Archive | Banking RSS feed for this section

Is “The Age of Rage” Coming?

8 Jun

Austerity Fascism Is Coming And It Will Be Brutal

Welcome to the age of rage – riots and revolutions will be the reaction to the next stage of the new world order

Austerity Fascism Is Coming And It Will Be Brutal 080610top2

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Top historians, social and financial analysts are warning that the draconian austerity measures currently being prepared by governments in the west will cause riots and even revolutions as people react with fury in response to their jobs, savings, basic public services, pensions and welfare money being seized by the financial terrorists who caused the economic collapse in the first place.

British historian Simon Schama is a creature of the establishment and he makes it clear whose side he is on at the end of his recent column for the Bilderberg-controlled Financial Times entitled, The World Teeters on the Brink of a New Age of Rage. However, the fact that he is an elitist at heart only makes Schama’s predications all the more alarming. This is someone on the inside who is painfully aware of the fact that the imminent attempt on behalf of the globalists to enforce so-called “austerity measures” on the people of the west, which in reality is a euphemistic term for the next leg of the new world order, is not just going to cause riots and mass social unrest, but it could even lead to revolution if the elite allow the situation to spiral out of their control.

Schama’s forecast that “we might be on the threshold of an age of rage” is not to be taken lightly. This isn’t coming from Alex Jones, Max Keiser or Gerald Celente, it’s coming directly from a man considered to be Britain’s pre-eminent contemporary historian.

Schama writes that the coming austerity measures, particularly in America where anger “targeted at an elitist federal authority is raging through the US like a fever,” will require “Barack Obama to be more than a head tutor. It will need him to be a warrior of the word every bit as combative as the army of the righteous that believes it has the Constitution on its side, and in its inchoate thrashings, can yet bring down the governance of the American Republic.”

In other words, Obama will have to ditch “misplaced obligations of civility” and become an authoritarian enforcer in order to emerge successful against the rising tide of Constitutionalist rage that will be directed against the coming austerity fascism.

We’ve all seen the numerous videos of protesters in Greece rioting, fighting police, and even firebombing banks and killing people in reaction to the crippling austerity measures imposed by the government in the name of appeasing the mandates of the European Union’s near $1 trillion dollar bailout package. However, the establishment media as a whole has largely failed to identify precisely what those austerity measures are, and more importantly how they will almost undoubtedly lead to massive social dislocation in the UK and the United States when implemented.

The austerity measures currently being considered and indeed implemented in the UK and other European countries, with the United States not too far behind, can be summarized as follows.

– Massive cuts to public services that are two or three times larger in size than anything we’ve witnessed since the second world war.

– Both capping of and reduction of salaries for public sector workers that will inevitably lead to huge strikes, bringing whole countries to a standstill for weeks on end, further eviscerating any economic recovery. Public sector workers in France and Spain are already staging large industrial strikes. As we saw in Greece, strikes routinely lead to riots and violence.

– Shocking tax increases that if they mirror previous trends could amount to an astounding 98 per cent tax on all earnings over a low level of income. Such increases would virtually eliminate the middle class because all earnings over around £20,000 ($28,000) would almost entirely go straight to the government. Knowing that such exorbitant hikes would cause millions of people to try to evade tax, thousands of new tax inspectors are being hired to crackdown on evaders. In the United States, 16,000 new IRS agents were recently hired in anticipation of people avoiding massive tax hikes that are in the pipeline, as well as new taxes as a result of Obamacare, which will begin to be implemented in the coming years.

– Cuts in social welfare payments that will devastate the poor if they are already laboring under runaway inflation. The economically deprived will take to the streets with a mind set of nothing to lose if the government handouts they have become dependent on are drastically reduced.

– VAT increases for people who already pay some of the highest income tax levels in the world. Europeans are forced to pay a 15-25 per cent surcharge on the purchase of most items and services, and this stealth tax is only set to increase. Greece recently upped its VAT from 21 per cent to 23 per cent. In the United States, President Obama has made it clear that a value added tax is “still on the table” as the IMF also outlines plans for a financial transaction tax which amounts to yet another insidious stealth tax on consumption.

