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The Money Scam: the cornerstone of our slavery
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-broke/

5 minute video from the makers of "The Story Of Stuff"
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freedomsdefender wrote:
This is getting really freaky I could see the way the wind was blowing but never thought the NWO would be as blatant as to use religion to put the fix in.


Book of Revelation suggests the NWO will included the religous, a charismatic world leader as well as the secular to bring in some form of cashless society.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.johnkay.com/2011/10/26/europes-elite-is-fighting-reality-an d-will-lose

Europe’s elite is fighting reality and will lose

26 October 2011, Financial Times

Conventional wisdom holds that the eurozone problem is the adoption of a common monetary policy without a common fiscal policy. But a common fiscal policy is not necessary for a successful monetary union. No such agreement existed under the gold standard. Nor does one exist now between the US and the several countries – including China – which have pegged their exchange rate to the dollar.

Nor is a common fiscal policy sufficient for a successful monetary union. Neither the European Commission nor the German government can put tanks on the streets of Athens. The only mechanism the European Union has, or can have, for imposing fiscal discipline in any country or region is to refuse further payments to that country or region. This is precisely the mechanism that has been deployed, with limited success.

Monetary union implies that areas with different economic conditions, growth rates and price expectations are no longer forced by markets to make compensating adjustments through currency devaluation. They must instead impose appropriate local policies towards wage growth, taxation and public spending. Differences in incomes, growth and price movements are inevitable in a union that stretches from Aran to Athens and from Lapland to Lisbon. No institutional arrangements can change these facts.

A Franco-German monetary union was an ambitious project. But the half dozen potential members of such a union mostly had political and economic institutions sufficiently robust to handle the consequences. The success of such a project over the past decade might have provided a springboard for expansion.

But an excess of ambition extended membership of the eurozone to states that were neither willing nor able to accept the economic disciplines that replaced those imposed by the currency market. These states were enabled to escape serious consequences by funding budget and trade deficits through public and private borrowing.

They will continue to be able to do so until creditors believe they will not be repaid – which would, if the new stability fund were to succeed in its objectives, mean that they could continue these policies for ever. The eurozone’s difficulties have been created by member states not markets, and giving members more resources to fight markets makes things worse, not better.

The eurozone’s difficulties result not from the absence of strong central institutions but the absence of strong local institutions.

A miscellany of domestic problems – rampant property speculation in Ireland and Spain, hopeless governance in Italy, lack of economic development in Portugal, Greece’s bloated public sector – have become problems for the EU as a whole. The solutions to these problems in every case can only be found locally.

But many interests converge in supporting the demand for collective action. An elite in Brussels and some other capitals takes the view that whatever the problem, the answer is more Europe. Another reason is the pleasure European leaders take in holding international crisis meetings. Nicolas Sarkozy will not forgo any opportunity for public grandstanding, while the representatives of smaller European states exploit the crisis to acquire a profile they would not otherwise achieve or, in most cases, deserve. Financial markets are desperate to be bailed out, with the support of Tim Geithner, in his capacity as ambassador for US investment banks. The decisive action they all seek is not really a European solution at all. It is that the German government should write very large cheques – or underwrite very large borrowings.

Whenever you assert responsibility for issues you do not have authority to tackle, you risk a crisis of credibility that undermines the authority you do have. Europe’s leaders see themselves as mustering resources for a war with the markets: a war which they will lose, not just because they will never find sufficient resources to defeat the markets, but because they are really fighting reality.

Tags: Europe, financial crisis, Markets, Politics

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben Dyson of Positive Money published a piece in the Guardian's CiF section as part of the Occupy series:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/15/money-privatised-s tealth

Ben Dyson wrote:
Money has been privatised by stealth

The greatest privatisation in history has gone unnoticed. It's time to take from the banks the power to produce money

It's common knowledge that printing your own £10 notes at home is frowned upon by Her Majesty's police. Yet there's a small collection of companies that are authorised to create – and spend – more new money than the counterfeiters have ever been able to print. In industry jargon, these companies are called "monetary and financial institutions", but you probably know them by their street name: "banks".

The money that they create, effectively out of nothing, isn't the paper money that bears the logo of the government-owned Bank of England. It's the electronic money that flashes up on the screen when you check your balance at an ATM. Right now, this electronic money makes up over 97% of all the money in the economy. Only 3% of money is still in that old-fashioned form of real cash that can be touched.

Hard to believe, isn't it? Martin Wolf, one of the experts who sat on the independent commission on banking, put it bluntly, saying in the Financial Times that "the essence of the contemporary monetary system was the creation of money, out of nothing, by private banks' often foolish lending".

Here's how it works. When you ask the bank for the money to buy a one-bedroom box in London, the money that appears in your account isn't borrowed from some prudent grandmother's life savings. In fact, the bank simply types those numbers into your account, creating brand new money that you can now spend. As other banks do exactly the same, the amount of money in the economy grows and grows. Every new mortgage creates new money, which pushes up house prices just a little more and forces the next buyer to borrow even more from the banks. (A more detailed and fully-referenced explanation of this process is given in the book Where Does Money Come From? published by the New Economics Foundation.)

Through this process of creating money, banks have been able to inflate the money supply at a rate of 11.5% a year, pushing up the prices of houses and pricing out an entire generation.

Of course, the flipside to this creation of money is that with every new loan comes a new debt. This is the source of our mountain of personal debt – not money that had been prudently saved up by pensioners, but money that was created out of nothing by banks and lent to anyone and everyone. Eventually the debt burden becomes just too high, and we see the wave of defaults that triggered the start of the ongoing financial crisis.

But how did something as important as money become privatised? How did the power to create money fall into the hands of the same banks who caused the crisis, with such devastating consequences for millions of ordinary people?

