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Banks: Are they really the bad guys? (Clint Richardson)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secret Handshakes Greet Frat Brothers on Wall Street
Max Abelson and Zeke Faux | Dec 23, 2013 | Bloomberg


Quote:

Conor Hails, head of the University of Pennsylvania’s Sigma Chi chapter, was in a Philadelphia hotel ballroom last month for a Barclays Plc (BARC) recruiting reception. A friend pointed out a banker from their fraternity. Hails, 20, approached with a secret handshake.

“We exchanged a grip, and he said, ‘Every Sigma Chi gets a business card,’” Hails recalled. “We’re trying to create Sigma Chi on Wall Street, a little fraternity on Wall Street.”

As students vie for 2014 internships in an industry where 22-year-olds can make more than $100,000 a year, interviews with three dozen fraternity members showed a network whose Wall Street alumni guide resumes to the tops of stacks, reveal interview questions with recommended answers, offer applicants secret mottoes and support chapters facing crackdowns.

That’s one reason men continue to dominate on Wall Street, where no woman has run a big bank. General Motors Co. (GM) announced Dec. 10 it would make Mary Barra the auto industry’s first female chief executive officer, the same day research firm Catalyst Inc. showed women holding about one in eight executive roles in U.S. finance.

The fraternity pipeline helps undergraduates beat odds three times steeper than Princeton University’s record-low acceptance rate, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) choosing 350 investment-banking interns this year from 17,000 applicants.

Penn’s Alpha Epsilon Pi, which gave up its charter in 2012 to escape sanctions for hazing, got a member into Morgan Stanley for the fourth year in a row. Dartmouth College’s Alpha Delta, an inspiration for the 1978 comedy “Animal House,” sent someone to the New York-based firm from the fifth consecutive class days after a New Hampshire court reprimanded the chapter for providing alcohol to someone underage, filings show.

Male Dominated
Fraternities retain influence in the face of scrutiny by parents, politicians and police for binge drinking, hazing and at least 60 deaths in the U.S. since 2005. A freshman at Baruch College in New York died this month after suffering a blow to the head during a Pi Delta Psi hazing ritual, according to Monroe County, Pennsylvania, District Attorney David Christine.

The largest U.S. banks say they are meritocracies and run diversity programs to shift an industry that once only let women onto the New York Stock Exchange floor as clerks during wartime shortages. Goldman Sachs added 10 women last year to a partnership that had one when CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein was elected to it in 1988.

“There obviously has been much progress since 20 years ago,” said Siegfried von Bonin, head of Dartmouth’s Alpha Delta chapter. “But the reality is that it’s still very much a male-dominated culture.”

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:24 am    Post subject: You can('t) bank on it... Reply with quote


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corporate criminals, billionaires gather for World Economic Forum in Davos
Andre Damon | 23 January 2013 | WSW


Quote:

The 44th annual World Economic Forum (WEF) began Wednesday, bringing over 2,000 corporate executives, major investors, government leaders, central bankers and celebrities to the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos.

The annual celebration of wealth and avarice follows a bumper year for the world’s super-rich. Stock prices and corporate profits surged to new record highs, swelling the bank accounts and portfolios of the financial elite, even as austerity measures, wage cutting and layoffs slashed living standards and threw tens of millions more people into poverty.

On the eve of the forum, the British charity Oxfam released a study documenting the staggering growth of social inequality. Oxfam reported that the richest 85 individuals possess more wealth than the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population—3.5 billion people!

The Davos conference embodies the emergence of a new global financial aristocracy. In attendance at this year’s meeting are 80 billionaires and hundreds of millionaires.

The general tone on the opening day was one of “fragile optimism,” according to a survey of attendees. There is a general expectation of more good fortune in 2014. But looming over the festivities there is also fear of the social and political consequences of the naked plundering of society by the elites represented in Davos.

The conference, which goes from January 22 through 25, has officially adopted the title “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.” It will draw 1,500 business executives, 48 prime ministers and presidents, and the heads of twenty central banks. US attendees include Secretary of State John Kerry, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy.

Panel discussions on topics such as “Regulating Innovation,” “Closing Europe’s Competitiveness Gap,” “Higher Education—Investment or Waste?” and “Immigration—Welcome or Not?” are sandwiched between galas and parties for the rich and powerful. As the Washington Post quipped, “After absorbing so much info during the day, evenings are your usual party scene, devoted to celebrity-spotting, night skiing and such, and apparently a fair amount of alcohol consumption.”

