Monday, July 6, 2015

Cronyism, corruption, use whatever noun along those lines you want. That's our government and the brazen actions of our officials, past and present!

Eric Holder Returns As Hero To Law Firm That Lobbies For  Big Banks

Well, if you still had any doubts as to why Eric Holder, as Attorney General, did not prosecute one single bank executive for the inumerable acts of fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, tax evasion, lwire and mail fraud or, lying under oath, here's why...he was preparing for his very lucrative career outside of government.

That career would be working for a law firm that LOBBIES FOR BIG BANKS.

And our leaders lecture other countries about corruption. What a fucking joke. We are all fools.

Historian Carroll Quigley on Financial Globalization

"The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank... sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."
    
— Carroll Quigley (1910-1977) | Professor of History at Georgetown University, member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), mentor to Bill Clinton, inTragedy and Hope

Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time
(Link to archives.org which makes downloads in several formats available)
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966

The above quote is found on page 324. BTW, Quigley is describing the interwar period between 1922 and 1930 in this chapter. It's been a longterm project.

The Wikipedia article on Quigley is worth a read. So is a site dedicated to him, on which many of his writing as be downloaded, including Tragedy and Hope.

Here's another one.

Remember Reichsbank head Hjalmar Schacht?
When the economic crisis began in 1929, Germany had a democratic government of the Center and Social Democratic parties. The crisis suited in a decrease in tax receipts and a parallel increase in demands government welfare services. This brought to a head the latent dispute over orthodox and unorthodox financing of a depression. Big business big finance were determined to place the burden of the depression the working classes bv forcing the government to adopt a policy of deflation—that is, by wage reductions and curtailment of government welfare expenditures. The Social Democrats wavered in their attitude, but in general were opposed to this policy. Schacht, as president of the Reichsbank, was able to force the Socialist Rudolf Hilferding out of the position of minister of finance by refusing bank credit to the government until this was done. In March 1930, the Center broke the coalition on the issue of reduction of unemployment benefits, the Socialists were thrown out of the government, and Heinrich Briining, leader of the Center Party, came in as chancellor. Because he did not have a majority in the Reichstag, he had to put the deflationary policy into effect by the use of presidential decree under Article 48.....

Ibid. p. 430

This was almost a century ago. Sound familiar today?

Loonie on alert!


Does Bloomberg get it?  Maybe...




Wikipedia — Euclid Tsakalotos


Meet the new finance minister of Greece.

Wikipedia
Euclid Tsakalotos

Brian Romanchuk — Whither Greece?

Despite the rather excitable headlines, some variant of a can-kicking exercise for Greece still seems like a plausible outcome. The reality is that there is no mechanism to stop Greece from using the euro (but see comment below), and the EU has limited ability to effect a regime change in Greece after the referendum victory. The only plausible durable solution is for Greece to exit, but the Greeks broadly wish to avoid that outcome. The situation will slowly simmer, at least until there is a broader downturn elsewhere. A Chinese stock market crash could be a trigger, but it would need to be validated with effects in the real economy....
Bond Economics
Whither Greece?
Brian Romanchuk

Bill Mitchell — The ECB has to maintain ELA to Greek banks

Despite the shamelessly dishonest press barrage from the conservative owners of the highly concentrated Greek media (the ‘oligarchs’) to vote YES; despite many articles popping up in world newspapers about how the Greeks are to blame for their own problems because they overspend and undertaxed; despite the lies coming from other European leaders about what the vote was about (it was not about leaving the Euro but rather about whether the Greek people wanted further failed austerity); despite the ridiculous claims of the German SDP about “bridges being burned” (that party should change its name because it is a disgrace to the social democratic tradition) – despite all of that and heaps more, the Greek people voted overwhelmingly NO to reject austerity as a viable policy model for their country. This is a case of democracy coming head to head with the dominant political-economic ideology within which the Greek nation is situated – the Eurozone. It also demonstrates the flaws of the democratic process – the people have voted for an end to austerity but also consistently tell opinion polls they want to remain in the Eurozone, a monetary system that is built on austerity. They voted yesterday to reject the very basis of the monetary system they want to stay in – which tells us they don’t really understand the nature of the system and therefore how informed is the NO vote.
That was the fault of the Syriza leadership. Like the Greek people and other Europeanists, they also seem to believe strongly in a contradiction being possible.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The ECB has to maintain ELA to Greek banks
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

