Category Archives: Economic interventionism

Economic interventionism is an action taken by a government in a market economy or market-oriented mixed economy, beyond the basic regulation of fraud and enforcement of contracts, in an effort to affect its own economy. Economic intervention can be aimed at a variety of political or economic objectives, such as promoting economic growth, increasing employment, raising wages, raising or reducing prices, promoting equality, managing the money supply and interest rates, increasing profits, or addressing market failures. The term economic intervention assumes the state and economy are inherently separate from each other, and therefore applies to capitalist market or mixed economies where government action would make an “intervention” (although this does not apply to state-owned enterprises that operate in the market).

Exposed: Harry Reid should not be allowed to manipulate Senate rules to further stifle Senators’ freedoms

By James Christophersen

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accidentally drew back the curtain on fabricated tales of Republican obstructionism and revealed the dark secret of Democrats who have been promoting “gridlock” in the U.S. Senate for nearly a full four years.  It happened so quickly anyone who blinked missed it.

Upon filing for Senate consideration of the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Act, Sen. Reid immediately “filled the tree” by offering the maximum amount of amendments permitted under the rules and filed cloture on the bill before any other Senator could speak, offer debate or filibuster the bill.

Senator Reid essentially asked the Senate to consider a bill then immediately asked to end consideration on that bill, all within the space of a mere two minutes.  Some have speculated this parliamentary slight-of-hand may have made history with its sheer speed.

While proclaiming the need for filibuster “reform” and complaining of its over use by the minority, Senator Reid continues to apply these tactics, limiting debate and preventing Senators of both parties from submitting their own ideas through amendments.  His actions essentially produce a “majority filibuster” which prevents the voices of citizens throughout every one of the 50 states from being heard through their Senators.

Yet, even while setting a new speed record, Sen. Reid’s tyrannical control of the calendar is nothing new.  Reid has spent the last four years turning such bold obstruction into regular operating procedure for the Senate – with Tuesday marking the sixth-ninth time Sen. Reid has launched a majority filibuster.

These actions are atrocious in their violation of the purpose of the Senate in our federal government and their steamrolling of two key rights of all Senators.

On the official Senate website, the Senate Historian notes: “All senators have two traditional freedoms that, so far as is known, no other legislators worldwide possess. These two freedoms are the right to unlimited debate and an unlimited opportunity to offer amendments, relevant or not, to legislation under consideration.”

Since Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has successfully manipulated standing Senate rules to severely stifle (and in many cases, entirely eliminate) the second of these unparalleled freedoms by routinely “filling the amendment tree,” only one of those freedoms remains.  With Reid’s iron-fisted control of the process — frequently preventing even Senators from his own political party from offering their own amendments — it is no wonder Senators of all stripes question the wisdom of removing their remaining freedom. In fact, it is a wonder Majority Leader Reid does not face a mutiny from within his own party.

But the story gets much, much worse.  Because Reid cannot capture enough votes (despite a Democratic majority of 55 Senators) to institute his radical rules change under the existing rules (which requires 60 votes), he has proposed a method that ignores the rules entirely.  Instead, Reid’s grand plan is to pretend the “Standing Rules of The Senate” simply do not exist during the first day of a new Congress – and only during the first day.

This runs into a major problem through a simple reading of Rule V, Section 2, which itself clearly states that (emphasis added): “The rules of the Senate shall continue from one Congress to the next Congress unless they are changed as provided in these rules.”  Furthermore, this rule was initially adopted, at the will of the Senate itself, in recognition of the Senate’s unique place in our legislature.

For Majority Leader Harry Reid to completely ignore the rules in order to re-write the rules (something he promised he would never do) in the name of political expediency would violate matchless freedoms of every U.S. Senator while also violating the Constitution itself.

Ultimately, this boils down to three observations.  One, the pervasiveness of majority filibuster and obstructionism of their own agenda has helped slow action in the Senate.  Two, this atrocious behavior by the Senate Majority Leader snatches away exceptionally unique freedoms and rights of Senators from both sides of the aisle, and all deprived Senators should demand reform.  And three, Majority Leader Reid’s proposal, if carried through, would irreparably depart from the rules and Constitutional provisions guiding our “most deliberative” legislative body.

