Monthly Archives: December 2010

Judge Napolitano challenges elite bankers on Fox News

I’m no big fan of Fox News, but this is a surprisingly good segment. Judge Napolitano in the five minute speech does a pretty good job of telling “The Plain Truth of the Federal Reserve” (12/21/10), and our present economic and financial predicament. He pretty much follows what I said in the first part of my latest book, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization.

Now someone needs to ask him to read the second part to discover workable solutions. — t.h.g.

http://www.youtube.com/v/CUUZ4D7OcT4?fs=1&hl=en_US

“Inside Job,” the story of the looting of America

Inside Job is a recently released documentary film about the causes of the present financial crisis. I’ve not yet seen it, but from all indications it’s a blockbuster that exposes massive criminal fraud and malfeasance by both Wall Street and Washington. Watch this video as Dylan Ratigan on  MSNBC speaks with the film’s director and Professor William Black.

http://www.youtube.com/v/ffHFjlqIzKE?fs=1&hl=en_US

New memes for a new society

Economic transformation is coming on so fast it’s impossible to keep up with it all. Among the most significant developments are changing attitudes about work, saving, investing, and communication. A vexing question heretofore has been “how to finance projects that promote the common good?”

Fortunately, people seem increasingly willing to invest their resources in projects that have evident potential for creating a better world, without any promise of providing any direct personal return on investment.

This phenomenon, called crowd sourcing, has spurred the recent emergence of several websites that connect projects with donors. One of the most popular of these is Kickstarter.com.

One of the new offerings on that site is, Symbionomics: Stories of a New Economy, a project of film maker Alan Rosenblith, who produced the film, The Money Fix, which features comments by a number of monetary “experts,” including yours truly.

This project is important because it seeks to change the way people think about economics, politics, and society, as expressed in this excerpt from their project site:

Icons for the Twelve Memes

We’ve outlined 12 patterns (or memes) of the new economy, and are creating simple, memorable icons for each one.

They will help us express new and sometimes abstract ideas. We are inspired by efforts like The Noun Project to create a language of universal symbols licensed into the creative commons.

Alan has become a good friend whose work I admire and support. I am suggesting that others consider supporting this project as well. — t.h.g.

At last, central banking and legal tender are once again subject to real political debate and public scrutiny.

In what seems to me to have been an unlikely turn of events, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas has been appointed to chair the House Subcommittee for Monetary Policy in the new Congress. In one sense this seems like very good news, on the other hand, it raises some serious questions about the oligarchy’s ultimate game plan.

Ron Paul is undoubtedly one of the few politicians who understands money and banking, but he has some serious blind spots, and call me cynical, but I think that politics at the federal level has been so thoroughly corrupted that I have little hope that anything that promotes the common good can ever come out of Congress.

Still, I strongly recommend that everyone watch the following C-span interview in which Congressman Paul outlines his agenda. It does not go as far as it needs to, but it is an agenda that I, for the most part, endorse.

According to Brendan Trainor, Rep. Paul in this interview makes the following points. I have highlighted what I consider to be the most urgent and important ones (in red).

