Monday, April 8, 2013

The Diabolical Bank “Bail-In” Proposal

Is the Cyprus Bank “Bail-in” a “dress rehearsal” for things to come?
Is  a “Savings Heist” in the European Union and North America envisaged which could result in the outright confiscation of bank deposits?
In Cyprus, the entire payments system has been disrupted leading to the demise of the real economy.
Pensions and wages are no longer paid. Purchasing power has collapsed.
The population is impoverished.
Small and medium sized enterprises are spearheaded into bankruptcy.
Cyprus is a country with a population of one million.
What would happen if similar ‘hair cut” procedures were to be applied in the U.S. or the European Union?
According to the Washington based Institute of International Finance (IIF) (right) which represents the consensus of the global financial establishment, “the Cyprus approach of hitting depositors and creditors when banks fail, would likely become a model for dealing with collapses elsewhere in Europe.” (Economic Times, March 27, 2013).
It should be understood that prior to the Cyprus onslaught, the confiscation of bank deposits had been contemplated in several countries. Moreover, the powerful financial actors who triggered the bank crisis in Cyprus, are also the architects of  the socially devastating austerity measures imposed in the European Union and North America.
Does Cyprus constitute a “model” or scenario?
Are there “lessons to be learned” by these powerful financial actors, to be applied elsewhere, at some later stage, in the Eurozone’s banking landscape?
According to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), “hitting depositors” could become the “new normal” of this diabolical project, serving the interests of the global financial conglomerates.
This new normal is endorsed by the IMF and the European Central Bank.  According to the IIF which constitutes the banking elites mouthpiece,  “Investors would be well advised to see the outcome of Cyprus… as a reflection of how future stresses will be handled.”  (quoted in Economic Times, March 27, 2013)
“Financial Cleansing”. Bail-ins in the US and Britain 
What is at stake is a process of  “financial cleansing” whereby the “too big to fail banks” in Europe and North America (e.g. Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, et al ) displace and destroy lesser financial institutions, with a view to eventually taking over the entire “banking landscape”.
The underlying tendency at the national and global levels is towards the centralization and concentration of bank power, while leading to the dramatic slump of the real economy.
Bail ins have been envisaged in numerous countries. In New Zealand  a “haircut plan”   was envisaged as early as 1997 coinciding with Asian financial crisis.
There are provisions in both the UK and the US pertaining to the confiscation of bank deposits.  In a joint document of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England, entitled Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions, explicit  procedures were put forth whereby “the original creditors of the failed company “, meaning the depositors of  a failed bank, would be converted into “equity”. (See Ellen Brown, It Can Happen Here: The Bank Confiscation Scheme for US and UK Depositors,Global Research, March 2013)
What this means is that the money confiscated from bank accounts would be used to meet the failed bank’s financial obligations. In return, the holders of the confiscated bank deposits would become stockholders in a failed financial institution on the verge of bankruptcy.
Bank savings would be transformed overnight into an illusive concept of capital ownership. The confiscation of savings would be adopted under the disguise of  a bogus “compensation” in terms of equity.
What is envisaged is the application of  a selective process of  confiscation of bank deposits, with a view to collecting debt while also triggering the demise of “weaker” financial institutions. In the US, the procedure would bypass the provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which insures deposit holders against bank failures:
No exception is indicated for “insured deposits” in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive. The FDIC is an insurance company funded by premiums paid by private banks.  The directive is called a “resolution process,” defined elsewhere as a plan that “would be triggered in the event of the failure of an insurer . . . .” The only  mention of “insured deposits” is in connection with existing UK legislation, which the FDIC-BOE directive goes on to say is inadequate, implying that it needs to be modified or overridden. (Ibid)
Because depositors are provided with a bogus compensation, they are not eligible to the FDIC deposit insurance.
Canada’s Deposit Confiscation Proposal
The most candid statement of confiscation of bank deposits as a means to “saving the banks” is formulated in a recently released document of the Canadian government entitled Jobs, Growth and Long Term Prosperity: Economic Action Plan 2013″. 
The latter was submitted to the House of Commons by Canada’s Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty on March 21 as part of a so-called “pre-budget” proposal.
