Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Global Elite Are Hiding 18 Trillion Dollars In Offshore Banks

In recent days, the fact that Mitt Romney has millions of dollars parked down in the Cayman Islands has made headlines all over the world.  But when it comes to offshore banking, what Mitt Romney is doing is small potatoes.  The truth is that the global elite are hiding an almost unbelievable amount of money in offshore banks. 
According to shocking research done by the IMF, the global elite are holding a total of 18 trillion dollars in offshore banks.  And that figure does not even count any money being held in Switzerland.  That is a staggering amount of money.  Keep in mind that U.S. GDP in 2010 was only 14.58 trillion dollars.  So why do the global elite go to such trouble to hide their money in offshore banks?  Well, there are two main reasons.  One is privacy and the other is low taxation.
Privacy is a big issue for those that are involved in illegal enterprises such as drug running, but the biggest reason why people move money into offshore banks is in order to avoid taxes.  Some set up bank accounts in foreign nations because they want to legally minimize their taxes and others set up bank accounts in foreign nations because they want to illegally avoid taxes.  You would be absolutely amazed at what some large corporations and wealthy individuals do to get out of paying taxes.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of the rest of us don’t have the resources or the knowledge to play these games, so we get taxed into oblivion.
So why do they call it “offshore banking”?
Well, the term originally developed because the banks on the Channel Islands were “offshore” from the United Kingdom.  Most “offshore banks” are still located on islands today.  The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man are examples of this.  Other “offshore banking centers” such as Monaco are actually not “offshore” at all, but the term applies to them anyway.
Traditionally, these offshore banking centers have been very attractive to both criminals and to the global elite because they would not tell anyone (including governments) about the money that anyone had parked there.
These days some governments (particularly the U.S. government) are trying to change this, but we certainly will not see the end of offshore banking any time soon.
The amount of money that goes through these offshore banks is absolutely astounding.
It has been estimated that 80 percent of all international banking transactions take place through these offshore banks.  $1.4 trillion is being held in offshore banks in the Cayman Islands alone.
One article in the Guardian estimated that a third of all the wealth on the entire globe is being held in offshore banks, and others believe that as much as half of all the capital in the world flows through offshore banks at some point.
Obviously, all of this tax avoidance means that governments around the world are missing out on a whole lot of money.
It has been estimated that the U.S. government is missing out on $100 billion a year because of these offshore banks.  Others would put that figure significantly higher.
Avoiding taxes is a game that the global elite have mastered.  They are playing a whole different ballgame than you and I are.  They don’t just sit there like idiots and get blasted with taxes.  Instead, they hire the best experts and they employ every trick in the book to hold on to as much money as they possibly can.
These days, taking advantage of offshore tax havens is not that complicated to do.  The following is from arecent Politico article….
A plausible scenario plays out like this: I hire an accountant. Doing her job, my accountant tells me that if I sign a few legal documents and route my money through a small Caribbean island, I could keep more of my paycheck and pay a lower tax rate. I may have earned my money in the United States, but legally I can claim that it was, in fact, earned in a tax haven.
If it is legal, perhaps more of us should look into this.
After all, if playing these kinds of games is good enough for Mitt Romney, then why isn’t it good enough for all the rest of us?
During a campaign stop recently, Romney said the following….
“I can tell you we follow the tax laws”
I certainly believe him when he says that.  But it is what he said next that is troubling….
“And if there’s an opportunity to save taxes, we like anybody else in this country will follow that opportunity.”
I certainly believe him when he says that too.
ABC News recently revealed that Bain Capital has established an astounding 138 different offshore funds in the Cayman Islands.
Something has got to work pretty well to want to do it 138 times.
But Bain Capital was also very busy over in other offshore banking centers as well.
One of the largest shell companies that Bain set up down in the Caribbean was called Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd.  It did not have an office in Bermuda and it had no staff in Bermuda.  But it helped clients of Bain Capital avoid a whole lot of taxes.
The following comes from a 2007 Los Angeles Times article….
In Bermuda, Romney served as president and sole shareholder for four years of Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. It funneled money into Bain Capital’s Sankaty family of hedge funds, which invest in bonds and other debt issued by corporations, as well as bank loans.
Like thousands of similar financial entities, Sankaty maintains no office or staff in Bermuda. Its only presence consists of a nameplate at a lawyer’s office in downtown Hamilton, capital of the British island territory.
“It’s just a mail drop, essentially,” said Marc B. Wolpow, who worked with Romney for nine years at Bain Capital and who set up Sankaty Ltd. in October 1997 without ever visiting Bermuda. “There’s no one doing any work down there other than lawyers.”
The amount of money being funneled through Sankaty today is absolutely stunning….
Today, Bain Capital manages $60 billion in assets, according to a spokesman. The total includes $23 billion in Sankaty debt and credit funds. Half a dozen Sankaty affiliates now are active in Bermuda, corporate registry records show.
The Sankaty debt hedge funds are organized as partnerships in Delaware that produce taxable business income by investing in fixed-income bonds and other debt instruments. Under tax law, even tax-exempt U.S. institutions may face a 35% tax if they invest directly in such hedge funds. By investing instead through a Bermuda corporation, the taxes are legally blocked, experts say.
Of course all of this is perfectly legal.
So nobody gets into trouble for any of this.
By keeping money offshore, even those managing these kinds of funds can avoid being taxed.
Victor Fleischer, a tax professor at the University of Colorado Law School, recently explained how this works….
“The idea behind some of the Cayman Island strategies was that the income that the fund managers receive for managing the money would be kept offshore in the Cayman Island — and the chief benefit is that you can defer when you recognize that income until a later date and you can reinvest the money from the Cayman islands and none of those reinvested funds get taxed until you bring them back either”
So was Romney doing this?
We may never know unless he shows us his tax returns.
What we do know is that Romney has millions of dollars of his own personal wealth invested in offshore tax havens.
The following comes from ABC News….
In addition to paying the lower tax rate on his investment income, Romney has as much as $8 million invested in at least 12 funds listed on a Cayman Islands registry. Another investment, which Romney reports as being worth between $5 million and $25 million, shows up on securities records as having been domiciled in the Caymans.
But Romney does not just have money invested down in the Cayman Islands.  Apparently his money is invested in a whole host of offshore tax havens.
The following quote comes from a Reuters article….
Bain funds in which Romney is invested are scattered from Delaware to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, Ireland and Hong Kong, according to a Reuters analysis of securities filings.
So is there anything wrong with this?
Well, it depends on how you define “wrong”.
What Romney is doing is perfectly legal.
But it also stinks.  Washington lawyer Jack Blum recently told ABC News the following about Romney’s finances….
“His personal finances are a poster child of what’s wrong with the American tax system”
So now we may have a few hints as to why Romney may not want to release his old tax returns.
But as noted above, what Romney is doing is just small potatoes compared to what the ultra-wealthy do.
The U.S. Congress has been trying to clamp down on offshore banking, but the ultra-wealthy are always two or three steps ahead of them.
The ultra-wealthy will go to just about any extreme in order to avoid paying taxes.
In fact, the Washington Post has reported that an increasing number of wealthy individuals are actually deciding to renounce their citizenship rather than face the wrath of the IRS.
The ultra-wealthy aren’t really concerned that much with national citizenship anyway.  If they want to influence an election, they can have far more influence by donating a few million bucks to a “Super PAC” than they can by casting the few votes that they have.
In a previous article, I described how the ultra-wealthy use offshore banks as a “shadow banking system” that plays by rules that most people don’t even know exist….
It is a shadow banking system that most Americans don’t know anything about. Most Americans don’t have the resources to be able to set up shell companies in half a dozen different countries so that they can “filter” their profits.  Most Americans don’t know a thing about complicated tax avoidance plans that tax lawyers use such as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich”.  Most Americans would have no idea how to eventually have most of the money that they make end up in Bermuda so that it can avoid taxes.
Most among the global elite simply do not care that U.S. debt is climbing into the stratosphere.  All they care about is keeping as much of their own money in their pockets as they possibly can.
Of course there are always exceptions to this rule.  Warren Buffett recently wrote a check to the U.S. Treasury for a little more than $49,000 to help pay off the national debt.
But considering the fact that the U.S. national debt is increasing by more than 100 million dollars an hour, that didn’t exactly do much to help.
Our system is deeply broken and the global elite are getting away with bloody murder.  Over the decades, they have carefully crafted the rules so that as much wealth as possible is funneled into their pockets, and they have carefully crafted the rules so that as much wealth as possible stays in their pockets.
Of course if we got rid of the personal income tax and the corporate income tax entirely and replaced them with a completely new system we could get rid of all of this game playing once and for all.
But what do you think the odds are of that happening?

