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Road To Serfdom & The New Economics
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urbanspaceman



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 325
Location: London , UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plato wrote:
Basically you seem to agree with meÖYet you still seem to entertain the romantic notion that there actually is some ďnobleĒ banks out there

You don't understand where I'm coming from because we disagree where the source of the problem is.

Thanks to Thomas Sheridan, I can now identify and articulate the source of the problem: psychopathic people taking over all our institutions.

You have identified banks as the problem. You think that banks themselves are psychopathic. But institutions can't be psychopathic, only the people in them can be. Things or institutions can't be "evil", as "evil" only applies to people.

You have anthropomorphised something which is just a useful tool being used by evil people, and your solution is to get rid of the tool because you think that tool is evil. It's like hitting your hand accidentally with a hammer, calling that hammer evil, and then banning hammers. I call that shallow and short-sighted, because now you are preventing everyone from using hammers for good, using them for building their houses, for example.

This is where "let's get rid of evil things" line of thinking takes us: our medical system is failing us, because many medicines are turning out of be poisons, so should we get rid of modern medicine and hospitals? Our food supply is being poisoned, so should we get rid of supermarkets? EM radiation is probably making us ill, so should we ban all wireless technology? Government is corrupt, so let's switch to anarchy? Ban Western civilisation, live in caves, then maybe finally we'll get rid of the evil! It's curing a wart on your toe by cutting off your leg, I say.

You are with me when it comes to government and money. I've seen many others use the "let's get rid of evil things" stance: government = bad, money = bad, no government and no money = good! But you can see that money is useful and saves you from exchanging 1000 tomatoes for a computer. And you can see that government is sometimes good -- because someone has to watch those damn bankers!

My argument is to weed out psychopaths and psychopathic values from institutions, and that is the main thing that will make them useful tools for good people again. Moving banking into government is moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. It doesn't address the core problem.

On interest: Again, you're identifying the wrong source of the problem. Interest is not the problem, it's how the currency is issued these days. The currency is counterfeit, because under the current system banks loan money they don't have. When you pay the money back, money you've earned through your own labour, you've now laundered the money for the bank. Charging interest on top of a counterfeit-money-laundering scheme makes the problem worse, but charging interest is mostly beside the issue! It's an insult to injury, for sure, but not the injury.

In other words, charging interest on counterfeit money is wrong because the money is fake, not because charging interest is itself wrong.

An interest parable: I have a plot of land, but no farm machinery. I ask to borrow the farm machinery from my neighbour. He says yes, but is worried about the risk of not being able to use it for his own crop, so he makes a deal. You can borrow it, as long as you eventually replace what the machine would have produced on his own land, plus extra. It turns out that the crop was plentiful that year, so you are able pay him back with interest. Everybody wins, the interest payment was fair and encouraged the neighbour lend his machine.

If you ban interest, you'd be stuck with a useless plot of land. With interest, 2 people profit and flourish.

Usury should not be confused with interest. Usury is immoral because it is asking to "get blood from a stone", to get more out of something unproductive. Interest is moral because asks for extra out of something productive, encouraging a lender to take a risk.
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Plato



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 360

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:34 pm    Post subject: On privately owned banks & on interest part 2 Reply with quote

Letís go over this again; Iím getting the impression that Iím not getting my point across here, which is too bad, because itís important. Not because Iím so smart or trying to win the upper hand here; much smarter people have thought about this predicament and come to the conclusions I wrote about. Itís important to understand how they do it; how they manage to rule us without most people even being aware of this.

Iím talking about just 2 things here; banks and who should own them and why the charging of interest is not a good idea. Iím not talking about medicine, supermarkets, food etc; thatís a whole new topic and completely besides the point. Iím not even talking about getting rid of banks, money etc. Iím just talking about who should own these banks and whether the charging of interest is a good thing.

