Tag Archives: Dodd-Frank Act

Vive la what?

France decided, Emmanuel Macron is now the President of France. I will not shout some ‘hack’ issue. I believe that France made a choice, how well the choice is, is something that the President-elect of France will have to prove to be. Not the lame statistics on how young he is. The Guardian gives us some of the optional bad news (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/07/theresa-may-congratulates-macron-on-victory-as-eu-breathes-sigh-of-relief) where we see: “Happy that the French have chosen a European future. Together for a stronger and fairer Europe.” No, they did not and your rhetoric only is a first piece of evidence that the EU and the ECB are considering a former investment banker to be the reason to play your games, forcing people deeper in debt and slowly turning the EU into something despicable. For the most, the article is fine. Today will be all about congratulating President Macron, whilst those shaking hands, calling the Palace or sending letters are desperately trying to get a few political punches in. That is part of the game, yet the dangers due to the greedy need of the USA is about to become actually dangerous. Marine Le Pen could have sunk those dangers, although it would come with other issues, there is no denying that. Yet the economic health is going to be a first, in that Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Natixis would guard against that happening to France (after they take care of themselves and their needs), yet will it be enough? The quote that President Macron is giving now is: “I do consider that my mandate, the day after, will be at the same time to reform in depth the European Union and our European project,” Macron had told reporters, adding that if he were to allow the EU to continue to function as it was would be a “betrayal”. It sounds nice, but over time and especially as we watch delay after delay will we see if he is actually made of stern stuff. Time will tell and there is no way that it would be regarded as fair to see any initial headway until at least 10 days post forming his government. Yet there is a side we must take heed from. It is seen in the quote “he spoke out against a “tailormade approach where the British have the best of two worlds” creating “an incentive for others to leave and kill the European idea, which is based on shared responsibilities”“, this sounds nice, but responsibility also implies accountability, a side that has been absent from the EU and the ECB with ongoing lack of transparency for the longest time, in that Brexit remains a valid step.

So why do I seem to be freaking out?

That is partially true. Not because of Marine Le Pen not making it, which might have solved a few things. It is the part I mentioned yesterday with the Financial Choice Act. As a cheat sheet (at http://media.mofo.com/files/uploads/Images/SummaryDoddFrankAct.pdf)

shows us: “The Dodd-Frank Act creates the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“Council”) to oversee financial institutions“, that part is now effectively gutted from the Dodd-Frank Act. The damage goes a lot further, yet as I see it, the people in the White House have just enabled the situation that what happened in 2004 and 2008 can now happen again. When that happens the Euro will take a massive hit too. With Brexit part of that damage can be averted and in layman non diplomatic terms, we can state that as JP Morgan is getting the hell out of Brexit, the damage they could potentially cause in the near future will be on the books for the places that they go to or remain in.

One of the dangers is seen in the key principles of the Financial Choice Act. With ‘2. Every American, regardless of their circumstances, must have the opportunity to achieve financial independence;‘ we can read it in a few ways, one of them being that this is the sales pitch where the Greater Fool can invest in something, using funds that person does not have whilst endangering whatever financial future they thought they might have had. It basically opens a door to get some of the suckers’ bled dry fast. In addition with ‘3. Consumers must be vigorously protected from fraud and deception as well as the loss of economic liberty;‘, I do not see protection, I see a setting where basic protection is in place, yet as we have seen with the issue in 2008, the amount of people who lost it all whilst prosecution failed to protect the people and convict the ‘transgressors’ nearly 100% is just too stunning, and it is a lot more dangerous now as the global population has nowhere near any level of reserve of protection compared to the last time around. In addition, when larger firms start playing this game, they will drag whomever they passively claimed to protect (like retirement plans, like mortgages they held) with them.

There is another side which takes a little longer to explain. Yesterday someone tweeted an image I remembered when I grew up. You see it is all linked to what I was part of in the 80’s. I saw the application of segregation, isolation and assassination in a less nice way. It drew me back to my childhood, when I was introduced to practices by the Nazi’s in WW2 during my primary school history lessons. To identify the Jewish people, they were told to wear the Yellow Star of David. When I saw the image my thoughts started to align, unlike the puzzlement of the population at large in 1941-1943 as the star was made mandatory in several nations, the people were uncertain to the matter, with the exception of the Dutch underground who would not trust any German for even a millimetre, they were able to hide 25% of the Jews, so in the end well over 100,000 Jews were deported. From those only a little over 5,000 survived. The Dutch underground was able to keep close to 30,000 hidden, with well over 2/3rd surviving the war. Most people, would not learn of the actual fate of the deported Jews until much later, many remained in disbelief for many years after the end of WW2 in 1945. You see, it is that phase that I feel we are in now, we seem to be in disbelief as laws are past to give a sector of industry more leeway, whilst they (according to some sources) made 157 billion in profit and that is in the US for 2016. So you want to open the tap for a system that is less regulated, non-trustworthy and have shown in 2008 to embrace all greed at the expense of anyone else? How is that a good idea?

