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Comey’s Lies of Omission

Interesting perspective on the whole Trump/Comey/Russian collusion scenario:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/comeys-lies-of-omission/5594719

“The Democrats are not fighting Trump over his assault on health care, his attacks on immigrants, his militaristic bullying around the world, or even his status as a minority president who can claim no mandate after losing the popular vote. Instead, they have chosen to attack Trump, the most right-wing president in US history, from the right, denouncing him as insufficiently committed to a military confrontation with Russia.” — Patrick Martin, “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming”, World Socialist Web Site

Donald Trump is not the target of an FBI investigation.

Donald Trump has never been the target of an FBI investigation.

The FBI is not investigating Trump for collusion, improper relations with a foreign government, treason or any of the other ridiculous things he’s been falsely accused of in the fake media. In fact, the FBI is not investigating him at all.

Last week, former FBI Director James Comey admitted publicly what he has known all along: that Trump was not a suspect in the Russia hacking probe and never has been. Here’s the story from Politico:

“Comey assured Trump he wasn’t under investigation during their first meeting. He said he discussed with FBI leadership before his meeting with the president-elect whether to disclose that he wasn’t personally under investigation. “That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him,” Comey said.” (Politico)

So, there was no counter-intelligence case on Trump? There was no investigation of collusion with Russia?

But how can that be, after all, Trump has been hectored and harassed by the media from Day 1? His appointments have been blocked, his political agenda has been derailed, and the results of the 2016 elections have been effectively repealed due to the relentless attacks of the media, political elites and high-ranking leaders in the Intelligence Community. Now Comey admits that Trump is not guilty of anything, he’s not even a suspect.

What’s going on here? Why didn’t Comey clear the air earlier so the American people would know that their president wasn’t in bed with a foreign power? Why did he allow this farce to continue when he knew there was no substance to the claims? Did he enjoy seeing Trump twisting in the wind or was there some more sinister “political” motive behind his omission?

Trump repeatedly asked Comey to announce that he wasn’t under investigation. According to Comey, Trump “emphasized the problems this was causing him” and (Trump) said “We need to get that fact out.” But Comey repeatedly refused to publicly acknowledge the truth. Why?

Comey never answered that question to Trump, but he did explain his reasoning to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. He said he didn’t want to announce that Trump was not part of the Bureau’s Russia probe because “it would create a duty to correct, should that change.”

A “duty to correct”? Are you kidding me? What kind of bullshit answer is that? How many hours of legal brainstorming did it take to come up with that lame-ass excuse?

Let’s state the obvious: Comey wanted to maintain the cloud of suspicion that was hanging over Trump because it helped to feed the perception that Trump was a traitor who collaborated with Russia to win the election. By remaining silent, Comey helped to fuel the public hysteria and reinforce the belief that Trump was guilty of criminal wrongdoing. That is why Comey never spoke out before, it’s because his silence was already achieving the result he sought which was to inflict as much damage as possible on Trump and his administration.

Did you know that Comey was spying on Trump from Day 1?

It’s true, he admitted it himself. Following his first meeting with Trump on January 6, he started recording contents of his private conversations with the president-elect on a secure FBI laptop in his car outside Trump Tower. He didn’t even wait until he got back to the office, he did it in the goddamn parking lot. That’s what you call “eager”. In his testimony he admitted that he kept notes of his private meetings with Trump “from that point forward.”

President Donald Trump shakes hands with James Comey, director of the FBI, during an Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception. (ANDREW HARRER / POOL / EPA)

Does that sound like the normal activities of dedicated public servant acting in behalf of the elected government or does it sound like someone who’s on an assignment to dig up as much dirt as possible on the target of a political smear campaign.

Isn’t that what Comey was really up to?

Comey is a man with zero integrity. Did you know that?

He is applauded in the media and by his fellow establishment elites because he is an unprincipled sycophant who slavishly obeys the directives of his deep state paymasters. Take a look at this except from an ACLU report on Comey:

“There’s one very big problem with describing Comey as some sort of civil libertarian: some facts suggest otherwise. While Comey deserves credit for stopping an illegal spying program in dramatic fashion, he also approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration during his time as deputy attorney general. Those included torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention.