Davos’ prestigious Belvedere Hotel alone has ordered 1,594 bottles of champagne and Prosecco, as well as 3,088 bottles of red and white wine, according to the BBC, in order to accommodate “320 parties in five days, its 126 rooms crammed with chief executives, prime ministers and presidents.”

The attendees have reason to celebrate. The wealthiest 300 people on the planet saw their net worth grow by $524 billion over the last year, according to Bloomberg News. The Bloomberg article, entitled “Davos Billionaires See Wealth Gains on 2014 Stocks Rally,” noted that Bill Gates was last year’s biggest gainer, having increased his fortune by $15.8 billion to $78.5 billion, recapturing the position of world’s richest person.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Detroit bankruptcy blueprint would gut pensions
Thomas Gaist | 1 February 2014 | WSW


Related: A who’s who of the pond scum behind the Detroit bankruptcy

Quote:

Details about a 99-page plan of adjustment for restructuring Detroit’s finances began emerging late this week. The plan, drawn up by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, will establish a union-controlled retiree “health care trust,” lease the water department to a regional authority and impose deep reductions in pensions, according to the Detroit Free Press, which obtained the document.

On Friday, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan sent out a statement announcing a tentative agreement with union-affiliated objectors, which had filed a court challenge to Orr’s plan to eliminate city-paid retiree health benefits altogether. The statement read, “The Detroit Bankruptcy Mediators are pleased to announce that all of the parties to the bankruptcy lawsuit concerning health insurance and other post-employment benefits for Detroit’s retirees (so-called OPEBs) last night reached a settlement-in-principle of all issues in the case covering such benefits through the end of 2014. Following completion and signing of a Mediation Agreement, the parties will submit a stipulation to the Bankruptcy Court dismissing the lawsuit.”

The statement continued, “The Mediators hope that this settlement will provide a foundation for all of the parties to the bankruptcy to re-double their mediation efforts to reach meaningful agreements which can be incorporated into a fair and balanced agreed-upon Plan of Adjustment to be presented to the Bankruptcy Court for confirmation.”

Behind-closed-doors mediations overseen by federal mediator Gerald Rosen—selected as point man for the negotiations by US Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes—are ongoing, aimed at piecing together a deal which would convince the trade unions and their affiliated retiree committees to drop all lawsuits against the city and support the adjustment plan. A tentative agreement on retiree health benefits through the end of 2014 has already been reached, according to MLive, and the lawsuits filed by union-affiliated retiree groups are set to be withdrawn.

The initial adjustment plan, which is not publicly available, calls for the creation of the Detroit Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (VEBA), which the city will pay $524 million into over 10 years. The VEBA arrangement is designed to gain the support of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and other trade union affiliated forces for the bankruptcy process.

An unnamed source cited by the Free Press said city worker pension funds will receive only 25 percent of what is owed to them, while other creditors will receive 22 percent under Orr’s adjustment plan. These figures are by no means certain. The Wall Street Journal cited a source familiar with the details who said that “the recovery rate for the pension funds could end lower than the balance sheet shows.”

The VEBA has been proposed as a bribe to the unions to support pensions cuts and other attacks contained in the adjustment plan. The VEBA will give the unions control of a multi-million dollar investment fund and all of the privileges and income opportunities that arise from establishing close relations with Wall Street investors as well as private health care providers. While relieving the city of any further obligations to pay retiree benefits, the task of cutting benefits and increasing out-of-pocket costs of the retirees will now be in the hands of the unions.

The social function of the VEBA arrangement becomes clear in light of the 2009 bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler as part of the Obama administration’s forced bankruptcy and restructuring. The United Auto Workers union was in this case given control of a multi-billion dollar fund in exchange for agreeing to historic wage cuts. GM and Chrysler were effectively allowed to renege on contractual obligations to their workers, paying only half of what was owed in the form of cash and GM and Chrysler stock. The UAW-controlled VEBA then proceeded to cut benefits to retirees and their families in the name of keeping the VEBA solvent.


--> More on the bankruptcy of Detroit

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet
Matt Taibbi | February 12, 2014 | RollingStone


Banks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever.

Quote:

Call it the loophole that destroyed the world. It's 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. While the rest of America obsesses over Monica Lewinsky, Columbine and Mark McGwire's biceps, Congress is feverishly crafting what could yet prove to be one of the most transformative laws in the history of our economy – a law that would make possible a broader concentration of financial and industrial power than we've seen in more than a century.


Credit: Illustration by Victor Juhasz

But the crazy thing is, nobody at the time quite knew it. Most observers on the Hill thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years.