 

 

So what evidence is there?

Well, there is Senator Warren (Democrat for Massachusetts) who called it an ‘insult to families’, in addition we see “so that lobbyists can do the bidding of Wall Street“, which is still a political statement. When we see the partial part (at http://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/financial_choice_act-_executive_summary.pdf), we see “Provide an “off-ramp” from the post-Dodd-Frank supervisory regime and Basel III capital and liquidity standards for banking organizations that choose to maintain high levels of capital. Any banking organization that makes a qualifying capital election but fails to maintain the specified non-risk weighted leverage ratio will lose its regulatory relief” It is the very first bullet point and leaves me with the situation that banks have no right to relief when they take a certain path, yet they still get to gamble. I especially like the part in section 4. “Make all financial regulatory agencies subject to the REINS Act, bi-partisan commissions, and place them on the appropriations process so that Congress can exercise proper oversight.” Yet, the REINS Act only passed the Senate, yet is not law at present, in this it is called on to do what? If the Financial Choice Act is set into law before the REINS Act, the US will have a gap the size of the flipping Grand Canyon, in addition, from the McIver Institute we see the opposition from the Democrats with “The REINS bill is similar to legislation moving through congress, but with lower thresholds“, yes, that has proven to be a good idea in the past! Still it is a view of Democrats versus Republicans and it is a Republican government (House, Senate & White House), so wherever are the clear academic dangers? We get that from Mike Rothman, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association and Minnesota commissioner of commerce with “It is clearly evident that the changes contemplated by the bill would significantly undermine and compromise the ability of regulators to effectively enforce financial laws and regulations“, whilst the I saw the term “this voluntary state-federal collaborative framework“, so the collaboration is voluntary, not mandatory. In the last decade, when have we seen a proper level of protection in a voluntary state of any matter?

The beginning of the dangers are shown by the Consumerist, which took a look at version 2.0 of what many regard to be a travesty. In this we see:

  • Require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get congressional approval before taking enforcement action against financial institutions
  • Restrict the Bureau’s ability to write rules regulating financial companies
  • Revoke the agency’s authority to restrict arbitration
  • Revoke the CFPB’s authority to conduct education campaigns
  • Prevent the Bureau from making public the complaints it collects from consumers in its Consumer Complaint Database

The one I had a stronger issue with is the one that tosses responsible spending around. The issue ‘Remove requirements under the Durbin Amendment that guided how much credit card networks could charge retailers for processing debit card transactions‘, so basically by charging stronger on debit cards, people will see a need to pay cash or force the credit card risk on people who for several reasons prefer not to do so. In addition the restrictions to arbitration will give leeway to Financial Institutions to avoid all kinds of courts as the victims (called consumers and investors in this case) any right to hold the financial institutions to account. It is rigging even stronger an unbalanced system. Marc Jarsulic, Vice President for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress called this ‘a system that removes protections against taxpayer-funded bailouts, erodes consumer protections, and undercuts necessary tools to hold Wall Street accountable‘, which was already an issue at present making it a lot worse. It seems that the junior workers of 2008 are now in a place where they would prefer to fill their pockets before their luck runs out. The last bit is purely speculative from my side and it might take until 2020 until I am proven correct, yet at present 2 years is a long time to await the dangers of a greed driven system to get a little greedier. It is in that that segregation from the Euro will become essential soon enough, especially as there is no one muzzling the ECB and its crazy need to spend funds that they do not have and will not have for years to come. As for the news we see appear at present on Bloomberg shows my correctness from another side. At https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-07/a-reverse-trump-tax-plan-delivers-an-economic-miracle-in-sweden, we see how a reverse of the Trump ideal works a miracle in Sweden. Now, it sounds a little too good to be true and it is. You see, I am not against the principle that Sweden has, yet in Scandinavian terms, the Swedes are uncanny social. I once joked that a woman can get married, after a year she gets the bun in the oven and gets paid maternity leave. If she starts making buns non-stop, she will never work another day (as long as she gets pregnant immediately after giving birth), 20 years and 22 kids later, she still has an income, a sound and secure retirement fund with only one year of work. It is almost true and I admit far far fetched. Yet the social side of Sweden allows for this. Because that one person will be the utter outlier in any statistical graph. The Swedish solution works in a social educated country like Sweden. In America which fosters self-centeredness and greed, this system would be abused at the drop of any hat and the system would collapse. You see, Bloomberg does not mention, that unlike America, companies in Sweden do not shun taxation (IKEA seemingly being the exemption to that rule), which is also a huge difference. In addition, Swedish Civil Law has a sizeable extensive system of Administrative Law which would also contribute. As we see commerce in Sweden increase, the Swedes will automatically feel the brunt of that in a positive way (as I personally see it). Yet it is not all good and summer there, as Magdalena Andersson faces a vote of no confidence if certain changes are not stopped, or even more adamant, be rolled back to some degree.

