Occupation Most Frequently Cited In The Panama Papers?

Guess What Occupation Is Most Frequently Cited In The Panama Papers?

Submitted by Tyler Durden

With all the anti-one-percenter rhetoric and tax-evading-evil-doer narratives spewing forth from the mainstream media mouthpieces of the establishment since The Panama Papers were exposed for all to see, it may come as a surprise to some to find out which cohort of the elites are the most populous among the tax-haven-creating documents…

The Politicians!

Source: WikiData

Which makes us wonder if this leak was indeed a plot to blackmail/expose the West’s ruling class?

Nevertheless, one thing is very clear, as Luis Guillermo Valez explains via PanamPost,officials are hypocritically denouncing the strategies they practice themselves…

Why can’t tax evasion be a legitimate form of self defense? In some countries and circumstances, it is.

Despite what politicians want us to believe, tax havens exist because some countries have been turned into tax hellholes by officials bent on “social justice” and “income redistribution.” Sometimes, those same politicians top the list of “offshore” account holders trying to evade taxes.

“The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith had something to say about this kind of government revenue, namely that taxes are a lesser evil overall than other forms of paying for public services.

But to prevent taxes from harmful excess, Smith left to posterity the four principles of good taxation, which have been almost completely forgotten by politicians concerned with legislating taxation. Here is Smith’s wise warning:

Excessive taxation is a powerful stimulus to evasion, so penalties to offenders grow proportionally to the temptation that causes it. Contrary to the principles of justice, the law first raises the temptation to infringe it and then punishes the violators.

And if corruption and overspending is added to excessive taxation, the motives for tax evasion are complete. Once again Smith:

In all countries where there is a corrupt government, and where there is suspicion that it incurs in great expense and government revenue is improperly used, very often these laws that protect contributions are little respected

In the 1970s, I met a Canadian man called Bryan O’Connor. He used to deliver pizzas in Toronto and always carried a little notebook in which he religiously wrote down all the tips he received in his work, preventing the risk of missing a penny in his tax return.

I’ve never met anyone else like Bryan. I think he and Immanuel Kant are probably the only people in human history who voluntarily paid all their taxes. I’m sure Bryan has.

Nor do I believe that Jesus Christ was completely honest when answering the Pharisees about paying taxes. He said “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” After all, the man had left behind the honorable carpentry work and did not seem to generate any taxable income. That’s probably why he was defeated in the famous vote competing with Barabbas, who– weapons in hand – had rebelled against the ominous tribute of Imperial Rome.

Since ancient times people have rebelled against taxes. The Roman provinces were often faced uprisings against fiscal depredations and their leaders’ abuses. The peasant wars in Germany, of which Frederick Engels, Marx’s buddy, has left a vivid account were tax rebellions.

The French Revolution began as the uprising of the Estates General against taxes, demanding a cheap government. Interestingly, the twentieth century, which saw a rapid growth in the size of governments and taxes, was free of riots and tax rebellions. And not because all taxpayers behaved like Bryan O’Connor.

Panama Papers: What about Modern Governments?

Though no less rapacious than prior ones, modern governments are more tempered and have given up on the most ominous tax collection practices: murder and torture.

However, it is not shocking to the majority’s opinion that there are a few who punish tax evasion with imprisonment. This is the case of Mexico, Chile, and Peru, Colombia’s partners in the Pacific Alliance, and whose shameful example the Colombian government proposed to imitate in the last tax reform.

Everyone, from the Leviathan-worshipping economists, politicians, and political scientists who serve them, to journalists, tax attorneys, and the public opinion sees the evader as a criminal and the government that punishes him as the defender of society, no matter how corrupt and abusive it may be.

In illo tempore, the evader was seen as a hero who faced a thief state. The inverted values of current times have a background of hypocrisy that nobody can deny.

In almost all countries, legislatures who enact taxes are composed mostly of professional politicians who, by granting special benefits, want to keep lobbyists and wealthy campaign donors happy.

Interest groups and political operators are willing to grant each other benefits with the hope that the general coffers will bear the costs.

Everything is a bargaining of crossed interests leading to casuistical and tangled tax regimes, completely away from the predicaments of solidarity, equity, and efficiency which ultimately are no more than a cover more for private interests.

The economists, lawyers, tax experts, and other technicians who advise governments in the design of structural tax reforms – which are periodically announced but never arrive – are generally also company advisers and wealthy individuals looking to reduce their effective taxation rate.

The middle class defends itself by under-invoicing or non-billing and making up liabilities and expenses on their tax returns. The poorest, who usually only are reached by indirect taxation, join the noisy protests of civil servants who live from taxes and always receive the support of politicians competing for their votes.

That is the common background of what is called the state, from which everyone wants to get a lot and contribute little. But yes, everyone denounces tax evasion.

Governments around the world – in their relentless fight against the tax evasion problem created by themselves with their fiscal voracity and performance – have unseemly decided to form an international coalition against so-called tax havens, while those same officials seek shelter for their good or ill-gotten fortune.

This new and sinister Statist International will be a major threat to capital mobility and individual freedom. However, because supposedly the offshore world only affects the rich, everyone applauds in a universal expression of envy and hypocrisy.

The problem of national and international evasion is not resolved with the creation of a universal tax police. Small, moderate, simple, and austere governments and fiscal systems adjusted to the four rules of Smith are the best antidote against tax evasion.

But in the current state of public opinion where people accept and demand – as Walter Lippmann would say– a large government that administers their affairs for them instead of a government that administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs, it is at best an anachronism to invoke the wise old Smith.

Good Luck Getting Your Money Out

 

Good Luck Getting Your Money Out When the Next Crisis Hits

Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research

Why is it that when a banking crisis hits, everyone acts surprised?

The reason is actually quite simple: everyone at the top of the financial food chain are highly incentivized to keep quiet about the problems.

Central Banks, Bank CEOs, politicians… all of these people are focused primarily on maintaining CONFIDENCE in the system, NOT on fixing the system’s problems. Indeed, they cannot even openly discuss the system’s problems because it would quickly reveal that they are a primary cause of them.

For that reason, you will never and I repeat NEVER see a Central banker, Bank CEO, or politician admit openly what is happening in the financial system. Even middle managers and lower level employees won’t talk about it because A) they don’t know the truth concerning their institutions or B) they could be fired for warning others.

Please take a few minutes to digest what I’m telling you here. You will not be warned of the risks to your wealth by anyone in a position of power in the political financial hierarchy (with the exception of folks like Ron Paul who are usually marginalized by the media).

Moreover, when the Crisis DOES hit, it will be much, much harder to get your money out.

Consider the recent regulations implemented by SEC to stop withdrawals from happening should another crisis occur.

The regulation is called Rules Provide Structural and Operational Reform to Address Run Risks in Money Market FundsIt sounds relatively innocuous until you get to the below quote:

Redemption Gates – Under the rules, if a money market fund’s level of weekly liquid assets falls below 30 percent, a money market fund’s board could in its discretion temporarily suspend redemptions (gate).  To impose a gate, the board of directors would find that imposing a gate is in the money market fund’s best interests.  A money market fund that imposes a gate would be required to lift that gate within 10 business days, although the board of directors could determine to lift the gate earlier.  Money market funds would not be able to impose a gate for more than 10 business days in any 90-day period…

Also see…

Government Money Market Funds – Government money market funds would not be subject to the new fees and gates provisions.  However, under the proposed rules, these funds could voluntarily opt into them, if previously disclosed to investors.

http://www.sec.gov/News/PressRelease/Detail/PressRelease/1370542347

In simple terms, if the system is ever under duress again, Money market funds can lock in capital (meaning you can’t get your money out) for up to 10 days.If the financial system was healthy and stable, there is no reason the regulators would be implementing this kind of reform.

As Zerohedge noted earlier today, the use of “gates” is spreading. A hedge fund just suspended redemptions… meaning investors cannot get their money out. Expect more and more of this to hit in the coming months as anyone who is has bet the farm on the system continuing to expand gets taken to the cleaners.

The solution, as it was in 2008, will not be to allow the defaults/ debt restructuring to occur. Instead, it will be focused on forcing investors to stay fully invested at whatever cost.

This is just the start of a much larger strategy of declaring War on Cash.

Indeed, we’ve uncovered a secret document outlining how the Fed plans to incinerate savings to force investors away from cash and into riskier assets.

We detail this paper and outline three investment strategies you can implement

right now to protect your capital from the Fed’s sinister plan in our Special Report

Survive the Fed’s War on Cash.

We are making 1,000 copies available for FREE the general public.

To pick up yours, swing by….

http://www.phoenixcapitalmarketing.com/cash.html

Best Regards

Phoenix Capital Research

Bob, I Got A Bad Feeling

hedgeless_horseman

“Bob, I got a bad feeling on this one.
All right?
I mean I got a bad feeling!
I don’t think I’m gonna make it outta here!
D’ya understand
what I’m sayin’ to you?”

The global markets are clearly in turmoil…again.  I thought I would start a quasi-open thread here on ZH, where we can ask questions and share concerns or strategies with one another.

So, like my asteroid article from last year, let’s have a little more fun, and use this as a test of our financial-armageddon preparedness.

First, a definition or two

The normalcy bias, or normality bias, is a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster and its possible effects. This may result in situations where people fail to adequately prepare and, on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations.

The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred, it never will occur. It can result in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.

The opposite of normalcy bias would be overreaction, or “worst-case thinking” bias,in which small deviations from normality are dealt with as signaling an impending catastrophe.

Our “worst-case thinking” test scenario is that we have a repeat of 2008, only an order of magnitude worse, and this time it is truly global, with no markets or fiat currency unaffected.  The trigger is that at 4:00 pm Eastern, today, a coordinated revolutionary attack destroys the FRBNY, BIS, BofJ, and the BofE.   The banks and markets simply do not re-open.

Let’s start by having everyone answer four questions:

1) Are you at all prepared to survive even one month without ANY financial intermediaries?
2) What is one immediate action you would take, NOW, to improve your chances?
3) Are you going to stay put, or likely need to go somewhere?
4) What is your single biggest knowledge gap?

As a reminder…

Acknowledge that nobody really knows if, what, when, or how anything in the future is going to happen…it is all just speculation.  Finally, always remember that, “on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero,” so don’t get too worked up, or go into debt, just because of this little exercise in paranoia.

BONUS: If you answered no to question one, have you considered that you may be betting your life on a bunch of bankers?

Jimmy Carter: “Legal Bribery” Prevails

Jimmy Carter: “Legal Bribery” Is Prevailing In The US Political System

Submitted by Andrea Germanos via TheAntiMedia.org,

Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter has taken aim at the “erroneous” Supreme Court ruling that “gives legal bribery a chance to prevail.”

Carter made the comments, an apparent reference to the 2010 Citizens United ruling, in an interview Wednesday with the BBC’s “Today” program.

Carter told interviewer John Humphrys that the ruling would have prevented a “relatively unknown farmer” like himself from emerging as a serious candidate. “Now,” he said, “there’s a massive infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns for all the candidates.”

“Some candidates like [Donald] Trump can put in his own money but others have to be able to raise, I’d say, a hundred to two hundred million dollars just to get the Democratic or Republican nomination. That’s the biggest change in America,” he said, and one for the worse, adding that “the erroneous ruling of the Supreme Court where millionaires, billionaires can put in unlimited amounts of money directly into the campaign.”

“In a way,” Carter said, “it gives legal bribery a chance to prevail because almost all the candidates, whether they are honest or not, and whether they are Democratic or Republican, depend on these massive infusions of money from very rich people in order to have money to campaign.”

Carter contrasted today’s elections from when he was running for office, saying, “In those days when I ran against Gerald Ford, who was incumbent president, or later Ronald Reagan, who challenged me, we didn’t raise a single penny to finance our campaign to run against each other. We just used the $1 per person checkoff that every taxpayer indicates at the end of his or her income tax return. But nowadays, you have to have many hundreds of millions of dollars to prevail.”