Banks; who owns them and why?
Banks are for the most part privately owned, especially in the US (except for the black holes Fannie and Freddie, which are left to bleed to death, at the expense of the US tax payer , which will cost them hundreds of billions of dollars). Even the Federal Reserve Bank is a private corporation; owned by the Rothschilds, Morgans, Warburgs etc. Ben Bernanke does not lift a finger without getting a say so from these people. His appearances before Congress make him seem to be accountable to the US population, but thatís all a scam. Most members of Congress are in bed with the families that own the Fed. Not directly, but indirectly through all the donations they are getting from various sources, that are linked to these families. Congress reminds me of Wrestlemania, you know with these big guys pretending to be hitting the crap out of one another. Itís a scam, itís bull shit, especially now that they are debating the debt ceiling again. They will raise the ceiling, donít worry, because thatís what they are supposed to do; they are supposed to get the US deeper and deeper into debt, thatís what they are paid for! Because a population in debt is a population you control, itís that simple. Thatís what this is all about; control and power. You argue that psychopaths are running the banks, and that is where the real problem is; not who owns the banks. Well, in my opinion, itís exactly the other way around, itís psychopaths that OWN the banks, and thatís were the real problem is (and yes, they are EVIL). We live in a economic system called capitalism for a good reason, itís not called CEO-ism or CFO-ism. Whoever puts up the capital, owns the business, and is the one that is in charge. May be it does not work like that for all companies, like a listed cookie company, but it does work like that for companies that matter to their power. Why do you think the Fed is not a listed company on the NYSE? May be it is true that there are also people working within these banks that are psychopaths, no doubt about it. But they are psychopaths which have been hired by the psychopaths that OWN the banks. Therefore, once again, something as important as money should be controlled by the people, not by the EVIL psychopaths (to use your term) that OWN the banks at this time. You said so yourself that money issued by the banks is fake, that I certainly agree with, because it has been issued by private banks, so once again we agree on something. Only if money is issued by the sovereign, which is the PEOPLE, is it real. Itís absurd that governments representing the people should go to privately owned banks and beg them for money. Therefore banks should be owned by the people/government (truly representing the people).

Interest; money that has not been brought into circulation
The problem with the interest charged on a loan is that is has never been brought into circulation. So however high or low the % is that you charge on a loan, there is no way you can repay both the principal and the interest charged. Maybe an individual can do this, but only at the expense of other individuals. There is no way that the people collectively can pay off all of their loans and the interest charged on these, the loans and interest charged will ALWAYS EXCEED the amount of money available to pay them off. Thatís why the western world has been getting more and more into debt, without ever being able to escape it; itís exactly how this is supposed to work; I thought that my last post gave some clear examples on how this works in practice. This has nothing to do with a risk reward scheme; people should be able to get a reasonable loan without having to pay interest on it.

With regard to your parable; why not propose to the guy that owns the farming machinery to share in the yield of your land if you are allowed to borrow it, what does this have to do with interest? The interest Iím talking about here is directly related to a loan in the form of MONEY, issued by a bank, for which more money (the principal and interest) will have to be repaid.

Some last points to consider; why were Islamic banks not at all hit by the 2008 financial crisis; they are simply not allowed to charge interest and therefore to invest in any of the crap that was being sold by US investment banks. Do you know the real reasons why both Lincoln and JFK were assassinated? They wanted to do away with central banks (in the case of JFK the Fed), and they wanted to print US dollar bills, not Federal Reserve bills. That way they would have eliminated the power of these families, something they could not allow. Unfortunately, these brave men came across enemies that would do anything to preserve their power. I simply hope that we will be able to identify the true enemy, instead of us bickering amongst ourselves (they sure love us to!).
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Fintan
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it comes to banks charging interest to governments
for loans I'm in agreement that this is an abomination.

Governments can and should print money with no interest.
The amount of money printed can be pegged to population
numbers --adjusting for the age profile of that population.

But there's a fallacy when you apply this to private banking:

Quote:
Plato:
The only way new money (which is not true money, but rather credit
representing a debt), goes into circulation in America is when it is
borrowed from the bankers.....However, the bankers "create" only the
amount of the principal of each loan, never the extra amount needed to
pay the interest. Therefore, the new money never equals the new debt
added. The amounts needed to pay the interest on loans is not "created,"
and therefore does not exist!

This is a common argument. If there is only $100 in circulation and annual
interest of 5% --then there is no way that $105 dollars can exist by year
end.

The argument ignores inflation. The money supply is always inflating in
western capitalism. The purchasing power of the $105 is equal or less
than the $100 at the start of any year.

As long as inflation and interest are both moderate then this serves to
oil the wheels of commerce and investment to the benefit of all.

Interest is a measure of the necessary reward for the investor for taking
the risk of investing. Without interest reward - then why bother lend?

Another argument containing fallacy is the line that there is something
inherently wrong with fractional reserve banking --where a bank can
lend 10 times the capital on hand. But there is nothing wrong with this
if the the loan default rate is, say, half the capital on hand. Imprudent
lending is the demon here - not fractional reserve banking.

Finally, there is the argument that the shadow banking system is also
intrinsically flawed --with its highly leveraged private capital and a host
of derivatives and options contracts hedging this capital.

Again shadow banking and esoteric financial instruments have allowed
the huge expansion in investment and trade over the last 30 years.
Without the reform of finance - the internet and telecommunications
would be far behind the current level of development.

