It was said that during the Financial Crash of 1929, some Wall Street Stockbrokers and Bankers JUMPED from their office windows and committed suicide when confronted with the news of their firms and clients financial ruin . . . many people were said to almost feel a little sorry for them.
However, the Crash of 2008 has brought a somewhat different sentiment…
While common criminals use guns and masks to steal money, our leaders use the printing press–printing ever more dollars out of thin air.
It is interesting that more modern dictionaries only use half of the definition of inflation. The Oxford American Dictionary of 1986 defines inflation as:
“a general increase of prices and fall in the purchasing value of money.”
But that is only half the story of inflation. According to Websters New Twentieth Century Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language of 1957, inflation is defined as:
“an increase in the amount of currency in circulation, resulting in a relatively sharp and sudden fall in its value and a rise in prices.”
Like other happenings–we must not look at just the symptoms, but rather the underlying cause. The result of inflation is always rising prices, but the cause is printing more money.`
Put simply, “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke is not just an inflationist, he is a thief.
CARD CHECK: “You have nothing to lose but your chains”
By Mike Whitney
Global Research, December 9, 2008
Even though the Federal Reserve is now the biggest single participant in the financial system, the myth of a “free market” still lingers on. It’s mind boggling. The Fed has expanded its balance sheet by $2 trillion, guaranteed $8.3 trillion of dodgy mortgage-backed paper, provided a backstop for bank deposits, money markets, commercial paper, and created 8 separate lending facilities to ensure that underwater financial institutions can still appear to be solvent. The whole system is a state subsidized operation buoyed on a taxpayer-provided flotation device which bears no resemblance to an invisible hand. More astonishing, is the massive power grab engineered by the Fed which has taken place without the slightest protest from 535 shell-shocked congressmen and senators. Elected officials have either kept their finger in the air to see which way the political wind is blowing or timidly caved in to Treasury’s every multi-billion dollar demand. It’s flagrant blackmail and everyone knows it. Congressional oversight is an oxymoron.
Anyone who has followed the financial crisis from its origins knows that the Fed’s bloody fingerprints are all over the crime scene. Still, that hasn’t stopped well-meaning liberal economists (Krugman, Stiglitz, Reich) from supporting Bernanke’s increasingly unorthodox attempts to flood the financial system with liquidity (“quantitative easing”) and invoke whatever radical strategy pops into his head. In fact, many of the experts believe that Bernanke should do even more given the sheer size of the meltdown. There’s growing support for a gigantic stimulus package ($700 billion) which will focus on road construction, infrastructure, state aid, extensions to unemployment benefits and green technologies. The Obama camp hopes that government programs and deficit spending will make up for the huge losses in aggregate demand which threaten to drag prices down even further in a self-reinforcing deflationary cycle. Even so, its natural to wonder at the wisdom of giving even more power to the very people who created the mess to begin with and who seem more interested in proving their depression-fighting theories than throwing a lifeline to struggling homeowners, consumers or auto workers. Maybe its time to try something different.
by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, November 15, 2008
The financial crisis is deepening, with the risk of seriously disrupting the system of international payments.
This crisis is far more serious than the Great Depression. All major sectors of the global economy are affected. Recent reports suggest that the system of Letters of Credit as well as international shipping, which constitute the lifeline of the international trading system, are potentially in jeopardy.
The proposed bank “bailout” under the so-called Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is not a “solution” to the crisis but the “cause” of further collapse.
The “bailout” contributes to a further process of destabilization of the financial architecture. It transfers large amounts of public money, at taxpayers expense, into the hands of private financiers. It leads to a spiraling public debt and an unprecedented centralization of banking power. Moreover, the bailout money is used by the financial giants to secure corporate acquisitions both in the financial sector and the real economy.
Thomas Friedman’s Sermon From The Mount Of The NYT Op-Ed Page
The Stupids are back. You remember that fictional family who appear in series of books portrayed as incompetent to the point of confusing the most simple concepts and tasks. The books were themselves denounced as irresponsible and inspired films which were dismissed as stupid plus.
But now the Stupids seems to have inspired a column by none other than Thomas Friedman of the not your father’s New York Times. In a new column by this best selling hero of all serious media, we finally have a easy to read explanation of the financial crisis—namely the nerds on Wall Street were just plain dumb, or to use an overused term, “stupid.”
The author of The World Is Flat, which one reader in Australia described as a book about “financial geniuses who were beating our olive trees into Lexuses!,” calls the Wall Street wunderkinds:
“…overrated dopes who had no idea what they were selling, or greedy cynics who did know and turned a blind eye. But it wasn’t only the bankers. This financial meltdown involved a broad national breakdown in personal responsibility, government regulation and financial ethics.”
Tom then lays out who was complicit in all this—with nary a mention of the media that spent years hyping the “financial innovation on Wall Street.” His answer: all of us. Everyone, he concludes, was involved so you can’t really blame anyone, much less prosecute the fraudsters and, to use an FDRism, “banksters” who bamboozled the gullible and laughed all the way to the bank or their high priced condo—which ever came first.
“This financial meltdown involved a broad national breakdown in personal responsibility, government regulation and financial ethics,” he divines.
Some good will come from the current meltdown of the U.S. economy if it results in the replacement of the Federal Reserve System (privately owned). The government would then print money as the Constitution requires. President Woodrow Wilson went to his grave stating that he had betrayed his country in 1913 for his part in the establishment of the Federal Reserve which is controlled by a consortium of international bankers.
There are precedents for opposing the Fed. In 1837, President Andrew Jackson eliminated a similar private money system and returned to government printing. President Lincoln financed the Civil War by printing greenbacks. This could well have caused his assassination.
F. William Engdahl
November 24, 2008
On Friday November 21, the world came within a hair’s breadth of the most colossal financial collapse in history according to bankers on the inside of events with whom we have contact. The trigger was the bank which only two years ago was America’s largest, Citigroup. The size of the US Government de facto nationalization of the $2 trillion banking institution is an indication of shocks yet to come in other major US and perhaps European banks thought to be ‘too big to fail.’
Paulson demanded, and got from a labile US Congress, Democrat as well as Republican, sole discretion over how and where he can invest the $700 billion, to date with no effective oversight. It amounts to the Treasury Secretary in effect ‘spitting into the wind’ in terms of resolving the fundamental crisis.
The clumsy way in which US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, himself not a banker but a Wall Street ‘investment banker’, whose experience has been in the quite different world of buying and selling stocks or bonds or underwriting and selling same, has handled the unfolding crisis has been worse than incompetent. It has made a grave situation into a globally alarming one.
“Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.”
– The Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s
The Federal Reserve (or Fed) has assumed sweeping new powers in the last year. In an unprecedented move in March 2008, the New York Fed advanced the funds for JP Morgan Chase Bank to buy investment bank Bear Stearns for pennies on the dollar. The deal was particularly controversial because Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, sits on the board of the New York Fed and participated in the secret weekend negotiations. In September 2008, the Federal Reserve did something even more unprecedented, when it bought the world’s largest insurance company. The Fed announced on September 16 that it was giving an $85 billion loan to American International Group (AIG) for a nearly 80% stake in the mega-insurer. The Associated Press called it a “government takeover,” but this was no ordinary nationalization. Unlike the U.S. Treasury, which took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the week before, the Fed is not a government-owned agency.