Abolish the Federal Reserve Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2008 at 8:08 am
The Bear Sterns bailout with taxpayer money so those incompetent bankers can drive around in fancy cars and keep their million dollar bonuses is a sham! It's my tax money and it should not go to Bear Sterms.
"We could not maintain the gold standard nor the silver standard. We could not maintain the copper standard, and now we cannot even maintain the zinc standard. Paper money inevitably breeds inflation and destroys the value of the currency."
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2008 at 11:51 am
"The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating."
- Thomas Jefferson
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
- Thomas Jefferson
The federal reserve is a privately held corporation of which JP Morgan is a shareholder. The federal reserve has taken my tax payer money and given JPM $30 billion. Stealin my money.
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."
- Thomas Jefferson
"The system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction. I sincerely believe, with you...that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
- Thomas Jefferson
"To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill [chartering the first Bank of the United States] have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States by the Constitution. They are not among the powers specially enumerated."
Posted by Lender of last resort, a resident of Portola Valley, on Mar 17, 2008 at 12:35 pm
It is so simple and so misunderstood all at the same time.
The reason for confusion is you and I cannot do the following:
Federal Reserve Notes are created in an exceedingly simple transaction between the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. The US Treasury (the government) creates a bond, and the Federal Reserve (a private bank) creates some money (not the real paper money, the government prints it) simply a banking ledger entry. The Federal Reserve loans the Treasury the money it just created and the Treasury gives the Federal Reserve the T-bond it just created as collateral. The bond is an IOU that serves as backing for the money that was just created. That is why the money says Note on the face. I know. It sounds circular, confusing and insane, because it is. It is meant to be so that you don't understand it.
Simply the US Government pays rent (interest payments, your money) on all things it buys or pays for.
This pays for AID to Africa, soy bean farm subsidies, oil from Kuwait, Navy fighter jets, not to mention all the wages for bureaucrats to Clinton's retirement check, federal welfare payments, the bozos at Blackwater to Nancy Pelosi's new plastic surgery.
All of this on rented money you must pay back to the JP Morgans of the old world order.
Henry Ford said of the Federal Reserve / US Treasury arrangement, 'It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.' - I think that about covers it.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2008 at 2:44 pm
I'm no fan of the Fed, but keep in mind that the alternative to the Fed is a run on currency, and the resultant crash that would occur, as many countries have pegged their currency to the dollar. Also, we haven't been able to figure out a way to deal with boom/bust cycles.
Something will give, sooner or later. This isn't going to be pretty.
We're paying for acting like pigs in a slop house, in spite of the fact that we enjoyed powerful hegemony that could have been used for something other than magnifying greed. Poor leadership.
We're in for another 10-15 years of difficulty, al least. We'll survive, but there is going to be real pain along the way.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm
Basically, it's like this. You make some money with your own sweat and blood and you pay taxes to the federal government after having made some money. The the federal government gives the money you made through your sweat and blood to a privately owned organization called the federal reserve, to whom the federal government is indebted. The federal reserve then gives $30 billion of your sweat and blood money to one bank called JP Morgan in the form of an unsecured and uncollateralized loan to cherry pick the best parts of another bank gone bust. Since the loan the federal reserve made an unsecured and uncollateralized loan using public money JP Morgan could literally lose all of the money and the federal reserve would say oops! but we cannot take your computers, your building, your other assets to make up for the loss because the loan was unsecured. It's like giving money for nothing in return except the simple promise that you'll give it back. Imagine a bank giving you $1,000,000 to buy a home in Palo Alto and said if you don't pay we won't be able to take your house because your house was not collateral for the loan. You promise on your word to pay the bank back and the bank says, ok that's good enough, here's the million dollars. What the federal reserve gave to JP Morgan is almost the same thing, except its worse because it's with your money.
Posted by Ms Green America, a resident of another community, on Mar 17, 2008 at 9:42 pm
Everyone hates us, but everyone wants to live here....
Conservatives encourage slave labor from Mexico, but that's only good for unskilled labor....
Liberals have so destroyed American culture that we can't generate enough college graduates to fill the ranks of the technical jobs here... Bill Gates is right, we have to import them from Asia to have any chance at competitiveness....
And, at least in the short term, we still have the means to correct this...
Bottom line, the world can't sustain 6 billion people. We're overpopulated by a factor of 10. For all of those who say "live simply so that others may simply live", I say breed responsibly so that those who do live can do so with some expectation of value and quality to their lives...