On 30 December 2004, a memo addressed to James Comey was issued that superseded the infamous memo that defined torture as pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure”. The memo to Comey seemed to renounce torture but did nothing of the sort. The key sentence in the opinion is tucked away in footnote 8. It concludes that the new Comey memo did not change the authorizations of interrogation tactics in any earlier memos.

In short, the memo Comey that approved gave a thumbs-up on waterboarding, wall slams, and other forms of torture – all violations of domestic and international law. …Then, there’s warrantless wiretapping. ….” (“Let’s Check James Comey’s Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director”, ACLU)

Repeat: “He approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration (including) torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention.”

How does that square with the media’s portrayal of Comey as a man of unshakable integrity and honor?

It doesn’t square at all, does it? The media is obviously lying.

Now ask yourself this: Can a man who rubber-stamped waterboarding be trusted?

No, he can’t be trusted because he’s already proved himself to be inherently immoral.

Would a man like Comey agree to use his position and authority to try to “undo” the damage he did prior to the election when he announced the FBI was reopening its investigation of Hillary Clinton? In other words, was Comey being blackmailed to gather illicit material on Trump?

I think it’s very likely, although entirely unprovable. Even so, Comey has been way too eager to frame Trump for things for which he is not guilty. Why has he been so eager? Was he really just protecting himself as he says or was he gathering information to build a legal case against Trump?

In my mind, Comey tipped his hand when he said that he leaked the memo of his private conversation with Trump to the media in order to precipitate the appointment of a special prosecutor. Think about that for a minute. Here’s what he said:

“My judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square.  So I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel, so I asked a close friend of mine to do it.”

Listen to Comey. The man is openly admitting that leaking the memo was all part of a very clearly-defined political strategy to force the appointment of a special prosecutor. That was the political objective from the get go. He doesn’t even try to hide it. He wasn’t trying to protect himself from ‘mean old’ Trump. That’s baloney! He was laying the groundwork for a massive and expansive investigation into anything and anyone even remotely connected to the Trump team, a gigantic fishing expedition aimed at taking down Trump and his closest allies. That’s what Comey’s been up to. Only his plan didn’t work, did it, because the ‘leaked memo’ didn’t lead to the appointment of the special prosecutor. Instead, someone had to whisper in Trump’s ear that he should fire Comey and, ah ha, that’s all it took.  In other words, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had to step in and give Comey his pink slip before the media could cry “obstruction”, creating the perfect opportunity to appoint “hired gun” Robert Mueller as special counsel. Now that the dominoes are in motion, Comey can trundle off to some comfy job at one of the many rightwing Washington think tanks while Mueller gathers together his team of superstar prosecutors to launch their first broadsides on the White House.

Whoever wrote this script deserves an Oscar. This is really first-rate political theater.

Now it’s up to Mueller to prove that Trump tried to obstruct the investigation by asking Comey to go easy on former national security advisor General Michael Flynn. (According to Comey, Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”)  It might sound like obstruction, but there are real problems with this type of prosecution particularly the fact that Trump denies the allegations. Also, Comey has acknowledged that Trump expressed his support for the overall goals of the investigation when he said,

“that if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out.”

Clearly, Trump was not trying to impede the investigation. But even if he was, it is a particularly murky area of the law and difficult to prove. Here’s a short clip from an article by Professor Jonathan Turley at George Washington University who helps to clarify the point:

“The desire for some indictable or impeachable offense by President Trump has distorted the legal analysis to an alarming degree. Analysts seem far too thrilled by the possibility of a crime by Trump. The legal fact is that Comey’s testimony does not establish a prima facie — or even a strong — case for obstruction.

It is certainly true that if Trump made these comments, his conduct is wildly inappropriate. However, talking like Tony Soprano does not make you Tony Soprano….

The crime of obstruction of justice has not been defined as broadly as suggested by commentators……The mere fact that Trump asked to speak to Comey alone would not implicate the president in obstruction. ….

It would be a highly dangerous interpretation to allow obstruction charges at this stage. If prosecutors can charge people at the investigation stage of cases, a wide array of comments or conduct could be criminalized. It is quite common to have such issues arise early in criminal cases. Courts have limited the crime precisely to avoid this type of open-ended crime where prosecutors could threaten potential witnesses with charges unless they cooperated.

