The Fed Is Saying One Thing But Doing Something Very Different

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

Ben Bernanke has said that the Fed is trying to promote inflation,
increase lending, reduce unemployment, and stimulate the economy.

However, the Fed has arguably - to some extent - been working against all of these goals.

For example, as I reported
in March, the Fed has been paying the big banks high enough interest on
the funds which they deposit at the Fed to discourage banks from making
loans. Indeed, the Fed has explicitly stated that - in order to prevent inflation - it wants to ensure that the banks don't loan out money into the economy, but instead deposit it at the Fed:

Why
is M1 crashing? [the M1 money multiplier basically measures how much
the money supply increases for each $1 increase in the monetary base,
and it gives an indication of the "velocity" of money, i.e. how quickly
money is circulating through the system]

 

Because the banks continue to build up their excess reserves, instead of lending out money:

 

 

(Click for full image)

 

These excess reserves, of course, are deposited at the Fed:

 

 

(Click for full image)

 

Why are banks building up their excess reserves?

 

As the Fed notes:

The
Federal Reserve Banks pay interest on required reserve
balances--balances held at Reserve Banks to satisfy reserve
requirements--and on excess balances--balances held in excess of required reserve balances and contractual clearing balances.

The New York Fed itself said in a July 2009 staff report that the excess reserves are almost entirely due to Fed policy:

Since
September 2008, the quantity of reserves in the U.S. banking system
has grown dramatically, as shown in Figure 1.1 Prior to the onset of
the financial crisis, required reserves were about $40 billion and
excess reserves were roughly $1.5 billion. Excess reserves spiked to
around $9 billion in August 2007, but then quickly returned to
pre-crisis levels and remained there until the middle of September
2008. Following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, however, total
reserves began to grow rapidly, climbing above $900 billion by January
2009. As the figure shows, almost all of the increase was in excess
reserves. While required reserves rose from $44 billion to $60 billion
over this period, this change was dwarfed by the large and
unprecedented rise in excess reserves.

[Figure 1 is here]

Why
are banks holding so many excess reserves? What do the data in Figure 1
tell us about current economic conditions and about bank lending
behavior? Some observers claim that the large increase in excess
reserves implies that many of the policies introduced by the Federal
Reserve in response to the financial crisis have been ineffective.
Rather than promoting the flow of credit to firms and households, it is
argued, the data shown in Figure 1 indicate that the money lent to
banks and other intermediaries by the Federal Reserve since September
2008 is simply sitting idle in banks’ reserve accounts. Edlin and
Jaffee (2009), for example, identify the high level of excess reserves
as either the “problem” behind the continuing credit crunch or “if not
the problem, one heckuva symptom” (p.2). Commentators have asked why
banks are choosing to hold so many reserves instead of lending them
out, and some claim that inducing banks to lend their excess reserves
is crucial for resolving the credit crisis.

This view has lead
to proposals aimed at discouraging banks from holding excess reserves,
such as placing a tax on excess reserves (Sumner, 2009) or setting a
cap on the amount of excess reserves each bank is allowed to hold
(Dasgupta, 2009). Mankiw (2009) discusses historical concerns about
people hoarding money during times of financial stress and mentions
proposals that were made to tax money holdings in order to encourage
lending. He relates these historical episodes to the current situation
by noting that “[w]ith banks now holding substantial excess reserves,
[this historical] concern about cash hoarding suddenly seems very
modern.”

[In fact, however,] the total level of reserves in the
banking system is determined almost entirely by the actions of the
central bank and is not affected by private banks’ lending decisions.

The
liquidity facilities introduced by the Federal Reserve in response to
the crisis have created a large quantity of reserves. While changes in
bank lending behavior may lead to small changes in the level of
required reserves, the vast majority of the newly-created reserves will
end up being held as excess reserves almost no matter how banks react.
In other words, the quantity of excess reserves depicted in Figure 1
reflects the size of the Federal Reserve’s policy initiatives, but says
little or nothing about their effects on bank lending or on the
economy more broadly.

This conclusion may seem strange, at first glance, to readers familiar with textbook presentations of the money multiplier.

Why Is The Fed Locking Up Excess Reserves?

Why is the Fed locking up excess reserves?

As Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said in a speech on April 18, 2009:

We
are paying interest on excess reserves, which we can use to help
provide a floor for the federal funds rate, as it does for other central
banks, even if declines in lending or open market operations are not
sufficient to bring reserves down to the desired level.

Kohn said in a speech on January 3, 2010:

Because
we can now pay interest on excess reserves, we can raise short-term
interest rates even with an extraordinarily large volume of reserves in
the banking system. Increasing the rate we offer to banks on deposits
at the Federal Reserve will put upward pressure on all short-term
interest rates.

As the Minneapolis Fed's research consultant, V. V. Chari, wrote this month:

Currently,
U.S. banks hold more than $1.1 trillion of reserves with the Federal
Reserve System. To restrict excessive flow of reserves back into the
economy, the Fed could increase the interest rate it pays on these
reserves. Doing so would not only discourage banks from draining their
reserve holdings, but would also exert upward pressure on broader
market interest rates, since only rates higher than the overnight
reserve rate would attract bank funds. In addition, paying interest on
reserves is supported by economic theory as a means of reducing
monetary inefficiencies, a concept referred to as “the Friedman rule.”

And the conclusion to the above-linked New York Fed article states:

We
also discussed the importance of paying interest on reserves when the
level of excess reserves is unusually high, as the Federal Reserve
began to do in October 2008. Paying interest on reserves allows a
central bank to maintain its influence over market interest rates
independent of the quantity of reserves created by its liquidity
facilities. The central bank can then let the size of these facilities
be determined by conditions in the financial sector, while setting its
target for the short-term interest rate based on macroeconomic
conditions. This ability to separate monetary policy from the quantity
of bank reserves is particularly important during the recovery from a
financial crisis. If inflationary pressures begin to appear while the
liquidity facilities are still in use, the central bank can use its
interest-on-reserves policy to raise interest rates without necessarily
removing all of the reserves created by the facilities.

As the NY Fed explains in more detail:

The
central bank paid interest on reserves to prevent the increase in
reserves from driving market interest rates below the level it deemed
appropriate given macroeconomic conditions. In such a situation, the
absence of a money-multiplier effect should be neither surprising nor
troubling.

Is the large quantity of reserves inflationary?

Some
observers have expressed concern that the large quantity of reserves
will lead to an increase in the inflation rate unless the Federal
Reserve acts to remove them quickly once the economy begins to recover.
Meltzer (2009), for example, worries that “the enormous increase in
bank reserves — caused by the Fed’s purchases of bonds and mortgages —
will surely bring on severe inflation if allowed to remain.” Feldstein
(2009) expresses similar concern that “when the economy begins to
recover, these reserves can be converted into new loans and faster
money growth” that will eventually prove inflationary. Under a
traditional operational framework, where the central bank influences
interest rates and the level of economic activity by changing the
quantity of reserves, this concern would be well justified. Now that
the Federal Reserve is paying interest on reserves, however, matters
are different.

When the economy begins to recover, firms will
have more profitable opportunities to invest, increasing their demands
for bank loans. Consequently, banks will be presented with more lending
opportunities that are profitable at the current level of interest
rates. As banks lend more, new deposits will be created and the general
level of economic activity will increase. Left unchecked, this growth
in lending and economic activity may generate inflationary pressures.
Under a traditional operating framework, where no interest is paid on
reserves, the central bank must remove nearly all of the excess
reserves from the banking system in order to arrest this process. Only
by removing these excess reserves can the central bank limit banks’
willingness to lend to firms and households and cause short-term
interest rates to rise.

Paying interest on reserves breaks this
link between the quantity of reserves and banks’ willingness to lend.
By raising the interest rate paid on reserves, the central bank can
increase market interest rates and slow the growth of bank lending and
economic activity without changing the quantity of reserves. In other
words, paying interest on reserves allows the central bank to follow a
path for short-term interest rates that is independent of the level of
reserves. By choosing this path appropriately, the central bank can
guard against inflationary pressures even if financial conditions lead
it to maintain a high level of excess reserves.

This logic
applies equally well when financial conditions are normal. A central
bank may choose to maintain a high level of reserve balances in normal
times because doing so offers some important advantages, particularly
regarding the operation of the payments system. For example, when banks
hold more reserves they tend to rely less on daylight credit from the
central bank for payments purposes. They also tend to send payments
earlier in the day, on average, which reduces the likelihood of a
significant operational disruption or of gridlock in the payments
system. To capture these benefits, a central bank may choose to create a
high level of reserves as a part of its normal operations, again using
the interest rate it pays on reserves to influence market interest
rates.

Because financial conditions are not "normal", it
appears that preventing inflation seems to be the Fed's overriding
purpose in creating conditions ensuring high levels of excess reserves.

***
As Barron's notes:

The
multiplier's decline "corresponds so exactly to the expansion of the
Fed's balance sheet," says Constance Hunter, economist at hedge-fund
firm Galtere. "It hits at the core of the problem in a credit crisis.
Until [the multiplier] expands, we can't get sustainable growth of
credit, jobs, consumption, housing. When the multiplier starts to go
back up toward 1.8, then we know the psychological logjam has begun to
break."

***

It's not just the Fed. The NY Fed report notes:

Most central banks now pay interest on reserves.

Robert
D. Auerbach - an economist with the U.S. House of Representatives
Financial Services Committee for eleven years, assisting with oversight
of the Federal Reserve, and subsequently Professor of Public Affairs at
the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of
Texas at Austin - argues that the Fed should slowly reduce the interest
paid on reserves so as to stimulate the economy.

Last week, Auerbach wrote:

The
stimulative effects of QE2 may be small and the costs may be large.
One of these costs will be the payment of billions of dollars by
taxpayers to the banks which currently hold over 50 percent of the
monetary base, over $1 trillion in reserves. The interest payments are
an incentive for banks to hold reserves rather than make business loans.
If market interest rates rise, the Federal Reserve may be required to
increase these interest payments to prevent the huge amount of bank
reserves from flooding the economy. They should follow a different
policy that benefits taxpayers and increases the incentive of banks to
make business loans as I have previously suggested.

In September, Auerbach explained:

Immediately after the recession took a dramatic dive in
September 2008, the Bernanke Fed implemented a policy that continues to
further damage the incentive for banks to lend to businesses. On
October 6, 2008 the Fed's Board of Governors, chaired by Ben Bernanke,
announced it would begin paying interest on the reserve balances of
the nation's banks, major lenders to medium and small size businesses.

 

You don't need a Ph.D. economist to know that if you pay
banks ¼ percent risk free interest to hold reserves that they can obtain
at near zero interest, that would be an incentive to hold the
reserves. The Fed pumped out huge amounts of money, with the base of
the money supply more than doubling from August 2008 to August 2010,
reaching $1.99 trillion. Guess who has over half of this money parked
in cold storage? The banks have $1.085 trillion on reserves drawing
interest, The Fed records show they were paid $2.18 billion interest on
these reserves in 2009.

 

A number of people spoke
about the disincentive for bank lending embedded in this policy
including Chairman Bernanke.

 

***

 

Jim McTague, Washington Editor of Barrons,
wrote in his February 2, 2009 column, "Where's the Stimulus:"
"Increasing the supply of credit might help pump up spending, too.
University of Texas Professor Robert Auerbach an economist who studied
under the late Milton Friedman, thinks he has the makings of a
malpractice suit against Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, as the
Fed is holding a record number of reserves: $901 billion in January as
opposed to $44 billion in September, when the Fed began paying interest
on money commercial banks parked at the central bank. The banks prefer
the sure rate of return they get by sitting in cash, not making loans.
Fed, stop paying, he says."

 

Shortly after this article appeared
Fed Chairman Bernanke explained: "Because banks should be unwilling to
lend reserves at a rate lower than they can receive from the Fed, the
interest rate the Fed pays on bank reserves should help to set a floor
on the overnight interest rate." (National Press Club, February 18,
2009) That was an admission that the Fed's payment of interest on
reserves did impair bank lending. Bernanke's rationale for interest
payments on reserves included preventing banks from lending at lower
interest rates. That is illogical at a time when the Fed's target
interest rate for federal funds, the small market for interbank loans,
was zero to a quarter of one percent. The banks would be unlikely to
lend at negative rates of interest -- paying people to take their money
-- even without the Fed paying the banks to hold reserves.

 

The next month William T. Gavin, an excellent economist at the St.
Louis Federal Reserve, wrote in its March\April 2009 publication:
"first, for the individual bank, the risk-free rate of ¼ percent must
be the bank's perception of its best investment opportunity."

 

The Bernanke Fed's policy was a repetition of what the Fed did in
1936 and 1937 which helped drive the country into a second depression.
Why does Chairman Bernanke, who has studied the Great Depression of
the 1930's and has surely read the classic 1963 account of improper
actions by the Fed on bank reserves described by Milton Friedman and
Anna Schwartz, repeat the mistaken policy?

As the
economy pulled out of the deep recession in 1936 the Fed Board thought
the U.S. banks had too much excess reserves, so they began to raise the
reserves banks were required to hold. In three steps from August 1936
to May 1937 they doubled the reserve requirements for the large banks
(13 percent to 26 percent of checkable deposits) and the country banks
(7 percent to 14 percent of checkable deposits).

 

Friedman and Schwartz ask: "why seek to immobilize reserves at that
time?" The economy went back into a deep depression. The Bernanke Fed's
2008 to 2010 policy also immobilizes the banking system's reserves
reducing the banks' incentive to make loans.

 

This is a bad policy even if the banks approve. The
correct policy now should be to slowly reduce the interest paid on
bank reserves to zero and simultaneously maintain a moderate increase
in the money supply by slowly raising the short term market interest
rate targeted by the Fed.
Keeping the short term target
interest rate at zero causes many problems, not the least of which is
allowing banks to borrow at a zero interest rate and sit on their
reserves so they can receive billions in interest from the taxpayers
via the Fed. Business loans from banks are vital to the nations'
recovery.

The fact that the Fed is suppressing lending
and inflation at a time when it says it is trying to encourage both
shows that the Fed is saying one thing and doing something else
entirely.

I have previously pointed out numerous other ways in which the Fed is working against its stated goals, such as:

And see this.

Postscript: If the Fed really wants to stimulate the economy, it should try Steve Keen's idea.

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ATG's picture

First they came for the banks and we did not do anything

Then they came for the media and we did not do anything

Then they came for the politics and taxes and we did not do anything

Then they came for the guns and we did not do anything

Then they came for privacy and we did not do anything

Then they came for business and jobs and we did not do anything

Then they came for the pensions and we did not do anything

Then they came for medical care and vaccinations and we did not do anything

Then they came for the air, food and water and we did not do anything because we were starving and sick

Never too late to declare independence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peX4dBEF0Vg&feature=player_embedded 5:43

Bob Sponge's picture

This article is an excellent compilation exposing the Fed. I wonder if Benny may be working to cook a crisis (China included) which helps the Fed and other central banks in the cartel make the case that a one-world currency is the way to solve world economic problems. I recently read a quote (I think in one of Bruce's articles) where Benny was basically supporting a one-world currency. I'm sure the banking cartel would love a one-world currency.

Mitchman's picture

Bernanke:  Working one day at a time to be remembered as the worst central banker in history.

gkm's picture

Does no one here get this stuff???  The Fed is paying interest on excess reserves held at a Fed bank.  Period.  So say you are a bank and you need to hold reserves.  You will hold the money where you are getting interest to hold it AND you will lend it out!!!  The Fed is feeding more money to the banks.  PERIOD.  The fact these banks are holding it at the Fed only makes good sense.  This doesn't limit how much they are lending out.  It's still used to calculate how much they can lend.  They are getting an extra quarter point interest which means the money supply has been expanded by an extra quarter point on those reserves and they can then take that money multiply it by 10 AND LEND IT OUT.  So therefore they now have the capability to expand the money supply by 2.5% of the money held in excess at the Fed and they get to lend that out at interest.  Meaning more money has to be created to pay off that being lent. etc etc.

The banks used to make money by holding transactional cash but guess what - in a cashless socity they can't do that.  So what do they do?  They take an orchestrated financial crisis and use it as an opportunity to write themselves a way to create even more money.  Why?  Because banks make money by making money.  Get it.  They take your money and lend it back to you and then make you take more money to pay them back.  Guess what the next step will be once things start getting out of control - the Fed will start paying even more interest on excess reserves in the guise of controlling inflation.  But that will in fact fuel inflation which will be to the bank's benefit even more so.

Does no one here know how the banking system works???  Most of the money that is created in the system is created through the private banks themselves - not by the Fed.  That's why it's a fractional reserve banking system.  If the private bank holds one dollar at the Fed, it can create nine dollars on the outside.  Now the Fed pays interest on that one dollar i.e. more dollars are created.  Where does that interest come from???  More debt.  Whose debt???  Taxpayer debt because every dollar issued by the Fed is a Treasury liability ultimately even if it isn't created by the Fed.  When the banks blew up who was on the hook?  The taxpayer.  Why?  Because ultimately the banks have no real assets.  The assets they are lending are the public's (i.e. the taxpayer's deposits whether Treasury or otherwise).  All the banks do, in a nutshell, is churn those assets (actually liabilities) to take a cut and generate even more liabilities (what are falsely considered assets but can't be because all money is debt and all debt is money).

What the banks are doing with the cash they can create on the outside is another thing.  Maybe they are sitting on it.  Maybe they are using it to play the market and maybe they are lending it to their own hedgefund buddies.  Who knows.  You can guess who will be the last to find out though.  And just in case you can't here's a hint:  it's you.  

Don't believe what I say - do your own investigating or wait and find out the hard way.  And be very careful what you are consuming from people who profess to have any clue and are in fact clueless, and from those who intend to misdirect because I guarantee those are out here in cyberspace as well.  If you don't want to be bothered with any of this, just sign a blank check to the GS/JPM consortium.

Orly's picture

Thanks for that very clear analysis.

DavidRicardo's picture

"The correct policy now should be to slowly reduce the interest paid on bank reserves to zero and simultaneously maintain a moderate increase in the money supply by slowly raising the short term market interest rate targeted by the Fed."

 

This confounds you, but it shouldn't.  The big, dark, dirty secret is that if the Fed did exactly what you say, THERE STILL WOULDN"T BE ANY DEMAND FOR LOANS.

 

For the sake of confidence (in order to facilitate further looting), it is much better to maintain the Fed's image as "stingy" and as overcautiously restraining "animal spirits" and entrepreneurship.

 

Also, power is playing a waiting game here.  Power goes to power.  Part of what is occurring is cartelization, so you want to drive every smaller business OUT of business.  So you wind up with a sort of Franco-ist economy.

gs_runsthiscountry's picture

"Also, power is playing a waiting game here.  Power goes to power.  Part of what is occurring is cartelization, so you want to drive every smaller business OUT of business.  So you wind up with a sort of Franco-ist economy."

yep....you hit the nail on the head.

