Tag Archives: Henry Paulson

The resolve of the American people

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One test of the resolve of the American public goes back to the people of West Virginia and DuPont. DuPont had knowingly been poisoning the ground and water supply in West Virginia since 1950, giving cancer to tens of thousands of people. Scientists have since found that 99% of humans on the planet are now affected by the chemical PFOA and PFOA-C8, better known as Teflon, the DuPont chemical. Through their factories dumping toxic waste into the nearby farmland, and the chimney releasing airborne toxins made the ground water, rivers and streams toxic waste dumps. The DuPont chemical creates 8 different kinds of cancer. The molecule is not water soluble and does not break down in the human body. Or any organic body for that matter. Local people watched cattle and other animals die en mass. They watched their own teeth turn black. They saw their kidneys and other internal organs rot and fail. The chemical was put into products that traveled throughout the world. Over time, through the massive distribution of Teflon in numberous products like fabrics, carpet, cooking ware DuPont managed to do massive damage to the entire planet, yet received only a slap on the hand with a $670M penalty in 2015, after a lengthy 15 year litigation. Their stock went UP 1% after the ruling. Then, they merged with DOW to become a bigger conglomerate with more money for lobbyists and to line favorable politician’s pockets.

Today, we have Flint, MI, as another test of our resolve. Nothing seems to change. If we have laws that make corporations “people”, we need to make the “people” liable beyond the depths of their pockets. We need to hold CEO’s and Board members responsible for damages done to the broader public on their watch . Whether this damage is health, environmental or economic we must see real justice handed down to real people who make decisions that destroy lives and our planet with “forever chemicals”.

Another kind of poison to our society is the financial industry. There is a handful of financial institutions that own Washington and its politicians. When it came time to evaluate the damage and possible resolutions to the greed and corruption on Wall Street in the 2008 global economic collapse we found the leaders of the top Wall Street banks meeting privately with the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson. The top global economists at the time, who were predicting this collapse, were not invited, despite seeing the demise from the outside looking in after the financial deregulations made by President Clinton in 1994. Now, only those of the very rich, who put the large dollars into the pockets of their politician friends, were asked to feed at the table of greed. Their solution was to ask for a bailout. They seemed to have come up with their own answers to self regulate. They chose to pass the buck to someone else. They chose to have the American people foot the bill of their corruption. The term “too big to fail” became the mantra of the time. The idea of self regulation failed.

The damage that DuPont did was based on the idea of self regulation. When the EPA was formed in 1970 they asked companies to give the new agency a list of poisonous chemicals that should become regulated. Now, it was feesibly impossible to give a list of ALL chemicals to the EPA in order to regulate so there was a caveat in the law. This was that if the chemical companies knew that a chemical was damaging to people or the environment and that chemical was not on the list of chemicals that the EPA was regulating, it was up to the company to then self regulate their actions to the extent the EPA would have regulated those actions should they have known of this chemical. The idea of self regulation failed.

Self regulation fails with the corporate structure since it is the idea that a corporation is designed for profit above all else. Micheal Douglas has a line in the Oscar winning, Oliver Stone film, “Wall Street”, where he says, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” He continues on to make the point that greed is a clean drive that “captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

The upward surge of mankind? History shows that the real measured upward surge of mankind can almost always be traced from its art, philosophy, character and compassion. Would one ask whether the upward surge of mankind could be measured in the actions and atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, Mao or the United States? The greed of power and money has continually shown us that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This quote from Lord Acton holds true today just as it did in the 1800’s. We can see examples daily throughout the world that anyone can withstand adversity. We can also see that if you want to test a person’s character, give them power. This is the true test of the human condition.

Acton took a great interest in the United States, considering its federal structure the perfect guarantor of individual liberties. During the American civil war, his sympathies were with the defense of state’s rights against a centralized government that he believed would, by what he thought to be all historical precedent, inevitably turn tyrannical.