Humphrys said that another change that seems to have occurred over the decades is that “many members of the middle class and working class, white people, have been disaffected form the political process” — something that Carter attributed to the fact that “they have, in effect, been cheated out of a proper opportunity to improve their lot in life” because “rich people finance the campaigns,” and “then when candidates get in office they do what the rich people want.”

Carter’s comments to BBC are similar to ones he made in September 2015, when he talked to Oprah Winfrey about the influence of money on elections, saying, “We’ve become, now, an oligarchy instead of a democracy.”

They also echo ones he made in 2012 when he denounced the “financial corruption” of elections and referred to “that stupid ruling” by the Supreme Court. “We have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money,” he said at the time.

Carter’s interview on BBC also covered the eradication campaign his foundation, the Carter Center, has been waging against guinea worm, a parasitic infection.

Carter, who’s 91 and has been undergoing treatment for cancer, said his hope is that he “can outlive the last guinea worm.”

Sweden: Death By Immigration

Submitted by Ingrid Carlqvist via The Gatestone Institute,

  • The atmosphere on Swedish social media is now almost revolutionary. People post videos of themselves accusing the government of murder, of filling Sweden with violent people.
  • When Alexandra Mezher was murdered, she was alone in the residence with ten asylum seekers. She was stabbed by one of the “children” she cared for.
  • When National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson appeared on the “Good Morning Sweden” TV show, the day after Mezher’s murder, he expressed sympathy for the murderer, but barely mentioned the victim. This sparked frenzied outrage on social media.

Mass immigration is continuing to claim victims in Sweden. Murder, assaults and rape have become everyday occurrences in this small country, with a population just short of ten million, which last year opened its doors to almost 163,000 immigrants. The latest victim is 22-year-old Alexandra Mezher. She was stabbed to death last week by a so-called unaccompanied refugee child at the asylum house where she worked.

Although the massive influx of asylum seekers has decreased drastically since January 4, when Sweden implemented border controls on the Swedish/Danish border, the people who are already here pose a giant problem to municipalities, police and citizens. The police are fighting a losing battle against street crime, as well as daily incidents at asylum houses – general disturbances that include fights, rapes and threats.

The asylum houses are in a state of anarchy. On January 27, police were dispatched to a home for teenagers in Lindås, where a riot had erupted. Policeman Johan Nilsson told the local paper, Barometern:

“One [of the youths] was refused when he tried to buy candy, and got angry with the staff. He gathered some 15 friends, and the staff was forced to lock themselves in while the mob smashed windows and other things. The instigator, supposedly 16 years old, is suspected of having started the riot, and another one is suspected of making unlawful threats and of violent rioting.”

That suspect was later released, after producing a document that stated he was under 15, and thus not criminally responsible.

Another, more serious incident occurred at the asylum house Signalisten in Västerås on January 20. Ten policemen arrived at the facility due to reports of the repeated rape of a 10-year-old boy. The policemen were met by a large mob standing in a corridor, shouting and shaking their fists. The situation escalated to the point where the police were forced to flee for their lives. One of the officers later wrote in his report that it was only due to the presence of a police dog handler that he and his colleagues were able to escape:

“Even more people appeared behind us. I was mentally prepared to fight for my life. We were 10 police officers in a narrow corridor. And I heard someone yell that there is an emergency exit. I felt that we could easily have been outmaneuvered, considering the environment and the number of counterparties.”

The policeman also wrote in his report that he hoped for more training in the future, on “how to handle crowds in confined spaces.”

That the Swedish police are no longer able to do their duty is evident. National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson recently demanded 2,500 more officers and 1,600 more civilian employees for the police, to handle the heightened terror threat and the increased influx of refugees. Considering the length of time needed to train policemen, it will probably be a while before the police can increase its numbers. Eliasson also demanded a budget increase of between 1.8 and 2.8 billion kronor ($214 million – $332 million), because the “migrant situation means a significantly higher workload for the police.”

He identified at border controls and asylum houses as especially in need of greater resources, all over the country: “We need to be there often, there are fights and disturbances.”

On January 26, what everyone had been dreading finally happened. The police arrived at an asylum house for “unaccompanied refugee children” in Mölndal early in the morning, after reports of a knife fight. By the time they arrived, it was too late. Asylum house employee Alexandra Mezher lay bleeding on the floor, stabbed by one of the “children” she cared for. She died in hospital a few hours later.

The police arrested a person claiming to be a 15-year-old from Somalia on suspicion of murder, as well as the attempted murder of one of the youths who allegedly tried to intervene. He was later remanded. According to the local daily, GT, the staff had previously warned on several occasions that the suspect had psychiatric problems.

The Mezher family are Lebanese Christians who fled the violence in Lebanon 25 years ago. Alexandra’s mother, Chimene Mezher, told the British paper, The Daily Mail:

“We left Lebanon to escape the civil war, the violence and the danger. We came to Sweden where it was safe, to start our family. But it is not safe any more. … And I just want to know why… why Alexandra? She wanted to help them, but they did this. I just want answers.”

Chimene Mezher now accuses Swedish politicians of murdering her daughter. The dramatic recent population increase in Mölndal, a suburb of Gothenburg, has scared many of the 60,000 residents. In less than a year, 8,000 asylum seekers have moved in — half of whom are so-called “unaccompanied refugee children.”

It has now emerged that staff at the asylum house where Alexandra Mezher was murdered had repeatedly complained about unreasonable conditions. A year ago, employees warned about being understaffed and working alone: “So far, nothing serious has happened, but it will,” said a desperate employee who called the Health and Social Care Inspectorate (“Inspektionen för vård och omsorg” or IVO). IVO inspected the asylum house, but found everything was in order. When Mezher was murdered, she was alone in the residence with ten asylum seekers. So far, no motive for the murder has emerged.

When the National Police Commissioner appeared on the “Good Morning Sweden” TV show, the day after Mezher’s murder, he expressed sympathy for the murderer, but barely mentioned the victim. This sparked frenzied outrage on social media. Eliasson said:

“Well, you are of course distraught on behalf of everyone involved. Naturally, for the person killed and her family, but also for a lone young boy who commits such a heinous incident. What has that person been through? Under what circumstances has he grown up? What is the trauma he carries? This entire migration crisis shows how unfair life is in many parts of the world. We have to try to help solve this best we can.”

The atmosphere on social media is now almost revolutionary. People are posting videos of themselves accusing the government of murder, of filling Sweden with violent people and completely ignoring Swedes.

Alexandra Mezher (left) was murdered in the home for “unaccompanied refugee children” where she worked. She was stabbed to death by a resident who claims to be 15 years old and from Somalia. When National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson (right) spoke on television about the murder, he expressed sympathy for the murderer, but barely mentioned the victim.

What does the Swedish government really think? Does it maintain that the right of asylum is more important than everything else — even the safety of its own people?

Gatestone Institute called Sofia Häggmark, a non-partisan official at the Department of Justice unit for migration rights. Here is the Q & A:

Should everyone get to seek asylum in Sweden, even if it leads to Sweden’s undoing?

“The right of asylum is very strong. We have international rules and EU rules that say that if a person comes to an EU country, that person has a right to seek asylum.”

Is it all right to say no if there are groups in your country that are being threatened by the asylum seekers — minority populations such as Roma, Jews and Sami [Lapp]? Or that Sweden cannot afford it?

“No, if a person has grounds for asylum or risks the death penalty or torture in their home country, you cannot deny them asylum.”

Is it not the Swedish government’s primary task to protect Sweden and the Swedish people?

“We need to abide by international rules; we are obliged to do that. We can be dragged before the Court of Justice of the European Union if we do not allow people to seek asylum.”

Which is more important – Swedish lives, or the risk that you might end up before the Court of Justice of the European Union?

“I cannot answer that question; I can only tell you what the rules are.”

So you are saying that if 30 million people come here to kill us, we have no defense, we cannot stop it?

“I can only tell you that the right of asylum gives very strong protection.”

But not for the Swedes?

“If a person kills someone here in Sweden, the criminal justice system handles that and tries them. We need to look at every individual asylum case.”

Do you think it has ever happened at any time in the history of the world that a country cared more for the citizens of other countries than its own?

“I cannot answer that. But there is no rule that sets a limit for how many [asylum seekers] Sweden can accept.”

So there is no plan for what to do when the country is full and the citizens are scared?

“No, there is not.”

Do you personally think that feels okay?

“I cannot answer that. That is not my job.”

If several millions of Muslims come here and implement Sharia law, then the right of asylum has effectively contributed to abolishing the democracy in our country, replacing the Swedish people and annihilating the whole concept of Sweden. Have none of you pondered these fateful issues?

“I understand your thoughts.”

The measures taken by the government on January 4 were a way to stop immigration without compromising the almighty “right of asylum,” because only those who actually set foot on Swedish soil have the right to seek asylum. The government imposed carriers’ liability for the train and ferry companies operating on the route between Denmark and Sweden, which means that those companies had to hire guards to refuse passage to anyone that cannot show a passport or other valid ID. This is the first time people cannot travel freely between the Nordic countries since the Nordic Passport Union was introduced in 1952.

The new identity checks have created a problem for Denmark, which was not at all keen to get stuck with all the asylum seekers headed for Sweden. Thus, Denmark introduced its own controls on the German border.

Otherwise, Denmark has chosen a different path from Sweden. Instead of preventing people from seeking asylum, the Danish Parliament adopted a new law on January 26, which includes sharp austerity measures towards asylum seekers – measures that the government hopes will discourage migrants from coming to Denmark. The new rules include:

  • Shorter residence permits
  • Postponement of the right to bring in relatives
  • The right of the state to seize a migrant’s assets to cover asylum costs
  • Stricter qualifications to get permanent residency
  • An easing of the process for revoking the residency of refugees
  • A 10% cut in cash benefits for asylum seekers

Even the Danish Social Democrats supported the law. In 2010, the party demanded that Europe “make way for Islam,” but now it has apparently made a complete U-turn. Social Democratic Faction Chairman Henrik Sass Larsen wrote in an opinion piece in the daily, Politiken:

“We will do all we can to limit the number of non-Western refugees and immigrants to this country. That is why we have gone far – much farther – than we ever dreamed of. We do this because we do not want to sacrifice the welfare state in the name of humanism. Because the welfare state is … the political project of the Social Democrats. It is a society built on the principles of freedom, equality and solidarity. Mass immigration – look at Sweden for example – will undermine the economic and social foundation of the welfare state.”

But protecting the welfare state that generations of Swedes have built, does not seem to be a priority for the Swedish Social Democrats. Some have long claimed that the Social Democratic affinity for immigration has to do with the party’s desire to fill the country with “election cattle,” and fuel has now been added to that fire. Muslims most often seem to vote for the left, studies show. For example, 93% of French Muslims voted for Socialist President François Hollande, and almost 90% of American Muslims voted for President Obama.

Judging by recent polls, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven will indeed need the Muslim votes in order to remain in power. The respected polling institute, Sifo, recently presented a report on party sympathies for the month of January. The Social Democrats got a pitiful 23.2% – the worst result since polling started in 1967. The party got 31% in the general election of 2014, and that was considered a rotten result.

Meanwhile, after the new border controls were implemented in January, and the number of asylum seekers arriving in Sweden decreased from a peak of over 10,000 a week, to 820 (during the third week of January), no one could tell if this was due to the border controls or the wintry weather.

In total, 162,877 people sought asylum in Sweden in 2015. That is almost twice as many as the year before and many times the average during the 2000s, which was roughly 33,000 a year.

Now, Minister for Home Affairs Anders Ygeman tells the Dagens Industri business paper that he has tasked the police and the Immigration Service with the deportations of up to 80,000 of the asylum seekers who arrived last year. The government plans on using chartered planes. Anders Ygeman describes the operation as a “very big challenge.”

World Leader Who Stole Citizens’ Gold

Meet The World Leader Who Stole His Citizens’ Gold

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-03/meet-world-leader-who-stole-his-citizens-gold

Submitted by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Even before his coronation in 1626, King Charles I of England was almost bankrupt.

His predecessors King James and Queen Elizabeth had run the royal treasury down to almost nothing.

Costly war and military folly had taken its toll. The crown had simply wasted far too much money, and brought in too little.

