A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401k plans, NSCis warning.
A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401k plans, NSC is warning.
Neil Barofsky, a lifetime Democrat, was picked by then-President George W. Bush (on the advise of his Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson) to police how the banks spent the $700 billion in TARP economic stimulus funds that should have helped the United States avert the recession that all Americans now suffer under. Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee on April 20, 2010, Barofsky said: “To declare TARP a success is revisionist history. TARP was supposed to restore lending, and that didn’t happen.”
In his State of the Union Message to Congress of 11 January 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned that
[w]e cannot be content, no matter how high th[e] general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.
May 15, 2012
Last week I held a hearing to examine the various proposals that have been put forth both to mend and to end the Fed. The purpose was to spur a vigorous and long-lasting discussion about the Fed’s problems, hopefully leading to concrete actions to rein in the Fed.
First, it is important to understand the Federal Reserve System. Some people claim it is a secret cabal of elite bankers, while others claim it is part of the federal government. In reality it is a bit of both. The Federal Reserve System is the collusion of big government and big business to profit at the expense of taxpayers. The Fed’s bailout of large banks during the financial crisis propped up poorly-run corporations that should have gone under, giving them a market-distorting advantage that no business in the United States should receive. The recent news about JP Morgan is a case in point. JP Morgan, a recipient of $25 billion in bailout money, recently announced it lost another $2 billion. If a corporation shows itself to be a bottomless money pit of “errors, sloppiness and bad judgment,” the Fed shouldn’t have expected $25 billion in free money to change that or teach anyone a lesson in fiscal discipline.
But it determined that this form of deliberate capital destruction was preferable to one business suffering bankruptcy. Clearly, some changes need to be made.
In his attempt to explode the myth that there is unlimited demand for U.S. government debt, former Treasury official Lawrence Goodman explained that there is high perceived demand because the Federal Reserve is doing most of the buying.
Last year the Fed purchased a stunning 61% of the total net Treasury issuance, up from negligible amounts prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
This not only creates the false impression of limitless demand for U.S. debt but also blunts any sense of urgency to reduce supersized budget deficits.
What about Japan and China? Aren’t they the major purchasers of U.S. debt? Not any more, notes Goodman. Foreign purchases of U.S. debt dropped to less than 2 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) from almost 6 percent just three years ago. And private sector investors — banks, money market and bond mutual funds, individuals and corporations — have cut their buying way back as well, to less than 1 percent of GDP, down from 6 percent. This serves to hide the fact that the government can’t find outside buyers willing to accept rates of return that are below the inflation rate (“negative interest”) given the precarious financial condition of the government. It also hides the impact of $1.3 trillion deficits from the public who would likely get much more concerned if real, true market rates of interest were being demanded for purchasing U.S. debt, as such higher rates would increase the deficit even further. Finally it takes pressure off Congress to “do something” because there is no public clamor over the matter, at least for the moment.