The root cancer at the core of the U.S., and indeed global economy, is cronyism and an absence of the rule of law when it comes to oligarchs. In the U.S., this cronyism is best described as an insidious relationship between large multi-national corporations and big government to funnel all of the wealth and resources of the nation to themselves at the expense of everyone else. In a genuine free market defined by heightened competition and governed by an equal application of the rule of law to all, the 0.1% does not aggregate all of a nation’s wealth. This sort of thing only happens in crony capitalism, which is basically nothing more than complete and total insider deals to aggregate newly created money into the hands of the few. The following profile of Washington D.C.’s so-called “boom” from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pretty much tells you all you need to know.
So over the weekend, the world learned that Tiny Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner had accepted a job with private equity giant firm Warburg Pincus. The news was about as much of a surprise as a lie popping out of Barack Obama’s mouth every time he opens it. Nevertheless, the move is particularly hilarious in light of a profile article of Geithner in New York magazine from January of this year, in which the king of cronyism tried to distance himself from Wall Street. Here’s the money-shot paragraph from the piece...
Like Traders Already Manipulate Exchanges for Commodities, Carbon Credits, Derivatives, and Everything Else
The ironically-named Quality Software Services Inc (QSSI) allegedly responsible for the SNAFU that is the Obamacare website's data hub has, incredibly, been named the new general contractor in charge off repairing the glitch-plagued HealthCare.gov. As The NY Post reports, as if the $150 million so far paid to this UnitedHealth subsidiary for its farcically bad implementation was not enough, the executive vice president of the firm (Anthony Welters) and his wife were among Obama's largest personal campaign contributors during the 2008 election cycle (and the firm has spent millions "lobbying" for Obamacare). The cronyism runs deep as the Post also points out that visitor logs show at least a dozen visits between the two by the end of 2012, the most recent information available.
How Many Constitutional Freedoms Have We Lost?
First Signs of Hyperinflation Have Arrived: US National Debt Can Travel From the Earth to the Sun and Back a Stunning 83 Times!Submitted by smartknowledgeu on 08/26/2013 09:44 -0500
If one were to lay $1 bills side by side, the current US National Debt would reach from the earth to the moon 32,358 TIMES AND BACK and to the sun 93 million miles away 83 times AND BACK.
Is the global economic downturn going to accelerate as we roll into the second half of this year? There is turmoil in the Middle East, we are seeing things happen in the bond markets that we have not seen happen in more than 30 years, and much of Europe has already plunged into a full-blown economic depression. Sadly, most Americans will never understand what is happening until financial disaster strikes them personally. As long as they can go to work during the day and eat frozen pizza and watch reality television at night, most of them will consider everything to be just fine. Unfortunately, the truth is that everything is not fine.
Why do the debt crisis in Cyprus and the subsequent "bail-in" confiscation of bank depositors' money matter? They matter for two reasons: 1. The banking/debt crisis in Cyprus shares many characteristics with other banking/debt crises. 2. The official Eurozone resolution of the crisis--the "bail-in" confiscation of 60% of bank depositors' cash in an involuntary exchange for shares in the bank (which are unlikely to have any future value)--may provide a template for future official resolutions of other banking/debt crises. In other words, since the banking/debt crisis in Cyprus is hardly unique, we can anticipate the resolution (confiscation of deposits) may be applied elsewhere.
Even if the monetary fuel for this whirl of self-reinforcement is not lacking, the market still needs a narrative around which it can cluster psychologically. It needs a canon of shared myth about which the bard can weave a reassuringly familiar refrain so as to reinforce the sense of community when the members of the clan gather to listen to his warblings amid the flickering fires and guttering torchlight of the Great Hall at night. Despite the bubbles everywhere, hastily shrugged off by the Chairman-in-chief we must add, we are still all suckers for a good saga. As far as we can see, the current narrative contains several key themes... What could possibly go wrong?
Since before the tech bust, we’ve been suggesting that while Americans “think” they’re getting richer... they’re actually heading in the other direction. They’re getting poorer. This proposition has been easier for folks to entertain since housing busted and the financial crisis reversed the “wealth effect” in 2008. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the logic of the American Empire and what you can expect in the year(s) ahead.
What almost everybody calls capitalism is actually fascism, a system where both consumer and capital goods are privately owned, but they are strictly regulated and controlled. This is a huge distinction.
Political Fallout Begins: Former Cyprus President Named In Loan Write-Offs Leading To Banking InsolvencySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/30/2013 13:09 -0500
A few days ago, when news hit that Cyprus has begun investigating who the people were who had managed to pull cash out of nation's insolvent banks, both during the capital control "blackout" period and previously, we asked "how much longer will the rule of law remain in Cyprus once full blown class warfare is unleashed, and the 99% are generously handed the list of the 1% who were "informed" enough to pull their money from the flaming sovereign equivalent of Bernie Madoff, while every other uninsured depositor is facing losses of up to 80%, and soon 100%?" We may get the answer much sooner than expected, as the first iteration of this list: one naming the beneficiaries of millions of loans written off by the now insolvent Cyprus banks and therefore indirectly responsible for the "impairment" of the banks' depositors, was released yesterday by Greece's daily Ethnos newspaper. But what virtually assures substantial political fallout is that among the people listed is Cyprus' former president, George Vassiliou.
So far the market has been largely oblivious of the shattered trust and changed dynamic in European banking dynamics for one simple reason: Cyprus banks have been closed, and likely will be closed indefinitely, preventing the mass media from broadcasting what happens when an entire population, and foreign depositors, decide to clear out the holdings of their bank accounts, either physically or electronically, and the public anger the will result when they find that courtesy of fractional reserve banking, only a tiny amount of said deposits is actually present. In the meantime, retail depositors have had their withdrawals limited through a form of capital controls, allowing them to pull only as much as the daily limit is on given ATMs. So far the banks have had enough cash to keep ATMs stocked up to the daily required minimum, but that may soon be ending. BBC's Mark Lowen, in Nicosia, reports that "Cyprus' banks are still giving out cash through machines - although with limits, and some are running low." Ironically, as physical cash becomes ever scarcer, merchants are now clamping down on electronic payments unsure if they will ever be able to convert electronic euros into actual ones: "Some businesses are now refusing credit card payments, our correspondent reports."
We Could Offset the Need for the “Sequestration” Budget Cuts By Stopping Nuclear Subsidies
if Europe were a single house, it would be rotten to its core with termites and mold. It should have been condemned years ago, but the one thing that has kept it “on the market” was the fact that its owners were all very powerful, connected individual. We are now finding out that the owners not only knew that the home should have been condemned but were in fact getting rich via insider deals while those who lived in the house were in grave danger.