Incredibly, the law that makes it illegal to print your own tenners at home has never been updated to apply to the electronic money that is now created by banks. As we began to use electronic money to make the vast majority of payments, cash became less important and the power to create money shifted to the banks that caused the crisis. Without anyone noticing, the power to create money was privatised by stealth.

So while criminal gangs manage to create about £2.5bn of fake cash each year, the banks collectively create more than £100bn a year without breaking a single law. Their reward for doing so is the interest that is currently being collected on nearly every pound in existence. The cost to the rest of us is a lifetime in debt.

This brings us to a very simple solution to the financial crisis. Many of the current protesters might be surprised to hear that the answer to our current crisis comes from a former Tory prime minister. Back in 1844, Sir Robert Peel realised that metal coins, which at that time were the only legal form of money, had been superseded by new paper notes issued by banks. These paper notes were lighter and more convenient, and therefore much more popular. Peel's 1844 Bank Charter Act took the power to create paper money away from the banks and placed it back under control of the Bank of England. We should now do exactly the same with the power to create electronic money. My own organisation, Positive Money, has even drafted the legislation that would be required to do this.

By reclaiming this power, we can ensure that new money is not used to blow up house price bubbles and fund risky speculation. Instead, newly created money can be put in at the roots of the economy, through ordinary consumers. It will then end up with shops, businesses and factories, who can use it to invest, grow and create jobs. Simply "getting banks lending again" won't help when the public are already saddled under a mountain of debt. What we need is more money, not more debt. This is impossible while all money is created by banks when people go into debt.

Of course, we need to shelter this power to create money from vote-seeking politicians. But the power to create money is far too dangerous to leave in the hands of the banks who caused the crisis. Taking this power away from them is our best hope of both ending the current crisis, and preventing the next one.





And the highly commendable Michael Meacher Labour MP (one of the few brave politicians that are openly sceptical about the official myth of 9/11) published this in his blog:

http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2011/03/when-are-the-banks-going -to-be-reformed/

Michael Meacher wrote:
When are the banks going to be reformed?
March 27th, 2011

It is astonishing that the banks, having cost the country £68bn in bailouts plus an additional £850bn in loan guarantees, asset protection schemes and enhanced liquidity, have not been reformed in any way in structure, pay, bonuses or lending. True, the Vickers Commission is due to report later this year and may some division between the investment and retail arms of banks. Or it may fudge the issue, or the Tory Party, which has been shown to get half its funding from the finance sector, may succumb to the intense lobbying from the banks to do little or nothing. So what should actually be done?

An ingenious new proposal has just been put forward by 2 NGOs, the New Economics Foundation and Positive Money, which deserves strong support. At root it involves two reforms. One is that the bank payments system is separated from risky lending activity, so that the failure of investments cannot damage the essential bank role of providing payments to depositors. This would have prevented the crash of 2007-8; only the investors would have suffered the consequences of their own recklessness and excesses, not the taxpayers. The second is that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) should influence money supply, not by the indirect and uncertain method of setting interest rates, but directly through the creation of new money when necessary, though only within strict constraints to avoid inflationary and deflationary pressure. That would effectively reverse the privatisation of the money supply which has existed since the 1844 Banking Act, but which the banks have colossally abused.

At present there are several enormous detriments to the existing banking system. One is that the banks create money out of thin air by repeatedly on-lending to different customers the same money secured by a small capital base, with the risk attached that any breakdown will be covered by taxpayers either through deposit insurance or through massive bailouts. Another is that under current rules the money supply can only be increased by additional bank lending which further exacerbates an already over-extended credit bubble. A third is that there is nothing to stop the banks using therir proceeds from lending to gamble on speculation in commercial property, overseas markets, tax avoidance/evasion scams, or any other money-spinning scheme rather than lending to UK business to create jobs.

Significantly, when the Government has engaged in £200bn quantitative easing over the last 3 years to extend the money supply, this money creation was intermediated through the banks which used it overwhelmingly to shore up their own rickety balance sheets rather than lend to business or householders. Nationalising control over the money supply is a key reform long overdue.

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Summary of 9/11 scepticism: http://tinyurl.com/27ngaw6 and www.911summary.com
Off the TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4szU19bQVE
Those who do not think that employment is systemic slavery are either blind or employed. (Nassim Taleb)
www.moneyasdebt.net
http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Herman Daly, former Senior Economist at the World Bank, endorses full reserve banking during an interview for the forthcoming documentary Critical Mass (criticalmassfilm.com):

http://vimeo.com/23218832


Taken from this Positive Money webpage about economists who call for full reserve banking:
http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2011/10/economists-supporting-full-res erve-banking/

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Summary of 9/11 scepticism: http://tinyurl.com/27ngaw6 and www.911summary.com
Off the TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4szU19bQVE
Those who do not think that employment is systemic slavery are either blind or employed. (Nassim Taleb)
www.moneyasdebt.net
http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Revolution is starting today...

Live blog and video here...

http://www.occupywallst.org/
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scienceplease 2 wrote:
Revolution is starting today...

It started when the towers came down. The crime of our age in broad daylight.

It's been brewing quietly for years.

It's been reading up on the money system.

A new awareness has been forming.

And now V's masks are out of the Wachowski brothers' imagination and onto the streets.

Worn by young people full of life, who know, understand, and most importantly, are not afraid.

The revolution is now.

