Category: American National Debt


File:VH-3D Marine One over Washington DC May 2005.jpg

Official U.S. Marine Corps photo 050521-N-0295M-097 [1] from the USMC website [2]

A U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King helicopter, assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 (HMX-1), in flight over Washington D.C. on 21 May 2005.

By  :  PH2(AW) Daniel J. McLain

Wikimedia.org

 

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Monday, 12 May 2014 09:47

$1.2 Billion for New White House Helicopters Just the Beginning

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It didn’t take long for critics to scoff at the costs of the latest effort to upgrade the fleet of presidential helicopters announced by the Defense Department on Wednesday, May 7. They say the $1.2-billion contract awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation will be just the beginning.

There are at least two reasons to be skeptical: the open-ended nature of the White House requirements, and recent history.

The Department of Defense outlined its requirements, stating that Marine Helicopter Squadron One, which currently operates 19 presidential helicopters, must provide “safe and timely transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States, heads of state and others as directed by the White House Military Office.”

In addition, each aircraft must be equipped with various self-defense features such as bulletproof glass and body panels, as well as specialized communications equipment that allows the president to maintain “critical command functions” while airborne. Each helicopter must be large enough to carry up to 14 passengers and several thousand pounds of baggage while being small enough to operate from the White House lawn.

Each must have a minimum range of 300 miles and carry a full complement of defensive countermeasures to thwart heat-seeking and radar-directed missiles and also be hardened against an EMP (electromagnetic pulse), either from an enemy or from the sun. It must be able to send and receive encrypted communications and hold secure teleconferences while in flight.

And each must have air-conditioning and a toilet.

Under the contract Sikorsky promises to deliver two prototypes by 2016, with another 21 fully operational aircraft six years later.

Several questions arise. First, why so many? After all, there’s just one president and one vice president. According to Helimart.com, anytime the president flies somewhere by helicopter, four other helicopters are alongside him. They fly in varying formations to keep the president’s aircraft as disguised as possible. This is often referred to as the presidential “shell game.” In addition, with a helicopter’s range of just 300 miles, a longer trip must “cache” additional aircraft along the route.

 

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A diagram showing the organization of the Federal Reserve System

 

Wikimedia.org

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An Irredeemably Bad Deal

Obama, Geithner and the Missing Six Trillion Dollars

by ROB URIE

Timothy Geithner, President Barack Obama’s first Treasury Secretary and chief architect of many of the various and sundry bank bailouts and associated programs carried out during Mr. Obama’s first term in office, recently wrote a book telling his side of ‘the story.’ To be clear, I haven’t read the book and have no intention of doing so. Life is short and the relevant side of the story, the economic consequences of Mr. Geithner’s policies, is the one of interest here. The prevailing storyline in the banker’s ghettoes of New York and London is of an indispensable and functioning financial system saved and a second Great Depression averted through Mr. Geithner’s necessary but unpopular programs to transfer public resources to nominally private corporations— Wall Street banks, in order to save them. Implied is that the travails Wall Street faced in 2008 – 2009 were the result of ‘natural’ forces and that its restoration is substantially related to restoration of ‘the economy.’ Mainstream economists have put forward variations on this latter claim through repeated assertion that ‘the economy,’ as measured by GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and the official unemployment rate, has ‘recovered’ to pre-recession levels.

urie1a

Graph (1): Contrary to the view on Wall Street and within the Western economic establishment restoration of Wall Street has not ‘fixed’ the economy. The policies of Mr. Geithner, the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve have ‘fixed’ profits, compensation and bonuses for Wall Street. The drop in median income is evidence of ongoing economic Depression for most citizens of the West. Assertions to the contrary by Mr. Geithner, the Obama administration and the ‘eternal sunshine of the spotless mind’ crowd of Western economists are evidence of whose interests they represent. Apparent in the recovery of financial profits without a recovery in household incomes is that Wall Street doesn’t need a functioning economy to earn ‘profits.’

 

 

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The Fed Is The Great Deceiver — Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler

 

Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler

Is the Fed “tapering”? Did the Fed really cut its bond purchases during the three month period November 2013 through January 2014? Apparently not if foreign holders of Treasuries are unloading them.

From November 2013 through January 2014 Belgium with a GDP of $480 billion purchased $141.2 billion of US Treasury bonds. Somehow Belgium came up with enough money to allocate during a 3-month period 29 percent of its annual GDP to the purchase of US Treasury bonds.

Certainly Belgium did not have a budget surplus of $141.2 billion. Was Belgium running a trade surplus during a 3-month period equal to 29 percent of Belgium GDP?

No, Belgium’s trade and current accounts are in deficit.

Did Belgium’s central bank print $141.2 billion worth of euros in order to make the purchase?

No, Belgium is a member of the euro system, and its central bank cannot increase the money supply.

So where did the $141.2 billion come from?

There is only one source. The money came from the US Federal Reserve, and the purchase was laundered through Belgium in order to hide the fact that actual Federal Reserve bond purchases during November 2013 through January 2014 were $112 billion per month.

In other words, during those 3 months there was a sharp rise in bond purchases by the Fed. The Fed’s actual bond purchases for those three months are $27 billion per month above the original $85 billion monthly purchase and $47 billion above the official $65 billion monthly purchase at that time. (In March 2014, official QE was tapered to $55 billion per month and to $45 billion for May.)

Why did the Federal Reserve have to purchase so many bonds above the announced amounts and why did the Fed have to launder and hide the purchase?

Some country or countries, unknown at this time, for reasons we do not know dumped $104 billion in Treasuries in one week.

 

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In this April 10, 2014 photo, Jennifer Stickney, a recruiter for Right at Home, which provides in-home care and assistance, answers questions from nursing students at a job fair on the campus of Kaplan University in Lincoln, Neb. The Labor Department on Friday, May 2, 2014 said U.S. employers added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, the most in two years, the strongest evidence to date that the economy is picking up after a brutal winter slowed growth. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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In this April 10, 2014 photo, Jennifer Stickney, a recruiter for Right at Home, which provides in-home care and assistance, answers questions from nursing students at a job fair on the campus of Kaplan University in Lincoln, Neb. The Labor Department on Friday, May 2, 2014 said U.S. employers added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, the most in two years, the strongest evidence to date that the economy is picking up after a brutal winter slowed growth. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Any period of unemployment can have a crippling effect on a worker’s career and finances. But to be both young and unemployed in America presents its own set of unique challenges.

Workers under the age of 30 have contended with five solid years of double-digit unemployment — 19% for 16- to 19-year-olds and 10.6% for 20- to 24-year-olds at last count. The economy is slowly improving and there are jobs to be had again. The overall U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in April as 288,000 jobs were added — the highest in two years, the Labor Department announced Friday.  But young people who haven’t been able to find work are now struggling to compete in a tough job market with little experience.

“The longer you’re not in the workforce, the harder it is to get back in,” says Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of the Young Invincibles. “Employers look at resumes and there are a lot of young people working outside of their field of study. You can imagine all those things can make it harder to build a career.”

