Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Open Forum

Everyone should know what to do here.


Anonymous said...

'Constitutional crisis' looming over Obama's birth location

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Alan Keyes
The California secretary of state should refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until President-elect Barack Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office, alleges a California court petition filed on behalf of former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others.

The legal action today is just the latest is a series of challenges, some of which have gone as high as the U.S. Supreme Court, over the issue of Obama's status as a "natural-born citizen," a requirement set by the U.S. Constitution.

WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi even traveled to Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama's birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions.

The biggest question is why Obama, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists, simply hasn't ordered it made available to settle the rumors.

The governor's office in Hawaii said there is a valid certificate but rejected requests for access and left ambiguous its origin: Does the certificate on file with the Department of Health indicate a Hawaii birth or was it generated after the Obama family registered a Kenyan birth in Hawaii?

Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro, has named two different Hawaii hospitals where Obama could have been born, while a video posted on YouTube features Obama's Kenyan grandmother Sarah claiming to have witnessed Obama's birth in Kenya.

The California action was filed by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation on behalf of Alan Keyes, the presidential candidate of the American Independent Party, along with Wiley S. Drake and Markham Robinson, both California electors.

"Should Senator Obama be discovered, after he takes office, to be ineligible for the Office of President of the United States of America and, thereby, his election declared void, Petitioners, as well as other Americans, will suffer irreparable harm in that (a) usurper will be sitting as the President of the United States, and none of the treaties, laws, or executive orders signed by him will be valid or legal," the action challenges.

The petition is a request for the Superior Court of California in Sacramento County to issue a peremptory writ barring Secretary of State Debra Bowen "from both certifying to the governor the names of the California Electors, and from transmitting to each presidential Elector a Certificate of Election, until such documentary proof is produced and verified showing that Senator Obama is a 'natural born' citizen of the United States and does not hold citizenship of Indonesia, Kenya or Great Britain."

It continues with a request for a writ barring California's electors from signing the Certificate of Vote until documentary proof is produced.

An Obama spokesperson interviewed by WND described such lawsuits as "garbage."

The popular vote Nov. 4 favored Obama over Sen. John McCain by several percentage points. But because of the distribution of the votes, Obama is projected to take the Electoral College vote, when it is held in December, by a 2-to-1 margin.

Named as defendants in the action are Bowen, Obama, vice president elect Joe Biden and the long list of California party electors.

Citing the constitutional requirement that a president be a "natural born" citizen, the case discusses other state and federal court cases regarding "aspects of lost or dual citizenship concerning Senator Obama. Those challenges, in and of themselves, demonstrate Petitioners' argument that reasonable doubt exists as to the eligibility of the Democratic Party’s nominee for President," the case said.

Get Brad O'Leary's blockbuster book detailing the agenda for the upcoming Obama White House, "The Audacity of Deceit."

"There is a reasonable and common expectation by the voters that to qualify for the ballot, the individuals running for office must meet minimum qualifications as outlined in the federal and state Constitutions and statutes, and that compliance with those minimum qualifications has been confirmed by the officials overseeing the election process," the complaint said, when in fact the only documentation currently required is a signed statement from the candidate attesting to those qualifications.

"Since [the Secretary of State] has, as its core, the mission of certifying and establishing the validity of the election process, this writ seeks a Court Order barring SOS from certifying the California Electors until documentary proof that Senator Obama is a 'natural born' citizen of the United States of America is received by her," the document said.

"This proof could include items such as his original birth certificate, showing the name of the hospital and the name and the signature of the doctor, all of his passports with immigration stamps, and verification from the governments where the candidate has resided, verifying that he did not, and does not, hold citizenship of these countries, and any other documents that certify an individual’s citizenship and/or qualification for office.

"To this date, in this regard, SOS has not carried out that fundamental duty."

The case said a simple attestation from the candidate or his party isn't sufficient.

"Historically, California Secretaries of State have exercised their due diligence by reviewing necessary background documents, verifying that the candidates that were submitted by the respective political parties as eligible for the ballot were indeed eligible. In 1968, the Peace and Freedom Party submitted the name of Eldridge Cleaver as a qualified candidate for President of the United States. The then SOS, Mr. Frank Jordan, found that, according to Mr. Cleaver's birth certificate, he was only 34 years old, one year shy of the 35 years of age needed to be on the ballot as a candidate for President. Using his administrative powers, Mr. Jordan removed Mr. Cleaver from the ballot. Mr. Cleaver unsuccessfully challenged this decision to the Supreme Court of the State of California, and, later, to the Supreme Court of the United States."

Similarly, in 1984, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate Larry Holmes was removed from the ballot.

The "certificate of live birth" posted by the Obama campaign cannot be viewed as authoritative, the case alleges.

"Hawaii Revised Statute 338-178 allows registration of birth in Hawaii for a child that was born outside of Hawaii to parents who, for a year preceding the child’s birth, claimed Hawaii as their place of residence," the document said. "The only way to know where Senator Obama was actually born is to view Senator Obama's original birth certificate from 1961 that shows the name of the hospital and the name and signature of the doctor that delivered him."

The case also raises the circumstances of Obama's time during his youth in Indonesia, where he was listed as having Indonesian citizenship. Indonesia does not allow dual citizenship, raising the possibility of Obama's mother having given up his U.S. citizenship.

Any subsequent U.S. citizenship then, the case claims, would be "naturalized," not "natural-born."

