Wednesday, April 7, 2010

American Monetary Institute (AMI): History of money, monetary reform, public action. 5 of 6

We hold these Truths as self-evident...

The American Monetary Institute is the world’s leading organization for understanding monetary history and how to reform monetary policy. These six articles reprint AMI’s principle information, available at AMI’s website, with their express permission to share widely:

  1. Explaining the need for monetary reform: the heart of our economic crisis
  2. Monetary history: synopsis of Stephen Zarlenga’s The Lost Science of Money
  3. How to reform our monetary system: understanding the mechanics of creating money
  4. The American Monetary Act: monetary reform legislation for Congress (part a and part b)
  5. FAQ of monetary reform
  6. What can Americans do for monetary reform?

This article is part 5. The other titles above will have live links as I add one each day. The following eight paragraphs are a common introduction that begins each article.

The Lost Science of Money (LSM) is a superlative accomplishment of historical analysis. It explains with academic professionalism how money has historically evolved and its capture by oligarchic corporate, political, and media “leaders” for their own use rather than public benefit. Stephen Zarlenga is an unsung hero for his years of work in reviewing nearly a thousand books on money, its creation, and its manipulation. LSM is the most historically authoritative, most comprehensively researched, and most important book on monetary reform available. It is clearly written for all readers to understand this topic of trillions of dollars of yearly benefits for the American public.

As the founder and Director of AMI, Mr. Zarlenga draws on 35 years of experience in the world of finance, securities, insurance, mutual funds, real estate, and futures trading. He has published 20 books on money, banking, politics and philosophy (including The Anglo American Establishment, by Prof. Carrol Quigley). While in his mid 20s he incorporated the Athenian branch of an English life insurance company, earlier opening several European markets for the parent firm, IOS. He built the U.S. distribution network of the then leading American mutual fund concentrating in gold shares. As a member of the New York Futures Exchange (a subsidiary of the New York Stock Exchange) he specialized in trading the complex CRB futures index for several years.
Our “modern” banking system is a Robber Baron-era cartel, expert only in creating price bubbles, bursting them, consolidating power, using political control for taxpayer subsidization of trillions of our dollars (so-called “bailout”), and then repeating the process. It is an Orwellian comic-tragedy of economic management; fraud to consolidate money and power to an elite group of families and organizations.
My summary of leading economic professionals alert to these facts and communicating them to the American public, along with the obvious solutions, is here. The background paper I have for students to understand monetary reform is here. A summary of many of America's brightest historical minds who have argued for monetary reform, here. The evidence that corporate media doesn't report these obvious solutions because they are in collusion with the current power structure of government and money, here. Evidence that professional economic journals are controlled by the Federal Reserve to censor any information that would provide an alternative monetary system, here. A simple example is censoring the obvious alternative of paying the national debt rather than increasing it; that is, shifting from a government-created "debt supply" to an actual "money supply." Corporate media near-absolute silence on these issues is revealing and stunning in its implications.
I also work with Ellen Brown, author of the outstanding Web of Debt, and other colleagues for states’ legislatures’ understanding of monetary reform, and in particular their legislative option to create state-owned banks. Under existing bank laws, states could issue their own credit to purchase their outstanding debt. If California were to do this, they would save $5 billion every year on their state debt interest cost. To put that number in perspective, California could rehire their 20,000 laid-off teachers (I am one) and still have $3.4 billion left.
The power of a two-pronged strategy to work for national monetary reform while educating state legislators of the advantage to their state of creating their own credit rather than going to banks is the education of over a thousand powerful law-making partners all across the US. As a professional educator, I can tell you that research agrees with our observation that education is greatly helped by linking what students (state legislators) already understand (their state economic crisis) to their interests (solving their state crises), and then to the broadest curricular objectives (national monetary reform).
A weakness in any monetary reform strategy is its “Catch-22” nature. The nation’s money supply (not the current debt supply) needs to be managed at a centralized national level. However, the current central national management are the criminal frauds keeping Americans as debt peons. The structural answer is simple, but requires honest management: transparency and public accountability. A probable scenario for Americans to achieve an honest and accountable monetary system is a Truth and Reconciliation process to uncover all the facts keeping our systemic fraud in place.
Mr. Zarlenga and I have discussed this political strategy; he currently disagrees. His view is that investing time for state use of the current non-public-serving system is a distraction from the real reforms required at the national level. His views are expressed in the following and on AMI’s website. I observe the lack of movement in Congress, the sterling example of North Dakota being one of only two currently solvent states in the US with their state-owned bank, and prefer the benefits of unleashing thousands of state lawmakers for national monetary reform step-by-step from seeing their state benefits first.