In conclusion, there is much that is wrong with the way banking and
capital operate to the detriment of the average person. But many of
the alleged failings of finance are actually failures to apply due process
of law and prosecution or failures of prudent lending and regulation.

The bathwater is dirty - let's keep the baby.

Quote:
urbanspaceman:
My argument is to weed out psychopaths and psychopathic values from
institutions, and that is the main thing that will make them useful tools for
good people again. Moving banking into government is moving the deck
chairs on the Titanic. It doesn't address the core problem.

Agreed. And we have a good mechanism for dealing with psychopathic
behavior: it's called law. Without law being evenly applied then the
whole system is a ripoff - no matter who is running it.

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urbanspaceman



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 325
Location: London , UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fintan wrote:
Interest is a measure of the necessary reward for the investor for taking the risk of investing. Without interest reward - then why bother lend?

Exactly. That was the point of my little parable: why should the farmer lend his extra tractor, knowing that he might lose yield in the short term? The little extra yield promised by the other farmer, the interest, is the incentive for taking the risk.

And I'd add: If a big storm comes and ruins both farmers crops, it is morally wrong to expect interest paymentsÖboth parties took a risk and lost.

Fintan wrote:
Governments can and should print money with no interest. The amount of money printed can be pegged to population numbers --adjusting for the age profile of that population.

And this is another way there is new money available to cover interest payments. There could be other metrics devised to put new money into circulation too, some way to acknowledge direct contributions to society, like public works projects (roads, bridges) which a whole nation uses and benefits from.

Fintan wrote:
esoteric financial instruments have allowed the huge expansion in investment and trade over the last 30 years.

Interest-free banking is being tried in the Islamic world with some success, but it doesn't encourage as much prosperity as interest charges do in the private sector. Take out interest, and you are asking people to risk their hard earned money to strangers for no possibility of reward. There's just not enough people around who are that altruistic, unfortunately.

Fintan wrote:
Another argument containing fallacy is the line that there is something inherently wrong with fractional reserve banking

I have come to a different conclusion, and I have to disagree. From a simple moral point of view, why should banks be able to lend money they do not have or did not earn? This is the same as cheque-kiting, which is illegal if a private person does itÖwriting cheques to cover cheques to cover cheques.

Fractional reserve allows banks to substitute credit for real moneyÖmeaning it leads to debt-based money. I don't see how debt-free and debt-based money systems can live side by sideÖI also don't see how banks using fractional reserves can be said to "play fair" in the marketplace and compete like any other business. Can other private business print money when they want to? Should Walmart be allowed 2:1 ratio, lending out money it doesn't have?

History has shown that when the two are put together, private debt based money takes over the system. While the FED is indeed a private bank, the Bank of England was brought into the government after WWII, and the Bank of Canada, a government bank, was created during the depression. These are full reserve banks, but they operated alongside private banks that were allowed a limited amount of fractional reserve banking. Starting in about the 1970s, the private banks started taking over the money supply with banking credit based on nothing. When banking went digital, the process went exponential, and now 97% of "money" is debt-based digital money (there is failure in the law here...they haven't been updated to recognise this digital credit as money)

It's also believed by many monetary reformers that with the end of fractional reserve banking inflation would drop to near zero, so the wheels of commerce wouldn't depend on balancing inflation and interest (although one could argue it would then depend on the government putting an accurate amount of money into circulationÖwhich is also an art based on intuition to some degree)

I've had a hatred for private banks in the past, but I realised that attitude wasn't constructive and my sights were on the wrong target. Monetary reformer Simon Dixon was one of the people that turned me around. He's a guy who's worked as an investment banker and a trader in London and he's an advocate for monetary reform. He's lectured to many young finance students and there's a whole generation coming up that are just becoming aware, partly thanks to Simon, of how immoral the money system is. They want to be successful in business, but they want to be moral about itÖthey aren't all psychos who want to fuck society over.

Here's Simon talking to Bill Still, creator of "The Money Masters":

Quote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Cw6eySazw

Part 2:

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howg



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fintan said:
Quote:
This is a common argument. If there is only $100 in circulation and annual
interest of 5% --then there is no way that $105 dollars can exist by year
end.

The argument ignores inflation. The money supply is always inflating in
western capitalism. The purchasing power of the $105 is equal or less
than the $100 at the start of any year.

As long as inflation and interest are both moderate then this serves to
oil the wheels of commerce and investment to the benefit of all.


Sorry Fintan, this (yours) is a common argument... I beg to disagree.

