ROLLING STONE : ROTHSCHILD CORRUPTION IS MAINSTREAM

Rolling Stone: “Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds, the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology”.

You were right.

The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything….

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that’s trillion, with a “t”) worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets.”

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world’s largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps….

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates.

….In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions).

Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture….

Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption.

If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.

“It’s a double conspiracy,” says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. “It’s the height of criminality.”

….although it’s not quite as widespread as Libor, ISDAfix is sufficiently power-jammed into the world financial infrastructure that any manipulation of the rate would be catastrophic – and a huge class of victims that could include everyone from state pensioners to big cities to wealthy investors in structured notes would have no idea they were being robbed.

“How is some municipality in Cleveland or wherever going to know if it’s getting ripped off?” asks Michael Masters of Masters Capital Management, a fund manager who has long been an advocate of greater transparency in the derivatives world. “The answer is, they won’t know.”

Worse still, the CFTC investigation apparently isn’t limited to possible manipulation of swap prices by monkeying around with ISDAfix. According to reports, the commission is also looking at whether or not employees at ICAP may have intentionally delayed publication of swap prices, which in theory could give someone (bankers, cough, cough) a chance to trade ahead of the information….

From Political Velcraft –

Fourth Turning – The Shadow Of Crisis Has Not Passed

When you accept the fact history is cyclical and continuous linear progress is not what transpires in the real world, you free yourself from the mental debilitation of normalcy bias and cognitive dissonance. Things do get worse. There are dark periods of history and they recur on a regular cycle. And we are in the midst of one of those dark periods. This Crisis will not be resolved without much pain, sacrifice, bloodshed, and ultimately war. Catastrophe is a strong possibility. The core elements of this Crisis – debt, civic decay, global disorder – are coalescing into a perfect storm which will rage for the next ten to fifteen years. The rhythms of history only provide a guidepost of timing, while the specific events and outcomes are unknowable in advance. The regeneracy of society into a cohesive, unified community, supporting the government in a collective effort to solve society’s most fundamental problems seems to have been delayed. Or has it?

Maybe the answer can be found in the resolution of the last Fourth Turning. The seeds of the next crisis are always planted during the climax of the previous crisis, when the new social order is established. The American Revolution Crisis created a new nation, but left unresolved the issue of slavery. This seed grew to become the catalyst for the Civil War Crisis. The resolution of the Civil War Crisis greatly enhanced the power of the central government, while reducing the influence of the States. The rise of central authority led to the creation of the Federal Reserve, the implementation of income taxes to fund a vastly larger Federal government and the belief among the political class that America should intervene militarily in the affairs of other countries. The Great Depression was created by the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve; the New Deal programs were a further expansion of Federal government; FDR outlawed the ownership of gold; and America’s subsequent involvement in World War II created a military and economic superpower.

After sixty-two years of ever increasing debt; ever increasing taxes to support an ever growing governmental bureaucracy; ever expanding laws, regulations, and rules; currency debasement by the Federal Reserve; complete abandonment of the gold standard; and never ending wars of choice around the world, the next Crisis grew and blossomed from the seeds planted during the previous Crisis. The New Deal social programs, along with the extension of the welfare state by LBJ and subsequent administrations, have swelled to unprecedented unsustainable levels with unfunded liabilities exceeding $200 trillion. The promises cannot be fulfilled. The $18 trillion national debt increases by $2.3 billion per day; $96 million per hour; $1.6 million per minute; $27,000 per second. Does that sound sustainable? The legacy media sycophants cheer when consumer debt outstanding surges past $3.3 trillion, as their warped worldview applauds spending versus saving, consuming versus investing, and living for today rather than striving for a sustainable future.