A short section of the 400 report entitled “Risk Management Framework for Domestic Systemically Important Banks” identifies bail-in procedure for Canada’s chartered banks. The word confiscation is not mentioned. Financial jargon serves to obfuscate the real intent which essentially consists in stealing people’s savings.
Under the Canadian “Risk Management” project:
 The Government proposes to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks.
 This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bankcan be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital.”
This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada.
What this signifies is that if one or more banks (or credit unions) were obliged to “systemically deplete their capital” to meet the demands of their creditors, the banks would be recapitalized through “the conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital.” 
The  “certain bank liabilities” pertains (in technical jargon) to the money they owe their customers, namely to their depositors, whose bank accounts would be confiscated in exchange for shares (equity) in a “failing” banking institution.
“This will reduce risks for taxpayers” is a nonsensical statement. What this really means is that the government will not provide funding to compensate depositors who are victims of a failed banking institution, nor will it come to rescue of the failed institution.
Instead the depositors will be obliged to give up their savings. The money confiscated will then be used by the bank to meet their liabilities contracted with major financial creditor institutions. In other words, this entire scheme is “a safety net” for too big to fail banks, a mechanism which enables them as creditors to overshadow lesser banking institutions including credit unions, while precipitating either their collapse or their takeover.
Canada’s Financial Landscape
The Risk Management Bail in initiative is of crucial significance for Canadians across the land: once it is adopted by the House of Commons as part of the budget package, the Bail-in procedures could be applied.
The Conservative government has a parliamentary majority. There is a good likelihood that the Economic Action Plan 2013″  which includes the Bail-in procedure will be adopted.
While Canada’s Risk Management Framework intimates that Canada’s banks “are at risk”, particularly those which have accumulated large debts (as a result of derivative losses), a generalised across the board application of the “Bail in” is not contemplated.
The likely scenario in the foreseeable future is that Canada’s “big five” banks, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal and CIBC (all of which have powerful affiliates operating in the US financial landscape) will consolidate their position at the expense of  lesser (provincial level) banks and financial institutions.
The Government document intimates that the Bail-in could be used selectively “in the unlikely event that one [bank] becomes non-viable.” What this suggests is that at least one or more of  Canada’s  “lesser banks” could be the object of a bail-in. Such a procedure would inevitably lead  to a greater concentration of bank capital in Canada, to the benefit of the larger financial conglomerates.
Displacement of Provincial Level Credit Unions and Cooperative Banks
There is an important network of over 300 provincial level credit unions and cooperative banks including the powerful Desjardins network in Quebec, the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity) and the Coastal Capital Savings in British Columbia, Servus in Alberta, Meridian in Ontario, the caisses populaires in Ontario (affiliated to Desjardins), among many others, which could be the target of selective “Bail-in” operations.
In this context, what is likely to occur is a significant weakening of provincial level cooperative financial institutions, which  have a governance relationship to their members (including representative councils) and which, in the present context, offer an alternative to the Big Five chartered banks. According to recent data, there are more than 300 credit unions and caisses populaires in Canada which are members of  the “Credit Union Central of Canada”.
New Normal: International Standards Governing the Confiscation of Bank Deposits
Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013″  acknowledges that the proposed Bail-in framework “will be consistent with reforms in other countries and key international standards”. Namely, the proposed pattern of confiscating bank deposits as described in the Canadian government document is consistent with the model contemplated in the US and the European Union.  This model is currently a “talking point” (behind closed doors) at various international venues regrouping central bank governors and finance ministers.
The regulatory agency involved in these multilateral consultations is the Financial Stability Board (FSB) based in Basel, Switzerland and hosted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) (image right). The FSB  happens to be chaired by the governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, who was recently appointed by the British government to head the Bank of England starting in June 2013.