Background: The actual history of government control over money shows a far superior record to private control. There is a mythology – a reigning error – that government issued money has been irresponsible, and inflationary. But this is the result of decades, even centuries of relentless propaganda, and is contradicted by the historical facts. The Continental Currency is attacked, without discussion that while our government authorized $200 million and issued $200 million (plus replacement notes), the Brits successfully counterfeited untold $billions. They did the same for the French Assignats – the details became public when the counterfeiters sued each other in the English courts.
The American Greenbacks are smeared as worthless inflation money when in fact our government authorized $450 million and printed exactly $450 million; and every greenback eventually exchanged one for one with gold coinage – but very few people bothered to exchange them!
The German hyperinflation is cited by the private money gang without pointing out that the German Reichsbank was privately owned and controlled, or that the hyperinflation began the month that all governmental influence over the Reichsbank was removed on the insistence of the allied occupiers. These and other cases are described in The Lost Science of Money book.
The specter of inflation will be raised against any proposal that our government fulfill its responsibility to provide the nation’s currency. But again this is a knee-jerk reaction resulting from the same propaganda. The reason that inflation is avoided is that real wealth is created with the money spent into circulation on infrastructure, and education and health care. It results in the provision of real goods and vital services and the existence of these serves to control inflation. It is mainly expenditures for warfare that are inflationary, because not only is the money not directed to creating values for life, it actually destroys those values, while increasing the money supply, and THAT will always be inflationary.
It will be argued that the banks must have the money creation privilege in order to survive, and removing it would destroy banking. But that is absurd. Banking has already destroyed itself! The Savings and Loan industry operated for many decades on principles close to what this Act advocates. We are not out to destroy banking – it’s a necessary part of modern society. However, the folly of our present system is self evident. There’s nothing in the dominant financier’s background, training or philosophy that qualifies them to be above our constitutional system of checks & balances. Look at the mess they have created around the World!
This comprehensive Act has its best chance for passage in the great crisis created by the criminal element within the banking system. Our strategy is to stay focused on the full American Monetary Act as the minimum solution. Implementing only parts of it would be a dereliction of duty. Such compromise would give the criminal financiers the opportunity to re-group and re-assert their power over all banking, as they have mercilessly done in at least four major historical cases over the past 150 years, here and in other countries. That’s what a wealthy organized gang with a single objective can do, especially against a population that only coalesces under severe crisis conditions as at present. Though the crisis means suffering, we must at least use it to solve the problem.
Lawmakers at the national level must be made to understand how this crisis is within their power to solve. Perhaps even more importantly, at the state and local levels, lawmakers must be made aware how solving this problem nationally, opens the way for real world solutions of most of the “insoluble” local problems they face. Therefore in conjunction with the national approach, a state focused campaign needs to be organized.
None of this is easy, but take heart when you consider that what we are proposing would be immensely beneficial to 99.5% of the population. Even those presently gaining unearned riches from the present faulty system, would benefit from the improved quality and security of life in general.
The American Monetary Institute is organizing local chapters around the country to help educate our fellow citizens and representatives in the area of monetary history, theory and reform. We do this in a way that is understandable to the average newspaper reporter. The Lost Science of Money book is written in highly readable form – we intend to be understood! We invite you now to join with us in this adventure to achieve a just money system – to right this wrong that has plagued our nation for so long.
Here is how you can help the AMI do this:
*Purchase and read The Lost Science of Money book.
*Become a supporting member of the AMI, by pledging to donate $48 or $75 (or more) per year.
*Attend the next annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference in Chicago.
*Join or help set up a local chapter of the American Monetary Institute in your area.
*Order and help distribute additional copies of this pamphlet, and stay in touch!
The American Monetary Act (AMA)
“Twenty Questions” Frequently Asked – FAQs (August 22, 2009)
For more background, see The Lost Science of Money (LSM) by Stephen Zarlenga, available at our website.
1) Won't the government creating new money for infrastructure and other expenses cause
No. While this is an important concern, some of it is anti-governmental propaganda and it need not cause inflation, depending on where the new money goes, for example:
When new money is used to create real wealth, such as goods and services and the $2.2 trillion worth of public infrastructure building and repair the engineers tell us is needed over the next 5 years, there need not be inflation because real things of real value are being created at the same time as the money, and the existence of those real values for living, keeps prices down.
If it goes into warfare or bubbles (real estate/Wall Street/etc.) it would create inflationary bubbles with no real production of goods and services. That is the history of private control over money creation. It must end now. Government tends to direct resources more into areas of concern for the whole nation, such as infrastructure, health care, education, etc. The AMA Title 5 specifies infrastructure items including human infrastructure of health care and education to focus on.
Also remember, the American Monetary Act eliminates ‘fractional reserve banking’ which has been one of the main causes of inflation. And remember new money must be introduced into circulation as the population and economy grow or is improved, or we’d have deflation.
2) How can we trust government with the power to create money? – Won’t they go wild (and again cause inflation)? Don’t you know that government can’t do anything right?
Two Points:
A. The U.S. Constitution binds government to represent the interests of the American people – “to promote the General Welfare” and empowers our Federal Government to create, issue and regulate our money (Article I, Section 8, Clause 5). We must hold our officeholders responsible to the laws. Do you want us to deny the Constitution? In favor of who? Enron? Bear Stearns? J.P. Morgan? Goldman Sachs? Lehman Brothers? Please get real! Our choice is to let those pirates continue to control our money system or to intelligently constitute the MONEY POWER within our government.
Under the American Monetary Act, the Congress, the President and the Board of the Monetary Authority will all be responsible if any inflation or deflation takes place, and the people will know that they are responsible. They are specifically directed to avoid policies that are either inflationary or deflationary.
Do you really trust the “ENRONS” to dominate our money? Look how they have abused that power! And Yes Damn it! Enron was on the Board of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank!
B. Finally and most importantly, an examination of history, despite the current prejudice and massive propaganda waged against government, shows that government control of money has a far superior historical record to private control over money systems. See the AMA brochure, and the LSM, Chapter 16. History shows that government has a far superior record in controlling the money system than private money creators have. And Yes, that includes the Continental Currency, The Greenbacks, and even the German hyperinflation; which by the way took place under a completely privatized German central bank! The German hyperinflation is really an example of a private money disaster.
The Lost Science of Money book, chapter 12, uncovers the beginnings of the attack on government and found it started with Adam Smith himself in an attempt to block moves to take back the monetary power from the then private Bank of England, and put it back into government, which had done a good job in monarchical management of the money system, with only one exception under Henry VIII.
3) Why should we give the government even more power?
Because our money system belongs to society as a whole. It is too important to trust to unrepresentative and unaccountable private hands, preoccupied with private gain, with little regard for the detrimental consequences of their actions on the country, and outside our system of checks and balances. Just look what they have done!
4) How can we prevent government from abusing its power once it can create money directly?
The same way we prevent it from abusing any power, by upholding the rule of law and by participating in democratic political processes; and through reasonable structural limits.
