The Student Debt Bubble

By BRIAN KOENIG | THE NEW AMERICAN | MARCH 13 2012

As more and more young people graduate from college with mounds of unresolved loan debt, financial experts and bankruptcy attorneys are calling the progressively worsening dilemma the “next debt bomb.” According to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), 81 percent of bankruptcy lawyers report that the number of prospective clients with student loan debt has increased “significantly” or “somewhat” in the past few years.

The organization even compared the purported student loan debt “crisis” with the collapse of the housing industry:

With student loan debt now topping U.S. credit card debt and few or no options available for distressed borrowers (including unwary parents who co-signed loans and now face the loss of nest eggs, retirement homes and other assets), America faces the very real possibility of another major economic threat on a par with the devastating home mortgage crisis, according to a new survey and report published today [Feb. 7] by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).

Moreover, the survey reported:

  • Nearly two out of five bankruptcy attorneys (39 percent) have seen potential student loan client cases jump 25-50 percent in the last three to four years. About a quarter of bankruptcy attorneys (23 percent) have seen such cases jump by 50 percent to more than 100 percent.
  • Most bankruptcy attorneys (95 percent) report that few student loan debtors are seen as having any chance of obtaining a discharge as a result of undue hardship.
  • More than four out of five bankruptcy attorneys (82 percent) see the limited availability of student loan discharge in bankruptcy as “a big problem” barring a fresh start for clients.
  • Nearly two out of three bankruptcy attorneys (65 percent) say that student loan provider debt collections have become “much more” or “somewhat more” aggressive in the last 18 months.

Most of those clients, the association affirmed, were unable to meet the federal hardship criteria required to exempt their student loans through bankruptcy proceedings. Consequently, many loan co-signers, who are often parents or guardians, are required to cover the payments. Head of the NACBA William Brewer asserted, “This could very well be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy.”

“Obviously, in the short term, student loan defaults are not going to have the same ripple effect through the economy that mortgage defaults did,” Brewer added. “My concern is that the long-term effect may be even graver, because people who need student loans to try to get a higher education or retraining” will be reluctant to apply for them.

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European Debt Crisis Becoming A Greater Problem

by Bob Chapman
International Forecaster
December 19, 2011

England at odds with Euro zone, The Fed has been covering the debt crisis in Europe up until now, nationalization coming for the banks, avoidance instead of facing the problems of debt, we have wars to keep the bankers going, rebellion within the EU, the financial treadmill runs ever faster for Greece, Gingrich plan to add another trillion to the US deficit, China WTO entry.

After watching Europe’s performance last week the only thing they really were after was an ESM, European Stabilization Mechanism, to tie down all EU nations to a tighter regional set up. As it turns out England and others did not agree. Britain obviously does not want to become part of a new treaty that deprives them of their sovereignty. This regional government concept appeared in the early 1960s and is now going to be pushed in Europe with the US to follow. Our question, is England just trying to protect the advantages of the “City of London,” or is the disagreement deeper than that? A new treaty will take two years for ratification, but in the meantime an agreement will hold forth on what can be called a handshake. Evidence is still out on whether this is an attempt by Germany to break up the euro zone and the EU or a genuine effort to set up a platform for world government. We know that since WWII that the internationalists have been setting up Europe as the foundation for world government. On the other hand we know that 65% to 70% of the German people want no part of it from any standpoint.

The main players in the end treated the debt crisis as a secondary problem, probably because the Federal Reserve had it covered for them. The only main player that displayed real nervousness was France’s Sarkozy. France had to have its banks bailed out and had to avoid one or two rating downgrades. Not only would those downgrades entail higher costs, but also they would impair France’s ability to help bailout the six unsound economies. The Fed is bailing out French banks short-term. Once the situation is more stable American short-term bond buyers will return and the Fed can concentrate aiding in other areas. That, of course, is if stability returns. Bailouts can only emanate from central banks and governments and any such operations in and of themselves are inflationary and if persistent will lead to hyperinflation.

