Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I thought this was brilliant and had to share with you. it's a post on Market Ticker about how we, the people, the ones who do the spending in order to prop up this country, can "starve the beast".

It's a great piece, and this is the type of stuff that I love, and can only hope to eventually write. For now, I'll let others speak the thoughts that I have but have yet figured out how to formulate into substance.

Enjoy....

Posted by Karl Denninger in Editorial at 10:13

"Starve The Beast" - July 4th, 2009

Perhaps its time.

There have been a number of people on the forum talking about this, with one of the most recent converts being "iflyjetzzz".

Look, we can rant and rave about market manipulation and government-sponsored games. We can petition the SEC, the FBI and Congress. We can demand that they stop it all we want.

But they haven't and likely won't until and unless America gets pissed off enough to force them to act.

So how do we make that happen, yet remain within the law?

Its not that hard, and in the intermediate and longer-term it would be incredibly positive for our economy and nation.

We go on a consumption strike until and unless our demands are met.

What are our demands? Here's the list:

  • All the financial fraudsters are investigated, indicted, and prosecuted. This includes the con artists in CONgress who got "special deals" from Mozilo and his "Friends of Angelo" program (and who are blocking a subpoena to BofA as it would implicate them), it includes those past and current members of Government Sachs, and it includes all those other financial "professionals" who deceived Americans and others with their sale of toxic exploding mortgage products along with the securities supposedly backed by them.
  • Glass-Steagall is restored, in full, and all the firms that can't exist under it are broken up. Period.
  • The insider-trading that has become blatant and outrageous is prosecuted where illegal and where not, is made illegal and then prosecuted, with the focus being on the size of the scam. This includes obvious circumstances such as August 2007 (Bernanke's phone logs were FOIA'd) where trading patterns made clear that "certain someones" had foreknowledge of the discount rate cut along with Congresspeople who were briefed on the TARP and within hours or days made significant stock trades. Today if you're Martha Stewart you're prosecuted where if you make millions in an hour by exploiting government information "leaks" the SEC and FBI look the other way.
  • The Government withdraws all of its backstopping of financial firms who created this mess. All of it. If you're a bank or other firm and did something imprudent, you fail. Period. This is true whether you're a small regional bank (as is happening now; 5 in the last week) or a big behemoth like Citibank or Bank Of America. No "special deals", no "special guarantees", nothing of the kind. If the government wishes to avoid "systemic risk" then the government regulators can do their damn job.
  • The Fed disgorges all of its improperly-acquired MBS and other related securities. If it doesn't have a full-faith-and-credit guarantee and was bought, it is disgorged - period.
  • The Fed agrees to full annual audits without exception.
  • Those people inside government who conspired with certain bankers to cook the books, along with those in the banks who did so, go to jail. Our own Office of The Inspector General in the government has confirmed that there was an active conspiracy to break the law within the OTS, but not one indictment has been issued.
  • Those who committed fraud in the creation of this economic mess, whether they be mortgage lenders, those who packaged up securities while intentionally omitting credit information, those in the real estate industry to pressed for appraisal fraud and others are investigated, prosecuted and if convicted jailed. All of them.
  • Losses are born by those who made bad decisions, not the taxpayer generally. Those who made good decisions get to reap the benefits, while those who made bad decisions eat the losses. No exceptions.
  • Government cuts the annual budget deficit to zero. If government wants to blow the money it has to have the money. If they can't raise the money they don't spend it. It is time to live within our means and hold government to account for its profligate spending along with promises of "benefits" they know they cannot actually deliver down the road such as Medicare Part D.

Until then the position of those who wish to join is simple: No non-essential purchases of anything are made. Period.

What's an essential purchase? Here's the list:

  • Enough food to eat at home. No more eating out.
  • Rent and utilities.
  • Essential medical services.
  • Enough fuel to get to and from work.

In addition any "excess withholding" is stopped; if you are getting a big fat refund from the IRS every year you are loaning the government your money at zero interest until April. Stop that; its stupid. Change your W4 so you get exactly nothing back or owe a tiny amount; if you pay estimates pay only that which you must and not one dime more.

Note that it is unlawful to use your W4 to intentionally under-withhold, but you are in fact not obligated to pay one more dime in tax than you actually owe. There is nothing wrong with adjusting withholding to match (as close as you reasonably can) your actual tax obligation.

