How Brokers Became Bookies

The Insidious Transformation of Markets into Casinos

You all are the house, you’re the bookie. [Your clients] are booking their bets with you. I don’t know why we need to dress it up. It’s a bet.

— Senator Claire McCaskill, Senate Subcommittee investigating Goldman Sachs, Washington Post, April 27, 2010

Ever since December 2008, the Federal Reserve has held short-term interest rates near zero. This was not only to try to stimulate the housing and credit markets but also to allow the federal government to increase its debt levels without increasing the interest tab picked up by the taxpayers. The total public U.S. debt increased by nearly 50% from 2006 to the end of 2009 (from about $8.5 trillion to $12.3 trillion), but the interest bill on the debt actually dropped (from $406 billion to $383 billion), because of this reduction in interest rates.

One of the dire unintended consequences of that maneuver, however, was that municipal governments across the country have been saddled with very costly bad derivatives bets. They were persuaded by their Wall Street advisers to buy municipal swaps to protect their loans against interest rates shooting up. Instead, rates proceeded to drop through the floor, a wholly unforeseeable and unnatural market condition caused by rate manipulations by the Fed. Instead of the banks bearing the losses in return for premiums paid by municipal governments, the governments have had to pay massive sums to the banks – to the point of pushing at least one county to the brink of bankruptcy (Jefferson County, Alabama).

Another unintended consequence of the plunge in interest rates has been that “savers” have been forced to become “speculators” or gamblers. When interest rates on safe corporate bonds were around 8%, a couple could aim for saving half a million dollars in their working careers and count on reaping $40,000 yearly in investment income, a sum that, along with social security, could make for a comfortable retirement. But very low interest rates on bonds have forced these once-prudent savers into the riskier and less predictable stock market, and the collapse of the stock market has forced them into even more speculative ventures in the form of derivatives, a glorified form of gambling. Pension funds, which have binding pension contracts entered into when interest was at much higher levels, need an 8% investment return to meet their commitments. In today’s market, they cannot make that sort of return without taking on higher risk, which means taking major losses when the risks materialize.

Derivatives are basically just bets. Like at a racetrack, you don’t need to own the thing you’re betting on in order to play. Derivative casinos have opened up on virtually anything that can go up or down or have a variable future outcome. You can bet on the price of tea in China, the success or failure of a movie, whether a country will default on its debt, or whether a particular piece of legislation will pass. The global market in derivative trades is now well over a quadrillion dollars – that’s a thousand trillion – and it is eating up resources that were at one time invested in productive enterprises. Why risk lending money to a corporation or buying its stock when you can reap a better return betting on whether the stock will rise or fall?

The shift from investing to gambling means that not only are investors making very little of their money available to companies to produce goods and services, but the parties on one side of every speculative trade now have an interest in seeing the object of the bet fail, whether a company, a movie, a politician, or a country. Worse, high-speed program traders can actually manipulate the market so that the thing bet on is more likely to fail. Not only has the market become a casino, but the casino is rigged.

High frequency traders – a field led by Goldman Sachs — use computer algorithms to automatically bet huge sums of money on minor shifts in price. These bets send signals to the market that can themselves cause the price of assets to shoot up or tumble down. By placing high-volume trades, the largest speculative traders can thus intentionally “fix” prices in any direction they want.

“Prediction” Markets

Casinos for betting on what something will do in the future have been elevated to the status of “prediction” markets, and they can cover a broad range of issues. MIT’s Technology Review launched a futures market for technological innovations, in order to bet on upcoming developments. The NewsFutures and TradeSports Exchanges enable people to wager on matters such as whether Tiger Woods will take another lover, or whether Bin Laden will be found in Afghanistan.

A 2008 conference of sports leaders in Auckland, New Zealand, featured Mark Davies, head of a sport betting exchange called Betfair. Davies observed that these betting exchanges, while clearly gambling forums, are little different from the trading done by financial firms such as JPMorgan. He said:

I used to trade bonds at JPMorgan, and I can tell you that what our customers do is exactly the same as what I used to do in my previous life, with the single exception that where I had to pour over balance sheets and income statements, they pour over form and team-sheets.