"Based on all of the above, it is the duty of the SOS to obtain proper documentation of Senator Obama's citizenship to confirm his eligibility for the office or the President of the United States," the case said.

Just this week, WND has reported on more than half a dozen other legal challenges have been filed in federal and state courts demanding Obama's decertification from ballots or seeking to halt elector meetings, claiming he has failed to prove his U.S. citizenship status.

Among the states where cases are being tracked are Ohio, Connecticut, Washington, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Hawaii, and there were reports of other cases being developed in Utah, Wyoming, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Texas, California and Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Paul Craig Roberts: America’s Economic Crisis Is Beyond The Reach of Traditional Solutions

By most accounts the US economy is in serious trouble. Robert Reich, an adviser to President-elect Obama, calls it a "mini-depression," and that designation might be optimistic. The Russian economist, Mikhail Khazin says that the "U.S. will soon face a second ‘Great Depression.’" It is possible that even Khazin is optimistic.

I cannot predict the future. However, I can explain what the problems are, how they differ from past times of troubles, and why traditional remedies, such as the public works programs that Reich proposes, are unlikely to succeed in reviving the U.S. economy.

Khazin points out, as have others, such as University of Maryland economist Herman Daly and myself, that consumer debt expansion is the fuel that kept the U.S. economy alive. The growth of debt has outstripped the growth of income to such an extent that an increase in consumer credit and bank lending is not possible. Consumers are overburdened with debt. This fact takes monetary policy out of the picture. Americans can no longer afford to borrow more in order to consume more.

This leaves economists with fiscal policy, which, as Reich realizes, also has problems. Reich is correct that neither a reduction in marginal tax rates nor a tax rebate is likely to be very effective. Reich, a Keynesian, has an uncertain grasp of supply-side economics, but as one who has a firm grasp, I can attest that marginal tax rates today are not the stifling influence they were prior to John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. As Art Laffer said, there are two tax rates, high and low, that will produce the same tax revenues by expanding or contracting economic activity. Marginal tax rates are no longer in the higher ranges. As for a tax rebate, Reich is correct that in the present situation a tax rebate would be dissipated in paying off creditors.

Reich sees the problem as a lack of aggregate demand sufficient to maintain full employment. His solution is for the government to spend "a lot" more on infrastructure projects on top of a trillion dollar budget deficit --"repairing roads and bridges, levees and ports; investing in light rail, electrical grids, new sources of energy." This spending would boost employment, wages, and aggregate demand.

I have no opposition to infrastructure projects, but who will finance the baseline trillion dollar US budget deficit plus the additional red ink spending on infrastructure? Not Americans. The US savings rate is zero or negative. Home mortgage foreclosures are in the millions. Officially, US unemployment is 10 million, but if measured by pre-Clinton era standards unemployment is much higher. Statistician John Williams, who measures the unemployment rate by the pre-Clinton standards concludes that the rate of US unemployment is about 15 percent. President Clinton "reformed" the unemployment statistics by ceasing to count discouraged workers as unemployed.

For years, the US government’s budget has been dependent on foreigners financing the red ink. Countries such as Japan and China and OPEC suppliers of oil to the US have huge export surpluses with the US. They recycle the dollars by buying US Treasury bonds, thus financing the US government’s red ink budgets.

The open question is: how much longer will they do so?

Foreign portfolios are overweighed in dollar assets. Currently the dollar’s value is benefitting from the financial crisis, as investors flee to the reserve currency. However, sooner or later the huge outpourings of dollar debts will cause foreign creditors to draw back. Already China, America’s largest creditor, has sent a signal that that time might be drawing near. Recently the Chinese government asked, as they do indirectly through third parties, "Why should China help the US to issue debt without end in the belief that the national credit of the US can expand without limit?"

Is the rest of the world, which has demanded a financial summit to work toward a new financial order, going to permanently allocate the world’s supply of capital to covering American mistakes?

If not, the bailout and the stimulus package will have to be financed by printing money.

And the bailout needs are growing. Car loans and credit card debt were also securitized and sold. As the economy worsens, credit card and car loan defaults are rising. Moreover, AIG needs more money from the government. Fannie Mae’s loss has widened to $29 billion despite the $200 billion bailout. General Motors and Ford need taxpayer money to survive. General Motors says that its GMAƇ mortgage unit "may not survive." Deutsche Bank sees General Motors shares "as likely worthless."

Shades of the Weimar Republic.

What Reich and the American economic establishment do not understand is that the recession paradigm does not apply. There are no jobs waiting at US manufacturers for a demand stimulus to pull Americans back into work. The problem is not a liquidity problem. To the contrary, there have been many years of too much liquidity. Credit has grown far more than production. Indeed, US production has been moved offshore. Jobs that used to support the growth of American incomes and the tax bases of cities and states have moved, along with US GDP, to China and elsewhere.

The work is gone. All that are left are credit card and mortgage debts.

Anyone who thinks that America still has a vibrant economy needs to log onto and face the facts.

Economists associate economic depression with price deflation. However, traditionally, debts that are beyond an economy’s ability to service are inflated away. This suggests that the coming depression will be an inflationary depression. Instead of falling prices mitigating the effects of falling employment, higher prices will go hand in hand with rising unemployment--a situation worse than the Great Depression.

The incompetent Clinton and Dubya administrations, unregulated banksters and Wall St criminals, greedy CEOs, and a no-think economics profession have destroyed America’s economy.

What is the remedy for simultaneous inflation and unemployment?

