Elaine Meinel Supkis
Michael Nystrom compares the Fed rescue via the TSAF window to a junk yard selling old wrecks as 'antiques.' Heh. A good read. And Bernanke's helicopter is going to pass over the banking system every two weeks from now on, dropping $100 billion a month. Except if the investment houses want more frequent drops. Then he will stuff another $100 billion or more into his copter. And Mr. McCarthy is scared of talking about conspiracies. This is because he can't believe that a bunch of greedy, idle, creepy people with agendas won't converge with each other and figure out con games and cheats that benefit themselves even if it destroys great nations? HAHAHA. They conspire. They certainly do this. But often, more subtle than most people think. They are big believers in provocations.
Instead of talking about abstract concepts like investment houses and mortgage-backed securities, let's substitute something more concrete. Let's say instead of an investment bank, I'm an auto dealer. And instead of an inventory of mortgage-backed securities, I have an inventory of classic cars:
Most people don't appreciate it, but these cars are really valuable. After all - they're not making any more '59 Caddies! And based on my very complex, proprietary valuation model, the inventory you see above is worth a cool ten million dollars ($10,000,000).
The only problem is that recently, the market for classic cars, like the market for MBS's, has seized up. In fact, if I were to put my inventory on the market, it is likely there would be no bids at all for my fabulous collection of rare and unique automobiles. If push came to shove, my collection might only be valued at ten cents on the dollar -- or less -- in a forced fire sale. Ten cents! This is ridiculous, as these assets clearly have value! Check out the tailfins:
Michael Nystrom has, by far, the very best analogy for what the Fed LLP is now up to! A must-read article! I laughed my head off as well as nodding in agreement. Bravo! The photos are hilarious, too. Sometimes it pays to make the big things smaller in order to understand them. The 'sale' of raunchy supposed AAA papers based on a potpourri of various loans of uncertain parentage was fake. The real value is well known. It is certainly not 95 cents on the dollar! It is, at best, 50 cents to the dollar and dropping. The only reason they are not at 5 cents to the dollar is due to Uncle Bernanke's generous helicopter drops.
The site set up to process the sales of these ill-fated things was arranged back last spring in preparation for compliance with the Basel II Accords. Namely, banks and investment houses could no longer take AAA script and roll into them a bunch of cheap shots and then have them all listed at a much lower risk danger and thus, meant the bankers and offshore pirates could claim these CDs were as good as gold and then use them as assets from which they could then extend more loans. And as they piled up these mixed-up loans they made ever-more mixed up BBB and CCC loans which were folded and sliced into the AAA loans and this mountain of lending is at the core of the banking collapse we are now seeing.
They forgot about one tiny detail: the loans had to be paid off!
Now, the only way our banking system can limp along is to admit these things cannot be sold and then to sell them, one bad batch at a time, to the Federal Reserve LLP. This former central bank that had no center but was actually a consortium of bankers and financial wizards, has turned itself without the intervention of any legal changes or laws being passed or even ANY DEBATE...into an amazing thing: the world's biggest UNLIMITED partnership! Indeed, I should change the LLP part to ULP. Unlimited Partnership! This totally new entity operating on totally new systems is our new banking system. And this is a disaster. It will permit the present system which is so rotten, it is falling apart totally, it can now limp along merrily with the central bank destroying everything from our joint currency, our joint savings, our national pride and anything that once made America great: down the damn toilet it flushes.
But it gets worse, much worse.
Big investment banks took the Federal Reserve up on its first-time offer Thursday to let them borrow Treasury securities, the latest effort to ease a painful credit crisis.
The Federal Reserve auctioned $75 billion worth of Treasury securities. Bidders paid an interest rate of 0.33%. Demand was high. The Fed received bids of $86.1 billion worth of the securities.
Um, all over the net are stories of handouts from the Fed. It is nearly impossible to track them. The main gist here is, the numbers are rapidly rising, the rescues are happening more frequently than in an old silent movie era 'Perils of Pauline' and the amounts are staggering. Well over a trillion so far with more trillions to go. The Fed is, of course, dishonest about all this. They and the outrageous financiers who created this mess know perfectly well, how much of these bad ABX CDOs and SIVs and other crap cost. They know how much they must palm off onto the Fed. But dare not say the total. For it is in TRILLIONS. So they devised an ILLEGAL system that is NOT SET UP BY CONGRESS or any laws of the land to tip-toe through the Tulip Mania Collapse to go to the 'window' and shove in these stupid, worthless bonds and get in return, 'Treasuries' which they can then rush off and turn into gold or some other commodity.