This is the essence of the current debate between totalitarian forms of government and conservatives: whether existing rules can be ignored for political or popular expediency, or whether the rules must be followed in order to protect the unique freedoms and force compromise which truly moves our nation forward.

Regardless of what reforms are needed in the Senate, the rules are the rules – and those rules must be followed in order to bring about credible, positive and lasting improvement.

Source

OBAMA WANTS TO DESTROY AMERICA

Published on Apr 28, 2012 by TheAmericanMilitiaHQ

OBAMA WANTS TO DESTROY AMERICA! Watch this video and forward the link to your friends who still believe in America. Video content by Free Market America.

Fear, Everywhere, Fear

By Alan Caruba

If my emails and the headlines I am reading indicate anything, there is widespread fear among Americans that something terrible has occurred with the reelection of President Obama. Not all Americans, though. Those who voted for Obama appear to remain oblivious despite the threat of a “fiscal cliff” or the new taxes in Obamacare that will kick in on January 2nd.

We have a Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy, Geithner, calling for an end to debt ceilings, apparently believing that America can continue to borrow money to pay for the interest on its escalating debt, now pegged at $16 trillion and growing daily. The U.S. borrows $4 billion a day. Anyone with a credit card knows that their payments increase as they struggle to deal with their personal debt. Eventually they either declare bankruptcy or turn to companies that negotiate a payment to release them.

If America was to default on its debt, the dollar, already in free fall, would be worth nothing. We would be bartering shiny beads and anything else to buy food and other necessaries. We would become Zimbabwe where you need a million of their dollars to buy a loaf of bread.

Writing recently on her Fox Business blog, Gerri Willis spelled out the huge rise in taxes Americans are facing. “All told, next year, total taxes will go to almost 50% for the middle class; the very group that the president says he wants to protect. That means 50 cents out of every dollar earned has to go to the government. Half of everything will go to an entity that didn’t earn that money, and shouldn’t be entitled to all that dough.”

What kind of madness is it that the Teamsters union would impose such senseless rules that it would weaken Hostess to the point of bankruptcy, preferring to let the company die rather than to protect the jobs of 18,500 bakers? Other unions are engaged in attacks on a weakened economy. What kind of nation is it that its government employees are lobbying Congress to not only increase their pay, but to exempt them from the impact of the spending cuts scheduled to kick in?

There is a full-scale attack on the privacy Americans have taken for granted, protected by the fourth Amendment that says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

On November 14th, the Heritage Foundation asked “Do you trust the government with your computer?” The government has had “13 breaches and failures of its own cybersecurity just in the last six months.” Even so, “the President and his allies in the Senate are pushing forward to regulate America’s cyber-doings, without any clues about how much this will cost or how it will work.”

“It has become the norm with this President—if Congress fails to accomplish his objectives, he goes around it with executive orders and federal regulations. He’s doing it again. Congress did not pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 before the election, so the President has issued a draft of an executive order to put much of that legislation in place without lawmakers voting.”

This is the very essence of tyranny and the President has had four years to perfect it. Are conservative think tanks the only ones paying any attention? It would appear so.

A new proposed law in the Senate would strip Americans of any privacy as they communicate with one another by email. A vote for the law would allow warrantless access to American’s email and is scheduled for a vote shortly. It would allow 22 federal agencies as well as state and local law enforcement to access one’s emails with nothing more than a subpoena. This is totally unconstitutional.

Already $16 trillion in debt, the government is looking for ways to take over the $3 trillion that is held in private retirement plans such as 401(k) plans and IRA’s. A recent hearing by the Treasury and Labor Departments addressed the nationalization of the nation’s pension system. The director of the National Senior’s Council, Robert Crone, warns “It is clear that this is the first step towards a government takeover. It feels just like the beginning of the debate over health care and we all know how that ended up.”

As we move closer to an Electoral College vote confirming Obama’s reelection, whistleblowers are coming forth in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere to reveal that significant voter fraud was a contributing factor, but it receives little or no media coverage. One must ask how 99% of votes in Philadelphia districts went to Obama and ask why nothing is being done to investigate this and other offenses such as the 141.1% of the vote recorded in Florida’s St. Lucie County. That is statistically impossible, but it robbed Rep. Allen West (R) of his seat in Congress.