William K. Black — Greece Proves Again Why Democracy is the Criminal Classes’ Great Fear

The people of Greece have just shown great courage, and even greater common sense, in voting “No” in overwhelming numbers against the troika’s war on the Greek people and labor throughout the EU. In recent days we have seen the spectacle of the major media shamelessly lying globally about the referendum and the Greek government – cheered on by the troika. The troika openly sought to depose a second Greek head of state for the high crime of favoring a democratic vote on the troika’s economic malpractice and effort to extort the Greek people by threatening to destroy their economy. The tone and content of the propaganda were extraordinary – and reversed reality.
New Economic Perspectives
Greece Proves Again Why Democracy is the Criminal Classes’ Great Fear
William K. Black | Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC

Michael Hudson — Why No Means Yes

...Syriza leaders did not begin immediately upon their January election victory to educate voters on what actually is at issue: why remaining subject to the junk-economics dictates by the IMF and ECB will make the economy subject to chronic debt deflation. Instead of spending the past six months educating the public over what is at issue with the Troika, Syriza focused on playing political rope-a-dope to demonstrate how firmly the ECB and EC were committed to austerity....
Good summary of the lead up to the crisis. Way beyond ignorance. Rampant malfeasance.
The Troika’s position was and is: “Impose austerity now. We’ll talk about debt writedowns later. But first, you must sell off what remains of your public domain. You must lower wages by another 20%, and force another 20% of your population to emigrate. Only then, when we’re sure that we can’t get another euro out of you anyway, then we may be willing to talk about writing down some of your debt. But not until we have stripped you of anything left to pay in any case!”....
Michael Hudson
Why No Means Yes

Simpson/Bowles and their mindless fear mongering. You have to almost admire them for their tenacity in the face of mountains of evidence that they are bat shit crazy wrong.

Check out this tweet from these guys:




So 25 years from now your income may go up from $2,000 to $4,000 per year.

1) Where is there proof?

and...

2) What fucking difference is that going to be 25 years from now???

But that's not all they promise...

They promise that interest rates might be reduced.

This is, like, insane. Rates are NEAR FUCKING ZERO YOU ASSHOLES!

Furthermore as this chart shows, there is no correlation between debt and rates. No, wait, there is...it's the FUCKING INVERSE!

WHAT. UTTER. MORONS.


Samuel Shen — Chinese stocks rise after Beijing unleashes emergency support

In an extraordinary weekend of policy moves, brokerages and fund managers vowed to buy massive amounts of stocks, helped by China's state-backed margin finance company, which in turn would be aided by a direct line of liquidity from the central bank.
China cuts the margin rate, supplies liquidity, temporarily  suspends IPOs, and re-instutues the specialist function. Markets stabilize.
On Sunday, China state-owned investment company Central Huijin said it had recently been buying exchange-traded funds and would keep doing so.
The aim was to signal to China's army of retail investors, who conduct around 85 percent of share transactions, that the government is standing behind the market.
Analysts cautioned, however, that the latest policy moves may only bring short-term relief.
"The government measures are only aimed at stabilizing the market, and providing an exit for those who want to get out," said Liu Li, analyst at Shanxi Securities Co.
"Theoretically, the central bank's money is unlimited, but you cannot expect the government to use public money to buy shares which are still expensive, such as ChiNext shares."
The headline should be, "China conducts orderly correction to prevent panic."

Wasn't that what the US government did at the time of the GFC? Why are Westerners mocking China for it now?

