Subscriptions, Current Issue & Back Issues

Shop Website | Annual Subscriptions | Back Issues |

Category: Economics

From Superpower To Incompetence, by Paul Craig Roberts

From Superpower to Incompetence
Paul Craig Roberts
Having grown up during the second half of the 20th century, I don’t recognize my country today. I experienced life in a competent country, and now I experience life in an incompetent country.

Superpower incompetent
Everything is incompetent. The police are incompetent. They shoot children, grandmothers, cripples, and claim that they feared for their life.
Washington’s foreign police is incompetent. Washington has alienated the world with its insane illegal attacks on other countries. Today the United States and Israel are the two most distrusted countries on earth and the two countries regarded as the greatest threat to peace.
The military/security complex is incompetent. The national security state is so incompetent that it was unable to block the most humiliating attack in history against a superpower that proved to be entirely helpless as a few people armed with box cutters and an inability to fly an airplane destroyed the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon itself. The military industries have produced at gigantic cost the F-35 that is no match for the Russian fighters or even for the F-15s and F-16s it is supposed to replace.
The media is incompetent. I can’t think of an accurate story that has been reported in the 21st century. There must be one, but it doesn’t come to mind.
The universities are incompetent. Instead of hiring professors to teach the students, the universities hire administrators to regulate them. Instead of professors, there are presidents, vice presidents, chancellors, vice chancellors, provosts, vice provosts, assistant provosts, deans, associate deans, assistant deans. Instead of subject matter there is speech regulation and sensitivity training. Universities spend up to 75% of their budgets on administrators, many of whom have outsized incomes.
The public schools have been made incompetent by standardized national testing. The purpose of education today is to pass some test. School accreditation and teachers’ pay depend not on developing the creativity or independent thinking of those students capable of it, but on herding them through memory work for a standardized test.
One could go on endlessly.
Instead, I will relate a story of everyday incompetences that have prevented me from writing this week and for a few more days yet.
Recently, while away from my home, a heavy equipment operator working on a nearby construction site managed to drive under power lines with the fork lift raised. Instead of breaking the wire, it snapped the pole in half that conveyed electric power to my house. The power company came out, or, as I suspect, an outsourced contractor, who reestablished power to my home but did not check that the neutral wire was still attached. Consequently for a week or so my house experiened round the clock surges of high voltage that blew out the surge protection, breaker box, and every appliance in the house. Expecting my return, the house was inspected, and the discovery was that there was no power. Back came the power company and discovered that high voltage was feeding into the house and had destroyed everything plugged in.
So. Here we have a moron operating heavy equipment who does not understand that he cannot drive under power lines with the lift raised. We have a power company or its outsourced contractor who does not understand that power cannot be reconnected without making certain that the neutral wire is still connected.
So every appliance is fried. Glass everywhere from blown out light bulbs. We are talking thousands of dollars.
This is America today. And the incompetents ruling incompetents want war with Iran, Korea, Russia, China. Considering the extraordinary level of incompetence throughout the United States, I guarantee you that we will not win these wars.

From Superpower to Incompetence

Paul Craig Roberts

Climate Clown Caught By Paradise Expose

Here we go again. It was just yesterday I mentioned Queenie’s tax dodges and Charlie’s Climate Change Hypocrisy. Now here’s the proof that the Crown Prince of Carbon Credits is nothing but a scaremongering profiteer. I repeat what I’ve previously stated: It may not be technically illegal, but as a conflict of interest it is surely unethical. Thankfully the Clown Prince of Profiteering (he’s a clown whichever way you look at it) is now exposed and well and truly caught in the headlight beams of the media juggernaut.

Carbon Clown

The Queen’s forays into offshore investing may have been the Paradise Papers’ biggest surprise, but in terms of impact they are easily eclipsed by a single, apparently very profitable deal made by Prince Charles.
Leaked documents show that in just one buy-and-sell transaction, the Prince of Wales’s private estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, appears in just over a year to have tripled an estimated $100,000 US investment in an offshore company co-run by one of his closest friends.
Leaked board minutes in the Paradise Papers show that from the purchase, in February 2007, the company, which specializes in carbon offsetting, also committed to treating his stake as a sensitive secret.
All the while, the heir to the British throne continued to publicly promote carbon offsetting — a subject he’s repeatedly spoken about — even as he was invested in it.
None of the new revelations, which show the prince had millions more invested offshore, suggest illegal action. But they raise questions about the rules surrounding conflict of interest where royals are concerned, and, for the second time this week about whether senior royal figures are transparent enough about their sources of income — especially if they’re investing offshore.

