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Financial Meltdown on Wall Street


Michel Chossudovsky

We are at the crossroads of the most serious economic crisis in world history. The economic crisis has by no means reached its climax, as some economists have predicted. The crisis is deepening, with the risk of seriously disrupting the structures of international trade and investment. – Excerpt from Chapter 1; The Global Economic Crisis

The Nature of the Economic Crisis

In contrast to Roosevelt’s New Deal, adopted at the height of the Great Depression, the macroeconomic policy agenda of the Obama administration does not constitute a solution to the crisis. In fact, quite the opposite: it directly contributes to the concentration and centralization of financial wealth, which in turn undermines the real economy.

The crisis did not commence with the 2008 meltdown of financial markets. It is deeply rooted in major transformations in the global economy and financial architecture which unfolded in several stages since the early 1980s. The September-October 2008 stock market crash was the outcome of a process of financial deregulation and macroeconomic reform.

We are dealing with a long-term process of economic and financial restructuring. In its earlier phase, starting in the 1980s during the Reagan-Thatcher era, local and regional level enterprises, family farms and small businesses were displaced and destroyed. In turn, the merger and acquisition boom of the 1990s led to the concurrent consolidation of large corporate entities both in the real economy as well as in banking and financial services.

International commodity trade has plummeted. Bankruptcies are occurring in all major sectors of activity: agriculture, manufacturing, telecoms, consumer retail outlets, shopping malls, airlines, hotels and tourism, not to mention real estate and the construction industry.

What is distinct in this particular phase of the crisis is the ability of the financial giants – through stock market manipulation as well as through their overriding control over credit – not only to create havoc in the production of goods and services, but also to undermine and destroy large and well established business corporations.

This crisis is far more serious than the Great Depression. All major sectors of the global economy are affected. Factories are closed down. Assembly lines are at a standstill. Unemployment is rampant. Wages have collapsed. Entire populations are precipitated into abysmal poverty. Livelihoods are destroyed. Public services are disrupted or privatized. The repercussions on people’s lives in North America and around the world are dramatic.

The Financial Meltdown

The subprime residential mortgage crisis leading to millions of people losing their homes reached its climax in the last days of August 2008, when financial institutions reported billions of dollars in losses.

Friday, September 12, 2008, Lehman Brothers faced collapse in weekend negotiations behind closed doors on Wall Street. Black Monday descended on September 15, 2008. Following the filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy by Lehman on Monday morning, the Dow Jones industrial average declined by 504 points (4.4 percent), its largest drop since September 17, 2001, when trading resumed on Wall Street after the 9/11 attacks.

The following day, it was the turn of AIG, the insurance conglomerate. On the evening of September 16, the Bush administration “granted an $85 billion loan to AIG in exchange for a controlling 79.9% equity share of the company”.[1]

The financial slide proceeded unabated throughout September. Barely two weeks later, on Monday, September 29, the Dow Jones plummeted by 778 points, its largest one-day drop in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. This followed the rejection by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Bush administration’s 700 billion dollar bailout plan, which was slated to come to the rescue of the banks affected by the subprime mortgage crisis. In a single day, 1.2 trillion dollars had seemingly evaporated.

The world’s stock markets are interconnected around the clock through instant computer link-up. Instability on Wall Street immediately spills over into the European and Asian stock markets, thereby rapidly permeating the entire financial system.

Speculative Onslaught on Black Monday, September 29, 2008

There was something disturbing about the Black Monday, September 29, 2008 collapse of Wall Street, following the decision of the U.S. House of Representatives. Did this paper money “vanish into thin air” as claimed by financial analysts, or was it “appropriated” by institutional speculators in one of the largest transfers of money wealth in American history?

There was prior knowledge on how the Congressional vote would proceed. President Bush’s speeches had intimated that a collapse would occur. There was also an expectation that the market would crumble if the proposed 700 billion dollar bailout were to be rejected by the U.S. Congress.

Speculators, including major financial institutions, had already positioned themselves. Powerful financial actors with prior knowledge and access to privileged information prior to the House’s rejection of the bill made billions in speculative trade on Black Monday when the market crumbled. And then on Tuesday, September 30, they made billions when the market rebounded, with the Dow jumping up by 485 points, a 4.68 percent increase, compensating in part for Monday’s decline. Those financial actors who had fore knowledge and/or who had the ability to influence the vote in the U.S. Congress also made billions of dollars.