They decided, at the historic meeting where the final pretense of having a banking system was strangled, on St. Paddy's Day, they decided to do this piecemeal so the public is unaware that they just got stuck with $14 trillion in bad loans. Think about this. They hope to do this in groups of $100 billion each after the first huge doses of $200-500 billion we have seen so far!
And note also, the St. Paddy's Day rescue was supposed to be only $200 billion but the actual numbers were closer to $250 billion. Oops. Plus $30 billion for the Bear Stearns heist. Let's look at another story about this that just came out today:
The Federal Reserve announced Friday it will auction another $100 billion in April to cash-strapped banks as it continues to combat the effects of a credit crisis.
The central bank said it would make $50 billion available at each of two auctions, on April 7 and April 21.
Through the end of March, the Fed has provided $260 billion in short-term loans to commercial banks through the innovative auction process. It also has employed Depression-era provisions to provide money to investment banks.
In announcing the move to $50 billion last month, the Fed said it would continue the auctions for at least the next six months, unless credit conditions show they are no longer needed.
See? They have this nice schedule. Of course, if the melt down surges forwards, this will be tossed out and the $100 billion a month bail out will turn into a $500 billion or even trillion dollar bail out if necessary. The Fed is now committed to this. Of course, if they can do this, why not do it all at once? Eh?
They can't! This would be too obvious and maybe someone will snoop around and ask questions! Maybe someone will demand to know why the very same clowns who are running to the Fed for this huge stash of cash gave themselves RECORD bonuses last year! Not just last year, only 3 lousy months ago! Incredible. The only difference between today and 1930 is that none of the guys guilty of destroying the economy are jumping out of windows. They are jumping into the arms of the Fed ULP and being carried off as if they are 7 Brides for 7 Buffoons.
In yen terms, the Nikkei 225 is down 24.1 per cent, the S&P 500 is down 24.8 per cent, and the FTSE-Eurofirst 300 is down 24.5 per cent.
In dollar terms, these indices, covering totally distinct groups of stocks, are all down between 12.2 per cent and 13.1 per cent. And in euro terms, they are down between 19.5 per cent and 20.4 per cent. The indices have tracked each other perfectly.
Why is this happening? In times of crisis, correlation increases. Developed market equities, for the moment, are all the same thing, their price contingent on the latest news on the credit crisis, commodity prices and US economic data.
Retail and institutional equity investors may now be taking their cues from the forex market; buying stocks denominated in whichever currency appears undervalued. Macro hedge funds doubtless exploit this. The result: there’s no place to hide.
This is why I can't, with a good conscience, tell readers how to save themselves. The only realistic salvation lies in becoming politically active. This election season is a wash, of course, but there is more time and more things we can do. And do them, we must. Demanding a general cleaning of the stables is important. I have been pushing for ending the political money game, for example. But every organization that has arisen to do something such as Common Cause, get corroded and fade fast. Common Cause and I had a number of very vicious battles. I literally screamed at them, 'Stop the fund raising and begin organizing the public!' For all they did was pat themselves on the back and do virtually nothing except begging for money. I told them how to organize online and they ignored me.
Entities like the Daily Kos has drawn into itself a huge audience that interacts but this election is fracturing it apart again as the denizens of that joint argue over which Tweedledum or Tweedledee is better. On the right, most ran as fast as possible from Ron Paul who attracted non-party people who came out of the woodwork only to fade again as the media worked overtime to annihilate him. But he continues to talk about the forbidden things: money itself.
And this is the problem: we have to understand money and power in order to use it to stop it from destroying our nation. And this is very difficult. I have very little money, myself. So I can't use it to mold public opinion. All I can do is write and hope someone reads. But the fact stands: there is no safe haven if the US decides to blow itself up. All the world is menaced by this. No one will escape, no system will be unscathed if we decide to be totally juvenile and destroy this planet.
The other side of the Looking Glass
It was obvious last week that, in addition to the 25bp cut in the middle of the night to the Discount Rate, the Board would have to come up with another big cut to Fed Funds. They settled on 75 bps as big enough to keep equities rocking not crashing with promises of more to come.