To make matters worse, King Charles was constantly at odds with parliament.

The English government was completely dysfunctional, with constant bickering, personal attacks, and very little sound decision-making.

Parliament refused to pass the taxes that Charles needed to make ends meet. But at the same time, the King was legally unable to levy his own taxes without parliamentary approval.

So, faced with financial desperation, he began to look for alternative ways to raise revenue.

One way was relying on practically ancient, obscure laws to penalize his subjects.

The Distraint of Knighthood, for example, was based on an act from 1278, roughly three and a half centuries before Charles’ coronation.

The Act gave him the legal authority to fine all men with a minimum level of income who did not present themselves in person at his coronation.

Charles also commandeered vast amounts of land, restoring the boundaries of the royal forests to where they had been during the time of King Edward I in the 13th century.

He then fined anyone who encroached on the land, and resold much of it to industries that were supportive of his reign.

King Charles even resorted to begging; in July 1626, he requested that his subjects “lovingly, freely, and voluntarily” give him money.

When that didn’t work, the King levied a Forced Loan, effectively confiscating people’s funds under the guise of ‘borrowing’ it.

He raised about £250,000, the equivalent of about $7.5 billion today.

Emboldened by his success, Charles eventually seized assets directly, including all the gold on deposit being held at the Royal Mint– money that belonged to the merchants and goldsmiths of England.

At one point Charles even forced the East India Company to ‘loan’ him their pepper and spice inventory. He subsequently sold the products at a steep loss.

If any of this sounds familiar, it should.

Today there is no shortage of nations facing fiscal desperation. Most of Europe. Japan. The United States.

In the Land of the Free, the government has spent years… decades… engaged in the most wasteful folly, from multi-trillion dollar wars to a multi-billion dollar website.

US debt just hit $19 trillion a few days ago. And it’s only going higher.

We can already see the government’s financial desperation.

Over the years, the government has effectively levied a ‘forced loan’ totaling more than $2.6 trillion on the Social Security Trust Fund, whose ultimate beneficiaries are the taxpayers of the United States.

Bottom line, they’re ‘borrowing’ YOUR money.

Last year the government stole more from Americans through ‘Civil Asset Forfeiture’ than all the thieves in the United States combined.

In December, the US government confiscated $19.3 billion from the Federal Reserve, which, by the way, was already very thinly capitalized.

Even if you want to believe the propaganda, it’s clear that these are not the actions of a healthy, solvent government that embraces liberty.

In fact, the government published over 80,000 pages of laws, bills, regulations, and executive orders last year. Just this morning they published another 308 pages.

It’s impossible for anyone to keep up with all of these rules. And yet each can carry civil and criminal penalties, including a fine now for not having health insurance.

As Mark Twain used to say, history may not repeat, but it certainly rhymes.

Financially insolvent governments of major superpowers do not simply go gentle into that good night.

They don’t suddenly turn over a new leaf and start embracing economic freedom.

Instead, they get worse. More desperate. More destructive.

Should we honestly believe that they can continue racking up more debt than has ever existed in the history of the world without any consequences?

This is madness. At some point, fiscal reality always catches up. Maybe not at $19 trillion. Maybe not even at $20 trillion.

Maybe it takes 3 months. Or 3 years. But somewhere out there is a straw that can break the camel’s back. And that has serious consequences.

Never forget that if something is predictable, then it’s also preventable.

And facing such obvious trends, it makes all the sense in the world to take some simple, rational steps to put together your own Plan B.

Did A Central Banker Just Margin Call All Other Central Banks’ Credibility?

Did A Central Banker Just Margin Call All Other Central Banks’ Credibility?

Authored by Mark St.Cyr,

In a stunning policy move Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda introduced and adopted negative interest rates. The word “stunning” is fitting, for just weeks prior he stated there was no need to adopt such measures. It seems by all accounts his mind changed (or was made right?) after returning from Davos.

Whether or not this is the case one thing is certain: The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has thrown not just a monkey wrench into the financial system. He may have simultaneously made every other central bankers toolbox irrelevant, as well as incapable, to deal with the resulting damage. It’s one thing to have the right tool at the right time to tweak or fix. It’s quite another to lose grip of that tool where it falls into the running gears of the machinery. That’s when far more can (and usually does) go awry than just the original issue. (Think losing the small water pumps that keep water in a nuclear reactor as an analogy.)

No matter what anyone in the “smart crowd” would argue different. Today, both the financial world along with business in general is currently being manipulated made possible via crony capitalism as well as simultaneously being stymied by central bank policies. All occurring through the direct myriad of interventions into the capital markets globally. I believe that in no other time since the days of direct rule of Kings and Queens has such a small cabal of people had so much influence, as well as control, of global finance and business influence. Ever.

Politicians of all stripes sway or prestige are pale in comparison today as to the dictates coming from one central banking authority or another. However, with such authority comes a very heavy price. That price? It’s becoming easier to spot both the “who,” as well as the “where,” catastrophic mistakes in policies effecting societies well-being may originate from. And I don’t think many central bankers truly understand just how precarious in that position they now sit.

We were told (“we” being the business world) ad nauseam by the central bankers themselves that they knew precisely what they were doing. In 2008 as the financial markets as well as the economy came-off-the-rails the Federal Reserve stepped in and stabilized what seemed to be an out of control death spiral. Many will argue valid points on both sides whether it was good, bad, or an ugly way the tools used to stem that tide were employed. Personally I believe there was a legitimate and valid argument to step in.

However: It was the remaining “in” while supplying ever more of the very things that made the original crisis inevitable in the first place that had/has anyone with a modicum of business acumen apoplectic.

The relentless iterations of QE (quantitative easing) and an unrelenting stance to remain at the zero bound on interest rate policies for years could be seen for the ever ballooning, ticking time bomb they were. It didn’t take too much imagination and thought thru to envision just how difficult along with its disruption in both financial as well as business thing would become once the proverbial punch-bowls were taken away.

Economic theory as to explain and guide central banks through this malaise are suddenly finding themselves squarely in the line of fire of business and financial fact: They’ve created an absolute mess. And what’s worse? It may be the bankers themselves that may no longer trust their own omnipotence to deal with what’s coming. i.e., They aren’t going to wait or care any longer about coordination of moves. It’s now everyone for themselves as just witnessed by what many are now calling a “Kamikaze” bank policy move from the BOJ.

Why is this so troubling many are asking. After all, it seems that the BOJ governor’s mind changed after meeting with all the other bankers and attendees at Davos. And if one is to believe all the reports; more QE, and negative interest rates were what was being called (as well as begged) for as to help stem the tide of this current market malaise. Maybe the BOJ just decided to emulate what’s now taking place in the EU? Sounds logical right?

Well yes, maybe. However, what may be far more front-of-mind for the BOJ is the current meltdown in China. Japan may try to sweep away concerns regarding contamination of any meltdown at their nuclear plants. What they can’t turn a blind eye to is the potential for contagion in any currency meltdown in the CNY. e.g., Chinese Yuan. And it seems that potential grows stronger with each passing day.

And just like the potential for radiation effects are at first unseen to the naked eye. The possible ramification of suddenly throwing one of the most heavily traded currencies (e.g., ¥Yen) into an anytime, anywhere, out-of-the-blue change in monetary pricing stability can affect carry trades across the global markets in ways far more treacherous, as well as dangerous than anyone ever considered. Especially in today’s highly levered, correlated, high frequency trading (HFT) algorithmic based market. The resulting effects are yet to be felt. After all – this all just happened Friday.

I would garner there were many a meeting across many financial houses over the weekend than will admit. For when it comes to a carry trade – any carry trade – stability of perceived pricing models is key. A change of just one fractional amount too far in the wrong direction for assumption can render a fortress balance sheet into a falling house of cards with an immediacy most never truly comprehend. One would think 2007/08 would still be well-remembered. By the way many are talking – it seems as if it was ancient history. It’s unnervingly surreal.

Today the markets are gyrating widely reminiscent of those early stage stresses and/or warning signs just prior to the first real downdraft experienced during the initial stages of the financial crisis. Back then we had one policy move, or jawboning official after another announcing plans to do this or that, sending the market into fits and starts near daily.

Many times these daily knee-jerk rises of 1% plus moves were only to be followed with subsequent selloffs erasing (and then some) any gains made prior. Sometimes with incalculable speed and disruption. Today, with an ever infected market now under near complete and utter dominance via HFT parasitic trading programs, these swings may become even more violent as well as fear induced as supposed “liquidity” vanishes and/or appears from markets faster than the laser beams can quote stuff that “liquidity” in the first place.

The problem now is: Which central banker or policy is to be believed? And more importantly: for how long? Couple that with: Who will now be trusted as having credibility both in stating what they mean, and doing what they said? As well as: doing what they said because they know what they are doing? Quite the conundrum, yes?

The issue at hand is answering the question of: just why did the BOJ do what it just did – in the way that it did it? The ramification to those questions could not be more explicit in their meaning than almost any other in my opinion. For the global markets may be in far more perilous a position than the central bankers themselves ever imagined, let alone – contemplated.

For those who never seen the movie “Margin Call” there’s a great scene as it’s then irrefutable and understood that it’s all about to fall apart where Sam Rogers (Kevin Spacey) is expressing concerns to John Tuld (Jeremy Irons) that he believes the firm is panicking in selling everything all at once, causing a possible run on everything and melting down the system. The response from Tuld is quite fitting when he states, “It’s not panicking if you’re first.”

Today, as many of the financial media and others are trying to explain away this monetary move by the BOJ as something as simple as “Kuroda has said he likes to shake things up, or be unpredictable.” I think they may be looking in the wrong direction. For what now must be considered into that equation is something that portends to far more concern than meets the eye at first blush. To wit:

Did the BOJ’s out-of-the-blue reversal on its monetary stance which was refuted just weeks prior by Mr. Kuroda himself take place because after listening to the arguments, suggestions, as well as concerns, from the participants at Davos he concluded much like what the movie “Margin Call” depicted: It was all about to unravel? And if so: is this him deciding to be “first” and considered it his only choice?

And if so, what does his actions pose for the credibility of his brethren bankers? Do they now act from a place of “Who can they trust?” And what does that mean for the rest of us? The implications are staggering when you begin to open those doors for they have the potential of making Pandora’s box seem harmless in comparison.

However, maybe this is all hyperbole and should be disregarded as over the top rhetoric from Chicken Little types with no actual central banking policy experience. Maybe we should take comfort in the unwavering hand of credibility that never saw the great financial crisis to begin with when he argued that subprime mortgages and the crisis they foretold were “contained.” Then Fed. chairman Ben Bernanke.

What does he say today? Well, when he was speaking in Hong Kong at the Asian Financial Forum as Davos was also transpiring he stated, “I don’t think China’s economic slowdown is that severe to threaten the global economy, ” along with “The U.S. and China are not as closely tied as the market thinks.”

Maybe “Margin Call” was one of the movies available on demand in the rooms at Davos, and all Mr. Kuroda is now doing is channeling his inner “Jon Tuld” moment. And why not? “It’s not panicking if you’re first.”

However, for the rest of us, we can only wait and see what happens next.

(PN Editor:  If you haven’t seen “The Big Short”, you need to!  Deja Vu on a biggers scale!  “The Big Short tells us to keep the focus on Wall Street: A caption at the end highlights a new product being sold called a “bespoke tranche opportunity,” just another word for a CDO. But the underlying assets in these derivatives are largely corporate debt, and the numbers are so far pitifully small — $20 billion a year, compared to the trillion dollars annually in securitized subprime loans during the bubble. Private securitization for mortgages has been basically flat for seven years.” http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2015/12/11/Big-Problem-Big-Short

Truth Bomb: EAST IS BANKRUPT TOO!