Ironically, almost twice as much money was wiped out from the U.S. stock market on Black Monday, September 29 (1.2 trillion dollars) than the value of the Bush administration’s bank bailout under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) (700 billion dollars).

Even before the opening bell, Monday looked ugly. But by the time that bell sounded again on the New York Stock Exchange, seven and a half frantic hours later, $1.2 trillion had vanished from the U.S. stock market.[2]

This money did not vanish. It was confiscated from the pockets of people who had invested their life long savings in the stock market.

While public opinion celebrated the refusal of the U.S. Congress to accept the Bush administration’s bailout, the decision of the legislature had fed the speculative onslaught.

Political uncertainty regarding the proposed bailout constituted ammunition for the speculators.

In a bitter irony, the Wall Street banks are “double dippers”; they are the recipients of the bank bailout. And at the same time they made money speculating first on the rejection by the U.S. Congress and subsequently on the later adoption of the bank bailout legislation.

On October 1, Wachovia Bank was taken over by Wells Fargo, overriding a competing bid from Citigroup. The deal was sealed with the support of Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world, according to Forbes, and a major shareholder of Wells Fargo.[3]

The first week in October 2008 represented a crucial turning point. The Dow Jones fell by 21 percent over the week, with Thursday, October 9 suffering its biggest fall since Black Monday, October 19, 1987. The S&P 500 index lost 22 percent of its value. The entire western banking landscape was in disarray. Iceland’s banking system was destabilized and the country was put in receivership. The Reykjavik government gave the green light for the forced bankruptcy of the entire banking system.

Following a pledge by G7 finance ministers and central bank governors on the weekend of October 10-11 to prevent further bank collapses, the world’s stock markets rebounded on October 13. The G7 had committed itself to “taking all necessary steps to unfreeze credit and money markets”. The Dow increased by 936 points (eleven percent) at the close of trading on October 13, its largest one day increase since 1933.[4] Most European exchanges had “recovered”, with the Paris CAC index rebounding by an astounding 8.8 percent at the close of trading.

This short-lived “recovery” was part of the speculative game. Two days later, on October 15, Black Wednesday, the Dow Jones plummeted by 7.9 percent.

The sequence of a “one day collapse” followed by a “one day surge” and recovery, followed by another “one day collapse” a few days later, is part of the process of financial manipulation. Day to day instability and swings in stock market values are the source of large windfall profits accruing to “institutional speculators” and hedge funds.

Financial Warfare: The Powers of Deception

The September-October 2008 financial meltdown was not the consequence of a cyclical downturn of economic activity. It was the result of a complex process of financial manipulation, which included speculative trade in derivatives.

Financial manipulation has a direct bearing on the workings of the market. It potentially triggers instability in market transactions. This snowballing instability then becomes cumulative, leading to an overall slide of market values.

Inside information, high level political connections and foreknowledge of key policy announcements are crucial instruments in the conduct of large-scale speculative operations.

“Financial intelligence” and the powers of deceit were the driving forces behind the 2008 financial meltdown. Covert undercover financial operations were waged. Those powerful financial institutions, which had the ability to drive the market up at an opportune moment and then drive it down, had placed their bets accordingly. As a result, they reaped billions of dollars in windfall gains both on the upturn as well as on the downturn.

In contrast, for those who had put their faith in the free market, lifelong savings were erased in one fell swoop, appropriated by the shadow banking system. The crash of financial markets had led to a massive concentration of financial wealth.

The weapons used on Wall Street are prior knowledge and inside information, the ability to manipulate with the capacity to predict results and the spreading of misleading or false information on economic occurrences and market trends. These various procedures are best described as the powers of deception that financial institutions routinely use to mislead investors.

The art of deception is also directed against their banking competitors, who are betting in the derivatives and futures markets, stocks, currencies and commodities. Those who have access to privileged information (political, intelligence, military, scientific, etc.) will invariably have the upper hand in the conduct of these highly leveraged speculative transactions, which are the source of tremendous financial gains. The CIA has its own financial institutions on Wall Street.

