Saturday, December 03, 2011
Oldspeak:With Megabanks carrying 50 to 1 leverage on a hundreds of trillions dollar sized largely unregulated and non-public OTC derivatives market, the next collapse of the global economic system is not a matter of if, but when. OTC derivatives are an unregulated dark pool of money with no public market. These are basically debt bets between two entities on things such as credit risk, currencies, interest rates and commodities. According to the latest report from the Comptroller of the Currency, just four U.S. banks have an eye popping $235 trillion of OTC derivative leverage. (Click here for the complete Comptroller of the Currency report.) As a nation, U.S. banks have a total OTC derivative exposure of $250 trillion. So, the fact that just four U.S. banks have this much leverage and risk is astounding! -Greg Hunter It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens when this gargantuan house of cards falls down. I’ll bet quite a few more people will be for occupying wall street then.
By Greg Hunter @ USAWatchdog.com :I keep hammering away at the fact the Fed doled out $16 trillion in the wake of the credit crisis of 2008. This is an enormous sum that is greater than the all goods and services produced in the U.S. in a single year. Domestic banks and companies got the money, right along with foreign banks and companies. In effect, the Federal Reserve bailed out the world financial system. Now, we are right back to square one facing another financial meltdown with European banks and sovereign debt. If the Fed spent $16 trillion, why in the heck is this problem not fixed and why isn’t the world economy taking off like a rocket? The simple answer is it wasn’t enough money.The Bank of International Settlements pegs the total world over-the-counter (OTC) derivative exposure at around $600 trillion, but many experts say the real figure is more than twice that amount. No matter which figure you use, it is a gargantuan sum. OTC derivatives are an unregulated dark pool of money with no public market. These are basically debt bets between two entities on things such as credit risk, currencies, interest rates and commodities. According to the latest report from the Comptroller of the Currency, just four U.S. banks have an eye popping $235 trillion of OTC derivative leverage. (Click here for the complete Comptroller of the Currency report.) As a nation, U.S. banks have a total OTC derivative exposure of $250 trillion. So, the fact that just four U.S. banks have this much leverage and risk is astounding! The banks are listed below in order of size and approximate OTC exposure:
1.) JP MORGAN CHASE BANK NA OH
$78.1 trillion OTC derivatives
2.) CITIBANK NATIONAL ASSN
$56.1 trillion OTC derivatives
3.) BANK OF AMERICA NA NC
$53.15 trillion OTC derivatives
4.) GOLDMAN SACHS BANK USA NY
$47.7 trillion OTC derivatives
Considering that the total assets of these four banks are a little more than $5 trillion, I see a frightening amount of risk with a total derivative exposure of $235 trillion! This is nearly 50 to 1 leverage. On top of that, assets such as real estate or mortgage-backed securities can be held on the books at whatever value the banks think they can sell them for in the future. I call this government sanctioned accounting fraud, or mark to fantasy accounting. Who knows what the true value of the banks assets really are.I am sure the banks would say that the net exposure is really not near that great because the banks have hedged their bets. The banks will probably say, by and large, these debt bets will cancel out or back up one another. It is known in the banking world as bilateral netting. A recent article in Zerohedge.com explained the enormous risk by saying, The best example of how the flaw behind bilateral netting almost destroyed the system is AIG: the insurance company was hours away from making trillions of derivative contracts worthless if it were to implode, leaving all those who had bought protection from the firm worthless, a contingency only Goldman hedged by buying protection on AIG. And while the argument can further be extended that in bankruptcy a perfectly netted bankrupt entity would make someone else whole on claims they have written, this is not true, as the bankrupt estate will pursue 100 cent recovery on its claims even under Chapter 11, while claims the estate had written end up as General Unsecured Claims which as Lehman has demonstrated will collect 20 cents on the dollar if they are lucky.(Click here to read the complete Zerohedge.com story.) The global economy is still in trouble. Everyone is focusing on Europe because the sovereign debt crisis there is likely to cause the European Union to break apart and kill the Euro. The Head of UniCredit global securities, Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy said recently, The euro is beyond rescue . . . . The only remaining question is how many days the hopeless rearguard action of European governments and the European Central Bank can keep up Greece’s spirits . . . . A Greek default will trigger an immediate magnitude 10 earthquake across Europe.(Click here for more on that story.) If the EU goes under, do not expect all the highly leveraged U.S. banks to walk away unscathed. They will need another bailout to stay afloat.
You must remember the U.S. still is at the epicenter of the ongoing credit crisis. At the moment, America looks like it is in better shape than Europe, but that will not last. According to the latest report from John Williams of Shadowstats.com, The root source of current global systemic instabilities largely has been the financially-dominant United States, and it is against the U.S. dollar that the global markets ultimately should turn, massively. The Fed and the U.S. Treasury likely will do whatever has to be done to prevent a euro-area crisis from triggering a systemic collapse in the United States. Accordingly, it is not from a euro-related crisis, but rather from within the U.S. financial system and financial-authority actions that an eventual U.S. systemic failure likely will be triggered, seen initially in a rapidly accelerating pace of domestic inflation—ultimately hyperinflation.Sure, the dollar may gain in value for a while in absence of the Euro as a competing currency, but, ultimately, the dollar too will crash, right along with a few very big banks.
America's Big Bank $244 Trillion Derivatives Market Exposed| September 15, 2011 | includes: BAC, C, GS, HBC, JPM
I have been extremely interested in the global derivatives market ever since I saw the documentary Collapse. I am not going to bore you with the details of this documentary, but to summarize, the documentary focuses on the unsustainable global dependence on oil supply (which is decreasing), and the unsustainable nature of our current capitalistic society (topic for another day). In this documentary the main character/pundit/whistleblower, Michael Ruppert, states that the world derivatives market is in excess of $700 trillion. Needless to say I was blown away by this amount, and I vowed to do some research and figure out how there can be an active financial market 50 times that of the United States Gross Domestic Product. I am not going to attempt to delve into the global derivatives market as a whole. Instead, I will focus on the derivatives that are written by U.S. commercial banks, talk about the various derivatives out there, and explain the amount of exposure to the United States banking system. To do this I will be using the most recent OCC report on derivatives held by commercial banks here in the U.S.
Summary of the U.S. Derivatives Market
-U.S. commercial banks currently hold a notional value of $244 trillion in derivatives.
-Trading exposure, which is measured by VaR (Value at Risk), is $677 million.
-Net Current Credit Exposure of commercial banks to derivatives is $353 billion, due to bilateral netting.
-Potential Future Exposure is $814 billion, bringing Total Credit Exposure (NCCE + PFE) to $1.2 trillion.
-The total amount of Credit Derivatives outstanding is $14.9 trillion.
-30 days or more past due derivatives equaled $42 million, and $74 million in derivatives was charged off this quarter.
-59% of counterparties are banks and securities firms, 35% are corporations, 1% are monoline financial firms, 2% are hedge funds, and 3% are sovereign funds.
-Banks hold collateral equal to 72% of Net Current Credit Exposure.
-82% of derivatives are interest rate products, 10.9% in FX contracts, 6.1% in credit derivatives, and .6% are in commodities and equity contracts, respectively.
Five banks dominate the U.S. derivatives market, J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), and HSBC (HBC), accounting for 96% of the derivatives activity. However, a total of 1,047 U.S. banks participated in the derivatives market in the first quarter.Banks reported trading revenue (revenue pertaining to derivatives) of $7.4 billion in the first quarter of 2011.This is a lot of information to handle so I am going to delve deeper into all of the summary points, and shed some light on all of these statements.U.S. commercial banks currently hold a notional value of $244 trillion in derivatives.Notional value is the face amount of the derivative used to calculate payment on swaps, options, futures, and forward contracts. This is not the amount of exposure that banks have to the derivatives market. Here is a simple example: Two parties approach a bank, and they want to do an interest rate swap for a loan. One wants a fixed interest rate, while the other wants a floating interest rate. The bank acts as a clearinghouse and third party overseer for this transaction. Both parties pay a set fee (usually a spread on the interest rates) to the bank based on the amount of the loan amount they are swapping payments on, they also give their respective payments on the loan amount through the bank, and the bank sends the payment to the other party. Now if the amount of the loan that the two parties were swapping interest rates on was $1 trillion that $1 trillion would be included in the notional value of derivatives held by the banks. Another example: If a bank buys or sells (hedges risk or assumes risk) a Credit Default Swap the face amount is included in the notional value.
Trading exposure, which is measured by VaR (Value at Risk), is $677 million.VaR (value at risk) is a statistical analysis performed by banks to determine the potential amount of maximum expected losses (on their trading activities) that they could sustain over a specified duration of time and under normal market conditions. Here is an example from the OCC report.A VaR of $50 million at 99% confidence measured over one trading day, for example, indicates that a trading loss of greater than $50 million in the next day on that portfolio should occur only once in every 100 trading days under normal market condition.Basically, the VaR is telling us that the bank is 99% confident (confidence level depends on the standard deviation used) that over the next 100 trading days it will lose a maximum of $50 million. So the total VaR of $677 million for the quarter is the maximum expected aggregate loss that banks think they could lose.Net Current Credit Exposure of U.S. commercial banks is $353 billion, due to bilateral netting.How can notional derivatives equal $244 trillion and the banks only be exposed to $353 billion in potential losses? There is a common misconception that the credit risk experienced in the derivatives market is the same as the credit risk experienced in the loan market. The credit risk in the regular loan market is the face amount of the loan given to the borrower, the exposure is unilateral. The credit risk in derivatives is different due to the fact that there are two parties to the vast majority of derivatives contracts. The bank enters into a legally binding contract with counterparties called bilateral netting. This contract states that if one of the parties defaults, the remaining balance of the contract would be the net sum of all positive and negative fair values of contracts included in the bilateral netting arrangement.