This isn’t government. It is gangsterism. It is “the Chicago way.”

The monster Homeland Security Agency just graduated its first class of FEMA Corps, kids aged 18-24, recruited from the President’s Americorps volunteers, that will become a full time, paid standing army. Fears of FEMA camps abound and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, people seeking shelter and food were herded into one that resembled a concentration camp of the Nazi regime and told not to use various means of communication to contact the media or outside community. They went from hurricane victims to prisoners of the government.

In so many ways, the freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution are in danger of disappearing along with the separation of powers it requires.

Little wonder that citizen’s petitions from a growing number of states are called for secession. Or that governors are refusing to set up the Obamacare exchanges required by a law that has taken control of twenty percent of the nation’s economy; their budgets held hostage to Medicaid.

On an individual level, people who have jobs are fearful of losing them. College graduates are fearful of the huge debt they carry for the loans they received. People wonder if they can afford to get married. Married couples fear the cost of having another child. Homeowners fear not being able to pay their mortgages. Seniors fear that their savings won’t last as they live longer.

There is ample reason to fear not only the collapse of the nation’s economy, but the loss of liberty in America.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Source

US Banks: Funds file against Argentina remedy

https://i2.wp.com/i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk19/adrianwindisch/Vultures.jpg

Published November 22, 2012

Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina –  Argentina is running out of wiggle room in a billion-dollar showdown over foreign debts left unpaid since the country’s world-record default a decade ago, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for President Cristina Fernandez.

She risks triggering another historic debt default if she doesn’t agree to pay the so-called “vulture funds” she blames for much of Argentina’s troubles.

Fed up with Argentina’s refusal to honor its debts despite losing in appellate court, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York said he is determined to make Argentina pay at least something to the plaintiffs.

His idea is to tap into the money Argentina already pays to other bondholders, by making banks that process the payments divert some of the money to the plaintiffs. U.S. financial institutions would become his enforcers, either helping to satisfy the judgment or “aiding and abetting” a crime.

The unprecedented idea was broadly upheld on appeal last month and Griesa tried to push the case closer to resolution late Wednesday by lifting a legal stay, and issuing an order directing Argentina to make a first round of payments into an escrow account on Dec. 15, when the country is scheduled to make payments to the other bondholders.

The idea has sent jitters through the legal departments of the most powerful financial institutions in the United States.

The U.S. Federal Reserve and the Clearing House, a trade group representing the world’s largest commercial banks, warned that Griesa’s remedy could have severe consequences for the backbone of the U.S. financial system, which automatically moves an average of $2.6 trillion a day in half a million transfers between more than 7,000 banks.

The Federal Reserve’s legal brief, filed Sunday, said the entire system depends on transfers being “immediate, final and irrevocable” when processed. Requiring intermediaries to identify, stop and divert payments according to court orders “would impede the use of rapid electronic funds transfers in commerce by causing delays and driving up costs.”

The plaintiffs dismissed the concerns, saying that the only bank at risk would be Argentina’s “paying agent,” the Bank of New York Mellon, which should be held responsible by the court if it doesn’t guarantee compliance.

Still, the Federal Reserve’s filing pleased Fernandez so much that she cited it in a speech Monday night.

“When an Argentine says something, the President of the Argentines or the economy minister, well, everyone comes out to criticize them, but now it’s (Federal Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke talking, honey, and everyone shuts their little mouth,” she said.

As with so many other things involving Argentina, these debts date back to the bloody dictatorship that ruled from 1976-1983. The military junta tripled the country’s foreign debts. By 2001, the burden had become unsustainable and the economy collapsed. Argentina’s $95 billion default still stands as a world record.

Sovereign debt is supposed to be paid no matter who runs a country, but Fernandez has always considered this defaulted debt to be illegitimate, forced onto the Argentines by dictators acting in concert with international financial speculators. She and her late husband and predecessor Nestor Kirchner, who took office in 2003, have never made any payments on the defaulted bonds.