In turn, the corridors of private and offshore banking enable financial institutions to transfer their profits with ease from one location to another. This procedure is also used as a safety net that protects the interests of key financial actors including CEOs and major shareholders of troubled financial institutions. Companies can be divested from within and large amounts of money can be moved out at an opportune moment, prior to the company’s demise on the stock market (e.g. Lehman, Merrill Lynch and AIG, not to mention Bernhard Madoff).

As events unfolded, Merrill Lynch was bought and Lehman Brothers was pushed into bankruptcy. These are not haphazard occurrences. They are the result of manipulation, using highly leveraged speculative operations to achieve their objective, which consists in either displacing or acquiring control over a rival financial institution. The 2008 financial meltdown has nothing to do with free market forces: it is characterized by financial warfare between competing institutional speculators.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and its powerful Wall Street stakeholders – which are Wall Street’s largest private banks – have inside information on the conduct of U.S. monetary policy. They are therefore in a position to predict outcomes and hedge their bets in highly leveraged operations on the futures and derivatives markets. They are in an obvious conflict of interest because their prior knowledge of particular decisions by the Federal Reserve Board enables them, as private banking institutions, to make multibillion dollar profits.

Links to U.S. intelligence, the CIA, Homeland Security and the Pentagon are crucial in the conduct of speculative trade, since that allows the speculators to predict events through prior knowledge of foreign policy and/or national security decisions which directly affect financial markets. An example: they purchased “put options” on airline stocks in the days preceding the 9/11 attacks.

Notes

1. Daniel R. Amerman, “AIG’s Dangerous Collapse”, Financialsense, http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/amerman/2008/ 0917.html, 17 September 2008.

2. Vikas Bajaj and Michael M. Grynbaum, “For Stocks, Worst Single-Day Drop in Two Decades”, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/business/30markets.html, 29 September 2008.

3. Eric Dash and Ben White, “Wells Fargo Swoops In”, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/business/04bank.html, 3 October 2008.

4. Michael M. Grynbaum, “Stocks Soar 11 Percent on Aid to Banks”, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/business/14 markets.html, 13 October 2008.

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Urgent call for action, last chance to defeat S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act

(NaturalNews) “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious — makes you so sick at heart — that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!” – Mario Savio, December 2, 1964

Although Mario Savio’s speech was about political activism and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_…), it could have very well been about Senate Bill 510, the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act.

This bill, which is now coming to a vote the evening of Monday, November 29, 2010, is the most “odious” food tyranny bill to have ever been crafted in the history of our nation. S 510 is to food freedom what the Patriot Act is to the Bill of Rights.

If passed, it will criminalize entire ranks of organic gardeners and small farmers while giving rise to a new wave of tyrants — the food safety Gestapo who will rule over the production of food and the saving of seeds in the same way the TSA now rules over your security at the airport.

Watch my 5 minute video on this important topic right now at http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=4DE6C…

The intentions behind S 510 are well-meaning, of course: Lawmakers want to do something about e.coli and salmonella contamination of fresh produce. No US Senator wants to face their constituents without being able to claim they “voted for safer food.”

They all have good intentions. But of course that’s exactly what the road to hell is paved with. The Patriot Act was passed with good intentions, too, in a desperate hour when fearful Americans were grasping at solutions — anything that could calm their fears even if it meant giving up their freedoms in the process. And now we are paying the price for that: Obscene TSA pat-downs at the airport, naked body scanners taking photos of your children’s bodies, anti-terrorism laws being used to prosecute animal rights activists, and other such transgressions that were unimaginable in 2001 when it was first passed.

What will the next decade bring us if S.510 becomes law?

If passed into law, S.510 will become the Patriot Act of the food industry, turning raw milk producers into felons and small organic farmers into “seed smugglers.” It will all but ensure the demise of small, local farmers and thereby hand a government-protected monopoly to the large industrial farmers who use GMOs, chemical pesticides and cruel, inhumane practices throughout their factory animal farms.

It will destroy small dairy farmers and devastate family food producers. And while it’s doing all this, it will also give the FDA — the most dangerous federal agency in the history of our nation — the power to regulate what you grow, what you harvest, what seeds you save and what paperwork you must file in order to comply with Big Brother’s food schemes. It will give the FDA the right to conduct surprise inspections of your greenhouse, to seize your plants and to arrest you as a common criminal merely for milking a cow and offering that fresh milk for sale to a neighbor.