How does the OCC calculate Net Current Credit Exposure? They start by looking at the fair value amount that is owed to the banks this amount is called derivatives receivable or Gross Positive Fair Value (this does not take into account collateral held by banks). This is the amount that the banks would be in the hole if all of their counterparties defaulted. They then look at the fair value amount that the banks owe to their counterparties, this amount is called derivatives payable or Gross Negative Fair Value (this amount does not take into account collateral held by the counterparties.) This is the amount that the banks' counterparties would lose if the banks' defaulted. The OCC then subtracts the amount at risk (Gross Positive Fair Value) from the amount owed to the counterparties and that is the Net Current Credit Exposure.Potential Future Exposure is $814 billion, bringing Total Credit Exposure (NCCE + PFE) to $1.2 trillion.Essentially, Potential Future Exposure is an amount calculated at a certain confidence level (much like VaR), for the remaining life of the contract. The $814 billion is the maximum potential exposure banks could face for the life of all their derivatives contracts. Potential Future Exposure takes into account future increases in value of the derivatives receivable. The $814 billion is a future increase in value of the receivables owed to the banks increases their total credit exposure. An increase in value can be attributed to any number of reasons from a change in foreign exchange rates to a rising or falling of interest rates. Here is a somewhat outdated (2002), but great explanation.
The Total Amount of Credit Derivatives Outstanding is $14.9 trillion.The vast majority (97%) of credit derivatives are Credit Default Swaps. The $14.9 trillion is just a notional amount however. As of this quarter, banks assumed risk (wrote credit derivatives) in the amount of $7.4 trillion, and hedged risk (bought credit derivatives) in the amount of $7.5 trillion. Due to the fact that 43% of the notional amount of derivatives is sub- investment grade, the banks are obviously betting that certain parties are going to default, and they are hoping to make some trading revenue on their credit derivatives.30 Days or More Past Due Derivatives Equaled $42 million, and Banks Charged Off $74 Million in Derivatives Contracts This Quarter.This is exactly how it reads. Out of a notional value of $244 trillion banks had to charge off a mere $74 million. Granted, during the financial crisis that amount was $847 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, but needless to say things have vastly improved since then.59% of counterparties are banks and securities firms, 35% are corporations, 1% are monoline financial firms, 2% are hedge funds, and 3% are sovereign funds.No need to elaborate here, except to say that this illustrates why there are the terms TBTF and contagion. The game dominoes really comes to mind at this moment.Banks Hold Collateral Equal to 72% of Net Current Credit Exposure.
88% of this collateral is cash and treasury securities (very liquid assets). Depending on the counterparty banks like hold a certain percentage of collateral. 93% collateral was held against the NCCE to banks and securities firms, 302% against hedge funds' NCCE, 5% against sovereign governments' NCCE, and 36% against corporations'.82% of derivatives are interest rate products, 10.9% in FX contracts, 6.1% in credit derivatives, and .6% are in commodities and equity contracts, respectively.These products can be broken down into five different types of derivatives: Futures, Forwards, Swaps, Options, and Credit Derivatives. Needless to say these are very complex financial products that are hard to understand, but I will do my best to explain them for you.Swaps - are used exactly as their name suggests, to swap (exchange) cash flows at a certain date. These types of derivatives are used mainly for interest rate swaps, but can be used to swap cash flows from equities, commodities, or foreign currency.Futures & Forwards - I am going to lump these two together because they are similar, but not the same. Engaging in a forward requires you to buy/sell a certain equity/commodity/foreign currency at a set price at a set point in time. Engaging in a future is almost the same agreement as a forward but, your position is usually opened on margin, and is traded marked to market, and you can close your position out at any time.Credit Derivatives - Basically an assumption or a hedging of risk on any kind of asset, or liability.Options - Gives the owner the right to buy/sell the underlying security before or on the expiration date at a certain price.
Five banks dominate the U.S. derivatives market, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and HSBC, accounting for 96% of the derivatives activity. However, a total of 1,047 U.S. banks participated in the derivatives market in the first quarter.The amount in notional derivatives written by the five biggest banks from highest to lowest goes in this order J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and HSBC.
Conclusion:While the $244 trillion notional derivative market looks menacing on paper, once you break it down, it isn't as scary as it looks. The banks have collateral on the majority of their Net Current Credit Exposure, and the economy (for all its current faults) is getting better. In my opinion, the derivatives market is an essential tool for traders, hedge funds, companies, and banks to hedge risks and reap rewards. There is no possible way that this market is just going to disappear overnight. I think that $99 billion (when you subtract collateral) in NCCE is acceptable, when you consider the benefits that the derivatives market gives the global economy.Disclosure: I am long BAC.
In the wake of chopping its Central Bank swap rates today, the Fed has been called a bunch of names: a hero for slugging the big bailout bat in the ninth inning, and a villain for printing money to help Europe at the expense of the US. Neither depiction is right.The Fed is merely continuing its unfettered brand of bailout-economics, promoted with heightened intensity recently by President Obama and Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner in the wake of Germany not playing bailout-ball. Recall, a couple years ago, it was a uniquely American brand of BIG bailouts that the Fed adopted in creating $7.7 trillion of bank subsidies that ran the gamut from back-door AIG bailouts (some of which went to US / some to European banks that deal with those same US banks), to the purchasing of mortgage-backed–securities, to near zero-rate loans (for banks).Similarly, today’s move was also about protecting US banks from losses – self inflicted by dangerous derivatives-chain trades, again with each other, and with European banks.Before getting into the timing of the Fed’s god-father actions, let’s discuss its two kinds of swaps (jargon alert – a swap is a trade between two parties for some time period – you swap me a sweater for a hat because I’m cold, when I’m warmer, we’ll swap back). The Fed had both of these kinds of swaps set up and ready-to-go in the form of : dollar liquidity swap lines and foreign currency liquidity swap lines. Both are administered through Wall Street’s staunchest ally, and Tim Geithner’s old stomping ground, the New York Fed.
The dollar swap lines give foreign central banks the ability to borrow dollars against their currency, use them for whatever they want – like to shore up bets made by European banks that went wrong, and at a later date, return them. A temporary dollar liquidity swap arrangement with 14 foreign central banks was available between December 12, 2007 (several months before Bear Stearn’s collapse and 9 months before the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy that scared Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley into getting the Fed’s instant permission to become bank holding companies, and thus gain access to any Feds subsidies.)Those dollar-swap lines ended on February 1, 2010. BUT – three months later, they were back on, but this time the FOMC re-authorized dollar liquidity swap lines with only 5 central banks through January 2011. BUT – on December 21, 2010 – the FOMC extended the lines through August 1, 2011. THEN– on June 29th, 2011, these lines were extended through August 1, 2012. AND NOW – though already available, they were announced with save-the-day fanfare as if they were just considered.Then, there are the sneakily-dubbed foreign currency liquidity swap lines, which, as per the Fed’s own words, provide foreign currency-denominated liquidity to US banks.(Italics mine.) In other words, let US banks play with foreign bonds.These were originally used with 4 foreign banks on April, 2009 and expired on February 1, 2010. Until they were resurrected today, November 30, 2011, with foreign currency swap arrangements between the Fed, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Japan. Swiss National Bank and the European Central Bank.They are to remain in place until February 1, 2013, longer than the original time period for which they were available during phase one of the global bank-led meltdown, the US phase. (For those following my work, we are in phase two of four, the European phase.)That’s a lot of jargon, but keep these two things in mind: 1) these lines, by the Fed’s own words, are to provide help to US banks. and 2) they are open ended.
There are other reasons that have been thrown up as to why the Fed acted now – like, a European bank was about to fail. But, that rumor was around in the summer and nothing happened. Also, dozens of European banks have been downgraded, and several failed stress tests. Nothing. The Fed didn’t step in when it was just Greece –or Ireland - or when there were rampant contagion fears, and Italian bonds started trading above 7%, rising unabated despite the trick of former Goldman Sachs International advisor Mario Monti replacing former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi’s with his promises of fiscally conservative actions (read: austerity measures) to come.Perhaps at that point, Goldman thought they had it all under control, but Germany’s bailout-resistence was still a thorn, which is why its bonds got hammered in the last auction, proving that big Finance will get what it wants, no matter how dirty it needs to play. Nothing from the Fed, except a small increase in funding to the IMF.Rating agency, Moody’s announced it was looking at possibly downgrading 87 European banks. Still the Fed waited with open lines. And then, S&P downgraded the US banks again, including Goldman ,making their own financing costs more expensive and the funding of their seismic derivatives positions more tenuous. The Fed found the right moment. Bingo.Now, consider this: the top four US banks (JPM Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs) control nearly 95% of the US derivatives market, which has grown by 20% since last year to $235 trillion. That figure is a third of all global derivatives of $707 trillion (up from $601 trillion in December, 2010 and $583 trillion mid-year 2010. )
Breaking that down: JPM Chase holds 11% of the world’s derivative exposure, Citibank, Bank of America, and Goldman comprise about 7% each. But, Goldman has something the others don’t – a lot fewer assets beneath its derivatives stockpile. It has 537 times as many (from 440 times last year) derivatives as assets. Think of a 537 story skyscraper on a one story see-saw. Goldman has $88 billon in assets, and $48 trillion in notional derivatives exposure. This is by FAR the highest ratio of derivatives to assets of any so-called bank backed by a government. The next highest ratio belongs to Citibank with $1.2 trillion in assets and $56 trillion in derivative exposure, or 46 to 1. JPM Chase’s ratio is 44 to 1. Bank of America’s ratio is 36 to 1.Separately Goldman happened to have lost a lot of money in Foreign Exchange derivative positions last quarter. (See Table 7.) Goldman’s loss was about equal to the total gains of the other banks, indicative of some very contrarian trade going on. In addition, Goldman has the most credit risk with respect to the capital it holds, by a factor of 3 or 4 to 1 relative to the other big banks. So did the Fed’s timing have something to do with its star bank? We don’t really know for sure.Sadly, until there’s another FED audit, or FOIA request, we’re not going to know which banks are the beneficiaries of the Fed’s most recent international largesse either, nor will we know what their specific exposures are to each other, or to various European banks, or which trades are going super-badly.But we do know from the US bailouts in phase one of the global meltdown, that providing liquidity or greasing the wheels of banks in times of emergency does absolute nothing for the Main Street Economy. Not in the US. And not in Europe. It also doesn’t fix anything, it just funds bad trades with impunity.Nomi Prins article first appeared on her blog.
