By Joan Veon
October 6, 2008
Understanding World Events and the Credit Crisis
For many of us, reading history does not provide us with the flavor of life, the uncertainties of the moment and the fears of facing the truth of the situation. The events over the past six weeks and more specifically from August, 2007 have provided us with a myriad of events which leave even the most astute observer speechless. Over the past fourteen years, I have written extensively about a global currency, global tax, global stock exchange, global central bank, and world government. I have stated on many occasions that world government is not coming, it is here. In order to bring in world government, it will have to be through crisis—continuing, constant crises. The solution will be world government, total integration of all the countries of the world.
The remaining piece that needs to be put in place is for the United States to adopt a global regulatory system to merge our banking, insurance, and stock market and commodity industries to that of the other countries of the world. While only a handful of countries like Britain, Canada, Australia, and the Nordic countries have already adopted some type of global regulatory system, it is America’s turn and once America changes, the rest of the countries will follow suit.
As part of a two step process to change the financial and economic landscape of America and Americans, the Treasury Blueprint saw the first step confirmed: the bailout of Wall Street to the tune of $700B with an additional $300B in sweeteners, giving lawmakers the ability to face their constituents as victors. However, the reality is that America has neither the $300B nor the $700B. At every turn, the amount of money that we owe the Federal Reserve rises. Add the interest to the debt and America is reduced to pauper status.
In the whirlwind of the situation, most people don’t know whether to breathe a sign of relief that the darkness of the situation has passed or if this may be just the beginning.
The credit crisis has evolved over the past 13 months from a problem regarding a small percentage of sub-prime mortgages to a full blown global credit crisis. In response, Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson issued the “Treasury Blueprint for a Modernized Financial Regulatory System. By reading the Blueprint, it is very clear that the former international banker, turned treasury secretary, is basically waging all out war on American financial sovereignty, demanding that all of our remaining financial assets be federalized and put under the control of the Federal Reserve.
In light of the credit crisis and all the money the Federal Reserve is making available, it should be understood that the private corporation of the Federal Reserve prints money on demand and has grown immensely in power over its 95 years of existence. Whenever America needs money, it simply prints it up out of paper, calls the newly created note “The Federal Reserve Note” and credits the account of the United States of America for the liability of the loan. The reason why Americans cannot forgive themselves the interest on the debt is because it is owed to the Federal Reserve and not ourselves. They have a racket going that is better than all of the mafia’s of the world combined. They have brought the most powerful country in the world to its knees by usurping the authority of congress, which has bestowed a blank check to the Federal Reserve giving it all powers. However, we won’t fall completely on our faces until the new international regulation demanded by the Blueprint is put in place.
We should remember that when the Federal Reserve Act was in the making, it promised to “free the country ‘from panics and consequent unemployment and business depression by such a systematic revision of our banking laws…with protection from control or dominion by what is known as the money trust’” (Harold van B. Cleveland, Thomas F. Huertas, Citibank 1812-1970, p.68). We will now be told that given the credit crisis that adoption of the Blueprint is necessary to calm the global markets.
In order to transfer the final and last vestiges of America’s sovereignty, which is made up of many components, to these really evil and ruthless people, some type of major financial crisis would have to be perpetrated. The stakes are very high. Those assets to be conveyed in its entirety include the mortgage industry, the insurance industry, the Payment and Settlement System of Wall Street, and all financial institutions not under the Federal Reserve including credit unions, savings and loans, thrifts, and state chartered banks.
To give us an understanding of what is behind the Blueprint plan, I would like to refer to the very brave and honest senator from Alabama, Senator Richard Shelby. In testifying why he would not vote for the Senate version of what has become known as the “Bailout Bill,” he said,
“The proposal before us tonight provides $700B to provide illiquid assets from financial institution. The stated goal of this scheme is to return confidence and liquidity to our markets. We did not get into this situation within days and we are not going to fix with a quick piece of legislation quickly cobbled together in the back room of the U.S. Capitol. This crisis has been years in the making. Over the last decade, trillions of dollars were poured into our mortgage markets, often at the direction of well intended but ill conceived government programs. At first the conventional mortgages, with standard down payments and verified incomes, [did well, but] over time the number of home buyers that met conventional requirements dwindled. In order to fuel the upward spiral, mortgage products became more exotic requiring less of borrowers and involving more risk. Eventually economic reality caught up when housing prices stalled and then started to fall. Many who bought homes with unconventional loans could not afford the increased payment. I have been a member of Senate Banking Committee for 22 years. When I joined, the S&L Crisis was beginning to unfold and it took 10 years, 5 Congresses and 3 Administrations, until that smaller, more contained crisis, which cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, was resolved.