Aside from inflation continually eroding the value of money (savings),
a balance sheet knows nothing and cares nothing of the purchasing power of the digits in its ledger.

A unit entry requiring 1 unit + 5% return is just that.
The units required to pay the interest back are not created and do not exist... period.
What they're worth is irrelevant.

What actually keeps the wheels oiled are:
1) writing down bad debt (bankruptcy), thus freeing up the
original principal to use for interest repayment on good loans.
2) OPM in the form of exports or investment from abroad.

The numbers don't lie, but the purchasing power of a dollar
continually decreases through this process, no question.
Chasing the dragon... it's a sucker's bet from the get-go.

Ironically, banks get paid back with money worth a lot less than when they loaned (created) it.
But it serves to balance the books regardless.
Ledger entries are not inflation adjusted.

And what about taxation on capital gains?
Conveniently, no adjustments for inflation there either.

This process actually serves to erode the entire economy,
and turns everyone into a speculator just to keep up with inflation.
So if the value of one's home doubles in 10 years, he's lucky to break even!

As to fractional banking in general, one of the problems is that private
banks exist for profit and are not beholden to the overall good of a
nation's economy and long term stability.

Their lending practices can and do create boom & bust cycles even at the best of times,
(that is, even w/o the chicanery involved in derivatives and ridiculous mortgage loans).

The overall effect is economic and social instability with a contrived social Darwinian system in place,
as there can never, ever be enough to repay loans with more loans.
It is a mathematical certainty (red ink and exports notwithstanding).

And today, the inevitable implosion is occurring on a grand scale,
but the basic reason is being obfuscated through blaming many other factors -
some legitimate and many not.

This system is an unmitigated disaster for (almost) everyone.
Workers' wages are constantly under pressure, savings are constantly
eroded, boom and bust cycles guaranteed.

Slash & burn, then we start all over again.

And the very act of forced speculation puts ever greater pressure
on the prices of just about everything too, further contributing
to the destabilization (higher cost of living) of everything and everyone.

Fractional banking creating new money as debt is the
worst possible way of creating/preserving wealth in society.

But if someone already has the money, and someone else wants to
borrow it at interest, then I have no problem with that at all.
This creates no new money, and is entirely irrelevant to this discussion.

As to an expanding economy needing to expand its money supply,
what possible logic is there to say the extra productivity should be borrowed at interest?

This makes no sense to me at all.

Productivity does not need to be borrowed in the first place.
It simply is or is not. Has nothing to do with being borrowed,
let alone at interest, let alone from someone who does not even have the money,
but does have the power to seize the fruits of such labour when the inevitable bankruptcies roll in.
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Fintan
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think both the last two posts on the flaws of interest and
inflation-based fractional reserve banking make excellent points.

In my illustration I said:

Quote:
If there is only $100 in circulation and annual interest of 5% --
then there is no way that $105 dollars can exist by year end.
The argument ignores inflation.

So I was saying that that argument reiterated by Plato is simplistic.
And if we are dissing the existing system we can't be that simplistic.

Similarly, we need to be clear if we are dissing fractional banking itself
or fractional banking which creates new money as debt.

But either way, it does seem that moving to a system where the core
money supply is government-created is the only long-term solution.

X amount of dollars per person in the economy.

If the population increases, the money supply goes up accordingly.
If the population get younger the money supply also goes up, as
younger people have higher levels of investment and spending.

But any economy that is growing is going to produce inflation on
the laws of demand and supply. So I'm not sure that if we get
fixated on totally abolishing even a modest degree of inflation
we might actually be shooting ourselves in the economic feet.

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howg



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But any economy that is growing is going to produce inflation on
the laws of demand and supply. So I'm not sure that if we get
fixated on totally abolishing even a modest degree of inflation
we might actually be shooting ourselves in the economic feet.

100% true.
This is why it is so important to discuss these issues using proper terminology.
The Orwellian vocabulary currently used in public discourse can never
bring about proper understanding, let alone practical solutions.

Inflationary pressures in a healthy economy have nothing to do with
systemic monetary devaluation, though of course, they are interrelated.

Using medicine as an analogy...
Fundamental health does depend on our getting proper nutritional intake.
And any illness should start with a nutritional analysis of the patient.
But... this does not translate into everyone enjoying perfect health,
even if they're getting all of their daily required nutrients.

On the other hand, malnutrition will always bring about disease,
just as debt-based currency will always bring about an inevitable debasement of currency...
That is, if higher & higher rates of bankruptcy are not allowed to
happen, or exports/foreign investment cannot pay off the difference (debt).

And the coincidence that MDs are not taught nutrition,
and economists are not taught monetary supply is... no coincidence!