  • Ron will start by requesting the information that is now due from the Fed from the watered down version of the “Audit the Fed” bill that was passed by Congress.
  • Ron will submit his more robust version of the Bill to Audit the Fed in Congress again.
  • Ron is aware of the twin dangers of his attack on the FED. Criticism of the FED could result in a reactionary attempt to create an even more centralized monetary system, or else “some of my allies who are critical of the FED” who Ron now public-ally calls “GREENBACKERS”, will push for Congressional issue of fiat money. Both of these outcomes have to be guarded against (by those few of us who understand the debate in the first place.)
  • Ron explicitly defends the proposition that the market should be regulating finance, not the regulators. The Market does a better job of regulation than the government. This counter-intuitive idea does require a limited government involvement (not to discount the anarcho-capitalist alternative) that will require
    an atmosphere of “law and order, NOT regulation“.
  • Market regulation through “law and order” means that banks and financial institutions are subject only to ordinary business law: That is, they are free to operate as they please, but they must fulfill their contracts and must not engage in fraud. If they cannot fulfill their contracts, they are to be shut down, not bailed out. Their assets are to be distributed to their creditors (bankruptcy).
  • The surest way to END THE FED is the peaceful, gradual method of eliminating, not the FED directly, but legal tender laws. Allow people once more to use GOLD CONTRACTS and other means of using alternative currencies and specie in domestic business contracts. Let the fiat paper dollar compete with the people’s choice: constitutional “honest money”.
  • Ron correctly deflects the usual straw man criticisms directed at him by those who favor central planning in monetary policy. ie
  • There were numerous financial panics before the FED was created. Yes, there were. But those panics were the result of “artificial conditions” and in any event were allowed to play themselves out by liquidation of the bad debts and bad contracts without government interventions up to the recession of 1920-21. That was the last recession that was handled without government intervention. It was a sharp recession, where unemployment reached nearly 20%. However, because President Warren G Harding did NOTHING, except cut government spending and taxes, the recession was OVER IN A YEAR.
  • If the FED does not intervene, the Recessions will be worse. The corollary of the first objection. Yes, the recessions may at times be worse, but they will be shorter. The so called “Panics” of the pre Fed era rarely lasted more than a year or two, and then the economy fully recovered. The interventionist policies starting with the Great Depression ( a ten year depression) and this one now only prolong the recessions, and in the end, the underlying causes are NOT addressed, leading to a new “BUSINESS CYCLE”.
  • Attacking the FED will harm the US DOLLAR hegemony. Ron: I want to protect the dollar, but within the context of markets. Markets are ultimately stronger than the central banks attempts to shore up the dollar, and nothing the central banks can do will overcome that fact. The Market, in the end, will out.
  • Fiscal policy (Congress) is more important than Monetary policy (the Fed) Ron: they work hand in glove. The Fed basically enables the Congress to spend exorbitantly by creating fiat money to cover them. We have to end the Wars and Global Empire, and we have to end the limitless welfare state as well. IOW, we do have to address fiscal policy, but at the same time, address its enabler, the FED.

Ron explicitly puts forward the idea that the BUSINESS CYCLE as we have known it can be ended. NOT with more regulation, certainly not with more “Central Planning” (that ultimately leads to Socialism, and we know THAT doesn’t work) , but ended  with the limited government ideal (classical liberalism.)

[A major blind spot is the failure to pinpoint interest/usury as the cause of financial imbalance that leads to the “business cycle.”—t.h.g.]

Definitely a radical agenda, led by a peace loving man. Let us all work to explain his ideas as this year’s economic policy drama unfolds. The attacks from the left and the RINO Republican establishment will be vicious and loud. Those of us who understand the monetary debate are few and our voices have few MSM outlets . Even monetarist libertarians will attack Ron. We must resist them to the best of our abilities, by explaining his policies whenever we can.

Brendan

[Another major blind spot is the size and market dominance of firms like Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, etc. Government needs to set the rules of the game to prevent such megalithic financial firms from emerging and manipulating markets. At the very least the Glass-Steagall law should be reinstituted. It also needs to pass legislation that encourages the development of mutual companies and cooperatives in the financial sector. That would be a complete reversal of the policies of recent decades.] — t.h.g.

Reporter, Greg Palast describes BP abuses in Azerbaijan

This is too important to not post in its entirety. I don’t think Greg will mind.–t.h.g.

Palast Arrested
Busted by BP in Azerbaijan

by Greg Palast
Monday, December 20, 2010


BP’s Azeri police arresting Palast for filming BP oil rig – Baku, Azerbaijan, December 2010

“Here in Azerbaijan we believe in human rights. PLEASE GIVE US YOUR FILM.”

Oh, no, no, not good.

The enforcers here come in three colors:  the military police still wearing their old Russian puke-green uniforms, the MSN (the dictator’s secret police) in windbreakers without ID, and BP’s own corporate police force in black tunics, sashes and full hats who look like toy soldiers from the Nutcracker ballet. They weren’t dancing.

I showed all three flavors of police our press credentials in both English and Azeri, neither of which could be read by the officers. (The dictator had suddenly changed the Azeri alphabet, making most of the nation illiterate overnight.)

The dictator made everyone call him, “Baba,” Grandpa.