We do not indict or impeach people for being boorish or clueless … or simply being Donald Trump.” (“James Comey’s testimony doesn’t make the case for impeachment or obstruction against Donald Trump”, USA Today)

The fact that the obstruction charge won’t stick is not going to stop Mueller from rummaging around and making Trump’s life a living Hell. Heck no. He’s going to dig through his old phone records, bank accounts, tax returns, shaky land deals, ex girl friends, whatever it takes. His prosecutorial tentacles will extend into every nook and cranny of Trump’s private life and affairs until he latches onto some particularly sordid incident or transaction he can use he can use to disgrace, discredit, and demonize Trump to the point that impeachment proceedings seem like a welcome relief. It should be obvious by now, that the deep state elites who launched this coup are not going to be satisfied until Trump is forced from office and the results of the 2016 presidential election are wiped out.

But, why? Why is Trump so hated by these people?

Trump is not being attacked because of his reactionary political agenda, but because he’s been deemed insufficiently hostile to Washington’s sworn enemy, Russia. It’s all about Russia. Trump wanted to “normalize” relations with Moscow which pitted him against the powerful US foreign policy establishment. Now Trump has to be taught a lesson. He must be crushed, humiliated and exiled. And that’s probably the way this will end.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at .

Featured image: Politico

Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person In The World, By Paul Craig Roberts

Image result for putin most powerful man in the worldIt must be wonderful being Vladimir Putin and being the most powerful person on earth. And not even have to say so yourself. The US Democratic Party is saying it for Putin along with the entirety of the Western presstitute media and the CIA and FBI also. The Russian media doesn’t have to brag about Putin’s power. Megyn Kelly, the Western presstitutes, and Western leaders are doing it for them: Putin is so powerful that he is able to place in office his choice for the President of the United States.

I mean, Wow! What power! Americans are simply out of the game. Americans, despite a massive intelligence budget and 16 separate intelligence services plus those of its NATO vassals, are no match whatsoever for Vladimir Putin.

I mean, really! What is the CIA for? What is the NSA for? What are the rest of them for? Americans would do better to close down these incompetent, but expensive, “intelligence services” and pay the money to Putin as a bribe not to select our president. Maybe the CIA should get down on its knees and beg Putin to stop electing the President of the United States. I mean, how humuiliating. I can hardly stand it. I thought we are the “world’s sole superpower, the uni-power, the exceptional, indispensable people.” It turns out that we are a nothing people, ruled by the President of Russia.

When the Democrats, CIA, and media decided to launch their PR campaign against Trump, they didn’t realize how inconsequential it would make the United States appear by putting American democracy into Putin’s pocket. What were they thinking? They weren’t. They were fixated on making sure Trump did not endanger the massive military/security complex budget by restoring normal relations with Russia.

There is no sign that American leadership in any area is actually capable of thought. Consider Wall Street and corporate leadership. To boost share prices Wall Street forced all corporations to desert their home country and move the production of goods and services sold to Americans offshore to where labor and regulatory costs were lower. The lower costs raised profits and share prices. Wall Street threatened resistant corporations with takeovers of the companies if they refused to move abroad in order to increase their profits.

Neither Wall Street nor corporate boards and CEOs were smart enough to understand that moving jobs offshore also moved US consumer incomes and purchasing power offshore. In other words, the financial and business leadership were too stupid to comprehend that without the incomes from high value-added, high productivity US jobs, the American consumer would not have the discretionary income to continue in his role as the economy’s driver.

The Federal Reserve caught on to Wall Street’s mistake. To rectify the mistake, the Fed expanded credit, allowing a buildup in consumer debt to keep the economy going on credit purchases. However, once consumer debt is high relative to income, the ability to buy more stuff departs. In other words, credit expansion is not a permanent fix for the lack of consumer income growth.

A country whose financial and business leadership is too stupid to understand that a population increasingly employed in part-time minimum wage jobs is not a big spending population is a country whose leadership has failed.

It is strictly impossible to boost profits by offshoring jobs without also offshoring US consumer incomes. Therefore, the profits from offshoring are temporary. Once enough jobs have been moved offshore that aggregate demand is stymied, the domestic market stagnates and then declines.

