Category Archives: Debt Budget Morass

Most Americans Say US Gives Too Much Aid to Israel by Grant Smith

Surveys are more accurate with the inclusion of key facts

by Grant Smith, September 30, 2014

Most Americans believe the United States is giving too much foreign aid to Israel according to an online survey. The American Public Opinion on U.S. Aid to Israel (PDF) survey was fielded via Google Consumer Surveys between September 26-29, 2014 as a necessary follow-up to the release of the influential Chicago Council on Global Affairs 2014 report. Middle East analysts eagerly await the biennial Chicago Council survey results and its frank reflections of American views about foreign policy toward the region. Many are surprised by Chicago Council’s conclusions that 64 percent of Americans prefer not to take sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict and that 55 percent would oppose sending U.S. troops to protect Israel if it struck Iran.
However, this year the Chicago Council also concludes that the majority of Americans would keep economic and military aid to Israel, Mexico, Taiwan, Afghanistan Iraq, Egypt and Pakistan “about the same.” Only a small percentage would increase aid, while most of the rest would prefer to decrease or stop aid altogether. One problem identified by the Chicago Council is that most Americans believe such aid to most countries is far more than it actually is. A second issue is that “this question was asked before August violence between Israel and Palestinians…” Despite these factors, the Council confidently concludes “Americans tend to support maintaining or increasing military aid to Israel, Taiwan and Mexico. In a pattern similar to preferences for economic aid, the public tends to favor decreasing or stopping military aid to Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.”

The Chicago Council survey suffers a fatal third flaw in its approach to the foreign aid question – lack of relevant comparative data given to respondents. The 2014 U.S. foreign aid budget (PDF) for Mexico is $206 million; Afghanistan is $749 million while Pakistan is $881 million with Iraq getting $73 million. Meanwhile Egypt and Israel receive lion’s shares with $1.6 billion to Egypt and a whopping $3.1 billion for Israel.

Furthermore, aid to Israel has increased on average 30 percent annually since 1970. Israel now receives 9 percent of the entire U.S. foreign aid budget while benefiting from Egypt’s 5 percent share which is justified as maintaining the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace agreement. In Israel’s case, the figure understates actual aid levels since Congress is regularly tapped by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its donor network for additional military aid and joint program funding. Official figures also omit the value of intelligence sharing, such as the massive flows of raw intelligence on Americans approved by President Obama in 2009 and revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

How do Americans really feel about aid to Israel when it is put in perspective? To find out, IRmep surveyed the same statistically significant number of American adults as the Chicago Council (around 2,108). Obviously, the IRmep Google Consumer Survey was fielded after the brutal Israeli invasion of Gaza – a significant difference. The survey question, however, included the necessary context that the Chicago Council left out, asking, “The U.S. gives Israel over $3 billion annually (9% of the foreign aid budget and more than any other country). The amount is.” Respondents could choose between “much too much, too much, about right, too little, and much too little.” The order of choices were randomly reversed to avoid bias.
Almost 61 percent of Americans say the U.S. is giving too much aid to Israel. 33.9 percent said the U.S. gives “much too much” while 26.8 percent said it is “too much.” Some 25.9 percent felt aid to Israel was “about right” but only 6.1 percent said it was “too little” and 7.3 percent is “much too little.”
That such an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the U.S. is giving too much aid to Israel may surprise many who are accustomed to seeing polls and surveys (including Chicago’s) incorrectly claiming overwhelming U.S. support for Israel. It should not be this way. The fault lies in flawed questions and lack of relevant context. Comparing American opinion between Israel, Hamas and Iran is about as useful as comparing U.S. aid to Mexico and Israel, though the former may comfort Israel affinity groups (which do a lot of their own proprietary polling) and congress members. Many important questions about Israel are never asked in U.S. surveys. Where results would likely produce a bad outcome, entire categories of polls – such as the World Values Survey in Israel – are almost never fielded.
Chicago Council also confidently notes that Americans uniformly despise Iran, citing the 1979 hostage crisis and Iran’s nuclear program as the core reasons. According to the Chicago Council survey analysis, “They are also prepared to use force if necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Chicago claims that the third highest perceived threat to U.S. vital interests is “the possibility of unfriendly countries becoming nuclear powers” followed by the even more specific number four, “Iran’s nuclear program.”