Reuters
Chinese stocks rise after Beijing unleashes emergency support
Samuel Shen

Remember, just last Thursday, when Varoufakis threatened to quit if the Greek people voted "YES?" So they listen to him and voted "NO" and he still quits!


What kind of behavior is this? Does this speak to a timid, confused, mousy man or, what?

LAST THURSDAY, Varoufakis threatened to quit if the Greek people voted "YES."

So they listened to him and voted as he wished--NO--and what does he do? He fucking quits.

This is another example of the type of pathetic, useless, completely confused leadership of the left the world over. It is sooooo  fucking easy for the Conservatives and neoliberals to run the left around and herd them like a bunch of sheep.

They're laughing now...absolutely laughing their asses off.

Like I said, Alexander the Great is rolling over in his grave at this pathetic display of mousy-ness.

Yanis Varoufakis — Minister No More!


Yanis out. The person the eurocrats love to hate is gone.
Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today. 
I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.
Yanis Varoufakis
Minister No More!

Ha ha ha...score one for the little guy!


Goldman commits all kinds of crime: fraud, market manipulation, insider trading and nothing happens. Maybe...MAYBE...they pay some fines.

But when some low level programmer leaves the firm Goldman accuses the guy of stealing their precious high frequency trading code and the prosecutors and cops are right there to arrest this kid. He's gotta defend himself through not one, but TWO trials and he's found innocent each time.

I am happy for the kid, but his life is probably still ruined while the real criminals go on doing what they've been doing--ripping off everyone. (Or as Lloyd Blankfein calls it, "God's work.")

Quitter!


Varoufakis quits!

Right when Greece scores a huge victory over the Troika, Varoufakis quits.

Like all liberals he is weak. He was a poor choice for Finance Minister from the start, but to quit when you've come this far?

The bridge to nowhere.

Sickening display of weakness and cowardice.

Now Tsipras, the other coward will quit and the Troika will achieve what it was trying to achieve: regime change.

The fascists are dead. Long live the fascists!

Wayne Madsen — Clinton, other candidates competing on hard-line stance against China, Russia: Analyst

The 2016 US presidential candidates, including Hilary Clinton, are competing against one another by using strong language against China and Russia in order to receive campaign funding from wealthy neoconservative groups, a political analyst from Virginia says.
“The way that American politics works is that the candidate with the most money almost always wins, at least at the national level,” said Keith Preston, chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, a website dedicated to encouraging revolt against domestic and foreign US government policies.
“The candidate that has the most money wins about 90 percent of the time,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday.
“What Ms. Clinton is trying to do is stake out a position for herself as far as picking a hard-line stance against Russia and against China for the sake of gaining the financial backing of all of the neoconservative billionaire plutocrats,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of Republicans, about 15 or 20 candidates that are all trying to outdo each other in terms of how hawkish they can be on foreign policy and how tough they say they’re going to be on Iran or on Russia or whomever and Ms. Clinton is trying to get on that game as well,” he added.
Preston made the comments after Democratic presidential candidate Clinton criticized both China and Russia for threatening its neighbors and undermining American interests.....
Strategic Culture Foundation
Clinton, other candidates competing on hard-line stance against China, Russia: Analyst
Wayne Madsen

Grzegorz Kołodko — Stop The Africanization Of Greece

In the early 1990s, when Poland underwent its infamous “shock-without-therapy” – which cut national income by nearly 20 percent, pushed unemployment over three million and increased the budget deficit to 6.9 percent of GDP in 1992 – there was some talk about the “Latinization” of my country. One prominent newspaper article carried the eloquent title: “In a moment like in Chile.” Today, in a similar vein, there is the danger of the “Africanization” of Greece....
Social Journal Europe
Stop The Africanization Of Greece
Grzegorz Kołodko | Professor of Economics and Director of TIGER – Transformation, Integration, and Globalization Economic Research (www.tiger.edu.pl) at Kozminski University in Warsaw> He was a key architect of Polish economic reforms and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in 1994-7 and 2002-3.