Paradise papers impact

Read More:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/paradise-papers-prince-charles-duchy-of-cornwall-1.4391433

 

 

The Paradise Papers: Queen’s Private Cash-Stash Exposed

This has always been something that angers me, so it’s about time the MSM turned their spotlight on the subject. Elite tax havens: Trillions of dollars of “dead” money sitting rotting in tax havens while millions struggle to survive. This is what’s wrong (among other things) with the United nations 2030 Agenda and the whole “do with less so others can have more” line we’re being fed, while those preaching the Austerity Gospel sit like fat dragons on their hoards of treasure. Prince Charles on his soapbox about saving the planet while mommy dodges taxes that are supposed to pay for her subjects to sweep the streets and take away the trash. Hypocrisy in the extreme.

….And no, it isn’t illegal, but is it ethical?

Martin H

Queen tax haven

A huge leak of 13.4 million documents from an offshore law firm and a trust company in Singapore is drawing comparisons to last year’s Panama Papers scandal.
The documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, were obtained by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The papers “show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants,” the ICIJ wrote on Sunday.
The names of more than 120 politicians in nearly 50 countries appear in the 1.4 terabyte data leak, along with figures from the worlds of sports and business.

Among public figures linked to the documents was the Queen’s private estate which has millions of pounds invested in the tax havens, the BBC reported.
It is alleged that the Duchy of Lancaster, which handles the Queen’s investments, has held funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Around GBP10 million ($NZ22m) of the Queen’s private cash is said to have been tied up in offshore portfolios, the BBC reports.
There is nothing to suggest that any investments are illegal.
The documents show that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Trump administration’s point man on trade and manufacturing policy, has a stake in a company that does business with a gas producer partly owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the ICIJ, Ross is an investor in Navigator Holdings, a shipping giant that counts Russian gas and petrochemical producer Sibur among its major customers. Putin’s son-in-law Kirill Shamalov once owned more than 20 per cent of the company, but now holds a much smaller stake….

Read The rest:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11940833

queen reptile tax haven

Regulation Is Killing Community Banks. Public Ownership Can Revive Them.

Regulation Is Killing Community Banks. Public Ownership Can Revive Them.

Crushing regulations are driving small banks to sell out to the megabanks, a consolidation process that appears to be intentional. Publicly owned banks can help avoid that trend and keep credit flowing in local economies.
At his confirmation hearing in January 2017, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said, “regulation is killing community banks.” If the process is not reversed, he warned, we could “end up in a world where we have four big banks in this country.” That would be bad for both jobs and the economy. “I think that we all appreciate the engine of growth is with small and medium-sized businesses,” said Mnuchin. “We’re losing the ability for small- and medium-sized banks to make good loans to small and medium-sized businesses in the community, where they understand those credit risks better than anybody else.”
The number of U.S. banks with assets under $100 million dropped from 13,000 in 1995 to under 1,900 in 2014. The regulatory burden imposed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act exacerbated this trend, with community banks losing market share at double the rate during the four years after 2010 as in the four years before. But the number had already dropped to only 2,625 in 2010. What happened between 1995 and 2010?
Six weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, the 1,100 page Patriot Act was dropped on congressional legislators, who were required to vote on it the next day. The Patriot Act added provisions to the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act that not only expanded the federal government’s wiretapping and surveillance powers but outlawed the funding of terrorism, imposing greater scrutiny on banks and stiff criminal penalties for non-compliance. Banks must now collect and verify customer-provided information, check names of customers against lists of known or suspected terrorists, determine risk levels posed by customers, and report suspicious persons, organizations and transactions. One small banker complained that banks have been turned into spies secretly reporting to the federal government. If they fail to comply, they can face stiff enforcement actions, whether or not actual money-laundering crimes are alleged.