Before making such broad claims it would again be useful to insert the type of control questions that would not only improve survey quality (which Chicago Council does at a basic level) but also ascertain whether respondents have been subjected to a propaganda or scare campaign that explains their most elevated but unfounded worries. In the case of Iran, the Israel lobby has been relentless in its campaign to pit Americans against Iran – and it has really paid off.

Although no credible Western intelligence agency believes Iran currently has nuclear weapons – a majority – 58.5 percent of Americans now do according to IRmep’s Google Consumer Survey.

Most polls dealing with Middle East policy would produce better results by giving American respondents some key facts and relevant data before asking hard questions. What many such polls most reveal is the sorry state of American news reporting and stunning success of Israel lobby propaganda campaigns.
Read more by Grant Smith

via Anti-War

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The House of Rothschild (1934 full length historical biography movie)

Boris Karloff like you’ve never seen him! I read Corti’s book by the same name decades ago, and have it in my bookcase behind me. (You might have to drag the button bar at bottom to the left to start watching from the beginning. Odd, but…)

Published on Mar 3, 2013

The story of the rise of the Rothschild financial empire founded by Mayer Rothschild and continued by his five sons. From humble beginnings the business grows and helps to finance the war against Napoleon, but it’s not always easy, especially because of the prejudices against Jews.

US Officials Demanded a 30 Billion Dollars Bribe

Author: Gordon Duff

0980875A day after former Republican Virginia governor, Bob McDonnell and his wife were convicted of 20 counts of bribery and influence peddling, former Republican Tennessee governor Don Sundquist and South Dakota Senator Sheldon Songstad may face, not just the largest bribery charge in world history but indictment for conspiracy to murder as well.
What is amazing about this case is the amount of money involved, totaling $9.5 trillion US dollars, in fact the entire GNP of the United States for several years. Sundquist and Songstad, wanted $30 billion out of the proceeds to pay themselves along with congress, the US Treasury Department, 5 Supreme Court justices and two former US presidents.
Best of all, the whole thing is on tape, a “shakedown” attempt against Ambassador Lee Wanta, former White House intelligence chief under President Ronald Reagan and editor at Veterans Today.
Sundquist and Songstad left, on a recording at Wanta’s embassy, full details, not only of their ability to virtually buy the entire US government and deliver a multi-trillion dollar settlement authorized to Wanta by the US Supreme Court, but were recorded making arrangements for the murder of Wanta as well.
As American humorist, Jim W. Dean so often says, “You just can’t make things like this up.”
The recording was forwarded to the US Department of Justice yesterday and a copy presented to President Obama.
Background
During the 1980s, Lee Wanta was brought into the White House as the first National Intelligence Coordinator. He was tasked by President Reagan and CIA Director William Colby to destabilize the Soviet Union through establishment, with funds from the US Treasury, of a worldwide currency trading scheme.
Wanta, with the help of Reagan, amassed a fortune of $27 trillion, funds earmarked by Reagan to pay America’s national debt, restore the nation’s infrastructure and fund a world free of debt based currencies.
However, after Reagan left office and George H.W. Bush assumed the Presidency, Wanta was kidnapped and imprisoned in Switzerland, transferred to an American prison where he was held without due process for years and the money disappeared, taken by the Bush family.
The rest is history, stolen elections, 9/11, war upon war, and a world that has descended into crashing debt with nearly every currency floating on “air,” derivatives and a sea of Rothschild debt.
Wanta’s story is soon to be featured in a Hollywood film currently under production.
The Fixers
Nobody has heard of Sheldon Songstad, who with former congressman and governor, Don Sundquist, admit demanding a $30 billion dollar bribe from Wanta in order to compel the Supreme Court to issue a pay order on Wanta’s personal funds, based on the case he won, $4.5 trillion plus interest, totaling $9.5 trillion.
This would make Lee Wanta personally the wealthiest nation on earth. While this case has dragged on through the courts, thoroughly and carefully documented, Wanta friends and advisors, many former intelligence officers, including the author, have worked to keep him secure.
The recording of Songstad and Sundquist, 6.01 minutes, was aired on radio yesterday with commentary by Lee Wanta, on the Veterans Today Radio Network to over two million listeners.
The audience heard Sundquist describe how they would settle for as little as $5 billion, as a “retirement nest egg” and how, if Wanta fails to pay, they would arrange for his murder.
Current US Senator Bob Corker, Republican from Tennessee had been on a conference call earlier that included Sheldon Songstad, telling Wanta that his funds would be paid.
In fact, a majority of members of congress including almost all Republicans and many Democrats were to receive shares of the Wanta “payoff.” What had angered so many of them and had precipitated the death threat is Wanta’s statement to all of them that he would file Federal Income Tax Form 1099’s to accompany all payments. This would identify, as required by law, where money went and what services were paid for.
Were Wanta murdered to stop that process, it would require control of not only the Department of Internal Revenue but Treasury as well, to suppress the existence of these documents that would eventually lead to the imprisonment of almost the entire US government.
Beyond Idiocy
As the radio audience listened on, the two Republican Party political “fixers” made several things very clear. The US government was entirely “up for sale” and that they had the connections to arrange for the purchase.
What was amazing is that these two, after phoning Wanta and getting the recording notice on the line, assumed their conference call was private, paying no attention to the fact that the recording continued on while they confessed to what legal experts have identified as dozens of crimes and laid out a trail of bribery and corruption that crosses nearly every level of government, every court and over a hundred of Americas’ highest elected officials.
Shadow Government
This conspiracy involves, at its heart, politicians who have long advocated cuts in public health and education, in veterans benefits, lowering of wages, infringement of individual rights while supporting America’s wars.
These are also politicians at the heart of the Israel lobby in Washington.
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Governor Sundquist is a close friend of Israel:
“- 1996: Gov. Don Sundquist signed the Tennessee-Israel Cooperation Agreement to promote cooperation between the two countries in trade, arts, culture, education, tourism and university/industry alliances.”
What is made clear is that the United States is far more a criminal organization than a nation. Those who don’t understand how America can say one thing and, with amazing consistency, do something else, often something totally bereft of moral responsibility, I think we may well have made the reasons abundantly clear.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.
 