Paul Robinson — Cheesy Liberals

If you want to know why Russian liberals languish at about one percent in the opinion polls, you have your answer right there.
These are the people that the West wants to see come to power in Russia. Actually, they are neoliberals.

Irrussianality
Paul Robinson, Professor, Graduate School of International and Public Affairs, University of Ottawa

Der Spiegel — Reaktionen auf Referendum: "Merkel muss jetzt den Grexit organisieren"


Outraged Germans want Greece out. 

This article is only in the German edition, not in the International Edition.

Spiegel Online
Reaktionen auf Referendum: "Merkel muss jetzt den Grexit organisieren"
Markus Becker

teleSUR — Pope Francis to Correa: 'You Can Always Rely on the Church'

“Mister President, you will always be able to rely on the Church to support your people who stood up with dignity,” said the Pope to the Ecuadorean leader.
Pope Francis landed at the airport of Quito, the Ecuadorean capital, on Sunday, where President Rafael Correa and other officials welcomed him. Upon leaving the plane, the pope continued his campaign to uplift the poor in his first speech, saying that as a representative of the Catholic Church, he cannot disassociate himself from the struggles of the underprivileged. “The Ecuadorean people has stood up with dignity,” he said, as Pope Francis has been holding a continued discourse of social justice toward the poor.
The Pope’s visit to the South American country comes amid a series of month-long opposition protests, which have been at times violent. The opposition took to the streets after President Correa announced two tax laws aiming to redistribution wealth....
Big shift. The Church has always remained officially non-political in Latin America, often taking criticism for it.

RT — ‘EU leaders see Syriza as threat to neo-liberal Europe’


The fight has just begun and the stakes are huge.

RT
‘EU leaders see Syriza as threat to neo-liberal Europe’

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Noah Smith — The Forsaken


Not about economics. Or maybe it is, if Marx is right about economic infrastructure being socially determinative.

Noahpinion
The forsaken
Noah Smith | Assistant Professor of Finance, Stony Brook University

Yanis Varoufakis — Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic, rational Europe!

  • Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic Europe.
  • It is a NO to the dystopic vision of a Eurozone that functions like an iron cage for its peoples.
  • It is a loud YES to the vision of a Eurozone offering the prospect of social justice with shared prosperity for all Europeans.
Yanis Varoufakis
Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic, rational Europe!

Another nice testimonial from someone who bought my Forex course videos. I teach how to part fools from their money.

Just received another nice testimonial from someone who bought my Forex course videos. Check it out:

Mike,
Using the techniques you teach in your videos enabled me to anticipate within three pips the peaks and troughs across four trades I made the night of Greece's referendum. I bought the videos to get an applied perspective to the theory I already knew and found quite a profitable diversion in the process.  
Thanks again.
Ben

Very nice, indeed. I am happy when these students are making money because they'e relieving "fools" of theirs.

Still available at the ridiculous price of $250. Click below to get the videos.

Mike Norman Forex course videos

Warren Mosler — Greece loses the gambit

It now looks to me like Greece has lost the wrestling match.
The Center of the Universe
Greece loses the gambit

Greece
Warren Mosler

Pyrrhic victory to stay in the EZ.