As I have demonstrated so many times for so many years, as has John Williams (shadowstats.com), the jobs reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are nonsense. The jobs in the alleged recovery from June 2009 are largely low income domestic service jobs and the product of the theoretical birth/death model. The alleged recovery from the 2007-08 financial crisis is the first recovery in history in which the labor force participation rate declined. Labor force participation rates decline when the economy offers scant job opportunities, not when employment opportunities are rising.

What we know about US jobs is that the jobs are increasingly part-time minimum wage jobs. According to a presstitute news report that might or might not be true, there are only 12 counties in the entirety of the United States in which a person can rent a one-bedroom home on a minimum wage income. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/08/minimum-wage-affordable-housing-rentals-study

In response to this report, a professor at Virginia Tech suggested that the government offer increased rental assistance and boost programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, which invests in affordable housing.

In other words, taxpayers are to pick up the costs to Americans of US corporations deserting the US labor force. Those Americans who still have middle class incomes will be taxed to cover the lost incomes that the offshoring corporations and Wall Street have snatched away from American workers who can no longer earn enough to pay for their own housing.

In other words, capitalism has reached the point in its descent that it cannot exist without public subsidies for the people dispossessed by capitalism.

On a number of occasions I have written about how many costs of production are imposed on third parties, such as the environment. A significant percentage of the profits of capitalist corporations comes from the political and legal ability of the corporations to impose their costs of production on third parties. In other words, capitalism makes money because it can impose its costs of production on the environment and on people who do not share in the profits. I have provided many examples of this, especially in the area of real estate development. The developer is able to shift a large part of his costs to others.

This cost shifting has now reached the level of inducing Armaggedon. There is an effort to impeach Trump and put the warmonger VP Pence in the presidency. As Trump campaigned on restoring normal relations with Russia, a defeat of the attempt to reduce tensions would reinforce the recent conclusion of the Russian military high command that Washington is planning a first strike nuclear attack on Russia.

This is the risk that the entire world faces due to the dependence of the power and profit of the US military/security complex on war and enemies.

In other words, there is only one remaining rationale for the existence of the United States of America — the interests of the military/security complex — and these interests require a powerful enemy whether real or orchestrated.

Former CIA official John Stockwell wrote: “It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms.” The hatred and distrust of Russia that the West is currently being force-fed reflects Stockwell’s revelation, as does the orchestrated hatred and distrust of Muslims that has supported Washington’s destruction in whole or part of seven countries and trillions of dollars in new US war debt.

Globalism, that is, labor arbitrage across national boundaries, and financialization, the diversion of consumers’ incomes into interest and fees to banks, have wrecked the US economy. The “opportunity society” has vanished. Children have poorer economic prospects than their parents. The offshoring of manufacturing and professional service jobs such as IT and software engineering has collapsed the growth of aggregate demand in the US. The Federal Reserve’s credit expansion was only a temporary reprieve.

Formerly prosperous areas are in ruins. States’ budgets and pension systems are failing. There is no payoff to a university education. Americans’ economic prospects have been erased by globalism. Getting ahead requires connections as it did in the aristocratic systems. The high concentration of income and wealth has negated democracy. The government is only accountable to the rich.

American political and business leadership not only destroyed the image of US sovereignty by placing American democracy in Putin’s pocket, but also destroyed the formerly vibrant American economy, once the envy of the world.

Where can Americans find leadership? Certainly not in the Democratic Party, nor in the Republican Party, nor in the media, nor in the corporate community. How then does the US compete with Russia and China, two countries with good leadership? Is war the only answer to the question?

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/06/12/vladimir-putin-powerful-person-world/

The US can survive a nuclear North Korea — but a first strike could start World War III

Despite President Donald Trump’s bold proclamation that a North Korean nuclear missile capable of hitting the US “won’t happen,” Kim Jong Un appears to be well on his way to an intercontinental ballistic missile that can flatten Washington faster than many thought he could.

But a nuclear-armed North Korea wouldn’t be the end of the world, according to some senior military officials.

“We can deter them,” Adm. Dennis Blair, the former head of US Pacific Command, said of North Korea at a National Committee for US-China Relations event. “They may be developing 10 to 15 nuclear weapons. We have 2,000. They can do a lot of damage to the US, but there won’t be any North Korea left in the event of a nuclear exchange. That’s not a good regime survival strategy and even Kim Jong Un would understand that.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.© Reuters North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The US has to live with the fact that Russia, the world’s second greatest nuclear power, openly opposes the US’s foreign policy in nearly every dimension. And it lives with the fact that Pakistan, a country rife with corruption and Islamist groups gaining traction within and around their borders, has nuclear weapons.