Three decades ago the solution was supply-side economics. Easy monetary policy had pushed up consumer demand, but high tax rates had curtailed output. It was more profitable for firms to allow prices to rise than for them to invest and increase output.

Supply-side economics changed the policy mix. Monetary policy was tightened and marginal tax rates were reduced, thus stimulating output instead of inflation.

Today the problem is different. The US has abused the reserve currency role, thus endangering its credit worthiness and the exchange value of the dollar. Jobs have moved offshore. The budget deficit is huge and growing. If foreigners will not finance the widening gap, the printing presses will be employed or the government will not be able to pay its bills.

The bailout funds have been wasted. The expensive bailout does not address the problem of falling employment and rising mortgage defaults. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson could not see beyond saving Goldman Sachs and his bankster friends. The Paulson bailout does nothing except take troubled assets off banks’ books and put them on the overburdened taxpayers’ books, thus endangering the US Treasury’s credit rating.

What the Bush Regime has done is to stick the taxpayers with the banks’ mistakes. An intelligent government would have used the money to refinance the troubled mortgages and stop the defaults. By saving the mortgages from default, the banks’ balance sheets would have been made secure. By failing to deal with the subprime crisis, Bush and Congress have added a financial crisis to the exhaustion of consumer demand and the problems of financing huge trade and budget deficits.

Belatedly, Paulson has realized his mistake. On November 12, Paulson announced, "We have continued to examine the relative benefits of purchasing illiquid mortgage-related assets. Our assessment at this time is that this is not the most effective way to use [bailout] funds."

The financial crisis has cost taxpayers far more than the amount of the bailout. Americans’ savings and pension funds have been devastated. Americans in investment partnerships, who have been required by IRS rules to pay income taxes on gains in the partnerships’ portfolios, have had the accumulated multi-year gains wiped out. They have paid taxes on years of "capital gains" that have disappeared, thus doubling their losses.

America’s economic troubles will rapidly accumulate if the dollar loses its reserve currency role. To protect the dollar and the Treasury’s credit standing, the US needs to curtail its foreign borrowing by reducing its budget deficit. It can do this by halting its gratuitous wars and slashing its unnecessary military spending which exceeds that of the rest of the world combined. The empire has run out of resources, and the 700 overseas bases must be closed.

Can Americans afford massive infrastructure spending when they cannot afford health care? In Florida a Blue Cross Blue Shield group policy for a 60-year old woman costs $14,100 annually, and this is a policy with deductibles and co-payments. Supplementary policies from AARP to fill some of the gaps in Medicare can cost retirees $3,300 annually. When one looks at the economic situation of the vast majority of Americans, it is astonishing that the Bush regime regards wars in the Middle East and taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street criminals as a good use of scarce resources.

US corporations, which have moved their production for US markets offshore in order to drive up their share prices and provide their CEOs with multi-million dollar bonuses, can be provided with a different set of incentives that encourage the corporations to bring employment back to the US. For example, the corporate income tax can be restructured to tax corporations according to the value-added in the US. The higher the value-added in the US, the lower the tax rate; the lower the value-added, the higher the tax rate.

Cutting the budget deficit by halting pointless wars and unnecessary military spending and reducing the trade deficit by bringing jobs back to America are simple tasks compared to confronting inflationary depression.

The world has had enough of American irresponsibility and is taking away the reins. At the November 15 economic summit, the world will begin the process of imposing a new financial order on the US in exchange for continued lending to the bankrupt "superpower."

With bailouts eating up the world’s supply of capital, continued foreign financing for Washington’s wars of aggression is out of the picture.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

Lars in Florida said...

Randy, thanks for the Thomas Paine video posting from a few days ago. I think what you do with your blog is like a pamphleteer during 1776.

I sent message to my senators about the Bailout when it was up for vote. But, it's frustrating, seeing what a joke the Bailout is.

Next Dimensions said...

Ron Paul on new Bretton Woods

Patrick said...

What Is It Like to Lose $100 Million a Day?

Sheldon Adelson’s net worth has shrunk a staggering 93%

If you are feeling bad about your 401(k) losses, consider the case of Sheldon Adelson. His investments have declined by more than $30 billion, yes with a “b,” in the past year.

Put another way, his net worth declined by about $100 million a day, or $4.1 million an hour, or $69,000 a minute, or $1,157 a second.

Black Star Ranch said...

As always, Randy, excellent read...

We here in South Nevada have the (sometimes unfortunate) distinction of seeing lives and humanity living on the edge. Being a state since the 1850s where many have relocated to 'strike it rich', attitudes, reactions, and evidences of sociatal strife sometimes play out here first as well. No state income taxes (due to gambling revenues), quickie divorces in the 50s, 24-hour bars, lax gun controls, & lawful brothels are just a few of a more 'open' attitudes among states. These differences might also allow the rest of the US to see what might be a portent of things to come for their areas of the USA. Some of the local media here have already started limiting the telecasting of "negative-impact news" - nothing will kill a local economy and lifestyle more than daily drive-by shootings, home invasions, strong-armed burglaries, deadly kidnappings, and child assault cases.

All we can hope to do is keep our family & friends safe and secure.

Justin_n_IL said...

Hows about a wholly electronic currency.

Randy said...

Here's a good read:

As the G7 banking systems continue their plunge into the abyss, so do the world’s economies. Public servants, governments and central banks are firing every policy option they have to keep the confidence of consumers and business from collapsing. NOTHING is working as the dominoes of confidence fall faster then they can run ahead of the game... Continued at link:

Ty Andros - Crack Up Boom part XII: Policies of Insolvency

jerry said...