Fintan, your raising the question of our never having adjusted
to the industrial revolution, a few years back in one of your audios, is KEY.

Whenever I find myself debating this issue, I always refer to it.
So even when arguing for a social credit monetary system,
I always, always add... but this should in no way be understood as a
panacea for all of our problems. It only serves as a good foundation to
tackle all of the other challenges we face, virtually ignored for 200 years or so.

Distribution of wealth... distribution of labour...
I am very conflicted on both these issues, but they appear to be
necessary as the results of ignoring them in the name of freedom are disastrous.

What to do?
I have no solutions for this at all that I can justify philosophically.
Yet I know it has to be done.

This "free market will take care of everything" bullsh*t is nonsense.
Sounds great, but doesn't work.
In fact, it's what we have right now, disguised as (our) Government interference.
Truth is, TPTB have the freedom, but use (their) government to limit everyone else's.

Would love to hear your comments on this...

H asking
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Peter



Joined: 26 Jun 2007
Posts: 2445
Location: The Canadian shield

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:20 am    Post subject: We stand on guard, for thee... Reply with quote

Maybe if "Jack Bauer" took on the banks, he could continue the legacy of his alter-ego's forebear.

http://www.mondopolitico.com/library/socialcredit/socialcredit.htm


PREFACE TO REVISED EDITION (my bolding)

THE first edition of this book was issued in 1924 in order to correlate the financial theories, which have since become widely known under the same title, with the social, industrial, and philosophic ideals to which they are appropriate.
At the time that it first appeared (in 1924), it was generally assumed that the world was entering upon a period of increasing prosperity, and such prosperity in a material sense did accrue in the United States to an extent never previously experienced.
It will be noticed that the view that this prosperity could be of long duration was not held to be consistent with the theories of Social Credit, so long as the conditions imposed by the existing financial system remained unchanged, and it was suggested that such prosperity would be followed by a crisis of the first magnitude. The same views were expressed in a long cross-examination before the select Committee of the Canadian House of Commons on Banking and Industry in 1923, and have unfortunately proved to be only too well founded. The pressure of the world crisis, and the fear that it may develop into forms threatening the extinction of civilisation, have brought home to large numbers of people in every country the instant necessity of finding an explanation of the paradox of poverty amidst plenty, with its accompaniment of social and political stress and strain, as well as the urgency of a remedy.
In every country of the world, and more particularly in the British Dominions overseas, the financial system has been brought to the Bar of Public Opinion as the chief factor in world unrest, and there is little doubt that the jury has confirmed the Verdict somewhat rhetorically expressed by Mr. William Jennings Bryan in his famous election speech: "The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace, and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods, or throw light upon its crimes. It can only be overthrown by the awakened conscience of the nation."
The present edition of the book has been completely revised, and new matter has been added to amplify the meaning it was intended to convey, but the main thesis remains substantially unaltered as a result of the confirmation which events have supplied as to its essential soundness.
C. H. DOUGLAS.
TEMPLE,
.... May 1933.

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Plato



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:45 am    Post subject: Inflation Reply with quote

Shallow, simplistic, common arguments, u-huh, okay, letís see. Fintan states that inflation is magically going to help paying back all those loans and interest charged over them.
Well, letís see what inflation actually is (as defined by http://www.investorwords.com/2452/inflation.html);

"The overall general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy (often caused by a increase in the supply of money), usually as measured by the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index. Over time, as the cost of goods and services increase, the value of a dollar is going to fall because a person won't be able to purchase as much with that dollar as he/she previously could. While the annual rate of inflation has fluctuated greatly over the last half century, ranging from nearly zero inflation to 23% inflation, the Fed actively tries to maintain a specific rate of inflation, which is usually 2-3% but can vary depending on circumstances. opposite of deflation."

So basically inflation is an increase in the money supply. Well, where does this new money come from, who ďcreatesĒ it? The institutions that have been granted this privilege are called banks. They are the ones that create the new money out of thin air that magically causes inflation to happen. Not a farmer, not a web site administrator, not a soft ware producer, not an actor, no, a bank will create the new money. How does that work, do they print a few new bills, and do they go up to a guy telling him to: ĒHere, spend this NEW money, so we can have some inflation, so that people, companies and governments will be able to repay their loans with interest on top!Ē. Well that would be nice, but thatís a fairy tale, and we do not live in a fairy tale world (at least not as far as I know).