Wall Street had spent much of that era arguing that America's banks needed to become bigger and badder, in order to compete globally with the German and Japanese-style financial giants, which were supposedly about to swallow up all the world's banking business. So through legislative lackeys like red-faced Republican deregulatory enthusiast Phil Gramm, bank lobbyists were pushing a new law designed to wipe out 60-plus years of bedrock financial regulation. The key was repealing – or "modifying," as bill proponents put it – the famed Glass-Steagall Act separating bankers and brokers, which had been passed in 1933 to prevent conflicts of interest within the finance sector that had led to the Great Depression. Now, commercial banks would be allowed to merge with investment banks and insurance companies, creating financial megafirms potentially far more powerful than had ever existed in America.

All of this was big enough news in itself. But it would take half a generation – till now, basically – to understand the most explosive part of the bill, which additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry. A tiny provision in the bill also permitted commercial banks to delve into any activity that is "complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally."

Complementary to a financial activity. What the hell did that mean?

Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and, most infamously thanks to a recent high-profile scandal, aluminum. And they're doing it not just here but abroad as well: In Denmark, thousands took to the streets in protest in recent weeks, vampire-squid banners in hand, when news came out that Goldman Sachs was about to buy a 19 percent stake in Dong Energy, a national electric provider. The furor inspired mass resignations of ministers from the government's ruling coalition, as the Danish public wondered how an American investment bank could possibly hold so much influence over the state energy grid.

There are more eclectic interests, too. After 9/11, we found it worrisome when foreigners started to get into the business of running ports, but there's been little controversy as banks have done the same, or even started dabbling in other activities with national-security implications – Goldman Sachs, for instance, is apparently now in the uranium business, a piece of news that attracted few headlines.

...

But banks aren't just buying stuff, they're buying whole industrial processes. They're buying oil that's still in the ground, the tankers that move it across the sea, the refineries that turn it into fuel, and the pipelines that bring it to your home. Then, just for kicks, they're also betting on the timing and efficiency of these same industrial processes in the financial markets – buying and selling oil stocks on the stock exchange, oil futures on the futures market, swaps on the swaps market, etc.

Allowing one company to control the supply of crucial physical commodities, and also trade in the financial products that might be related to those markets, is an open invitation to commit mass manipulation. It's something akin to letting casino owners who take book on NFL games during the week also coach all the teams on Sundays.

The situation has opened a Pandora's box of horrifying new corruption possibilities, but it's been hard for the public to notice, since regulators have struggled to put even the slightest dent in Wall Street's older, more familiar scams. In just the past few years we've seen an explosion of scandals – from the multitrillion-dollar Libor saga (major international banks gaming world interest rates), to the more recent foreign-currency-exchange fiasco (many of the same banks suspected of rigging prices in the $5.3-trillion-a-day currency markets), to lesser scandals involving manipulation of interest-rate swaps, and gold and silver prices.

But those are purely financial schemes. In these new, even scarier kinds of manipulations, banks that own whole chains of physical business interests have been caught rigging prices in those industries. For instance, in just the past two years, fines in excess of $400 million have been levied against both JPMorgan Chase and Barclays for allegedly manipulating the delivery of electricity in several states, including California. In the case of Barclays, which is contesting the fine, regulators claim prices were manipulated to help the bank win financial bets it had made on those same energy markets.

...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High-frequency stock trading goes under the microscope
JOANNA SLATER | Apr. 04 2014 | The Globe and Mail


Quote:
The anti: High-frequency traders are scalpers who use an unfair advantage to front-run trades

Mr. Lewis, the foremost chronicler of American finance, is the standard-bearer for this argument, together with Brad Katsuyama, a former trader with Royal Bank of Canada. Flash Boys tells the story of how Mr. Katsuyama, while working at RBC in New York, began to suspect that high-frequency traders were raising the cost of his trades by getting a slender head start – measured in the milliseconds – on those transactions.

At RBC, Mr. Katsuyama developed a tool called “Thor” to thwart such high-speed strategies. Last year, he launched IEX Group Inc., an independent trading platform that incorporates the same speed bumps.

His arguments were echoed this week by two top executives at Charles Schwab. They argued that stock exchanges have developed special perks to benefit high-frequency traders, who are some of their most active customers. “Instead of levelling the playing field, the exchanges have tilted it against investors,” they wrote on Thursday. Such benefits include preferential data feeds and special order types, they said. Of particular concern: a practice known as “quote-stuffing,” where orders are cancelled and reposted in milliseconds.

Mr. Schneiderman, the New York attorney-general, focused his critique on “latency arbitrage.” By placing servers close to exchanges and getting direct access to their market data, high-frequency-trading firms get a sneak peak at the action, he said. “They are able to see the prices early, jump in and take the best one in the blink of an eye,” Mr. Schneiderman wrote.