This is food tyranny, and this is what we must stop. S. 510 is the machine upon which we must now throw ourselves — upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and we’ve got to make it stop.

You can help. Here’s how:

Join our barrage of phone calls to your U.S. Senator’s office

As soon as you read this, if it’s before 5pm Monday, I urge you to pick up the phone and CALL your U.S. Senator’s offices and voice your opposition to Senate Bill 510.

Don’t know your Senator’s phone number? Call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office: 202-224-3121.

You can find other contact information for your US Senator at http://senate.gov/general/contact_i…

Also, please share this article on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks so that people may join us in this grassroots effort to defeat the next great tyranny in America BEFORE it can be unleashed. This is our final hour on S 510, and every call counts!

Please also watch my call-to-action video at http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=4DE6C…

… and then share this grassroots video with others. Let them know what’s at stake and urge them to take action Monday, November 29th, before 5pm Eastern.

Here are two other sources where you can sign an online petition and get more information about the S.510 tyranny:

Citizens for Health
http://www.citizens.org/?page_id=2312

Natural Solutions Foundation
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/…

Thank you for supporting this important cause, and stay tuned to NaturalNews.com for more follow-up reporting on this bill.

FDA would boost food inspections under Senate bill

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration would have to step up inspections of food plants under legislation the Senate is expected to pass this week.

The bill, which has stalled in that chamber for more than a year, would give the FDA authority to order a recall of tainted products. Today, the agency must negotiate with sellers of tainted food to issue a voluntary recall. The bill would also require food manufacturers and farms to follow stricter safety standards.

Supporters say passage is critical in the wake of large-scale outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli in peanuts, eggs and produce. Those outbreaks have exposed a lack of resources and authority at the FDA as the embattled agency struggled to contain and trace the contaminated products. The agency rarely inspects many food facilities and farms, visiting some every decade or so and others not at all.

The bill would emphasize prevention so the agency could try to stop the outbreaks before they begin.

Despite wide bipartisan support, the legislation stalled as it came under fire from advocates of buying locally produced food and operators of small farms, who say it would could bankrupt some small businesses. Senators agreed before Congress left for Thanksgiving to exempt some of those operations from costly food safety plans required of larger companies.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. got an agreement to move the legislation by allowing Republicans to offer amendments not relevant to the bill. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is expected to offer an amendment to place a moratorium on spending for “earmarks,” or pet projects in lawmakers’ states and districts, and Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns could offer another to repeal an arcane business tax reporting provision of the health overhaul passed earlier this year.

Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, will also offer an amendment on the health tax provision. The Senate is expected to begin voting on the amendments Monday.

Whether the food safety bill can make it to the president’s desk during the brief lame-duck congressional session is unclear since the House passed a different version of the legislation in 2009. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the sponsor of the bill, said he has agreement from some members in the House to take up the Senate bill if it is passed.

Protecting the Afghan Opium and Marijuana Crops, and Other Empirical Mandates


Bob Chapman

There is no question that the world is at a boil

Germany is drawing anger; N. Korea has attacked S. Korea; flaying about the FED’s Mr. Bernanke blames China for America’s sad economic and financial dilemma; five suits, class action and RICO, have been filed against JPMorgan Chase and HSBC for having manipulated silver prices and class actions are rumored to be in process for naked shorting, which has been rampant in the market for years, a felony hedge fund investigation of insider trading, which the SEC has absolutely refused to pursue. The US is still occupying Iraq and has a war raging in Afghanistan to protect the opium and marijuana crops, the largest in the world, which generate $300 billion in profits a year. Socialists, having recently relinquished power in the US House of Representatives are calling Republicans an axis of depression. The socialist, what they cannot control, they attempt to destroy. It reminds us of Italy’s communists.