The online news outlet Slate monitors various prediction markets to provide readers with up-to-date information on the potential outcomes of political races. Two of the markets covered are the Iowa Electronic Markets and Intrade. Slate claims that these political casinos are consistently better at forecasting winners than pre-election polls. Participants bet real money 24 hours a day on the outcomes of a range of issues, including political races. Newsfutures and Casualobserver are similar, smaller exchanges.

Besides shifting the emphasis to gambling (“Why Vote When You Can Bet?” says Slate’s “Guide to All Political Markets”), prediction markets, like the stock market, can be rigged so that they actually affect outcomes. This became evident, for example, in 2008, when the John McCain campaign used the InTrade market to shift perception of his chances of winning. A supporter was able to single-handedly manipulate the price of McCain’s contract, causing it to move up in the market and prompting some mainstream media to report it as evidence that McCain was gaining in popularity.

Betting on Terrorism

The destructive potential of prediction markets became particularly apparent in one sponsored by the Pentagon, called the “policy analysis market” (PAM) or “terror futures market.” PAM was an attempt to use the predictive power of markets to forecast political events tied to the Middle East, including terrorist attacks. According to the New York Times the PAM would have allowed trading of futures on political developments including terrorist attacks, coups d’état, and assassinations. The exchange was shut down a day after it launched, after commentators pointed out that the system made it far too easy to make money with terror attacks.

At a July 28, 2003 press conference Senators Byron L. Dorgan (DND) and Ron Wyden(DOR) spoke out against the exchange. Wyden stated, “The idea of a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism is ridiculous and it’s grotesque,” while Dorgan called it “useless, offensive and unbelievably stupid”.

“This appears to encourage terrorists to participate, either to profit from their terrorist activities or to bet against them in order to mislead U.S. intelligence authorities,” they said in a letter to Admiral John Poindexter, the director of the Terrorism Information Awareness Office, which developed the idea. A week after the exchange closed, Poindexter offered his resignation.

Carbon Credit Trading

A massive new derivatives market that could be highly destructive economically is the trading platform called Carbon Credit Trading, which is on its way to dwarfing world oil trade. The program would allow trading in “carbon allowances” (permitting companies to emit greenhouse gases) and in “carbon offsets” (allowing companies to emit beyond their allowance if they invest in emission-reducing projects elsewhere). It would also allow trading in carbon derivatives;  for example, futures contracts to deliver a certain number of allowances at an agreed price and time.

Robert Shapiro, former undersecretary of commerce in the Clinton administration and a co-founder of the U.S. Climate Task Force, has warned.  “We are on the verge of creating a new trillion-dollar market in financial assets that will be securitized, derivatized, and speculated by Wall Street like the mortgage-backed securities market.”

Eoin O’Carroll cautioned in the Christian Science Monitor:

Many critics are pointing out that this new market for carbon derivatives could, without effective oversight, usher in another Wall Street free-for-all just like the one that precipitated the implosion of the global economy. . . . Just as the inability of homeowners to make good on their subprime mortgages ended up pulling the rug out from under the credit market, carbon offsets that are based on shaky greenhouse-gas mitigation projects could cause the carbon market to tank, with implications for the broader economy.

The proposed form of cap and trade has not yet been passed in the U.S., but a new market in which traders can speculate on the future of allowances and offsets has already been launched. The largest players in the carbon credit trading market include firms such as Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital, Fortis, Deutsche Bank, Rabobank, BNP Paribas, Sumitomo, Kommunalkredit, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Cantor Fitzgerald. Last year the financial services industry had 130 lobbyists working on climate issues, compared to almost none in 2003. The lobbyists represented companies such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

Billionaire financier George Soros says cap-and-trade will be easy for speculators to rig. “The system can be gamed,” he said last July at a London School of Economics seminar. “That’s why financial types like me like it — because there are financial opportunities.”

Time to Board Up the Casinos and Rethink Our Social Safety Net?