In 2010, one small New Jersey bank pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Bank Secrecy Act and was fined $5 million for failure to file suspicious-activity and cash-transaction reports. The bank was acquired a few months later by another bank. Another small New Jersey bank was ordered to shut down a large international wire transfer business because of deficiencies in monitoring for suspicious transactions. It closed its doors after it was hit with $8 million in fines over its inadequate monitoring policies.
Complying with the new rules demands a level of technical expertise not available to ordinary mortals, requiring the hiring of yet more specialized staff and buying more anti-laundering software. Small banks cannot afford the risk of massive fines or the added staff needed to avoid them, and that burden is getting worse. In February 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network proposed a new rule that would add a new category requiring the flagging of suspicious “cyberevents.” According to an April 2017 article in American Banker:

[T]he “cyberevent” category requires institutions to detect and report all varieties of digital mischief, whether directed at a customer’s account or at the bank itself. …
Under a worst-case scenario, a bank’s failure to detect a suspicious [email] attachment or a phishing attack could theoretically result in criminal prosecution, massive fines and additional oversight.

One large bank estimated that the proposed change with the new cyberevent reporting requirement would cost it an additional $9.6 million every year.
Besides the cost of hiring an army of compliance officers to deal with a thousand pages of regulations, banks have been hit with increased capital requirements imposed by the Financial Stability Board under Basel III, eliminating the smaller banks’ profit margins. They have little recourse but to sell to the larger banks, which have large compliance departments and can skirt the capital requirements by parking assets in off-balance-sheet vehicles.
In a September 2014 article titled “The FDIC’s New Capital Rules and Their Expected Impact on Community Banks,” Richard Morris and Monica Reyes Grajales noted that “a full discussion of the rules would resemble an advanced course in calculus,” and that the regulators have ignored protests that the rules would have a devastating impact on community banks. Why? The authors suggested that the rules reflect “the new vision of bank regulation—that there should be bigger and fewer banks in the industry.” That means bank consolidation is an intended result of the punishing rules.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, sponsor of the Financial CHOICE Act downsizing Dodd-Frank, concurs. In a speech in July 2015, he said:
Since the passage of Dodd-Frank, the big banks are bigger and the small banks are fewer. But because Washington can control a handful of big established firms much easier than many small and zealous competitors, this is likely an intended consequence of the Act. Dodd-Frank concentrates greater assets in fewer institutions. It codifies into law ‘Too Big to Fail’ … . [Emphasis added.]
Dodd-Frank institutionalizes “too big to fail” by authorizing the biggest banks to “bail in” or confiscate their creditors’ money in the event of insolvency. The legislation ostensibly reining in the too-big-to-fail banks has just made them bigger. Wall Street lobbyists were well known to have their fingerprints all over Dodd-Frank.
Restoring Community Banking: The Model of North Dakota
Killing off the community banks with regulation means killing off the small and medium-size businesses that rely on them for funding, along with the local economies that rely on those businesses. Community banks service local markets in a way that the megabanks with their standardized lending models are not interested in or capable of.
How can the community banks be preserved and nurtured? For some ideas, we can look to a state where they are still thriving—North Dakota. In an article titled “How One State Escaped Wall Street’s Rule and Created a Banking System That’s 83% Locally Owned,” Stacy Mitchell writes that North Dakota’s banking sector bears little resemblance to that of the rest of the country:

With 89 small and mid-sized community banks and 38 credit unions, North Dakota has six times as many locally owned financial institutions per person as the rest of the nation. And these local banks and credit unions control a resounding 83 percent of deposits in the state—more than twice the 30 percent market share that small and mid-sized financial institutions have nationally.