A senior Defence Department official with expertise in nuclear strategy told Business Insider that while the US says it cannot and will not accept a North Korea armed with a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile, that amounts more to an opening position in an ongoing negotiation than an intention to use military force in order to stop it.

“You never undermine your official position going in,” the official told Business Insider. “You’re never going to voluntarily back away from that. You’re going to actively work to make sure they don’t get” an ICBM.

Uss carl vinson north korea© Provided by Business Insider Inc Uss carl vinson north korea

“The North Koreans having nukes is a bad thing and we don’t want it. But if we lose that one, we survive it,” the official said.

Despite bluster on both sides, whether it’s posturing that the US may attack to cripple North Korea’s nuclear program, or that North Korea would use its nuclear weapons on the US or allies, the defence official and other experts contacted by Business Insider found both cases extremely unlikely and undesirable.

North Korea artillery© Provided by Business Insider Inc North Korea artillery

“It’s always in the US’s favour to be somewhat ambiguous about what they will or won’t do,” Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate in the East Asia Nonproliferation Program told Business Insider.

“That’s because there’s no good thing to do. They have to convince South Korean allies and North Korean adversaries that they will do anything to protect Seoul, even all out nuclear war.”

“But those experienced military leaders know, they have run the models, they have run the numbers,” said Hanham. There’s just no way to fight North Korea “without chaos and enormous death and damage to the world.”

Because US nuclear weapons would have to overfly China or Russia, and would likely spread deadly fallout into South Korea or even as far as Japan, it’s likely that nuclear conflict with North Korea would bring about World War III — the great power war between nuclear states that the world has developed nuclear weapons to avoid.

To an extent, the US already lives with and deters a nuclear North Korea on a daily basis. Hanham said that although it hasn’t been verified, North Korea most likely has a deliverable nuclear weapon that could hit the 10 million civilians in Seoul or the 25,000 permanent US troops stationed in South Korea.

So North Korea will continue on its path towards a nuclear weapon that can hit anywhere in the US, but

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

Alex Lockie

Jared Kushner: “There Is Something Very Strange About This Man”: Video

WHO IS THIS MAN? Something Strange is Going On…
Jared Kushner globalist george soros connection donald trump 666 fifth avenue israel antichrist spirit on earth? jason a

“For someone with no prior government experience, Jared Kushner has accumulated a dizzying array of portfolios in the administration of his father-in-law President Donald Trump.

The 36-year-old, whose previous main work experience was running his father’s real-estate firm, is a senior adviser to the commander-in-chief.

Despite having no diplomatic credentials, he has been tasked with no less a challenge than resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr Kushner, who is married to Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, also serves as the president’s lead adviser on relations with China, Mexico and Canada.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37986429

Dear Mr. President, Be Careful What You Wish for: Higher Interest Rates Will Kill the Recovery

Albeit a bit sophisticated, this article clearly illustrates the predictable, and in fact inevitable results inherent in a monetary system co-managed by the conflicting interests of Federal Government and not-federal-except-in-name Federal Reserve (Central Bank).

Federal ReserveHigher interest rates will triple the interest on the federal debt to $830 billion annually by 2026, will hurt workers and young voters, and could bankrupt over 20% of US corporations, according to the IMF. The move is not necessary to counteract inflation and shows that the Fed is operating from the wrong model.

Responding to earlier presidential pressure, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates this week for the third time since November, from a fed funds target of 1% to 1.25%.  But as noted in The Guardian in a March 2017 article titled “Trump Is Set to Win the Battle on Interest Rates, but US Economy Will Pay the Price”:

An increase in the base rate, however small, will tighten the screw on younger voters and some of the poorest communities who voted for him and rely on credit to get by.

More importantly for his economic programme, higher interest rates in the US will act like a honeypot for foreign investors . . . . [S]ucking in foreign cash has a price and that is an expensive dollar and worsening trade balance. . . . It might undermine his call for the repatriation of factories to the rust-belt states if goods cost 10% or 20% more to export.

