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Financial Crisis

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.

    Proverbs 22:3

Last week we concluded our look at various examples of prepping the Bible. In Parts 4, 5, 6 and 7 of these series, our focus was on Noah, Lot Joseph and the teachings of Christ in that order. Not that this list exhausted all the examples of prepping found in the Bible. Indeed, there are a great deal more examples of prepping in the Scriptures than I have the time or space to discuss in this short series on Christian prepping. That said, I believe the examples we looked at are enough to establish that God approves of prepping.

It had been my intention today to follow the prepping examples discussed in Parts 4-7 with some practical advice on prepping. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed good to follow the Scriptural examples of prepping with a more doctrinal discussion. Examples are helpful, for they help us to see the practical application of Christian doctrine, but examples do not replace doctrine.

But before we dive into Biblical prepping theory, I’d be remiss if I did not review the financial news from this past week. As has been noted previously, the main title for this series, “The Ongoing Financial Crisis of 2008,” expresses this author’s opinion that the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that struck in that year has never really ended. As some historians consider World War II to be a continuation of World War I separated by 21 years of uneasy peace, so too are there many financial market observers who argue that the next financial crisis simply will be a continuation of the GFC, separated by a decade or so of uneasy financial normalcy.

The reason some market observers argue this way, and I happen to agree with them, is that the cause of the GFC was never honestly dealt with, but rather was papered over. The 2008 crisis was caused by excessive debt, which itself was the inevitable result of a corrupt global financial system, founded as it is on the fraudulent, debt-based, central bank issued, fiat US Dollar.

When things became unglued in 2008, the US and the world in general were presented with an opportunity to deal honestly with a bankrupt – bankrupt in both the economic and moral sense of the term – financial system. It was a bit like the alcoholic being given the opportunity to clear out the liquor cabinet, sober up, and get his life back, or to again reach for the bottle and find temporary solace in the very thing that’s destroying his life.

America, and the West generally, made the wrong choice, deciding to take another hit from the debt bottle that is destroying our nations, all the while making some fabulously wealthy.

As proof that the issues of the GFC were never resolved, consider the absurd spectacle of negative interest rates. According to Mike Shedlock, there are five central banks with negative interest rates – the Swiss National Bank, Denmark, the European Central Bank, Sweden and the Bank of Japan. Negative interest rates – this is a situation where savers are charged a fee to save and borrowers are paid to borrow, the exact opposite of how a financial system is supposed to work – rob the prudent and reward the profligate. Put another way, they are the financial equivalent of calling good evil and evil good. Such a situation never could exist in a market economy, but has come about as a result of the monetary sorcery of an immoral central banking cartel that currently runs the West.

Negative interest rates are a screaming danger signal to anyone with any financial sense that there are serious problems in the global financial system, but that hasn’t stopped President Trump from calling for them.

But negative interest rates aren’t the only danger signal flashing red. As we discussed last week in Part 7, the Fed continues to bail out the overnight repo market. To give you a sense of just how big the ongoing bailout is, CNN noted on 9/20 that in the first four days of the operation, the Fed had injected over $275 billion into the repo market. “In less than a week,” CNN went on to say, “the Fed injected 34.4% of the $800 billion that it printed during the 2008 bailout.”

That is simply breathtaking. To think that in the first four days of the most recent bank rescue the Fed printed more than a third of the total it did during the 2008 crisis. And note well, that total was as of 9/20. An entire new week of repo market bailouts has since gone in the books. And the bailouts are scheduled to continue until 10/10! At the current rate, the repo bailouts will exceed the (at least publically admitted) bailouts of 2008.

Apart from its sheer size, another remarkable facet of the current repo market rescue is that the cause of the crisis has not yet been disclosed. One clue to the locus of the problem is in the fact that this is a repo market bailout. According to an article by Pam and Russ Martens posted on Wall Street On Parade, “The New York Fed is only allowed to engage in these repo transactions with its 24 primary dealers. That list of 24 primary dealers includes the securities units of big U.S. banks like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, but it also includes the U.S. based securities units of troubled foreign banks like Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and Societe Generale (SocGen).” Because the New York Fed is not announcing which banks are drawing down the bulk of its loans, neither Congress nor the American people know if the money is flowing to U.S. banks or foreign bank subsidiaries in the U.S. Propping up troubled foreign banks in not what most Americans want their central bank to be doing.” Of course, I would add that I don’t want the Fed bailing out troubled American banks either.

So here you have this massive bank bailout going on, a bailout that more than one analyst think involves Deutsche Bank, but the American public is largely in the dark. This, naturally, is exactly what the fed and other financial ne’er do wells want. Let the people obsess about the Democrats’ frivolous impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, while the Fed once again bails out the billionaire bankers and hands the bill to the American people.

Very clearly, there are serious problems in the financial system. Enough so that it probably is inaccurate to speak of a coming Phase 2 of the GFC, for it is already upon us.

But enough of Wall Street intrigue for the moment. Let us now turn to discussing the Biblical doctrine of prepping, to see what the Scriptures teach us about how Christians should prepare for the financial storm in which we find ourselves.

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“I just lost $30,000,” replied the shaken caller after a long pause.

It was the fall of 2008, and I had just started work for a large financial services firm as a 401(k) telephone representative. Little did I know when I took the job a few months earlier that the US, and much of the Western, world, was on the cusp of what many would come to view as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

The Dow and S&P both were selling off hard, day after day, week after week. People were scared.

Many of the panicked calls that I took were people who wanted to know what the balance of their 401(k) account. In some ways, this struck me as a bit odd. After all, it was 2008 and the internet had established itself as a staple of American life over a decade earlier. “Why don’t these people just go online?,” I wondered to myself.

