Tag Archives | Federal Reserve

The 12 Most Infamous Economic Conspiracy Theories

The digital rag Business Insider (run by Henry Blodget, the unabashed Wall Street Internet booster) goes for more SEO-friendly conspiracy bashing:

The economy has sparked a wide variety of truly bizarre conspiracy theories. Despite the fact that they have no basis in truth, people continue to believe them with almost religious zeal.

The internet has given them a wider forum and audience, and has proved to be fertile ground for these ideas to spread.

These are the myths, conspiracy theories, and flat out falsehoods that just won’t die.

The Federal Reserve is a private corporation run for the profit of its shareholder banks.

Origin: This one’s been kicking around almost since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. It’s the subject of a three hour documentary called “The Money Masters”.
The reality: Nationally chartered banks do hold stock in their regional Federal Reserve Banks, and receive a small portion (6 percent of their stock) of the profits of their regional banks, which is presumably the origin of this theory.

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Ron Paul’s ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill Passes the House

Via Yahoo! News:

While Ron Paul may not be the next president, he can chalk up one victory this year. The Texas Republican’s “audit the fed” bill has passed the house. Needless to say, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his allies are not pleased:

“This bill would … jeopardize the Fed’s independence by subjecting its decisions on interest rates and monetary policy to GAO audit,” said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland. “I agree with Chairman Bernanke that congressional review of the Fed’s monetary policy decisions would be a ‘nightmare scenario,’ especially judging by the track record of this Congress when it comes to governing effectively.”

Despite the excitement of House Republicans, Paul’s victory can probably be considered a moral one only: Democratic Senator Harry Reid described the bill as “dead on arrival” once it arrives at the Senate.

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LIBOR Pains: Why Do These Stories Always Seem to Break in Britain?

Probably not because their regulators are any smarter or scrupulous than those in the U.S. – more likely because they’re relatively powerless to conceal them. From Caroline Salas Gage and Joshua Zumbrun at Bloomberg:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York was aware of potential issues involving Barclays Plc (BARC) and the London interbank offered rate after the financial crisis began in 2007, according to a statement from the district bank.

“In the context of our market monitoring following the onset of the financial crisis in late 2007, involving thousands of calls and e-mails with market participants over a period of many months, we received occasional anecdotal reports from Barclays of problems with Libor,” New York Fed spokeswoman Andrea Priest said in an e-mailed statement.

“In the spring of 2008, following the failure of Bear Stearns and shortly before the first media report on the subject, we made further inquiry of Barclays as to how Libor submissions were being conducted,” the statement said.

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Federal Lawsuit Claims Illuminati Groups Stole $1.1 Trillion

Owl of MinervaFrom Courthouse News Service:

An American expatriate in Bulgaria claims the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the Office of International Treasury Control and the Italian government conspired with a host of others to steal more than $1.1 trillion in financial instruments intended to support humanitarian purposes.

The 111-page federal complaint involves a range of entities common to conspiracy theorists, including the Vatican Illuminati, the Masons, the “Trilateral Trillenium Tripartite Gold Commission,” and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Plaintiff Neil Keenan claims he was entrusted in 2009 with the financial instruments – which included U.S. Federal Reserve notes worth $124.5 billion, two Japanese government bonds with a combined face value of $19 billion, and one U.S. “Kennedy” bond with a face value of $1 billion – by an entity called the Dragon Family, which is a group of several wealthy and secretive Asian families.

“The Dragon family abstains from public view and knowledge, but, upon information and belief, acts for the good and better benefit of the world in constant coordination with higher levels of global financial organizations, in particular, the Federal Reserve System,” Keenan claims.

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The Bank Bailout Was Actually $8 Trillion

largeAh, free-market capitalism — the economic system that works best, provided that one infuses $8 trillion to stave off total collapse. The Atlantic Wire writes:

Remember the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program with which the federal government came to the rescue of faltering banks in 2008? Well, according to a Bloomberg report, that was just a fraction of the financial help the Federal Reserve Bank wound up doling out to troubled lenders. The real total was reportedly closer to $8 trillion, after you add up benefits outside TARP, including emergency loans given at below-market rates:

The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. 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.

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