Our forebears considered gambling to be immoral and made it a crime. As the Industrial Revolution and the ascendance of capital changed religious mores, gambling gradually gained acceptance, but even within that permissive paradigm, derivative trading was originally considered an illegal form of gambling. Perhaps it is time to reinstate the gambling laws, board up the derivatives casinos, and return the stock market to what it was designed to be: a means of funneling the capital of investors into productive businesses.

Short of banning derivatives altogether, the derivatives business could be slowed up considerably by imposing a Tobin tax, a small tax on every financial trade. “Financial products” are virtually the only products left on the planet that are not currently subject to a sales tax; and at over a quadrillion dollars in trades annually, the market is huge.

A larger issue is how to ensure adequate retirement income for the population without forcing people into gambling with their life savings to supplement their meager social security checks. It may be time to rethink not only our banking and financial structure but the entire social umbrella that our Founding Fathers called the Common Wealth. The genius of Social Security was its recognition of the basic economic truth that real “security” rests on the ability of a society to provide for and take care of those who, because of age, health or economic conditions, cannot take care of themselves.

Deficit hawks cry that we cannot afford more spending; but according to Richard Cook, a former U.S. Treasury Department official, the government could print and spend several trillion new dollars into the money supply without causing price inflation. Writing in Global Research in April 2007, he noted that the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 2006 came to $12.98 trillion, while the total national income came to only $10.23 trillion; and at least 10 percent of that income was reinvested rather than spent on goods and services. Total available purchasing power was thus only about $9.21 trillion, or $3.77 trillion less than the collective price of goods and services sold. Where did consumers get the extra $3.77 trillion? They had to borrow it, and they borrowed it from banks that created it with accounting entries on their books. If the government had replaced this bank-created money with debt-free government-created money, the total money supply would have remained unchanged. That means a whopping $3.77 trillion in new government-issued money could have been fed into the economy in 2006 without inflating prices. Different proposals have been made concerning how this money should be distributed, but at least some of it could be used to provide adequate social security checks, relieving the pressure to gamble with our savings.

The Federal Reserve has funneled $4.6 trillion to Wall Street in bailout money, most of it generated via “quantitative easing” (in effect, printing money); yet hyperinflation has not resulted. To the contrary, what we have today is Depression-style deflation. The M3 money supply shrank in the last year by 5.5 percent, and the rate at which it is shrinking is accelerating. The explanation for this anomaly is that the Fed’s $4.6 trillion added by quantitative easing fell far short of the estimated $10 trillion needed to “reflate” the money supply after the “shadow lenders” disappeared. When these investors discovered that the “triple-A” mortgage-backed securities they had been purchasing from Wall Street were actually very risky investments, they exited the market, credit dried up, and the money supply (which today consists almost entirely of credit or debt) collapsed.

The only viable way to reflate a collapsed money supply is to put more money into it; and creating the national money supply is the sovereign right of governments, not of banks. If the government wants to remain sovereign, it needs to reassert that right

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Read other articles by Ellen, or visit Ellen's website.

15 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on July 15th, 2010 at 8:21am #

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2010/20100405_ObamaSecondChance.pdf

    And again the best kept secret of all time or close to it. Just once from MSM just once have we heard of a real try.

  2. Don Hawkins said on July 15th, 2010 at 9:32am #

    And why haven’t we heard one word from MSM well the bookies I mean advertisers because after all MSM is only a business as we all go down the drain in not such slow motion. Oh well It’s just better this way. Watch the weather channel and count the number of commercials from big coal and big oil same with CNN and Fox forget about it the financial channels wait I have to stop laughing. Very sure more messages on the way although I have to admit that new commercial for priceline where William Shatner is in the basement with the family and you see tv screens and the father has on a head set and the kid’s and mother are looking a board I guess of the States and then William say’s ok you are setting a very bad example for the kid’s here then the mother say’s ok shut it down people was a start.

  3. Don Hawkins said on July 15th, 2010 at 1:14pm #

    Am watching CNBC and BP’s stock is up 10% all oil companies stock up transocean up my God we are going to be ok. The leader of the free World will talk in a little while about the financial regulation bill the Senate just passed my god we are going to be ok. Of course the Gulf is already toxic soup and the well still may not hold and more messages on the way. The financial regulation bill leaves it to the regulators who this very second are getting call’s from lobbyists the status quo is still in place Hallelujah / Hallelujah / Hallelujah. Now read this as in a few more years will make the oil spill look like a walk in the park.