In 1995, I opposed CRA and loosening of loan underwriting standards. Credit cannot be safely extended only on any basis other than risk and risk cannot be mitigated through social engineering. The appropriate allocation of credit is not political, it is based on merit. The CRA was an attempt to get around it and it failed. I reminded my colleagues of this as we prepare to buy mortgages backed by the very same mortgages born of this flawed policy. It is not free market that failed, but government policies. In 1999, I opposed the Financial Modernization bill, I did not think it had a sufficient regulatory structure to oversee the financial system it created, also known as GLB. In 2001, I became concerned about banking regulators efforts to modernize bank capital standards, known as Basel II. While it is very important to updated these standards , it appeared to me and others on the Banking Committee, Democrats and Republicans, that modernization was concerned more on reducing bank capital levels than on improving bank capital standards.
In 2003, I became concerned about the financial health and regulatory structure of Fannie and Freddie. I did not think they had sufficient capital, management control, or regulatory oversight. I and others were troubled with their size because their combined portfolios totaled $2T. We tried to pass tough GSE reform and was rebuffed by the Democrats on the Banking Committee, and the Senate. As driving force in mortgage finance, the GSE purchasing efforts broke down when scant underwriting standards remained in the marketplace. Many of the toxic investments this bailout is designed to buy, were originated in an atmosphere created by the GSE and facilitated by their supporters here in Congress In 2007, I publically questioned the adequacy of the SEC Consolidated Supervisory Entity program-CSE. This non-statutory program was put in place by the SEC for the 5 big investment banks to meet European regulatory standards without having to submit to the Federal Reserve supervision as provided in the Financial Modernization Act [Gramm-Leach-Bliley]. It also allowed the investment banks, most are gone now, to reduce their capital requirements.
Because I thought that the ‘99 act did not have adequate supervision, I was troubled that the investment banks continued to chafe even at this minimal supervision with their trillions of dollars in asset, global operations, and hundreds of thousand employees. They were content to be regulated by a program with a staff of less than 20 and they lobbied the Banking Committee to keep it that way. I insisted that the Banking Committee hold hearings to exam the structure in greater detail before we ratified that which the SEC created through regulatory fiat. Once again, we did not. Instead my colleagues on the other side of the isle, voted not only to codify the CSE program but to expand it. When my republican colleagues voted to reject it unanimously. Today the CSE program is gone because our major investment banks have merged, gone bankrupt or become that, which they fought to avoid, bank holding companies, supervised by the Federal Reserve. I would like to point out that a great deal of assets to be purchased by the Paulson plan were originated or held by Bear Sterns, Lehman, Merrill Lynch, Morgan. Know the first House version was soundly defeated.“
For a day or two, Americans had some type of victory knowing their voices had been heard by their elected representatives. On September 29, The Washington Post reported, “The normally sure-footed Paulson stumbled badly last weekend when he rushed to the Capitol with a vague and poorly-explained proposal that all but invited politicians and the news media to label it as a $700B bailout for Wall Street.” On 10/1/08, The Financial Times reported, “Embattled Paulson—seeking to regroup his forces and salvage the rescue plan…the loss was a stinging setback for the former Goldman Sachs chairman.” As credit dried up across America, the bailout was re-characterized from being a “Bailout of Wall Street” to a “Bailout of Main Street.” Auto dealers could not get credit to purchase cars and could not extend credit and small and mid-size corporations could not get loans to expand or to meet payroll. As a result, we saw more carnage last week than ever before.