The New Fed policy of QE2 is considered by US detractors to be a step too far. The Fed has entered the inner sanctum of realm of no return. If QE 2 and a hidden QE3 don’t work, then the monetary game is over. The Fed is in a desperate position and instead of letting depression take its course, the groundwork of which was caused by the Fed, Wall Street and banking, it is again rolling the dice intent on extending and buying time. If the Fed and its owners refuse to bite the bullet great inflation will ensue dependent on the size of QE2. If it were to stay at $600 billion inflation would increase. If the Fed is forced to increase the injection to more than $2 trillion there will be far more inflation. Unfortunately, we cannot depend on government statistics because government has a track record and propensity for masking the truth. There are those that believe that this is a monetary experiment and that it is not. What we are seeing has been tried in different forms for centuries, quite unsuccessfully. As a result, to thinking people, the Fed and Mr. Bernanke have lost most of their credibility, and that view is justified. Mr. Bernanke’s recent reference to “rebalancing the global economy” is just another effort to justify current monetary policy. What Mr. Bernanke is really advocating is a world balancing where countries with surpluses use those funds to assist those with deficits. He wants a global village where interests of individual countries must reflect the interests of the global economy as a whole. Of course, nowhere to be found is sovereignty in this planned redistribution of assets.

This is the same goop Treasury Secretary Mr. Geithner fed us at the G-20 meeting. The concept of lets all of us go bankrupt together, utopianism at its finest. Fortunately in both cases the concept of global rebalancing went over like a lead balloon. Any honest economist knows this is a rehash of flawed policy. When government and the Fed abandoned the gold reserve standard on august 15, 1971, they knew where this would all end up, but they did it anyway in their march toward a world financial order and world government. After that historic date there would be no return to sound money until the system was totally purged. We have heard the call for almost 40 years of the amalgamation of nations for the interest of all. Individual countries must sacrifice their interests for the entire global economy. this is why the Fed has deliberately accommodated monetary excesses since then.

We have written about this embarrassment of planned destruction for 45 years and until recently our thoughts were ignored. Thanks to talk radio and the Internet, that reaches the entire world, we are finding that more and more people are waking up to the truth. Since the 1980s we have had one fiscal and monetary crisis – one after another. Now that the world is beginning to discover what Europe and the US have been up to for years these internationalists now find themselves in deep trouble. Their real problem is too many people now know what they are up to.

China just injected $2.3 trillion into their economy to spur domestic demand and create jobs. The result has been funds flowing into the stock market, real estate and the general financial sector, which has created a misallocation of funds and leaping inflation. Bank set asides were just raised, but that has happened a little too late to escape some major damage. Chinese are traveling to Hong Kong from the mainland to shop because the cost of goods is 10% to 95% cheaper. The Chinese obviously went along with US ideas to inflate domestic demand by stimulating their economy, so that consumption and imports would rise. Thus, we see China is having some of the same problems the US is having.

Leaving china behind for a moment we have to deal with corporate fascist Keynesianism, which believe it or not is being called radicalism even in mainstream circles of economic and monetary management. They are finally realizing that the Fed has inflated markets worldwide. In addition, it has long been a government and Fed policy to manipulate securities markets worldwide and provide finance as well. The insider trading the Justice Department is pursing is an example, as well as the JPMorgan Chase/HSBC silver manipulation cases. As we said, next comes naked shorting and front running. Let’s hope somehow we can bring these sociopath criminals to justice and at least for a time have an honest system.

As a result the financial world has turned to gold, which is up 24% and silver up 65% this year.

Investors believe that the rescue of Ireland is a done deal – not so fast. The Irish are really irate at having to bail out the bondholders. As we said before this is all about the banks being bailed out by the taxpayer.

In the US aggregate household net worth is $12.2 trillion lower today than it was three years ago at its pre-depression peak, a horrible decline of 18.5%, all in order to bring about the conditions to implement world government. That is about $100,000 per household. That money is never coming back nor is what was once known as the American dream and way of life. Baby boomers see it coming and denial is grudgingly becoming acceptance. The ratio of household net worth to disposable personal income has gone from 639% to 472% and it is still plunging. The savings rate, out of fear has risen from minus 0.5% to 5.5%, but still has to double from here to help get the economy going again. At the same time the Fed and Treasury are telling Americans to take on more debt. Homeowners equity has collapsed below $7 trillion from $13.5 trillion, making the situation worse – employment is off 7.5 million and full-time jobs are off 10 million, the worst numbers in 11 years. Real unemployment is 22-5/8%.

