Austerity or “Catastrophe” are the tactics of Economic Terrorism

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
June 27, 2011

The economic terrorists that caused the current financial meltdown have not stopped at it and continue to threaten countries with two different tactics: austerity and the threat of a catastrophe, if their proposals are not implemented. Since Greece, Iceland, Portugal, Spain and other European countries began to show signs of economic stress, the bankers who designed the system itself have told the public -through their bureaucrat pawns- that it is their way or the highway. Literally!

Although the countries with the most to lose are located in Europe, it was George W. Bush who first rang the debt crisis alarm. Bush’s economic team warned taxpayers that a massive bailout was needed to save the financial institutions that themselves caused much -if not all- of the financial crisis. As we now know, all of the reported and unreported bailout monies went to European bank accounts in what we know today as the bank bailout of 2008. Although Henry Paulson told the U.S. Congress and the public that there were some entities that we could not afford to let go down, the $700 + billion -actually $24 trillion- were really not used to save anyone but the bankers themselves, who now are using the bailout monies to purchase Greece, Island, Spain and Portugal for pennies on the euro.

Since neither their bailout nor their QE’s worked, they have now moved to phase 3 of their plan. That is a massive reduction in government spending that cuts all kinds of programs which mostly benefit the middle and lower classes in Europe and the United States. While the bankers and the corporations they own loot everyone, the governments are forced -through the World Bank and the IMF- to cut spending in something they call Austerity. But the austerity only applies to the poor, not to the banks, who as I said, are acquiring infrastructure everywhere they can and paying for it with taxpayer money.

The austerity tactic has enraged millions of people who took to the street to protest and ask their governments to reject IMF austerity policies and simply abandon their membership from this and other globalist financial institutions. Instead, governments like the Greek have decided that they are not accountable to its citizens and that austerity is the way to go. As a response, the Greeks went back out to the streets. While people’s anger grows as they see their pension funds stolen, their salaries cut or frozen and the cost of life growing exponentially, the financial terrorists at the top of the banking industry have decided to once again use their last tool: Financial Terrorism.

Financial Terrorism occurs when the people who engineer the financial crisis -the bankers- in order to consolidate economic power and tighten up their grip on their monopolies, call on their customers -the governments- to pay their debts all at once. Because it is impossible for any government to pay off all its debt to the financial sharks, their institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, the Bank of International Settlements and the Federal Reserve demand that those governments impose austerity programs that further erode the middle and lower classes and that accept new loans with higher interests in order to pay for the older loans.

If a government defies their mandate, the banks impose financial punishments on the debtor countries by increasing the interest rates on their loans and lowering their credit worthiness. That in turn makes it more difficult for the countries to be able to borrow and as a consequence they keep on spiraling down into the hole of poverty. Since countries are no longer able to borrow their way out of debt, the only solution left is to sell their infrastructure -ports, roads, institutions, services, industry and so on- in order to pay for the debt. As you may have guessed it, the buyers of such assets are the banks themselves, who arrive with taxpayer cash in hand to further consolidate their dominion of the borrowing nations.

The scenario that emerges from these actions is not only more ravaged countries with worse economic and financial policies -now under the complete control of the bankers-, but also larger groups of poor people, a smaller middle class and a stronger oligarchy. The difference this time around is that the bankers do not only intend to liquidate a third world nation, but the largest more developed western nations including those with the largest amounts of natural resources and military power, which of course will also become property of the bankers.

The ultimate goal the bankers intend to accomplish is to control it all -not that they already not do that. For that, they built the system we now live in. They carefully socially engineered every single aspect of our lives. The result of such engineering is the passive state in which most people live, where they do not even know anything of this sort is happening, while many others simply do not care. Given this scenario, it is really hard to see how the bankers will have any problem executing their long awaited plan. Even as millions of people rise from their long dormant state, the majority have no idea that their future is ending today. As it happened in the past, it will take a revolution from a minority to make sure that free people remain free. It would be much easier and effective, though, if more folks broke off from their trance and gave them a hand. Although a revolution by the minority may save the majority again, only a revolution from the majority will be able to root the cancer known as the economic and financial Cartel of the Eight Families.

Banks in Debt?

Most of this “debt” is part of the purchase and investment on toxic financial products the banks themselves created as well as unpaid real estate mortgages

Reuters
April 14, 2011

The world’s banks face a $3.6 trillion “wall of maturing debt” in the next two years and must compete with debt-laden governments to secure financing, the IMF warned on Wednesday.

Many European banks need bigger capital cushions to restore market confidence and assure they can borrow, and some weak players will need to be closed, the International Monetary Fund said in its Global Financial Stability Report.

After creating toxic financial products, loan schemes and other scams, banks requested to be bailed-out with taxpayer money.

 

The debt rollover requirements are most acute for Irish and German banks, with as much as half of their outstanding debt coming due over the next two years, the fund said.

“These bank funding needs coincide with higher sovereign refinancing requirements, heightening competition for scarce funding resources,” the IMF said.

Overall, the IMF said global financial stability has improved over the past six months.

The most pressing challenges in the coming months will be funding of banks and sovereigns, particularly in vulnerable euro area countries, it said.

The IMF and European Union bailed out Greece and Ireland, and are in talks with Portugal on a lending program as sovereign borrowing costs surge.

Many investors have questioned whether Spain can avoid a similar fate, but the IMF said Spanish authorities were taking the right steps to address the country’s debt problems.

“The actions that have been taken in Spain recently have managed to decouple, in the views of markets, the fortunes of Spain relative to those of Portugal” and Ireland, said Jose Vinals, director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department.

European banks hold large amounts of euro zone sovereign debt, making them vulnerable to losses if countries are forced to restructure.

Vinals said lending programs in Greece and Ireland were built on the assumption there would be no such restructuring, and the programs needed time to work.

Still, worries about bad debt exposure have heightened investor concerns about bank balance sheets, making it even more important for firms to shore up their capital.

US banks built up capital buffers in 2009, when regulators completed a set of stress tests that revealed some large holes.

But European banks still need to raise a “significant amount of capital” to regain access to funding markets, the fund said.

“It is … imperative that weak banks raise capital to avoid a pernicious cycle of deleveraging, weak credit growth, and falling asset prices,” it warned.

Living Dangerously

The European Central Bank’s upcoming stress tests provide a “golden opportunity” to improve bank balance sheet transparency and reduce market uncertainty about the quality of assets on banks’ books, the IMF said.

European banks won’t be able to obtain all the necessary capital from markets, and public money may have to fill some of the gaps, it added.

Banks could also cut dividends and retain a larger portion of earnings.

“Overall, a comprehensive set of policies — including capital-raising, restructuring and where necessary resolution of weak banks, and increased transparency about banking risks — is needed to solve banking system vulnerabilities,” it said.

“Without these reforms, downside risks will re-emerge.” The IMF said banks’ exposure to troubled sovereign debt is “uncertain,” which adds to the funding strains.

It said government debt was generally high and on a worrying upward path in many advanced economies.

It repeated its warning that the United States and Japan faced particularly dangerous debt dynamics.

Advanced economies were “living dangerously” with high debt burdens, and faced the difficult task of trying to pare deficits without choking off the economic recovery.

The fund said government interest bills would likely rise, although the burden should generally remain manageable provided countries proceed with deficit reduction plans.

For 2011, Japan and the United States face the largest public debt rollovers of any advanced economy at 56 percent and 29 percent of gross domestic product, respectively.

“While the United States and Japan continue to benefit from low current (borrowing) rates, both are very sensitive to a potential rise in funding costs,” it said.

Federal Reserve May Be `Central Bank of the World’

Bloomberg

Federal Reserve Building, Washington, DC

Federal Reserve data showing UBS AG and Barclays Plc ranked among the top users of $3.3 trillion from emergency programs is stoking debate on whether U.S. regulators bear responsibility for aiding other nations’ banks.

UBS was the biggest borrower under the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, with $74.5 billion overall, more than twice as much as Citigroup Inc., the top U.S. bank recipient, according to the data released yesterday. London-based Barclays Plc took the biggest single amount under another program that made overnight loans, when it got $47.9 billion on Sept. 18, 2008.

“We’re talking about huge sums of money going to bail out large foreign banks,” said Senator Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent who wrote the provision in the Dodd-Frank Act that required the Fed disclosures. “Has the Federal Reserve become the central bank of the world? I think that is a question that needs to be examined.”

The first detailed accounting of U.S. efforts to spare European banks may add to scrutiny of the central bank, already at its most intense in three decades. The Fed, which released data on 21,000 transactions, said in a statement that its 11 emergency programs helped stabilize markets and support economic recovery. The Fed said there have been no credit losses on rescue programs that have been closed.

The growth of the U.S. mortgage-backed securities market and the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency enticed overseas banks such as Zurich-based UBS to buy assets in the country before 2008. They paid for the holdings with U.S. dollars, and when funding seized up, the Federal Reserve refused to take the risk that European firms would unload the assets and further depress markets for housing-related investments.

‘Much Worse’

“Things would have been worse if they hadn’t lent to foreigners,” said Perry Mehrling, senior fellow at the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law at Boston University and author of “The New Lombard Street: How the Fed became the Dealer of Last Resort.” “We’re finally getting to understand the role of the Fed in the world.”

Fed spreadsheets showed the central bank became the world’s lender of last resort as dollars flowed to European banks as well as Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., among top borrowers from the Term Auction Facility at $45 billion each.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which posted record profit last year, borrowed more than $24 billion from another program. Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. and Fairfield, Connecticut- based General Electric Co. sold commercial paper, a form of short-term debt, to the Fed under a program that lent as much as $348.2 billion at its peak.

Sanders, the Vermont senator, said yesterday he plans to investigate whether banks profited by borrowing from the Fed and investing the funds in Treasuries, benefiting from the difference in interest rates.

‘Bailout Protection Act’

U.S. Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, said he planned to introduce a “European Bailout Protection Act” to restrict the flow of International Monetary Fund loans to European countries. He said he was responding to reports that U.S. officials might bolster a European fund designed to deal with this year’s debt crisis, which has spread from Greece to Ireland.

Edwin Truman, a former Fed official who is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, said any push to confine the Fed’s role to U.S. banks would create a “massive exercise in financial protectionism.”

“It would lead to retaliation, so U.S. banks in London or Tokyo would expect the same kind of treatment,” Truman said. William Poole, senior economic adviser to Merk Investments LLC and a former Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president, said he was surprised by the extent of non-U.S. bank borrowing.

Commercial Paper

“I was under the impression that each country bore the responsibility for supervising the banks headquartered in their borders,” Poole said in an interview.

The $74.5 billion received by UBS through the CPFF, which bought short-term debt, represents total borrowings by UBS over the life of the program. The total outstanding at any point in time never exceeded about half that sum, said Karina Byrne, a UBS spokeswoman.

Byrne said the bank’s tapping the Fed fund “should be seen in the context of our overall desire to maintain flexibility and diversification in our funding sources.”

The loan to a Barclays unit came from the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, created to make sure U.S. securities firms and foreign firms’ U.S. affiliates had cash to satisfy clients’ financing demands.

Barclays took the loan the week in September 2008 that it acquired the U.S. operations of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Mark Lane, a spokesman for Barclays, declined to comment.

‘A Big Operation’

Paris-based Natixis borrowed $27 billion under the commercial paper program. “We’ve got a big operation in the U.S.A.,” Victoria Eideliman, a spokeswoman for the bank said. “It was, for us, natural that we participate in this program like all the banks. When we participated, the liquidity situation was very tense.”

The $182.3 billion rescue of American International Group Inc. spared European banks that traded with the New York-based insurer from having to raise as much as $16 billion in capital, according to a June report from the Congressional Oversight Panel, which reviews bailout spending.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke addressed questions in a 2009 Congressional hearing about why non-U.S. banks benefited from the AIG rescue.

‘The Obligation’

“I would point out that the Europeans have also saved a number of major financial institutions, and the issue of whether those institutions owed American companies money has not come up,” Bernanke said. “So I think that there is a sense that we all have the obligation to address the problems of companies in our own jurisdictions.”

Three of the top seven borrowers under the CPFF program were private firms. New York-based Hudson Castle received $53.3 billion in aggregate, BSN Holdings took $42.8 billion, and Liberty Hampshire Co., a unit of Guggenheim Partners LLC, drew $41.4 billion, Fed data show.

Hudson’s website says it develops “customized debt products.” A person who answered its phone said no one was available to comment. A Guggenheim spokesman didn’t return phone calls.

BSN Capital Partners Ltd., which was associated with BSN Holdings according to a 2006 Standard & Poor’s note, was founded by John Burgess, a former Deutsche Bank AG managing director. Burgess declined to comment.