Keiser Report: Banker Infestation (E386)

From YouTube – Max Keiser
In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert argue over whether things are looking better or worse for the American worker.
While Stacy argues that the return of some manufacturing is a sign that wealth creating jobs may return to the US, Max counters that the system is so corrupt that the chances of labor getting any cut of the wealth is nil and that the Internet giants will prevent the rise of a powerful decentralized economy online.
In the second half, Max Keiser talks to Professor Jonathan Feldman about the Global Teach-In and about a boycott and short sale campaign and creating an industrial policy for America because right now the US even outsources some military production to China.

U.S. Banks Again Hit by Wave of Cyberattacks

For the last week, hackers have — once again — attacked the online banking sites of several American banks.
The attacks appear to be the second stage of a campaign that began in September, when a hacker group calling itself Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters took credit for a series of attacks on the Web sites of Bank of America, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC  that caused intermittent delays.
The group said it had attacked the banks in retaliation for an anti-Islam video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad and pledged to continue its campaign until the video was removed from the Internet. They called the campaign Operation Ababil, a Koran reference to the swallows Allah sent to attack an army of elephants dispatched by the King of Yemen to attack Mecca in 571 A.D.
In an online post on Tuesday, the group said that it had resumed Operation Ababil and that, over the last several weeks, it had focused on nine banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, PNC, BB&T, Suntrust and Regions Financial.
“Our aim of this operation is removal of that insulting and absurd film,” the hackers wrote in an online post.
Of the nine banks, representatives of PNC, BB&T and Citigroup confirmed that their online banking sites had experienced intermittent disruptions because of a high volume of Web traffic, but they said that bank accounts and customer information had not been affected. Though they were not mentioned in the group’s online hit list, Capital One and Fifth Third Bank also experienced brief disruptions.
Customers at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp and JPMorgan did not appear to have had any trouble reaching their accounts.
In an e-mail to customers, PNC said it had experienced “an unusually high volume of traffic” to its site. “This volume of traffic is consistent with threatened cyberattacks on the U.S. banking system and is designed to cause access delays for legitimate Internet customers,” the statement said.
Debra DeCourcy, a spokeswoman for Fifth Third Bank, said that from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Fifth Third also had a high volume of traffic to its site. “We believe it was a denial of service attack designed to disrupt access to our site,” Ms. DeCourcy said. “This was an access issue, not a security issue: No customer information or data was compromised.”
In a denial of service attack, hackers bombard a site with traffic until it collapses under the load. Though banks take great pains to absorb large volumes of traffic, many experienced  unprecedented levels. Typically such attacks are deployed through a Web application, in which hackers recruit volunteers to click on a link that sends signals from their computers to a victim’s site, or through botnets, networks of infected computers and devices that do hackers’ work for them.
But security researchers who studied the attacks on banking sites last fall said hackers had used a new weapon: data centers.
Researchers at Radware who investigated the attacks for several banks found that the traffic was coming from data centers around the world that had been infected with a sophisticated form of malware that was designed to evade detection by antivirus solutions. The attackers used those infected servers to simultaneously fire traffic at each banking site until it slowed or collapsed. By infecting data centers instead of computers, attackers obtained the horsepower to mount an enormous denial of service attack.
Jenny Shearer, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, declined to comment on the source of the attacks on Friday.
In an online post, hackers said the attacks had not been sponsored by a country.
Government and intelligence officials have blamed Iran for the fall attacks and for a destructive cyberattack on computers at Saudi Aramco in August, though they have not presented any evidence to back up their claims. Tracing cyberattacks back to one particular country is difficult, security experts say, because traffic can be routed through different Internet addresses to mask their true origin.
Security researchers still do not know how the data centers used in the first wave of attacks were infected in the first place, how widespread the infection rate was and — perhaps most troubling  — whether the servers could be used to damage other sensitive targets in the future.
On Tuesday, the hackers said they had no intention of halting their campaign. “Officials of American banks must expect our massive attacks,” they wrote. “From now on, none of the U.S. banks will be safe.”
A version of this article appeared in print on 01/05/2013, on page B2 of the NewYork edition with the headline: American Banks’ Sites Are Attacked By Hackers.