VIDEO: Why the US is Deeply Insolvent & Only One Unfriendly Door Out

VIDEO: Why the US is deeply insolvent

Building on the previous chapter on the US’ tremendous and exponentially-increasing debt, this chapter looks at the shocking shortfall between our nation’s assets and its liabilities.
 
In short, America is deeply insolvent. We’re just not admitting it yet.
 
Perhaps not surprisingly, official statistics leave out our unfunded liabilities when calculating the net worth of the nation. Once these liabilities are added back in, America’s net worth plunges into the negative tens to hundreds of $trillions.
 
In the last chapter we noted how our vast debts place an unfair and immoral burden on future generations, and realistically can and will never be pad off. Factoring in the unfunded liabilities just makes the situation beyond absurd.
//player.vimeo.com/video/98578253

For the best viewing experience, watch the above video in hi-definition (HD) and in expanded screen mode

 
Coming next Friday: Chapter 15: Demographics
 
For those who simply don’t want to wait until the end of the year to view the entire new series, you can indulge your binge-watching craving by enrolling to PeakProsperity.com. 

The entire full new series, all 27 chapters of it, is available — now– to our enrolled users.
 
The full suite of chapters in this new Crash Course series can be found at www.peakprosperity.com/crashcourse
And for those who have yet to view it, be sure to watch the ‘Accelerated’ Crash Course — the under-1-hour condensation of the new 4.5-hour series. It’s a great vehicle for introducing new eyes to this material.

Can Sears Close 2,300 Stores?