5) Should we let private banks keep some part of the money creation privilege?
Absolutely not! History shows that the private interests, if given any privileged power over money, eventually undermine the public interest, and take over the whole thing. We know this from historical case studies in at least 4 major historical situations – the U.S. “Greenbacks”, The nationalization of the Bank of England, and the Canadian and New Zealand monetary experience. Anyone who proposes allowing the banks to keep any part of the power to create money are either ignorant of monetary history or are shilling for the banks.
Under the American Monetary Act we do have the best of both worlds. We keep the benefits of having the professionalism and expertise of a competitive banking system in the private sector, but we take away the dangers of having them dominate our monetary and public policies with their narrow short term profit focus, by removing their privilege to create money. Ultimately this is a question of morality. No such special privileges can be allowed to particular groups; especially the monetary privilege, which confers power and wealth on them at the expense of the rest of society.
6) Well then, should we nationalize all the banking business?
What kind of “Kool Aid” are you drinking and who gave it to you? The banking business is obviously not a proper function of government; but providing, controlling and overseeing the monetary system is definitely a function of government. No private party can do that properly. Markets have utterly failed to do that. They have concentrated wealth, have harmed the average American and now broken down entirely, except for assistance from our government. Who would keep money in banks today, except for the FDIC guarantees?
But banks should remain privately owned, because when reasonably structured, they perform very necessary functions, and can do it professionally and conveniently. Who within government would run the banking business? Bankers however, have nothing in their training, experience or their souls that qualifies them as masters of the universe – to control our society as the money power confers upon them.
Banks should act as intermediaries for their clients who want to get a return on a deposit or similar investment; and their clients who are willing to pay for the use of that money. But banks must not create the money. The money system belongs to the Nation and our Federal Government must be the only entity with the power to issue and regulate our money as the U.S. Constitution already mandates. We nationalize the monetary system, but don’t nationalize the individual banks. That would be a dangerous step towards fascism. Private enterprise is a powerful mechanism that can produce excellent results when properly structured and regulated. That is an important American “theme!” The AMA does not throw out the baby with the bathwater! But it most certainly gets rid of the bathwater, which is private money creation. That acts like a private tax on the rest of us!
We regard such nationalization proposals (nationalize all banking) either as an inability to understand the difference between nationalizing the money system and nationalizing the private banking business, OR as possibly attempts to actually block proper monetary reform, because you’d have to change the essence of America in order to do it. So it distracts from real reform. The AMA reform that we advocate actually puts into place the system that most people think we have now! People think our money is provided by government. They erroneously believe that the Federal Reserve is already a part of our government. They think the banks are lending money which has been deposited with them, not that they are creating that money when they make loans. Under the AMA many of those things people already believe about money and banking actually become true! It’s a natural fit with already existing attitudes.
7) Doesn’t your AMA proposal merely continue with a fiat money system?
Shouldn’t we be using gold and silver instead? Wouldn’t that provide a more stable money?
Our system is absolutely a fiat money system. But that’s a good thing, not a bad one. In reaction to the many problems caused by our privatized fiat money system over the decades, many Americans have blamed fiat money for our troubles, and they support using valuable commodities for money.
But Folks! The problem is not fiat money, because all advanced money is a fiat of the Law! The problem is privately issued fiat money. Then that is like a private tax on all of us imposed by those with the privilege to privately issue fiat money. Private fiat money must now stop forever!
Aristotle gave us the science of money in the 4th century B.C. which he summarized as: “Money exists not by nature but by law!” So Aristotle accurately defines money as a legal fiat. As for gold, most systems pretending to be gold systems have been frauds which never had the gold to
back up their promises. And remember if you are still in a stage of trading things (such as gold) for other things, you are still operating in some form of barter system, not a real money system, and therefore not having the potential advantages as are available through the American Monetary Act!
And finally as regards gold and silver: Please do not confuse a good investment with a good money system. From time to time gold and silver are good investments. However you want very different results from an investment than you want from a money. Obviously you want an investment to go up and keep going up. But you want money to remain fairly stable. Rising money would mean that you’d end up paying your debts in much more valuable money. For example the mortgage on your house would keep rising if the value of money kept rising.
Also, contrary to prevailing prejudice, gold and silver have both been very volatile and not stable at all. Just check out the long term gold chart.
8) How can a bank lend money if they have to keep 100% reserves?
The 100% reserve provision applies only to checking accounts. This question results from economists classifying our AMA as a “100% reserve” plan, as the Chicago Plan was known. But our plan fundamentally reforms the private credit system, replacing it with a government money system. The accounting rules are changed.
Banks will be encouraged to continue their loan activities by lending money that has been deposited with them in savings and time deposit accounts; or lending their capital that has been invested with them. It is in the checking account departments that the banks presently create money when they make loans in a fractional reserve system. This will be stopped by new bank accounting rules. Making loans from savings account is a different matter, because real money, not credit will have been transferred into such accounts, and loaning that out does not create new money or give the bank any seigniorage, that belongs to our society. Some money loaned out of a savings type account might later get re-deposited into another savings account and again be re-loaned, but it’s the same money, not any newly created money, and will reflect that way on the bank's books. This is sufficient to solve the problem of banks creating "purchasing media" by loaning their credit which then functions as money in the present system. (for details see the
wording of the American Monetary Act.
Various types of accounts will have differing requirements: e.g. matching time deposits to loan durations, lessening the “borrowing short term and lending long term” problem. Money market and mutual fund type accounts can be very flexible. The principle applied will be to encourage good intermediation of money between clients who want a return on their money and those willing to pay for using it; but will prohibit money creation. Checking accounts will become a warehousing service, for which fees are charged. Good accountancy can achieve these results. (Please see # 9 below)
9) If banks are no longer allowed to create money, where will banks get enough money to fill client’s needs for money under the American Monetary Act?
We devote substantial space to this question because economists so used to confusing credit and money have to get used to the idea of money instead of credit. Usually they want to know how the AMA creates money within the present bank accounting framework. Well it does not! The AMA will change the accounting rules to deal with money not credit.
There will be several substantial sources of money for banks to satisfy their clients money needs:
a) Title III of the AMA converts through an accounting procedure, the existing credit the banks have circulated through loans (about $6 to 7 trillion, roughly the existing “money” supply) into US money, no longer bank credit. That process will indebt the banks to the government for the amount converted over and above their capital. At present when bank loans are repaid to the banks by their customers, those credits/debts go out of circulation/out of existence and the credit money supply contracts as loans are repaid, until they make new loans. But under the American Monetary Act, since it’s now money, those monies will not go out of circulation the way the credits did. They are repaid to the government in satisfaction of the debt the banks incurred in converting them from credit to money. That goes into a pool which can be used by Congress for the items in Title V of the AMA (as described on pages 8 and 9), or it can even be re-lent to the banks at an adjusted interest rate. Note: this action de-leverages the banks, but does not reduce the money supply.