The dollar was in free fall and the commodities and/or that “near commodity/near currency” called gold, were on a tear. Since the big players were going to get the benefits of the marvelous TSLF, shouldn’t they help out as the Fed Fund rate was hammered? In no way would we intimate that there were any planned meetings, cabals or other get together which could ever be caviled at by the suspicious.
Of course, there were meetings and phone calls. And they constitute a 'conspiracy'. When a bunch of guys gather together in total secrecy to plot ways to do things behind our backs, plot ways to change the way entire systems and economies work, to thwart the bears betting they will fail, this is a CONSPIRACY. Humans talking to each other with the aim of protecting THEMSELVES is a CONSPIRACY. Mr. McCarthy is scared that people might think he is nuts so he ignores a conspiracy right in his face. There are many conspiracies. Some are very old and ongoing while others are newer. Some conspiracies are hatched thousands of years ago. Some are hatched by the minute. The people who hang out socially and hobnob all over the planet are always seeking ways to keep themselves in power and take things from others as cheaply as possible.
These interlocking social arrangements are at many, many levels including sexual as well as financial and political. The political connection is the weakest of them all. The sexual, the strongest. The religious angle is above all, the most powerful. If we go back to the Bible, we can see it is often all about inheritances, buying things, selling things and making bargains even with the devil or his twins, the various gods. Musty deals thousands of years old are still in operation today. People like to conspire, it is a deep part of our natures and is expressed within the ape communities from which we sprang. A good way to learn about this sort of thinking is to watch Shakespeare's plays.
Why are people afraid to talk about obvious, glaring examples of conspiracies? I would suggest, this is because it sits very close to the deepest parts of our psyches: where religion dwells. I notice that online, there are many levels of 'conspiracy communities' each of whom have their own pet belief systems. Penetrating past these, one finds it nearly impossible since the schematic belief matrixes are so important, they cannot accept new information or contradictory information and get very angry if anyone suggests anything outside the belief system. So the actual conspirators who are manipulating us get away with murder. They know that exposing these conspiracies is very difficult and if they ARE exposed, all they have to do is have agents go out and spread counter-stories that are more fantasical!
Why is this? Well, the human mind loves the fantastical. So if we can have a wonderful, utterly wrong story, we tend to lean towards this because it is comforting for it approaches godhood. This appeals to that part of the brain which is activated by these stories. Some things are painfully obvious. The people who run our financial systems belong to various religious, sexual and political affiliations. They all want certain things. The list has odd items on it. One of which is, ownership of Jerusalem and the surrounding territories. Another is to cull the ranks of humanity so the ecological crisis is evaded. Another is to encourage doctors to come up with some sort of system that will give these conspirators something resembling eternal life. They have wanted this since the very beginning, we know. Look at the Pharaohs! So we can assume the people who 'saved' the system this year conspired to do things that harmed people not in the know just like when the neo cons conspired to let the 9/11 attackers free rein so they could terrorize innocent people outside of the conspirators, all of whom refused to fly on commercial planes before 9/11.
For Fed policy makers, ``the consequences of their permissiveness have become so disastrous that they simply can't keep singing the same old tune in public,'' said Tom Schlesinger, executive director at the Financial Markets Center in Howardsville, Virginia.
While the soul-searching is unlikely to result in immediate changes to monetary policy, Stern's comments show how the credit freeze has forced officials to scrutinize long-held philosophies about the Fed's role in markets, and even ask how their current policies may undercut those views.
``As a risk manager, the Fed needs to take account of both directions, not just dealing with the aftermath,'' said Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. ``We have had two asset-prices bubbles in the last 10 years that have had big implications for the Fed's desire for a more stable macroeconomy.''
All hail the Soviets! All hail the 5 Year Plan! Gads. The 5 Year Junk Yard Lending Plans! And the Fed's paw prints are all over ALL the bubbles we have these days! This story is total bunk. The Fed isn't 'rethinking' anything. They are obeying the commands of the rulers! The people who conspire to run things their way and their way, only. None of these people care about the 'macro-economy,' of course. Otherwise, they would have to think about how to close the trade and budget deficits! Since they make these worse and worse every year for nearly my entire life, I am assuming, thoughts about the macro-economy is just so much macaroni to them.