The American people have lost their ability to think, reason, question, do math, control their urges, defer gratification, or realize when they are being lied to by the people they elected to public office. A culture of ignorance, celebration of the absurd, salutation of stupidity, honoring of the inane, being mesmerized by electronic gadgets, and satiating their egocentric shallow impulses on social media, is a sure recipe for societal collapse. Victory in World War II and becoming a modern day empire created the dynamic Eisenhower warned about. An immense military industrial complex has created enemies around the globe in order to keep the profits flowing in this welfare/warfare empire of debt. War is a racket for the rich. The peasants who buy into the incessant patriotic propaganda and volunteer are nothing but cannon fodder for the .1%. Keeping the masses fearful of phantom enemies and portraying foreign leaders as evil, is essential for the oligarchs to retain their wealth, power and control. Truth, facts, and long-term consequences are of no interest to the sociopaths running the show and pulling the levers. The dissent into darkness has been gradual and unnoticed by a purposefully distracted populace….

By Administrator of The Burning Platform –

Corporations Taking USA Back to the 19th Century

[T]he growth of on-demand jobs like Uber making life less predictable and secure for workers unleashed a small barrage of criticism from some who contend that workers get what they’re worth in the market.

A Forbes Magazine contributor, for example, writes that jobs exist only “when both employer and employee are happy with the deal being made.” So if the new jobs are low-paying and irregular, too bad.

Much the same argument was voiced in the late 19th century over alleged “freedom of contract.” Any deal between employees and workers was assumed to be fine if both sides voluntarily agreed to it.

It was an era when many workers were “happy” to toil 12-hour days in sweat shops for lack of any better alternative.

It was also a time of great wealth for a few and squalor for many. And of corruption, as the lackeys of robber barons deposited sacks of cash on the desks of pliant legislators.

Finally, after decades of labor strife and political tumult, the 20th century brought an understanding that capitalism requires minimum standards of decency and fairness — workplace safety, a minimum wage, maximum hours (and time-and-a-half for overtime), and a ban on child labor.

We also learned that capitalism needs a fair balance of power between big corporations and workers.

We achieved that through antitrust laws that reduced the capacity of giant corporations to impose their will, and labor laws that allowed workers to organize and bargain collectively.

But now we seem to be heading back to 19th century.

Corporations are shifting full-time work onto temps, free-lancers, and contract workers who fall outside the labor protections established decades ago.

The nation’s biggest corporations and Wall Street banks are larger and more potent than ever.

And labor union membership has shrunk to fewer than 7 percent of private-sector workers.

So it’s not surprising we’re once again hearing that workers are worth no more than what they can get in the market.

But as we should have learned a century ago, markets don’t exist in nature. They’re created by human beings. The real question is how they’re organized and for whose benefit.

In the late 19th century they were organized for the benefit of a few at the top.

But by the middle of the 20th century they were organized for the vast majority.

During the 30 years after the end of World War II, as the economy doubled in size, so did the wages of most Americans — along with improved hours and working conditions.

Yet since around 1980, even though the economy has doubled once again (the Great Recession notwithstanding), the wages most Americans have stagnated. And their benefits and working conditions have deteriorated.

This isn’t because most Americans are worth less. In fact, worker productivity is higher than ever.

It’s because big corporations, Wall Street, and some enormously rich individuals have gained political power to organize the market in ways that have enhanced their wealth while leaving most Americans behind….

By Robert Reich – Op Ed News –

Do You Really Own Your Home?

The move to confiscate all privately held wealth in the United States is well underway. In the past few years, we have experienced bail-outs, planned bail-ins, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is positioning to confiscate all 401k’s and pensions and now the MERS mortgage fraud is accelerating to new heights thanks to a rash of recent State Supreme Court decisions affirming the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) right to foreclose on your home without having recorded a valid title and the foreclosure can take place outside of a courtroom.

For the past 230+ years, the Constitution protected property rights from would-be feudal lords who would suddenly appear with a title to your home and force you out. This practice worked well until the introduction of the MERS Mortgage fraud.

MERS was a conglomeration created by the megabanks for the purpose of administering mortgages. The practice quickly got out of control as one’s home mortgage title could be transfered dozens of times without notifying the homeowner. The practice quickly turned illegal when a homeowner, unknown to them, would be paying their mortgage to a title company that no longer held the title to their home. Then, the title company which currently held the note would show up and lay claim to the home in a repossession proceeding. In some cases, people with completely paid off mortgages had their homes stolen. Eventually, the people pushed back.

Show Me the Note!

At the present rate, it will not be long until private home ownership will become a rare event.