But until that happens, I say nuke, nuke, nuke and nuke until the world's population is reduced to a sustainable level.
We have the means.... The greatness of the last generation gave us the technological means and the economy to do that..... Our global hegemony is in it's last days, and this needs to be done NOW! Otherwise look forward to your children living as the unwanted Mexicans who are our slaves now.
It's necessary..... It's for our children..... It's for humanity.... It's the "Green" thing to do....
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2008 at 7:02 am
the other thing with the federal reserve, a privately owned organization of which we know JP Morgan is a shareholder, is that congress unconstitutionally gave this private organization the right to print and regulate the flow of money. Congress basically gave private bankers to control the flow of money. What happens is that when you have business men in control of the flow of money they will manipulate it to their greatest profit, as you just saw in the case of JP Morgan. The federal reserve, an unelected body, decided overnight to print more money to give to one of their shareholders for profit. This in turn will devalue the dollar which in turn drives up the cost of fuel and lowers the buying power of everyone who holds dollar denominated assets - essentially all the regular folks. You cannot buy as much as you could before because these private bankers are diluting the dollar. So, gas prices go up, food prices go up, you cannot travel abroad as much, heating costs go up, utility prices go up, and your standard of living goes down.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2008 at 7:24 am
Ms. Green America, you're nuts to think we should nuke everyone. You, your children, your grandchildren probably wouldn't survive and it would contaminate all food and water sources on earth. Although I agree with you there needs to be some kind of population cap, something like a self-mandated birth control limiting families to one or two children. There are getting to be too many people to sustain on Earth.
Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2008 at 8:27 am
When you approached Frisco from Sacramento in the 50s, around Fairfield you picked up the smell of the bay, essentially sewerage and refinery smell. The growth during the war plus the limits on civilian construction put sewerage treatment and air pollution control behind. The abatement of those nuisances was well under way before the problems were "discovered". Now, as populations increase the cleanliness of air and water improves, at least partly because the higher living standard makes more money available for amenities.
Check areas of falling population like Chicago for the perils of falling populations. If you don't have children, someone else will.
Posted by Payment Due, a resident of Stanford, on Mar 18, 2008 at 9:19 am
Bear Sterns leveraged liabilities (what a concept) and lost.
JP Morgan comes along more like the winning side in the aforementioned leveraged liabilities transaction and now gets paid 30 Billion from (a loan wink wink) the New York Federal Reserve to take over the assets of a rival.
Oh, by the way all those Bear Stern underwritten mortgages are still due and payable or will be sold at auction either way the piper will be paid.
This is what is known as magic money.
Now you see it in one pocket and poof it appears in another pocket.
Bear Stearns closed at $57.00 Thursday
JP Morgan (umm, you paid) paid $2.00 for Bear Stearns on Saturday.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2008 at 10:05 am
The federal reserve's statutory mandate is to control inflation, but the federal reserve has totally abnegated this task. In reality, as a private company, their primary duty is to ensure their shareholders make a profit. Their shareholders are banks and so the federal reserve's primary goal is ensure that banks profit. The bankers are the ones who hold the wealth in this country via your debt. Bankers issue you student debt, home debt, credit card debt, car debt and you work your entire life to pay this debt to bankers. Inflation makes banks profit because they collect more dollars from inflation. The wealth disparity increases because while all bankers collect more and more dollars as people fall further into debt, their standard of living rises, while everyone else's falls because America has to compete for natural resources on a global scale. So we have compete for the same oil, food, gold, copper, lumber, etc as everyone else in the world. But when the dollar goes down, regular folks who are indebted to bankers cannot buy as much.
To call this private bank "federal" is a misnomer designed to create the impresson that the bank works for the people, but in fact this organization works to ensure private bankers profit from the masses. Cutting interest rates also helps to ensure banks profit without any real benefit to everyone else because the banks can then borrow money from the U.S. treasury at a lower cost but continue to charge high prices to the masses. So it's like taking your money at a cheaper rate from one hand and then charging you high prices with the other hand. The federal reserve takes taxpayer money and gives it to private bankers at a cheaper price with lower interest rates and the private bankers lend to the masses at higher rates. So with both hands the banks take more money from the masses. In another words, you lend your tax money to private banks at say 2% and then when you go to buy a home this same private bank which borrowed your tax money will lend you your money back at 6%. Your net loss is 4%. And congress, via the IRS, enforces this unconstitutionality.
