Posts Tagged ‘credit’

A general awakening is taking place

December 7, 2013

Unless some great human tragedy should befall Western society shortly, the monetary system must at some point come into focus.

Even though few of the people that might have a say in what can be done have made the leap to actually and unequivocally admit the inevitable arithmetical reality afflicting our economies, the main stream press is indeed increasingly reporting on the tangible ramifications of this particular variety of monetary system.

Starting with this bit of research:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2011/10/22/the-147-companies-that-control-everything/

Three systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have taken a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide and analyzed all 43,060 transnational corporations and share ownerships linking them. They built a model of who owns what and what their revenues are and mapped the whole edifice of economic power. They discovered that global corporate control has a distinct bow-tie shape, with a dominant core of 147 firms radiating out from the middle. Each of these 147 own interlocking stakes of one another and together they control 40% of the wealth in the network. A total of 737 control 80% of it all. The top 20 are at the bottom of the post. This is, say the paper’s authors, the first map of the structure of global corporate control.

If one understands the arithmetical reality of our monetary system, then one must inherently and necessarily understand that the outcome can only be the concentration of profits thus the concentration of ownership.

The key aspects of this monetary system that make this the inevitable conclusion are:

– Unilateral and arbitrary imposition by force of this monetary system to the exclusion of any other
– Privilege of money and credit creation is bestowed on an entity that produces nothing but demands interest be paid to it
– Money and credit enter the wider economy through exclusive gates rather than entering simultaneously at all levels of the economy
– Constant and aggressive creation of money & credit results in steady debasement thereby awarding asymmetrical purchasing power advantage to the guardians of the gates
– The diminishing marginal efficiency of constant monetary & credit creation ensure that ever greater amounts of money & credit must be created – go to step 3, rinse and repeat

Once this dynamic is understood, the inescapable conclusion must be that, regardless the health of the economy, profit will concentrate towards the top of the pyramid thus ownership of productive capital will too. Profit concentrates in the hands of those entities that are closest to the source of monetary & credit creation.

The following too is more evidence of this inevitable reality:

http://www.policymic.com/articles/71255/10-corporations-control-almost-everything-you-buy-this-chart-shows-how

Ten mega corporations control the output of almost everything you buy; from household products to pet food to jeans. According to this chart via Reddit, called “The Illusion of Choice,” these corporations create a chain that begins at one of 10 super companies. You’ve heard of the biggest names, but it’s amazing to see what these giants own or influence.

And of course, due to the same dynamic, the main stream press is fully captured too.

One more graph:

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/12/financial-industry-interconnectedness/

If you understand the monetary dynamic and if you understand that this monetary system has been imposed without debate nor indeed vote, then clearly the only other conclusion that can be inferred is that there must absolutely be an entity that has deemed it useful for this to be so.

If you understand the above, then you should also begin to understand why in a system predicated on electoral politics and regardless the persuasion, economic policy will always and everywhere result in increased deficit spending and expanding sovereign debt till the point where ideologies that were once at opposing conceptual spectrums will inevitably converge.

A bon entendeur, salut!

Some interesting articles this morning…

January 28, 2010

… but not necessarily for what they appear to be about.

Let’s start with Bloomberg and Stiglitz:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aVYY24_A2SHA

This is an ambiguous article that deals with the economics of happiness. Stiglitz sets off with this comment: “Bankers created “negative value” with innovations such as mortgages that homeowners couldn’t afford, said Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, who is speaking today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on the economics of happiness.

Setting aside for the moment that the article is about the economics of happiness in an attempt at finding a better way of gauging the wealth and well being of a country, what strikes me as typical is the fact that even Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate that he is, perpetuates the perception that the problem that has befallen us was due to bad mortgages. Glaringly absent in Stiglitz’s comments now or in the past, is any indication as to why the banks should have been allowed and even encouraged to do what they did; and, by the way, banks are still now aggressively encouraged to do more of the same. My peeve with the whole charade is the unwillingness to have a proper discussion on the utility and desirability of a fiat monetary system. Because if banks did what they did, it is only because the presumed guardians of the system allowed them to do so despite the various laws that, if applied, would have clearly and immediately put a stop to such aberrant (criminal?) practices.

