Mar 212013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* BAILOUT, AUSTERITY, CONFISCATION: CYPRUS REVEALS THE 3rd PHASE OF THE GREAT BANK ROBBERY

By Scriptonite Daily

We’ve hit crisis and it is the public programmes who are taking the blame and the hit rather than the flagrant corruption, the waste of tax payer money, the tax evasion and the bailouts which got us here in the first place.

This is a stick-up

Yesterday, the people of Cyprus awoke to the news that up to 10% of the cash in their bank accounts was to be confiscated on Tuesday 19th March, as part of an EU deal to bailout banks.  This decision, signals the insidious next step of the Great Bank Robbery underway since the Financial Crisis of 2007/8. First Bailout, then Austerity and now direct Confiscation of wealth from the 99% to the 1%.

The Three Steps of the Great Bank Robbery

There have been three distinct phases to the great bank robbery of the banking and corporate class on the 99%.

The Bailout

In the bailout of 2009, the UK government had to guarantee funding to the banking sector, of 101% of GDP.  That is, the UK diverted over £2trn of tax payer money (101% of GDP), equivalent to almost 3 times its entire annual budget, to prop up its failed banks.  This is twenty years of NHS spending (£106.7bn a year), forty years of education spending (£48.2bn), or five hundred years of job seekers allowance (£4.9bn a year).  All that money is going to prop up a derivates market which serves zero social purpose. It doesn’t build things, it doesn’t create things, it doesn’t do anything except repackage debts for fees and notional profits.

The US spent or guaranteed $12.8trn in its bailout package, which is equivalent to almost its entire annual GDP.

This rescue package for Banks, is absolutely unprecedented.  If you take just the UK and US figures, ignoring everyone else, you’re at $15trn. How does this compare to other large scale expenditures? […]

READ @ http://scriptonitedaily.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/bailout-austerity-confiscation-cyprus-reveals-the-3rd-phase-of-the-great-bank-robbery/

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* ECB GIVES CYPRUS MARCH 25 LIQUIDITY ULTIMATUM

By Tyler Durden, zerohedge

8115916.bin

As reported yesterday, Cyprus banks are now expected to reopen next Tuesday. We would boldly go ahead and take the under following overnight news that the ECB has once more escalated its political interventions (remember the lies about “apolitical, independent” Central Banks – good times…), and following a Reuters report yesterday that the ECB is prepared to let Cyprus go, the FT now has doubled down on the propaganda, reporting (in an article with no less than five authors) that the ECB has issued an ultimatum to Cyprus to agree to a bailout by Monday (which is a holiday), or the free liquidity ends.

The European Central Bank raised the stakes in the Cyprus crisis on Thursday, telling Nicosia it had until Monday to agree a bailout with the EU and International Monetary Fund or it would cut off emergency liquidity provision to the country’s banks. The hardline stance from the ECB sets a clear deadline for Cyprus to agree to a plan after its parliament rejected a bailout negotiated at the weekend that would have taxed the deposits of account holders in the country’s banks.” Which means yet another weekend of ad hoc choices and spontaneous decisions awaits, only this time with a key non-Euro actor involved in the face of Russia, whose interest just in case there is any confusion, is to see Cyprus crushed, so it can swoop in later and “acquire” the assets on the cheap, or preferably free, while the local population welcome the second coming of the glorious Red Army with open arms, delighted to be free of European slavery. Well played Putin.

From the FT:

The ultimatum came as EU leaders maintained pressure on Nicosia to come up with a new plan on its own and Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev told a visiting European Commission delegation that a solution had to include Russian participation.

“It is now up to the Cypriot authorities to come up with proposals,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chair of the committee of 17 eurozone finance ministers who negotiated the bailout, told the European Parliament on Thursday morning.

In a short statement the ECB said its 23-person governing council had agreed to maintain emergency liquidity provision to Cyprus’s banks until Monday. “Thereafter, Emergency Liquidity Assistance could only be considered if an EU-IMF programme is in place that would ensure the solvency of the concerned banks,” it said.

The country’s two biggest banks, Bank of Cyprus and Laiki, are believed to be reliant on Emergency Liquidity Assistance provided by the Central Bank of Cyprus. The ECB’s governing council can terminate ELA if it believes the banks receiving it are no longer solvent.

The move, however, raises the prospect of the ECB having to make good on its ultimatum on Monday, which could leave the banks unable to honour their obligations. Some analysts have speculated that the collapse of the banks could trigger a series of events that lead to Cyprus leaving the euro, with unpredictable consequences for the rest of the eurozone. […]

READ @ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-21/ecb-gives-cyprus-march-25-liquidity-ultimatum

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* PRIVATIZING EUROPE: USING THE CRISIS TO ENTRENCH NEOLIBERALISM

Source: roarmag

Rather than solving Europe’s crisis, EU institutions are allowing corporate elites to further enrich themselves through a fire sale of state assets.