(Douglas A. McIntyre)  In a widely publicized note to investors, Gary Balter of Credit Suisse said that it is best that Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) close its Sears and Kmart locations while they, and the inventory they sell, still have value. Sears Holdings operates about 2,350 stories.
In a note, the analyst wrote:
Let’s face facts. Sears is generating negative operating cash flow of between $1 billion and $2 billion [closer to upper end, it looks like] in 2014. Unless it sells off real assets while somehow maintaining the cash flow from those assets, this story is not likely to have a happy ending, and that ending continues to depend on suppliers.
Experts on retail and cash flow wonder how long Sears and Kmart suppliers will ship products to the stores, due to fear they will not be paid. Sears chief Eddie Lampert, who is also a hedge fund manager, set a $400 million loan to the retailer. That is expected to be paid back soon, which is not practical, and it may not be enough to solve Sears’s problems as losses increase.
Closing up to 2,300 stores and laying off what eventually could be 250,000 people would be immensely complex. 
Some stores operate under long-term leases. Others are owned by the company. Management would have to break these arrangements and sell property in places like malls, which have little value. Sears merchandise inventory at the end of last quarter was $6.4 billion, which given the company’s size is very little.
The cost of severance could rise into hundreds of millions of dollars. Without a Chapter 11 filing, Sears would have no chance of cutting this cost. And a bankruptcy judge may insist the retailer cover these expenses ahead of those due to creditors.
Sears Holdings eventually may liquidate itself, but it would involve one of the most complex set of maneuvers in the history of retail, all likely done with a judge looking over management’s shoulder.

Posted on September 19, 2014 by webmaster This entry was posted in Economic. Bookmark the permalink.

Boehner and Pelosi Unite to Pass Bill Funding Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, Syrian Revolutionaries

“We don’t got no need for stingy, peace-loving American cry-baby Christians in dis here congress.” Whatcha gonna do ’bout it, huh?  [raucous laughter in background]
September 17, 2014 – 10:07 PM

John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi
Incoming Speaker John Boehner kisses
out-going Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) joined forces early Wednesday evening as the House passed a continuing resolution that will fund the government after the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and that will permit funding for Planned Parenthood (the nation’s largest abortion provider), the entirety of Obamacare, and an amendment requested by President Barack Obama “to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition.”
The bill passed 319 to 108 with four members not voting. But there were not enough Republican members to pass the bill without significant support from Democrats. While Pelosi sided with the Republican leadership and voted for the bill, 53 Republicans joined with 55 Democrats in voting against it.
In addition to Pelosi, some of the other Democrats voting for the Republican leadership’s bill, included Rep. John Conyers (D.-Mich.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schlultz (D.-Fla.), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D.-Calif.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D.-Ore.), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-Ill.).

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Texas), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) were among the Republicans who voted against it.

The Syrian opposition, which is seeking to overthrow the secular authoritarian regime of Bashar al Assad, includes al Nusrah Front, the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, and the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), which used to be an al Qaeda affiliate and now controls parts of Iraq and Syria.
ISIS recently beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker.

The training and arming of Syrian rebels is aimed at combating ISIS and Islamist terrorism, so ISIS and al Nusrah Front would not be among the Syrian rebels deliberately armed and trained by the new U.S. policy authorized by this bill.

The bill will fund the government through Dec. 11, when a “lame-duck” Congress, which will include members thrown out by the voters in November, will be able to return to Washington and vote for programs and governmental actions that they may not have wanted to vote for before the election. 

That new funding bill will also be passed before the newly elected members of Congress will be sworn in and have a say in what the government does.

Before the inclusion of the amendment to train and arm revolutionaries in Syria, the House Appropriations Committee had described the continuing resolution as a “clean” bill that did not include riders affecting current spending programs and policies. The committee affirmed to CNSNews.com last week that the bill does not prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood or for any element of Obamacare.

Twenty-four minutes before it voted on this final spending bill, the House voted on the amendment sponsored by House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.) that added to the bill the authorization for President Obama to arm and train the Syrian revolutionaries. That amendment passed by a vote of 273 to 156, with 3 members not voting.

Pelosi and Boehner joined together to vote for the amendment to arm and train Syrian revolutionaries, as did House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif) and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R.-La.).