As many as one in five high school graduates and one in 10 college graduates are considered “disconnected youths,” those who are not working or enrolled in college, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.

“There is little evidence that young adults have been able to ‘shelter in school’ from the labor market effects of the Great Recession,” the authors write. “Increases in college and university enrollment rates between 2007 and 2012 were no greater than before the recession began—and since 2012, college enrollment rates have dropped substantially.”

If these “idle” young people were factored into unemployment rates, it would raise the combined rate of unemployment for 16- to 25-year-olds from 14.5% to 18.1%.

And of those young people who have managed to find work, nearly half are considered to be underemployed, often working in part-time jobs that may have little or nothing to do with their chosen career path. What’s more, young people who graduate in 2014 will likely earn less than they would have if they had graduated in a stronger economy, the EPI report says.

Wages for high school graduates have dropped by 9.8% since the recession and wages for young college graduates fell by 6.9%.

Youth unemployment isn’t just a “young people” problem either. A recent report by the Young Invincibles estimates it has cost the U.S. economy nearly $9 billion in lost tax revenue since 2007. Each unemployed 18- to 24-year-old represents an estimated $3,200 in lost tax revenue, and each 25- to 34-year-old costs more than twice as much: $7,000.  And with nearly one-third of millennials living at home with their parents, parents who might have otherwise been enjoying the relief of an empty nest must instead continue their roles as financial guardians.

The reality is that young people are disproportionately impacted by economic downturns and no matter how much the U.S. economy improves, they will be feeling the effects of the recession for many years to come.

We spoke with several young people under the age of 30 — all solidly in the “underemployed” camp — who are struggling to launch their careers.

 

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Photo: Sara Beck

“My resume is a work of art.”

Sara Beck, 28, has spent the better part of a year trying and failing to find a full-time marketing position in Plymouth, Minn.

Her troubles have little to do with her lack of education or job skills: She has an MBA in international business, spent six years working abroad, and speaks perfect Spanish.

“My problem is that I’m either too experienced or not experienced enough for some of the jobs I want,” she says. “I had a really promising interview, but I got an email recently that they decided to go with candidates whose experience aligned more with the requirements. It was an entry-level position.”

While Beck pursues a career in the U.S., her husband, a Chilean national, stayed behind in Santiago to work on obtaining a work visa. She’s caring for their daughter on her own while living with relatives until she can find work.

“I can’t send my daughter to the daycare of my choice because I’m saving money,” she says. “I have more than $70,000 left in student loan debt. It’s insane to think about.

In the meantime, she has cobbled together enough freelance work to stay afloat — writing, editing and translating gigs that put food on the table but don’t necessarily improve her odds of landing a marketing job.

“I try to take a job in, say, content writing and apply it to a job as a business analyst,” she says. “My resume is a work of art.”

 

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BLM Selling Out America-Fabian Calvo

Fabian Calvo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com   (Early Sunday Release)

Real estate expert Fabian Calvo thinks the recent standoff between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy is about much more than grazing rights.  Even though this standoff is over, we find out It’s really about sweetheart deals for federal land.  Calvo says, “The hair on the back of my neck stood up when I was doing research for this and speaking to some of my contacts on Wall Street.  The BLM is part of the Department of the Interior, and look at what they have been doing?  Through the BLM, the Department of the Interior has been confiscating land and going after land, for example, in the high desert in California and all over the place.  What I am hearing is they are categorizing this land for future collateralization or to sell off.  In the Weimar (Germany) hyperinflation, after the hyperinflation, what did they back their currency with?  They backed it with mortgages and they backed it with land.  This is a total possibility here in America, but here’s the part that is more sinister and crazy.  The Department of the Interior and BLM have been providing sweetheart deals for Chinese investors.  I have a laundry list of deals that have been approved just in the last year.  Whether it’s Smithfield, a giant hog producer in America, and all of the farm land, overnight, the Chinese became the number one employer in a ton of cities across the U.S., but it doesn’t stop there.  Chinese investors are getting approval for solar fields.  There are battery companies they have taken over, and the list goes on and on.  The USDA gave the Chinese approval to import their chickens.  Why is this happening?  It is an end of the road situation.  It is just like where America was with England when we were exercising leverage over them around WWII because we were the largest creditor nation.  Now, we are the largest debtor nation, and we owe all this money to the Chinese.  In order to not have them dump our debt, we’re basically allowing them, through the Department of the Interior who is stealing rancher land and killing their cattle, they are selling out America.” 

 

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Fabian Calvo: BLM and Deals for Chinese Investors, Imploding Dollar and Housing Market Crash

 

Published on Apr 13, 2014

Fabian Calvo from TheNoteHouse.us says, “Real investors are scared to death of the imploding U.S. dollar. . . . Not everybody is a gold investor, and real estate is a tangible hard asset that can be rented out. I think home prices could go up until we have another full blown collapse. I think the collapse of the housing market will be coupled with the stock market collapse, the bond market collapse and the dollar collapse. Everything will blow at once.”

As far as the recent crisis between the federal government and the Bundy ranch in Nevada, Calvo says, “I think this Bundy ranch situation could be the Lexington and Concord of the Second American Revolution. Through the BLM, the Department of the Interior has been confiscating land and going after land . . . The Department of Interior and BLM has been providing sweetheart deals for Chinese investors.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Fabian Calvo from TheNoteHouse.us.

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I stumbled onto this blog ( The Last Great Stand) today and  found something  that  I  felt  I  needed to  share.  There  is  so  much  information here.  So  much research and  data  has  been  compiled that I was  compelled. 

For those  who are teetering on the  fence……

It is  time  to open your  eyes  and  see the possibilities of what  our  future could very  well be. 

Do  we  know  for  sure any of this  will take place?

No one  can  be  100% sure.

Was  anyone 100% sure  that the  Great Depression  would take  place?

I am  betting that  those  who took  their lives  after the  crash  , never in their  wildest  dreams  thought anything quite like that  would take  place.     I am  also  willing to  bet  they  would have laughed at  anyone warning them of  the  impending doom  about  to  descend on their prosperous lives.

Still feeling strong  in your  convictions  of  ridicule and  conspiracy theory labeling?

How many listened  when the financial trouble  of  2008 was being  discussed?

It hit  most  like a  runaway train.

Question is  ……has it  rattled  your  sense  of  reality  enough to  bring you out of  your little  idyllic  dream world?

If  it  has , then do not let the  length  nor the  volume  of  information  in these presentations  deter you.  Here  you  will find  information  you  may  already  be  aware  of  and  items  that  had  never even  occurred to you.  In  either  case  it is  well worth the  time invested.

I  hope  you  will give it a  go ,  you have  nothing to  lose  but a  bit  of  time  and  so  much  to  gain.

For those  who are  still poo pooing good luck to  you .  I  sincerely  wish you  well.