    MOSCOW (AP) — A heat wave across much of Europe is causing crops to wither, forest fires to ignite and roads to melt, while women in bikinis are sunbathing in Moscow’s parks and cooling off in city fountains.

    From Russia’s Ural mountains to western Germany, temperatures have been hovering in the mid-90s this week and forecasters warn there could be more next week.

    Air conditioning systems on board Germany’s high-speed trains have broken down several times. Dozens of passengers on trains with locked windows suffered heat exhaustion after spending hours trapped in temperatures reaching 120 F.

    Authorities have closed a major highway from the Czech capital, Prague, to Germany for several days of repairs.

    Meanwhile, the heat has plunged Russia into its worst droughts in a century. Authorities estimate some 25 million acres of crops have been destroyed.

    Britain weather service says it’s being caused by a couple of pressure systems that have pulled hot air from Africa up over Europe.

    http://www.uni-koeln.de/math-nat-fak/geomet/meteo/winfos/synNNWWarctis.gif

    Those temperatures in the Arctic are a tad bit warm and Russia, Europe that’s hot. Let’s see how things look by November. Caused by a couple of pressure systems that have pulled hot air from Africa up over Europe sorry they forgot to mention the real reason.

  4. Don Hawkins said on July 15th, 2010 at 1:45pm #

    Update Goldman Sachs just settled with the SEC it’s a win win it was said, Hallelujah , Hallelujah the well in the Gulf it may hold it’s time to drill baby drill never mind the heat has plunged Russia into its worst droughts in a century and authorities estimate some 25 million acres of crops have been destroyed and crops worldwide not exactly what they used to be and how long for the Gulf to clean itself up? Let’s see how the climate bill goes can they pass a joke on the human race is the question. In a mad world only the mad are sane.

  5. Don Hawkins said on July 15th, 2010 at 5:19pm #

    But waves heat waves may be here to stay.

    U.S. climate scientists said Thursday that June was a record-setting month in the temperature department, keeping the planet on a course for a hot year.

    Worldwide, the average temperature in June was 61.1 degrees F (16.2 C) — 1.22 degrees F (0.68 C) warmer than average for the month of June, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington. This year has had the warmest average temperature for the January-June period on record — 57.5 F (12.2 C).

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gqozKZn-hoPbN-a2ScCXk_Aedh6AD9GVN0M00

    IT’S A RECORD well golly gee what could it be.

  6. cruxpuppy said on July 15th, 2010 at 6:02pm #

    Ms Brown is arguably the most lucid commentator on financial affairs on the web because she understands money. Most do not. She also knows that our present financial system is corrupt, inefficient, and self-destructive.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could change our financial system! During times of crisis, it seems that change is possible. From the beginning, though, when Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton Sec of Treasury, the newly formed Republic stepped away from its sovereign right to originate money. It gave the money power to the bankers, the bondholders, and the speculators. From the beginning, wealth was granted the greatest entitlement of all: the money power.

    Our beliefs about money are still primitive on the whole. People still think money has to be “worth something”. “Fiat money”, FRN’s, are just paper, and intrinsically worthless. The new Republic was afraid of the money power because the experience of the hyper-inflationary Continental was so fresh. Confidence in the new government was not high. Mistrust of government ran deep. Bankers and money men and a strict adherence to the gold standard would be a better guarantee of the value of money.

    The gold standard is a relic of the past, but lots of unhappy people, perhaps the majority, continually look backwards. They much prefer the guaranteed deflation of the gold standard to the inflating insecurity of “script”.

    And there is another deeply felt attitude towards money that is not obvious until one examines it from the perspective of private property. When you wrap your arms around your stash, there is a little mantra that goes: “Mine! All mine!” This is prehistoric, actually. One can’t have this cozy feeling with Federal Reserve Notes. It has to be precious metals, diamonds, etc. It’s mine, I earned it, it ain’t no communistic “public utility” and the government has no right to take it away from me. The government can’t create it, either.