I told the dumbest-looking one, “Look here: This paper says your so-called President is a weasel’s rectum,” which our ‘fixer’ translated as, “This letter from Foreign Ministry is authorization to make a documentary for the British Television.”

We’d been surreptitiously filming BP’s cancer-making machine, the giant pipeline terminal near Baku, the capital, that sends the Azeri’s Caspian Sea oil eastward to light Europe’s Christmas trees.

Now, it looked like I’d be spending Christmas in Baba’s dungeon licking rats for breakfast. My clown-show antics bought the crew the precious minutes needed to switch the film in the camera to blanks.  Our cameraman told a BP cop, with mime: “Hadn’t begun filming yet, Old Bean.”

We would now. I clicked on my hidden micro-cam.


BP’s Azeri police badge depicting oil drilling rig

A black SUV arrived on the remote desert track and unloaded its impressive cargo, a colonel sprinkled with medals from the recent war Azerbaijan lost to Armenia. The colonel said, “British Petroleum drives this country,” and as a “British” journalist, he thought I’d be as proud of that fact as he is.

“I know,” I said. “Believe me, I know.”

There is an awful lot of evidence that BP and Britain’s MI6 had their hands in Baba’s 1993 coup d’état which overthrew the nation’s elected president. Within months of taking power, Baba signed “The Contract of the Century” giving BP monopoly control of Azerbaijan’s Caspian reserves.”

Baba headed the KGB when this Islamic land was an occupied “republic” of the Soviet Union, the good old days of relative peace, freedom and prosperity.

I was here in the desert to investigate a tip-off I’d had that BP had a near-disaster at its Caspian offshore rig that was extraordinarily similar to the Deepwater Horizon blow-out. But BP covered it up.

What I didn’t know was that WikiLeaks was about to release a State Department memo which referred to a small piece of this BP game. Rather than go to Azerbaijan to check the facts, the Wiki newspapers called BP in London for comment.

That put BP on high alert and my sources in high danger.


Palast pictured in front of BP offshore oil rig in Baku, Azerbaijan, December 2010

So the Baba-BP police were more than curious about our film which we promised was about nothing more than, “the business boom in Central Asia.” Of course, we didn’t add that the only business booming here is corruption and BP’s oil drilling. (I don’t use the plural here because it is a single industry.)

How the crew and I (and the poor shepherd on a little horse swept up with us) were released is a complex story involving an impromptu banquet with the Secret Police and the poignant recanting of a statement about BP made to us by an environmental activist.

I understood his need to back down. The night before, we dined with a young video blogger who’d just gotten out of prison after the current president (now Baba’s son, Baby Baba), saw the blogger hold a press conference in a donkey suit. The President had no doubt that he was the ass. He was. He is.

Welcome to the Islamic Republic of BP, otherwise known as Azerbaijan. And good-bye.

I’m out of there. Out with the evidence we need about BP and how it lead to the Gulf of Mexico blow-out and an extension of the occupation of Iraq.

It’s a hell of a story, and my holiday gift to myself is that I’m here and ready to tell it.

My best wishes to you and your family.

*****

Won’t you please support this work, the “Arctic to Amazon investigation”?

I need seven more committed folks to make a tax-deductible donation of at least $1000 to cover the remaining work. Donate at least $1,000 and we will, with your approval, list you as a co-producer in the video version of this important film already scheduled for broadcast everywhere but the USA.

And we MUST bring it to America. That will require more help for the US production and print reports.  Don’t have $1,000 or $5000?  All donations to the Palast Investigative Fund are tax-deductible and keep us going.

We had to leave the secret filming equipment in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital; we were warned by a friendly plainclothesman that they knew I had it and needed to ditch it.

I’ve now taken our crew from the Amazon rainforest to BP’s next drilling target above the Arctic Circle, to Africa and now to Central Asia.  We must now go to the most dangerous locales yet:  deepest darkest Washington DC, and London, home to BP, whose natives are heavily armed with lawyers and PR bullshit.

Please help me drill down to the truth with your tax deductible donation to the Palast Fund.  Donations of $50 or more receive, if you wish, a gift I will sign.  (Make the request today or tomorrow, Dec. 21, and I’ll send it priority within 12 hours.)

