our communist leaders and your (monopoly) capitalists."
"Whereas in Russia the coercive machinery is represented by the GPU with its rifles and dungeons, in capitalism it is represented by the banking system with its cheques and overdrafts."
-Wilhelm Ropke (1899-1966) Crisis and Cycles
"And why are these men so ready to lend money for murdering their fellow men? Solely for this reason, viz, that such loans are considered better investments than loans for purposes of honest industry. They pay higher rates of interest; and it is less trouble to look after them. This is the whole matter.
The question of making these loans is, with these lenders, a mere question of pecuniary profit. They lend money to be expended in robbing, enslaving, and murdering their fellow men, solely because, on the whole, such loans pay better than any others."
"If we had a truth-in Government act comparable to the truth-in-advertising law, every note issued by the Treasury would be obliged to include a sentence stating: "This note will be redeemed with the proceeds from an identical note which will be sold to the public when this one comes due."
Walter Wriston (former Chairman of the Citicorp Bank)
"Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again and again."
-Josiah Stamp Former President, Bank of England
This business of lending blood-money is one of the most thoroughly sordid, cold-blooded, and criminal that was ever carried on, to any considerable extent, amongst human beings. It is like lending money to slave traders, or to common robbers and pirates, to be repaid out of their plunder. And the men who loan money to governments, so called, for the purpose of enabling the latter to rob, enslave, and murder their people, are among the greatest villains that the world has ever seen. And they as much deserve to be hunted and killed (if they cannot otherwise be got rid of) as any slave traders, robbers, or pirates that ever lived.
When these emperors and kings, so-called, have obtained their loans, they proceed to hire and train immense numbers of professional murderers, called soldiers, and employ them in shooting down all who resist their demands for money. In fact, most of them keep large bodies of these murderers constantly in their service, as their only means of enforcing their extortions. There are now, I think, four or five millions of these professional murderers constantly employed by the so-called sovereigns of Europe. The enslaved people are, of course, forced to support and pay all these murderers, as well as to submit to all the other extortions which these murderers are employed to enforce.
No Treason 1882
"Perhaps the fact were never made more evident, in any country on the globe than in our own, (U.S.) that these soulless blood-money loan-mongers are the real rulers; that they rule from the most sordid and mercenary motives; that the ostensible government, the presidents, senators, and representatives, so called, are merely their tools; and that no idea of, or regard for, justice or liberty had anything to do in inducing them to lend their money for the war. In proof of all this, look at the following facts.
Nearly a hundred years ago we professed to have got rid of all that religious superstition, inculcated by a servile and corrupt priesthood in Europe, that rulers, so called, derived their authority directly from Heaven; and that it was consequently a duty on the part of the people to obey them. We professed long ago to have learned that governments could rightfully exist only by the free will, and on the voluntary support of those who might choose to sustain them. We all professed to have known long ago, that the only legitimate objects of government were the maintenance of liberty and justice equally for all. All this we had professed for nearly a hundred years. And we professed to look with pity and contempt upon those ignorant, superstitious, and enslaved peoples of Europe, who were so easily kept in subjection by the frauds and force of priests and kings.
Notwithstanding all this, that we had learned, and known, and professed for nearly a century, these lenders of blood money had, for a long series of years previous to the war, been the willing accomplices of the slave-holders in perverting the government from the purposes of liberty and justice, to the greatest of crimes. They had been such accomplices for a purely pecuniary consideration, to wit, a control of the markets in the south; in other words, the privilege of holding the slave-holders themselves in industrial and commercial subjection to the manufactures and merchants of the North (who afterwards furnished the money for the war��..
"The lesson taught by all these facts is this: As long as mankind continues to pay "national debts," so-called-that is, so long as they are such dupes and cowards as to pay for being cheated, plundered, enslaved and murdered-so long there will be enough to lend the money for those purposes; and with that money a plenty of tools, called soldiers, can be hired to keep them in subjection. But when they refuse any longer to pay for being thus cheated, plundered, enslaved and murdered, they will cease to have cheats, and usurpers, and robbers, and murderers and blood-money loan-mongers for masters."
No Treason (1882)
"I received a trial copy of the November/December 2000 edition of your magazine, and while I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, I will! I especially want to comment on the article "Bottom Feeders� by Daniel W. Drezner *
Drezner demonstrates a curious form of myopia when he claims that "there is no evidence that corporations direct their investments to developing countries with lower labor or environmental standards." There are literally hundreds of examples of U.S. manufacturers that have shuttled from Central America to China, Pakistan, and finally to Myanmar, where their contractors pay kids 9 cents per hour.
Has he never heard of the term "structural adjustment policy"? It is all too familiar to over 1 billion of the world�s workers who struggle and suffer under bank-imposed policies, which force borrowing governments to curtail basic health, education, and food subsidies as a condition of their loans.
Belmont California (letter to editor� Foreign Policy ,Mar 2001)
*see article "Bottom Feeders" Foreign Policy Nov/Dec 2000
"Patman: Mr. Eccles, how did you get the money to buy those $2 billion of government securities? (Eccles�then Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1941)
Eccles: "We created it."
Patman: "Out of what?"
Eccles: "Out of the right to issue credit money."
Congressional hearing Sept 30,1941
"I wonder if you all in New York know just what you are doing in backing Fascism in Italy. We had a taste of it last night here. A party of Fascists motored up from Rome armed with revolvers, rapiers and loaded whips, arrived at nine and proceeded to beat up with fierce brutality the peasants who could not produce a Fascisti card�If any peasant objects he is shot. This is happening all over the place. It seems funny for American money to be perpetuating it."
(a letter from Italy 1926 about American banking loans to Mussolini)
'1A great industrial nation is. controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore. and all our activities are in the hands of a few men, who, even if their actions be honest and intended for the public interest. are necessarily concentrated upon the great undertakings in which their own money is involved and who, necessarily, by every reason of their own limitations chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom.
Woodrow Wilson 1911
"The apex of the system was to be the Bank of International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank, in the hands of men like Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Charles Rist of the Bank of France, and Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichbank, sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury bonds, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business World."
Dr. Carroll Quigley
Tragedy and Hope
"Prosperity has no fixed limits. It is not a finite substance to be diminished by division. On the contrary, the more of it that other nations enjoy, the more each nation will have for itself."
Henry Morgenthau (Bretton Woods, April ,1944)
"As for Washington's insistence on fiscal purity, this was perhaps a trifle unseemly on the part of a nation which had financed so much of its own development by inflation, wild-cat paper money and bonds sold to foreign investors and subsequently repudiated. If the criteria of the International Monetary Fund had governed the United States in the nineteenth century, our own economic development would have taken a good deal longer. In preaching fiscal orthodoxy to developing nations, we were somewhat in the position of the prostitute who, having retired on her earnings, believes that public virtue requires the closing down of the red-light district."
"The parable of the talents is a parable about power-about financial power- and it illuminates the great truth that all power is given to us to be used, not to be wrapped in a napkin against risk."
Robert McNamara (Washington Sept. 1968)
"If the US Government will have to bear ultimate responsibility for foreign loans of US banks, should it have more say than it now does over the direction of these loans before they are made?"
(Senate Foreign Relations Committee,1977)
"When we reject IMF conditions, we hear the threatening whisper: "Without accepting our conditions you will not get our money, and you will get no other money"....When did the IMF become an International Ministry of Finance? When did nations agree to surrender to it their power of decision-making?"
Julius Nyerere (President of Tanzania)
"....For there is, when you come down to it, always something slightly unsavory about the business of central banking. A market economy-even the Goldilocks economy of America in the 90's-requires that a certain number of people who want to work be unable to find jobs so that the example will discipline the wage demands of those who are already employed. Even liberal economists like myself grudgingly accept the conclusion that a responsible fed must sometimes raise interest rates in order to limit the number of jobs and maintain a suitably high rate of unemployment. But the scene remains an ugly one: when the Fed acts to cool off an overheated economy, What that literally means is that a group of comfortable men and women in suits are deliberately acting to limit the job prospects of some of their worst-off fellow citizens.