Their secret is the century-old Bank of North Dakota (BND), the nation’s only state-owned depository bank, which partners with and supports the state’s local banks. In an April 2015 article titled “Is Dodd-Frank Killing Community Banks? The More Important Question is How to Save Them,” Matt Stannard writes:
Public banks offer unique benefits to community banks, including collateralization of deposits, protection from poaching of customers by big banks, the creation of more successful deals, and … regulatory compliance. The Bank of North Dakota, the nation’s only public bank, directly supports community banks and enables them to meet regulatory requirements such as asset to loan ratios and deposit to loan ratios. … [I]t keeps community banks solvent in other ways, lessening the impact of regulatory compliance on banks’ bottom lines.
We know from FDIC data in 2009 that North Dakota had almost 16 banks per 100,000 people, the most in the country. A more important figure, however, is community banks’ loan averages per capita, which was $12,000 in North Dakota, compared to only $3,000 nationally. … During the last decade, banks in North Dakota with less than $1 billion in assets have averaged a stunning 434 percent more small business lending than the national average.
The BND has been very profitable for the state and its citizens—more profitable, according to the Wall Street Journal, than JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. The BND does not compete with local banks but partners with them, helping with capitalization and liquidity and allowing them to take on larger loans that would otherwise go to larger out-of-state banks.
In order to help rural lenders with regulatory compliance, in 2011 the BND was directed by the state legislature to get into the rural home mortgage origination business. Rural banks that saw only three to five mortgages a year could not shoulder the regulatory burden, leading to business lost to out-of-state banks. After a successful pilot program, SB 2064, establishing the Mortgage Origination Program, was signed by North Dakota’s governor on April 3, 2013. It states that the BND may establish a residential mortgage loan program under which the Bank may originate residential mortgages if private sector mortgage loan services are not reasonably available. Under this program a local financial institution or credit union may assist the Bank in taking a loan application, gathering required documents, ordering required legal documents, and maintaining contact with the borrower. At a hearing on the bill, Rick Clayburgh, President of the North Dakota Bankers Association, testified in its support:

Over the past years because of the regulatory burdens our banks face by the passage of Dodd Frank, and now the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it has become very prohibitive for a number of our banks to provide residential mortgage services anymore. We two years ago worked both with the Independent Community Bankers Association, and our Association and the Bank of North Dakota to come up with the idea in this program to help the bank provide services into the parts of the state that really residential mortgaging has seized up. We have a number of our banks that have terminated doing mortgage loans in their communities. They have stopped the process because they cannot afford to be written up by their regulator.

Under the Mortgage Origination Program, local banks get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee for sending rural mortgage loans to the BND. If the BND touches the money first, the onus is on it to deal with the regulators, something it can afford to do by capitalizing on economies of scale. The local bank thus avoids having to deal with regulatory compliance while keeping its customer.
The BND is the only model of a publicly-owned depository bank in the US; but in Germany, the publicly-owned Sparkassen banks operate a network of over 15,600 branches and are the financial backbone supporting Germany’s strong local business sector. In the matter of regulatory compliance, they too capitalize on economies of scale, by providing a compliance department that pools resources to deal with the onerous regulations imposed on banks by the EU.
The BND and the Sparkassen are proven models for maintaining the viability of local credit and banking services. It is time other states followed North Dakota’s lead, not only to protect their local communities and local banks, but to bolster their revenues, escape the noose of Washington and Wall Street, and provide a bail-in-proof depository for their public funds.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, a Senior Fellow of the Democracy Collaborative, and author of 12 books, including “Web of Debt” and “The Public Bank Solution.” A 13th book titled “The Coming Revolution in Banking” is due out this winter. She also co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called “It’s Our Money.” Her 300-plus blog articles are posted at EllenBrown.com.

Xi Jinping’s 19th Conference Speech: China At The Centre Of The New World Order

https://qz.com/1106365/chinas-19th-party-congress-speech-text-what-xi-jinping-said-on-climate-south-china-sea-taiwan-technology/