~Desert Rose~

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MY PERSONAL PREDICTIONS IN DETAIL
JUST USING COMMON SENSE
(WITH A TOUCH FROM PARTS I-IX)

 

For anyone interested in learning just how screwed the U.S. is, I am doing what will end up being about 10 Part Series. Many people laugh when you mention the Dollar collapsing and Martial Law. I’m afraid it’s no laughing matter. I put these together to explain to the nay sayers as best I could:

by reasonvoice

The Last Great Stand

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The Last Great Stand

 

Part I: Saudi Arabia Acting Like an Anchor Weight Around the Petrodollar…

by reasonvoice

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The largest oil exporter in the Middle East has teamed up with the second largest consumer of oil in the world (China) to build a gigantic new oil refinery and the mainstream media in the United States has barely even noticed it.  This mammoth new refinery is scheduled to be fully operational in the Red Sea port city of Yanbu by 2014.  Over the past several years, China has sought to aggressively expand trade with Saudi Arabia, and China now actually imports more oil from Saudi Arabia than the United States does.  In February, China imported 1.39 million barrels of oil per day from Saudi Arabia.  That was 39 percent higher than last February.  So why is this important?  Well, back in 1973 the United States and Saudi Arabia agreed that all oil sold by Saudi Arabia would be denominated in U.S. dollars.  This petrodollar system was adopted by almost the entire world and it has had great benefits for the U.S. economy.  But if China becomes Saudi Arabia’s most important trading partner, then why should Saudi Arabia continue to only sell oil in U.S. dollars?  And if the petrodollar system collapses, what is that going to mean for the U.S. economy?

Those are very important questions, and they will be addressed later on in this article.  First of all, let’s take a closer look at the agreement reached between Saudi Arabia and China recently.

The following is how the deal was described in a recent China Daily article….

In what Riyadh calls “the largest expansion by any oil company in the world”, Sinopec’s deal on Saturday with Saudi oil giant Aramco will allow a major oil refinery to become operational in the Red Sea port of Yanbu by 2014.

The $8.5 billion joint venture, which covers an area of about 5.2 million square meters, is already under construction. It will process 400,000 barrels of heavy crude oil per day. Aramco will hold a 62.5 percent stake in the plant while Sinopec will own the remaining 37.5 percent.

At a time when the U.S. is actually losing refining capacity, this is a stunning development.

Yet the U.S. press has been largely silent about this.

Very curious.

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part II: The Beginning of the End of the Petrodollar: And The United States

by reasonvoice



Throughout history, empires and their civilisations have come and gone. During the first part of the last century, the US quietly built its empire, first in the North and Central Americas and in South America. Soon after the Second World War, the US worked to maximise the advantages it gained, and the power it assumed, between 1943 and 1945, from its victory over Germany and Japan, and as a consequence of massive Soviet casualties, and large British debt and financial burden caused by the war. The USA assumed the leading role in the Western world by, on one hand, containing the Soviet Union and preventing the spread of communist revolution beyond the borders of the Soviet bloc; and on the other hand, ensuring uncontested American supremacy within the Western world.

During the Cold War years, there was little or no challenge to the dominant position of the US in the Western world. However, with the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, the knot tying the basic objectives of the US global strategy together began to come unravelled. Once the communist danger was off the table, American supremacy ceased to be an automatic requirement of the Western system.

Since 20 September 2002, the US government has abandoned its former multilateral approach to global affairs, and adopted an imperial posture known as the so-called Bush doctrine.

This new agenda is based on militarist and imperial values with some theocratic overtones. This current agenda looks much like what some people see in US foreign policy at the end of the 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th, when the US actively sought to dominate the entire Caribbean basin, Central America and even the western Pacific.

Six months after the Bush doctrine was announced, the new American doctrine was applied as a justification for an unprovoked war against Iraq by the neo-conservative administration of the US government. Toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime without the support of the UN, and in the face of strong opposition from traditional US allies, was a clear presentation of a new unilateralist American foreign policy. The “regime change” in Baghdad was not an isolated event, but only an opening salvo in a much broader neo-conservative agenda. The neo-conservatives ‘advocate a paradigm shift in which the United States spreads American values by asserting American power-by force, if necessary’. This agenda seeks to reshape American hegemonic practices according to old imperial doctrines, but with new post-colonial political and military tools.

Since 2005, there is a looming crisis brewing over Iran. In the media the phantom of Iran “threat” is being amplified across the world. In order to justify a military operation against Iran, the neo-conservative rulers of the US have started a demonization campaign against this country, presenting the latest incarnation of America’s enemy, in much the same way Saddam Hussein was in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. They have put a lot of effort into making people believe that Iran is ruled by dangerously crazy people who are trying to make a nuclear bomb, and that they would not hesitate to bomb one or more US cities. In view of such a danger, the only answer is to wage a preventive war. Speculations about possible U.S.-Israel attacks on Iran have reached a stage of war propaganda by Western media. A recent report by the Oxford Research Group revealed that any bombing of Iran by U.S. forces, or by their Israeli allies, would result in the unnecessary death of many innocent lives.

Many observers view the US neo-conservative clique and its agenda as a conspiracy. This article, however, is based on the premise that they are merely part of a larger equation of global economic and political conditions. This view is rooted in an understanding that vested interests representing the energy, electronics, weapons, and influential segments of the media and communications industries in the US are always entrenched in key sectors of government. These interests are concerned with maintaining their privileged position. And key elements of the US economic and political elite are now responding directly to changes in global conditions that have arisen since the end of the Cold War. This is not a conspiracy. It is only business as usual.

Since the end of the Cold War, the US has waged four wars – two in Iraq, one in the former-Yugoslavia, and one in Afghanistan- and is threatening more. All this aggression is not the result of a paranoid theory, but simply a convergence of political and economic interests, travelling under the rubric of “war on terror”. This argument is not based on the image of a few evil people, conspiring in secret, against the people for their evil aims. However, diverging from conspiracy theory does not ignore the fact that indeed there are real conspiracies, criminal or otherwise. In particular, the US political landscape is littered with examples of illegal political, corporate and government conspiracies, such as Watergate, and the Iran-Contra scandal.

Having said that I generally consider the belief in conspiracy theories a pointless diversion of focus, and waste of energy. While real conspiracies have existed throughout history, history itself is not a conspiracy.

Since the end of the Cold War, the power of the United States is in decline. Particularly its share of world trade and manufacturing is substantially less than it was just prior to the end of the Cold War, and its relative economic strength measured against the EU and the East Asian economic group of Japan, China and Southeast Asia is similarly in retreat. The persistent use of US military power can be viewed as a reaction to its declining economic power and not merely as a response to the post-Cold War geopolitical picture. The American neo-conservative leaders see the military power of the US ‘as a trump card that can be employed to prevail over all its rivals’, and thus stop this decline. This is what the Bush administration is trying to achieve: to create a militarised world in which the strength of the US military forces can change and re-define the rules of the game. This is a clear goal, a specific agenda, which does not constitute a conspiracy. It is merely the way in which the system currently works, and the US is taking advantage of existing structural opportunities. This article is an attempt to provide primarily a macroeconomic explanation to the origins of and motivations behind the recent US policies shaped by the neo-conservative Bush administration.

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part III: Why Are We Letting China Buy American companies?

by reasonvoice

CAN YOU IMAGINE THE INFLATION ALL  HITTING THE SYSTEM AT ONCE?

