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Jim Hogue's blog

Sovereignty. Raise it from the floor. Do it.

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 1:11pm

Two events occurred recently that high-light the importance of presenting statistics when advocating for policy change . One was a presentation by Dr. Gus Speth and the other was the press conference held by Anthony Pollina, Gwen Hallsmith, and Gary Flomenhoft (of  the Gund Institute). We cannot move forward in any of our efforts unless the numbers make sense, and unless we keep reminding people of the overwhelming and obvious benefits that the numbers portend should we establish a public bank and become an independent state.

VTCommons has done the work of presenting the numbers regarding sovereignty  over the years, and many people are now doing it regarding a state bank. This is just an update to you on our progress regarding a state/public bank keeping our failures and the tough road ahead in mind.

Financial sovereignty is what this is about. We have a majority of supporters in the House and won 6-0 and 5-0 on Pollina's  state bank study bill in two Senate committees. We got Beth Pearce to show her stripes.  She is openly, thanks to us, working against this bill. A state bank means sovereign money. Gwen Hallsmith is getting attacked and possibly fired for sticking her neck out for this. This is for real guys and gals.

To get up to speed on this issue, I recommend reading my papers at www.vtcommons.org which can be found here, here, and here. I also recommend Gary Murphy's www.vtpublicbank.com. It is a fantastic site.

Some seem to want to pretend that this movement towards Public Banking isn't happening but it is and it must, regardless of the resistance from nanny statists obediently doing the bidding of the puppet master Goldman Sachs et al. Let's see what we can do to free ourselves from that mafia.

Rick Foley’s chapter in the book “Most Likely To Secede” (posted here on VTCommons) illustrates how VT could be energy self-sufficient via its own existing hydro  power. In this recent study, Gary Flomenhoft showed how every Vermonter could receive a dividend from the state if VT managed its finances sensibly via a state bank.

Political secession is impossible until it isn’t. Let's keep making compost, building soil, protecting our water, growing hemp, constructing sensible homes, building food sovereignty, creating partnerships with small banks and credit unions, and exposing that truth about the banksters. With this in place, VT can reach terminal velocity and officially, legally break free from an Empire in free fall.

As I said many years ago in VT Commons: The powers that be seceded from the states and the constitution and the rule of law a long time ago. We are now nothing but well entertained cash cows and cannon fodder. The car to take us to independence has been kept on cinderblocks in the back yard but many of us are doing all we can to put wheels on it and get it rolling. Let's see what we've got here, and party, and move forward.

I wrote the resolution that passed unanimously in Calais:

"The right to save seeds shall not be abridged."

You could all do that in your towns. That's sovereignty.  Raise it from the floor. Do it. 

Collateralized Damage: Are Vermont state funds deposited in TD Bank North safe?

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:15am

This paper is an investigation into whether or not Vermont State funds, deposited in TD Bank North, are safe. Documents and opinions from several experts were solicited and received.[1] Gary Murphy and I examined the new regulations of the FDIC in an effort to find out if the FDIC had set the stage for the confiscation of state money that was deposited in a "TBTF" (Too Big to Fail Bank).  We looked at the confiscation of deposits and pensions in Cyprus and Poland, and at the debacles in Detroit and Philadelphia.

We compared the placement of Vermont's funds to those in other states and found that states, by law, "collateralize" their deposits, which are considered "secured."  These deposits are generally held in a large national or international  (TBTF) bank. Vermont places them in Toronto-Dominion which is not considered to be one of those.

First, note that the TBTF banks are not banks: not legally and not by function. They even have a new name SIFIs which stands for Systemically Important Financial Institutions. Financial institutions are not depositories. Banks are depositories.

We examined the machinations that the SIFIs had perpetrated over the last several years, especially as described and analyzed by Matt Taibbi in his series of  historic articles in Rolling Stone Magazine.  Particularly enjoyable is "The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia."

Though expert opinions varied as to what these institutions might pull off next, specifically how and if they plan to confiscate our deposits, some aspects of the investigation achieved unanimous agreement.  There is irrefutable proof of, and agreement with, the following:

 1) Certain executives of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of England, UBS, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, the Federal Reserves itself and other central/ international banks engaged in conspiracies to defraud, to steal, to launder drug money (HSBC) and to rig markets.

2) They are still protected in the US by Obama and Holder who have prohibited prosecutions and appointed those responsible (such as Larry Summers who withdrew his name as a candidate for chair of the Federal Reserve) to positions of leadership.  