VIRTUAL 9-11: Will the US & Israel Hack The US Banking System Computers and Falsely Blame It On Iran (or Russia)?

Netanyahu didn't get any traction at the UN for starting war with Iran. Indeed his bomb chart has become an object of ridicule in the alternative media. This was followed by UN recognition of the state of Palestine. By now he is throwing a huge tantrum. He wants his war and he wants the UN "punished", and Netanyahu is a man used to always getting what he wants.
There are only three things Netanyahu can do now to get the war with Iran going before the Israeli elections next month.
The first is to simply go ahead and attack Iran, expecting that the United States will protect Israel from the counter-attack even if Israel struck the first blow.
The second option is a false-flag attack somewhere in the world to be blamed on Iran, but that is a very chancy option given the video of WIMEA lobbyist Clawson actually selling the idea that a false flag to start the war with Iran is a great idea.
The third and final option, and the one I am starting to think is the most likely, relates to the sudden flurry of media stories and statements by people like Joseph Lieberman about how Iranian hackers are attacking the US financial system computers. (Senator Lieberman has also been pressuring Obama to sign an executive order to take over the internet.) Of course, the common sense approach still applies. Why would Iran, which wishes to avoid a war, do something that provocative.
But we know that the US and Israel are behind the cyber-weapons like STUXNET, DUQU, FLAME, etc., that these cyber-weapons were directed against Iran, and that one variant specifically targeted banks in Lebanon and Iran. We also know that the US financial system is stretched to the breaking point, and we know that if the government of either Greece of Spain is driven from office by angry protests, credit default swaps sold by Wall Street against those debts come due, and there is no money to pay the claims. The Euro might even collapse, and that would trigger even more Credit Default Swaps. So the final option, one that strikes me as very likely, is that Israel will take down the US financial computers, and blame it on Iran. This also gets Wall Street and Washington DC off the hook, because now the financial melt-down is an act of war, rather than the result of decades of Wall Street crime and corruption and the predations of Private Central Banks. US banks have already been hit with cyber attacks over the last two weeks, to set the stage. And this would also explain why the US corporate media has paid scant attention to the riots in Spain and Greece so that Americans still dependent on ABCNNBBCBS will remain oblivious to the fact that the Euro is falling apart.
This scenario also explains the testing of means to interfere with DNS to silence websites that may offer opposing interpretations of events (this too will be blamed on Iran).
Such a cyber false-flag also gives the US Government the excuse to take total control of the internet so that those pesky truth-seeking bloggers don't give the slaves uppity ideas that this is just another war-starting hoax like the attack on the USS Liberty or 9-11.

UPDATE: As of this posting, the claims of a pending cyber-attack against the banking computers is being renewed, only with Russia as the supposed villain! But the same logic applies!
PLEASE REPOST THIS THEORY TO YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS. If we can make them doubt that the official story of a financial system computer crash will be believed by the public, we can get them to call it off! If the bank computers and alternative media do crash, the US/Israel did it!
Between the possibility of a false-flag hack attack, or the collapse of the Eurozone, or just the continuing fraud by the US financial system, you should only have as much money in the banks as is needed to cover your outstanding obligations, and you should have the rest of your money under your own personal control in case those bank doors do not open and the ATMs stop working.

Banks Get Delay in New Rule, Keeping Taxpayers on the Hook for Risky Trades

Regulators have decided to delay rules that would have required Wall Street banks to isolate some of their risky derivatives trading in entities not backed by taxpayers. Banks will now have until at least 2015 to comply with the rules, Bloomberg News reports:
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Bank of America Corp. won a delay of Dodd-Frank Act requirements that they wall off some derivatives trades from bank units backed by federal deposit insurance.
Commercial banks including the Wall Street firms may get as long as an additional two years — until July 2015 — to comply with the rules, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said in a notice yesterday. The provision was included in Dodd- Frank, the 2010 financial-regulation law, as a way to limit taxpayer support for risky derivatives trades…The so-called push-out provision of Dodd-Frank requires that equity, some commodity and non-cleared credit derivatives be moved — or pushed out — into separate affiliates without federal assistance.

“The procrastination of both regulators and the banks on this portion of Dodd-Frank has been pretty amazing,” said Marcus Stanley, policy director for Americans for Financial Reform. “The swaps-pushout provision is a really important part and something that absolutely should be a central part of the regulatory framework.” As economists Jane D’Arista and Gerald Epstein wrote, “the intent is to remove risky activities from the core banking functions that are essential to the economy and to ensure that those risky activities will not trigger the need for a bail out to prevent systemic collapse in the future as they did in the 2008 crisis.” This is hardly the first rule from the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to get bogged down in delays. The Volcker Rule — also meant to rein in risky bank trading with dollars backed by the government — has been delayed, and House Republicans want to push back its implementation even further.

The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever

Source: Business Insider

It's jobs day in America.
This morning we learned that the U.S. economy added 155k jobs December and the unemployment rate ticked up in 7.8 percent.
Although the numbers were in line with economists' expectations, they still reflect a job market that remains incredibly weak almost four years into the economic recovery.
Calculated Risk runs a chart every month putting the current jobs recovery into perspective.
"This shows the depth of the recent employment recession - worse than any other post-war recession - and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis," writes Bill McBride of Calculated Risk.