If QE2 is terminated at $600 billion watch out, because the economy will head straight into a great dark pit. All the numbers we see are signaling a strong need for more than $600 billion.

Ireland’s government has collapsed as front page headlines in Dublin blare we were lied too. We saw the same thing come out of Greece and next is Portugal and then Spain. Debt is being restructured and it won’t last. Who wants to live in depression for 30 to 50 years, while bankers get richer and more powerful?

America’s capacity utilization is 72.7%, up from 68.7% a year ago, but still in recession. Small business hiring is at a virtual standstill and part-time employment doesn’t cut it in feeding the family. Two million workers are about to lose extended employment benefits. YTD three million already lost their benefits and are losing their homes and they cannot feed their families. Already 42.4 million Americans are on food stamps. That is up 550,000 in three months. We peg inflation at 6-1/2 to 7 percent, officially YOY it is 1.2%. The plight of a once great country betrayed by Wall Street and banking, is a sordid mess with little hope of a quick recovery.

The US has spent two years sliding precipitously downhill. The socialists who have had the run of the country have brought two disastrous pieces of legislation, medical reform and financial reform. The former will bring euthanasia and the latter financial dictatorial government. This all in the guise of saving America, when in reality the legislation was passed with the assistance of financial payoffs.

As we predicted there would be QE2 this past May and that has since been verified by the Fed. QE2 is, as we said in May, a stepping-stone to QE3 and perhaps QE4 and more. You might call these stages of an ongoing heightening depression. One I might add that guarantees higher unemployment and the funding of sovereign debt. This policy will not produce wealth, but it will create inflation. This is a temporary lifesaver being thrown to a drowning economy. This is what corporatist fascism, also known as crony capitalism is all about. The EU is the same, the euro zone, G7 and G20 all under the same concept grounded in one form of socialism or another. We no longer have democracy; we have a kleptocracy from the top down. This is the reality of America today.

This is the reality that is America. This means you have to act in your own self-interest to preserve your wealth. You have to think outside the box. That means you have to be in gold and silver related assets. You have to leave the herd. You have to think for yourself. That means you do not listen to Wall Street, CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg, nor our politicians and bureaucrats. These are the same group of elitists that would have you believe they will have economic recovery by creating massive amounts of money and credit. Monetization does not solve anything in the long run. It is simply another Ponzi scheme, or just good old fashioned debasement. This is a make believe world where the Fed ends up with almost all of the US Treasuries and Agencies, after having spent QE1 bailing out the financial sector. That in turn via trillions of dollars has kept the bond and stock markets from falling. How is it intelligent and good planning for the Fed to own more Treasuries and Agencies than China or Japan?

The façade that has protected government regulators is coming apart. Time after time we have seen non-pursuit by the SEC and CFTC. Wall Street and the banks have owned our government for almost 100 years via the Federal Reserve. It is simple they buy almost everyone in sight. Look at the packaging, and syndication of mortgages. The rating system was total fabrication yet no charges civil or criminal for anyone involved. A new massive investigation by the US Attorney of insider trading by hedge funds, class action and RICO lawsuits against JPMorgan Chase and HSBC for manipulating the silver market. Then, of course, was the Madoff Ponzi scheme that the SEC was aware of for ten years.

Next on the horizon will be investigations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which should have taken place ten years ago. We have little or no protection from the crooks on Wall Street and in the banking establishment.

China, Russia, Iran Dumping Dollar For Gold


International Forecaster

Something is going on that your government does not want you to know about. Very few journalists have written about it and little or nothing has appeared in the mainstream media. The story could be one of major stories of our time.

Western powers have tried to destroy gold as a backing for currencies for many years. Presently the major media won’t touch the story and that is understandable.

Something we have been writing about for years is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization known as SCO. Few have been listening and few have been interested in what their mission is and what they have been up to.

Some of the members are large oil producers and some, like China, are large oil users. Some have very large US dollar surpluses. As well, some are large commodity and gold and silver buyers. In fact, members are in a great part responsible for driving these prices higher. It is debatable, but we believe there is a conscious effort to accumulate gold and silver, dump dollars and to back their currencies with gold.