Eventually, activists like Dave Kreiger, author of Clouded Titles, began to train local officials on how establish a chain of custody one a title. Eventually, the “Show me the note” strategy worked well in court as long as one had an attorney and many illegal foreclosures were headed off. Then MERS restored to the illegal practice of “Robo-signors” in which people off the street were paid to forge a homeowners signature on a series of title transfer documents. The issue of illegitimate foreclosures were at a stand off. However, at least homeowners would have their day in court and they could challenge the legitimacy of the title transfer documents. Recently, because MERS parent organizations of Wells Fargo and Bank of America have begun to exercise undue influence in the State Supreme Courts all across this nation, every homeowner is potentially in peril.

….These times are marked by the elite moving to own everything and using the power of the government to accomplish their end-game. Congress is complicit as is the judiciary.

When America emerges from the coming economic collapse, the middle class of this country will own nothing. We will all find ourselves living in the feudal manner with no property rights, bank account or pension. We will soon awaken to the fact that our Constitution is dead and with it all of our rights. And amazingly, we did virtually nothing to stop it.

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

Operation Choke Point strangling gun dealers at banks

Banned from financial services that are essential to running a business, firearms sellers attending the world’s largest gun exhibition last week in Las Vegas spoke out against the government’s controversial program known as Operation Choke Point.

“We continue to hear from dealers and others in our industry that suddenly, out of the blue, they have been cut off by financial services or credit card processors or banks,” said Larry Keane, Senior Vice President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

We continue to hear from dealers and others in our industry that suddenly, out of the blue, they have been cut off by financial services.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which exists to protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports industry, is conducting a phone survey of over 7,000 of its members to determine the extent to which Operation Choke Point is affecting their industry. He said:

“This is a direct result of the Department of Justice initiative, through the [Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation], to pressure financial institutions to stop doing business with legitimate law-abiding federally-licensed firearms dealers.”

As The Daily Signal previously reported, gun sellers allege that they are being explicitly prohibited from using payment systems such as PayPal and Square to process credit card transactions.

By Kelsey Harkness – The Daily Signal –

Bill Gates Pushes Cashless Society

Bill Gates is now promoting “digital currency” in third-world countries, which will make the poor even more dependent on central banks while also turning them into guinea pigs for the development of a “cashless society” in the U.S. and Europe.

Gates outlined his plan for a cashless society in a letter published Thursday in which he proposed the poor have better access to mobile phones so they can store their financial assets digitally instead of keeping hard currency at home.

“The key to this will be mobile phones,” he wrote. “Already, in the developing countries with the right regulatory framework, people are storing money digitally on their phones and using their phones to make purchases, as if they were debit cards.”

“By 2030, two billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payment with their phones.”

But this will only enslave the poor into an electronic monetary system they don’t control, allowing central banks and the government unparalleled ability to confiscate money at will through taxes and “bail-ins.”

For example, after Cyprus’s largest bank was sunk from exposure to debt-crippled Greece, the Cypriot government looted people’s bank accounts in 2013 as part of a “bail-in” program with the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

“If you can do this once, you can do it again,” financial analyst Lars Seier Christensen wrote, who called the “bail-in” full-blown socialism. “If you can confiscate 10% of a bank customer’s money, you can confiscate 25, 50 or even 100%.”

By Kit Daniels – Infowars –

QE…D: Why Printing Money will end badly for the US

You may have heard the news, the European Central Bank has started up the printing press. They are soon to print upwards of €60 Billion a month. The crowds of economic pundits have collectively cheered. Ireland stands to enjoy significant near term benefits, but at what cost?

They speak of lower government borrowing costs for new debt, by lowering funding costs and thus the hurdle that projects must meet to become viable. They believe our exchange rate will fall and our goods will be come cheaper abroad. US products and services will be flying off the shelves, etc. Well, it is an absolute nonsense. Yes there will be short term benefits. Any time you give a liquidity jolt you temporarily relieve pressure. But the longer term risks are far, far greater, now that the act of QE has been taken. Essentially the technocrats have short circuited the capitalist system which continuously prices risk based on perceived repayment risks and cost of funds. This is a road to ruin as returns become obscured by official and politically motivated credit flows.

