If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ITALY REVOLT - Students battle with riot police in Palermo as Italy sees new wave of protests

ROME — Thousands of students took to the streets across Italy on Wednesday amid heavy security to protest against a radical reform of the university system planned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government.

Riot police fired tear gas in Palermo and clashed with students, protesters occupied train tracks in Naples and several hundred students briefly occupied the Mole Antonelliana -- the main landmark in the northern city of Turin.

But the protests were largely peaceful -- in contrast to an anti-government rally in Rome last week that degenerated into a riot in the city centre in which cars were set alight and a total of nearly 200 people were injured.

Wednesday's protests were taking place as the Senate, the upper house of parliament, prepared to vote its final approval on the university reform.

La Repubblica daily said around 30,000 students took part in the protest in Rome alone, Corriere della Sera estimated their number at 10,000.

Student activists have urged President Giorgio Napolitano, who met with a small group of protesters on Wednesday, not to sign the reform into law.

Protest organisers in Rome had said that they would avoid a confrontation with police by steering clear of the "palaces of power" in the city centre.

"I hope that everything takes place without any serious incidents," Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini told reporters.

Several hundred students clashed with police in Palermo in Sicily as they tried to enter a local government building. A group of students was later seen throwing stones and bottles at the main police station in the city.

The university reform -- which would merge some smaller universities, limit the hiring of lecturers and introduce non-academic university deans -- is set to be adopted definitively by the Senate later this week.

The student protest -- seen by critics as an effort to cut budgets for state universities -- has become part of a wider opposition movement against the government's austerity measures and high rates of youth unemployment.

Continue reading - Thousands of Italian students take to the streets

Student protesters in Italy clashed with police in the Sicilian capital Palermo on Wednesday as part of nation-wide demonstrations over university budget cuts that are expected to be approved by parliament. Carrying placards bearing the name of famous books, thousands of protesters marched through the streets, some wearing helmets similar to those used by riot police. One of Rome's most famous fountains on Gianicolo Hill ran red after demonstrators poured red paint into the water. Students said the red colour symbolised both the blood spilt in last week's violent protests, and the budgets of Italy's education system. Its reported that protests in Rome, Milan and Sardegna had so far passed off peacefully.

Students battle with riot police in Palermo as Italy sees new wave of protests

Freedom Watch - Special Edition: "Den of Vipers" Highlights

Dec. 21, 2010 -Judge Andrew Napolitano's hit show, Freedom Watch, kicked off the winter season with a bang as it played host to an all-star cast, taking on the Federal Reserve at full-throttle!

Congressman Ron Paul partakes in an in-depth discussion regarding the Federal Reserve, its effectiveness, and its shifting position in the mainstream political dialogue.

Historian and Best-Selling Author, Tom Woods, attacks Ben Bernanke's policies, the history of central banking in America, political partisan interests, and the future of the Fed.

Financial guru, Jim Rogers, discusses sound investments, central banking, and basic economic principles in a healthy financial portfolio.

GMU economics professor, Russ Roberts, and filmmaker (and Campaign for Liberty member), John Papola, elaborate on the creation of their viral video sensation, the Hayek vs Keynes dichotomy, and the role of savings on the road to prosperity.

The Judge wraps up the episode and lays down the plain truth of the Federal Reserve while exposing the "den of vipers" that has relentlessly sought to entangle and poison the financial system throughout American history.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ron Paul on C-SPAN's Newsmakers

When the 112th Congress convenes next month, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) will become the chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and will have Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve.

On C‑SPAN's Newsmakers, he shares his concerns regarding the agency's monetary policies. In the past, the representative has been very vocal in his criticism of the way the Fed is handled and has gone so far as to propose that it be eliminated in his latest book, "End the Fed."

Rep. Paul also explain his agenda concerning financial issues and how they harmonize with the incoming Republican-majority's overall agenda, as well as efforts to stimulate the sagging U.S. economy.

Ron Paul on C-SPAN's Newsmakers

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Europe On Fire

Riots in whole of EU and Russia! Is year 2010 when the Revolution starts?

Riots in EU 2010

WikiLeaks: Mervyn King says in March 2008 bailout fund needed

Monday, 17 March 2008, 18:27
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000797
EO 12958 DECL: 03/17/2018

Classified By: AMB RTUTTLE, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. Since last summer, the nature of the crisis in financial markets has changed. The problem is now not liquidity in the system but rather a question of systemic solvency, Bank of England (BOE) Governor Mervyn King said at a lunch meeting with Treasury Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt and Ambassador Tuttle. King said there are two imperatives. First to find ways for banks to avoid the stigma of selling unwanted paper at distressed prices or going to a central bank for assistance. Second to ensure there's a coordinated effort to possibly recapitalize the global banking system. For the first imperative, King suggested developing a pooling and auction process to unblock the large volume of financial investments for which there is currently no market. For the second imperative, King suggested that the U.S., UK, Switzerland, and perhaps Japan might form a temporary new group to jointly develop an effort to bring together sources of capital to recapitalize all major banks.

Systemic Insolvency Is Now The Problem


2. King said that liquidity is necessary but not sufficient in the current market crisis because the global banking system is undercapitalized due to being over leveraged. He said it is hard to look at the big four UK banks (Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, and Lloyds TSB) and not think they need more capital. A coordinated effort among central banks and finance ministers may be needed to develop a plan to recapitalize the banking system.

