World Financial Crisis Part 4

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World Financial Crisis Part 4

[url= from here[/url]

[url=]The Coming European Debt Wars[/url] EU Countries sinking into Depression by Prof. Michael Hudson

Bankers in Sweden and Austria, Germany and Britain are about to discover that extending credit to nations that can’t (or won’t) pay may be their problem, not that of their debtors. No one wants to accept the fact that debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. Someone must bear the cost as debts go into default or are written down, to be paid in sharply depreciated currencies, but many legal experts find debt agreements calling for repayment in euros unenforceable. Every sovereign nation has the right to legislate its own debt terms, and the coming currency re-alignments and debt write-downs will be much more than mere “haircuts.”

"Toll booth economies" Debts that can not be paid won't be. The fight is on. It should be an interesting decade.


Moody's ! As if they can be given any credibility whatsoever! after their illusory ratings that contributed to the last crash.

financiers and their puppet politicians have concocted the outrageous rules of the game, written their own 'trade' bills of rights, manipulated currencies, exchange rates, and even with all that power still need governments to borrow from them to save private financiers from their own private debt.

the rules of the game are unfair, unethical and illegitimate. 

the entire mess of inflated debt has no grounding in reality or justice.

governments should just say no, and work from scratch with residents to create domestic systems that provide basic needs.


I read the article by Zach Carter at rabble on the 'financial reform' being considered by Congress next week.

Commentators at the Nation are saying that derivatives only have to be traded in exchanges, and presto, they'll be 'regulated'.

There is a securities exchange commission, but what regulation can they do when they can't access financial transaction records directly, because of privacy, property and 'trade' law?

So far even scandals like Geithner's involvement in the AIG/ New York Fed fiasco were only revealed from the e-memos of public staff, not  from any access to actual financier records.

It seems that progressive US media, like many in Canada, are operating under the illusion of transparency and accountability.  This is additionally true when financial institutions self-report for even the minimal 'oversight' of public commissions.

no one reads the fine print of actual legislation for public 'oversight' committees.  they have no 'sight' power at all in the context of financier privacy laws.  they only see what financiers choose to let them see.

i'd like even one example of a public regulator opening a banker's books.



Bankers get bailouts, millions lose their jobs and economies tank, pensioners lose their life savings, social services are cut.

Bankers in many cases, charged or not, are involved in fraudulent behaviour, criminal behaviour.

G20 nations write legislation to give bankers vastly more power and money, maybe we get a few pennies from a little transaction tax, maybe not.

G20 nations give bankers more power to write laws, run fees through the sky, and privatize basic services and nature.

Before any nation gives bankers one iota of power, ie) does not take over their function completely as a public service, reparations for monies and resources lost should occur first.

There can be no trust without justice. US Democrats cannot give trust to derivatives traders to 'self-regulate' on exchanges until they prove trustworthy and repay all the money they currently owe others.

The public likely shouldn't have bailed out the bankers last time. They just took advantage.

We need global public opinion to call for national and international direct public finance of basic rights and services.

That is the plan which should be in place, the option which is available, that a banker-terrorized public can hold to, which media and politicians and NGOs need to talk about.


well, ok, using emails after the fact is better than no catching of fraudulent bankers at all.

(nb. it seems there are two World Financial Crisis Four threads at babble.  maybe some consolidation needed.[ )


A lot has happened in the last while. 

a) a fraudulent financier does Greece's accounting under the previous president and leaves the nation in a shambles.

b) prominent EU officials first reject then accept a rescue package for Greece that includes Washington-based IMF 'help'. If implemented, the IMF would dose Greece with its usual prescription of being compeletly hijacked by foreign bankers.

c) Greece, given some EU backing, tries to go with posting its own bonds at somewhat-too-high-rates, the lesser of two evils than all-out IMF intrusion.

d) meanwhile the Polish debacle unfolds.

e) US Securities Exchange Commission charges Goldman Sachs with fraud for deliberately spinning known bundled debt junk to investors.

e) and another draft Canada-EU 'free trade' aka junk-speculators-rights text is leaked []

So it seems that the desperate private bankers of the EU and the US are trying many means to expand into public territory- through their usual channels of IMF/WTO/bilateral deals as well as direct fraud.

Nothing will be solved by allowing these derivatives players to 'self-regulate' in exchanges as the EU text notes and US Senator Dodd's financial 'reform' program proscribes.

Following a rampage, it is no solution to give all the foxes in the region keys to the henhouse.





What we have is class war. What we need is revolution.


memo to US democrats backing a financial 'reform' scheme that supports self-regulation of derivatives traders in exchanges:


The issue isn't just whether one player frauds another or crashes the financial system,


Players shouldn't be financializing Nature.


Further, Republicans, conservatives, farmers, no sensible person could approve application of these manipulations to the climate:

"Derivatives Market: Derivative (finance)



Credit spread · Debit spread · Exercise · Expiration · Moneyness · Open interest · Pin risk · Risk-free rate · Strike price · The Greeks · Volatility

Vanilla Options:

Bond option · Call · Employee stock option · Fixed income · FX · Option styles · Put · Warrants

Exotic Options:

Asian · Barrier · Binary · Cliquet · Compound option · Forward start option · Interest rate option · Lookback · Mountain range · Rainbow option · Swaption


Collar · Fence · Iron butterfly · Iron condor · Straddle · Strangle · Strap · Strip

Options Spreads:

Backspread · Bear spread · Bull spread · Butterfly spread · Calendar spread · Diagonal spread · Ratio spread · Vertical spread

  Valuation of Options:

Binomial · Black · Black–Scholes · Finite difference · Put–call parity · Simulation


Basis swap · Constant maturity swap · Credit default swap · Currency swap · Equity swap · Forex swap · Inflation swap · Interest rate swap · Total return swap · Variance swap · Volatility swap · Correlation swap · Conditional variance swap



Derivatives should be banned. Period.  And not just because of the racist sexist terms.

One would think all could agree here.


Derivatives also include, from link above:

"Forwards and Futures:

Backwardation · Commodity futures · Contango · Currency future · Financial future · Forward market · Forward price · Forward rate · Interest rate future · Margin · Pricing of Forwards · Pricing of Futures · Single-stock futures

Other Derivatives:

CFD · CLN · CPPI · Credit derivative · ELN · Equity derivative · Foreign exchange derivative · Fund derivative · Inflation derivatives · Interest rate derivative · PRDC · Real estate derivatives · Real options

Market Issues:

Tax policy · Consumer debt · Corporate debt · Government debt · Climate change · Resource depletion · Late 2000s recession


Derivatives traders are playing around with every element of the economy and ecology.

Transactions even with Dodd's self-regulated so-called 'open exhanges' are only open to other gamers, not the public.

Even the SEC cannot access transactions, only look at memos and only 'as necessary', as determined by gamers' laywers.

The whole set-up is an outrage.


Um, thanks, you do know that Canadians (that's right, the general public) can buy and sell options and futures, and that the necessary information is available at ,

don't you? And that similarly, information for Americans is available at

So it's not quite as hush-hush as you're saying.



the price tag of some derivatives, like swaps, in the tens of millions of dollars, is too high for most, and some are restricted to commercial and institutional investors.

but that is beside the main point.

Here is a link from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, year 2000, which includes some history and definitions relating to the exemption of trade in derivatives from Commission-regulated exchanges:

With the full support, apparently, of Congress, Treasury, the Federal Reserve of Chicago, financiers including Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, etc. and corporations like Cargill, the Commission went ahead and allowed derivatives including swaps, reverse swaps, offsets, at the time valued over 90 trillion dollars, to be legally traded in unregulated 'safe harbours'.

These 'products' represent institutional financiers gaming with what are considered 'traditional' activities, eg. actual farmer's hedging to keep themselves from financial ruin. 

Instead players like Cargill and bankers game at higher levels, buy up and bet for and against consolidated products, including energy,  ruining farmers and others.

In Orwellian fashion, this was deemed by all as a way to 'reduce systemic risk'.

Apparently until that point there was a question as to whether these trades could be challenged as being illegal.

(in the section listed as 'page 78032'- about one quarter of the way down the text.)

"Moreover, the contract nonrepudiation provision that the Commission
is adopting today further removes any potential legal uncertainty. As
one commenter, McDermott, Will & Emery, on behalf of Virginia Electric
& Power Company, noted, this provision ``would prevent economically
disappointed counterparties from bringing a private cause of action
seeking to void the contract on the theory that it is illegal.'' CL 24-
25 at 2. This provision, as ISDA commented, will reduce legal
uncertainty because ``[it] deal[s] directly with the main source of
legal risk under the CEA.'' CL 24-8 at 5.

"The expansion of the exemption to cover all bilateral ``contracts,
agreements and transactions'' was endorsed by most other commenters. As
one commenter, Reuters Group PLC, noted, this amendment should permit a
``substantially broader range of transactions to enjoy a new level of
legal certainty.'' CL 24-30 at 2. "

I can understand lawmakers currently thinking that by eliminating all the erroneous exemptions, once again market players will be able to sue eachother and our problem will be solved.

But market players will only sue eachother if they 'are disappointed',as in the first quote here.

What if players collaborate, as they do in many cases, eg. the 'coalition' of financiers noted in linked text.

What if players in coalition come up with some new innovative loopholes?

What if they miss challenging trades which illegally trample human and ecological and social rights?

And, most important, if some trades are in fact illegal, have been illegal, why does the public have no say in determinations?

Why do we give that power to players on the exchange?

Where is the public opportunity to intervene initially before destructive forms of 'innovations' are devised and implemented?

What if there is already consensus that certain forms of financial gaming are in fact destructive to economy and ecology?

We need a process in place to exercise public rights.

Handing public rights to private players does not advance this goal.








[url=]Financial Fraud: Culture of Greed Under Attack[/url]
Barack Obama may not get it but the SEC finally is taking action

by Linda McQuaig

Anyone hoping to see the financial titans of Wall Street brought to heel couldn't help but feel glum when Barack Obama defended the latest round of grotesquely large bank bonuses.

“I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system,” the president said in a recent interview with BusinessWeek, commenting on the multimillion-dollar bonuses paid earlier this year to Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, and to Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs.

What was most disturbing about Obama's comment was his apparent belief that Wall Street in some way resembles a free market — rather than a sheltered casino where bankers can get incredibly rich playing the odds and count on government to bail them out when the wheel goes against them.

“I know both those guys,” said Obama, referring to Dimon and Blankfein. “They are very savvy businessmen.”

Of course, business savvy is easier to come by when government can be counted on to help in a pinch. For instance, following the 2008 financial meltdown — triggered in part by the actions of JP Morgan, Goldman and other big banks — JP Morgan got a temporary injection of $25 billion from U.S. taxpayers; Goldman got $10 billion.


gotta cultivate my garden now

celebrate the earth.

in the face of all the kings and governors,

good dark soil.






US Senate Banking Cttee page:

Text of Dodd's current bill:

A letter from Dodd to McConnell is posted at the first link, stating that there has been collaborative effort and agreement by both parties to get the current bill passed.  Any remonstrations now are politically motivated only.

The letter also says that legislators want to get financial reform done this year.

Apparently debate has included whether public agencies 'shall' or only 'may' be able to set rules.

This when we know agencies are to examine only 'systemically risky' players, only 'as necessary' when 'necessary' is determined from fights with bankers' lawyers and unelected trade tribunals.   Dodd's current bill reiterates support for the G20 plan which prioritizes WTO rules including NAFTA where speculators' rights trump public rights and the environment.

In the current bill, agencies still cannot disclose any transactions to the public, even when there is an investigation.

There is no limitation on the kinds of derivatives, swaps, etc. traded, even a rather dubious section preventing state legislators from setting limitations on gaming which is allowed nationally.

According to the Securities Act, as noted in the link at post 9 above, players are not to manipulate prices, but when agencies are so limited in their capacity to set regulations and investigate in the first place, how can we know when manipulation is happening or prevent it?

My general sense is that legislators are being pushed back, and pushed back, to the point where they are fighting over whether we should let the foxes in to ravage the henhouse through the front door, or just the back door.




CY.—The term ‘primary financial regulatory agency’
19 has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Restor20
ing American Financial Stability Act of 2010.’’.

- from Dodd's current bill.

The 'primary financial regulatory agency' is the private Federal Reserve, as noted in comments at babble;

Section 2 of Dodd's current bill defines 'primary financial regulatory agency' as in A) Section Three (q) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

Section Three (q) therein states,


(q)  APPROPRIATE FEDERAL BANKING AGENCY.--The term "appropriate Federal banking agency" means--

(1)  the Comptroller of the Currency, in the case of any national banking association, or any Federal branch or agency of a foreign bank;

(2)  the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, in the case of--

(A)  any State member insured bank,

(B)  any branch or agency of a foreign bank with respect to any provision of the Federal Reserve Act which is made applicable under the International Banking Act of 1978,

(C)  any foreign bank which does not operate an insured branch,

(D)  any agency or commercial lending company other than a Federal agency,

(E)  supervisory or regulatory proceedings arising from the authority given to the Board of Governors under section 7(c)(1) of the International Banking Act of 1978, including such proceedings under the Financial Institutions Supervisory Act of 1966, and

(F)  any bank holding company and any subsidiary of a bank holding company (other than a bank);

(3)  the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the case of a State nonmember insured bank, or a foreign bank having an insured branch; and

(4)  the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision in the case of any savings association or any savings and loan holding company.

Under the rule set forth in this subsection, more than one agency may be an appropriate Federal banking agency with respect to any given institution."


Included are private Federal Reserve bankers as 'primary regulators.'

Scads of foxes in the henhouse.


here's a little example of the bold 'regulation of derivatives':

in addition to exchanges, 'alternative swap execution facilities' can be set up where participants make up their own rules. Sec.720.

Necessity tests conquer all, however.

p. 672

"Unless necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this Act, an alternative swap execution facility shall avoid—
(A) adopting any rules or taking any actions that result in any unreasonable restraints of trade; or
(B) imposing any material anticompetitive burden on trading on the swap execution facility."

Rules cannot actually be rules.  No one can set limits to profit. 

Of course public agencies or any joe who wants to be an 'alternative swap execution facility' can try to set rules.

But to set rules requires the dollars and power to fight case by case for each rule over the precise meaning of 'necessary' or 'appropriate' against Big Money.


i think i'm done looking at that bogus 'financial reform' for now. seen enough. 

needed to know, though. 

thanks for listening.


This thread is relevant too: .

The more i think about 'too big to fail' as simply being too big,

and about derivatives players gaming with everything on the planet,

the more i think that a good strategy to take our power back from Big Money is to take our money back:

All nations could refrain from issuing public bonds for private purchase to fund governments.  Private financiers not only skim the interest and control our debts, they further create derivatives, inflation, and systemic chaos under which they grab more self-regulatory powers and profits.

Instead, here we can use the money creation powers of the Bank of Canada under the Bank of Canada Act to directly fund public services.

Or parliaments can simply use taxes directly to spend on basic public services.

Either option is far less expensive, less inflationary being based on the real economy, and leaves our money directly under public control.

This seemed to have been the sticking point for Poland and Greece: 

Control and ownership of national finance seems to be a priority goal of private financiers. 

Therefore, public discussion of fully public financing, without the IMF or G20 forcing private partnerships and financing, is a priority.

However, public options need to be clearly discussed as replacing government private borrowing, or the public will think the options are additional cost. 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Emails released Saturday show top executives at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boasting about the money the firm was making as the U.S. housing market collapsed in 2007.

from here

The SEC alleges Goldman misled two investors who bought a complex mortgage-related product that was crafted in part by Paulson & Co., a New York hedge fund led by billionaire John Paulson. The hedge fund manager was betting the product would fail.

The agency says Goldman didn't disclose Paulson's role in creating the deal or his negative bet to the investors, IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, a German bank, and ACA Management LLC, a U.S. bond insurance company.

The deals, called Abacus, led to $1 billion in losses.

Separately Saturday, Goldman released a series of emails from Fabrice Tourre, the trader at the heart of the SEC charges. In them, Tourre jokes about selling investments to "widows and orphans" when he already expects the market to go bust.

