Archive | March 6, 2014

After not Returning Most of Germany’s Gold, Federal Reserve Refuses Again not to be Audited*

After not Returning Most of Germany’s Gold, Federal Reserve Refuses Again not to be Audited*

Could it be because more than technically it is bankrupt?

By Mark Anderson

When Janet Yellen appeared before the House Financial Services Committee February 11, she gave relaxed answers to most questions. But two members of Congress that day touched a nerve when they each grilled the newly confirmed chairman of the privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve on the merits of former Texas maverick Representative Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Fed.

Mrs. Yellen was also scheduled to address the Senate Banking Committee February 13 as part of her twice yearly report to Congress, but it was postponed.

At the House hearing, Representative Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) not only pressed Mrs. Yellen on what she’d think of Paul’s bill if it were operational, they also touched on monetary policy—the Holy Grail of Fed operations.

Mrs. Yellen’s demeanor noticeably changed when that sore spot was exposed. She made it clear that in no manner whatsoever would the Fed ever allow an in-depth government audit to “second guess” the sacred monetary policy conducted behind closed doors by the Fed’s Open Market Committee (FOMC).

That committee publishes minutes and a basic schedule, but even presidents and Congress members cannot attend FOMC’s meetings. The Fed calls that “independence,” which it certainly is. But critics say that deciding how much money enters the economy, and under what terms, is a critical piece of the Fed’s actions that needs to be much better understood and closely watched, not hidden.

Posey called Paul’s audit bill “the most-sponsored bipartisan bill” that’s been put before the House in recent memory. It passed the House with flying colors in mid-2012 but was blocked in the Senate. Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), reintroduced it in the current Congress as S. 209. A similar bill is parked in committee on the House side.

Thomas Jefferson said in 1816: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

An unavoidable question is that if Bachmann and Posey think an audit is so important, then why don’t we see more action on these ready-to-go audit bills?

When Mrs. Yellen indicated that she finds it hard to believe Congress may not fully trust the Federal Reserve, Posey shot back: “Some of us believe in the adage ‘trust but verify.’”

He told Mrs. Yellen that federal agencies are subjected to government audits that the Fed somehow avoids, apart from sundry audits conducted by private accounting firms. Why not the Fed?

Posey stressed to Mrs. Yellen that Paul’s audit bill limits itself to “post-decision audits.” That means that individual Fed actions, including those taken by the FOMC, would not be second-guessed. Posey thought that condition would cure Mrs. Yellen’s jitters about elected officials looking over the Fed’s shoulder when it devises and implements monetary policy.

He was mistaken.

While Mrs. Yellen made a throw-away remark that perhaps the Government Accountability Office could visit the Fed and read its meeting transcripts, she kept returning to the same-old Fed boilerplate that “political” intervention (read: public input or real accountability) is not welcome at the Federal Reserve.

“An audit is different than second-guessing policy judgments,” she stated with a faint hint of contempt.

As if reading a script, Mrs. Yellen repeated that the Fed’s assigned duty is to “maximize sustainable employment and price stability.” She added: “[Keeping] inflation running well below 2% is our objective.”

Mrs. Bachmann, who also pressed Mrs. Yellen about her view of an audit, stressed that there is growing public criticism of the Fed. She asked how struggling Americans could ever hope to have any control over their often gloomy economic destinies if the Fed insists that a real public audit is unacceptable.

Mrs. Yellen only replied that committee hearings like this one were pretty much all Americans and Congress could ever hope to have in terms of influencing or in any way trying to steer the Fed.

Among other things, Mrs. Yellen said the Fed has plans to carry out “proposed rulemaking” to address highly risky ventures engaged in by banks. This was in response to a question on why most banks engage in elaborate investments without providing a practical benefit to the productive sector. She added that the Fed would cooperate with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which she feels has more authority in this respect.

She also declared the dollar is stable and will always be the world’s reserve currency. But she made that statement while largely avoiding the question of what the Fed would do if the dollar loses its reserve status amid nations increasingly trading with other currencies.

She casually dodged the statement by Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) that “we need Jimmy Stewart banking back in the U.S.” He was referring to the community-friendly banker played by Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Sherman is concerned that the Fed is too tolerant of banks that only loan to large interests and deny loans to small business owners.


Related Topics:

Federal Reserve for Whom!

Federal Reserve Returns Only Five Percent of Germany’s Gold*

The Federal Reserve Foreclosure

The Federal Reserve and WWI

Ron Paul on the Future of the Federal Reserve

Global Banking Controlled by Federal Reserve*

A Curious Conversation About U.Ks Gold Deposits When Four Countries Cannot Get a Glimpse of Theirs Held at the Federal Reserve!*

$9,000,000,000,000 Missing From the Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve Owes More Than $2 Trillion in US Debt*

A ‘Poverty Safari’ Only Works for the Enlightened 1%*

A ‘Poverty Safari’ Only Works for the Enlightened 1%*

Privately schooled, Oxford educated, and former editor of the world’s poshest magazine The Lady, Rachel Johnson has gone on a ‘poverty safari’ to Deptford in South East London, where she reports seeing people ‘live like animals’ and families living on food budgets of just £1 a day.  It is difficult to know what is more offensive here; that such poverty exists, or that our country’s ‘finest’ are entertaining themselves with guided tours of Britain’s modern slums.

Rachel Johnson’s ‘Poverty Safari’

As part of yet another BBC poverty porn documentary, Rachel Johnson entered the depths of Deptford to sniff some poor people and their grubby lodgings.  She tells the Independent:

“There’s this terrible sense of human waste. They’re existing, rather than living, like battery hens. Apart from the telly and the cigarettes, they are living like animals.

I realised, with a terrible thud, how much money I’ve wasted. I can’t pay £3 for a flat white coffee without thinking: ‘That’s a day’s food for a poor family’,” she said.

You might be tempted to think – ‘oh come on Scriptonite, you’re being a bit tough on Rachel. She’s at least trying to make a difference’.  Sadly, she followed up that sentence by reflecting on how jealous her friends would be when they found out she’d been hanging with the plebs.

“Bizarrely, I think there’s a lot of envy. ‘Lucky old Rachel, she went on poverty safari!’ An experience they can never have, even with all the money they’ve got,” she said.

That’s right.  Those scenes that she witnessed, the daily grind suffered through by whole swathes of the working class, reduced to some light entertainment for those who will never know such hardships.  It’s all just shits and giggles for the 1%.

The Poverty in Modern Britain

Good news for Ms Johnson and her friends is there’s plenty more poverty where that came from.  Thanks to a budget crippling £850bn bank bailout and four years of devastating cuts to frontline services and welfare, combined with mass privatisations – hell, there’s safari enough for everyone!

The cost of living is rising at four times the rate of wages.  In fact UK wages are falling faster than any other ‘developed’ country.

Thirty four disabled people have killed themselves, and 32 have died every week while undergoing stressful ATOS ‘work capability assessments’ over the last three years.  Hate crimes against disabled people shot up 25% in 2012.

The number of people reliant on Food Banks tripled in the last year, with nearly a million people unable to feed themselves without charity support.  Last winter, the Red Cross launched its first emergency food aid programme on UK soil since World War II.

Statutory Homelessness  rose by 21% in England and 17% in Wales in 2012, while Rough Sleeping has risen even faster, at 31% in England.  Outreach workers from Homeless Charity Crisis performed a count in London which found a 62% rise in rough sleepers in the capital in just the last two years.

The average cost of a single room in a care home has risen to over £27,000 a year.  This is higher than the average UK annual wage (£26,000) and more than double the average annual pension income of £13,208.  In fact since 2011, care home costs have risen at twice the rate of inflation. Yet last year, the regulatory body for the UKs care homes The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a damning report that showed that more than half of all elderly and people with disabilities in care homes were being denied basic care.

1 in 6 British pensioners now live in poverty, and 24,000 will die this winter because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Indeed, the wealthy can choose between working poor, jobless poor, and poverty stricken people of any age, in almost any part of the country – outside the wealthy ghettos and estates of course.

I Call Bullshit

You may have garnered from this unusually expletive laden post, that this is one occasion where I am not only involved…but I am angry too. I call bullshit.

I call bullshit on ideological austerity which adds up to little more than the mass theft of wealth from the many by the few.

I call bullshit on the media’s consistent failure to hold the government to account and its demonisation of the victims of austerity.

I call bullshit on the Nick and Margarets, the Michael Portillos and the Rachel Johnson’s of the 1% who go on all expenses paid jollies into the Heart of Darkness on ‘Poverty Safari’, only to come back and trample the impoverished yet further into the ground.

I call bullshit on the whole system of grave and favour that has the 85 richest people in the world have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion.


Related Topics:

U.K. – So that he could get Food to Eat in a Police Cell!

British Royals Cash in on Hard-up Families*

Big Bank Food Speculation: U.K. Blocks Move to End Rising Prices*

London Gold Vaults Are Empty and Transferred to Hong Kong!

NWO: ‘Annoying’ Behaviour Now Under Police Control in the U.K. *

British Family Courts Why the Secrecy?

U.K. Students Facing Violence, Intimidation and Arrest For Opposing Privatization of their Universities*

U.K. Breaking the Social Contract Set’s it Back to Post-WWII*

Education: China’s Poorest Beat U.Ks Best*

Crimean Parliament Votes to Join Russia*

Crimean Parliament Votes to Join Russia*

The Crimean parliament has voted for the region to join Russia. The decision will only come in force if approved by the Crimeans at a referendum which will be held in 10 days.

Crimean MPs voted on Thursday for the region to “to become part of the Russian Federation as its constituent territory,” says the text of the regional parliament’s statement.

78 MPs said yes to Crimea joining Russia, while 8 abstained from voting.

When the decision was announced to several thousand people waiting outside the parliament building, they, according to Itar-Tass, welcomed the news with cheers and screams of “Russia!”

The parliament has also made a decision to ask the Russian leadership to “launch the procedure of Crimea becoming part of Russia.”

The speaker of the Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, explained that the parliament’s decision on the region joining Russia still has to be approved at a referendum, which has been scheduled for March 16. That’s two weeks earlier than announced last week.

We are not in a rush, but that’s what the current situation demands,” Konstantinov told Itar-Tass. ‘We are trying to address the sentiments currently shared by the population. Those are uncertainty and fear. We must give them confidence and offer a clear political way out of the crisis.

There will be two questions on the Crimean referendum ballots.

The first one: Are you in favor of Crimea becoming a constituent territory of the Russian Federation. The second one: Are you in favor of restoring Crimea’s 1992 constitution,” the autonomous region’s First Deputy-Premier Rustam Temirgaliev said.

According to the 1992 constitution, the autonomous republic is part of Ukraine but has relations with Kiev, defined on the basis of mutual agreements.

The variant which gets the simple majority will be the winner in the referendum.

Sevastopol residents will take part in the referendum, despite the city enjoying a special status and not officially being a part of Crimea, according to Sergey Shuvainikov, a Crimean MP.

We will give Sevastopol an opportunity to have its say,” he said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Kiev has reacted by describing the referendum illegitimate.

My position is that this referendum is unconstitutional,” the coup-imposed Ukraine’s economy minister, Pavlo Sheremeta, said as cited by Reuters.

Acting Ukrainian President Oleksander Turchinov said authorities in Crimea region were “totally illegitimate, both the parliament and the government.”

They are forced to work facing the barrel of a gun and all their decisions are dictated by fear and are illegal,” Turchinov’s spokeswoman said.

Crimea’s authorities have meanwhile announced that they are ready to nationalize all Ukrainian state enterprises and introduce a ruble zone in the region in case the referendum decides in favor of joining Russia, according to Interfax.

Russia’s State Duma (parliament) is ready to consider the possibility of Crimea joining Russia, according to the head of the Duma committee on the affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Leonid Slutsky.

The State Duma will consider any bills concerning this issue when the referendum has taken place and when the Russian leadership has made a decision on it,” Slutsky said as cited by RIA Novosti.

Meanwhile, the Crimean authorities said they were still negotiating a way out of the current crisis with the OSCE. The speaker of the Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, said talks were under way and more were still to come.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

More than half the Crimean population are Russian and use only this language for their communication.

Crimean authorities denounced the self-proclaimed government in Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them. The majority of troops in Crimea switched sides in favor of the local authorities.


Related Topics:

Seeing to the NWO Agenda: Central Banker Becomes Ukraine’s Prime Minister*

Pattern Repeated: Ukrainian Elites Back in Power*

The Veteran Toll of America’s State Terrorism on Afghanistan and Iraq*