This means all of the banks in the solvent countries will have to be nationalized, all or in part. At the same time these same banks and countries have to bail out the dreaded six countries. That will be a tall order, as some are not even cooperating. That could mean three or more of these countries could default leaving sound countries and their banks with big holes in their balance sheets. Overall none of this has been solved, because France and Germany were more interested in changing treaty rules than addressing the debt problem. These massive bailouts are on the way for the sound and the unsound, accompanied by higher inflation. Needless to say, all of this solves nothing on the short to intermediate term. It is another temporary respite. All we see is avoidance. Von Mises has told us only purging the system works. The bankers, politicians and bureaucrats do not want to see that happen, because the key to their power lies in the banking system and once purged their power is lost and countries are free to survive on their own. That is why the world has wars to keep the elitist bankers as our overseers. Under such circumstances nations are forced to amalgamate to bring order and to provide for the common defense. None of us are on the inside, so we do not know which avenue will be taken. Both choices mean lots more trouble ahead. The EU and the euro zone structures do not need to be changed, but the debt problem certainly needs to be addressed.

The quest for more power via the ESM is obvious to those in favor of world government. There will be nothing democratic about the ESM and most players will be appointees. Someone should tell these elitists bigger is not better and that more than half of Europe knows what they are up too. Whether it is called the EU, or Soviet Union, National Socialist Bund or the North American Union, they are all the same. They are totalitarian governments within one form of socialism at its core. This is government by appointment and regulation, which has no intention of letting the public participate. Every move or change will require no input from the people, only edicts from above.

That brings us to the position that England has taken. PM David Cameron is an elitist and one directly chosen at the Queen’s request. His position at last week’s meeting was surprising as he wanted guarantees of protection for the “City of London,” which supplies 40% of London’s jobs and 10% of jobs in England. This is the gang that was deeply involved in Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros., AIG and the Madoff scandals.

Among other things, Britain has objected and threatened to veto any kind of tax, even 1%, which on a compound basis would be far higher. Cameron believes this would cause financial sector business to move to Frankfurt. This rebellion within the EU ranks has far reaching implications. Cameron is no conservative and is part of the elitist operatives; obviously few of these characters trust each other. This is why England never committed to the euro. Cameron’s action has finally set Britain apart from the EU, never to join the euro, and cuts England off in part from the attempted consolidation on the Continent. That means it will have difficulty in fronting for American interests, and such interests will become more transparent.

Such a new treaty could take years and in the meantime Germany expects an agreement to do the very same thing. You have to wonder if there really are any rules here. This is why Britain said no to the treaty. At the last minute Hungary, the Czech Republic and Sweden agreed to the arrangement. National parliaments have to approve such a treaty in Denmark, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria. Remember, this is not what this was to be about. It was about providing funds for the six unsound economies, all of which was shunted into the background, as a sort of afterthought. There is no question this was the plan from the beginning. Change the treaties, moving European power to Germany and deal with the debt as they go. The US and UK are not going to like that. The US could withdraw support from the financial perspective. Germany is saying we want more centralized power if we are going to pay all these debts. It would demand balanced budgets. If not feasible then raise taxes. The agreement would give the EU power over each legislative action, which means sovereign nations would lose their sovereignty.

These central planners believe they will lose a number of euro zone members along the way and that does not concern them. They’ll just absorb the debt for their government and their banks, nationalizing them in the process. From the very beginning, years ago, we saw this coming, and it is here. The formation of a hardcore socialist bloc controlled by bureaucratic technocrats (bankers) with the public having little to say about proceedings.

That takes us to the other side of the equation – the six problem countries, led by Greece. Greece is a banker looting operation and when their man Papandreou couldn’t get the job done they had their man Lucas Papademos appointed to do the job. He is a Trilateralist and Bilderberg. In spite of Papademos’ position he is accomplishing very little. The Troika seems to be running in circles. It won’t be long before Mr. Samoras is in charge, perhaps 2-1/2 to 3 months. Polls show him with half the votes in a three party race. The people are enraged and rightly so. On September 20th almost $11 billion is coming into Greece and all but $1 billion will go to pay bankers’ interest, which means this coming year taxes will rise to pay the bankers even more interest. The financial treadmill Greece is on is running ever faster. At the same time the Troika wants government to fire even more people. This group is making no effort to create jobs, only to save banks and large corporations. The Troika wants to destroy Greece and pick up the pieces for 10 cents on the dollar. The result domestically is that crime is running rampant. People on the edge, who normally would never commit crime, have been forced to become criminals just to live. The police have even become criminals, because they cannot support their families on much lower salaries.