I am afraid we will see nothing but chaos as we move into the new year. For many Americans, not unlike BushCo, they have their heads buried in the sand avoiding the coming rage of fire with no fire lines being drawn. The Dominos are lining up all by themselves: foreclosures, pink slips, bankruptcies, retail disasters, manufacturing slow downs for many big corporations (autos), evaporation of new home construction, deterioration of the commercial construction industry, the money pit of the military and Homeland Security industrial complex, coming increases in fuel costs, growing unemployment, despair and more.

Add to it the inflationary picture, and what we have is a massive wild fire raging through the nation and the world.

I do not believe in much other than reality, and the here-and-now. I able to put my arms around such allegories as the Matrix representing something that is existing today. But, I really believe that those uber-rich international comptrollers manipulating the leaders of the world have lost their grip on this one. This economic tsunami is bigger than their small minds can handle. They aren't all that smart; they just want us to think so.

We will see how it all unfolds. Since no one in the G-20 is moving all that fast, they will get burned before they jump into some sort of action.

FOFOA said...

PPT on CNBC: Posted on LeMetropole:

Well, well, well … it’s early morning and a guest on CNBC’s Squawk Box blurted out in vociferous fashion about how The Working Group on Financial Markets, or the Plunge Protection Team, has been active in the S&P futures markets … most notably on October 10 and 24. He mentioned that late market action in which the S&P rose 100 points from low to high for no apparent reason, and that the US Government was in no mood to let the markets close for the weekend(s) in a near state of panic.

Well, you can imagine the horror on the faces of The Muppets, especially as this guest, Scott Nations, President of Fortress Trading, refused to back down and kept right on despite protests from the Planet Wall Street apologist hosts. Some reactions and observations…

*Economist Steve Leisman said he had heard from others about the PPT, but that this was the FIRST time it had been mentioned on the show, perhaps even on CNBC. Leisman wanted more specifics, proof. Scott Nations mentioned the George Stephanopoulos ABC public comment regarding the activities of the PPT during the Clinton Administration.

*Becky Bimbo, the one who goes around the world sucking up to Warren Buffet, almost went apoplectic, saying this PPT comment in no way represented the views of CNBC in any way. She was taken aback and acted like this guy had no right to an opinion such as that in America.

*Bank of America economist, Mickey Levy, was immediately praised, especially after he said the PPT notion was silly, while he frowned disdainfully.

*Scott Nations came back with the government is in the bond market, why not the stock market?

*To his credit host Joe Kernan mentioned that with all the money thrown around by Washington these days, that a billion here and a billion there could really move the S&P around in a short period of time.

For some reason Kernan would not let up, questioning UBS Financial Services Director of Floor Operations, Art Cashin, next, who got his Irish dander up …. decrying it was Black Helicopter stuff and "conspiracy crap."

Kernan pressed him further about others saying the same thing regarding a PPT and Cashin began to stutter, becoming madder and madder. Cashin came across as an ole goat of a man, whose 40 year commentary from the floor and dealings in the market had been threatened.

*The net, net from The Muppets was the talk of a PPT was just internet conspiracy talk. Yet, Kernan and Leisman obviously have been bombarded with such talk, and NOT from the internet.

*Most of the Muppets/Planet Wall Street, like Becky the "B" and Cashin can’t handle the truth.

*And finally, and I can say this from personal experience, "Scott" has made his last appearance on CNBC.

jerry said...

Here is the intro to the article:

"The financial crisis is deepening, with the risk of seriously disrupting the system of international payments.

This crisis is far more serious than the Great Depression. All major sectors of the global economy are affected. Recent reports suggest that the system of Letters of Credit as well as international shipping, which constitute the lifeline of the international trading system, are potentially in jeopardy.

The proposed bank "bailout" under the so-called Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is not a "solution" to the crisis but the "cause" of further collapse.

The "bailout" contributes to a further process of destabilization of the financial architecture. It transfers large amounts of public money, at taxpayers expense, into the hands of private financiers. It leads to a spiraling public debt and an unprecedented centralization of banking power. Moreover, the bailout money is used by the financial giants to secure corporate acquisitions both in the financial sector and the real economy.

In turn, this unprecedented concentration of financial power spearheads entire sectors of industry and the services economy into bankruptcy, leading to the layoff of tens of thousands of workers.

The upper spheres of Wall Street overshadow the real economy. The accumulation of large amounts of money wealth by a handful of Wall Street conglomerates and their associated hedge funds is reinvested in the acquisition of real assets.

Paper wealth is transformed into the ownership and control of real productive assets, including industry, services, natural resources, infrastructure, etc."

This is nothing new to all of the readers on this blog, yet is still a good piece to read. As the middle suffers, BushCo is working hard to hand over more wealth, issued by the taxpayers, so they can control the hard assets that still remain. Very troubling stuff.

jerry said...

The following was copied from the site:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Today's Markets
"I've been carping on the consolidation triangle occurring in the market. Notice that today me moved below that level and then rallied above. Technically that is very important because it indicates 84 is an important level for traders.

Also note this is now the fourth time the SPY's have tested that level only to rally from it.
On the two day chart in 5-minute increments notice the following:

-- Prices consolidated around the 84 level.

-- Prices broke through this level.

-- Prices rallied from this level on increasing volume.

Very positive move technically."

jerry said...

