Today's quote: "The response to the publication of these (Hillary's speeches to Goldman Sachs) by so-called “socialist” Bernie Sanders exposes the utterly fraudulent character of his entire presidential bid. While he postured during the Democratic Party primaries as a proponent of a “political revolution” against the “billionaire class,” Sanders now functions shamelessly as a sideshow for the Clinton campaign, browbeating his (now much smaller) audiences with admonitions to vote for the preferred candidate of the “billionaire class” he claimed to oppose.
During his run for the Democratic nomination, Sanders repeatedly called on Clinton to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches, which she refused to do. He charged that the speeches would show her subservience to the bankers. Now, transcripts have been leaked to the public, completely substantiating his accusations. His silence only underscores the depth of his political treachery and dishonesty....." WSWS
U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the possibility of striking Syrian Arab Army installations on Friday during a meeting with his National Security Council (NSC) in Washington D.C.
According to a report from Reuters, the Obama regime is considering the increase in U.S. involvement in Syria, using different methods to attack the Syrian government, including airstrikes on military, radar, anti-aircraft bases, as well as arms deports
President Barack Obama met on Friday with his national security team to discuss the fight against Islamic State and the war in Syria, the White House said.
Reuters had reported that in the meeting Obama and his advisers would consider military and other options in Syria as Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to pummel the city of Aleppo and other targets, U.S. officials said.
U.S. officials said they considered it unlikely that Obama would order U.S. air strikes on Syrian government targets, and they stressed that he might not make any decisions at the National Security Council meeting
Forty percent of the 639-page report, or some 240 pages, were devoted to the fraudulent and deceptive practices of Goldman Sachs. The report presented documents, emails, internal communications and other evidence showing that the largest US investment bank had sold billions of dollars in subprime mortgage-backed securities to investors, vouching for their value, even as it was betting that the investments would fail. Goldman made billions and CEO Blankfein and other top executives pocketed millions in bonuses by accelerating the collapse of the financial system.
Michigan Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate subcommittee, famously described how the investigation had uncovered “a financial snake pit rife with greed, conflicts of interest and wrongdoing.”
“Using their own words in documents subpoenaed by the subcommittee,” Levin said, “the report discloses how financial firms deliberately took advantage of their clients and investors, how credit rating agencies assigned AAA ratings to high-risk securities, and how regulators sat on their hands instead of reining in the unsafe and unsound practices all around them. Rampant conflicts of interest are the threads that run through every chapter of this sordid story.”
So when Clinton was hobnobbing with Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein in 2013, while investigations of wrongdoing by Goldman and the other Wall Street banks were still ongoing, she was consorting with a man who belonged in prison. In 2011, Levin had recommended that the Justice Department criminally prosecute Blankfein for his fraudulent and deceptive conduct, and the Senate subcommittee charged that he had perjured himself in testimony in 2010 regarding his bank’s role in the financial crash. Nevertheless, no charges were brought, and in 2013 Clinton was accepting upwards of $225,000 per speech from Blankfein’s firm...
Hillary and Bill Clinton have accumulated a total of $153 million in speaking fees since Bill Clinton left the White House. Only the very naive could believe that these vast sums were paid for the speeches themselves. They were payment for services rendered to the American financial aristocracy over a protracted period....
The response to the publication of these speeches by so-called “socialist” Bernie Sanders exposes the utterly fraudulent character of his entire presidential bid. While he postured during the Democratic Party primaries as a proponent of a “political revolution” against the “billionaire class,” Sanders now functions shamelessly as a sideshow for the Clinton campaign, browbeating his (now much smaller) audiences with admonitions to vote for the preferred candidate of the “billionaire class” he claimed to oppose.
During his run for the Democratic nomination, Sanders repeatedly called on Clinton to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches, which she refused to do. He charged that the speeches would show her subservience to the bankers. Now, transcripts have been leaked to the public, completely substantiating his accusations. His silence only underscores the depth of his political treachery and dishonesty.....
The cynicism of Clinton’s campaign knows no bounds. Her staff actually worked to help Donald Trump secure the Republican nomination, believing that Clinton would have a better chance of defeating Trump in the election than a more conventional Republican candidate. The media was encouraged to “take him seriously,” and Clinton was urged to single Trump out for criticism in order to “help him cement his front runner status” among the Republican primary candidates.
Kerry described the situation in Syria as “the largest of humanitarian disasters” since World War Two and said, “We are considering additional sanctions [against Assad] and we are also making clear that President [Barack] Obama has not taken any options off the table.” He warned that Syria risked not only “lighting a fire” under a larger Middle Eastern war, but risked a confrontation “between superpowers.”
Kerry pledged the US would continue to oppose Assad and Russia, even in the event of Aleppo falling to government forces, resulting in its control over the second largest city and the capital, Damascus. “The Russians should understand, and Assad needs to understand, that that does not end the war,” he said....
On Friday, Obama met with his foreign policy advisers at the National Security Council to discuss the US stepping up its military efforts in Syria. According to a Reuters report, “One set of options includes direct US military action such as air strikes on Syrian military bases, munitions depots or radar and anti-aircraft bases, said one official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.”...
the goal of the US is to assert its control over the entire Eurasian land mass. It is determined to press ahead with confronting and defeating Russia militarily in order to achieve this, with humanity confronted with the prospect of a devastating war between two nuclear-armed powers
The New York Times nevertheless welcomed “The Coming Battle for Mosul” in its October 14 editorial. It declared that the city must be “liberated” from “terrorists’ rule”—regardless of the human cost. Barely two weeks ago, its editorial labelled Russia an “outlaw state” because it was behind an assault in Aleppo that “threatens the lives of 250,000 more people...
Every atrocity that the Russian regime and its Syrian client-state are responsible for in Aleppo will be more than matched, and most likely exceeded, by the US-backed forces in Iraq. Past experiences, including the assault earlier this year on the western Iraqi city of Fallujah, leave little doubt as to the outcome of the attack on Mosul. Entire suburbs will be reduced to rubble from both the air and the ground, regardless of how many desperate civilians are hiding in their homes. The city’s electricity, water and sewerage systems will be destroyed. Medical services and transport networks will be rendered dysfunctional.
The potential destruction of Mosul and large-scale civilian casualties is being justified in advance as unavoidable, due to fanatical ISIS resistance. The estimates on the number of ISIS militants still in the city range from just a few thousand to over 10,000....
The assault on Mosul will join the long list of horrors and crimes that have been inflicted on the Iraqi people by US imperialism and its military machine for over 25 years, in its quest for hegemony over one of the most resource-rich and strategically-significant regions of the world.
The thousands who die will join those who lost their lives as a result of the 1991 Gulf War; the subsequent sanctions imposed on Iraq; the legacy of depleted uranium weapons’ contamination; the 2003 invasion; the murderous Sunni-Shiite sectarian warfare that was deliberately provoked by the US occupation; and the operations of the US-backed Iraqi government forces after most American troops were withdrawn in 2010-2011.
Credible estimates place the cumulative death toll over a 25-year period at well over 1.5 million and as high as two million. Since 2003 alone, at least four million Iraqis have been internally displaced or fled the country as refugees
In her opening remarks, Yellen noted: “Extreme economic events have often challenged existing views of how the economy works and exposed shortcomings in the collective knowledge of economists.” She said this had led to “new ways of thinking.”
She cited as two examples the Great Depression of the 1930s and the stagflation, marked by high unemployment and high inflation, at the end of the 1970s. “More recently, the financial crisis and its aftermath might well prove to be a similar sort of turning point,” she said.
“Today,” she continued, “I would like to reflect on some ways in which the events of the past few years have revealed the limits in economists’ understanding of the economy and suggest important questions I hope the profession will try to answer...
Yellen’s focus on falling demand and its undoubted impact on the supply side of the economy, however, explained nothing. The key question is why investment demand—expenditure on new capital equipment and the increased hiring of workers—which plays the central role in fostering economic growth in the economy as a whole, has remained persistently below its pre-crisis level. Yellen pointed to this tendency, noting “the unusual low pace of capital accumulation,” resulting in a “marked slowdown” in the growth trend of labour productivity, but she offered no explanation...
Under private ownership, the development of the productive forces, which takes place through new investment, is not determined by efforts to lift economic growth as such, much less to meet social needs, but by the drive for profit. If the rate of profit falls and remains low, new investment will not be undertaken and economic growth will stagnate or even decline...
It is the downward pressure on profit rates that explains, in the final analysis, the fall in investment and the consequent economic stagnation. This is why, despite the setting of interest rates at historic lows, investment has failed to respond, and the trillions of dollars made available through the monetary policies of the Fed and other central banks have not been used for productive purposes, but devoted almost entirely to speculation in financial markets....
the paper went on to state that its findings “suggest that real GDP growth and interest rates will remain low in the coming decades, consistent with the US economy having reached a ‘new normal.’”....
The response to the stagflation of the late 1970s was not “new ways of thinking” that somehow overcame the contradictions of the capitalist profit system. Rather, it resulted in a restructuring of the economy in which the globalisation of production—an inherently progressive development—was used as a battering ram against wages and conditions in the drive for profit.
in the leaked memo, which says that it draws on “western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region” there is no ambivalence about who is backing Isis, which at the time of writing was butchering and raping Yazidi villagers and slaughtering captured Iraqi and Syrian soldiers.
The memo says: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.” This was evidently received wisdom in the upper ranks of the US government, but never openly admitted because to it was held that to antagonise Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Pakistan would fatally undermine US power in the Middle East and South Asia.
Effect of quantitative expansion
Under the BoJ’s QQE, asset prices rose strongly starting in 2013. Normally stock and JGB prices have a negative correlation with one another, but at that time they had a positive correlation and rose together (Chart 5).
That relation seems to have broken down since the start of this year, but for at least three years asset prices rose in a way not normally seen. The problem is that rising asset prices were not reflected in general prices. This was likely resulting from the fact that the BoJ expanded the monetary base at a rapid rate, but the expansion of money stock was limited
To put it another way, even though the monetary base expanded, bank lending increased only slightly. Since 2000, Japan’s monetary environment has been accommodative, and bank deposits have continually increased, but bank lending has not. To cover the deposit-loan gap, domestic banks increased investment in JGBs
Therefore, even when the banks’ JGB holdings were exchanged for cash under QQE, the lending situation of banks did not greatly change. The asset composition of domestic banks shows that in the three years after QQE started, the share of bank assets in JGBs declined, while the share in cash increased by a similar percentage. Other asset classes did not change much
Although the absolute amount of lending did increase, it mainly went into real estate-related projects. Lending growth to manufacturers for capital goods was limited. Even though the monetary base expanded, the amount of funds circulating in the real economy (money stock) did not change much, so the kinds of price increases seen in assets were not seen in general prices ...
With the April 2013 introduction of QQE, called a monetary “bazooka” at the time, the BoJ tried to work on people’s expectations and raise CPI inflation to 2% within two years, but the attempt failed (Looking back at three years of QQE). In the absence of any clear reason why expansion of the monetary base should lead to a higher inflation rate, the BoJ’s action was even called a social experiment. Monetary policy is a crucial means of stabilizing prices and the financial system. When the economy overheats, for example, it can be treated with a rate hike, and when liquidity dries up in a financial crisis, the central bank can supply liquidity. Although there were a number of different factors that make it difficult to blame the failure solely on the BoJ, it has proven very difficult to raise prices by monetary policy alone in normal times...
Balance sheets are out of sync with the economy While much of the performance of US equities has been driven to a large extent by multiple expansion thanks to buybacks funded by cheap credit, it is worth noting that eventually, what matters in a credit cycle at a late stage is the level of leverage in the system from a Wicksellian perspective
12--Say what? Economic policymakers reject all responsibility for condition of the economy
On June 28, 2009, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, the democratically elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was overthrown by a military coup. Under US law, all military aid to Honduras should have ceased immediately. Sec. Clinton was directly involved in continuing military aid to Honduras and in maneuvering behind the scenes to support the coup and thus the already beleaguered country’s downward spiral into greater poverty and violence, including rape and femicide, which it precipitated in Honduras...
Israel supported the coup; the United States backed it...
The military coup which displaced Manuel Zelaya catapulted already impoverished and violent Honduras into a downward spiral into greater poverty and more violence.
14--Higher deficits reflect weaker labor contribution (Didn't the Fed say we were near full employment, but tax receipts are down??)
“The slowdown in tax collections suggests some cooling in labor market activity,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, a strategist at TD Securities LLC in New York. He sees the higher budget deficits implying more borrowing needs by Treasury.
The world’s biggest central banks are bulking up their balance sheets this year at the fastest pace since 2011’s European debt crisis to boost lackluster economic recoveries with asset purchases that are supporting stock and bond prices.
The 10 largest lenders now own assets totaling $21.4 trillion, a 10 percent increase from the end of last year, data collected by Bloomberg show. Their combined holdings grew by 3 percent or less in both 2015 and 2014....
The growth of central-bank holdings has coincided with the mostly upward trend of stock and bond prices. As the top 10 expanded their balance sheets by 265 percent since mid-October 2006, the MSCI All Country World Index of equities gained 19 percent and the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index of bonds advanced 50 percent...
The Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank together have expanded their assets by $2.1 trillion since Dec. 31, more than accounting for all of the top 10’s combined increase. The balance sheets of the People’s Bank of China and the U.S. Federal Reserve fell 2 percent or less as the Swiss and the Central Bank of Brazil boosted their holdings 15 percent or more.
How much is $21.4 trillion?
It’s 29 percent of the size of the world economy as of the end of 2015, double what it was in mid-September 2008, when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse sparked the global financial crisis. It’s a third of the combined market capitalization of every stock in the world and almost half the value of all debt in Bloomberg’s global bond index
Almost 75 percent percent of the world’s central-bank assets are controlled by policy makers in four places: China, the U.S., Japan and the euro zone. The next six -- the central banks of Brazil, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., India and Russia -- each account for an average of 2.5 percent. The remaining 107 central banks tracked by Bloomberg, mostly with International Monetary Fund data, hold less than 13 percent
16--IS OBAMA JUICING GOVERNMENT SPENDING TO GET HILLARY ELECTED
Obama and the establishment, in an all out effort to stop Trump, have decided to turn the spending up to 11. It seems rather odd the Federal government added $191 billion to the national debt over the last Three Months of the fiscal year, but has decided it was prudent to add $147 billion in the first Thirteen Days of October. That is an increase in the daily rate of debt accumulation from $2.1 billion per day to $11.3 billion per day. Only a 538% increase. Sounds legit. Right?
|Date||Total Public Debt Outstanding|
17--The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. US State Dept 11--30--15
18--Buck passing Fed tries to denies accountability for economy-- Extreme economic events have often challenged existing views of how the economy works and exposed shortcomings in the collective knowledge of economists. Yellen admits Fed doesn't know what it's doing
(A thoroughly infuriating speech by the gnomish meatpuppet and serial liar Janet freaking Yellen)
...Today I would like to reflect on some ways in which the events of the past few years have revealed limits in economists' understanding of the economy ...
The latter likely reflects an unusually slow pace of business capital accumulation since the crisis and, more conjecturally, the sharp decline in spending on research and development and the very slow pace of new firm formation in recent years.6If we assume that hysteresis is in fact present to some degree after deep recessions, the natural next question is to ask whether it might be possible to reverse these adverse supply-side effects by temporarily running a "high-pressure economy," with robust aggregate demand and a tight labor market. One can certainly identify plausible ways in which this might occur. Increased business sales would almost certainly raise the productive capacity of the economy by encouraging additional capital spending, especially if accompanied by reduced uncertainty about future prospects. In addition, a tight labor market might draw in potential workers who would otherwise sit on the sidelines and encourage job-to-job transitions that could also lead to more-efficient--and, hence, more-productive--job matches.7 Finally, albeit more speculatively, strong demand could potentially yield significant productivity gains by, among other things, prompting higher levels of research and development spending and increasing the incentives to start new, innovative businesses...
hysteresis would seem to make it even more important for policymakers to act quickly and aggressively in response to a recession, because doing so would help to reduce the depth and persistence of the downturn, thereby limiting the supply-side damage that might otherwise ensue. In addition, if strong economic conditions can partially reverse supply-side damage after it has occurred, then policymakers may want to aim at being more accommodative during recoveries than would be called for under the traditional view that supply is largely independent of demand. (setting the groundwork for more QE)..
More generally, if larger firms seeking to expand have better access to credit than smaller ones, overall growth in investment and employment could depend in part on the distribution of sales across different types of businesses. Modeling any of these issues quantitatively will likely require the use of a heterogeneous-agent framework.(set up for buying corporate bonds)
In light of the housing bubble and subsequent events, policymakers clearly need to better understand what kinds of developments contribute to financial crises. What is the relationship between the buildup of excessive leverage and the value of real estate and other types of collateral, and what factors impede or facilitate the deleveraging process that follows? Does the economic fallout from a financial crisis depend on the particulars of the crisis, such as whether it involves widespread damage to household balance sheets? How does the nature and degree of the interconnections between financial firms affect the propagation and amplification of stress through the financial system and overall economy? Finally--and most importantly--what can monetary policy and financial oversight do to reduce the frequency and severity of future crises? (Unbelievable! The Fed wants to know how bubbles (massive leverage) effect the economy
Inflation Dynamics My fourth question goes to the heart of monetary policy: What determines inflation?(beyond ridiculous. Why would you appoint someone to head the central bank if they didn't know the causes of inflation)
Theory and evidence suggest that this trend is strongly influenced by inflation expectations that, in turn, depend on monetary policy....the influence of labor market conditions on inflation in recent years seems to be weaker than had been commonly thought prior to the financial crisis. Although inflation fell during the recession, the decline was quite modest given how high unemployment rose; likewise, wages and prices rose comparatively little as the labor market gradually recovered. Whether this reduction in sensitivity was somehow caused by the recession or instead pre-dated it and was merely revealed under extreme conditions is unclear.18 Either way, the underlying cause is unknown...
Perhaps most importantly, we need to know more about the manner in which inflation expectations are formed and how monetary policy influences them. Ultimately, both actual and expected inflation are tied to the central bank's inflation target, whether that target is explicit or implicit.22 But how does this anchoring process occur? Does a central bank have to keep actual inflation near the target rate for many years before inflation expectations completely conform? Can policymakers instead materially influence inflation expectations directly and quickly by simply announcing their intention to pursue a particular inflation goal in the future (The job is to control inflation, not expectations. We don't want a shrink running the central bank, just someone who can do the fucking job)
International Linkages Before closing, let me mention one additional area where more study is needed--the effects of changes in U.S. monetary policy on financial and economic conditions in the rest of the world and the ways in which those foreign effects can feed back to influence conditions here at home ...
Broadly speaking, monetary policy actions in one country spill over to other economies through three main channels: changes in exchange rates; changes in domestic demand, which alter the economy's imports; and changes in domestic financial conditions--such as interest rates and asset prices--that, through portfolio balance and other channels, affect financial conditions abroad. Research by Federal Reserve staff suggests that, all told, U.S. monetary policy spillovers to other economies are positive--that is, policies designed to provide stimulus to the U.S. economy also boost activity abroad, as negative effects of dollar depreciation are offset by positive effects of higher U.S. imports and easier foreign financial conditions.26 However, this issue is far from settled, as are a host of other related questions, including the following: Do U.S. monetary policy actions affect advanced and emerging market countries differently? Do conventional and unconventional monetary policies spill over to other countries differently? And to what extent are U.S. interest rates and financial conditions influenced by easing measures abroad
+ The key thing to remember about the DNC is that it has been under the complete control of the Clintons and their operatives since the 1990s. Obama never cleaned house and installed his own people, a lapse that proved fatal to his own political and legislative agenda. The Clintons’ loyalty to Obama was always paper-thin and conditioned on whether it would advance their own interests: Hillary’s pursuit of the presidency and Bill’s maniacal quest for lucrative speaking fees
Mark Siegel, the former executive director of the DNC, emailed Podesta on the eve of the Convention outlining strategies to entice the “self-righteous (Bernie) ideologues” to “work their asses off for Hillary.”
+ “Let’s throw Bernie a bone,” Siegel recommends, in the form of reducing the number of super delegates in 2020 primary campaign. Perhaps “Bernie Bones” could be come a new treat at Ben & Jerry’s?..
One email to Podesta from Hillary’s account in August of 2014 provides confirmation for what we’ve long suspected: Clinton was well aware that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the principle funders of ISIS in Iraq and Syria:
“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region...
Here’s an excerpt from the Clinton campaing’s press policy, cautioning against allowing coverage of the anemic turnouts at Hillary rallies: “‘Less than a 100 people at a rally? No cell phones! No press!”
+ The emails in 2015 show increasing fear that Elizabeth Warren’s freelance attacks on the big banks and investment houses will alienate the tycoons and moguls who fund the DNC. Nancy Pelosi (Net Worth: $58 million) & Co. scurry to reassure Wall Street: “Elizabeth Warren doesn’t speak for Dem Party!”
+ HRC HQ knew she needed to run against a candidate like Trump. It was her only hope of winning the election & they went to work to make it so. It unnerved some her allies, one of whom wrote Podesta: “Right now I am petrified that Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump...
... Twelve Bush officials sign letter denouncing Trump. Get ready for the Fourth Bush Term!
Still, people see through her. Latest WSJ/NBC poll from Ohio, taken after the Trump sex tape and the St. Louis debate, shows HRC still below 50%…with WOMEN voters!
despite appearances to the contrary, there is a unified oligarchic Establishment that straddles both the Republican and Democrat parties. This has not been so obvious in previous elections, when Republicans and Democrats were apparently quite different on some issues. However, the rise of Donald Trump has shown that the Establishment is entirely united. For example, billionaires are supporting Hillary Clinton 20–1, whereas in previous elections, they were much more split between the two parties. Not one Fortune 100 CEO is supporting Trump.
The other pillar of the Ruling Class is the media which reflects academic culture and political culture generally. The media, along with academia, and the bureaucracy, have been prime drivers of this top-down revolution, in which the moral and intellectual high ground has been seized by people hostile to the traditional peoples and cultures of the West. This new Ruling Class is completely out of touch with the interests of a majority of its citizens—particularly White Americans. Thus the print media is almost completely in the anti-Trump camp:
Today's quote: "“We trust their [Russia’s] politics, politics based on morals before interests. We trust them because we know that they wanted to support us because they wanted to get rid of the terrorists, not because they want to ask us anything in return, and they never did. Until this moment, they never asked us for anything in return.”
“Russia wanted to fight terrorism ... not only for Syria, not only for Russia, for the rest of the region, for Europe, for the rest of the world." Bashar al Assad, Syrian president