Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Frauds & Thieves! How the Gold Men Did It (Easy Pickins' When You Have a Deregulated Environment) & Dennis Steps Up! (Please sign NOW)

Please read and sign this petition to stop the funding of the War on Afghanistan. It's not just a question of how much money could it possibly take to defeat less than 100 Al-Qaeda jihadis (according to former General Jim Jones last year), but also why are we continuing to fund policies that clearly mean the absolute end of any type of reputation for integrity of U.S. leadership with the rest of the world? In October of 2009 the Asia Times reported that National Security Adviser, former General Jim Jones:

had to hit the talk show circuit to state that Kabul is not falling, that the Taliban are not "coming back", and that there are less than 100 al-Qaeda jihadis in Afghanistan. Which raises the question: what's the point of the whole war then? Why the super-human need for the extra, "magical", 40,000 troops McChrystal has requested? All this is played up deep inside a staggering financial black hole. According to Jo Comerford, Executive Director of the National Priorities Project, the war in Afghanistan has cost US taxpayers no less than $228 billion so far, with $60.2 billion in 2009 alone. The war under Obama is costing $5 billion a month; last year, under Bush, it was "only" $3.5 billion a month". Comerford projects "we'll hit $1 trillion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in March 2010". These $228 billion, Comerford points out, "equal 800,000 four-year university scholarships for US students" (no wonder China is overtaking the US).
Nothing has changed except that 40,000 more U.S. troops are now killing civilians with an increased fury hoping to bring a quick "change" so that the news media will stop the negative (true) reporting and only emphasize how much "success" they are experiencing. Russ Baker details the Bush-CIA connections, an insider's view of the JFK assassination, the theory of how the Global War on Terror enables total war/U.S. corporate domination of the Middle East and how the current fraud on Wall Street is part and parcel of the Bush-CIA world view - brought to its current glory by the junta of George W. Bush, cheerleader (and Barack Obama - acolyte?). If you are among the chosen, all you have to do is hold on a little bit longer because the deals are going to get very cheap very soon. On this note, we might as well get acquainted with Porter Stansberry of The Daily Crux's essay This Is One of the Biggest Wall Street Frauds Ever (emphasis marks added - Ed.).
" S&A Digest - February 25, 2010
One of the best lessons I've learned over my career as an investment analyst is the myth of excellent management or "great execution" is really just that – a myth. When I see companies in troubled industries reporting quarter after quarter of great results, while all of their peers are getting killed, I know a fraud is going on. I remember in the early 2000s, WorldCom kept reporting profits when all of the other long-distance carriers were getting killed. I knew it couldn't last. And it didn't. WorldCom's accounting was revealed to be a fraud – the company was counting its network access costs as capital expenses. Once the real numbers came out, the company collapsed in what was the largest bankruptcy in American history at that point.

About three years ago, I saw Goldman Sachs reporting quarter after quarter of unbelievable results when all of the other investment banks were hurting. I spent a lot of time looking at its numbers – which didn't make any sense. It reminded me of Enron. It kept reporting bigger and bigger profits, but lost more money every year in cash. And its debt balances kept growing. I wrote a lot about this in The Digest, but I never officially recommended shorting Goldman in my newsletter because I literally couldn't figure out how Goldman Sachs was doing it. I couldn't find the smoking gun . . . but I knew a giant fraud would be discovered there, eventually.

In October 2008, I figured out part of the big secret: Goldman had insured all of its subprime exposure via AIG. This allowed it to book huge profits on its subprime investments long before they were actually paid off because the bonds were insured. Of course, it was all a sham AIG didn't have nearly enough money to pay off any of the insurance. (See the October issue of PSIA for more details.) A source close to the company even told me how big the exposure to AIG really was – $20 billion. That's roughly 100% of the profit Goldman claimed in 2006 and 2007, at the height of the credit bubble. Goldman completely denied my report and claimed it had zero exposure to AIG.

As was subsequently revealed in the spring of 2009, my report was right on the money. Goldman had roughly $20 billion in exposure to AIG and received roughly $14 billion of money the federal government used to bail out AIG.But I completely missed one big part of the story . . . And once this fact becomes common knowledge, it will probably mean jail time for several leading Goldman executives and the end of the firm. What did I miss? The entire Goldman-AIG relationship was a complete sham. Let me explain . . . Goldman eventually admitted it had insured roughly $20 billion worth of subprime CDOs with AIG and had major exposure to the firm. But the New York Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs never revealed this critical fact: Goldman didn't merely buy insurance on a bunch of random subprime CDOs. It actually bought insurance on special CDOs it had put together and sold to its own clients. In other words, Goldman knew more about these CDOs than anyone else.