Instead, they offered new bonds paying less than 30 cents for each dollar owed in default, and by 2010, 93 percent of the original bondholders agreed to the swaps. The debt relief granted by these “exchange bondholders” enabled Argentina to climb out of a deep economic crisis, and many analysts have described it as a model for Greece and other debt-burdened countries to consider.

Hold-outs led by NML Capital Ltd., an investment fund owned by U.S. billionaire Paul Singer, refused the swaps, insisting on payment in full plus interest, even though some bought the defaulted debt for pennies on the dollar after Argentina’s economy collapsed. Singer’s lawyers have traveled the world since then seeking to embargo Argentine assets, even getting its navy ship Libertad seized in Ghana as collateral. But they have never collected.

The judge’s solution to all this is to force Argentina to pay the holdouts an equal amount each time it makes a payment to the exchange bondholders.

This prompted an outcry from a group of exchange bondholders who collectively own $20 billion in the restructured Argentine debt. They said they “already suffered tens of billions of dollars in losses,” and that it’s not fair to harm their already diminished returns so that a few holdouts can earn up to 200 percent on their original investments.

If allowed to stand, this kind of remedy will make it impossible for other countries to get critical debt relief, they argued.

The holdouts’ response: “Those parties made a business judgment to accept assurances of prompt payment rather than being forced to litigate against the Republic around the world, as the plaintiffs have been forced to do at tremendous expense.”

Argentina, meanwhile, has told the judge that its responsibility ends once it delivers the cash to the Bank of New York Mellon, which in turn pays the exchange bondholders. This bank, in turn, said it would suffer lawsuits from all sides if it did anything other than process the payments as intended.

There was no immediate indication from Argentina’s government late Wednesday about how it would respond to Griesa’s ruling.

The judge said he was taking the action precisely because of “inflammatory declarations” made by Argentine officials, who have vowed not to pay a cent to NML Capital Ltd.

“It is the view of the District Court that these threats of defiance cannot go by unheeded, and that action is called for,” Griesa wrote.

Argentina is running out of options. Anything short of full payments could trigger holders of all sorts of Argentine bonds to demand immediate payment in full.

“In reality, what I think they’re looking for is to provoke a technical default,” the president said Monday night. “What’s a technical default? It’s when you pay, but not in the right time, or manner, or place. For example, you don’t pay in New York so that they don’t seize the money.”

The exchange bondholders warned that if this happens, “the injunction will have turned a relatively minor default into a cataclysmic default that will further unsettle the already fragile global economy.”

Fernandez sought to calm matters, noting that Argentina has $45.3 billion in reserves and a much lighter debt burden than it did years ago.

But if Argentina pays the plaintiffs the $1.43 billion they are demanding, Moody’s Investors Service said it could set a legal precedent for other holdouts who together claim nearly $12 billion in unpaid debts.

A default, meanwhile, could put more pressure on an economy already suffering from capital flight and dangerously high inflation. Argentine debt is already rated by Moody’s as junk, so the government has few other places to turn for financing.

The holdouts blamed all this “emergency litigation and anxiety” on Argentina’s “unrelenting bad faith,” and predicted that if it is finally given no other alternative, it will submit to the courts’ will.

“There is no reason to believe — and common sense rejects — the notion that Argentina would harm its reputation and credit, and unnecessarily allow tens of billions of dollars of debt to accelerate, simply to avoid paying the plaintiffs $1.43 billion,” they said.

Source

Chart of the Week: Slowest Economic Recovery Since the 1960s

Rob Bluey

November 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

Read more: Here

Obama’s need for lies, propaganda, and derision

By Jim Mullen

Barack Obama is the most anti-traditional, anti-business, and anti-capitalist President in American history. His every speech and press release begin by stridently repeating every loser’s refrain, “It’s not my fault,” quickly followed by incessant rants of class warfare. It’s evident to even the most disinterested observer that Barack Obama does not like this country and its Constitution.

He derides Republicans about what he calls their trickle-down economics. Truth is he has the only trickle-down economic plan. He seizes money from job-creators, the successful, and the producers in America, and then filters the money through a monstrous federal government. The little remaining money subsequently filters down, and Obama redistributes it to his handpicked voting blocs of Democrats and “Obama-crony Capitalists.” While he preaches against the fat cats of Wall Street, Obama set records for accepting campaign money from those on Wall Street willing to play by his Marxist rules.