They will argue that deflation is a threat and must be tackled early before it takes hold. This is a smoke screen. The deflation we are experiencing is spotty and multi faceted and is primarily being driven by lower oil prices which are a global phenomena, not a purely European one. Secondly oil prices have already begun to stabilize and if anything are likely to drift higher from here. Don’t get me wrong deflation is a very dangerous condition and can lead to a vicious negative feedback vortex to a state of depression. But we are no where near that level of risk or type of deflation.

The thing is it is being sold as a low risk, one way bet. Worryingly, there has been no talk of the actual cost or the ramifications of this new measure.

So who pays? Someone has to, you can not just create money out of thin air. The answer is “we do, you and I”, in the form of a devalued: currency, diminished savings and devaluing pensions.

The ECB was always going to to launch Quantitative Easing whether it wanted to our not. Once the Fed, BOJ, BOE launched their programs in 2008 it was only a matter of time. We are in a era of global competitive currency devaluation were desperate governments must devalue currencies in order to spur domestic growth by improving the value of exports.

The problem with QE or money printing is it is a like a Pandora’s box. Once it is opened it can never be put away again. There will, now, always be an easy way out of every economic issue. All interested parties will now be able to eye this short term financing tool as away of solving short term issues. The Euro will likely morph into the Lira over time.

QE is not actually the creation of money, not in real terms. What it is is the reallocation of the monetary pool from those that have a share to those that do not. All they have done is to devalue the Euro’s held by duplicating and allocating the new Euros to central banks. The Central Banks will in turn buy junk assets off commercial banks and government bonds all in return for cash.

The hope is that the banks will lend the new cash to businesses who will employ people and in doing so add productivity and value to the economy, increasing bank earnings and taxes and wealth.

But the banks will not do that. They will hold the money….

In short what we are seeing is the wholesale capture of the monetary system by special interests and the mass confiscation of wealth from pensioners and savers to governments and government proxies. I fear that we have just passed a monetary Rubicon that may eventually undermine the very basic social contract of our capitalist system: work hard and you will prosper.

It will take time for the effects of this to be felt but the gates have been well and truly opened and from now on we are only as strong as our weakest political masters at their weakest moment. Those actors will surely plunder this monetary tool….

By Admin – GoldCore.com –

Bank CEOs are the New Drug Lords

Bank CEOs are the New Drug Lords. Here is a list of some of the banks managed by Bank CEOs, aka the new Drug Lords, that were fined billions of dollars for fixing LIBOR rates and stealing money from clients: Lloyds Bank, RP Martin, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Société Générale, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays, United Bank of Switzerland and Rabobank. Here is a list of some of the banks in which the Bank Lords fixed FX rates and are currently negotiating fine amounts with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): Citigroup, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, JP Morgan and United Bank of Switzerland. HSBC had to pay nearly $2B in fines after its Bank CEO was allegedly caught overseeing the laundering of $7B in drug money for the notoriously violent and ruthless Sinaloa drug cartel among other Mexican drug cartels and committing a wide array of other crimes like laundering $290MM from Russian mobsters that told HSBC bankers that their vast profits came from a “used car business”. I say “allegedly caught”, because every time this happens, the bank CEO, in this case, HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver, inevitably denies ever knowing that the cartel he was overseeing was laundering dirty blood money. The Bank Lords issue these ridiculous denials despite the fact that every independent investigator not on a Bank’s payroll that investigates banks’ money laundering schemes arrive at the same conclusion as Jose Luis Marmolejo, the former head of the Mexican attorney general’s financial crimes unit: “[The money laundering] went on too long and [the bank CEOS] made too much money not to have known.” And what about HSBC’s $2B assessed fine for laundering this blood money? In response to meaningless fines like this that never change banker behavior, Martin Woods, former senior anti-money laundering officer at Wachovia bank, implored, “What does the settlement do to fight the cartels? Nothing – it doesn’t make the job of law enforcement easier and it encourages the cartels and anyone who wants to make money by laundering their blood dollars. Where’s the risk? There is none.“ That is why HSBC is not the only cartel that houses bankers who have been caught laundering blood money in recent years. Wachovia Bank, Citigroup, Banco Santander, and Bank of America bankers have all been caught leading their banks in participation of this dirty deed as well. According to Paul Campo, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s financial crimes unit, drug traffickers used Bank of America to finance their drug smuggling operations for 10 tons of cocaine and laundered drug money through Bank of America accounts in Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, and Brownsville, TX from 2002 to 2009.