Mr. Samaras has put Mr. Papadimos on notice that real elections have to come quickly. If elections do not come soon it certainly will lead to serious trouble. Those in office and those who have been in office are at great risk of being charged civilly and criminally. The politicians, bureaucrats and bankers have almost totally destroyed the country. Many could go to jail including Papandreou and Papadimos and then again Mr. Samaras could end up dead. These people are playing for the highest stakes and they should remember there is real trouble headed their way.

Next we expect there is a chance that Greece will enter the nether world of selective default; you might say they’ll follow the path of 1999 to 2002 Argentina. It seems Greece will get the $157 billion to cover their in house debt which means they will be lossers all around. There then will be not only default in Greece, but among the other failing countries as well. Is debt repayment going to be extended in whole or in part? The answer is probably. The interest rates will probably be 3 to 4 percent. It looks like help is on the way and the EU is going to bail out those in trouble no matter what the cost. That is $6 trillion or more, which will be created for the most part out of thin air, which will be very inflationary. Owners of debt may have it phased out over three years and may end up getting 80%. That is if the Greeks agree. We do not expect them to agree.

We find it amusing that the Bundesbank finds financing the Greek government unacceptable, while they have no trouble funding Greek banks. Germany is trying to reinterpret the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties and fit in the EFSF and next the ESM, whatever it takes to change things to their satisfaction, just as Germany did in the Rhineland and Saarland starting in 1936 in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.

This push by Germany to dominate other euro zone and EU members could lead to serious political problems in France. The economy in France is weakening. Strauss-Kahn looks to be out of the race. Germany’s power is visualized in France as to turning France into a German satrapy and that has the French very upset. France was a very big buyer of toxic bonds and faces a rating reduction and perhaps even a double reduction. That will cost the French; it’s Bank of France, its banks and citizens more to do business with higher interest rates. These events have set the stage for the National Front’s, Marine Le Pen to improve her poll percentage currently at about 21%, up to 26%, which would put her into round two.

French voters have stepped further from the center since the late 1980s when Jean-Marie Le Pen garnered 21% of the final vote and lost the election, as head of the National Front. Traditional parties continue to lose ground in France whereas in other countries major parties hold their ground and third parties continue to find the going difficult. People in Europe see more clearly that with the exception of Germany, the Netherlands and Finland that their countries are being mismanaged. In France can a change come via Marine Le Pen? We think so, she has much common sense and the first thing she would do is leave the euro. She has stated this and many French agree. Like the average German many of the French want out. We have lived in both countries for an extended period of time, speak both languages, and deeply understand their cultures, which are like night and day. We see it amazing that the euro has held together as long as it has. Le Pen is acutely aware of these differences.  She reflects national feeling far better than any French leader. She should be able to siphon off enough votes from Sarkozy to enter the finals, which she could win setting a whole new course for France. We must state here that we are friends of the Le Pen family and have known Marine since her teens, so we express favoritism in this case.

As we have stated for more than 15 years, the euro zone and the EU are unnatural associations that can never hope to work.

Britain’s approach is a perfect example of the dichotomous situation. The main mission of PM Cameron was to make sure there were no treaty changes that were detrimental to England. He accomplished that at a great price. The Monarchy and all its defenders, such as the “City of London” were proud he stood his ground. Germany and others were unwilling to accept such impertinence from a country they believe shouldn’t be in the EU in the first place. England is not against more spending to delay the inevitable – it had to protect the greatest wealth center in the world, the City of London. They also know just as the other members do, that they’ll be no meaningful reforms and more debt has to be created to service current debt, until the system collapses. Via this system the UK and US control the world and intend to continue to do so. This is a UK-US holding action until another series of wars, or a major war can be put in place to take the blame for the current financial failures. Just look at history. That is how it works and has worked for centuries. For the UK and US, Germany is the problem and France just tags along. That is something Marine Le Pen is well aware of and she wants to change that. French bankers hate her, because she knows exactly what they have been up too.

Treaty changes require unanimous consent, so there are not going to be any changes until the City of London is exempt from additional taxation. There are still several countries that have to approve by Parliamentary consent in their countries, so Mr. Cameron may have some company in bolstering his position. In fact whether they have their meetings or not, Britain has cast the die and now Germany must respond. It is either let’s make a deal or the EU and the euro zone breaks up. Who knows, perhaps that is what Germany is after?

Merkel and Sarkozy in Talks to End Eurozone

Fears that Italy’s fall may drag the whole region down, prompted the ‘strongest’ economies to think about doing away with the current shape of the Eurozone.

Guardian.co.uk
November 10, 2011

Fears that Europe’s sovereign debt crisis was spiralling out of control have intensified as political chaos in Athens and Rome, and looming recession, created panic on world markets.

Reports emerging from Brussels said that Germany and France had begun preliminary talks on a break-up of the eurozone, amid fears that Italy would be too big to rescue.

Despite Silvio Berlusconi‘s announcement that he would step down as prime minister once austerity measures were pushed through parliament, a collapse of investor confidence in the eurozone’s third-biggest economy sent interest rates in Italy to the levels that triggered bailouts in Portugal, Greece and Ireland.

Italian bond yields surged through the critical 7% mark, at one point hitting 7.5%, amid concern that the deteriorating situation had moved the crisis into a dangerous new phase.

In Athens talks to appoint a prime minister to succeed George Papandreou were in deadlock, and will resume on Thursday morning. The Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, sought to reassure the markets by promising that Berlusconi would be leaving office soon.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the situation had become “unpleasant”, and called for eurozone members to accelerate plans for closer political integration. “It is time for a breakthrough to a new Europe,” she said. “Because the world is changing so much, we must be prepared to answer the challenges. That will mean more Europe, not less Europe.”

The president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso, issued a new call for the EU to “unite or face irrelevance” in the face of the mounting economic crisis in Italy. “We are witnessing fundamental changes to the economic and geopolitical order that have convinced me that Europe needs to advance now together or risk fragmentation. Europe must either transform itself or it will decline. We are in a defining moment where we either unite or face irrelevance,” he said.

Senior policymakers in Paris, Berlin and Brussels are reported to have discussed the possibility of one or more countries leaving the eurozone, while the remaining core pushes on toward deeper economic integration, including on tax and fiscal policy. “France and Germany have had intense consultations on this issue over the last months, at all levels,” a senior EU official in Brussels told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

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European Union’s Plot: One Single Treasury to Control it All

European Union chiefs are drawing up plans for a single “Treasury” to oversee tax and spending across the 17 eurozone nations.

London Telegraph
October 23, 2011

The proposal, put forward by Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president, would be the clearest sign yet of a new “United States of Europe” — with Britain left on the sidelines.

The plan comes as European governments desperately trying to save the euro from collapse last night faced a new bombshell, with sources at the International Monetary Fund saying it would not pay for a second Greek bail-out.

It was also disclosed last night that British businesses are turning their back on Brussels regulations to give temporary workers full employment rights, with supermarket chain Tesco leading the charge.

Meanwhile, David Cameron is attempting to face down a rebellion tomorrow by Tory MPs in a vote over staging a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

Ministers expect 60 or 70 MPs to defy the party’s high command and back the call for a referendum, while some rebels claim the final toll could be up to 100 — about a third of the parliamentary party.

Downing Street has upped the stakes dramatically. Last night, No 10 sources insisted they would impose a three-line whip — effectively ordering all Tory MPs to fall in line.

Mr Cameron, who yesterday took personal charge of the effort to persuade MPs to back the Government, has come under intense pressure from Cabinet colleagues to try to defuse the revolt by offering concessions or a way out to rebels. Sources say a handful of parliamentary private secretaries — the lowest rung on the government ladder — might resign.

The single Treasury plan emerged in Brussels yesterday as Europe’s finance ministers tried to find a way out of the crisis engulfing the eurozone. A full-scale rescue plan could cost about £1.75 trillion.

British sources said Mr Van Rompuy, who is regarded as being close to the German government, suggested plans for a “finance ministry” to be based either in Frankfurt or Paris. The EU already has its own “foreign ministry”, headed by Baroness Ashton, the former British Labour minister, and based in Brussels.

A senior Coalition source told The Sunday Telegraph: “I am well aware of arguments in Brussels and elsewhere in favour of a single Treasury. You’d get any number of different versions of ‘Europe’ all running at very different speeds.”

A series of meetings are due to be held over the next few days on the eurozone crisis that will involve the leaders of EU member states.

They were overshadowed last night as senior sources at the International Monetary Fund indicated privately that it is not willing to further bail out Greece, whose economy has an outstanding debt of about £232 billion.

The IMF, with the EU and the European Central Bank, is assessing Greece’s debt crisis, and a joint report yesterday suggested lenders might have to agree losses of up to 60 per cent in a Greek default.

Any suggestion that the IMF would not be part of a new bail-out of Greece could spark panic in the markets and worsen the eurozone crisis.

Eurosceptic Tories, meanwhile, are arguing in favour of “repatriating” powers from the EU to Britain, including the Agency Workers Directive, imposed last year at an annual cost of £1.8 billion, which is putting at risk 28,000 temporary job contracts for those aged between 16 and 24. Tesco has asked one of its suppliers to take advantage of a loophole in the law which allows workers to “opt out”.

As Mr Cameron led the drive this weekend to neuter the Tory rebellion, Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, indicated his party might not field candidates at the next election against MPs who vote for a referendum.

However, there is no danger of Mr Cameron losing the non-binding vote. He can count on the “payroll vote” of more than 100 ministers, most if not all Lib Dams and nearly the entire bloc of 258 Labour MPs.

On Saturday Tory rebels were among speakers at a “People’s Pledge” pro-referendum rally in Westminster. They included David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, who called the EU a “nascent superstate”.

Understand History To Understand The Current Markets

Bob Chapman
International Forecaster
August 20, 2011

The Fed has been behind all the failings of the markets, Europe now a disaster waiting to happen, about leveraged speculation and counterparty risk, now we have an escalating debt crisis, the perpetual creation of money is the theft of the value of labor due to the inflation that is caused.

Every professional has their own method of analyzing markets, finance and economies, and some do well coming up with the direction of social and political issues as well. The other 97% miss one-half to two-thirds of the time. That is not very good and one asks why? The answer is simple they really haven’t studied history as well as they should have.

Some believe that the crisis in Europe is the heart of today’s problems. It certainly is a strong integral part, but not the primary causation. The 3-year old finance bubble was created by the Federal Reserve, which began the situation starting in 1993. We saw the dotcom boom, which they could have stopped in its tracks. All they had to do is raise margin requirements from 50% to 60% temporarily. After that collapse in mid-March 2000, they decided rather than purge the systems, as they as well should have done in 1990-92, they created another bubble in real estate. They have been trying to recover from that bubble and other layover problems since we’d say 2000.

Yes you can blame Europe for its part, but the blame lies with the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the banks and personages, who control those entities. Those in England, Europe and in the US, who control business, finance and economics from behind the scenes, have played the parts they have in order to bring about world government. If you can perceive and accept that from an historical perspective, they you can understand what is really going on.

European banks are struggling with their fundings and credit is drying up. This is what happened in 2008. As a result Europe is a disaster waiting to happen. Europe is finally realizing this is all about debt. The socialists want it go away, just disappear but it does not happen that way. Debt and credit default swaps will in the end rule the day.

Few reflect back to 12 years ago when the Maastricht Treaty was being approved. The cornerstone was public debt that was not supposed to be more than 3% of GP. That did not last long. Then Italy and Greece, with the help of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan helped these two basket cases qualify for the euro and euro zone by Mickey Mousing their balance sheets. We saw one interest rate fits all and we knew the euro was doomed before it got started. The condition of the euro zone and Europe is certainly terrible, but so are US debt problems. Policy decisions are bad, but not any worse than they are in the US.

We see pundits trying to separate sovereign debt from bank debt. They are one in the same, because the banks control the governments, and tell them what to do. Europe particularly France, was very upset last week when SoGen was rumored to be insolvent. The answer from those accused was rubbish. SoGen has a history of one of the most criminal banks in the world, so what is new. Just more criminality. SopGen and France are under pressure because they own loads of PIIG debt and are being asked to supply more funds to bail out their neighbors, a role they cannot fulfill without going under themselves. The situation France is in is three times worse what it was in 2008. Everyone expects France and Germany to bail out the bankrupts and that cannot happen. Neither the banks nor the governments can continue to do what they have been doing and at the same time control their financial systems and economies. Now you can understand why CDS credit default swaps trade above 180, when they traded at 80 in 2008. We feel that if the six countries in trouble are not allowed to default it will take the other nations under as well. There is much at stake here. Not only the insolvency but also the breakup of the euro zone and the euro and the dream of using them as a template for a new world order.

In addition it is very significant CDS for Brazil jumped from 35 to 152 as did Mexico, which is an indirect result of what is going on in Europe, UK and the mortgage bond market and by cutting back 30% on loans to small and medium sized businesses. Although they are very leveraged in their other operations, such trading and global leveraged speculation include great counterparty risk. This time exposure is somewhat different but the exposure in the theatre could be just as bad risk wise as it was in 2008. Generally speaking they are not long gold and silver bullion and shares, they are for the most part short. The venue that could be very dangerous is derivatives. The way these major banks and countries have become interconnected the danger always persists and once a fallout begins it could bring down all major banks and countries. Don’t let that fact escape you. They dodged the bullet in 2008, but they might not the next time. The carry trade is as large as it has ever been and the cost of borrowing is close to zero, again, encouraging taking on too much risk.

This past two weeks currency markets have seen large swings, especially in second and third tier countries. No one knows the size of carry trades affecting these countries. We have seen a number of countries quickly give up almost all of their dollar gains of the past several months and the Swiss and Japanese have spent billions of dollars trying to push down the value of their currencies, but to no avail. The euro and the dollar have stayed about the same, but we see the euro weaker due to ongoing financial problems, which contrary to conventional wisdom have not been solved. Throughout Europe not only has money been lent at very low rates, but also much of it is uncollectible. This broken European bubble will deflate for some time to some. It will affect all other sovereign debt negatively as well. These are the borrowers of part of that $16.1 trillion that was lent by the Fed over the last few years, which has never been paid back. European banks are buried in debt and the politicians, whom they own, will do their best to protect them. Unfortunately, there is no painless solution. The contagion is underway and the latest meeting to solve these problems was a failure. The latest European version of the issuance of quantitative easing to buy Italian and Spanish bonds will prove to be futile, just another attempt with taxpayer funds to bail out the banks. This possible “Black hole of Calcutta” at this point puts Europe in a worse position compared to the US, which is no piece of cake, and probably won’t far any better in the future. The working out of US problems will just take longer. As each day passes and in spite of the disinformation, confidence in Europe and the US falters and rightly so. The US has no periphery to support essentially Europe does and that is in favor of the US, but ultimately US problems are far more overwhelming.

The recent commitment of the Fed for zero interest rates for the next two years showed great weakness and will in time come back to haunt them. This was another reward for Wall Street speculators and another moldy bone thrown to the nations savers and elderly. There is no question Wall Street and banking, which own the Fed are desperate, to make such a commitment. The decision for QE 3 was made 15-months ago when we predicted it. We could see it coming and we know the decisions of the last 11 years and the pressure being exerted on the Fed will ultimately bring about its demise, and its days of looting the American public will be over. What the Fed and the ECB have done in greed and for their dream of world government is over. We are closing in on payback time, as desperate measures become more noticeable and a solution remains out of their reach. They will pay for what they have done to us.

Even though we expect at least a few more years of unrestrained leveraged speculation, it will then come to an end. It has become a crucial factor for monetary policy championed by both Sir Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. Wall Street and baking love it, because their positions allow them to create inside information, which allows them to make money consistently with little or no risk. We also have the SEC and the CFTC perpetually looking the other way aiding and abetting their criminal behavior. If you add in that there are no limits to what they can do you essentially have an ongoing free for all. This is unrestrained finance via a policy of zero interest rates. This gives Wall Street and banking a license to steal.

All this has caused a bubble and that bubble is in the process of bursting, a product of fiscal and monetary stimulus. That is not only in the US, UK and Europe, but worldwide As a result confidence in the global system is being lost. De-leveraging of bullish bets in markets of bonds and stocks is underway. Ironically these speculators are short gold and silver and the shares. Short covering is in process with some even switching to the long side in the gold and silver bullion and share markets. How any economist could believe that leveraged speculation reduces risk is beyond us. Fortunately the other shoe has dropped and such theory has been disproved.

The result of all this is that we have an escalating debt crisis worldwide and now the experts in and out of government do not have any solutions as to how to rectify the situation. The sovereign debt crisis has been underway since the early 1970s. This experience shows you how long bad things can last. Before this is over trillions of dollars will be defaulted upon. The days of overwhelming stimulus to gain traction in the economy or economies is in the process of being ineffective. We like to call it the law of diminishing returns. The $2.3 to $2.5 trillion we project that the Fed will have to create in the coming fiscal year will at best produce GDP growth of zero. The minute the Fed and Congress stop feeding the system we will be looking at negative growth of 5%. We are headed toward crunch time and there is no avoiding it. Uncertainty and instability are America’s and the world’s next challenge. Currencies are going to react widely. Gold and silver will fly along with the gold and silver shares as a result of debt and falling economies accompanied by inflation. The big problem will not only be de-leveraging, but also the opaque derivative markets and the Exchange Traded Funds, many of which are leveraged. Yes, it will be a very rough ride, so you had best get ready for it. We never had a recovery and the trappings of growth are quickly falling away. Extending the time line for all these problems is coming to an end, but it probably will not be abrupt. There will be all kinds of terrible events, but it looks like the elitists are going to play this out over an extended time frame before they attempt to pull the plug. That means these problems could be extended out five or even ten more years on a degenerating basis. That also means we will continue to have limited wars for financial gain and distraction. The strategy has been and will continue to be to keep creating money and credit and allow inflow to reduce the size of the debt. These comments regarding debt quoting Bernanke and throwing money from helicopters and Greenspan’s admission that the US cannot be downgraded, because it can always print money are flippant and very unprofessional. What they have both done rather than allow the US government to default is to perpetually create money and credit to paper over the economy’s failure. This process increases inflation that quietly steals the value of purchasing power like a thief in the night. Both men can be classified as thieves for having done to the American people and others by stealing the fruits of their labor. This trick used by money masters and politicians for centuries is little understood by the public and most cannot understand how it works and the ultimate ramifications. These characters and others create additional debt, which is followed by other nation’s central banks, which has created a race to the bottom and eventually all nations cannot pay their debts and default. Eventually in order to prevent a collapse in the financial system a meeting is held such as was held at the Smithsonian talks in the early 1970s, or the Plaza Accord in 1985 and the Louvre Accord in 1987. All currencies are revalued and devalued and there is multilateral debt settlement. We believe that is how all this will come about.

Evidentially a deal has been made from behind the scenes to relieve the Fed of having to produce $850 billion in stimulus and that task has been delegated to Mr. Obama. The President, while calling for budget cuts, is calling for $850 billion for stimulus 3. Observing recent actions by Congress some idiotic excuse will be made up and like magic stimulus 3 will appear. We also suggest that the President will use the London rioting as a cause for such stimulus. Remember never let a crisis go to waste. It is sure to be sold in the behalf of preservation of order. We do not believe the powers behind government will get the desired results.

Admittedly, Ben Bernanke inherited a can of worms from Sir Alan Greenspan. Ben has been able to accumulate $3 trillion worth of an assortment of Treasuries, Agencies and CDS, and MBS’s, also known as toxic waste, over the past few years. Those moves decidedly have been negative for the rating of US government debt. The rating really should have been lowered five years ago during the Greenspan years and perhaps even sooner than that. Due to massive increases since 2006 by the Fed we now already are in a bubble.

The 12 person congressional debt commission, we like to refer to as the Obama Enabling Act, patterned after Adolph Hitler’s legislation of 1933, which allowed him to become dictator of Germany, supposedly will produce moderate spending cuts. Knowing that Standard and Poor’s has warned this “Star Chamber” proceeding, which bypasses Congress, that there are not substantial cuts in Social Security and Medicare, that S&P will again lower the US debt rating. Everyone seems to overlook that fact. That means that if there is not large Social Security and Medicare cuts and an increase in taxes, S&P will strike again, and the bond market will burst, and Mr. Bernanke’s house of cards will collapse. As we explained previously the debt extension could have been passed in 15 minutes, but it wasn’t because the powers behind government the Council on Foreign Relations, wanted to chop up SS and Medicare, and to put this panel in place. All is never what it seems to be.