Turns out the Government Sachs conspiracy theorists were right all along Madison Ruppert Infowars.com December 2, 2011
In a shocking article published in Reuters, Felix Salmon confirmed what the so-called conspiracy theorists have said all along: former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Hank Paulson was giving insider tips to his cronies at Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street titans which directly benefited them.The article is entitled, Hank Paulson’s inside jobs, emphasizing the fact that this wasn’t some one-off lapse of ethics on Paulson’s part, but instead a disturbingly regular practice.For those who are unaware, Paulson was the CEO and chairman at Goldman Sachs from 1999-2006 and he clearly provided them with actionable information that epitomizes the plague upon our economy, and the greater global economic system, that is crony capitalism.
However, this isn’t quite a brand new revelation given the fact that in October of 2009 Andrew Ross Sorkin exposed that Paulson met with the entire Goldman Sachs board in a hotel suite in Moscow at the end of June 2008.Salmon covered this at the time, after Sorkin’s book was released, which detailed the meeting held after the Goldman Sachs boys had dinner with Mikhail Gorbachev.At the time the Treasury chief of staff Jim Wilkinson told Goldman Sachs chief of staff John Rogers, Let’s keep this quiet, indicating that despite the fact that the Treasury’s general counsel Bob Hoyt claimed it wouldn’t run afoul of the ethics guidelines, they were well aware that wasn’t the case.Hoyt said that it was acceptable so long as it was solely a social event, but unsurprisingly, Paulson didn’t record the so-called social event in his official calendar.It is undeniable that these individuals knew very well what they were doing, and clearly they had no misgivings whatsoever.During the Moscow meeting Paulson spoke of the need for the government to have the power to wind down troubled firms, offering a preview of his upcoming speech, according to Sorkin.
This wasn’t just a friend going over a speech with some old pals, as everyone knows the words of the Treasury Secretary heavily affect global markets almost instantly, just like speeches by the likes of Ben Shalom Bernanke, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the private Federal Reserve.Getting this kind of information ahead of time is critical, and through Sorkin’s writing it is clear that Paulson enlightened them as to the situation with Lehman Brothers, giving Goldman Sachs an unfair advantage over those who didn’t happen to have someone on the inside.Paulson spoke of the possibility that Lehman Brothers very well might collapse, along with giving the Goldman Sachs board other insights into how he was viewing the economic climate and what was to come.As Salmon points out, Maybe it’s not so surprising that Goldman Sachs turned out to be so well positioned when Lehman did indeed [blow up] a few months later.This egregious breach of ethics is a perfect example of the corporatism that pervades Wall Street and has brought us to the brink of collapse where we are precariously perched today.Paulson’s Moscow meeting with Goldman Sachs wasn’t an isolated incident as just a few weeks later on July 28th, 2008, Paulson met with what Salmon characterizes as a who’s who of the hedge-fund world in the Eton Park Capital Management headquarters.Unsurprisingly, Eton Park Capital Management was created by Eric Mindich, formerly of Goldman Sachs as well.In a Bloomberg article published yesterday, Richard Teitelbaum details the meeting between roughly a dozen hedge-fund managers and Wall Street executives, including no less than five former colleagues of Paulson’s from Goldman Sachs.Others in attendance were Stephen Mandel of Pine Capital LLC, Dinakar Singh of TPG-Axon Capital Management LP and Daniel Och of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC.During the meeting Paulson, went on to describe a possible scenario for placing Fannie and Freddie into conservatorship — a government seizure designed to allow the firms to continue operations despite heavy losses in the mortgage markets.Teitelbaum writes, The fund manager says he was shocked that Paulson would furnish such specific information — to his mind, leaving little doubt that the Treasury Department would carry out the plan. The managers attending the meeting were thus given a choice opportunity to trade on that information.
While he points out that law professors say that Paulson himself broke no law by disclosing what amounted to inside information, it is hardly arguable that it is ethically acceptable for the Secretary of the Treasury to furnish information to certain people which would give them an advantage over everyone else.As Salmon points out, Given that it’s taken two years since the release of Sorkin’s book for the Eton Park meeting to be made public, it’s fair to assume that there were other meetings, too — possibly many others.Indeed it is impossible to know how much trading of insider information occurs amongst the financial elite, as we only get a glimpse when sources choose to disclose this information toreporters like Teitelbaum and Sorkin.It is quite unfortunate that this is such a rare occurrence, especially when we look at how the ultra-rich continue to profit at record rates while the rest of us struggle to pay the bills.Surely these meetings did not occur only a couple of times, given the tight connection that Goldman Sachs – or more accurately, as is now painfully clear – Government Sachs enjoys with Washington.Salmon sums up this issue in pointing out that the so-called conspiracy theorists have been right all along.
Salmon writes, Paulson was giving inside tips to Wall Street in general, and to Goldman types in particular: exactly the kind of behavior that Government Sachs conspiracy theorists have been speculating about for years. Turns out, they were right.Now if only the derisive label of conspiracy theorist would be lifted from these issues when it is far from a conspiracy theory and is indeed a conspiracy fact.
I won’t be holding my breath, because so long as governments criminally conspire with multinational corporations and others, the label of conspiracy will be denigrated in order to keep people from discussing and investigating these facts and issues.
TEPCO Again Underplays Severity of Situation at Fukushima Kurt Nimmo Infowars.com December 1, 2011
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is once again trying to mislead the public on the severity of the situation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
photoA worker enters Fukushima reactor containment vessel number 4 in August.On November 30, TEPCO reported fuel at the No. 1 reactor may have eroded part of the primary containment vessel’s thick concrete floor and has seeped deeper into the floor more than previously thought, according to the Associated Press.Another computer simulation by the government-funded Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization said the erosion of the concrete could be worse than TEPCO’s projection. It said the possibility of structural damage to the reactor’s foundation needs to be studied.On November 17, the architect of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3, Uehara Haruo, warned that a China Syndrome situation is inevitable at the plant. Haruo said that considering eight months have passed since the tsunami and the crippling of the nuclear plant without any improvement in the condition of the reactors, it is likely melted fuel has escaped the container vessel and is now burning through the earth.Prior to this, on September 20, Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute, estimated that material from the nuclear fuel rods may be twelve meters deep underground at reactors one and three, far worse than the results of TEPCO’s simulation. Haruo said debris is spreading in Pacific Ocean.
In September, scientists from the Japanese government’s Meteorological Research Institute and the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry announced the findings of a study at a meeting of the Geochemical Society of Japan. They said that some of the cesium release from Fukushima will flow into the Indian Ocean and eventually reach the Atlantic Ocean.According to Haruo, if the melted fuel reaches an underground water source, it will result in the contamination of water, soil and the sea. More catastrophic, underground super-heated water will ultimately create a massive hydrovolcanic explosion that will eject more radiation into the atmosphere.Back in July, before the latest developments, Dr. Tatsuhiko Kodama of the Radioisotope Center at the University of Tokyo told the Japanese Diet the amount of radiation emitted from the plant was 29.6 times more than the amount of radiation from the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Kodama announces the findings of his study in the following video.TEPCO’s latest public relations effort to underplay the severity of the ongoing crisis at the plant once again reveals that there will be no serious effort to address the grave situation that may soon get much worse if Haruo’s prediction of a hydrovolcanic explosion occurs.The Japanese government is also actively working to sweep the disaster under the rug. Its Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare recently eliminated Fukushima data from a patient survey it conducts every three years, according to the Fukushima Diary. According to the survey, leukemia cases have increased sevenfold over the last year, the highest rate since 1978 when the ministry first began collecting data.
