An Unsavory Connection

July 25, 2011

Posted by in Financial crisis with no comments

by John Truman Wolfe

I don’t like the word ‘globalization.’

I don’t like the way it sounds.

I don’t like the way it tastes, or feels or smells.

It evokes a world of human misery ruled by some unseen Orwellian tyrant that promotes the glories of “The State” and an obligatory global authority that is, “For the Good of All.”

But that doesn’t mean that globalization of the planet’s economy is some kind of media fiction. It is not.

As a new financial crisis roils through the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), the perilous ramifications for U.S. investors are disturbingly real. Read more »

Banks

July 1, 2011

Posted by in Financial crisis with 2 comments

By John Truman Wolfe

Since the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis, I have had several requests to do reviews of the financial strength of several banks. In the course of some of these assessments, I have found that the bank I was examining was in trouble, or heading for trouble and I recommended another.

During the last few years the condition of the banking industry in this country has continued to deteriorate. You can imagine this graph in your head:

2006, 0 bank failures;

2007, 3 bank failures;

2008, 25 bank failures;

2009, 140 bank failures;

2010, 157 bank failures;

2011 is doing better so far with only 48 bank failures to date. Read more »

Let ‘Em Eat Cake

June 20, 2011

Posted by in Financial crisis with 4 comments

By John Truman Wolfe

Scott Rasmussen is one of the country’s foremost pollsters. In my opinion he is the best.

Rasmussen is smart: he surveys “likely voters,” as opposed to just those of voting age. He conducts a daily presidential tracking poll in which he tracks the approval and disapproval – essentially the popularity – of President Obama.

He conducts this poll every single day.

The President’s poll numbers and popularity have essentially been falling almost from the day he took office. However towards the end of last year, when Obama agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts, his poll numbers started to improve. This lasted a couple of months and then they slowly turned against him again. Read more »

THE AMERICAN FINANCIAL CRISIS: ACT II

June 10, 2011

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by John Truman Wolfe

A Credit Default Swap (CDS) is a fancy name for a financial instrument that is really nothing more than a bet on whether a loan will be repaid or not. They are wagers placed by bankers and other pinstriped bookies made in an enormous floating casino with virtual crap tables in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

In the simplest terms, credit default swaps are wagers as to whether or not some entity – a government or a corporation – will repay a loan in the manner in which they have agreed.

Governments and corporations borrow money by issuing bonds, which are promises to pay – IOUs.

Here is a simple example of how a CDS might work: The country of Greece (like virtually all governments on this debt ridden planet) spends more than it rakes in in tax revenues. To cover the short fall, it borrows. It does this by selling government bonds of one kind or another. Read more »

Financial Terrorism

May 24, 2011

Posted by in Financial crisis with 2 comments

by John Truman Wolfe

There was an article in The Washington Times, written by Bill Gertz on February 28, 2011.

The title of the article is Financial terrorism suspected in 2008 economic crash. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/28/financial-terrorism-suspected-in-08-economic-crash/

There are two sides to this article – a plus and a minus.

The strength of the article lies in the fact that it has the guts to explore a report, done for the Pentagon, that offered several possible scenarios in which countries, groups or entities could have intentionally caused and / or exacerbated the financial crisis of 2008. Read more »

The Return of the Three Stooges

May 9, 2011

Posted by in Financial crisis with 10 comments

by John Truman Wolfe

The duplicity of this administration has long since ceased to be a surprise to me.

The President has flip-flopped on a jaw-dropping number of issues; saying one thing in his honey-coated eloquence, and completely reversing himself at some future point out of political convenience.

The press, still mesmerized like groupies at a Bono concert, simply overlooks the chorus of broken promises covering everything from closing Gitmo, to lobbyist access, Cuba, Immigration reform, Iraq, campaign finance reform, ad nauseam.

But it isn’t just BHO that leaves a litany of broken promises in his wake. Consider the recent statement by Baby Face Timothy Geithner, which borders on the bizarre. Read more »

The IMF’s Austerity Program for the US

May 2, 2011

Posted by in Financial crisis with no comments

by John Truman Wolfe

There is an article in The Daily Bell, published on April 23 entitled,  IMF Austerity is Headed to America – Watch Out!

The article is written by the newsletter’s editor Anthony Wile.

The Daily Bell is an economic/political newsletter.

Wile’s warning that an IMF based austerity program is coming to America might sound out of the realm possibility to some, but in my opinion it is the exact scenario that is being planned by the Bank for International Settlements and the IMF. Read more »

The IMF’s War on America

April 28, 2011

Posted by in Financial crisis with no comments

by John Truman Wolfe

The headlines of an article in yesterday’s Market Watch says, IMF Bombshell: Age of America Nears End.

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/112616/imf-bombshell-age-america-end-marketwatch

This article covers a report by the International Monetary Fund that predicts the end of what they call “The Age of America.” The IMF says that China will overtake the American economy in 2016.

The fact of the matter is that the data and statistics cited by the IMF are flawed. Read more »

A Greek Tragedy Part III – The Global Financial Crisis

April 16, 2011

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This is the third and final segment of A Greek Tragedy.  It covers what occurred in Greece and what is truly needed to prevent a continuing Global Financial Crisis.

THE GREEK BANKRUPTCY

Meanwhile, the Athenian addiction continued.

The country finally hit the wall about a year ago, at which point there was a real potential that the nation of Pericles was going to declare bankruptcy.

What does this mean? It means that Greece had reached the point that they could no longer pay the interest on their debt – their bonds.

Markets roiled as Greece went cap in hand to their brethren in the European Union, “Buddy, can you spare a billion?”  The Eurozone countries bitched, protested and criticized, and in the end, along with help from the IMF, coughed up $146 billion.

It wasn’t altruism, mind you. No, no. This was pure self-interest. The situation in Greece had helped to drive the value of the Euro down 15% during the first six months of the year. (George Soros, the Dorian Gray of international finance, must have been orgasmic.) The bailout halted the fall.

Read more »

A Greek Tragedy – Goldman Sachs and the European financial crisis

April 16, 2011

Posted by in Financial crisis with 4 comments

This is the second of a three part story on the part Goldman Sachs played in creating the European financial crisis. The first part of the story is posted earlier in the blog.

In short, Goldman converted ten billion dollars of Greek debt that had been purchased with U.S. dollars and Japanese yen into debt that could be repaid in Euros. However, in creating this “currency swap”, they used a fictitious value for the Euros which lowered the reported amount of Greek debt by billions.

The structure enabled Greece to owe billions to Goldman in a currency deal without having to report it to the European Union as a loan, which is clearly what it was. Turns out using the Alice in Wonderland value for the Euro wasn’t illegal, just deceptive as hell.

Read more »

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