china congress

President Xi Jinping hailed a “new era” for China in his speech at a pivotal Communist Party meeting yesterday (Oct. 18), an event that also effectively marks the start of his next five years in power (at least).
He actually hailed it no less than 36 times in the three-and-a-half hour speech.
What does China’s “new era” entail, exactly? For one, a greater desire to play a leading role on the world stage in everything ranging from climate change to free trade. It’s also an era where the Communist Party has, from technology to poverty relief to fighting corruption, truly made China strong again.
Here’s a rundown of some of Xi’s quotes on his vision for China as he enters his second term into the top job in the country.
China’s new era
“The Chinese nation, which in the modern era has endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation—it has stood up, grown rich, and become strong, and it now embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation.”
“It will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind.”
“China’s development does not pose a threat to any other country. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.”
“No country can alone address the many challenges facing mankind; no country can afford to retreat into self-isolation.”
Economy
“China now leads the world in trade, outbound investment, and foreign-exchange reserves.”
“Houses are for living, not for speculating.”
Technology and innovation
“We should aim to reach new frontiers in science and technology… to build China’s strength in science and technology, product quality, aerospace, cyberspace, and transportation, and to build a digital China and a smart society.”
“We will foster a culture of innovation, and strengthen the creation, protection, and application of intellectual property.”‘
Climate and environment
“Taking the driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change, China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization.”
“Any harm we inflict on nature will eventually return to haunt us.”
Corruption
“The people resent corruption most, and corruption is the greatest threat our party faces.”
“We will strengthen deterrence so officials daren’t be corrupt… and strengthen vigilance so that they have no desire to commit corruption.”
Military
“We will make it our mission to see that by 2035, the modernization of our national defense is basically complete, and that by the mid-21st century our people’s armed forces have been fully transformed into world-class forces.”
Chinese sovereignty
“We have the resolve, the confidence, and the ability to defeat ‘Taiwan Independence’ in any form. We will never allow anyone, any organization or any political party, at any time or any form, to separate any part of Chinese territory from China.”
“Construction on islands and reefs in the South China Sea has seen steady progress.”

 

I would suggest where it says “new era”, one substitutes “New World Order”

Ellen Brown: How To Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt Without Hurting Bondholders

Puerto Fico Debt

How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt Without Hurting Bondholders

During his visit to hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump shocked the bond market when he told Geraldo Rivera of Fox News that he was going to wipe out the island’s bond debt. He said on October 3rd:

You know they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street. We’re gonna have to wipe that out. That’s gonna have to be — you know, you can say goodbye to that. I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs but whoever it is, you can wave good-bye to that.

How did the president plan to pull this off? Pam Martens and Russ Martens, writing in Wall Street on Parade, note that the U.S. municipal bond market holds $3.8 trillion in debt, and it is not just owned by Wall Street banks. Mom and pop retail investors are exposed to billions of dollars of potential losses through their holdings of Puerto Rican municipal bonds, either directly or in mutual funds. Wiping out Puerto Rico’s debt, they warned, could undermine confidence in the municipal bond market, causing bond interest rates to rise, imposing an additional burden on already-struggling states and municipalities across the country.

True, but the president was just pointing out the obvious. As economist Michael Hudson says, “Debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid.” Puerto Rico is bankrupt, its economy destroyed. In fact it is currently in bankruptcy proceedings with its creditors. Which suggests its time for some more out-of-the-box thinking . . . .

Turning Disaster into a Win-Win

In July 2016, a solution to this conundrum was suggested by the notorious Goldman Sachs itself, when mom and pop investors holding the bonds of bankrupt Italian banks were in jeopardy. Imposing losses on retail bondholders had proven to be politically toxic, after one man committed suicide. Some other solution had to be found.

Italy’s non-performing loans (NPLs) then stood at €210bn, at a time when the ECB was buying €120bn per year of outstanding Italian government bonds as part of its QE program. The July 2016 Financial Times quoted Goldman’s Francesco Garzarelli, who said, “by the time QE is over – not sooner than end 2017, on our baseline scenario – around a fifth of Italy’s public debt will be sitting on the Bank of Italy’s balance sheet.”

His solution: rather than buying Italian government bonds in its quantitative easing program, the European Central Bank could simply buy the insolvent banks’ NPLs. Bringing the entire net stock of bad loans onto the government’s balance sheet, he said, would be equivalent to just nine months’ worth of Italian government bond purchases by the ECB.

Puerto Rico’s debt is only $73 billion, one third the Italian debt. The Fed has stopped its quantitative easing program, but in its last round (called “QE3”), it was buying $85 billion per month in securities. At that rate, it would have to fire up the digital printing presses for only one additional month to rescue the suffering Puerto Ricans without hurting bondholders at all. It could then just leave the bonds on its books, declaring a moratorium at least until Puerto Rico got back on its feet, and better yet, indefinitely.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs data, 33,000 US jobs were lost in September, the first time the country has had a negative figure since 2010. It could be time for a bit more economic stimulus from the Fed.