b) Probably the most important source of funds for bank lending will be the continuing government expenditures, over and above tax receipts, such as social security and other payments by government on the items in Title V. Also the engineers tell us that $2.2 trillion is now necessary to make our infrastructure safe over the next 5 years. That’s $440 billion new money per year. Also the health care and education provisions, and grants to states in Title V can be introduced as new money. ALL these will eventually be deposited into various types of bank accounts where provisions of the Act will allow this money to be lent or invested. The banks will be lending and placing this money that has been deposited with them; not lending credit they create, masquerading as money. They will have to compete to attract such deposits from citizens and companies.
c) Title II of the AMA specifies the repayment of US instruments of indebtedness (bonds/notes/etc) instead of being rolled over as at present, new US monies will be paid to the bondholders as they become due. Those people/institutions will be looking for places to invest that money. One place would be in bank stock, which is a source of lending funds for banks. Of the $5 to 7 trillion in US bonds and notes privately held, about 3.5 trillion is due within 1 to 5 years; .72 trillion is due in 5 to 10 years; .35 trillion is due in 10 to 20 years. All these amounts will represent newly created US money and will eventually find their way to becoming new lend-able or investable bank deposits and even investments in banks.
d) Finally the AMA does not allow the banks to decide their own leverage situations. The Act essentially eliminates most leverage from the banking system in a healthy, non deflationary way. That will be good. They will no longer be able to pretend they were “banking” when they made bad loans overextending their positions and creating bubbles, in order to grab huge bonuses on imaginary profits. In other words banks will no longer be able to make loans in a bubble creation process. That is a good thing!
10) How will the U.S. Treasury create the money?"
The same way the Federal Reserve does now, as simple account entries, but as income, without the accompanying debt obligations. It’s described in the AMA, Sec. 103 NEGATIVE FUND BALANCES: The Secretary of the Treasury shall directly issue United States Money to account for any differences between Government appropriations authorized by Congress under law and available Government receipts.
11) Is there any chance the AMA could eliminate the federal income tax?
It “could,” and though that’s not likely in the near future, it is the direction the AMA goes in. Thanks to the immense savings our government will experience through control over its money system taxation should decline substantially for middle and lower income groups.
In addition the AMA should directly lead to substantial reductions in interest rates, because as the US pays off its national debt in money rather than rolling it over, those receiving those payments will be looking for places to loan and invest those funds. Interest rates should drop substantially.
12) Why does the American Monetary Act have an 8% maximum interest rate, including all fees?
Because before 1980/1981, forty nine States had “anti-usury” laws which limited normal interest rates to a maximum of between 6% and 10% p.a. (one state had 12%). The American Monetary Act takes the middle of this range to represent a restoration of the interest rate limits prevailing across the country prior to 1980/1981. See page 9 of the AMA.
13) Won’t you be breaking the sanctity of contracts when you convert the existing bank credit already in circulation, into U.S. Money?
No. First of all a contract requires understanding of the terms by all parties to it, and that certainly did not exist. But more likely it will be viewed as very acceptable by the banks, considering the security it confers on banking, especially when the alternative is going broke. There would be no reason to extend the legal tender privilege (acceptance for taxes) to the credits of any disagreeing banks.
14) How would the ACT affect our position with China?
The ACT would have a number of positive effects on Chinese - American Trade. Particularly it would encourage the Chinese to use more of their dollar earnings to really trade with us rather than just sell to us, and then invest their earnings in US bonds as at present. More details forthcoming!
15) What about other countries, and international systems such as the IMF (International
Monetary Fund) and the BIS (Bank for International Settlements)?
We’d expect other countries to follow quickly in our footsteps to each obtain the advantages of issuing their own national monies. The United Nations is already putting forward suggestions that member states shift now to nationally created, debt free; interest free moneys. They are way ahead of the US Congress just now. A much reformed IMF, already organized under United Nations Article 57; #3, will see a greatly expanded role for the SDR and more responsibility for international accounts clearing as well as real assistance to member states, rather than acting as a destructive collection agent for the big banks. The role and importance of the BIS should be rapidly reduced, and perhaps eliminated. Just look at the mess created under their guidance and rules. Some job they did!
16) The latest craze “question” making the rounds in the organized disinformation campaign; attacking our national psychology is not a question at all, but a vicious assertion:
“Government is so corrupt and so much in the hands of the worst people and they won’t ever let you do this reform! Or any good thing!”
This popped up simultaneously from LA to Seattle. I’ve told friends to put that stupidity out of their minds. This assertion, designed to discourage, is a variant of the Sun Tzu method of winning the battle by convincing the opposition not to fight because they can’t win. It reminds me of the cyborg Borg wars line “Resistance is futile” from the Star Trek New Generation series. Don’t fall for it!
As our people suffer more deeply from the unfortunate monetary/banking system, any remaining bad elements in government can be cleansed. That’s what we’ll do instead of whining about it. Become a part of the solution not a cry-baby! Get up and fight for your family and nation!
“Put a stone in your stomach!” is an old phrase of Zulu warriors when summoning courage. Earlier tonight I saw an electric message on a local banks billboard:
“If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t!”
Yeah! We never said all bankers are evil, but there’s a very bad controlling element among them.
17) Why didn’t nationalized money systems work in the former Soviet countries?
Because their monetary systems were still controlled from within their banking systems, using the same faulty methods. The 1966 Federal Reserve publication Money, Banking, and Credit in Eastern Europe states:
“In the communist countries, money is created in the same way as in capitalist countries – through the extension of bank credit. This fact is not generally recognized or accepted in the various countries of Eastern Europe. The result is that a good deal of confusion emerges from their economic literature with regard to the nature of money and the role of the monetary process and the function of the banking system.… Since Marx identified money with gold, the official theory holds paper money to be merely a substitute for gold and ignores deposit money.” (p. 42-43)
Sound familiar? Their politicians and economists were as dumb as ours!
18) Won’t we get hyper-inflation like Zimbabwe?
No. For governments or anyone to issue money, there has to be a functioning society with enough rule of law and physical and social infrastructure to support the creation of values for living. Zimbabwe unfortunately does not have those pre-requisites; thus their society is falling apart.
19) What about having the individual 50 states go into the banking business?
More Kool-Aid and distractions….Look folks the objective is to get the banks out of the Money creation field, not to get the government into banking!! It’s a distracting idea that does not in any way accomplish any necessary reform. Instead it endorses and sanctions the vicious fractional reserve system. See the AMI website, bulletin # 5 for details. Mind boggling that any progressive can ignore morality and justice and fall for this diversion.
20) How about local currencies?
Local currency movements can help people to understand the money problem but it would be an illusion to think that local currencies would stop a mismanaged unjust national system from unfairly concentrating wealth; from being a motivating factor for warfare; from financing harmful polluting activities even when saner alternatives exist. Understand also that a national currency properly placed under governmental control gives much greater local control than the present national currency under private control, because locally, our voting power can exert influence on national policy.
And remember the principle of subsidiarity put forward by E.F. Schumacher. His slogan was not “small is beautiful.” What E.F. Shumacher actually said is what the AMI is saying: Use an “Appropriate scale”- do things on an appropriate scale. That dominant scale in the currency area is national and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The appropriateness of acting on the national level must be recognized.