So how do Bank Lords get away with their dirty deeds scot-free? This month, explosive evidence contained in 47.5 hours of secret recordings from Goldman Sachs whistleblower and former New York Federal Reserve employee Carmen Segarra provides the answers we already knew. Bank Lords have been buying off judges and regulators after already buying off cops (JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon “Gifts” Largest Donation Ever to NYPD of $4.6MM). When Fed regulators asked Segarra to alter minutes of meetings in which Goldman Sachs bankers’ immoral behavior was discussed in order to cover up the truth and to lie about the content of these meetings, Segarra decided to secretly record her meetings with her bosses. Below are some of the revelations contained in the transcripts of those secret recordings:

In one meeting Segarra attended, a Goldman employee expressed the view that “once clients are wealthy enough, certain consumer laws don’t apply to them.”

After that meeting, Segarra turned to a fellow Fed regulator and expressed how surprised she was by that statement — to which the regulator replied, “You didn’t hear that.”

When Segarra discovered multiple conflicts of interest in Goldman Sachs deals between Goldman Sachs bankers and their clients that led to deals being struck that would be the equivalent of insider trading in the stock market and consequently discovered Goldman Sachs had no “conflict of interest” policy, her boss harassed her and demanded of Segarra, “Why do you have to say there’s no policy?”

When Segarra complained to her legal and compliance manager, Jonathon Kim, of how her discoveries were being handled and told Kim that “even when I explain to [my superiors at the New York Federal Reserve] what my evidence is, they won’t even listen”, Kim reacted in an equally morally bankrupt manner as Segarra’s superiors, advising Segarra “to be patient” and to “bite her tongue.”

So now that we know that Bank Lords buy out morally-challenged regulators, cops and judges in return for carte-blanche to continue committing crimes, rig markets to collect undeserved and unearned kickbacks, and launder drug cartel money from violent cartels that murder 10,000 people a year (the Sinaloa drug cartel), is there really even a line in the sand that separates Bank Lords and Drug Lords, or have Bank Lords become the new Drug Lords?

By JS Kim – A Nation Beguiled –

The New York Federal Reserve Has Signaled the End of the Dollar Is Near

Ultimately, this article is written for individuals who are naive enough to believe that 2015 will look and feel like 2014. The banksters have positioned world events, both militarily and economically, to make 2015 a pivotal year in world history.

Goldman Sachs Leads the Charge to Armageddon

Twenty one months ago, in response to the undeniable Goldman Sachs chicanery with regard to the manipulation of the gold market, I wrote the following:

“However, the best predictor of the coming crash will coincide with the globalists cornering the majority of the gold market on this planet. After the globalists gain control of the gold, then we will witness a countdown to economic Armageddon in which all currencies will hyper-inflate prior to collapsing. Then humanity will be at the mercy of people who have no sense of decency and respect for life“.

I maintain that the international banking cabal, as represented by the actions of Goldman Sachs and the New York Fed, have gained control of the lion’s share of gold supply, thus rendering their dependence on hard currency (i.e. the Petrodollar and the Euro) to be irrelevant. Meanwhile, the rest of the planet is dependent on highly volatile fiat paper currencies.

If you understand the events related to these statements, along with their consequences, then you have already divested yourself from nearly all paper currencies and the Ponzi scheme driven stock market. To the fully awake and aware person, a bank is merely a landmark that you pass on your way to your final destination. If the catastrophic significance of these statements is not readily apparent, then please read on, the meaning will become crystal clear.

The Measure of Wealth Is Relative.

Before one can grasp what is happening to their collective wealth in this country, one must come to understand that all wealth is relative to what others own and control. For example, if everyone in the United States owns a dollar, then nobody is rich and nobody is poor. However, if you own a dollar and you can cause the dollar of your fellow Americans to significantly decline in value while your dollar maintains it value, then you control the Presidency, the Congress and are also the new owners of the Federal Reserve and its subsidiary financial organizations such as Goldman Sachs. In other words, wealth is relative. Wealth is not only built by acquiring assets, but relative wealth is also established by driving down the value of wealth of one’s competitors. These two strategies are simultaneously being employed by the banksters….