But then, Stiglitz goes on and at least partly redeems himself when he says:

Stiglitz, who advocates a broader measure of gross domestic product that takes social well-being into account, studied the issue last year for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has said that relying on GDP to gauge the state of an economy helped trigger the financial crisis.

Right there, Stiglitz actually hits the nail on the head. As I have already written in previous posts, the GDP figure is at the heart of most social, economic and financial metrics. But GDP is a flawed figure and, by itself, says nothing of the direction or the quality of development. As a flawed figure, GDP becomes the proverbial end that justifies the means. Specifically, since GDP is the begin all and end all of politics and economics, the natural tendency of government officials is to boost GDP by any means possible. Hence the appeal of a fiat monetary system which allows government to push credit and money creation in excess of GDP progression. The rationale for doing that is that by stimulating credit and money creation government can induce inflation, thus a rise in prices thus a rise in GDP.

That right there is the elephant in the room that few can intellectually countenance and, of those that can, fewer still are willing or ready to discuss. Because I assure you there are some officials that understand that.

Moving on from Stiglitz, Mr. Sarkozy of France too has a beef and it happens to be globalization.

http://www.fxstreet.com/news/forex-news/article.aspx?StoryId=5bf8e003-f472-497d-ac61-78bddf6e4352

Once again, Mr. Sarkozy’s peeve is justified but fails to address the reasons why globalization came about. Anyone that in talking about globalization does not mention that it is the logical ramification of the use of fiat money, is wide of the mark.

Fiat money has a logic. Fiat money is predicated on the expansion of credit and money supply. If that were not the case, then we could make do with either a fixed amount of money or with a value based monetary system. It is as simple as that. No need for arcane mathematical formulas. The choice of a monetary system is deliberate even if it is unilateral thus not submitted to the people for ratification. As a deliberate choice, fiat money implies two things: first, fiat money must not contemplate intrinsic value – second, fiat money can only exist in an inflationary environment.

The above being so, then it is clear that globalization is an inherent and inevitable consequence of a fiat monetary system. Few will remember for example that in the 1960s, the United States were exactly in the same jam we find ourselves in today globally. That’s right. In the 60s, the USA were confronting bankruptcy brought about by profligate spending that pushed credit and money creation far in excess of GDP since 1913. (Just a related observation here to note that the causes of the first inflationary crisis of 1929 were never really tackled. What happened instead is that as a consequence of WWII nobody anywhere had any industrial capacity left standing so that the USA were finally able to utilize their excess capacity to supply the rest of the world). Curiously enough,  in the late 1960s events were precipitated by none other than France who, smelling smoke in the wind, asked to redeem their US$ currency reserves for the gold they thought they were entitled to.

Surprise!! The gold wasn’t there. At least not enough of it because if the USA acquiesced to redeemed France’s foreign currency reserves, then everyone else would have wanted to redeem their reserves too and at that point, obviously, there wasn’t enough gold anywhere in the world to satisfy sovereign demand.

Solution?

Abrogate Bretton Woods.

The USA gathered the leaders of the then developed world and essentially made them an offer they could not refuse. I mean; heck! The gold wasn’t there anyway so they had nothing to lose by at least listening to what the USA had to say.

The deal the USA put to the Europeans was to adopt a new monetary system based on the US$ as reserve currency.

To the question: “Why should we do that?”

The answer was twofold. The first part of the answer is what counted and what ultimately would have clinched the deal anyway; that is, the USA told the Europeans that by adopting the US$ as reserve currency they could themselves go on a fiat monetary system, hence they could print as much money as they pleased. The shrewd politicians that the European heads of states were, they needed no other reason to go along with the scam. The second part of the answer and which was then and still is today a moot point is that if the Europeans did not go along with the scam, the USA would have annihilated them (WWII was still rather fresh in Europeans’ minds and the Russian bogey man was looming large). A hard sell it was not.

And so it was that the US$ got a new lease on life. Essentially, inflation had saturated the US market hence the looming bankruptcy. By assimilating new markets, US$ inflation could now be pushed into a whole bunch of new currencies.

Incidentally, the introduction of the Euro served the same purpose. In one fell swoop, European currencies were devalued by anywhere between 20 and 50% thus boosting inflation.

Globalization is just more of the same. New markets to expand inflation into. Hence the US$ is today the official reserve currency of all countries and, thanks to the magic of “floating exchange rates”, inflation is guaranteed.