Mike Rivero on The Alex Jones Show- - April 6th 2010

Alex Jones Jesse Ventura Interview April 6 2010

7.5 Quake hits Sumatra near Toba calderra

Message indian.2010.04.06.222245

Tsunami Information Earthquake Information
Message Time: 06 Apr 2010 22:22 UTC
Message Num: 001
Message Text: click to read
Message Type: a Local Tsunami Watch is in Effect
Warning: none
Watch: Indonesia
ETAs / Obs: ETAs
Origin Time: 06 Apr 2010 22:15 UTC
Magnitude: 7.5 Mwp (reviewed by PTWC)
Latitude: 2.2° N
Longitude: 97.1° E
Depth: 50 km (31.1 mi)
Location: Northern Sumatra Indonesia
More Info.: updated earthquake information from the USGS NEIC

indian.2010.04.06.222245 map

NOTE: PTWC earthquake parameters are only preliminary.
The USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) is the official source for earthquake information. USGS
Did you feel it? Report a felt earthquake.

Let's Take A Closer Look: We Are Change Utah Confronts Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff

Please watch this short video - then examine the details below: (double click on the vid to watch in YouTube if you don't like the way it appears due to blog embed)

1. At Time=0:38 Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says "There is no hard evidence" of explosives used in the 911 building attacks. This exchange requires just a bit of explanation.

The gentleman from Utah We are Change might not have been exactly on the mark when he claimed to have delivered hard evidence to the Attorney General. But that doesn't matter.

What he gave to Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is this peer reviewed study explicating the painstaking work done by scientists on the hard evidence. The hard evidence is dust samples - meeting chain-of-custody standards - collected that fateful day. This dust was analyzed and the report delivered to the AG and (linked in the previous sentence) is the result of the analysis of that dust.

So the AG is right - We are Change Utah did not deliver a handful of dust to the AG - they delivered the scientific results of the analysis of that dust. But that does not excuse him from reading the study and writing his reasoning for rejecting it.

You can watch a video describing "step-by-step" how one dust sample was collected - followed by details of the dust analysis on which the peer-reviewed scientific paper presented to the Attorney General is based*

2. Misprision of Treason - Definition:
" TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2382
Prev | Next
§ 2382. Misprision of treason
How Current is This?
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both."

THERE are others like Barney Frank who also know of the study and refuse to acknowledge it... click here for videos showing his use of Straw Man logical fallacy to shirk responsibility.

The definition above says "Whoever" regarding responsibility for action regarding misprision of treason - it seems to me that the AG would want to get to the bottom of such serious allegation.

At Time= 1:33 after Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff states that the evidence that has been presented to him is "bogus" - the We Are Change Utah representative asks "What's it called?" - the AG doesn't know. After sputtering about hearing or seeing something about the evidence - it is obvious to the viewer that the AG hadn't even bothered to read it. That is exactly the problem with our public officials. They don't read the bills they sign into law - and they don't look at evidence presented by a frustrated public that treason against the United States of America has been committed.

One would think that with such serious charges being leveled - an Attorney General would take the time to examine it - then move on. Why ignore something so serious allowing rumors to circulate?

3. This phenomenon illustrates what has been the most difficult mission of the 911 Truth movement - getting people to actually look at the evidence. AE911Truth on the left side of this blog, the link under the "moment of truth" clock left side - lots of information is available - if only they would look.