Market ticker guy has another viewpoint:

"Don't Believe The Rally---

(you have to read the charts first)
These three charts tell you everything you need to know. Commercial Real Estate is a train wreck and about to go supercritical and the credit markets are so sure there will be zero inflation over the next 13 weeks that people are willing to accept essentially zero to park money in 13 week T-Bills.

The TARP/EESA has done nothing to stabilize anything. It has provided a drink to a drunk, but the drunk is now once again going through DTs. CONgress was once again lied to today, and the proof is in the charts above - there is no way you can make the argument that "the credit markets have been saved" with that data above.

The market does not lie but people testifying before Congress sure as hell do!

Oh, and if you think that the FDIC presentation today on CSPAN is truly a model for "preventing foreclosures", you might not want to read this:

"Industry evidence indicates that in a majority of instances loan modifications simply delay the timeline from default to foreclosure but don't prevent them from taking place," Nathaniel Otis and William Clark, analysts at KBW, wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.

For the industry in general, after mortgages are modified roughly 25% go delinquent again after just one post-modification payment and more than half end up delinquent after several post-modification payments, Lender Processing Services told the analysts.

So much for "putting a floor under home prices", "keeping people in their homes" and "an effective program to prevent foreclosures."

I know, I know, telling the truth is difficult in front of Congress, as we've seen, and Congress is too spineless to issue a contempt citation (or ten.) They sure don't want truth-tellers on their panels, or they'd have invited people like Mish and myself to come testify!

As for GM, Ford and Chrysler: All I heard tonight was "blah-blah-blah give me money."

To GM, Ford and Chrysler: GO TO HELL.

Further, if CONgress passes this crap you will immediately hear a call here on The Market Ticker to permanently BOYCOTT the American automakers, and I've already got a bumper sticker order ready to go. It'll be "send me a SASE, I'll stuff 'em with stickers." Stickerguy, here I come again!

If Congress won't do the right thing and force these turkeys through Chapter 11 where they can shed 75% of their dealerships and their labor agreements, including the "Jobs Bank" (paying people who are furloughed is asinine) I say we kill 'em the old-fashioned way - stop buying their crap.

FOFOA said...

Here's the video of the PPT discussion on CNBC!

Chetlv said...

Ron Paul on Fox Business News 11/18/2008

Anonymous said...

Bad day on the stock market today again. Wow.

We will be a nation divided into two classes soon - billionaires (small group) and those who absolutely destitute (starving masses.)

Our nation as we know it is over forever. Finished. Bye bye.

Feeling pessimistic today, thinking even the new administration won't be able to save us.


jerry said...

LL, I know exactly how you are feeling! It is an empty feeling. I am not sure how it will all turn out, either. But, there are only 300-400 ultra rich and 300 million of the rest of us. Those are pretty good odds.

I do feel that the nation will go through the fire, not unlike other eras. Think about the devastation following the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the First Depression. The nation got through it and went forward. It will once again. I feel that in order to pay for change, the wars in the Middle East must end immediately, all 600 foreign bases must close down, the ultra-rich need to get taxed, corporations that outsource either move back or get hit with a big tariff, and nations that keep their currencies low just to sell us their stuff, need to get taxed, too. That would give us an immediate at-home tax flow. I am not sure Obama is headed in that direction. We will see.

Randy said...

ChetLV - I watched that video last night; linked at Dollarcollapse - EXCELLENT!

LL, You are not alone in the negative thought process. It's going to get far, far worse.

Jerry, I posted up a link to your latest Blog Post on my main page - thanks

My best regards to all of you and thanks for continuing to post up your thoughts, links and ideas.


Anonymous said...

hi randy,couldnt make ut on the gold options, but appreciate your blog

Randy said...

Anon 6:02,

My apologies for the bad influence leading to your ultimate decision. As stated previously, I've had my rear-end handed to me using options and I now stay away from them.

Appreciate your readership and contributions to this blog.


Chetlv said...

It's friday so here's something to cheer everyone up.

30 Reasons For The 2nd Great Depression by 2011 :D

Justin_n_IL said...

It's Friday and here...........

Collapsing the Economy in the Buildup to World War III: 11 of the Most Important Economic Events of the Last 11 Years

Justin_n_IL said...

Death of the Dollar?

Next Dimensions said...

Perth Mint suspends Gold sales

Ellen said...

the Perth Mint has stopped selling them, until January they say.
Mint suspends orders amid rush to buy bullion
November 22, 2008

Article from: The Australian
FEARS of the unknown long-term effects from the global financial crisis have sparked a new gold rush.

With retail and wholesale clients around the world stocking up on the precious metal, the Perth Mint has been forced to suspend orders.

As the World Gold Council reported that the dollar demand for gold reached a quarterly record of $US32 billion ($50.73 billion) in the third quarter, industry insiders said the race to secure physical gold had reached an intensity that had never been witnessed before.

Perth Mint sales and marketing director Ron Currie said the unprecedented demand had forced the Mint to cease orders until January, with staff working seven days a week, 24-hour days, over three shifts to meet orders.

He said Europe was leading the demand, with Russia, Ukraine, Middle East and US all buying -- making up 80 per cent of its sales. One European client purchased 30,000 ounces for $33 million.

"We have never seen this before and are working right at capacity. And we are seeing it from clients in the shop buying one ounce, right up to 30,000 ounces from overseas clients," Mr Currie said.

Robert Jaggard, manager of bullion and rare coins dealer Jaggards, said business had picked up strongly and he expected it to increase further.

"All around the world there has been a heavy run on physical gold and there is a shortage of supply," he said.

