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    World Focus: Western Democracy: A Farce And A Sham
    Friday, November 04 @ 05:12:34 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Paul Craig Roberts
    November 04, 2011


    Updated Below

    Every day that passes adds to the fraudulent image of what is called Western democracy.

    Consider that the entire Western world is outraged that the Greek prime minister announced that he is going to permit the Greek people to decide their own fate instead of having it decided for them by a handful of banksters, politicians, and bureaucrats living it up at taxpayer expense at “talks” in the French resort of Cannes on the Mediterranean.

    The Greek economy is facing its fourth year of decline and lacks the revenues to service its national debt held by private European banks. The banks don’t want to lose any money, so a handful of power brokers reached an agreement with representatives of the Greek government to write off some of the debt in exchange for EU capital subsidies to be financed by inflicting severe austerity on the Greek population. Wages, salaries, pensions and medical care are being cut while the rate of unemployment rises to depression levels. Government employees are laid off. Valuable public properties are to be sold to private parties for pennies on the dollar. In short, Greece is to be looted.

    (Read More... | 10714 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    World Focus: The Strauss Kahn Frame-Up
    Wednesday, May 18 @ 11:28:44 UTC
    Corporate RuleThe Amerikan Police State Strides Forward

    By Paul Craig Roberts
    May 18, 2011 - globalresearch.ca


    The International Monetary Fund's director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested last Sunday in New York City on the allegation of an immigrant hotel maid that he attempted to rape her in his hotel room. A New York judge has denied Strauss-Kahn bail on the grounds that he might flee to France.

    President Bill Clinton survived his sexual escapades, because he was a servant to the system, not a threat. But Strauss-Kahn, like former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, was a threat to the system, and, like Eliot Spitzer, Strass-Kahn has been deleted from the power ranks.

    Strauss-Kahn was the first IMF director in my lifetime, if memory serves, who disavowed the traditional IMF policy of imposing on the poor and ordinary people the cost of bailing out Wall Street and the Western banks. Strauss-Kahn said that regulation had to be reimposed on the greed-driven, fraud-prone financial sector, which, unregulated, destroyed the lives of ordinary people. Strauss-Kahn listened to Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz, one of a handful of economists who has a social conscience.

    (Read More... | 9647 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    Inside U.S.A.: Computer-Driven Bloodletting on Wall Street: Glitch in the System
    Saturday, May 08 @ 16:00:10 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Mike Whitney
    May 08, 2010 - counterpunch.org


    On Thursday, shares tumbled across all major indexes on fears that Greece's debt woes would spread to other vulnerable countries in the E.U.. What began as a down-day on Wall Street, quickly turned into a full-blown rout as blue chips, financials, techs and transports were all caught in a program-trading downdraft. The bloodletting was mind-numbingly swift. In one 15 minute period, stocks plunged more than 300 points (and nearly 1,000 points at their nadir) before bouncing off the bottom and clawing back some of the day's losses. For the big brokerage houses and investment banks, the massacre could not have happened at a worse time. Skittish retail investors have already been steering clear of Wall Street, convinced that the markets are rigged. Thursday's ructions are sure to keep them on the sidelines even longer.

    (Read More... | 5537 bytes more | Inside U.S.A. | Score: 0)

    Inside U.S.A.: Toxic Transfer: Bernanke's Biggest Bailout
    Wednesday, May 05 @ 14:24:59 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Mike Whitney
    May 05, 2010 - counterpunch.org


    The right-wing white paper mill, the American Enterprise Institute, is helping the Federal Reserve to develop a strategy to transfer $1.25 trillion in toxic mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and non performing loans onto the public's balance sheet. Although it's unknown whether Fed chair Ben Bernanke will act on the AEI's recommendations, it does show that the Fed's Quantitative Easing program (QE)--which moved the bulk of garbage assets from the banks to the Fed's balance sheet--poses long-term problems that will need to be addressed. Bernanke never intended to keep these assets any longer than necessary. Now he is actively exploring options for getting rid of them.

    (Read More... | 4522 bytes more | Inside U.S.A. | Score: 0)

    Inside U.S.A.: Empire and Oligarchy: Whatever Happened to "We the People"?
    Monday, March 01 @ 20:21:39 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Ralph Nader
    March 1, 2010 - counterpunch.org


    The twin swelling heads of Empire and Oligarchy are driving our country into an ever-deepening corporate state, wholly incompatible with democracy and the rule of law.

    Once again the New York Times offers its readers the evidence. In its February 25, 2010 issue, two page-one stories confirm this relentless deterioration at the expense of so many innocent people.