The Return of Depression Economies New York Times magazine May 23.1999
"A banker need not be popular; indeed a good banker in a healthy capitalist society should probably be much disliked. People do not wish to trust their money to a hail-fellow-well-met but to a misanthrope who can say no. However, a banker must not seem futile, ineffective, or vaguely foolish. In contrast with the stern power of Morgan in 1907, that was precisely how his successors seemed, or were made to seem, in 1929."
"A 'sound' banker, alas! is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional and orthodox way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him."
-John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)
"The victim or his corpse is made to suffer all available indignities, such was the fate of the bankers."
The Great Crash 1929
"Lord Keynes in 1943 dreamed of an International Clearing Union that would give to the growth of international trade and the development of all the world's economies the advantage that unified banking systems had given to national economies. With the linkage of the Fed Funds and Eurodollar markets this dream has been accomplished-the mechanism looks American but in reality it is as impersonal and universal as the gold standard. Unfortunately, the dream is beginning to look more and more like a nightmare, a phantasmagoria of perpetual high interest rates and an inflation geometrically expanding until it bursts the taut skin of international enterprise and international civility."
"The name 'London Banker' had especially a charmed value. He was supposed to represent, and often did represent, a certain union of pecuniary sagacity and educated refinement which was scarcely to be found in any other part of society.....The calling is hereditary; the credit of the bank descends from father to son; this inherited wealth soon brings inherited refinement. Banking is a watchful, but not a laborious trade. A banker, even in large business ness, can feel pretty sure that all his transactions are sound, and yet have much spare mind. A certain part of his time, and a considerable part of his thoughts, he can readily devote to other pursuits. And a London banker can also have the most intellectual society in the world if he chooses it. There has probably very rarely ever been so happy a position as that of a London private banker; and never perhaps a happier."
Walter Bagehot (1873)
"Globalization appears to increase poverty and inequality....The costs of adjusting to greater openness are borne exclusively by the poor: regardless of how long the adjustment takes."
-The World Bank ,1999
"Debts are not the kind of bond that can unite the world."
Herbert Feis, 1930
"Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate."
Andrew Mellon's infamous advice to Herbert Hoover
What needs to be done? The main thing is to end the reign of forced currency such as the Fed's. This will ensure that inflation and deflation cannot ever occur because these are both results of a forced currency. With competition in money, any issuer that issues too much currency will suffer a loss in value of the currency. That will however, be a local matter and not affect the entire economy as a forced currency does."
Michael S. Rozeff www.LewRockwell.com
"There are, of course, ignorant economists who think that without government intervention, the economic, and financial system cannot survive and we will all be wandering around in bearskins with spears. However, if the financial and economic system were to collapse and the government and Fed did not interfere, a free market revival would occur with amazing rapidity."
Michael S. Rozeff
"Congress should reject the central bank as a failure for its manipulations of money that have brought our economy to its knees. I am hoping that in the 111th Congress, my legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve system gains traction so that the central bank can no longer destroy our money."
"We need to entertain concepts that seem radical today but were not radical to those who fought for and articulated the ideals of American independence. better to consider these matters now than when the system is collapsing around our ears."
-Micheal S. Rozett Retired Professor of Finance at the University of Buffalo
See: The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin www.realityzone.com
JUBILEE FOR ALL
By Ruvik Rosenthal�.the Hague, The Jerusalem Report, Oct 2, 1997
"For Awraham Soetendorp, the Biblical celebration of freedom every 50 years deserves to be more than an ancient memory. The influential Dutch rabbi, a leader in world ecumenicalism, believes the Jubilee should be revived internationally, with major efforts toward peace and equality. Soetendorp originally proposed 1995-which he calculated was the proper year by the Biblical calendar-as the Jubilee target date, but though 95 came and went without his idea catching on, Soetendorp I still pushing it, modified into a plan for a "Jubilee era" during the last years of the 20th century.� Rabii Soetendorp, 54 , leader of the liberal Jewish Community in the Hague, first made the proposal in a 1988 book suggesting that in 1995 religious leaders from around the world should direct their spiritual powers to solve regional and local conflicts, help poor nations and convince rich countries to write off their poorer counterparts� spiraling debts. He believed Christians and Muslims, as well as Jews, could embrace the Biblical injunction underlying his plan: "You shall hallow the 50th year. You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land for all its inhabitants" (Leviticus 25;10)
Like other utopian ideas, Soetendorp�s proposal could have been ignored or forgotten. Instead, it received the backing of a world group representing the three monotheistic religions and brought together figures few would expect to even speak with each other. The Global Forum, founded in 1982 in England, is chaired by Soetendorp, Senator Leticia Shahant of the Philippines, a Christian-and Sheikh Ahmad Kuftara, the grand mufti of Damascus. The organization has debated the Jubilee at numerous conferences-Soetendorp will speak about it when the Forum convenes in Turkey in October-and today is considering how "to make the idea practical," according to the rabbi.
"God wants us to do things," he says. "People everywhere are preparing themselves for the year 2000, expecting a new era, a new wave. There is increased activity against world hunger. I was asked by the leaders of FAO , the U.N. organization against hunger, to convene a meeting of religious leaders to discuss this problem. I believe the Jubilee era is a means for making the world a better place."
A veteran ecumenical activist. David Rosen, the former chief rabbi of Ireland and today acting director at the Israel office of the Anti-Defamation League, supports Soetendorp�s dream. "The Jubilee idea has humanitarian significance, and Judaism must bring it to the world�s attention." And he, like Soetendorp, thinks Jewish law can provide the impetus. "Halakah has always expanded the commandments, and given them universal relevance. Behind every Jewish value stands a universal one, which is applicable to all humanity."
Soetendorp offers a concrete plan to accomplish his goal of world harmony" "We need flexible peace troops, " he says. "Who will go to every conflict area and help the refugees and those who fight for peace. Most of humanity is attached to religion in some way or other. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews-together we can establish a kind of moral religion that will change the world. Jews and Muslims together can be a leading force for global peace." Soetendorp sees the army operating within the framework of the United Nations; meanwhile, he has broached the idea with Dutch Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hans van Mierlo.
The Jerusalem Report. Oct 2, 1997
The International Monetary Fund is campaigning for increased powers that would let it intervene directly in nations� economies before these countries even get into serious trouble. The agency�s number two official says, "The whole idea is prevention."
Lord help us, the "whole idea" is similar to putting Typhoid Mary in charge of an effort to prevent food poisoning. The IMF is the problem. Its toxic prescriptions of devaluation and tax increases turn routine economic adjustments into devastating disasters. For three decades the Pacific Rim was a vibrant, expanding region. Today it is a smoldering ruin, thanks in no small part to IMF malpractice�.."
Steve Forbes ,Editor-in-chief of Forbes
"The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy. More insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future, a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed."
- Abraham Lincoln
"Next week's meeting of the International Monetary Fund will bring to Washington .DC, many of the same demonstrators who trashed the World Trade Organization in Seattle last fall. They'll say the IMF is arrogant. They'll say the IMF doesn't really listen to the developing countries it is supposed to help. They'll say the IMF is secretive and insulated from democratic accountability. They'll say the IMF;'s economic 'remedies' often make things worse-turning slowdowns into recessions and recessions into depressions. And they'll have a point."
-Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize recipient, former World Bank Senior vice president and chief economist, April 17, 2000)
"The IMF practices an economic totalitarianism which kills not with bullets, but with famine."
-Carlos Andres Perez (former President of Venezuela)
The conversion of the present unstable money system to a Treasury Credit Money System involves a much-need change of policy. The contribution of the engineering community is urgently required because of another important quality which Dr. Sunnunu identifies in the same article: "Another quality that engineers bring to policymaking is an intuitive understanding that there is a true difference between those solutions that are valid in the ideal world and those solutions that are valid in the real world��
The real world is crying out for monetary reform. The engineering community is equipped to respond. The question is: Will it?"
Theodore R. Thoren�.