Secret and Lies of the Bailout

The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come

January 4, 2013 4:25 PM ET
national affairs secrets of the bailout taibbi
Illustration by Victor Juhasz
It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you'd think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we've been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right?
It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.
How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform
But the most appalling part is the lying. The public has been lied to so shamelessly and so often in the course of the past four years that the failure to tell the truth to the general populace has become a kind of baked-in, official feature of the financial rescue. Money wasn't the only thing the government gave Wall Street – it also conferred the right to hide the truth from the rest of us. And it was all done in the name of helping regular people and creating jobs. "It is," says former bailout Inspector General Neil Barofsky, "the ultimate bait-and-switch."
The bailout deceptions came early, late and in between. There were lies told in the first moments of their inception, and others still being told four years later. The lies, in fact, were the most important mechanisms of the bailout. The only reason investors haven't run screaming from an obviously corrupt financial marketplace is because the government has gone to such extraordinary lengths to sell the narrative that the problems of 2008 have been fixed. Investors may not actually believe the lie, but they are impressed by how totally committed the government has been, from the very beginning, to selling it.
Today what few remember about the bailouts is that we had to approve them. It wasn't like Paulson could just go out and unilaterally commit trillions of public dollars to rescue Goldman Sachs and Citigroup from their own stupidity and bad management (although the government ended up doing just that, later on). Much as with a declaration of war, a similarly extreme and expensive commitment of public resources, Paulson needed at least a film of congressional approval. And much like the Iraq War resolution, which was only secured after George W. Bush ludicrously warned that Saddam was planning to send drones to spray poison over New York City, the bailouts were pushed through Congress with a series of threats and promises that ranged from the merely ridiculous to the outright deceptive. At one meeting to discuss the original bailout bill – at 11 a.m. on September 18th, 2008 – Paulson actually told members of Congress that $5.5 trillion in wealth would disappear by 2 p.m. that day unless the government took immediate action, and that the world economy would collapse "within 24 hours."
To be fair, Paulson started out by trying to tell the truth in his own ham-headed, narcissistic way. His first TARP proposal was a three-page absurdity pulled straight from a Beavis and Butt-Head episode – it was basically Paulson saying, "Can you, like, give me some money?" Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, remembers a call with Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. "We need $700 billion," they told Brown, "and we need it in three days." What's more, the plan stipulated, Paulson could spend the money however he pleased, without review "by any court of law or any administrative agency."
The White House and leaders of both parties actually agreed to this preposterous document, but it died in the House when 95 Democrats lined up against it. For an all-too-rare moment during the Bush administration, something resembling sanity prevailed in Washington.
So Paulson came up with a more convincing lie. On paper, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was simple: Treasury would buy $700 billion of troubled mortgages from the banks and then modify them to help struggling homeowners. Section 109 of the act, in fact, specifically empowered the Treasury secretary to "facilitate loan modifications to prevent avoidable foreclosures." With that promise on the table, wary Democrats finally approved the bailout on October 3rd, 2008. "That provision," says Barofsky, "is what got the bill passed."
But within days of passage, the Fed and the Treasury unilaterally decided to abandon the planned purchase of toxic assets in favor of direct injections of billions in cash into companies like Goldman and Citigroup. Overnight, Section 109 was unceremoniously ditched, and what was pitched as a bailout of both banks and homeowners instantly became a bank-only operation – marking the first in a long series of moves in which bailout officials either casually ignored or openly defied their own promises with regard to TARP.
Congress was furious. "We've been lied to," fumed Rep. David Scott, a Democrat from Georgia. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, raged at transparently douchey TARP administrator (and Goldman banker) Neel Kashkari, calling him a "chump" for the banks. And the anger was bipartisan: Republican senators David Vitter of Louisiana and James Inhofe of Oklahoma were so mad about the unilateral changes and lack of oversight that they sponsored a bill in January 2009 to cancel the remaining $350 billion of TARP.
So what did bailout officials do? They put together a proposal full of even bigger deceptions to get it past Congress a second time. That process began almost exactly four years ago – on January 12th and 15th, 2009 – when Larry Summers, the senior economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, sent a pair of letters to Congress. The pudgy, stubby­fingered former World Bank economist, who had been forced out as Harvard president for suggesting that women lack a natural aptitude for math and science, begged legislators to reject Vitter's bill and leave TARP alone.
In the letters, Summers laid out a five-point plan in which the bailout was pitched as a kind of giant populist program to help ordinary Americans. Obama, Summers vowed, would use the money to stimulate bank lending to put people back to work. He even went so far as to say that banks would be denied funding unless they agreed to "increase lending above baseline levels." He promised that "tough and transparent conditions" would be imposed on bailout recipients, who would not be allowed to use bailout funds toward "enriching shareholders or executives." As in the original TARP bill, he pledged that bailout money would be used to aid homeowners in foreclosure. And lastly, he promised that the bailouts would be temporary – with a "plan for exit of government intervention" implemented "as quickly as possible."
The reassurances worked. Once again, TARP survived in Congress – and once again, the bailouts were greenlighted with the aid of Democrats who fell for the old "it'll help ordinary people" sales pitch. "I feel like they've given me a lot of commitment on the housing front," explained Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat from Alaska.
But in the end, almost nothing Summers promised actually materialized. A small slice of TARP was earmarked for foreclosure relief, but the resultant aid programs for homeowners turned out to be riddled with problems, for the perfectly logical reason that none of the bailout's architects gave a shit about them. They were drawn up practically overnight and rushed out the door for purely political reasons – to trick Congress into handing over tons of instant cash for Wall Street, with no strings attached. "Without those assurances, the level of opposition would have remained the same," says Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a leading progressive who voted against TARP. The promise of housing aid, in particular, turned out to be a "paper tiger."

GOP, Dems will generously fund war machinery despite looming fiscal cliff

Responsible governance isn't rocket science. Nor is effective economic policy. Fiscal cliff resolution is as simple as doing the right thing. Both parties spurn doing so.

December 31 is a nominal deadline. Effectively it's meaningless. New year legislation can be retroactive to January 1. Absent any, here's what's at stake.

Bush tax cuts revert automatically to Clinton-era levels. The current top 35% will rise to 39.6%. Average middle income families will pay an extra $2,200 annually.

High income earners have clever lawyers and accountants able. They're able to minimize their burden. Ordinary people are hit hardest.

The payroll tax will rise from 4.2% to 6.2%. Doing so means a 50% tax increase for over 90% of Americans.

Payroll taxes shouldn't have been cut in the first place. Better economic stimulus methods exist. Cuts drain Social Security Trust Fund reserves. Doing so irreparably hurts the ability to pay future benefits.

Congress planned it that way. Both parties want Social Security privatized. Doing so assures destroying it altogether. It also violates Franklin Roosevelt's pledge. He said:

"We put those payroll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits."

"With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren't a matter of economics. They're straight politics."

Both parties play hardball. Class war defines their agenda. America's social contract is on the chopping block for elimination. A decade from now it won't exist in its current form. In two decades or less it will disappear altogether.

Doing so means using America's resources for waging war on humanity, increasing corporate profitability, and benefitting super-rich elites already with too much. Vital popular needs will be sacrificed.

Nominally at midnight December 31, unemployment benefits for 2.1 million Americans expire. They represent those without jobs longterm. In 2013 Q I, another million Americans will lose their benefits. More will lose out throughout the year.

Budget sequestration kicks in. Initially, automatic $1.2 trillion in spending cuts are mandated. Nominally they're across the board. Obama, most Democrats, and Republicans agree.

Defense spending will rise, not fall. America's war machine will be generously funded. War profiteers demand it. Bipartisan complicity won't disappoint.