    To most Americans, it is unimaginable to just give people money for nothing. One’s abundance or lack of money represent Christian karma. Of course, this is bullshit. CH Douglass, Stephan Zarlenga, Richard Cook, Ellen Brown and others know it. Ben Bernanke and his crew, including the Wall Street slimeballs, also understand it, sad to say.

    But the great mass of people do not, which why they get fleeced and will continue to be fleeced for the foreseeable future. I’m not trying to be a bummer. We need a revolution of the sort that didn’t happen in 1776.

  7. Cameron said on July 16th, 2010 at 8:48am #

    Keynesians are suggesting that the current policies will lead to depression. I have news for them. We’re already in it. Government has spent trillions to prop up the economy for one measly year. Neoliberal or Keynesianism is not the solution. They’ve never been. World War II got the U.S. out of the previous depression. In other words, destruction of factories and workplaces (productive powers) of other countries and opening up of new markets created markets for US companies.
    She says:
    “The shift from investing to gambling means that not only are investors making very little of their money available to companies to produce goods and services”
    What she doesn’t understand is that the current capacity utilization is around 70-75% even with all the money pumped in. Why in the world banks or “investors” would want to make money available to add more capacity? There is simply less aggregate demand for goods. People cannot and will not borrow to buy things the way the used to. Majority is already in debt and fearful of losing jobs, pension….
    She says:
    “Deficit hawks cry that we cannot afford more spending; but according to Richard Cook, a former U.S. Treasury Department official, the government could print and spend several trillion new dollars into the money supply without causing price inflation”
    Oh and we’re suppose to trust what former US Treasury officials? The same people who made the mess. Printing trillions out of thin air is hyperinflationary if that money enters into circulation. Inflation is indirect tax.
    She says:
    “To the contrary, what we have today is Depression-style deflation.”
    Not according to http://www.shadowstats.com. It’s still inflationary, about 6%, which is like indirect tax of 6% in addition to your other taxes.
    Reflation is hyperinflation. Does she talk about the root cause of this crisis? Where did it come from? No. Isn’t it somewhat simple minded economics that we can just print money out of thin air to solve problems? Can we eat digital numbers to survive?
    The real solution is to produce goods to satisfy needs. It’s unnatural and irrational to produce goods to make profit for capitals rather than satisfy needs. We must transcend capitalism.

  8. cruxpuppy said on July 16th, 2010 at 4:09pm #

    One has to ask why industrial capacity is not being used. “Overproduction” is the traditional excuse. But it is not a matter of too many goods and services available and too little demand for them, it is a matter of too little money in the pockets of the great mass of people. The money supply is shrinking. Ellen points this out clearly enough. It is also concentrating in fewer and fewer hands.

    And why is there too little money in consumer’s pockets? Why is aggregate demand low? Because those who control the money are not using it productively. They are gambling with it. They are not investing in job creation. If Wall Street were doing what it so piously claims it does, allocating resources to fund enterprise and production, jobs would be created, consumers would have money to spend, and the economy would grow.

    What is going on instead is massive speculation and trivial activities with new “financial products” that produce nothing and benefit no one except a small group of insiders masturbating with their clever econometric models.

    And whose money are they playing with? “Other people’s money”. The people’s money. They are misusing and abusing our most important social utility: money.

    Hyperinflation is like the “war on terror”. It is a fear based on ignorance exploited by those who think deflation is healthy and necessary and “natural”. The same jerks who have never produced anything useful in their lives but capital gains from their casino activities are the ones shouting about inflation and counseling that “creative destruction” is something we should all face up to. They all believe in the “free market” and the need for the masses to suffer in order that they may maximize their returns and their useless toxic shit not be written down.

    Money comes from “thin air”. It is created ex nihilo. It has no intrinsic value. Deflation is a strategy. Inflation is poor money management. Money is a public utility. If it can be understood and properly managed, capitalism will survive, but not as we have known it.

