Tag Archives | Ben Bernanke

Behind the Scenes of Crowdfunded Murder Site ‘Assassination Market’

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 10.30.54 AMKuwabatake Sanjuro wants to make it too dangerous to hold public office.

Via Newser.

Ben Bernanke has an almost $75,000 price on his head, placed there by anonymous malcontents online. He’s the biggest—but far from the only—target on Assassination Market, a “dark web” site that lets users nominate targets and contribute money to the cause using theoretically untraceable bitcoins. Kill a target and prove it—by naming the time of death beforehand via encoded message—and you can claim the reward. The site is the work of a self-proclaimed “crypto-anarchist” who goes by the alias Kuwabatake Sanjuro, and he gave an email interview to Andy Greenberg at Forbes.

Sanjuro’s goal is to “destroy all governments, everywhere,” by making public office too dangerous to hold

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Ben Bernanke Confronted on Secret Federal Reserve Bailouts

Luke Rudkowski got yet another chance to question the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke. The last time the two met, Bernanke was not in a talkative mode and since Luke only had one chance to ask one question he decided it had to be an important one. Luke asked Bernanke about the 2007 - 2010 secret trillion dollar Federal Reserve bailouts, that only recently came to light from a partial audit of the Federal Reserve. Barnanke was not happy with the question but since no one in the main stream media ever questioned Bernanke on the biggest bailout in world history, Luke had to seize the chance. During the in-prompt to interview Bernanke actually grabbed Luke's microphone and tried to snatch it away from him but sadly the video did not capture his hands on the microphone. Via WeAreChange
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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Holds First Fed Press Conference in History

Fed BenInteresting timing, wouldn’t you say? Dan Arnall reports on ABC News:

Westminster Abbey and the Royal Wedding are so overhyped; the historic story of the week will take place on C Street in Washington, D.C. [on April 27th, the same day the media was hell-bent in discussion of Obama’s birth certificate]

At 2:15 p.m. ET [on April 27th], Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, will make waves in the world of economists and Wall Streeters. For the first time in the 98-year history of the nation’s central bank, the chairman will talk to the press after an interest rate decision, fulfilling a promise he made at his first confirmation hearing back in 2005.

At the time he said, “Under Chairman Greenspan, monetary policy has become increasingly transparent to the public and the financial markets, a trend that I strongly support.”

Most Fed watchers don’t expect Bernanke to make any surprising observations about the economy.

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Foreign Banks Tapped Fed’s Lifeline Most as Bernanke Kept Borrowers Secret

Bradley Keoun and Craig Torres writes in Bloomberg:

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s two-year fight to shield crisis-squeezed banks from the stigma of revealing their public loans protected a lender to local governments in Belgium, a Japanese fishing-cooperative financier and a company part-owned by the Central Bank of Libya.

Dexia SA (DEXB), based in Brussels and Paris, borrowed as much as $33.5 billion through its New York branch from the Fed’s “discount window” lending program, according to Fed documents released yesterday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Dublin-based Depfa Bank Plc, taken over in 2007 by a German real-estate lender later seized by the German government, drew $24.5 billion.

The biggest borrowers from the 97-year-old discount window as the program reached its crisis-era peak were foreign banks, accounting for at least 70 percent of the $110.7 billion borrowed during the week in October 2008 when use of the program surged to a record.

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Fed Bailed Out McDonalds & GE – With Your Money

McDonald's logoGeneral ElectricSuppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. — Mark Twain

Craig Torres and Scot Lanman writing for Bloomberg:

The Federal Reserve’s emergency lending during the financial crisis spanned the global economy, from the largest U.S. financial firms to community banks, hedge funds and a fast-food company.

The Fed, in compliance with orders from Congress, today named recipients of $3.3 trillion in emergency aid. Among them were U.S. branches of overseas banks, including Switzerland’s UBS AG; corporations such as General Electric Co. and McDonald’s Corp.; and investors like Pacific Investment Management Co. and computer executive Michael Dell.

Lawmakers demanded disclosure, over the Fed’s initial objections, as U.S. central bankers pushed beyond their traditional role of backstopping banks to stem the worst financial panic since the Great Depression. The Fed posted the data on its website to comply with a provision in July’s Dodd- Frank law overhauling financial regulation.

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Federal Reserve Prints More “Money”; Let’s Return to Scene of the Crime: Jekyll Island

Wipe Away that 'Quantitative Easing'Media Monarchy reports:

The Federal Reserve launched a controversial new policy on Wednesday, committing to buy $600 billion more in government bonds by the middle of next year in an attempt to breathe new life into a struggling U.S. economy.

The decision, which takes the Fed into largely uncharted waters, is aimed at further lowering borrowing costs for consumers and businesses still suffering in the aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression. [Which they engineered. Don’t forget that. The FED/Banksters do nothing by accident — that would make me an “accident theorist.”]

The U.S. central bank said it would buy about $75 billion in longer-term Treasury bonds per month. It said it would regularly review the pace and size of the program and adjust it as needed depending on the path of the recovery. In its post-meeting statement, the Fed described the economy as “slow”, and said employers remained reluctant to add to payrolls.

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Thinking The Unthinkable

The Royal Bank of Scotland, essentially a UK-government institution following its nationalization during the recent bank crisis, is warning that we’re on the verge of a major economic meltdown: “We cannot stress enough how strongly we believe that a cliff-edge may be around the corner, for the global banking system (particularly in Europe) and for the global economy. Think the unthinkable.” Report in the Telegraph:

As recovery starts to stall in the US and Europe with echoes of mid-1931, bond experts are once again dusting off a speech by Ben Bernanke given eight years ago as a freshman governor at the Federal Reserve.

Entitled “Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Here“, it is a warfare manual for defeating economic slumps by use of extreme monetary stimulus once interest rates have dropped to zero, and implicitly once governments have spent themselves to near bankruptcy.

The speech is best known for its irreverent one-liner: “The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

Bernanke began putting the script into action after the credit system seized up in 2008, purchasing $1.75 trillion of Treasuries, mortgage securities, and agency bonds to shore up the US credit system.

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Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke Gets 2nd Term in Closest-Ever Senate Vote

Guess being Time’s “Man of the Year” gets you places in life. JEANNINE AVERSA and JIM KUHNHENN write on the AP via Yahoo News:

Embattled Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke won confirmation for a second term Thursday, but only by the closest vote ever for the crucial post and after withering criticism from lawmakers for bailing out Wall Street while other Americans suffered in recession.

The Senate confirmed Bernanke for a new four-year term by a 70–30 vote, a seemingly solid majority but 14 votes worse than the closest previous vote for a Fed chairman.

The battle over Bernanke’s confirmation has been a test of central bank independence, a crucial element if the Fed is to carry out unpopular but economically essential policies. Its decisions on interest rates can have immense consequences, from the success or failure of the largest companies to the typical home-buyer’s ability to get an affordable loan to the price of cereal at the grocery or gas at the corner station.

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Ben Bernanke As Time’s “Person Of The Year”

Ben BernankeIs Time Magazine really so out of touch with the hatred and revulsion many Americans feel for Ben Bernanke and his Wall Street cronies? Apparently so, as reported in the Atlantic:

It’s always fun to see who Time magazine names its “Person of the Year.” 2009’s pick was neither obvious nor shocking: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. I have a few thoughts about the pick.

My first observation is that Bernanke wasn’t really the most important figure for just 2009. Don’t get me wrong: I think he’s had a huge impact in the U.S. and global economies this year. I just think he’d be more aptly described as the “Person of the Last 18 to 24 Months.” Much of the most important work he did to stabilize the economy was done in 2008, not 2009. This year he had more of a stay-the-course philosophy.

Clearly, there are those who probably aren’t pleased with Time’s pick.

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Federal Reserve Smackdown: Bunning vs Bernanke

I spent a good part of today driving from New York to Philadelphia and back. It was a fantastic opportunity to listen to Ben Bernanke being grilled by the United States Senate and struggling to defend his record as Chairman of the Federal Reserve during a period that has been likened to the Great Depression. The very best part was a blistering attack on Bernanke by Senator Jim Bunning, a man who is definitely not afraid to tell it like it is. Respect Mr. Bunning! Felix Salmon obviously enjoyed it too, writing on his Reuters blog:
I wonder what it was like to be Ben Bernanke today, on the receiving end of an absolute lashing from Senator Jim Bunning. Here’s a taster:
Chairman Greenspan’s attitude toward regulating banks was much like his attitude toward consumer protection. Instead of close supervision of the biggest and most dangerous banks, he ignored the growing balance sheets and increasing risk. You did no better. In fact, under your watch every one of the major banks failed or would have failed if you did not bail them out.
Bunning then quoted Bernanke’s own words from his own confirmation hearing, when he said that “no bank is too big to fail”. No, Bunning wasn’t laughing either:
Rather than making management, shareholders, and debt holders feel the consequences of their risk-taking, you bailed them out. In short, you are the definition of moral hazard.
This is the sort of parliamentary rhetoric which we Brits are quite used to, but which is electrifying in the normally-staid confines of the US Senate. Good for Bunning for taking the gloves off.
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