This is why I go back to Thomas Jefferson who said, "The system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction. I sincerely believe, with you...that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2008 at 10:23 am
Ofcourse the bankers wouldn't give up their control of the money system because it's too profitable. But Americans can take the printing of money out of the hands of these private businessmen and put it back into the public trust. It's a very simple concept and can be easily understood.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm
When the federal reserve buys up all those smelly, defaulted, non-paying mortgages with taxpayer money, balloons the national debt even further, drives the dollar lower and sky-rockets gas and food prices along the way who's going to have to pay for it all, Paul? Who's going to pay for it?
Posted by Mike, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2008 at 4:42 pm
Here's the problem. Complicated, arbitraged economies and currencies need institutions that will guarantee stability. We absolutely need institutions like the Fed, *just in case*.
THat said, the Fed would have to intervene far less than it currently does if STRICT oversight was applied to the financial sector, right to the top.
Frankly, *thousands* of huckster arbitragers, subprime bundlers, and financial instrument inventors should go to JAIL, for YEARS. When are we going to see the connections between privilege and criminal immunity end?
That's going to take some tiem, because the world is not hooked up in a way that provides for the kind of transparency that we need to properly monitor thieves in high places.
These thieves are the people who have used their knowledge to leverage the capital of those who they have been entrusted to expand. INstead of taking that responsibility on, they have done great harm to the honest people in the financial sector, and literally billions of citizens around the world who will suffer from their greed.
Will we see justice in all this; I doubt it. That said, until something like what I suggested above happens, we will continue to see these bailouts until more perfect transparency - on an international scale - happens. That will be a long time in coming.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm
I happen to agree with you about the "semi-private" guys, but where is the policy advice that those semi-private guys should be providing? I don't see it.
We need an institution like the Fed to keep things stable; we don't want another crash like '29.
What I want to know is where are the CONSEQUENCES for egregious abuse of the system? I don't see them. So, what the Fed ends up doing is managing the next crisis caused by people who have learned to game new rules, or cracks in the system.
The Fed isn't helping with that, nor is the Congress. That's the problem (greatly simplified for ease of digestion)
This goes on EVERY DAY on the street. Forget about the playing field being level; the playing field doesn't even exist.
And who pays for this? Consider that when you walked out the door on Monday morning, every dollar in your wallet was worth about $.03 less than it was last Friday. Who's going to pay for making that happen? Doesn't look to me like anyone will pay, except you, me, and 300 million other Americans.
I listened to British radio this morning, and one long time trader says he hasn't seen anything like this in 50 years - "it's like a cork bobbing in the ocean" is the way he put it.
There's no reason to panic, yet - as the close ties between Central Banks and key enterprise players is solid, so far.
It still boggles that nobody is made responsible for the crimes that led to these problems.
Remember, before the subprime mess began, these investment bankers were lobbying like crazy to make it far more difficult for the average American to forestall a foreclosure by decclaring bankruptcy. ONce that had that piece of legislation in their grimy pockets, we began to see subprime paper sold like pretzels on the Upper West Side. And so it goes...
Posted by Jim, a resident of the Monroe Park neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2008 at 8:32 am
The Fed was being lauded five years ago for proving cheap money, which allowed low mortgage interest rates, which, in turn, churned the housing market. Many people, who would not, under more normal times, have been able to become a home owner, were now proud owners (including many minorities). Many of these loans were five-year, interest only, then reset at market rates, amortized over 25 years. People are defaulting on the reset.
The originators of the loans, in many cases, bundled the paper and sold it to investment houses.
If I wanted to blame someone or something, I would start with the interest-only loan. Bad idea, unless there is a very solid qualification by the borrower. This did not happen. Blame the banks on that one. Also blame Congress for pressuring banks to loan in high risk areas (anti-red lining).
The investment houses undersold the risk of their mortgage bundles. This only works when the bubble is expanding...not when it is contracting. Blame them.
I would also blame the borrowers for not taking the thing seriously. They seem to care less about their obligations, and bankruptcy doesn't seem to bother them. Very lame attitudes.
We are a country that likes immediate gratification, thus easy credit. I think we will remain that way, so we will continue to have cycles like this. We will just continue to agree to even up the account via inflation. This works, as long as productivity outperforms inflationary pressures...thus the cheap Chinese labor and outsourcing. Many things are connected.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2008 at 10:03 am
"When the federal reserve buys up all those smelly, defaulted, non-paying mortgages with taxpayer money, balloons the national debt even further, drives the dollar lower and sky-rockets gas and food prices along the way who's going to have to pay for it all, Paul? Who's going to pay for it?" - a
Our grandchildren and their grandchildren. The grown-ups play, the kids pay, it's the American Way.