– Governments will try to seize pension funds by continually raising the retirement age so pensions are constantly kept out of reach until people die. In Greece, the government is linking the pension to the average life span index, so most people won’t even get it before they die. Strikes across France in response to similar proposals have closed schools, delayed flights and caused chaos.

– In many European countries, laws govern the amount of employees private companies can fire in any one period of time. In Greece, the number of people companies will be allowed to lay off has doubled from 2% to 4% of their work force. Taken to its extreme, this could double unemployment in the private sector, placing yet more strain on unemployment benefits, which will also be reduced, and driving people into poverty.

All of these measures have been implemented to one degree or another in Greece and we witnessed the consequences. What makes the situation far more terrifying is the fact that the austerity measures being readied for Europe and especially the UK are far more drastic than what the Greeks have been dealt.

The last time anything remotely this drastic was imposed in the UK post World War Two was in 1977 when public spending was cut by 4 per cent. This led to massive strikes, riots, bodies being left unburied, and the German chancellor declaring Britain “no longer a developed country”. This turmoil occurred just a few years after the UK government had imposed a three-day-week as a result of massive industrial strikes by coal miners in order to conserve electricity. The miners were on strike because the government had capped their pay in an effort to control soaring inflation, a repeat of which many warn is just around the corner as governments are forced to print trillions more money as part of quantitative easing programs.

Spending cuts as part of UK austerity measures are set to be more than double those imposed in 1977, at a level of 9 to 11 per cent. If people were rioting, leaving bodies unburied, and the country was being called “no longer developed” with just a 4 per cent spending cut, what are we to expect after a cut double or treble that amount? Not to mention the plethora of other draconian austerity measures that will accompany spending cuts.

British Prime Minister and Bilderberg attendee David Cameron has warned that the measures his government is preparing to impose will “Affect every single person in our country. And the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades, to come.”

Austerity fascism is the realization of the global elite’s agenda for a “post-industrial revolution,” after which living standards in the west will be dramatically lowered, economic growth will be stagnant, and people will be more concerned about how they are going to feed their families rather than standing up to the very financial terrorists who engineered the economic collapse in the first place.

However, a hungry mob is an angry mob. If the situation is allowed to spiral out of control and the “post-industrial revolution” unfolds quicker and more unwieldy than anticipated, the global elite may find themselves with an entirely different kind of revolution on their hands – one led by the people against the corrupt plutocrats intent on exploiting the suffering they masterminded in the move towards an authoritarian one world government.

Advertisements

How Nasty Will “The Debt Super Cycle” Be?

8 Jun

Investment Banker: It’s Going To Get Nasty – Buy Land, Barbed Wire And Guns

Gold surges to all time record high as double-dip recession fears grow

Investment Banker: Its Going To Get Nasty   Buy Land, Barbed Wire  And Guns 080610top

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A top investment banker has warned that the economic fallout of the sovereign debt crisis could get so nasty over the next five years that people would be wise to abandon the markets and instead buy land, barbed wire and guns.

With gold smashing through its all time record high this morning on the back of fears over a double dip recession, analysts are turning increasingly bearish on the markets. Anthony Fry, senior managing director at Evercore Partners, told CNBC that the bond markets could turn nasty over the next few months and said that the current problems created by the European debt crisis could be with us for at least five years.

“Look at the current situation. You have Greece, now you have Hungary and huge issues surrounding Spain and Portugal,” he said, warning of a “nightmare scenario” of hyper-stagflation, where inflation rises dramatically but asset prices deflate.

“I don’t want to scare anyone but I am considering investing in barbed wire and guns, things are not looking good and rates are heading higher,” said Fry.

RBS Chief Strategist Bob Janjuah echoed Fry’s sentiments, predicting that governments would inject at least $15 trillion dollars more qualitative easing into the system and that investors should get into gold to offset the depreciating value of fiat currencies.