The pro: high-frequency traders have made markets more competitive and cost-effective for everyone

Proponents of the benefits of high-frequency trading have fought back. William O’Brien, president of stock exchange BATS Global Markets, tweeted that Flash Boys was an “unjust vilification of an entire industry” and took on Mr. Katsuyama in a debate on live television on Tuesday.

A trade group called the Modern Markets Initiative, established last year by four high-speed trading firms, is helping to get the message out. It has highlighted commentary by a number of experts who assert that the critiques by the likes of Mr. Lewis and Mr. Katsuyama are overblown or incorrect.

One such analysis came from Clifford Asness, a well-known hedge fund manager who heads AQR Capital Management. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Mr. Asness wrote that high-frequency traders are simply savvy market makers.

“How do we feel about high-frequency trading?” he wrote. “We think it helps us. It seems to have reduced our costs and may enable us to manage more investment dollars.” He noted that “some of the loudest complaints about high-frequency trading come from the slower traders who used to win the races.”

Rishi Narang, who helped found the high-frequency trading firm Tradeworx, made similar arguments. “What’s actually happening behind the scenes may be frustratingly complicated, but it’s not immoral, unethical, harmful or illegal,” he wrote, claiming such strategies don’t cost ordinary investors anything.


Brad Katsuyama on the trouble with high-frequency trading and building a better stock exchange

Listen (CBC Radio - The Current April 16, 2014)

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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Russia and China have just signed what is being called "the gas deal of the century", and the two countries are discussing moving away from the U.S. dollar and using their own currencies to trade with one another. This has huge implications for the future of the U.S. economy, but the mainstream media in the United States is being strangely quiet about all of this. For example, a search of CNN's website to find something about this gas deal between Russia and China and you will not find anything. But you will find links to "top stories" entitled "Celebs who went faux red" and "Adorable kid tugs on Obama's ear". Is it any wonder why the mainstream media is dying? If a particular story does not fit their agenda, they will simply ignore it. But the truth is that this new agreement between Russia and China is huge. It could end up fundamentally changing the global financial system, and not in a way that would be beneficial for the United States.

Russia and China had been negotiating this natural gas deal for ten years, and now it is finally done. Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas on the entire planet, and China is poised to become the world's largest economy in just a few years. This new $400 billion agreement means that these two superpowers could potentially enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship for the next 30 years...

Russia reached a $400 billion deal to supply natural gas to China through a new pipeline over 30 years, a milestone in relations between the world's largest energy producer and the biggest consumer. President Vladimir Putin is turning to China to bolster Russia's economy as relations sour with the U.S. and European Union because of the crisis in Ukraine. Today's accord, signed after more than a decade of talks, will allow state-run gas producer OAO Gazprom (GAZP) to invest $55 billion developing giant gas fields in eastern Siberia and building the pipeline, Putin said. It's an "epochal event," Putin said in Shanghai after the contract was signed. Both countries are satisfied with the price, he said.

Of course countries sell oil and natural gas to each other all the time. But what makes this deal such a potential problem for the U.S. is the fact that Russia and China are working on cutting the U.S. dollar out of the entire equation. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent article in a Russian news source...

Russia and China are planning to increase the volume of direct payments in mutual trade in their national currencies, according to a joint statement on a new stage of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation signed during high-level talks in Shanghai on Tuesday. "The sides intend to take new steps to increase the level and expansion of spheres of Russian-Chinese practical cooperation, in particular to establish close cooperation in the financial sphere, including an increase in direct payments in the Russian and Chinese national currencies in trade, investments and loan services," the statement said.

What could happen if the petrodollar monopoly ends? In the United States, our current standard of living is extremely dependent on the rest of the world continuing to use our currency to trade with one another. If Russia starts selling natural gas to China without the U.S. dollar being involved, that would be a monumental blow to the petrodollar. And if other nations started following the lead of Russia and China, that could result in an avalanche from which the petrodollar may never recover.

And it isn't just the national governments of Russia and China that are discussing moving away from the U.S. dollar. For example, the second largest bank in Russia just signed a deal with the Bank of China "to pay each other in domestic currencies"...

VTB, Russia's second biggest lender, has signed a deal with Bank of China, which includes an agreement to pay each other in domestic currencies. "Under the agreement, the banks plan to develop their partnership in a number of areas, including cooperation on ruble and renminbi settlements, investment banking, inter-bank lending, trade finance and capital-markets transactions," says the official VTB statement. The deal underlines VTB Group's growing interest in Asian markets and will help grow trade between Russia and China that are already close trading partners, said VTB Bank Management Board Vasily Titov.

You can almost feel the power of the U.S. dollar fading.

A few months ago, China had announced that it no longer planned to stockpile more U.S. dollars, evidence that China planned to start making a big move away from the U.S. dollar.

Well, now China's intentions have become even more clear.

The Chinese do not plan to allow the United States to indefinitely dominate the globe financially. In the long run, the Chinese plan to be the ones calling the shots, and that means that the power of the U.S. dollar must decline.

These days, instead of piling up mountains of U.S. currency, China has started accumulating hard assets instead. China is rapidly stockpiling gold, and it turns out that the Chinese have also been very busy stockpiling oil as well...

China is stockpiling oil for its strategic petroleum reserve at a record pace, intervening on a scale large enough to send a powerful pulse through the world crude market. The move comes as tensions mount in the South China Sea and the West prepares possible oil sanctions against Russia over the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Analysts believe China is quietly building up buffers against a possible spike in oil prices or disruptions in supply. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest monthly report that China imported 6.81m barrels per day (bpd) in April, an all-time high.

Once upon a time, China was extremely dependent on the United States economically. The same was true with most of the rest of the world.

But now economic power has shifted so dramatically that nations such as Russia and China are realizing that they don't really need to be dependent on the United States any longer.
Link: http://www.sott.net/article/279590-Who-needs-the-United-States-Not-Russia-and-China


Quote:
Employment has been boosted only in statistical presentation, and not in reality. The Labor Department's creative accounting of job numbers omits numerous factors, the most important being the issue of long term unemployed. Millions of people who have been jobless for so long they no longer qualify for benefits are being removed from the rolls. This quiet catastrophe has the side bonus of making it appear as though unemployment is going down.

U.S. Treasury bonds, and by extension the dollar, have also stayed afloat due to the river of stimulus being introduced by the Federal Reserve. That same river, through QE, is now drying up.

Is the Fed taper a deliberate action in preparation for an impending market collapse. The effectiveness of QE stimulus has a shelf-life, and that shelf life has come to an end. With debt monetization no longer a useful tool in propping up the ailing U.S. economy, central bankers are publicly stepping back. Why? If a collapse occurs while stimulus is in full swing, the Fed immediately takes full blame for the calamity, while being forced to admit that central banking as a concept serves absolutely no meaningful purpose.

Can we conclude that a collapse of the American system is not only expected by international financiers, but is in fact being engineered by them. The Fed is an entity created by globalists for globalists. These people have no loyalties to any one country or culture. Their only loyalties are to themselves and their private organizations.

While many people assume that the stimulus measures of the Fed are driven by a desire to save our economy and currency, instead we see a concerted program of destabilization which is meant to bring about the eventual demise of our nation's fiscal infrastructure. What some might call "kicking the can down the road," or deliberately stretching the country thin over time, so that any indirect crisis can be used as a trigger event to bring the ceiling crashing down.

In the past several months, the Fed taper of QE and subsequently U.S. bond buying has coincided with steep declines in purchases by China, a dump of one-fifth of holdings by Russia, and an overall decline in new purchases of U.S. dollars for FOREX reserves.

With the Ukraine crisis now escalating to fever pitch, BRIC nations are openly discussing the probability of "de-dollarization" in international summits, and the ultimate dumping of the dollar as the world reserve currency.

The U.S. is in desperate need of a benefactor to purchase its ever rising debt and keep the system running. Strangely, a buyer with apparently bottomless pockets has arrived to pick up the slack that the Fed and the BRICS are leaving behind. But, who is this buyer?

At first glance, it appears to be the tiny nation of Belgium.

While foreign investment in the U.S. has sharply declined since March, Belgium has quickly become the third largest buyer of Treasury bonds, just behind China and Japan, purchasing more than $200 billion in securities in the past five months, adding to a total stash of around $340 billion. This development is rather bewildering, primarily because Belgium's GDP as of 2012 was a miniscule $483 billion, meaning, Belgium has spent nearly the entirety of its yearly GDP on our debt.

Clearly, this is impossible, and someone, somewhere, is using Belgium as a proxy in order to prop up the U.S. But who?

Recently, a company based in Belgium called Euroclear has come forward claiming to be the culprit behind the massive purchases of American debt. Euroclear, though, is not a direct buyer. Instead, the bank is a facilitator, using what it calls a "collateral highway" to allow central banks and international banks to move vast amounts of securities around the world faster than ever before.

Euroclear claims to be an administrator for more than $24 trillion in worldwide assets and transactions, but these transactions are not initiated by the company itself. Euroclear is a middleman used by our secret buyer to quickly move U.S. Treasuries into various accounts without ever being identified. So the question remains, who is the true buyer?