*THIS IS A GREAT IDEA! Read: The Truth in Money Book
Banks Are Richer than Countries "The world's top 50 companies recorded combined profits of $433 billion U.S. in 2005--up 27% from 2006. More than one-fifth were banks. Assessing the top global corporations solely by the value of the assets they control, banks accounted for 56% of the top 50 in 2005. Including diversified financial corporations (which offer many of the services of modern-day banking), they dominate the list, occupying 80% of the top slots. Their assets stack up higher than the economies of many nations, according to the Forbes 500 list.'
ODE Magazine May 2007 /Source : New Internationalist, Aug 2006
"The ideology of the world order of huge banks and corporations proves extraordinarily profitable to a few, though disastrous to many, when relentlessly applied and backed by state power. Each square mile of virgin tropical hardwood can earn a timber company up to one hundred million dollars in sales, and their local official smoothers-of-the-way who signed the contract giving away the ecosystems of the tribal peoples can get a hefty cut of those dollars. Skyscrapers rise in Singapore and Sao Paulo from these "pieces of the action" A tribe might say, "it's our and has been ours for a thousand years or more." Officials, backed by the police, would smile, "Where is the contract proving you bought it?"
Me and the Biospheres
"The result of this whole system is massive debt at every level of society. The banks are in debt to the depositors, and the depositors' money is loaned out and creates indebtedness to the banks. making this system even more akin to something out of a maniac's delirium is the fact that banks, like other lenders, often have the right to seize physical property if its paper money is not repaid. At the national and international levels, we read today of Third World nations staggering under huge debts. Most of the debts are 'illusionary' in the sense that the bulk of the loans come from banks which generate out of channel 'created-out-of-nothing' money. Some of these banks, such as some represented by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have the right to dictate economic policies and demand austerity measures with the indebted nations to get the loans repaid."
New York Times, Sept 19,2008
To the Editor
Many blame predatory lending practices for the recent bank failures. I blame the inability of lenders to calculate the effect of a variable interest rate on their monthly mortgage payments.
In a culture in which people chuckle at how bad they were in math during their school years, the cost of mathematical illiteracy to this nation is now measured in the tens of billions."
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson
New York, Sept 17, 2008
To the Editor:
Dear Mr. Bernacke and Mr. Paulson:
My student loans are too big and it is hurting the economy. Can I have a bailout, please? I need $92,000.
ST. Paul. Sept. 17, 2008
"Greed is what the City represents....They cheat, they lie, they do all they can to make more money,."
-Geraint Anderson (former banker at Dresdner Kleinwort ,whose novel "Cityboy"-a sordid tale of excess and misdeeds in the City of London-Has become a best seller in England)
"American investment banking, the entire industry, sank without a trace the last few days. So where does this leave the Masters of the Universe? In Greenwich, Conn, mainly, the hottest, brightest, most ambitious young men began abandoning investment banking in favor of hedge funds six years ago. Unlike the investment banks, they are very much in business. Most of these young Masters already have their own nut free and clear. "Nut" is the term for the amount of money you need salted away in weatherproof investments in order to generate enough interest to live comfortably in Greenwich in a house built before the First World War in an enchanting European style, preferably made of stone featuring the odd turret. Shed no tears for the Masters of the Universe."
-Tom Wolfe New York Times
"History will show that Greenspan, during his years as Fed chairman (1987-2006) planted all of the seeds of the financial calamity that has erupted in 2007 and 2008."
End the Fed
"I made a mistake", Greenspan conceded, saying that the worldwide collapse of banks and financial institutions had left him "in a state of shocked disbelief ."The Week, Nov & 2008
"The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves-This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for confiscation of wealth."
"....Underlying the glamorous new world of finance was the process of securitization. Loans no longer stayed with the lender. Instead, they were sold on to others, who sliced, diced and pureed individual debts to synthesize new assets, Subprime mortgages, credit card debts, car loans-all went into the financial system's juicer. Out the other end, supposedly, came sweet-tasting AAA investments. And financial wizards were lavishly rewarded for overseeing the process.
But the wizards were frauds, whether they knew it or not, and their magic turned out to be no more than a collection of cheap stage tricks. Above all, the key promise of securitization-that it would make the financial system more robust by spreading risk more widely-turned out to be a lie. Banks used securitization to increase their risk, not reduce it, and in the process they made the economy more, not less, vulnerable to financial disruption."
-Paul Krugman New York Times Friday, March 27,2009
: "In the grim period that followed Lehman's failure, it seemed inconceivable that bankers would, just a few months later, be going right back to the practices that brought the world's financial system to the edge of collapse. At the very least, one might have thought, they would show some restraint for fear of creating a public backlash.
But now that we've stepped back a few paces from the brink-thanks, let's not forget to immense, taxpayer-financed rescue packages-the financial -sector is rapidly returning to business as usual. Even as the rest of the nation continues to suffer from rising unemployment and severe hardship. Wall Street paychecks are heading back to pre-crisis levels. And the industry is deploying its political clout to block even the most minimal reforms."
-Paul Krugman "Reform or Bust" The New York Times OP-ED September 21, 2009
"Banks that you and I bailed out with billions of our tax dollars turn out to be holding some of the largest, private art collections in the country. In the heady days of anything-goes financing and bank mergers, many of the giants accumulated the works of known artists to cover their many walls, impress clients and buff-up their corporate images. Deutsche Bank, for example, owns 60,000 pieces, UBS has 40,000, and JPMorgan chase is home to 30,000
These cultural treasures adorn bank atriums, lobbies, boardrooms and hallways-but much of the art is simply boxed up and stashed in basements. many of the banks have no idea what they have in storage-including banks that care nothing about art, but acquired their collections when they took over another bank.
These works have real value, not only in terms of dollars, but also in terms of....well, art. Art that the public could appreciate, enjoy and even be touched by if it were displayed somewhere besides bank hallways and basements."
article: "The art of Wall Street
Wall Street Journal article: Twelve Years Down the Drain by Elizabeth Wurtzel April 10 Wed
The market has lost a dozen years worth of wealth in a matter of months. Millions of hours of manpower put in by investment bankers on Wall Street and the lawyers who enabled them-the kind that brought home those bright shiny bonuses that are now causing a populist uprising in the hinterlands-have been wasted away by what is kindly called the credit crisis. And whatever lessons the powers that be might learn from this adjustment-that salary structure should change, or that the billable hour is an anachronism-it seems no one has stated the obvious: The whole system is warped."
"Because of how our financial system is designed, the economy has to grow or collapse. The growth may or may not provide employment, meet real needs, or reduce poverty. The primary reason that the economy must grow or collapse is the demand of the banking system for its pound of flesh."
-David C. Korten
"Calculations compiled for the New York Times show that the government has collected profits of $4 billion from eight of the biggest banks that have fully repaid their obligations under the Treasury's main bailout program-a return of about 15 percent annually. Calculations reported in the The Wall Street Journal showed that the Treasury made $ billion from 34 firms that repaid bailout money, for a 7 percent annualized rate of return.
That's better than losing money on any given transaction. But the big picture is bleak. Estimates by Moody's Economy.com, presented in recent Congressional testimony, suggest that of the $12 trillion the government has committed to fight the financial crisis and recession, the final tab to taxpayers will approach $1.2 trillion. That is equal to about 8 percent of the size of the economy. For comparison, the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s ultimately cost taxpayers about $250 billion in today's dollars, or about 3 percent of the size of the economy."
"The Federal Reserve should be abolished because it is immoral, unconstitutional, impractical, promotes bad economics, and undermines liberty. it's destructive nature makes it a tool of tyrannical government
Nothing good can come from the Federal Reserve. it is the biggest taxer of all. Diluting the value of the dollars by increasing its supply is a vicious, sinister Tax on the poor and middle class. The Federal Reserve monetary policy has brought us to where we are today-in a tragic monetary mess."
End the Fed
"Ask the people at Goldman, and they'll tell you that it's nobody's business but their own how much they earn. But as one critic recently put it "There is no financial institution that exists today that is not the direct or indirect beneficiary of Trillions of dollars of taxpayer support for the System"
article by: Paul Krugman "The Banks are Not Alright" New York Times Oct 19,2009
".....Isn't it ironic that many people in this country used to mock Soviet-government central planning, yet the unquestioningly accept the central-planning premise behind the Federal Reserve's manipulation of interest rates and money supply?"