They create new money that is credit to them, but debt to someone else (a farmer, web site administrator, a company, a government). Hey, and guess what, they want interest on top of that, theyíre not going to just give somebody an interest free loan, no sir. So basically inflation is new money (or rather credit) created by banks for which they want interest. This means that the phenomenon of inflation actually EXACERBATES the whole problem, which was outlined before.
So, Iím glad you brought it up, Fintan, because as weíre about to have QE3 imposed on us, and weíll really see inflation taking off.

Donít believe any of this, this simply canít be true? You donít need to look very far that the evidence is right in front of our very eyes. Governments, people, companies into debt up to their eye balls, more than ever before. When did inflation become a real problem in the postwar western world? Well, ever since Nixon brought the US of A off the gold standard, thatís when. Finally, they could print money like there was no tomorrow. Inflation not a problem? Tell that to the American middle class, which has seen its living standards slip since the 1970ís. They managed to prop up their living standards by, well I hate to say this, but thatís what it is; debt (or is it credit?). So much for inflation, huh ?
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leon



Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 1046
Location: 3d-rate nation

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject: 30 MILLION PRODUCTIVE JOBS Reply with quote

Want a program? Here is one

30 MILLION PRODUCTIVE JOBS TO REBUILD US INFRASTRUCTURE, INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE: THE PROGRAM TO END THE ECONOMIC DEPRESSION
by Webster G. Tarpley, www.tarpley.net
November 14, 2009
The US and the world are gripped by a deepening economic depression. There is no recovery and no automatic business cycle which will revive the economy. This bottomless depression will worsen until policies are reformed. The depression results from deregulated and globalized financial speculation, especially the $1.5 quadrillion world derivatives bubble. The US industrial base has been gutted, and the US standard of living has fallen by almost two thirds over the last four decades. We must reverse this trend of speculation, de-industrialization, and immiseration. Current policy bails out bankers, but harms working people, industrial producers, farmers, and small business. We must defend civil society and democratic institutions from the effects of high unemployment and economic breakdown. We therefore demand:
1. Measures to reduce speculation and minimize the burden of fictitious capital: End all bailouts of banks and financial institutions. Claw back the TARP and other public money given or lent to financiers. Abolish the notion of too big to fail; JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Wells Fargo and other Wall Street zombie banks are insolvent and must be seized by the FDIC for chapter 7 liquidation, with derivatives eliminated by triage. Re-institute the Glass-Steagall firewall to separate banks, brokerages, and insurance. Ban credit default swaps and adjustable rate mortgages. To generate revenue and discourage speculation, levy a 1% Tobin tax (securities transfer tax or trading tax) on all financial transactions including derivatives (futures, options, indices, and over the counter derivatives), stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, and commodities, especially program trading, high-frequency trading, and flash trading. Set up a 15% reserve requirement for all OTC derivatives. Use Tobin tax revenue and a revived corporate income tax to provide immediate tax relief to individuals, families, the self-employed, and small business by increasing personal exemptions and standard deductions. Stop all foreclosures on primary residences, businesses, and farms for five years or the duration of the depression, whichever lasts longer. Set a 10% maximum rate of interest on credit cards and payday loans. Re-regulate commodities markets with 100% margin requirements, position limits, and anti-speculation protections for hedgers and end users to prevent oil and gasoline price spikes. Enforce labor laws and anti-trust laws against monopolies and cartels. Restore individual chapter 11.
2. Measures to nationalize the Federal Reserve, cut federal borrowing, and provide 0% federal credit for production: Seize the Federal Reserve and bring it under the US Treasury as the National Bank of the United States, no longer the preserve of unelected and unaccountable cliques of incompetent and predatory bankers. The size of the money supply, interest rates, and approved types of lending must be determined by public laws passed and debated openly, passed by the congress and signed by the president. Stop US government borrowing from zombie banks and foreigners -- let the US government function as its own bank. Reverse current policy by instituting 0% federal LENDING with preferential treatment for tangible physical production and manufacturing of goods and commodities, to include industry, agriculture, construction, mining, energy production, transportation, infrastructure building, public works, and scientific research, but not financial services and speculation. Issue successive tranches of $1 trillion as needed to create 30 million union-wage productive jobs and attain full employment for the first time since 1945, reversing the secular decline in the US standard of living. Provide 0% credit to reconvert idle auto and other plants and re-hire unemployed workers to build modern rail, mass transit, farm tractors, and aerospace equipment, including for export. Extend 0% federal credit for production to small businesses like auto and electronics repair shops, dry cleaners, restaurants, tailors, family farms, taxis, and trucking. Maintain commercial credit for retail stores. Create an unlimited rediscount guarantee by the National Bank for public works projects to provide cash to local banks for bills of exchange pertaining to infrastructure and public works. Repatriate the foreign dollar overhang by encouraging China, Japan, and other dollar holders to place orders for US-made capital goods and modern hospitals. Revive the US Export-Import Bank. Set up a 10% tariff to protect domestic re-industrialization. Nationalize and operate GM, Chrysler, CIT, and other needed but insolvent firms as a permanent public sector. Maintain Amtrak and USPS.