Mark Carney, as Governor of the Bank of Canada, was instrumental in shaping the provisions of the Bail-in for Canada’s chartered banks. Before his career in central banking, he was a senior executive at Goldman Sachs, which has played a behind the scenes role in the implementation of the bank bailouts and austerity measures in the EU.
The FSB’s mandate would be to coordinate the bail-in procedures, in liaison with the “national financial authorities” and “international standard setting bodies” which include the IMF and the BIS. It should come as no surprise: the deposit confiscation procedures in the UK, the US and Canada examined above are remarkably similar.
Bank “Bail-ins” vs. Bank “Bail-outs”
The bailouts are “rescue packages” whereby the government allocates a significant portion of State revenues in favor of failed financial institutions. The money is channeled from the coffers of the State to the banking conglomerates.
In the US in 2008-2009, a total of $1.45 trillion was channeled to Wall Street financial institutions as part of the Bush and Obama rescue packages.
These bailouts were considered as a De facto government expenditure category. They required the implementation of austerity measures. Together with massive hikes in military expenditure, the bailouts were financed through drastic cuts in social programs including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
In contrast to the Bailout, which is funded from the public purse, the “Bail-in” requires the (in-house) confiscation of bank deposits. The bail-ins are implemented without the use of public funds. The regulatory mechanism is established by the central bank.
At the outset of Obama’s first term in January 2009, a bank bailout of the order of $750 billion was announced by Obama, which was added on to the 700 billion dollar bailout money allocated by the outgoing Bush administration under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).
The total of both programs was a staggering 1.45 trillion dollars to be financed by the US Treasury. (It should be understood that the actual amount of cash financial “aid” to the banks was significantly larger than $1.45 trillion. In addition to this amount defence allocations to fund Obama’s war economy (FY 2010) was a staggering $739 billion. Namely the bank bailouts plus defence combined ($2189 billion) eat up almost the totality of the federal revenues which in FY 2010 amounted to $2381 billion.
Concluding remarks
What is occurring is that the bank bailouts are no longer functional. At the outset of Obama’s Second term, the coffers of the state are empty. The austerity measures have reached a deadlock.
The bank bail-ins are now being contemplated instead of  the “bank bailouts”.
The lower and middle income groups which are invariably indebted will not be the main target. The appropriation of bank deposits would essentially target the upper middle and upper income groups which have significant bank deposits. The second target will be the bank accounts of small and medium sized firms.
This transition is part of the evolution of the global economic crisis and the impasse underlying the application of the austerity measures.
The purpose of the global financial actors is to wipe out competitors, consolidate and centralize bank power and exert an overriding control over the real economy, the institutions of government and the military.
Even if the bail-ins were to be regulated and applied selectively to a limited number of failing financial institutions, credit unions, etc, the announcement of a program of confiscation of deposits could potentially lead to a generalized “run on the banks”. In this context, no banking institution would be regarded as safe.
The application of Bail-in procedures involving deposit confiscation (even when applied locally or selectively) would create financial havoc. It would interrupt the payments process. Wages would no longer be paid. Purchasing power would collapse. Money for investment in plant and equipment would no longer be forthcoming. Small and medium sized businesses would be precipitated into bankruptcy.
The application of a Bail-In in the EU or North America would initiate a new phase of the global financial crisis, a deepening of the economic depression, a greater centralization of banking and finance, increased concentration of corporate power in the real economy to the detriment of regional and local level enterprises.
In turn, an entire global banking network characterized by electronic transactions (which govern deposits, withdrawals, etc), –not to mention money transactions on the stock and commodity markets– could potentially be the object of significant disruptions of a systemic nature.
The social consequences would be devastating. The real economy would plummet as a result of the collapse in the payments system.
The potential disruptions in the functioning of an integrated global monetary system could result in a a renewed global economic meltdown as well as a drop off in international commodity trade.
It is important that people across the land, in the European Union and North America, nationally and internationally, forcefully act against the diabolical ploys of their governments –acting on behalf of dominant financial interests– to implement a selective process of  bank deposit confiscation.