Euroclear has financial relationships with more than 90 percent of the world's central banks and was once partly owned and run by 120 of the largest financial institutions back when it was called the "Euroclear System". The organization was consolidated and operated by none other than JP Morgan Bank in 1972. In 2000, Euroclear was officially incorporated and became its own entity. However, one must remember, once a JP Morgan bank, always a JP Morgan bank.

Another interesting fact - Euroclear also has a strong relationship with the Russian government and is a primary broker for Russian debt to foreign investors. This once again proves my ongoing point that Russia is tied to the global banking cabal as much as the United States. The East vs. West paradigm is a sham of the highest order.

Euroclear's ties to the banking elite are obvious; however, we are still no closer to discovering the specific groups or institution responsible for buying up U.S. debt. I think that the use of Euroclear and Belgium may be a key in understanding this mystery.

Belgium is the political center of the EU, with more politicians, diplomats and lobbyists than Washington D.C. It is also, despite its size and economic weakness, a member of an exclusive economic club called the "Group Of Ten" (G10).

The G10 nations have all agreed to participate in a "General Arrangement to Borrow" (GAB) launched in 1962 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The GAB is designed as an ever cycling fund which members pay into. In times of emergency, members can ask the IMF's permission for a release of funds. If the IMF agrees, it then injects capital through Treasury purchases and SDR allocations. Essentially, the IMF takes our money, then gives it back to us in times of desperation (with strings attached). A similar program called 'New Arrangements To Borrow' (NAB) involves 38 member countries. This fund was boosted to approximately 370 billion SDR (or $575 billion dollars U.S.) as the derivatives crisis struck markets in 2008-2009. Without a full and independent audit of the IMF, however, it is impossible to know the exact funds it has at its disposal, or how many SDR's it has created.

It should be noted the Bank of International Settlements is also an overseer of the G10. If you want to learn more about the darker nature of globalist groups like the IMF and the BIS, perhaps read articles, Russia Is Dominated By Global Banks, Too, and False East/West Paradigm Hides The Rise Of Global Currency.
Link: http://www.sott.net/article/279489-Who-is-the-new-secret-buyer-of-US-debt-And-what-is-their-intention

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
By December 2012, funds were being pumped into the markets to the tune of $85 billion a month – a last resort, desperate measure that the FOMC began so that their ‘growth’ targets could be met. This was tapered down to $65 billion a month in June 2013, which resulted in a major sell off in the markets – “the stock markets dropped approximately 4.3% over the three trading days” – prompting the Fed to “hold off on scaling back its bond-buying program”, underscoring the fact that the Fed still has Wall Street’s back and is still in the business of transferring wealth from Main Street to Wall Street.

But all is not as it appears. The Fed Is The Great Deceiver - it has not been tapering, but pumping more funds into the markets than ever before.

The Fed has been laundering money into the markets through third parties, Belgium being the primary one:

“Further analysis of the source of funds to finance the U.S. deficit shows Belgium and the Fed are the only two buyers on the margin currently driving rates lower…

“The strange aspect of the data is that in the published figures, the tiny country of Belgium with a GDP of only $509B, somehow managed to purchase $40.2B in Treasury securities in the month of March. The purchases follow a six-month barrage of purchases by Belgium in which $214.6B in Treasuries were added to security accounts held in the country. Based on the data, Belgium has escalated to third, behind only Japan and China (mainland) in the rankings of foreign countries which hold the most U.S. Treasury reserves.”


Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2224363-nervous-investors-move-to-bonds-just-like-belgium

In a three month period, from November 2013 through January 2014, Belgium, with a GDP of only $484 billion, miraculously acquired enough funds to purchase $141.2 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds:

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So where did the $141.2 billion come from?

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

“In other words, during those 3 months there was a sharp rise in bond purchases by the Fed. The Fed’s actual bond purchases for those three months are $27 billion per month above the original $85 billion monthly purchase and $47 billion above the official $65 billion monthly purchase at that time.”

The Fed is working off the books to prop up the markets. The gist of it is that the U.S. economy is not as rosy as the government claims it to be, and that the U.S. dollar is not a safe haven anymore.

So Wall Street’s mantra of not fighting the Fed is a little confusing. If you believe the official statements about QE and tapering, then you should be concerned about a market downturn with the taps turning off. If you know what’s going on behind the scenes, that the Fed is more worried about the economy and the U.S. dollar than ever before, pumping more funds into the markets than at any other time in history, then you might want to take advantage of more ‘free’ money and be inclined to go long.
Link: http://disinfo.com/2014/05/mantra-wall-street-dont-fight-fed-know-fed-belgium-get-141-billion-purchase-u-s-treasury-bonds/

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"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the weekend of November 16th, the G20 leaders whisked into Brisbane, posed for photo ops AND rubber-stamped the Financial Stability Board's "Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution," which completely changes the rules of banking.

It's all about preventing a run on the banks! Deposits can be "bailed in" or confiscated to save the megabanks from derivative bets gone wrong. Rather than reining in the massive and risky derivatives casino, the new rules prioritize the payment of banks' derivatives obligations to each other, ahead of everyone else. That includes not only depositors, public and private, but the pension funds that are the target market for the latest bail-in play, called "bail-inable" bonds.

"Bail in" has been sold as avoiding future government bailouts and eliminating too big to fail (TBTF). But it actually institutionalizes TBTF, since the big banks are kept in business by expropriating the funds of their creditors.

It is a neat solution for bankers and politicians, who don't want to have to deal with another messy banking crisis and are happy to see it disposed of by statute. But a bail-in could have worse consequences than a bailout for the public. If your taxes go up, you will probably still be able to pay the bills. If your bank account or pension gets wiped out, you could wind up in the street or sharing food with your pets. In theory, US deposits under $250,000 are protected by federal deposit insurance; but deposit insurance funds in both the US and Europe are woefully underfunded, particularly when derivative claims are factored in.

BAIL-IN IN PLAIN ENGLISH

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) that now regulates banking globally began as a group of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors organized in a merely advisory capacity after the Asian crisis of the late 1990s. Although not official, its mandates effectively acquired the force of law after the 2008 crisis, when the G20 leaders were brought together to endorse its rules. This ritual now happens annually, with the G20 leaders rubberstamping rules aimed at maintaining the stability of the private banking system, usually at public expense.

According to an International Monetary Fund paper titled "From Bail-out to Bail-in: Mandatory Debt Restructuring of Systemic Financial Institutions":

Bail-in . . . is a statutory power of a resolution authority (as opposed to contractual arrangements, such as contingent capital requirements) to restructure the liabilities of a distressed financial institution by writing down its unsecured debt and/or converting it to equity. The statutory bail-in power is intended to achieve a prompt recapitalization and restructuring of the distressed institution.

The language is a bit obscure, but here are some points to note:

    • What was formerly called a "bankruptcy" is now a "resolution proceeding." The bank's insolvency is "resolved" by the neat trick of turning its liabilities into capital. Insolvent TBTF banks are to be "promptly recapitalized" with their "unsecured debt" so that they can go on with business as usual

    • "Unsecured debt" includes deposits, the largest class of unsecured debt of any bank. The insolvent bank is to be made solvent by turning our money into their equity - bank stock that could become worthless on the market or be tied up for years in resolution proceedings

    • The power is statutory. Cyprus-style confiscations are to become the law

    • Rather than having their assets sold off and closing their doors, as happens to lesser bankrupt businesses in a capitalist economy, "zombie" banks are to be kept alive and open for business at all costs - and the costs are again to be to borne by us


PUTTING PENSION FUNDS AT RISK WITH "BAIL-INABLE BONDS"

First they came for our tax dollars. When governments declared "no more bailouts," they came for our deposits. When there was a public outcry against that, the FSB came up with a "buffer" of securities to be sacrificed before deposits in a bankruptcy. In the latest rendition of its bail-in scheme, TBTF banks are required to keep a buffer equal to 16-20% of their risk-weighted assets in the form of equity or bonds convertible to equity in the event of insolvency. Called "contingent capital bonds", "bail-inable bonds" or "bail-in bonds," these securities say in the fine print that the bondholders agree contractually (rather than being forced statutorily) that if certain conditions occur (notably the bank's insolvency), the lender's money will be turned into bank capital. However, even 20% of risk-weighted assets may not be enough to prop up a megabank in a major derivatives collapse. And we the people are still the target market for these bonds, this time through our pension funds.

In a policy brief from the Peterson Institute for International Economics titled "Why Bail-In Securities Are Fool's Gold", Avinash Persaud warns, "A key danger is that taxpayers would be saved by pushing pensioners under the bus." It wouldn't be the first time. As Matt Taibbi noted in a September 2013 article titled "Looting the Pension Funds," "public pension funds were some of the most frequently targeted suckers upon whom Wall Street dumped its fraud-riddled mortgage-backed securities in the pre-crash years." Wall Street-based pension fund managers, although losing enormous sums in the last crisis, will not necessarily act more prudently going into the next one. All the pension funds are struggling with commitments made when returns were good, and getting those high returns now generally means taking on risk.