Have You Heard About The 16 Trillion Dollar Bailout The Federal Reserve Handed To The Too Big To Fails? Economic Collapse Blog Friday, December 2, 2011
What you are about to read should absolutely astound you. During the last financial crisis, the Federal Reserve secretly conducted the biggest bailout in the history of the world, and the Fed fought in court for several years to keep it a secret.Do you remember the TARP bailout? The American people were absolutely outraged that the federal government spent 700 billion dollars bailing out the too big to fail banks. Well, that bailout was pocket change compared to what the Federal Reserve did. As you will see documented below, the Federal Reserve actually handed more than 16 trillion dollars in nearly interest-free money to the too big to fail banks between 2007 and 2010. So have you heard about this on the nightly news? Probably not. Lately Bloomberg has been reporting on some of this, but even they are not giving people the whole picture. The American people need to be told about this 16 trillion dollar bailout, because it is a perfect example of why the Federal Reserve needs to be shut down. The Federal Reserve has been actively picking winners and losers in the financial system, and it turns out that the friends of the Fed always get bailed out and always end up among the winners. This is not how a free market system is supposed to work.According to the limited GAO audit of the Federal Reserve that was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the grand total of all the secret bailouts conducted by the Federal Reserve during the last financial crisis comes to a whopping $16.1 trillion.That is an astonishing amount of money.Keep in mind that the GDP of the United States for the entire year of 2010 was only 14.58 trillion dollars.The total U.S. national debt is only a bit above 15 trillion dollars right now.So 16 trillion dollars is an almost inconceivable amount of money.But some other dollar figures have been thrown around lately regarding these secret Federal Reserve bailouts. Let’s take a look at them and see what they mean.
A recent Bloomberg article made the following statement….The $1.2 trillion peak on Dec. 5, 2008 — the combined outstanding balance under the seven programs tallied by Bloomberg — was almost three times the size of the U.S. federal budget deficit that year and more than the total earnings of all federally insured banks in the U.S. for the decade through 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The $1.2 trillion figure represents the peak outstanding balance on these loans, not the total amount of all the loans. On December 5, 2008 the too big to fail banks owed this much money to the Federal Reserve. Many of them could not pay these short-term loans back right away and had to keep rolling them over time after time. Each time a short-term loan got rolled over that represented a new loan.
Bloomberg is reporting that the Federal Reserve had made a total of $7.77 trillion in financial commitments to the big banks by the end of March 2009….Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.But as mentioned above, a one-time limited GAO audit of the Federal Reserve that was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act covered an even broader time period and revealed even more bailout loans.According to the GAO audit, $16.1 trillion in secret loans were made by the Federal Reserve between December 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010. The following list of firms and the amount of money that they received was taken directly frompage 131 of the GAO audit report….
Citigroup – $2.513 trillion
Morgan Stanley – $2.041 trillion
Merrill Lynch – $1.949 trillion
Bank of America – $1.344 trillion
Barclays PLC – $868 billion
Bear Sterns – $853 billion
Goldman Sachs – $814 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland – $541 billion
JP Morgan Chase – $391 billion
Deutsche Bank – $354 billion
UBS – $287 billion
Credit Suisse – $262 billion
Lehman Brothers – $183 billion
Bank of Scotland – $181 billion
BNP Paribas – $175 billion
Wells Fargo – $159 billion
Dexia – $159 billion
Wachovia – $142 billion
Dresdner Bank – $135 billion
Societe Generale – $124 billion
All Other Borrowers – $2.639 trillion
This report was made available to all the members of Congress, but most of them have been totally silent about it. One of the only members of Congress that has said something has been U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.The following is an excerpt from a statement about this audit that was takenfrom the official website of Senator Sanders….As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world.So where is everyone else? Why aren’t leading Republicans and leading Democrats crying bloody murder over this report? This scandal should have been front page news for months when it was revealed.But it wasn’t.And Guess what? Not only did the Federal Reserve give 16.1 trillion dollars in nearly interest-free loans to the too big to fail banks, the Fed also paid them over 600 million dollars to help run the emergency lending program. According to the GAO, the Federal Reserve shelled out an astounding $659.4 million in fees to the very financial institutions which caused the financial crisis in the first place.In addition, it turns out that trillions of dollars of this bailout money actually went overseas. According to the GAO audit, approximately $3.08 trillion went to foreign banks in Europe and in Asia.So why were our dollars being used to bail out foreign banks while tens of millions of American families were deeply suffering? That is a very good question.Also, it is important to remember that many of these bailout loans were made at below market interest rates, and this enabled many of these financial institutions to rake in huge profits.
According to a recent Bloomberg article, the big banks brought in an estimated $13 billion by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates….While the Fed’s last-resort lending programs generally charge above-market interest rates to deter routine borrowing, that practice sometimes flipped during the crisis. On Oct. 20, 2008, for example, the central bank agreed to make $113.3 billion of 28-day loans through its Term Auction Facility at a rate of 1.1 percent, according to a press release at the time.The rate was less than a third of the 3.8 percent that banks were charging each other to make one-month loans on that day. Bank of America and Wachovia Corp. each got $15 billion of the 1.1 percent TAF loans, followed by Royal Bank of Scotland’s RBS Citizens NA unit with $10 billion, Fed data show.So once the financial crisis was over, were adjustments made to the financial system to make sure that this type of thing would never happen again? Of course not.Today, the too big to fail banks are larger than ever. The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.
So now they are more too big to fail than ever.But this is what happens when we allow unelected central bank bureaucrats to run our financial system.Most Americans do not realize this, but the truth is that the Federal Reserve is not part of the government. In fact, it is about as federal as Federal Express is. The Federal Reserve has admitted that they are a privately owned institution in court many times, and you can see video of a Federal Reserve employee admitting that the Federal Reserve is privately owned right here.The Federal Reserve is an out of control monster that is throwing around trillions of dollars whenever it wants to. Nobody should be allowed to do this. Nobody should be allowed to give bailouts to banks and corporations without the express permission of the U.S. Congress and the president of the United States.
This is a point that I made in my article yesterday. The Federal Reserve decided this week that it is going to provide liquidity support to Europe. If the American people do not like this move, that is just too bad. We do not get a say in the matter.Are you starting to understand why I keep pushing the idea that it is time toshut down the Federal Reserve? Please share this information about the secret 16 trillion dollar Federal Reserve bailout with your family and your friends.If we can get enough people to wake up, perhaps there is still time to change the direction that this country is headed.
Senate bill 1867 would allow U.S. military to detain and murder anti-government protesters Mike Adams Natural News Friday, December 2, 2011
(NaturalNews) I don’t know if you’re all getting this through your heads yet, but Senate Bill 1867 –the National Defense Authorization Act– would openly legalize the U.S. government’s detainment and murder of OWS protesters and the assassination of talk show hosts, bloggers, journalists and anyone who holds a so-called anti-government point of view. This is the open and blatant declaration of war against any who do not going along with TSA thugs reaching down your pants, the Goldman Sachs economic takeover of nations, the secret arrest and torture of American citizens, and other acts of outright tyranny waged by an out-of-control government.Those who have been burying their heads in the sand over the coming police state need to wake up and face the music. That U.S. Senators would knowingly and willfully attempt to pass a bill thatlegalizesthe indefinite detainment, torture and killing of American citizens with no due process whatsoever — and on American soil! — is nothing less than a traitorous betrayal of the once-free American people. These are, our founding fathers would have said,acts of waragainst the People. They reveal the insidious plan to put in place a legal framework to end the Bill of Rights, murder protesters, and overrun America with total police state brutality.And yet the sheeple are still asleeple.I grow weary of trying to warn the American people to wake up and see what is now right in front of their eyes, so for those who want to read these words themselves — right in the Senate bill — you can read it at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query…
And YES, it has now been confirmed that the indefinite detainment and murder provisions do apply to American citizens on the streets of American cities. As Sen. Lindsey Graham explained in plain language on the Senate floor: …1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.That means America, for those of you who are still wondering what homeland means. It’s a phrase borrowed from Nazi Germany, of course, which is the source of much of this legislation as you might have noticed.
The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself,says the ACLU (http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-s…).
Homefront: The U.S. government’s war against the People
If this bill passes and is signed into law, it would mean that America’s war machine could then be turned against the American people – liberal, conservative, libertarian… it doesn’t matter. If you question the government, you are suddenly an “enemy combatant” and they will cite this law as the legal justification for putting a bullet in your head, fire-bombing your little protest group, or literally running over you and your buddies with tanks. (And they won’t stop like China did in Tiananmen Square when that one brave citizen stood up against tyranny there in 1989.) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6inW…)The premeditate murder of U.S. protesters (Occupy Wall Street, anyone?) is now being codified into law as the government’s right. Of course, your rights to Free Speech, due process, owning a firearm and other rights are being obliterated in the process. Only the government has rights now, didn’t you know? Theslavesof the nation (i.e. the citizens) are being stripped of all rights, including the right to grow your own food, have a picnic or even buy fresh dairy products from a farmer.