U.S. sees highest poverty spike since the 1960s

The number of Americans living in poverty has spiked to levels not seen since the mid 1960s, classing 20 per cent of the country’s children as poor.

It comes at a time when government spending cuts of $85 billion have kicked in after feuding Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on a better plan for addressing the national deficit.

The cuts will directly affect 50 million Americans living below the poverty income line and reduce their chances of finding work and a better life.

Before spending cuts kicked in on March 1st, 49-year-old Antonio Hammond became a success story for Catholic Charities of Baltimore - one of a multitude of organizations trying to haul people out of poverty.

In this Maryland port city, one of four residents is considered poor by U.S. government standards.

Hammond says he ended up in Baltimore three years ago, addicted to crack cocaine and snorting heroin, living in abandoned buildings where "the rats were fierce," and financing his addiction by breaking into cars and stealing copper pipes out of crumbing structures.

Eighteen months after finding his way to Catholic Charities via a rehabilitation center, the Philadelphia native is back in the work force, clean of drugs, earning $13 an hour cleaning laboratories for the Biotech Institute of Maryland and paying taxes.

Catholic Charities, which runs a number of federally funded programs, spent $18,000 from privately donated funds to turn around Hammond's life through the organization's Christopher's Place program which provides housing and support services to recovering addicts and former prisoners.

Such success stories are in danger as billions in federal government spending cuts begin squeezing services for the poor nationwide.

They are hitting as the U.S. slowly climbs out of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

"All I wanted to do was get high," Hammond said. "I didn't even know any more how to eat or clean myself."

Now he lives with two other men in housing subsidized by the charity, got his driver's license and bought a car. What he marvels at the most is that he has been accepted after a 20-year absence by some of his nine children. That's the best part, he said. "At least I know now they might not hate me."

The U.S. Census Bureau puts the number of Americans in poverty at levels not seen since the mid-1960s when President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the federal government's so-called War on Poverty.

As President Barack Obama began his second term in January, nearly 50 million Americans — one in six — were living below the income line that defines poverty, according to the bureau. A family of four that earns less than $23,021 a year is listed as living in poverty.

The bureau said 20 percent of the country's children are poor.

Although it is far from the country's poorest city, Baltimore's poverty rate far outstrips the national average of one in six.

Catholic Charities of Baltimore is a conduit for state and federal money for programs designed to help the poor. The charity plays a major role in administering Head Start, a federal program that provides educational services for low-income pre-school children and frees single mothers to find work without the huge expense of childcare.

The spending cuts, known as the sequester, are going to hit Head Start especially hard.

"Before the sequester only half of the need was being met. Now, after the cuts fully take effect, there will be 900 children already in the program who won't be able to take part," said William McCarthy, executive director of Catholic Charities.

There is no question the national belt-tightening "will deepen and increase poverty," said McCarthy, citing the cuts in long-term care for poor seniors including assisted living and nursing care, and fewer low-income housing spaces, among other ripple effects.

Under the spending cuts, Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano said his agency faces a $25 million shortfall in funds to help poor people with housing.

There are 35,000 people on the waiting list. He also lamented cuts that will hamper the city's efforts to clean up or demolish blighted neighborhoods.

Baltimore has 15,000 vacant and abandoned structures as a result of a steep population decline over the past half century.

"It's very, very disheartening. We take a couple of steps forward and then fall back at least one. The private sector isn't going to fix these neighborhoods. I view these things as investments, not expenditures. These things are an investment in the future that bring returns many times over," he said.

While the U.S. economy is slowly recovering, improvements for those deep in poverty do not keep pace with the cuts now in place.

The spending reductions going into effect will hit hardest at Americans whose prospects are not directly tied to the economy — people like Antonio Hammond and children in the Head Start pre-school programs.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Baltimore depends on federal grants and funding for 12 percent of its budget.

The austerity cuts "to housing programs_as well as those to public safety, health, and education_will have an adverse effect on Baltimore and throughout the country," she said.

The cuts, which will also hit U.S. defense spending, were designed two years ago as an incentive for lawmakers to avoid a standoff over the federal debt and a potential government shutdown.

The measures were seen as so onerous as to force Republicans and Democrats in Congress to reach a compromise spending plan. But compromise proved impossible before the March 1 deadline, and what were once seen as unthinkable cuts automatically went into effect.

Democrats want a deficit reduction plan that includes some spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy. Republicans balk at any more tax increases and insist the problem should be addressed solely by reigning in spending. That feud continues as the two sides battle out future fiscal issues.

Republicans want to see even more cuts in next year's budget, reductions that would, by and large, return military spending to pre-sequester levels and provide big tax benefits to wealthy Americans.