Put the money you save (it will be a lot!) into a non-TARP Credit Union if you have one available to you, or a non-TARP local bank if you do not. Spend none of it.

If we pledge to do this and not resume normal spending habits on wants as opposed to needs until and unless the budget is balanced, the bailouts are rolled back and those who committed fraud go to prison the government will be forced to act as they will simply run out of money.

They cannot force you to buy that new iPOD or flatscreen TV, or to take an expensive vacation.

Consumer spending is 70% of the economy.

This is a consumer weapon that is more powerful than any other means of peaceful protest. Strangling the government and private business' ability to steal from us all by cutting off their revenue will force reform, and has the additional benefit of being exactly what this nation needs to provide a strong capital formation base when that reform is complete.

If businesses want my money they can join in the chorus of voices demanding that government stop the looting and start prosecuting.

Will any of us be perfect in this endeavor? No. There will be the occasional indulgence I'm sure no matter who we are. But I'm willing to bet we can shrink consumption - each and every one of us - by at least 10% without any real personal pain at all, and if we do so it will send an indelible message to those in government and business: cut that crap out!

July 4th is Independence Day.

Let's make it a day of freedom from the banksters and government financial marauders.

Who's with me?

More on the missing bonds

In case you haven't heard anything about this, back on June 3rd, two Japanese nationals were stopped at Ponte Chiasso (Italy) on their way to Chiasso (Switzerland) carrying a briefcase with a hidden bottom. In this secret compartment, they found, are you ready....$134.5 BILLION in US Treasury Bills.

Supposedly they have been claimed to be fake, but not one Treasury official has gone over to view said treasuries to verify them. This is some freaky stuff. If you search for this, there's not much to be found. Isn't that odd considering the fact that, if these were real, these two Japanese nationals would have been the US's 4th largest creditor???

06/30/2009 13:13

ASIA-ITALY
Everything suggests that the American bonds seized at Chiasso are real
Official U.S. sources continue to say they are fakes, but there is no news that American experts have inspected them in person. Arrested for another matter, the director of a U.S. radio who says the bonds are real and Japan was trying to sell in Switzerland, not trusting the ability of the United States to honour its debt.

Milan (AsiaNews) – Four weeks have passed since American bonds were confiscated from two Japanese who were travelling on a direct train to Chiasso, Switzerland, and while there has been clarification of some points, very few, Italian authorities have remained silent on the rest of the episode.

In addition, a strange coincidence in the timing of the arrest of a director of an internet radio who had made revelations regarding the incident increases the already strong oddities surrounding the case. This added to the revaluation of the fact that among the evidence seized there were "Kennedy Bond" all points toward the authenticity of the items seized by the Guardia di Finanza (GdF) in early June.

The major English-speaking newspapers ignored the story for a couple of weeks. They only started to report on it after the Bloomberg agency carried a story on 18 / 6, in which a spokesman for the Treasury, Meyerhardt, declared that the bonds, based on photos available on the Internet, were "clearly false." The same day, the Financial Times (FT) published an article whose title laid the blame for the (alleged) infringement at the feet of the Italian Mafia, despite the fact that the article failed to make even one possible connection with the episode in Chiasso. Nevertheless, the version of events as reported in FT was taken up by others as being "appropriate" (given that it is a very common cliché about Italy and it is a sequester that took place in Italy) and in the end "colourful." It’s a pity that it goes against all logic: that the Mafia tried to pass unnoticed in its attempt to dump fake bonds amounting to 134.5 billion dollars and moreover were to "stung" a mere step from their gaol, is not very credible.

Most recently last week, 25 / 6, the New York Times reported on the story in particular, the allegations of CIA spokesman, Darrin Blackford: the U.S. Secret Service carried out inspections, as required by the Italian judiciary, and found that they were fictitious financial instruments, never issued by the “U.S. government”. It is not clear, however, how the checks mentioned Blackford were carried out and whether they were also are carried out via internet. According to official Italian sources, in fact, the Commission of American experts, expected in Italy, have yet to arrive. Furthermore, the bonds were accompanied by a recent and original bank record. It is therefore unclear how the U.S. authorities can declare fake documentation that does not originate from the Fed or the U.S. Department of Treasury.