3. Measures to re-industrialize, build infrastructure, develop science drivers, create jobs, and restore a high-wage economy: state and local governments and special government agencies modeled on the Tennessee Valley Authority will be prime contractors for an ambitious program of infrastructure and public works subcontracted to the private sector. To deal with collapsing US infrastructure, modernize the US elgeneration, pebble bed, high temperature reactors of 1,000 to 2,000 megawatts each. Rebuild the rail system with 50,000 miles of ultra-modern maglev Amtrak rail reaching into every state. Rebuild the entire interstate highway system to 21st century standards. Rebuild drinking water and waste water systems nationwide. Promote canal building and irrigation. For health care, build 1,000 500-bed modern hospitals to meet the minimum Hill-Burton standards of 1946. Train 250,000 doctors over the next decade. The Davis-Bacon Act will mandate union pay scales for all projects. For the farm sector, provide a debt freeze for the duration of the crisis, 0% federal credit for working capital and capital improvements, a ban on foreclosures, and federal price supports at 110% of parity across the board, with farm surpluses being used for a new Food for Peace program to stop world famine and genocide. Working with other interested nations, invest $100 billion each in: biomedical research to cure dread diseases; high energy physics (including lasers) to develop fusion power and beyond; and a multi-decade NASA program of moon-Mars manned exploration, permanent colonization, and industrial production. These science drivers will provide the technological spin-offs to modernize the entire US economy in the same way that the NASA moon shot gave us microchips and computers in the 1960s. These steps will expand and upgrade the national stock of capital goods and enhance the real productivity of US labor. Return the federal budget and foreign trade to surplus in 5 years or less.
4. Measures to defend and expand the social safety net: Restore all cuts; full funding at improved levels for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, jobless benefits, WIC, Head Start, and related programs. Offer Medicare for All to anyone under 65 who wants it at $100 per person per month, with reduced rates for families, students, and the unemployed. Pay for this with Tobin tax revenues and TARP clawback, and by ending the Iraq and Afghan wars. Seek to raise life expectancy by five years for starters. No rationing or death panels; savings can come only by finding cures. Quickly reach a $15 per hour living wage. Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act and affirm the right to organize. Pass card check to promote collective bargaining.
5. Measures to re-launch world trade and promote world recovery: Create a new world monetary system including the euro, the yen, the dollar, and the ruble, plus emerging Arab and Latin American regional currencies, with fixed exchange rates and narrow bands of fluctuation enforced by participating governments. Institute clearing and gold settlement among member states. Replace the IMF with a Multilateral Development Bank to finance world trade and infrastructure. The goal of the system must be to re-launch world trade through exports of high-technology capital goods, especially to sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and the poorer parts of Latin America. Promote a world Marshall Plan of great projects of world infrastructure, including: a Middle East reconstruction and development program; plans for the Ganges-Bramaputra, Indus, Mekong, Amazon, and Nile-Congo river basins; bridge-tunnel combinations to span the Bering Strait, the Straits of Gibraltar, the Straits of Malacca, the Sicilian narrows, and connect Japan to the Asian mainland; second Panama canal and Kra canals; Eurasian silk road, Cape to Cairo/Dakar to Djibouti, Australian coastal, and Inter-American rail projects, and more. American businesses will receive many of these orders, which means American jobs.
This program will create 30 million jobs in less than five years. It will end the depression, rebuild the US economy, improve wages and standards of living, re-start productive investment, and attain full employment with increased levels of capital investment per job. Most orders placed under this program will go to US private sector bidders. Because of the vastly increased volume of goods put on the market, inflation will not result.
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Plato



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 360

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:56 am    Post subject: Some observations on fractional reserve banking and the law. Reply with quote

Some observations on fractional reserve banking and the law.

Defintion Fractional-reserve banking by Wikipedia; is a type of banking whereby the bank does not retain all of a customerís deposits within the bank. Funds received by the bank are generally on-loaned to other customers. This means that available funds (called bank reserves) are only a fraction (called the reserve ratio) of the quantity of deposits at the bank. As most bank deposits are treated as money in their own right, fractional reserve banking increases the money supply, and banks are said to create money.

Bank runs (or when problems are widespread, a systemic crisis) can occur in fractional-reserve banking systems. To mitigate this risk, the governments of most countries (usually acting through the central bank) regulate and oversee commercial banks, provide deposit insurance and act as lender of last resort to commercial banks.