    The lead story illustrates that the type of massive speculation—casino capitalism, Business Week once called it—in complex derivatives is still going strong and exploiting the weak and powerless who pay the ultimate bill.

    (Read More... | 7242 bytes more | Inside U.S.A. | Score: 0)

    World Focus: The US and China: One Side is Losing, the Other is Winning
    Monday, January 04 @ 03:50:10 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy James Petras
    January 3rd, 2010 - lahaine.org


    Asian capitalism, notably China and South Korea are competing with the US for global power. Asian global power is driven by dynamic economic growth, while the US pursues a strategy of military-driven empire building.

    One Day’s Read of the Financial Times

    Even a cursory read of a single issue of the Financial Times (December 28, 2009) illustrates the divergent strategies toward empire building. On page one, the lead article on the US is on its expanding military conflicts and its ‘war on terror’, entitled “Obama Demands Review of Terror List.” In contrast, there are two page-one articles on China, which describe China’s launching of the world’s fastest long-distance passenger train service and China’s decision to maintain its currency pegged to the US dollar as a mechanism to promote its robust export sector. While Obama turns the US focus on a fourth battle front (Yemen) in the ‘war on terror’ (after Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan), the Financial Times reports on the same page that a South Korean consortium has won a $20.4 billion dollar contract to develop civilian nuclear power plants for the United Arab Emirates, beating its US and European competitors.

    (Read More... | 11413 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    World Focus: We Attacked the Bankers, but Took Our Eyes Off the Whole Rotten System
    Monday, October 26 @ 16:39:21 UTC
    Corporate RulePrince Andrew says that bonuses are minute 'in the scheme of things'. He is half-right. We must take the focus off individuals

    By Gary Younge
    October 26, 2009 - guardian.co.uk


    'I was in this game for the money," wrote Andrew Lahde, a hedge fund manager, in a letter to the Financial Times last year as the global economy went into meltdown. "The low hanging fruit, ie idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking.

    "These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received), rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behaviour supporting the aristocracy only made it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God Bless America."

    (Read More... | 8178 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 5)

    World Focus: Credit Default Swaps; The poison in the system
    Sunday, May 24 @ 18:36:04 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Mike Whitney
    May 24, 2009
    Information Clearing House


    In a little more than a decade, Credit Default Swaps (CDS) have ballooned into a multi-billion dollar industry which has changed the fundamental character of the financial system and increased systemic risk by many orders of magnitude. CDS, which were originally created to reduce potential losses from defaulting bonds, has turned into a cash cow for the big banks, generating mega-profits on, what amounts to, nothing more than legalized gambling. In the case of insurance giant AIG, losses from CDS transactions has already cost the American people $150 billion, and yet their still has been no serious effort in Congress to ban them once and for all. Even worse, CDS is the root-cause of systemic risk which connects hundreds of financial institutions together in a lethal daisy-chain that threatens to crash the entire system if one of the main players goes under.

    (Read More... | 8216 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    Inside U.S.A.: Wall Street's House of Cards: Too Big...Period
    Wednesday, March 11 @ 19:27:12 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Ralph Nader
    March 09, 2009
    counterpunch.org


    Does anybody in the federal government know or could know "who, what, where and when" of the massive, complex, vertical, horizontal, global collapse of Wall Street and its planetary tentacles in over 100 countries abroad? Step forward if you exist! Uncle Sam needs you!

    Is the multi-million dollar bailout of this financial mess and house of cards, this phantom wealth mummy hitting air beyond the federal governments' salvage capability?

    It is relatively easy to announce hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate rescue programs here and hundreds of billions of dollars of guarantees of corporate recklessness there and trillions of dollars of assorted stimulus, loan availabilities and foreclosure prevention initiatives in all directions. Now comes the rubber hitting the road.

    (Read More... | 5387 bytes more | Inside U.S.A. | Score: 0)

    Inside U.S.A.: Obama's economic plan won't fix the crisis
    Wednesday, February 04 @ 18:38:39 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Sadie Robinson
    February 03, 2009
    socialistworker.co.uk


    Barack Obama's plan to save the US economy has been caught up in a growing panic among world leaders over protectionism.

    The $819 billion scheme was passed in the House of Representatives last week and will be debated in the Senate this week.

    The key elements of the plan are widespread tax cuts and funding for infrastructure projects – which Obama claims will create millions of jobs and stimulate economic growth.

    The plan also includes a clause that would require companies engaged in the infrastructure projects to use US steel and iron rather than import them – the so-called "Buy American" clause.