Rather than solving Europe’s crisis, EU institutions are allowing corporate elites to further enrich themselves through a fire sale of state assets.

The text and infographics below are excerpted from a new working paper, Privatising Europe: Using the Crisis to Entrench Neoliberalism, which was just released by the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam:

The European Union is currently undergoing the biggest economic crisis since its foundation 20 years ago. Economic growth is collapsing: the eurozone economy contracted by 0.6% in the fourth quarter last year and this slump is set to continue. The euro crisis was incorrectly blamed on government spending, and the subsequent imposition of cuts and increased borrowing has resulted in growing national debts and rising unemployment. Government debts in crisis countries have predictably soared: the highest ratios of debt to GDP in the third quarter of 2012 were recorded in Greece (153%), Italy (127%), Portugal (120%) and Ireland (117%).

Europe’s member states have responded by implementing severe austerity programmes, making harsh cuts to crucial public services and welfare benefits. The measures mirror the controversial structural adjustment policies forced onto developing countries during the 1980s and 1990s, which discredited the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. The results, like their antecedents in the South, have punished the poorest the hardest, while the richest Europeans – including the banking elite that caused the financial crisis – have emerged unscathed or even richer than before.

Behind the immoral and adverse effects of unnecessary cuts though lies a much more systematic attempt by the European Commission and Central Bank (backed by the IMF) to deepen deregulation of Europe’s economy and privatise public assets. The dark irony is that an economic crisis that many proclaimed as the ‘death of neoliberalism’ has instead been used to entrench neoliberalism. This has been particularly evident in the EU’s crisis countries such as Greece and Portugal, but is true of all EU countries and is even embedded in the latest measures adopted by the European Commission and European Central Bank. […]

READ / CHARTS @ http://roarmag.org/2013/03/tni-infographics-european-fire-sale/

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* CONGRESS NEVER FIXED THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM … AND IS ABOUT TO MAKE IT EVEN WORSE

Source: Washington’s Blog

Empty chairs for empty suits

Empty chairs for empty suits

Out-of-control derivatives were largely responsible for the 2008 financial crisis … and still pose a massive threat to the economy.

Unchecked derivatives are so harmful to the economy that:

  • Warren Buffet called them “weapons of mass destruction”
  • A Nobel prize winning economist who helped develop derivatives pricing said some of them were so dangerous that they should be “blown up or burned”
  • Newsweek called them “The Monster that Ate Wall Street” after the financial crash

This is especially true since the big banks are manipulating the hundred trillion dollar derivatives market.

No, the big “financial reform” bill passed in the wake of the financial crisis didn’t fix anything.  We noted last year:

No, there have not been any reforms or attempts to rein in derivatives, and the Dodd-Frank financial legislation was really just a p.r. stunt which didn’t really change anything. 

Indeed, the derivatives “reform” legislation previously passed has probably actually weakened existing regulations, and the legislation was “probably written by JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs“.

In fact:

Harold Bradley – who oversees almost $2 billion in assets as chief investment officer at the Kauffman Foundation – told the Reuters Global Exchanges and Trading Summit in New York that a cabal is preventing swap derivatives from being forced onto clearing exchanges:

There is no incentive from the moneyed interests in either Washington or New York to change it…I believe we are in a cabal. There are five or six players only who are engaged and dominant in this marketplace and apparently they own the regulatory apparatus. Everybody is afraid to regulate them.

*** Moreover, the big banks are still dumping huge amounts of their toxic derivatives on the taxpayer. And see this.

Indeed, the U.S. has agreed to backstop potential trillions in derivatives in the U.S. … and abroad.

If the big banks are manipulating the derivatives market, they could manipulate every other market on the planet.   Given that the size of the derivatives market dwarfs the entire global economy, and given that derivatives are – by definition – not real assets, but paper abstractions loosely based upon real assets, manipulation of derivatives can drive asset prices up or down at whim. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/congress-never-fixed-the-financial-system-and-is-about-to-make-it-even-worse.html

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* WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A BITCOIN?

By Simon Black, Sovereign Man blog

bitcoin-capital-controls

[…] In most countries, a small tiny banking elite exercises total control over that nation’s money supply. And we’re just supposed to trust them to be good guys.

Yet central bankers around the world have conjured trillions of dollars out of thin air, debasing the money’s value. It’s a concept any six-year old can understand. If money grew on trees, it wouldn’t be worth very much.

This is one of the key reasons why people buy gold. You can’t just conjure gold out of thin air. It takes years of exploration and investment to pull it out of the ground.