Mr Jaggard, who has been dealing in gold for 40 years and is an agent for the Perth Mint, said some clients were buying up to $1million worth of gold, paying a premium above the spot price.

Late yesterday afternoon, spot gold in Sydney was trading at $US747.30 an ounce, up $US8.15 on Thursday's local close.

"Professional business people who have previously bought small amounts now want more gold because they are suffering in other markets," Mr Jaggard said.

At a conference this week in Munich, delegates were lined up 30-deep to purchase physical gold. And reports out of the Middle East suggested that there had been unprecedented gold buying in Saudi Arabia during the first half of November, with an estimated $US3.5 billion purchased in recent weeks.

The World Gold Council, releasing its global demand trends yesterday, said identifiable investment demand, which incorporates demand for gold through exchange-traded funds and bars and coins, was the biggest contributor to overall demand during the quarter. It was up to $US10.7 billion, double last year's levels.

The figures showed retail investment demand rose 121 per cent to 232 tonnes in the third quarter, with strong bar and coin buying reported in Swiss, German and US markets.

The quarter also witnessed widespread reports of gold shortages among bullion dealers across the globe, as investors searched for a haven. Overall, quarter three saw Europe reach an all-time record 51 tonnes of bar and coin buying. France became a net investor in gold for the first time since the early 1980s.

World Gold Council chief executive James Burton said gold's universal role as a store of value had shone through during the quarter, helping attract investors and consumers to all forms of gold ownership.

"The rise in demand for gold bars and coins has been impressive," he said.

Demand in India, the largest market for gold, recovered during the third quarter, encouraged by lower gold prices, a good monsoon and the onset of the festive season. At 250 tonnes, total consumer demand was 31 per cent higher than the same period last year. In value terms, demand hit the record quarterly sum of $US5 billion.

Randy said...

CNI is nearly cleaned out after the nice Gold/Silver Rally today:

CNI Link

Anonymous said...

Argentinians take another hit:


Ellen said...

Iran puts itself back on the gold standard

TEHRAN, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Iran has converted financial reserves into gold to avoid future problems, an adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in comments published on Saturday, after the price of oil fell more than 60 percent from a peak in July.
Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, is under U.N. and U.S. sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme and is now also facing declining revenue from its oil exports after crude prices tumbled.
"With the plans of the presidency...the country's money reserves were changed into gold so that we wouldn't be faced with many problems in the future," presidential adviser Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi was quoted as saying by business daily Poul.
He gave no figures or other details.
Before oil prices plunged by more than 60 percent from a peak of $147 per barrel in July, Iran made windfall gains from its crude exports and in April estimated its foreign exchange reserves at about $80 billion.
Iranian officials in July denied reports Iranian banks were moving funds from Europe, with one report suggesting as much as $75 billion had been withdrawn and converted into gold or placed in Asian banks, because of a threat of tightening sanctions.
The International Monetary Fund said in August that if the price of Iranian crude fell to $75 a barrel, Iran would face a current account deficit in the medium term that would be tough to sustain due to Tehran's financial isolation.
On Friday, U.S. crude fell $1.20 at $57.04.
Gold futures ended more than 5 percent higher on Friday and bullion ended the week about $10 higher compared with its last Friday's close of $735.95 as investors covered short positions. (Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian; Writing Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Jan Dahinten)

Justin_n_IL said...

For those of you who like to hunt check out this post.

Virgo said...

Hey Randy, what is this I hear about a possible general mobilization of retired US military personnel? Does this have any merit? I know you were in the military and I was just wondering. Thanks.

Randy said...


I still deal with the military quite a bit and this is the first I've heard of it. Additionally, I have not received a letter.

After a few google searches, I believe this is a hoax or a bad rumor - At least I hope so:

"Armed Forces Begin General Mobilization"

"General Mobilization - Hoax?"

Justin_n_IL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin_n_IL said...

Shocking but true. Citi gets a bailout too!!! WOO HOO...... the currency of America is about to be revealed for what it is. It is a scam and soon all will know. The horse is out of the barn 2 months ago.

Ever since the Fed Reserve it's been an outright crooked enslavement of the American people via their labor for a paper money. But why? Call it reaping what you sow or call it karma. To busy pondering another home run swing with the Louisville Slugger(Tops in the credit department. The World over.)

Vigilance? Truly a thing of a far away past. Wow, I mean WOW. Lately I've just been sitting back taking it all in. Possibly even downright mum about things.

Justin_n_IL said...

Justin_n_IL said...

Justin_n_IL said...

Randy said...


Here's a hyperlink (for the ease of others to view) of the video you posted. Holy Cow - Did you watch Paulsons face throughout the interview? He's scared shitless!!
Bush & Paulson Press report on Citicorp

Randy said...


Appreciate the article links- For others: Here they are in hyperlink form

WSJ: The Fed Is Out of Ammunition

WSJ: Anatomy of the Morgan Stanley Panic

jerry said...

Money Changer's video on the US central bank history.

around 1:30 into the video talks about the silver/gold standard

FOFOA said...

Alf Field's FINAL update

Highly recommended reading for anyone following gold. ;)

jerry said...

My above video link: at time ~1:50 The Fed's creation of bonds and fractional reserve currency system

jerry said...

My above video link: at time 2:47 what happened to US gold?

jerry said...