And since when has the Fed been a 'risk manager'? They are in charge of preventing INFLATION. Inflation is due to FIAT CURRENCY. And so they have to worry about flooding our economy with money and the best way to flood the economy is to give out easy loans! And so they fix this by keeping rates high enough to choke back lending! Only they don't do this except on occasion. Frankly, they conspire with the greedy rich to boost lending as much as they dare. And they slip up all the time which is why it gets out of control all the time.
The Federal Reserve is probably considering its policy options should a shock to the economy force it to cut interest rates to zero, according to ABN Amro Holding NV.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke wrote a paper in 2004 with Vincent Reinhart and Brian Sack studying Japan's experience with deflation, a period where the Bank of Japan added more funds to the financial system even when its benchmark interest rate was at zero. The ``most obvious lesson'' is that central banks should avoid an outbreak of deflation and accept an inflation buffer, Robert Lind, ABN Amro's chief economist in London, wrote in a report.
``Senior officials have already laid out the potential policy choices,'' according to Lind at the Amsterdam-based bank. ``Given the scale of the potential shock to aggregate demand, I suspect policy makers are already contemplating the constraint of the zero bound.''
As I keep on pointing out, the 'ideal' is for 0% interest on 0% down and $0 taxes. This way, they can grind out infinite loans forever. And take their 10% or even 20% cut of each loan! Since there is no limit, the cuts can be even 30% or 100%. The sky is the limit! This infantile desire is barely below the surface. Over the years, I keep looking like the Hawk of Horus for information that can prove my contention that this is also fatal. As well as putting us into serfdom.
The US has been fatally weakened by our low-tax/low interest rates/free trade matrix. Countries that have the opposite are destroying us. But what do I see? The desire for more free rides! When I was a child, I was warned to never, ever accept a free ride. That there was never a free lunch. That all free gifts had strings attached. And people offering these were often criminals! Con men! DANGEROUS.
So why are we looking at them as saviors?
The bigger multinationals may be having second thoughts, too. A report by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai found that more than half of foreign manufacturers in China believe the mainland is losing its competitive advantage over countries like Vietnam and India. Almost a fifth of the companies surveyed are considering relocating out of China. "The big story here is that globalization is for real—and China is no longer what it was," says Ronald Haddock, a vice-president at consultant Booz Allen Hamilton, which wrote the report.
The rise of the yuan may be the biggest single factor driving companies to relocate. But other government policies are contributing to the crisis. Last year, Beijing decided to cut or cancel tax rebates on more than 2,000 items used to make exported goods. The impact has been huge. "The end of rebates has raised the cost of manufacturing many goods by 14% to 17% at the factory level," says Harley Seyedin, president of the Guangzhou-based American Chamber of Commerce in South China.
More proof that China has utterly changed direction. As I keep pointing out, Japan cannot, alone, keep the US afloat. If China turns inwards, this means the flow of money and goods is changing. Many are hoping to move everything to India and have the party roar onwards. India is far more unstable than China. And this flood will destabilize India further. India's government is far wilder than China's government. Changing of the guard is done more often by assassins than even in the US. Gah. We certainly have that. Whatever instabilities China has, India has in spades. China wants to move up the industrial scale. They know that pollution is killing their country and are filled with desire to bring this to a halt. India doesn't care which is why most ships, when mothballed, are sent there to be hacked apart.
Rising numbers of Chinese exporters are shunning the US dollar or devising ways to offset the impact of the falling currency as they confront rising labour and raw material costs at home.
According to Alibaba.com, the online company that matches Chinese suppliers with international buyers, the vast majority of their almost 700,000 Chinese suppliers no longer use dollars to settle non-US transactions to minimise foreign exchange risk.
And the end of the rule of the greenback has come. Eventually, we will have to protect our currency and use it to buy other currencies in order to buy oil. Maybe not this year but next year. The government is conspiring with Europe's rich and powerful as well as oil sheiks and kings placed on their thrones by the British and the French when they ripped up the Ottoman Empire...these people want to keep the present status quo for as long as possible. And this may mean they will conspire to attack Iran. The ONLY thing holding them all back is Russia and China: both can launch WWIII if they so choose.
And that is a can of worms we don't want ANYONE to open.