China and Russia are both large gold producers and for a number of years have been buying up domestic gold and silver production, so that it never reaches the market and does not affect prices. If anything the absence of sales tends to push the markets higher. As a matter of fact Russia and India are visible buyers. Even Iran with its oil surplus recently announced that they had purchased 340 tons of gold. Their recent gold purchases are very significant as affiliate members, which have access to the present and ultimate direction of the group. You might say buying gold has been a protective effort to shield members and close observers from the problems generated by dollar policies. They are accumulating gold, as many have been worldwide, for the past ten years, but particularly over the past few years.

This buying, for protection, has served to thwart the efforts of US policymakers, the Treasury, other central banks in Europe and the Fed, from being able to continue the blatant suppression of both gold and silver prices. The malefactors, except for forays into derivatives and futures, which are transitory, have lost control and suppression of gold and silver prices, and it is only a matter of time before all visages of any control will be visible. Since 1988, in August when Present Reagan signed the Executive Order creating, “the President’s Group on Financial Markets” and the subsidiaries that have grown out of that policy, that the Treasury won many if not most of the battles. The SCO in part changed that and now they and the public are winning the war for a fair and free gold and silver market. The current class action lawsuits, including RICO, are a testament to the market manipulation in silver, which is finally coming to an end. HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, the latter that is the major owner of the Fed, are going to be finally prohibited from rigging these markets. Their officers all belong in jail, but elitists never go to jail; they pay fines, and keep right on robbing the public.

Other SCO members and observers are accumulating gold as well, be it in smaller amounts. We might add that other nations observing Russia and China and their gold purchases are buying as well. These participants must believe that there could be a return to sound money; otherwise they wouldn’t be gold buyers. Buying gold is certainly preferable to holding US dollars, which have consistently fallen in value versus other currencies over the past ten years. Then again all currencies have fallen versus gold over that period, some 19.6% annually. It is nice to see nations are finally waking up to the reality that fiat currencies will all over time deteriorate versus gold. The temptation is enormous to deficit spend.

The most interesting aspect of the SCO is that they do not strive for political agreement such as the European Union. They are interested in economic stability and development and security. There is no overall binding laws. Nations retain their sovereignty, which is the exact opposite of what the elitists in the US and Europe desire, and that is world government. The SCO has provided great flexibility something that is non-existent in elitist controlled countries. Another interesting facet is that the SCO probably represents half of the world’ population, far more than the US and Europe. As these nations accumulate gold so does some of their citizens, which puts strong upward pressures on gold prices on a continuing basis.

In addition some of these nations, such as China, are spending dollars by buying natural resources and other things in other nations in an attempt to relieve themselves of excess dollars earned in trade. Both Russia and China fully realize that the US dollar is in serious trouble and has been for a number of years due to fiscal debt and the unbridled creation of money and credit by the Federal Reserve. They well know the dollar is in serious trouble and what the outcome will probably be.

As the economies of the US and Europe become more deeply mired in problems the economies of SCO nations more and more resemble the free economies of old that were very successful. You might say they have found their way back to basics and sound money. As the dollar comes under further downward pressure more nations will probably join the SCO to escape the clutches of European and American imperialism and bureaucracy, which for some years has been onerous and unsuccessful. What we see is a natural path by nations to extricate themselves from the control of Wall Street and the City of London, which have dominated the world for so long. All these facts considered we believe gold will find its way substantially higher with the participation of these nations, a factor the West never figured on. These ten nations are sucking excess gold out of the market every day and that will continue indefinitely.

These SCO nations are well aware that the surge of hot dollars created by the Fed out of thin air are headed their way and with them inflation. Brazil was the first nation to attempt to stop this onslaught by imposing a 6% tariff on interest and dividend paying Brazilian securities, purchased with US dollars. Over the last two years between stimulus and the Fed $2.5 trillion has been injected into the US and world financial system. As a result commodity and gold and silver prices have exploded. This has caused the dollar to fall in value versus other currencies and gold. There is no question more and higher inflation is on the way, as the Fed gets into QE 2. You can also bet that QE2 will not be $600 billion, but more than $2 trillion. Inflation is already showing up in food, petroleum products, airline fares and in many other items that we use every day. As usual the government says there is little or no inflation. Even competent economists still use government’s bogus figures. What can they be thinking of? They know what is going on as well as we do. That means we are embarking on the highest inflation rates in US history. Thus far the undertow of deflation has been superseded by government banking and Fed aggregate creation. The Fed, in order to subdue deflation and such spending has to always overshoot the inflation they create, so that they can be sure that deflation cannot take hold. This money and credit is in the process of working its way through the economy, spreading inflation as it winds its way through.