Today we see emperical evidence of the truth to his fears. Over the past decades we have seen our system of government kow-tow to the highest bidder. This evidence can be traced back much farther in the annals of history, but for the United States it certainly became very entrenched in 1913. This was when the richest American, J.P. Morgan, and many of his wealthy foreign and domestic businessmen took control of the American government through the creation of the Federal Reserve. The Fed, as it is known, is a private bank that was able to stronghold then President Woodrow Wilson into signing over the Constitutional right of the country to print its own money to this private banking cartel of a small group of the richest people on the planet. They still maintain this stronghold to date and go on with their business without any relevant oversight to speak of. They have recently reache a point to which their over the counter lending practices between banks in these past few months has surpassed $3T and no one seems to be talking about it. I have a been: Is the NY Fed’s massive loan program even legal?

Henry Paulson was the CEO of Goldman Sachs prior to becoming the Secretary of the Treasury in 2008. I find there to be a huge conflict of interest in this. Goldman Sachs has become the breeding ground for the heads of the Fed and the Treasury creating a very incestuous type of self governance that has failed the country and the global society. The tyranny that Lord Acton was afraid of became manifest.

The tyrants are the unregulated corporations and wealth barons that feed from the famous line of “greed is good”. Self regulation does not work. This has been shown time and time again.

Stanley Milgram, the famed Yale psychologist, began a study in 1961. This study commenced only three months after the testimony of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi war criminal who went on trial for crimes against humanity. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the popular contemporary question: “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?” Milgram measured the willingness of study participants, men from a diverse range of occupations with varying levels of education, to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Participants were led to believe that they were assisting an unrelated experiment, in which they had to administer electric shocks to a “learner.” These fake electric shocks gradually increased to levels that would have been fatal had they been real.

The famed musician Peter Gabriel was first known for his work with the British progressive rock band, Genesis. He went on to create a successful solo career which included his 1986 album titled “So”. On this album was a song called “Milgram’s 37”. In part of the Iyric you will hear, “we do what we’re told, told to do.” this title, the reference to “37” came from the number of subjects who administered the maximum shock in one of the experiments – 37 out of 40 who administered the maximum shock available to give. Self regulation failed.

Milgram’s 37 – by Peter Gabriel

We do what we’re told
We do what we’re told
We do what we’re told
Told to do (2x)

One doubt
One voice
One war
One truth
One dream

Since Milgram the study has been done countless times across the globe to similar results. This study has since shown that nearly 99% of the time a person will follow the directions of the authority figure despite the internal conflict within the follower’s moral character. Therein, the adage that power corrupts.

This study shows us the character of the human specie. We tend to follow orders. We tend to even go against our own perceived moral character in order to do so. Is this due to fear to go against the norm? Or perhaps the desire to rise above our station? Or rather, greed. Therein lies the crux. If we as a society self regulate we fail. Nearly every time. We can quickly fall into the hands of the rich and powerful. When we find ourselves “following orders” and “becoming accomplices” to things we would normally find pause against.

We must as a society rise to the call of the DuPont greed and corruption. We must as a society rise to the call of the failure to prosecute the financial juggernauts that destroyed the economy in 2008. The politicians since have simply become accomplices to the greed and power that lies in its wake.

We must hold politicians and corporate executives accountable. The idea in America that money can buy justice must come to its end.

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I welcome those reading my blog. I appreciate all of the emails I have been receiving. I also appreciate those who have registered and subscribe to this blog. If you have come from Facebook please comment on this site, rather than any Facebook post of this page due to the fact that there are many readers who are not part of Facebook forums, or even Facebook itself. I encourage all readers to put their comments on this site so that all of the information will be accessible to all readers from all parts of the internet. I urge you to join this site and receive the RSS feed, or bookmarking us, sharing us with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this information I urge you to pass on this website address! Share and let’s make some change together!

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©2014-2019 Doug Boggs All Rights Reserved

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Central banks have gone rogue, putting us all at risk!

