|Stocks sink after government bailout of AIG
By MADLEN READ, AP Business Writer
2 HOURS AGO
NEW YORK - Wall Street stumbled again Wednesday, with anxieties about the financial system
still running high even after the government bailed out the insurer American International Group
Inc. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped about 300 points.
The Federal Reserve is giving a two-year, $85 billion loan to AIG in exchange for a nearly 80
percent stake in the insurer, after it lost billions in the risky business of insuring against bond
defaults. Wall Street had feared that the conglomerate, which has its tentacles in various financial
services industries around the world, would follow the investment bank Lehman Brothers
Holdings Inc. into bankruptcy.
Fed’s $85 Billion Loan Rescues Insurer
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS, MICHAEL J. de la MERCED and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
Published: September 16, 2008
WASHINGTON — Fearing a financial crisis worldwide, the Federal Reserve reversed course on
Tuesday and agreed to an $85 billion bailout that would give the government control of the
troubled insurance giant American International Group.
The decision, only two weeks after the Treasury took over the federally chartered mortgage
finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is the most radical intervention in private
business in the central bank’s history.
With time running out after A.I.G. failed to get a bank loan to avoid bankruptcy, Treasury
Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, convened a meeting with
House and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to explain the rescue plan. They
emerged just after 7:30 p.m. with Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke looking grim, but with top
lawmakers initially expressing support for the plan. But the bailout is likely to prove controversial,
because it effectively puts taxpayer money at risk while protecting bad investments made by A.I.
G. and other institutions it does business with.
What frightened Fed and Treasury officials was not simply the prospect of another giant
corporate bankruptcy, but A.I.G.’s role as an enormous provider of esoteric financial insurance
contracts to investors who bought complex debt securities. They effectively required A.I.G. to
cover losses suffered by the buyers in the event the securities defaulted. It meant A.I.G. was
potentially on the hook for billions of dollars’ worth of risky securities that were once considered
If A.I.G. had collapsed — and been unable to pay all of its insurance claims — institutional
investors around the world would have been instantly forced to reappraise the value of those
securities, and that in turn would have reduced their own capital and the value of their own debt.
Small investors, including anyone who owned money market funds with A.I.G. securities, could
have been hurt, too. And some insurance policy holders were worried, even though they have
“It would have been a chain reaction,” said Uwe Reinhardt, a professor of economics at Princeton
University. “The spillover effects could have been incredible.”
Financial markets, which on Monday had plunged over worries about A.I.G.’s possible collapse
and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, reacted with relief to the news of the bailout. In
anticipation of a deal, stocks rose about 1 percent in the United States on Tuesday. Asian stock
markets opened with strong gains on Wednesday morning, but the rally lost steam as worries
returned about the extent of harm to the global financial system.
Still, the move will likely start an intense political debate during the presidential election campaign
over who is to blame for the financial crisis that prompted the rescue.
Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial
Services Committee, said Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke had not requested any new legislative
authority for the bailout at Tuesday night’s meeting. “The secretary and the chairman of the Fed,
two Bush appointees, came down here and said, ‘We’re from the government, we’re here to help
them,’ ” Mr. Frank said. “I mean this is one more affirmation that the lack of regulation has
caused serious problems. That the private market screwed itself up and they need the government
to come help them unscrew it.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly criticized the rescue, calling the $85 billion a "staggering
sum." Ms. Pelosi said the bailout was "just too enormous for the American people to guarantee."
Her comments suggested that the Bush administration and the Fed would face sharp questioning
in Congressional hearings. President Bush was briefed earlier in the afternoon.
A major concern is that the A.I.G. rescue won’t be the last. At Tuesday night’s meeting.
lawmakers asked if there was any way of knowing if this would be the final major government
intervention. Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson said there was not. Indeed, the markets remain
worried about the financial condition of major regional banks as well as that of Washington
Mutual, the nation’s largest thrift.
The decision was a remarkable turnaround by the Bush administration and Mr. Paulson, who had
flatly refused over the weekend to risk taxpayer money to prevent the collapse of Lehman
Brothers or the distressed sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. Earlier this year, the
government bailed out another investment bank, Bear Stearns, by engineering a sale to JPMorgan
Chase that left taxpayers on the hook for up to $29 billion of bad investments by Bear Stearns.