IN MY OPINION, THAT PUTS THE STOCK MARKET’S REAL VALUE AT LESS THAN AN OUNCE OF GOLD WHEN THE FINANCIAL HOUSE OF CARDS FINALLY DOES COME CRASHING DOWN. ITS ALMOST COMPLETELY WORTHLESS, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER IT READS. OF COURSE STOCKS ARE GOING TO PLUNGE!

This takeover, the largest takeover of a US company by a Chinese firm, represents a precedent that will damage the American economy and cost jobs in the long run.

It also may have emboldened China. Weeks after permission was granted by Washington, Beijing claimed the airspace over some contested islands in the East China Sea as “a defense identification zone.” Chinese saber rattling forced the Pentagon to dispatch two unarmed B-52 bombers to fly in the airspace to send a message to China that it was overstepping its bounds.

China’s ambitions are multi-pronged and the Smithfield Foods transaction is another questionable invasion by Beijing. Currently, American authorities only evaluate foreign takeovers on the basis of national-security issues or shareholder rights and securities laws. But these criteria are inadequate.

A fairer test in the case of Smithfield, and future buyout attempts by China, should also require reciprocity: Only corporations from countries that allow Americans to buy large companies should be allowed to buy large American companies.

That’s not the case with China, Middle Eastern sheikhs or Russians. Critics of reciprocity label this as protectionism. It’s not. It’s protectiveness.

Here’s why.

Last year, Chinese banks were also allowed for the first time to buy several financial institutions. Next year, in the absence of curbs, China will likely launch a bid for a sizeable resource company. This was last attempted in 2005, when a Chinese oil giant bid $18.5 billion to buy Unocal Corporation. Congress and the media reacted negatively and the Chinese withdrew the bid.

But Wall Street has been lobbying to allow China in to make big takeovers so it can earn larger fees.
They and others argue that restricting China would be unfair and foolish because American companies have been allowed to invest billions in China. But investments there are restricted to “green fields” — high-risk start-up operations or minority ownership. The fact is that Coca-Cola or General Motors or Maytag cannot take control of an existing, established Chinese rival.

Smithfield has become the branch plant of its new proprietor — a holding company called Shuanghai International Holdings Limited, the biggest meat processor in China. But the ultimate beneficial owner is the Chinese government, and Shuanghai answers to the politics, policies and edicts of Beijing. This is the nature of “China Inc.”

The Smithfield buyout is a great loss because the company has become a huge exporter, to Japan and elsewhere, and has developed, with taxpayer assistance, systems and technologies that are best in class.

Of course, that was why it became a target and why China Inc. overpaid to get it. But the only American beneficiaries will be a handful of investors. The rest of Smithfield’s stakeholders, and the American economy, will be bruised.

The damage includes the fact that Smithfield’s technology, research and development and patents will be transferred to the Chinese parent company. Smithfield will be hollowed out and the head office will be moved to China. Talent will leave.

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part IV: Get Ready America. It’s Going to be US In the Nike Sweatshops Very Soon!

by reasonvoice

  • The Role These Chinese Buys Will Play In Our Downfall
  • What is FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING and why does it matter?
  • I talked about our lack of ability to PRODUCE for ourselves if we had to. 
  • The Article Talks About the Chinese Investments

HOW IS ALL THIS WORKING TOGETHER?

THINK… NONE OF THIS FACTORS OUR DOMESTIC FINANCIAL WOES

ARTICLE BELOW DOES AN UNREAL JOB EXPLAINING THE CURRENT TRANSITION

What Russia has done is allow the Chinese to become the wholesale brokers of Russian oil. The deal is between Russian Rosneft the biggest oil company in the world and  China’s Sinopec.  The deal is valued at $85 billion and will supply China with 100 million tons of Crude oil. On top of that LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) deal was signed that will sell 3 million tons of LNG per year to China as well . The energy deals between the two partners is worth $270 Billion over the course of 25 years. Over 21 trade deals in total have been signed by the two powers and none of them have anything to do with the dollar.

imply incredible is what I can say that has transpired in the last 6 years since the collapse of the US economy in 2008. Folks what we are witnessing right now is the final paragraphs of the final chapter that was the US economic superpower. I am not kidding you nor am I using any form of hyperbole when I say that this year is critical. Though I do not posses a crystal ball to tell you “EXACTLY” when the end will come, what I do posses is major market as well as global indicators that can give me an idea as to a time frame.

Using the vast amount of data at my fingertips what I can tell you is this: 2014 is the year to prepare and get your life in order and I will detail this as clearly as I can to show you why.

  • First and foremost there is a major global reconfiguration away from the dollar as a the preferred means of trade settlement.

I have often stated that the largest economies have taken strategic steps already to trade in a world without the dollar.  The chief architects of this plan are the Russians and Chinese and what they have done and are doing is dismantling with precision the petro-dollar supremacy. Case in point, Russia is the largest oil producer in the world and they have back in 2013 set up a deal with the Chinese. That deal was the first major shot into the Dollar’s armor as world reserve currency and it’s grip to the pricing of oil

So what does it mean? Simple the largest oil producer is handing off the distribution of it’s product to the largest economy in world (China) to sell it in YUAN bypassing the dollar!!!  In order to put this in proper perspective you have to get into your head that the entire Petro-Dollar scheme was based off the idea of cheap Saudi oil supplied perpetually. Well that reality is coming apart in a major way, lets take a second and look at Saudi oil and it’s history.

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part V: The Coming Economic Enslavement of Communism

by reasonvoice

Experts Warning of Coming Global Financial MeltdownThis all is starting to make a lot of sense now. In the last month there has been 8 mysterious death of 8 bankers across the globe. Maybe they knew something and were trying to warn others before its too late. From Bank of America’s head of global technical strategy warning that the U.S. dollar is in serious trouble, to Capitol One’s unprecedented policy change where they will now show up at Credit Card users homes to collect on debts, it seems even the big banks are going into panic mode.

In spite of all the government media propaganda, the warning signs are getting harder and harder to ignore. The fact is, our economy has teetered on the edge of the financial abyss for quite some time; and with the government now racking up over $1 trillion dollars a year in debt, it’s only a matter of time before the house of cards comes crashing down.U.S. about to hit the Debt Ceiling Yet Again…We are now only a couple of weeks away from another possible government default, as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns the government will run out of money to pay the nation’s bills, unless congress yet again raises the federal debt limit.

As part of the so-called budget deal that reopened the government last October, Congress suspended the $16.7-trillion debt limit through Feb. 7, 2014. With that deadline now passed, we’re now only weeks away from another possible default, causing some to wonder how much more this economy can take. In fact, former Harvard Economist Terry Burnham is so worried that he pulled all of his money out of Bank of America, and started warning everyone that they might want to consider doing the same.