Among the 71 House Republicans standing in opposition to Pelosi and Boehner and the other Republican leaders on this amendment were Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.),  Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Tex.), Rep. John Duncan (R.-Tenn.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R.-Ky.), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R.-Wisc.) Continue reading

$2.66T: Tax Revenues for FY14 Hit Record Through August; Gov’t Still Runs $589B Deficit

September 12, 2014 – 3:44 PM



(CNSNews.com) – Inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $2,663,426,000,000 for the first 11 months of the fiscal year this August, but the federal government still ran a $589,185,000,000 deficit during that time, according to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement.
Each month, the Treasury publishes the government’s “total receipts,” including all revenue from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, social insurance and retirement taxes (including Social Security and Medicare taxes), unemployment insurance taxes, excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, and “miscellaneous receipts.”
The largest share of the tax revenue so far this year has come from individual income taxes, which totaled $1,233,274,000,000 in the first 11 months of fiscal 2014.
The rest of the receipts came from corporation income taxes totaling $247,200,000,000, employment and general retirement (off-budget) totaling $674,338,000,000, employment and general retirement (on-budget) totaling $209,281,000,000, unemployment insurance totaling $54,591,000,000, other retirement receipts totaling $3,155,000,000, excise taxes totaling $73,051,000,000, estate and gift taxes totaling $17,702,000,000, customs duties totaling $30,902,000,000 and miscellaneous receipts totaling $119,933,000,000.
In constant 2014 dollars, the $2,663,426,000,000 that the federal government collected from October through August in fiscal year 2014 was $134,705,540,000 more than the $2,528,720,460,000 it collected in October through August in fiscal year 2013.
The Treasury has been tracking this data since 1977, and at that time, the federal government collected $1,262,469,450,000 in inflation-adjusted revenue in the first 11 months of fiscal 1977. This means that since then, revenues have more than doubled, increasing by 111 percent.
After the current fiscal year, the second highest federal tax intake in the first 11 months of a fiscal year occurred in the first 11 months of fiscal 2007, when the government collected $2,622,537,950,000 in 2014 dollars – or $40,888,050,000 less than in the first 11 months of this fiscal year.
The first half of fiscal 2007 ran from Oct. 1, 2006 through March 31, 2007. The last recession hit in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.
Although the federal government brought in a record of approximately $2,663,426,000,000 in revenue in the first 11 months of fiscal 2014, according to the Treasury, it also spent approximately $3,252,611,000,000, leaving a deficit of approximately $589,185,000,000.
The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.
CNSNews.com is not funded by the government like NPR. CNSNews.com is not funded by the government like PBS. 

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Wall Street Is Coming to Fleece Your Town

States must follow North Dakota’s lead now, or die to become an impoverished hulk of rubble.

September 14, 2014    Source: Ellen Brown, Web of Debt blog

The Fed’s bizarre new rules transfer power from the public sector, once again.
In an inscrutable move that has alarmed state treasurers, the Federal Reserve, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, just changed the liquidity requirements for the nation’s largest banks. Municipal bonds, long considered safe liquid investments, have been eliminated from the list of high-quality liquid collateral. assets (HQLA). That means banks that are the largest holders of munis are liable to start dumping them in favor of the Treasuries and corporate bonds that do satisfy the requirement.
Muni bonds fund the nation’s critical infrastructure, and they are subject to the whims of the market: as demand goes down, interest rates must be raised to attract buyers. State and local governments could find themselves in the position of cash-strapped Eurozone states, subject to crippling interest rates. The starkest example is Greece, where rates went as high as 30% when investors feared the government’s insolvency. Sky-high interest rates, in turn, are the fast track to insolvency. Greece wound up stripped of its assets, which were privatized at fire sale prices in a futile attempt to keep up with the bills.
The first major hit to US municipal bonds occurred with the downgrade of two major monoline insurers in January 2008. The fault was with the insurers, but the taxpayers footed the bill.  The downgrade signaled a simultaneous downgrade of bonds from over 100,000 municipalities and institutions, totaling more than $500 billion. The Fed’s latest rule change could be the final nail in the municipal bond coffin, another misguided move by regulators that not only does not hit its mark but results in serious collateral damage to local governments – maybe serious enough to finally propel them into bankruptcy.
Why this unprecedented move by US regulators? It is not because municipal bonds are too risky, since corporate bonds with lower credit ratings are accepted under the new rules. Nor is it that the stricter standard is required by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), the BIS-based global regulator agreed to by the G20 leaders in 2009. The Basel III Accords set by the BCBS are actually more lenient than the US rules and do not include these HQLA requirements. So what’s going on?
From the Inscrutable, Unaccountable Fed
The rule change was detailed by Pam Martens and Russ Martens in a September 4th article titled “The Fed Just Imposed Financial Austerity on the States.” They write that on September 3rd:

The Federal regulators adopted a new rule that requires the country’s largest banks – those with $250 billion or more in total assets – to hold an increased level of newly defined “high quality liquid assets” (HQLA) in order to meet a potential run on the bank during a credit crisis. In addition to U.S. Treasury securities and other instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (agency debt), the regulators have included some dubious instruments while shunning others with a higher safety profile.

Bizarrely, the Fed and its regulatory siblings included investment grade corporate bonds, the majority of which do not trade on an exchange, and more stunningly, stocks in the Russell 1000, as meeting the definition of high quality liquid assets, while excluding all municipal bonds – even general obligation municipal bonds from states with a far higher credit standing and safety profile than BBB-rated corporate bonds.

This, rightfully, has state treasurers in an uproar. The five largest Wall Street banks control the majority of deposits in the country. By disqualifying municipal bonds from the category of liquid assets, the biggest banks are likely to trim back their holdings in munis which could raise the cost or limit the ability for states, counties, cities and school districts to issue muni bonds to build schools, roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs. This is a particularly strange position for a Fed that is worried about subpar economic growth.
Not Sufficiently Liquid?

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Why Has Classical Capitalism Devolved to Crony-Capitalism?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The money-shot: “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.”


Here is the quote that perfectly captures our era: “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” (John Kenneth Galbraith) The trick, of course, is to mask the unspoken second half of of that statement: everybody else gets destroyed along with the Elites when the system implodes.

Union pension funds: toast. Government employees’ pension funds: toast. 401Ks: toast. IRAs: toast. The echo-bubble in housing: toast. The Fed’s favorite PR cover to cloak the enrichment of their financier cronies, the wealth effect:toast.

The primary tool the Elites use to mask the risk of complete destruction is magical thinking–specifically, that “given enough time, the system will heal itself.”

That’s rich, considering that the Elites’ primary tool of avoiding destruction is crippling the market’s self-healing immune system: price discovery. Thanks to ceaseless interventions by central banks, the price discovery mechanism has been shattered: want to know the price of risk? It’s near-zero. Yield on sovereign bonds? Near-zero. And so on.

Prices have been so distorted (the ultimate goal of Central Planning everywhere, from China to the EU to Japan to the U.S.) that the illusion of stability is impossible without more intervention.
This leads to two self-liquidating dynamics: diminishing returns (every intervention yields less of the desired result) and the Darwinian selection of only those money managers who believe risk has been vanquished.

Everyone who pursues prudent risk management has either been fired or saw the writing on the wall and exited stage right. So the only people left at the gaming tables of the big institutional players are those individuals who are genetically incapable of responding appropriately to rising risk. Those who did have long been fired for “underperformance.”

So how did classical free-market capitalism become state-cartel crony-capitalism, a Ponzi scheme of epic proportions that is entirely dependent on ceaseless central bank perception management and interventions on a scale never before seen?

We can start with these six factors:

1. Those who control most of the wealth are willing to risk systemic collapse to retain their privileges and wealth. Due to humanity’s virtuosity with rationalization, those at the top always find ways to justify policies that maintain their dominance and downplay the distortions the policies generate. This as true in China as it is in the U.S.

2. Short-term thinking: if we fudge the numbers, lower interest rates, etc. today, we (politicians, policy-makers, money managers, etc.) will avoid being sacked tomorrow. The longer term consequences of these politically expedient policies are ignored.

3. Legitimate capital accumulation has become more difficult and risky than buying political favors. Global competition and the exhaustion of developed-world consumers has made it difficult to reap outsized profits from legitimate enterprise. In terms of return-on-investment (ROI), buying political favors is far lower risk and generates much higher returns than expanding production or risking investment in R&D.

4. The centralization of state/central bank power has increased the leverage of political contributions/lobbying. The greater the concentration of power, the more attractive it is to sociopaths and those seeking to buy state subsidies, sweetheart contracts, protection from competition, etc.