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CENTRAL BANKS HAVE GONE ROGUE, PUTTING US ALL AT RISK

 

 

Excluding institutions such as Blackrock and Vanguard, which are composed of multiple investors, the largest single players in global equity markets are now thought to be central banks themselves. An estimated 30 to 40 central banks are invested in the stock market, either directly or through their investment vehicles (sovereign wealth funds). According to David Haggith at Zero Hedge:

“Central banks buying stocks are effectively nationalizing U.S. corporations just to maintain the illusion that their “recovery” plan is working. … At first, their novel entry into the stock market was only intended to rescue imperiled corporations, such as General Motors during the first plunge into the Great Recession, but recently their efforts have shifted to propping up the entire stock market via major purchases of the most healthy companies on the market.”

The U.S. Federal Reserve, which bailed out General Motors in a rescue operation in 2009, was prohibited from lending to individual companies under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, and it is legally barred from owning equities. It parks its reserves instead in bonds and other government-backed securities. But other countries have different rules, and central banks are now buying individual stocks as investments, with a preference for big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Those are the stocks that dominate the market, and central banks are aggressively driving up their value. Markets, including the U.S. stock market, are thus literally being rigged by foreign central banks.

The result, as noted in a January 2017 article at Zero Hedge, is that central bankers, “who create fiat money out of thin air and for whom ‘acquisition cost’ is a meaningless term, are increasingly nationalizing the equity capital markets.” Or at least they would be nationalizing equities, if they were actually “national” central banks. But the Swiss National Bank, the biggest single player in this game, is 48 percent privately owned, and most central banks have declared their independence from their governments. They march to the drums not of government but of private industry.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the 2008 collapse, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretaries Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson wrote in a Sept. 7 New York Times op-ed that the Fed’s tools needed to be broadened to allow it to fight the next anticipated economic crisis, including allowing it to prop up the stock market by buying individual stocks. To investors, propping up the stock market may seem like a good thing, but what happens when the central banks decide to sell? The Fed’s massive $4 trillion economic support is now being taken away, and other central banks are expected to follow. Their U.S. and global holdings are so large that their withdrawal from the market could trigger another global recession. That means when and how the economy will collapse is now in the hands of central bankers.

MOVING GOAL POSTS

The two most aggressive central bank players in the equity markets are the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of Japan. The goal of the Bank of Japan, which now owns 75 percent of Japanese exchange-traded funds, is evidently to stimulate growth and defy longstanding expectations of deflation. But the Swiss National Bank is acting more like a hedge fund, snatching up individual stocks because “that is where the money is.”

About 20 percent of the SNB’s reserves are in equities, and more than half of that is in U.S. equities. The SNB’s goal is said to be to counteract the global demand for Swiss francs, which has been driving up the value of the national currency, making it hard for Swiss companies to compete in international trade. The SNB does this by buying up other currencies, and because it needs to put them somewhere, it’s putting that money in stocks.

That is a reasonable explanation for the SNB’s actions, but some critics suspect it has ulterior motives. Switzerland is home to the Bank for International Settlements, the “central bankers’ bank” in Basel, where central bankers meet regularly behind closed doors. Dr. Carroll Quigley, a Georgetown history professor who claimed to be the historian of the international bankers, wrote of this institution in” Tragedy and Hope” in 1966:

“[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks, which were themselves private corporations.”

The key to their success, said Quigley, was that they would control and manipulate the money system of a nation while letting it appear to be controlled by the government. The economic and political systems of nations would be controlled not by citizens but by bankers, for the benefit of bankers. The goal was to establish an independent (privately owned or controlled) central bank in every country. Today, that goal has largely been achieved.

In a paper presented at the 14th Rhodes Forum in Greece in October 2016, Dr. Richard Werner, director of international development at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, argued that central banks have managed to achieve total independence from government and total lack of accountability to the people, and that they are now in the process of consolidating their powers. They control markets by creating bubbles, busts and economic chaos. He pointed to the European Central Bank, which was modeled on the disastrous earlier German central bank, the Reichsbank. The Reichsbank created deflation, hyperinflation and the chaos that helped bring Adolf Hitler to power.