“Over the next 6 months we will see private sector deflation pushing 10-year yields down to 2 percent,” he said. “This will see the policymakers mistakenly attempt to kick-start the economy and market with a global quantitative easing program worth between $10 and $15 trillion dollars.”

Janjuah pointed out that, while gold has dramatically risen in value over the last ten years, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones have both remained flat over the course of a decade.

Gold hit a record high of $1,251.85 dollars an ounce this morning as investors continued to flock to the precious metal as a hedge against economic turmoil and the very real possibility of a double dip recession.

With U.S. debt moving towards parity with GDP, members of Congress and leading financial experts are warning that the United States will be in the same dire situation as Greece within 7-10 years unless the federal government implements radical austerity measures.

The backlash to those austerity measures usually takes the form of rioting and violence, as we have seen unfold in Greece.

Top historians, social and financial analysts, along with police bodies are all predicting that Europe and America are set to experience a summer of rage, with social discontent building as a result of economic hardship.

“Far be it for me to make a dicey situation dicier but you can’t smell the sulphur in the air right now and not think we might be on the threshold of an age of rage,” wrote historian Simon Schama in his recent Financial Times column.

The “Debt Super Cycle”

8 Jun

U.S.’s $13 Trillion Debt Poised to Overtake GDP: Chart of Day

By Garfield Reynolds and Wes Goodman

June 4 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama is poised to increase the U.S. debt to a level that exceeds the value of the nation’s annual economic output, a step toward what Bill Gross called a “debt super cycle.”

The CHART OF THE DAY tracks U.S. gross domestic product and the government’s total debt, which rose past $13 trillion for the first time this month. The amount owed will surpass GDP in 2012, based on forecasts by the International Monetary Fund. The lower panel shows U.S. annual GDP growth as tracked by the IMF, which projects the world’s largest economy to expand at a slower pace than the 3.2 percent average during the past five decades.

“Over the long term, interest rates on government debt will likely have to rise to attract investors,” said Hiroki Shimazu, a market economist in Tokyo at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s third-largest publicly traded bank. “That will be a big burden on the government and the people.”

Gross, who runs the world’s largest mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, said in his June outlook report that “the debt super cycle trend” suggests U.S. economic growth won’t be enough to support the borrowings “if real interest rates were ever to go up instead of down.”

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

The Quiet Revolution: Homeowners say “NO”

1 Jun

This New York Times article is much more significant than it might first appear.  This is a clear indication that people are waking up in larger numbers and are realizing their state of servitude, then choosing not to accept it.  Instead of beg, borrow, and steal to pay their predatory mortgage to proven criminals and cartels, people are choosing in increasing numbers to take care of themselves and their families first . . . and let the banksters be damned.

Owners Stop Paying Mortgage … And Stop Fretting About It

nytimes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For Alex Pemberton and Susan Reboyras, foreclosure is becoming a way of life — something they did not want but are in no hurry to get out of.

Foreclosure has allowed them to stabilize the family business. Go to Outback occasionally for a steak. Take their gas-guzzling airboat out for the weekend. Visit the Hard Rock Casino.

“Instead of the house dragging us down, it’s become a life raft,” said Mr. Pemberton, who stopped paying the mortgage on their house here last summer. “It’s really been a blessing.”

A growing number of the people whose homes are in foreclosure are refusing to slink away in shame. They are fashioning a sort of homemade mortgage modification, one that brings their payments all the way down to zero. They use the money they save to get back on their feet or just get by.

This type of modification does not beg for a lender’s permission but is delivered as an ultimatum: Force me out if you can. Any moral qualms are overshadowed by a conviction that the banks created the crisis by snookering homeowners with loans that got them in over their heads.

“I tried to explain my situation to the lender, but they wouldn’t help,” said Mr. Pemberton’s mother, Wendy Pemberton, herself in foreclosure on a small house a few blocks away from her son’s. She stopped paying her mortgage two years ago after a bout with lung cancer. “They’re all crooks.”