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part VI: China Starts To Make A Power Move Against The U.S. Dollar

by reasonvoice

With the Chinese buying up and owning our few (relative) existing factories, we will be weak and at the mercy of others. We will be beyond any level of weakness the United States has ever known. In comes FEMA Cammps…

In order for our current level of debt-fueled prosperity to continue, the rest of the world must continue to use our dollars to trade with one another and must continue to buy our debt at ridiculously low interest rates.  Of course the number one foreign nation that we depend on to participate in our system is China.  China accounts for more global trade than anyone else on the planet (including the United States), and most of that trade is conducted in U.S. dollars. 

This keeps demand for our dollars very high, and it ensures that we can import massive quantities of goods from overseas at very low cost.  As a major exporting nation, China ends up with gigantic piles of our dollars.  They lend many of those dollars back to us at ridiculously low interest rates.  At this point, China owns more of our national debt than any other country does.  But if China was to decide to quit playing our game and started moving away from U.S. dollars and U.S. debt, our economic prosperity could disappear very rapidly.  Demand for the U.S. dollar would fall and prices would go up.  And interest rates on our debt and everything else in our financial system would go up to crippling levels.  So it is absolutely critical to our financial future that China continues to play our game.

Unfortunately, there are signs that China has now decided to start looking for a smooth exit from the game.  In November, I wrote about how the central bank of China has announced that it is “no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves”.  That means that the pile of U.S. dollars that China is sitting on is not going to get any higher.

In addition, China has signed a whole host of international currency agreements with other nations during the past couple of years which are going to result in less U.S. dollars being used in international trade.  You can read about many of these agreements in this article.

This week, we learned that China started to dump U.S. debt during the month of December.  Many have imagined that China would try to dump a flood of our debt on to the market all of a sudden once they decided to exit, but that simply does not make sense.  Instead, it makes sense for China to dump a bit of debt at a time so that the market will not panic and so that they can get close to full value for the paper that they are holding.

As Bloomberg reported the other day, China dumped nearly 50 billion dollars of U.S. debt during the month of December…

China, the largest foreign U.S. creditor, reduced holdings of U.S. Treasury debt in December by the most in two years as the Federal Reserve announced plans to slow asset purchases.

The nation pared its position in U.S. government bonds by $47.8 billion, or 3.6 percent, to $1.27 trillion, the largest decline since December 2011, according to U.S. Treasury Department data released yesterday.

This is how I would do it if I was China.  I would try to dump 30, 40 or 50 billion dollars a month.  I would try to make a smooth exit and try to get as much for my U.S. debt paper as I could.

So if China is not going to stockpile U.S. dollars or U.S. debt any longer, what is it going to stockpile?

It is going to stockpile gold of course.  In fact, China has been voraciously stockpiling gold for quite some time, and their hunger for gold appears to be growing.

According to Bloomberg, more than 80 percent of the gold that was exported from Switzerland last month went to Asia…

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part VII: U.S. Stock Market Takes a Dive – Is The Bubble Beginning to Pop?

by reasonvoice

THIS ARTICLE IS IN MY SERIES FOR ONE REASON, AND ONE REASON ONLY. 

NO ONE CAN PREDICT EXACTLY WHEN THE CRASH IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
THERE ARE TOO MANY VARIABLES THIS TIME, vs. THE HOUSING BUBBLE. 
IN A LATER PIECE I WILL DESCRIBE HOW I SEE IT ALL FITTING TOGETHER…
BUT FOR NOW… JUST FACTS IN PARTS I-VII

In regard to the U.S. stock market bubble it’s not a question of if it will pop, but rather of when (and what excuse the so called experts that denied that it was coming will use to distract from the real cause). They’ll tell you it was due to slow downs in emerging markets, some disappointing jobs report or lower than expected corporate earnings, but this is like blaming a blade of grass that a soap bubble lands on for its demise. Bubbles pop because they are bubbles. Once they are inflated the result is inevitable. The wind may carry it a bit farther than expected (QE3) but sooner or later the laws of nature always prevail.

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part VIII: 25 Fast Facts About The Federal Reserve – Please Share With Everyone You Know

by reasonvoice

Most Americans are under the illusion the FED is somehow part of our government. Whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing is really irrelevant, because it’s not. The FED is an independently owned bank that operates for the benefit of one group of people and one group of people only… the owners of the Fed.

As we approach the 100 year anniversary of the creation of the Federal Reserve, it is absolutely imperative that we get the American people to understand that the Fed is at the very heart of our economic problems.  It is a system of money that was created by the bankers and that operates for the benefit of the bankers.  The American people like to think that we have a “democratic system”, but there is nothing “democratic” about the Federal Reserve.  Unelected, unaccountable central planners from a private central bank run our financial system and manage our economy.  There is a reason why financial markets respond with a yawn when Barack Obama says something about the economy, but they swing wildly whenever Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke opens his mouth.  The Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else does by a huge margin.

THE FED IS THE BIGGEST PONZE SCHEME IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, and if the American people truly understood how it really works, they would be SCREAMING for it to be abolished immediately.  The following are 25 fast facts about the Federal Reserve that everyone should know…

#1 The greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was whenthere was no central bank.

#2 The United States never had a persistent, ongoing problem with inflation until the Federal Reserve was created.  In the century before the Federal Reserve was created, the average annual rate of inflation was about half a percent.  In the century since the Federal Reserve was created, the average annual rate of inflation has beenabout 3.5 percent, and it would be even higher than that if the inflation numbers were not being so grossly manipulated.

#3 Even using the official numbers, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 95 percent since the Federal Reserve was created nearly 100 years ago.

#4 The secret November 1910 gathering at Jekyll Island, Georgia during which the plan for the Federal Reserve was hatched was attended by U.S. Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department A.P. Andrews and a whole host of representatives from the upper crust of the Wall Street banking establishment.

#5 In 1913, Congress was promised that if the Federal Reserve Act was passed that it would eliminate the business cycle.

#6 The following comes directly from the Fed’s official mission statement: “To provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. Over the years, its role in banking and the economy has expanded.”

#7 It was not an accident that a permanent income tax was also introduced the same year when the Federal Reserve system was established.  The whole idea was to transfer wealth from our pockets to the federal government and from the federal government to the bankers.

#8 Within 20 years of the creation of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. economy was plunged into the Great Depression.

#9 If you can believe it, there have been 10 different economic recessions since 1950.  The Federal Reserve created the “dotcom bubble”, the Federal Reserve created the “housing bubble” and now it has created the largest bond bubble in the history of the planet.

#10 According to an official government report, the Federal Reserve made 16.1 trillion dollars in secret loans to the big banks during the last financial crisis.  The following is a list of loan recipients that was taken directly from page 131 of the report…

Citigroup – $2.513 trillion
Morgan Stanley – $2.041 trillion
Merrill Lynch – $1.949 trillion
Bank of America - $1.344 trillion
Barclays PLC – $868 billion
Bear Sterns – $853 billion
Goldman Sachs – $814 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland – $541 billion
JP Morgan Chase – $391 billion
Deutsche Bank – $354 billion
UBS – $287 billion
Credit Suisse – $262 billion
Lehman Brothers – $183 billion
Bank of Scotland - $181 billion
BNP Paribas – $175 billion
Wells Fargo – $159 billion
Dexia – $159 billion
Wachovia – $142 billion
Dresdner Bank – $135 billion
Societe Generale – $124 billion
“All Other Borrowers” – $2.639 trillion

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part IX: Explaining The Federal Reserve, Inflation, and the Economic Bubbles About To BURST In Layman’s Terms

by reasonvoice

DO YOU EVER WONDER?