This President’s economic policies led the nation into a financial quagmire that stunted national growth beyond anything seen since the Great Depression. Over 23 million people are looking for work with over a million fewer people working today than when Obama took office. Welfare and disability rolls soared to record levels in the last four years, and government is increasingly institutionalizing the once proud American populace. One thing he is accomplishing with great proficiency – gaining Marxist control over industry and the American people.

Entrepreneurs who were dreamers of the possible built this nation, not dreamers of more government control, higher taxes, and massive regulations. They knew that self-sacrifice, hard work, determination, and the free American spirit were the constitutionally guaranteed keys to unlock the door of success.

The free-enterprise system so hated by Barack Obama, fed more of the world’s people, provided greater opportunities for all Americans, and helped them achieve their dreams of prosperity more than any other system on earth. Obama is tearing down everything that built this country because he knows that economic and personal freedoms are the antithesis to Marxism. Amazingly, we have a President of the United States who believes the entire system is evil, and that he is ordained to oversee its destruction.

Gasoline prices under Obama have more than doubled, placing an incredible extra financial burden on low and middleclass Americans; not to mention stifled job creation. The increase is, in large part, the result of his fanatical refusal to issue new drilling permits and by rejecting the Canadian pipeline.

Obama’s entire energy policy consists of killing carbon-based energy and sticking taxpayers with a multi-billion dollar solar energy swindle. This radical’s idea is to increase the cost of oil, coal, and gas to a point where his almost comical solar energy con job is competitive. Another four years of his war on coal, and his refusal to allow new oil exploration will in his words, make energy prices “skyrocket” even more.

The national debt and the deficit exploded during his abysmal days in the Oval Office. Just paying the interest on the debt will be an insurmountable burden on the nation’s youth. When interest rates rise, as they assuredly will, the burden will double or triple. Paying interest on the debt will very soon be the single largest item in the federal budget.

Obama in his first term ignored Congress and created his own laws by executive decree. He steadfastly refused to enforce the laws of the land but had no compunction about instituting lawsuits against American states and their people for simply defending themselves by enforcing the law.

Barren of any solutions to real problems facing this country, and primed for attacking his critics, Obama’s tactics always involve using Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals. His favorite is Rule 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Stinging from the first presidential debate humiliation, Obama struck back like all cowards by attacking the conqueror with his brave mouth. Now, when addressing his left-wing supporters, mocking and ridiculing Mitt Romney are his ideas of bravery, policy, and debating skill. Since he had no other defense for his record, in the next two debates he simply saved time by sneering, deriding, and ridiculing Romney in front of the world. The President’s desperate, self-indulgent displays are typical Obama arrogance, this time on display for the world to see.

In every debate, left without his Teleprompter, brazen attacks and lying are his only defense of the extreme, leftist policies that left America in this state of devastation. The more that Obama and liberal Democrats stray from reality and facts, the greater the need for lies, propaganda and derision.

One must believe the country is fed up with the childlike antics and unimaginable, spontaneously-combustible rants of Joe Biden. The longer he’s in office the more he becomes unhinged. The cartoonish vice President represents the other half of a presidency that is so predictably unstable as to threaten the personal liberty and fortunes of the American people at home and abroad. In the end, this economically anemic duo of Obama and Biden jeopardize the existence of the United States as a free and independent Republic.

Americans have heard enough excuses, blame, class warfare, and race baiting. They’ve seen enough welfare, unemployment, food stamps, social justice, and income redistribution. They’ve seen all they care to of catering to the slugs of society using taxpayers’ money to buy votes.

On the domestic front, Obama will continue his victimization of the American people and our country’s condition will deteriorate further with four more years of leftist rule. Liberal judge appointments to all federal courts and the Supreme Court will help transform this country into something unrecognizable by the Founders. Obama will consider a win in November as justification to implement more of his radical agenda and create additional presidential laws like legitimizing the remaining tens-of-millions of illegal aliens.