Foreclosure procedures have been initiated against 1.7 million of the nation’s households. The pace of resolving these problem loans is slow and getting slower because of legal challenges, foreclosure moratoriums, government pressure to offer modifications and the inability of the lenders to cope with so many souring mortgages.

The average borrower in foreclosure has been delinquent for 438 days before actually being evicted, up from 251 days in January 2008, according to LPS Applied Analytics.

While there are no firm figures on how many households are following the Pemberton-Reboyras path of passive resistance, real estate agents and other experts say the number of overextended borrowers taking the “free rent” approach is on the rise.

There is no question, though, that for some borrowers in default, foreclosure is only a theoretical threat for a long time.

More than 650,000 households had not paid in 18 months, LPS calculated earlier this year. With 19 percent of those homes, the lender had not even begun to take action to repossess the property — double the rate of a year earlier.

In some states, including California and Texas, lenders can pursue foreclosures outside of the courts. With the lender in control, the pace can be brisk. But in Florida, New York and 19 other states, judicial foreclosure is the rule, which slows the process substantially.

In Pinellas and Pasco counties, which include St. Petersburg and the suburbs to the north, there are 34,000 open foreclosure cases, said J. Thomas McGrady, chief judge of the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit. Ten years ago, the average was about 4,000. “The volume is killing us,” Judge McGrady said.

Mr. Pemberton and Ms. Reboyras decided to stop paying because their business, which restores attics that have been invaded by pests, was on the verge of failing. Scrambling to get by, their credit already shot, they had little to lose.

“We could pay the mortgage company way more than the house is worth and starve to death,” said Mr. Pemberton, 43. “Or we could pay ourselves so our business could sustain us and people who work for us over a long period of time. It may sound very horrible, but it comes down to a self-preservation thing.”

They used the $1,837 a month that they were not paying their lender to publicize A Plus Restorations, first with print ads, then local television. Word apparently got around, because the business is recovering.

The couple owe $280,000 on the house, where they live with Ms. Reboyras’s two daughters, their two dogs and a very round pet raccoon named Roxanne. The house is worth less than half that amount — which they say would be their starting point in future negotiations with their lender.

“If they took the house from us, that’s all they would end up getting for it anyway,” said Ms. Reboyras, 46.

One reason the house is worth so much less than the debt is because of the real estate crash. But the couple also refinanced at the height of the market, taking out cash to buy a truck they used as a contest prize for their hired animal trappers.

It was a stupid move by their lender, according to Mr. Pemberton. “They went outside their own guidelines on debt to income,” he said. “And when they did, they put themselves in jeopardy.”

His mother, Wendy Pemberton, who has been cutting hair at the same barber shop for 30 years, has been in default since spring 2008. Mrs. Pemberton, 68, refinanced several times during the boom but says she benefited only once, when she got enough money for a new roof. The other times, she said, unscrupulous salesmen promised her lower rates but simply charged her high fees.

Even without the burden of paying $938 a month for her decaying house, Mrs. Pemberton is having a tough time. Most of her customers are senior citizens who pay only $8 for a cut, and they are spacing out their visits.

“The longer I’m in foreclosure, the better,” she said.

In Florida, the average property spends 518 days in foreclosure, second only to New York’s 561 days. Defense attorneys stress they can keep this number high.

Both generations of Pembertons have hired a local lawyer, Mark P. Stopa. He sends out letters — 1,700 in a recent week — to Floridians who have had a foreclosure suit filed against them by a lender.

Even if you have “no defenses,” the form letter says, “you may be able to keep living in your home for weeks, months or even years without paying your mortgage.”

About 10 new clients a week sign up, according to Mr. Stopa, who says he now has 350 clients in foreclosure, each of whom pays $1,500 a year for a maximum of six hours of attorney time. “I just do as much as needs to be done to force the bank to prove its case,” Mr. Stopa said.