Steve Stanek Mchenry,Ill. The wall street journal Saturday, Sunday, December 12-13 2009
..."there is not one shred of "neutral evidence" that any financial innovation of the past 20 years has led to economic growth. Citi, that "innovative" banking supermarket, destroyed far more wealth that Weill can or will ever give away."
"The bank, the big banks, always get what they want....They have all the money, all the lobbyists. And boy is that true on this one. There's just not a lobby on the other side."
"Capture of the Executive branch and much of Congress by a well-heeled financial services industry means that we have not merely let a crisis go to waste; we have actually allowed a predatory financial services industry to further its self-serving agenda. The industry has seized control of the regulatory process."
"Another important way we support our social agenda is through the Sixteen Decisions. This is a set of social and personal commitments that have evolved over time, initially through ideas that surfaced at intensive sessions among Grameen bank borrowers and staff during the early 1980s. Versions of the Sixteen Decisions were created at various bank branches and centers around the country. These were shared with other branches over time. By 1984 they were accumulated into what became known as the Sixteen Decisions. They have become an integral part of the Grameen program. Every new member of the bank is expected to learn the Sixteen decisions and to pledge to follow them.
The Sixteen Decisions:
1. The four principles of Grameen Bank-Discipline, Unity, courage, and hard work-we shall follow and advance in all walks of our lives.
2. We shall bring prosperity to our families.
3. We shall not live in dilapidated houses. We shall repair our houses and work towards constructing new houses as soon as possible.
4. We shall grow vegetables all the year round. We shall eat plenty of them and sell the surplus.
5. During the plantation season, we shall plant as many seedlings as possible.
6. We shall plan to keep our families small. We shall minimize our expenditures. We shall look after our health.
7. We shall educate our children and ensure that they can earn to pay for their education.
8. We shall always keep our children and the environment clean.
9. We shall build and use pit latrines.
10. We shall boil water before drinking or use alum to purify it. We shall use pitcher filters to remove arsenic.
11. We shall not take any dowry at our sons' weddings; neither shall we give any dowry in our daughters' weddings.
We shall keep the center free from the curse of dowry. We shall not practice child marriage.
12. We shall not inflict any injustice on anyone; neither shall we allow anyone to do so.
13. for higher income we shall collectively undertake bigger investments.
14. We shall always be ready to help each other. if anyone is in difficulty, we shall all help.
15. If we come to know of any breach of discipline in any center, we shall all go there and help restore discipline.
16. We shall take part in all social activities collectively.
-Muhammad Yunnus *Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize"
Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the future of Capitalism
"For there's a populist rage building in this country, and President Obama's kid-gloves treatment of the bankers has put Democrats on the wrong side of this rage. If congressional Democrats don't take a tough line with the banks in the months ahead, the will pay a big price in November."
-Paul Krugman New York Times Jan 8,2010
"John Courson, president and C.E.O. of the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently told the Wall street Journal that homeowners who default on their mortgages should think about the "message" they will send to "their family and their kids and their friends." Courson was implying that homeowners-record numbers of whom continue to default-have a responsibility to make good. He wasn't referring to the people who have no choice, who can't afford their payments. He was speaking about the rising number of folks who are voluntarily choosing not to pay.
Such voluntary defaults are a new phenomenon. Time was, Americans would do anything to pay their mortgage-forgo a new car of a vacation, even put a younger family member to work. But the housing collapse left 10.7 million families owing more than their homes are worth. So some of them are making a calculated decision to hang onto their money and let their homes go. Is this irresponsible?
businesses-in particular wall Street banks-make such calculations routinely. Morgan Stanley recently decided to stop making payments on five san Francisco office buildings. a Morgan Stanley fund purchased the buildings at the height of the boom, and their value has plunged. Nobody has said Morgan Stanley is immoral-perhaps because no one assumed it was moral to begin with. But the average American, as if sprung from some Franklinesque mythology, is supposed to honor his debts, or so says the mortgage industry as well as government officials. Former Treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson jr. declared that "any homeowner who can afford his mortgage payment but chooses to walk away from an underwater property is simply a speculator-and one who is not honoring his obligation." (Paulson presumably was not so censorious of speculation during his 32-year career at Goldman Sachs.).....
article New York Times Magazine Just Walk Away: Why should underwater homeowners behave any different from banks? by Roger Lowenstein
"There may not be a person in America without a strong opinion about what coulda, shoulda been done to prevent the underwear bomber from boarding that Christmas flight to Detroit. In the years since 9/11, we've all become counterterrorist's. But in the 16 months since that other calamity in downtown New York-the crash precipitated by the 9/15 failure of Lehman Brothers-most of us are still ignorant about what Warren Buffett called the "financial weapons of mass destruction" that wrecked our economy. Fluent as we are in Al Qaeda and body scanners, when it comes to synthetic C.D.O.'s and credit-default swaps, not so much.
What we don't know will hurt us, and quite possibly on a more devastating scale than any Qaeda attack. Americans must be told the full story of how Wall Street gamed and inflated the housing bubble, made out like bandits, and then left millions of households in ruin. Without that reckoning, there will be no public clamor for serious reform of a financial system that was as cunningly breached as airline security at the Amsterdam airport. And without reform, another massive attack on our economic security is guaranteed. Now that it can count on government bailouts, Wall street has more incentive than ever to pump up its risks-secure that it can keep the bonanzas while we get stuck with the losses."
-Frank Rich in Sunday Opinion The New York Times Sunday, January 10,2010 "The Other Plot to Wreck America"
"More daunting still is the inquiry's duty to reach into high places in the public sector as well as the private. The mystery of exactly what happened as TARP fell into place in the fateful fall of 2008 thickens by the day-especially the behind-closed door machinations surrounding the government rescue of A.I.G. and its counterparties. Last week, a Republican congressman, Darrell Issa of California, released e-mail showing that officials at the New York Fed, then led by Timothy Geithner, pressured, A.I.G. to delay disclosing to the S.E.C. and the public the details on the billions of bailout dollars it was funneling to its trading partners. In this backdoor rescue, taxpayers unknowingly awarded banks like Goldman 100 cents on the dollar for their bets on mortgage-backed securities...."
Notes on Bankers January 13, 2010 from Wall Street Journal
London-The chief executives of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Lloyds Banking Group PLC, shrugged off attacks from a U.K. parliamentary committee on their compensation and plans to pay employee bonuses, saying the matters are decided by market forces and independent committees.
President Obama said last month on '60 Minutes" that he "did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street
"In fact, yesterday the Fed, whose balance sheet is about the size of Citgroup's reported whopping profits for 2009 of $52 billion-just a few billion shy of what Wall street as a whole is likely to report for the year. (All this throws a mocking light on the Obama administration's claim yesterday that a new tax must be imposed on banks to "recoup" bailout costs.")
None of this means Americans don't have an ancient and abiding interest in subjecting bankers to scorn. A rough socialism is fundamental to civilization: The most beautiful virgin must be sacrificed to make the other virgins feel better-a service politicians are especially keen to provide when the alternative might be looking at their own rule in the reckless risk-taking of banks and homebuyers.
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr "Bashing Bankers Is a Political Duty" The Wall Street Journal Jan 13, 2010
"One of these days, we will finally dispel the "New Economy" mysticism that beclouds this issue and begin to think seriously about how to re-regulate the financials sector. And when we do we may find that the answer involves some version of the idea behind Glass-Steagall-drawing a line between banks that the government effectively guarantees and banks, that behave like big hedge funds, experimenting with the latest financial toxins. Hopefully, that day will come before Wall street decides to take another headlong run at some attractive cliff."