Ever wonder about why our economy is in trouble? How can so many people can be in so much debt at the same time? Does it seem strange to you no matter how hard one works, and in spite of all the advances in society, most hard working people cannot escape the treadmill of perpetual debt?

Why are so many families losing their homes to foreclosure? Why are many households dependent upon credit cards to supplement their income? Why does it take TWO spouses to maintain a household when it used to take just one? Why have so many retirement savings been wiped out? Why do prices always creep up?

Did you know that close to 1/3 of all income taxes are consumed just to pay interest on the Federal Debt? (National Debt currently 17 TRILLION DOLLARS , or about $165,000 per household.) Think about it. Every penny that you pay in income tax from January 1 – April 1 is consumed just to pay interest on Federal debt, much of it to foreign banking families!  And let’s not forget the Government’s unfunded future liabilities, estimated at 75 TRILLION. (an additional $750,000+ per household.)

Add those staggering sums to the 11 Trillion in total consumer debt (mortgages, car loans debt, credit cards, etc), student loan debt (1 Trillion more), State debt, County debt, City/Town debt, small business debt, big business debt, and you will see that the total of these debts actually exceeds (BY FAR) the amount of money supply in circulation.

So, how can such astronomical debt ever be repaid? Well, if you haven’t figured it out yet – IT CAN’T. The only way for society to service just the interest on these monstrous debts is to constantly inject new debts into the system.

Finally, on top of all your Federal, State, gasoline, and local taxes, (30% – 40% of your gross income) and on top of your personal debt service burden (another 25%-50%), there’s this thing called “inflation”, or  ”the cost of living.” What exactly is “the cost of living?” What causes it? Why does a dollar buy less and less each year while wages stay flat?

Is the stress of perpetual debt and rising prices keeping you up at night? How many strokes, heart attacks, and even suicides are induced by financial stress each year? Money and debt may even have led to your drinking problem, or perhaps even to  depression. Debt may have been the underlying cause of your divorce or that of some couple that you know.

You know in your gut that something isn’t right in this country. But you don’t have the “Economics education” to figure it out. It all seems too complicated for you to put your finger on, so you just keep slaving away to pay interest and taxes as your dollar buys less and less. All you can do is keep working like a dog and leave the matter to the Wall Street “experts” and politicians to handle for you.

But it’s all quite simple really. So simple in fact, even a dummy can understand it when it is broken down to basic elements.

Read More Here

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The Last Great Stand

Part X: A Storm is Brewing on the Horizon – Martial Law Before 2016?

by reasonvoice

All Out Political Revolution and War is Upon America in 2014?????

Problems I See As Unavoidable:

This is a perfect chance for my two cents on the monetary system. Parts I – IX gave all the technical reasons the Dollar doesn’t stand a chance in the long run. I think it’s far more common sense than all those technical reasons, but I wanted to shut up all the nay sayers. 

First, I think we can assume a worthless Dollar is VERY bad. That takes away our ability to import things we don’t produce domestically. That means whatever we use to sustain ourselves as a nation has to be here. Let’s think about it: As Part III put, we have not only outsourced almost all of our production capability overseas for cheap labor, what little production capacity we have left is being rapidly bought up by the Chinese so they can get out of our Dollar and retain something of value: namely our production capability. 

How do 300 million people survive if we can’t import anything and don’t produce squat because we are a “service” economy now? Short answer? We don’t. Not enough for everyone. That means if you have food, people will do whatever is necessary for them and their loved ones. Chances are if you have none, you’ll do the same. THAT is how a worthless Dollar plays out. Period. There will be a TON of violence for those without somewhere safe, heavily stocked with food, and well protected. 

NOW, THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: DO WE EVER GET TO THAT POINT?

1. Hyperinflation: 

  • Right now the Fed is monitizing our debt to the tune of about 85 BILLION per month. That is over $5 TRILLION OUT OF THIN AIR since Obama took office. What does that mean? It means they are printing that money out of thin air. That does two things. First, it debases our currency as can be seen by one look at the dollar index. LOOK YOURSELF! The dollar has been in free fall. The ONLY thing saving the Dollar is that it is still the world reserve currency… but don’t get too excited because I’ll get to that later. Don’t count on that continuing for long. In addition to debasing the currency, it creates inflation. MASSIVE INFLATION.
  • The government tells us inflation is like 2%. Um. Ok. Gas went from under $2.00 to close to $4.00. What is that? Food prices are going up – but NOTHING like they will be soon. The same bag of dog food I used to get for $9.50 is now about $13.00. What is that if not inflation? That doesn’t sound like 2% to me. Anyone in your family who does the food shopping KNOWS food prices are going up much more than 2%.
  • We have not even begun to feel the inflation that is coming as a result of the printing presses Obama and his economic advisors have been running around the clock.
  • As I mentioned we use a system of banking called Fractional Reserve Banking. Everyone knows banks have been tight on lending money. Familiarize yourself with how Fractional Reserve Banking works, and imagine when the full extent of all this printed money IS actually all in circulation. OMG. Prices will SKYROCKET… and I’m still not even touching the reserve currency status yet. I’m assuming we still have that thus far. Stay tuned for more on that. 
  • Remember those baby boomers on fixed incomes? How are those skyrocketing prices going to work out for them? Expect ramped up foreclosures and parents moving back in with their kids. As more people experience financial hardship they’ll buy less stuff, causing companies to cut back MORE – that means more layoffs, more foreclosures, and the cycle keeps going. This is when I see the Dow ultimately dipping to around 5,000.
  • Furthermore, if there are skyrocketing prices, and super high unemployment, how will people feed their families? Hmmm. I sense this could create some MAJOR problems. I fully predict neighbor will be robbing neighbor trying to feed starving family members, so you better be armed and ready to protect your food…. oh wait… Obama wants your guns. Wow.