Many mortgages were sold by the original lender, a circumstance that homeowners’ lawyers try to exploit by asking them to prove they own the loan. In Mrs. Pemberton’s case, Mr. Stopa filed a motion to dismiss on March 17, 2009, and the case has not moved since then. He filed a similar motion in her son’s case last December.

From the lenders’ standpoint, people who stay in their homes without paying the mortgage or actively trying to work out some other solution, like selling it, are “milking the process,” said Kyle Lundstedt, managing director of Lender Processing Service’s analytics group. LPS provides technology, services and data to the mortgage industry.

These “free riders” are “the unintended and unfortunate consequence” of lenders struggling to work out a solution, Mr. Lundstedt said. “These people are playing a dangerous game. There are processes in many states to go after folks who have substantial assets postforeclosure.”

But for borrowers like Jim Tsiogas, the benefits of not paying now outweigh any worries about the future.

“I stopped paying in August 2008,” said Mr. Tsiogas, who is in foreclosure on his house and two rental properties. “I told the lady at the bank, ‘I can’t afford $2,500. I can only afford $1,300.’ ”

Mr. Tsiogas, who lives on the coast south of St. Petersburg, blames his lenders for being unwilling to help when the crash began and his properties needed shoring up.

Their attitude seems to have changed since he went into foreclosure. Now their letters say things like “we’re willing to work with you.” But Mr. Tsiogas feels little urge to respond.

“I need another year,” he said, “and I’m going to be pretty comfortable.”


Replacing the Dollar

28 May

Dollar to be Replaced with IMF’s SDR as Reserve Currency?

Zero Hedge

Jim O’Neill, who did not make any friends within the bear community earlier today, has written an interesting paper on the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights, and whether this hypernational currency can ever become a reserve currency as is, and/or with the CNY as a constituent member. While O’Neill as usual focuses on the angle of the “next paradigm” BRICs, and how they will increasingly dominate global economics, he does pose an important question: with the dollar likely to suffer the side effects of either hyperdeflation, hyperinflation, or hyperstagflation, will the next reserve currency be a diluted melange of other flawed fiat constructs (i.e., the SDR), or the currency of the one country, which for all its flaws, still has the cleanest balance sheet backing its own fiat construct. On the other hand, the question of whether this analysis is moot to begin with, and the world will revert to the gold standard as the ongoing crisis of confidence in all paper money flares up, is not raised even once… We wonder (not really) what Jim O’Neill would have to say on that particular issue.

Here are the main bullets:

  • The issue of the ‘international reserve currency’ and the possible role of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) has moved from obscurity to the centre of discussions about the future.
  • Given China’s importance in terms of its share of world trade, the CNY should now be part of the SDR. The case for including it can only become more obvious as this decade progresses.
  • However, actually including the CNY as a constituent of the SDR is likely to remain a challenge without the CNY becoming more widely used internationally, including as a reserve asset.
  • The case for including other BRIC currencies in the SDR, especially the RUB, is also likely to become stronger over the coming decade.
  • Although the Dollar will probably not be as dominant in 2020 as it is today, it is far from clear that it needs to be replaced by the SDR—or by anything else—as the main reserve currency.
  • For the SDR to be attractive to private users, it will need to include the CNY and possibly other BRIC currencies. However, this alone would not guarantee that the SDR would be more attractive to private investors.

The paper is a critical follow up to anyone who found Albert Edward’s earlier analysis of collapsing global FX reserves relevant.

Full paper:

But There is “No New World Order”

26 May

Regulators Push for Global Rule on Bank Capital

Capital is the body fat of banking: too much is debilitating, too little is fatal. During the financial crisis, as large banks burned through their capital reserves, governments were forced to add padding at public expense.

Now one of the most consequential decisions about new restraints on the banking industry — how much more capital banks should hold in their rainy day reserves — is being decided not on Capitol Hill but far from Washington, by a committee based in Basel, Switzerland, The New York Times’s Binyamin Appelbaum reports.

