Exposing the Fraud of Public-Private Partnerships

April 30, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Posted in Political | Leave a comment
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The sign of the timesApril 22 – Los Angeles Times (Peter Viles): “The number of California homes lost to foreclosure in the first quarter surged 327% from year-ago levels — reaching an average of more than 500 foreclosures per day — DataQuick said in a report warning that the widening foreclosure problem could ‘spread beyond the current categories of dicey mortgages, and into mainstream home loans.’”

So, Fascisti, where’s all this public-private partnership capital supposedly free to invest in infrastructure? Looks to me there’s not even enough to keep a roof over the labor force’s head!

What’s that, Fascisti?

You’ve got tents and camps?

Truly, you are the masters of domestic Tranquility…

Why Jamie Dimon Should Head the CFTC

April 29, 2008 at 11:52 am | Posted in Financial | Leave a comment
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Where\'s all this money coming from?April 21 – Financial Times (Javier Blas and Joanna Chung): “Speculators such as hedge funds or pension funds are not responsible for pushing agricultural commodities’ prices, including wheat and rice… The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is meeting farmers and traders tomorrow to discuss the jump in agriculture commodities’ prices amid criticism from US politicians and farming associations that speculators are behind the increase. It will say prices have been driven by robust demand, weather-related supply disruptions, the lowest inventories in 30 years, government trade restrictions and the impact of the weakening US dollar, officials said.”

If you ever heard JP Morgan/Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speak about circumstances surrounding the inflation of the sub-prime mortgage bubble prior to its bursting last year, you know the man is not a very good liar.

Speaking of that inflation… Lo! Look at the money-like securities created more rapidly than maggots in a dung heap. And look at all the global connections to this, including sovereign wealth funds.

Now, speaking of maggots in a dung heap … look at the CFTC.

Those citing increased demand as responsible for the hyper-inflation of commodities prices typically do so without raising the most fundamental question of all:

Where is the money behind this demand coming from?

If the truth you seek, then by all means ask neither Wall Street nor their “regulators.”

Adam Smith and the Ruin of Nations

April 25, 2008 at 11:55 am | Posted in Political | Leave a comment
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April 18 – Associated Press (Alan Zibel): “Sallie Mae says it cannot write money-losing student loans indefinitely. Top executives are holding ‘daily deliberations’ about just how long the nation’s largest student lender can afford to sacrifice its bottom line for the sake of college-bound Americans, Sallie Mae CEO Albert J. Lord said… Experts said that, unless the government intervenes or market conditions rapidly improve, Sallie Mae could have no choice but to stop writing new federally backed loans… Even though the majority of student loans are highly rated and carry a federal guarantee, investor demand for securities backed by these assets has plummeted — a sign of just how nervous investors are about securities backed by mortgages, student loans and other debt.”

What should one make of a nation whose young people are not considered virtually assured of having easy power to repay their student loans following graduation? What is the “be all, know all” market (and its famed magic) saying here?

The message is a loud and clear vote of no confidence in the capacity of young Americans to prosper.

Vocal defenders of grossly unregulated financial markets are, indeed, responsible for an incredibly imbalanced economic environment in which money-changing has gained ascendancy over the means of producing lasting wealth. The diminishing of educational opportunity is, in fact, the natural outcome of a world-view where the elevation of human potential is held captive to sheer greed. And now the endless chain of evidence forming since Richard M. Nixon was President is moving to crush even our children’s hope.

This, Adam Smith’s moneychangers have made reality through their devoted worship of the magic of the marketplace. Livelihoods be damned!

The solution, really, is simple. Read the Constitution’s Preamble. Everything in this country must serve the good of the People.

And this includes capital…

How Wall Street Insults an American’s Intelligence

April 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Financial | Leave a comment
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April 18 – Bloomberg (Lars Paulsson): “A shortage of electricity generation that shows no sign of abating is underpinning gains in global commodity prices, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs… A lack of infrastructure in South Africa, Latin America, China and Australia has led to the disruption of feedstock supplies or halted power generation… ‘One of the key themes that seems to pervade the entire commodities complex is the significant shortage of power generation throughout the world,’ they said.”

Not one word about “the greatest flood of liquidity since Noah!” (Spoken a few years back by Goldman’s very own Robert Hormats)

Money makes the world go round. “Money,” leverage and exclusive control over the arrangement alone are responsible for commodity prices being bid up such as we are seeing. There’s NO WAY electricity shortages could be having THIS impact.

This report from Goldman Sachs seems nothing more than a pathetic attempt at CYA … demonstrating once again how these Wall Street firms who have profited immensely in perpetuating this mess simply are incapable of self-regulation.

Dr. Doom Lectures “Henry Potter” Paulson

April 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Financial | Leave a comment
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Starring in \"It\'s a Wonderful Knife\"April 14 – Financial Times (Aline van Duyn): “Henry Kaufman, the distinguished Wall Street economist, has added his voice to the debate about the Federal Reserve’s role in the credit crisis… ‘Certainly the Federal Reserve should shoulder a substantial part of this responsibility. . . it allowed the expansion of credit in huge magnitudes,” Mr Kaufman said. ‘Besides its monetary policy approach, [the Fed] really indicated very clearly that it was performing its role as a supervisor . . . in a minute fashion, not in an encompassing fashion. Monetary policy had a high priority, supervision and regulation within the Fed had a smaller priority.”