On September 29, the Bailout Bill was unveiled. The Washington Post stated, “[Paulson] would largely stand unfettered by traditional rules, largely unrestricted in his ability to spend $700B of federal money. The Treasury would decide what kind of assets to buy, and which financial companies could sell them. It would decide how much to pay and it would hire companies to manage its acquisitions, without having to obey the normal rules for hiring contractors.” On September 30, Wachovia was sold to Citigroup for $2.16B. Wachovia was run by Treasury Secretary Paulson‘s former deputy, Robert Steel who came with him to Treasury from Goldman Sachs. On Friday, Wells Fargo put a bid in for Wachovia to the tune of $15.4B which would not involve any FDIC insurance. A judge overturned the buy-out by Wells Fargo in favor of Citigroup over the weekend. Again, the taxpayer will make up the difference.
As Congress was voting, the Dow Jones dropped 7% by 777 points, a market loss of $1.4T. Markets around the world dropped in response to the news: Britain’s stock market dropped 5.30%, Russia dropped 7.11%, Europe dropped 5.23%, Brazil’s dropped 9.36%, and Chile’s dropped 9.10%. Gold went up only $5.30 to $888.30. Banking stocks took a bath, and the S&P500, had its worst day since 1987. The Federal Reserve had to pump $630B into the world financial system, including an extra $330B that would be lent abroad via nine other central banks. The Financial Times had a commentary entitled, “Have a Nice Depression.”
The next day, the market rose 345 points on news the Senate would pass a revised bailout bill. On Wednesday, October 1, the Senate ratified their bill, which was the 107 page House bill plus an additional 344 pages of proposals. The Senate proposed, in part, $700B to buy bad assets from faltering financial institutions, an array of tax breaks worth $108B, and a temporary increase in the limit of FDIC from $100,000 to $250,000.
Two days later, on Friday, October 3, the House voted on the expanded Senate version of 451 pages, comprised of the following: The Trouble Asset Relief Program totaled 105 pages, the FDIC totaled 8 pages, major tax breaks totaled 154 pages and the remaining 184 pages was for all the pork they could muster. The size of the final bill was over $1T. We can’t afford $750B, let alone an additional $250B. The market’s failed to respond positively, closing down.
The financial news of larger than expected job losses helped Congress confirm their votes. They are so sure of their power, position, and might. Ohio Congressman John Baynor said he feels the second bill is better than a week ago and that it was time “to act on behalf of the American people—their savings, jobs, retirement securities” and that they have a responsibility to protect the American economy. I agree more with Congressman Brad Sherman who said the bill was a “pork-laden, earmarked laden Wall Street bailout bill.” He pointed out that the oversight board can critique but it cannot stop anything. He said to Vote no and to stay in town to write a good bill. The fact of the matter is the Federal Reserve is the Chairman of the oversight committee.
The rocking and rolling has only begun. We are in the final stages of a move into world government. Congress has already shown they are emotionally weak and that they have no idea of what they are doing or not doing. They have not defended the Constitution they swore to upon hold, as they are playing into the hands of the Federal Reserve and the other major central banks of the world, which are controlled by a small group of very powerful people. In order to finalize the Blueprint, which I have heard will come before a new Congress in January, what will it take to traumatize the new legislators? Will the powers that be decide on a Banking Holiday in the spirit of 1933? Will they cause a total bank collapse by demanding sound banks to down grade their solid loans, as has recently occurred when the Comptroller of the Currency did a bank audit? Or will they simply change our currency to adjust our debt load?
In the book of Esther, we read about the decision a young Jewess had to make in response to the pending annihilation of her people. At the urging of her uncle, she broke all royal protocol to make a plea to her husband, the country’s ruler. Her uncle said, “Who knows if you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this?” The days ahead will try our very souls. When you see the value of your savings drop by 50% and the equity in your home dwindle to the point of foreclosure, what will you do? Who will you turn to? The day the banks close, whether for a day or week, is the day Americans will really wake up to the cold hard facts that the world has changed and individual nation-states are no longer.
© 2008 Joan Veon – All Rights Reserved
Joan Veon is a businesswoman and international reporter, who has covered over 100 Global meetings around the world since 1994. Please visit her website: www.womensgroup.org. To get a copy of her WTO report, send $10.00 to The Women’s International Media Group, Inc. P. O. Box 77, Middletown, MD 21769. For an information packet, please call 301-371-0541