Author Archive | ouranos

The Proposed Aggregator Bank is A Trojan Horse for the New ‘United States’

Five Months after US Treasury Sec. Paulson asked for TARP Funds (and at this writing not having used not a dime to buy toxic assets), he now proposes yet another solution — A new US Government Owned “Aggregator Bank.” [1] While this idea comes not from the RTC but from the Swedish Banking Crisis of 1990–1993, it has the potential to go far afield of its stated purpose.

Sweden’s bank crisis began with Swedish bank deregulation in the late 1980s. Deregulation rapidly eased credit. Easy credit allowed intensive investment in Swedish real estate. Like our (US) recent housing bubble, Swedish real estate prices soared in the late 1980s. As easy credit pushed prices higher Swedish banks loaned more krona against quickly appreciating hard Swedish real estate assets. When the Swedish real estate market collapsed the asset “values” deflated quickly. Swedish borrowers and their creditors, the Swedish banks, found themselves suddenly illiquid.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Government Regulators Aided IndyMac Cover-Up, Maybe Others

A brewing fraud scandal at the Treasury Department may be worse than officials originally thought.

Investigators probing how Treasury regulators allowed a bank to falsify financial records hiding its ill health have found at least three other instances of similar apparent fraud, sources tell ABC News.

In at least one instance, investigators say, banking regulators actually approached the bank with the suggestion of falsifying deposit dates to satisfy banking rules — even if it disguised the bank’s health to the public.

Treasury Department Inspector General Eric Thorson announced in November his office would probe how a Savings and Loan overseer allowed the IndyMac bank to essentially cook its books, making it appear in government filings that the bank had more deposits than it really did. But Thorson’s aides now say IndyMac wasn’t the only institution to get such cozy assistance from the official who should have been the cop on the beat.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Eastern Europe braced for a violent ‘spring of discontent’

Eastern Europe is heading for a violent “spring of discontent”, according to experts in the region who fear that the global economic downturn is generating a dangerous popular backlash on the streets.

Hit increasingly hard by the financial crisis, countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states face deep political destabilisation and social strife, as well as an increase in racial tension.

Last week protesters were tear-gassed as they threw rocks at police outside parliament in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, in a protest against an austerity package including tax rises and benefit cuts.

In Sofia, Bulgaria, 150 people were arrested and at least 30 injured in widespread violence. More than 100 were detained after street battles between security forces and demonstrators in the Latvian capital, Riga.

According to the most recent estimates, the economies of some eastern European countries, after posting double-digit growth for nearly a decade, will contract by up to 5% this year, with inflation peaking at more than 13%.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Mexican drug wars worry some Americans

Indiscriminate kidnappings. Nearly daily beheadings. Gangs that mock and kill government agents.

This isn’t Iraq or Pakistan. It’s Mexico, which the U.S. government and a growing number of experts say is becoming one of the world’s biggest security risks.

The prospect that America’s southern neighbor could melt into lawlessness provides an unexpected challenge to Barack Obama’s new government. In its latest report anticipating possible global security risks, the U.S. Joint Forces Command lumps Mexico and Pakistan together as being at risk of a “rapid and sudden collapse.”

“The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels,” the command said in the report published Nov. 25.

“How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state.”

GO TO FULL STORYRead the rest

Continue Reading

Al Qaeda Does not Exist!

This is the Prologue to the new documentary from The Corbett Report, Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist. This documentary interrogates the notion that Osama Bin Laden single-handedly runs the pervasive Al Qaeda terrorist network by examining its inception, its links to Western intelligence, the double agents and fictitious characters that populate its ranks, and the fraudulent ways the Al Qaeda myth is propagated in the controlled corporate media. The documentary also offers ways that citizens can become involved in helping to spread understanding about the true government-sponsored terror paradigm.

Part One of the Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist documentary from The Corbett Report, dealing with the founding and funding of what we know as Al Qaeda. This installment of the documentary goes into Zbigniew Brzezinski, Operation Cyclone, the ISI-CIA-MAK-US government funding circle and CIA connections to Osama Bin Laden. For more information about this documentary, including a bibliography of works cited, please visit the documentary website.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Monetary union has left half of Europe trapped in depression

Events are moving fast in Europe. The worst riots since the fall of Communism have swept the Baltics and the south Balkans. An incipient crisis is taking shape in the Club Med bond markets. S&P has cut Greek debt to near junk. Spanish, Portuguese, and Irish bonds are on negative watch.

Dublin has nationalised Anglo Irish Bank with its half-built folly on North Wall Quay and €73bn (£65bn) of liabilities, moving a step nearer the line where markets probe the solvency of the Irish state.

A great ring of EU states stretching from Eastern Europe down across Mare Nostrum to the Celtic fringe are either in a 1930s depression already or soon will be. Greece’s social fabric is unravelling before the pain begins, which bodes ill.

Each is a victim of ill-judged economic policies foisted upon them by elites in thrall to Europe’s monetary project – either in EMU or preparing to join – and each is trapped.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Under Obama, Feds May Still Snoop Library Files

President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general has endorsed an extension of the law that allows federal agents to demand Americans’ library and bookstore records as part of terrorism probes, dismaying a national group of independent booksellers.

Eric Holder said at his confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he supports renewing a section of the USA Patriot Act that allows FBI agents investigating international terrorism or espionage to seek records from businesses, libraries and bookstores. If not renewed by Congress, the provision will expire at the end of 2009.

The searches must be authorized by a court that meets secretly and has approved the government’s requests in nearly all cases, according to congressional reports. The target of the search does not have to be suspected of terrorism or any other crime. A permanent gag order that accompanies each search prohibits the business or library from telling anyone about it.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

New RFID Technology Allows You to be Tracked WITHOUT Your Knowledge

By invitation, I recently visited a remote facility in northern Virginia to see a demonstration of NOX — a new Intelligent Perimeter Defense system deployed by the FBI that uses covert Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track people and assets without their knowledge.

That’s right, using RFID to track people without their knowledge. This system is exactly what the privacy advocates have long feared: Big Brother tracking us with spy chips. As Orwellian as this sounds, the undisputed fact is that this system catches thieves and does so at a fraction of the cost of traditional security solutions.

NOX combines high-resolution video pictures and RFID for identification, tracking and tracing, overlaid in real time on a facility map to show the movement of people and assets. The system allows security officers to see theft as it happens, even if the stolen object is inside a briefcase, under a jacket, or stuffed inside a sock.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Bank Of England Policymaker Predicts Unprecedented Dollar Collapse

A former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has predicted a massive collapse of the dollar within the next two to five years, warning that a government increase in spending under President elect Obama could be disastrous.

Willem Buiter, who served the BOE from June 1997 to May 2000, has stated that he expects to see the plug pulled from under the dollar as foreign investors turn away from the dollar and other US backed assets including government bonds.

Writing for the Financial Times, Buiter, now a Professor with the London School of Economics European Institute, comments: “There will, before long (my best guess is between two and five years from now) be a global dumping of US dollar assets, including US government assets. Old habits die hard. The US dollar and US Treasury bills and bonds are still viewed as a safe haven by many. But learning takes place.”

GO TO FULL STORYRead the rest

Continue Reading