2. Healthcare: Even without the atrocity otherwise known as Obamacare, the costs of healthcare have already been increasing exponentially, so healthcare is potentially the first domino in a long line of dominos that ultimately bring down the financial strength of this nation. How? I am a simple man, so I’ll use simple arithmetic:

  • We have the largest generation in American history just entering retirement. Consequently, as a nation we will face the largest expenditures for healthcare probably in human history, but at the very least in American history. Where are these baby boomers going to get the money to pay those medical bills? The “stock market” (which is a term I will use generally for retirement investments) is where most of this enormous group of Americans have the bulk of their wealth tied up. Not all do, but a huge majority of them.
  • Prior to the 2008 crash it was estimated about 40% of Americans had enough money saved for retirement. Let’s be REALLY optimistic and say that after the crash 35% still had enough. First of all, that would be LUDICROUS, but lets assume so anyway. It’s obviously a MUCH lower number.
  • As the baby boomers begin to cash in those investments for their ungodly high medical bills and their retirement living in general, the stock market is inevitably going to drop as money is pulled out. It MIGHT not be so bad if Generation X or their employers were contributing even a fraction of what their baby boomer parents did to replace the withdrawls. HOWEVER, the reality is that so many Generation X ‘s are out of work or underemployed, so there is NOWHERE NEAR enough going in to replace what will be coming out. Furthermore, about 50% of the money in the stock market right now is “Institutional Investors.” When the Fed is lending at 0%, why not borrow and invest speculatively if you’re a huge financial institution?
  • Guess what? BUBBLE #1: We have another stock bubble brewing, but that is the smallest of the bubbles presently brewing. At some point, the institutional investors will begin the selloff and start to get out of the overpriced market while the getting is good. In an attempt to minimize losses to their retirement funds, the mom and pops of the country are going to be scrambling to get out as fast as they can. Prices will be dropping like a rock as institutions pull out in volume, and mom and pop always panic. It’s like clockwork. THEN, stocks REALLY start to drop like a ROCK as everyone is trying desperately to get into CASH. On a side note, when the market bottoms out and the mom and pops are all cleaned out and devastated, THAT is when the institutional investors will jump back in at low prices and ride the wave back up that screws the average investor again. It’s a cycle. That’s assuming we’re not under Martial Law by then- but I’ll get to that in a bit.
  • As stock prices drop, eventually we’ll see a mad selloff driven by fear like in 2008. In turn, since corporations could care less about the welfare of their employees, and they only care about the almighty shareholder – it will be LAYOFF time. MASSIVE LAYOFFS will be needed to cut costs so share prices stay up as much as possible. The more people continue to get laid off, you can count on the cycle of people not making their mortgage payments to start up again. THEN, another super round of foreclosures will begin. Banks still haven’t gotten rid of all the previous foreclosures on the books from 2008, so expect prices of homes to drop faster than you can say FAST as the selloff begins again.
  • More people pull out of the market, leads to more layoffs, leads to more jobless, leads to more foreclosures, and the cycle will be rapid. I could easily see the Dow and an ounce of gold both being around $5,000. Yes – I said 5,000. I am very well aware we’re at 16,000 now. But how you ask? Calm down, I’m getting there.

 

Read More Here

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Greg Hunter

Published on Feb 11, 2014

http://usawatchdog.com/united-states-… – Can we pull the world out of this economic calamity? Former World Bank Attorney Karen Hudes says, “It may be that we don’t, in which case, we end up in what happened just before we went into the dark ages, when gold went into hiding . . . . We can bring this gold that belongs to humanity out of its cloak of secrecy and out of hiding or we can go back into the dark ages. And we can have pestilence and starvation. . . . Civilization breaks down. We cannot pay for our international trade. Either we take back our gold, our legality, and we tell this group that thinks it’s above the law that it is not above the law, or we can kiss ourselves goodbye. Humanity will not continue, we will have World War III. Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with former World Bank Attorney Karen Hudes.

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YOU MUST SEE THIS!: Karen Hudes World Bank Whistleblower

firstflyover

Published on Aug 29, 2013

“Mr. Chambers! Don’t get on that ship! The rest of the book, “To Serve Man”, it’s – it’s a cookbook!” The Twilight Zone.

This is Greg Hunter’s interview with Karen Hudes. She is a World Bank whistleblower.
If you like Mr. Hunter’s work please sub to his channel. Link below. Peace!
http://www.youtube.com/user/usawatchd…

Karen Hudes: We’re Running Out of Time! We’re Dealing with Whether We Can Continue as Humanity

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‘Dollar valueless, about to crash’ – World Bank whistleblower

RT

Published on Oct 8, 2013

The US government shutdown – a temporary ailment or a symptom of a grave disease? Are the Republicans right in their move to block Obamacare spending? Who gains from the shutdown turmoil? Do the politicians care about their citizens? Our guest comes from the very heart of the banking system: Karen Hudes was World Bank lawyer when she blew the whistle on major corruption cases in the system and was fired as a result.

For FULL TRANSCRIPT of the interview click here: http://on.rt.com/ue0xat

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air 

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  • February 11 at 12:20 pm
(Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
(Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The unemployment rate used to be a pretty straightforward economic indicator. It showed the percentage of people who want a job but don’t have one — one of the most basic measures of labor market health.

But the number has been acting in funny ways since the recession, and it just keeps getting weirder. The unemployment rate skyrocketed as millions of people lost their jobs during the darkest days of the financial crisis. That part makes sense. 

What is harder to understand is why the jobless rate has dropped substantially even though many workers do not have jobs. Solving that puzzle requires looking at more esoteric labor market data. Even newly minted Fed chief Janet Yellen said on Capitol Hill today that “we shouldn’t focus only on the unemployment rate.”

Read More Here

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 7, 2014

Timothy Geithner Is Sworn in as 75th U.S. Treasury Secretary As His Wife, Carole, Looks On

Before Timothy Geithner became the 75th Secretary of the U.S. Treasury in 2009, he served as the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for five years. The New York Fed is one of Wall Street’s primary regulators. But after leaving his post at the New York Fed, Geithner testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services on March 26, 2009 that he was not regulating Wall Street as he earned his $400,000 a year with car, driver and private dining room.

At the 2009 hearing, in response to a question from Congressman Ron Paul, Geithner said:

“That was a very thoughtful set of questions. I just want to correct one thing. I have never been a regulator, for better or worse. And I think you are right to say that we have to be very skeptical that regulation can solve all these problems. We have parts of the system which are overwhelmed by regulation…It wasn’t the absence of regulation that was a problem. It was, despite the presence of regulation, you got huge risks built up.”

When Geithner says, “for better or worse,” I think most Americans would agree that Geithner’s failure to know that he was a regulator at an institution he headed for half a decade that employed hundreds of bank examiners was probably worse for the country, not better, given that he oversaw the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression and the most expensive taxpayer bailout in the history of finance.

In written testimony before the same hearing, Geithner added that “We can’t allow institutions to cherry pick among competing regulators, and shift risk to where it faces the lowest standards and constraints.” And yet, Geithner’s appointment calendar suggests that this is exactly what Citigroup did as Geithner accommodated it as willingly as a concierge at one of those exclusive Manhattan hotels.

According to Geithner’s appointment calendar for 2007 and 2008 (available online courtesy of an article the New York Times published in 2009), Geithner excelled in hobnobbing, despite the appearance of outrageous conflicts of interest. He was the Relationship Manager In Chief as he managed his own relationship with Citigroup into a job offer to be its CEO.

During 2007 and 2008, Citigroup entered an intractable death spiral owing to a decade of obscene executive pay, off balance sheet debt, toxic assets and mismanagement of its unwieldy disparate business lines. Instead of functioning as the tough cop on the beat in regulating Citigroup, Geithner hobnobbed, holding 29 breakfasts, lunches, dinners and other meetings with Citigroup executives.