Steve Keen — Time To Play Hardball Yanis

The Greek referendum has delivered a stunning victory for Syriza and its anti-austerity message. Despite the banks being closed as a result of the ECB limiting its provision of banknotes, and despite a united chorus of European leaders warning of dire consequences if the No vote succeeded, the Greeks have voted No in overwhelming numbers. The final result looks likely to be a 62% No to 38% Yes rejection of the Troika’s terms. Syriza now has overwhelming support from the Greek people to oppose the Troika (a result that opinion polls got completely wrong).
This was not a vote against the Euro—which the polls claim 75% of Greeks support (though whether the polls can be trusted on this issue is now moot)—but a vote against the austerity program that the Troika has insisted upon. So now is the time for Syriza to put an emphatic anti-austerity proposal to the Troika. Their political hand has been strengthened enormously, and they should use it.
Throughout the so-called negotiations to date, the Troika has refused to even discuss the economic impact of the program they have imposed upon Greece. Their position instead has been a simple “Ordo-Liberal” insistence that Greece must adhere to the contract it signed when it undertook the program back in May 2010. Yet there has been no Ordo-Liberal admission that this program has failed on its own terms: that the results this program promised have not been delivered.
The Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece”, penned by the European Commission and agreed to by the then Greek government, imposed harsh austerity measures with the promise that this would deliver economic growth within 2 years....
Syriza came prepared to negotiate, because it was well aware of the weaknesses of the Greek economy, and at all costs it wanted to remain inside the Euro—but it wanted a reformed Euro rather than one that was bound to austerity. Instead it entered an ideological war. And despite the fact that Syriza is in name the “Coalition of the Radical Left”, they were not the ones being ideological: the Troika was. And like all ideologues, they were unbending. They wanted austerity, and if Syriza resisted, they wanted Syriza to be thrown out of office and replaced by a more compliant party.
After Sunday’s vote, that isn’t going to happen. Syriza—and Yanis Varoufakis—aren’t going to go away....
Most Forbes readers and not going like hearing what Steve has to say.

Forbes
Time To Play Hardball Yanis
Steve Keen

Steve Randy Waldman — Banks and Greece’s bailouts

Greece’s 2010 assistance program was largely a bailout of European banks, initiated to prevent a wider banking crisis. I didn’t expect this claim, from the previous post, to be very contentious. But apparently it is, so I’ll overdocument below.....
Interfluidity
Banks and Greece’s bailouts
Steve Randy Waldman

Will Syriza end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?


After a gutsy vote by the Greek people will Dumb and Dumber (Tsipras, Varoufakis) end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

I'm hearing that Varoufakis has come out saying, "Grexit is out of the question."

What the hell is wrong with these guys?

It's like the nerd in High School, who falls in love with the Prom Queen and she agrees to go out with him. They date for a while, but all along she abuses him. The abuses grow and she's shitting on him all the time now: open, hostile, vile abuse and the dude still wants to be in love with her.

WTF, man!!! Have a little dignity.

Party Time!


Ding dong the witch is dead!

Fun continues with market futures and opening tomorrow.  Continues for next several years with neo-liberal consensus unraveling.  This I predict.

Thomas Piketty — “Germany has never repaid.”

In a forceful interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, the star economist Thomas Piketty calls for a major conference on debt. Germany, in particular, should not withhold help from Greece.
Gavin Schalliol
Thomas Piketty: “Germany has never repaid.”
This interview has been translated from the original German
ht Brad DeLong

For the umpteenth time: the U.S. CANNOT become Greece!!


How many times do we have to hear this crap from know-nothing, lazy, journalists or right wing ideologues?

Here's yet another moron, some dude named Michael D. Tanner (mtanner@cato.org, Twitter) of--where else--the Cato Institute--who who wrote this column in the rag sheet, NY Post, today, saying that we'd better be careful, because the U.S. can become the next Greece.

Most Americans look at the rerun of the Greek euro crisis with something between smug amusement and condescending disapproval. When will those profligate Greeks get their economic house in order and stop looking to others to bail them out?
But, should people living in glass economic houses really throw stones?
After all, just like Greece, the United States government has been living beyond its means, running up an enormous debt that will eventually need to be repaid.

Nothing...NOTHING...in this article that explains the MASSIVE distinction between the U.S. and Greece, the former being a currency issuer and the latter being a currency USER.

There is not one single example in all of history of a currency issuing nation that has all its debts denominated in that currency and where the currency floats freely, that was forced to involuntarily default. NONE.

Any claims to the contrary are either pure ignorance, vicious dogma or, an intentional effort to deceive or incite fear.

It's crap.