Congressional Hypocrites Were Betting Against Stocks As Country Collapsed

Source: Business Insider

Remember all that scorn in Congress about evil shortsellers betting against America and bringing the country down?

Well, it turns out Congress-people did it, too.  And they used derivatives to do it, which they now say they abhor.

(For the record, we have no problem with shortselling or derivatives, and we find the routine scapegoating of both after market crashes ludicrous.  But if you’re going to complain about how awful shortselling is and how evil and venal people are for doing it, you should probably abstain from the practice yourself.

And, yes, most of the folks here were just betting against stocks, not actually selling stocks short.  But it’s the same idea.  To use their own tortured, populist logic, they were betting against the country and their 401k-holding constituents!)

Jason Zweig, Tom McGinty, and Brody Mullins in the WSJ:

Some members of Congress made risky bets with their own money that U.S. stocks or bonds would fall during the financial crisis, a Wall Street Journal analysis of congressional disclosures shows.

Senators have criticized Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for profiting from the housing collapse. And Congress is considering legislation to curb Wall Street risk-taking, including the use of financial instruments known as derivatives and of leverage, or methods that amplify returns.

According to The Journal’s analysis of congressional disclosures, investment accounts of 13 members of Congress or their spouses show bearish bets made in 2008 via exchange-traded funds—portfolios that trade like stocks and mirror an index. These funds were leveraged; they used derivatives and other techniques to magnify the daily moves of the index they track.

Continue reading at the WSJ >

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The $10 Trillion Climate Fraud

 

Cap-And-Trade: While senators froth over Goldman Sachs and derivatives, a climate trading scheme being run out of the Chicago Climate Exchange would make Bernie Madoff blush. Its trail leads to the White House.

Lost in the recent headlines was Al Gore’s appearance Monday in Denver at the annual meeting of the Council of Foundations, an association of the nation’s philanthropic leaders.

“Time’s running out (on climate change),” Gore told them. “We have to get our act together. You have a unique role in getting our act together”.

Gore was right that foundations will play a key role in keeping the climate scam alive as evidence of outright climate fraud grows, just as they were critical in the beginning when the Joyce Foundation in 2000 and 2001 provided the seed money to start the Chicago Climate Exchange. It started trading in 2003, and what it trades is, essentially, air. More specifically perhaps, hot air. Continue reading

Fannie Mae owns patent on residential ‘cap and trade’ exchange

By: Barbara Hollingsworth

Examiner’s Local Opinion Editor
April 20th, 2010

When he wasn’t busy helping create a $127 billion mess for taxpayers to clean up, former Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Franklin Raines, two of his top underlings and select individuals in the “green” movement were inventing a patented system to trade residential carbon credits.

Patent No. 6904336 was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office on Nov. 7, 2006 — the day after Democrats took control of Congress. Former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., criticized the award at the time, pointing out that it had “nothing to do with Fannie Mae’s charter, nothing to do with making mortgages more affordable.”

It wasn’t about mortgages. It was about greenbacks. The patent, which Fannie Mae confirmed it still owns with Cantor Fitzgerald subsidiary CO2e.com, gives the mortgage giant a lock on the fledgling carbon trading market, thus also giving it a major financial stake in the success of cap-and-trade legislation.
Continue reading

By five words Tagged

Goldman Whac-A-Mole

Catherine Austin Fitts:

It makes sense to pause in the outpouring of news about Goldman Sachs to ponder what has happened and the nature of the game that is afoot.

Goldman is the visible target in a game of economic warfare. Who is on the other side is not clear. For want of a better term, let’s call the other party “Mr. Global.”

Mr. Global has arranged for Goldman to be “swarmed” – attacked or threatened with attack by multiple parties, including government agencies, the media and private players, including competitors. Presumably, Mr. Global has serious private and governmental intelligence capabilities and resources. However, Goldman Sachs does too.

We watched the Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein yesterday confirm in testimony on the record that reform was needed, which included passing the financial services reform bill put forward in the Senate by Senator Dodd. We can presume that Mr. Global has made it clear to Goldman that unless they get on board with promoting the bill that things will not go well for them.


So Goldman came to heel in a big way. They sat down, thumped their tail on the floor and licked the hand that feeds them. And they did it in the most public way as all the financial markets watched. Their stock is up this morning. They bought some breathing space. How much is not yet clear.

Read entire article:

Food Costs Jump Most In 26 Years

Source: AP

Wholesale prices rose more than expected last month as food prices surged by the most in 26 years.

The Labor Department said the Producer Price Index rose by 0.7 percent in March, compared to analysts’ forecasts of a 0.4 percent rise. A rise in gas prices also helped push up the index.

Still, there was little sign of budding inflation in the report, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, wholesale prices rose by 0.1 percent, matching analysts’ expectations.

Food prices jumped by 2.4 percent in March, the most since January 1984. Vegetable prices soared by more than 49 percent, the most in 15 years. A cold snap wiped out much of Florida’s tomato and other vegetable crops at the beginning of this year.

Gasoline prices rose 2.1 percent, the department said, the fifth rise in six months.

In the past year, wholesale prices are up 6 percent, with much of that increase driven by higher oil prices. But excluding food and energy costs, they have risen only 0.9 percent.

Consumers are facing smaller price increases, as many retailers are reluctant to pass on higher costs. Last week, the Labor Department said the consumer price index rose only 0.1 percent in March. Excluding food and energy, the core consumer index was unchanged.

Core consumer prices rose by just 1.1 percent in the past 12 months, the department said last week, the best showing since January 2004.

Low inflation has enabled the Federal Reserve to keep the short-term interest rate it controls at a record low of near zero in an effort to boost the economy.

The country’s worst recession since the 1930s has kept a lid on prices, as high unemployment and tight credit have crimped consumers’ spending power. That has made it harder for companies to raise prices.

Money Changers Go High-Tech To Thwart Counterfeiters

AP reports that as part of an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters, the Department of the Treasury has designed a high-tech makeover of the $100 bill with a disappearing Liberty Bell in an inkwell and a bright blue security ribbon composed of thousands of tiny lenses that magnify objects in mysterious ways. The new blue security ribbon will give a 3-D effect to the micro-images that the thousands of lenses will be magnifying. Tilt the note back and forth and you will see tiny bells on the ribbon change to 100s as they move. Tilt the note side to side and the images will move up and down.

The Parasite’s Newest Con Game – Securitizing People’s Deaths

Wall Street Pursues Profit in Bundles of Life Insurance

By Jenny Anderson
The New York Times
September 5th, 2009

After the mortgage business imploded last year, Wall Street investment banks began searching for another big idea to make money. They think they may have found one.

The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,” life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.

The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return — though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money.

Either way, Wall Street would profit by pocketing sizable fees for creating the bonds, reselling them and subsequently trading them. But some who have studied life settlements warn that insurers might have to raise premiums in the short term if they end up having to pay out more death claims than they had anticipated.

The idea is still in the planning stages. But already “our phones have been ringing off the hook with inquiries,” says Kathleen Tillwitz, a senior vice president at DBRS, which gives risk ratings to investments and is reviewing nine proposals for life-insurance securitizations from private investors and financial firms, including Credit Suisse.

DBRS
“We’re hoping to get a herd stampeding after the first offering,” said one investment banker not authorized to speak to the news media. Continue reading

The Bankruptcy of The United States

United States Congressional Record, March 17th, 1993
Vol. 33, page H-1303

Speaker: Representative James Traficant, Jr. (Ohio) addressing the House:

“Mr. Speaker, we are here now in chapter 11.. Members of Congress are official trustees presiding over the greatest reorganization of any Bankrupt entity in world history, the U.S. Government. We are setting forth hopefully, a blueprint for our future. There are some who say it is a coroner’s report that will lead to our demise.

It is an established fact that the United States Federal Government has been dissolved by the Emergency Banking Act, March 9, 1933, 48 Stat. 1, Public Law 89-719; declared by President Roosevelt, being bankrupt and insolvent. H.J.R. 192, 73rd Congress m session June 5, 1933 – Joint Resolution To Suspend The Gold Standard and Abrogate The Gold Clause dissolved the Sovereign Authority of the United States and the official capacities of all United States Governmental Offices, Officers, and Departments and is further evidence that the United States Federal Government exists today in name only.

The receivers of the United States Bankruptcy are the International Bankers, via the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. All United States Offices, Officials, and Departments are now operating within a de facto status in name only under Emergency War Powers. With the Constitutional Republican form of Government now dissolved, the receivers of the Bankruptcy have adopted a new form of government for the United States. This new form of government is known as a Democracy, being an established Socialist/Communist order under a new governor for America. This act was instituted and established by transferring and/or placing the Office of the Secretary of Treasury to that of the Governor of the International Monetary Fund. Public Law 94-564, page 8, Section H.R. 13955 reads in part: “The U.S. Secretary of Treasury receives no compensation for representing the United States?” Continue reading