In the information age, though, we have an alternative.

Bitcoin is digital currency. It doesn’t actually exist in our physical world… only in computers.

If this sounds esoteric and far-fetched, it’s not. The vast majority of our monetary system today is already digital. […]

READ @ http://www.sovereignman.com/finance/what-in-the-world-is-a-bitcoin-11234/

If you want to find out more about Bitcoin, this website provides a lot of great introductory information

Jan 072013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

The Greek Crisis : The Real Causes and possible solutions which are hidden from the public is a documentary that was produced in Greece at the end of 2011 and the subsequent resignation of Prime Minister George Papandreou.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZc6oD0WfW8&feature=share

Jun 162012
 

 

* BREAKING ’08 PLEDGE, LEAKED DOC SHOWS OBAMA WANTS TO HELP CORPORATIONS AVOID REGULATIONS

Source: Democracy Now!

DemocracyNow.org -A draft agreement leaked Wednesday shows the Obama administration is pushing a secretive trade agreement that could vastly expand corporate power and directly contradict a 2008 campaign promise by President Obama. A U.S. proposal for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact between the United States and eight Pacific nations would allow foreign corporations operating in the U.S. to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its ruling. We speak to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, a fair trade group that posted the leaked documents on its website. “This is not just a bad trade agreement,” Wallach says. “This is a 1% power tool that could rip up our basic needs and rights.”

VIDEO @ http://www.democracynow.org/

RELATED POST: 

- The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement: The 1% Strike Back Against Occupy Movement: http://99getsmart.com/?p=3715

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* FED MEMBERS GAVE THEIR OWN BANKS $4 TRILLION DURING BAILOUT

Source: RT

A report just released by the US Government Accountability Office explains how the Federal Reserve divvied up more than $4 trillion in low-interest loans after the fiscal crisis of 2008, and the news shouldn’t be all that surprising.

When the Federal Reserve looked towards bailing out some of the biggest banks in the country, more than one dozen of the financial institutions that benefited from the Fed’s Hail Mary were members of the central bank’s own board, reports the GAO. At least 18 current and former directors of the Fed’s regional branches saw to it that their own banks were awarded loans with often next-to-no interest by the country’s central bank during the height of the financial crisis that crippled the American economy and spurred rampant unemployment and home foreclosures for those unable to receive assistance.

Although the crisis continues to have an effect on Americans that were devastated by the recession, the banks that survived the near meltdown were largely able to do so because some of their CEOs sat on the same Federal Reserve board the decided on how to dish out trillions of dollars. […]

READ @ http://rt.com/usa/news/fed-federal-reserve-report-938/

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* MAN CALLS JP MORGAN CHASE CEO A CROOK TO HIS FACE

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX_qudiWdxU&feature=youtu.be

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* ON JUNE 17 WE SAY: THERE IS NO RETURN TO THEIR PLANS

Source: REinFORM.nl

The Greek elections on May 6 delivered a clear message: NO MORE AUSTERITY. No political party or coalition has any legitimacy to continue the austerity policies either inside or outside the Eurozone. Regardless the result of the coming elections we will continue to take the streets and struggle against the neoliberal policies in Greece and all over Europe. The victory of the people in Greece will be a victory for all people in Europe. The defeat of the Troika, the release from the debt and the toppling of the corrupt political system in Greece is the first step for the struggle for a just society in Europe.

On May 6, the people gave a decisive blow to the former ruling parties that conceded the austerity policies and brought the state’s economy to its knees. Since the May elections the propaganda of the mainstream media and statements of officials are trying to force the people in Greece to accept the policies of the Troika and the previous government. The media promote gloomy scenarios together with an image of Greece regressing back to the Stone Age in case the austerity policies come to a halt. On top of it, a patronized left-wing / right-wing division is imposed on the Greek society. EU-officials ignore the message of the Greek elections and keep interfering with domestic politics by expressing their expectation from the new government to stick to the commitments of the previous administration. The IMF director C. Lagarde, the German Chancellor A. Merkel and the German minister of Finance W. Schäuble accuse openly the people in Greece for the disaster to come in case they decide to turn their back to their policies. Their propaganda aims at persuading the Greeks to give the majority-vote to the pro-austerity parties.