It is this combined view that France is now seen as ‘Vive La what?’ It is very much on how certain banks and the ECB are called back to stop endangering the future of too many people, Quantative Easing be damned. It is in that environment that the Financial Choice Act is an upcoming danger as Wall Street gets to be in charge of how money flows, in what direction, risky or not. As for what happens between now and 202, I truly hope that I am wrong on every count, because the 2008 global losses which have been estimated to set around $15 Trillion could easily be doubled this time around. More important, as global national reserves are none existent, the impact will hit the consumers and retirees in ways that they cannot even fathom, it makes the hardship in Greece look like a cakewalk as I see it. I will happily be wrong, yet the visibility we already see at present sets me more likely than not correct, which is really scary, not just for me.

Oh and if you doubt me in this (which will remain forever valid), why have we seen massive levels of misinformation from papers with ‘NO ONE wants to risk GREXIT’ Economist says Greece bailout will go ahead to SAVE Eurozone’ (source: The Express), whilst we know that you cannot be set out of the Euro or Eurozone involuntary, and ‘saving Eurozone’ is a little strong is it not? Or the Daily Mail that gives us that Brexit is a gift to the Greeks. This is not merely a point of view, certain sources are adamant to misdirect the focus of the people, if the Euro was such a gift from the gods, misdirection would not have been needed, would it?

 

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Two deadly sins

This is the second attempt to this story. I was still on the Sony horse when writing the first attempt. Yes, it will hurt us and it will have long standing consequences for many to come, but I realised that it was not really the story (even though the press remaining silent on it is).

Of the seven deadly sins (Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Envy, Wrath, Pride and Sloth) I only truly hate Greed! It is also represented in Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem ‘the Divine Comedy’, which actually introduces something I would like to call the 8th deadly sin, which is depicted in his 9th level of hell. It is Treason! These two sins are the most debilitating sins to consider. These sins are not against one, or against one’s self. These two sins are acts by one against many and we see the consequences every day. These are not just acts by people against people. They are also seen as acts by governments against people or even against their own nation. We must arms against these two, we must do so fast, because the liberties we lose as we allow this to go on will hurt billions and many care for one thing, they care for number one, they care for themselves!

Do not take the last sentence as an assault, I am not talking about selfishness perse, but we are in a life cycle where we are almost forced to survive. Greed and Treason pushed us there. The Dutch NOS showed us several parts in one newscast. It was the news of the 26th of November 2013. The first piece came from the news on the scale gas winning in the Netherlands. I had written about part of it in July 2013. The blog was called ‘The Setting of strategies‘ where we see that the Dutch are trying to get billions in gas using a technique called ‘fracking’. There were major concerns, but should you watch the issues, you will see that parties involved were trivialising it all to some extent. Now questions are called for a large investigation. The most interesting part is the quote they stated in the news [translated] “the NAM will not drill for any less gas as this is not a mandate handed by the stockholders“. In addition reported e-mails by the Dutch Gas drilling firm (NAM), which from their side, remarks and ‘interpretations’ seem to be taking a negative term. The mail showed that they knew that earthquakes in excess of 3.9 (on the Richter scale) were to be expected. This means that not only is this, the possible start of a class action in damages against the NAM, the NAM could be seen as a major contributor into damaging a unique Dutch landscape. Not just the land, but also the cultural heritage that the Dutch area of Groningen has. Many buildings, most of them predating WW2 are structurally damaged. It is an area that had been culturally unique for over two centuries, even by Dutch standards. Are you fracking kidding me? Stockholders are allowed to ruin the state of Groningen? So the government oversight knew this going back to 2012? So what were these investigations in 2013? Party favours? This is greed gone wild as I see it. The most important part is that the UK and the conservatives are facing similar issues at present. The conservatives are very willing to go this route. It was reported in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/nov/03/uk-dash-gas). The question becomes whether George Osborne has been properly instructed involving the risks he would place Wales in? If he is briefed by stockholders, the UK should take another look at these proceedings. I understand that heating is hard and very expensive, but can people continue when they are faced with long term, perhaps even unrepairable damage to England itself? Can that be acceptable? I am not a geologist, so there are elements I have no knowledge of, yet it might be realistic that many Walesians did not sign up for Shale Gas experiments when it could cost them both Cardiff and Swansea, both containing the largest population in Wales. Is Britain ready to pay for 350,000 damaged homes? I agree, that is an exaggeration, yet the true damage will not be known for some time. Perhaps there will be ZERO damage. I am fine with that, but the Dutch evidence shows that greed trumped safety and health easily. Can the UK afford such a mistake?

The second link to greed, are the changes that Finance Minister Dijsselbloem is trying to push within the Netherlands. He is aiming for commissions not exceeding 20% of a banker’s income. I think that this is a good idea. I also believe that he is on the right track. Greed is debilitating to say the least. The Dutch Union of Bankers stated that this law is not needed; there are enough rules in place. The interview with Chris Buijink, who is the chairman of that union, is not in agreement. He is mentioning that with specialist jobs, temperate commissions are to be expected. You see! We all agree, so make it no more than 20%, which is temperate enough (in my humble opinion). I, personally think that a group of Dutch banks, after the SNS Reaal and other banking issues, including the RABO LIBOR fixing issue, need to expect much stronger measures. Greed must be stopped!

This is not what he called ‘a black page’ (as Chris Buijink stated), the banking issues from 2008 onwards show that there is a structural issue with the banking industry. The fact that the Yanks are too cowardly to act (see the non-passed tax evasion act and the Dodd-Frank act for my reasoning in this), does not mean we should sit still. That part gains even more weight as we read more and more about the ADDITIONAL issues the RBS is now facing (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/nov/26/mark-carney-rbs-deeply-troubling-serious). So on one side Conservatives are trying to get the economy going and the banks on the other hand… (You get the idea).

There was a video linked to this, which states “Bank of England’s Mark Carney ‘offended’ by Labour MP’s questioning“. Is Mr Carney for real? As Labour MP John Mann asked questions in regards to the ‘distance’ between the governor of the bank and the political wings. I do not fail to see that it is about quick economic restoration, the issue that it is now likely that small business got sold down the drain into non-viability to get this done is indeed an issue for concern. Why is there no stronger oversight on this? I think that it is time for governments to intervene in stronger measures. What they are? Not sure, but it should be somewhere between nationalising a bank and barring the transgressors from the Financial industry for life!

This issue goes on in another direction too. If we accept what was written by the independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/royal-charter-on-press-regulation-may-be-redundant-says-culture-secretary-maria-miller-8919775.html), we see that in the end the Press might not ever be held accountable for the acts they did. Not only are they advocated in their need for greed (as in circulation and advertisements), we see that they are in a connected center of treason against both their readers and the audience at large, again as I personally see this.

How?

Well that is a fair question. As the big papers have steered clear from the Sony issues as they became visible just over a week ago, they seem to remain extremely taken with their advertisement needs and less with protecting the audience. “£3bn: the total price-tag for Christmas gadgets” is a nice tag to have and even though we see news on Microsoft and Sony all the time, those messages are small and do not hit the bottom dollar. The small technology hit “Cody Wilson created a gun that can be download and built with a 3D printer – is he too dangerous for Britain?” is a small article and iterates something I wrote many months ago. He is now linked to advocating bit-coin, which is another matter. I have not taken a stance on it. I think it promotes white washing and I personally do not think that virtual currency has a foundation, once it goes bust in whatever way it does; these people just lose whatever cash they had in it. I reckon that these ‘victims’ when they come will have no turn back and the first case against any government should be thrown out immediately. The story how Sony (and Microsoft too) will hurt an entire industry and how they are setting up the events that could stop local commerce is completely ignored. How quaint!

I see it as a form of treason, because this is no longer ‘the people have a right to know’, but ‘the people have a right to know when we see fit’. That same application can be made for the banks. If we take the RBS case, then the people involved could be seen as committing treason against their customers. Is that not EXACTLY the issue we saw in the US where we see banks setting up mortgages and then betting on them failing? Why is this not under control?

The Dutch examples are their own version of treason. A company that seems to be betraying the people living there by submitting them to intentional dangers is no small matter. This is not the end by a long shot. Treason can go further, from governments towards allies. I am not talking about Snowden, that loon is a simple traitor for personal gains (in my view). The damage he caused will take a long time to fix. No, I am talking about the TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership. I mentioned it in previous blogs linked to the Sony/Microsoft issues, but that is small fry. The big price is the pharmaceutical industry. You see, America wants it passed soon, because of the powers this partnership gives. I will not bore you with the patent law details; the issue I see is that America is afraid of India. Apart from being really decent in Cricket (a game America does not comprehend), the Indian industry had made great strides in generic medication. With a population of vastly over 1 billion, they simply had to. The changes are mentioned by IP experts like Michael Geist as Draconian. The Guardian covered part of the TPP (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/13/trans-pacific-paternership-intellectual-property), the changes could impact this market into a damaging result which will go into the trillions. My issue is that Australia sides with America. Why?

America had been asleep at the wheel. Instead of opening a market, forcing affordability towards a population, we see segregation for industry against people. How bad is that? Canada kept its consumer driven approach, which is why Americans love Canadian medication. As America does not keep its house in order and they got passed by! Do not take my word regarding these parts; you should however take a look at what Doctors without Borders think. I reckon we can agree that they have always been about healing people. I consider them a noble breed. A group of physicians, who spend a fortune on an education, making less than the personal assistant for a middle manager in a small bank, which is not much to live on! At http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/press/release.cfm?id=7161 they state “Five countries—Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore—have put forth a counter-proposal that tries to better balance public health needs with the commercial interests of pharmaceutical firms” As an Australian I state that Australia need to take the high-road with Canada and New Zealand, not follow the cesspool America is trying to force down our throats. In the end, I suspect that this is about more than just plain greed.

Consider that the Dow index is based on 30 major companies. Now consider that 10% comes from pharmaceutical giants like Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer. After the issues we had seen in the last 3 years, I started to doubt the correctness of the Dow (and I reported on that in past blogs). It goes up and up, but with JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, VISA, American Express putting pressures on those numbers, the three big boys (drugs) could rock the boat in a massive way, which scares Wall Street to no extent. India had made great strides in affordable medication; the TPP is now a danger to affordable medication for people on a global scale.

Greed and Treason, it is all connected and it hits us all critically hard sooner rather than later!

 

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A new third World continent

At the final moments we see the news that in the 11th hour an agreement had been reached. Should we be happy? For now many will be happy, for now the Financial industry is relaxing and happy that their rent is safe, but the stress will return soon as the next ceiling will be reached in another 18 weeks.

So what is wrong with the USA today?

It sounds all fun and games to blame either the Democrats or the Republicans, yet overall, both have some level of guilt. Yes, at present the Democrats are wearing the hoodie of blame and shame, but the Republicans are not without issues either.

Consider that the government has maxed out the USA credit card. They have until now REFUSED in any way to take responsibility for the utter irresponsible spending. No, taxing more will not solve anything. That story is old, stale and redundant. If America would like to be taken seriously ever again it would have to cut no less than $350 billion in 2014. So, NOT more taxation, but LESSEN spending. That means if all was equal that every American will get $1000 less in support, which means that it would not impact the top 3% of the nation, but the others will have to pay. This is not me supporting the rich, this is me placing ALL politicians in a limelight where every spend dollar will be shown in the spotlight.

The Democrat story will be that they have a solution, and if these people pay just a few dollars more than….. It is nothing less than utter Bullshit! (Pardon my French!) With a debt of 17,000 billion dollar, a budget drop of 350 billion would mean that the interest of the outstanding debt could not be paid for.

On the other side, the Republican side will have to stop this ludicrous boast of less taxation. That is not, cannot and will not be a solution (for at least a decade). The debt must go!

But there might be a solution with the UN. When America has  been diminished to a third world nation, then perhaps the UNDP will offer support to the USA. I know, the irony of it all, go figure!

I have remained in favour of the US remaining strong from day 1; however, the Democrats refused to step up to the plate to do what needed to be done. The Republicans had stepped up to the plate, but in hindsight, the result was almost nil and they have not endeared themselves to anyone.

The voiced speeches by the Democrats as they are shown on TV stations all over the world today seem to be in bad taste too. I will make an exception for Democrat Harry Reid from Nevada. He had been in the middle in of what might be called a ‘small hell’. If the Navy Seals are used to be between a rock and a hard place, then this man outclassed them to several degrees these last two weeks, as a Republican minded person I will admit to that. I will go further to say that should Harry Reid go for the oval office, then he stands a chance to convert a decent group of Republicans too. Values like respect and moral coming from Nevada? What a tangled web we see!

For many non-Americans it is not about the pure Democrat versus Republican fight, it has always been about the massive debt and the risk they push upon many other nations. It is even a case that the voice of many non-Americans should be heard. When a nation like America has so many corporations that operate their business outside of the USA and as such put hundreds of thousands of workers on the spot as their futures are linked to the status of the USA, then they must realise that accountability remains an international factor.

On Sky News there is a hilarious movie, shot in old fashioned silent movie style explaining the debt ceiling. It is fun to watch and it tells the story nicely (at http://news.sky.com/story/1155554/shutdown-senators-pass-bill-to-avert-default), I do however disagree with one part of it. At 1:53 Ed Conway states one part I do not agree with. “If America was to default, it is not because it cannot pay its bills. It is because their political system would not allow it“.

That is the part that has been my major issue!

It is what I disagree with. If we consider the T-Bill rate of 2.66 (as it was this morning), to get the 16,700 billion in debt, to pay it back, if it was all in T-bills, then the US had to pay an additional 444 billion dollars in ‘fees’. This seems very very little. However, this was not done in one day; it was over many many years. The problem is that as risk grows, the people will be offered a higher return, because if the debt cannot be paid, those bills will become null and void overnight. In the end, that money must be paid and overall, even though for now it is paid, the outstanding debt as it grows and grows, will mean that the chance of EVER paying it all back will become less and less. Consider that the following amounts are due: 2022: $1276B, 2021: $1228B, 2020: $1652B, 2019: $1885B, 2018: $1017B. So from 2018 onwards, the returns will have to be paid to those T-Bill owners. The amount will be in access of 1 Trillion dollars a year. Can anyone explain to me how that payment can be met 5 years in a row whilst the on average the collected annual taxation in 2013 will be an estimated $1.9 Trillion dollars? This means that from 2018 onwards 53% of all collected taxation will go to people owning T-bills. How unrealistic a goal is this?

This is part of the reality politicians ignore (as they will not be in office when it happens) and the people who gets settled with the bills will not have anything left.

Consider in addition that the Tax evasion bill has not been pushed into effect (which means the rich will continue to have additional tax shelters this year) and the Dodd-Frank Act is STILL not active, giving the financial sector too many non-accountable freedoms (which will make sense late on). If you want to know more about the Dodd-Frank Act, take a look at the next link, it has an interesting cheat sheet on the latter one. (at http://www.mofo.com/files/uploads/images/summarydoddfrankact.pdf). Morrison & Foerster is a global law firm. It might have been for internal use, so send them a thank you note if you download it. It is the easiest read in regards to this topic I have ever seen. They also have Patent and Trademark litigation, so I should send them my resume when I get my MIP after my next semester. Cool!

If you wonder about that reasoning after my strong voiced disgruntlement, then remember that the US is a great country. In my mind it was sold down the drain by politicians and exploiters. If we muzzle the first and neuter the second, the US could be a great nation quite quickly again, which would be good for Europe too. A win-win solution I say!

So why aren’t more people nervous about the entire deficit and debt ceiling? That is the part that does not make sense to me. Rolling over debts is a dangerous habit. The definition is clear enough, the dangers on adverse percentages is even more risky as politicians played 11th hour resolution makers. The second part is one that many more are ignoring. This is all based upon 100% of the due payments rolling over. What happens when another nation has a slightly stronger return? What happens when only 80% is sold? Is that such a hard concept? So at that point, where will the required $200B-$275B come from, additional raise of the debt ceiling? I have no actual facts to work from, so I do not know what the level of risk is, but consider that between 2018-2022 no less than $1T in investments are needed, and that the larger wallet friends (like the UK, FR, DE, IT and AUS) many of them at the maximum tapped out amount. How long until THEY (read governments) start the ‘swap’ game? Is that not how we lost most of what we had because we could not control the banks, now we let them advice on the same game, but now with full government budgets? So, we will not be looking at just a few trillion, when that game goes bust (and such a game always goes bust), the population will be stuck with a bill between $70T and $90T. How will we survive that?

Let us not forget that all those actions are taken in closed rooms with only a few insiders fully in the loop. If the next election causes reasoning for full disclosure on such events and only a referendum will allow for this, then the game will not just change fast, it will leave the USA on the outside looking in. A fact is that this risk grows almost exponentially each year the deficit is not dealt with. If Germany has been under pressure for the EU issues from Bernd Lucke and the UK from Nigel Farage from UKIP then we should expect additional players who will be fueling these fears. The upcoming price fight might not yet be the main event, but the debt ceiling issue that comes after the one on February 9th will be a main event and it will likely involve more players then just the US, several of them are unlikely to be one of the 18 Bernanke disciples.

So here we are, and only hours after Jill Treanor wrote her article ‘Financial Conduct Authority launches currency markets investigation‘ on the Guardian at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/16/financial-conduct-authority-currency-markets-investigation-benchmarks.

This is a must to read!

Guardian’s Youthful Young City Editor, all complete with her own copy of SAS Miner plugged into her brain started today with “Suspicions that the vast global currency markets may have been rigged by major banks and traders has sparked the City regulator to launch a formal investigation into the £3tn a day market.

This goes way further than just the LIBOR scandal. Earlier this year I had some doubts on all of this. My doubts were not on the interest part; my thoughts were that the main amount involved, which the percentages were based upon had also been tampered with in some way as well. I still expect my $1T bonus when that gets to be proven!

So what if the benchmark is not JUST the foundation, but part of more. You see, if we consider that governments have been involved in T-Bill Swaps, then the tradeable amount involved is not correct. More precisely, if the volume of T-Bill swaps is to the amount deficits go, then in which direction are the percentages rigged? It might accidentally involve the ‘accidental’ mentioned group of larger wallet friends. Now consider that Germany at present is the only one with an economy more on the stable and positive side then all the other players. So, would there be additional benefits for them in the long run? I actually do not know this (self-confessed lack of economic education), but the fact is that these issues go far beyond the banks themselves. Perhaps that is why the Dodd-Frank Act was never activated? It is just a thought.

So my advice for today, instead of long term investing your $5, this morning, have a pastry with your coffee, because at times there is nothing better than short term gratification and pastries will usually do the trick.

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The numbers we ignore?

Today is another day that the US government is in shutdown mode. This is not Episode 8 from season 5 of the West Wing by Aaron Sorkin (brilliant man). This is reality!

There is polarisation on many levels and even though we want to blame one side as we stand on the other side, there is a deadly reality playing out in the corridors of power. The Democrats refuse to cut their spending; the Republicans will not play soft or compromising. Today we see the Guardian with “Obama meets bank chiefs as economists warn of ‘deep and dark recession’” at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/02/obama-bank-chiefs-economist-deep-recession. As we look at a few facts quoted “President Obama met bank executives including Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein“. The firm that helped many lose their house. I admit that this is unfair towards Mr Lloyd Blankfein, but the sentiment behind it stays in valid form (I will get to that later on).

A looming battle over the nation’s $16.7tn debt ceiling. Treasury secretary Jack Lew has warned that the US could default on its debts if the limit is not raised soon.

The second part is why the republicans are not budging. The Democrats are raising and spending and leaving it all to the next one in office. There is enough evidence to state that it is likely that the Republicans will return to the White house. In that regard, they have ZERO interest in cleaning up the Democrat mess, which will take several administrations. The fact, that the Democrats are not willing to cut their spending, whilst they spend a lot more than their budget allows. It is almost hilarious how things are spun. They claim it is all about affordable healthcare, whilst this option is increasing the debt by $100 billion a year. Now, it there was money coming in on the other side, there might be some level of case, but that is not happening. This current administration has added over 5 trillion dollars in debt during his first term. That is an overspending by 3.4 billion dollars a day. With Obama care this will be even more. Now, this administration inherited a sour deal. The economy had collapsed; there were issues with some financial crash in Wall Street and so on. Yet, the debt he has added to in one term is a lot more than Bush added in two terms. (So both sides have some of the blame). The republicans are not blameless, but they will not accept the continued addition of debt which is currently getting pushed. The US national debt is now well over 100% of its GDP. This is the part many seem to ignore. So if all taxation (which is only 26.9% of the GDP) is used to pay for the loan, then it will take 4 years to get rid of their debt. That works ONLY if the US government pays no wages, fixes nothing, builds nothing, buys nothing and heals no one. So for 4 years Americans must make due with nothing at all. This is not a realistic approach, I admit that! So you can only use to pay what you have left, however the government has been spending 120%-145% of the money they received and with Obama Care spending will increase. America is currently, in my humble opinion bankrupt!

Do you doubt this? This would be a fair enough position to take, consider any company being allowed to spend 120% of their annual revenue. How long until any bank will close the tap? In addition, there should be overall outrage that a company would work 100% of the time just to pay the bank. There is 0% job security in that regard, for if the annual +5%-+15% cannot be made, they will cut the costs that are not desired. In that scenario there will be no healthcare of any kind, because the sick do not contribute to the future of profit. That dangerous situation currently exists!

The article by the Guardian has more “But he warned that would be nothing compared to the Pandora’s box that would be opened if no deal on the debt ceiling was done before 17 October deadline. Congress must agree to raise the US’s $16.7tn debt ceiling by that date or risk being unable to meet its obligations.

That is the crux! The total debt will increase and the republicans will not stand for that. My earlier comparison to get rid of the debt in 4 years is not realistic, I said that. Only if spending is lower than American income can the debt be lowered. It will take more than 3 generations to get that done. Some disagreed with that number. This is fair enough. Yet, let us make a small calculation.

$17T is $17,000B. The interest due would be $340B (it is actually higher at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm, but it is about the example).

If we believe the census (as shown in my Blog ‘Biased Journalism on USA shutdown?‘) then the interest due is 13% of ALL collected taxation. How can ANYTHING get done after the interest is paid? And that is only interest, no decrease of the actual loan. So consider that all amenities, support and expenditure of the US must decrease by at least 16% to get this done. How can that ever be a realistic situation? This is why the Republicans are not budging. The more important issue is that the Democrats knew this. They knew that the train would stop and they ignored this. Not unlike in the Netherlands where everyone stated that the SNS Bank was too big to fail, the Dutch government nationalised the bank. Why the Dutch as an example? Well, they are in some similar predicament. They are not able to lower spending. They need to cut an additional 6 billion whilst their GDP was 700 billion last year. If they cannot cut 1%, how will the US ever deal with their debt? There have been words on corporate taxation left right and centre, yet what they are not mentioning is the issue that the UK has seen this year. Big business, like Google has been pushing their own booked revenue to other places. This quote from Bloomberg “Google’s chairman says he is ‘proud’ of the way his company avoids paying taxes ”It’s called capitalism,” Eric Schmidt told Bloomberg in a…” So, whatever money the US treasury has coming in, it is not from the big boys of business. They have the right accountants and tax lawyers. So here we get back to Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein.

When we see the acts of Google and how Goldman Sachs was involved in the Greek issues, people would wonder whether they (Goldman Sachs and the US government) are not working together in the same way. If so, then there are more questions on the entire setting of the article the Guardian published (from the link at the beginning). There is no way that someone like Mr Blankfein is not aware what the big boys of industry in America are doing. When we read in places like Forbes that Google is not alone in these acts, but that companies like Apple are doing the same thing, then raising a debt ceiling whilst the captains of industry are not paying anywhere near the tax they ‘should’ then we must ask other questions. All this becomes even more hilarious when we consider the information from the Financial Standard on July 15th (at http://www.financialstandard.com.au/news/view/33335431) where it is stated that “US delays tax avoidance law by 6 months“. So the big boys in that initial Guardian Article are all about gloom and doom, whilst the US treasury seems to be missing out on taxation by not acting on Tax evasion (which is actually not a crime at present). So they want to borrow more, but will not put in place legislation that would lessen the dangers of paying the due interest. That last part is shown in Forbes article last month by Steve Denning. (At http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2013/09/12/alan-blinder-six-reasons-why-another-financial-crisis-is-still-inevitable/)

  1. Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 hasn’t been implemented.
  2. The $5 trillion banking assets in derivatives are still off-balance sheet and unregulated
  3. The rating agencies are “still hired and paid by the very companies whose securities they rate.”
  4. The Volcker Rule forbidding proprietary trading by banks has not been implementedAnd I add;
  5. US tax avoidance laws not implemented.

From these parts we could come to the conclusion that the Obama administration has failed the American people almost completely, whilst unable to get spending under control.

American politics is a lot more complex, so there are other factors, but it seems to me that Steve Denning is showing us several dangers that are currently not stopped. So when, not if, they happen, the people as they walk away with nothing left, can wonder how that expensive affordable healthcare is helping whilst they have no house, no job and no food.

It is a sad day for many people, because in the end, not only America seems to be unable to control their budgets, they are only, for now the most visible one.

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