The Obama administration is pursuing an international agreement to make banks hold significantly larger reserves, which it regards as essential to increase the stability of the global financial system. It wants to complete the negotiations, which are being coordinated by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, by the end of the year.

The world’s largest banks have responded with consternation, arguing that the proposed standards would tie up too much money that otherwise could be used for lending, a loss that would curtail economic growth.

The debate between regulators and banks is about the proper balance of growth and safety, but the implications are much broader. In fixing reserve requirements, governments are deciding how much horsepower belongs under the hood of the global economy.

READ FULL ARTICLE

“Sell Everything,” Warns Theorist

19 May

Dow Theorist Richard Russell: Sell Everything, You Won’t Recognize America By The End Of The Year

Joe Weisenthal
Business Insider

WHOA!

Richard Russell, the famous writer of the Dow Theory Letters, has a chilling line in today’s note:

Do your friends a favor. Tell them to “batten down the hatches” because there’s a HARD RAIN coming. Tell them to and sell anything they can sell (and don’t need) in order to get liquid. Tell them that Richard Russell says that by the end of this year they won’t recognize the country. They’ll retort, “How the dickens does Russell know — who told him?” Tell them the stock market told him.

That’s pretty intense!

READ FULL ARTICLE

Goldman Sachs Wins — Their Clients Lose

19 May

Goldman Sachs Hands Clients Losses in ‘Top Trades’

By Ye Xie

May 19 (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. racked up trading profits for itself every day last quarter. Clients who followed the firm’s investment advice fared far worse.

Seven of the investment bank’s nine “recommended top trades for 2010” have been money losers for investors who adopted the New York-based firm’s advice, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from a Goldman Sachs research note sent yesterday. Clients who used the tips lost 14 percent buying the Polish zloty versus the Japanese yen, 9.4 percent buying Chinese stocks in Hong Kong and 9.8 percent trading the British pound against the New Zealand dollar.

The struggles for analysts at Goldman Sachs, which is fighting a fraud lawsuit from U.S. regulators who accuse the company of misleading investors in a mortgage-linked security, show the difficulty of predicting market movements as widening budget deficits, a fragile global economic recovery and tighter financial regulations increase volatility. Stock and currency fluctuations rose to the highest in a year this month as Europe pledged about $1 trillion to stop a debt crisis in the region.

“This says that Goldman’s guys are only human,” said Axel Merk, who oversees $500 million as president and chief investment officer of Merk Investments LLC in Palo Alto, California. “No one is always right. There are a lot of cross currents in this market.”

Gia Moron, a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs, declined to comment.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Elites Fear The Global Awakening

18 May

CFR Meeting: Zbigniew Brzezinski Fears The Global Awakening

Federal Jacktube3
You Tube

Zbigniew Brzezinski giving the CFR branch in Montreal a presentation discussing world government and his fears of the mass global awakening that has taken place.

Greece Considering Legal Action Against U.S. Banks for Crisis

16 May

By Timothy R. Homan

May 16 (Bloomberg) — Greece is considering taking legal action against U.S. investment banks that might have contributed to the country’s debt crisis, Prime Minister George Papandreou said.

“I wouldn’t rule out that this may be a recourse,” Papandreou said, in response to questions about the role of U.S. banks in the crisis, in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” The program, scheduled for broadcast today, was taped on May 13. Neither Papandreou nor Zakaria mentioned any banks by name.

U.S. stocks fell and the euro slumped on concern that Europe wouldn’t be able to contain the debt crisis stemming from Greece. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 1.9 percent May 14, while the euro fell below $1.24 for the first time since November 2008.

Papandreou said the decision on whether to go after U.S. banks will be made after a Greek parliamentary investigation into the cause of the crisis.

“Greece will look into the past and see how things went,” Papandreou said. “There are similar investigations going on in other countries and in the United States. This is where I think, yes, the financial sector, I hear the words fraud and lack of transparency. So yes, yes, there is great responsibility here.”

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE