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Guest Post: Currency Wars And The Fed’s Demise

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Maurizio D'Orlando of AsiaNews.it

Currency Wars And The Fed’s Demise

The Federal Reserve has decided to buy US Treasury bills for  about
US$ 600 billion in all, in monthly installments of about US$ 75 billion
over eight months, until June 2011. However, this action will not
achieve the desired goal of economic growth, nor will it change the US
labour market, this according to most analysts and security traders
surveyed by Bloomberg in its quarterly “Global Poll”. In fact,
more than half of 1,030 experts who took part in the survey, expressed
doubts about the Federal Reserve’s move. For more than 70 per cent of
them, the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing (QE2[1])
is largely an attempt to adjust the exchange rate of the US dollar
against other currencies. Thus, according to such set of views, the
Federal Reserve (de facto but not de jure the US central bank) wants to
redress the trading disadvantage US manufacturers have accumulated over
the last few decades and cut the US trade deficit.

For many, the QE2 is seen aimed at contrasting by design those
economies which have set their manufacturing structure upon an
export-driven growth model. It is no accident that the sharpest critics
of the Fed’s QE2 have come from China and Germany, both of which
reiterated their positions at the recent G20 summit in Seoul, South
Korea. The huge injection of liquidity in the US system conceals, in
reality the  desire to manipulate the US dollar exchange
rates, said Donald Tsang, president of the Executive Council of Hong
Kong. For him the risks are much higher.
"International
investors should tighten their seat belts and get prepared for
unprecedented turbulence in currency markets, bond markets, stock
markets and the property market," said Tsang.

 The end result could be something similar to the Asian crisis of 1997 and 1998.

However, such criticism is too often self-serving in nature.

Currency wars and trade deficits: China’s QE

The US trade balance has been in negative territory since 1980
(picking up speed in 1985) against countries like Canada, Japan and
Germany who have seen their trade surplus against Uncle Sam grow. The
negative balance (for US goods) accelerated further in 1997, two years
after China’s yuan was devalued, and customs duties began to be
progressively removed, easing the way of Chinese products into the US
market. The US trade balance, then, fell down the cliff when in December
2001 China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the international
body imposing regulations to world trade with the general aim to remove
(or at least reduce) tariff barriers within a framework of binding
agreements and treaties .

When it joined the WTO, China was allowed to keep a highly
undervalued currency, as well as tight controls on capital movement and
the exchange rate[2], as we had pointed out back in 2003. AsiaNews
was one of the first media to estimate the yuan’s undervaluation (about
40-45 per cent) by using a specific reference point, i.e. its
purchasing power parity exchange rate with the US dollar. In practice,
we observed, the exemptions have “enabled China to maintain the devaluation at a [more or less] constant level as it was established by the Chinese monetary authorities on 1 January 1994.[3] We said it years ago, and little has changed since then.

China has been doing it for all these years what
the Federal Reserve did on 3 November. It has artificially kept its
currency below its (theoretical) market value, printed yuan and bought
dollars (from Chinese exporters) in order to buy (so far) US Treasury
securities. It is quantitative easing, Chinese- style, as Prof Morici
shrewdly noted[4].
This has given Beijing the means to accumulate surpluses
uninterruptedly and maintain an average 10 per cent growth even in this
phase of the current depression. Today, China’s QE is reflected in the
country’s distorted domestic demand. Instead of profiting hundreds of
millions of underpaid workers, such huge liquidity has been hoarded,
placed in shelter investment assets by Communist Party apparatchiks,
which explains the mainland’s current real estate bubble and the many
empty buildings dotting the country’s urban landscape.

Chinese responsibilities

Those, who in the past sang the praise of “globalisation”
(based on such rigged exchange rates formula) and said that it would
have cushioned against difficult economic times, today should be rather
quiet, hold their peace and meditate about today’s crisis, which is for
all intents and purposes the first Global Depression. However, we cannot
blame only the Americans; the fault is global and there is enough to go
around. For at least ten years, the rest of the world accepted Chinese
goods, sold at a 40 per cent discount, in order to subvention a soft
transition for the Asian giant as it tried to replace a Stalinist
command economy with today’s ‘Communist-Capitalist’ system. Under the
circumstance, China is not in a position to lecture others.

The Fed’s responsibilities

Having said this, there is nothing that justifies the Federal
Reserve’s decision to start a currency war by launching its QE2 as a way
to redress America’s trade imbalance. In fact, Donald Tsang’s argument
is not very plausible. Even if this were QE2’s final outcome, the Fed’s
move was not started off or triggered by the need to redress trade
imbalances, but rather from a domestic imperative, namely the survival
of the US banks and financial system. All one needs to do is read
Bernanke’s speech[5] to find out.

The table below, which is a modest examination by this author of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet[6], makes this clear right away.
Undoubtedly, this table does not pretend to be an exhaustive analysis
and reclassification of the original balance; for that to be the case,
it would have to be more comprehensive.

 

 

4 March 2009

3 November 2010

increase

US Treasury Securities (total value) (a)

$ 474,607

$ 839,990

76.99 per cent

of which

of which

of which

 

Federal securities, notes and bonds

$ 412,914

$ 772,975

87.20 per cent

Federal agency debt securities (b)

$ 38,252

$ 149,681

291.30 per cent

Mortgage-backed securities (c)

$ 68,862

$ 1,051,037

1426.29 per cent

Total (a) + (b) + (c)

$ 520,028

$ 1,973,693

279.54 per cent

Total Federal Reserve balances

$ 1,943,478

$ 2,340,440

20.43 per cent

Proportion of (a) + (b) + (c)] out of total Federal Reserve balances.

26.76 per cent

84.33 per cent

 

 

Figures are in millions of dollars. The chosen date, 4 March
2009, is the last one referable directly the previous Bush
administration after President Obama and his administration took office
in early February 2009. The date of 3 November looks at the situation
before this month’s QE2.

For the sake of understanding, when we speak above about
federal notes were are not talking about ordinary bank notes, but
securities in large figures that, unlike bonds cashable on due date, are
cashable at any time. As for the federal agencies that issued debt securities, we mean organisations like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that issued subprime loans (but not AIG, whose debt titles are registered separately).

A frightening US public debt

Looking at these numbers, certain things come to mind right
away. With a portfolio of US$ 773 billion, the Federal Reserve is on its
way of becoming the main holder of US Treasury securities. Within about
one month from the start out of QE2, it will overtake China, which
currently holds US$ 868 billion.

This is a patent  economic inconsistency. What it
means is that the Fed is unable to sell a good chunk of its securities
(failing to attract both US and foreign investors) to meet, if nothing
else, the federal government’s current spending commitments. This is not
surprising though since the US government debt is not “60 per cent of
current gross domestic product, “but rather “840 per cent,” according to
Laurence Kotlikoff (a little less according to this author, but of the
same magnitude).

Secondly, one does not have to be a graduate in economics to
realise that the increases in ‘federal securities, notes and bonds’ (+
87.20 per cent) and federal agency debt securities (+ 291.30 per cent) are huge for such a short period of time (12 months). As for mortgage-backed securities (+ 1,426.29 per cent), the jump is frightening and deserves a closer look, which we shall do below.

In the meantime, if we take these three items together, we see
that they have represent the largest part of the total Federal Reserve
Balances, going from 26.76 to 84.33 per cent in the period under
consideration. The Fed’ balance sheet has thus been completely turned
around. What this means is that what Ben Bernanke had said would not
happen when he appeared before the US Congress has actually happened,
namely the monetisation (conversion) of government debt into currency.

The scandal of mortgage notes

As for, mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), they saw a 14-fold rise. As of November of this year they constitute  44.91 per cent of the total Federal Reserve assets side of the balance sheet (albeit
this not exactly so). However, don’t be fooled by the name. We are not
talking about securities that are backed by mortgages on real property.
We are talking about what journalists call “cash for trash”.

First, most MBSs are not directly issued by big financial
institutions, but by ad hoc companies (SPV, special purpose vehicles),
empty boxes that contain hundreds of thousands of mortgage notes of
various kinds. A huge scandal is brewing right now, one that the main US
media have chosen to ignore so far. At the core of it are thousands of
mortgage notes
signed by officials who were not entitled to sign them and who practically had no control over the documents. In one case[7],
at a court hearing, one official said under oath that after she left
high school she went to college for a year but never graduated. Yet,
despite her lack of training in either economics or law, she was
appointed “notary” after a couple of years. And all she did was sign
papers she did not read and that were full of material and factual
errors. Notes such as these are worthless, and it would not take long
for lawyers to prove it. Up to now, no one knows what proportion of the
Fed’s portfolio is constituted by such MBS, how many worthless mortgage
notes it has, or how big its percentage of risk of insolvency is. Any
private company, whether financial, commercial or industrial would have
to make financial provisions in its balance sheet for such a situation.
However, on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, these mortgages are
recorded at their full nominal value. Putting aside the doubts that
Kotlikoff (and more modestly by AsiaNews[8]) raised about the sustainability of the US federal debt and the solvability of the United States, mortgage-backed securities represent almost half of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, and that is scary.

Sacrificing the Fed

It is very likely that “turbulences” will hit currency markets
once the QE2 is implemented. Contrary to what China, Germany and Hong
Kong’s Donald Tsang claim, namely that QE2 is part of a deliberate and
planned currency war, we at AsiaNews think otherwise. Our
criticism is no less damning however when it comes to the health of the
US financial system or forgiving towards what the Federal Reserve has
done.

For us, the Fed’s decision to initiate a second round of
quantitative easing was not really motivated by a desire to lead the
United States and the world out of the current economic crisis, but
rather from the need to save US banks and their top officials from the
consequences of an unimaginable mess (or deceitful system), which was
built up over at least the past decade. The only deliberate thing here
is the  decision to sacrifice precisely the very same Fed itself. This was decided  not
only to save big financial corporations and their leaders, but also to
lay the ground for either a world Federal Reserve, a sort of SuperFed,
or (if the former fails) at least one for a North American Fed that
would rise out of the ashes left by the existing Federal Reserve, now
destined to explode as a result of hyperinflation.

Who controls the priests of money?

Last but not least, let us not forget the Fed’s gold stock , all 261,635,072 ounces
of them. In the Fed’s balance sheet, their relative value is given as
US$ 11.04 billion, based on US$ 42.3 per ounce. Altogether, they
represented 0.57 per cent of the Fed’s assets on  4 March
2009, and 0.47 per cent on 3 November 2010. If however, we look at
gold’s actual market value (US$ 911 per ounce in March 2009 and US$
1,350 per ounce in November 2010), the value of Federal Reserve’s gold
stock changes.  Thus, they were worth US$ 238.5 billion on 4 March 2009
(12.26 per cent of balance sheet assets), and US$ 353.3 billion on 3
November 2010 (15.09 per cent).

A balance sheet should correctly reflect economic reality. By
contrast, the Federal Reserve’s Statistical Releases are pure fantasy.
The same can be said for almost all other central banks with the power
to print money with legal tender. Many of them do not even release a
balance statement. Of course, all this is perfectly legal, but is it
right and legitimate? Is it right that an obscure esoteric sanhedrin of
private bankers, under no one’s control but their own, can issue money, a
public good like few others?

 

[1] Quantitative Easing or QE. See Maurizio d’Orlando, “Squandering more public resources,” in AsiaNews, 3 November 2010.

[2] We have held this view since 2003, see Maurizio d’Orlando, “I successi economici apparenti; la schiavitù, i fallimenti,” in AsiaNews, 11 November 2003.

[3] See ibid., “Economic crisis: US, China and the coming monetary storm,” in AsiaNews, 9 December 2008.

[4] See Peter Morici, “QE2 and G20 Hypocrisy,” in FOXBusiness, 8 November 2010.

[5] See Maurizio d’Orlando, “A global financial disaster is imminent, says Bernanke,” in AsiaNews, 13 October 2010.

[6] See Federal Reserve, “Factors affecting reserve balances,” in Federal Reserve Statistical Releases   5 March 2009, and “Factors affecting reserves balances,” in Federal Reserve Statistical Release, 4 November 2010.

[7] See Tyler Durden, “The Nine Most "Inconvenient" RoboSigning Admissions BofA Would Love To Disappear,” in Zero Hedge,
13 November 2010. All the officials who spoke said that they signed
piles of paper, thousands in fact, without checking what was on them.
They only made sure that they were putting their signature where their
name was.

[8]
“Real numbers show that the (real) ratio between total public debt and
GDP, depending on how public debt is defined, stands at between 450 and
900 per cent of GDP,” in Maurizio d’Orlando, The world’s economic
crisis, the real global warming,” in
AsiaNews, 10 June 2010. See also; ibid. “This year, US public debt could reach end game,” in AsiaNews, 3 March 2010; ibid., “As the world waits for hyperinflation and a world government, Bernanke becomes “Person of the Year,” in AsiaNews, 29 December 2009. See also by the same author, “Clashes between US, China and Iran may account for record gold prices,” in AsiaNews, 12 May 2006; “War scenarios: Iran, oil embargo and the collapse of the world's financial system,” in AsiaNews, 7 August 2006; “Chinese stocks and the risk of economic crisis,” in AsiaNews, 22 May 2007. See many other articles published on AsiaNews
dealing with subprime, toxic securities, bank rescue, etc. See again
Maurizio d’Orlando, “Subprime lending to trigger world’s worst financial
crisis since 1929,” in
AsiaNews, 19 September 2007; ibid., “Depth of the abyss of economic, social, political chaos,” in AsiaNews, 30 September 2008; ibid., “Paulson plan: useless and harmful to democracy,” in AsiaNews, 6 October 2008; ibid., “The way out of the crisis is neither Left nor Right,” in AsiaNews, 25 November 2008; and ibid., “Economic crisis: US, China and the coming monetary storm,” in AsiaNews, 9 December 2008

 

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Sat, 11/20/2010 - 11:24 | 743058 99er
99er's picture

 

Weekend Charts

http://www.zerohedge.com/forum/99er-charts

Have a good one!

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 15:32 | 743317 theXman
theXman's picture

Great article! It lays out the facts accurately.

US has been under mercantile currency attacks for decades. Don't blame US for the ongoing currency war.

It's time for US to fight back.

One small disagreement with the author -- China is not under "Communist Capitalism", a more accurate name is "Bureaucratic Capitalism" which greatly favors the bueaucrats who in are in power. Make sure we don't get that here in America. Be vigilant. We need to stop the government from expanding its power. It's not Democrats vs Republicans, it's common people vs the elite.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 17:34 | 743423 Fraud-Esq
Fraud-Esq's picture

The public need to seize banking from the private cartel and liberate PRODUCTION from both the government protectionists and the bankers financialists.

Production must be private. 

Banking must be public. 

BOTH are inverted right now. While China's production is bi-public/private, their banking is PUBLIC.

That's China's singular edge. 

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 22:20 | 743689 hugolp
hugolp's picture

Banking must be a government monopoly. 

Yeah, that sounds like a wonderful idea. No danger at all there. Just disregard that all the government has done is implement regulations to promote money supply expansions and ponzi systems.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 17:57 | 743442 AUD
AUD's picture

You're full of shit. No one forced the US to default on its obligations in 1971 then spend the next 39 years selling paper in exchange for real goods, paper that can only be recycled back through the US money markets since it is irredeemable USD & USD denominated debt.

Other countries have screwed themselves playing this game & got caught holding the bag in 2008. Now the Fed has bailed out the entire world & made itself completely insolvent in the process. What else could it do?

Don't blame the rest of the world for your predicament.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 16:58 | 744894 Mariposa de Oro
Mariposa de Oro's picture

AUD,

I have an off topic question for you.  I'm living in the RMI and am concerned about the dollar collapsing.  I'm considering obtaining some yuan, Australian, or NZ dollars as 'insurance' should I find myself in a spot.  My question: is the AUD second most used currency in the central and western Pacific countries; is it likely to become a USD replacement at least for a little while; and if so, how do I get some without traveling to Australia?

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 18:09 | 744972 AUD
AUD's picture

Can't say I know what is the second most used currency in the central & western Pacific, though I guess the AUD would be more readily accepted than say the Fijian dollar. I have trouble believing that if the USD collapses the AUD will fare any better since the 'assets' of the RBA consist largely of USD & Euro denominated 'securities'.

Honestly, if you have spare cash by silver or gold. The Perth Mint might be able to help you there, www.perthmint.com.au, though I'll also admit to having no idea where the RMI is.

And if you want to follow the fortunes of the USD I can recommend you read Doug Noland at www.prudentbear.com/index.php/commentary/creditbubblebulletin

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 19:27 | 745091 Mariposa de Oro
Mariposa de Oro's picture

I have some but it isn't much. What little it is would attract undo attention if used for everyday survial.   I plan to carry USD, my credit cards should they still work, and some other currency as a back up.  I want to look like just another tourist and keep a low profile.  I'm guessing that if the whole house of cards collapses, dollarized countries out here would just switch to some other currency.  I want to have some of that currency for the transition period.  The plan is to buy time while I figure out my next move.  I could go back to the US.  I still have a house in Florida but there are no jobs there.  Don't even get me started on the police state formation of the US.  Let's just say I don't want to go back to the US.  Being flexible and having at least two currencies will, hopefully, allow me to reestablish myself somewhere.  I can sew dresses and am an electronics technician by trade.  Too bad I'm closer to 50 than not.  Still, I'm working with a NZ immigration consultant for entry there if possible.  Can't say if they'll accept me or not.  I'm okay where I'm at for the moment.  However, that can change in the blink of an eye.  If I don't want to find myself broke and stuck in Florida I need to have plan B ready soon.  The next round of lay-offs is said to be in March.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 11:48 | 743079 Charley
Charley's picture

Is it a war when no one else has weapons? Oh, yeah -- Iraq and Afghanistan. Looks like the war on terror is morphing.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 11:48 | 743082 Life of Illusion
Life of Illusion's picture

Financial soldiers made their dollar carry weapon move and FED gave them plenty of ammunition to speculate with.

As currency wars heat up so will resource control and that will be the fuel to initiate a very intense “Resource Theater”.

If China chooses a slow revaluation of the RMB expect slow access in purchasing “Real Assets”.

One thing for sure Western Bankers will not miss out on flipping real assets to paper currency holders.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 11:59 | 743096 kato
kato's picture

Ben has a 'Walter Mitty' complex and should never have been allowed to be part of the Fed i the first place. He was there with Greenspan for let us call it the continuation and exacerbation  of the problem and now that the easy money problem has been created he wants to be the hero that fixes it. He dreams of himself at night as a man in a cape swooping in to save civilization, going down in history as a 'Great Man'.

We need a cold, hard-nosed realist like Paul Volkler [a willing to let bank balance sheets take the puishment they deserve and need]; instead we have an economic Walter Mitty.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 12:05 | 743104 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

The US dollar has been artificially held up since the early 80's through FOREX manipulation.  That is why we are so fkd and uncompetitive.  You would have to be completely delusional to think pricing oil in dollars or high interest rates somehow locked out pure Austrian economics all by itself.  We sat on gold and we intervened to prop the dollar.  That is how we stopped the inflation in the 80's.  All Volcker did was tweak your nipples.

Now we are in a postion where our wall of FOREX defenses have resulted in the flow of US jobs and industry overseas.  Republicans and bankers are corrupt.  They would like to see the dollar's purchasing power, their power, maintained through the continuation of the FOREX fraud and at the cost of the American people.  But a free market must return to the USA. 

All we are doing is unwinding a massive fraudulent dollar bubble.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 12:19 | 743121 thefedisscam
thefedisscam's picture

exactly, China just followed the U.S.

Both are manipulating their currency.

Since China is NO match of the U.S., they can only survive by following what the U.S. does

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 12:46 | 743149 kato
kato's picture

"China is NO match of the U.S."... In what respect? Spoken like a true jingoist.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 14:51 | 743271 CONners
CONners's picture

With regard to abstract philosophy and science China is no match for the West.  These abstractions have been developed in the West only, but not in China.  Some think that the differences between Chinese and Western philosophy and science comes from different writing systems. Phonetic writing encourages ontological contemplation, while ideographic writing blocks this intellectual pattern.  As tools of thought, Chinese writing and symbology  provide infertile ground for the growth of critical thinking provided by an alphabetic writing system.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 15:18 | 743313 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The western philosophy can be summed up to its relevant parts: extorting the weak, farming the poor.

Was thought of thousands of years ago in many places in the world.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 16:19 | 743355 DisparityFlux
DisparityFlux's picture

 

Yea, we don't have to worry about the Chinese.

We've got a copy of the "Art of War", written in the 6th century BC by someone named Sun Tzu.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 16:20 | 743372 midtowng
midtowng's picture

The thing about the Chinese is that their biggest enemies are themselves. They know all about war because they've spent thousands of years killing each other. They've got it down to a science. The government of China is honestly scared of its own people because governments in China usually don't last more than a century or two.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 23:42 | 743823 CH1
CH1's picture

That is NOT Western philosophy - it is thug philosophy. HUGE difference.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 16:19 | 743370 midtowng
midtowng's picture

How do you figure? Consider that China was waaayyy ahead of the west in the development of philosophy and science through most of human history.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 19:24 | 743472 CONners
CONners's picture

I have toyed with these ideas over the years, and could be convinced otherwise.

During brain development, genes for learning to speak are active in young children and genes for learning to read are active in elementary school aged children.  Those that miss these early opportunities and subsequently learn these skills as teenagers never reach their full potential proficiency, and their minds have organically different capabilities due to their missing the environmental stimulation of reading and writing required by their genes at the peak of their activity.   As a corollary, a mind's experience changes its organic structure.

Those that learn to read using an alphabetic writing system develop phonetic skills while those reading ideographs must learn each individual character by rote.  If a written Chinese word has never been seen, no one knows how to pronounce it.  There is less information available in Chinese writing.  On the other hand, someone that reads phonetically can see a completely new, unfamiliar word and make a fair attempt at pronouncing said word.  Does the memorization by-rote of ideographs result in a more developed, discerning mind than a mind that uses an alphabetic system to arrive at conclusions regarding words never seen?

Chinese culture is older.  Their culture has greater continuity.  Nonetheless, the Romans and Greeks had sciences and philosophies (Archimedes and Socrates) that surpassed the Chinese and inspired the Renaissance.  The Chinese have told me that they are more mature and more fit, in the Darwinian sense.  However, when the West began the industrial revolution the Chinese were making tea cups, like they had before Rome was founded.  One hundred years later, the West had engines, trains and factories, while the Chinese were still making tea cups.  An example of Chinese thinking, in the Taoist tradition,  is that if one does nothing, nothing will not be done.  This is hardly the rallying cry for activity, change, and advancement.   As long as the Chinese are held back by their language, the West stands a chance of not losing the Chinese fight for dominance by the fittest.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 19:44 | 743547 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

That is a truly fascinating post.

Thank you.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 20:04 | 743562 anarkst
anarkst's picture

"An example of Chinese thinking, in the Taoist tradition,  is that if one does nothing, nothing will not be done."

Yes, but you do not understand what "nothing" means.  Nothing means the 10,000 things, that is, all that is knowable.


Sat, 11/20/2010 - 20:24 | 743573 CONners
CONners's picture

Does A = A imply that A = -A?

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 21:21 | 743608 Wynn
Wynn's picture

You don't understand no-thing, or non-doing, either

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 23:35 | 743811 Green Leader
Green Leader's picture

Very well, then, the Adamic race has the edge.

Is this your writing?

http://www.pinyinology.com/ontology/chouxiang8.html

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 01:56 | 743997 CONners
CONners's picture

No, this is not mine, but when i went looking for material to support the existence of differences in critical judgement due to use of ideographs versus alphabets, this was useful.  I do not know where I read about the testing of reading capabilities and cognitive development versus age.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 09:31 | 744196 clymer
clymer's picture

 

What a simplistic crock. They are writing software, building missiles and inventing new technology as we write. To reduce the human creative potential to only one variable of language would seem a very simplistic hypothesis.

It's freedom that is the engine for the human creative spirit.

They were making tea cups because they weren't fucking free. Now they have more freedom than us - it's America that is being stifled by taxes, regulations, bureaucracy and as this article pointed out, a massive amount of corruption.

It wasn't always this way.

 

 

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 15:12 | 744655 CONners
CONners's picture

Does governmental oppression breed a citizenry of duplicitous survivors?  Would either the Internet or 7000 years of hierarchical, familial obeisance affect freedom or tax rates more?  Are tea cups with handles better than those without [handles]? 

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 18:55 | 745052 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

Accepting arguendo the major premise . . . the PRC is actually less and less held back by Mandarin as each day passes.  The Ruling Class and Merchant Class in the PRC is sending their best & brightest to private schools to learn English at an early age.

The Chinese Lao Bai Shin, on the other hand, just speaks Mandarin and can barely raise their heads from their toil to see what their masters are preparing for them.  And the print and broadcast media in the PRC is utterly centralized, controlled word for word, for the other 99% of the population.

On the other hand, might it possibly be the U.S.'s diplomats' IGNORANCE of Mandarin that fucks them up?  The PRC just steps back and lets our envoys make fools of themselves, on most visits; have you noticed?

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 00:36 | 743893 Captain Courageous
Captain Courageous's picture

How do you figure?

Yeah, its just the more recent Mao period, where they murdered more than 100 MILLION of their fellow countrymen that could be considered "suspect."


Sat, 11/20/2010 - 18:51 | 743505 prophet
prophet's picture

There is a chapter in "Outliers" that led me to believe otherwise.  Was it just a fabrication?

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 12:08 | 743110 bob resurrected
bob resurrected's picture

Good article.

So what happens if it doesn't succeed in propping up the TBTF banks and the Fed must swallow TBTF banks whole with its new resolution powers?

 

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 12:44 | 743147 bob resurrected
bob resurrected's picture

To whom if the top 4 US TBTF banks are all resolved and no longer exist? And, this is repeated in every country with TBTF banks.

In other words, rather than sacrifice the Fed and other central banks as the "bad banks", is it possible that central banks will be the only big banks left standing?

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 13:57 | 743237 Life of Illusion
Life of Illusion's picture

Keep an eye on FSB. FSB policy framework with creation of FSOC, ESRB and more to come will grant CB powers.

http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/publications/r_101111b.pdf

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 01:49 | 743979 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Oh, great! ... a global central planning body that will solve all the problems. Riiiiiight, riiiiiiight.............

Their opening introductory paragraph:

"Since the onset of this crisis, national authorities and international bodies, with the FSB as a central locus of coordination, have advanced a major program of financial reforms, based on clear principles and timetables for implementation that seek to ensure that a crisis on this scale never happens again."

I believe they copied this directly from the Fed's 1913 mandate and/or the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement.

What "major program of reforms"? "Financial stability"? There is a currency war in progress!!

"Never happen again"? Ben was supposed to ensure this one didn't happen because he was such an expert on the last one!

Muthafuckas!

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 13:29 | 744508 Amsterdammer
Amsterdammer's picture

Without he central banks, there

would be since September,15, 2007

feven fewer banks standing.

And yet they remain unaccountable,

having used trillions of taxpayers´money

to maintain the TBTF standing

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 12:28 | 743131 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Everyone is to cheer over the Fed collapse. It's by design. NWO will replace. Ask yourself, do I want to place my chip on black, red or 00?

obama, the asshole song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pudB4NtPOxI

BTW, 00 = system reset without Federal Reserve, World Bank, BIS, UN, CFR and IMF intervention.

Place your bet wisely.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 12:46 | 743143 bob resurrected
bob resurrected's picture

dup 

 

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 23:35 | 743810 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

No Bob, Sinn Féin.

Democratic Unionist Party are wankers - DUP

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 13:11 | 743184 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

"an obscure esoteric sanhedrin of private bankers" -- that really is priceless.

Sanhedrin rhymes with Eccedrin -- as in one big f--king headache.

Has the Bernank jumped the shark or are global imbalances simply being addressed, finally?

The reports of my death have been grossly exagerated -- The Dollar Bill.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 13:20 | 743193 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Similar talks as in the 1970s.

Capital difference: Germany and Japan were accused of growing too slow. Today, China is accused of wanting to grow too fast.

Tells about the difference perspectives on world resources.

Just like in the 70s, these talking heads omit one detail: the vast amount of resources accumulated and burned in the US thanks to the US currency position.

This is this that caused the other players to play the cards they played.

Listening to this guys, you really have the impression the US grew poorer in the process, just because the excess wealth they moved to their country is labelled "debt".

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 21:29 | 748238 BigJim
BigJim's picture

True. The US will only be poorer... if they actually pay the debt back.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 14:05 | 743245 deez nutz
deez nutz's picture

This has given Beijing the means to accumulate surpluses uninterruptedly and maintain an average 10 per cent growth even in this phase of the current depression.

That statement just validated the entire article. 

Can anyone venture a guess as to how many phases there will be in this depression and what number are we at now?

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 14:23 | 743262 Fraud-Esq
Fraud-Esq's picture

End the private cartel...

Does anybody else find it amusing that everybody gets excited when the Fed creates reserves ‘ex nihilo’ and buys some bonds, but there is no excitement about the Treasury creating some bonds ‘ex nihilo’ and buying reserves with them.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 22:29 | 743700 hugolp
hugolp's picture

End the government created banking cartel...

There, I corrected it for you.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 01:51 | 743988 i-dog
i-dog's picture

End the privately created, and goverment sanctioned, banking cartel.

There, corrected it for you.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 13:22 | 744489 hugolp
hugolp's picture

Actually it was created by congress.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 13:37 | 744522 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Actually, the Act was drafted by the bankers and presented to a late night session of congress during the Christmas recess for a small captive vote to ensure passage. Read 'The Creature from Jekyll Island' for details.

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 17:52 | 747743 hugolp
hugolp's picture

I know about it. I know they met again recently to celebrate.

But at the end if you and I meet and draft something nobody is going to care. The power of government is needed to impose it. You need congress to approve the damm thing. They are the ones with the power to impose the rules and use force to do so if necesary.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 15:03 | 743300 essence
essence's picture

"The only deliberate thing here is the  decision to sacrifice precisely the very same Fed itself. This was decided  not only to save big financial corporations and
their leaders, but also to
lay the ground for either a world Federal Reserve, a sort of SuperFed
"

If one uses this as a basis to the underlying motive for the US relentless
march to self-immolation then our predicament begins to make sense.

Hence the endless deficits, and the move to turn the US a police state
... all meant to implode the current system and have the financial oligarchy
come out of it in a stronger & more controlling position than ever.

 

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 15:25 | 743315 theXman
theXman's picture

The six-decade post-WWII world economic order is breaking down. We are in a paradigm shift right now. It will probably take this whole decade to sort things out. 

One thing for sure, US is no longer the sole super power in the world.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 15:31 | 743322 banksterhater
banksterhater's picture

David Fry, etfdigest.com who was a bond trader for years, implies the Fed bought 30-yr paper that the Primary Dealers GOT STUCK WITH IN THIS WEEK'S BAD AUCTION. And that money fueled the late rally.

 

http://tinyurl.com/28dq4qf

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 21:02 | 743607 TheSettler
TheSettler's picture

One of the few who tells it like it is, good guy.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 16:15 | 743367 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Very good essay. The Chinese are just as guilty as America for manipulating their currency. The difference is that the Chinese do it for their political elites (at the expense of their poor workers), and America does it for our financial elite (at the expense of our poor workers).

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 01:53 | 743992 i-dog
i-dog's picture

The Chinese don't manipulate their currency ... they just pegged it to the manipulated US currency. What's wrong with that? Many currencies are pegged to the USD.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 17:15 | 743411 pak
pak's picture

No-no-no. They are not SAVING the banks! The Fed is now saving (temporarily) the US from the consequences of saving the TBTF in 2008.

The US is now a ZIRP junkie, but the only people really benefiting from it are the TBTF's.

ZIRP has to be maintained indefinitely; so here comes QE2 and the TBTF's are making money again, buying from Tim and selling to Ben.

The endgame will be a FOREX hell rather than "hyperinflation" imho..

ZIRP HEIL!

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 12:53 | 744427 Loose_Cannon
Loose_Cannon's picture

ZIRP HEIL!

 

Excellent - we need T-shirts!  This should go viral.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 18:13 | 743458 Djirk
Djirk's picture

The difference between US and Chinese quantative easing is China has accumulated capital and built infrastructure. Overcapacity bubbles are good long term as excess capacity will lower the cost base in the future.

US is using QE to prop up asset prices and fund government debt. The US government is spending a huge portion of its debt to export democracy rather than funding internal infrastructure.

The fact the Yuan was tagged to the dollar and now is estimated to be 45% higher, means the US has been steadily destroying purchasing power, while the Chinese have been increasing theirs. 

China pegging their currency to the world largest economy and reserve currency is like the oldest sailing regatta trick. Cover your competitions every move tack for tack.

China has issues for sure, but they are set up to win long term.

US is name calling and blaming their slowing ship on someone else. Fixing the capital markets to focus on real investment and growth capital rather than creating debt fueled "wealth" will help. 

 

 

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 21:46 | 743646 bonin006
bonin006's picture

You forgot the quotations marks around "democracy"

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 17:11 | 744914 Djirk
Djirk's picture

good point

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 22:38 | 743716 hugolp
hugolp's picture

The difference between US and Chinese quantative easing is China has accumulated capital and built infrastructure. Overcapacity bubbles are good long term as excess capacity will lower the cost base in the future.

How is the overcapacity to build houses going to help a nation in the future? What about the oportunity cost? Do you realize that overcapacity is only in one specific area and its not the capacity to build anything?

Overcapacity in one area does not help, it hurst, because its stopping the resources from being allocated where they are more useful and on top of it, its wasting this resources. Building for the sake of builiding is not an objective.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 17:14 | 744917 Djirk
Djirk's picture

With cheap housing all the people that move in from the farms will have more money to spend on knock off iPhones and motorized bikes.

What other opportunities? Missles? McDonalds?

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 18:25 | 743477 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

If the Fed is buying bonds from the Treasury, is it possible for the Fed to forgive the Treasury's debt?

Can pocket A forgive the debt of pocket B, and in turn, exchange Fed/Treasury cash for Wall Street mortgage trash with no repercussions?

 

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 22:22 | 743692 banksterhater
banksterhater's picture

I believe that's the end game.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 18:57 | 743487 Fraud-Esq
Fraud-Esq's picture

Funny that EVERYONE is running with this USA v. China war theme.

There is no USA v. China suddenly THAT different than usual.

There was no USA v. Japan. 

This is all private banking cartels pushing buttons to get what they want. 

Oh, and the military industrial complex LOVES this too. They always need to justify budgets.

Don't follow the banking-media themes too much or echo them too much. Mainly distractions from core issues. 

The private cartel wants a massive 100 plus Billion arbitrage capital gain off two decades of private capital-in China. The Fed wants more balance. win-win for them, but THEY caused the imbalance in the first place, chasing cartel profits at national expense. We're just following in their wake and conversing about THEIR wake, where ever they go. 

15 years ago, they were threatening war over Taiwan and DEMANDING China DEPRECIATE their currency so banks could buy more factories.

Don't buy the mainstream media too much. Alternative media running with it because it's "interesting" and vaguely war-like is plays into their hand unless its monetary specific, not warlike. If they wanted to chop QE2 and not pressure China to appreciate, the ABA would introduce a BILL in Congress to take away the Fed's balance sheet tool. They're doing NO SUCH THING. The dual-mandate legislation is meaningless bullshit. If the Chinese thought we were starting a war, we'd hear more than selective quotes by Chinese CB's.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 01:55 | 743994 i-dog
i-dog's picture

+1

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 18:55 | 743507 prophet
prophet's picture

Securitize liabilities

Monetize debt

Weaponize currency

 

All in the name of trying to prevent debt destruction.  A derivitive blow up still looms.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 19:09 | 743519 AmCockerSpaniel
AmCockerSpaniel's picture

Me thinks it's a human fault ... GREED. We can easily see it in others, but not in our self's.

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 21:09 | 743614 Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Blah's picture

There was a group holding "End the Fed" signs on the main drag in West Lafayette IN today.....go figure, right here in West Lafayette.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 11:57 | 744296 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The brainless twits at the Fed believe that monetary manipulation can redress trade imbalances.  They fail to understand the mercantilist mentality.  Mercantilists don't care about the exchange rate.  They are after power and wish to inflict damage on free traders.  They will always run positive trade balances.  If the Yuan were to rise 500% China would still run a positive balance.  Mercantilists will not buy anything but raw materials and they will never purchase manufactured goods unless to steal the technology. We are dealing with viscious economic  predators.  The U.S. needs to learn that tit-for-tat trading is the only way of dealing with these countries.  The way to deal with China is to reduce all tarrifs to zero and then hire 1000 customs agents to make it impossible to bring anything into the country.  Additionally, pass a thousand laws regarding technology transfer, jobs, product quality and pollution to reduce imports of manufactured goods.  Firewall the country.

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 22:21 | 745308 vivian
vivian's picture

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Thu, 12/02/2010 - 07:18 | 771281 paragshah12
paragshah12's picture

Global finance and business is the new battlefield of the 21st century. Currency wars are an integral part of the strategy. Governments across the globe are trying to boost employment, and one of the best ways to do so is by increasing exports.
http://www.guidetoinvest.net/currency-exchange-rates.html

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!