“Truth Bombs” Where the BOOM? The TRUTH that is not being said…. THE EAST IS BANKRUPT TOO!…

When a covert plan goes bad, a spy agency “burns” the agent, giving “plausible deniability” to those who hatched the awful plan in the first place.  Agencies like the CIA and the KGB exist for the very purpose of giving their leaders plausible deniability for some really nasty business.
Its not a new method, its called “phoenix-ing”. Change the face, but don’t changing the status quo. Its about pacification of the public, which is left continually baffled by why things only get worse and nobody takes responsibility to fix it. “We voted for change, but didn’t get it!”  If you want a different result, you got to change the formula, not just rebrand the same old toxin.
Every country on earth has a front man, sock puppet leader, that is public face who is expected to do as he is told by the bankers, while the real power is always behind the front man and not seen.  The leaders are cardboard cutouts that can be disposed, replaced by coup or election or impeachment, yet nothing really changes. You’ve noticed the fact that nothing has really changes after any election administration regardless of which party is in power and what elections occurred.  You are given two choices, so you choose a side and ignore the underlying resonance of the situation that something is really seriously off.

Judge Anna Von Reitz (aka Judge Anna Maria Riezinger) or Karen Hudes… choose a side in that faux drama, but the same people are behind both.  Who’s cabal? The World Bank lawyer or the Vatican connected Common Law “Judge”? The Vatican ran one heck of an opaque banking operation didn’t they?  And they are going to save us? And the optics of this feud, a Semitic looking woman versus a woman of European ancestry…. kind of plays into that whole Khazarian Mafia theme… (I have no idea Hudes’ true heritage – nor do I care – but look at the setup visually). Drama and personality conflict, with a hint of racial and religious overtones. All a great distraction of what is really going on.  Is anyone selling game programs and pennants to wave for this? And Ron Van Dyke talks to them all including the Red Dragon Ambassador.  There NEVER WAS an American Republic!!!  George Washington put the Republic back under the Virginia Company a few years after the Revolutionary War!  How much do you want to wager both women are considered“burnable” by their handlers?

The same thing is true in banking, in the West certain families were proxies for the Chinese Dragon families,  western faces for the xenophobic west and have you ever seen Europe more xenophobic than it is right now?  LONG HISTORY OF THAT!  The western banking families are currently being “burned” have pre-arranged cushy retirements and payout packages if they play to the script as it was written.  I mean really why did you think they had all the Non-disclosure Agreements with the purported RV/GCR“prosperity plans” payouts?   If the systems are truly changing, why are elites getting to cash out first?
The Chinese have carved out literal enclaves of Chinese territory in the USA, Italy and other places in Europe and North Africa under the guise of “Free Trade Zones”.   There are manufacturing enclaves within the USA that are considered sovereign Chinese territory and through which funds are freely exchanged with China bypassing the US banking system and laws operating under PRC laws as PRC sovereign territory.In Italy are enclaves, actually more like massive packed dormitories within industrial parks,  with hundreds of Chinese and their children packed closely together in incredibly tight quarters, making Italian designer goods so it can be said to be EU in origin.  Italy has a big incentive to import labor, the population is aging fast and not that many kids being born here.  So they do it in a backdoor way that the public doesn’t notice, import Chinese through subcontracts and free trade zone, or have the mafia bring in Africans, and with all the mineral resource conflicts going, there’s plenty of those.And a lot of this was done willing by many countries because the Chinese have promised the world they are going to save the systems. Preserve the status quo.  Thing is, the Chinese don’t have any funds.  And the world will soon learn that.  

Is Putin more a conceptual man than a single being? I have a tough time figuring out which “face” is the real Putin.  One has a water retention issue, one uses botox, one does not… he has almost as many faces as Hilary Clinton in an Presidential election.

The storyline of the Chinese Dragons and the Putin saving the world is moving into high gear now. The Russian Federation, with Putin as shirtless  virile he-man on a horse, is being trotted out by the dragons/BRICS as the new world policeman. Just as the the United States was in the 1940′s, which much of the same “we’re the good guys” fan fare.   Cue the John Wayne images… aim straight to the heart of America’s rugged individualist self image… he’s one of us! Save us Putin from Obama! Another front man for the Chinese Dragons…notice you don’t ever see the Chinese as the front man?  Another proxy.  Thing is, the Chinese don’t have the funds.  And the Russians will soon learn that.  And won’t that be an interesting moment?   West and East on the same footing!   Who would have thought? Think maybe then we can move onto something a bit more creative and beneficial to the planet than blowing up Syria and the Ukraine?

And can you beat this bit of Russian dance club propaganda?  
Listen the lyrics in this English language version… only
the British ad agencies in London can cook up stuff like this…
I’m getting flooded with emails containing the nearly same boilerplate of talking points, which shows how organized the PR campaign is.  Demonizing the front man to artificially create an other to be hated, a polarity where none exists, while those who really ran things still run things.There is no difference between the so called “Khazarian Mafia” touted on Veterans Today and the Eastern families in China, except maybe religion and facial features.  Its all a former Galactic commerce system, and planet Earth was one giant mutual fund. They’re all draco essences in compatible human DNA. All humans are vehicles the for the essence that is in them, DNA and essence fits hand in glove.  But the important thing is they ARE ALL HUMAN.  The skin tones and appearances might differ, but its the same beings and the same essence/soul type.  The differences between one set of humans and another DNA-wise is infinitesimally small. And when you get down to its all CREATOR SOURCE in body, playing out the last acts of play that has no fans anymore.And I mean really, how can anyone honestly say the Khazarians are draco hybrids and not notice the word “Draco” (latin for dragon) in the very name “DRAGON FAMILY”?  Is everyone missing the bloody obvious here?  The Dragons have openly admitted to the connection. ITS NOT A SECRET. So lets drop the farce okay?   
They want to maintain control of the banking system. It is the ultimate control on the planet. It funds all military, government and business.   Tough thing to give up… control…. the ultimate addiction, but its an illusion of control that depends on the belief everyone is separate from each other.Swissindo wanted to give you 10 cents on the dollar of what your value is, but hey since they kept you so broke anyway through the Committee of 300 (they openly admit the funding connection to that), yet 6 million sounds like a lot doesn’t it?  Especially when you can’t pay rent because of inflation or buy food.Or maybe the Red Dragons want give you some money in exchange for them having 51% control of your company. Very venture capital of them!  But then its your value they are offering back to you.  Still control by them.  And oh those financing events, you got to use Chinese suppliers and vendors!   I get it, CONTROL. Its easy to understand.  LOL!!! You should have seen the emails I got in 2014 and 2015 after those Red Dragon seminars with very well meaning people. Left them a little shell shocked when the reality hit home.
But what’s really going on then?  CENTRALIZATION.  Think of if as management downsizing, for more direct control.  I mean with all the computer and software available now. And all the talk of “meritocracy” (they NEVER explain what gives MERIT!) and that massive breeding program of Bloodlines to create the purported mystical M1 that was suppose to unite that fabric that is the den of vipers whose warp is Bloodline and woof Draco.  Thing is, the Chinese don’t have the funds.  And YOU will soon learn that.  But this is all serving a larger purpose!  Its centralizing it all and making it perfectly clear what has been for the last 12,000 years!!!  
I received this Skype from Heather Tucci-Jarraf this morning, reference a post at Zerohedge.com. Its a Skype she sent to an elite high level banker…today (1/26/15.)  Its data we’ve known for over two years and have been openly saying.Its also data a good many bankers know too. Or if they didn’t they do now…
HeatherAnnTucciJarraf . – Today 10:31 AM
> ….and here is the most wonderful “end” to the old storylines… no new revisions are permitted…
 
as the beginning is now factualized within each and every One… and the beauty is held and done in the hearts of each One
 
HeatherAnnTucciJarraf . – Today 10:34 AM
> ….I chuckle in Love as I remember the moment, March 2011, when you said, “you really are an angel…”….u have figured out by now that I am soooooooooooo much more than just  that….but, so are you ;) (heart)
 
HeatherAnnTucciJarraf . – Today 10:35 AM
> thank you for all the adventures we have done together….I cherish each one (inlove)
 
HeatherAnnTucciJarraf . – Today 10:35 AM
> (bow) (hug) (heart)
 
HeatherAnnTucciJarraf . – Today 10:40 AM
> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-24/ultimate-truth-bomb-east-knows-west-bankrupt
 
HeatherAnnTucciJarraf . – Today 10:41 AM
…let’s find out how every One will feel with the uber truth …that the east is also “bankrupt”….lol
HeatherAnnTucciJarraf . – Today 10:41 AM
> here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Ultimate “Truth Bomb” – The East Knows The West Is Bankrupt Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/24/2016 22:25 -0500Submitted by Bill Holter via Jim Sinclair’s Mineset blog, What a tangled web the global geopolitical situation has become. Geopolitics and finance have always been interrelated but recently much more so. As many readers know, I have speculated we would be hit over the head with a “truth bomb” from the East and most likely from Mr. Putin himself. Just this week Britain has alleged Mr. Putin personally ordered a “hit” on an ex KGB agent for calling him a pedophile. Another story came out that Turkey shot down a NATO helicopter which made no press coverage at all in the West. Also, Victoria Nuland recently travelled to Russia and was refused an audience by Mr. Putin. This, after John Kerry had a meeting where he went into it saying “Assad must go” and came out saying Mr. Assad can stay … Why all of this now? I would simply say this reeks of desperation and also a VERY dangerous strategy to attack Mr. Putin personally. I say “dangerous” because it raises the likelihood of a response from him. Can you imagine the outrage were Russia to accuse president Obama or the Prime Minister Cameron of Britain for ordering the murder of someone who called them a pedophile? Before going any further, I believe nearly ALL of what we are seeing is centered by and on the “petrodollar”. Will it survive or be replaced? In my opinion it is no longer “if”, but “when” and by “what” will it be replaced with? Just over the last two weeks we have seen three very important yet interrelated events. First, the sanctions against Iran in place over the last 35 years were lifted. Along with this comes the ability for Iran to sell oil and they will now have access to up to $150 billion worth of assets and accounts previously frozen as reported by many credible non-government sources. The day after, we saw 10 U.S. captured sailors on their knees as they were said to have “strayed” into Iranian water. The official U.S. account has changed at least twice. We heard “mechanical failure” at first, this is unlikely as there were reportedly two separate vessels. If one had mechanical problems, the other could have tied off and either towed it or held it steady until help could arrive. Then the story changed to “navigational” problems. This one I believe …but not the official story they “strayed” into Iranian water. Again, if it was just one boat, maybe their navigation system malfunctioned …at the same time their communications failed …MAYBE? But both boats …at the same time lost their comm and navigation systems? Probably a better chance one of these sailors winning the Powerball lottery two weeks in a row! Speculation on my part, I believe the electronics were somehow hacked or blocked just as happened with the Donald Cook in the Black Sea in late 2014. Just a couple of days ago, President Xi of China met with Iranian leaders one day and then the Saudis the following day. We can only speculate what was discussed but surely oil was the centerpiece. Naturally China wants to make and diversify oil supply deals from them both. We have no proof but I believe it is a very good bet President Xi told the Saudis they would be expected to accept yuan for settlement instead of dollars. There is no denying, the Chinese have done everything in their power to prepare for the dollar being dumped as the world’s reserve currency. You can argue about timing, you cannot argue about “intent” as China/Russia have set up non Western clearing facilities similar to SWIFT but without any Western interference, trade deals, currency hubs, trading banks, and even gold and oil exchanges where the dollar will not be welcome. It is not tough to tie all of this together. I ask you this, what would the world look like the day following a “truth bomb” dropped by Mr. Putin and the Chinese. Would Americans even notice if he documented several false flags or frauds embedded in U.S. finance such as outright monetization of U.S Treasuries? No, most certainly not. Americans would however notice if financial markets collapsed or were shut down. Russia and China know full well the situation in the West. It is a bankruptcy waiting to happen as everything is fractional reserve and running on maximum margin while the underlying system is shrinking and no longer supplying enough liquidity. The way I see it, the stage is truly set for a financial attack on anything and everything American. Is it implausible for the Saudis to announce they will sell oil in yuan to China? Or Iran to withdraw their funds from U.S. institutions and then bid for gold with these funds? If the East does in fact have jamming or hacking capability of Western technology, is it far fetched for them to show it very publicly in one or several situations? How would the “bookies” react if they saw a prize fighter enter one of the later rounds with his hands tied behind his back? You can laugh at the above speculation if you choose but it is all quite plausible and actually probable if you look at where things are and what posturing has already been done leading up to this. Western markets, ALL markets are a fraud. Our Treasury market is one where the biggest buyer is “our self” …the Fed and the ESF. We have already seen $1 trillion of foreign reserves offloaded with no effect on yield nor the dollar itself and NO ACCOUNTING ANYWHERE as to “who” bought these offloaded central bank reserves. Accounting fraud and no rule of law here, nothing to see …please move along! You can laugh if you want and say Saudi Arabia will never move toward the East … Saudi Arabia is now in very dire straits financially, who do you think they will side with when Western markets melt down? Do you really believe they will go down trying to support our dollar? The stage has already been set. The East knows the West has bankrupted. They know we have no gold left because they have it! They can see the finances of the various cities, states and federal government. They know the situation in derivatives is one giant mountain of dynamite waiting for a spark. They know our rule of law is gone and bail ins of depositor funds is next. We are monetizing their sales of Treasury securities. “We” are fooling no one except ourselves. And by “ourselves” I am talking about the vast majority of the population who have grown to rely on the government for everything. Everyone knows we are broke, yet ask anyone and the odds highly favor you will hear “the government will never let it happen”. Even if you are silly enough to believe this you must ask yourself, what are the ramifications when markets become “make believe”?