Thomas Frank "The Tilting Yard" Wall Street Journal January 13, 2010
"We are on the cusp of what is going to be the most highly visible and contentious bank bonus season in history. Bonuses are predicted to run into the billions of dollars, and many of the banks that got the most bailout money are paying the biggest bonuses. The two issues are intimately related-and as long as the administration continues down its too-big-to-fail regulatory path. Mr. Obama will stay in the business of paying huge bonuses to fat cat bankers...."
-Jonathan Macey "Obama and the "Fat Cat Bankers" Wall Street Journal Jan 13, 2010
"in fact, one of the sorriest consequences of our financial system is the toll exacted on the legitimacy of providing great rewards for great contributions. Finance certainly contributes to prosperity, but the vast wealth secured in recent years by a small number of financiers does not map into a commensurate increase in created or financed new industries or turned around failing companies. Rather they have used subsidized borrowing to leverage the returns of questionable schemes, secure in the knowledge that if things go wrong the authorities will step in, trying to shore up asset prices or prop up failing counterparties."
-Amar Bhide (former Columbia Business School Professor)
:"Fractional reserve banking is a Ponzi scheme. They lend $90 for every $100 on deposit.
Those $90 are deposited somewhere else and $81 more dollars are lent. So it continues ad infinitum"
"John S. Reed, a former CEO of Citigroup, said a few days ago that the banks won't regain the public's trust until they reduce bonus payments. He contends that the bankers have learned nothing from the crisis and that "They just don't get it. They are off in a different world."
Jonathan Macey "Obama and the Fat Cat Bankers" Wall Street Journal Jan 13, 2010
"These fat-cat recidivists don't even have the decency to fake contrition. It's "God's work," says Goldman Sachs' CEO."
"World bankers, by pulling a few simple levers that control the flow of money, can make or break entire economies. By controlling press releases of economic strategies that shape national trends, the power elite are able to not only tighten their stranglehold on this nations economic structure, but can extend that control world wide. Those possessing such power would logically want to remain in the background, invisible to the average citizen."
"The Federal Reserve's blowout 2009 profit, is no reason to cheer. Rather, it is a reminder of the dangers inherent in the extraordinary policies the central bank has pursued during the credit crunch.
Last year, the Fed earned $52.1 billion, with most of that income coming from Interest payments on bonds that it bought during the year to shore up the economy and credit markets
Anyone with access to printing presses could have racked up similar gains. But the Fed's purchases leave it exposed. Its assets are 43 times its capital, compared with 15 times at Goldman Sachs.
As a result, its equity could be wiped out by just a 2.8% drop in the value of its Treasury's and securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. True, the Fed could hold on to those securities and ride out any losses, and retain earnings to boost capital, but what self-respecting central bank wants to risk a negative net worth?
Even the fact that the Fed is, as usual, paying most of its profit to the Treasury isn't good news. it means the Treasury is paying almost no interest on a large slug of debt purchased by the Fed. That can only chip away further at fiscal discipline......"
-Peter Easvis "Fed's Power of the Press" Wall Street Journal Jan 13, 2010
"The financial shenanigans used by the Fed (in cahoots with the US Treasury) to limit accountability for these capital losses (on the Bear and AIG bailouts) are quite unacceptable in a democratic society. Clearly, the US authorities are using the financial engineering tricks and legal constructions whose abuse by the private financial sector led to our current predicament, to engage in Congressional-and tax payer accountability avoidance/evasion. To watch the regulators engage in regulatory arbitrage is astonishing."
-William Buiter (former member of the Bank of England's Monetary policy committee and advisor to central banks)
"The Fed listens to Wall Street and believes what it hears....This....partial and often highly distorted perception of reality is unhealthy and dangerous."
-Will Buiter (to the members of the Fed at its Jackson Hole conference in Aug 2008)
"Similarly, think of a bank chairman whose institution makes steady profits over a long time, only to lose everything in a single reversal of fortune. Traditionally, bankers of the lending variety have been pear-shaped, clean shaven, and dress in possibly the most comforting and boring manner, in dark suits, white shirts, and red ties. Indeed, for their lending business, banks hire dull people and train them to be even more dull. But this is for show. If they look conservative, it is because their loans only go bust on rare, very rare, occasions. There is no way to gauge the effectiveness of their lending activity by observing it over a day, a week, a month, or....even a century! In the summer of 1982, large American banks lost close to all their past earnings (cumulatively), about everything they ever made in the history of American banking-everything. They had been lending to South and Central American countries that all defaulted at the same time-"an event of an exceptional nature." So it took just one summer to figure out that this was a sucker's business and that all their earnings came from a very risky game. All that while the bankers led everyone, especially themselves, into believing that they were "conservative." They are not conservative; just phenomenally skilled at self-deception by burying the possibility of a large, devastating loss under the rug. In fact, the travesty repeated itself a decade later, with the "risk-conscious" large banks once again under financial strain, many of them near-bankrupt, after the real-estate collapse of the early 1990s in which the now defunct savings and loan industry required a taxpayer-funded bailout of more than half a trillion dollars. The Federal Reserve bank protected them at our expense: when "conservative" bankers make profits, they get the benefits; when they are hurt, we pay the costs."
-Nassim Nicholas taleb
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
'SURPRISE BANKS WITH GOVERNMENT GUARANTEES TAKE THE BIGGEST RISKS, MAKE THE MOST MONEY, AND PAY THE HIGHEST BONUSES.
-Jonathan Macey "Obama and the 'Fat Cat Bankers" Wall street Journal January 13, 2010
article: New York Times Jan 15, 2010 by Paul Krugman
"....Sooner or later, this runaway system was bound to crash. And if we don't make fundamental changes, it will happen all over again.
Do the bankers really not understand what happened, or are they just talking their self-interest? No matter. As I said, the important thing looking forward is to stop listening to financiers about financial reform.
Wall Street executives will tell you that the financial-reform bill the House passed last month would cripple the economy with overregulation (It's actually quite mild). They'll insist that the tax on bank debt just proposed by the Obama administration is a crude concession to foolish populism. They'll warn that action to tax or otherwise rein in financial-industry compensation is destructive and unjustified.
But what do they know? The answer, as far as I can tell, is: not much."
"What if, as Nobel-winning economist Joe Stiglitz suggests, we foreclose on bankers and Politicians who are morally bankrupt? What if people started showing up at town halls demanding accountability from those who gambled away their jobs and homes? There is plenty of blame to go around. Let's start putting some of it back where it belongs."
-Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery editors of Mother Jones Magazine/Jan/Feb 2010
"Americans owe no allegiance, let alone obedience, to unconstitutional acts or to the criminals who perpetrate them."
See: Title 18, United States Code, Section 241 and 242
(a)III( Citizens) alike owe allegiance to the government, and the government owes to them a duty of protection. These are reciprocal obligations, and each is a consideration for the other."
(basic principle of American Political Jurisprudence)
"The taxpayers are now subsidizing you. If I the taxpayer am subsidizing you to the tune of $78 billion because what we've loaned you is not valued at the same amount, why is it that I have to pay an interest rate on my credit cards at 18 or 20 percent? Why is that you can get an interest rate at 5 percent from TARP and I'm subsidizing your business? Do any of you believe that we should have a law in America that has a usury rate? Do you think there's ever a rate that's usurious? That's obscene? That shouldn't be charged? Is 36 percent usurious?"
-California Rep. Jackie Speier questioning ban CEOs Feb 11, 2009
"Despite having this "who's who" of global business luminaries in tow, however, Schmidheiny could not in the early days recruit a single banker or financier to join the group! Normally, in my limited experience, invitations from multibillionaires are reasonably well received by bank chairmen.
This is particularly true when the invitation also includes an 18-month opportunity to rub shoulders with more than two dozen of the world's leading industrial companies (i.e., mouth-wateringly attractive potential banking clients!) Notwithstanding these commercial inducements-not to mention a fascinating, worthwhile, and totally unprecedented group challenge-
Schmidheiny was turned down by the chairmen of several of the largest banks in the world. The reason? At that point, the bankers literally could not see the connection between what they did for a living and the future of the planet. As one bank chairman put it at the time: "But we don't cut down any trees here at the bank; your mission has nothing to do with us." Well, there you have it, then! Silly us for even asking!"