In international policies, Obama’s plans are to place the United States under the autonomy of NATO and the American-hating United Nations, by using the banner of national security. Both organizations exist only because of the billions of dollars forcefully extracted from American taxpayers, and the sacrifices of our young people in the military. A military compelled to serve under another flag, not the American flag under which they agreed to serve. All of this while he guts defense spending, leaving the country open to attacks by bullies around the globe.

The saintly aura fashioned by the media around Barack Obama is gone. The only glow emanating from this White House is the reek of ugly, Chicago-style, corrupt politics and failed Marxist-socialist policies. Americans discover that after his first presidential stint, they’re left with a bitter, hate-filled President who dictates with lies, cover-ups, misinformation, and disinformation after promises of the most transparent administration in history.

Jim Mullen

http://freedomforusnow.com

Follow https://twitter.com/freedomforusnow

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Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals $16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts

unelected.org
Sat, 01 Sep 2012 01:33 CDT

The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out.

Ben Bernanke (pictured to the right), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning.

What was revealed in the audit was startling:

$16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious – the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.

To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.

In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As is turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.

“This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”- Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

When you have conservative Republican stalwarts like Jim DeMint(R-SC) and Ron Paul(R-TX) as well as self identified Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders all fighting against the Federal Reserve, you know that it is no longer an issue of Right versus Left. When you have every single member of the Republican Party in Congress and progressive Congressmen like Dennis Kucinich sponsoring a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, you realize that the Federal Reserve is an entity onto itself, which has no oversight and no accountability.

Americans should be swelled with anger and outrage at the abysmal state of affairs when an unelected group of bankers can create money out of thin air and give it out to megabanks and supercorporations like Halloween candy. If the Federal Reserve and the bankers who control it believe that they can continue to devalue the savings of Americans and continue to destroy the US economy, they will have to face the realization that their trillion dollar printing presses will eventually plunder the world economy.

The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131of the GAO Audit and are as follows..

  • Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
  • Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
  • Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
  • Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
  • Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
  • Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
  • Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
  • JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
  • Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
  • UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
  • Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
  • Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
  • Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
  • BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)

and many many more including banks in Belgium of all places

View the 266-page GAO audit of the Federal Reserve (July 21st, 2011):

Sources:
US Government Accountability Office (GAO)
FULL PDF on GAO server.
Senator Sander’s Article

Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals $16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts — Puppet Masters — Sott.net.

Spain says markets are closing to it as G7 confers

http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20120605&t=2&i=615331606&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=390&r=CBRE8540R1P00

By Julien Toyer
MADRID | Tue Jun 5, 2012 5:44am EDT

(Reuters) – Spain said on Tuesday that credit markets were closing to the euro zone’s fourth biggest economy as finance chiefs of the Group of Seven major economies were to hold emergency talks on the currency bloc’s worsening debt crisis.

Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro sent out the dramatic distress signal in a radio interview about the impact of his country’s banking crisis on government borrowing, saying that at current rates, financial markets were effectively shut to Spain.

“The risk premium says Spain doesn’t have the market door open,” Montoro said on Onda Cero radio. “The risk premium says that as a state we have a problem in accessing markets, when we need to refinance our debt.

The country, which enjoyed rapid growth after it joined the euro at its launch in 1999, is beset by bank debts triggered by the bursting of a real estate bubble, aggravated by overspending by its autonomous regions.

The risk premium investors demand to hold Spanish 10-year debt rather than the German equivalent hit a euro era high of 548 basis points on Friday, on concerns that Spain’s fragile banking system and heavily indebted regions will eventually force it to seek a Greek-style bailout.

Montoro said Spanish banks should be recapitalized through European mechanisms, departing from the previous government line that Spain could raise the money on its own and prompting the Madrid stock market to rise.

But his comments on Spain’s borrowing sent the euro down after the 17-nation European currency earlier hit a one-week high against the dollar on expectations that a conference call of G7 finance ministers and central bankers may hasten bold action.

The European Central Bank holds its monthly rate-setting meeting on Wednesday and European Union leaders meet on June 28-29 to discuss their strategy for overcoming the two-year-old crisis which has already seen Greece, Ireland and Portugal forced to accept international bailouts.