Governments routinely murder far more people than terrorists
Right now, every history teacher in America should be absolutely outraged about all this, as they know what always comes next in the history of nations. Once any government legalizes the murder of its own citizens, it is inevitably followed by a mass-murder holocaust-style event.Tyrants, you see, always like to legalize their mass murder before they pull the trigger. Just read the history of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao and others. In every case, they worked diligently to put into place a legal framework for the mass murder that was about to be unleashes on their own citizens. That legal framework looks strikingly similar to Senate Bill 1867, which is about to be passed.This also brings to mind the mathematical reality that, statistically speaking, governments are orders of magnitude more deadly than terrorists. While terrorists sometimes success in taking out a fewthousandpeople at a time, governments routinely murder tens of MILLIONS of people.It’s called GENOCIDE, and there’s a long and well-documented history of how governments have committed genocide year after year, one nation after another:
See more statistics at:
So if the People of America had any courage at all, they would be running the People’s road blocks and searching government vehicles for weapons! It is the government agents, after all, who are statistically at the highest risk of engaging in mass murder, and very soon the U.S. Senate looks likely to effectivelylegalize that mass murder.At the airports, We the People should be searching the TSA employees and checking them for illegal drugs, child pornography and stolen electronics. At government buildings, We the People should be searching all the government employees who come and go to make sure they don’t stage the demolition of their own buildings as a way to blame whatever convenient enemy they want to discredit — patriots, conservatives, conspiracy theorists or what have you.It’s no longer a conspiracy theory, you see, that the government wants to have the legal right to openly murder U.S. citizens right on the streets of America. It’s written right into the Senate bill. It’s public record. So all those out there still clinging to their pathetic denialist conspiracy theorists rants can now clamp shut their pie holes and throw themselves off a cliff or something. It’s time to face the reality of the total police state tyranny that’s now written in black and white, plain as day.All of you who are still obsessed with your narrow world view of fashion, dancing with the stars, microwaveable processed food and fake mainstream news are about to be rocked out of your easy chairs and dumped into the cesspool of tyranny at your doorstep. Just know that when they come for you, there will be nobody left to speak for you, because you remained silent as all this was rolled out. And I won’t be there for you, either, because I’ll be holed up in Texas, handing out emergency food supplies to the local churches and performing emergency medicine procedures on those protesters wounded by U.S. government military attacks — the ones that are still alive, anyway.
You think none of this is coming? Why would the U.S. Senate write this into law if they didn’t intend on using it to murder Americans? Maybe you need to clear the cobwebs out of your head and open your eyes to what’s really happening right now in the U.S. Senate.Read between the lines, folks. It’s not that difficult to get the full picture here. The very idea that the U.S. Senate is evenconsideringsuch a law to legalize the detainment and murder of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil by U.S. troops is, all by itself, a complete and utter crime against the American people.The U.S. Senate is about to declare WAR on the American people. And I don’t mean that metaphorically. They are trying to make this a military war where anyone who opposes the U.S. government — even if they have nothing at all to do with terrorism — is now a fair game target for precision bombings, assassinations and heavy military armor (i.e. tanks rolling down your driveway).Some good news: Congressman Dennis Kucinich has publicly spoken out against the bill (even though he’s not in the Senate). So has Sen. Rand Paul. His father, Ron Paul, has also stated his opposition to the illegal detainment provision of the bill. There are hints that if the bill passes, President Obama may veto it. If he did, that would be one of the most profound freedom-protecting actions of his administration, but don’t hold your breath on that count. You never know what these politicians will do when they think they have the power to murder their own citizens — they’re drunk with power, after all, and they love to rule over the masses with a kind of devilish insanity. Remember: Obama already has a kill list of Americans to be murdered overseas, but this new Senate Bill 1867 would legalize that right on U.S. soil.
So one day you call in to talk radio and express your discontent with the President, let’s say, and the next day a U.S. marine scout sniper sets up his .338 sniper rifle a couple hundred yards from your house, waits for you to sit down to watch Anderson Cooper vomit out the evening’s news propaganda, and then he pulls the trigger and blows your neck off, causing your head to land smack dab in that bowl of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese you were just trying to shovel down your threat because someone told you it was food. This will all be LEGAL under the new Senate bill 1867 because they will claim you were a terrorist collaborator who questioned the wisdom of the executive leadership of America. Once due process is stripped away,anythingcan be justified by the government, including the open murder of its own citizens.This is the whole point of a nation of LAW. The laws describe specific legal rights afforded to citizens, but most importantly they describe the LIMITS of power of government. It is those limits that the government is now trying to completely obliterate, turning America into a complete military dictatorship / fascist nation where laws are only applied to the People, not to the government itself. These are practically the exact words recently uttered by Newt Gingrich during a recent debate, in which he said due process and the Bill of Rights should only apply to people who engage in common criminal acts such as stealing or robbing people. But no such rights or due process privileges should exist when there is a war going on, Gingrich insisted! And the U.S. Senate is about to declare the entire USA “homeland” to be a battlefield of a never-ending war, get it? Are you grokking all this yet? These tyrants are about to declare the entire USA a battlefield where NO ONE has any due process, no Bill of Rights, no protections under any law, nothing! And if Gingrich becomes President — oh my God please don’t let this happen — then we are looking at the runaway militarization of everything in America, including a huge ramping up of the so-called war on drugs which we’ve already exposed as a total failure and a complete hoax (http://www.naturalnews.com/034289_A…).If this bill passes and is signed into law by the President, the USA is officially at war with its own People, and you can expect the government will immediately begin staging false flag bombings so they can justify a multi-year campaign of total genocide against all who refuse to cower down to the (now admitted) anti-freedom tyrants in Washington.We are on the verge of losing America, my friends. I ask: What the hell are YOU going to do about it?
Indefinite Detention Bill Passes Senate 93-7 -Americans completely stripped of all rights under Section 1031 Paul Joseph Watson Infowars.com Friday, December 2, 2011
The Senate last night codified into law the power of the U.S. military to indefinitely detain an American citizen with no charge, no trial and no oversight whatsoever with the passage of S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act.
Detention.One amendment that would have specifically blocked the measures from being used against U.S. citizens was voted down and the final bill was passed 93-7.
Another amendment introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein that attempted to bar the provision from being used on American soil, an effort to ensure the military won’t be roaming our streets looking for suspected terrorists, also failed, although Feinstein voted in favor of the bill anyway.
Feinstein was able to include a largely symbolic amendment which states that nothing in the bill changes current law relating to the detention of U.S. citizens and legal aliens, but this measure is meaningless according to Republican Congressman Justin Amash, a fierce critic of the bill.Some have asserted that Sen. Feinstein’s amendment, S Amdt 1456, protects the rights of American citizens and preserves constitutional due process. Unfortunately, it does not. It’s just more cleverly worded nonsense,Amash wrote on his Facebook page.Though the White House has threatened to veto the bill, the fact that Obama administration lawyers yesterday reaffirmed their backing for state sponsored assassination of U.S. citizens would suggest otherwise. Not voting for the bill, or in other words upholding the oath to protect the Constitution, has been described over and over again as political suicide.The bill puts military detention authority on steroids and makes it permanent, American citizens and others are at greater risk of being locked away by the military without charge or trial, said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.As Spencer Ackerman highlights, the bill completely violates the sixth amendment in that it allows American citizens to be locked up indefinitely, including in a foreign detention center, without any burden of proof whatsoever. An American merely has to be declared a terrorist and they can be abducted off the streets and never seen again.The detention mandate to use indefinite military detention in terrorism cases isn’t limited to foreigners. It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority, writes Ackerman.
Friday, December 02, 2011
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries (DRUGS), nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
WITH THE KIDS IN FOSTER CARE DRUGGED UP SO MUCH,NOW WE KNOW WHY WHEN WE HEAR IN THE NEWS CHILD CARE WATCHERS HAVE PROSTITUTION AND CHILD PORN RINGS WE KNOW THE FACTS BEHIND IT.IF THE CHILDREN ARE DRUGGED UP BY THE CHILD CARE WORKERS AND PROSTITUTED OUT IN SECRET PROSTITUTION RINGS TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,LAWYERS,DOCTORS ETC,WE NOW KNOW WHY.ALEX JONES ALSO TALKS ABOUT THESE CRIMINAL CHILD CARE LOOK AFTERERS ALL THE TIME.DRUGGING,USING AND ABUSING FOSTER CHILDREN.
Foster Kids Given Psychiatric Drugs At Higher Rates
Partner content from:by Jenny Gold 05:00 pm December 1, 2011
Foster care children are much more likely to be prescribed psychotropic drugs, a federal report finds.Foster care children are much more likely to be prescribed psychotropic drugs, a federal report finds.Children in foster care are significantly more likely than other kids to be given mind-altering drugs, according to a study of five states released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office.The report, which focused on children in the Medicaid program, also found that foster kids were more likely to be prescribed five or more psychotropic drugs at an age and at doses that exceed the maximum FDA-approved levels — both of which carry serious health risks.Some 3,841 infants under age one were prescribed a psychotropic drug in the five states the report looked at. Seventy-six of them were in foster care. Experts say there's no good reason for infants to take such drugs, the GAO notes.The report confirms some of my worst fears, Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., said in a Senate hearing on the issue Thursday, adding that states and the federal government have not done enough to monitor the problem.The two-year investigation in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas found that foster children were prescribed psychotropic drugs at rates 2.7 to 4.5 times higher than other children in Medicaid in 2008. Psychotropic drugs include those used to treat ADHD, anxiety, depression and psychosis.
In total, the five states spent more than $375 million in Medicaid funds for psychotropic drugs for both foster and non-foster children.The higher prescribing rates don't necessarily mean that states are acting inappropriately, the GAO points out. Psychotropic drugs have proven effective in treating mental illness, and the higher rate could be due to foster children's greater exposure to traumatic experiences and the unique challenges of coordinating their medical care.A recent study in the journal Pediatrics also found that foster children are prescribed multiple antipsychotics at higher rates than other children.Ke'onte Cook, a 12-year-old from Texas who testified at the Senate hearing, was on up to five drugs at a time while in foster care, including for bipolar disorder. The drugs made him irritable and exhausted, he said, caused a loss of appetite and put me in a lights-out mode 15 minutes after I'd taken them. Cook was adopted two years ago, and is now off all of the medications he was on while in foster care.I think putting me on all of these stupid meds was the most idiotic thing I experienced in foster care, and the worst thing someone could do to foster kids, Cook said.I was upset about my situation, not bipolar or ADHD.The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, passed in September, requires states to come up with protocols for appropriate use of psychotropic drugs for foster kids. But the GAO says that's not enough: HHS should create nationwide guidelines to help states close the oversight gaps we identified and increase protections for this vulnerable population.HHS agreed with the recommendations in written responses to the report.