A 2014 budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, the vice presidential candidate on the unsuccessful Republican presidential ticket last year, would be particularly tough on social safety net programs.

His plan would slash $135 billion over the next decade from the program that provides food aid for low-income Americans. Nearly three-quarters of households receiving help from the program include children, who, census figures show, are the group hardest hit by poverty.

Ryan's plan would also turn the government's Medicare health insurance program for Americans age 65 and over into a voucher system, providing direct government payments to seniors who would then try to buy insurance on the private market.

Ryan defends his drive for austerity as necessary to begin shrinking the country's $16 trillion national debt.

"If we never balance the budget, if we keep adding deficit upon deficit we have a debt crisis like Europe has.

That means seniors lose their health care benefit, that means the people in the safety net see the net cut and they go in the street.

That means you have a recession. These are the things we prevent from happening by balancing the budget.

Balancing the budget is but a means to an end. It's growing the economy, it's creating opportunity, it's getting government to live within its means," he said in an interview with Fox News.

Obama backs increasing taxes on the wealthy while instituting smaller government spending cuts, a plan that would reduce deficit spending but more slowly. He and most fellow Democrats argue that European-style austerity has not worked there and will harm the U.S. recovery from the Great Recession.

It's an ideological fight that dates back decades. Republicans work from the premise that by unleashing the private sector and removing government controls, all Americans will prosper along with the economy and benefits will flow down to lower-income earners.

Democrats insist there is an essential role for government in putting a floor under the poor and helping local governments with problems that the private sector cannot or will not shoulder.

Some worry the gap between rich and poor in the U.S. will keep widening under the austerity measures.

According to a report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service late last year, "U.S.

income distribution appears to be among the most unequal of all major industrialized countries and the United States appears to be among the nations experiencing the greatest increases in measures of income."

Mary Anne O'Donnell, director of community services at Catholic Charities of Baltimore, said increasing income inequality has shown itself dramatically during the U.S. downturn.

"In the last three years, there's been a great change in the kinds of people we are serving. There are increasing numbers of people who owned a home, lost their jobs, end up living in their car and are coming with children to our soup kitchen," she said.

Her organization spent $126 million in the last fiscal year feeding the poor, helping them find jobs and housing, running nursing homes and putting men like Hammond back on their feet.

Of that figure, $98 million came from various programs funded by the city, state and federal governments. Those now face the big cuts as politicians in Washington fail to find a compromise.

Think Your Bank Deposits Will Always Be 100 Percent Guaranteed by the FDIC? Think Again.