Unblocking Illiquid Mortgage-Backed Securities

3. King said it is also imperative to find a way for banks to sell off unwanted illiquid securities, including mortgage backed securities, without resorting to sales at distressed valuations. He said sales at distressed values only serve to lower the floor to which banks must mark down their assets (mark to market), thereby forcing unwarranted additional write downs. He said we need to find an auction system where banks could move paper they want to sell without fear of stigma that the market views selling at a low price as a sign that a bank is in trouble. King said, however, he did not yet know how to structure such an auction and that further dialogue was needed. Kimmitt acknowledged the need to find ways to unblock these markets and said we should remain in touch bilaterally as well as in the G-7, the Financial Stability Forum, and the central banks.

A Possible Approach To Recapitalization

4. The G-7 is almost dysfunctional on an economic level, said King. Key economies are not included, especially those that have large and growing pools of capital. King said that a new international group was needed to address the issue. It could be a temporary group, and he suggested that perhaps the central banks and finance ministers of the U.S., the UK, and Switzerland could coordinate discussions with other countries that have large pools of capital, including sovereign wealth funds, about recycling dollars to recapitalize banks. King said Japan might not be included because it has little to offer. King noted, though that including the Japanese might force their hand in finally marking to market impaired assets. Kimmitt said that he was cautious about starting new groups in the international financial community because of the inevitable debate around whom to include.

5. The King proposals were not casual ideas developed in the course of luncheon conversation. It was clear that his principal objective in the meeting was to outline his outside-the-box thinking for Kimmitt. King included very few details about his proposals and was content to present broad concepts, thereby planting the seeds for future discussion. END COMMENT.

6. Participants: USG: Ambassador Robert Tuttle; Deputy Secretary Kimmitt; Eric Meyer, Office Director for Europe;

SIPDIS Robert Saliterman, Spokesman, International Affairs, U.S. Treasury; Warren Chane, ECONOFF. UK: Mervyn King, Governor, Bank of England; Chris Salmon, Private Secretary.

7. Deputy Secretary Kimmitt has cleared this message.

Source - US embassy cables - Mervyn King says in March 2008 bailout fund needed

Bloomberg - WikiLeaks: BoE suggested global bank bailout in 08

CNBC - BoE Sought Global Bank Bailout in 2008

DailyMail - Bank of England boss Mervyn King, not Gordon Brown, 'was bank bailout mastermind'

BREAKING: Clashes as Greece gripped by fresh strike

Greek police have clashed with protesters in the capital Athens as unions stage a general strike against government austerity measures.

Demonstrators threw petrol bombs and police responded with tear gas as the violence flared outside parliament.

A former minister was chased and beaten by a mob and forced to seek shelter in a building.

The day of action has grounded flights, disrupted public transport and closed schools across the country.

It is the seventh general strike this year following tough reforms needed to receive a 110bn euro (£84bn) bail-out from international organisations.

Police said about 15,000 people were taking part in marches in Athens.

Protesters started fires around luxury hotels in Syntagma Square, outside parliament. Riot police fired several rounds of tear gas in response.

The BBC's Malcolm Brabant in Athens says the scenes are some of the ugliest in a year of protests marking the country's economic crisis.

He says a lynch mob atmosphere developed as former conservative minister Kostis Hatzidakis emerged from parliament and was chased by dozens of protesters.

The opposition MP was pictured surrounded by a mob and with blood pouring from a head wound. Mr Hatzidakis's office said he was unable to reach hospital because of the crowds.

Witnesses said demonstrators shouted at him: "Thieves! Shame on you!"

Continue reading - BBC - Clashes as Greece gripped by fresh strike

Live Feed from General Strike in Greece December 15th-Unrest in the Streets

FULL GALLERY HERE - Petrol Bomb Riots In Greece

Action video of Greece riots as fire bombs, stones fly in Athens

2nd General strike in a week,Greek police dodge molotov cocktails... will America be next?


Europe faces rising austerity protests in 2011

As austerity bites, Western Europe faces a near inevitable rise in protest and unrest in 2011 which is likely to hit markets and dampen weak governments' appetite for reform but not affect policies dramatically.

So far, social unrest over the financial crisis has varied from country to country. In some of the worst affected nations such as Ireland and Latvia, acceptance and even apathy has prevailed, while Greece has seen fatalities and street clashes.

Increasingly, there are signs of rising social pressures. Many Western European countries are only just embarking on multi-year deficit-reduction packages, a hard sell in states where expectations have risen for generations.

Greek protesters clashed with police in central Athens on Wednesday as tens of thousands marched against austerity measures aimed at pulling the country out of a debt crisis. On Tuesday, Italian rioters and police fought battles in Rome after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a no-confidence vote.

Britain saw its worst clashes in two decades last week as students demonstrated over tuition fee rises, with Prince Charles and wife Camilla caught up in the melee. More unrest is expected next year as unions protest against much broader cuts.

"It's almost inevitable that there will be more protest in 2011 than 2010, particularly in countries such as Greece and the UK where there are real public divisions over how much austerity is necessary," said Carina O'Reilly, European security analyst at IHS Jane's. "It's going to get nastier. We could well see deaths or serious injuries. We could well have seen deaths in the London riots last week. We were just lucky."

None of the European protests have so far had a major policy impact. But in some countries at least, particularly those with upcoming elections, worries over further unrest will deter the government from more aggressive reforms.

Continue reading - Reuters - Europe faces rising austerity protests in 2011

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Will the Fed be able to survive Ron Paul?

The erstwhile presidential candidate and soon to be head of Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve talks gold, jobs and the presidency with Fortune.