In its Global Financial Stability report in April, the International Monetary Fund issued another dire warning: projected interest rises could throw 22% of US corporations into default. As noted on Zero Hedge the same month, “perhaps it was this that Gary Cohn explained to Donald Trump ahead of the president’s recent interview with the WSJ in which he admitted that he suddenly prefers lower interest costs.”

But the Fed was undeterred and is going full steam ahead. Besides raising the fed funds rate to a target of 3.5% by 2020, it is planning to unwind its massive federal securities holdings beginning as early as September. Raising interest rates benefits financial institutions, due to a rise in interest on their excess reserves and net interest margins (the difference between what they charge and what they pay to depositors). But borrowing costs for everyone else will go up (rates on student loans are being raised in July), and the hardest hit will be the federal government itself. According to a report by Deloitte University Press republished in the Wall Street Journal in September 2016, the government’s interest bill is expected to triple, from $255 billion in 2016 to $830 billion in 2026.

The Fed returns the interest it receives to the Treasury after deducting its costs. That means that if, rather than dumping its federal securities onto the market, it were to use its quantitative easing tool to move the whole federal debt onto its own balance sheet, the government could save $830 billion in interest annually – nearly enough to fund the president’s trillion dollar infrastructure plan every year, without raising taxes or privatizing public assets.

That is not a pie-in-the-sky idea. Japan is actually doing it, without triggering inflation. As noted by fund manager Eric Lonergan in a February 2017 article, “The Bank of Japan is in the process of owning most of the outstanding government debt of Japan (it currently owns around 40%).” Forty percent of the US national debt would be $8 trillion, three times the amount of federal securities the Fed holds now as a result of quantitative easing. Yet the Bank of Japan, which is actually trying to generate some inflation, cannot get the CPI above 0.2 percent.

The Hazards of Operating on the Wrong Model

President interestThe Deloitte report asks:

Since the anticipated impact of higher interest rates is slower growth, the question becomes: why would the Fed purposely act to slow the economy? We see at least two reasons. First, the Fed needs to raise rates so that it has room to lower them when the next recession occurs. And second, by acting early, the Fed likely hopes to choke off inflationary pressure before it starts to build.

Rates need to be raised so that the recession this policy will trigger can be corrected by lowering them again – really? And what inflation? The Consumer Price Index has not even hit the Fed’s 2% target rate. Historically, when interest rates have been raised in periods of tepid growth, the result has been to trigger a recession. So why raise them? As observed in a June 2 editorial in The Financial Times titled “The Needless Urge for Higher Borrowing Costs”:

In this context, the apparent determination of the Fed in particular to press on with interest rate rises looks a little peculiar. Having created expectations that it was likely to tighten policy with three quarter-point increases over the course of 2017, the Fed is acting more like a party to a contract that feels the need to honour its terms, than a central bank that takes the data as it finds them. [Emphasis added.]

In the six months since President Trump was elected, the Fed has pressed on with two rate hikes and is proceeding with a third, evidently just because it said it would.  Impatient bond investors are complaining that it has found one excuse after another to postpone the “normalization” it promised when market conditions “stabilized;” and in his presidential campaign, Donald Trump attacked Janet Yellen personally for keeping rates low, putting her career in jeopardy. She has now gotten with the program, evidently to restore the Fed’s waning credibility and save her job. But the question is, why did the Fed promise these normalization measures in the first place? As then-Chairman Ben Bernanke explained its “exit strategy” in 2009:

At some point, . . . as economic recovery takes hold, we will need to tighten monetary policy to prevent the emergence of an inflation problem down the road. . . . [B]anks currently hold large amounts of excess reserves at the Federal Reserve. As the economy recovers, banks could find it profitable to be more aggressive in lending out their reserves, which in turn would produce faster growth in broader money and credit measures and, ultimately, lead to inflation pressures.

The Fed evidently believes that the central bank needs to tighten monetary policy (raise interest rates and sell its bond holdings back into the market) because the massive “excess reserves” held by the banks (currently ringing in at $2.2 trillion) will otherwise be lent into the economy, expanding the money supply and triggering hyperinflation. Which, as David Stockman puts it, shows just how clueless even the world’s most powerful central bankers can be in matters of banking and finance . . . .