In retrospect, perhaps one reason people called was that, rather than just watch as the computer screen displayed years of hard won retirement savings evaporate as the morning dew, they just wanted to talk to someone. That’s certainly understandable.

Ten years on, much of the American public thinks of the 2008 crisis, if they think about it at all, as a ancient history. Just last week, the Dow hit a new record high and seems to be headed higher still.

President Trump tweeted out back in June, “In many ways this is the greatest economy in the HISTORY of America and the best time EVER to look for a job!”

American consumers seem to agree. According to the August results from The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, consumer confidence is closing in on a new record high. The record of 144.7 set in May 2000 is just a chip shot away from the August 2018 reading of 133.4. Considering that the Consumer Confidence Index dates back to 1967 and that this is a widely watch data series, a new record high in this index would represent a significant achievement.

If we look at the employment picture, everything appears to be headed in the right direction as well. The Washington Post reported in May, one suspects a bit grudgingly, that The U.S. now has a record 6.6 million job openings.

According to the article by Heather Long, “The United States now has a job opening for every unemployed person in the country, a sign of just how far the nation has turned around from the recession that cost so many Americans their jobs nearly a decade ago.”

Signs of economic success are so abundant that, as CNBC reports, “[Former] President Barak Obama has entered credit-taking mode on the economy.”

Politicians aren’t the only ones talking victory laps either. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner – the principal architects of the 2008 bailout of the financial system – gathered earlier this month at a forum in Washington D.C. to justify their actions of ten years ago.

According to CNBC’s report, “We stepped in before the banks had collapsed and we did some things to fix the financial system which are very hard to explain because they are objectionable things,” Paulson said. “In the United States of America there’s a fundamental sense of fairness that the American people have. …You don’t want to reward the arsonist.”

“However,” the article continues, “they [Bernanke, Paulson, and Geithner] said doing nothing would have caused the economy to capsize. They acknowledged that some of the terms were distasteful, but they were necessary given the options at hand.”

In essence, the big three argued that they had to do evil that good might come, a line of thinking condemned in the Scriptures but one that is all too commonly used by vested political and financial interests in midst of financial crises to convince a wary the public to go along with their latest scheme to enrich themselves at the people’s expense.

Indeed the moderator of this forum was Andrew Ross Sorkin, who, as the CNBC article notes, wrote the 2010 book Too Big To Fail, The inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system – and themselves. described as a chronicle of the 2008 crisis from the inside. I have not read this book, but the subtitle does, I think, let the cat out of the bag on the true motives of the bailout.

Unlike the unctuous self-justifications of JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, who recently argued that JP Morgan’s actions during the financial crisis were done “to support our country and the financial system,” Sorkin’s subtitle at least admits the too big to fail meme was all about bankers and politicians saving themselves, not the country.

This is not to fault politicians and bankers for having a sense of self-preservation. The Scriptures tell us that no man ever yet hated his own flesh, and this certainly includes those who run the political and financial systems.

No. The fault of bankers and politicians is not in their having a sense of self-preservation, it’s that they lie and steal to get what they want.

In capitalism, in a free market economy, in a nation governed by the rule of law, there is no such thing as too big to fail. In capitalism, banks have a God given right to make money…and a God given right to lose it.

But in our decadent, late stage of empire society, dominated as it is by crony capitalists and their supporting cast of politicians, the Wall Street masters of the universe believe themselves entitled to never ending profits, while losses, well, those are for the little people to bear.

It is the opinion of this author that the intertwined political and financial systems of this country, rather than reflecting anything remotely like a Christian ethic, have become the embodiment of what Jesus talked about when he took his disciples to school for their arguing about who was the greatest.

According to Jesus, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship [lord it over] them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors. ‘ ”

It would be impossible to find a better description of the words of Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner and Dimon than these. First, they conspired to rip off the American taxpayer by forcing machinations such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) through Congress as well as the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing (QE) program, about which the American people had no say at all, since it was decided upon by the Federal Reserve, an unelected body, paid for by private banking interests, that does not answer to the public.

TARP and QE were tools of a corrupt and inept financial and political elite, which they used to keep themselves ensconced in power at the expense of ordinary Americans. To put it another way, they lorded their power over the American people.

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, they then have the gall to turn around and act as if their actions were for the good of the country rather than for themselves. That is to say, they claim that, in the end, they’re really our “benefactors.”

And if you think the QE and TARP from 2008 is the end of the bailout road, think again. Wall Street Insiders reports that during the forum mentioned above, Tim Geithner, “called the effort to combat financial instability a ‘forever war.’ ” So we have more bailouts to look forward to. Strangely, this rhetoric is similar to what the advocates of the Global War on Terror say about their efforts, which today have proven largely ineffective.

Question, if your war on terror, financial instability or whatever has no end in sight, doesn’t that suggest you don’t know what you’re doing? Can anyone imagine George S. Patton saying such a thing? Just asking.

Enough of this nonsense!

It is the contention of this author that, contrary to all the self-congratulatory talk about how well the economy is doing, there are abundant signs that all is not well in the US economy. In fact, one could even argue that we’re in the midst of a slow-motion crash, but one that is concealed from public view by money printing, market manipulation and propaganda, what one market observer has called Management of Perspective Economics (MOPE).

Further, it is this author’s contention that, not only have the machinations of the political and financial elite not helped to bring stability to the financial system, they actually are the cause the current instability and all but guarantee a future crisis far bigger than the one in 2008.

Lord willing, it is my intention over the next few weeks to bring the light of Scripture to the 2008 financial crisis. It is my hope to take a look at what was done then, where we are now, and where we’re headed as a result of the decisions that have been made.


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