Friday, September 26, 2008
(excerpt from the urban survival blog)
Hard to get much better perspective than Thomas Jefferson's letter to Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin in 1802:
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
Starting to sound a lil familiar.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I just recieved an update email from a former presidential candidate about the 700 BILLION dollar bail out (they are now refering to it as a Rescue Plan). I don t know if anyone has been watching all the political crap that they have been throwing on the tele these days but more and more of them are talking to Ron Paul (wish he would have gotten the press about 9 months ago when he was talking about this stuff). So i thought i would share with you his letter seeing its a good one. Also i will be throwing out some more light hearted posts in the coming days. just need to get some images off the ol camera. alright now i ll pass the mike to my man RP.
The financial meltdown the economists of the Austrian School predicted has arrived.
We are in this crisis because of an excess of artificially created credit at the hands of the Federal Reserve System. The solution being proposed? More artificial credit by the Federal Reserve. No liquidation of bad debt and malinvestment is to be allowed. By doing more of the same, we will only continue and intensify the distortions in our economy - all the capital misallocation, all the malinvestment - and prevent the market's attempt to re-establish rational pricing of houses and other assets.
Last night the president addressed the nation about the financial crisis. There is no point in going through his remarks line by line, since I'd only be repeating what I've been saying over and over - not just for the past several days, but for years and even decades.
Still, at least a few observations are necessary.
The president assures us that his administration "is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets." Care to take a guess at whether the Federal Reserve and its money creation spree were even mentioned?
We are told that "low interest rates" led to excessive borrowing, but we are not told how these low interest rates came about. They were a deliberate policy of the Federal Reserve. As always, artificially low interest rates distort the market. Entrepreneurs engage in malinvestments - investments that do not make sense in light of current resource availability, that occur in more temporally remote stages of the capital structure than the pattern of consumer demand can support, and that would not have been made at all if the interest rate had been permitted to tell the truth instead of being toyed with by the Fed.
Not a word about any of that, of course, because Americans might then discover how the great wise men in Washington caused this great debacle. Better to keep scapegoating the mortgage industry or "wildcat capitalism" (as if we actually have a pure free market!).
Speaking about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the president said: "Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk."
Doesn't that prove the foolishness of chartering Fannie and Freddie in the first place? Doesn't that suggest that maybe, just maybe, government may have contributed to this mess? And of course, by bailing out Fannie and Freddie, hasn't the federal government shown that the "many" who "believed they were guaranteed by the federal government" were in fact correct?
Then come the scare tactics. If we don't give dictatorial powers to the Treasury Secretary "the stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet." Left unsaid, naturally, is that with the bailout and all the money and credit that must be produced out of thin air to fund it, the value of your retirement account will drop anyway, because the value of the dollar will suffer a precipitous decline. As for home prices, they are obviously much too high, and supply and demand cannot equilibrate if government insists on propping them up.
It's the same destructive strategy that government tried during the Great Depression: prop up prices at all costs. The Depression went on for over a decade. On the other hand, when liquidation was allowed to occur in the equally devastating downturn of 1921, the economy recovered within less than a year.
The president also tells us that Senators McCain and Obama will join him at the White House today in order to figure out how to get the bipartisan bailout passed. The two senators would do their country much more good if they stayed on the campaign trail debating who the bigger celebrity is, or whatever it is that occupies their attention these days.
F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for showing how central banks' manipulation of interest rates creates the boom-bust cycle with which we are sadly familiar. In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, he described the foolish policies being pursued in his day - and which are being proposed, just as destructively, in our own:
Instead of furthering the inevitable liquidation of the maladjustments brought about by the boom during the last three years, all conceivable means have been used to prevent that readjustment from taking place; and one of these means, which has been repeatedly tried though without success, from the earliest to the most recent stages of depression, has been this deliberate policy of credit expansion.
To combat the depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection - a procedure that can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end... It is probably to this experiment, together with the attempts to prevent liquidation once the crisis had come, that we owe the exceptional severity and duration of the depression.
The only thing we learn from history, I am afraid, is that we do not learn from history.
The very people who have spent the past several years assuring us that the economy is fundamentally sound, and who themselves foolishly cheered the extension of all these novel kinds of mortgages, are the ones who now claim to be the experts who will restore prosperity! Just how spectacularly wrong, how utterly without a clue, does someone have to be before his expert status is called into question?
Oh, and did you notice that the bailout is now being called a "rescue plan"? I guess "bailout" wasn't sitting too well with the American people.
The very people who with somber faces tell us of their deep concern for the spread of democracy around the world are the ones most insistent on forcing a bill through Congress that the American people overwhelmingly oppose. The very fact that some of you seem to think you're supposed to have a voice in all this actually seems to annoy them.