Party pooper Clinton ran a surplus and tried to pay down the debt, but Congressional Republicans taught him his lesson, and Bush quickly got us back on course.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2008 at 10:31 am
Paul, Americans are more in debt than ever while unemployment is up. It looks like you are all too happy to keep your children, your grandchildren, and your great grandchildren in this nice little serfdom the bankers have created for us.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2008 at 10:56 am
Mike, ya, I heard about the 10b5-1 rule. This is the rule Countrywide former CEO Mozilo took advantage of dumping his shares before the company went bankrupt. He had insider information but used the rule to file a form way earlier that would allow him to sell shares at anytime. I think what happened was that he filed the 10b5 form, then dismissed the bankruptcy rumors which caused the stock to go up some 40%, then sold his shares, after which the company went bankrupt.
Posted by Peter Morici, a resident of another community, on Mar 19, 2008 at 11:15 am
``The Federal Reserve continues to bail out major financial institutions without imposing meaningful conditions to improve their conduct and performance,'' said Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Posted by Jim, a resident of the Monroe Park neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm
I am hearing a bunch of whining here. We are an impatient nation,, that wants it now. Not later. This is both good and bad. We attract creative people who want it now, and are willing to create it now. We also lack discipline. This is not going to change, until there is a major depression. Then it will start again. It is who we are.
Clinton paid down some debt, becasue he was the beneficiary of the dot.com boom, and the private capital formation that started under Reagan. He got out just as the dot.com bust was starting, partly brought on by his anti-trust attack on Microsoft.
The blame game will not really solve anything. Look in the mirror, if you want to assign blame. Then go buy some movie tickets, or a dinner out, on your credit card.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2008 at 12:44 pm
The federal reserve cannot stop this train wreck from happening because the fed under Greenspan was instrumental in getting us here, but people armed with the truth and a lot of courage can fix this problem.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2008 at 12:54 pm
I just called Eshoo's office asking her to investigate the federal reserve's recent uncollateralized loan to JP Morgan. There is complete lack of Congressional oversight over how this private institution spends public money.
Posted by where is the beef, a resident of another community, on Mar 19, 2008 at 9:30 pm
What is missed in the discussion is where is the beef?
The media would lead you to believe that BEAR STEARNS was a worthless wreck. Nothing could be further from the truth. Simply put BEAR STEARNS held mortgages that were backed by assets. Absent bankruptcy the people that are paying for the home loans in question are still on the hook for these loans at FULL VALUE of the mortgage.
>> What got them was the paper invention of leveraging of those unpaid over capitalized assets to marginally committed home buyers.<<
Exactly what is CHASE JP MORGAN getting for their 236 million dollar investment and why was 30 BILLION lent by the NY FEDERAL RESERVE? To examine the books would yield an answer that would cause most Americans to choke. Not only did they get paid to own this company they now control the assets of this company the good loans and the bad loans and with the bad loans they will find themselves the holders of property that will eventual be sold and JP MORGAN will recover the capital proceeds from those sales.
Now with all this devaluation we have only one place to go and this is up up up with inflation, so stop your whining and get use to it.
Can you imagine the power that it takes to rip-off the American public at this level?
Makes any thing going on in Palo Alto politics something like ants arguing which park picnic table leg to go up.
The Palo Alto conversation:
Dick: Honey! Did you know that the tax payer paid JP MORGAN to take over a private company as well as some extra 29 BILLION dollars in operating capital!
Jane: Gee sweetie that's nice. Did you get a venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha today?
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm
"Clinton paid down some debt, becasue he was the beneficiary of the dot.com boom, and the private capital formation that started under Reagan. He got out just as the dot.com bust was starting, partly brought on by his anti-trust attack on Microsoft."
A fascinating sceanrio. I had never thought of it that way. Let's see...
We can dismiss the Microsoft angle up front, since the government famously lost that case after causing Bill some inconvenience. Bill Gates, that is.
So OK. Now Bill Clinton, the Democrat, carries what Reagan began to fruition. Implausible, but let it ride. Then along comes ABC (Anything But Clinton) Bush 43, who systematically trashes everything Clinton and busts the bubble and the budget. Therefore Bush, a Republican, dumps the Reagan legacy.