-Matthew J. Kiernan, Ph.D.
Investing in a sustainable World
"....Mr. Haldane's thinking isn't confined to an ivory tower. The Bank of England will become directly responsible for regulating British lenders should the conservative opposition win the general election. Moreover Mr. Haldane has put forward some startling numbers.
Using credit ratings to help quantify the implicit support bankers enjoy from the government, he estimates Britain's largest lenders benefited from an average taxpayer subsidy of 55 Billion (pounds) a year($82.87 billion), over the last three years. An alternative approach, looking at the relative financing costs of big and small banks, suggests the annual subsidy is worth 30 billion pounds."
New York Times April 1,2010 "Britain Questions 'Too Big to Fail"
"Bernie Madoff had a pretty good credit score," said Matthew Lesser, a Connecticut state representative who introduced a bill early last year that would have limited employers' use of credit reports. "And yet there is this consistent message that if you have a bad credit score, there is something wrong with you."
Jerry K. Palmer, a psychology professor at Eastern Kentucky University, said his studies, though relatively small, found no correlation between the quality of an employee's credit report and that worker's job performance or likelihood to quit.
He said he was not aware of any studies that showed a correlation between poor credit and employee fraud or violence. But he noted that more research was needed to show what credit reports could predict.
Even so, the industry that sells credit checks has remained firm, mounting a counterattack against legislation with some success. Bills introduced in California, Maryland and Connecticut, for example, have been stalled amid opposition from credit bureaus and other businesses.
In arguing against the legislation in Connecticut, Mr. Rosenberg, director of state government relations for TransUnion, testified, "This restriction could jeopardize the health and safety of many Connecticut residents who have come to rely on safe and secure environments, and risks the financial status of businesses across the state."
Mr. Rosenberg did not return messages seeking comment. A spokesman for TransUnion, Steven Katz, reiterated the company's stance that credit reports were a valuable tool for employers......."
-New York Times article April 10, 2010
New York Times article Sunday April 25 , 2010 "Goldman Cited 'Serious' Profit on Mortgages" by Louise Story & Sewell Chan
In late 2007, as the mortgage crisis gained momentum and many banks were suffering losses, Goldman Sachs executives traded e-mail messages saying that they would make "some serious money" betting against the housing markets..."
"It wasn't even an explicit assumption anymore....It became an explicit assumption that the government would always rescue Goldman."
-Simon Jolson Professor MIT
"The system seems to be rife with conflicts of interest"
USING FAKE PROBLEMS TO BLOCK REAL SOLUTIONS
"Firms have jobs, but can't find appropriate workers. The workers want to work, but can't find appropriate jobs. It is hard to see how the Fed can do much to cure this problem."
-Narayana Kocherlakota President of the Minneapolis Federal Bank
"People don't have the job skills for the jobs that are open."*
-Bill Clinton *
"Well, I'd respectfully suggest that Mr. Clinton talk to researchers of the Roosevelt Institute and the Economic Policy Institute, both of which have recently released important reports completely debunking claims of a surge in structural unemployment."
-Paul Krugman "Structure Of Excuses" New York Times Mon, September 27,2010
"Countries can outgrow a history of repeated bouts with high inflation, but no country yet has graduated from banking crises."
Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff
This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
"I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling on a large scale."
"The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done."
From a report by a federal panel that concluded that the financial crisis was an avoidable disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street
"As the United States struggled to emerge from the financial crisis, questions abounded about what could be done to encourage banks to increase lending to consumers and businesses. Rather than lending, the nation's largest institutions were devoting increasing amounts of capital to their trading businesses, which are inherently speculative in nature. In other words, they were using their capital, which had effectively become government insured, to speculate in securities rather than lend it to businesses that could create jobs, and fund research and development and otherwise add to the productive capacity of the economy. As a business proposition, choosing speculation over production makes a great deal of short-term sense-the returns offered by speculating in government-supported financial markets are far richer than the profits that could be earned making loans to shaky consumers and businesses reeling from a deep recession. But financial institutions serve a dual role in society; they do not merely exist to earn profits but also serve a public utility function whereby they are empowered to make capital available to support a healthy economy. it is with respect to this public utility function that they receive government licensure. It is also ostensibly for the purpose of fulfilling this role that the U.S. government bailed out these institutions to the tune of trillions of dollars in 2008 after their business practices proved to have been reckless and threatened the entire financial system with ruin. Society has yet to draw a clear line between the business-for-profit and public utility function of its largest financial institutions, but this may be the most important post-crisis economies in the wake of the death of capital in 2008."
How Creative Policy Can Restore Stability: The Death of Capital
"By the time the total damage from the credit crisis is tallied, trillions of dollars of capital will have been destroyed. But it would be more correct to say that this capital was murdered. And as much as we would like to blame failures of human character and emotion (green and fear), we must also blame failures of human intellect (stupidity). The most highly educated segment of our population-the PhDs, the MBAs, the JDs-made inexcusable errors of judgment, raising legitimate questions about the utility of such degrees when they fail to include a modicum of common sense and, more important, common decency in their curricula. As the holder of more than one of these degrees, this author is highly aware of their shortcomings."
How Creative Policy Can Restore Stability: The Death of Capital
BANKERS AND THEIR BONUSES The New York Times Feb 6, 2011
"Bankers are done with contrition. Lloyd Blankfein chief executive of Goldman Sachs, paid himself a $12.6 million stock bonus for 2010, 40 percent more than in 2000, despite plummeting profits. Brian Moynihan of Bank of America got $9 million in restricted stock despite the bank's 2.2 billion loss.
An analysis by The Wall Street Journal found that pay and benefits at the top 25 publicly traded banks and security firms on Wall Street hit a record of $135.5 billion.
This return of outsize self-remuneration suggests more needs to be done to tame bankers' appetite for high-risk financial strategies that shower them with profits in good times and leave the taxpayers holding the bag when their bets go bad..."
"...the biggest obstacle to recovery isn't the financial condition of major banks, which were bailed out once and are now profiting from the widespread perception that they'll be bailed out again if anything goes wrong. it is, instead, the overhang of household debt combined with paralysis in the housing market. Getting banks to clear up mortgage debts-instead of stringing families along to extract a few more dollars-would help, not hurt, the economy.
In the days and weeks ahead, we'll see pro-banker politicians denounce the proposed settlement, asserting that it's all about defending the rule of law. But what they're actually defending is the exact opposite-a system in which only the little people have to obey the law, while the rich, and bankers especially, can cheat and defraud without consequences."
-Paul Krugman "Another Inside Job" The New York Times March 14,2011
"Though bad history shows every sign of repeating itself on Wall Street, it will take a near-miracle for Angelides to repeat Pecora's triumph. Our zoo of financial skullduggery is far more complex, with many more moving pieces, than that of the the 1920s....."
The Other Plot to Wreck America by Frank Rich The New York Times Sunday, Jan 10,2011
"Do not let someone making an "incentive" bonus manage a nuclear plant-or your financial risks. Odds are he would cut every corner on safety to show "profits" while claiming to be "conservative." Bonuses do not accommodate the hidden risks of blow-ups..it is the asymmetry of the bonus system that got us here."
-Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"Why was our money used to make these high-flying gamblers whole while ordinary Americans received no such beneficence?
" Lionized by some, Greenspan's reign as Federal Reserve chairman will likely be judged by history as an abject failure of policy and intellect. Greenspan himself felt compelled to admit that his worldview was flawed when, early in 2009, he told congress that he had relied on his belief that financial actors would act in their own best interest while failing to understand that individual self-interest is often contrary to the public interest. In an exchange with Representative Henry Waxman, Greenspan admitted that "those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity-myself especially-are in a state of shocked disbelief." Waxman responded by saying, "In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working." The former chairman responded, "Absolutely, precisely (perhaps the clearest answer Greenspan had ever given to Congress). You know, that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well." Had he been a student of Hyman Minsky instead of Any Rand, Greenspan would not have made such a fatal error."