Goldman bought insurance on these CDOs because it knew they'd collapse. This is tantamount to building a house, planting a bomb in it, selling it to an unsuspecting buyer, and buying $20 billion worth of life insurance on the homeowner – who you know is going to die!These facts all came to light because of research done by the office of Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. These new documents will certainly lead to a full investigation of the Goldman-AIG dealings and the subsequent $180 billion bailout led by the New York Federal Reserve. My bet? Heads will roll. If you own Goldman Sachs, you'd better sell.

If only.

If only they didn't already own the Fed and all its enablers. If only they weren't still entrusted to clean up this criminals-gone-wild scheme. And now for the latest heart-attack-inducing fraud currently raging in the states (emphasis marks added - Ed.).
How Big Banks' Greek-Style Schemes Are Bankrupting States Across the US
Feb 26, 2010

Just when you thought Wall Street couldn't get any more clever in their attempts at predatory lending, they have. Big Banks have created an exotic financial instrument that is the equivalent of a payday loan for cash-strapped state and local governments, innocently labeled an "interest rate swap."

In the United States, states and local governments cannot run deficits. This year states face a $357 billion budget shortfall and local governments are facing an additional $82 billion budget shortfall. States have begun cutting basic services like snow removal, reduced garbage pickup, and in Colorado Springs they went to the pawn shop – selling police helicopters on the Internet. In a desperate effort to meet budget needs, states and local governments over the last decade have gone to the big banks to ask for exotic instruments known as interest rate swaps.

These desperate state and local governments were taken advantage of in the same way that Greece was by Goldman Sachs. Likewise, these swaps are threatening the economic health of local cities and states. These interest rate swaps have cost American taxpayers $28 billion alone in fees and excessive interest. The money which could have been used for badly needed basic services instead goes to help the big banks develop more sophisticated practices to steal money off of regular Americans. Big banks led by Goldman Sachs used deceptive marketing to get states and local governments to buy these swaps.

How do they work? State and local governments take out variable rate bonds to pay for infrastructure projects. In the typical deal, these governments agreed to "swap" interest rates on variable-rate bonds. The government would pay the bank a fixed rate in exchange for a variable payment that would track the interest actually due on the bonds. Make much sense to you? Me neither, at first. That's why banks loved these things.
Please read the whole article here. There is another article entitled Economic and Social Crisis in America: Burglarious Stimulus, which lifts the veil on even more U.S. economic history and includes Paul Volcker as a knowing enabler in the early stages of this glorified U.S. con game on its own citizens, by John Kozy (a retired professor of philosophy and logic who blogs on social, political, and economic issues) at Global Research, February 26, 2010. Paul Volcker said:
"Well, we’ve got a problem in governing in this country . . . our inability to deal with very large evident problems is apparent." Indeed we do, and the problem is not new. The problem became evident to many long before Mr. Volcker's term as Chairman of the FED, and he, along with many others, are complicit in perpetuating it. There are two beliefs held by America's powerful elite that make solving social problems impossible. In fact these beliefs exacerbate existing problems and continually create new ones. Much of America's political and economic communities hold the belief that government exists to promote private-sector business which will in turn use its ingenuity, expertise, and the profit motive to solve society's problems, relieving the government of that responsibility. Politicians of both parties, more or less, have adopted this view. It accounts for the government's unwillingness to tax corporations and the wealthy, for both the Congress' ability to find money for corporations and war but rarely for people, and for the Republican assault on social programs, even social security. Republicans claim that all such programs should be privatized. Let the private sector handle social problems. It matters not that more than two hundred years of history proves the view to be misguided, perhaps something that Mr. Volcker has come to finally recognize. No known instance of the private sector's addressing and solving a social problem exists. Social problems abound in all societies that have from time to time adopted this view. Since the fall of Communism in Bulgaria, unsolved murders have become epidemic, and look at what happened in Russia and Israel after they abandoned Communism and Socialism respectively. Crime and poverty have become widespread while billionaires have crawled from the woodwork. The reason this always happens lies in another view held by the same elite: private-sector companies have one and only one responsibility — the pecuniary interests of their stockholders. Private-sector companies have no social responsibilities. The chief proponents of this view are the late Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economics, although the view is quite widespread and was formulated long ago. It is sophistically called economic freedom.
Read the full article here. And for someone's sake, raise your voices now! Suzan _______________

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