Fractional-reserve banking is the most common form of banking and is practiced in almost all countries. Although Islamic banking prohibits the making of profit from interest on debt, a form of fractional-reserve banking is still evident in most Islamic countries. End of definition

So fractional reserve banking is called that because banks retain only a fraction of the total loans made as their own capital, which are supposed to form a buffer in case one of these loans go bad. What was the main reason that Lehman Brothers went bust, which tanked almost the entire financial system worldwide in 2008, of which the effects are still felt today? Fractional reserve banking, thatís what is was. The institution that was supposed to oversee that banks do not get themselves bankrupt was the Fed, in this case the Federal Reserve bank of New York, by far the most important one of the 12, supposed to oversee all the major investment banks, like Goldman etc (At the time headed by Ďtiny Timí Geithner, who is now the Tresury secretary). But wait, isnít the Fed privately owned, as we have seen previously. Yes, it sure is. The big banks (Goldman, the JP Morgue, Citigroup etc.) have a stake in the Fed, and these are mostly owned by some of the wealthiest families in the world. Interesting that the NY Fed has to monitor the very banks that actually own it; that went well!

A few decades ago a bank was considered pushing itís fraction when it was lending out 10 times the amount it was holding as its capital. Lehman was allowed to let this go up to at least 30 times its own capital in 2007, meaning that a loss on its loan portfolio of just 3-4% would bankrupt the company. Well, as we know, bankrupt it went, after a bank run by desperate creditors once these realized that Lehman was in serious trouble. Who could have rescued Lehman; well, the Fed. They are the lender of last resort, and are supposed to prevent this sort of cataclysmic event. But another option was chosen; courtesy of the Treasury Depít the American tax payer could hand out a little TARP money of some USD 700bn, to help prop up the rest of those overleveraged banks. On top of that AIG was rescued at the tax payerís expense. Because among others Goldman had taken out insurance worth some USD 13bn from AIG on CDís, it got a 100 cents on the dollar back thanks to Geithner and Paulson, in a deal which they tried to keep secret, but was revealed by Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aPWC6zGHA3Ss

As a result of this episode there is more concentration of financial power than ever before, Lehman and Bear Sterns went bust, and Merril Lynch was taken over by bank of America. Goldman, whose former CEO Henry Paulson, was Treasury secretary in 2008, is more powerful than ever, thanks to all this.

Well, what a happy, profitable collusion between the investment banks, the Fed and the Treasury, parties which are supposed to protect the public from financial calamities by preventing banks to overleverage themselves, or to abuse fractional reserve banking. Instead, they made a bundle at the cost of the American tax payer, which coughed up the AIG bail out. Interestingly enough, these days the Fed is even more leveraged than Lehman was at the time, some 54 times; http://www.istockanalyst.com/finance/story/5300416/the-fed-is-now-more-leveraged-that-lehman-brothers-was

Still, there is some people out there that think that fractional reserve banking is good, and that if things go belly up, the law will punish those responsible. Well, according to me the law has nothing to do with justice. Even the punk that brought Lehman down, Dickie Fuld, can continue to enjoy his stolen wealth of some half a BILLION dollars, the amount he raked in when he was the CEO of Lehman (thereís a psychopath for ya), just like all the others that have been nominated by Time as culpable for the financial mayhem of 2008; http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350_1877326,00.html

None of these people have been indicted, let alone sent to jail. But then again, they have the best justice only money will buy. Or listen what Irwin A. Schiff has to say with regard to politicians. According to Schiff, "U.S. politicians, contrary to the Constitution and the U.S. criminal code, have conned all citizens out of their money savings. This monetary swindle was perpetuated despite a reasonably literate electorate, despite our well-developed financial and banking institutions, and despite our many institutions of higher learning and the nation's extensive network of information media." Does the law seem to do its work here, has justice been done?

Thatís why I am in favor of money by and for the people; no fractional reserve needed, as money then will not be created by private parties like a product on which to make a profit. The people, as the sovereign, is the institution that issues money for the people.
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leon



Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 1046
Location: 3d-rate nation

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder when brainwashed westerners stop being obsessed by the subject of "money" and finally start looking at the bigger picture. Money are just tokens to facilitate division of labour in the modern economy - its a simple public utility for crying out loud.
Why you are not obsessing about the REAL problems = declining infrastractue, declining REAL technological progress and investment into science-driven projects - and i mean not 14-th century wind mills or new bright screen on a hanheld.
Your fucking love of money is going to be your end.
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