If there's anything to be said about U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, he sure is persistent. And lately, that inner flame that's helped him gain the reputation for sometimes being the "G.O.P. loner" appears to be paying off.

The soft-spoken obstetrician has represented the 14th District of Texas on and off since 1977, spending much of his political career arguing that the Federal Reserve is evil for America and far too secretive. He doesn't see why there's so much faith in paper money, including the U.S. dollar. If Paul had it his way, there'd be a return to the gold standard. He even laid out his case in his book, End the Fed.

Lately though Paul's views are garnering the attention that he and supporters have long been waiting for. Earlier this month, Paul was picked to head the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy. That means he will help oversee the body he's opposed to -- the Federal Reserve -- as well as currency and the dollar's value.

If anything, it appears the timing somehow worked out for beliefs that Paul has held for decades. The congressman's backing has grown considerably with the rise of the Tea Party, whose frustrations with government bailouts of big banks and corporations following the financial crisis seem to fall in line with Paul's views.

What are the Federal Reserve's shortcomings?

They're doing a job that's impossible to do. So it's not a single person's fault. It's not just former Chairman Alan Greenspan or just current Chairman Ben Bernanke. It's the assumption that anybody knows what interest rates should be, or the assumption that they know what money supply should be, or the assumption that they can have stable prices or the assumption that they could deal with unemployment.

Do you think we're better off without a Central Bank?

Sure, it's better off that we don't have depressions and inflations and financial chaos and the problems that we face. We of course wouldn't have this backdoor financing of big government fighting wars overseas and getting people to depend on the welfare state. None of that can happen without a Federal Reserve.

So what do you think the economy would look like without the Fed?

We'd probably have a much healthier economy – it wouldn't be so fragile. Nobody would be worrying about currency exchange rates and people wouldn't be in and out of currencies and spending all their energy doing what they're doing. Also, we wouldn't have a situation where the Fed creates money and hands it out for free and let's the banks make billions of dollars. And the poor people who are retired and have CDs get nothing and because of the downturn in the cycle, which the Fed creates, people lose their jobs and lose their houses. You wouldn't have any of that.

This was all very clearly predicted by Austrian economic theory and it's come about and it's very disturbing to the Fed because they're going to have to recognize that their theories are completely wrong and they're not about to do that gracefully.

Continue reading - Fortune - Will the Fed be able to survive Ron Paul?

The Rise of Ron Paul

Once shunned by the mainstream media, made fun of by establishment politicians, and questioned by political pundits, Congressman Ron Paul is finally getting the fifteen minutes of mainstream media fame that his followers say are so well deserved. In a recent NY Times profile, the Republican Congressman was quoted as saying that there is a "50-50 chance" that he will run again. His views on everything from domestic policy, to monetary reform, to US policy abroad are alternative, to say the least, but they seem to be catching on. His message is resonating even more with the rise of the tea party movement, and subsequently, the rise of Ron Paul himself.

The Rise of Ron Paul

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ron Paul, G.O.P. Loner, Comes In From Cold

Ron Paul in November 2007 campaigning for president. He is considering another run in 2012.

WASHINGTON — As virtually all of Washington was declaring WikiLeaks’s disclosures of secret diplomatic cables an act of treason, Representative Ron Paul was applauding the organization for exposing the United States’ “delusional foreign policy.”

During his 20 years in Congress, Mr. Paul has staked out the lonely end of 434-to-1 votes against legislation that he considers unconstitutional, even on issues as ceremonial as granting Mother Teresa a Congressional Gold Medal. His colleagues have dubbed him “Dr. No,” but his wife will insist that they have the spelling wrong: he is really Dr. Know.

Now it appears others are beginning to credit him with some wisdom — or at least acknowledging his passionate following.

After years of blocking him from a leadership position, Mr. Paul’s fellow Republicans have named him chairman of the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy, which oversees the Federal Reserve as well as the currency and the valuation of the dollar.

Mr. Paul has strong views on those issues. He has written a book called “End the Fed”; he embraces Austrian economic thought, which holds that the government has no role in regulating the economy; and he advocates a return to the gold standard.

Many of the new Republicans in the next Congress campaigned on precisely the issues that Mr. Paul has been talking about for 40 years: forbidding Congress from any action not explicitly authorized in the Constitution, eliminating entire federal departments as unconstitutional and checking the power of the Fed.

If there is vindication here, Mr. Paul says, it is for Austrian economic theory — an anti-Keynesian model that many mainstream economists consider radical and dismiss as magical thinking.

The theory argues that markets operate properly only when they are unfettered by government regulation and intervention. It holds that the government should not have a central bank or dictate economic or monetary policy. Once the government begins any economic planning, such thinking goes, it ends up making all the economic decisions for its citizens, essentially enslaving them.

The walls of Mr. Paul’s Congressional office are devoid of the usual pictures with presidents and other dignitaries. Instead, there are portraits of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, titans of the Austrian school. For years, Mr. Paul would talk about their ideas and eyes would glaze over. But during his presidential campaign, he said he began to notice a glimmer of recognition among those who attended his events, particularly on college campuses.

Continue reading - NY Times - Ron Paul, G.O.P. Loner, Comes In From Cold

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Fed? Ron Paul’s Not a Fan

Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, has been attacked for failing to foresee the financial crisis, for bailing out Wall Street, and, most recently, for injecting an additional $600 billion into the banking system to give the slow recovery a boost.