Investors have fled peripheral euro zone sovereign debt for the relative safe haven of German Bunds and U.S. and British government bonds amid worries about Spain’s banking crisis and fears that a June 17 Greek election could lead to Athens leaving the euro, setting off a wave of contagion around the euro area.

Spain will test the market on Thursday by issuing between 1 billion euros ($1.24 billion) and 2 billion euros in medium- and long-term bonds at auction.

Emilio Botin, chairman of the nation’s biggest bank, Banco Santander told Reuters Spanish banks needed about 40 billion euros in additional capital, adding that “there is no financial crisis in Spain”. Montoro said the figures were “perfectly accessible”.

But his dramatization of the debt situation set a stark backdrop for the conference call of the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Britain, plus European Union officials, which two G7 sources said would start at 1100 GMT.

Montoro’s comments appeared aimed at pressuring the ECB and EU paymaster Germany to find ways of intervening. But the central bank has so far shunned calls to resume purchases of Spanish government bonds, and Berlin has said it is up to Madrid to decided whether to apply for assistance if it needs help.

Spain has been trying to persuade EU partners to allow direct aid from the euro zone’s rescue fund to recapitalize its banks without making it submit to the political humiliation of a full-fledged assistance programme, officials say.

FESTERING CRISIS

The festering euro zone crisis has sparked mounting concern outside Europe, with the United States fretting that it could further harm its faltering economic recovery, and countries such as Japan and Canada fearing fallout for the global economy.

“We have reached a point where we need to have a common understanding about the problems we are facing,” Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi told reporters.

Ottawa and Washington both called for action after a G7 source said fears that capital flight from Spain could escalate into a full-fledged bank run had triggered the emergency talks.

“Markets remain skeptical that the measures taken thus far are sufficient to secure the recovery in Europe and remove the risk that the crisis will deepen,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

In a sign of increasing concern about the euro area’s debt crisis, Australia’s central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.50 percent, the lowest level in two years. It cited further weakening in Europe and a deterioration in market sentiment.

PRESSURE ON BERLIN

Pressure is building in particular on Germany, the biggest contributor to euro zone rescue funds, to back away from its prescription of fiscal austerity for the region’s weaker economies and to work harder on fostering short-term growth.

Berlin argues that it is already doing its share by encouraging above-inflation domestic wage settlements, accepting the prospect of higher-than-usual German inflation and most recently agreeing that Spain should have more time to achieve its fiscal targets.

Furthermore, Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the door on Monday to the prospect of a euro zone banking union in the medium term, saying she would discuss with EU authorities the idea of putting systemically important cross-border banks under European supervision.

A German government strategy paper seen by Reuters sets out a timetable for closer fiscal union in the euro zone, but Berlin does not expect final decisions on strengthening economic policy coordination until March 2013, with only a roadmap being agreed at this month’s summit.

A G7 source familiar with plans for the call said the group would urge more progress at this month’s EU summit, though this alone would probably disappoint global markets.

Central banking sources said the ECB could contribute by cutting its main interest rate, lowering its deposit rate to try to shake loose some 700 billion euros parked overnight in its vaults by anxious banks, or by providing a third big liquidity injection to banks.

Some analysts believe the bank is more likely to await the outcome of the Greek election and the EU summit before taking decisive action.

A G7 source said there was only a very small chance the G7 would go as far as to pledge coordinated action to curb excessive currency volatility. Japan, for one, fears a strong yen, which has been a safe haven for investors during the euro zone crisis, could help tip its economy into recession.

The G7 could also call for concerted action at the upcoming summit of the wider Group of 20 major economies in Mexico on June 18-19, the source said. The G20, which includes China, played a prominent role during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

A G20 official in Asia said the grouping, which also includes Brazil and India, could look to put pressure on Germany to switch to stimulus mode, as part of a wider call for strong, developed economies to step up spending.

“Germany and Canada could be seen as those having fiscal capabilities among the advanced economies,” the official said.

(Additional reporting by Leika Kihara in Tokyo, Ana Flor and Alvaro Soto in Brazil, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Fiona Ortiz in Madrid. Writing by Paul Taylor, editing by Mike Peacock)

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