"Bear in mind, too, that experience has made it painfully clear that men in suits not only don't have any monopoly on wisdom, they have very little wisdom to offer. When talking heads on say, CNBC mock the protesters as unserious, remember how many serious people assured us that there was no housing bubble, that Alan Greenspan was an oracle and that budget deficits would send interest rates soaring."
-Paul Krugman "Confronting the Malefactors" The New York Times Oct 7,2011
"the self-interest of bankers, leveraged investors, and investment producers can lead the economy to inflationary expansions and unemployment-creating, contractions. Supply and demand analysis-in which market processes lead to an equilibrium-does not explain the behavior of a capitalist economy, for capitalist financial processes mean that the economy has endogenous destabilizing forces. Financial fragility, which is a prerequisite for financial instability, is, fundamentally, a result of internal market process. "
"Existing empirical research has shown that providing assistant to banks and their borrowers can be counterproductive, resulting in increased losses to banks, which often abuse forbearance to take unproductive risks at government expense. The typical result of forbearance is a deeper hole in the net worth of banks, crippling tax burdens to finance bank bailouts, and even more severe credit supply contraction and economic decline than would have occurred in the absence of forbearance."
-an IMF study of 124 banking crises
"In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending. In the second act, the bubbles burst-but bankers were bailed out by tax-payers, with remarkably few strings attached, even as ordinary workers continued to suffer the consequences of the bankers' sins. And, in the third act, bankers swhowed their gratitude by turning on the people who had saved them, throwing their support-and the wealth they still possessed thanks to the bailouts-behind politicans who promised to keep their taxes low and dismantle the mild regulations erected in the aftermath of the crisis.
Given this history, how can you not applaud the protesters for finally taking a stand?"
-Paul Krugman "Confronting the malefactors" The New York Times Oct 7,2011
"The final lesson is the most disquieting: that the conspiracy theorists have got it completely wrong. Far from making the weather, bankers to the world like Mr. Rhodes are buffeted from one unpredictable storm to another: They are forever on the verge of being ruined by events. And they rely on the seat of their pants as much as the power of their intellects. Mr. Rhodes is rightly proud of his record in defusing debt bombs, and calming financial storms. Let's hope that his successors will be able to make similar boasts for decades to come."
-Book review of "Banker To The World by William R. Rhodes...by Adrian Woolridge New York Times Wednesday, June 8,2011
See Article: The Snaked Truth: What really happened to the Dollar? by Joey Best Green Magazine Issue 4/2009
See Article: "Too Big to Jail? by Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery Editors of Mother Jones/Jan/Feb 2010
See article: "Sell green, Buy Coal" by Andy Kroll in Mother Jones, May/ June 2010...about what the Major Bankers say and what the actually do vis-a-vis Coal.....JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup-announced with much fanfare the creation of a landmark agreement , the "Carbon Principles, " to disclose investments in dirty energy projects and shift billions toward green and renewable energy sources. Soon, more big banks joined up. Together with a similar effort begun in 2003 "Equator Principles"), the venture was heralded as a sea change in Big Finance's approach to energy investment. Did it deliver?
"Rife with conflicts of interest indeed!"
article: New York Times Sunday Opinion "The Other Plot to Wreck America" by Frank Rich Sun, Jan 10, 2010
CONGRESS NEEDS A NEW INQUIRY INTO THE BANKING MELTDOWN. Frank Parnoy "Washington's Financial Disaster The New York Times Sunday, Jan 30, 2011
WRONGFUL FORECLOSURES Regulators don't know how many foreclosures are improper, and won't ask....
"A lot of people will still be paying off their student loans when it's time for their kids to go to college." Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org and Fastweb.com. who has compiled estimates of student debt, which outpaced credit card debt for he first time last year. Student loan debt is likely to top a trillion dollars this year as more students go to college: and a growing share borrow money to do so."
"When the panic of 2008 occurred, the Fed did what central banks are called to-do when pandemonium strikes: As the lender of last resort, we....used the power given to us by our government to create money and credit....the Fed-as the nations central bank and first responder to a financial crisis-was front and center in dealing with the panic, and we felt the sting of a rattled public and its elected representatives....We now know that the exigent measures we undertook worked. Our job is done."
Richard Fisher, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president
"Over the years, the Fed has been granted ever more leeway in the means it uses to inflate the money supply. It can now buy just about anything it wants and write it down as an asset. When it buys debt, it buys with newly created money. it maintains a strict system of low-reserve ratios that allows banks to pile loans on top of deposits and take the new deposits as the basis for ever more loans. it can set the federal funds rate at a level to its liking and influence interest across the entire economy. it intervenes in currency markets and other markets."
End The Fed
"Most Americans probably don't know this. Apparently, the Fed's job is to push for deregulation of financial markets, sit pat as all kinds of ne'er-do-wells game an increasingly loose financial system, sing the praises of adjustable-rate mortgages for unwary consumers, claim all these subprime-loan losses will be contained, scoff at predictions of a looming recession and, when the whole thing blows, be a "first responder" to the inevitable financial crisis."
Imagine a fire department that acted this way...."
-Al Lewis DowJones Newswire
"Fresh banking crisis possible, Fed's Hoenig says...."
April 13, 2011
The advent of the Fed represented "the beginning of the end of laissez-faire."
"Today, Mr. Wahab is general manager of the Afghan central-bank branch near the Khyber Pass, a middle-age man who carries tinted bifocals in his vest pocket and chooses Diet Pepsi over regular. Mr. Wahab and the two other Stinger gunners at the airfield that day-Zalmai and Abdul Ghaffar-have now joined the post-jihad establishment. Mr. Zalmai is sub-governor of Shinwar District, and Mr. Ghaffar is a member of parliament.
They nurse a gauzy nostalgia for the joys of being young jihadists. "Those were good, exciting times," Mr. Wahab says. "Now I'm a banker. It's boring."
"Launching the Missile That made History: Three former mujahedeen recall the day when they started to beat the Soviets" by Michael M. Phillips The Wall Street Journal Sat/Sun OPctober 1-2,2011
"While the Rest of the Country struggles, the Fed has decided to reward bankers."
"The dividend-boosting banks that were too big to fail before the crisis are even bigger now....."
Editorial The New York Times march 31,2011
"The sack of the United States by the Fed is the greatest crime in history."
".....maybe Wall Street should open a casino right there on the corner of Broad, because these guys simply cannot lose. After kneecapping the global economy, costing millions their homes and livelihoods, and saddling our grandchildren with massive debt-after all that, they're cashing in their bonuses from 2008. That's right, 2008-when amid the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the $700 billion TARP legislation (a mere 5 percent of a $14 trillion bailout; humiliated banks rolled back executive bonuses. Or so we thought: In fact, those bonuses were simply reconfigured to have a higher proportion of company stock. Those shares weren't worth so much at the time, as the execs made a point of telling congress, but that meant they could only go up, and by the time they did, the public (suckers) would have forgotten the whole exercise. It worked out beautifully: the value of JPMorgan Chase's 2008 bonuses has increased 20 percent to $10.5 billion, an average of nearly $6 million for the top 200 execs. Goldman's 2008 bonuses are worth $7.8 billion.
And why are bank stocks worth more now? Because of the bailout, of course. Bankers aren't being rewarded for pulling the economy out of the doldrums. Nope, they're simply skimming from the trillions we've shoveled at them. The house always winds. Indeed, 2009 bonususes are expected be 30 to 40 percent higher than 2008's. and don't forget AIG, which paid the same division who helped cook up collateral debt obligations and credit default swaps "retention bonuses" worth $475 million, in some execs' cases 36 times their base salaries.
As anyone who watches Dog Whisperer knows, rewarding bad behavior produces more of the same-so it's no surprise that Wall Street is back to business as usual. Derivatives are still unregulated (thanks, Congress!), exotic sliced-and-diced securities are being resliced and rediced, and the biggest offenders in peddling subprime mortgages? They are raking in millions in federal grants to-wait for it-fix subprime mortgages.