Social America will be hardest hit. It's longstanding policy. Over the next decade, agreement was reached on cutting about $4 trillion. Before it ends, expect much more.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and public pensions are prime targets. Other vital social programs are included. Erosion and planned privatization assure eliminating them.

So does eventually ending virtually all benefits disadvantaged households now get. Bedrock programs will be entirely destroyed. Doing so in their current form comes first. Eliminating them altogether follows.

The annual "doc fix" also expires. Medicare's growth formula ties physician compensation to economic performance. Healthcare providers get shortchanged. Doc fixes minimize damage.

Unless renewed, physician compensation will drop 26.5%. Doing so assures more doctors dropping out of the program altogether. Many already did so.

The alternative minimum tax (AMT) expires. Annual congressional patches keep it in place. In 1969, it was introduced.

Initially it was conceived as a system to assure high-income earners, corporations, trusts, and estates pay at least minimal taxes. Currently around 20% of households are affected.

Thresholds aren't automatically adjusted for inflation. For years, Congress enacted one-year patches. At times, modest inflation relief was included. AMT kicks in if tentative minimum taxes exceed regular ones.

Tentative ones are AMT amounts times alternative minimum taxable income less the AMT foreign tax credit. Regular ones equal income tax obligations minus foreign and possessions tax credits.

The AMT is a very complicated. It's a parallel tax system. Ordinary people need accountants to determine if it affects them. What began in 1969 is totally dysfunctional. Many middle income earners are hard hit. Nominally it wasn't supposed to be this way.

Patches rectify things annually. Failure to do so assures voter rage. It's been avoided so far. Given bipartisan agreement to destroy America's social contract, anything is possible ahead.

Social destructiveness is prioritized. Doing what's right is spurned. Imagine the difference effective policies would make. Key ones include:

Putting money power back in public hands where it belongs. The Constitution's Article I, Section 8 mandates it.

Public banking works. It's an idea whose time has come. Privatized money power is destructive. Regaining public control more than ever is needed.

Colonial America prospered that way tax and inflation-free. It's the same wherever it's instituted. Imagine if Wall Street's controlled Federal Reserve was nationalized.

Its franchise would be abolished. Giant banks could be broken up. Too-big-to-fail ones could end. Insolvent ones would be shut down. Responsibly run public ones would replace them.

Sustainable inflation-free prosperity could follow. Readily available credit makes it possible. All boats could be lifted equitably. It happened in America before and could again. Political will alone prevents it.

Imagine the difference under public banks. They're not beholden to Wall Street or shareholders. They don't have to earn profits. They don't pay huge salaries and bonuses.

They're mandated only to serve communities, businesses of all sizes, farmers, and private individuals responsibly. They're very much up to the task. They succeed marvelously.

Federal, state and local debt could be substantially reduced or eliminated. So could personal and payroll taxes. America's manufacturing base could be rebuilt.

Social programs could be funded inflation-free. Infrastructure rebuilding could be prioritized. It could be done on a scale never before imagined.

Environmental cleanup could happen. Alternative, sustainable, clean, safe, affordable energy sources could be developed.

Millions of good-paying jobs could be created. Employment would exist for everyone willing and able to work. People with money spend it. Doing so enhances economic growth.

Home ownership would be available to millions. Foreclosures would end. Mortgages would be sustainably cheap. Booms and busts would end. So would destructive currency devaluations and economic warfare.

Private pensions, savings and investments would be safe. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public pensions, and other vital benefits would be secure in perpetuity. So would sustainable prosperity.

Fiscal cliff duplicitous hype wouldn't exist. Imagine this kind of nation. It's not pie-in-the-sky. Colonial America proved it works. So have other nations where it was tried. Why not again now. Political will alone prevents it. People power can change things.

Reinstitute anti-trust laws with teeth. Prohibit monopoly and oligopoly power.

Revoke corporate personhood. Business giants are private tyrannies. Their rights are the same as people. Limited liability status eliminates most responsibilities.

They're a universe unto themselves. They can reside in many places simultaneously. They can't be imprisoned for wrongdoing. They take full advantage.

They're obligated only to shareholders. Their power has grown exponentially. They're out-of-control. They're rapacious predators. They make US policy. They write legislation Congress passes. Presidents dutifully enact it. It's high time that changed.

Dismantle destructive duopoly power. Replace it with multi-party direct democracy. Get money out of politics.

Break up big media. Make broadcasting a public utility. Airwaves belong to everyone. Business giants exploit it. Generous subsidies support them.

Prohibit corporate handouts, loopholes, and special benefits. Make corporations pay their fare share. Tax all profits equitably.

Mandate progressive taxation. Treat all forms of income equally.

Tax speculation. Impose a Tobin tax on large financial transactions.

Reinstitute Glass-Steagall. Decouple commercial from investment banks and insurers. Abolish the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. It legitimized swap agreements and other hybrid instruments.

It prevents regulatory oversight of derivatives and leveraging. It turned Wall Street crooks loose on unsuspecting investors. Fraud more than ever was institutionalized. It's Wall Street's business model.

Giant banks make money by stealing it. Crooked politicians permit it. Predatory rapaciousness is institutionalized. America's 1% profits at the expense of others. Depression conditions harm growing millions. Reckless policies make it possible.

Mandate level playing field fairness. End monied corruption. Hold corporate bosses accountable. End America's student loan racket. Reenergize organized labor. Let workers bargain collectively with management fairly.

Save public education. Institute it at the college and graduate school levels. Establish universal healthcare. Everyone in. No one left out.

End America's permanent war policy. Prioritize peace. Close all overseas bases. Cut defense spending sharply. Use America's resources for productive economic growth.

Imagine priorities this beneficial. Imagine a country fit to live in. Imagine widespread activism committed to achieve it. It won't happen any other way. It never has. It never will.

Ordinary people are responsible for their own futures. They hold their fate in their own hands. It's their choice. Act responsibly or lose out entirely. America's on a fast track toward the worst of all possible worlds.

Imagine mass activism unwilling to tolerate it. Beneficial social change could follow. Institutionalizing it could become policy. It that's not worth working for, what is?