When the controllers of all central banks, the Bank of International Settlements, introduced credit swap derivatives into the futures market, the central banksters gobbled up this Ponzi scheme like an addict on crack cocaine. However, as the derivatives scheme failed, the resulting debt ($1.5 quadrillion dollars) was greater than the sum value of the entire planet ($80 trillion dollars). The bankers successfully transferred the debt to national governments in which the debt would be paid down with national fiat currencies. Since the central banksters know the fate of these currencies they have escaped to gold and real estate, thus leaving you and me holding the bag with our soon-to-be worthless petrodollars.

Conclusion

Are the American people helpless spectators in their planned economic demise? For most Americans that is true. The FDIC only has about 1.5% of the cash needed to insure the entire nation’s banks. The banks, if we are lucky only have about 10% of the cash that they claim they have on deposit (i.e. fractional reserve banking). Therefore, Americans could theoretically only gain access to about 10% of their money in the bank. However, no American will be compensated for the loss of their bank accounts and retirement funds. Remember the G20 resolution which stated that derivatives debt is first in line to be paid down in the event of a banking collapse. This means that American citizens will get nothing.

To the few that will heed these warnings and are subsequently motivated to act to soften the crash, there are some things that can be done by a very limited number of people if they act very quickly. This will be the subject of tomorrow’s article. Have a safe New Year.

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

New Law Would Make Taxpayers Liable For Trillions In Bank Derivatives Debt

If the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble implodes, who should be stuck with the bill? Well, if the “too big to fail” banks have their way it will be you and I.

Right now, lobbyists for the big Wall Street banks are pushing really hard to include an extremely insidious provision in a bill that would keep the federal government funded past the upcoming December 11th deadline. This provision would allow these big banks to trade derivatives through subsidiaries that are federally insured by the FDIC.

What this would mean is that the big banks would be able to continue their incredibly reckless derivatives trading without having to worry about the downside. If they win on their bets, the big banks would keep all of the profits. If they lose on their bets, the federal government would come in and bail them out using taxpayer money. In other words, it would essentially be a “heads I win, tails you lose” proposition.

Just imagine the following scenario. I go to Las Vegas and I place a million dollar bet on who will win the Super Bowl this year. If I am correct, I keep all of the winnings. If I lose, federal law requires you to bail me out and give me the million dollars that I just lost.

Does that sound fair?

Of course not! In fact, it is utter insanity. But through their influence in Congress, this is exactly what the big Wall Street banks are attempting to pull off. And according to the Huffington Post, there is a very good chance that this provision will be in the final bill that will soon be voted on….

By Michael Snyder – Activist Post –

Pillage, Plunder and Wealth

Over the past 30 years, wealth has grown exponentially and has become increasingly concentrated foremost in the upper .01%, then the .1%, followed by the 1% and the upper 10% – 20%.

The large scale, long-term concentration of wealth has continued through booms and busts of the real economy, the financial and IT crises. Wealth grew despite long-term economic recessions and stagnation, because the so-called recovery programs imposed austerity on 80% of the households while transferring public revenues to the rich.

The so-called ‘crises of capitalism’ has neither reversed nor prevented the emergence of an international class of billionaires who acquire, merge and invest in each other’s activities. The growth of wealth has been accompanied by the pillage of accumulated profits from productive sectors which are stored as wealth not investment capital.

The dispossession of capital and its conversion to private wealth subsequently led to the rapid expansion of the financial and real estate sector. Capital accumulation of profits has been the source of private accumulation of wealth at the expense of wages, salaries, public welfare, and state revenues.

The growth of private wealth at the expense of productive investments is a world-wide phenomenon which has been facilitated by an international network of banks, political leaders and ‘regulators’ centered in the United States and England….

….the ruling 1% of the system stands or falls with the illicit financial flows drawn from the pillage of treasuries. To replenish pillaged treasuries, regimes insist on perpetual ‘austerity’ for the 90%: greater pillage for the 1%, less public revenues for health care which results in more epidemics. Less funds for pensions means later retirement– work till you die.