  9. Cameron said on July 17th, 2010 at 12:07pm #

    What happened to the “animal spirit”? China exports goods to the US and at the same time lends it money to create demand for its goods. The same theme took place in the 80s and continued. US government pumped cheap money into corporations, cut their taxes, etc. to overcome stagflation. But that was the supply side. What about the demand side? To create more effective demand the government then provided easy credit of all kinds to consumers. The result is consumers saddled with heavy debt load unable to buy anymore. Easy credit has disappeared.
    Take a look at the productivity Vs wages in the last 40 years. Wages have stagnated while productivity has increased considerably. How can the working class buy all the goods it produces when her/his wage is stagnant? Workers can produce a lot more in one day compared to 40 years ago but their wage hasn’t kept up with productivity so they’re not able to buy what they produce. And you say that money is not in the hands of the people to spend? Of course! What did you expect? This is capitalism. Maximize profit at any cost. Cut wages to the bone if can.
    Bank’s business model is to lend money it doesn’t have and earn interest on it. Banks don’t lend money now because they see significant slack in capacity. What do they do with the money? Some say banks have become “leveraged bond funds”. They borrow at 0% interest from the Fed and buy treasury bonds with it. Of course when capitalists are not investing they put money into speculation and spindles like the derivatives market. Make money out of money.
    Ellen is Keynesian. She should really ask herself what’s happened to, as John Maynard Keynes put it, “the animal spirits” of the investors. If investors do not foresee a healthy return on their investments, commensurate with the risks they are taking, then they won’t invest. They would rather speculate and create bubbles. An addiction! They’ve become compulsive gamblers. If they lose then they get bailed out, in other words, you and I pay for it. How cool is that?
    In fractional reserve system, banks create money simply by lending it. That’s because they lend the money that doesn’t exist. Some banks used to lend up to 40 times their reserves. Capitalists borrow money from banks to produce goods. Equivalent goods are created by investing the money created “out of thin air”. In other words, every dollar is matched with corresponding value created. What I’m trying to say is that you can’t just print money without creating equivalent goods. When money is printed and no corresponding goods are created then too much money will be chasing too few goods and that is inflation.
    Central banks create money too. Currently Fed has 2.4 trillion dollars on its balance sheet. It created all that money to exchange for all the junk from banks and corporations.
    Keynesians would argue that governments need to spend to create jobs. Hasn’t government done just that? Didn’t government spend trillions of dollars? Where are those jobs?
    Limitless growth is inherent in capitalism which is not sustainable. Imagine at least 3% of trillions of dollars growth every year. If capitalism continues, as pointed out, aside from miseries for the majority, the destruction of environment will lead to extermination.

  10. cruxpuppy said on July 17th, 2010 at 2:25pm #

    EHB is a “greenbacker”, which is an olde tyme reference to Lincoln’s issue of the greenback in 1862 or thereabouts. Rather than borrow money from the private money markets ( ie, British financiers) at exorbitant interest rates to fund the Union cause, Lincoln decided to use the sovereign power of the USG to print his own money. Pure fiat money. The record shows that the issue of 450,000,000 $$ in greenbacks did not create inflation. The issue was conservative. Enough, not too much. Unlike the issue of Continentals during the Revolution, Lincoln’s greenbacks were not significantly counterfeited and the money supply could be controlled.

    This greenback idea was adopted by the Populist movement from 1870’s to 1896, and was the economic plank in the People’s Party, which was the largest single third party movement.

    Keynes stole some of the populist fire and championed the idea of the gov spending money into circulation to stimulate demand. Keynes was no populist, however. The Keynesian solution requires that the gov borrow the money it spends. Private bankers create that money ex nihilo and loan it at interest to the gov. This creates public debt. When the gov creates its own money, it incurs no debt, which is the enviable position the banksters are in at present. They are proving themselves so incompetent, however, that the time seems ripe to assert the sovereign right of the gov to originate money and take back the money power from the private sector.

    The capitalism that would result from public control of money would be quite different from robber baron capitalism as we know it. The most significant difference would be seen in the cost of money, interest rates. It would no longer be possible for the private elite to control the money supply to their advantage through high interest charges.