    (Read More... | 4837 bytes more | Inside U.S.A. | Score: 0)

    Inside U.S.A.: The Enduring Priorities in Obama's Time of Change
    Monday, January 12 @ 02:23:58 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Chris Floyd
    January 12, 2009
    chris-floyd.com


    If you want a glimpse of the fundamental moral obscenity that underlies our bold new era of hope and change, look no further than Barack Obama's promise this week to "overhaul" Social Security and Medicare. This effort to cut back on support for the sick, the old, the weak, the unfortunate and the abandoned will be a "central part" of the new administration's economic program, a linchpin of its struggle to curb federal spending, Obama declared.

    He pointed to a looming federal deficit of $1.2 trillion this year, with more to follow, as urgent reasons to deal with "entitlement spending." Given the hundreds of billions of dollars that the Bush Regime has already given away in its no-strings bailout of selected corporate cronies, and the hundreds of billions that Obama plans to spend on "economic stimulus" (a large portion of which is going to "tax breaks" that will give, at most, a few hundred dollars to people losing their jobs and homes and medical insurance), it is imperative to get government spending under control, said the president-elect. The New York Times described Obama's remarks as an effort to offer "some soothing words to Republicans and the financial markets" – two groups who certainly need special comforting in these trying times.

    (Read More... | 6922 bytes more | Inside U.S.A. | Score: 1)

    World Focus: More from the Front Lines of the Financial Crisis
    Tuesday, November 04 @ 07:03:58 UTC
    Corporate Ruleby Stephen Lendman
    November 3, 2008
    Global Research


    In its latest economic outlook, Merrill Lynch economists "worry about inflation, or more precisely," a lack of it. From crashing global equity markets, falling commodity prices, rising unemployment, stagnant wages, over-indebted households, declining production, the continuing housing crisis, and more. All pointing to several future quarters of negative growth. Showing that Fed chairman Bernanke will face "his greatest fear: deflation." An analysis of the coincident to lagging indicators signals "deep recession."

    In his October 24, commentary, Merrill's North American economist David Rosenberg sees "economic data deteriorating in a very serious way (and says) we are witnessing unprecedented stuff happen:"

    (Read More... | 30137 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    World Focus: How Inflation Works: Why I Can't Buy an Old Ferrari
    Wednesday, October 22 @ 04:45:23 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Paul Craig Roberts
    October 21, 2008
    counterpunch.org


    Anyone who has been alive very long is aware that the US government has failed on the inflation front. Soft drink machines that once delivered a bottled drink for a nickel now charge a dollar, a twenty-fold increase in price.

    Until the Reagan administration indexed the income tax, inflation was a boon to government, because by pushing up wages and salaries inflation pushed taxpayers into higher brackets. This allowed the real tax burden on labor to rise without politicians having to raise the tax rates. Inflation also destroyed the value of depreciation allowances, thus raising the tax rate on capital as well.

    (Read More... | 5841 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    World Focus: The God That Failed: The 30-Year Lie of the Market Cult
    Tuesday, October 14 @ 23:59:23 UTC
    Corporate RuleBy Chris Floyd
    October 13, 2008
    chris-floyd.com


    Perhaps the most striking fact revealed by the global financial crash -- or rather, by the reaction to it -- is the staggering, astonishing, gargantuan amount of money that the governments of the world have at their command. In just a matter of days, we have seen literally trillions of dollars offered to the financial services sector by national treasuries and central banks across the globe. Britain alone has put $1 trillion at the disposal of the bankers, traders, lenders and speculators; and this has been surpassed by the total package of public money that Washington is shoveling into the financial furnaces of Wall Street and the banks. These radical efforts are being replicated on a slightly smaller scale in France, Germany, Italy, Russia and many other countries.

    (Read More... | 11055 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 5)

    Inside U.S.A.: The Tumbrils Roll at Dawn
    Tuesday, September 16 @ 02:35:19 UTC
    Corporate RuleLehman Gone; Merrill Lynch Swallowed Up; AIG Going… Who's Next for Madam Defarge?

    By Mike Whitney
    September 15, 2008
    counterpunch.org


    Bank of America is buying Merrill Lynch for $45 billion, AIG needs an emergency $40 billion bail-out from Uncle Sam to stay afloat, and Lehman Bros is kaput. Whew! The financial world has been turned upside-down overnight. It'll be a rough day of trading ahead."

    The news of Wall Street's Sunday night massacre sent foreign stock markets into a deep swoon. Shares tumbled in Asia and dropped more than 4 per cent in Europe. The dollar is steadily losing ground to the euro and gold is on the rise. The question is not whether the Dow will fall, but "how far" and what affect that will have on increasingly fragile financial institutions.

    (Read More... | 14517 bytes more | Inside U.S.A. | Score: 0)

      
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