But Mr. Bernanke will face even more scrutiny in the months to come. On Thursday, House Republican leaders announced that Representative Ron Paul of Texas, the outspoken Republican libertarian who ran for president in 2008, will become the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the Fed. His position on the central bank is captured in the title of his 2009 book, “End the Fed” (Grand Central Publishing).

Here’s some of what he wrote:

The Beginning of the End

“The day the Fed came into being in 1913 may have been the beginning of the end, but the powers it obtained and the mischief it caused took a long time to become a serious issue and a concern for average Americans.”

The Gold Standard

“Whenever I talk of a gold standard, there are always people ready to accuse me of having some obsession or fixation. Fetish is a word thrown around. In fact, I’m only observing reality: the idea of sound money in most of human history has been bound up with gold money.”

A Full-Time Counterfeiting Operation

On Mr. Bernanke: “There is something fishy about the head of the world’s most powerful government bureaucracy, one that is involved in a full-time counterfeiting operation to sustain monopolistic financial cartels, and the world’s most powerful central planner, who sets the price of money worldwide, proclaiming the glories of capitalism.”

New Money Out of Thin Air

“Only the Federal Reserve can inflate the currency, creating new money and credit out of thin air, in secrecy, without oversight or supervision. Inflation facilitates deficits, needless wars and excessive welfare spending.”

Fed Chairmen He Has Known

“Being in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1908s and serving on the House Banking Committee, I met and got to question several Federal Reserve chairmen: Arthur Burns, G. William Miller and Paul Volcker. Of the three, I had the most interaction with Volcker. He was more personable and smarter than the others, including the more recent board chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.”

Low Interest Rates

“Artificially low interest rates are achieved by inflating the money supply, and they penalize the thrifty and cheat those who save. They promote consumption and borrowing over savings and investing. Manipulating interest rates is an immoral act. It’s economically destructive.”

The Bailouts

“Today, there is no principled opposition to the corporate bailouts and the Fed’s trillions of dollars of new credit and the takeover of insurance, mortgages, medical care, banks and the auto industry. The arguments have only been over amounts, financial vehicles, and which political group gets to wield the economic power. If there is no moral argument against the economic takeover of America, there will be no resistance to the dictator who rules over our lives with an iron fist.”

The Obama Legacy

“For the same reason a disease cannot be cured by more of the germ that caused it, the inflation and debt accumulation of the Obama years will not inflate our way out of it. This depression will likely last and last.”

Continue reading - NY Times - The Fed? Ron Paul’s Not a Fan

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fed Overseer Ron Paul Says He Doubts Bernanke Can Prevent Inflation Surge

Representative Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who next month will take control of the House subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve, said he’s concerned the central bank won’t be able to prevent an outbreak of inflation.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said during an interview broadcast Dec. 5 on CBS Corp.’s “60 Minutes” he was “100 percent” confident the Fed could keep inflation below 2 percent and reverse its accommodative monetary policy when necessary. Policy makers “could raise interest rates in 15 minutes,” if needed, he said.

This optimism of Bernanke who says that when the prices start to go up, he can turn that off in 15 minutes, I don’t think he fully understands the subjective theory of value and how prices have a psychological reason for going up, too,” Paul said today on Bloomberg Radio’s “The Hays Advantage” with Kathleen Hays. “When people lose confidence, prices go up, and you can’t turn that psychology off in a minute

Continue reading - Bloomberg - Fed Overseer Ron Paul Says He Doubts Bernanke Can Prevent Inflation Surge

Dr. Ron Paul on Fox & Bloomberg 12/10/10

Congressman Ron Paul interviewed on Friday concerning his subcommittee and the Fed's actions during the economic crisis.

Ron Paul on Fox Business December 10 2010

Ron Paul on Bloomberg December 10 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ron Paul, Author of `End the Fed,' to Lead Panel Overseeing Central Bank

Representative Ron Paul, Texas Republican and author of “End the Fed,” will take control of the House subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve.

“This is the leadership team that crafted the first comprehensive financial reform bill to put an end to the bailouts, wind down the taxpayer funding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and enforce a strong audit of the Federal Reserve,” Bachus said in a statement.

Paul, in an interview last week, said he plans a slate of hearings on U.S. monetary policy and will restart his push for a full audit of the Fed’s functions.

“We are ready to hit the ground running, and I look forward to continuing our work in the next Congress,” Bachus said.

Paul, who has introduced legislation to abolish the Fed, became nationally known during his 2008 presidential campaign. His campaign to audit the Fed picked up steam as the central bank deployed trillions of dollars in emergency loans in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Paul’s bill gained the support of 320 of 435 members of the House and a portion of the measure ended up in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul enacted this year.

“Congress must act to rein in Chairman Bernanke and the Fed before they destroy our currency and permanently damage our economy and financial system,” Senator Jim Bunning, a Kentucky Republican, said in his farewell speech on the Senate floor today. “Public awareness of what the Fed is doing is increasing while public opinion of the Fed is falling.”

Bunning’s views are reflected throughout the country, according to a Bloomberg National Poll that reveals deep skepticism about the Fed.

Continue reading - Bloomberg - Ron Paul, Author of `End the Fed,' to Lead Panel Overseeing Central Bank

More Than Half of Americans Want Fed Reined In or Abolished

A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s independent central bank, saying the U.S. Federal Reserve should either be brought under tighter political control or abolished outright, a poll shows.

The Bloomberg National Poll underlines the extent to which the central bank’s standing has suffered as it has come under fire in Congress, first from Democrats for regulatory lapses before the financial crisis and then from Republicans for failing to revive an economy in which the jobless rate hovers near 10 percent. Voters from both parties have criticized the Fed’s $3.3 trillion in aid to the financial system.

Americans across the political spectrum say the Fed shouldn’t retain its current structure of independence. Asked if the central bank should be more accountable to Congress, left independent or abolished entirely, 39 percent said it should be held more accountable and 16 percent that it should be abolished. Only 37 percent favor the status quo.

In a previous poll, conducted Oct. 7-10, 35 percent of Americans said the Fed should be radically overhauled, while 8 percent said it should be abolished.

Republicans and independents are more likely to support ending the Fed, with 19 percent of independents, 16 percent of Republicans, and 12 percent of Democrats wanting to do away with the central bank. Among those who identify themselves as supporters of the Tea Party movement, which wants to rein in government, 21 percent want to abolish the Fed.

Continue reading - Bloomberg Poll - More Than Half of Americans Want Fed Reined In or Abolished

THIRD WAVE REVOLT - British Students Protest as Tuition Hike Is Debated

Police clashed with protesters during a demonstration against plans to raise tuition fees for university students, in London on Thursday.

LONDON (AP) — Police with riot shields and batons pushed angry student protesters away from London's Parliament Square on Thursday as lawmakers debated a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees in England.

Thousands of students held demonstrations and sit-ins throughout the country, heaping pressure on the government to reverse course.

Throwing flares, billiards balls and paint bombs, small groups of protesters tore down barricades as police attempted to reinforce a security cordon near Parliament. Two police officers were injured_one seriously_in the fracas and two protesters were arrested for assaulting officers, police said.

The scuffles broke out after students marched through central London and converged on the square, waving placards and chanting "education is not for sale," capping weeks of nationwide protests to pressure lawmakers to reverse course.

The tuition vote poses a crucial test for both the Conservative's governing coalition with the Liberal Democrats and the government's austerity plans to reduce Britain's budget deficit.

Students have said the concessions are not enough to lessen the blow of higher fees. They say that under the proposal, piles of debt will plague graduates and make a well-rounded education unattainable for many.

Continue reading - NY Times - British Students Protest as Tuition Hike Is Debated

More pictures here -

Reuters(25 pics) - Clashes as parliament votes for student fee rise

BBC - Violence flares at Westminster as MPs debate fee rises

BBC - Students removed from Belfast road protest

BBC - Royal car attacked in protest after MPs' fee vote

BBC - Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall unhurt in attack

Fee Not: London's biggest protest as students march for justice

Rotten Fruit: London scene of massive student fury

Raw Video: Angry Protesters Surround Parliament

Protesters Attack Prince Charles And Camilla's Car

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dead Cat Bounce - Bernanke Dumber Than Gold - Get Out Of Stocks

Dead Cat Bounce - Bernanke Dumber Than Gold - Get Out Of Stocks - Mike Maloney

“Fraud as a Business Model”

“Fraud As a Business Model”, the slides from Tavakoli's presentation delivered today to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Supervision Summit.

From one of the slides:
• Investment banks – securities fraud
• Mortgage lenders – widespread fraud
• Rating agencies – junk science
• CDO “managers” – crash test dummies & accomplices
• Certain hedge funds – shorted CDOs they “managed”
• Bond insurers – money for nothing
• Regulators – poseurs and enablers


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fed Chairman Bernanke On The Economy

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gives a rare interview to Scott Pelley in which he discusses pressing economic issues, including unemployment, the deficit and the Fed's controversial $600 billion U.S. Treasury Bill purchase.

Fed Chairman Bernanke On The Economy


Saturday, December 4, 2010

'RM544m bond means Sabah has no liquid cash'

The Sabah government recently declared that the controversial “bond” it issued in 2009 was part of its revenue in the state 2010 Budget.

Firstly be reminded that the state issued two bonds and not one. The earlier one was the RM500 million bond issued by the Sabah Development Bank. The second RM544 million bond was issued by the Sabah Ministry of Finance.

I’m just going to simplify the issue and focus on the RM544 million borrowed from the State Ministry of Finance.

The Sabah Ministry of Finance in 2009 initiated the issuance of government bond worth RM544 million, which is to mature in 2014 at a capped rate of 5%.

Amortisation of this bond requires the sabah government to pay RM615 million, with a monthly payment of RM10.27 million or RM123.24 million. Total cap-on will be RM71.96 million

Placing the debt in the revenue column is a trick, which makes the state government deficit expenditure look small.

This is a way of hiding the real deficit, which would otherwise be too huge to be in the picture and not sustainable

This method of accounting would serve as the easiest and convenient way to get new money.

In simple term, the whole state can and is good for “pawning off” or in local terms “pajak gadai”.

By default this means that the whole of Sabah can be put up for sale.

If Sabah is as rich as claimed by Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, with a reserve of RM2 billion, why does the state need to raise this bond and give away the RM71.96 million for no reason?

The only plausible explanation is that the RM2 billion is fixed asset – not liquid cash. Therefore the bond is used as cash reserve meant for paying emoluments (a state governments needs eight months in reserves).

Don’t forget the state government has yet to pay more than RM1 billion on water bills to Jetama Air. This should give us some idea if the state government is financially sound as portrayed.

This is a wrong way of solving payment of emoluments. The Ministry of Finance has purposely exposed Sabah to unnecessary default risk, while there are no changes to the capacity and capability of the state institutions.

This confirms the view that the state is stagnating on purpose. The people are made to believe rhetoric and hang on to palliatives.

There’s no concerted effort to develop Sabah to be at par with the other states in the country.

By putting bond as revenue, Musa, who is also the State Minister of Finance, had deliberately lied to the people on the health of Sabah's revenue.

Continue reading - Sabah - 'RM544m bond means Sabah has no liquid cash'

Bernanke Doesn't Rule Out QE Exceeding $600 Billion

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke defended the Fed’s decision to purchase $600 billion in Treasury securities and didn’t rule out expanding the program, in an interview for CBS television’s “60 Minutes,” the network said.

“He explains why the Fed announced its intention to buy $600 billion in Treasury securities, defending against charges the move will lead to inflation and not ruling out the purchase of more,” according to a press release today from CBS.

At its Nov. 3 meeting in Washington, the Fed announced the program to purchase about $75 billion a month of Treasury securities through June. The Fed’s Open Market Committee said it would “regularly review the pace of its securities purchases and the overall size of the asset-purchase program.”

Republican leaders criticized the second round of so-called quantitative easing last month, where the Fed attempts to provide additional monetary stimulus by purchasing Treasury debt. The Fed’s benchmark lending rate has been in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008.

Continue reading - Bloomberg - Bernanke Doesn't Rule Out QE Exceeding $600 Billion

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tom Woods at Illinois State University, Nov.17, 2010

Tom Woods, author of the bestselling book - Meltdown, spoke at Illinois State University on November 17, 2010. The event was sponsored by Campaign for Liberty and the ISU chapter of Young Americans for Liberty.

Thomas Woods Meltdown Introduction

Thomas Woods Meltdown Part 1

Thomas Woods Meltdown Part 2

Thomas Woods Meltdown Part 3

Thomas Woods Meltdown Part 4

Thomas Woods Meltdown Part 5

Thomas Woods Meltdown Part 6

Fed to Name Recipients of $3.3 Trillion in Aid During Crisis

The Federal Reserve, under orders from Congress, plans today to identify recipients of $3.3 trillion in emergency aid the central bank provided as it fought the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed intends to post the data on its website at midday in Washington to comply with a provision in July’s Dodd-Frank law overhauling financial regulation. The information spans six loan programs as well as currency swaps with other central banks, purchases of mortgage-backed securities and the rescues of Bear Stearns Cos. and American International Group Inc.

The disclosures may heighten political scrutiny of the central bank already at its most intense in three decades. The Fed’s Nov. 3 decision to add $600 billion of monetary stimulus has met with backlash from top Republicans in Congress, who said in a Nov. 17 letter to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke that the action risks inflation and asset-price bubbles.

Continue reading - Bloomberg - Fed to Name Recipients of $3.3 Trillion in Aid During Crisis

Federal Reserve - FRB - Usage of Federal Reserve Credit and Liquidity Facilities

Congressman Paul discusses the Fed and bailouts

UN: World recovery slows, will be hit by austerity

The world's recovery from the 2008 financial crisis is losing steam, with growth, hit by austerity drives in rich countries, not enough to restore the 30 million lost jobs in the next two years, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

"The road to recovery from the Great Recession is proving to be long, winding and rocky," said an annual U.N. survey, "World Economic Situation and Prospects 2011."

"After a year of fragile and uneven recovery, growth of the world economy is now decelerating on a broad front, presaging weaker global growth in the outlook."

"The core message is that no, we're not out of the woods yet and still major risks are looming," the report's lead author, Rob Vos, told reporters.

Weaknesses in developed economies, including sluggish growth in the United States and debt crises on the periphery of Europe, were dragging down the global recovery and posing risks for world economic stability, it said.

"There will be no quick fix for the problems these economies are still facing in the aftermath of the (2008) financial crisis," it said.

The report implicitly faulted nations that have dropped stimulus packages in favor of slashing budgets. "As governments shift from fiscal stimulus to austerity, the recovery process is being placed in further jeopardy," it said.

"Withdrawal of stimulus is understandable given the large fiscal deficits and the mounting public debt in many of the developed countries, but at the same time we see there's still a lot of fiscal space available for more stimulus," Vos said.

Focusing on debt reduction without stimulus could be a "self-defeating strategy" because failing growth rates could worsen debt problems, he said.

The report also queried the policy of "quantitative easing" -- or pumping money into the economy by buying government debt. The U.S. Federal Reserve announced a program on November 3 to buy $600 billion in government bonds by mid-2011.

"Further quantitative easing and a further depreciation of the dollar could be a way for the United States to try to inflate and export its way out of its large foreign liability position," the report said. "But it could more likely risk disruption of trade and financial markets."

Continue reading - Reuters - UN: World recovery slows, will be hit by austerity

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hypothetical Scenario - The Day the Dollar Died

The Day the Dollar Died

Keynesian Economics Is Wrong: Economic Growth Causes Consumer Spending, Not the Other Way

Politicians and journalists who fixate on consumer spending are putting the cart before the horse. Consumer spending generally is a consequence of growth, not the cause of growth. This Center for Freedom and Prosperity video helps explain how to achieve more prosperity by looking at the differences between gross domestic product and gross domestic income.

Keynesian Economics Is Wrong: Economic Growth Causes Consumer Spending, Not the Other Way

Sunday, November 28, 2010

SECOND WAVE PROTEST - Against Ireland Austerity and Bailout

"What hurts me the most is why is the taxpayer paying for the IMF. Why are we bailing out the banks. These are the people who took the risk, let them take the hurt, let them feel the hurt." That is the common refrain of the tens of thousands of people who took to the streets today in Dublin, protesting against the government's rescue of various European banks (and Goldman Sachs) investment losses. More from RTE: "Gardaí said that around 10,000 people started the march, however the crowd swelled to around 50,000 people as it moved down the quays. Speakers at the march had estimated that the crowd was between 100,000 and 150,000. A small group of around 400 protestors are currently at the front gates of Leinster House. Some 60 gardaí are lining the footpath in front of the building, with crash barriers erected in front of them."

Continue reading - 50,000 Turn Out To Protest Against Government Handling Of Irish Bailout

BBC NEWS - Dublin protesters march against cuts as bail-out looms

Saturday, November 27, 2010

MV - Spirit of the Times

This is a live performance by Jeff Uzzel at the Ventura Chapter meeting of the Zeitgeist Movement as seen through Ryan's lens. ZMVC.org. Pretty inspiring.

Spirit of the Times - Zeitgeist Movement

Friday, November 26, 2010

MUST WATCH! Nigel Farage: 'Who the Hell do You Think You Are: The Euro Game Is Up!

Nigel Farage: 'Who the Hell do You Think You Are: The Euro Game Is Up!

SECOND WAVE REVOLT - British Students Leave Classes Over Cuts

LONDON — Thousands of students in cities across Britain walked out of classes on Wednesday and marched to protest the government’s plans to cut education spending and steeply increase university tuition. It was the second such protest this month.

The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, but here in London at least eight people, including two police officers, were injured in pockets of violence, and three protesters were arrested on suspicion of committing violent acts and stealing. Some protesters surrounded and vandalized an empty police van, breaking its windows, scrawling graffiti on it and trying to tip it over.

And a group of demonstrators repeatedly tried to break through a police cordon in front of Whitehall, which houses many government buildings, throwing placards, smoke bombs and other projectiles even as officers held them back with night sticks.

In other cities, including Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Warwick, university students — in some cases joined by students from secondary schools who also walked out of class — marched through town centers or tried to occupy university buildings.

Several dozen students occupied part of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, and there were reports of occupations at other universities.

The demonstrators were angry at government proposals to help reduce the country’s budget deficit by giving less money in direct grants to universities, and allowing the universities in turn to charge tuition of up to $14,400 a year, from the current cap of $5,624.

Continue reading - NY Times - British Students Leave Classes Over Cuts

Disorder Breaks Out As Students Protest Against Rise In Fees

Students protest in 'day of action'

British students protest against higher fees

Raw Video: British Students Protest Tuition Hike

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tom Woods on the Coming Collapse

Gary Franchi sits down with New York Times best selling author, Tom Woods, to discuss the current state of the economy, the recent statements from the World Bank President... and just how long we have before total economic collapse.

Tom Woods on the Coming Collapse

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

IMF Bailout Protests Break Out In Ireland

Gardai push protesters, including Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh (right), back after they pushed through the gates of Government Buildings in Dublin this afternoon.

A group of demonstrators protesting against the Government's handling of the economic crisis forced its way into a security area at Government Buildings in Dublin today.

Some 50 people including Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, protested outside Government Buildings on Merrion Street at lunchtime, shouting: "Cowen, Cowen, Cowen. Out, out, out!"

BBC News footage showed the Dublin South Central TD caught up in scuffles between the demonstrators and gardaí. Video showed gardaí attempting to push back a crowd of shouting protesters carrying banners during the protest organised by Sinn Féin.

Earlier, the Sinn Féin lunchtime protest, comprising some 150 people, had made its way around from Kildare Street to Merrion Street.

Speaking during the protest, Mr Ó Snodaigh, the party's social protection spokesman, said the Government had no mandate to implement its planned cuts to social welfare payments and should call a general election immediately.

On one side of the entrance, a woman held a sign reading "FF traitors out now", while at the other, a man brandished a placard that carried a warning the world would end for all and the IMF.

Continue reading - IMF Bailout Protests Break Out In Ireland

Sinn Féin protest outside government buildings - IMF cuts

Protest at Department of Finance at IMF visit

MUST WATCH - Most Unparliamentary Language

"We are screwed as a country because of the wrongdoing of others."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eric Cantona's call for Bank Runs on 7th December

Former Man United footballer Eric Cantona is calling on protesters against cutbacks and pension reforms in France to start a real revolution by mass bank withdrawals.

As students and public sector workers across Europe prepare for a winter of protests, they have been offered advice from the archetypal football rebel Eric Cantona.

The 44-year-old former footballer recommended a run on the cash reserves of the world's banks during a newspaper interview that was also filmed. The interview has become a YouTube hit and has spawned a new political movement.

Cantona, wearing a bright red jumper, dismissed protesters who take to the streets with placards and banners as passé. Instead, he said, they should create a social and economic revolution by taking their money out of their bank.

He said: "I don't think we can be entirely happy seeing such misery around us. Unless you live in a pod. But then there is a chance... there is something to do. Nowadays what does it mean to be on the streets? To demonstrate? You swindle yourself. Anyway, that's not the way any more."

"We don't pick up weapons to kill people to start the revolution. The revolution is really easy to do these days. What's the system? The system is built on the power of the banks. So it must be destroyed through the banks."

"This means that the three million people with their placards on the streets, they go to the bank and they withdraw their money and the banks collapse. Three million, 10 million people, and the banks collapse and there is no real threat. A real revolution."