4. BUT - We have reached a point where it is no longer acceptable to claim something doesn't exist because you haven't looked for it. That goes for the Attorney General, Barney Frank and all officials who have been presented with this paper.

American citizens are petitioning their government and the government is unresponsive. The time has come for someone to actually be charged with misprision. Either the evidence is there or it is not - either it points to crimes or it doesn't - either our public servants will do their job or they won't. We are at a point where they must be held accountable for their dereliction of duty thereby inviting the next big lie.


*Dust Study Video

Long-Term Unemployment at Post-WWII High

As Barry Ritholtz pointed out Friday:

Long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks+) increased by 414,000 to 6.5 million.
Yesterday, the Pew Charitable Trusts released a report noting that long-term unemployment is the worst it has been since the end of World War II. As summarized by Shahien Nasiripour:

More than three million Americans have been out of work for at least a year, according to a new analysis of unemployment data.

That represents 23 percent of the roughly 14.8 million Americans out of work and looking for a job -- a post-World War II high. For those 3.4 million Americans, the consequences from such a long time out of work -- a cost of the Great Recession -- can be calamitous.

"[T]he likelihood of finding a job declines as the length of unemployment increases," notes the team led by Ingrid Schroeder, director of the Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative, a program of the Pew Economic Policy Group and the Pew Charitable Trusts. "People who are unemployed for a long time can lose their job skills. A long unemployment spell can mark them as undesirable, making it more difficult to compete against other job candidates. [Federal] data suggests that workers who are jobless for the longest duration incur the largest reductions in weekly earnings upon returning to work."

The situation will not improve until the underlying causes are addressed.

Keiser Report №31: Markets! Finance! Scandal!

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Peter Schiff: Alan Greenspan & ABC Challenge

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Robert Kiyosaki Buy Gold and Silver Protect against Inflation

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IMF: This Recovery Will Die Without More Stimulus

The global recovery, and all the good data we’ve seen, depends heavily on government stimulus.


Says the IMF’s managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn:


“Growth is resuming almost everywhere, but these growth figures are more related to public support rather than private demand,” he said at an event in the Jordanian capital today. “Until private demand will be strong enough and sustainable to provide growth it will be difficult to say that the crisis is over.”

“We’re not out of the woods because the recovery is a recovery which is clear, which comes earlier than expected, but which is also a threat” because it may encourage some governments to withdraw their stimulus packages, Strauss-Kahn said when asked whether the IMF will raise its forecast.

He’s warning governments around the world not to get too giddy about recent positive economic data. There’s a risk that they remove life support before the patient is ready.

What The Top U.S. Companies Pay In Taxes

How can it be that you pay more to the IRS than General Electric?

HOUSTON -- As you work on your taxes this month, here's something to raise your hackles: Some of the world's biggest, most profitable corporations enjoy a far lower tax rate than you do--that is, if they pay taxes at all.

The most egregious example is General Electric ( GE - news - people ). Last year the conglomerate generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.

Avoiding taxes is nothing new for General Electric. In 2008 its effective tax rate was 5.3%; in 2007 it was 15%. The marginal U.S. corporate rate is 35%.

In Pictures: What The 25 Top U.S. Companies Pay In Taxes

How did this happen? It's complicated. GE's tax return is the largest the IRS deals with each year--some 24,000 pages if printed out. Its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission weighs in at more than 700 pages.

Inside you'll find that GE in effect consists of two divisions: General Electric Capital and everything else. The everything else--maker of engines, power plants, TV shows and the like--would have paid a 22% tax rate if it was a standalone company.

It's GE Capital that keeps the overall tax bill so low. Over the last two years, GE Capital has displayed an uncanny ability to lose lots of money in the U.S. (posting a $6.5 billion loss in 2009), and make lots of money overseas (a $4.3 billion gain). Not only do the U.S. losses balance out the overseas gains, but GE can defer taxes on that overseas income indefinitely. The timing of big deductions for depreciation in GE Capital's equipment leasing business also provides a tax benefit, as will loan losses left over from the credit crunch.

But it's the tax benefit of overseas operations that is the biggest reason why multinationals end up with lower tax rates than the rest of us. It only makes sense that multinationals "put costs in high-tax countries and profits in low-tax countries," says Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation. Those low-tax countries are almost anywhere but the U.S. "When you add in state taxes, the U.S. has the highest tax burden among industrialized countries," says Hodge. In contrast, China's rate is just 25%; Ireland's is 12.5%.

Corporations are getting smarter, not just about doing more business in low-tax countries, but in moving their more valuable assets there as well. That means setting up overseas subsidiaries, then transferring to them ownership of long-lived, often intangible but highly profitable assets, like patents and software.

As a result, figures tax economist Martin Sullivan, companies are keeping some $28 billion a year out of the clutches of the U.S. Treasury by engaging in so-called transfer pricing arrangements, where, say, Microsoft's ( MSFT - news - people ) overseas subsidiaries license software to its U.S. parent company in return for handsome royalties (that get taxed at those lower overseas rates).


The two hand-written notes from Apollo 13 crew that show how astronauts saved stricken space mission

These two bits of paper with notes hastily scrawled across them are actually part of the emergency checklist that helped save the crew of the doomed Apollo 13 space mission.

Astronauts marked the cards with critically important instructions after an explosion crippled their craft, prompting the famous 'Houston, we have a problem' line.

The record is a real time step-by-step account of how the crew set about powering down the craft in order to conserve enough power for them to get back to Earth.
Apollo 13 notes

Critical: Two notes written by astronauts on board the stricken Apollo 13 space mission recount the dramatic steps they took to safely return to Earth

Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert all survived the 1970 mission, which was later made into Hollywood blockbuster Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks.

The emergency power down checklist was kept by Fred Haise for years afterwards and has now come to light for the first time after being made available for sale.

Described as an 'amazing part of space history', it comes with a letter of provenance from Mr Haise and is expect to sell for up to £50,000.