3) They put regulations in place to insure their positions of "superior claimants" and "safe harbor" counterparties.  Larry Summers in particular, in the words of Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz "supported banking deregulation, including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which was pivotal in America's financial crisis. His great 'achievement' as secretary of the treasury from 1999 - 2001, was passage of the law that ensured that derivatives would not be regulated - a decision that helped blow up the financial markets." A move for which he was greatly rewarded.

What this means, as explained by our colleague, Michael Taub, in a Times Argus op-ed from Thursday, Sept 12, is that steps should be taken by our treasurer to ensure that our money is deposited in a bank or banks that are not subject to "superior claimants" or "safe harbor" counterparties that will claim their collateral before the state is allowed to gather the crumbs. The other alternative is for Vermont to form a partnership with its state chartered banks, depositing its money there.

How is this possible?

It may help here to explain why it will be so easy for the FDIC and the big financial institutions to confiscate our money rather than to protect it. 

Your deposit in a bank is a loan to the bank. It goes on the bank balance sheet as a liability because they are supposed to give it back to you whenever you want it.  They owe it to you.  When a bank lends money, it goes on the asset side of the account because it is money the bank created and is owed to them by the borrower.  So, just as any loan can go bad, so can your loan (deposit) to the bank. That was impossible, of course, with FDIC insurance, and until the FDIC changed the rules. Here is what the rules are now according Dr. Mark J. Roe, professor of corporate law and corporate bankruptcy at Harvard Law School.

Chapter 11 bars bankrupt debtors from immediately repaying their creditors, so that the bankrupt firm can reorganize without creditors’ cash demands shredding the bankrupt’s business. Not so for the bankrupt’s derivatives counterparties, who, unlike most other secured creditors, can seize and immediately liquidate collateral, readily net out gains and losses in their dealings with the bankrupt, terminate their contracts with the bankrupt, and keep both preferential eve-of-bankruptcy payments and fraudulent conveyances they obtained from the debtor, all in ways that favor them over the bankrupt’s other creditors. Their right to jump to the head of the bankruptcy repayment line, in ways that even ordinary secured creditors cannot, weakens their incentives for market discipline in managing their dealings with the debtor because the rules reduce their concern for the risk of counterparty failure and bankruptcy.2

In other words, if you and I each lend $5000 dollars to Paul, and he signs over to me the title to his car as collateral, then, if Paul can't pay, I have his car, and you have nothing. If he can pay, then I return the title and we both get our $5000 plus interest. You didn't know anything about my deal with Paul. It was made before the bankruptcy. If I (as a counterparty to you) walk away with the car due to Paul's bankruptcy, you get nothing. That is what the bankrupt's derivatives counterparties get to do now. And, if the car is worth more than $5000, I benefit if Paul can't pay back the loan.

So I have a financial incentive to make Paul go bust, even though you, my friend, lose your entire $5000. I can even bet against Paul's ability to pay back the loan (that's a derivative) and also set up terms that guarantee his failure. Specifically, that makes me a counterparty in a credit default swap.  (And I could make a side bet that you couldn't pay your creditors either, knowing that Paul is going bust.) That's what the gangs from Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan did to home-"owners" and to the stock, pensions and 401(k)s of Lehman Brothers and AIG; and those who did it still "rule the world." Read the Summers/Geithner set up in a report by Greg Palast here.

Bail In vs. Bail Out

The above scenario could be played out against any bank that borrows money from Wall Street. Therefore any bank that plays in that casino could be gutted of its assets by the protected SIFIs that see a profit in ruining a bank so they can buy it cheap.  And since asset depletion by SIFIs through predation is a constant modus operandi, then the likelihood of "contingent capitol" (your money) for "loss absorbency" (bail-ins) is a given. In other words, it could now happen to any entity that deposits money in a bank, even if that money is collateralized. If it's paid out to superior claimants before the bankruptcy, it's gone.  And even if it's not gone, it could be "bailed in" to save the bank and to satisfy counterparties who get to cut to the head of the line. And those counterparties are the ones who make the deals that a state would know nothing about until the state discovers that its funds had been confiscated.  The bank is now allowed to confiscate deposits to save the bank. Those funds become bank equity so that the bank can stay in business and maybe buy up some more banks and raise the salaries of their executives. And it's all legal thanks to a series of de-regulations and new regulations that leave depositors holding the bag.

This "bail-in" regulation as quoted from the source is:

”The unsecured debt holders can expect that their claims would be written down to reflect any losses that shareholders cannot cover, with some converted partly into equity in order to provide sufficient capital to return the sound businesses of the G-SIFI to private sector operation.” -Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions, coauthored by the FDIC & the Bank of England, December 10, 2012, Page ii.

We, the depositors, are the "unsecured debt holders." They are the "G-SIFI," Global Systemically Important Financial Institutions. It's not the SIFI of Ray Bradbury. They're really here.

What would make your money safer in this current scenario is to deposit your savings in a credit union or local, state chartered bank, as most of their creditors are us and our local businesses. They are probably not exposed to creditors/super priority counterparties that can claim your deposits. They may, however, expose your deposits by leveraging them in "overnight sweeps," allowing banks to earn extra interest while you sleep.

This all started with the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, and was further enshrined  in April 2005 with the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act" aka the "Bankruptcy Reform Act." The BRA:

1) created the "super-priority status" for the derivatives claims to go to the front of the line,

2) overrode the FDIC's power to insure us, the depositors,

3) guaranteed that the SIFIs get the money before we do, and also before local and state governments,

4) turned depositors into cash cows, collateral, and contingent capitol for the insiders in super-priority.

Pray, note the title of the Act. Both names are the opposite of what the acts actually do.

The story:   Following the repeal of Glass-Steagall was the bail-out of AIG in 2008, which was bailed-out to pay off Goldman Sachs, which had knowingly insured fraudulent mortgages through . . . AIG.

In  April of 2009, the Financial Stability Board was created as a subcommittee of the Bank of International Settlements with the powers to regulate banking world wide.

In July of 2010 came Dodd-Frank which, in sections 204a, 214, and 716, prohibited government bail-outs, opening the discussion as to where the money would come from to save the big banks next time. (This time)

In October of 2011 that discussion went as you would expect: The Financial Stability Board paved the way for the bail-ins in a document called: "Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions."  And the "effective resolution" turns out to be turning your money into bank equity to prevent bank failure. The G-20 immediately endorsed this.

End of 2011:   J.P. Morgan and Bank of America move their gambling (derivatives) operations to the their banking operations. Thanks to Larry Summers for removing Glass Steagall!

And now it's ready to roll as we see from the "bail-in" document of Dec 10, 2012 from the FDIC quoted above.  Here's another translation from Randy Langel:  

"One day you may go into your big US bank and when you ask for a withdrawal they give you a share of stock in a new company instead of cash. It will be your responsibility to get that share of stock converted to cash. Of course, since the new company was formed from the failed bank in the first place, it may be difficult to sell it, much less get remuneration equal to the cash you lost when the bank absconded with your money. Since your account has been converted to equity (stock) from cash, the FDIC is no longer responsible for the deposits. Why? Because the FDIC only insures cash accounts not equity accounts. Cute trick. You can’t really blame the FDIC because they were forced into action when BofA and JP Morgan Chase moved their trillions of derivatives into their depository arms. There is no way the government could make up the money lost with one of those giants failing."

The effectiveness of the steps taken to set this up, and of the power of the FSB, was shown when the EU mandated the bail-in in Cyprus, and the next one in Poland where they pillaged the pension funds.

At last count, the total amount was $232 trillion in the derivative casino.      

What does this mean for Vermont?        

And so, to return to our story, TD Bank North has $3.32 trillion on the table, many times its total assets of  $835 billion and having a book value of $46 billion (see "Morningstar" or any of the investment reporting services that provide company statistics). You know what position that could put you in if you have deposits in Toronto-Dominion. And it is your treasurer's fiduciary responsibility to look this in the eye.

On the other hand, TD is not in the same legal category as the SIFIs. What this appears to mean is that TD, if it fails, will have to enter into for-real bankruptcy proceedings, and a judge will adjudicate the distribution of the remaining assets. In that case, I doubt, personally, that your deposits will be automatically swept up by the bank.  But TD could probably be destroyed by any of the SIFIs, just as JP Morgan did to MF Global  -  claiming assets and deposits, and getting them because they were powerful  and well-enough connected to do so.  This was theft. That's why Jamie Dimon was protected by Obama and Holder from prosecution.  Otherwise Dimon would be in jail. If he had been put in jail when he started his sprees of naked short selling, market rigging and manipulation, bribes, illegal foreclosures, and outright theft, his career in crime would have been cut short, rather than perpetually extended.  In the words of William K Black, Associate Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, "We increasingly live in a cheater-take-all system." He quotes from "Looting:  The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit" by George Akerlof and Paul Romer who wrote, "Why abuse the system to pursue a gamble when you can exploit a sure thing with little risk of prosecution?"  For Jamie Dimon et al, there is no risk of prosecution.

Could this happen here? As Gary Murphy puts it:  "If counterparties in contracts that are not governed by the Fed, FDIC or some other government body can do an end run around the receiver, all bets on money kept in a depository institution being kept out of the resolution process are off." TD Bank North has subsidiaries, "some of which are depositories, and these depositories (under Dodd-Frank) would be spun off into bridge companies, and deposits would therefore be left intact." Much depends on whether money is in a bank (depository) or a financial company. TD is both, and furthermore, it's Canadian, which presents a question of jurisdiction. 

Add to this the illegal activities of TD.  It was connected to a ponzi scheme in Florida for which it paid a settlement of $52.5 million, and its new "Rental Agreement, Safe Deposit Rules and Regulations"  #10, prohibiting the "storage of currency, " violates VT law 27 V.S.A. chp 14, not to mention common sense and customer trust.

There is a section in Dodd-Frank that is boiler plate bankruptcy law.  It gives the FDIC the authority to "repudiate" prior contracts. This means that, even if they claim your money as assets for the bank, the FDIC can repudiate that confiscation. In that case the bank fails or is about to fail, and you keep your money. But it hasn't come up yet over here as it did in Cyprus, so we don't know how the FDIC will play it. There could be compromises and you could lose only some of your savings, and the state could lose only some of the millions it has deposited in TD Bank North.

What else could stop it? A state bank that keeps public money in the state. Confiscation of deposits to boost bank assets could not happen in North Dakota because they have a state bank, so they will not suffer the slings and arrows that the rest of us are heir to.

Gary Murphy, who contributed to this article, was Chair of Bradford Planning Commission 1985-87, Vice president/legal researcher for union local at Capital City Press, former member of Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO e-board VT Working Families Party state banking committee chair and web master for vtpublicbank.com

 

[1]  Tom Sgouros, Ellen Brown, Matt Taibbi, Rudy Avizius, Mike Krauss, Scott Baker, Mark J. Roe, Randy Langel, William K Black

2  Roe, Mark J., The Derivatives Market's Payment's Priorities as Financial Crisis Accelerator (March 6 2011), Stanford Law Review, vol 63 issue3.

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Upcoming Performances of The Gods of the Hills: Ethan Allen as portrayed by Jim Hogue

Fri, 08/24/2012 - 12:44pm

This performance is 'The Narrative of Ethan Allen’s Captivity' written in 1778 by Colonel Allen.

During the Revolutionary War, and after the battles of Lexington and Concord, Ethan Allen captured Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775. This was the first fort taken by the Americans. On September 24, 1775 in Montreal, Canada, Ethan was captured and kept on British prison ships. The British barely kept him alive, then two and a half years later he was exchanged for a colonel and was set free.

Friday Sep 28, 2012 7:30

Vergennes Opera House 120 Main Street, Vergennes VT 

The Vergennes Opera House is certainly part of a grand tradition of community-based “Opera Houses” that served, historically, as cultural centers and performing arts facilities throughout Vermont.

Friday September 14th, 2012 time TBD

Vermont Statehouse Montpelier VT

This performance will be part of the Vermont  Independence Conference which will feature Pecha Kucha presentations on Finance, Fuel, Food and Vermont Independence by inspired and innovative Vermonters, on-going performances by Bread and Puppet Theater and Vermont musicians and tastings from local Vermont food and drink vendors. It is free and open to all members of the public.

Friday Oct 5, 2012 7:30pm

Old West Church West Church Road near the Kent Museum, Calais VT 

This is part of the Calais Fall Foliage Festival. Bring your own (covered flame) candles and lanterns!

Sunday October 12, 2012 7:30 pm

Off Center Theatre 294 North Winooski Ave, Burlington VT 

Bring your own (covered flame) candles and lanterns!

The Gift of Now or Never

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 6:40pm
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I used to write how this or that event was a great opportunity for the Second VT Republic. Well folks, if we blow this one we should give up. Really.

Judge Murtha has handed us our ammunition on a silver platter. So -  Ian, Rob, Rick, Robert, Gaelan, Thomas, Dennis and Dennis, Gary, Carolyn et al - what are we going to do? Wring our hands?

I suggest that (pending the appeal) now is the time for every single Vermonter to prepare for the big one. This is tories v patriots. The right to self preservation has been abridged. This is the most basic, inalienable right we have.

First, Shumlin should inform the guard and state police and the local constabulary that the contract with Entergy shall be upheld. Second, the people of Vermont should be prepared to descend on VT Yankee by the thousands to shut down its operations. Third, Shumlin must inform Entergy and the rest of us (the pathetic sham having been played out) that they will shut down on schedule or face eviction.

This affront to Vermont forces us to either crawl under the covers or stand up and fight. Are the people of Vemont (like Murtha) such mice that this will go unchallenged - when all we have to do is act together with the Governor?

This act is the official confirmation that the states are vassals, operating on behalf of the NY central banks and outside corporations. That is not acceptable to anyone with a sense of history or pride of place or public spirit.

If we do not assert our sovereignty, when the choice is either justice or humiliating defeat, then I will be a very lonely patriot. 

SOVEREIGNTY: Finance, Food, Energy

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 1:48pm
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As I look at the aspects of sovereignty, I see three that must go hand in hand if VT is to prosper in the coming years: public banking, food sovereignty and local generation of energy. I am not suggesting isolationism, as bioregionalism is an important factor in all this. I am suggesting preparedness.

Sovereignty, in the political sense, puts the discussion on the table, but no politician today is willing to meet that head on. (Though they have done so in Ohio via the nullification of the mandatory insurance premiums.)

Let us move foreward in the knowledge that being ready is not quite the same thing as jumping in all the way. 

John Ford's fiscal preparedness bill is the first cautious step. And it has not come a moment too soon as Irene has, hopefully, pointed out. There has been some discussion in government circles and the press as to how to solve the financial dilemmas of the state, and many suggestions that we have proposed in the pages of Vermont Commons have not found an ear in Montpelier. Thanks to John, assuming the bill passes, they will have to find an ear, and that ear will be filled with in-state solutions. It will also be filled with the old paradigms of begging for funds and floating bonds on Wall Street, but, for the first time, the voices advocating public money and alternative currencies will be heard. 

I testified on these points two years ago to the House Ways and Means Committee and was opposed, to a large degree, by the banking establishment. Now we are more prepared, and Montpelier is more receptive.

Please stay tuned, as your voices will be crucial if we are to get to meaningful monetary reform. And while you are at it, run for office on the platform of public banking, food sovereignty and local generation of energy. You can read about the food sovereignty movement at The Vermont Coalition for Food Sovereignty.

Harrisburg PA Bankruptcy: putting bond holders above people

Thu, 11/03/2011 - 5:52pm
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Mike Krause has written about Harrisburg PA, but Harrisburg is just the beginning, and I predict that other cities will follow suit. Mike wrote to me that the legislature in PA has little regard for the Harrisburg population. I suspect that their only interest is bond ratings, which is the only indication we need to know they are not thinking about helping the people of PA.

In VT we have at least two legislators who are actively working on monetary reform, and John Ford and I will be talking around the state about public money, warrants, and a state bank.

Drowning in sea of debt Pennsylvania to Harrisburg: "Sorry."  By Mike Krause

Harrisburg is going under, drowning in a sea of municipal debt.

Like many American cities, the Pennsylvania capitol’s tax base has steadily eroded over many decades. Jobs have been lost as industry has died or gone offshore, and much of the middle class long ago fled the city.

With the Wall Street crash of 2008, tax revenues took another dive. And an expensive investment in a new trash incinerator has failed to produce anticipated revenues.

City Council members want to file for bankruptcy to buy time to work the city’s way out of this mess. The mayor disagrees, and now the governor with the support of the Legislature is stepping in.

The city will be put in receivership. One recent newspaper editorial headlined, “State had to act to spare Harrisburg.”

But that is not what’s happening.

As the story under the headline explained, the state is moving quickly “to reassure worried bond-holders,” and the state will take control of the city’s finances “to meet its financial obligations by selling off revenue-generating assets and raising taxes.”

In other words, the bond holders get a life boat and the city drowns. Already strapped for revenue, the city will be forced to divest of revenue generating assets, among them the municipal incinerator and parking garages.

These assets will almost certainly be snapped up at fire sale prices, another transfer of wealth to the already wealthy who will raise fees at these facilities and pocket the loot, while for the 45,000 residents of the city, a reported 29 percent of whom already live in poverty, life will get worse in already hard times.

It is doubtful that the legislators will be riding to the city’s rescue. State lawmakers just went through a gut wrenching exercise in slashing state spending. There is little appetite for spending money or raising taxes to save the people of Harrisburg — or anywhere else.

In fairness to Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett, when it comes to paying off the bondholders, he is in a bind.

Almost every public project in America, from roads and bridges to port expansion, parking garages and municipal incinerators is financed with private money.

And it is expensive. Nationwide, the debt service is in the trillions of dollars, to be paid by taxpayers over generations. And now, a growing number of municipalities are in the same sinking boat as Harrisburg.

The governor’s bind is, if the bond holders don’t think they will always get their profits out, they may not invest. Where then will the money come from for vital public projects?

The answer is a new idea emerging in states and cities across the nation: public banks to provide affordable credit for public purposes.

Actually, it is an old idea, first practiced in America by the Quaker founders of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, who thought that the common wealth should serve the common good.

But the concept did not survive Alexander Hamilton, the first darling of New York bankers, and by the time the Federal Reserve gave control of the nation’s money and credit to a private banking cartel, the idea was extinguished altogether.

Except in North Dakota, where lawmakers responded to the creation of the Fed private banking monopoly by creating the state’s own bank, a public bank owned by the people of North Dakota.. The state of North Dakota does business as the Bank of North Dakota (BND). By state law, the BND holds all the state’s revenue and other assets. Then, as with any bank, these reserves are leveraged to create credit.

That credit is invested in Main Street and not Wall Street.

The BND is not a retail bank and does not compete with private banks. It is a partner in loans made by those banks, savings and loans and credit unions. And it provides a second level of risk assessment.

Only after a community bank approves a loan is the BND approached for participation; for example, to provide a larger loan amount than the local bank can offer, or to “buy down” the interest to the borrower. And then the loan has to pass the BND’s tests for credit worthiness.

For almost 100 years, the Bank of North Dakota (BND) has been an engine of prosperity.

In 2010 the BND reported: $30 million in profits returned to the state general fund without any taxes; a current loan portfolio of $2.8 billion in commercial loans and residential mortgages, including 255 business and industrial projects; student loans of over $1 billion; a $10 million loan program in partnership with the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency; and a disaster relief program with a fixed rate at 4 percent for five years and a variable rate currently at 2.75 percent.

Pennsylvania has a population almost 19 times greater than North Dakota and a far more varied economy. It is reasonable to project that a public Bank of Pennsylvania could produce some very large results.

And had there been a public Bank of Pennsylvania, to invest in cities like Harrisburg and offer low cost alternatives to municipal finance, the governor, state legislators, city officials and the people of Harrisburg might not be dealing with the present catastrophe.

The Fed vs us

Mon, 10/03/2011 - 10:45am
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 Let's please cut the crap (and leave our game theories, for a moment,where they belong, on the parlor table), we are helping to promote murder and mayhem globally.

The actual cause is a sociopathic lack of moral and social responsibility by the banking industry and their corporate lackeys combined with the gullibility of the electorates. The public bought into the illusions and formulas invented by these sociopaths in order to instill fear in the masses so they could sell us the lie that government = corporation and should be managed the same so that they could control the only threat to the successful commission of their crimes.

Or as one freshly minted MBA/Attorney (minted by a corporate controlled college or university financed by the US or a State government) told me one day, "It's our job to steal, it's your job to catch and stop us." So they simply nullified, removed the power of the regulators.

Are you proud to be an American? I am, but I barfed my guts out when I found out that we just annihilated a sovereign nation that had a strong economy, free education, free health care and seed money for every citizen/graduate instead of debt slavery to get them started in their lives.

It is time we stop removing accountability.

 

Reason

Wed, 09/21/2011 - 4:52pm
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Reason . . . It was ever so.

Adelard of Bath (c. 1080 -1142) Catholic Philosopher

“It is through reason that we are men. For if we turned our backs on the amazing rational beauty of the universe we live in we should indeed deserve to be driven therefrom, like a guest unappreciative of the house into which he has been received.

William of Conches  (c.  1080 - 1154)  Catholic Philosopher

“Because they are themselves ignorant of natures’ forces and wish to have all men as companions in their ignorance, they are unwilling for anybody to investigate them, but prefer that we believe like peasants and not inquire into the causes. However, we say that the cause of everything is to be sought . . . . But these people . . . If they know of anybody so investigating, proclaim him a heretic.

Saint Albert  (c. 1200-1280) 

He called upon scholars “not simply to accept statements of others, but to investigate the causes that are at work in nature for themselves.”

Makes me think of Cockburn and Co.

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