5. Any legitimate reform will require dismantling crony-capitalist/state-cartel arrangements. Since that would hurt those at the top of the wealth/power pyramid, reform is politically impossible.

6. Understood in this light, it’s clear that central bank monetary policy—zero-interest rates, asset purchases, cheap credit to banks and financiers, QE, etc.—is designed to paper over the structural problems that require real reform.

Japan is a case in point: the Powers That Be in Japan have put off real reforms of the Japanese economy and political system for 25 years, and they’ve enabled this avoidance by pursuing extremes of fiscal and monetary policy that have eroded the real economy and created long-term structural imbalances.

In this 24 minute video Gordon T. Long and Charles Hugh Smith discuss through the aid of 17 slides the rapid advancement of Crony Capitalism in America. The facts are undeniable, but why is it becoming so obvious and undeniable? Why is it accelerating without any apparent ‘checks and balances’? Where have the safeguards against this happening gone?


On The Brink Of A Major Crisis: "This Will Be A Literal Collapse of the Entire Global Monetary System"

Providing the conspirators can perpetuate conflicts amongst  the klans of their subjects, and deflected away from themselves, the danger of a “people’s justice” befalling to themselves shall be repulsed. Things are going swimmingly for them to now.

Mac Slavo 

September 5th, 2014

Discussions of the possible collapse of the U.S. dollar often center around how such an event will affect the domestic economy. But the dollar doesn’t just operate inside of a bubble. It is the world’s reserve currency for a reason. Some sixty-six countries world-wide either utilize it as their primary currency or peg their own currencies to its exchange rate. What this means, as noted by Future Money Trends in the micro documentary below, is that if and when the dollar does come under attack the fallout will be everywhere. The collapse will happen simultaneously and affect billions of people worldwide.

This is 33% of the nations of the world all submitting their currency sovereignty to the US Federal Reserve.
If and when the U.S. loses its currency status this will be a literal collapse of the entire global monetary system… A system that is built on lies, fraud and theft.

As you might have guessed, when the game is finally up it will wreak havoc across global economies, financial markets and monetary systems. Should that ever happen, those who have failed to exchange their fiat currencies for physical goods of some sort are going to have a rude awakening.

As preparation for a currency collapse of unprecedented magnitude, contrarian economists and analysts recommend acquiring physical assets ahead of time. Because after the ‘event,’ it will be too late for the majority, as their dollars become nearly worthless and the cost of essential goods like food and energy skyrocket to nearly unnatainable levels as priced in dollars.

We have seen it time and again throughout recent history. Germany’s Weimar Republic, Hungary, Zimbabwe and most recently Argentina, have all experienced currency collapses. And in all instances one asset has stood the test of time and become the currency of choice when traditional systems of commerce collapsed.

Living in the heart of the Fiat bubble, Americans especially have forgotten about the one true currency. With the nation approaching nearly $20 trillion in national debt our entire system is built on a lie. But this lie affects the entire world because the US dollar is the world’s currency.

The gold market has been so distorted by governments and central banks around the world that today in an environment of quantitative easing, trillion dollar annual deficits, and negative interest rates, you can exchange your Fiat currency for an ounce of gold for less than the cost a mining company takes to produce it.

In 2013 all-in costs were $1620 per ounce, with an average price of $1411 per ounce. Recently gold has sold for less than $1300 an ounce.

Physical demand is currently setting records, with most of the demand coming from the east. Soon, North America and the world will begin to accumulate gold. 

The world is on the brink of a major fiat currency crisis.

The evidence for a continued downturn in the U.S. economy and further deterioration of the U.S. dollar is clear. The likely end result is a total collapse of Americans’ way of life.

Ask yourself these three questions to help you determine your best course of action:

  1. What is the dollar’s most likely future?
  2. Are you overly exposed to dollar denominated assets like your income, savings and the country you reside in?
  3. Can you envision a scenario where the world turns against the U.S. dollar?

When it happens only those who own physical assets not dependent on the U.S. dollar will maintain any semblance of wealth. Everyone else will be, almost instantaneously, relegated to third world status.

​Source SHTF​