Three big European networks have combined to cover our travel costs and some filming; but none have the money to support the deep investigation, the endless hours of research, that provide the hard facts on which the filming must be based.

Special, exceptional thanks go to the Cloud Mountain and Puffin foundations for their faith in our work and to the 2,000 wonderful supporters who have sent us donations.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All … and to all, a good night.

Greg Palast, reporting from … somewhere safe.

Greg Palast is an investigative journalist and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. His reports can be seen on BBC Newsnight.

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GregPalast.com

The aim of Wikileaks, and Julian Assange’s strategy

There’s been a lot of speculation of late about Wikileaks and its central figure, Julian Assange. I’ve even seen some articles that suggest that Wikileaks is not intending to provide greater transparency in government or to create a new paradigm in politics, but is in fact a false flag operation set up to abet and sustain the old paradigm.

I’ve just come across this article (Julian Assange and the Computer Conspiracy; “To destroy this invisible government”) which seems to do a pretty good job of analyzing the situation. It includes a number of quotes purportedly from Assange’s own statement of purpose.

But to round out the picture, you should also read Michel Chossudovsky’s article, Who is Behind Wikileaks

It’s all about conspiracies. But who are the conspirators? I think Paul Farrell comes close to the truth in fingering “The Goldman Conspiracy” in his recent article, Obama is a hostage, but not to the GOP. – t.h.g.

Plunder beyond belief, FED reluctantly shows the smoking gun.

I have for decades been trying to explain the parasitic nature of the global financial regime and the political order that has become subservient to it. Now, the evidence has become so overwhelmingly obvious that even the most dubious and somnambulistic amongst us cannot ignore its meaning.

On December 5 I posted an item that included Senator Bernie Sanders’ courageous speech about the class war that is being waged against virtually everyone by the super-wealthy elite. In that speech, the Senator referenced the long awaited report from the FED that Congress has demanded. This report has started a firestorm involving even the mainstream financial media.

In this recent article, David DeGraw, lays it all out in detail (Wall Street’s Pentagon Papers: Biggest Financial Scam in World History) with numbers and quotes from various sources. Please read it.

Now it is up to us to do something about it.

What can be done? My book, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, lays out prescriptions for communities, grassroots organizations, businesses, and governments. The time to act is now!

Financial terrorism by bankers put Greece in the noose. Who is next?

Max Keiser interviews a Greek economist who explains how an artificial crisis was created  by banks and institutions to force Greece to accept IMF conditions. It is a pattern that is being repeated over and over.

Class war in America: Senator Bernie Sanders tells it as it is.

This is a video that every American must watch. In his amazing and courageous speech on the floor of the US Senate, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders plainly describes the war that is being waged against the middle class by the super-wealthy elite.

And while you’re at it, read his revelation about who got the bailout money: A Real Jaw Dropper at the Federal Reserve. It’s nothing short of wholesale looting of the American people by the banking establishment.

Here are some excerpts:

After years of stonewalling by the Fed, the American people are finally learning the incredible and jaw-dropping details of the Fed’s multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and corporate America.

We have learned that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout signed into law by President George W. Bush turned out to be pocket change compared to the trillions and trillions of dollars in near-zero interest loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution in this country. Among those are Goldman Sachs, which received nearly $600 billion; Morgan Stanley, which received nearly $2 trillion; Citigroup, which received $1.8 trillion; Bear Stearns, which received nearly $1 trillion, and Merrill Lynch, which received some $1.5 trillion in short term loans from the Fed.

Deutsche Bank, a German lender, sold the Fed more than $290 billion worth of mortgage securities. Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, sold the Fed more than $287 billion in mortgage bonds.

When I first posted this item in December of 2010, I had embedded the video of Senator Sanders’ speech. That video has, for some reason unknown to me, been removed from YouTube. However, it can still be found elsewhere in cyberspace. Thy this link:

http://dailyhurricane.com/2010/12/senator-sanders-on-the-class-war.html. – t.h.g.

So tragic, its funny, but all too true.

If you want the simple truth about central banking, “quantitative easing,” and the global financial predicament, watch this video. — t.h.g.