Why Are So Many Foster Care Children Taking Antipsychotics? By Maia Szalavitz Tuesday, November 29, 2011 |
More than 8% of children in foster care have received antipsychotic medication, and just over one quarter of those in foster care who also receive disability benefits take these drugs, according to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics.The question is why? Children in foster care have typically been neglected or abused — indeed, simply removing a young child from his or her parents, even abusive ones, is in itself traumatic — so, not surprisingly, kids in foster care are more likely to suffer from psychiatric and behavioral problems than those who have stable families. Previous data suggest that foster-care children are about twice as likely as those outside the system to receive psychiatric medications.Whether these problems are leading to higher rates of antipsychotic use, however, is not clear. I think we have clinicians facing some very challenging situations, says Susan dosReis, associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and lead author of the study. But we don't have information as to why the prescribers decided on these medications for [these particular] youths.
The numbers suggest that the influence of pharmaceutical company marketing cannot be overlooked. Ninety-nine percent of youth receiving antipsychotic medications in the study were given atypical antipsychotics — the newer generation of these drugs, which are expensive and mostly unavailable in generic form and have been heavily advertised.All of the major manufacturers of these drugs have been fined by the Food and Drug Administration for illegal marketing practices — in part, for marketing the drugs for unapproved use in children — with some convicted of criminal charges.Eli Lilly, which manufactures the atypical antipsychotic Zyprexa, paid out $1.42 billion in 2009 — $615 million of that to settle criminal charges. The charges against Lilly involved selling Zyprexa to doctors for use in children, despite the fact that it was not approved for this age group.Bristol Myers Squibb paid $515 million in 2007 to settle charges that it also illegally pushed its antipsychotic Abilify to child psychiatrists. Pfizer paid out $301 million in a similar case related to its drug Geodon. AstraZeneca paid out $520 million to settle charges over the drug Seroquel. In all of these cases, the drugs were sold for unapproved use in youth.
The new study by dosReis and colleagues included records of more than 600,000 children enrolled in Medicaid in 2003, including those in foster care, those receiving disability benefits for mental diagnoses, and those on the welfare program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Overall, nearly 3% of all youth on Medicaid received at least one prescription for an antipsychotic medication that year, which is itself a high proportion, especially given that the main condition that antipsychotics are approved to treat —schizophrenia — is extremely rare in children. The rate of schizophrenia in children under 12 is an estimated 2 cases per 1 million children; it affects fewer than 1% of older teens. Antipsychotics are also approved to treat bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that is highly controversial in children. Some studies suggest that it affects 0.2% to 0.4 % of children, and up to 1% of adolescents.And yet, between 1994 and 2003, rates of bipolar diagnoses in youth under 19 rose by a factor of more than 40, according to the National Institute on Mental Health. It seems unlikely to be a coincidence that this rise occurred during the period when atypical antipsychotics were being illegally marketed for children.
Indeed, most of the antipsychotics used in foster-care youth were for conditions that the drugs were not approved to treat. Fifty-three percent of prescriptions were written for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that is ordinarily managed with drugs that have the opposite pharmacological effects as antipsychotics. The stimulant medications like Adderall and Ritalin, widely used for ADHD, tend to increase levels of dopamine, while antipsychotics tend to decrease it.
Moreover, 38% of youth in foster care and 34% of foster-care youth receiving disability benefits received simultaneous prescriptions for more than one atypical antipsychotic, for more than three months — a practice that the researchers said has demonstrated greater adverse effects with only marginal benefits. Worryingly, black youth were 27% more likely to receive two or more antipsychotics than whites.
Essentially, medications like antipsychotics can help with mood instability and aggressivity, says dosReis, explaining that the drugs are often used to treat symptoms rather than conditions. Very little research is available on medication use in children to guide these practices.One of the things I would like to see come out of this research is starting to think about monitoring and evaluating the quality of care [these children are receiving]. We're not supporting or condoning these practices. One extreme says that no one should get these medications, and that's as irrational as saying we should be using more, she says.The risks of long-term prescribing of atypical antipsychotics to children, whose brains are still developing, are not known. What is known, however, is that the drugs cause severe weight gain in children, and that taking more than one antipsychotic drug may double, even quintuple, the risk of diabetes in youth. In adults, the weight gain associated with use of just one antipsychotic medication increase the risk of diabetes two- to four-fold, which has serious deleterious consequences for long-term health.Although children in foster care may be genetically and environmentally at higher risk for mental illness, the disproportionately widespread use of antipsychotics in this group is troubling. This study confirms the need for developmentally and trauma-informed practices in the vulnerable foster-care population, says Dr. Bruce Perry, founder of the ChildTrauma Academy. Misunderstanding the pervasive effects of abuse and neglect leads to the mislabeling of behavioral and emotional symptoms in these children and then to overmedication. (Full disclosure: Dr. Perry is my co-author on two books.)The frustrating reality is that there are many evidence-based non-pharmacological interventions that have proven effectiveness and have no adverse effects, Perry says. Sadly, however, no one is spending billions to push them.Maia Szalavitz is a health writer at TIME.com. Find her on Twitter at @maiasz. You can also continue the discussion on TIME Healthland's Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIMEHealthland.
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/29/why-are-so-many-foster-care-children-taking-antipsychotics/#ixzz1fNmdfsS4
2009 nothing was done read here-same housing situation
Attawapiskat crisis sparks political blame game
CBC News Posted: Dec 1, 2011 10:34 AM ET
Last Updated: Dec 1, 2011 10:57 PM ET
Many residents in Attawapiskat, a Cree community of 2,000 near James Bay, have been living in makeshift tents and shacks that lack heat, electricity and plumbing.
Political wrangling over a housing crisis in the remote First Nations community of Attawapiskat continued Thursday, with Opposition MPs demanding to know why federal officials never sounded the alarm.People are living in tents, in shacks, in trailers, NDP Leader Nycole Turmel said during question period. Federal official[s] travelled to Attawapiskat at least 10 times this year. No red flags were raised. Why? We need an answer.About 1,800 people live in the northern Ontario community, where a severe housing shortage has forced families to live in tents and unheated trailers, some without access to running water and electricity.An emergency housing crisis was declared about a month ago and the Red Cross arrived in the community on Tuesday to aid some families living in tents as temperatures plummeted to –20 C.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that the community received $90 million in federal money since 2006, and cited poor management by the local band council.
There's a need, obviously, for more services and infrastructure. There is also clearly a need for better management, Harper said in the House of Commons on Thursday. The government will ensure both of those things.On Thursday, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan said Ottawa had opted to move to third-party management because that is the only level of intervention where we actually have a government-appointed person that can make things happen.Federal officials have invoked an emergency management plan for the community, he told CBC News, which will allow the use of a healing centre, sportsplex and other buildings to house people in need.But the healing centre doesn't have running water and is several kilometres out of town, CBC's Adrienne Arsenault reported.The government's prior relationship with the community is also raising questions. Ottawa had been co-managing the band for nearly 12 years, and its officials failed to see the growing emergency.When the question was asked, Where is the federal government? they turned around, decided to attack the community leadership.—NDP member of Parliament Charlie Angus
Duncan has admitted that officials in his department were unaware of Attawapiskat's housing problems until Oct. 28, despite having visited the community many times this year.Attawapiskat will become the 12th First Nations community in Canada to be placed under third-party management. But according to the band council, the other communities are still enduring similarly dire conditions, Arsenault reported.It isn't and it won't be easy to make a difference here, she said from Attawapiskat.
Residents in the community appear to be divided on the federal government's decision to delegate control of the band's finances to an outside manager.Some, like Lindy Shisheesh, say that scrutinizing how money is being spent is a much needed remedy.We want answers, that's what we've been asking for, Shisheesh said from a local cafe. I don't think they really were using the money in a proper area where the money was supposed to be spent.A child cleans the floor of an inhabited house that was condemned several years ago in the First Nations community of Attawapiskat, on Thursday Dec. 1, 2011. A child cleans the floor of an inhabited house that was condemned several years ago in the First Nations community of Attawapiskat, on Thursday Dec. 1, 2011. (CBC)Other residents such as Douglas Kebokee, a former band councillor, are suspicious about the timing of Ottawa's announcement.Why now? Kebokee asked. All of sudden, the government's on the hot seat, and all of a sudden we're going third party [management].
Opening the books
The Attawapiskat First Nation is blaming the federal government for chronic underfunding, while Ottawa is questioning the band's accountability. Experts say the truth likely lies somewhere in between.CBC News asked Marilyn Abate, a forensic accountant with Rosen and Associates in Toronto, to look over the band's audited financial statements. She says the council hasn't produced a budget in years, something she called very disturbing. She said it's clear that the band is cash-strapped, but it's also a matter of how the money was spent.Abate says the audit raised some red flags, such as a $2.3-million surplus in the band's housing budget, though it's not clear if it's cash that can be spent or tied up in something.