Apollo 13 was Nasa's third space mission to the moon, but two days after the launch it suffered an oxygen tank explosion which lead to a loss of power, oxygen and heat.

Apollo 13 notes

Checklist: The notes detail in step-by-step detail how the crew powered down their craft to conserve enough power to get home

The crew had to abandon the main command module and use the moon-landing Lunar module as a lifeboat to coast back to Earth.

Nasa experts had to very quickly recalculate the emergency procedures which they later radioed through to the crew.

Haise and Lovell marked the checklist accordingly in black and red pen while in space.

They opened and closed various circuit breakers in order to shut down and conserve battery power and marked on the list 'close' or 'open' on the appropriate circuit.

Haise made the first changes 79 hours into the mission and Lovell updated the list as he implemented further changes 82 hours in.

Apollo 13
James Lovell Jr

Safe: The relieved astronauts are rescued after their command module lands in the Pacific Ocean and, right, mission commander Jim Lovell who wrote some of the notes

Apollo 13

Blockbuster: The Apollo 13 mission was turned to a 1995 Hollywood film starring Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell

Lovell, who commanded the mission, had written a reminder of what antennas should be used when they saw the Earth or the moon in a certain window.

There was also a note reminding him how much time it should take mission control to make a link to the antenna.

In his letter, Haise wrote: 'This sheet played an important part during the emergency conditions of the Apollo 13 flight.

'It is a record of the real time steps the Nasa and industry team developed for us to perform ensuring our safe return to Earth.'

The document was signed by both astronauts when they returned to Earth. It is being sold by a private space collector, who acquired it from Haise.

Matthew Haley, of Bonhams auctioneers, said: 'The auction features items that hark back to the first golden age of space exploration.

'It serves as a poignant reminder of the precarious state the three astronauts' lives were in.

'Their survival and safe return to Earth is one of the most celebrated triumphs of 20th century space flight.

'We expect the lot to entice international interest.'

Andrew Currie, a spokesman for the auctioneers, added: 'These are fascinating documents that were right at the heart of the crew's battle against time to get safely back to Earth.

'In these notes you see the real life drama unfolding line by line.'

It follows the sale of the flight plan for the first moon landing on which astronaut Neil Armstrong wrote his famous phrase 'one small step for A man, one giant leap for mankind'.

The document, believed to be the only time he ever wrote the phrase, is set to sell at auction for £55,000.

The phrase - one of the most memorable of the 20th Century - has been subject to years of debate over what Armstrong actually meant.

It was inscribed and signed by the Apollo 11 mission leader whilst he was in quarantine and handed to Nasa press officer John McLeaish. Mr McLeaish later authenticated it and wrote a declaration on the back.

The auction for the Apollo 11 flight plan takes place on April 13 at Bonhams in New York and for the Apollo 13 notes on the following day.

Why Greece Will Default

FT's Wolfgang Münchau has a mostly excellent commentary on why Greece will default, but not this year.

The key point he notes is that Greece has an insolvency problem, but not a short-term liquidity problem. This is the exact opposite of the problem that was faced by Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. While it could be argued they were solvent, well at least Bear Stearns, they both suffered from a liquidity crisis. They couldn't borrow funds to pay outstanding obligations.

Münchau observes, correctly, that credit markets are still open to the Greeks, but at a price:
The Greek government has demonstrated that it can still borrow at a rate of about 6 per cent but if you do the maths on the public debt dynamics, as I did recently, it would be hard to arrive at any other scenario than an eventual default.
Münchau then explains:
The adjustment effort needed to prevent a debt explosion is extremely large. The Nordic countries achieved adjustment on a similar scale during the 1980s and 1990s, but they had two advantages over Greece. They did it in a different global environment; but more crucially they were, in part, able to devalue and improve their competitiveness. As a member of a large monetary union Greece can improve its competitiveness only through relative disinflation against the eurozone average, which in effect means through deflation.
By deflation, Münchau means a lowering of wages and other prices to generate greater national revenues. He latersmisses this idea as impractical, which is a good thing, since he confuses wages and national-macro gymnastics. If wages are at market levels, he does not explain how on a national level the government could nationally lower wages below market levels without creating further havoc inside the Greek economy, and risk lowering national production.

Münchau then outlines the options Greece has:
To get out of this mess, one of five things will have to happen. The first, and most optimistic, solution would be a significant fall in the euro’s exchange rate, say to parity with the US dollar, coupled with a strong recovery in the eurozone. This might just do the trick to sustain Greek growth as it adjusts. The second is that Greece gets access to low interest rate loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The third would be a private sector debt restructuring to prevent a Fisher-style debt-deflation dynamic. The fourth is that Greece leaves the eurozone. The fifth is default.
Here's Münchau explaining why option 5, default, is the likely outcome:

If you go through the options one by one, you realise that the first is improbable. The EU has in effect ruled out the second. The third would require an unlikely additional bail-out of the European banks. While option four would be most convenient for the Germans, the Greeks are not so stupid as to leave the eurozone. That leaves them with option five: to default inside the eurozone. It is the only option that is consistent with what we know.
Next Münchau points out there is not yet true panic about Greece:
When a country such as Greece pays 300 basis points over the yield of a supposed risk-free bond, this means, mathematically, that investors see a probability of around 17 per cent that they will lose 17 per cent of their investment. So in other words, a spread of 300 basis points is a valuation in which default is still considered improbable. If those perceptions changed from improbable to, say, moderately probable, the yield spreads between southern European countries and Germany would explode.

For the time being, Greece can get by because of its excellent debt management, which is why I am confident that Greece is not going to need an immediate bail-out.
This is true and thus Münchau implies that the real problems for the Greeks will come when the interest they are paying balloons out of control, and that may be true. But their current day-to-day survival hinges on confidence in the markets holding up so the Greeks can continue to borrow. How long this condition exists is an open question. Yesterday, when presumably Münchau checked the rates on Greek debt there was a 300 basis point spread versus Bund 10-year rates. This morning it is 400 basis points. Greece on new debt will have to pay 7%. The noose gets tighter and Münchau will have to recalculate the long-term survival date.