Endless War Is a Feature – Not a Bug – of U.S. Policy

nite detention on US soil; plotted to relocate Guantanamo to Illinois; increased secrecy, repression and release-restrictions at the camp; minted a new theory of presidential assassination powers even for US citizens; renewed the Bush/Cheney warrantless eavesdropping framework for another five years, as well as the Patriot Act, without a single reform; and just signed into law all new restrictions on the release of indefinitely held detainees.
Does that sound to you like a government anticipating the end of the War on Terror any time soon? Or does it sound like one working feverishly to make their terrorism-justified powers of detention, surveillance, killing and secrecy permanent?
Why is the war of terror being waged indefinitely?
Many have said that “war is the health of the state”,  and Thomas Paine wrote in the Rights of Man:
In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice, nor warped by interest, would declare, that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.
George Washington – in his farewell address of 1796 – said:
Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty.
James Madison said:
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.
Madison also noted that never-ending war tends to destroy both liberty and prosperity:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
Greenwald noted in October:
As the Founders all recognized, nothing vests elites with power – and profit – more than a state of war. That is why there were supposed to be substantial barriers to having them start and continue – the need for a Congressional declaration, the constitutional bar on funding the military for more than two years at a time, the prohibition on standing armies, etc. Here is how John Jay put it in Federalist No 4:
“It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it; nay, absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans. These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.”
In sum, there are factions in many governments that crave a state of endless war because that is when power is least constrained and profit most abundant.
Indeed, top American military officials and national defense experts say that our specific actions in the “war on terror” are creating more terrorists and more war.
As Greenwald points out today, the endless nature of the war on terror is a feature, not a bug:
There’s a good reason US officials are assuming the “War on Terror” will persist indefinitely: namely, their actions ensure that this occurs.
There’s no question that this “war” will continue indefinitely. There is no question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire. The only question – and it’s becoming less of a question for me all the time – is whether this endless war is the intended result of US actions or just an unwanted miscalculation.
It’s increasingly hard to make the case that it’s the latter. The US has long known, and its own studies have emphatically concluded, that “terrorism” is motivated not by a “hatred of our freedoms” but by US policy and aggression in the Muslim world. This causal connection is not news to the US government. Despite this – or, more accurately, because of it – they continue with these policies.
There is zero reason for US officials to want an end to the war on terror, and numerous and significant reasons why they would want it to continue. It’s always been the case that the power of political officials is at its greatest, its most unrestrained, in a state of war. Cicero, two thousand years ago, warned that “In times of war, the law falls silent” (Inter arma enim silent leges).
If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It’s that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.
Just this week, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration need not respond to the New York Times and the ACLU’s mere request to disclose the government’s legal rationale for why the President believes he can target US citizens for assassination without due process. Even while recognizing how perverse her own ruling was – “The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me” and it imposes “a veritable Catch-22″ – the federal judge nonetheless explained that federal courts have constructed such a protective shield around the US government in the name of terrorism that it amounts to an unfettered license to violate even the most basic rights: “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret” (emphasis added).
Why would anyone in the US government or its owners have any interest in putting an end to this sham bonanza of power and profit called “the war on terror”? Johnson is right that there must be an end to this war imminently, and Maddow is right that the failure to do so will render all the due-process-free and lawless killing and imprisoning and invading and bombing morally indefensible and historically unforgivable.
But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They’re preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. Only outside compulsion, from citizens, can make an end to all of this possible.
Indeed,  the American government has directly been supporting Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups for the last decade.  See this, this, this, this and this.
(Remember, if there aren’t scary enough enemies in real life, we’ve got to create them.  Oops … did I say that out loud?)
And the American government lies – and even kills its own – to justify new wars.
Top American economists say that endless war has ruined our economy.  It benefits a handful of elites, while levying a tax on the vast majority of Americans.
Congress members – part of the super-elite which has made money hand over fist during this economic downturn – are heavily invested in the war industry, and routinely trade on inside information … perhaps even including planned military actions.
No wonder the American government is making the state of war permanent, and planning to unleash new, widespread  wars in the near future.
Postscript: Under Bush, it was the “war on terror”. Obama has re-branded the perpetual fighting as “humanitarian war”.
But - underneath the ever-changing marketing and branding campaign – it’s really just the good ‘ole military-industrial-and-banking complex consolidating their power and making money hand over fist.

Peter Schiff: 'The Dollar Is Not The King Of Anything, Except Maybe Depreciation'

Peter Schiff: 'The Dollar Is Not The King Of Anything, Except Maybe Depreciation'

Millionaire banker who killed wife in a jealous rage is back in the home where he strangled her with their two children after just three years in jail

  • Neil Ellerbeck, has moved into the smart suburban house where he took his wife Kate's life after she asked for a divorce
  • Ellerbeck lashed out after bugging her phone calls and reading her texts, discovering she had been having an affair
  • She received 43 separate injuries in the attack in November 2008, around 18 of which were on her face

A jury cleared Mr Ellerbeck murder and convicted him instead of manslaughter on the grounds of lack of intent
A jury cleared Mr Ellerbeck murder and convicted him instead of manslaughter on the grounds of lack of intent
Just four years after he killed his wife in a jealous rage, a millionaire banker is out of jail and back living with their two children at the family home where he strangled her.
Neil Ellerbeck, 49, has moved into the smart suburban house where he took his wife Kate's life after she asked for a divorce.
Mr Ellerbeck, who earned £170,000 as HSBC's global chief of investment, feared losing his two children, £650,000 home and £1.3million fortune in the break-up.
He lashed out after bugging her phone calls and reading her texts, discovering she had been having an affair with her son's tennis coach as well as having 'close friendships' with a childhood sweetheart and a chef at the Ritz.
She received 43 separate injuries in the attack in November 2008, around 18 of which were on her face.
After his furious assault, Ellerbeck collected their ten-year-old daughter from a school entrance exam.
He later insisted his 46-year-old wife had been alive when he left her.
During his Old Bailey trial three years ago, it emerged he had been having an affair himself during the troubled 14-year marriage.
He was acquitted of murder but jailed for eight years for manslaughter after a jury accepted he did not intend to kill his wife.
Time spent in custody awaiting trial and his good behaviour means he served a total of four years behind bars.
Neil Ellerbeck, pictured is seen unloading boxes of what looks like flat pack furniture from his car and in to the house
Neil Ellerbeck, pictured is seen unloading boxes of what looks like flat pack furniture from his car and in to the house
Banker Neil Ellerbeck and wife Kate are photographed at a party. Mr Ellerbeck was jailed in 2009 after being found guilty of her manslaughter
Banker Neil Ellerbeck and wife Kate are photographed at a party. Mr Ellerbeck was jailed in 2009 after being found guilty of her manslaughter
He moved back into the family home in Enfield, North London, after his release last month.
He has been seen moving flat-pack furniture into the property, now believed to be worth around £800,000, which he shares with his son, 17, and daughter, 14.
Yesterday, he said: 'It's early days. I'm just trying to get settled back with the children.