The problem of course is that inflation is a dynamic that is exponential in character and conforms to the law of diminishing returns. It could not be otherwise. If that were not the case, then there would be a direct correlation between the amount of credit and money creation and GDP progression. But as shown here, that is clearly not the case.

Moving on.

Here is an interesting blog post that puts forth an interesting observation. Essentially, our nations have surrendered sovereignty to the financial elite.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/184715-so-much-for-the-sovereignty-of-our-nation?source=patrick.net

Fact is, the United States of America had no one in power to stop the Fed. The Fed did what it wanted to do. No one was a there to protect the taxpayer. America abdicated sovereignty. The country was actually too weak to fight the banks.

Though astute the observation is, once again the author cannot or does not want to make the connection with fiat money.

Fiat money has a logic. Fiat money must follow a cycle. Inherent in fiat monetary logic are a number of ramifications and outcomes. Chief amongst the ramifications of fiat money is that each additional unit of currency created has a diminishing effect on the overall economy thus a diminishing effect on GDP. The diminishing effect of fiat money is illustrated by what is known as the “Money Multiplier”. This is what the multiplier looks like:

Graph: M1 Money Multiplier

Now, here is the interesting part of this graph. Let’s zoom in on the period of time going from 2000 to present day:

FRED Graph
Now look at this:
FRED Graph
Since hockey stick shaped graphs seem to be the topic du jour albeit in different discussions, how’s that for a hockey stick?
The hockey stick shape representing the acceleration of debt at government level (not included in this graph is corporate and household debt which must be added for full effect) is matched by a multiplier that literally sank like a lead balloon.
That, dear reader, in my opinion represents the limit of the “beneficial” effect of a fiat monetary system. That, in my opinion, is the end of the inflationary cycle and the end of what can be done to keep GDP on an expansionary trajectory. That, in my opinion, is the end of this iteration of this monetary system. As a by the by, there have been so far 3 iterations to this monetary system: 1913 – 1929, 1929 – 1970, 1970 – today. The first iteration was saved by WWII, the second iteration was saved by bringing in new markets and currencies in on the US$ fiat monetary system. How will we solve this iteration of the monetary system…??? (For those of you that are mumbling that a new reserve currency will solve our problems you get a goose egg. A new currency will buy us some time; think Euro. Ultimately, the problem remains excess debt, excess industrial capacity, overbearing government and insufficient revenue to service debt.)
But more importantly, if any of my contentions as outlined above are true, that is the reason our “leaders” are about to throw us into a conflict of global proportions.
But let me be clear about something here. Most of you reading this post have been indoctrinated by the facile cliche that wars are profitable. As a matter of fact, wars are profitable. Not only are wars profitable, but they also keep research and development alive and a large number of military applications then make their way into civilian life too. So limited back water wars are inevitable if for no other reason that when you build weapons you cannot stock them unused forever.
But this next war is not going to be an inventory management war. This next war has a well defined economic and social focus. This next war serves to reset the fiat monetary system and create the conditions that allow us to re-start inflation. This next war will be a world war complete with civilians called up and packed off to the front and energy and food rationing at home. This next war must deal with one of the inevitable outcomes of fiat money; this next war needs to address industrial and infrastructure overcapacity.
Since I can virtually guarantee that no main stream politician today could contemplate any other monetary system than fiat, then the present system must be reset. Thus a world war is inevitable.
Got bullion?
PS – The war is inevitable and must involve civilians packed-off to the front for the simple reason that currency seems to have lost its multiplier role. If that is true, it means that unemployment will increase significantly. The trouble is that if the currency no longer has a multiplier effect on the overall economy, then revenues will necessarily dwindle at individual and corporate level thus at government level. As revenues dwindle, government must curtail public spending. And that’s the flash point. Rising unemployment must now confront lower social expenditure if not discontinuation of certain social services. Thus, unless someone somewhere can find a way to restore to the currency its multiplying powers as contemplated by Keynesian economics (the prevalent economic model of the past century), then we are looking at horrendous levels of unemployment (by taking the broadest measure in the US, unemployment is already well in the 20% according to labor statistics measure U6 as opposed to U3 which is the figure government uses for its official calculations). Thus it looks to me that the next war not only has to address infrastructure and industrial overcapacity but also a pernicious problem of unemployment because the unemployed poor have a nasty but historic tradition of rising up against the power elites and hang them.