Successful Precedent

Shifting the debt burden of bankrupt institutions onto the books of the central bank is not a new or radical idea. UK Prof. Richard Werner, who invented the term “quantitative easing” when he was advising the Japanese in the 1990s, says there is ample precedent for it. In 2012, he proposed a similar solution to the European banking crisis, citing three successful historical examples.

One was in Britain in 1914, when the British banking sector collapsed after the government declared war on Germany. This was not a good time for a banking crisis, so the Bank of England simply bought the banks’ NPLs. “There was no credit crunch,” wrote Werner, “and no recession. The problem was solved at zero cost to the tax payer.”

For a second example, he cited the Japanese banking crisis of 1945. The banks had totally collapsed, with NPLs that amounted to virtually 100 percent of their assets:

But in 1945 the Bank of Japan had no interest in creating a banking crisis and a credit crunch recession. Instead it wanted to ensure that bank credit would flow again, delivering economic growth. So the Bank of Japan bought the non-performing assets from the banks – not at market value (close to zero), but significantly above market value.

Werner’s third example was the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, in which it bought $1.7 trillion in mortgage-backed securities from the banks. These securities were widely understood to be “toxic” – Wall Street’s own burden of NPLs. Again the move worked: the banks did not collapse, the economy got back on its feet, and the much-feared inflation did not result.

In each of these cases, he wrote:

The operations were a complete success. No inflation resulted. The currency did not weaken. Despite massive non-performing assets wiping out the solvency and equity of the banking sector, the banks’ health was quickly restored. In the UK and Japanese case, bank credit started to recover quickly, so that there was virtually no recession at all as a result.

The Moral Hazard Question

One objection to this approach is the risk of “moral hazard”: lenders who know they will be rescued from their bad loans will recklessly make even more. That is the argument, but an analysis of data in China, where NPLs are now a significant problem, has relieved those concerns. China’s NPLs are largely being left on the banks’ books without writing them down. The concern is that shrinking the banks’ balance sheets in an economy that is already slowing will reduce their ability to create credit, further slowing growth and triggering a downward economic spiral. As for the moral hazard problem, when researchers analyzed the data, they found that the level of Chinese NPLs did not affect loan creation, in small or large banks.

But if Puerto Rico got relief from the Fed, wouldn’t cities and states struggling with their own debt burdens want it too? Perhaps, but that bar could be set in bankruptcy court. Few cities or states can match the devastation of Puerto Rico, which was already in bankruptcy court when struck by hurricanes that left virtually no tree unscathed and literally flattened the territory.

Arguably, the Fed should be making nearly-interest-free loans to cities and states, allowing them to rebuild their crumbling infrastructure at reasonable cost. That argument was made in an October 2012 editorial in The New York Times titled “Getting More Bang for the Fed’s Buck”. It was also suggested by Martin Hutchinson in Reuters in October 2010:

An alternative mechanism could be an extension of the Fed’s [QE] asset purchases to include state and municipal bonds. Currently the central bank does not have the power to do this for maturities of more than six months. But an approving Congress could remove that hurdle at a stroke . . . .

The Fed lent $29 trillion to Wall Street banks virtually interest-free. It could do the same for local governments.

Where There’s a Will

When central banks want to save bankrupt institutions without cost to the government or the people, they obviously know how to do it. It is a matter of boldness and political will, something that may be lacking in our central bankers but has been amply demonstrated in our president.

If the Fed resists the QE alternative, here is another possibility: Congress can audit the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Defense, and retrieve some of the $21 trillion gone missing from their accountings. This massive black money hole, tracked by Dr. Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of HUD, is buried on the agencies’ books as “undocumented adjustments” – entries inserted without receipts or other documentary support just to balance the books. It represents money that rightfully belongs to the American people.

If our legislators and central bankers can find trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street banks, while overlooking trillions more lost to the DoD and HUD in “undocumented adjustments,” they can find the money to help an American territory suffering the worst humanitarian crisis in its history.