'It's too early to say whether we will stay here. 'We might move on but I don't know yet.' Some of his neighbours were shocked to hear he had returned to the family home.
'One, who did not want to be named, said: 'It's quite scary. I can't believe he's back living with the children.
'When you hear about what he did, Its pretty worrying to know he is living here.' Before the killing, Mr Ellerbeck, described by police as a jealous and possessive man, was having a long relationship with a former colleague. But then he spied on his wife and found out she had been having an affair with tennis coach Pat McAdam.
Banker Neil Ellerbeck pictured handcuffed and being taken into custody from the Old Bailey in London at the start of his trial
Banker Neil Ellerbeck pictured handcuffed and being taken into custody from the Old Bailey in London at the start of his trial
The court was told he had bugged her phone calls and kept 127 hours of recordings. Mrs Ellerbeck's sister, estate agent Sue Reed, and Mr McAdam, both objected to Mr Ellerbeck moving back to Enfield. A close friend of Mrs Reed said: 'Sue still has great affection for Mrs Ellerbeck's children.
She looked after them for the best part of a year when Neil was arrested and remanded in custody. Sue wants to remain on good terms and would never speak out about what happened.
'But she is horrified that Neil has moved back to the home where he killed Kate and shows no signs of wanting to move. 'More baffling to her is why Neil would want to move back to the house where his wife died in a violent struggle with him and want to carry on raising the children there as if nothing had happened. It is cold and bizarre.'
The home where Kate Ellerbeck died to which her husband has returned after serving three years in jail
The home where Kate Ellerbeck died to which her husband has returned after serving three years in jail
Mr Ellerbeck who was found guilty of manslaughter, killed his unfaithful wife during a violent row
Mr Ellerbeck who was found guilty of manslaughter, killed his unfaithful wife during a violent row
Mr McAdam, 50, last night hit out at the legal system that has allowed Mr Ellerbeck to begin rebuilding his life after just four years behind bars, adding: 'He destroyed Kate's life, left two children without a mother and caused untold anguish to Kate's sister, family and myself.
'Yet when I asked victim liaison questions about his release, I kept being told the probation service was trying to make his life as "normal as possible" now that he is out.
I had hoped he would not be allowed back to the home where Kate died.' Mr McAdam has been campaigning to change the law to make it harder for  people sentenced for serious crimes to be released early.
He said: 'Because he's served half of his sentence, he has no need to wear an electronic tag, or report regularly to police, all apparently because of  this desire to let him lead a normal life.
'I will never be able to lead  a normal life  again and nor will other people involved in  this case who knew and  loved Kate.'

Waitrose boss: Britons should brace themselves for 'massive' food price hikes

Britain's recent food price rises are "just the tip of the iceberg," and consumers should brace themselves for "massive" hikes in some commodities this year, the managing director of Waitrose has warned.

Britain's recent food price rises are
Mark Price said food price inflation would rise further as the heavy rainfall last year meant that many farmers did not plant crops for 2013. Photo: PA
Mark Price said food price inflation would rise further as the heavy rainfall last year meant that many farmers did not plant crops for 2013.
Mr Price told the Sun: “We’re seeing input food inflation of around 3 to 3.5pc, but we expect it go up to as much as five.
“In some commodities, the increases will be massive,” he added.
“It’s bread, vegetables, all produce. The apple crop was down 20 to 30 per cent so apple prices have to go up. You have only seen the tip of the iceberg,” said Mr Price.
Last year was the second wettest year across the UK in records dating back more than a century to 1910.

Mr Price's comments came as the upmarket supermarket group enjoyed record sales over Christmas as it grabbed more customers from Britain’s “big four” supermarkets.
The company, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, said like-for-like sales rose 5.4pc between December 18 and December 31.
This sent total sales during the period through £300m for the first time. It comes after Waitrose reported like-for-like sales growth of 4.3pc for the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve.
The growth of Waitrose is likely to sharply outstrip that of Tesco, Asda, J Sainsbury and Wm Morrison, the country’s biggest supermarkets.
Waitrose has a market share of 4.5pc in the UK, still far below the 30.7pc for Tesco.
The grocer opened 18 new shops last year, including eight convenience stores, taking its total to 288.
Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, said sales of fresh food, champagne, and party food particularly accelerated over Christmas for the company.
He added: “Our sales for the festive period as a whole have been record-breaking but the 12 trading days leading up to New Year’s Eve were exceptional as customers got ready for family entertaining and parties.
“The combination of our inspiring celebratory food and drink together with great value and offers proved to be a winning combination.”
Morrisons will be the first of the listed supermarkets to reveal its Christmas trading figures next week, with analysts predicting that like-for-like sales could be down by more than 2.5pc.
Philip Dorgan, analyst at Panmure Gordon, said the Bradford-based retailer could be forced to issue a profits warning.
He added: “Whether there is a profit warning accompanying Monday’s trading statement is a moot point.
“We do, however, see further downside to consensus profits, given the likely continued sales underperformance and we believe that management would be best advised to realign expectations.
“This would enable it to focus on fixing its business, rather than defending an unsustainable level of profit, which would only result in its problems compounding.”
Last January, Tesco issued a profits warning after disappointing Christmas trading.
However, analyst at Deutsche Bank expect the retailer to post like-for-like sales growth of 0.8pc in the UK for this Christmas as its recovery from the profits warning gathers pace.

China censures US sanctions on Iran

China has censured the United States for the imposition of new sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing on Friday that her country “has consistently opposed” sanctions against Iran over its peaceful nuclear energy program.
She renewed China’s call for the resumption of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany -- about Tehran’s nuclear program.
Hua said, “We have always seen negotiations and cooperation as the best way to solve the Iranian nuclear issue”.
The new sanctions are included in the $633-billion military bill for 2013, which US President Barack Obama signed into law on Wednesday night.