Banks Don’t Lend Their Reserves

There need be no fear that banks will dump their excess reserves into the market and create “inflation pressures,” because banks don’t lend their reserves to their commercial borrowers. They don’t because they can’t. The only thing that can be done with money in a bank’s reserve account is to clear checks or lend reserves to another bank. Reserves never leave the reserve system, which is simply a clearing mechanism set up by the central bank to facilitate trade among banks. Technically, dollars leave the system when a depositor pulls money out of the bank in cash; but as soon the money is spent and redeposited, these Federal Reserve Notes go back into the banking system and again become reserves.

Not only do banks not lend their reserves commercially, but they do not lend their deposits. Banks create deposits when they make loans. As researchers at the Bank of England have acknowledged, 97 percent of the UK money supply is created in this way; and US figures are similar. Banks do not need reserves or deposits to make loans; and since they are now flooded with reserves, they have little incentive to pay interest on the deposits of “savers.” If they do not have sufficient incoming deposits at the end of the business day to balance their outgoing checks, they can borrow overnight in the fed funds market, where banks lend reserves to each other.

At least they used to do this. But since the Fed began paying Interest on Excess Reserves (IOER) in 2008, they have largely quit lending their reserves to each other. They are just pocketing the IOER. If they need funds, they can borrow more cheaply from the shadow banking system – the Federal Home Loan Banks (which are not eligible for IOER) or the repo market.

So why is the Fed paying interest on excess reserves? Because with the system awash in $2.2 trillion in reserves, it can no longer manipulate its target fed funds rate by making reserves more scarce, pushing up their price. So now the Fed raises the fed funds rate by raising the interest it pays on reserves, setting a floor on the rate at which banks are willing to lend to each other – since why lend for less when you can get 1.25% from the Fed?

That is the theory, but the practical effect has been to kill the fed funds market. The Fed has therefore implemented a new policy tool: it is “selling” (actually lending) its securities short-term in the “reverse repo” market. The effect is to drive up the banks’ cost of borrowing in that market; and when this cost is passed on to commercial borrowers, market rates are driven up.

Meanwhile,  the Fed is paying 1% (soon to be 1.25%) on $2.2 trillion in excess reserves. At 1%, that works out to $22 billion annually. At 1.25%, it’s $27.5 billion; and at 3.5% by 2020, it will be $77 billion, most of it going to Wall Street megabanks. This tab is ultimately picked up by the taxpayers, since the Fed returns its profits to the government after deducting its costs, and IOER is included in its costs. Among other possibilities, an extra $22 billion annually accruing to the federal government would be enough to end homelessness in the United States. Instead, it has become welfare for those Wall Street banks that largely own the New York Fed, the largest and most powerful of the twelve branches of the Federal Reserve.

Paying IOER is totally unnecessary to prevent inflation, as evidenced again by the case of Japan, where the Bank of Japan is actually trying to fan inflation and is now charging banks 0.1% rather than paying them on their excess reserves. Yet the inflation rate refuses to rise above 0.2%.  

Banks cannot lend their reserves commercially and do not need to be induced not to lend them. The Fed’s decision to raise rates by increasing IOER just increases public and private sector borrowing costs, slows the economy, threatens to bankrupt businesses and consumers, and gives another massive subsidy to Wall Street.

____________________

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. She co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called “It’s Our Money.” Her 300+ blog articles are posted at EllenBrown.com.

Trump Announces New FBI Director

Trump FBI Director

Trump Announces New FBI Director

He nominated Christopher Wray to replace James Comey, a position needing Senate confirmation.

He’s a former assistant attorney general in charge of the Criminal Division under Bush/Cheney from 2003 – 2005.

In May 2001, he served as deputy attorney general Larry Thompson’s aide, later promoted to his post. Post-9/11, he was heavily involved in Bush/Cheney’s war on Islam.

Ignoring the mother of all false flags, during his 2003 Senate confirmation hearing, he said

“(w)e have never…experienced anything as savage and cowardly as the (9/11 attack), and we must do everything within our power, within the Constitution and the law, to make sure it never happens again.”

During his tenure as assistant attorney general in charge of the Criminal Division, he was involved in witch-hunt plots, persecution and entrapment of targeted Muslims – for their faith, ethnicity, and at times prominence and charity.

