The ECB’s Noose Around Greece: How Central Banks Harness Governments
by Ellen Brown
Posted March 13, 2015
The noose around Greece’s neck is this: the European Central Bank (ECB) will not accept Greek bonds as collateral for the central bank liquidity all banks need, until the new Syriza government accepts the very stringent austerity program imposed by the troika (the EU Commission, ECB and IMF). That means selling off public assets (including ports, airports, electric and petroleum companies), slashing salaries and pensions, drastically increasing taxes and dismantling social services, while creating special funds to save the banking system.
These are the mafia-like extortion tactics by which entire economies are yoked into paying off debts to foreign banks – debts that must be paid with the labor, assets and patrimony of people who had nothing to do with incurring them. National central banks are no longer tools of governments for the benefit of the people. Governments have become tools of a global central banking system serving the interests of giant international financial institutions. These “too big to fail” behemoths must be saved at the expense of local banks, their depositors, and local economies generally. More…
Former SEC Director Admits The Truth: The Market Is Rigged
by Tyler Durden
Posted March 12, 2015
The current market ecosystem is not sustainable, and significant changes are coming one way or another,” Ramsay said in a speech delivered at a New York technology conference in September. Ramsay said his opinions grew more critical in recent years as he watched the market fragment into 11 public exchanges and more than 40 less-regulated private venues such as dark pools.
Trading became more complex and prone to technological malfunctions in the face of rules that were supposed to boost competition and create new choices for investors, he said.
He outlined how the market lost its way: conflicts of interest among brokers, a two-tier system favoring the speediest and a general sense that today’s rules have been crafted to the benefit of insiders.
Is “crafted for the benefit of insiders” not the very definition of a rigged game? More…
Turning the European Debt Myth Upside-Down
by Conn Hallinan
Posted March 12, 2015
Myths are dangerous because they rely more on cultural memory and prejudice than facts.
And behind the current crisis between Greece and the European Union (EU) lies a fable that bears little relationship to why Athens and a number of other countries in the 28-member organization find themselves in deep distress.The tale is a variation of Aesop’s allegory of the industrious ant and the lazy, fun-loving grasshopper. The “northern countries” – especially Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, and Finland – play the role of the ant, and Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland the part of the grasshopper.
The ants are sober and virtuous, while the grasshoppers are spendthrift, corrupt lay-abouts who have spent themselves into trouble and now must pay the piper. The problem is that this myth bears almost no relationship to the actual roots of the crisis or what the solutions might be. And it perpetuates a fable that the debt is the fault of individual countries rather than a serious crisis at the very heart of the EU. More…
Financial Collapse Leads To War
by Dmitry Orlov
Posted March 6, 2015
The US has surrendered its sovereignty to a clique of financial oligarchs. Having nobody at all to answer to, this American (and to some extent international) oligarchy has been ruining the financial condition of the country, running up staggering levels of debt, destroying savings and retirements, debasing the currency and so on. The inevitable end-game is that the Federal Reserve (along with the central banks of other “developed economies”) will end up buying up all the sovereign debt issuance with money they print for that purpose, and in the end this inevitably leads to hyperinflation and national bankruptcy. A very special set of conditions has prevented these two events from taking place thus far, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t, because that’s what always happens, sooner or later.
Now, let’s suppose a financial oligarchy has seized control of the country, and, since it can’t control its own appetites, is running it into the ground. Then it would make sense for it to have some sort of back-up plan for when the whole financial house of cards falls apart. Ideally, this plan would effectively put down any chance of revolt of the downtrodden masses, and allow the oligarchy to maintain security and hold onto its wealth. Peacetime is fine for as long as it can placate the populace with bread and circuses, but when a financial calamity causes the economy to crater and bread and circuses turn scarce, a handy fallback is war. More…
The Fed’s History of Assassination
by Shah Gilani
Posted March 1, 2015
Shah Gilani writes: The Federal Reserve System has a very dark history.
I’m talking about a history of murder.Maybe you didn’t know, but there’s a theory that the Fed ordered John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Today, I’ll share with you the facts behind that theory. And then I’ll show you the facts that prove the Fed is guilty of even more murders. More…
Swimming with the Sharks: Goldman Sachs, School Districts, and Capital Appreciation Bonds
by Ellen Brown
Posted February 23, 2015
Remember when Goldman Sachs – dubbed by Matt Taibbi the Vampire Squid – sold derivatives to Greece so the government could conceal its debt, then bet against that debt, driving it up? It seems that the ubiquitous investment bank has also put the squeeze on California and its school districts. Not that Goldman was alone in this; but the unscrupulous practices of the bank once called the undisputed king of the municipal bond business epitomize the culture of greed that has ensnared students and future generations in unrepayable debt.