Not the kind of pronouncement that makes many friends in the circle of nation wreckers, huh Mr. Paulson.

The Empire Pimps Back

April 20, 2008 at 9:23 am | Posted in Political | 1 Comment
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April 15 – Financial Times (Krishna Guha): “The credit crisis represents nothing less than a loss of confidence in the financial system, Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh said yesterday, warning that the healing process ‘is unlikely to be swift or smooth’. ‘Market participants now seem to be questioning the financial architecture itself,’ he said. The fragility in short-term credit markets was ‘a manifestation of that loss of confidence’… He warned ‘public liquidity is an imperfect substitute for private liquidity’. The markets would return to normal only when private sector institutions were willing again to lend each other money and make markets in financial securities.”

Public liquidity is an imperfect substitute for private liquidity, Mr. Warsh? Tell that to Alexander Hamilton. Tell it to Henry Clay. Tell it to Mathew Carey.

What kind of American are you, sir, to make Lincoln and FDR roll in their graves?

King Solomon Was No Wall Street Banker

April 19, 2008 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Political | Leave a comment
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“Practices of the unscrupulous money-changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. … Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. … They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision, the people perish.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 4, 1933

The self-seekers in Washington believe that, by hyper-inflationary bailout, they shall succeed in keeping the money-changers in their high seats in the temple of our civilization. Of course, these are the same dopes (or is it dupes?) who call a neo-colonial occupation a “war.”

King Solomon was correct. There is nothing new under the sun…

21st Century Bank Robbery

April 18, 2008 at 11:38 pm | Posted in Financial | Leave a comment
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April 7 – Bloomberg (Jeremy R. Cooke): “U.S. state and local borrowers from Denver to Atlanta, battered by rising interest costs from the collapse of the auction-rate bond market, now face rising fees to replace the debt. Denver found only five banks willing to provide backing for new variable debt to replace $208 million of auction bonds, down from 30 five months ago… The cost to line up a buyer of last resort in case such bonds, variable-rate demand obligations, go unsold when yields are reset jumped as much as fourfold to $400,000 on $100 million of securities a year, borrowers say.”

The First Bank of the United StatesSuch is the state of finance under the British system of free market usury…

We ought to find courage to return the Bank of the United States, so finance based on the principles enunciated in our Constitution’s Preamble might be reinstated.

Legislation like HR 3400 — The Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure Act — comes to mind. Check it out. It makes financing available at minuscule rates of interest to states and municipalities.

Contrast this to the schemes being hatched by such neo-fascists as Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Schwarzenegger, Governor Rendell, Senator Dodd and others. Their Public-Private Partnerships are not to be confused with the American System of Political Economy. Rather, the arrangements these so-called “leaders” promote are straight from the play book of Benito Mussolini’s Fascisti.

Sound banking obviously is a cause for which we have yet to wage the final war against tyranny…

How an Empire Talks its Book

April 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Political | Leave a comment
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April 8 – Financial Times (John Plender): “Income inequality in the US is at its highest since that most doom-laden of years: 1929. Throughout the main English-speaking economies, earnings disparities have reached extremes not seen since the age of The Great Gatsby. Much like this decade, the 1920s were a period of strong corporate profits growth and increasing household debt. Awash with easy money, Wall Street became hooked on what the economist J.K. Galbraith in that subsequent seminal work on the period – The Great Crash- called ‘the magic of leverage’: the ability to increase returns through borrowing. Investment trusts provided the vehicle for this financial merry-go-round, in which one investment trust would ‘sponsor’ another investment trust, which would in turn sponsor a further investment trust. This paper-shuffling multiplication of risk bears a remarkable resemblance to the slicing and dicing of risk in highly leveraged structured credit markets today. In the 1930s, it ended with bank failures and the Great Depression. Now, after decades of ‘financialisation’ in the US and other Anglophone economies, whereby financial services have increased their share of gross domestic product, banks are being bailed out – using public money – in an effort to ensure the same does not happen again. From a political perspective the notable feature of the inegalitarian, free-market era that began in the 1980s is how little backlash there has been against the stagnation of ordinary people’s earnings… Yet there are signs that the mix of policies and economic circumstances that gave a protracted laisser-passer to the rich and to business is coming to an end. This is potentially dangerous territory.”

What do you think of the concluding remark saying, “This is potentially dangerous territory?” Dangerous to whom is what I wonder…

FDR’s Lesson in Why You Should Never Say Never

April 17, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Posted in Political | Leave a comment
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Patriotic American Aristocrat“Let us … highly resolve to resume the country’s interrupted march along the path of real progress, of real justice, of real equality for all of our citizens, great and small. … There are two ways of viewing the government’s duty in matters affecting economic and social life. The first sees to it that a favored few are helped, and hopes that some of their prosperity will leak through … to labor, to the farmer, to the small businessman. That theory belongs to the party of Toryism. … But it is not, and never will be the theory of the Democratic Party.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt – July 2, 1932

It might be worthwhile to provide some clarification to my last post … particularly regarding impressions it might convey about notions I hold toward aristocrats. FDR was one of their kind. However, his sensibility is inspiring. We need more like him in the United States.

One thing I would fault, though, in the quote above is FDR’s claim … “Toryism … never will be the theory of the Democratic Party.” Tell that to Pelosi and her boy Rohatyn…

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