The EU and the IMF expect from the new government to apply budget cuts up to 1.5% of GDP within 2012 and 3.8% until 2015. According to the Revised Adjustment Program of March 2012 this goal will be achieved by the redundancy of 150.000 civil servants, a further decrease in salaries and pensions below 600€ and 400€ respectively, and the complete abolishment of employment protection and social-security benefits. These measures will be applied on top of the 25% loss of average income, the 100.000 companies that have closed down, an unemployment rate that has reached 21%, and the rapidly increasing rates of homelessness and suicides. […]

READ @ http://www.reinform.nl/on-june-17-we-say-there-is-no-return-to-their-plans/

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* ICELANDIC RECOVERY PLAN

Source: James Corbett, GRTV

Iceland was one of the hardest hit nations in the immediate aftermath of the September 2008 economic meltdown. Asked by their own government to pay Britain and Holland for bailing out their Icesave-exposed banks, the people overwhelmingly said “no.” Do the actions of the Icelandic people present an example for the rest of the world as we see the global economy teetering on the edge of collapse? Find out on this week’s GRTV Feature Interview with Michael Hudson.

VIDEO @ http://michael-hudson.com/2011/11/iceland-recovery-plan/

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* ICELAND PORVES THAT BAILING OUT THE MIDDLE CLASS WORKS BETTER THAN BAILING OUT THE BANKS

Source: The Young Turks

Cenk explains why Iceland is a perfect example for how bailing out citizens instead of banks can help an economy recover. Between 2001 and 2010, the median net worth in the United States dropped 20 percent. Meanwhile, Iceland invested in their middle class, provided debt relief for 25 percent of its citizens, and now the economy is on the rebound. “We were told here in the United States, both by Republicans and Tim Geithner, ‘That can’t work; it’ll destroy our economy,” Cenk says, but Iceland disproves that by now doing better than the U.S. and the Eurozone.

READ / VIDEO @ http://current.com/shows/the-young-turks/videos/iceland-proves-that-bailing-out-the-middle-class-works-better-than-bailing-out-banks

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* THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF ECONOMIC INEQUALITY

By Joseph E. Stiglitz, Politico

America’s growing inequality is likely to play an important role in this election — and rightly so. Americans see that something is happening to our society: We have become increasingly divided. We may all be in the same boat — but some are traveling steerage and others first class.

Inequality is now far higher than just 30 years ago. The top 1 percent today gets around 20 percent of the nation’s income — twice what it did two decades ago. The top 0.1 percent’s share has almost tripled. Disparities in wealth are even greater.

Some on the right argue that this is the politics of envy. They say what matters is not the share of the pie — but the size of the slice. But inequality, especially of the U.S. variety, is bad for growth. The country grew faster in the decades after World War II — when it was also growing together, with all groups seeing increases in income. But those at the bottom were growing the most. […]

READ @ http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77280.html

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* NIGEL FARAGE EXPOSING NE GIANT EURO BANKING SCAM

Source: youtube

Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy’ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament.

TRANSCRIPT: 

Nigel Farage : “Another one bites the dust. Country number four, Spain, gets bailed out and we all of course know that it won’t be the last. Though I wondered over the weekend whether perhaps I was missing something, because when the Spanish prime minister Mr Rajoy got up, he said that this bailout shows what a success the eurozone has been. And I thought, well, having listened to him over the previous couple of weeks telling us that there would not be a bailout, I got the feeling after all his twists and turns he’s just about the most incompetent leader in the whole of Europe, and that’s saying something, because there is pretty stiff competition. Indeed, every single prediction of yours, Mr Barroso, has been wrong, and dear old Herman Van Rompuy, well he’s done a runner hasn’t he. Because the last time he was here, he told us we had turned the corner, that the euro crisis was over and he hasn’t bothered to come back and see us.

I remember being here ten years ago, hearing the launch of the Lisbon Agenda. We were told that with the euro, by 2010 we would have full employment and indeed that Europe would be the competitive and dynamic powerhouse of the world. By any objective criteria the Euro has failed, and in fact there is a looming, impending disaster. You know, this deal makes things worse not better. A hundred billion [euro] is put up for the Spanish banking system, and 20 per cent of that money has to come from Italy. And under the deal the Italians have to lend to the Spanish banks at 3 per cent but to get that money they have to borrow on the markets at 7 per cent. It’s genius isn’t it. It really is brilliant. So what we are doing with this package is we are actually driving countries like Italy towards needing to be bailed out themselves. In addition to that, we put a further 10 per cent on Spanish national debt and I tell you, any banking analyst will tell you, 100 billion does not solve the Spanish banking problem, it would need to be more like 400 billion. And with Greece teetering on the edge of Euro withdrawal, the real elephant in the room is that once Greece leaves, the ECB, the European Central Bank is bust. It’s gone. It has 444 billion euros worth of exposure to the bailed-out countries and to rectify that you’ll need to have a cash call from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. You couldn’t make it up could you! It is total and utter failure. This ship, the euro Titanic has now hit the iceberg and sadly there simply aren’t enough life boats.”

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_0g-LImpoU&feature=colike