The plunder of the economy is accompanied by unending wars – because war contracts are a major source of illicit financial flows. Plunder oligarchs share with militarists a deep and abiding belief in pillage of countries and destruction of productive resources. The one reinforces the other in an eternal embrace – defied only by insurgents who embrace a moral economy and who proclaim the need for a total change – a new civilization.

By Prof. James Petras – Global Research –

Plummeting Oil Prices Could Destroy The Banks

Could rapidly falling oil prices trigger a nightmare scenario for the commodity derivatives market? The big Wall Street banks did not expect plunging home prices to cause a mortgage-backed securities implosion back in 2008, and their models did not anticipate a decline in the price of oil by more than 40 dollars in less than six months this time either. If the price of oil stays at this level or goes down even more, someone out there is going to have to absorb some absolutely massive losses. In some cases, the losses will be absorbed by oil producers, but many of the big players in the industry have already locked in high prices for their oil next year through derivatives contracts.

The companies enter into these derivatives contracts for a couple of reasons. Number one, many lenders do not want to give them any money unless they can show that they have locked in a price for their oil that is higher than the cost of production. Secondly, derivatives contracts protect the profits of oil producers from dramatic swings in the marketplace. These dramatic swings rarely happen, but when they do they can be absolutely crippling. So the oil companies that have locked in high prices for their oil in 2015 and 2016 are feeling pretty good right about now. But who is on the other end of those contracts? In many cases, it is the big Wall Street banks, and if the price of oil does not rebound substantially they could be facing absolutely colossal losses.

It has been estimated that the six largest “too big to fail” banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts. And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives.

By the middle of next year, we could be facing a situation where many of these oil producers have locked in a price of 90 or 100 dollars a barrel on their oil but the price has fallen to about 50 dollars a barrel.

In such a case, the losses for those on the wrong end of the derivatives contracts would be astronomical.

At this point, some of the biggest players in the shale oil industry have already locked in high prices for most of their oil for the coming year.

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse –

Banks Ignore the Bankruptcy Laws

Big Banks continued unlawful actions that only result in “slap on the wrist fines” that in many cases are passed on to the shareholders and/or used as a tax deduction. It seems that Wall Street and the Banksters have not learned a thing. Or have they?

The latest wrinkle in Banksters taking advantage of American citizens is noted in a Crooks and Liars report which detailed an investigation into several Big Banks and their alleged refusal to honor the orders of Bankruptcy judges across the country. Of course, the “usual suspects” have been named in the latest investigations.

“The practice — a subtle but powerful tactic that effectively holds the credit report hostage until borrowers pay — potentially breathes new life into the pools of bad debt that are bought by financial firms.

Now lawyers with the United States Trustee Program, an arm of the Justice Department, are investigating JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Synchrony Financial, formerly known as GE Capital Retail Finance, suspecting the banks of violating federal bankruptcy law by ignoring the discharge injunction, say people briefed on the investigations.” Crooks and Liars

What the US Trustee Program is investigating is the alleged practice by the aforementioned target banks of refusing to extinguish the debts that Bankruptcy judges have ordered extinguished and keeping those debts on the debtor’s credit reports. Without the debts being removed from the credit reports, discharged debtors are caught in a never ending process of trying to pay off discharged debts, just to renovate their credit ratings.

Of course, this practice is in direct conflict with our bankruptcy laws, but the law never seems to get in the way of Big Banks….

By Lawrence E. Rafferty – JonathanTurley.org –

Jesus and Power Politics

By Caleb Eaton – HigherLiberty.com –

This scene portraying Jesus like a drunken, hippie, wild man has been reinforced by popular media. But suppose that interpretation is as ridiculous and as unenlightened as most other things in the mainstream media. If mainstream media promotes this view of Jesus, isn’t that the first clue that something smells funny? But how would they know any better since the same picture is promoted in government-licensed churches?