    The fact that the private money masters have perverted the meaning of investment into a synonym for gambling signals the end of capitalism as we have known it. They are incapable of serving the role of allocating capital in such a way that promotes the general welfare. They are interested only in their own welfare.

    There are certainly environmental factors that must now be integrated into the economic equation. No more “externalities”. All costs, particularly social and environmental costs must be taken into acount in this new economics. A new kind of capitalism must develop with a new understanding of money. This is what concerns Ellen Brown. This is where she’s coming from.

  11. Don Hawkins said on July 17th, 2010 at 3:56pm #

    Ok I changed my mind why wait until the climate bill it’s a joke on the human race and they probably can’t even pass that. Leave the country well still time for that at least my kid’s and there kid’s hell let’s make a stand. The biggest problem with a fight is it wastes time and we are out of time. The beautiful people I mean so called leaders it does appear have made the decision to not try. I mean what is a person to think let’s just take the so called leaders here in the States do they not have some of the best information all done in nice little book’s easy to read and all that. I mean they must know what is going on the leader of the free World doesn’t know this very day what is going on in Russia 25 million acres of crops gone and more on the way Worldwide. I wonder in one of there little books when they think millions will be on the move to find water and food. Maybe they have a little book when they will be on the move to you know secure locations. Conspiracy theory I think not. The part I don’t get sometimes is the media like the weather channel as very sure most know and like today about 15 seconds on the heat in Russia that’s it kind of forgot to mention a few other minor little things. I wonder if the people who work in the media think they get to go to a secure location not if but when push comes to shove the you know what hit’s the fan. Ok the bus is outside and the C-130 is waiting for you by orders of the President and please only carry on luggage again I think not. Now maybe the people who own the company you know members of the business round table is Rupert Murdoch a member and heck is that where the insanity starts I mean guide lines for the insanity we hear on MSM la la la la. Again there does appear to be a big problem this whole working together part but wait health care watered down just for show somebody is working together and just now watered down financial regulation bill hello somebody is working together then next the one that will take all of us into hell a water down climate bill maybe because the sides are now tired of working together they need some off time at the club. I have an idea maybe no off time but go to Haiti and figure out how to get the food in the warehouses to the kid’s that need it then back to work on some real answers for the biggest problem the human race has ever faced and yes there is more than one. Alright somebody make some coffee there must be away of saving more than just 1% of the human race and is that the plan so far well to be truthfully honest there probably is no plan well other than those secure locations come on who out there that reads DV is on the list to catch that C-130 to the secure location write in heck you don’t have to use your real name.

  12. Don Hawkins said on July 17th, 2010 at 4:12pm #

    In conclusion, these economic and government policy forming organizations, along with their private military and intelligence corporations, form the core of the Economic Elite power structure.
    “I think one has to say it’s not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems.” – Paul Wolfowitz

    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/204689-Conspiracy-Fact-The-Business-Roundtable-The-Most-Powerful-Corporate-Business-Club-Most-Americans-Have-Never-Heard-of

    Heck maybe Glenn Beck can put this on a blackboard.

  13. Don Hawkins said on July 17th, 2010 at 5:00pm #

    Do the so called leaders here in the States know that cap and trade is a joke on the human race it will not work, yes. Do they also know to tax carbon with dividend back to the people would be a start, Yes. Here is about seventy names who also know. Humm Advertising Council and there job is?

    U.S. Elite
    Institutions:
    Federal Reserve
    Business Council
    Bilderberg Group
    Conference Board
    Brookings Institute
    Advertising Council
    Heritage Foundation
    Trilateral Commission
    Business Round Table
    Chamber of Commerce
    Federal Trade Commission
    Council on Foreign Relations
    American Petroleum Institute
    American Enterprise Institute
    American Bankers Association
    Pharm Research & Manufacturers
    Public Relations Society of America
    American Psychological Association
    Project for a New American Century
    Securities and Exchange Commission
    Committee for Economic Development
    National Association of Manufacturers
    Carnegie / Ford / Rockefeller foundations
    Military / Media / Prison Industrial Complex

