The Financial Storm

Stephen Lendman
Global Research
May 15, 2009

Reviewing Ellen Brown’s “Web of Debt:” Part III

This is the fourth in a series of articles on Ellen Brown’s superb 2007 book titled “Web of Debt,” now updated in a December 2008 third edition. It tells “the shocking truth about our money system, (how it) trapped us in debt, and how we can break free.” This article focuses on America’s “web of debt” entrapment.

The Debt Spider Captures America - American Workers Consigned to Debt Serfdom

America has been trapped for over two centuries, with today’s debt level way exceeding developing nations. Like bankrupt people staying “afloat by making the minimum payment(s) on (their) credit card(s), the government (avoids) bankruptcy by paying just the interest on its monster debt” - now double in size since Brown’s first edition and onerous enough for Controller of the Currency David Walker to warn earlier of its unaffordability by this year. If America can’t service the amount, it’s officially bankrupt and the economy will collapse. If it happens, IMF austerity will follow and turn America into Guatemala. Other vulnerable economies as well - permanent debt bondage and worker serfdom.

Catherine Austin Fitts was a former high-level Wall Street and government insider. She points to a “financial coup d’etat” conspiracy between the two to hollow out America, centralize power and knowledge, shift wealth to the top, destroy communities and local infrastructure, create new wealth by rebuilding them, and leave human wreckage in its wake.

She also calls today’s crisis “a criminal leveraged buyout of America (meaning) buying (the) country for cheap with its own money and then jacking up the rents and fees to steal the rest.” She calls it the “American Tapeworm” model:

It’s “to simply finance the federal deficit through warfare, currency exports, Treasury and federal credit borrowing and cutbacks in domestic ‘discretionary’ spending…This will then place local municipalities and local leadership in a highly vulnerable position - one that will allow them to be persuaded with bogus but high-minded sounding arguments to further cut resources. Then to ‘preserve bond ratings and the rights of creditors,’ our leaders can be persuaded to sell our water, national resources and infrastructure assets at significant discounts of their true value to global investors” - masquerading as a plan to “save America by recapitalizing it on a sound financial footing.”

In fact, it’s to loot the country by shifting wealth offshore and to the top. Also, to destroy the country’s middle class, consign US workers to serfdom, then meet expected civil disobedience with military force, followed by mass internment in over 800 FEMA detention camps in every state.

Today, the rich are getting richer while millions of Americans struggle daily to get by and live perilously from paycheck to paycheck, a mere one away from insolvent disaster.

Given where we’re heading, Warren Buffett warns that America is changing from an “ownership society” to a “sharecroppers’ ” one, no different than feudal serfdom. Economist Paul Krugman calls it “debt peonage,” much like the post-Civil War South that forced debtors to work for their creditors.

Make no mistake, it’s a corporate America scheme for a plentiful reserve army of labor no better off than in developing countries - at low wages, no benefits, weak unions if any, and government engineering the whole scheme. Even personal bankruptcy protection eroded under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection of 2005 - benefitting lenders at the expense of borrowers by keeping them chained to their debts.

It requires many more people “to file under Chapter 13, which does not eliminate debts but mandates that they be repaid under a court-ordered payment schedule over a three to five year period.” Homes, in some cases, may be seized and even owe a “deficiency, or balance due” if its sales price doesn’t cover it. This Act “eroded the protection the government once provided against (various) unexpected catastrophes (like job loss and high medical expenses) ensuring that working people (henceforth) are kept on a treadmill of personal debt.”

Even worse are loopholes in the law letting “very wealthy people and corporations….go bankrupt….and shield(ing) their assets from creditors…” This bill was written at the behest of credit card companies that entrap consumers in debt, charge usurious interest, and demand repayment no matter what besets them. In one respect, debt bondage is worse than slavery. As property, slaves had to be cared for. Debt slaves have to fend for themselves and pay tribute (interest) to their captors.

The Illusion of Home Ownership

In 2004, household home ownership rates were “touted” to be nearly 69%. In fact, only 40% of homes are debt-free, but that percentage fell given the amount of refinancing in recent years. As a result, “most mortgages on single-family properties today are less than four years old” meaning they’re many years away from free and clear ownership.

“The touted increase in home ownership actually means an increase in debt (and) Households today owe more relative to their disposable income than ever before,” although in recent months they’ve been repaying it and saving more.