The government hoped at the time that this unusual step would both calm markets and lead to a
recovery by the financial system. But critics warned at the time that it would only encourage
others to seek bailouts, and the eventual costs to the government would be staggering.
The decision to rescue A.I.G. came on the same day that the Fed decided to leave its benchmark
interest rate unchanged at 2 percent, turning aside hopes by many on Wall Street that the Fed
would try to shore up confidence by cutting rates once again.
Fed and Treasury officials initially turned a cold shoulder to A.I.G. when company executives
pleaded on Sunday night for the Fed to provide a $40 billion bridge loan to stave off a crippling
downgrade of its credit ratings as a result of investment losses that totalled tens of billions of
read full article at:
Fed pumps $70B into nation's financial system
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer
Tue Sep 16, 9:57 AM ET
WASHINGTON - Urgently trying to keep cash flowing amid a Wall Street meltdown, the Federal
Reserve on Tuesday pumped another $70 billion into the nation's financial system to help ease
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's action came in two operations in which $50 billion and
then another regularly scheduled $20 billion were injected in temporary reserves.
The maneuver takes place as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his central bank
colleagues prepare to meet to decide their next move on interest rates and conduct a fresh
assessment of the country's financial and economic troubles.
Some believe the financial system turmoil raises the odds the Fed will cut rates. Others still predict
the Fed will hold its key rate steady at 2 percent.
In the last few days, the American financial system has been badly shaken as bad bets on dodgy
mortgage-backed securities claimed more Wall Street giants.
Lehman Brothers, the country's fourth-largest investment bank, filed for bankruptcy protection. A
weakened Merrill Lynch, deciding it couldn't go it alone anymore, found help in the arms of Bank
of America. Now, the insurance giant American International Group is dangerously wobbling.
Against this backdrop, Wall Street on Monday plunged 500 points, the most since the September
2001 terror attacks.
The cash infusion Tuesday was designed to help ease a spike in the overnight lending rate
between banks. A sharp rise in such borrowing costs makes banks reluctant to lend to each other
and to hoard cash, worsening already tight credit conditions. Harder-to-get credit has crimped
spending by consumers and business, a factor in the slowing economy.
To help grease the financial plumbing Monday, the Fed pumped a total of $70 billion into the
system through open market operations.
|In the past few weeks, the case has been made and maintained, for a serious downward
trend in global economies. As of today with the Dow plunged a further 600 points on
news that the US economy began its recession in Dec 2007. JP Morgan lay off 9,200 jobs
at Washington Mutual and the national debt has reached $10,647,917,555,364.39 .
Regrettably the trends continue in line with what we wrote in our book - only the more
important reports will now be added.
March 29, 2009
Gerald Celente Predicts Economic Armageddon by 2012. HERE
March 13, 2009
'The Daily Show' with Jon Stewart. Worth watching as the humor and his hatchet reveals the
pain we have to go through as the cleansing of our ways takes place. Sometimes our wrath
finds the wrong guy to hang it on but we must learn by all this. Take a moment to watch this
exchange between Jon Stewart and Crammer (March 13, 2009): HERE
March 12, 2009
I dont know about you but have been totally amazed that there are so few 'financial experts'
who seem able to explain this crisis. Here is one simple explanation that I finally understand:
December 6, 2008
November employment figures in the U.S. show even worse job cuts than forecast. 533,000
job cuts with an unemployment rate of 6.7% and rising.
December 5, 2008
Bush acknowledges a recession. HERE
November 25, 2008
Fed says it will buy mortgage-related assets.
WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve said Tuesday it will buy up to $600 billion in mortgage-
backed assets in another attempt to deal with the financial crisis.
The Fed said it will purchase up to $100 billion in direct obligations from mortgage giants Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the Federal Home Loan Banks. It also will purchase another
$500 billion in mortgage-backed securities, pools of mortgages that are bundled together and
sold to investors.
The $600 billion effort on mortgages came as the Fed also unveiled a new program to help
unfreeze the market that backs consumer debt such as credit cards, auto loans and student loans.
The program on consumer debt will lend up to $200 billion to the holders of securities backed
by various types of consumer loans. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had said recently that
the government was working on the new program, which will be supported by $20 billion of
credit protection provided by the $700 billion bailout fund.
The Fed said that the $600 billion effort to support the mortgage market was being taken to
reduce the cost of home mortgages and increase their availability. It said the purchases of the
mortgages and mortgage-backed securities would take place over a number of months.
The severe financial crisis that is rocking global markets at the moment began more than a year
ago with rising defaults on subprime mortgages, loans provided to borrowers with weak credit
The billions of dollars of losses financial institutions have suffered on their mortgage loans have
caused banks to stop making new loans of various types, which almost certainly has helped
push the country into a deep recession.
November 24, 2008
WASHINGTON – Rushing to rescue Citigroup, the government agreed to shoulder hundreds of
billions of dollars in possible losses at the stricken bank and to plow a fresh $20 billion into the
November 17, 2008:
Group of 20, which included the world's wealthiest countries such as the United States, Japan,
Germany, Britain and France plus emerging powers such as China, Russia, Brazil and India
pledge to work together to tackle global economy, undergoing its worst upheavals in decades.
November 17, 2008:
Citigroup to cut another 53,000 jobs.
November 14 2008:
President Bush wants $25B in loans released to U.S. car-makers.
November 14, 2008:
Euro sinks into recession for first time.
November 14, 2008:
My personal comment: "With such financial calamity and so few who seem to understand the
cause, even among the 'big players', why have we not so far heard the word 'GOLD' ?
November 11, 2008:
General Motors stock has sunk to the lowest level since WWII. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
GM's market value is back to where it was when we had just defeated the Nazis. The
company's CEO now says they will need a bailout from the lame-duck Congress. They can't
even survive until Obama gets in office.
November 10, 2008:
Circuit City files for bankruptcy protection
September 26, 2008:
JPMorgan Chase has taken over Washington Mutual after it collapsed in the largest US bank
failure ever, adding to the massive pressures on the US financial system
September 21, 2008:
Paulson urges quick action on $700 billion bailout.
Thats written: $700,000,000,000.00 Spoken: Seven hundred thousand million dollars.
September 19, 2008:
America's financial crisis: The Party is Over. Its the end of an era and the beginning of another.
By Pat Buchanan.
September 18, 2008:
Wall Street's biggest crisis since the Great Depression forced the Federal Reserve and central
banks in other countries to pump billions of dollars into the world's banking system
September 17, 2008:
Stocks sink after government bailout of A.I.G.
September 16, 2008:
Fed pumps $70B into nation's financial system.
Fed’s $85 Billion Loan Rescues Insurer A.I.G.
July 19, 2008:
President Bush Says The Economy Is Sound As Inflation Rises To Record Levels.
March 14th, 2008:
President Bush insisted that despite a weak dollar and soaring oil prices, the US economy
remained fundamentally sound and said the biggest challenge was for the US Congress not to
The Complete Idiots Guide to 2012 - published October 2008.
From Penguin Books official web site:
Book: Paperback | 8.26 x 5.23in | 352 pages | ISBN 9781592578030 | 07 Oct 2008 | Alpha | 18 -
The final countdown?
On December 21, 2012, the Mayan calendar will complete its thirteenth cycle. According to the
Mayan belief system, the world will end. And if you don’t believe the Mayans, you can check in
with The Bible Code, The Nostradamus Code, or The Orion Prophecy, all of which predict planet-
wide doom. Then again, maybe the year 2012 is just a new opportunity. Could 2012 bring us good
things instead of bad? This book gives readers a look at what the Mayan prophecy is all about,
what it means to them, and much more.
•Addresses Mayan predictions about global warming and climate change
•Includes a glossary of terms and symbols, resources for a changing world, and exercises to
assist the reader in their journey
•The existence of almost 600,000 websites on 2012 indicates a huge fascination with this subject
U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 13 Nov 2008 at 02:17:59 AM GMT is:
The estimated population of the United States is 305,083,721
so each citizen's share of this debt is $34,845.60.
The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$3.95 billion per day since September 28, 2007!
PETER SCHIFF, CEO and chief global strategist for Euro Pacific Capital was right about
the United States economic collapse two years ago. Watch video of interview.
U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 14 Nov 2008 at 02:17:59 AM GMT is:
The increase debt in 24 hours is of bewildering proportions.
Congressman Don Manzullo grills Interim Assistant Treasury
Secretary Neel Kashkari on the bailout plan, questioning why a
failed company that was bailed out with taxpayer dollars -- AIG
-- was allo...
Where Has the Gold Gone? Could this be an even larger crime
than the banks theft of our billions?
By: Rob Kirby
“Gold Finger - A New Take On Operation Grand Slam With A Tungsten Twist”
I’ve already reported on irregular physical gold settlements which occurred in London,
England back in the first week of October, 2009. Specifically, these settlements
involved the intermediation of at least one Central Bank [The Bank of England] to
resolve allocated settlements on behalf of J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank – who DID
NOT have the gold bullion that they had sold short and were contracted to deliver. At
the same time I reported on two other unusual occurrences:
1] - irregularities in the publication of the gold ETF - GLD’s bar list from Sept. 25 –
Oct.14 where the length of the bar list went from 1,381 pages to under 200 pages and
then back up to 800 or so pages.
2] - reports of 400 oz. “good delivery” bricks of gold found gutted and filled with
tungsten within the confines of LBMA approved vaults in Hong Kong.
Why Tungsten? ………Whole article: http://news.goldseek.
|2012 DEBATE - THE ECONOMY
How and why this prophecy is different - its based upon science and intuition.
April 29, 2010
Greek's debt troubles raise contagion worries
Greece's debt troubles send worries through global economy about contagion threats
Martin Crutsinger and Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press Writers, On Thursday April
29, 2010, 3:44 pm EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Greek debt crisis sent a shudder through global financial
markets and served as a dramatic reminder of how vulnerable the world economy remains
to the threat of a fast-spreading financial panic.
To many, market developments this week served as a spooky reminder of the fall of 2008
and the panic that spread worldwide after Lehman Brothers collapsed with disastrous
consequences in September 2008.
"If people get scared that Greece could default, they are going to be scared that Portugal
will default and then other countries. Once people panic, they panic about everything," said
David Wyss, chief economist at Standard and Poor's in New York. "We saw that in the
wake of the Lehman Brothers failure."
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 140 points in late afternoon trading Thursday,
following overseas gains in Britain, Germany and France.
Those market gains, which followed big losses earlier in the week, came as European and
Germany officials sought to assure investors that they were working quickly to approve a
bailout for Greece with European Union monetary affairs commission Olli Rehn, saying he
was confident that talks on a bailout package of support from European countries and the
International Monetary Fund would be wrapped up in a few days.
Underscoring the need for quick solutions, the White House released a statement late
Wednesday that President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had
discussed the "importance of resolute action by Greece and timely support from the IMF
and Europe to address Greece's economic difficulties."
In Asia, while there are not yet significant concerns about the creditworthiness of the
region's governments, big economies like China and Japan still have much at stake. Europe
is an important export market for Asia, and China and Japan are among the biggest
investors in the debt issued by the United States and European countries with holdings
worth billions of dollars.
Some lenders in the region, meanwhile, are already fretting that Europe's problems will
chill the financial system, making it harder for banks to borrow the short and long-term
money that helps fund their own lending to businesses and consumers.
There are also concerns the turmoil in Europe could convince China to delay any
appreciation of its currency -- widely viewed as undervalued -- aggravating tensions with
the U.S. and other trading partners. A key meeting on this issue is scheduled for May
24-25 when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton will meet with their counterparts for talks in Beijing.
Economists noted that the debt problems hitting Greece and other European countries
often occur after a financial crisis. That is because governments borrow heavily to prop up
their banking systems, which sends their own debt burdens soaring.
In the current crisis, the United States has seen its publicly held debt jump from 36 percent
of the total economy in 2007 to 64 percent this year. That's the highest level since 1951,
when the country was still paying off the debt run up to fight World War II.
Debt levels of all developing countries are rising to levels not seen over the past 60 years,
the IMF said in an economic survey released last week.
"The Greek problem highlights a broader problem across the globe," said Mark Zandi, chief
economist at Moody's Analytics. "Governments used their resources to end the financial
panic and the Great Recession, but now they have to figure out how to pay for it."
While the United States and Japan, the world's two biggest economies, also have heavy
debt loads, they enjoy advantages in financing that debt that Greece does not have.
More than 90 percent of Japan's debt is funded domestically, putting the country at low
risk for capital flight and servicing that debt remains manageable because of low interest
But Fitch Ratings did warn last week that Japan's credit rating could worsen if Tokyo does
not rein in snowballing debt, which reached 201 percent of gross domestic product in
2009. Deflation, slow growth and dwindling household savings could eventually undermine
Japan's ability to fund itself.
The rest of Asia is on sounder financial footing, especially considering its rapid growth.
The region underwent a "profound deleveraging" in the 1990s following its own financial
crisis, mandated by the IMF's strict bailout conditions, said Glen Maguire, chief Asia
economist at Societe Generale.
China's government reports its debt at about 20 percent of GDP. But Tom Orlik, an analyst
in Beijing for Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, says the figure is far higher than
official numbers suggest.
Add in local government debt and nonperforming loans in the government-owned banks,
and the level tops 50 percent of GDP, he said.
"The number is higher than the government acknowledges, and that is well known, but it is
still not a very alarming number," Orlik said.
While Asia appears strong enough to avoid the debt problems engulfing Greece and
Europe, it hasn't been immune to the anxiety the turmoil has produced with Asian equity
markets being hammered this week, in line with deep share declines in Europe and the U.S.
Signaling what may lie ahead, the chief executive of ANZ Banking Group Ltd., an
Australian lender with operations across Asia, warned Thursday that the sovereign debt
crisis in Europe could make it harder for banks to access credit.
"I am still quite worried about the global economy," Smith told reporters. "Europe is a
Hosaka reported from Tokyo. AP Business Writer Joe McDonald in Beijing and AP Writer
Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia contributed to this report.
April 27, 2010
Goldman Sachs Executives Accused of Massive Fraud, Appear Before the United States
June 29, 2010
A Special Report on Debt.
Repent at Leisure.
Borrowing has been the answer to all economic troubles in the past 25 years. Now debt
itself has become the problem, says Philip Coggan. Excellent report.
June 2, 2010
With two years to go before the predicted 2012 economy chaos is known for sure, here
today is where we have reached - watch below.
|Did England do the right thing sending the fireship of Nigel Farage straight into the centre of
the European Union armada?
UKIP Nigel Farage - The TRUTH about the disastrous
EURO currency - Greece, Spain & Portugal
|Death by Debt
by Chris Martenson
Posted July 3, 2011
One of the conclusions that I try to coax, lead, and/or nudge people towards is acceptance of
the fact that the economy can't be fixed. By this I mean that the old regime of general
economic stability and rising standards of living fueled by excessive credit are a thing of the
past. At least they are for the debt-encrusted developed nations over the short haul – and,
over the long haul, across the entire soon-to-be energy-starved globe.
he sooner we can accept that idea and make other plans the better. To paraphrase a famous
saying, Anything that can't be fixed, won't.
The basis for this view stems from understanding that debt-based money systems operate
best when they can grow exponentially forever. Of course, nothing can, which means that even
without natural limits, such systems are prone to increasingly chaotic behavior, until the money
that undergirds them collapses into utter worthlessness, allowing the cycle to begin anew.
All economic depressions share the same root cause. Too much credit that does not lead to
enhanced future cash flows is extended. In other words, this means lending without regard for
the ability of the loan to repay both the principal and interest from enhanced production;
money is loaned for consumption, and poor investment decisions are made. Eventually gravity
takes over, debts are defaulted upon, no more borrowers can be found, and the system is
rather painfully scrubbed clean. It's a very normal and usual process.
When we bring in natural limits, however, (such as is the case for petroleum right now), what
emerges is a forcing function that pushes a debt-based, exponential money system over the
brink all that much faster and harder.
But for the moment, let's ignore the imminent energy crisis. On a pure debt, deficit, and liability
basis, the US, much of Europe, and Japan are all well past the point of no return. No matter
what policy tweaks, tax and benefit adjustments, or spending cuts are made – individually or in
combination – nothing really pencils out to anything that remotely resembles a solution that
would allow us to return to business as usual.
At the heart of it all, the developed nations blew themselves a gigantic credit bubble, which fed
all kinds of grotesque distortions, of which housing is perhaps the most visible poster child.
However, outsized government budgets and promises, overconsumption of nearly everything
imaginable, bloated college tuition costs, and rising prices in healthcare utterly disconnected
from economics are other symptoms, too. This report will examine the deficits, debts, and
liabilities in such a way as to make the case that there's no possibility of a return of generally
rising living standards for most of the developed world. A new era is upon us. There's always a
slight chance , should some transformative technology come along, like another Internet, or
perhaps the equivalent of another Industrial Revolution, but no such catalysts are on the
horizon, let alone at the ready.
At the end, we will tie this understanding of the debt predicament to the energy situation raised
in my prior report to fully develop the conclusion that we can – and really should – seriously
entertain the premise that there's just no way for all the debts to be paid back. There are many
implications to this line of thinking, not the least of which is the risk that the debt-based, fiat
money system itself is in danger of failing.
Too Little Debt! (or, Your One Chart That Explains Everything)
Note: this next section is an excerpt from a recent Martenson Blog entry, so if this seems
familiar to any site members, it's because you've seen it before.
If I were to be given just one chart, by which I had to explain everything about why Bernanke's
printed efforts have so far failed to actually cure anything and why I am pessimistic that further
efforts will fall short, it is this one:
There's a lot going on in this deceptively simple chart so let's take it one step at a time. First,
"Total Credit Market Debt" is everything – financial sector debt, government debt (federal,
state, and local), household debt, and corporate debt – and that is the bold red line (data
from the Federal Reserve).
Next, if we start in January 1970 and ask the question, "How long before that debt doubled
and then doubled again?" we find that debt has doubled five times in four decades (blue
Then if we perform an exponential curve fit (blue line) and round up, we find a nearly perfect
fit with a R2 of 0.99. This means that debt has been growing in a nearly perfect exponential
fashion through the 1970's, the 1980's, the 1990's and the 2000's. In order for the 2010
decade to mirror, match, or in any way resemble the prior four decades, credit market debt
will need to double again, from $52 trillion to $104 trillion.
Finally, note that the most serious departure between the idealized exponential curve fit and
the data occurred beginning in 2008, and it has not yet even remotely begun to return to its
former trajectory................................. Full article.
China warns U.S. debt-default idea is "playing with fire"
By Emily Kaiser Emily Kaiser – Wed Jun 8, 8:41 pm ET
Posted July 3, 2011
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers are "playing with fire" by contemplating even a brief
debt default as a means to force deeper government spending cuts, an adviser to China's central bank
said on Wednesday.
The idea of a technical default -- essentially delaying interest payments for a few days -- has gained
backing from a growing number of mainstream Republicans who see it as a price worth paying if it
forces the White House to slash spending, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
But any form of default could destabilize the global economy and sour already tense relations with big
U.S. creditors such as China, government officials and investors warn.
Li Daokui, an adviser to the People's Bank of China, said a default could undermine the U.S. dollar, and
Beijing needed to dissuade Washington from pursuing this course of action.
"I think there is a risk that the U.S. debt default may happen," Li told reporters on the sidelines of a
forum in Beijing. "The result will be very serious and I really hope that they would stop playing with
China is the largest foreign creditor to the United States, holding more than $1 trillion in Treasury debt
as of March, U.S. data shows, so its concerns carry considerable weight in Washington.
"I really worry about the risks of a U.S. debt default, which I think may lead to a decline in the dollar's
value," Li said.
Congress has balked at increasing a statutory limit on government spending as lawmakers argue over
how to curb a deficit which is projected to reach $1.4 trillion this fiscal year. The U.S. Treasury
Department has said it will run out of borrowing room by August 2.
If the United States cannot make interest payments on its debt, the Obama administration has warned
of "catastrophic" consequences that could push the still-fragile economy back into recession.
"It has dire implications for the economy at a time when the macro data is softening," said Ben
Westmore, a commodities economist at National Australia Bank.
"It's just a horrible idea," he said.
Financial markets are following the U.S. debate but see little risk of a default.
U.S. Treasury prices were firm in Europe on Wednesday, supported by a flight to their perceived
safety on the back of the Greek debt crisis and worries about a slowdown in U.S. economic growth.
Marc Ostwald, a strategist with Monument Securities in London, said markets were working on the
assumption that the U.S. debt story "will go away." But nervousness would grow if a resolution was
not reached in the next five to six weeks.
The Republicans' theory is that bondholders would accept a brief delay in interest payments if it meant
Washington finally addressed its long-term fiscal problems, putting the country in a stronger position
to meet its debt obligations later on.
But interviews with government officials and investors show they consider a default such a grim --
and remote -- possibility that it was nearly impossible to imagine.
"How can the U.S. be allowed to default?" said an official at India's central bank. "We don't think this
is a possibility because this could then create huge panic globally."
Indian officials say they have little choice but to buy U.S. Treasury debt because it is still among the
world's safest and most liquid investments. It held $39.8 billion in U.S. Treasuries as of March, U.S.
The officials declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
Oman is concerned about the impact of a default on the currency reserves of the sultanate and its Gulf
"Our economies are substantially tied up with the U.S. financial developments," said a senior central
bank official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"It just wouldn't happen," said Barry Evans, who oversees $83 billion in fixed income assets at
Manulife Asset Management. "They would pay their Treasury bills first instead of other bills. It's as
simple as that."
Monument's Ostwald called the default scenario "frightening" and said bondholders' patience would
wear thin if lawmakers persisted in pitching this strategy in the coming weeks.
"This isn't a debate, this is like a Mexican standoff and that is where the problem lies," he said.
Yuan Gangming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank,
smelled some political wrangling behind the U.S. debt debate as the 2012 presidential election draws
nearer and said Republicans "want to make things difficult for Obama."
But with time running short before the U.S. Treasury exhausts its borrowing room, Yuan said default
was a real risk.
"The possibility is quite high to see a default of the U.S. debt, which would harm many countries in the
world, and China in particular," he said.
(Reporting by Kevin Lim and Jong Woo Cheon in Singapore, Suvashree Dey Choudhury in Mumbai,
Aileen Wang and Kevin Yao in Beijing, Abhijit Neogy in Delhi, Marius Zaharia in London and Umesh
Desai in Hong Kong; Editing by Dean Yates and Neil Fullick)
|A Warning from the group 'Anonymous':
"We Will Close Down Wall Street on
October 10th, 2011".
Thanks to Busty Taylor.
|Wall Street protest stretches across NY Financial District
By Jason Kessler and Michael Martinez, CNN
Posted Oct 5, 2011
Protesters Numbers Growing Dramatically
New York (CNN) -- As "Occupy Wall Street" protesters rallied for a third week in lower
Manhattan's Financial District, crowds Wednesday marched from the city's Zuccotti Park --
considered a rallying point for the largely leaderless group -- to Foley Square near City Hall.
The demonstrators are expected to meander their way to the square and then return to the park
in protest of income inequality, corporate greed, high unemployment, corruption and a list of
other social ills.
Their messages, however, have remained wide ranging, if not ambiguous.
Causes spanned from social awareness to radical change in America's financial and political
systems, while others appeared content to simply get caught up in the spirit of demonstration.
And yet, the group has rallied around its general criticism of the country's wealthiest 1% and its
Some carried placards and shouted slogans denouncing corporate excess, while others said
they were "fed up" with high unemployment and a lack of economic opportunity. Still others
expressed that they had simply been waiting for a moment to express their voice and kick-start
a conversation about inequality............ source.
Thanks to Matthew Williams
ECONOMICS - 2011. WITH FOUR WEEKS TO GO TO 2012
Mary is the proprietor of a bar in Dublin. She realises that virtually all of her customers
are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronise her bar – she
will go broke.
To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers
to drink now, but pay later.
She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers
Word gets around about Mary’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a
result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Mary’s bar.
Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Dublin. – All is starting to look rosy.
By providing her customers’ freedom from immediate payment demands, Mary gets no
resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and
beer, the most consumed beverages.
Consequently, Mary’s gross sales volume increases massively.
A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognises that these customer
debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Mary’s borrowing limit.
He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed
alcoholics as collateral.
At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge
commissions, and transform these customer loans into Drinkbonds and Alkibonds. These
securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets.
The new investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as ‘AAA’
secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. They have had a “rating
house” certify they are of good quality.
Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the
hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.
One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original
local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by
the drinkers at Mary’s bar. He so informs Mary.
Mary then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed
alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.
Since Mary cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. So she now is
The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.
Overnight, Drinkbonds and Alkibonds drop in price by 90%.
The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing
new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community. The suppliers of
Mary’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’
pension funds in the various Bond securities.
They find they are now faced with having to write-off her bad debt and with losing over
90% of the presumed value of the bonds.
Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had
endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who
immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.
Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are
saved and bailed out by a multi-billion Euro no-strings-attached cash infusion from their
cronies in government.
The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-
class, non-drinkers who have never been in Mary’s bar.
Now, do you understand economics in 2011?
|Recorded on November 30, 2011