They were ruthlessly vilified and exploited as war on terror scapegoats for political advantage, due process and judicial fairness consistently denied.

Numerous Muslims on Wray’s watch were hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence, convicted on bogus charges, given long sentences, then incarcerated as political prisoners.

The FBI employs thousands of undercover agents, many times involved in sting operations, designed to entrap law-abiding people, Muslim targets of choice – victimized to claim victories in the phony war on terrorism.

Virtually all post-9/11 homeland terrorist plots were invented ones, innocent Muslims imprisoned to create the illusion of keeping America safe.

From inception, the FBI was a rogue agency, along with DHS America’s Gestapo, harming ordinary people to protect privilege – instruments of powerful interests, operating extrajudicially.

Post-9/1l police state laws unleashed the power of the state against constitutional protections – on the phony pretext of national security, the FBI, CIA, DHS and NSA playing leading roles.

If confirmed as FBI director, Wray will be in charge of the agency’s war OF terror on Muslims and other designated enemies of the state.

Inventing reasons to bash Russia, China and Iran will be part of his mandate.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at .

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-announces-new-fbi-director/5594083

Trump calls UK Prime Minister May after election upset

President Trump called U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday following a surprising vote in which her party lost their majority.

Trump offered “his warm support regarding the election,” according to a White House statement. “Trump emphasized his commitment to the United States-United Kingdom special relationship and underscored that he looks forward to working with the prime minister on shared goals and interests in the years to come.”

Trump calls UK Prime Minister May after election upset© Provided by The Hill Trump calls UK Prime Minister May after election upset The statement is the first official White House comment on the election outside of Trump calling the result “surprising” when prompted by a reporter earlier Friday. The Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, surged in the election.

May called the snap election in April with the intention of solidifying her party’s majority in parliament and obtaining a stronger mandate for Brexit. Instead, her party on Friday worked to form a unity government with the ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) after losing the Conservative majority.

John Bowden
Trump and May

The President’s Attorney Responds: ‘Today Comey Admitted’ to Being a Leaker of ‘Privileged’ and ‘Classified’ Information

The_Real_Fly's picture

 

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

 

The big story out of today’s testimony had nothing to do with Trump collusion or obstruction of justice, but the revelation that Comey had, in fact, willingly leaked both privileged and classified information to a friend of his, who is suspected to be Professor Daniel Richman, the details of his communications with the President, to the media, in order to prompt a special counsel.

These retaliatory actions can only be viewed through one prism: he was out to get the President.

During today’s hearings, Comey said he took notes of every single meeting with the President, something he had never done with Bush or Obama, because he had a ‘gut feeling’ he’d need them, afraid that the President would lie. If this doesn’t give insight into the bias Comey harbored against Trump, nothing will.

Back on the topic of leaks, President Trump’s presidency has been beguiled by them since the day he was sworn in. The fact that Comey just admitted to being willing and able to become a source to a low-life degenerate NY Times or Washpo hack brings forth a very important question.

What else has Comey leaked? Moreover, was it legal for him to leak this information to the media, considering the conversations with the President were both privileged and classified?

Rubio pressed Comey on the fact that just about everything had been leaked from the White House, with exception to the fact that he was NOT under investigation — inferring that forces within deep state had withheld leaking info that might be viewed as a positive for the President.

The President’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz, laid into the former FBI director today — highlighting the fact that Comey had leaked to his friends and the media both privileged and classified information to the media. More to that point, Comey had stated that he leaked the info AFTER Trump made a tweet regarding having tapes of their conversation. However, and as Kasowitz points out, the NY Times ran a story, based upon the contents of these leaks, the day before Trump tweeted, which means Comey had lied under oath.

 

The President also never told Mr. Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” in form or substance. Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving in an administration, and, from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.

Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President. The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting. Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified. He also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of these memos to the press in order to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory. We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks should be investigated along with all those others being investigated.

In sum, it is now established that the President was not being investigated for colluding with the Russians or attempting to obstruct that investigation. As the Committee pointed out today, these important facts for the country to know are virtually the only facts that have not leaked during the long course of these events.
Here is his full statement.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-08/presidents-attorney-responds-today-comey-admitted-being-leaker-privileged-and-classi