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Summary of 9/11 scepticism: http://tinyurl.com/27ngaw6 and www.911summary.com
Off the TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4szU19bQVE
Those who do not think that employment is systemic slavery are either blind or employed. (Nassim Taleb)
www.moneyasdebt.net
http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hargreaves Lansdown robbing from the (relatively) poor to give to the rich

Hargreaves Lansdown's tracker bombshell
Nov 25, 2011
'Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) drops a tracker bombshell', says the Motley Fool. As Britain's biggest direct seller of investment funds to private investors, any big change the firm makes will always hit the headlines. So what has it done?
http://www.moneyweek.com/investments/funds/hargreaves-lansdown-tracker -funds-fees-change-56540

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=73vkHO PNZ8k[/youtube]
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Link
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RBS Crooks and Criminal Fraudsters Examined for Overstating (fraud and lies) Cash Held Before Crisis, FSA Says
December 12, 2011, 7:19 AM EST

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-12/rbs-examined-for-overstati ng-cash-held-before-crisis-fsa-says.html

U.K. Regulator Seeks Future Fines for Managers in RBS Report
RBS Chairman Says Bank Has Changed Its Way Since ABN Takeover
Bid Rigging, MF Global, Insider Trading, Cordray: Compliance
RBS Slashes Holdings of French Bonds More Than Southern Europe
EU Banks Must Raise $153 Billion of Extra Capital, EBA Says

By Gavin Finch

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was investigated by the Financial Services Authority before its bailout after wrongly telling regulators it held more cash to cover client withdrawals than the required minimum.

RBS overstated its Sterling Stock Liquidity Ratio, a measure of a bank’s ability to withstand customer withdrawals without access to wholesale funding, between March 2006 and July 2007, the FSA said in a report today into the bank’s near collapse. RBS’s ratio averaged 69 percent, below the 100 percent minimum, the FSA said.

RBS told the FSA and the Bank of England on July 9, 2007, that it had incorrectly reported non-sterling assets as sterling holdings and that it “did not impact RBS’s overall liquidity,” the FSA said. The regulator accepted RBS’s assurances it would fix the underlying reasons for the misreporting. The FSA’s supervisory team contacted RBS in August 2007 to remind the bank of the importance of accurate regulatory reporting and to seek assurances on how the bank would avoid such mistakes in future. The FSA could find no evidence that the bank had addressed these weaknesses in its internal controls, though noted that RBS had returned to the minimum of 100 percent by July 17.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taxpayers Have Right to Be ‘Furious’ Over FSA Oversight of RBS
By Ben Moshinsky - Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. taxpayers “had a right to be absolutely furious” with regulators over their supervision of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc before its near collapse in 2008, the Financial Services Authority’s chairman said today.
Regulators missed problems with the bank’s liquidity in the months before the 2008 financial crisis and allowed the bank to operate with a capital ratio of one-quarter of current minimums. The FSA had fewer than five team members devoted to supervising RBS in October 2007, a year before its bailout, the watchdog said in a report today.
“One of the flaws with the supervisory system at that time was that the resource devoted to supervising systemically important firms was very light,” FSA Chairman Adair Turner told reporters in London today.
RBS reported a 24.1 billion-pound ($37 billion) loss for 2008, the largest in U.K. corporate history, and required a 45.5 billion-pound taxpayer rescue, the world’s biggest banking bailout, after the acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro Holding NV. The FSA, which will be split up next year, came under pressure from lawmakers to publish the probe into RBS finances after it cleared former RBS Chief Executive Officer Fred Goodwin and others of wrongdoing.

‘Deeply Irresponsible’
“Today’s report by the FSA into the failures at RBS makes it clear that ‘ultimate responsibility for poor decisions must lie with the firm’ but also that the regulators didn’t do enough,” Labour Party lawmaker Chris Leslie said in an e-mailed statement. “It is astonishing that deeply irresponsible decisions by these bankers could have forced a 45 billion-pound bailout necessary to save depositors, and yet no enforcement action is brought, and nobody is punished for this.”
In response to a reporter’s question today, Turner said it wasn’t fair that Goodwin faced no sanctions for his role in the bank’s downfall.....
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-12/taxpayers-have-right-to-be -furious-over-fsa-oversight-of-rbs.html

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acrobat74
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyGosling wrote:
Taxpayers Have Right to Be ‘Furious’ Over FSA Oversight of RBS

By Ben Moshinsky - Dec. 12 (Bloomberg)

U.K. taxpayers “had a right to be absolutely furious” with regulators over their supervision of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc before its near collapse in 2008, the Financial Services Authority’s chairman said today.

Spot on. RBS is a basket case in a league of its own.

FSA denies negligence over RBS
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16135406

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Off the TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4szU19bQVE
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-ban kers-are-the-dictators-of-the-west-6275084.html

Quote:
Robert Fisk: Bankers are the dictators of the West

Writing from the very region that produces more clichés per square foot than any other "story" – the Middle East – I should perhaps pause before I say I have never read so much garbage, so much utter drivel, as I have about the world financial crisis.

But I will not hold my fire. It seems to me that the reporting of the collapse of capitalism has reached a new low which even the Middle East cannot surpass for sheer unadulterated obedience to the very institutions and Harvard "experts" who have helped to bring about the whole criminal disaster.

Let's kick off with the "Arab Spring" – in itself a grotesque verbal distortion of the great Arab/Muslim awakening which is shaking the Middle East – and the trashy parallels with the social protests in Western capitals. We've been deluged with reports of how the poor or the disadvantaged in the West have "taken a leaf" out of the "Arab spring" book, how demonstrators in America, Canada, Britain, Spain and Greece have been "inspired" by the huge demonstrations that brought down the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and – up to a point – Libya. But this is nonsense.

The real comparison, needless to say, has been dodged by Western reporters, so keen to extol the anti-dictator rebellions of the Arabs, so anxious to ignore protests against "democratic" Western governments, so desperate to disparage these demonstrations, to suggest that they are merely picking up on the latest fad in the Arab world. The truth is somewhat different. What drove the Arabs in their tens of thousands and then their millions on to the streets of Middle East capitals was a demand for dignity and a refusal to accept that the local family-ruled dictators actually owned their countries. The Mubaraks and the Ben Alis and the Gaddafis and the kings and emirs of the Gulf (and Jordan) and the Assads all believed that they had property rights to their entire nations. Egypt belonged to Mubarak Inc, Tunisia to Ben Ali Inc (and the Traboulsi family), Libya to Gaddafi Inc. And so on. The Arab martyrs against dictatorship died to prove that their countries belonged to their own people.

And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against "governments". What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people's power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of "experts" from America's top universities and "think tanks", who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.

The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West. Like the Mubaraks and Ben Alis, the banks believed – and still believe – they are owners of their countries. The elections which give them power have – through the gutlessness and collusion of governments – become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop decade after decade to anoint their own national property owners. Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and the UK, each gobbling up the people's wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine.

I didn't need Charles Ferguson's Inside Job on BBC2 this week – though it helped – to teach me that the ratings agencies and the US banks are interchangeable, that their personnel move seamlessly between agency, bank and US government. The ratings lads (almost always lads, of course) who AAA-rated sub-prime loans and derivatives in America are now – via their poisonous influence on the markets – clawing down the people of Europe by threatening to lower or withdraw the very same ratings from European nations which they lavished upon criminals before the financial crash in the US. I believe that understatement tends to win arguments. But, forgive me, who are these creatures whose ratings agencies now put more fear into the French than Rommel did in 1940?

Why don't my journalist mates in Wall Street tell me? How come the BBC and CNN and – oh, dear, even al-Jazeera – treat these criminal communities as unquestionable institutions of power? Why no investigations – Inside Job started along the path – into these scandalous double-dealers? It reminds me so much of the equally craven way that so many American reporters cover the Middle East, eerily avoiding any direct criticism of Israel, abetted by an army of pro-Likud lobbyists to explain to viewers why American "peacemaking" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be trusted, why the good guys are "moderates", the bad guys "terrorists".

The Arabs have at least begun to shrug off this nonsense. But when the Wall Street protesters do the same, they become "anarchists", the social "terrorists" of American streets who dare to demand that the Bernankes and Geithners should face the same kind of trial as Hosni Mubarak. We in the West – our governments – have created our dictators. But, unlike the Arabs, we can't touch them.

The Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, solemnly informed his people this week that they were not responsible for the crisis in which they found themselves. They already knew that, of course. What he did not tell them was who was to blame. Isn't it time he and his fellow EU prime ministers did tell us? And our reporters, too?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen nothing on the BBC about this Gnome falling

Swiss bank chief Philipp Hildebrand quits
Philipp Hildebrand, the embattled head of the Swiss central bank, has resigned with immediate effect after admitting that he had no proof that his wife made controversial currency trades without his knowledge.
Mr Hildebrand last week rejected calls to step down, refuting claims by the Swiss magazine Weltwoche that he had personally authorised the currency deal, which made the Hildebrands a Sfr75,000 profit in just two months.
By Szu Ping Chan - 2:47PM GMT 09 Jan 2012 -
Speaking at a press conference in Bern, Mr Hildebrand said:

"In view of the continued public debate centred on these financial transactions and following detailed examination of all documentation and reflection since the news conference, I have come to the conclusion it is not possible to provide conclusive and final evidence that my wife did initiate the transaction without my knowledge.

"The fact is my word is my bond I had no knowledge of my wife's transaction on that day."

Mr Hildebrand added that that he hoped the move would "allow the SNB to retain its credibility, which is its greatest assset."

Kashya Hildebrand, a former hedge fund trader who now runs a Zurich art gallery, bought Sfr400,000 (£272,363) for $504,000 on August 15. The trades were made three weeks before the SNB set a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 Swiss francs per euro to stem massive inflows of money from the eurozone which was hurting the Swiss economy.

In a statement released on Monday, Mrs Hildebrand said that she had failed her husband "by not considering the perception of a 'conflict of interest' created by my purchase of dollars....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/900265 9/Swiss-bank-chief-Philipp-Hildebrand-quits.html

Related Articles
Toxic dollar deal that could bring down top Swiss banker 07 Jan 2012
Swiss central bank boss denies insider trading 05 Jan 2012
Scandal engulfs Swiss central bank 04 Jan 2012
SNB chairman unaware of wife's dollar trade, says auditor 04 Jan 2012

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bryan Gould is a former British Labour MP and vice-chancellor of the University of Waikato.

Bryan Gould: Blind faith in market robs nation of its full potential

By Bryan Gould - 5:30 AM Thursday Jan 12, 2012
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid= 10778102
Bryan Gould says that the unregulated market can become an instrument of oppression. Photo / Alan GibsonEven the wealthy end up worse off in an unequal and divided society
The unregulated market can become an instrument of oppression. It was salutary to read Martin Robinson's argument last week that growing inequality should be, if not actually celebrated, at least endorsed and justified. What was remarkable, though, was the paucity of the arguments he advanced to support his position.
It was noteworthy that he did not deny that the gap between rich and poor had widened substantially; nor did he contradict the OECD's recently published finding that inequality had grown faster here than in most other countries. And he did not explain why today's more unequal society is an improvement on the New Zealand which once enjoyed one of the highest living standards in the world and was at the same time one of the world's most egalitarian societies.
He seemed unconcerned by the increasingly strong evidence, stressed by the OECD, that widening inequality is the hallmark of societies and economies that are functioning poorly; indeed, he seemed completely unaware of the excellent research produced by the authors of The Spirit Level showing that countries where inequality is most marked, such as the United States and Britain, are also those which face the most intractable social and economic problems.
He took refuge instead in attacking positions that no one actually holds. To deplore widening inequality is not the same thing as insisting that everyone should be paid the same, nor does it mean rewarding the idle and feckless at the expense of those who work hard.
His main argument was that paying the All Blacks top salaries has made them the world-beating team they are. But All Black excellence depends on many factors, most of which have little to do with salaries; they were world leaders long before they turned professional and even today are often paid less than they would be if they went overseas.
And, sadly, however much our business leaders are paid our economic performance still falls short of All Black standards.
Whole societies are, in any case, much more complex undertakings than a sports team. The ground on which Robinson really seeks to stand has nothing to do with rugby. Rather, it is the belief that if the market sanctions very large salaries then those payments must be justified, since the market cannot be wrong.
It is precisely this touching faith in the infallibility of the market that has produced our current difficulties. It was the unregulated market that brought about the global financial crisis, that pays huge bonuses to failed bankers and that exposed thousands of investors to the loss of their savings through the failure of finance companies.
The view that challenging the market is somehow immoral has only recently gained credence. Even Adam Smith took an explicitly contrary view. What extreme free-market ideologues do not seem to grasp is that the unregulated market can become an instrument of oppression, since it is so easily manipulated by those who wield dominant power in the marketplace. And if the market cannot be challenged, then there is nothing to prevent that dominance from being repeatedly exploited to extend that advantage, to the disadvantage of everyone else.
All too often, the market's apparent recognition of merit simply reflects the dominant position of those who walk away with the spoils. The best-paid people set each other's salaries and they are adept at ensuring that, while the global economy demands that working people's wages are driven down to third-world levels, it requires that top people are paid the huge salaries that are now the norm in the international marketplace.
No one begrudges appropriate rewards for those whose efforts add to the general welfare. But many big earners do not create new wealth; they merely manipulate existing assets. Bankers, property speculators and even (dare one say) foreign exchange dealers cream their fortunes off the top of assets that others have created, thereby siphoning off wealth for themselves that might otherwise have been more fairly distributed.
Growing inequality of course means that the wealthy lead quite separate lives, buying themselves out of life as the rest of us live it. We gain little from them and they know even less of us. While few now give credence to the "trickle-down" theory, the flipside of the market as moral arbiter - invariably rewarding the deserving - is the belief that the poor have no one to blame but themselves.
Those who manipulate the market to their own advantage enjoy not only material rewards but a sense of moral superiority.
What the apologists for inequality do not grasp is that we are all, including the wealthy, made worse off, not only because we live in a more divided and less cohesive society, but also because - by diverting so much national wealth into so few pockets - we thereby undervalue and make poor use of the productive potential of the rest of us, so that we produce less as a country than we should.
Bryan Gould is a former British Labour MP and vice-chancellor of the University of Waikato.
By Bryan Gould

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rustle wrote:
The state is paying its banks to employ others to lobby it.

Are there MP's with interests in the lobbying companies or was it something I dreamt?


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/taxpayers-foot-the-bill- for-lossmaking-banks-lobbying-6287846.html

Quote:
Taxpayers foot the bill for loss-making banks' lobbying

Britain's two state-owned banks have hired seven separate lobbying and public affairs companies at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, The Independent has learnt.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is 83 per cent owned by taxpayers, paid six firms last year despite losing more than £750m in six months. It also employs its own team of internal corporate lobbyists to influence ministers.

Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41 per cent owned by the Government, retained two lobbying companies. It reported £3.3bn of pre-tax losses in the six months to June. Neither RBS nor Lloyds would specify exactly what the firms were doing on their behalf, but the extent of their use will fuel concerns that the banks are using taxpayers' money in an attempt to water down banking reforms and planned caps on executive pay.

It comes despite a ban by ministers on other recipients of taxpayers' money hiring public affairs firms to lobby other arms of Government.

The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, has said:
"Taxpayer-funded campaigns conducted by private lobbying firms mean... public policy is weakened and public discourse becomes a soundbite battle. Lobbyists are not subject to Freedom of Information or transparency rules. Democracy is at its strongest when it is cost-efficient, open and transparent, and lobbying on public money undermines it." He has also said that taxpayers did not want public money spent on "loudhailer propaganda".

Last night, Downing Street sources said it "seemed ridiculous" for banks such as RBS and Lloyds to be spending shareholder money on PR consultants. They insisted, however, that doing so did not buy influence with ministers. "These firms might try and lobby us to do things but that does not mean that we do them," one No 10 source said.

Tamasin Cabe, of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency, described the revelations as "offensive" while Labour said they were "outrageous".

"It is hard to explain how a state-owned company should need lobbyists to lobby the state," said Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Office minister. "They should be spending their money providing better services for customers."

The records of banks' hirings are contained in client records kept by the public affairs industry.

RBS retained the services of APCO, Finsbury, Bell Pottinger and Lansons in 2010. Ulster Bank, which is wholly owned by RBS, employed Cherton Enterprise.

Lloyds hired Burson Marsteller and College Public Policy – although the second contract has now been replaced with a contract with the firm Hanover.

RBS's use of PR companies is far greater than its private banking competitors. HSBC and Barclays each employ two firms, while Santander retains three.


RBS unveiled plans yesterday to pay the head of its troubled investment banking division £4.3m in April despite the company's share price falling by half in a year.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

$15 TRILLION is equivalent to the the federal debt of the U.S. Treasury Department. Lord James of Blackheath has spoken in the House of Lords holding evidence of three transactions of 5 Trillion each and a transaction of 750,000 metric tonnes of gold and has called for an investigation.

Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAK5xzEYq7I

I think there are three possible conclusions that may come from it. I think there may have been a massive piece of money laundering committed by a major government which ought to know better and that it has effectively undermined the integrity of the British bank the Royal Bank of Scotland, in doing so. The second alternative is that a major American department has an agency that has gone rogue on it because it has been wound up and has created a structure out of which they are seeking to get at least 50 billion Euros as a payoff. And the third possibility is that this is an extraordinarily elaborate fraud which has not been carried out but which has been prepared in order to provide a threat to one government or more if they don't pay them off. So there are three possibilities and this all needs a very urgent review.

My Lords, it starts in April and May of 2009, with the alleged transfer to the United Kingdom, to HSBC of a sum of 5 trillion dollars and seven days later, in comes another 5 trillion dollars to HSBC, and then 3 weeks later another 5 trillion. 5 trillion in each case. Sorry. A total of 15 trillion dollars is alleged to have been passed into the hands of HSBC for onward transit to the Royal Bank of Scotland and we need to look at where this came from and what the history of this money is. And I have been trying to sort out the sequence by which this money has been created and from where it has come from for a long time.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you're unbelievable mate
formalising the upside down kingdom of the crooked cross


Senior Credit Suisse banker gets bonus despite £210,000 fine
A senior Credit Suisse trader will be paid a bonus for 2011 despite being fined £210,000 by the Financial Services Authority for "improper market conduct".
By Jonathan Russell - 9:35PM GMT 13 Mar 2012
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/914167 1/Senior-Credit-Suisse-banker-gets-bonus-despite-210000-fine.html
Nicholas Kyprios, head of European credit sales at Credit Suisse, will be paid 50pc of his bonus by the bank after "serious" rule breaches but will retain his job.
The decision comes despite the FSA finding Mr Kyprios guilty of disclosing inside information through playing "charades" and "getting warmer" with a client.
Mr Kyrios was fined in relation to a bond sale dating back to 2009 in which he was found to have breached market rules about the disclosure of inside information.
Despite being made aware the bond sale was market sensitive Mr Kyrios engaged in verbal games with clients that allowed them to guess the identity of the issuing company.
In telephone conversations with unnamed clients he said: "I have been wall-crossed so I want to be careful to a certain extent," before disclosing the company that was issuing the bonds was German.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

such an important book
posted it twice

If you control the money, you control the entire world (H. Kissinger)
Read It Read It Read It

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gods-Money-F-William-Engdahl/dp/3981326318

GODS OF MONEY F. WILLIAM ENGDAHL
F. William Engdahl exposes masterfully with ground breaking investigations how a tiny ultra wealthy oligarchy took control of the US and the world's financial system and shaped the fate of life and death on our planet. (C. Quigley: `a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the world economy in a feudalist fashion.')

The continuous greatest hold-up in the world

A. Lincoln said that `the privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but also its greatest creative opportunity.' But, with the Federal Reserve Act a tiny consortium of private bankers took total control of the US money printing press and US monetary policies, using the faith and credit of the US government to fill their own pockets.

The battle for world financial supremacy
This consortium (mainly the Houses of Morgan and Rockefeller) attacked the London-controlled Gold Standard and replaced it in 1925 by the US controlled Gold Exchange Standard (GES) with its gold-dollar link.
In the face of a market crash and a severe economic downturn the FR chose to defend the GES with a severe discount rate hike. A monumental depression made a `leftist' New Deal necessary.
With the bankruptcy of its main commercial rivals, the US forced the Bretton-Woods Agreements through at the end of WW II. It took control of the world economic space (raw materials and markets) and imposed worldwide its economic policies of free trade and open markets through the BIRD, the IMF and GATT. Moreover, the dollar (with a fixed gold price) became the world's only reserve currency giving the Fed uncontrolled power to issue virtually unlimited amounts of dollars.
The full speed dollar printing to finance the Vietnam War forced President Nixon to cut the gold-dollar link. But, the dollar was rescued by a monumental rise in the oil (quoted in dollars) price. Another rescue was nevertheless necessary as Fed chairman Paul Volcker blew the interest rates into the stratosphere. Today, the outlook for the dollar seems to be extremely bleak.

Battles in the US
With the Glass-Steagall Act (splitting the depository banks from the insurance and investment companies) enacted in 1933 after the Wall Street Crash the House of Morgan was beaten by its main rival the House of the Rockefellers.
A frontal attack against the FR was launched by President Kennedy when his government printed outside the FR interest free US Notes backed by silver. He died before the could be pyblicly distributed.
President Reagan attacked the New Deal and introduced financial deregulation opening a window for big financial mergers which became `too big to fail'. Under Fed chairman A. Greenspan the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed. It all ended in 2007 in a worldwide financial tsunami when the global financial system collapsed.

World political supremacy
Strategically, the long arm of the financial consortium was the `Council on Foreign Relations', which shaped (shapes) US international policies.
By financing the European rivals in the two World Wars, the US not only bankrupted its main economic rivals, but it could lay its hands on the strategic European heartland.
After WW II the US reigned superbly, military (A-Bomb) and economically.
It defended its position all over the Western world, also in France where a financial and political attack by General De Gaulle was successfully parried.
Today, one of the two pillars of US domination (the dollar) fell from its throne. Can the US continue to finance the other pillar, unchallenged global military strength, in the face of a prolonged economic downturn?

F. William Engdahl wrote a fascinating, disturbing and courageous book. It is a must read for all historians and for all those who want to understand the world we live in.

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Britain’s 1,000 richest persons made gains of £155bn in last 3 years
April 29th, 2012
http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2012/04/britains-1000-richest-pe rsons-made-gains-of-155bn-in-last-3-years/

The Sunday Times Rich List, published today and compulsory reading for anybody who wants to understand Britain’s power structure today, holds three extremely significant conclusions. One is that the 1,000 richest persons in the UK have increased their wealth by so much in the last 3 years – £155bn – that they themselves alone could pay off the entire UK budget deficit and still leave themselves with £30bn to spare which should be enough to keep the wolf from the door. The second, even more staggering, is that whilst the rest of the country is being crippled by the biggest public expenditure and benefits squeeze for a century, these 1,000 persons, containing many of the bankers and hedge fund and private equity operators who caused the financial crash in the first place, have not been made subject to any tax payback whatever commensurate to their gains. This is truly a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.

The third is that despite the biggest slump for nearly a century, the slowest and most anaemic recovery, and prolonged austerity stretching to a decade or more, this ultra-rich clique are now sitting on wealth even greater than what they had amassed at the height of the boom just before the crash. Their combined wealth is now estimated at more than £414bn, equivalent to more than a third of Britain’s entire GDP. They include 77 billionaires and 23 others whose wealth exceeds £750m.

Despite these massive repositories of wealth, these are some of the very people to whom Osborne gifted £3bn in his recent budget by cutting the 50p tax rate. That measure alone gave 40,000 UK millionaires an extra average £14,000 a week, at the same time as those on very low incomes in receipt of working tax credits who couldn’t find an employer to increase their hours of work from 16 to 24 a week were being deprived in the same budget of £77 a week, around a third of their income, through their tax credits being withdrawn.

In 1997 the wealth of the richest 1,000 amounted to £99bn. The increase in their wealth over the last 15 years has therefore been £315bn. If this increase in wealth were subject to capital gains tax at the current 28% rate, it would yield £88bn, and that alone would pay off more than 70% of the total budget deficit. However Osborne seems to share the notorious view of the New York heiress, Leonora Helmsley: “taxes are only for the little people”.

me in the comments section wrote:
Great to hear this very article plugged on natonal BBC radio this morning - MM for PM.
But weasel brain Nicky Campbell cut the caller off in mid-flow to go to, guess what, someone who wasn't there.
Classic BBC censorship and reminds me of the fact that BBC founder Lord Reith was a fascist, even a Nazi, a big supporter of Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia.
And Michael, you even appeared in the pre-Victor Rothschild coup BBC series: The Edge Of Darkness too.
You are the tops man.
God bless you and heal your every ailment!
BTW why was this article not in The Guardian. Have they been 'got at' too?

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazing!
Michael Meacher MP
Top 1000 Rich List hoarders (the 0.0015%) could pay off entire deficit with £30bn to spare
http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2012/04/britains-1000-richest-pe rsons-made-gains-of-155bn-in-last-3-years/

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyGosling wrote:
amazing!
Michael Meacher MP
Top 1000 Rich List hoarders (the 0.0015%) could pay off entire deficit with £30bn to spare
http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2012/04/britains-1000-richest-pe rsons-made-gains-of-155bn-in-last-3-years/


Extraordinary! Can't we get the army to go around to a few billionaires homes and say "sorry we're all in this together" and extract the deficit money...
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to this insightful note, Meacher is one of the few MPs who understand the dead end of the money creation system.
He has been in contact with the Positive Money crew. He truly is outstanding.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Banking should be run as a public utlity
Euro crisis and discussion about likely Greek departure from the Euro.
http://bcfm.org.uk/2012/05/25/17/friday-drivetime-72/17682
http://radio4all.net/index.php/program/60275
Debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid. Insolvent banking sector needs to be wound up in an orderly fashion. Greens would focus on policies for schools, community centres and the NHS. Lessons to learn from Iceland which jailed bankers and politicians and Argentina which underwent total financial meltdown in 2000. Which? magazine survey finds all major supermarkets are using confidence tricks on customers with their fake ‘half price’, ‘buy one get one free’and other ’special offers’. But who can destroy the power of the supermarkets especially when they are colluding on deceptive pricing? City of London banking regulator Andrew Bailey signals the end of ‘free banking’ but, as we hear, account charges and banks’ ability to make up money out of nowhere and lend it at interest should mean free banking. Banking should be run as a public utility, a public service for all. Banking sector regulators Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Financial Services Authority (FSA) are more propaganda outfits than regulators as they are funded by the banks. Bankers are not like chrities, like an old fashioned feudal aristocracy. Credit unions are a viable alternative which keeps the wealth in the local community. The Bristol pound to be launched soon. Music: Editor of New York’s Trends Journal The Gerald Celente Mix by Robin Carvell. LibDem MP for Bristol West Stephen Williams asks awkward Prime Ministerial Question this week of David Cameron about policies for growth. Speaker asks Cameron to retract unparliamentary language calling Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls a ‘muttering idiot’ but Cameron dodges the speaker’s demand. We are now in a ‘double dip’ recession because you can not have growth and austerity at the same time. Bad language and behaviour at Prime Ministers’ Questions led, on this occasion by David Cameron himself. Gus wants to bring empty homes back into use and wonders why any offices are being built when so many around the city are empty.

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scienceplease 2
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

acrobat74 wrote:
In addition to this insightful note, Meacher is one of the few MPs who understand the dead end of the money creation system.
He has been in contact with the Positive Money crew. He truly is outstanding.


Yep. He'd get my vote.
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Andrew.
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Link


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=orjBwd rlR4s[/youtube]

Austrian AV Club - Lord Monckton on Rio 2012, Agenda 21 and the Eurozone


Mr Monckton on a few issues, Land & property, issuance of money, climate, agenda 21,

Gives a few solutions hitting on the big problems, but twists them at the end. Then at very end having told us about Marxism,communism (in the hands of the few) gives his? version of Marxism in the guise of free market (in the hands of the few.)


Last edited by Andrew. on Wed May 30, 2012 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'We're being robbed!' 12yr old girl exposes Canada banking flaws
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0IUl2UMwt4
Economists around the world are struggling to break free of the clutches of the financial crisis. But a twelve-year-old Canadian knows what needs to be done. Victoria Grant took the Internet by storm overnight, after a video of her slamming Canada's banks for robbing the people went viral. RT talks to internet sensation Victoria Grant and her mother Marcia Grant.
Published on 1 Jun 2012 by RussiaToday


Victoria Grant

Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx5Sc3vWefE
12-year old Victoria Grant explains why her homeland, Canada, and most of the world, is in debt. April 27, 2012 at the Public Banking in America Conference, Philadelphia, PA. Support a public bank for YOUR state. Donate and make it happen!

https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=10 03915&a...

For more information see http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org. It is also posted at https://vimeo.com/41954094

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http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
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Disco_Destroyer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fmr IRS agent Joe Banister at Occupy Bilderberg 2012, won't work for banksters anymore


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Quote:
Published on Jun 5, 2012 by AdamKokesh

http://agentfortruth.com/
Please address hate mail to adam@adamvstheman.com
Invest here to support ADAM VS THE MAN!
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acrobat74
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyGosling wrote:
'We're being robbed!' 12yr old girl exposes Canada banking flaws
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0IUl2UMwt4


Link


Quite astute.