He writes in an email dated March 7, 2007, that Dan Sparks, leader of Goldman's U.S. subprime business, said the business "is totally dead, and the poor little subprime borrowers will not last so long!"



IMF calls for "fair and substantial" taxation of financial sector


What's going on over there? They must have switched brands of coffee.


Gerald Celente on Lew Rockwell (mp3)

"The entire global economic system is collapsing..."


 The European Central Bank Fiddles While Rome Burns  -  by Ellen Brown

"Europe is in the process of being 'structurally adjusted' by a private banking cartel..."


Central Banks' Latest Move Shows Desperation

"When you see such coordinated action by all the major Central Banks in the world, you know the situation is much worse than you are being told..."


Central Banks Seek to Avert Global Meltdown

"Yesterday's move by six major central banks to boost liquidity for European banks makes clear there is a growing fear in leading financial circles that the eurozone crisis threatens to set off a meltdown of the entire global financial system..."


Just discovered: the U.S. Federal Reserve loaned $27 billion to the big 5 Canadian banks during the 08-09 meltdown to maintain their liquidity.
That was in additiobn to the already known $62Billion in liquidity offered by the Canadian government through CMHC's taking up of the banks' mortgages, allowing them to offer more mortgages. Rumour in financial services - Canadian housing is about 25 per cent over-priced.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

How reliable is that information? Is it publicly available? If the Federal Reserve loan is true, it's a big story.


At least the Bank of Canada is in good hands...


Central Banks Open the US Dollar Taps

"The Bank of Canada and five other central banks around the world are making a coordinated effort to improve the flow of money through the global economy. Although investors cheered the move in the short term, experts say the fundamental problem of massive sovereign debt loads remain..."


The Age Of Extremism: Mammon Worshippers Launch All-Out-War  -  by Chris Floyd

"On Wednesday - the day before Britain's unions launched the largest strike the country has seen in almost 90 years -- the UK's coalition government finally removed its mask of 'moderation' and showed its true, ravenous face -- yet another round of savage cuts that will batter and cripple the lives of the poor, the vulnerable, the young, the sick, and ordinary working people.

But it's important to remember that this is not just a Conservative government. It is a full and formal coalition with the Liberal Democrats -- precisely the kind of 'moderate centrists' and 'serious savvy progressives', so highly praised...

But here is the result of all this serious savyness on behalf of progressive ideals: the LibDems are now helping implement the most regressive policies that Britain has seen since the Victorian era.

100,000 children crushed with a single stroke of a pen! That's class war with a vengeance.

Not nearly as many children as our Anglo-American elite have killed outright in, say Iraq, of course--but still, pretty good work for one day..."


Our central bank recently colluded with other central banks in yet another colossal shakedown bearing all indications of an inside job, the murky details of which having been reported to us as a series of gun to the head maneuvers designed to shore up fellow international loan sharking operations, whose profit margins appear to be anything but of such a condition as to require further liquidity extortion. Has anyone heard tell if any of those ever so diligent opposition folks, our ears to the ground so to speak, had managed to acquire descriptions or even partial plate numbers from the getaway trucks? Come to think of it, has the opposition checked in with us at all since the entire crisis began unfolding a few years back, with any news whatsoever as to the status of all the goings on, and more specifically the whereabouts of the annual tens of billions and counting in protection racket payments so casually referred to as deficit spending?


Slumberjack wrote:
 Has anyone heard tell if any of those ever so diligent opposition folks, our ears to the ground so to speak, had managed to acquire descriptions or even partial plate numbers from the getaway trucks?

The NDP raised these issues about the new liberal financial regime years ago. They were shouted down and mocked in the HoC by the Liber-Tories and Conservabrals then as they were singing praises of neoliberal ideology. Few Canadians were listening to the NDP's warnings then.

Yes, the crooks made clean getaways in 1975, 1980s, and again in 1991 when our corrupt stooges rammed banking amendments through Parliament after NO democratic debate in the House of Commoners. They were big time bank heists, and they were definitely inside jobs.

Happy debt peonage to all fellow economic serfs and renters in their own land. Choose wisely in 2015. Make sure to vote against the oligarchy, or wear your debt ball and chain proudly while singing the banned pirate song on your way to the gallows. And remember, 95% BCM, or money created as debt and credit owed to private sources is what you agreed to when you allowed a stranger to speak for you in those federal elections years ago. Yes, those horses fled the barn some time ago.


So if the trend continues to 2015, we'll be staring at seven years of NDP omerta since the financial collapse of 2008.


Depends on the outcome of the leadership race, Sj. Or are you going to do another Eeyore here ? :)


What about when they had a permanent leader in place, say from 2008 onwards, and then the interim leader arrangement? Or is it the case that we're expected to remain enchanted by a ventriloquist act where neither hand nor mouth moves at all? Shouldn't we be hearing something...anything, from one of them at least?  Even little Jimmy sitting there on Harper's knee informed us that the European situation is dire for Canada.


Lil Jimmy has to say something while minister of debt service payments. Otherwise Canadians might come to the realization that there isn't anybody at the helm. Standing aside while the country is run by bankers and absentee corporate landlords isn't always as easy as it looks. Being a full-time schill for foreign bondholders and private banks must be somewhat taxing when cosmetic ministerial duty calls on occasion.


Piper-Paying Germany Wants to Call the Tune (and vid)

"The euro's time is almost up..."


Fidel wrote:
Standing aside while the country is run by bankers and absentee corporate landlords isn't always as easy as it looks.  

I don't know.  It looks like a breeze because the NDP is certainly not working up a sweat over any of it.  To be clear however; I don't point out the obvious of the last few years from a sense of disappointment, because on this end at least there was no expectation, and little remaining curiosity in fact as to why you continue to expect anything.


The NDP will continue to play  good-cop to the Harper bad cop. The canucklhead electorate will continue to be neo-conned and abused with impunity because the cynical no difference party strategy for taking power is more pain they gain. Has there ever been a time when a real opposition was more urgently required? Has there ever been a time when such was so spectacularly absent?


I think they're playing the pepper spraying cop to Harper's truncheon swinging cop, with the pepper spray being wielded as a type of repellant against bothersome people who pester them about such details for which they don't seem to have a clue.


'don't have a clue' so as to appear ill informed but well intentioned instead of well informed and ill intentioned?


Global Financial Collapse: What Makes it Tick?

"Firstly, it is not a 'crisis' at all: what the world is confronted with today is a full fledged, irreversible and unsustainable Global Financial Collapse.."


NDPP wrote:
'don't have a clue' so as to appear ill informed but well intentioned instead of well informed and ill intentioned? 

Now I need a clue.




Fix Was In: Bloomberg Mag Seconds a Scoop

"So now do you believe me? The stock market was rigged.."


Mom Shoots Children and Kills Self After Being Denied Food Stamps

"In a final and violent act of desperation, a 38 year old mother in Texas barricaded herself in a welfare office on Tuesday after being denied food stamps. She took her own life and shot her two children before the stand-off ended..."


Bankers Are the Dictators of the West  - by Robert Fisk

"...The banks believed-and still believe- they are the owners of their countries. The elections, which give them power, have - through the gutlessness and collusion of governments - become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop, decade after decade to anoint their national property owners.

Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and UK, each gobbling up the people's wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine...

The [western] protest movements are indeed against Big Business - a perfectly justified cause - and against 'governments'. What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties - which then hand their democratic mandate and the people's power to the bankers and the derivative traders and the rating agencies...backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of 'experts' from America's top universities and 'think-tanks', who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.."

We in the West - our governments have created our dictators. But unlike the Arabs, we can't touch them..."



Wall Street 'Secret Government' Outed

"American democracy has been hijacked by a secret government that many reasearchers have identified as being a powerful oligarchy that manipulates from behind the scenes the very essence of the State, controlling the financial wealth of the country beyond the reach of any State institution...To reclaim our country from Wall Street's secret government, we will need to develop an enormous movement using among the 99 percent..


So there is at least one happy consequence of the economic crisis. The cost of prisons is forcing state governments to have a look at whether handing out long prison sentences for everything is really appropriate.


According to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2010 America’s prison population declined year-on-year for the first time in nearly four decades. There were 1,605,127 prisoners behind bars in state and federal correction facilities in 2010, 9,228 fewer than in 2009.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Rick Salutin's [url= summary[/url]:

Canada was a trading nation long before "free trade." The real point of those deals wasn't trade. It was to give to ownership, i.e., those with money to hire and invest, an advantage over those they hired, i.e., the workforce. With that "freedom," they shipped jobs and factories abroad to cheaper workforces. Naturally the incomes of those at home declined. There were fewer "good" jobs making things and many more "precarious," ill-paid ones.

But the economy still required the workforce to spend so they went into ever-greater debt: first with credit cards; then, especially in the U.S., using their homes as ATMs. Meanwhile, the financial sector, which expanded as the manufacturing sector shrank, became drunk with its new power and its own "freedom" from control -- another component of globalization -- and invented bizarre financial "instruments" that made them giddily rich. Then it all crashed. But it started with "free" trade....

Why did anyone ever think a country like Canada could thrive without making actual things? A hockey dad I know says he examined the equipment his four kids use and only the helmets were made here -- perhaps, he speculates, because it was a moulded unit needing no assembly. Now the Harper government has "freed" the wheat market so it, too, will be subject to globalization. Will we even bake our own bread?

This virus is international. Bombardier, the Canadian transportation firm, invested heavily in the U.K., at least providing some "real" jobs there. But this week the Cameron government gave a huge train contract to a German firm, and Bombardier will close the last train factory in the U.K. (Puff on that, Thomas the tank engine.) Everyone jumps off the cliff after watching others do it, like the dodos in Ice Age.



That is disgustingly offensive and totally obscene to say the least.


The Real Cause of the U.S. Debt Crisis: Spiralling Defense Spending

In addition to the corruption in Washington and crooked bankers, they have Pentagon capitalism run amok to contend with.


Unrelenting Global Economic Crisis: A Doomsday View of 2012  -  by Prof James Petras

"The economic, political and social outlook for 2012 is profoundly negative..."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture


According to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economy is growing again. In fact, it's been growing since July 2009. The economy grew in the second half of 2009, all of 2010, and all of 2011. That makes for two and a half years now.

And for the wealthy 1%, it has been growing. Corporate profits are up, top incomes are up, and luxury sales are up. CEO salaries are up 27% or more, depending who you ask and how you count. [b]America's Plutonomy is on the march.[/b] Or you might say "on the make."

Down in the Realonomy things don't look so rosy. Employment is flat. Incomes are flat. Even holiday sales - adjusted for inflation - are flat. You know something is wrong when Americans don't spend for the holidays.

[b]The sad reality is that the Realonomy has been in recession for a dozen years or more.[/b] The minimum wage (adjusted for inflation) has been falling for decades. Median wages have been stagnant since the mid-1970s. Many unions are gone, and with them paid sick days, pensions, and health insurance.

Income growth in the 1980s and 1990s was limited to the top third of American workers: the college-educated professionals.



GEAB No.60 Global Systemic Crisis - USA 2012-2016: An Insolvent and Ungovernable Country

"...the 2012 election year, which opens against the backdrop of economic and social depression, complete paralysis of the federal system, strong rejection of the traditional two-party system and a growing questioning of the relevance of the Constitution, inaugurating a crucial period in the history of the United States.

Over the next four years, the country will be subjected to political, economic, financial and social upheaval such as it has not known since the end of the Civil War, which, by an accident of history, started exactly 150 years ago in 1861.

During this period, the US will be simultaneously insolvent and ungovernable, turning that which was the 'flagship' of the world in recent decades into a 'drunken boat'..."


Children abandoned at schools and charities in Athens


"Over the last year we have hundreds of cases of parents who want to leave their children with us - they know us and trust us," Father Antonios says."They say they do not have any money or shelter or food for their kids, so they hope we might be able to provide them with what they need." Requests of this kind were not unknown before the crisis - but Father Antonios has never until now come across children being simply abandoned.


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