Debt ceiling to be raised

December 11, 2009

This is going to be interesting.

If you read this essay and this essay, you will know I contend that we have reached the limit of how far we can expand inflation and that as a consequence, our Dollar based fiat monetary system is now broken. The most immediate concern is that deflationary environments bring about the insolvency of government.

Some of you will retort that governments have always been bankrupt but that somehow we’ve always come out ok.

What you are missing is the logic of inflation in a fiat monetary system characterized by floating exchange rate.

For as long as a government is able to borrow progressively more money, then its unfunded liabilities can be kicked down the road. Think of the pension trust fund. The money has been paid in all right. But government has used that money. Physically the money is no longer there; it has been spent. What governments count upon is inflation. Essentially, government feels free to spend today what it thinks it can repay back tomorrow in devalued currency. That in a nutshell, is what Western governments have been doing.

The above works for as long as inflation can be maintained on a positive trajectory and for as long as sovereign participants to the monetary system can and want to purchase each other’s sovereign debt (that is the meaning of floating exchange rates – i.e. the value of a currency is predicated on a basked of other currencies thus relying on sovereigns buying each other’s sovereign debt)

But pushing inflation into a system artificially, aggressively, pervasively and relentlessly over decades necessarily results in distortions, aberrations and criminal behavior. Thus, towards the end of the inflationary cycle, nominal profits progressively show up in fewer and fewer sectors until at the very end they show up only in the financial sector as the entity that is first in line for the use of fiat money.

The point at which nominal profits disappear from most sectors, is the point at which unemployment and social costs soar and is also the point at which tax revenue declines. This is the typical environment in which the power elites are also shown to be willing and consenting participants in unlawful and criminal enterprise.

Here is the problem.

As tax revenue declines, the ability of sovereigns to expand debt is hampered. On one hand declining tax revenue puts a dent in the budget that leads to credit worthiness revisions. On the other hand, as governments apply more of the tactics they think have enabled them to induce inflation into the system till recently (i.e. more spending on public projects, bailouts, military) they worsen an already critical fiscal situation.

This is the point at which sovereigns are either unwilling and/or unable to purchase each other’s debt.

The USA today have opted to increase the debt ceiling by $1.8Trillion.

Even assuming other sovereigns were willing and able to buy US debt, 1.8Trillion is a gargantuan chunk that would be tough to palm off during good times let alone during a crisis when all sovereigns are busy bailing out their own industries and banks.

Considering that the Fed has already been the purchaser of last and only resort of US debt in the past 8 months, it will be interesting to see who will buy any of this 1.8Trillion and how much of it. If the Fed should once again be the largest buyer as it has been in the recent past, the balance sheet of the entity responsible for the global reserve currency (the Fed) is going to show that the international monetary system is totally and utterly broken.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B849020091210

Main stream media on deflation

November 20, 2009

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=ame31IjWda6w

Here is a concept that is commonly misunderstood. From the article:

A sustained price drop might set off a chain reaction in which lower profits force employers to pare wages and payrolls. That would erode consumer demand, exacerbating wage cuts and firings.

A sustained price drop only reduces nominal revenue. Consequently, wages will have to be pared back.

Good.

But why would lower prices engender lower consumption? If prices and wages drop simultaneously, on a relative basis there would be no change to consumption.

The problem is debt.

Deflation reduces the nominal value of commercial revenues and wages. However, debt and debt service amounts remain at the same value as when they were first generated.

Government finances suffer the same fate. Deflation brings about reduced tax collection and  the bankruptcy of government.

So unless someone somewhere does not find a way to restart the credit markets and inflation at rates approximating anything like the period 2000/2007 Western governments are bankrupt with no possibility to postpone the day of reckoning.

War it is then.

Deflation at work…

November 17, 2009

http://detnews.com/article/20091117/METRO/911170327/1409/METRO/Silverdome-sale-price-disappoints

Nearly 35 years after taxpayers spent $55.7 million building the Pontiac Silverdome and a year after a $20 million sale fell through, city officials have sold the arena once called the most desirable property in Oakland County. […]  The price: $583,000. […] We had hoped it would have brought more, but now the city can be freed of its upkeep and get it back on the tax rolls,

This is what deflation does. It reduces nominal wealth thus it reduces overall revenue streams and so it reduces tax revenue. As nominal wealth declines, entities can no longer expand outstanding debt due to diminished collateral. As revenue declines, entities can no longer expand debt and/or service existing debt and must lay off workers. As tax revenue falls, local governments have to lay off and curtail public spending.

Allowing banks to disregard mark-to-market accounting rules aims to avoid just this type of situation in the hope to buy time.

But inflation has a limit. If that were not the case, then you would expect some degree of direct correlation between inflation and GDP progression. But that is not the case. Since 1980 government and household debt expanded by 1200% to $26Trillion but GDP only expanded by 100% to $14Trillion. Thus inflation conforms to the law of diminishing returns.

From the inception of the modern Dollar in 1913 inflation proved to be a barrier almost immediately in 1929. Subsequently, by declaring convertibility to gold but not allowing anyone to check the quantities of the metal in storage, the USA were free to pretty much print whatever amount of money they wanted. Till the late 60s when the situation was fairly similar to where we are today.

By the early 70s it was decided to abrogate the monetary agreement that had been in force since WWII in favor of floating exchange rates meaning that now Europe too was on a fiat monetary system. Thus inflation could now be pushed into the new vacuum of the European markets. Then came globalization effectively allowing us to push inflation into the last remaining markets and the Euro that allowed us to inject a further dose of inflation in Euroland. Thus till very recently, inflation could come to the rescue of governments by decreasing nominal debt outstanding.

There are no more markets of any consequence that we can bring in on the inflationary gig. Thus my contention that we’ve reached the end of the inflationary cycle.

Industrial capacity and debt obligations are at historic highs. Interest rates, savings and capacity utilisation are at historic lows.

Why would gargantuan spending by governments to add even more industrial and commercial capacity solve anything?

Incidentally. Gargantuan government spending guarantees prolonged deflation because increased taxes will erode spending, hiring and investment. Therefore, if anything, spending of this magnitude only serves to delay the eventual recovery.

So, buying time may be a viable strategy if and when inflation has room to run. I think inflation can no longer be expanded at this point and that a gradual contraction in prices, wages and asset values is with us for some years to come.

The trouble is that the existence of government if predicated on inflation. No inflation = the bankruptcy of government.

Can a Western government declare bankruptcy?

 

 

Civil unrest… tic, toc… tic, toc…

November 17, 2009

Countdown to global conflict…

http://southbendtribune.com/article/20091117/News01/911170329/1130

Curtailing public services (mail service)

November 17, 2009

Chipping away at public services one item at the time….

As government is unable to expand credit markets and as most tax revenue is going towards debt service despite the lowest interest rates in history, public service must be curtailed.

Curtail enough public services (police, fire fighting, refuse disposal… health care…… pensions) in an environment where unemployment is rising at the same time that the power and business elites are implicated in scandal after scandal and you got yourself the ideal conditions for civil unrest.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/16/news/companies/US_postal_service/index.htm

Civil unrest means government will fall.

I know that. Some other people know that. Some politicians may know it too and of those that don’t know it, they can feel the winds of change bearing down on their little fiefdoms.

How do you prevent a total loss of power of the incumbents? You engineer a war of course and, at this rate, the next war will be a real war where Western society will be packed off to the front, civilian industry will be turned into war industry and food and energy will be rationed.

You may think I am off my rocker.

If I am right and, so far, empirical evidence tells me I am because:

The gargantuan amount of money that has been created in the past year alone has so far failed to work it’s multiplier magic on the overall economy

Graph: M1 Money Multiplier

And since the gargantuan sums that have been handed over to banks are just sitting there

FRED Graph

And because we still have significant overcapacity

Graph: Capacity Utilization: Total Industry

… and because of this…

FRED Graph

… and because of this…

FRED Graph

… and finally, in an economy that is 80% consumer based, because of this…

Graph: Personal Saving Rate

… if I am right (and the above data says I am) and we have entered a cyclical deflationary era, government won’t be able to expand credit markets no matter what it does and monetization of the debt issued by the treasury is not going to help if not to destroy the currency thus the economy.