Excellent article on the European debt crisis by George Soros:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/07/germany-take-control-eu rozone-crisis?CMP=twt_fd

Germany must take control of the eurozone crisis - before it's too late

European authorities, with Germany at the centre, have a three-month window during which they can still correct their mistakes and reverse current trends

George Soros
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 7 June 2012 12.54 BS

It is now clear that the main cause of the euro crisis is the member states' surrender of their right to print money to the European Central Bank. They did not understand just what that surrender entailed - and neither did the European authorities.

When the euro was introduced, regulators allowed banks to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds without setting aside any equity capital, and the ECB discounted all eurozone government bonds on equal terms.
Commercial banks found it advantageous to accumulate weaker countries' bonds to earn a few extra basis points, which caused interest rates to converge across the eurozone.
Germany, struggling with the burdens of reunification, undertook structural reforms and became more competitive. Other countries enjoyed housing and consumption booms on the back of cheap credit, making them less competitive.

Then came the crash of 2008.

Governments had to bail out their banks. Some of them found themselves in the position of a developing country that had become heavily indebted in a currency that it did not control. Reflecting the divergence in economic performance, Europe became divided into creditor and debtor countries.

When financial markets discovered that supposedly riskless government bonds might be forced into default, they raised risk premiums dramatically. This rendered potentially insolvent commercial banks, whose balance sheets were loaded with such bonds, giving rise to Europe's twin sovereign debt and banking crisis.

The eurozone is now replicating how the global financial system dealt with such crises in 1982 and again in 1997. In both cases, the international authorities inflicted hardship on the periphery in order to protect the centre; now Germany is unknowingly playing the same role.

The details differ, but the idea is the same: creditors are shifting the entire burden of adjustment onto debtors, while the "centre" avoids its own responsibility for the imbalances.

Interestingly, the terms "centre" and "periphery" have crept into usage almost unnoticed. Yet, in the euro crisis, the centre's responsibility is even greater than it was in 1982 or 1997: it designed a flawed currency system and failed to correct the defects. In the 1980s, Latin America suffered a lost decade; a similar fate now awaits Europe.

At the onset of the crisis, a breakup of the euro was inconceivable: the assets and liabilities denominated in a common currency were so intermingled that a breakup would have led to an uncontrollable meltdown.

But, as the crisis has progressed, the financial system has become increasingly reordered along national lines. This trend has gathered momentum in recent months. The ECB's long-term refinancing operation enabled Spanish and Italian banks to buy their own countries' bonds and earn a large spread. Simultaneously, banks gave preference to shedding assets outside their national borders, and risk managers try to match assets and liabilities at home, rather than within the eurozone as a whole.

If this continued for a few years, a euro breakup would become possible without a meltdown, but it would leave the creditor countries with large claims against debtor countries, which would be difficult to collect.

In addition to intergovernmental transfers and guarantees, the Bundesbank's claims against peripheral countries' central banks within the Target2 clearing system totaled €644bn (£522bn) on 30 April, and the amount is growing exponentially, owing to capital flight.

So the crisis keeps growing. Tensions in financial markets have hit new highs. Most telling is that Britain, which retained control of its currency, enjoys the lowest yields in its history, while the risk premium on Spanish bonds is at a new high.

The real economy of the eurozone is declining, while Germany is booming. This means that the divergence is widening. The political and social dynamics are also working toward disintegration. Public opinion, as expressed in recent election results, is increasingly opposed to austerity, and this trend is likely to continue until the policy is reversed. Something has to give.

In my judgment, the authorities have a three-month window during which they could still correct their mistakes and reverse current trends. That would require some extraordinary policy measures to return conditions closer to normal, and they must conform to existing treaties, which could then be revised in a calmer atmosphere to prevent recurrence of imbalances.

It is difficult, but not impossible, to identify some extraordinary measures that would meet these tough requirements. They would have to tackle the banking and the sovereign debt problems simultaneously, without neglecting to reduce divergences in competitiveness.

The eurozone needs a banking union: a European deposit-insurance scheme in order to stem capital flight, a European source for financing bank recapitalization, and eurozone-wide supervision and regulation. The heavily indebted countries need relief on their financing costs. There are various ways to provide it, but they all require Germany's active support.

That is where the blockage is. German authorities are working feverishly to come up with a set of proposals in time for the European Union summit at the end of June, but all signs suggest that they will offer only the minimum on which the various parties can agree - implying, once again, only temporary relief.

But we are at an inflection point. The Greek crisis is liable to come to a climax in the fall, even if the election produces a government that is willing to abide by Greece's current agreement with its creditors. By that time, the German economy will also be weakening, so that Chancellor Angela Merkel will find it even more difficult than today to persuade the German public to accept additional European responsibilities.

Barring an accident like the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, Germany is likely to do enough to hold the euro together, but the EU will become something very different from the open society that once fired people's imagination. The division between debtor and creditor countries will become permanent, with Germany dominating and the periphery becoming a depressed hinterland.

This will inevitably arouse suspicion about Germany's role in Europe - but any comparison with Germany's past is quite inappropriate. The current situation is due not to a deliberate plan, but to the lack of one. It is a tragedy of policy errors. Germany is a well-functioning democracy with an overwhelming majority for an open society. When the German people become aware of the consequences - one hopes not too late - they will want to correct the defects in the euro's design.

It is clear what is needed: a European fiscal authority that is able and willing to reduce the debt burden of the periphery, as well as a banking union. Debt relief could take various forms other than eurobonds, and would be conditional on debtors abiding by the fiscal compact. Withdrawing all or part of the relief in case of nonperformance would be a powerful protection against moral hazard. It is up to Germany to live up to the leadership responsibilities thrust upon it by its own success.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2012.

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