Texas Calls For Constitutional Convention

Texas Governor Calls For Constitutional Convention To “Wrest Power From A Federal Government Run Amok”

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/09/2016

When it comes to Texas’ relationship with the Federal government, the word “rocky” comes to mind. And nobody embodies said rockiness better than Texas governor Greg Abbott, who recently made headlines after announcing that irrelevant of D.C.’s demands, Texas would refuse to accept any Syrian refugees.

This followed his announcement earlier this summer 2015 when fears over nebulous Federal intentions with operation “Jade Helm” were running high, that “to address concerns that Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure, and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity, I am directing the state guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15.”

Prior to this, Abbott was again in the news back in June when he signed a bill into law that would allow Texas to build a gold and silver bullion depository, which would allow Texas to repatriate $1 billion worth of bullion from the New York Fed to the new facility once completed.

In short: the Federal government and the state of Texas have been on collision course of many months, one which culminated on Friday when Abbott called for a Constitutional Convention of states, spearheaded by Texas, and which would amend the U.S. Constitution to wrest power from a federal government “run amok.”

To achieve that, Abbott proposed nine amendments to “restore the Rule of Law and return the Constitution to its intended purpose.”

“If we are going to fight for, protect and hand on to the next generation, the freedom that [President] Reagan spoke of … then we have to take the lead to restore the rule of law in America,” Abbott said,cited by the Dallas News, during a speech at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation that drew raucous applause from the conservative audience. He said he will ask lawmakers to pass a bill authorizing Texas to join other states calling for a Convention of States.

According to the Hill, Abbott said that “the increasingly frequent departures from Constitutional principles are destroying the Rule of Law foundation on which this country was built,” said Abbott in a statement. We are succumbing to the caprice of man that our Founders fought to escape. The cure to these problems will not come from Washington D.C. Instead, the states must lead the way.”

Along with the speech, Abbott released a nearly 70-page plan – part American civics lesson, part anti-Obama diatribe – detailing nine proposed constitutional amendments that he said “would unravel the federal government’s decades-long power grab and restore authority over economic regulation and other matters to the states.”

The irony for our generation is that the threat to our Republic doesn’t come just from foreign enemiesit comes, in part, from our very own leaders,” Abbott said in a speech that took aim at President Obama, Congress and the judicial branch.

Abbott’s nine proposed amendments are:

  • Prohibit congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.
  • Require Congress to balance its budget.
  • Prohibit administrative agencies from creating federal law.
  • Prohibit administrative agencies from pre-empting state law.
  • Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
  • Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law
  • Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
  • Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
  • Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation.

For those unfamiliar, a Constitutional Convention is one of two ways that the U.S. Constitution can be amended, and it’s described in Article V. One way is that Congress can propose amendments approved by two-thirds of the members of both chambers. The other method allows two-thirds of the state legislatures to call for a convention to propose amendments. Republicans backing the idea are confident that because they control state government in a majority of states, their ideas would prevail.

In both cases, the amendments become effective only if ratified by three-fourths of the states. Indicatively, of the 27 times the Constitution has been amended, none was generated by a constitutional convention.

Abbott is not the first to propose a convention: the idea has been gaining traction among some among conservative Republicans, comes just as the GOP presidential candidates begin to make forays into Texas ahead of the March primary election. The state, with 155 delegates up for grabs, will certainly be a key player in the party’s nominating process.

Earlier this week presidential contender Marco Rubio published a piece in USA Today endorsing the idea of a convention to amend the Constitution and restore limited government. In April, 27 active petitions had been filed with Congress seeking a convention to amend the constitution to require that Congress adopt a balanced budget.

Congress would be forced to act once 34 states joined the effort. So far, Cruz hasn’t endorsed the idea.

A convention, Abbott wrote, would force the federal government to “take the Constitution seriously again… The only true downside comes from doing nothing and allowing the federal government to continue ignoring the very document that created it,” Abbott wrote.

To be sure many conservatives agree with Abbott’s posture that the only way to limit the powers of the Federal government is to resuscitate state power .

Of course, whereas Republicans are seeking to limit the role and power of government, Democrats demand just the opposite, and were quick to denounce Abbott’s plan Friday, saying the governor has misplaced priorities.

“America added 292,000 new jobs in December. But under Abbott, Texas fell to sixth in job creation, remains the uninsured capitol of the nation, wages and incomes remain far too low for hardworking families, our neighborhood schools are still underfunded, and college education is slipping out of reach,” Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director Manny Garcia said in a statement. “Texas families deserve serious solutions, not Tea Party nonsense.”

What Manny Garcia did not add is that while oil was above $100, Texas was the state that had generated the most jobs under the Obama administration, and if it hadn’t been for the Kerry-Saudi Arabia secret meetings which put into play the collapse in the price of oil, meant to cripple Russia but crushing US shale instead, Texas would continue to create record numbers of jobs.

However, since this is high politics, facts be damned, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas issued a statement with similar sentiment. “Governor Abbott, as Texans, we prefer the Framers’ plan. Don’t mess with the Constitution,” said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas.

A small but vocal Republican minority has also opined against the idea of a constitutional convention: last year, House legislators filed measures calling for such a convention. Texas senator Craig Estes unleashed a screed against the proposal when it came before the Senate State Affairs Committee in May. He compared the idea to “a petulant teenager who’s lost a few basketball games and plans to burn down the gymnasium.”

“The constitution has served us well for over 200 years. The problem is not the constitution,” Estes said, adding that the solution is to elect more conservative lawmakers. “Slap a bumper sticker for Ted Cruz on your car and get after it and knock yourself out.”

Estes went on to promise a filibuster if the measure came to the Senate floor.

Whether Abbott’s proposal will gain steam and ultimately succeed is unknown, but it is virtually certain that the more the Obama administration governs via executive orders and other means to bypass the Legislative and short circuit the US government, the more powerful the grass-roots response at the state level will be, until eventually there is enough anger at the dysfunctional U.S. government at the 34 required states to do precisely as the Texan wants… that, or Trump is voted into the Oval Office as a protest against everything that is broken with the current political status quo.

The Deep State & The War On Cash

Submitted by Bill Bonner of Bonner & Partners (annotated by Acting-Man.com’s Pater Tenebrarum),

An Attention-Grabbing Headline

“The first shot in the War on Cash?”

The headline caught our attention. We’d just finished researching and writing about the “Deep State” for the latest issue of our monthly publication, The Bill Bonner Letter.

This is something you’re likely to hear more about. The Deep State describes the way the U.S. government really works, rather than the way it’s supposed to work.

Over the years – hardly noticed by the press or the public – a group of insiders has taken control of Washington.

DeepGovernment_SocialCard_BW

Originally the term “Deep State” was coined to describe various anti-democratic coalitions within the political system of Turkey (Turkish: derin devlet). In them meantime the term is widely used to describe all types of “state-within-the-state” type arrangements, the real power behind the throne, so to speak.

Some of them are familiar government hacks and politicians. Some, largely anonymous, are in the private sector. And some represent foreign governments, foreign businesses (notably banks), and foreign organizations.

These zombies and cronies – who number in the thousands – have much more power and authority than 100 million voters. Research shows that if they want legislation, they get it.

Voters, on the other hand, get what they want only rarely… and probably only because the insiders want the same thing. The insiders get the money, too. The tens of trillions of dollars diverted into boondoggle bailouts, QE, and ZIRP, for example – they had to go to someone.

And now the Deep State is setting itself up to get even more…

WOLF-IN-SHEEPS-CLOTHING-2

Now you know why it had such large eyes and such big teeth …

Two Kinds of “Cash”

Dr. Matthew Partridge in our London office reports for Money Week magazine that a small Swiss bank has become the first retail bank in the world to charge customers negative interest on their deposits.

A number of central banks – including the Swiss National Bank – have already taken benchmark interest rates below zero. But, beginning next year, Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS) will be the world’s first bank to pass those negative rates on to customers.

hauptsitz-der-alternative-bank

Alternative Bank Schweiz is a so-called “sustainable” bank that tries to save the planet by funding all sorts of “green” and “ethical” investments. The “ethical investment” fad is in our opinion largely based on exploiting people’s gullibility (the same principle is at work in expensive bottled water and many “bio food” items). This is not meant to cast aspersions on ABS specifically, since there exist of course also organizations and individuals in this field who are genuinely trying to do good. We are instinctively wary of do-gooders and world improvers though, as they usually either strive to enlist the coercive power of the State or thrive on exploiting the innate guilt of first world populations (guilt over having it better than others and allegedly destroying the planet in the process).

In a letter to its customers, ABS said it would charge account holders 0.125% a year to hold their “cash” deposits to protect its profit margins. And anyone with 100,000 Swiss francs ($97,316) or more on deposit will have to pay 0.75% a year. Let’s stop here for a moment and clarify…

There are “cash deposits” and there is “cash.” Cash deposits are an oxymoron. If you say you have cash in the bank, you are mistaken. The bank doesn’t really hold “your” cash. It owes you money. If it goes broke, you’ll stand in line with other creditors to get it (subject to whatever guarantees may be in place… and however well they may work).

Cash in hand is different. It is physical. Paper. You can do what you want with it. And you don’t pay a negative interest rate. Which is why the feds want to ban cash. They say it will make it easier for them to stimulate the economy.

As long as you can hold physical cash, you have an easy way to escape negative interest rates: You just take the money out of the bank and put it in your home safe. But if physical cash is illegal, you have no choice. You have to keep “your money” on deposit at the bank… and take whatever negative rate the bank imposes on you.

switzerland-interest-rate

Sheer insanity: the Swiss National Bank has set three month LIBOR at an average ofminus 75 basis points.

Total Control

Of course, the idea that taking away your money will stimulate economic growth is ridiculous. As former banker, hedge fund manager, and expert on the fiat money system Warren Mosler recently told Bonner & Partners Investor Network subscribers:

 “First, central bankers have got the interest rate thing backward. They think lowering rates will somehow stimulate the economy.

But negative interest rates are just a tax. You start off with a certain amount of money – say, $100. If the rate is negative 1%, then you have $99 at the end of a year.

Isn’t there some theory that says when people’s money goes away, and they have less, they spend less?”

If negative rates don’t really encourage spending, why bother? This brings us to the real danger of banning cash… and perhaps the real reason the feds want to do it – more control.

Reports William N. Griggs at The Free Thought Project under the headline “Drone Pilots have Bank Accounts and Credit Cards Frozen by Feds for Exposing U.S. Murder”:

“For having the courage to come forward and expose the drone program for the indiscriminate murder that it is, four vets are under attack from the government they once served.

The U.S. Government failed to deter them through threats of criminal prosecution, and clumsy attempts to intimidate their families. Now, four former Air Force drone operators-turned-whistleblowers have had their credit cards and bank accounts frozen, according to human rights attorney Jesselyn Radack.