Earlier, and still now, low “teaser rates” entrapped households in onerous debt, fueling the housing bubble as another Federal Reserve/lender ploy to pump “accounting-entry money into the economy,” set it up for trouble, then let financial predators exploit it for profit. The same strategies for Third World countries are playing out in America with too few people the wiser.

The 19th century “Homestead Laws that gave settlers their own plot of land (cost and debt free) have been largely eroded by 150 years of the ‘business cycle,’ in which bankers have periodically raised interest rates and called in loans, creating successive waves of defaults and foreclosures” - worst of all for subprime and other risky mortgage holders defaulting in record numbers with millions still ahead in what’s playing out as the nation’s worst ever housing crisis showing no signs of ending.

The Perfect Financial Storm

It looms in the form of inflation and deflation given the enormity of newly created money at the same time borrowers can’t repay loans that then default. When that happens, “the money supply contracts and deflation and depression result.”

When the housing market corrected between 1989 - 1991, “median home prices dropped by 17%, and 3.6 million mortgages” defaulted. The equivalent 2005 decline “would have produced 20 million defaults, because the average equity-to-debt ratio….had dropped dramatically” - from 37% in 1990 to 14% in 2005, a record low as a result of equity extracted refinancings.

“What would 20 million defaults do to the money supply?” Two trillion dollars would evaporate or about one-fifth of M3. The fallout would cause huge stock and home value declines, income taxes needing to be tripled, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits halved, and pensions and comfortable retirements gone for the vast majority of workers. And that’s assuming a modest housing price decline when it’s already far more severe and continuing, giving pause to the virtually certain calamity ahead and devastation for the millions affected.

Policy changes in 1979 - 1981 laid the groundwork for today’s crisis by “flood(ing) the housing market with even more new money,” and much more. They let Fannie and Freddie speculate in derivatives and mortgage-backed securities and by so doing assume enormous risk.

In June 2002, writer Richard Freeman warned of the impending dangers in an article titled: “Fannie and Freddie Were Lenders - US Real Estate Bubble Nears Its End.” He cited the largest housing bubble in history made all the greater by Fannie and Freddie manipulation and stated: ….”what started out as a simple home mortgage has been transmogrified into something one would expect to find at a Las Vegas gambling casino. Yet the housing bubble now depends on (highly speculative derivatives as new) sources of funds,” made all the riskier through leverage.

In 2003, Freddie was caught cooking its books to make its financial health look sound. In 2004, Fannie did the same thing. Meanwhile, housing peaked in 2006, then steadily imploded, bringing the economy down with it.

Read The Entire Article:

There Will Be No Recovery


by James West, MidasLetter.com | May 15, 2009
All the glad-handing, back-slapping self-congratulatory accolades the Obama administration and Wall Street are heaping upon themselves in the press is scant comfort for the vast majority of citizens now unemployed and of no fixed address. For them, this economic crisis isn’t so much a temporary crisis as a permanent redistribution of wealth and living standards representative of a downgrade in the quality of life.

A dispassionate eye, equitably minded, would regard the current gross imbalance among haves and have nots as a simple case of injustice, easily rectified. Those travelling daily in jets and Escalades leveraged the savings and credit ratings of the common people to agglomerate assets onto their own balance sheets to satisfy a sense of entitlement derived from an overpriced education.

Simply go back into all the family trusts and holdings of the top 10% of the population, see who made what from which leveraged revenue scheme (or scam, as the case should be), and liquidate the assets of each to the benefit of every impoverished bank account until the distribution of wealth and purchasing power is restored to something approaching equilibrium.

I can hear the howls of protest from the neo-conservative right already, accusations of socialism and communism manifest in their strident shouts. But this nation must surely be growing tired of a financial elite who wave the democracy banner when their hand is in your pocket, and the socialist banner when their little game of marbles goes bust and they stand crying and wailing for government help. Lets reach up high into the financial food chain and pull down a little manna from heaven.

The feeble feints towards the regulation of derivatives is already transparently disingenuous in the preservation of non-standardized privately negotiated contracts from the balancing forces of clearing houses. These are the very contracts that represent the highest dollar figures in the hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of contracts leaning hard over the economy’s tattered remains still. Lets quit faking regulation, and either drop the charade or regulate everything equitably.

If I overuse the term “equitably” in this rant, please forgive me, but that is the commodity most impaired by the government-banking-media mafia’s perennial raids on the American pantry. Equity is the foundation of, if not the spirit, then at least the ideals behind the Constitution. There will be no recovery until that basic premise is liberated from the dungeon under the White House into which it disappeared decades ago.

The terms “equity”, “equitable”, and “equality”, though having different meanings under various subjective subsets, are all derived from a concept embracing fairness.

According to the definition at InvestorWords.com, equity is:

“Definition 1
Ownership interest in a corporation in the form of common stock or preferred stock. It also refers to total assets minus total liabilities, in which case it is also referred to as shareholder's equity or net worth or book value. In real estate, it is the difference between what a property is worth and what the owner owes against that property (i.e. the difference between the house value and the remaining mortgage or loan payments on a house). In the context of a futures trading account, it is the value of the securities in the account, assuming that the account is liquidated at the going price. In the context of a brokerage account, it is the net value of the account, i.e. the value of securities in the account less any margin requirements.

Definition 2
Ownership interest in a corporation in the form of common stock or preferred stock.

Definition 3
Total assets minus total liabilities; here also called shareholder's equity or net worth or book value.

Definition 4
The value of a property minus the owner's outstanding mortgage balance.

Definition 5
Fairness in law.”

Another decree from the dispassionate eye equitably minded would be to forbid the foreclosure upon any home by an institution who received a bailout under the TARP, TALF, or any other anagrammed government financial rescue program. That would be fair, and equitable. Which, unfortunately, considering the incarceration of those twin concepts, is almost guaranteed not to happen.

Is it coincidental that the “recovery” apparent in inexplicable stock index exuberance happened to coincide with the expiration of the majority of moratoriums on foreclosures? Was the happy countenance of a healthy economy required to distract the nation from the other face whose fangs are now rotating into full view?

The idea of revolution keeps popping up, albeit intermittently, in the fringe blogosphere. I wonder just how far the disconnect goes between what the government-banking-media mafia thinks the public will swallow without complaint, versus the grave and solemn outrage dangerously smoldering in the hearts and minds of its victims that is the reality that brings that idea closer to an explosive existence?

This is the real and stark potential future for the United States. With crime on the rise in virtually all sectors, and the population already armed to the teeth, there is a fine line on the horizon that this organized crime gang seems intent on crossing.

The basic requirement of all humanity is food, shelter, and gainful employment. Historically, armed revolutions are ignited when those basic elements disappear from the daily lives of a majority of the population, such that most have nothing better to do than steal, beg, or roll over and die. When enough of that despair permeates any portion of humanity, there is an organic, deeply-rooted fury that, expressed collectively, has never failed to topple governments and rewrite the world order.

Proponents of globalization point to the fact that there has never been a longer period in the history of the planet where more people have enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous existence. That may be true, but one must question if that is because we have been living under a system that is for the most part fair and equitable, or have we just so thoroughly mastered the arts of manipulation and delusion through the offices of mass media that there has also never been a time where such astonishingly massive concentrations of personal wealth have accrued to such a proportionate few in the same time span?

The larger question in terms of a recovery is exactly what must we recover? The mafia most clearly wants us to believe that a return to over-leveraged and exuberant economic growth is the priority underlying the idea of recovery. I opine that there is something far more valuable that needs to be recovered, and issues economic are puny in comparison. For without the recovery of equity, there can be no recovery.

SOURCE: http://www.midasletter.com/commentary/090515-1_There-will-be-no-economic-recovery.php

Copyright © 2009 James West
“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” Henry Kissinger


once a standing army is established, in any country, the people lose their liberty.”
George Mason

“Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.”
Henry Kissinger

“If you are an ordinary person, then you can prepare yourself for war by moving to the countryside and building a farm, but you must take guns with you, as the hordes of starving will be roaming. Also, even though the elite will have their safe havens and specialist shelters, they must be just as careful during the war as the ordinary civilians, because their shelters can still be compromised.”
Henry Kissinger

"We don't let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?" Joseph Stalin

The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.
Joseph Stalin

Governments keep a lot of secrets from their people . . .
Why aren't the people in return allowed to keep secrets
from the government?

PHILIP ZIMMERMAN, DER SPIEGEL

“Some call it Communism, I call it Judaism.”