On the contrary, claims in support of the bond’s authenticity were made 20 / 6 on the Turner Radio Network (TRN), an independent radio station broadcast via Internet. On that date in a massive exposure, TRN stated that the two Japanese arrested by the Guardia di Finanza (GdF) and then released in Ponte Chiasso were employees of the Japanese Ministry for Treasury. AsiaNews had also received similar reports: one of the two Japanese arrested in Chiasso and then released is Tuneo Yamauchi, brother of Toshiro Muto, until recently vice governor of the Bank of Japan. On its website, the creator and presenter of Radio, Hal Turner, had also claimed that his sources had revealed that the Italian authorities believe the evidence to be authentic and that the two Japanese officials are from the Japanese Ministry for Finance. They were supposed to bring the bonds to Switzerland because the Japanese government had apparently lost confidence in U.S. ability to repay its debt. Japanese financial authorities therefore were trying to sell a part of the securities in their possession through parallel channels ahead of an imminent financial disaster, thanks to the anonymity which, Turner said, is guaranteed by the laws of Switzerland.

AsiaNews does not know to what extent Turner’s revelations can be held as credible, given that in this case too, it is difficult to believe that $ 134.5 billion would pass unnoticed anywhere in the world. It seems far more logical to assume that the bonds, if authentic, were directed to the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, BIS, the central bank of central banks ahead of the issuance of securities in a new supranational currency. Turner had in any event added that as evidence of his support of his revelations he would have provided the serial numbers of the seized bonds. Before it could do so, however, was imprisoned. Hal Turner is the journalist who long ago first broke the news of a secret plan to replace the dollar, after a severe financial crisis, with a common North American currency, the Amero. In a dramatic phone call from inside the prison in which he is detained pending trial, relayed via internet, Hal Turner claims that his arrest is political and it is in relation to securities seized in Chiasso, because the authorities are terrorized by his revelations regarding the bonds’ authenticity. Of course, the allegations made against him have to nothing to do with the story and thus an already intricate story becomes increasingly complex. Turner maintains that he did not personally formulate the disclosure for which he has been imprisoned. Although it was clearly his responsibility to remain vigilant, it is also true that blogs from around the world and the U.S. themselves are full of threats and provocations. The coincidental timing, the unusual diligence and the details of his arrest arouse suspicions about the true motives of the American federal police. Indeed, this very arrest suggests that the evidence seized from GdF are truly authentic.

One more element in favour of the bond’s authenticity is found in the securities, which in the June 4 statement, the GdF termed "Kennedy Bonds” with photos provided. These photos reveal that the securities under discussion are not bonds but Treasury Notes, because they are securities that can be immediately exchanged for their worth in goods or services and because they are devoid of interest coupons. One side carries a reproduction of the image of the American president, the reverse side that of a spaceship. From confidential, usually well-informed sources, AsiaNews has learned that this type of paper money was issued less than ten years ago (in 1998), although it is difficult to know whether those seized in Chiasso are authentic. But the fact that the release of this particular State Treasury was not completely in the public domain tends to exclude the possibility of counterfeiting. It highly unreasonable to suppose that a forger would reproduce a State Treasury not commonly in circulation and of which there is no public knowledge. For this reason, it can be concluded that the 124.5 billion dollars divided in 249 bonds of 500 million each are authentic. These titles, although referred to as "Federal Reserve Notes" are actually bonds, because they accrue interest and are redeemable at maturity. But one question remains unsolved regarding them. It is somewhat hard to understand why the securities, which were from the outset indistinguishable from the original to the GdF, all have their coupons. Any ordinary investor, even a state, would have cashed in the interest coupon every year, so as not to lose purchasing power.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

THEIR STILL AT IT!!!!!

I just read today that, like Dick, Bush is at the wheels of the spin (excuse?) machine!!! At a speech yesterday he said the following regarding the election in Iran:

"Clearly, there's a level of frustration on the Iranian streets," Mr. Bush said. "It looks like it's not a very fair election."

Uhm, 'scuse me? Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000)

View information on the speech here: The Washington Times

Seems the Iranians have more courage & passion than do Americans if you ask me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Space rocks are now classified

been awhile since i've written on here, but been feeling the need to write, just haven't gotten around to it. thought i would use this time to put some things down that need to mentioned:

why would the government, you know, our govt, classify debris that falls from space?? found this on cryptogon.com (great site, i highly reccomend):Military Hush-up: Incoming space rocks now classified. I mean, what could they want to hide? Is there a new NEO coming that they don't want to panick us about? I don't know, but it just sounds weird to me.