Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Fraud of Banking and the Educational Smoke Screen

I wrote this post as a response to an article I find much agreement.  While not dispelling the comments about Fractional Reserve banking, my attempt is to center the discussion on what banking actually is, a system of liabilities all of which involve the bank, in that in truth they have no assets other than what they can post as true capital.  
The sad point Pater is the worse this situation gets, the more actions the governments of the world take to cover up the fraud. I don’t even believe in the term fractional reserve, as it is even more extreme than that. The term is actually deficient, as the reserves in the banking system are nothing but credits of other banks. The cash represented by the Fed balance sheet doesn’t even exist in the banking system, but has already been paid out by the banks and is in hoards around the world. This doesn’t mean it is not available for deposit, but that it doesn’t exist on the balance sheet.
The only way a true run on a bank would be successful is if the runs were universal, thus the money not redeposited somewhere. But, absent a guarantee, anything that had to be cleared through the system likely would be demanded by the receiving bank in cash and the liable bank couldn't pay. Reserves follow credit, not precede it. In fact, as long as there is not a second bank involved, the originating bank can merely shift money from one account to the other as it changes hands between customers. I suspect that within 10 years, only interbank transactions will be allowed and the idea of pay to the order on demand will be lost. Such is the lure and power of a perpetual fraud.
In truth, I don’t believe reserves exceed the capital of a bank. In order for there to be any legitimacy in banking at all, the banker has to have skin in the game. Otherwise, he is merely lending his own IOU’s. I have a document somewhere that was filed in Federal court which lists the court cases in the US that forbade a bank from lending its liabilities. The rulings mentioned on bailment border on absurdity, as the money on deposit at the bank is clearly a liability of the bank and not an asset. The great secret is the entire balance sheet is nothing but liabilities. The bank is liable for its asset in that if they don’t perform, the bank has to perform. They made themselves liable when the created the loan. They are liable for the loan, not the customer. The customer has merely pledged his credit or his collateral.
The banks assets are only good to the extent the borrowers on these loans can acquire the liabilities of the banking system. There is no other species in circulation other than the coin of the United States or whatever other country is involved. If the Fed is creating new deposits by financing the treasury directly, then these are also bank liabilities. This runs a lot deeper than the nonsense that the problem with banks is a mismatch of maturity and runs directly to the solvency of assets on the balance sheet. These assets represent the banks liabilities and if the bank can’t be liable for the losses on the assets, then under any imaginable form of law, they aren’t a legitimate business, but a Ponzi scheme.
The system of credit doesn’t bother me as much as the fraud that is going on about the solvency of the banking system. That any regulated industry that is likely short of capital should be allowed to engage in partial liquidation of its capital positions disturbs me. They call these stock buybacks, but what they are in truth is a liquidation. Lets see what happens when the FDIC serves its purpose of guaranteeing deposits and not the other sources of financing in the banking system when a partial liquidation is undertaken? In a free market, I have to believe that the bond holders of the banks would get nervous. They maybe already have.
The incapacity of the regulators to enforce haircuts in the system, as opposed to bailouts is astonishing to me. For all practical purposes, the 4 or 5 largest banks in the US should have failed. The shareholders should have absolutely no interest in these institutions and the officers of these institutions and their financial practices should have been investigated. The bondholders should have owned the banks in reorganization and in most cases, the deposits wouldn’t have been touched.
I bring this last point up because the only way to have saved this ponzi system was to destroy its components in the short term. The haircuts are not optional and it is clear they are planning on taking the losses out of the side of the depositor and not the banker. The entire rule of law has been stood on its head in this instance, going back to the cases that Rothbard mentioned in his book, the mystery of banking. I need to read the remainder of that book, but then again I have read the modern story too many times.
One more thing. The only truth in the money and banking courses taught in college is that commercial banks create money when they make loans. It absolutely astounds me that the focus of these courses is the nonsense about reserves and the fed doing this nonsense and that nonsense when the only truth that can be gleaned out of this course is that banks create deposits and thus money supply when they make loans. They all get back to what account the bank takes the money from when there isn’t any account. The guy that wrote that rebuttal mentioned above seems to totally miss that idea. Those that talk about fractional reserve miss the point as well. Banks don’t keep reserves, as it is a total nonsense to keep people talking about something. They borrow back what leaves the bank. There are no reserves.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Knee Jerk Society

Recent disasters, the US/World Banking crisis and the recent atomic/earthquake/tsunami disaster are 2 examples of the head up your butt, knee jerk reactions that are compounding to put the worlds economies and to an extent the survival of civilization itself at risk.  When the dust settles, nothing will be solved and we will face a problem much larger than we had to start.  The banking crisis was met with something called TARP, a huge stimulus bill and monetary tricks by the US Federal reserve that will do nothing but leave us with an unsolved problem that will come back with more force next time.  The reactions over the atomic accident in Japan are just as absurd.

What I am hearing now is that Germany is going to shut down its entire program and Obama isn't going to renew permits to run plants in the US.  There is no assessment, merely knee jerk.  Obama's policy with oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the result stripping the US of its most promising and most productive oil resource over a blunder by British Petroleum is just another example.  The safety record of offshore drilling in shallower waters for the past 50 plus years has been pretty good.  Knee jerk with a 44 magnum in your hand and you can shoot your toes off.  The US doesn't have many toes left and Obama and the bankers are taking aim.  Now our oil rigs are on the other side of the world and a country that is rapidly going broke is looking at cold winters and no gasoline once the end game starts.

Lets start with the Great Financial Crisis and what it really entailed.  Paulson had the country over the barrel and he chose the Japan solution.  Bernanke is choosing the Japan solution.  There is absolutely no recognition of what the real problem is, merely put a plug in it.  The US government had the power to resolve the entire banking crisis, but there aren't many of us that would have liked the immediate result.  Instead, leave the crooks in power at the various institutions, change the rules to allow accounting fraud and throw in $700 billion and let them keep looting.  In the meantime, the real problem, societal insolvency and a lack of a mathematical solution to the problem prevails.  We are being told capitalism failed when in fact capitalism hasn't prevailed for years.  Instead we have an economy managed by social engineers who take very little in the way of reality in consideration.  If capitalism was in force, these failures would have been taken out of the system, the system reorganized, the investors in the failed institutions wiped out and anyone engaged in criminal activity with other peoples money would have been tried and jailed.  The knee jerk was the status quo.  The truth is we are in a serious problem that the knee jerk will only make worse.

The US government has been in a managed insolvency since the Great Depression.  The managed part depends on keeping the on the book debts within reason.  We elect Superman and a group of socialists and what happens?  We have a $788 billion stimulus bill that will keep unemployment at 8% and be a 1 time event.  Truth is we had a $1 trillion a year bill that is going to put the US in permanent bondage.  Just the mention that 10% of this money is going to be taken back and the socialists threaten to shut down the government.  The knee jerk became the norm and the bill was for nothing more than to pump money into public unions.  Nothing was done with the debt situation in the US other than make it worse.  Nothing was done to stop unemployment at 8%, as it went to 10% and only hedonistic adjustments in the employment base and some twisted figures have brought it down from there.  They merely had a couple of clowns and Wall Street crooks come forward and announce a recovery that most of the country has yet to embrace.  The real problem, a pile of unresolved debt in the financial intermediary system, remains.  In the meantime, the Fed has produced more and more funds with which the frauds can continue to write checks and kept interest rates at a level that has induced many to move into junk bonds.  Emboldened by stimulus money, States took actions that now put most of them on the path of insolvency as well.  The spending can't be reversed.  In reality, it will be.

Now we have the accident in Japan.  I am really at a loss to imagine why they would build a plant that could withstand an earthquake and not plan for a tsunami.  This isn't the Gulf Coast, but the land which gave the tsunami its name.  In addition to the damage done by this accident, Japan is going to suffer horribly from a shortage of electricity, the elixir of modern economies.  What is the reaction from this tragedy?

First, the NRC in the US is run by a man whose intent is to destroy the atomic energy industry.  Second, the result of destroying atomic energy will be the end of modern economies and the mass starvation of people in other economies around the world.  We are dealing with a policy of genocide and  are being scared into it.  There isn't a solution to the void that would arise should atomic energy be shut down around the world and the result over the intermediate term will be a world war with widespread atomic exchange and the death of probably 1 billion people or more around the world.  This will come only after hundreds of millions have starved to death in the dark.  Thus the fate we are being frightened with will become the reality as survival will depend on acquiring the energy to run economies and the division of labor and modern agriculture.

The scream has been all of us in the US are going to die from this accident in Japan if we don't take some Iodine pills.  Back in the 50's they blew up atomic bombs like they were fire crackers on the 4th of July and yet there was no widespread death.  Japan survives.  The results are overblown.

I am not here to minimize an atomic accident, but to look at the other extreme.  If we shift to coal, what are the damages?  To produce the electricity these reactors in Japan produced with coal, it is highly likely the entire side of the Island would have already been poisoned.  There would be miles of strip mined land, trillions on tons of carbon foot print, if the nonsense is to be believed and the land around the plant would be poisoned with the emissions from the plant.  This is a guarantee.  This is the choice we make if we close down the atomic industry.

There is more to this.  Where do they get the oil, gas and coal to replace the atomic energy to run the grid.  Oil is already in short supply.  Coal is an ecological disaster and gas is still being developed with new technology.  Plus, the anti atomic people are the same group that are the global warming group and the carbon tax people.  They are most likely also the bankers of the world.

Residential energy is a given, so the slack would have to be taken up by energy used in the production economy.  Get ready for rolling blackouts, massively higher electric bills and a declining standard of living around the world.  These same bastards are going to attempt to manage that side of the disaster as well and most likely use it to establish themselves among the privileged.  While we are cowering under our beds, they are stealing our birthright and crowning themselves with our resources.

Paulson said there would be tanks in the streets.  This is the same story told over and over again.  Give us what we want or we will go broke on you.  It appears the average American has watched so much reality TV and seen so many Hollywood movies that he buys into anything.  I was on a site a few days ago and the solutions being proposed for the emergency in Japan were right out of fictional Superman/Rambo type flicks.  There is nothing to be said for the haircuts that are going to have to be taken.  The question is who takes them.  The bankers have had 30 months to continue looting and to shift the losses to people other than themselves.

Who is going to benefit if we shut down atomic power?  I would venture the same folks that own the electric grid.  They are the same folks that in some fashion own the construction companies and the resource companies and we, the people will pay massive hikes in electric rates to funnel more money into their pockets.  When they are done with the building, we will then pay them carbon credits and the bondage in Egypt will be ensured.