I think this is a huge story, and it takes very little to tell it. These are the basics on deposit confiscation and how we got there:
■ You know that the EU-forced solution to the failure of banks in Cyprus is to require the Cypriot government to confiscate (“tax”) deposits. That news is everywhere you look; it’s not in dispute or doubt. The latest has depositor losses at 60% due to the bailout-related “one-time” tax.
■ “Confiscating deposits” is exactly the opposite of “insuring deposits,” which is what is required in the EU, and also offered by the FDIC (as the ads say, “your deposits are insured up to $250,000″).
■ The next monster taxpayer-financed bank bailout could spark a revolution. Find me anyone who isn’t a friend of Big Money who doesn’t hate the Bush-Obama bailout. Dem, Republican, Libertarian, frog-on-a-rock — no one liked the bailout.
■ This takes a taxpayer-financed bailout off the table as the next way to make bankers whole when they stumble.
■ But bankers are going to stumble soon, and big. The derivatives market is huge, and they’re aggressively reversing the tepid Dodd-Frank derivatives regulationsas we speak. Of course, friends-of-big-banks in Congress are helping (that’s you,Ann Kuster).
■ So the next big bailout (which is coming) will have to come from somewhere else.
Guess where that “somewhere else” is? Deposits.
Nations have already started to institute rules that enable deposit confiscation
There’s an international move by national governments to write regulations that permit deposit confiscation in the case of bank failure. This is exactly the Cyprus model, and if the news stories are correct, confiscating deposits was being considered or enabled prior to Cyprus bank-failures.
New Zealand (h/t a very alert reader last week; my emphasis and paragraphing):
National [Government] planning Cyprus-style solution for New Zealand
The National Government are pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts, the Green Party said today.
Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.
“Bill English is proposing a Cyprus-style solution for managing bank failure here in New Zealand – a solution that will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman. “The Reserve Bank is in the final stages of implementing a system of managing bank failure called Open Bank Resolution. The scheme will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their bank.
“Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep the bank afloat. …”
Here’s what the New Zealand government says about “Open Bank Resolution” (my emphasis):
What is an OBR?
The Open Bank Resolution policy is a tool for responding to a bank failure. It allows the bank to be open for full-scale or limited business on the next business day after being placed under statutory management (as a result of, for example, an insolvency event). This means that customers will be able to gain full or partial access to their accounts and other bank services, whilst an appropriate long-term solution to the bank’s failure is identified.  …
Why should depositors bail-out banks?
The OBR policy is designed to ensure that first losses are borne by the bank’s existing shareholders. In addition, a portion of depositors’ and other unsecured creditors’ funds will be frozen to bear any remaining losses. To the extent that these funds are not required to cover losses as more detailed assessment of the position of the bank is completed, these funds will be released to depositors. At a high level, this outcome replicates the outcome that would apply in the event that a failed bank was liquidated. The primary advantage of the OBR scheme, however, is that depositors would have access to a large proportion of their balances throughout the process. This contrasts with what would happen under a normal liquidation, where depositors might not have access to any of their funds for a significant period.
Why aren’t deposits guaranteed?
During the recent global financial crisis the government took the decision to put in place a temporary guarantee on retail deposits. On 11 March 2011 the Minister of Finance announced that further guarantees would not be provided following the expiry of the existing scheme. Furthermore, the Minister ruled out the possibility of introducing a compulsory deposit insurance scheme.
Read the rest if you like. That’s a government of New Zealand publication.
Deposit confiscation is being planned in the U.S. and the U.K.
Just as the New Zealand plan has been in process for a while, so is a similar plan in the U.S. and the U.K. This piece is making the rounds and making waves. It should (again, my emphasis; h/t a must-read DownWithTyranny piece):
It Can Happen Here: The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors
Posted on March 28, 2013 by Ellen Brown
Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlier here); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds. …
Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay. (See here and here.) But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.”  The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.
The 15-page FDIC-BOE document is called “Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.”  It begins by explaining that the 2008 banking crisis has made it clear that some other way besides taxpayer bailouts is needed to maintain “financial stability.” Evidently [the writers anticipate] that the next financial collapse will be on a grander scale than either the taxpayers or Congress is willing to underwrite …
No exception is indicated for “insured deposits” in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive. …
December 10, 2012 was pre-Cyprus. Deposit-confiscation wasn’t something cooked up on the fly. It’s been in the works for a while, by all the international Bigs. Note that the source of the negotiations is “the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland.” This is indeed international.
Bottom line
This proves three things, I think:
  1. Major governments exist, in part, to make sure no banker takes a loss anywhere in the world, regardless of risky behavior on the part of the banks. The world and its governments serve the bankers.
  2. The next banking crisis is anticipated to dwarf the last one, and the Bigs have been making plans to bail it out with depositor funds, not taxpayer funds. Cyprus is just the first implementation.
  3. Loss of deposit insurance is coming to the U.S.

The Rich vs. the Rest. "All your money are belong to us" indeed. The outcome has bloodshed written all over it.

The Assault On Gold

Go To Original

For Americans, financial and economic Armageddon might be close at hand. The evidence for this conclusion is the concerted effort by the Federal Reserve and its dependent financial institutions to scare people away from gold and silver by driving down their prices.

When gold prices hit $1,917.50 an ounce on August 23, 2011, a gain of more than $500 an ounce in less than 8 months, capping a rise over a decade from $272 at the end of December 2000, the Federal Reserve panicked. With the US dollar losing value so rapidly compared to the world standard for money, the Federal Reserve’s policy of printing $1 trillion annually in order to support the impaired balance sheets of banks and to finance the federal deficit was placed in danger. Who could believe the dollar’s exchange rate in relation to other currencies when the dollar was collapsing in value in relation to gold and silver.