And the worst part? These fat-cat recidivists don't even have the decency to fake contrition. The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin says that whenever he asked Wall Street CEOs "Do you have any remorse? Are you sorry? The answer, almost unequivocally, was no." When asked by Mojo's Stephanie Mencimer if he regretted helping to bring down the economy, former AIG CEO hang Greenberg said flatly, "No, I think we had a very good record." Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO (his haul between 2006-2008: $157 million) went so far to tell the Times of London, "We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital! It's a virtuous cycle. We have a social purpose.' Bankers like him are "doing God's work."......
-TOO BIG TO JAIL? Time to fix Wall Street's accountability deficit.....Editors of Mother Jones Jan/Feb 2010
.....First off, no security is more derivative than a share of stock, which is not really ownership of a company (though it's usually claimed so) but merely a right to whatever cash management deigns to share, plus a right to whatever is left over in a bankruptcy, plus a right to participate in corporate governance in whatever limited ways a company's by laws permit.
Only an infinitesimal fraction of share sales actually finance something "real." Most are exchanges between one partner and another. Too, any serious person knows that the best guarantee of performance is not a company's bylaws, or the SEC, but making sure the CEO owns a large chunk of stock."
-Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. "Is Financial Innovation the Enemy? Wall Street Journal
"And so the Federal Reserve System was organized in 1913. It consisted of twelve regional Federal Reserve banks nominally owned by Private bankers, but in fact, government sponsored, controlled, and supported. Credit extended by these banks is in practice (thought not legally) backed by the Taxing power of the federal government."
-Alan Greenspan 1967
"Regrettably, we did little to address the problem"
"An avalanche is brewing in 2012 and beyond if companies don't get in front of this."
-Kevin Cassidy, a senior credit analyst at Moody's. More, than $700 billion in risky, high-yield corporate debt will come due in a three-year period starting in 2012, a surge that some analysts fear could overload the debt markets..."
"Insolvent banks and financial institutions must be shut down, purging insolvency from the system. We must restore the market principle of freedom to fail.
If some banks are recapitalized with taxpayer money, taxpayers should get ownership stakes in return, and the entire board should be kicked out. But before any such taxpayer participation can be contemplated, it is essential to first apply big haircuts to bondholders.
For sovereign debt, the freedom to fail is again key. Significant restructuring is needed for genuine recovery. Yes, markets will punish defaulting states, but they are also quick to forgive. Current plans are destroying the real economies of Europe through elevated taxes and transfers of wealth from ordinary families to the coffers of insolvent states and banks. A restructuring that left a country's debt burden at a manageable level and encouraged a return to growth-oriented policies could lead to a swift return to international and debt markets."
-Timo Soini "Why I don't Support Europe's Bailouts" Wall Street Journal May 10,2011
"Who Benefits from Economic Stagnation?
"....No, the only real beneficiaries of Pain Caucus policies (aside from the Chinese government) are the rentiers: bankers and wealthy individuals with lots of bonds in their portfolios."
-Paul Krugman New York Times June 10,2011
FED SECRETLY LOANED $1,2 Trillion To BANKS!!!by Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz Bloomsberg News
The good ship Goldman sets sail for Singapore by Jim Hightower.... "You might recall that the public rationale for this governmental rescue of private banks was that they would then have the capital to invest in job-creating enterprises....However, they took the money and ran, leaving America's workaday families mired in a jobless swamp with no relief in sight.."
We Knew They Got Raises. But This? by Pradnya Joshi The New York Times July 3,2011
article: Capital City: A year after the biggest bailout in US history, Wall Street lobbyists don't just have influence in Washington. They own it lock, stock, and barrel." by Kevin Drum Mother Jones Jan/feb 2010
article: Goldman Fined $10 million for Tips Sent to Big Clients New York Times June 10,2011
article: Big Banks Penalized for Performance in Mortgage Modification Program by Andrew martin New York Times June 10,2011
"CitiGroup is lucky that Muamar el-Qaddafi was killed when he was. The Libyan leader's death diverted attention from a lethal article involving Citigroup that deserved more attention because it helps to explain why many average Americans have expressed support tot he Occupy Wall Street movement. The news was that Citigroup had to pay a $285 million fine to settle a case in which, with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers-securities that it new were likely to go bust-and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities-that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust.
It doesn't get any more immoral than this. As the Securities and Exchange Commission civil complain noted, in 2007, Citigroup exercised "significant influence" over choosing $500 million of the $1 billion worth of assets in the deal, and the global bank deliberately chose collateralized debt obligations, or D.D.O.'s built from mortgage loans almost sure to fail. According to the Wall Street Journal, the S.E.C. complaint quoted one unnamed C.D.O. trader out-side Citigroup as describing the portfolio as resembling something your dog leaves on your neighbors lawn. "The deal became largely worthless within months of its creation," The Journal added. "As a result, about 15 hedge funds, investment managers and other firms that invested in the deal lost hundreds of millions of dollars, while Citigroup made $100 million in fees and trading profits."
-Thomas L. Friedman "Did you Hear the One About the Bankers?" The New York Times Oct 30,2011
"Every aspect of America seems permeated with debt, and that should be worrisome to All who are more prudent. This incomprehensible, staggering debt weights heavily upon society and there is only one entity that benefits; that being the elitist cartel of banks.
When he Soviet Union collapsed, it was not because Communism was defeated, but rather it was a collapse of their currency caused by insurmountable debt."
-Richard D Caccavale
"Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2,3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2011 which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street."
"It's Not Technically An Oligopoly: In capitalism, failure is as important as success. But market rules don't apply to the biggest banks."
by Adam Davidson article: The New York Times Magazine Dec 11,2011
Article: "How Regulators Herded Banks Into Trouble" by Peter J. Wallison The Wall Street Journal Dec 3-4, 2011
Book: "Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence" by Tim Parks
Book: "Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon" by Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner
Book: "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule The World" by William D. Cohan
Book: "The Knights Templar's: God's Warriors, the Devil's Bankers" by Frank Sanello
Book: "Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence" by Tim Parks
Book: "The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co. William D. Cohan
Book: "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World" by Liaquat Ahmad
Book: "The Theory of Money and Credit" by Ludwig von Mises
Book: "WE Bankers" by Andrae Nordskog
Book: "The Rise and Fall of Bear Stearns" by Alan C. Greenberg with Mark Singer
Chasing Goldman Sachs: How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall street Down....and Why They'll Take Us to the Brink Again." by Suzanne McGee
Book: "The Devil's Broker: Seeking Gold, God, and Glory in Fourteenth-Century Italy" by Frances Stonor Saunders
Book: "Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit, and the Era of Predatory Lenders" by James Scurlock
Book: "The World's Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations" by Sebastian Mallaby
Book: "The Origins of Banking: The Primitive Bank of Deposit, 1200-1600, The Economics History Review, Vol.IV,No 4 (April 1934,by Abbot Payson Usher
Book: "The Confidence Game: How Unelected Central Bankers Are Governing the Changed Global Economy." By Steven Solomon
Book: "Alan Shrugged: Alan Greenspan, the World's Most Powerful Banker" by Jerome Tuccille
Book: "Greenspan's Fraud: How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy" by Ravi Batra
Book: "Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe 1989-1998" by Janine R. Wedel
Book: "The World's Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations" by Sebastian Mallaby
Book: "The Devil's Casino: friendship, Betrayal, and the High-Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman brothers" by Vicky Ward
Book: "The Truth About Switzerland" by Angelo M. Codevilla
Book: "Morgan: American Financier" by Jean Strouse
Book: "Hot Money and the Politics of Debt" by R.T. Naylor
Book: "The Money Lenders: Banker's and a World In Turmoil" by Anthony Sampson
Book: "Hamilton's Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of our National Debt" by John Steele Gordon
Book: "Empire of Debt" by Bill Bonner
Book: "And The Money Kept Rolling In: Wall Street, the IMF and the Bankrupting of Argentina " by Paul Blustein
Book: "A Colossal Failure of Common Sense" by Lawrence G. McDonald, with Patrick Robinson
Book: "Deception and Abuse at the Fed" by Robert Auerbach
Book: "Red Capitalism" by Carl E. Walter and Fraser J.T. Howie
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