Other than the pension funds and insurance companies that are long-term bondholders, it is not clear what market there will be for bail-in bonds. Currently, most holders of contingent capital bonds are investors focused on short-term gains, who are liable to bolt at the first sign of a crisis. Investors who held similar bonds in 2008 took heavy losses. In a Reuters sampling of potential investors, many said they would not take that risk again. And banks and "shadow" banks are specifically excluded as buyers of bail-in bonds, due to the "fear of contagion": if they hold each other's bonds, they could all go down together.

Whether the pension funds go down is apparently not of concern.


THE DERIVATIVES CASINO


Kept inviolate and untouched in all this are the banks' liabilities on their derivative bets, which represent by far the largest exposure of TBTF banks. According to the New York Times

American banks have nearly $280 trillion of derivatives on their books, and they earn some of their biggest profits from trading in them.

These biggest of profits could turn into their biggest losses when the derivatives bubble collapses. Both the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 and the Dodd Frank Act provide special protections for derivative counterparties, giving them the legal right to demand collateral to cover losses in the event of insolvency. They get first dibs, even before the secured deposits of state and local governments; and that first bite could consume the whole apple. Note the inadequacy of the FDIC insurance fund to protect depositors. In a May 2013 article in USA Today titled "Can FDIC Handle the Failure of a Megabank?", Darrell Delamaide wrote:

[T]he biggest failure the FDIC has handled was Washington Mutual in 2008. And while that was plenty big with $307 billion in assets, it was a small fry compared with the $2.5 trillion in assets today at JPMorgan Chase, the $2.2 trillion at Bank of America or the $1.9 trillion at Citigroup.

. . . There was no possibility that the FDIC could take on the rescue of a Citigroup or Bank of America when the full-fledged financial crisis broke in the fall of that year and threatened the solvency of even the biggest banks.


That was, in fact, the reason the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve had to step in to bail out the banks: the FDIC wasn't up to the task. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act was supposed to ensure that this never happened again. But as Delamaide writes, there are "numerous skeptics that the FDIC or any regulator can actually manage this, especially in the heat of a crisis when many banks are threatened at once." All this fancy footwork is to prevent a run on the banks, in order to keep their derivatives casino going with our money. Warren Buffett called derivatives "weapons of financial mass destruction," and many commentators warn that they are a time bomb waiting to explode. When that happens, our deposits, our pensions, and our public investment funds will all be subject to confiscation in a "bail in". Perhaps it is time to pull our money out of Wall Street and set up our own banks - banks that will serve the people because they are owned by the people.

_________________
"Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha


Last edited by Southpark Fan on Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:58 pm; edited 6 times in total
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stillsearchingtruth



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ann Barnhardt only last year stated that anyone who is against usury hated jews, what is her malfunction?

I have no idea what the solution to this scam is but I do know that it needs to change and quickly as when the next round of fucking has abaited the wealth concentration will resemble that depicted in the hunger games.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a response from Anne the Crusader to the ether:

"Frankly, I'm terribly disappointed that not a SINGLE musloid here in the United States has made ANY attempt to rape and behead me. But maybe I haven't made myself clear enough, so let me do that right now.

I will NEVER, EVER, EVER submit to islam. I will fight islam with every fiber of my being for as long as I live because islam is pure satanic evil. If you are really serious about islam dominating the United States and the world, you are going to have to come through me. You are going to have to kill me. Good luck with that. And understand that if you or some of your musloid boyfriends do actually manage to kill me, The Final Crusade will officially commence five minutes later, and then, despite your genetic mental retardation, you will be made to understand with crystal clarity what the word "defeat" means. Either way, I win, so come and get it."

This lady has nothing to say. She is an empty head.

Here is a glamorous pic from her. Eric Prince would be proud:



Do we really need to refer to this automoton again?

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/b/ann-barnhardt.htm#.VIdzpMl1EfY

She just oozes wisdom, decorum and everything else that is wrong.

And then she has the nerve to preach to others? Just let her roll around under the blood moon naked and alone with her pink gun.

http://www.barnhardt.biz/

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"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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stillsearchingtruth



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I no, I just mention her because she supposedly bleeds red white and blue and yet even alongside her muslim tirades she has also takes such a warped view on usury too. You hit the nail on the head though it's not the headline figure of derivatives which is chilling, it iswhat happens when it is unravels in any sort of a panic fashion and just how much they will then rob from depositors. I guess the solution is quite simple, in order to safeguard yourself (and I certainly don't want to promote pumpers) but buy some silver, keep cash portable, keep the minimum amount in the bank.
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