    – – -Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman Sachs
    – – -James Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
    – – -James P. Gorman, Morgan Stanley
    – – -Vikram S. Pandit, Citigroup, Inc.
    – – -Brian T. Moynihan, Bank of America
    – – -Brendan McDonagh, HSBC
    – – -Robert W. Selander, MasterCard Incorporated
    – – -Kenneth I. Chenault, American Express Company
    – – -Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation*************
    – – -Glenn A. Britt, Time Warner Cable Inc.
    – – -Philippe Dauman, Viacom, Inc.
    – – -Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric Company
    – – -Brian L. Roberts, Comcast Corporation
    – – -Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft Corporation
    – – -John T. Chambers, Cisco Systems, Inc.
    – – -Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T Inc.
    – – -Ivan G. Seidenberg, Verizon Communications
    – – -David G. DeWalt, McAfee, Inc.
    – – -Steven R. Loranger, ITT Corporation
    – – -Paul T. Hanrahan, AES Corporation, The
    – – -Riley P. Bechtel, Bechtel Group, Inc.
    – – -W. James McNerney , Boeing Company, The
    – – -Rex W. Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corporation
    – – -Marvin E. Odum, Shell Oil Company
    – – -John S. Watson, Chevron Corporation
    – – -James J. Mulva, ConocoPhillips
    – – -John B. Hess, Hess Corporation
    – – -James E. Rogers Duke Energy Corporation
    – – -J. Larry Nichols, Devon Energy Corporation
    – – -Ronald A. Williams, Aetna Inc.
    – – -David Cordani, CIGNA
    – – -Jeffrey B. Kindler , Pfizer Inc.
    – – -Angela F. Braly, WellPoint, Inc.
    – – -John C. Lechleiter, Eli Lilly and Company
    – – -Edward B. Rust, Jr., State Farm
    – – -Andrew N. Liveris, Dow Chemical
    – – -James W. Owens, Caterpillar Inc.
    – – -Ellen J. Kullman, DuPont
    – – -Edward E. Whitacre Jr., General Motors Company
    – – -Michael T. Duke, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

  14. Don Hawkins said on July 17th, 2010 at 5:30pm #

    There are many good people doing research and trying to produce renewable energy and as long as fossil fuels are cheaper they will be used tax carbon.

  15. Cameron said on July 18th, 2010 at 11:48am #

    With all due respect, how did they determine that printing $450,000,000 greenbacks in 1862 was not inflationary? I haven’t done my research (will do it later) but some say it was $150,000,000. When did inflation appear as an economic phenomenon? Inflation is not intrinsic to capitalism. Indeed the formula for determining inflation was modified during the Clinton administration to always report a number below the actual. I’ve provided a link to shadowstats.com where you can find what the current inflation rate is based on pre-Clinton formula.
    EHB maybe a “greenbacker” in theory (whatever that maybe) but a Keynesian in practice. See her other postings in DV. What is she proposing? Spend spend spend. As I have said before trillions have been spent and what has the system to show for? What is her real proposal and how is it different from Keynesian? Cruxpuppy says
    “money masters have perverted the meaning of investment into a synonym for gambling signals the end of capitalism as we have known it. They are incapable of serving the role of allocating capital in such a way that promotes the general welfare.”
    Capitalists, for the entire history of capitalism, have had one goal and only one: maximize profit. General welfare not only doesn’t make it to their list of concerns, I would argue that they have since the dawn of capitalism made profit from lack of it.
    When capitalists can’t invest in production they put their money in speculative activities. History of capitalism clearly shows that. The stock market crash of 1929 for example shows that. This is nothing new and the capitalism today is the same as what it has been for the last 400 years. Yes more government intervention now but the basics are the same: private ownership of means of production whereby capitalist, a parasite class that doesn’t produce anything, makes profit by exploiting the working class which produces everything.
    I have heard of all kind of capitalism. Monopoly capitalism, state capitalism, dependant capitalism… It’s a long list. I disagree with all. Marx dissected how capitalism works in Capital. All the “laws” he described are still valid after 150 years. A new form of capitalism is a continuation of capitalism. There is no third way. We need to overthrow it.