The band has maxed out its $2.5-million line of credit, and is paying 10 per cent interest on long-term loans, an amount well above normal.Abate said the band spends too much — at least 10 per cent of its revenues — on administration, money that could be going to programs. And there are questions for the government as well about the $92 million it says it gave to the band over the past five years.What was granted to them and was it earmarked, and did anyone follow up to ensure those funds actually went to those programs? she asked.The reserve has been under co-management for a decade, indicating the government should have known it was in trouble long ago.
— With files from Karina Roman
But suggestions that the community has mismanaged federal money have provoked anger.
The rationale is mere political deflection, the chief of Attawapiskat, Theresa Spence, said in a statement. And this rationale has been used by the department to silence us when we brought these conditions to the attention of Canadian society.The local MP, New Democrat Charlie Angus, accused the government of attacking the community leadership rather than helping it.This community has been crying out for help. The Red Cross are on the ground. People have been basically dying in slow motion, he said.When the question was asked, Where is the federal government? they turned around, decided to attack the community leadership and throwing the blame entirely on the community. It’s really a disturbing pattern.
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae has previously said the $90-million figure is misleading, as it includes funding for education, water, sewers and housing infrastructure, services normally covered by the municipalities or the provinces elsewhere in the country.Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo slammed Ottawa’s response to the housing crisis on Wednesday.Ottawa knows best what is for First Nations and imposes its will? That legacy has not worked and that is the status quo we must smash, he said.Atleo met with the prime minister on Thursday, where Harper said the two discussed a planned meeting of the Crown and First Nations leaders on Jan. 24.First Nations leaders have been asking for a meeting with the prime minister since the summer of 2010, and Harper had agreed to meet with them last December.Harper called the upcoming meeting a historic opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing aboriginal peoples.With files from the CBC's Tom Parry, Terry Milewski, Adrienne Arsenault and The Canadian Press
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all,(WORLD SOCIALISM) both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM
WELL I GOTTA ADMIT ALEX JONES FOR THE LAST 2 YEARS SINCE I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO HIM SAID ALL PHONES AND CABLE BOXES,COMPUTERS TRACK AND WATCH EVERYTHING YOU DO.WELL HE WAS RIGHT.THE CONTROL FREAKS WATCH AND TRACK OUR EVERY MOVES.
AT&T, Sprint Defend Use of Carrier IQ User Tracking Software
December 02, 2011, 5:00 AM EST By Scott Moritz
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. defended the use of Carrier IQ software in a usage tracking application on mobile phones including Apple Inc. iPhones and HTC Corp. devices that has raised privacy concerns.The Carrier IQ software is a so-called rootkit installed at the carriers’ request on mobile phones. The application runs in the background and logs user activity. AT&T and Sprint, the second- and third-largest U.S. wireless providers, said in e- mailed statements that the software data is used to improve service performance.The software created by Mountain View, California-based Carrier IQ Inc. is at the center of a growing controversy over how mobile phone user data is collected and the extent to which privacy may be jeopardized.Alarms started soon after Trevor Eckhart, an independent security researcher, posted a 17-minute YouTube video Nov. 28 detailing data logs collected by Carrier IQ and showing keys pressed and features activated by a phone user. The issue has been described as deeply troubling by Senator Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, who said that Congress should act quickly to protect consumers’ privacy.Carrier IQ is required on devices by a number of U.S carriers, Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC said in an e-mailed statement. The company is investigating the option to allow consumers to opt out of data collection by the application.
Remove it Completely
Natalie Harrison, a spokeswoman for Apple, said in an e- mailed statement that the Cupertino, California-based company stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update.Phone makers Nokia Oyj. and Research In Motion Ltd. have said they don’t install Carrier IQ. Verizon Wireless, which is majority owned by Verizon Communications Inc., doesn’t use anything like Carrier IQ’s software, Jeffrey Nelson, a company spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.Usage tracking is a relatively common feature on many applications and it’s generally disclosed in user-agreement terms. Theoretically, the software can help inform phone or software companies when there are issues and record the circumstances surrounding the event.In the Carrier IQ case, users aren’t made aware of the tracking system nor are they given an option to shut down the surveillance feature.In a statement Nov. 16, Carrier IQ said its software is designed to improve user experience and is embedded in devices by manufacturers along with other diagnostic tools. The company also says it doesn’t sell personal subscriber information to third parties.Both Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint and AT&T said they are committed to protecting their customers privacy and security. AT&T, based in Dallas, says it adheres to its privacy policies when using Carrier IQ.--Editors: Niamh Ring, Romaine Bostick To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Moritz in New York at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org
AT&T, Sprint admit to using Carrier IQ; Apple says it doesn't anymore December 1, 2011 — 5:46pm ET | By Sandhya Raman
The controvery over Carrier IQ illegally tracking cell phone users' activities continues. AT&T (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) have come forward, admitting to using Carrier IQ software, albiet allegedly only to improve their network performance. On the other end of the spectrum, Apple said it stopped using Carrier IQ's platform in the latest version of its operating system, iOS 5.
video.Sprint issued a statement that Carrier IQ supplies the company with data about its customers as a whole, rather than how private individuals, use their smartphones.
We collect enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to address any connection problems, but we do not and cannot look at the contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., using this tool, wrote Sprint spokesperson Stephanie Vinge in an email to GigaOm.T-Mobile said it will soon release a statement regarding its potential use of Carrier IQ.Separately, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and Law, has reached out to Carrier IQ, asking for clarification on what the software is capable of doing, specifically what types of data it records, if the data is encrypted and who has access to this data. Franken has requested that the company respond by Dec. 14.The privacy concerns over Carrier IQ software arose when security researcher Trevor Eckhart released a report explaining how Carrier IQ's software could be used by carriers and device makers to track user activity, keystrokes and location data. Eckhart also released a video showing how exactly the software logs text messages and users searches on an Android-enabled HTC handset.When contacted by The Verge, a Carrier IQ executive said the company will respond to the brouhaha after it has external security companies conduct an independent validation of the privacy implications made in Eckhart's the video. We stand exactly by the statements we made, and have no further comment at this time, the executive told The Verge. Carrier IQ intially issued a statement that said, in part, the metrics and tools we derive are not designed to deliver such information, nor do we have any intention of developing such tools.Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) this morning denied reports that it used Carrier IQ software on any of its devices. Nokia, which Eckhart accused of preinstalling the software on its devices, also denied shipping devices with the Carrier IQ software.
Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has also released a statement denying that it uses Carrier IQ software on any of its devices. "RIM can attest that it does not pre-install the Carrier IQ application on BlackBerry smartphones and has never done so. Furthermore, RIM does not authorize its carrier partners to install the Carrier IQ application on BlackBerry smartphones before sales or distribution and has never done so, wrote BlackBerry employee Mark Sohm on the company's website. However, RIM's statement leaves open the possibility that RIM's carrier partners insert the software into BlackBerry phone after obtaining them from RIM and before selling them to end users.Read more: AT&T, Sprint admit to using Carrier IQ; Apple says it doesn't anymore - FierceMobileContent http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/story/att-sprint-admit-using-carrier-iq-apple-says-it-doesnt-anymore/2011-12-01#ixzz1fNUpIz3g Subscribe: http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/signup?sourceform=Viral-Tynt-FierceMobileContent-FierceMobileContent
Merkel: eurozone crisis will take years to solve
Today DEC 2,11 @ 12:07 By Honor Mahony
BRUSSELS - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed talk that next week's summit will bring about a definitive solution to the eurozone crisis, saying it will take years to overcome the single currency's problems.Assuming her now familiar role of dampener-in-chief of expectations, Merkel said there are no simple or quick solutions nor is there the alleged final shot that some talk about before each summit. That is not how I speak or think [about the issue].Getting on top of the sovereign debt crisis will take years said the chancellor, with the ultimate goal being fiscal union whose members would be bound by enforceable laws on budget discipline and which would contain an effective instrument for crisis cases.She said there is no getting around a change to the European treaties or establishing new treaties among eurozone members, a step she deemed the second best option.Merkel's refusal to be rushed into solutions comes after several commentators suggested that next week's meeting of EU leaders is the last chance for politicians to get ahead of the crisis, which recently started to affect Germany, the EU's economic motor, as well as peripheral states.With markets remaining unconvinced by EU politicians' attempts to patch up the eurozone's faulty construction, the European Central Bank, with its theoretically unlimited resources, is increasingly being mentioned as the bazooka option that could end the crisis.
In November, Merkel along with her counterparts from France and Italy made a pact not to make any public demands of the bank.This was widely seen as paving the way for the bank to make an announcement itself, without appearing to have done so under political pressure.ECB chief Mario Draghi on Thursday indicated that his institution would play a bigger role if EU leaders agree to greater budgetary discipline.
Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy later on the same day made a pointed reference to the bank and its willingness to help during a keynote speech in the southern city of Toulon.I am convinced that, faced with the deflationary risk that threatens Europe, the ECB will act. It’s for the bank to decide when and with what means. That’s its responsibility, he said.But let me share a conviction with you: let no one doubt that it will take up its responsibility. Indeed, I welcome that it has begun to do so.Merkel, for her part, on Friday said she would not comment on ECB decisions or make any suggestions about what the eurozone should do.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADE BLOCKS)(10 WORLD ECONOMIC BLOCS LEAD BY THE EU)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS-10 WORLD REGIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).
COME ON SARKOZY READ THE SCRIPTURE ABOVE AND TELL ME THE EU WILL NOT BE THE DICTATOR OF THE WHOLE WORLD.
Reform of Europe will not lead to supra-nationality, Sarkozy says 01.12.11 @ 23:02 By Honor Mahony
BRUSSELS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said the future of a successful European Union lies with inter-governmental co-operation rather than transferring more power to Brussels.In a highly-anticipated speech in the southern French town of Toulon, Sarkozy on Thursday (1 December) indicated that while he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will work to change the EU treaties to ensure more budgetary discipline, Paris is not keen to let the European Commission get in on the act too much.The reform of Europe is not a march towards supra-nationality, Sarkozy said. Europe will reform itself by pragmatically drawing the lessons of the crisis. The crisis has pushed the heads of state and government to assume greater responsibilities because ultimately they have the democratic legitimacy to take decisions.The integration of Europe will go the inter-governmental way because Europe needs to make strategic political choices.Other than saying that sanctions for fiscal miscreants should be more automatic, preventative measures should be reinforced, and all eurozone countries should have a constitutional golden rule on balancing the budget - much of which is already in the offing - Sarkozy gave little detail of what a possible EU treaty change would look like.He and the German chancellor will discuss the issue in Paris on Monday, he said, and together we will make proposals to guarantee the future of Europe.
The speech comes at a crucial time in the eurozone's debt saga with some commentators suggesting that a meeting of EU leaders next week is the last chance for politicians to master the crisis.But for Sarkozy it was also an important domestic speech as he faces a tough re-election battle in presidential elections in April next year. He has to tread the fine line of sounding enthusiastic about the EU but not upsetting his centre-right UMP colleagues who do not want to give more power to Brussels.The Socialist opposition is also not in favour of transferring more power to the EU level in the name of stricter budgetary discipline, with its presidential candidate Francois Hollande - ahead in the polls - saying as much during a visit to the EU capital on Wednesday.Meanwhile, the Elysee Palace is also wary of Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front, who has based a plank of her electoral campaign on saying France should leave the single currency.
Sarkozy spoke out strongly in favour of the euro and maintaining the eurozone, saying its collapse would paralyse France.The disappearance of the single currency would have dramatic consequences for French people. It would make our debt unmanageable.However, Sarkozy's vision on Europe differs to that of Angela Merkel, who has spoken about the need to create a full fiscal union.The relationship between the two countries, while nominally a partnership of equals, has been pushed out of kilter by the crisis.France, with higher debt levels and rising borrowing costs, has been forced to follow Germany's tune on economic policy but both have said they will present joint proposals on reforming the treaty ahead of next week's meeting.The German chancellor is expected to outline her ideas on treaty change before parliament on Friday (2 December).
Parliament wants equal powers over EU economic governance 01.12.11 @ 18:04 By Leigh Phillips
BRUSSELS - Warning that the democratic credibility of the EU has been damaged in the eyes of citizens as economic integration proceeds apace with little input from ordinary people, the European Parliament has demanded that it be given equal powers to the other EU institutions over national budgetary control.Strasbourg: The parliament is worried that economic policy making is being cut off from democratic accountability (Photo: Architecture Studio)The democratic credibility of European integration has suffered enormously from the manner in which the euro crisis has been dealt with to date, reads a strongly worded resolution passed with a strong majority in the chamber on Thursday (1 December).The steady accretion of powers over national budget-making by unelected European actors has been criticised by a number of commentators as putting the interests of the markets ahead of democratic decision-making. Eyebrows have also been raised over the installation of technocratic governments in Greece and Italy.The EU parliament now seems to be increasingly of a similar opinion, even on the right of the chamber, which gave its strong endorsement to the resolution drafted by French Socialist Pervenche Beres, who criticised unilateral action by EU actors involved in the crisis response.
The lack of transparency in decision-making and opinion forming processes, particularly in the European Council and the Council of Ministers, is undermining citizens’ trust in European integration and the democracies of the European Union and is hindering the exercise of active, constructive control by citizens," continued the declaration, backed in the house by 501 to 106.
"Parliamentary debate on economic policy guidelines is the cornerstone of any democratic system."
"EU economic policy coordination will work only if it becomes more democratic and less technocratic," read a statement following the vote.
While the house has no power to impose its will in this area, the scale of the cross-chamber support for the ideas shows that the parliament has decided to stake out its claim for a decisive role in the construction of European economic union ahead of any discussion of treaty changes.The key demand of the parliament is to be given what is called co-decision - equal powers with the Council of Ministers, which represents the member states - in approving the commission's oversight of national budgets.The commission is not elected, yet it is able to intervene in national budgets even before a national parliament has seen it. Where is the democratic control? said Solange Helin Villes, spokesman for the Socialists and Democrats in the parliament.MEPs expect to win this battle, saying that there is already a strong precedent in this area with the chamber's co-decision powers over the EU budget.The commission for its part said that democratic input is necessary but that the parliament already has been awarded a larger role in the process.Deeper integration of economic policy making requires enhancing the democratic scrutiny of decision-making at the EU level, both by national Parliaments and the European Parliament, economic and monetary affairs spokesman Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio told EUobserver.
[Legislation that] will soon enter into force has already considerably reinforced the role of the European Parliament, precisely to address concerns of transparency and democratic accountability of the type to which Madame Beres refers, he said, referring to a new 'economic dialogue' under which the economy commissioner, the president of the European Council and the head of the eurogroup as well as finance ministers of member states can be grilled by the parliament.
An EU finance minister
A second resolution called for the creation of a European finance minster and the establishment of a EU Treasury in the medium term. Finance ministers at the national level are normally responsible for the drafting the of budgets, taxation and economic policy.Again, the chamber said that the finance minister should be made democratically accountable to the parliament.However, what this means precisely remains open.The term finance minister normally describes an office inhabited by an individual drawn from a parliament, but the chamber is not so bold as to suggest that an EU finance minister be an MEP.According to those close to the parliament's conception of what it would like to see, the minister could be drawn from the commission so long as the chamber was able to vet his or her work. Whether this individual could be dismissed by a vote of no confidence in the parliament, or could only be dismissed along with the whole of the commission will be fleshed out later on,said one official.
ECB chief hints at more robust action
Today DEC 2,11 @ 09:19 By Leigh Phillips
BRUSSELS - European Central Bank president Mario Draghi offered hints on Thursday that the Frankfurt institution is ready to expand its efforts to staunch the eurozone crisis, but only if eurozone economies commit to deeper integration rapidly under what he called a fiscal compact.Parsing the wording of central bankers is never an exact science and indeed the newly minted central bank chief in his first speech to the European Parliament was far from explicit.It is first and foremost important to get a commonly shared fiscal compact right, he said to a chamber nearly empty of MEPs despite the gravity of the situation.I think the next few days will be very important to tell us whether we make progress on this.The European Commission last week unveiled proposals that would radically centralise fiscal-policy-making, giving the EU executive the right to in effect direct national budget-making before the documents have been presented to national parliaments.Draghi appeared to endorse this strategy, suggesting that once such a fiscal union was in place, other elements could occur, wording that could be taken to mean the ECB is now opening the door slightly to a more robust purchase of Spanish and Italian government bonds.Until now, the ECB and Germany have firmly resisted now EU-wide and even global pressure to open the taps and become the lender of last resort to the currency area.Such a fiscal compact is the most important element to start restoring credibility he added.
Other elements might follow, but the sequencing matters, he said, hinting that a pact for fiscal union must come first. European leaders are expected to consider the commission’s plans at a crunch Brussels summit on 9 December.Olli Rehn, the EU’s economy chief, has said that the eurozone has just days to save the euro, billing this summit as the make-or-break meeting for the single currency area and perhaps the Union itself.Draghi also said that the bank did not want to see inflation undershoot the ECB’s target of below but close to two percent.The wording is being read by markets as telegraphing a rate cut, perhaps to one percent, down from the current 1.25 percent.He conceded that Europe had entered a credit crunch. The situation was the most important issue to resolve, he said.We have observed serious credit tightening in the most recent period, which combined with the weakening of the business cycle, doesn't bode at all well for the months to come.In our view now the most important thing for the ECB to do is to repair the credit channel,he said.
DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all,(WORLD SOCIALISM) both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM
WORLD MARKET RESULTS
HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS FRI DECEMBER 02,2011
09:30 AM +2.43
10:00 AM +102.25
10:30 AM +119.95
11:00 AM +93.84
11:30 AM +68.07
12:00 PM +50.25
12:30 PM +45.78
01:00 PM +57.55
01:30 PM +39.58
02:00 PM +25.20
02:30 PM +30.08
03:00 PM +15.02
03:30 PM +16.23
04:00 PM -0.61 12,019.42
S&P 500 1244.28 -0.30
NASDAQ 2626.93 +0.73
GOLD 1,749.20 +9.40
OIL 100.99 +0.79
TSE 300 12,075.09 -38.20
CDNX 1556.88 +8.74
S&P/TSX/60 686.44 -2.32
YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
Dow +89 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow +1 points at low today.
Dow +126 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $1,756.60.OIL opens at $100.59 today.
Dow -3 points at low today so far.
Dow +126 points at high today so far.
Dow -3 points at low today.
Dow +126 points at high today.
GOLD ALLTIME HIGH $1,902.60 (NOT AT CLOSE)