____________________

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, a Senior Fellow of the Democracy Collaborative, and author of twelve books including Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution. A thirteenth book titled The Coming Revolution in Banking is due out this winter. She also co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called “It’s Our Money.” Her 300+ blog articles are posted at EllenBrown.com.

“Calm Before The Storm” Remark By Trump Has MSM In A frenzy Of Speculation

President Donald Trump declined on Friday to explain what he meant when he described a gathering of military leaders as “the calm before the storm,” but the White House said he was not just being mischievous when he made the remark.

Pressed about what he meant by Thursday’s comment, the U.S. leader declined to elaborate, telling reporters only that, “You’ll find out.” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders also declined to say what Trump meant.

When asked whether Trump was just being mischievous, Sanders denied he was just “messing with the press.”

“I think we have some serious world issues here. I think that North Korea, Iran both continue to be bad actors and the president is somebody who’s going to always look for ways to protect Americans,” Sanders said.

Leon Panetta, a former Defense secretary and CIA director, said Trump’s remarks would be something “you’d really worry about” under a previous U.S. president. But he said Trump’s comments appeared to follow a pattern he’d established on Twitter.

“You begin to assume that it’s more about getting attention than it is about proclaiming some kind of national policy. I don’t think it’s responsible…but I think in this instance we probably all should take a deep breath and try to assume he’s just making a play for attention,” Panetta told CNN.

“There is no indication that there is a strategy or a policy behind that statement,” he added.

Calm Before Storm© REUTERS/Yuri Gripas U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a briefing with senior military leaders at the White House in Washington Trump made the “calm before the storm” comment during a photo opportunity before having dinner with U.S. military leaders and their wives. The dinner followed a meeting in which Trump and the military leaders discussed Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan and the fight against Islamic State.

The president also appeared to criticise the military leaders on Thursday for moving too slowly to provide him advice.

“Moving forward, I also expect you to provide me with a broad range of military options, when needed, at a much faster pace. I know that government bureaucracy is slow, but I am depending on you to overcome the obstacles of bureaucracy,” he said.

Asked if Trump felt like military leaders were deliberately being slow to advise him, Sanders said, “Not at all.”

“As you know, he’s a person who like to take action and take it quickly,” she said. “He wants options on the table so that he can make quick decision.”

(Reporting by James Oliphant, Steve Holland and Tim Ahmann; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Alistair Bell)

https://www.reuters.com/

https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/trump-declines-to-explain-calm-before-the-storm-remark/ar-AAt0cJh?li=BBqdk7Q&ocid=SK2MDHP

 

Note the line: “North Korea, Iran continue to bad actors”. Perhaps I read a different meaning into this than the MSM does, but my response would be “get them some acting lessons”

  Martin

Huge Leap In Land Ownership By Chinese Investors

Land owned by Chinese investors soars tenfold in just a year – and they now own 14 MILLION hectares of Australian property

  • Chinese investors own ten times more Australian land than they did last year
  • More than 2.5%, or 14 million hectares of land, owned by Chinese interests
  • Foreigners own a quarter of land in the NT and 14 per cent of all farms

Chinese investors now own ten times more Australian land than they did last year.

More than 2.5 per cent, or 14 million hectares of agricultural land, are owned by Chinese interests.

The UK and China are the largest owners of foreign-held land in Australia, according to figures from The Australian Tax Office’s Agricultural Land Register.

Chinese investors now own ten times more Australian land than they did last year

Chinese investors now own ten times more Australian land than they did last year

Foreigners own a quarter of land in the Northern Territory and 14 per cent of all farms across Australia, The Age reported.

In Queensland foreign interests own more than 17 million hectares, and in NSW and Victoria over 3 million hectares.

In November last year Fairfax revealed land owned by Chinese investors had risen to over 3 million hectares.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4937394/Australian-land-owned-Chinese-investors-soars-tenfold.html#ixzz4uRAga3UG
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

You may also be interested:

https://www.takepart.com/article/2016/02/22/china-syngenta-smithfield/

In fact, China appears to buying the world at an increasing pace: Conquering the planet without raising a single weapon?

%d bloggers like this: