The fiscal crisis in the United States is near, and it won’t be pretty

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 5, 2013

When one hears talks about the collapse of the dollar, it is hard to picture how a currency that is the base of all global transactions can simply disappear. An important point to understand is that such a collapse does not occur at once. It takes a while to happen because that is how it has been arranged. What most people are clueless about is that, not only is the death of the dollar possible, but that it has already started.

Since the dollar became the world’s currency by design, the American currency has lost a great deal of value. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, one dollar today is worth only about 5% of what the green back was worth back in 1913. More recent signs of the loss of relevance the dollar has had in the global economy is the fact that major commercial power houses –American commercial partners and foes– have officially adopted new ways to conduct commercial transactions. For example, China and Russia are now using their own currencies to deal with the purchase and sale of products. Another case is that of India and Japan. They have also resourced to their own currencies to carry out trade.

The dollar has not only lost value, but also credibility. The origin of the lack of trust on what once was the base currency on which every single product and service was priced –including gold– is the United States’ thirst for debt as a ‘development’ model. Today more than ever before, the American government depends on the issuance of debt as a way to keep up with its spending. For that reason, the country’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, has come up with all kinds of circus moves to slow down an outcome that seems imminent: the complete collapse of the U.S. dollar currency.

The influence of the Fed in the way the U.S. manages its debt to GDP ratio stems from the country’s inability to make payments on the cash it has borrowed from the Fed itself, as well as China and other foreign investors who own much of the American debt. The path chosen by the Fed to temporarily deal with the American inability to make payments on its debt –which continues to grow out of control with every passing day– is to make large purchases of government bonds and to use quantitative easing –the pumping of unlimited amounts of electronic money– in an attempt to make everyone feel good about the state of the economy.

The Fed’s intention is to make clear to the world that the U.S. has meaningful ways to prevent a default, because since all important transactions are carried out in dollars and the dollar is the world’s currency, the private central bank can issue fake money for as long as it wants. The obvious consequence of indefinitely pumping cash into the economy is hyperinflation, which has not happened because banks were ordered not to put the money they were given out into the market in the form of loans.

It seems that the Fed has everything figured out and that the collapse of the dollar will not come as soon as some economists have predicted, but the reality is very different. According to a study conducted by four prominent economists, it is almost crunch time for the Fed and the U.S. government. Right now, the least of the problems for the central bank and the American government is not lack of credibility, but a strong change of a fiscal crisis. The report was prepared by David Greenlaw, Managing Director and Chief U.S. Fixed Income Economist at Morgan Stanley; James D. Hamilton, Professor of Economics at University of California at San Diego and Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research; Peter Hooper, Managing Director and Chief Economist, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc; and Frederic S. Mishkin, Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions, a Graduate of the School of Business at Columbia University and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank.

What these four men found, is that the actions of the Federal Reserve caused massive inflation to a level where the dollar’s purchasing power has gone down in free fall . As the very same Federal Reserve policy books say, the goal is to devalue the currency by at least another 30 percent. The 89-page report states that reductions in fiscal revenues and excessive increase in government spending, the close relationship between sovereign debt and the levels of interests to be paid on the debt, a significant relation between debt loans and borrowing costs and the direct effects of the fiscal crises on monetary policy have been combined to render a single outcome: massive losses for countries and institutions such as the U.S. Federal Reserve that will exceed available capital.

What this means is that, if things continue business as usual, even the Fed will become unable to sustain the current fiscal crisis. According to the report, the Fed may enter unknown territory where the amount of debt created will exceed its capital holdings. What will happen when the Fed gets to its limit and can no longer maintain the current debt-based system? According to the authors, the more a country’s debt is held by foreigners the greater the political incentives for the government to default on that debt. This is what has been seen in developing countries. The day of reckoning for the Fed may come as early as 2016. If better fiscal and monetary policies are adopted, the disaster could be put off until 2018.

It is then necessary to remember who are the United States’ investors. As of December of 2012, the Federal Reserve System, which is a branch of the international banking cartel came up as first. In second place is China, with $1202.9 billion. After China, other countries like Japan, Brazil, Switzerland and Russia appear in third, fourth and fifth places. With the U.S. debt reaching and passing 100% of its GDP and the government borrowing and printing money as if it were going out of fashion, the only possible outcome is what we have seen in modern cases of fiscal irresponsibility.

Countries get in debt up to their eye balls to fulfill the promises made at home during by irresponsible politicians during political campaigns. Since the government does not have any money to actually pay for the expenses it creates, it is only ‘normal’ to get in debt to be able to meet demands for more social programs and to pay interests on old debt. But since the governments do not borrow locally, they subject their country, (i.e. the people) to having to work all their lives to make payments on the debt generated on the debt it has gotten into. The ability of a government to make debt payments is finite. Cases in point Argentina in 199o, Greece in 2008 to 2012, Portugal and Spain in 2013 and the looming fiscal crisis the United States will have to face in the near future.

The supposed programs to help nations pay their debt is nothing more than an attempt to slow the collapse of the global economy and the that assures foreign debt holders they will have enough time to loot the countries for all they have gotten. That is the ultimate form of payment used by the international banking cartel uses to recover their so-called investments. Different from Argentina, Greece, Portugal and Spain, it is hard to see how the Americans will allow the bankers to suck every drop of blood for not paying its debt, which is why negotiations have been held to find the least painful way to phase the dollar out. Although the bankers want every single penny back, they prefer to get it in the most peaceful way possible as supposed to having to face street protests as it has happened in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Argentina, Spain and Portugal.

In conclusion, the current system of debt creation as the base for development has reached the end of its life cycle. The consequences to come should the United States continue to print or issue fake money to pay its debt instead of cutting down spending and making big international corporations liable for evading the payment of corporate taxes, will make it impossible for the U.S. government to pay its debt and for the Fed to issue fake money to sustain the current system. The only reason the U.S. has not collapsed as a debtor nation is due to the demand for U.S. Treasuries at home and abroad, which has been maintained due to the dollar’s status as the world currency. That status however, is a subjective and ephimerous concept. The moment more nations decide to trade with their own currencies, or to set up sound monetary systems such as the one Muammar Gaddafi intended to create in Libya –the gold dinar–, the more credibility and trust the dollar will lose. Lack of trust and the impossibility to meet fiscal obligations will end up destroying the dollar.

As the authors put it simply, high debt leads to higher interest rates and higher debt. The high levels of debt reach a tipping point –fiscal crisis– in which the interest rate shoots up. In the case of the U.S. it has many of the possible triggers of that shoot up in interest rates and the only thing that is holding them from going through the roof is an imaginary belief that the U.S. is still that powerful economic entity that it appeared to be many years ago.

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Do away with Reserve Currencies and Centralized Financial Control

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 13, 2012

For way too many years, the United States has enjoyed an unfair advantage with respect to the rest of the world: most international commerce is conducted in US dollars. Both friends and foes of the US have had to purchase raw materials, parts, finished products, pay tariffs and exchange rates in dollars because the world saw the American currency as a strongly positioned instrument that was backed by the economic and military might of the United States.

The result of having a reserve currency, both for the US and for the rest of the world is clear: Americans have enjoyed decades of bounty because almost anything that is necessary to live is paid for and purchased in US dollars. From crude oil to food staples, countries and companies use the US dollar to complete most commercial transactions. But the bounty for Americans was not the only consequence — or goal, depending how you see it. Because the US dollar was the reserve currency of the world, its value was kept artificially high. People, companies and other countries bought US dollars to use them in their daily activities such as traveling expenses, for example.

The value of the currency, especially a fiat one like the US dollar is artificial because after the central bank decides to print money beyond what a country produces — GDP — in order to run a debt-based economy, it is just a matter of time before the wheels of the truck come off. In the case of the United States, three and a quarter of the four wheels have already fallen off. The US currency has been hyper-inflated in a controlled manner since the creation of the Federal Reserve System, which is the same system of centralized power used in almost every single nation in the world; no matter if it’s a developed, developing or underdeveloped country.

Today, the value of the dollar, the Euro, the Peso or the Real do not represent the capacity of a country to produce, innovate and sell goods in local, regional or international markets through bilateral or multilateral agreements. The value of currencies is set by banking institutions and then freely manipulated by artificially-managed markets, not real capitalism or free markets.

The kind of “commercial contract” that helped the US to sets its currency as the “world reserve currency” and that provided the unfair advantage against its business partners and competitors is now reaching its end. The rise of China as one of the largest producers of finished products — through questionable standards to say the least — along with the economically weaker position of the United States in the world stage, has prompted nations to seek alternative forms of completing commercial transactions that do not use US dollars. United States competitors, especially those who lend money to the country, realized that the United States will most likely default on its debt or will simply pay with a devalued currency which will not be worth much, so they’ve decided to use their own currencies instead of the US dollar.

For example, China and Russia have closed several agreements to realize commercial transactions in their own currency as supposed to using dollars. The Chinese and the Russians, it seems, learned that by using the Yuan and the Ruble, they are not only valuing their currencies, but are also avoiding to pay the “dollar tax”, or the cost of having to buy and sell in US dollars, which had kept them in a competitive disadvantage against their commercial and military foe.

The devaluation of the dollar due to banking manipulation conducted by the Federal Reserve or the weakening of the currency in international markets — is bad news for the US and the American people, because it means that if the dollar fails to keep its status as the reserve currency, everything will be more expensive for them: raw materials, food, energy, interest rates, etc. But worse than all of that is that the demand for US dollars in the world will significantly decrease, which in itself will turn the dollar into a less attractive way to pay for and sell goods and services.

The loss in value of the American currency will also worsen another problem: the US debt. The US has been for a long time the best debtor nation in the world, for its lenders thought that since the country had the world’s reserve currency would guarantee that their loans would be paid in full. But now, reality shows otherwise. The fall of the US dollar from the pedestal of “world reserve currency” will also make it more expensive for the US to pay its current debt as well as the debt it will incur into in the coming years and decades. The weaker the dollar is, the more expensive it becomes for the US to pay its debts. This scenario is now seen in Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal, who have handed their sovereignty to foreign banking institutions in exchange for “financial rescues”.

Although common wisdom would suggest that US indebtedness with China would be the worst possible situation while the dollar declines, there is actually a worse scenario and it does not involve China. The US main lender is not China anymore, but the Federal Reserve Banking System, a private institution that represents the interests of an international banking consortium located abroad, not in the United States.

The banking mafia will continue to willingly lend to the US because all debt created by the Federal Reserve in the name of the United States and its people will always have a way to be paid. The United States, just as many other countries in the world do, mortgage the lives of present and future people by taxing them to death in order to pay interests on the ever exploding debt. This ‘trust’ that the banking institutions have in the United States and other nations can only be broken if the US dollar fails as the world reserve currency. That is why the European bankers have created parallel fiat currencies such as the Euro, which they also intend to collapse in order to establish a sort of electronic untraceable form of currency.

At the same time and while it is still possible, wealthy individuals who have made their fortunes through deceitful practices, such as George Soros, as well as governments have begun a race to get rid of their dollar reserves — a fact that also weakens the US currency — and invest in gold, rare metals, silver and other valuable instruments. The divestment of funds from US dollars to other currencies or valuable metals or materials threatens to accelerate the fall of the once strong world reserve currency.

The decline of the US dollar has emboldened countries like China to seriously consider letting its currency fluctuate freely in the open market. This practice is set to begin at some point in 2015 and will continue until 2017, the Chinese have said. Do the Chinese feel that by 2015 the dollar will be weak enough that it won’t be able to directly compete with the Yuan? Perhaps. But in a financial world where almost everything is fake, there is no reason to believe that the American government or the banking institutions that it represents will not come up with a way to slow down or stop the collapse of its currency. Many financial experts expect the opposite, though. Some of them even believe that the collapse of the dollar will happen some time between the Winter of 2012 and the Spring of 2013.

If there is one thing the world has learned is that independent nation-states that establish commercial agreements in a bilateral or multilateral fashion are better off that those which are prisoners of a common currency with a centralized financial power system. The only reason why the world is dominated by common currencies and so-called unions is because those schemes facilitate monopolies and control, which is what the international banking mafia wants. The Euro is a clear example of how monopoly works perfectly well when a group of oligarchs intends to artificially create economies to later collapse them so that they can consolidate power. It works beautifully. For the rest of us, let’s do away with reserve currencies that provide unfair advantages as well as centralized power that only renders benefits for the Anglo-Saxon power elite.

U.S. Banks told to make plans for Financial Collapse

By RICK ROTHACKER | REUTERS | AUGUST 10, 2012

U.S. regulators directed five of the country’s biggest banks, including Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, to develop plans for staving off collapse if they faced serious problems, emphasizing that the banks could not count on government help.

The two-year-old program, which has been largely secret until now, is in addition to the “living wills” the banks crafted to help regulators dismantle them if they actually do fail. It shows how hard regulators are working to ensure that banks have plans for worst-case scenarios and can act rationally in times of distress.

Officials like Lehman Brothers former Chief Executive Dick Fuld have been criticized for having been too hesitant to take bold steps to solve their banks’ problems during the financial crisis.

According to documents obtained by Reuters, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency first directed five banks – which also include Citigroup Inc,, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co – to come up with these “recovery plans” in May 2010.

They told banks to consider drastic efforts to prevent failure in times of distress, including selling off businesses, finding other funding sources if regular borrowing markets shut them out, and reducing risk. The plans must be feasible to execute within three to six months, and banks were to “make no assumption of extraordinary support from the public sector,” according to the documents.

Spokespeople for the five banks declined to comment. The Federal Reserve also declined to comment.

Recovery plans differ from living wills, also known as “resolution plans,” which are required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Living wills aim to end bailouts of too-big-to-fail banks by showing how they would liquidate themselves without imperiling the financial system.

“Recovery plans are about protecting the crown jewels,” said Paul Cantwell, a managing director at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal. “It’s about, ‘How do I sell off non-core assets?’ The priority is to the shareholders. A resolution plan is about protecting the system, taxpayers and creditors.”

The recovery plans are being used as part of regulators’ ongoing supervisory process. In Britain, recovery and resolution plans have both been part of the living will requirements for large banks.

Mike Brosnan, senior deputy comptroller for large banks at the OCC, said the regulator continuously evaluates contingency planning at the banks and savings associations it supervises.

“Recovery plans required of the largest banks are helpful in ensuring banks and regulators are prepared to manage periods of severe financial distress or instability affecting the banking sector,” he said.

This summer, nine global banks submitted living wills to the Fed and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, and regulators released the public portion of the documents.

The recovery plans requested in 2010, meanwhile, have received little publicity. The names of the banks required to submit them have not been previously disclosed, and Reuters obtained them only through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Fed supplied Reuters with the letters requesting plans from banks, but not the banks’ actual plans because they were deemed confidential supervisory information. The regulator said it was withholding 5,100 pages of information.

MOVING FURTHER FROM DISASTER

Five years after the financial crisis, concerns remain about whether blow-ups at big banks could lead to another round of taxpayer bailouts. Trading losses have cost JPMorgan nearly $6 billion so far, and scandals such as the alleged rigging of an international interest rate benchmark have only highlighted the risks lurking inside big banks.

These disasters have damaged banks’ reputations, but not their balance sheets. Most are still profitable, and in recent years the five banks have improved their capital bases and liquidity. They also have been subjected to annual Federal Reserve stress tests that measure whether the banks have sufficient capital to weather severe economic scenarios.

Bank of America and Citigroup, in a sense, have already been executing the kind of moves called for in the recovery plans. Both have been selling off non-core operations and assets to streamline their sprawling businesses, after receiving multiple bailouts during the financial crisis.

Bank of America in June 2011 told Fed officials that it could shed branches in some parts of the country if it needed to raise capital in an emergency, a person familiar with the matter said in January. The proposal was part of a series of options provided to the Fed, including issuing a tracking stock for Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch operations.

But just because the bank proposed selling branches does not mean it’s a desirable move or highly probable, the person said. In the past year, Bank of America has shown progress in building capital without such actions. Its Tier 1 common capital ratio increased to 11.24 percent of risk-weighted assets as of June 30 from 8.23 percent a year earlier.

Tier 1 refers to a bank’s core capital and has been the main focus of regulators in assessing a bank’s capital adequacy.

MENTIONED IN PASSING

The banks’ chief risk officers, and in the case of Citigroup, Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, received letters in May 2010 instructing them on what to include in the recovery plans. The requests stemmed from January 2010 crisis management meetings held by regulators. The letters sent to the five banks were nearly identical.

Each plan was to address severe financial stress at the firm, as well as “general financial instability.” The plans should be capable of being executed ideally within three months, but no longer than six months, the documents said.

The plans should “make appropriate assumptions as to the valuations of assets and off-balance sheet positions,” the documents said.

Recovery plans have been mentioned in public before, but only in passing. In testimony to Congress in July 2010, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said the “largest internationally active U.S. banking organizations” were working on recovery plans. The initiative stemmed from work led by the Financial Stability Board, a body that coordinates the work of international financial regulators, he said.

In a presentation in March, JPMorgan Chase said it had a recovery plan in place and said it was ordered by regulators. The presentation was organized by Harvard Law School and was closed to the media at the time, but is available online. (here)

Who Destroyed the Middle Class? An Amoral Financial Oligarchy

BURNING PLATFORM | JUNE 20, 2012

“Over the last thirty years, the United States has been taken over by an amoral financial oligarchy, and the American dream of opportunity, education, and upward mobility is now largely confined to the top few percent of the population. Federal policy is increasingly dictated by the wealthy, by the financial sector, and by powerful (though sometimes badly mismanaged) industries such as telecommunications, health care, automobiles, and energy. These policies are implemented and praised by these groups’ willing servants, namely the increasingly bought-and-paid-for leadership of America’s political parties, academia, and lobbying industry.” – Charles Ferguson – Predator Nation

The Federal Reserve released its Survey of Consumer Finances last week. It’s a fact filled 80 page report they issue every three years to provide a financial snapshot of American households. As you can see from the chart above, the impact of the worldwide financial collapse has been catastrophic to most of the households in the U.S. A 39% decline in median net worth over a three year time frame is almost incomprehensible. Even worse, the decline has surely continued for the average American household through 2012 as home prices have continued to fall. Median family income plunged by 7.7% over a three year time frame and has not recovered since the collection of this data 18 months ago. Even more shocking is the fact that median household income was $48,900 in 2001. Families are making 6.3% less today than they were a decade ago. These figures are adjusted for inflation using the BLS massaged CPI figures. Anyone not under the influence of psychotic drugs or engaged as a paid shill for the financial oligarchy knows that inflation is purposely under reported in order to keep the masses sedated and pacified. The real decline in median household income is in excess of 20% since 2001.

The destruction of the blue collar jobs has been underway since the early 1970s. And the relentless decline in real blue collar wages has followed a bumpy downward path for decades. Sadly, the average person doesn’t understand the insidious destruction caused to their lives by the Federal Reserve generated inflation, as they actually believe their wages today are higher than they were in 1973. The reality is the oligarchy has used foreign wage differentials and the perceived benefits of globalization to ship manufacturing and now service jobs to Asia while using their captured mainstream media to convince the average American that this has been beneficial to their lives. Using one of their 15 credit cards to buy cheap foreign goods made by people who took their jobs was never so easy. I wonder if the benefits of being able to buy cheap Chinese electronics, toxic dog food, and slave labor produced igadgets outweighed the $2.3 trillion increase in consumer debt, 27% decline in real wages, 7 million manufacturing jobs lost since the mid-1970s, 46 million people on food stamps, $15 trillion increase in the National Debt since 1978, and a gutted decaying industrial base.

Not only have the oligarchs gutted our industrial base, resulting in enormous job losses among middle aged industrial workers, but they are now in the process of impoverishing the youth of this country by sucking them into crushing college debt with the false promise of decent paying jobs when they graduate with a degree in feminist studies from the University of Phoenix. The fabricated mantra that a college education guarantees a good paying job and a better future is not borne out by the facts. There are over 4,800 institutions of higher learning in this country, with only about 50 considered elite. There are another few hundred top notch institutions, with a few thousand mediocre schools and hundreds of for profit on-line diploma mills exploiting the easy Federal government debt to lure millions into their profit scheme of bilking unemployed naïve middle aged dupes and eventually the American taxpayer. The average student loan debt per student is $29,000. Student loan debt outstanding has risen from $200 billion in 2000 to over $1 trillion today. The Federal Government is blowing another bubble. They are the issuer, regulator and guarantor of these loans. They are making the loans with teaser rates to the ultimate in subprime borrowers – students without jobs going for worthless degrees at mediocre schools. The taxpayer is on the hook for the billions in loses that will surely follow. The payoff for this quadrupling of debt has been an 8% real decline in wages for college graduates since 2000. The monetary policies of the Federal Reserve and bipartisan fiscal policies of our government have led to this dreadful job market for the middle class.

The mainstream media dutifully reported a few key highlights from the Federal Reserve report and moved onto more important issues like Snooki’s pregnancy and the octomom’s new porno gig. We certainly couldn’t expect business journalists at Bloomberg, CNBC, NYT, or CNN to actually analyze the data, produce an intelligent dialogue of the causes, and reach a conclusion that the affluent and influential on Wall Street and in Washington DC caused the average family in this country to endure tremendous hardship while the oligarchy plundered and pillaged the countryside, stuffing their pockets with ill-gotten gains. Each of the ideological camps within the oligarchy trot out the usual suspects to blame the other ideological camp, while doing nothing to change the existing paradigm. Krugman and Carville are assigned the task of blaming Republican policies and dogma for the demise of the middle class. Obama and his minions already had their press release prepared, blaming George Bush and claiming the median family has made tremendous strides since he assumed command in2009. Mitt Romney (worth $250 million), whose pocket change exceeds the annual median household income of $45,800, feels the pain of the average American family and proposes a tax decrease for billionaires and less overbearing regulation on the honorable Wall Street banks in order to help the average family. It’s nothing but Kabuki Theater as the characters play their assigned parts in this elaborate display. Gary Wills cuts right to the chase:

“Yet while the rest of the populace was suffering, the rich just got richer. In 2009 and 2010, years in which millions were unable to find work, the top one percent reaped 93% of the ‘recovery’ income, and corporations are making more than they ever did. And the Republicans can still propose even further cuts in the taxes of ‘job creators’ whose only job creation has been for their own lawyers and lobbyists.”

What you will not receive from the corporate mouthpieces in the mainstream media is an explanation of where the money went, who stole it and why it happened. The theme from the media is the loss in net worth and decade long decline in household income was unavoidable and due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. This is a false storyline perpetrated by those who have stolen your money. It’s been a bipartisan screw job and it was initiated by Clinton, Rubin, Gramm and Leach, who deregulated the banking system in 1999 by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, but made it clear the Greenspan Put would always be in place to protect the banks from their own recklessness, greed and hubris. As a result, Wall Street could go ahead and take irresponsible financial system destroying risks in pursuit of vast riches, knowing they could count on the unlimited checkbook of Uncle Sam if things went south, and that’s exactly what happened. Heads they won, tails you lost. It’s good to own the politicians, regulators, and media.

Dude, Where’s My Net Worth?

“Sometime around the year 2010, Xers will hit a hangover mood like that of the Lost in the early 1930s and the Liberty in the late 1760s: a feeling of personal exhaustion mixed with a new public seriousness. The members of this forty- and fiftyish generation will fan out across an unusually wide distribution of personal outcomes, reminiscent of a night at the bingo table. A few will be wildly successful, others totally ruined, and the largest number will have lost a little ground since the days of Boomer midlife.” – Strauss & Howe – Generations – 1991

Neil Howe and Bill Strauss wrote their first generational theory book six years prior to their epic Fourth Turning prophecy. It appears they nailed it. Generation X households saw their net worth crushed, with a 54% loss in three years. The Baby Boomer households also took a beating in this banker engineered financial collapse. The Silent generation has survived this downturn relatively unscathed. Most of the Silents traded down from their primary residence at or near the top of the housing boom. As Neil Howe points out:

“Most sold or annuitized their financial assets at a much better moment in the history of the Dow. Even if they didn’t, they are more likely than Boomers or Xers to be getting retirement checks from defined-benefit corporate or government plans that are unaffected by the market.”

The Millenials and late Xers did not lose much because they didn’t have much to lose. Most did not own a house or stocks. As the economy continues to deteriorate the generational tension builds. The Silents and Boomers, who vote in large numbers, have not and will not vote for anyone who attempts to reform our entitlement system and make it economically viable over the long-term for young people just entering the job market.

The false storyline about the 2007 through 2010 being an aberration in the long term path to prosperity for the average American family is refuted by the following chart.

This chart paints a long-term picture of generational inequality that has been going on over the last three decades. Over three decades the Silent generation has seen their median real net worth increase by 133%, while GenX has seen their median real net worth decrease by 55% compared to the same age cohort in 1983. Only those 55 and over have seen a real improvement in their net worth over the last 27 years. Considering this period encompassed a seventeen year bull market and the GDP grew from $3.5 trillion to $15.7 trillion, a 450% increase, a few bucks should have trickled down to the average household. Even on an inflation adjusted basis, GDP has risen 125% since 1983. Evidently the economic policies supported by both parties across decades have not floated all boats – just the yachts. Age is only part of the equation. Class is the other piece. There is a class war being waged and the Buffett, Dimon, Blankfein, Romney, Clinton, Koch and the rest of the ultra-wealthy oligarchs are winning. We are now in the midst of a Fourth Turning and the corrupt, dysfunctional, amoral social order will be swept away before the climax of this Crisis.

“Through the Third Turning and into the initial stages of the Fourth, the Silent will prosper, Boomers will cope with declining expectations, and Gen-Xers will get hammered. Throughout history, we have argued, inequality both by class and by age reaches its apogee entering the Crisis era. Indeed, part of the historical purpose of the Crisis is to tear down dysfunctional institutions, vacate positions of entitlement and privilege, rectify the inequality, and create a tabula rasa on which the rising generation can build something new.” – Neil Howe

The reason for the epic collapse of middle class net worth is quite simple when viewed from a 10,000 foot elevation. The great descent in net worth was primarily due to the bursting of the Federal Reserve created real estate bubble. The Case Shiller Home Price Index plunged 28% between 2007 and 2010. The wealth destruction was concentrated among the working middle class because their homes accounted for the vast majority of their household net worth. For the wealthy, housing is a fraction of their vast net worth, while for the lowly poor; homeownership is now only a dream. Of course, between 2000 and 2007 anyone that could fog a mirror was encouraged by George Bush, Barney Frank, the National Association of Realtors, Alan Greenspan, and Wall Street shills to “own” a home. With home prices having fallen an additional 7% since 2010, the middle class has seen a further decline in their net worth. Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke’s ZIRP, QE1, QE2, Operation Twist, and the upcoming “Operation Screw the Middle Class Again” have succeeded in expanding the net worth of millionaires, billionaires and the bonuses of Wall Street bankers, while destroying the fragile finances of little old ladies and middle class risk adverse savers.

Once you dig into the details beneath the thin veneer of Bernaysian obfuscation, you realize the corporate mainstream media storyline of middle class decline has a veiled storyline of a powerful, connected 1%, enriched at the expense of the middle class.

In Part 2 of this three part series I will examine who stole your net worth and in Part 3 why they stole your net worth. Part 4 will require pitchforks, torches and a guillotine.

Banker-Controlled System is Fraudulent and the Cause of the Crisis

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JUNE 1, 2012

It took almost 100 years for the globalists in control of the financial and banking systems to realize that their fraudulent debt-based scheme can no longer be utilized to exploit the people and the resources of the planet. Back in 1913, rubber barons and the global novelty decided that they were going to control the issuance and flow of money with a system that would perpetually maintain all nations of the world in debt with the supranational financial institutions founded by international private banking entities. These entities would create the money out of thin air, lend it to their slave, dependent nations for a juicy profit while ensuring that future generations would have to work all of their lives to pay them interests on the never ending debt.

Today, most main stream media omitted the annual Bilderberg meeting in Virginia, United States, but did make time to promote the fact that the same banking organizations that brought the global economy to a halt, are finally convinced that their model does not work anymore. It is important to understand that when they say it does not work, it implicitly means that they can’t keep on defrauding the world with it. What the main stream dinosaur media is not telling the people is that the current global mafia intends to implement a new system under which they will remain in control, but with more power and more enslavement. Both the heads of the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank have said that it is time to end the remaining nation-states and give way for a world financial organization that will dictate economic, environmental and financial policies, which will be indeed under the control of the same monopoly men.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, labeled the current system imposed by central bankers themselves as “unsustainable” and once again blamed the governments of the nations that did not accept the bankers’ directives as responsible for the dire global economic and financial crisis. He said leaders have been slow to respond to the sovereign debt crisis, which was also manufactured by international banking institutions. “The configuration we had for 10 years, which was considered sustainable, has been shown now to be unsustainable unless further steps are undertaken,” said Draghi. He forgets to mention the fact that it was the bankers that created and sold derivatives and credit default swaps as the newest and trendiest forms of investment to later run away with the people’s money in the form of pension funds, retirement accounts, social security savings and so on. Another important detail left out by Draghi is that the globalization of the economy has served as a perfect platform to gain even more control.

After creating the problem, the bankers presented their rescue and austerity programs as a “solution” to kick start the economy, but as it turns out, it was all about the consolidation of indebted nations such as Iceland, Greece, and the new ones to come soon such as Spain, Portugal, France, the United States and Germany. Austerity came in the form of cuts to the entitlement programs upon which millions of people depend in those countries, and the rescues of international banks in the form of financial bailouts. As things stand today, the bankers were helped and the people were dumped. But trillions of dollars in financial rescue packages were not enough for the bankers. They wanted more. They wanted total control. Since their rescue programs did not render total control now they bankers are shifting to plan B, which includes the complete acquisition of other nation-states through a perpetual state of war that justifies their theft of natural resources and the centralization of all human activity.

After creating and selling the problem through continuous threats that warned about the complete collapse of the global financial system — a situation they sought and provoked — should governments choose not to bail the banks out, globalists like Herman Van Rompuy, Jean Claude Trichet and José Manuel Barroso tried to create panic so politicians would adopt the so-called austerity measures and illegally carried out the rescue of banks that were too large to go bankrupt. After bankers bet on toxic financial products which they knew would not stand a simple smell test, they ran away with 97 percent of investors’ money by risking people’s money in transactions that involved as little as 2 or 3 percent of their own cash.

Suddenly, the banks and their institutions are no longer capable of supporting the sand castles built over pillars of overconfidence, greed, hubris and financial degeneration. “Can the E.C.B. fill the vacuum left by lack of euro area governance?” he asked. “The answer is no.” Of course not. A new system is needed that allows the banks to operate with even less accountability and more liberty to continue taking risks by mortgaging the future of the working classes all around the world. Just as in the recent past, the bankers are warning that inaction, debt liquidation or more effective regulations would mean a generalized contagion of banks and economies which would happen more easily and rapidly due to the interconnectedness of the global economy. Banks are seeking complete deregulation and self governance, as supposed to accountability to governments. But it was precisely lack of regulation, malinvestment and self governance what allowed the bankers to do what they did, submit the world into a deep black hole of debt from which there is no way out.

The elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which had successfully curbed the bankers’ hunger for risky business, triggered a chain of events that is still ongoing. Banks in need of rescues because supposedly are too big to fail, governments without cash to meet their obligations, pension funds whose coffers are empty, run-away financial corruption, toxic and artificial investment products, insane leveraging, you name it. “It was the largest transfer of money from the working classes to the richest people in human history,” says Russ Roberts, the host of Econtalk. “It was bad for Democracy and for Capitalism.” The solution, according to the bankers however, is to create an insurance fund, which will be paid for by taxpayers from around the world, to assure banks there will always be a rescue plan ready to pull them out of their risky investments. That will not only effectively create the financial incentive to further centralized economic power, but will also eliminate the natural free-market accountability process, the barrier not to bet more than you can possibly pay. A global financial fund will prompt bankers to risk even more, because they can count on a working class that will provide the fruit of their labor to bail them out whenever they need.

Allan Greenspan, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank in 2008 said in Congressional hearings that he did not know what had happened, that he thought the bankers were able to regulate themselves. He said he believed the banks had the ability to assess their own risk. And they did. That is why for every 100 dollars that banks malinvested, only three dollars or so were from their own money. The rest was money from governments, pension funds, savings accounts and so on. Greenspan was the man sitting on the golden chair of the Federal Reserve when the largest banking deregulation process took place under previous administrations, and he knew exactly the potential that such deregulation would create for financial institutions to run unchecked with zero need for accountability. Now that their system has been uncovered as fraudulent, the bankers are using more colorful analogies to describe the supposed threats that would emerge should governments decide not to surrender their sovereignty completely. The latest of those is that the debt crisis is a ‘time bomb’. Bankers do not want to buy government debt back and so they are labeling that proposal as the trigger that will detonate the ‘time bomb’.

The initiative to make banks buy the debt back, would not be a solution to the sovereign debt crisis, though. In fact, it would actually perpetuate the debt-based system, because governments would be able to create more debt, which will result in a deeper crisis, as they will be unable to make bond payments. The banks will then be left holding the bag, an outcome usually reserved for the working classes. The ideal scenario would be that banks were forced to buy back the current debt, which they created in the first place, and governments adopted sane fiscal and monetary policies without creating more money out of thin air. Of course, the banks will not allow that to happen, because it will reduce their control over the financial system. Independent, debt-free governments that adopt responsible fiscal and monetary policies would eliminate the need for the current debt-based system, and therefore erase the control the bankers have amassed up until now. The liquidation of debt by letting banks and other institutions fail and go bankrupt would allow the world economic system to begin fresh and operate on a clean, disinfected environment, where artificially created economies would not exist anymore and countries would run their businesses based on existence of resources, production capacity, real gross domestic product, the balance of sales and purchases, bilateral and multilateral commercial negotiations and so on.

“The crisis we’re now in was caused by people taking excessively risky bets with other people’s money,” says Roberts. He adds that a good question to ask is why did people allow the banks to take such high leveraged bets with their money. It was like a poker game where the banks only risked about 3 percent of their own money, while investors took the fall with 96 or 97 percent of their money. But instead of being punished for taking those risks, the banks were rewarded by receiving bailouts. Although the mathematical calculations used by banks to assess market risk and asset value are considered to be fraudulent, they are still used to evaluate investment opportunities. But when those opportunities were shown to be just risky bets, based on fraudulent calculations, the banks were told it was fine, because governments had come to their rescue. They were allowed to sell liabilities as assets making people take very high risks in exchange for a promise to get a miniscule return, if any at all. “I think they believed the government would bail them out in the case of a downturn,” asserts Roberts. As he sees it, the markets are now governed by crony capitalists, and the crony part must be taken out before things can go back to real Capitalism.

Capitalism is a profit and loss system. The prospect of good returns is an incentive to take risk, and the losses are calls for prudence. When the incentive to be prudent is eliminated because there is a government, entity or Fund that will bail out a bank or a whole system, it destroys the financial system, and that is what happened in 2008. Governments, at the behest of the powerful banking cartel covered the risks taken by banking institutions and by doing so eliminated the need for prudence and responsibility.