The only investors who are being afforded protection are those who have invested in gold and silver and commodities. That is less than 2% of the American population. We predicted in mid-May that QE2 and QE3 would take place for a combined $5 trillion over the next two fiscal years. In fact, the Fed was late in starting in June and as a result 4th quarter GDP growth will probably be 1% and the 1st quarter of 2011 will probably be in the minus column, as unemployment heads to 25% and extended benefits run out. We are not seeing growth; we are seeing forced feeding.

The Fed’s promises are not worth the paper they are written on. Ben Bernanke will print money until he cannot anymore and we have hyperinflation. That is because he has no other choice. He has no way out and he knows it won’t work. Tragically, this is where we are headed and there is no way to stop what the elitists have put deliberately in motion.

As long as quantitative easing is official Fed and Wall Street policy, gold is going to continue to rise with silver, and the stronger the case is that gold is the real world reserve currency. That means all currencies will eventually have to be backed by gold. We believe that elitists have accepted this fact and that was borne out recently by World Bank President, CFR, Trilateralist and Bilderberger Robert Zoellick. We can assure you that was no slip of the tongue. That was a cleverly planted trial balloon to get public reaction.

We do not see QE2 and QE3 as incompetence or bungling. It happens to be the only option available to the powers behind government. The same errors committed during the Great Depression of the 1930s are being repeated and economists, including Mr. Bernanake know they do not work. Yes, the Fed contracted money supply and when they let it loose again, it was too late for it to be in anyway effective. Next comes tariffs as an outgrowth of: currency wars; interest and dividend penalties on the inflow of hot, inflationary dollars and retaliatory tariffs as a result of losing 8.5 million jobs and 432,000 businesses over ten years to free trade, globalization, offshoring and outsourcing. Smoot-Hawley tariffs and even dumb Fed moves were bad enough, but Hoover’s raising of taxes by 150% was a monumental piece of stupidity.

At the root of all this is that the Fed is supposed to be saving the US economic and financial structure. They are not doing that, they are saving the banking system and Wall Street instead and these are the miscreants that caused the problem in the first place. The result of this policy of zero interest rates and easy money is that few are saving.

There you have it, planned destruction. Is it any wonder the SCO members and observers are buying gold on every dip and will not stop doing so until they run out of dollars. Our only question is; what took them so long and why are they not buying more faster?

Number of the Week: 492 Days From Default to Foreclosure


Mark Whitehouse

492: The number of days since the average borrower in foreclosure last made a mortgage payment.

Banks can’t foreclose fast enough to keep up with all the people defaulting on their mortgage loans. That’s a problem, because it could make stiffing the bank even more attractive to struggling borrowers.

In recent months, the number of borrowers entering severe delinquency – meaning they missed their third monthly mortgage payment – has been on the decline, falling to about 700,000 in October, according to mortgage-data provider LPS Applied Analytics. But it’s still more than double the number of foreclosure processes started.

As a result, banks are taking progressively longer to foreclose. The average borrower in the foreclosure process hadn’t made a payment in 492 days as of the end of October, according to LPS. That compares to 382 days a year ago and a low of 244 days in August 2007.

In other words, people who default on their mortgages can reasonably expect, on average, to stay in their homes rent-free more than 16 months. In some states such as New York and Florida, the number is closer to 20 months.

That’s a meaningful incentive, and it’s likely to grow unless banks manage to boost their throughput. Speeding up the process won’t be easy, as demonstrated by the banks’ continuing legal troubles related to robo-signers, bank employees who signed foreclosure affidavits without properly checking the required loan documentation.

Millions of Americans still are paying their mortgages even though they owe more than their homes are worth. The more banks’ backlog grows, the more likely they are to join it, adding to the already giant pile of foreclosures weighing on the housing market.