"We must go to the bank. In this case there would be a real revolution. It's not complicated; instead of going on the streets and driving kilometres by car you simply go to the bank in your country and withdraw your money, and if there are a lot of people withdrawing their money the system collapses. No weapons, no blood, or anything like that."

He concludes: "It's not complicated and in this case they will listen to us in a different way. Trade unions? Sometimes we should propose ideas to them."

Cantona's call appeared to touch a popular chord and generated an instant response. Nearly 40,000 people have clicked on the YouTube clip, and a French-based movement – StopBanque – has taken up the campaign for a massive coordinated withdrawal of money from banks on 7 December. It is claimed that more than 14,000 people are already committed to removing deposits. The movement is also gaining increasing attention in Britain.

The trio of French Facebook users now leading the campaign have appealed to people across Europe to provoke a bank crash. "It is we who control the banks, not vice versa," they write.

Continue reading - Eric Cantona's call for Bank Runs on 7th December

The era of fractional reserve banking is coming to an end. Game Over.

French-based European movement is gaining considerable strength that calls for massive, coordinated bank withdrawals across the continent on December 7. It's an attempt at a modern, crowd-sourced bank run. Stop Banque!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Open Letter to Ben Bernanke

The following is the text of an open letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signed by several economists, along with investors and political strategists, most of them close to Republicans:

We believe the Federal Reserve’s large-scale asset purchase plan (so-called “quantitative easing”) should be reconsidered and discontinued. We do not believe such a plan is necessary or advisable under current circumstances. The planned asset purchases risk currency debasement and inflation, and we do not think they will achieve the Fed’s objective of promoting employment.

We subscribe to your statement in the Washington Post on November 4 that “the Federal Reserve cannot solve all the economy’s problems on its own.” In this case, we think improvements in tax, spending and regulatory policies must take precedence in a national growth program, not further monetary stimulus.

We disagree with the view that inflation needs to be pushed higher, and worry that another round of asset purchases, with interest rates still near zero over a year into the recovery, will distort financial markets and greatly complicate future Fed efforts to normalize monetary policy.

The Fed’s purchase program has also met broad opposition from other central banks and we share their concerns that quantitative easing by the Fed is neither warranted nor helpful in addressing either U.S. or global economic problems.

Michael J. Boskin
Stanford University
Former Chairman, President’s Council of Economic Advisors (George H.W. Bush Administration)

Jim Chanos
Kynikos Associates

John F. Cogan
Stanford University
Former Associate Director, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (Reagan Administration)

Niall Ferguson
Harvard University
Author, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

James Grant
Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

Kevin A. Hassett
American Enterprise Institute
Former Senior Economist, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

Douglas Holtz-Eakin
Former Director, Congressional Budget Office

David Malpass
Former Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary (Reagan Administration)

John B. Taylor
Stanford University
Former Undersecretary of Treasury for International Affairs (George W. Bush Administration)

Peter J. Wallison
American Enterprise Institute
Former Treasury and White House Counsel (Reagan Administration)

A spokeswoman for the Fed responded:

“As the Chairman has said, the Federal Reserve has Congressionally-mandated objectives to help promote both increased employment and price stability. In light of persistently weak job creation and declining inflation, the Federal Open Market Committee’s recent actions reflect those mandates. The Federal Reserve will regularly review its program in light of incoming information and is prepared to make adjustments as necessary. The Federal Reserve is committed to both parts of its dual mandate and will take all measures to keep inflation low and stable as well as promote growth in employment. In particular, the Fed has made all necessary preparations and is confident that it has the tools to unwind these policies at the appropriate time. The Chairman has also noted that the Federal Reserve does not believe it can solve the economy’s problems on its own. That will take time and the combined efforts of many parties, including the central bank, Congress, the administration, regulators, and the private sector.”

Continue reading - Open Letter to Ben Bernanke

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Europe Fears That Debt Crisis Is Ready to Spread

LONDON — European officials, increasingly concerned that the Continent’s debt crisis will spread, are warning that any new rescue plans may need to cover Portugal as well as Ireland to contain the problem they tried to resolve six months ago.

Any such plan would have to be preceded by a formal request for assistance from each country before it would be put in place. And for months now, Ireland has insisted that it has enough funds to keep it going until spring. Portugal says it, too, needs no help and emphasizes that it is in a stronger position than Ireland.

While some important details are different, the current situation feels eerily similar to what happened months ago in Greece, where the cost of borrowing rose precipitously.

European authorities stepped in with a rescue package, expecting an economic recovery and the creation of new European rescue funds to fend off future panics by bond investors whose money is needed by countries to refinance their debt.

But with economic conditions weakening, markets are once again in turmoil. Rescuing Ireland may no longer be enough.

Stronger countries and weaker countries using the common currency of the euro are being pulled in different directions.

“If things are getting worse in Ireland, for instance, that will have a contagion impact on the other euro zone economies and particularly on those that are under closer scrutiny of markets, like Portugal,” he said. Asked if Ireland should accept a bailout to stem the contagion, Mr. Teixeira dos Santos said, “It’s not up to me to make that assessment.”

The bureaucratic machinations in Brussels highlight one of the main concerns that grew out of the establishment earlier this year of a rescue fund of 500 billion euros (about $680 billion at today’s exchange rate) by the European Union after the Greek budget crisis: What happens if, in the next crisis, multiple countries need aid at the same time?

Continue reading - NY Times - Europe Fears That Debt Crisis Is Ready to Spread