Arrogance, Deceit, and Lies make up December’s Job Report

The unemployment rate remained at 7.8% for the month of December.  The December job growth by sector went as follows:
Construction was up by 30,000 jobs.  This would consist of illegal aliens rebuilding the East Coast after Superstorm Sandy at substandard wages with no benefits.  And of course we the taxpayers will be picking up the tab, so where is the gain?
Next we had health care up by 45,000.  This would be new private contractors to administer Obamacare to be paid for by we the taxpayers.  No gain.
Food service was up by 38,000.  This one I simply do not believe as it is my personal experience, which is bolstered by the reality of diminished Christmas sales that expendable income is disappearing with the devaluation of the dollar.

Next we have manufacturing up by 25,000.  This number can be accredited to international corporations based in the United States, hiring overseas and manipulating those numbers onto their books here.
In reality as the case has been since 2008, we have experienced a gross loss of jobs in the United States in 2012, the exact number of which cannot be reported as this information is purposefully withheld.  We do know that at least 350,000 jobs per month are needed to just keep pace with those Americans coming into the job market for the first time after graduating from high school or college.  If you believe the lie of 155,000 jobs created in December, does this still not represent a deficit of 195,000 jobs in what is needed just to keep an even keel?
Retail sales for the month of December lost 19,000 jobs.  Remember, this is December; this is as good as it gets for hiring in retail.  Considering the dive in retail sales and the fact that the United States, before the attack on our economy and indeed today, is a consumer based economy driven by an industrial base, how can any of the previous numbers be entertained as being plausibly true?
We could go on and on but what would be the point?  Either you are a realist who can see that the United States continues to plunge into the abyss and that these fraudulent numbers are only being broadcast over the mainstream in an effort to sucker those who still have money in the bank into throwing it away through the stock market, or you are a future potential victim.
On an ending note, along with this report it was said that there are only 12.2 million people out of work in the United States.  On every network, at one time or another in the past six months, this number has been put at between 80 million and 100 million.  If the truth be known, we are probably closing in on 110 million unemployed.
All of this, as new austerity measures are being implemented.  This is why the Department of Homeland Security needs 1.6 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition.  This is why the police state for the confiscation of our weapons is being implemented.  You see, this is the stuff revolutions are made of.
God bless the Republic, death to the international corporate mafia, we shall prevail.

Operation Terror- The 9/11 story you are not supposed to know.

The 9/11 story you are not supposed to know.

James McCullough from the mysterious “Council” gives a special assignment to CIA agent Aaron Delgado to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and pin the blame on Muslim Terrorists. Delgado and fellow agents, Phillip Singer and Chase Jordan, work with a group of unsuspecting engineers to develop unmanned jets that will hit their assigned targets.

The Army and the FBI begin to uncover the plot, forcing Delgado to intervene. The CIA agents also have to deal with an increasingly suspicious George Poole, the lead engineer working on the drones, who becomes skeptical on how the remote controlled planes will be used. A battle between good and evil ensues as the plot to attack America becomes a hard-hitting reality.

Watch this video ..... 

End to evictions in Spain? Locksmiths refuse to help oust owners amid austerity drive

People sit in front of banners and placards displayed by evicted people outside a branch of Caja Madrid, part of the Bankia group bailed out by the Spanish state, during a protest against evictions on the Plaza Celenque in Madrid on October 25, 2012. (AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre)
People sit in front of banners and placards displayed by evicted people outside a branch of Caja Madrid, part of the Bankia group bailed out by the Spanish state, during a protest against evictions on the Plaza Celenque in Madrid on October 25, 2012. (AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre)
Dozens of locksmiths in the Spanish city of Pamplona have vowed to stop aiding authorities in evicting delinquent homeowners. The locksmiths said they would not assist in evictions that led to over 100 suicides in 2012.
­If a house's locks remain unchanged, the evicted family could return whenever they liked, forcing authorities to start another – sometimes months-long – eviction process.
"As people, we can't continue carrying out evictions when people are killing themselves," Pamplona locksmith Iker de Carlos told PRI (Public Radio International).
Many eviction cases have ended in tragedy: More than 100 Spaniards committed suicide in 2012 after being kicked out of their homes.
In November,  the suicide of 53-year-old Amaia Egaña – who jumped to her death from the fourth floor of her building after she was issued an eviction notice for defaulting on her mortgage payments – triggered protests across Spain. Thousands marched and chanted slogans such as “This isn’t suicide, this is homicide,” “They get the money and we get the dead” and ''Banker, remember – we have rope.''
Following Egaña's death, Barakaldo judge Juan Carlos Mediavilla pointed out that it was "necessary to amend current mortgage legislation" to prevent the recurrence of such events, while Employment and Social Security Minister Fatima Banez said the government deeply regretted Egaña's death.
Ecuadoran homeowner Kelly Herrera (L) closes her eyes as a psychologist speaks with police coming to evict her from her house in Madrid. (AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre)
Ecuadoran homeowner Kelly Herrera (L) closes her eyes as a psychologist speaks with police coming to evict her from her house in Madrid. (AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre)
At the end of October, three suicides in three consecutive days also led to public outcry. A young man threw himself off a bridge in Gran Canaria after losing his job and receiving an eviction notice, while a 53-year-old man in Burjassot jumped from his second-story flat. In the southern province of Granada, 54-year-old Jose Miguel Domingo hanged himself minutes before bailiffs arrived to evict him from his home.
Unemployment in Spain currently stands at over 25 percent, and continues to rise. In 2008, the country's housing market collapsed, causing widespread homelessness. Some 50,000 Spaniards were kicked out of their homes in the first half of 2012, and over 1 million homes across the country are unoccupied, Reuters reported.
Nations gripped by the ongoing financial crisis have seen an upsurge in suicides and anti-depressant prescriptions related to financial problems, as people struggle to make ends meet.
The suicide rate in Greece has risen dramatically, with the country's health ministry indicating a 40 percent jump in suicides in the first half of 2010. In 2011, that number stood at 25 percent in Athens and 18 percent across the country.
In Italy, suicides caused by economic difficulties have increased 52 percent in recent years, to 187 in 2010 from 123 in 2005, the New York Times reported.
Members of the Mortgage Victims′ Platform shout slogans as they take part in a protest in Madrid November 12, 2012. Spain′s top parties will tackle eviction law reform on Monday after a homeowner′s suicide provoked public fury and accusations that politicians and banks are complicit in de facto "murder". (Reuters / Juan Medina)
Members of the Mortgage Victims' Platform shout slogans as they take part in a protest in Madrid November 12, 2012. Spain's top parties will tackle eviction law reform on Monday after a homeowner's suicide provoked public fury and accusations that politicians and banks are complicit in de facto "murder". (Reuters / Juan Medina)