There’s a way of looking at this passage that makes much more sense…and makes Jesus a much more impressive character…

…a picture of high-powered politics emerges. Jesus was the newly recognized king of Judea which was one of the world’s richest nations that included a major port city and was the pivot point of many trade routes. Just as a new US president fires the judges of the previous president, it was Jesus’ responsibility to replace government employees with those he trusted.

The new king was turning over the banking system (Federal Reserve) and “tax collection” duties to people he trusted. In fact, he was re-instituting a style of government based on freewill offerings as Abraham and Moses originally setup for Israel. But the pharisees had become rich off the FORCED contributions of the people (taxes), hence they conspired to kill the new king that was upsetting their cushy lifestyle.

Ask JFK if politics has changed much in 2000 years.

 
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Venezuelans use Bitcoins to bypass socialist currency controls

By Girish Gupta – Reuters.com –

Tech-savvy Venezuelans looking to bypass dysfunctional economic controls are turning to the bitcoin virtual currency to obtain dollars, make Internet purchases — and launch a little subversion.

Two New York-based Venezuelan brothers hope this week to start trading on the first bitcoin exchange in the socialist-run country, which already has at least several hundred bitcoin enthusiasts.

Due to currency controls introduced by late president Hugo Chavez a decade ago, acquiring hard currency now means either requesting it from the state, which struggles to satisfy demand, or tapping a shadowy black market. Even small dollar transactions are out of the question for most Venezuelans.

While President Nicolas Maduro makes frequent tirades against black market traders, whom he sees as part of the “economic war” on his government and the reason for inflation and shortages, he has never said anything about bitcoin. The government declined to comment on bitcoin policy.

That has created a gray market for bitcoins, a digital currency which is not governed by a central bank or controlled by a single source. Bitcoin values have soared and fallen in the last year as a popular exchange, Mt. Gox, collapsed and some developed countries began to mull bitcoin regulation. In Venezuela, using bitcoins can carry a scent of subversion.

“Bitcoin is a way of rebelling against the system,” said one bitcoin trader, Caracas-based software developer John Villar, 32, who discovered the usefulness of bitcoin when he wanted to buy a $10 cellphone battery on Amazon.

Unable to pay for it in dollars, he bought bitcoin off a friend using local currency. He then used the bitcoin to purchase an Amazon gift certificate, with which he bought the battery.

Gerardo Mogollon, a business professor who styles himself as ‘Dr. Bitcoin Venezuela,’ speaks at conferences and appears in online videos to urge Venezuelans to adopt the currency.

“I’m teaching people to use bitcoin to bypass the exchange controls,” said Mogollon, a 42-year-old professor at the University of Tachira’s graduate business school.

Currently, bitcoin trading in Venezuela is between enthusiasts who use internet forums and social media to make ad hoc deals.

 
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Hidden Gov’t Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran Contra, & 9/11

By Peter Dale Scott – WhoWhatWhy.com –

For some time now, I have been analyzing American history in the light of what I have called structural deep events: events, like the JFK assassination, the Watergate break-in, Iran-Contra, or 9/11, which repeatedly involve law-breaking or violence, are mysterious to begin with, are embedded in ongoing covert processes, have political consequences that enlarge covert government, and are subsequently covered up by systematic falsifications in the mainstream media and internal government records.

The more I study these deep events, the more I see suggestive similarities between them, increasing the possibility that they are not unrelated external intrusions on American history, but parts of an endemic process, sharing to some degree or other a common source.

For example, one factor linking Dallas, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11, has been the involvement in all four deep events of personnel involved in America’s highest-level emergency planning, known since the 1950s as Continuity of Government (COG) planning, or more colloquially inside the Pentagon as “the Doomsday Project.” A few of these actors may have been located at the top, as overseers of the secret COG system. Others – including some I shall talk about today – were located further down in its secret communications network.

I see this planning group as one among many in what I have chosen to call the American deep state, along with agencies like the CIA and NSA, the private groups like Booz Allen Hamilton to which more than half of the US intelligence budget is outsourced, and finally the powerful banks and corporations whose views are well represented in the CIA and NSA. But if only one group among many, the COG planning group is also special, because of its control of and access to a communications channel, not under government control, that can reach deeply into the US social structure. I discuss these matters at some length in my next book, The American Deep State, due out in November.

 
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