The problem with the Reichsbank, said Werner, was its excessive independence and its lack of accountability to German institutions and Parliament. The founders of postwar Germany changed the new central bank’s status by significantly curtailing its independence. Werner wrote, “The Bundesbank was made accountable and subordinated to Parliament, as one would expect in a democracy. It became probably the world’s most successful central bank.”

But today’s central banks, he said, are following the disastrous Reichsbank model, involving an unprecedented concentration of power without accountability. Central banks are not held responsible for their massive policy mistakes and reckless creation of boom-bust cycles, banking crises and large-scale unemployment. Youth unemployment now exceeds 50 percent in Spain and Greece. Many central banks remain in private hands, including not only the Swiss National Bank but the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Italian, Greek and South African central banks.

BANKS AND CENTRAL BANKS SHOULD BE MADE PUBLIC UTILITIES

Werner’s proposed solution to this dangerous situation is to bypass both the central banks and the big international banks and decentralize power by creating and supporting local not-for-profit public banks. Ultimately, he envisions a system of local public money issued by local authorities as receipts for services rendered to the local community. Legally, he noted, 97 percent of the money supply is already just private company credit, which can be created by any company, with or without a banking license. Governments should stop issuing government bonds, he said, and instead fund their public sector credit needs through domestic banks that create money on their books (as all banks have the power to do). These banks could offer more competitive rates than the bond markets and could stimulate the local economy with injections of new money. They could also put the big bond underwriting firms that feed on the national debt out of business.

Abolishing the central banks is one possibility, but if they were recaptured as public utilities, they could serve some useful purposes. A central bank dedicated to the service of the public could act as an unlimited source of liquidity for a system of public banks, eliminating bank runs since the central bank cannot go bankrupt. It could also fix the looming problem of an unrepayable federal debt, and it could generate “quantitative easing for the people,” which could be used to fund infrastructure, low-interest loans to cities and states, and other public services.

The ability to nationalize companies by buying them with money created on the central bank’s books could also be a useful public tool. The next time the mega-banks collapse, rather than bailing them out, they could be nationalized and their debts paid off with central bank-generated money.

There are other possibilities. Former Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts argues that we should also nationalize the media and the armaments industry. Researchers at the Democracy Collaborative have suggested nationalizing the large fossil fuel companies by simply purchasing them with Fed-generated funds. In a September 2018 policy paper titled “Taking Climate Action to the Next Level,” the researchers wrote, “This action might represent our best chance to gain time and unlock a rapid but orderly energy transition, where wealth and benefits are no longer centralized in growth-oriented, undemocratic, and ethically dubious corporations, such as ExxonMobil and Chevron.”

Critics will say this would result in hyperinflation, but an argument can be made that it wouldn’t. That argument will have to wait for another article, but the point here is that massive central bank interventions that were thought to be impossible in the 20th century are now being implemented in the 21st, and they are being done by independent central banks controlled by an international banking cartel. It is time to curb central bank independence. If their powerful tools are going to be put to work, it should be in the service of the public and the economy.

WED, 9/19/2018 – BY ELLEN BROWN
THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON TRUTHDIG

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I welcome those reading my blog. I appreciate all of the emails I have been receiving. I also appreciate those who have registered and subscribe to this blog. If you have come from Facebook please comment on this site, rather than any Facebook post of this page due to the fact that there are many readers who are not part of Facebook forums, or even Facebook itself. I encourage all readers to put their comments on this site so that all of the information will be accessible to all readers from all parts of the internet. I urge you to join this site and receive the RSS feed, or bookmarking us, sharing us with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this information I urge you to pass on this website address! Share and let’s make some change together!

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©2014-2018 Doug Boggs All Rights Reserved

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