If anyone wants evidence of this, take a hard look at what has been going on in Natural Gas industry. Indeed, it is a case study of your above statment.

DavidRicardo's picture

It's called Mellonesque liquidation.  I've been talking about it for 3 years, but no one is listening.  And that's just fine--as long as you understand WHY they're not listening.

 

Reason they're not listening: BLS unemployment Bachelor's level or above--4.7%.

 

When will they listen?

 

BLS unemployment Bachelor's level of above--20%.

bubba1231's picture

GW has posted articles stating that OBL was nor responsible for 9/11.  Until GW apologizes for taking a giant crap on the face of every 9/11 family member he should be banned from this site.

High Plains Drifter's picture

Have you ever noticed how OBL never seems to either be caught or killed? Do you think that such a man even exist?  Just because a 911 family member still buys into that bs. does not mean it is true. They have to wake up just like everybody else.

Uncle Remus's picture

And you can speak for that group because?

Shameful's picture

Hmm you know the family members of those killed have their questions about it right?  So in effect are those family members taking a dump on their own faces?

hugolp's picture

Why would the Fed wanted to do all those things?

What the Fed really wants to do is save the banking system and help the government finance the debt. That's all. And then it lies about how more money printing is going to help the economy, create jobs and all the mambo jambo.

Steroid's picture

Bill Gross and his ilk will milk them with their MBS holdings after the title collapse. Or

Obama will be the white knight against the evil banks and the people will start the first US socialist "revolution". Money will go out of fashion and we all be promised to use golden urinals.

I would love to see the third option of a reboot of the Republic but people are too busy watching TV.

Gordon_Gekko's picture

This shows beyond any doubt whatsoever the truth about the Fed - A RUTHLESS CRIMINAL BANKING CARTEL owned and operated by world oligarchs.

High Plains Drifter's picture

karl Douchinger is looking for you. He has a ax to grind. Something about doorstops and paper weights.

Shameful's picture

Isn't it a crazy world?  Even the price of "doorstops" is going up :)

Shameful's picture

Hey Gordon, any chance we get another article with your current take on the situation with the PMs and the looming 'good times'?  If I'm seeing the numbers for delivery right,  they look like dynamite.

drbill's picture

Anyone that reads zero hedge knows this. The real question is how do we effectively spread the news so that everyone knows this?

kalum's picture

Let's hear it for the Banks!!

moneymutt's picture

very interesting, it is always important to watch what politicians do, pay no attention to what they say.

Once again, they make it appear everything they are doing is to help Americans, when in fact, American people are just used as a ruse for them to further fleece American people. Bank bailouts, HAMP, Fred/Fan, low mortgage rates etc...these are supposedly done for us, in particular, for poor homeowners, while in fact none of this helps us much, and harms us via our tax dollars being taken for things of no benefit to us..all of it helps the banks make profits.

Buttcathead's picture

Banksters are building up their excess reserves becuz, as the inflation boogie man leaves town he will lanch a 44 trillion mega-ton deflation bomb at the last of the dip shit buyers. shock and awe baby !

zhandax's picture

Back when the fed announced it would begin paying interest on reserves I wrote that BB had crafted a rheostat for the money multiplier.  Maybe I should have called it a volume control because best I recall, there wasn't a single response to that post.  Regardless, that is exactly what transpired; the fed can now dial the multiplier up or down at will since adopting this policy and they have had it set to minimum from inception.

They created this control system, they can see it works, and they have never tried turning up the volume, so clearly their stated purpose for QE2 is bogus, a sham, a fraud.  Since they have a mechanism for manipulating the money supply domestically that they are not using, QE2 is clearly targeting international concerns.

This simply supports the theory that QE2 is an attempt to adjust trade imbalances by forcing forex cross levels to desired targets, i.e. inflate the Renembi against all currencies.  Once again the only benefit I can see from inflating the Renembi is that China is currently the only large economy with the capacity to soak up large marginal increases in debt.  The multiplication of debt is required to keep the fiat ponzi alive and China is simply the only target who is not already saturated.  I don't think they are packing up the Eccles building for a move to Beijing; banksters live by increasing the overall debt levels and here is a huge 'under-serviced client'.

Orly's picture

Thanks for that very interesting thought.  I have had the same sort of idea myself ever since I have heard about QE2.  My thought was that it would be used to put an air-brake under the Euro, the Ozzie Dollar and (perhaps most of all...) the Pound Sterling.  The Euro and the AUD were at astronomical highs comparing where they came from.  They want to keep the currency distortion to a minimum.

How would all of these things happen to affect a rise in the renminbi across all currencies?  If it is possible for the AUD to fall against the USD and the GBP, in danger since the crisis began, at the top of a long formation, then wouldn't the results they are trying to achieve necesssarily come through some sort of USD manipulation vis-a-vis the Chinese currency?  How would that work exactly?

Thanks again.

:D

gkm's picture

You Sir go to the head of the class.  Well done.

Eric Cartman's picture

I'll kick Ben Bernanke in the nuts! 

Azannoth's picture

I just discovered something, after seeing that Ben Bernanke's 2nd name is Shalom(wtf?) I googled if he is jewish (yes he is) than I googled Alan Greenspan (jew too), than Paul Volker (from jewish family), .. wtf? Aparently all FED chairmen ever where all jews (now if this is not a consipracy than nothing is), don't believe me google it http://lmgtfy.com/?q=all+fed+chairman+jewish

Paul E. Math's picture

I believe that at least the 2nd Fed chairman, Harding, was not Jewish.  There are probably others but I can't be bothered to check further since it really doesn't matter.

The Fed should not exist.  The religion of its leaders is irrelevant.

Sort of like the democrat v. republican debate - it doesn't matter because both parties are corrupted by the influence of monied interests.

Same thing with the Fed.  It's the institution itself that is corrupt, as are its economic and philosophical underpinnings.

So let's not waste our time with this religious crap.

Uncle Remus's picture

The religion of its leaders is irrelevant.

 

[...]

 

So let's not waste our time with this religious crap.

Clearly, you're not paying attention. Religion, money and oil - they are singly or collectively at the root of every single thing that happens in the world today.

dnarby's picture

You pay attention. 

Religion is just one thing TPTB use to herd the morts to gain control over money and oil.

FatFingered's picture

Welcome to the USA.  Now go check out Hollywood, the owners all five media networks, the owners of all the big financial institutions, the Bush Regime, the music industry, and of course, all of the stars of all of your old favorite TV shows.

I am not being nasty here.  I have some Ashki blood myself.  I am just sayin...

 

kaiserhoff's picture

I don't think Mr. Ed was Jewish, but the rest of them, pretty much.  The truth, stated simply and without malice, cures many problems.

While we are on the subject, what's with all of these Canadians on ZH posing as white bread Americans?  Shouldn't we notify homeland security?.....oh, I forgot.....big brother is already watching.

High Plains Drifter's picture

Well duh?  You just noticed huh?  I am out of here. Got to get my Starbucks Sunday morning wake up drink.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

What ever you do, please leave them intact so we can string him up by them.

High Plains Drifter's picture

I saw old sickly skinny Dick Cheney on CSPAN yesterday, speaking about what a great President George Bush was. I don't care how sick he is. I think it would be a real trip to see that piece of trash dangling at the end of a rope. Sure he will soon go meet his maker. For that, there is no doubt and the Book of Life will be opened at his case decided for eternity. But in this life, it would be delicious to get some justice for the amount of damage these traitors have done to this country.

Shameful's picture

Isn't he already the undead?  Hearing rumors about how the man has no pulse and he is remarkably cool with that.  Guess people can really joke about him having no heart :)