Bottom line: The EU may continue to throw sweet nothing kisses (and maybe some pocket money)to Greece, but the financial end is near. Greece may survive a year, until the intrest rate paymnets swallow the country up, but it may only have hours if traders say, "enough".


Internet Explorer 9 will not run on Windows XP

Microsoft's new browser, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), will not run on Windows XP, now or when the software eventually ships, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The move makes Microsoft the first major browser developer to drop support for XP, the world's most popular operating system, in a future release.

Although Microsoft excluded Windows XP from the list for the IE9 developer preview, it sidestepped the question about which versions of Windows the final browser would support. In an IE9 FAQ, for example, Microsoft responded, "It's too early to talk about features of the Internet Explorer 9 Beta" to the query, "Will Internet Explorer 9 run on Windows XP?"

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That caused some users to demand a straight answer. "Please tell whether the final version will run on Windows XP SP3 or not," said someone identified as "eXPerience" in a comment to a blog post by Dean Hachamovich , Microsoft's general manager for the IE team. "If not, please be clear about it. Really, enough is enough of keeping users in the lurch about Windows XP support."

Others bashed Microsoft on the assumption that IE9 would never run on XP. "Dropping Windows XP support is one of the worst decisions ever taken by [the] IE team, probably even worse than disbanding the IE team back in the IE6 days," claimed an anonymous commenter.

Microsoft had offered up broad hints that IE9 was not in Windows XP's future, however. Tuesday, a company spokeswoman said the new browser needs a "modern operating system," a phrase that hasn't been paired with Window XP for years. "Internet Explorer 9 requires the modern graphics and security underpinnings that have come since 2001," she added, clearly referring to XP, which appeared that year.

Windows XP's inability to run the Platform Preview or the final browser stems from, IE9's graphics hardware acceleration , which relies on the Direct2D and DirectWrite DirectX APIs (applications programming interfaces). Support for those APIs is built into Windows 7 , and was added to Vista and Windows Server 2008 last October, but cannot be extended to Windows XP.

Some users worried that by halting browser development for Windows XP, Microsoft would repeat a current problem, getting customers to ditch IE6 for a newer version. "Those who choose to stay with XP will be forced to [then] stay forever on IE8, which will become the new IE6," said a user named Danny Gibbons in a comment on Hachamovich's blog.

Renewed search for 9/11 remains in New York

New York City officials are to begin a three-month search for the remains of more than 1,000 missing victims of the 9/11 attacks - however, some relatives of the deceased say it is too little, too late, reports the BBC's Matthew Price in New York.

It is hard to believe that the best part of a decade on from the 11 September attacks, the debris from the World Trade Center site is still being examined.

That is partly a reflection of the enormity of the task, the huge amount of debris involved.

It is also, the relatives of some of those killed that day in 2001 contend, the result of years of delays that should have been avoided.

Among those relatives are Diane and Kurt Horning.

In their living room last week, Diane took out a plastic bag, and gently placed its contents on the table in front of her.

She picked up three keys, and turned them over in her hands. "World Trade Center" was engraved on one of them.

She pointed out a watch, battered, not an expensive one, missing its strap.

And then a credit card, bleached by age and the damage it suffered in the 9/11 attacks.

These and more, Diane says, are evidence that the city of New York has failed to adequately sift through the rubble of the World Trade Center.

"We've been told that anything larger than a quarter-inch has been removed from that site," she says, referring to the place where much of the rubble recovered from Ground Zero has been placed.

"Yet when we go there we find personal items that are certainly larger than a quarter of an inch and which may have meant the world to people. Consequently we worry that there may have been remains of the same size or bigger that were ignored."

Fresh search

It is a dreadful thought that eight-and-a-half years on from the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, the partial remains of some of those killed may be lying unceremoniously in a landfill site.

That site is at the rather unfortunately named Fresh Kills area of Staten Island, just across the harbour from Manhattan. The word "kill" comes from an old Dutch word for a riverbed and is used in much of this part of the US.

After the 9/11 attacks, much of the debris was taken to Fresh Kills - the former rubbish dump for the city. It was - at the time - sifted through.

Now some 844 cubic yards of debris more recently discovered in the past few years at Ground Zero are going to be searched.

Scientists led by New York's chief medical examiner will spend three months sifting through the new material.

New York authorities turned down several requests for an interview, but said in a statement that the city "continues to work to identify as many victims of the 9/11 attacks as possible".

"New methodologies are being utilized for unidentified remains from the original recovery, and for remains recovered during the renewed search," it said.

'A garbage tip'

The remains of more than 1,000 people killed in the 11 September attacks in New York have still not been found.

Some were incinerated in the firestorm that swept through the upper floors of the Twin Towers. Others were pulverised as the buildings collapsed.

But families like the Hornings fear that the remains of others have simply been overlooked.

As the new search begins, they are wondering why part of the debris is only now being uncovered and looked at. How much more lies at the site of the attacks, they ask? How much has simply not been sifted out?

"It is a good step," Mrs Horning says, referring to the new search, "but it comes a day late and a dollar short.

"They are not re-sifting. They are taking material that they are just now taking from the World Trade Center site that we asked them to explore years ago."

Moreover, she says, people like her are still fighting to have the debris that they believe contains the unrecognisable remains of their loved ones relocated, away from the landfill, and to a more fitting place of burial and mourning.

"I certainly hope with the new materials that they will do a very careful search, in case there's something," she says.

With the other material that was excavated earlier, she adds, they want a mass burial.

"It's a garbage tip. It was on top of that... where they dumped my son and the people with whom he died. And we don't do that with animals."