‘My drone operators went public this week and now their credit cards and bank accounts are frozen,’ Radack lamented on her Twitter feed. This was done despite the fact that none of them has been charged with a criminal offense – but this is a trivial formality in the increasingly Sovietesque American National Security State.”

Radack

The four former drone pilots and whistle-blowers whose electronic financial life was simply erased as punishment for their audacity to inform the public about the murderous practices of the drone program. No court order or indictment was required – the State simply flipped a switch, depriving them of the means to defend themselves. Land of the Free, indeed.

If we are forced to keep our money in the bank… and cash is outlawed… the Deep State will have total economic control over us all.

Following Paris Attacks, 3 Guarantees

Submitted by Nick Bernabe via TheAntiMedia.org,

France was victimized by a bloody terror attack on the evening of November 13th, 2015. ISIS, the self-proclaimed “Islamic caliphate,” has taken credit for the Paris terror attacks, which claimed the lives of at least 129 people and wounded another 415.

The world is grieving, with millions on social media declaring their solidarity with France. Millions more are asking why so many are outraged now, when thousands of people are killed daily in conflicts the world over.

In the aftermath of the attack, several realities have become clear. Taking history into account, three things will undoubtedly occur in response to the terror attacks in Paris.

Yet More War

The world is plagued by war, and following the Paris attacks, there is about to be a lot more of it. French President Francois Hollande quickly declared Friday’s terror attacks acts of war, making it clear through his actions over the weekend what the answer to those acts will be: bombs — and a lot of them.

France carried out over 100 airstrikes in Syria on Sunday, with many more sure to come in Hollande’s “pitiless war” against those responsible for the attacks. France has already been involved with the civil war in Syria, fighting alongside the U.S. At the same time, it has stuck to the West’s talking point that Assad must be deposed for there to be a political solution to the conflict.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the U.S. is gearing up to exploit the attacks in Paris by calling for more military intervention in Syria. First it was politicians, then the establishment media who called for a more direct response from the United States — up to and including a full-scale invasion of Syria.

President Obama has already stymied such calls for a full-scale military operation in Syria, ruling out a ground invasion. “It’s best that we don’t shoot first and aim later,” he said. The president continued:

“We play into the ISIL narrative when we act as if they are a state and we use routine military tactics that are designed to fight a state that is attacking another state. That’s not what’s going on here.”

While this rhetoric is rather rational, it’s hard to believe the president will stick to his words, especially considering he proclaimed the U.S. would not deploy boots on the ground in Syria at least 16 times — only to do just that months later.

As Anti-Media noted earlier today, Sunday’s entire Democratic presidential debate was intentionally shifted to focus on foreign policy and anti-terror measures — and the candidates responded with forcefully hawkish rhetoric (with the exception of Bernie Sanders).

The information that seems to be missing from the entire conversation is that it was forceful foreign policy, accelerated by George W. Bush and continued by President Obama, that is directly responsible for the rise of ISIS in the first place. The short-sighted rhetoric political figures and media pundits are now spouting is highly reminiscent of post-9/11 fervor — and could lead to more of the same foreign policy blunders made in the years following 2001.

Islamophobia, Xenophobia, and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

When an Islamic terrorist group attacks, the masses are quick to indict the entire religion — and the right-wing media is always there to fuel the flames of distrust and fear. The fact of the matter is that only a tiny minority of people who identify as Muslim commit terrorist acts. The likelihood of white Europeans and Americans alike committing an act of terror is exponentially greater than that of Islamic extremists (cops in the U.S. kill exponentially more than both of these groups combined).

Distrust of Muslims has been growing in France for several years, and the Paris attacks have only served to amplify this xenophobia. Rallies for peace and solidarity in Paris over the weekend were interrupted by anti-Muslim protesters shouting, “throw out Islamists!”

 

The “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France, which largely houses Muslims fleeing the war-torn Middle East, caught fire on Friday night. While the cause of the fire is still unknown, anti-immigrant groups in France took to social media to applaud the fire’s destruction.

In the United States, many media outlets are fear mongering with anti-immigrant propaganda, and right-wing politicians are feeding right into it. At least half a dozen Republican governors have already announced plans to resist the settlement of Syrian refugees in their states in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. However, many people on social media are countering the fear mongering:

Loss of Liberties in France and at Home

The immediate response to the terror attacks in France was one of blatant militarism. As Anti-Media reported earlier today, the French government has deployed 10,000 troops to patrol the streets of France. President Francois Hollande announced his intention to extend the state of emergency for another three months, and a curfew has been enacted in Paris for the first time since WWII. These actions make a state of near-martial law a reality for Parisians. The French government also ordered 150 raids across the country against suspected terrorists, placing 104 people under house arrest.

In the long-term, the French can expect to see their liberties eroded as their government continues to replace freedom with security, much like the U.S. did following 9/11 (see: Patriot Act). Prior to Friday’s attacks, the French government had already banned some forms of free speech and established an extensive surveillance apparatus, but further amplifications of these intrusions are likely to follow. Militarized police, “stop and frisk”-style tactics, and loss of privacy are all on the menu as the French government capitalizes on this tragedy to increase its control over the public.

In the U.S., calls to increase already intrusive surveillance of the public have already begun. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, said, “I think we need to restore the metadata program, which was part of the Patriot Act.” Though the bulk collection of the metadata of U.S. citizens was ruled unconstitutional last week by District Court Judge Richard Leon, CIA director John Brennan echoed Bush-era sentiments: speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Brennan claimed that in the wake of the Paris attacks, the U.S. should roll back recent reforms made to protect the privacy of Americans from the NSA’s surveillance dragnet.

While the world mourns the deaths of the innocent people who fell victim to the terror attacks in France, Western governments are busy making plans to wage further war and to reduce the freedoms of the very people victimized by the attacks in the first place. Meanwhile, misled patriots everywhere are clamoring to express their nationalistic fervor, bashing and attacking the very refugees their own governments created through foreign policy riddled with hubris.

Propaganda Taught At Police Academies

Iraq War Veteran Blows Whistle On Shameless Propaganda Being Taught At Police Academies

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 10.44.36 AM

Before getting into the meat of this post, I want to start off by stating a fact:There is no “war on police” happening in America today. What is happening is a growing movement of people who want police accountability, profess a desire to reform the justice system so that we stop incarcerating people for the  oxymoron of “victimless crimes,” and an end to the widespread thieving of the public without due process via a practice known as civil asset forfeiture.

I’ve covered these topics extensively over the years. Here are just a few examples:

The United States: 5% of the World’s Population, 25% of its Prisoners

Don’t Mess with Texas – Police Raid and Shutdown Lemonade Stand Run by 7 and 8-Year-Old Girls

Chart of the Day – America’s Prison Population Over the Past 100 Years

Denver Police Arrest “Jury Nullification” Activist for Passing Out Informational Pamphlets

Land of the Unfree – Police and Prosecutors Fight Aggressively to Retain Barbaric Right of “Civil Asset Forfeiture”

The DEA Strikes Again – Agents Seize Man’s Life Savings Under Civil Asset Forfeiture Without Charges

Asset Forfeiture – How Cops Continue to Steal Americans’ Hard Earned Cash with Zero Repercussions

The public grievances listed earlier are reasonable demands which any civilized culture would insist upon. Nevertheless, many police departments across the country are taking these criticisms as part of some imagined “war on police” which simply doesn’t exist. Rather than showing even a sliver of introspection by looking inward at the mistakes policing has made in recent years, many officers are becoming defensive, combatant and have resorted to lies in order to dismiss the concerns of the public.

This is precisely what an Iraq war veteran witnessed recently while training at a police academy. He shared his story with the Daily Beast under the pseudonym Clayton Jenkins. Here are some excerpts:

The War on Cops is a grossly inaccurate response to recent police killings which are on track for another year that will rival the safest on record. Gunfire deaths by police officers are down 27 percent this year, according to the Officer Down memorial page, and police killings in general are at a 20-year low, given current numbers for 2015. Police deaths in Barack Obama’s presidency are lower than the past four administrations, going all the way back to Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

Not a single iota of evidence supports a War on Police, but it has become a battle cry among some in the academy.

Over 80 percent of police departments in the United States are facing issues with low recruitment numbers. As an Iraq War veteran I sought to solidify my chance of employment working in law enforcement by attending a local police academy. I enjoyed serving my country as military police and will do such now as a sworn police officer back home.

What are they telling us in a post-Michael Brown academy? The culture of police brutality is infrequently addressed, but what is continually mentioned is the notion that there is a War on Police.

“The Obama Administration and Eric Holder are undermining the police. We have officers dying left and right and he’s dicking off in Alaska,” says one of my instructors, referring to the president’s trip to Alaska last week.

I understand as a law enforcement professional—and as someone capable of fairly reading mountains of data—that the Drug War has been unfairly used as a tool of oppression against the black community. It is why the American public overall has shown they have less confidence in police in recent times.

But there is no War on Police. This Us vs. Them mentality still prevails even in fresh academy cadets. Perhaps some of these people will become future jackbooted, truncheon wielding oppressors. Or perhaps they will encounter the reality that betrays the fear they are taught.

Now watch the following recruitment video for the Portsmouth, Virginia police department…

Meanwhile, a Portsmouth officer was recently indicted after fatally shooting 18-year-old William Chapman after he was caught shoplifting.

This looks like a scene from Gaza, not the America we imagine.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 10.45.25 AM

Please tell me. Who has declared war on who?

Bankers Jailed In Next Financial Crisis

Bankers Will Be Jailed In The Next Financial Crisis

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Jesus College, Cambridge hosted, once more, the world’s leading Symposium on Economic Crime, and over 500 distinguished speakers and panelists drawn from the widest possible international fora, gathered to make presentations to the many hundreds of delegates and attendees.

What became very quickly clear this year was the general sense of deep disgust and repugnance that was demonstrated towards the global banking industry.

I can say with some degree of certainty now that a very large number of academics, law enforcement agencies, and financial compliance consultants are now joined, as one, in their total condemnation of significant elements of the global banking sector for their organised criminal activities.

Many banks are widely identified now as nothing more than enterprise criminal organisations, who engage in widespread criminal practice and dishonest conduct as a matter of course and deliberate commercial policy.

– From the excellent article: The Banking Criminals Exposed

My prediction is that bankers will be jailed in the next economic/financial crisis. Lots and lots of bankers.

It may seem to many that those working within this profession will remain above the law indefinitely in light of the lack of any accountability whatsoever since the collapse of 2008. It may seem that way, but extrapolating this trend into the future is to ignore a monumentally changed political environment around the world. From the ascendancy of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders here in the U.S., to Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader in the UK, big changes are certainly afoot.

I have become convinced of this change for a little while now, but we won’t really see evidence of it until the next collapse. However, something I read earlier today really brought the point home for me. Rowan Bosworth-Davies recently attended the 33rd Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime and provided us with some notes in an excellent piece titled, The Banking Criminals Exposed. Here are a few excerpts:

Jesus College, Cambridge hosted, once more, the world’s leading Symposium on Economic Crime, and over 500 distinguished speakers and panelists drawn from the widest possible international fora, gathered to make presentations to the many hundreds of delegates and attendees.

This Symposium has indeed become an icon among other international gatherings of its knd and over the years, it has proved to be highly influential in the driving and development of international policy aimed at combating international financial and economic crime.

What became very quickly clear this year was the general sense of deep disgust and repugnance that was demonstrated towards the global banking industry.

I can say with some degree of certainty now that a very large number of academics, law enforcement agencies, and financial compliance consultants are now joined, as one, in their total condemnation of significant elements of the global banking sector for their organised criminal activities.

Many banks are widely identified now as nothing more than enterprise criminal organisations, who engage in widespread criminal practice and dishonest conduct as a matter of course and deliberate commercial policy.

Speaker after speaker addressed the implications of the scandalous level of PPI fraud, whose repayment and compensation schedules now run into billions of pounds.

Some speakers struggled with the definition of such activity as ‘Mis-selling’ and needed to be advised that what they were describing was an institutionalized level of organised financial crimes involving fraud, false accounting, forgery and other offenses involving acts of misrepresentation and deceit.

One of the side issues which came out of this and other debates, was the general and genuine sense of bewilderment that management in these institutions concerned, (and very few banks and financial houses have escaped censure for this dishonest practice) have walked away from this orgy of criminal antics, completely unscathed. The protestations from management that these dishonest acts were carried out by a few rogue elements, holds no water and cannot be justified.

In the end, I sat there, open-mouthed while evidence against the same old usual scum-bag financial institutions, was unrolled, and a lengthy list of agencies, all apparently dedicated to dealing with fraud and financial crime, lamely sought to explain why they were powerless to help these victims.

This was followed by a lengthy list of names of major law firms, and Big 5 accounting firms who were willing to join with these pariah banks to bring complex and expensive legal actions against these victims, bankrupting them, forcing them from their homes, repossessing properties they had worked for years to create, while all the time, the regulators and the other agencies, including to my shame and regret, certain spineless police forces, stood by and sought to justify their inaction.

At one stage, we were shown how banks ritually and deliberately take transcripts of telephone calls made between complainants and the bank, and deliberately and systematically go through these conversations, re-editing them and reproducing them in a format which is much more favourable to the bank.

For the first time, I found routine agreement among delegates that the banking industry had become synonymous with organised crime. Many otherwise more conservative attendees expressed their grave concern and their repugnance at the way in which so many of our most famous banking names were now behaving. It is becoming very much harder to believe that the banks will be able to rely on the routine support they have traditionally enjoyed from most ordinary members of the public.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the labour Party means that banking crime and financial fraud will now become an electoral issue.

But now, the new Labour leadership will focus the attention of the electorate on the relationship between the Tory party and their very crooked friends in the City, and the degree of protection that the Square Mile gangsters and their Consiglieri, their Capos, and their Godfathers will become much more identifiable. Bank crime will now become much more identifiable as a City practice and their friends in the Tories will be seen as being primary beneficiaries.

Things are moving in the direction of justice. At a glacial place for sure, but moving they are.

Where Is Neo When We Need Him?

Submitted by Paul Craig Roberts,

In The Matrix in which Americans live, nothing is ever their fault. For example, the current decline in the US stock market is not because years of excessive liquidity supplied by the Federal Reserve have created a bubble so overblown that a mere six stocks, some of which have no earnings commiserate with their price, accounted for more than all of the gain in market capitalization in the S&P 500 prior to the current disruption.

In our Matrix existence, the stock market decline is not due to corporations using their profits, and even taking out loans, to repurchase their shares, thus creating an artificial demand for their equity shares.

The decline is not due to the latest monthly reporting of durable goods orders falling on a year-to-year basis for the sixth consecutive month.

The stock market decline is not due to a weak economy in which after a decade of alleged economic recovery, new and existing home sales are still down by 63% and 23% from the peak in July 2005.

The stock market decline is not due to the collapse in real median family income and, thereby, consumer demand, resulting from two decades of offshoring middle class jobs and partially replacing them with minimum wage part-time Walmart jobs without benefits that do not provide sufficient income to form a household.

No, none of these facts can be blamed. The decline in the US stock market is the fault of China.

What did China do? China is accused of devaluing by a small amount its currency.

Why would a slight adjustment in the yuan’s exchange value to the dollar cause the US and European stock markets to decline?

It wouldn’t. But facts don’t matter to the presstitute media. They lie for a living.

Moreover, it was not a devaluation.

When China began the transition from communism to capitalism, China pegged its currency to the US dollar in order to demonstrate that its currency was as good as the world’s reserve currency. Over time China has allowed its currency to appreciate relative to the dollar. For example, in 2006 one US dollar was worth 8.1 Chinese yuan. Recently, prior to the alleged “devaluation” one US dollar was worth 6.1 or 6.2 yuan. After China’s adjustment to its floating peg, one US dollar is worth 6.4 yuan. Clearly, a change in the value of the yuan from 6.1 or 6.2 to the dollar to 6.4 to the dollar did not collapse the US and European stock markets.

Furthermore, the change in the range of the floating peg to the US dollar did not devalue China’s currency with regard to its non-US trading partners. What had happened, and what China corrected, is that as a result of the QE money printing policies currently underway by the Japanese and European central banks, the dollar appreciated against other currencies. As China’s yuan is pegged to the dollar, China’s currency appreciated with regard to its Asian and European trading partners. The appreciation of China’s currency (due to its peg to the US dollar) is not a good thing for Chinese exports during a time of struggling economies. China merely altered its peg to the dollar in order to eliminate the appreciation of its currency against its other trading partners.

Why did not the financial press tell us this? Is the Western financial press so incompetent that they do not know this? Yes.

Or is it simply that America itself cannot possibly be responsible for anything that goes wrong. That’s it. Who, us?! We are innocent! It was those damn Chinese!

Look, for example, at the hordes of refugees from America’s invasions and bombings of seven countries who are currently overrunning Europe. The huge inflows of peoples from America’s massive slaughter of populations in seven countries, enabled by the Europeans themselves, is causing political consternation in Europe and the revival of far-right political parties. Today, for example, neo-nazis shouted down German Chancellor Merkel, who tried to make a speech asking for compassion for refugees.

But, of course, Merkel herself is responsible for the refugee problem that is destabilizing Europe. Without Germany as Washington’s two-bit punk puppet state, a non-entity devoid of sovereignty, a non-country, a mere vassal, an outpost of the Empire, ruled from Washington, America could not be conducting the illegal wars that are producing the hordes of refugees that are over-taxing Europe’s ability to accept refugees and encouraging neo-nazi parties.

The corrupt European and American press present the refugee problem as if it has nothing whatsoever to do with America’s war crimes against seven countries. I mean, really, why should peoples flee countries when America is bringing them “freedom and democracy?”

Nowhere in the Western media other than a few alternative media websites is there an ounce of integrity. The Western media is a Ministry of Truth that operates full-time in support of the artificial existence that Westerners live inside The Matrix where Westerners exist without thought. Considering their inaptitude and inaction, Western peoples might as well not exist.

More is going to collapse on the brainwashed Western fools than mere stock values.

Ten Principles For Escaping The Matrix & Tyranny

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“Until they become conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled, they cannot become conscious.” – George Orwell

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

It’s a shell game intended to keep us focused on and distracted by all of the politically expedient things that are being said – about militarized police, surveillance, and government corruption – while the government continues to frogmarch us down the road toward outright tyranny.

Unarmed citizens are still getting shot by militarized police trained to view them as the enemy and treated as if we have no rights. Despite President Obama’s warning that the nation needs to do some “soul searching” about issues such as race, poverty and the strained relationship between law enforcement and the minority communities they serve, police killings and racial tensions are at an all-time high. Just recently, in Texas, a white police officer was suspended after video footage showed him “manhandling, arresting and drawing his gun on a group of black children outside a pool party.”

Americans’ private communications and data are still being sucked up by government spy agencies. The USA Freedom Act was just a placebo pill intended to make us feel better without bringing about any real change. As Bill Blunden, a cybersecurity researcher and surveillance critic, points out, “The theater we’ve just witnessed allows decision makers to boast to their constituents about reforming mass surveillance while spies understand that what’s actually transpired is hardly major change.”

Taxpayer dollars are still being squandered on roads to nowhere, endless wars that do not make us safer, and bloated government agencies that should have been shut down long ago. A good example is the Transportation Security Administration, which, despite its $7 billion annual budget, has shown itself to be bumbling and ineffective.

And military drills are still being carried out on American soil under the pretext of training soldiers for urban warfare overseas. Southeastern Michigan, the site of one of the many military training drills taking place across the country this summer, has had Black Hawk helicopters buzzing its skies and soldiers dressed for combat doing night combat drills in abandoned buildings around the state.

In other words, freedom, or what’s left of it, is being threatened from every direction. The threats are of many kinds: political, cultural, educational, media, and psychological. However, as history shows us, freedom is not, on the whole, wrested from a citizenry. It is all too often given over voluntarily and for such a cheap price: safety, security, bread, and circuses.

This is part and parcel of the propaganda churned out by the government machine. That said, what we face today—mind manipulation and systemic violence—is not new. What is different are the techniques used and the large-scale control of mass humanity, coercive police tactics and pervasive surveillance. As we have seen with the erection of the electronic concentration camp, there is virtually no escaping the invisible prison surrounding us. Once upon a time, one could run and hide or duck into a cave, but that is no longer feasible as caves are quite scarce, and those running the camp have their eyes watching everything.

Moreover, we are presented with the illusion that we act of our own volition when most of the time we are being watched, prodded, and controlled. “The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative,” Aldous Huxley stated. “The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible.”

In fact, with the merger of the Internet and the corporate state, unless you are alert and aware, it will be increasingly difficult to discern the difference between freedom and enslavement. With the methods of mind manipulation available to the corporate state, the very nature of democratic government has been changed. Again, as Aldous Huxley writes:

[T]he quaint old forms—elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of nonviolent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial . . . Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.

To many, the situation seems hopeless. But is it?

From the day you’re born until the day you die, the choices you exercise are very limited. You don’t choose to be born or choose what sex you are or who your parents are or where you live. When you are a child, you are told what to do, and when you enter school, you sit plastered to a desk and are taught what others demand you should know. Yes, the indoctrinating process begins on day one.

Then there are the rules, the endless rules. If you say the wrong word, write the wrong story or wear the wrong clothes, you can get thrown out of school or even arrested. You live where you are told and eat what others think you should eat. As you grow older, this list expands into employment, marriage and so on. In other words, your so-called reality is socially constructed. It is predetermined for you, and if you step out of line and disagree with what the current society deems proper, you will be ostracized. If you speak your mind to the governing authorities, you might find yourself behind bars.

The point is that in order to develop a compliant citizenry, people must be forced to live in a mental matrix of words, ideas, ideologies, and teachings that are designed to make us conform. “As the Matrix in the movie was used to facilitate the exploitation of humans,” writes author Henry H. Lindner, “so the current ideological Matrix was created for, and serves to exploit us, turning us into unthinking workers and consumers—slaves of the ruling elite who themselves are trapped in the Matrix.” In fact, “few of us are able to escape the Matrix. We do not even know it exists.”

For there to be any hope of real change, you’ll have to change how you think about yourself, your fellow human beings, freedom, society, and the government. This means freeing your mind, realizing the truth, and unlearning all the myths you have been indoctrinated with since the day you were able to comprehend language.

The following principles, taken from my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, may help any budding freedom fighters in the struggle to liberate themselves and our society.

First, we must come to grips with the reality that the present system does not foster freedom. It denies freedom and must be altered. “Our authoritarian system is based on cruelty and control—it increasingly drives natural love and feelings from our society and produces violence and greed,” Lindner recognizes. “Our society is deteriorating morally and intellectually. This system cannot be reformed.”

To start with, we must recognize that the government’s primary purpose is maintaining power and control. It’s an oligarchy composed of corporate giants wedded to government officials who benefit from the relationship. In other words, it is motivated by greed and exists to perpetuate itself. As George Orwell writes:

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship. . . .. The object of power is power.

Second, voting is practically worthless. “In principle, it is a great privilege,” Aldous Huxley recognized. “In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty.”

We live in a secretive surveillance state that has virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. As Jordan Michael Smith, writing for the Boston Globe, concludes about the American government:

There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

How many times have the various politicians, when running for office, lied about all they were going to do to bring hope and change to America? Once they get elected, what do they do? They do whatever the corporate powers want. Yes, the old boss is the same as the new boss. The maxim: power follows money.

Moreover, voting is a way to keep the citizenry pacified. However, many Americans intuitively recognize that something is wrong with the way the electoral process works and have withdrawn from the process. That’s why the government places so much emphasis on the reassurance ritual of voting. It provides the illusion of participation.

Third, question everything. Don’t assume anything government does is for the good of the citizenry. Again, that is not the purpose of modern government. It exists to perpetuate a regime. Remember the words of James Madison, considered the father of the U.S. Constitution: “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” Power corrupts. And as the maxim goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Fourth, materialism is a death knell to freedom. While it may be true that Americans are better off than citizens of other nations—we have jobs, food, entertainment, shopping malls, etc.—these are the trappings meant to anesthetize and distract us.