Rabbi Stephen Weiss

“Anti-Communism is Anti-Semitism.”
Jewish Voice, July - August 1941

Taxing People is Punishing Success
UNKNOWN

There's the rich, the poor, and the tax payers...also known as the middle class. Robert Kiyosaki

The Tax you pay is The Bill for Staying Stupid

Stefan Molyneux


“The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is, perhaps, the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate, mint and un-mint the modern ledger-entry currency.” Major L L B Angus

The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or so dependent on its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system will bear its burdens without complaint and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.
The Rothschild Bros

"Debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages must be foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through a process of law, the common people lose their homes they will become more docile and more easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of government, applied by a central power of wealth under control of leading financiers.

This truth is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of Capital to govern the world.

By dividing the voters through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance. Thus by discreet action we can secure for ourselves what has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished."

USA Banker's Magazine, August 25 1924


Cutting Tax Rates stimulates Economic Growth creates more Profit , more Jobs and therefore The Treasury ends up with more Tax Money
UNKNOWN

Taxation is legalized Theft
UNKNOWN

"The Objective of the Bank is not the control of a conflict , it's the control of the debt that a conflict produces . The real value of a conflict , the true value is in the debt that it creates . You control the debt , you control everything . this is THE VERY ESSENCE OF THE BANKING INDUSTRY , to make us all , whether we be nations or individuals , SLAVES TO DEBT " An UNKNOWN Banker

Patriotism is the last refuge... to which the scoundrel clings .... Steal a little and they throw you in jail ..steal a lot and they make you king ....

Bob Dylan


"Corporations are stealing billions in tax breaks, while the confused, screwed citizenry turn on each other. International corporations have no national allegiance, they care only for profit." Robert Reich


There is NO political answer to a spiritual problem!
Steve Quayle


Po
litical Correctness is a Political Stand Point that does not allow Political Opposition , This is actually The Definition of Dictatorship
Gilad Atzmon

The modern definition of racist is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal
Peter Brimelow


When People lose everything and have nothing left to lose , They Lose It !

GERALD CELENTE

Your Greatest Teacher is Your Last Mistake
DAVID ICKE

The one who Controls the Education System , Controls Perception
UNKNOWN

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything."

Albert Einstein

In The Left Nothing is Right & in The Right nothing is Left
UNKNOWN


No man escapes when freedom fails; The best men rot in filthy jails. And those that cried 'Appease! Appease!' Are hanged by those they tried to please
UNKNOWN

Freedom is not Free
UNKNOWN

Don't Steal The Government Hates The Competition

Ron Paul

"Buy The Rumor , Sell The Fact " Peter Schiff


You can love your Country and not your Government

Jesse Ventura


" The Government Works for ME , I do not answer to them They Answer to ME "
Glenn Beck

"Tyranny will Come to Your Door in a Uniform "
Alex Jones

"The Government is not The Solution to our Problems , The Government is The Problem "

Ronald Reagan


"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato


The world is a tragedy to those that feel, and a comedy to those that think...Beppe Grillo

"The people should not fear the government for it is the government who should fear the people" UNKNOWN

"If You are looking for solutions to the world's problems , look in the Mirror , You Are The Solution , You have the power as a human being on this planet " UNKNOWN

"They don't control us , We empower them " UNKNOWN

"Serial Killers do on a Small Scale What Governments do on a large one..."

Serial Killer Richard Ramirez

There is a Class War going on in America, & unfortunately, my class is winning." Warren Buffet

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Thomas Jefferson

"College is a waste of Money"
Albert Einstein

Schools manufacture people who think that they're smart but they're not.
Robert Kiyosaki

Education is what you learn after you leave School
Robert Kiyosaki

" ‏Schools were designed to create employees for the big corporations."
Robert Kiyosaki


"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey, he is obligated to do so" Thomas Jefferson

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism
Thomas Jefferson

“True education makes you feel stupid. It makes you realize you have so much more to learn.” Robert Kiyosaki


"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching." - Gerard Way

"Aspire not to have More but to be More "
UNKNOWN

The losers in life think they have all the answers. They can’t learn because they’re too busy telling everyone what they know.
Robert T. Kiyosaki ‏

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again. -This time more intelligently." Henry Ford

What You Own Owns You
UNKNOWN

If you expect the government to solve your problems, you have a problem. Robert Kiyosaki

"Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security." Benjamin Franklin

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Always trust someone who is seeking the truth , never trust someone who found it" Jordan Maxwell

Be The Change you want to see in The World
UNKNOWN

Failure inspires winners but defeats losers
Robert Kiyosaki ‏

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people” A Chinese Proverb

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me." UNKNOWN


Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?


Morpheus The Matrix 1999