I continue to urge you to contact your representatives and give them a piece of your mind. I myself am doing everything I can to promote the correct point of view on the crisis. Be sure also to educate yourselves on these subjects - the Campaign for Liberty blog is an excellent place to start. Read the posts, ask questions in the comment section, and learn.
H.G. Wells once said that civilization was in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow. For the truth is the greatest weapon we have.
(his signiture here)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Wanted to pass along a pair of interviews that where posted within the last couple of weeks with a great collectors blog Erratic Phenomena and the great LA arts scene blog Sour Harvest. I believe the one with Erratic Phenomena is the most in depth interview I have ever recieved. So check em out.
Erratic Phenomena and Sour Harvest
Monday, September 22, 2008
Alright here is an insightful post from a blog by George Ure that i read from time to time and thought all of the nations freedom lovers would like to know about. So with out further ado heisted from a post entitled One Chance to "Save America" - How to Save the Day with Private Sector Coinvestment
The first thing you need to understand is that any media reference to the Resolution Trust Corp's bailout of the Savings and Loan mess is a deliberate misleading of American public opinion so that our collective life savings can be hijacked by the bankers cabal.
The key difference to keep in mind is this: In the case of the RTC, when the assets were rolled up and resold, the main players went out of business. In the flim-flam now being pulled on the American public, the main players will not only stay in business, they will make new fortunes paid for with your tax dollars.
Oh, and if you think this stinks, that's the smell of greed.
Now how to fix it? There is a very simple way - and I would urge you to write something along the lines in an email to your federal elected representatives:
Dear (elected official):
I am writing to demand that any bailout of investment bank include a mandatory requirement for private co-investment.
As you know, the current plan proposed by the Treasury - and now being rushed through approval is designed as follows:
Financial Institution with 'bad paper' will be able to sell their paper to the government.
The government will then sell this paper to other investors at whatever discount they need to in order to 'keep the system alive'.
The buyers of this paper from the government have no incentive to bid up prices because the farther the asset valuation falls, the more money the bankers will make.
Ultimately, the public will fund the difference between the current valuation of the instruments and however low these same investment bankers can drop their bids.
Obviously, this is an absurdity because under Game Theory, the lower the bids are when the government sells, the higher the yields on these debt instruments.
What's worse, an instrument sold my one firm, such as hypothetically Goldman Sachs (or more likely the Goldman Sachs Asset Management group) could ultimately be purchased from the government bailout agency purchased by Morgan Stanley. At the same time, a hypothetical Morgan Stanley\asset sold to the government could ultimately be picked up - dirt cheap - by the same Goldman group selling their hypothetical paper.
To my way of thinking, this "bailout" is a flim-flam deal. The investment "banksters" could 'wash the paper and take the spread' as things are presently proposed. As a Taxpayer, I am appalled and demand a better solution.
Is there an alternative? Of course!
Write and enforce a new provision requiring that any sales of government purchased instruments to private firms retain a minimum 90% public participation. Thus, when the [toxic waste] bonds are resold by the government, the tax paying public which is footing the bill would be compensated for its risk. Give the paper vultures compensation with a small 1-3 basis point spiff for managing the public's side of the deal.
The new deal structure would look like this:
Financial Institution with 'bad paper' will still be able to sell their paper to the government.
But because the government will sell only a maximum 10% private share (the rest being the public's skin in the game) the markdowns would likely be less.
The public would retain a 90% ownership position. Thus any profits made by the paper vultures would be diluted 10:1 and the public compensated for its risk.
In this way, the public would make back much of its initial cost and the debt load on the American financial system would be lessened dramatically - reducing the ultimate cost of the bailout dramatically.
As you can readily see, this approach - let's call it Private Sector Coinvestment - will work very well, although now that the investment bankers have "seen the green" in the form of the rudimentary "bailout plan" which is nothing short of a banker's coup d'état, will scream bloody murder when a rational and money saving plan is proposed.
It all comes down to whether you represent the interest of the People, or the interests of the Bankers who began their theft of the American economy in 1913, but that's another story.
As a vote in your district, I beseech you to look out for the interests of the American Taxpayer and honor the intent of the Framers to defend and protect this Great Nation.
(share this freely)
One of our readers put it this way:
"I see a recurring sales technique. Show up at a time of panic and write the deal you want knowing the client will sign anything so long as sales properly delivers the "We'll take care of you." marketing scheme. Not a bad way to write insurance. We just got rolled, again."
What? You mean you haven't read Naomi Klein's " The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism"? Tisk, tisk, however are you going to keep up with the class?
I'll be approaching a few folks I know in the investment community - who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and find an honest firm out there. My friend The Bond Dude - who originated this concept and shared it with me - will be trying to drum up support in his company, but it's of such importance that we decided to 'shop it around' a bit and see if there are any white hats left in the world of high finance.