The Federal Reserve realized that its massive purchase of bonds in order to keep their
prices high (and thus interest rates low) was threatened by the dollar’s rapid loss of value in terms of gold and silver. The Federal Reserve was concerned that large holders of US dollars, such as the central banks of China and Japan and the OPEC sovereign investment funds, might join the flight of individual investors away from the US dollar, thus ending in the fall of the dollar’s foreign exchange value and thus decline in US bond and stock prices.

Intelligent people could see that the US government could not afford the long and numerous wars that the neoconservatives were engineering or the loss of tax base and consumer income from offshoring millions of US middle class jobs for the sake of executive bonuses and shareholder capital gains. They could see what was in the cards, and began exiting the dollar for gold and silver.

Central banks are slower to act. Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates are dependent on US protection and do not want to anger their protector. Japan is a puppet state that is careful in its relationship with its master. China wanted to hold on to the American consumer market for as long as that market existed. It was individuals who began the exit from the US dollar.

When gold topped $1,900, Washington put out the story that gold was a bubble. The presstitute media fell in line with Washington’s propaganda. “Gold looking a bit bubbly” declared CNN Money on August 23, 2011.

The Federal Reserve used its dependent “banks too big to fail” to short the precious metals markets. By selling naked shorts in the paper bullion market against the rising demand for physical possession, the Federal Reserve was able to drive the price of gold down to $1,750 and keep it more or less capped there until recently, when a concerted effort on April 2-3, 2013, drove gold down to $1,557 and silver, which had approached $50 per ounce in 2011, down to $27.

The Federal Reserve began its April Fool’s assault on gold by sending the word to brokerage houses, which quickly went out to clients, that hedge funds and other large investors were going to unload their gold positions and that clients should get out of the precious metal market prior to these sales. As this inside information was the government’s own strategy, individuals cannot be prosecuted for acting on it. By this operation, the Federal Reserve, a totally corrupt entity, was able to combine individual flight with institutional flight. Bullion prices took a big hit, and bullishness departed from the gold and silver markets. The flow of dollars into bullion, which threatened to become a torrent, was stopped.

For now it seems that the Fed has succeeded in creating wariness among Americans about the virtues of gold and silver, and thus the Federal Reserve has extended the time that it can print money to keep the house of cards standing. This time could be short or it could last a couple of years.

However, for the Russians and Chinese, whose central banks have more dollars than they any longer want, and for the 1.3 billion Indians in India, the low dollar price for gold that the Federal Reserve has engineered is an opportunity. They see the opportunity that the Federal Reserve has given them to purchase gold at $350-$400 an ounce less than two years ago as a gift.

The Federal Reserve’s attack on bullion is an act of desperation that, when widely recognized, will doom its policy.

As I have explained previously, the orchestrated move against gold and silver is to protect the exchange value of the US dollar. If bullion were not a threat, the government would not be attacking it.

The Federal Reserve is creating $1 trillion new dollars per year, but the world is moving away from the use of the dollar for international payments and, thus, as reserve currency. The result is an increase in supply and a decrease in demand. This means a falling exchange value of the dollar, domestic inflation from rising import prices, and a rising interest rate and collapsing bond, stock and real estate markets.

The Federal Reserve’s orchestration against bullion cannot ultimately succeed. It is designed to gain time for the Federal Reserve to be able to continue financing the federal budget deficit by printing money and also to keep interest rates low and debt prices high in order to support the banks’ balance sheets.

When the Federal Reserve can no longer print due to dollar decline which printing would make worse, US bank deposits and pensions could be grabbed in order to finance the federal budget deficit for couple of more years. Anything to stave off the final catastrophe.

The manipulation of the bullion market is illegal, but as government is doing it the law will not be enforced. 

By its obvious and concerted attack on gold and silver, the US government could not give any clearer warning that trouble is approaching. The values of the dollar and of financial assets denominated in dollars are in doubt.

Those who believe in government and those who believe in deregulation will be proved equally wrong. The United States of America is past its zenith. As I predicted early in the 21st century, in 20 years the US will be a third world country. We are halfway there.

Ohio Is Illegally Throwing Poor People in Jail For Owing Money

A new report shines a light on a harrowing “debtors’ prison” system in Ohio — one that violates both the United States’ and the Ohio constitution.

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