Incidentally, considering that the Bank of International Settlements estimates global financial obligations to be worth at a minimum US$500Trillion and that world GDP was at one point hovering around US$50Trillion and that the majority of these derivatives are held by US and EU banks (and only four banks hold the lion share of the lot)… major global currencies are not going to take kindly to the moment in time when these obligations must be satisfied…

Can a Western government declare bankruptcy and, in one fell swoop, admit that, in fact, we are no better than your garden variety Mugabe?

I think not.

If any of the above indicators don’t start trending in the opposite direction we’ll have us a war by 2013/2015 latest.

As the main body of the iceberg emerges…(Induced overcapacity)

November 16, 2009

It is tough to proffer observations from what are widely considered the fringes of common sense. Because society generally is so caught up in running faster just to stay in place, running faster (or trying to) becomes the norm. Few can see merit in slowing down or, at least, adopting a measured pace so as to promote endurance.

An unchecked fiat monetary system inevitably leads to an accelerating inflationary dynamic. But as a dynamic that conforms to the law of diminishing returns, persistent, pervasive and aggressive inflation burns through the productivity phase quickly (when prices and wages rise across the board) and enters the speculative phase sooner than necessary. At that point, inflation manifests itself across the board in terms of cost of living but in terms of nominal earnings it manifests itself in fewer and fewer sectors until, towards the conclusion of the inflationary trajectory, it only manifests itself in the financial sector.

This is the point at which the character of government is the most distorted and its behavior aberrant. This is the point at which government has a vested interest in disregarding the letter of the law and even in colluding in practices that are criminal all in the hope to maintain a positive inflationary trajectory.

Bailing out failing companies is just such aberrant behavior. Companies fail because of a number of reasons including bad management. But as one of the inherent consequences of the inflationary cycle is to bring about excess industrial capacity, companies fail because when interest rates are the lowest in historic terms, credit markets can no longer be expanded thus demand is reduced.

Bailing out companies in an environment of gross overcapacity guarantees less revenue for every other company in the sector including for the beneficiary of the bailout.

Bailouts may temporarily work at earlier stages of the inflationary dynamic as credit markets have room to run. Take Japan as a for instance. Japan has been mired in a deflationary recession for the past twenty years. However, though they were much further along the inflationary dynamic than anyone else, Japan hobbled through the crisis because the rest of the world could still expand their credit markets and buy Japanese manufacturing.

Today however, that no longer seems the case. Global industrial capacity utilization is at the lows along with interest rates. Thus credit markets world wide are contracting. There are arguments to suggest that China’s credit markets are still expanding but nobody really knows. But even if that were the case, it is unclear whether China by itself can drag the rest of the world along.

Anyway. Bailing out companies when industrial capacity and debt burdens are the highest and interest rates the lowest only postpones the problem at greater cost to society.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/15/AR2009111502280.html

Analysts expect more bailed-out firms to fail in the months ahead. Others may survive but will struggle to repay the government. Steven Rattner, the former head of the government’s efforts to bail out the auto industry, said recently that the full public investment in GM is unlikely to be repaid. Meanwhile, AIG is dismantling itself, selling healthy subsidiaries at what critics say are bargain prices in an all-out effort to get cash to repay the government.

More bailout money going to gross overcapacity… and I won’t even go into the legal or moral considerations inherent in this boondoggle.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/business/economy/15gret.html?_r=1

But tucked inside the law was another prize: a tax break that lets big companies offset losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against profits booked as far back as 2004. The tax cuts will generate corporate refunds or relief worth about $33 billion, according to an administration estimate.”

Aberrant? You bet. Immoral? Absolutely. Legal? Not in a presumably capitalist economy.

How long till we say enough?

Gold looking better by the day.

The revolt of the fifth estate (Allen Roland)

November 13, 2009

http://blogs.salon.com/0002255/

America gave away it’s power after 9/11 by allowing ourselves to be bamboozled by the Cheney/Bush administration who seized and abused their executive power while flying the banner of the War On Terror. President Obama is riding that same white horse of unlimited executive power as he gets ready to substantially increase our presence in Afghanistan ~ while Congress and the fourth estate ( Main Steam Press ) fall dutifully and lock step in line.

White House planning to use TARP

November 13, 2009

You can’t make this stuff up…

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125799009185344567.html

Budget experts said committing some TARP funds toward debt reduction could help calm concerns about the size and intent of the program.