Above video link: 2:54 Bretton Woods

jerry said...

above video link: opinion on how to end fractional reserve lending, at 3:11, using US debt free notes to retire US bond debt.

jerry said...

this Money Master's video, appears to have been made around 1994-95, and the author, Bill Still, was predicting a US depression if the stock market were to crash, and the Fed were to contract the money supply through the restriction of credit. This has been done through the banking bail-out process concentrating our debt "wealth" into the hands of the banker thieves. His prediction is actually happening today! The Fed is putting the nation's debt "wealth" into the hands of the bankers, who now have complete control of the distribution of credit and control of trillions of dollars of money they now hold.
It is all coming true. This 3-1/2 video is worth watching.

Randy said...


Excellent article on gold - thanks.
Bottom line to Alf's Analysis and I concur: $6-10K gold in our future.

Jerry, Yes, superb video. I watched it ~ 2yrs ago and recommend it to all.

Randy said...

Bloomberg: U.S. Pledges Top $7.7 Trillion to Ease Frozen Credit

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government is prepared to provide more than $7.76 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers after guaranteeing $306 billion of Citigroup Inc. debt yesterday. The pledges, amounting to half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, are intended to rescue the financial system after the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

The unprecedented pledge of funds includes $3.18 trillion already tapped by financial institutions in the biggest response to an economic emergency since the New Deal of the 1930s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The commitment dwarfs the plan approved by lawmakers, the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Federal Reserve lending last week was 1,900 times the weekly average for the three years before the crisis.

When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. Now, as regulators commit far more money while refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return, some Congress members are calling for the Fed to be reined in.

“Whether it’s lending or spending, it’s tax dollars that are going out the window and we end up holding collateral we don’t know anything about,” said Congressman Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. “The time has come that we consider what sort of limitations we should be placing on the Fed so that authority returns to elected officials as opposed to appointed ones.”

Too Big to Fail

Bloomberg News tabulated data from the Fed, Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and interviewed regulatory officials, economists and academic researchers to gauge the full extent of the government’s rescue effort.

The bailout includes a Fed program to buy as much as $2.4 trillion in short-term notes, called commercial paper, that companies use to pay bills, begun Oct. 27, and $1.4 trillion from the FDIC to guarantee bank-to-bank loans, started Oct. 14.

William Poole, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said the two programs are unlikely to lose money. The bigger risk comes from rescuing companies perceived as “too big to fail,” he said.

‘Credit Risk’

The government committed $29 billion to help engineer the takeover in March of Bear Stearns Cos. by New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. and $122.8 billion in addition to TARP allocations to bail out New York-based American International Group Inc., once the world’s largest insurer.

Citigroup received $306 billion of government guarantees for troubled mortgages and toxic assets. The Treasury Department also will inject $20 billion into the bank after its stock fell 60 percent last week.

“No question there is some credit risk there,” Poole said.

Congressman Darrell Issa, a California Republican on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said risk is lurking in the programs that Poole thinks are safe.

“The thing that people don’t understand is it’s not how likely that the exposure becomes a reality, but what if it does?” Issa said. “There’s no transparency to it so who’s to say they’re right?”

The worst financial crisis in two generations has erased $23 trillion, or 38 percent, of the value of the world’s companies and brought down three of the biggest Wall Street firms.

Markets Down

The Dow Jones Industrial Average through Friday is down 38 percent since the beginning of the year and 43 percent from its peak on Oct. 9, 2007. The S&P 500 fell 45 percent from the beginning of the year through Friday and 49 percent from its peak on Oct. 9, 2007. The Nikkei 225 Index has fallen 46 percent from the beginning of the year through Friday and 57 percent from its most recent peak of 18,261.98 on July 9, 2007. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is down 78 percent, to $53.31, on Friday from its peak of $247.92 on Oct. 31, 2007, and 75 percent this year.

Regulators hope the rescue will contain the damage and keep banks providing the credit that is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy.

Most of the spending programs are run out of the New York Fed, whose president, Timothy Geithner, is said to be President- elect Barack Obama’s choice to be Treasury Secretary.

‘They Got Snookered’

The money that’s been pledged is equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It’s nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country’s mortgages.

“It’s unprecedented,” said Bob Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at Vineland, New Jersey-based Cumberland Advisors Inc. and an economist for the Atlanta Fed for 10 years until January. “The backlash has begun already. Congress is taking a lot of hits from their constituents because they got snookered on the TARP big time. There’s a lot of supposedly smart people who look to be totally incompetent and it’s all going to fall on the taxpayer.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s, when almost 10,000 banks failed and there was no mechanism to bolster them with cash, is the only rival to the government’s current response. The savings and loan bailout of the 1990s cost $209.5 billion in inflation-adjusted numbers, of which $173 billion came from taxpayers, according to a July 1996 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office, now called the Government Accountability Office.

‘Worst Crisis’

The 1979 U.S. government bailout of Chrysler consisted of bond guarantees, adjusted for inflation, of $4.2 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation report.

The commitment of public money is appropriate to the peril, said Ethan Harris, co-head of U.S. economic research at Barclays Capital Inc. and a former economist at the New York Fed. U.S. financial firms have taken writedowns and losses of $666.1 billion since the beginning of 2007, according to Bloomberg data.

“This is the worst capital markets crisis in modern history,” Harris said. “So you have the biggest intervention in modern history.”

Bloomberg has requested details of Fed lending under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and filed a federal lawsuit against the central bank Nov. 7 seeking to force disclosure of borrower banks and their collateral.

Collateral is an asset pledged to a lender in the event a loan payment isn’t made.