Like the dodo, any “bird that has learned how to grub up a good living without being compelled to use its wings will soon renounce the privilege of flight and remain forever grounded,” Huxley warned. “Same thing is true of human beings. If bread is supplied regularly and capaciously three times a day, many of them will be perfectly content to live by bread alone—or at least by bread and circuses alone.” Free as a bird, some say, but only if you’re willing to free your mind and sacrifice all for a dangerous concept—freedom.

In other words, the hope is that the cry of “‘give me television and hamburgers, but don’t bother me with the responsibilities of liberty,’ may give place, under altered circumstances, to the cry of ‘give me liberty or give me death.’” This is indeed dangerous freedom.

Fifth, there is little hope for any true resistance if you are mindlessly connected to the electronic concentration camp. Remember, what you’re being electronically fed by those in power is meant to pacify, distract, and control you. You can avoid mind manipulations to a large degree by greatly limiting your reliance on electronic devices—cell phones, laptops, televisions, and so on.

Sixth, an armed revolt will not work. Although we may have returned to a 1776 situation where we need to take drastic actions to restore freedom, this is not colonial America with its muskets and people’s armies. Local police departments have enough militarized firepower to do away with even a large-scale armed revolt. Even attempting to repel a SWAT team raid on your home is futile. You’ll get blown away.

Seventh, be wise and realize that there is power in numbers. Networks, coalitions, and movements can accomplish much—especially if their objectives are focused and practical—and they are very much feared by government authorities. That’s why the government is armed to the teeth and prepared to put down even small nonviolent protests.

Eighth, act locally but think nationally. The greatest impact can be had at local governing bodies such as city councils. Join together with friends and neighbors and start a Civil Liberties Oversight Committee. Regularly attend council meetings and demand that government corruption be brought under control and that police activities be brought under the scrutiny of local governing bodies and, thus, the citizenry.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, for example, police were involved in 39 shootings dating back to 2010. After a 2014 police shooting of an unarmed homeless man camped out in a public park, residents engaged in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience to disrupt the normal functioning of the city government and demand that the police department be brought under control. Community activists actually went so far as to storm a city council meeting and announce that they would be performing a citizens’ arrest of the police chief, charging him with “harboring fugitives from justice at the Albuquerque police department” and “crimes against humanity.”

In Davis County, California, in August 2014, after a public uproar over the growing militarization of local police, council members ordered the police to find a way of getting rid of the department’s newly acquired MRAP tank. One man at the council meeting was quoted as saying: “I would like to say I do not suggest you take this vehicle and send it out of Davis, I demand it.”

Ninth, local towns, cities and states can nullify or say “no” to federal laws that violate the rights and freedoms of the citizenry. In fact, several states have passed laws stating that they will not comply with the National Defense Authorization Act which allows for the military to indefinitely detain (imprison) American citizens. Again, when and if you see such federal laws passed, gather your coalition of citizens and demand that your local town council nullify such laws. If enough towns and cities across the country would speak truth to power in this way, we might see some positive movement from the federal governmental machine.

Tenth, understand what freedom is all about. “Who were the first persons to get the unusual idea that being free was not only a value to be cherished but the most important thing that someone can possess?” asks Professor Orlando Patterson. “The answer in a word: slaves.”

Freedom arose from the hearts and minds of those who realized that they were slaves. It became a primary passion of those who were victims of slavery.

Some Americans are beginning to realize that they are slaves and that if they don’t act soon, they will find themselves imprisoned in the electronic concentration camp indefinitely. Mind you, there may not be any chains hanging from the dungeon walls, but it is a prison nonetheless, and we are, without a doubt, inmates serving life sentences.

Hospitals Are Blatantly Ripping Us Off

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Most Americans are deathly afraid to go to the hospital these days – and it is because of the immense pain that it will cause to their wallets.  If you want to get on a path that will lead you to bankruptcy, just start going to the hospital a lot.  In America today, hospitals and doctors are blatantly ripping us off and they aren’t making any apologies for it.  As you will read about below, some hospitals mark up treatments by 1,000 percent.

In other instances, basic medical supplies are being billed out at hundreds of times what they cost providers.  For example, it has been reported that some hospitals are charging up to 30 dollars for a single aspirin pill.  It would be difficult to argue that the extreme greed that we see in the medical system is even matched by the crooks on Wall Street.  These medical predators get their hands on us when we are at our most vulnerable.  They know that in our lowest moments we are willing to pay just about anything to get better or to make the pain go away.  And so they very quietly have us sign a bunch of forms without ever telling us how much everything is going to cost.  Eventually when the bills come in the mail, it is too late to do anything about it.

How would you feel if someone sold you something for ten times the amount that it was worth?

Would you feel ripped off?

Well, that is what hospitals all over the country are doing every single day.  Just check out what one brand new study has discovered

Some hospitals are marking up treatments by as much as 1,000 percent, a new study finds, and the average U.S. hospital charges uninsured patients three times what Medicare allows.

Twenty of the hospitals in the top 50 when it comes to marking up charges are in Florida, the researchers write in the journal Health Affairs. And three-quarters of them are operated by two Tennessee-based for-profit hospital systems: Community Health Systems and Hospital Corporation of America.

“We just want to raise public awareness of the problem,” said Ge Bai of Washington & Lee University in Virginia, an accounting professor who wrote the study along with Gerard Anderson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Does reading that make you angry?

It should.

They are greedily taking advantage of all of us.

Other studies have come up with similar results.  Here is one example

 According to National Nurses United, U.S. hospital charges continue to soar with a handful of them, such as Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, N.J., going as far as charging more than ten times the total cost — or almost $1,200 per $100 of the cost of care. Meanwhile, the hundred priciest hospitals in the nation were found to have this cost ratio begin at 765 percent, which is more than twice the national average of 331 percent.

Much of the time, we are being overcharged for tests, services and procedures that we don’t even need.

It has been estimated that the amount of truly wasteful spending in the U.S. medical system comes to a grand total of about $600 billion to $700 billion annually.  That means that wasteful medical spending in the U.S. each year is greater than the GDP of the entire country of Sweden.

And of course almost everyone has a story about an absolutely ridiculous medical bill that they have received.  In fact, if you have one that you would like to share, please feel free to share it at the end of this article.  The following are just a few examples that were shared in an editorial in a local newspaper

 Have you heard about the little girl who required three stitches over her right eye? The emergency room sent her parents a bill for $1,500 — $500 per stitch (NY Times, Dec. 3). My neighbor recently spent six hours in the emergency room with bleeding from the mouth. He was on a blood thinner, needed several blood tests, and his heart was monitored. His hospital bill came to $22,000. A California man diagnosed with lung cancer chose to fight his cancer aggressively. Eleven months later his widow received a bill exceeding $900,000.

One of the most disturbing trends that we are witnessing all over the nation is something called “drive by doctoring”.  That is where an extra doctor that isn’t even necessary “pops in” to visit patients that are not his or “assists” with a surgery in order to stick the patient with a big, fat extra bill.  The following is from a New York Times article about this disgusting practice…

 Before his three-hour neck surgery for herniated disks in December, Peter Drier, 37, signed a pile of consent forms. A bank technology manager who had researched his insurance coverage, Mr. Drier was prepared when the bills started arriving: $56,000 from Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, $4,300 from the anesthesiologist and even $133,000 from his orthopedist, who he knew would accept a fraction of that fee.

 He was blindsided, though, by a bill of about $117,000 from an “assistant surgeon,” a Queens-based neurosurgeon whom Mr. Drier did not recall meeting.

How would you like to receive a bill for $117,000 from a doctor that you had never met and that you did not know would be at your surgery?

This is how broken our medical system has become.

And of course this type of abuse is not just happening in New York.  It is literally happening all over the nation

 In operating rooms and on hospital wards across the country, physicians and other health providers typically help one another in patient care. But in an increasingly common practice that some medical experts call drive-by doctoring, assistants, consultants and other hospital employees are charging patients or their insurers hefty fees.

They may be called in when the need for them is questionable. And patients usually do not realize they have been involved or are charging until the bill arrives.

If you or a close family member has been to the hospital recently, you probably know how astronomical some of these bills can be.

And if you have a chronic, life threatening disease, you can very rapidly end up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

If you doubt this, just check out the following excerpt from an article that appeared in Time Magazine.  One cancer patient out in California ran up nearly a million dollars in hospital billsbefore he finally died…

 By the time Steven D. died at his home in Northern California the following November, he had lived for an additional 11 months. And Alice had collected bills totaling $902,452. The family’s first bill — for $348,000 — which arrived when Steven got home from the Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., was full of all the usual chargemaster profit grabs: $18 each for 88 diabetes-test strips that Amazon sells in boxes of 50 for $27.85; $24 each for 19 niacin pills that are sold in drugstores for about a nickel apiece. There were also four boxes of sterile gauze pads for $77 each. None of that was considered part of what was provided in return for Seton’s facility charge for the intensive-care unit for two days at $13,225 a day, 12 days in the critical unit at $7,315 a day and one day in a standard room (all of which totaled $120,116 over 15 days). There was also $20,886 for CT scans and$24,251 for lab work.

The sad truth is that the U.S. health care system has become all about the money.

A select few are becoming exceedingly wealthy while millions go broke.  One very disturbing study discovered that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.  And collection agencies seek to collect unpaid medical bills from approximately 30 million Americans every single year.

Once upon a time, going into the medical profession was a sacrifice and you did it because you wanted to help people.

Today, it is considered to be a path to riches.

If the U.S. health care system was a separate country, it would actually be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet.  Even though our system is deeply broken, nobody wants to rock the boat because trillions of dollars are at stake.  If it was up to me, I would tear the entire thing down and rebuild it from scratch.

No Drinking Water In Venezuela Until Bankers Get Paid Back

No Drinking Water In Venezuela Until Bankers Get Paid Back

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/09/2014 22:38 -0400

2013 was a good year for Goldman Sachs investments in Emerging Markets, most notably Venezuelan bonds (as they bet on socialism and won). A year later and Goldman’s EM debt portfolio is still loaded with Venezuelan bonds… and the arrears are mounting. As Bloomberg reports, at a time when Venezuela’s record $25 billion in arrears to importers has its citizens waiting hours in line to buy drinking water and crossing borders in search of medicine, President Nicolas Maduro is using the nation’s dwindling supply of dollars to enrich bondholders.

As Bloomberg reports,

Venezuela, which imports just about everything, and its state oil producer have paid $2.8 billion in interest to overseas creditors this year, according to Barclays Plc. Including debt principal, bondholder outlays will balloon to almost $10 billion by year-end, the London-based firm estimates.

By putting off the local companies responsible for supplying everything from diapers to cancer medications, Maduro can preserve access to debt markets and protect oil shipments that would be vulnerable to bondholder seizure, said Alejandro Arreaza, an analyst at Barclays. Even if that means fanning the world’s fastest inflation and inflaming protests over shortages that have left at least 42 people dead since February.

The government’s priority is to pay the sovereign debt,” Alejandro Arreaza, an analyst at Barclays Plc, said in a telephone interview from New York.

Of course, it’s not just the government debt but state-owned entities that need the USD and are getting priority over the thirsty population…

 State oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA is seeking a loan to pay off $3 billion of debt that matures this year and isn’t planning additional dollar bond sales in 2014, a company official said yesterday. PDVSA, as the Caracas-based company is known, is working to refinance an additional $11.9 billion of dollar debt due through 2017 to bring its annual maturities to no more than $3 billion, said the official, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly.

It’s the first time that it’s ever reached this critical level,” he said by telephone. “And it’s clear that they can’t pay it off at once.”

“There has been a divergence between what happens to Venezuelan bonds in the international market and what happens to businesses that operate inside of Venezuela,”

As one analysts noted… just like everywhere else in the world…

“The market is giving Venezuela the benefit of the doubt and hopes that it applies other economic measures that in one form or another will guarantee its capacity to repay bondholders,”