In 2008, after collecting millions of dollars in fees to help California sell its bonds, Goldman urged its bigger clients to place investment bets against those bonds, in order to profit from a financial crisis that was sparked in the first place by irresponsible Wall Street speculation. Alarmed California officials warned that these short sales would jeopardize the state’s bond rating and drive up interest rates. But that result also served Goldman, which had sold credit default swaps on the bonds, since the price of the swaps rose along with the risk of default. More…
Rothschild vs. Rothschild
by Jeff Nielson
Posted January 22, 2015
Having plundered all our wealth; what we now have, effectively, is a massive, bloated, 300-lb parasite (the Rothschild clan) attempting to “feed” off of a 100-lb host – the emaciated West. It’s impossible, and we see this reflected in our economic reality, once we look past the saturation lies of the Corporate media.
Despite six years of permanent zero/near-zero interest rates (the most-extreme form of quasi-legitimate, monetary stimulus which is even theoretically possible); all of these Western economies (with the partial exception of Germany) remain totally lifeless. The only “growth” which has taken place in the West since the Crash of ’08 is the (exponential) growth in the size of the economic lies being told to us about our economies, by our own governments. More…
Benefits Of a Public Bank For Cities and Municipalities
by Mike Krauss, Steve Snyder & Nancy Goldner
Posted February 16, 2015
Key Questions and Answers for Elected Officials and Policy Makers, Treasury Staff, Bankers, Taxpayers and Voters
In cites large and small – Boston, Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, New Brunswick, Chattanooga, Houston, Chicago, Santa Fe, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles – mayors, council members, candidates and community leaders are stepping up to free their communities from the ruinous banking of the Too-Big-To-Fail banks – that failed and will in all likelihood fail once again.
Public banks partner with our existing community banks, credit unions, financial institutions and development agencies to provide affordable and sustainable credit for locally-directed economic development and jobs creation. The partnership supports sound municipal finance, lowers public debt, contributes substantial non-tax revenue to the general funds of our local governments and creates solid economic opportunity.
We invite you to learn about Public “Partnership” Banking and join the campaign to create the urgently needed alternative to a dangerously concentrated and failed banking industry. More…
Why Public Banks Outperform Private Banks: Unfair Competition or a Better Mousetrap?
by Ellen Brown
Posted February 14, 2015
Public banks in North Dakota, Germany and Switzerland have been shown to outperform their private counterparts. Under the TPP and TTIP, however, publicly-owned banks on both sides of the oceans might wind up getting sued for unfair competition because they have advantages not available to private banks.
Then what does explain it? The Bank of North Dakota (BND)turns a tidy profit year after year because it has substantially lower costs and risks then private commercial banks. It has no exorbitantly-paid executives; pays no bonuses, fees, or commissions; has no private shareholders; and has low borrowing costs. It does not need to advertise for depositors (it has a captive deposit base in the state itself) or for borrowers (it is a wholesome wholesale bank that partners with local banks that have located borrowers). The BND also has no losses from derivative trades gone wrong. It engages in old-fashioned conservative banking and does not speculate in derivatives. More…
There are more small banks per capita in North Dakota than any other state. The partnerships between the small banks and the BND has worked to the benefit of the people in North Dakota, not Wall Street.
Gallup CEO Fears He Might “Suddenly Disappear” for Questioning U.S. Jobs Data
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted February 9, 2015
Years of unending news stories on U.S. government programs of surveillance, rendition and torture have apparently chilled the speech of even top business executives in the United States. Yesterday, Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, an iconic U.S. company dating back to 1935, told CNBC that he was worried he might “suddenly disappear” and not make it home that evening if he disputed the accuracy of what the U.S. government is reporting as unemployed Americans.
The CNBC interview came one day after Clifton had penned a gutsy opinion piece on Gallup’s web site, defiantly calling the government’s 5.6 percent unemployment figure “The Big Lie” in the article’s headline. His appearance on CNBC was apparently to walk back the “lie” part of the title and reframe the jobs data as just hopelessly deceptive. More…