‘That’s Counterproductive’

“Some have asked us to reveal the names of the banks that are borrowing, how much they are borrowing, what collateral they are posting,” Bernanke said Nov. 18 to the House Financial Services Committee. “We think that’s counterproductive.”

The Fed should account for the collateral it takes in exchange for loans to banks, said Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp. and a former research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“There is a lack of transparency here and, given that the Fed is taking on a huge amount of credit risk now, it would seem to me as a taxpayer there should be more transparency,” Kasriel said.

Bernanke’s Fed is responsible for $4.74 trillion of pledges, or 61 percent of the total commitment of $7.76 trillion, based on data compiled by Bloomberg concerning U.S. bailout steps started a year ago.

“Too often the public is focused on the wrong piece of that number, the $700 billion that Congress approved,” said J.D. Foster, a former staff member of the Council of Economic Advisers who is now a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. “The other areas are quite a bit larger.”

Fed Rescue Efforts

The Fed’s rescue attempts began last December with the creation of the Term Auction Facility to allow lending to dealers for collateral. After Bear Stearns’s collapse in March, the central bank started making direct loans to securities firms at the same discount rate it charges commercial banks, which take customer deposits.

In the three years before the crisis, such average weekly borrowing by banks was $48 million, according to the central bank. Last week it was $91.5 billion.

The failure of a second securities firm, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., in September, led to the creation of the Commercial Paper Funding Facility and the Money Market Investor Funding Facility, or MMIFF. The two programs, which have pledged $2.3 trillion, are designed to restore calm in the money markets, which deal in certificates of deposit, commercial paper and Treasury bills.

Lehman Failure

“Money markets seized up after Lehman failed,” said Neal Soss, chief economist at Credit Suisse Group in New York and a former aide to Fed chief Paul Volcker. “Lehman failing made a lot of subsequent actions necessary.”

The FDIC, chaired by Sheila Bair, is contributing 20 percent of total rescue commitments. The FDIC’s $1.4 trillion in guarantees will amount to a bank subsidy of as much as $54 billion over three years, or $18 billion a year, because borrowers will pay a lower interest rate than they would on the open market, according to Raghu Sundurum and Viral Acharya of New York University and the London Business School.

Congress and the Treasury have ponied up $892 billion in TARP and other funding, or 11.5 percent.

The Federal Housing Administration, overseen by Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steven Preston, was given the authority to guarantee $300 billion of mortgages, or about 4 percent of the total commitment, with its Hope for Homeowners program, designed to keep distressed borrowers from foreclosure.

Federal Guarantees

Most of the federal guarantees reduce interest rates on loans to banks and securities firms, which would create a subsidy of at least $6.6 billion annually for the financial industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg comparing rates charged by the Fed against market interest currently paid by banks.

Not included in the calculation of pledged funds is an FDIC proposal to prevent foreclosures by guaranteeing modifications on $444 billion in mortgages at an expected cost of $24.4 billion to be paid from the TARP, according to FDIC spokesman David Barr. The Treasury Department hasn’t approved the program.

Bernanke and Paulson, former chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, have also promised as much as $200 billion to shore up nationalized mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a pledge that hasn’t been allocated to any agency. The FDIC arranged for $139 billion in loan guarantees for General Electric Co.’s finance unit.

Automakers Struggle

The tally doesn’t include money to General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC. Obama has said he favors financial assistance to keep them from collapse.

Paulson told the House Financial Services Committee Nov. 18 that the $250 billion already allocated to banks through the TARP is an investment, not an expenditure.

“I think it would be extraordinarily unusual if the government did not get that money back and more,” Paulson said.

In his Nov. 18 testimony, Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee that the central bank wouldn’t lose money.

“We take collateral, we haircut it, it is a short-term loan, it is very safe, we have never lost a penny in these various lending programs,” he said.

A haircut refers to the practice of lending less money than the collateral’s current market value.

Requiring the Fed to disclose loan recipients might set off panic, said David Tobin, principal of New York-based loan-sale consultants and investment bank Mission Capital Advisors LLC.

‘Mark to Market’

“If you mark to market today, the banking system is bankrupt,” Tobin said. “So what do you do? You try to keep it going as best you can.”

“Mark to market” means adjusting the value of an asset, such as a mortgage-backed security, to reflect current prices.

Some of the bailout assistance could come from tax breaks in the future. The Treasury Department changed the tax code on Sept. 30 to allow banks to expand the deductions on the losses banks they were buying, according to Robert Willens, a former Lehman Brothers tax and accounting analyst who teaches at Columbia University Business School in New York.

Wells Fargo & Co., which is buying Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia Corp., will be able to deduct $22 billion, Willens said. Adding in other banks, the code change will cost $29 billion, he said.

“The rule is now popularly known among tax lawyers as the ‘Wells Fargo Notice,’” Willens said.

The regulation was changed to make it easier for healthy banks to buy troubled ones, said Treasury Department spokesman Andrew DeSouza.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said he was angry that banks used the money for acquisitions.

“The only purpose for this money is to lend,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. “It’s not for dividends, it’s not for purchases of new banks, it’s not for bonuses. There better be a showing of increased lending roughly in the amount of the capital infusions” or Congress may not approve the second half of the TARP money.

Justin_n_IL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin_n_IL said...

Food for thought in this article. However those of you who know my far left field take on things I don't see much of anything happening under Obama. He will last but a few months, possibly a little over a year. Heart attack, freak accident, etc. But not before he hikes taxes beyond the moon.

Next Dimensions said...

anyone have a comment about this chart?

Anonymous said...

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