When Sandy Weill stepped down from Citigroup in 2006, SEC filings show he still owned over 16.5 million shares of the company’s stock, in addition to the $264 million he had sold back to the company in 2003. As the company teetered toward insolvency in the 2007-2008 period, Weill had a vested interest not to see his stock position wiped out by a government receivership of Citigroup. The very last thing Geithner, as Citigroup’s regulator, should have been doing was meeting privately with Weill.

On January 25, 2007, Geithner not only hosted Weill to lunch at the New York Fed, but Geithner brought his teenage daughter to the lunch. Geithner’s appointment calendar shows Elise Geithner, his daughter, sharing his chauffeured car to work with her father and then joining him at lunch with Sandy Weill. In case you’re wondering, Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day was April 26 that year, not the day of this luncheon. A few months later, on May 17, 2007, Geithner joined Weill for breakfast at the expensive Four Seasons.

Read More Here

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Be prepared: Wall Street advisor recommends guns, ammo for protection in collapse

 

By PAUL BEDARD | DECEMBER 26, 2013 AT 12:33 PM

 

 

 

A top financial advisor, worried that Obamacare, the NSA spying scandal and spiraling national debt is increasing the chances for a fiscal and social disaster, is recommending that Americans prepare a “bug-out bag” that includes food, a gun and ammo to help them stay alive.

 

David John Marotta, a Wall Street expert and financial advisor and Forbes contributor, said in a note to investors, “Firearms are the last item on the list, but they are on the list. There are some terrible people in this world. And you are safer when your trusted neighbors have firearms.”

 

His memo is part of a series addressing the potential for a “financial apocalypse.” His view, however, is that the problems plaguing the country won’t result in armageddon. “There is the possibility of a precipitous decline, although a long and drawn out malaise is much more likely,” said the Charlottesville, Va.-based president of Marotta Wealth Management.

 

Marotta said that many clients fear an end-of-the-world scenario. He doesn’t agree with that outcome, but does with much of what has people worried.

 

Read More Here

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The Hill

Lauren Schneiderman

The budget deal worked out by House and Senate negotiators is on the verge of unraveling over the exclusion of federal unemployment benefits, several leading Democrats warned Wednesday.

The lawmakers are outraged by a GOP move to add the Medicare “doc fix” to the package but not a continuation of unemployment benefits — a strategy they say could sink the entire package by scaring away Democratic votes.

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Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Sandy Levin (Mich.) said the move creates a “new dynamic” undermining Democratic support for the plan announced Tuesday by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

“I think it puts at risk the whole bill, and it surely puts at risk my vote,” said Levin, the top Democrat at the House Ways and Means Committee.

Van Hollen echoed that message.

“This does now add a new dynamic that could upset the applecart that could put at risk the budget agreement,” he said.

It’s not clear whether Democrats would sink the first bipartisan budget deal in years over the unemployment insurance (UI) issue. But with GOP leaders intent on leaving town on Friday — and with GOP leaders showing little appetite to extend the benefits before they expire on Dec. 28 — the Democrats’ only real leverage is to threaten to do so.

“Obviously, once the budget passes you don’t have much leverage in terms of votes on things that remain,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Wednesday. “That may be the last vehicle.”

Some Democrats on Wednesday morning appeared poised to back the Ryan-Murray budget agreement. But they also cautioned that the addition of the Medicare language without a UI extension could erode that support.

“It’s something we should do, but why wouldn’t we do unemployment insurance if we’re doing that?” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked Wednesday morning after a meeting of her caucus in the Capitol.

 

Read More Here

 

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Yahoo News

Bipartisan budget deal sets off some grumbling

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Backers of a narrowly drawn budget deal are selling it as a way to stabilize Congress’ shaky fiscal practices and mute some of the partisan rancor that has helped send lawmakers’ public approval ratings plummeting. But the bipartisan pact doesn’t solve long-term tax and spending issues, leaving liberals and conservatives alike grumbling.

House and Senate floor votes are being sought on the plan announced Tuesday by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, and applauded by the White House, with the aim of securing passage before lawmakers go home for the holidays.

But skepticism surfaced in both the Democratic and Republican caucuses.

Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican and leading deficit hawk, panned the new deal in an interview Wednesday, saying it fails to address core issues of wasteful spending in Washington. He said it was probably “the best” that Ryan and Murray could get at this time. But said he was disappointed in its failure to address core fiscal issues such as duplication and wasteful spending in Washington.

The agreement, among other things, seeks to restore $63 billion in automatic spending cuts affecting programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon. The deal to ease those cuts for two years is aimed less at chipping away at the nation’s $17 trillion national debt than it is at trying to help a dysfunctional Capitol stop lurching from crisis to crisis. It would set the stage for action in January on a $1 trillion-plus spending bill for the budget year that began in October.

The measure unveiled by Ryan, R-Wis., and Murray, D-Wash., blends $85 billion in spending cuts and revenue from new and extended fees — but no taxes or cuts to Medicare beneficiaries — to replace a significant amount of the mandated cuts to agency budgets over the coming two years.

The package would raise the Transportation Security Administration fee on a typical nonstop, round-trip airline ticket from $5 to $10; require newly hired federal workers to contribute 1.3 percentage points more of their salaries toward their pensions; and trim cost-of-living adjustments to the pensions of military retirees under the age of 62. Hospitals and other health care providers would have to absorb two additional years of a 2-percentage-point cut in their Medicare reimbursements.

The plan doesn’t attempt to resuscitate earlier attempts at an accommodation that would have traded tax hikes for structural curbs to ever-growing benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security. But it would at least bring some stability on the budget to an institution — Congress — whose approval ratings are in the gutter.

“Our deal puts jobs and economic growth first by rolling back … harmful cuts to education, medical research, infrastructure investments and defense jobs for the next two years,” Murray said.

Ryan is set to pitch the measure to skeptical conservatives at a closed-door GOP meeting on Wednesday. Democrats are set to discuss it as well, but the measure won an immediate endorsement from President Barack Obama if only tepid approval from top Capitol Hill Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee.

“Tonight’s agreement represents a step toward enacting a budget for the American people and preventing further manufactured crises that only harm our economy, destroy jobs and weaken our middle class,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“This agreement makes sure that we don’t have a government shutdown scenario in January. It makes sure that we don’t have another government shutdown scenario in October,” Ryan said. “It makes sure that we don’t lurch from crisis to crisis.”

 

Read More and Watch Video Here

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TPM Livewire

House Budget Dem: If There’s A Medicare Payment Fix Vote, Let’s See Unemployment Insurance Too

Debt-summit--3

AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

House Democrats are urging lawmakers to include a vote on unemployment insurance alongside a budget deal if Republican lawmakers insist on including a short-term fix to the Medicare payment system as well.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, standing along side Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI), said Republican lawmakers have begun pushing to include a Sustainable Growth Rate fix (often called a short term doc fix that addresses a Medicare payment problem) alongside the budget proposal introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA).

Physicians who treat patients under Medicare are scheduled to take a huge pay cut in the new year if Congress doesn’t enact this “doc fix.” Many lawmakers have expressed support for reversing the pay cuts baked into current law should, but such a fix is costly.

 

Read More Here

 

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