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Jon Stewart and Ron Paul talk End The Fed

September 30th, 2009 No comments
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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By Conor Dougherty

Texas Rep. Ron Paul was on the Daily Show last night, where he went through his standard spiel about personal liberty and why the Federal Reserve should be abolished. In noting that Mr. Paul’s radical ideas about the Fed have gained wider acceptance in the wake of the financial crisis Daily Show host Jon Stewart compared Paul to a “cool indie band” that is a cult favorite but suddenly goes mainstream. “It scares the daylights out of me,” was Paul’s response to this observation.

Paul has become something of a regular on late night shows like the Daily Show and its Comedy Central cousin, The Colbert Report. And while hosts don’t exactly agree with him, it’s hard for a comedian to resist a man whose views rattle both Democrats and Republicans.

Say what you want about Paul: The man is consistent, he does not pander, and those two qualities alone make him a lot more watchable than the stay-on-messagefests that are common on shows like Meet the Press. Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert once called Paul “an enigma wrapped in a riddle nestled in a sesame seed bun of mystery.”

For instance, last night on the Daily Show Paul blamed the Fed for everything from welfare moms to foreign wars in a single breath. Later, he blamed big government on the undue power of lobbyists and contractors like Halliburton.

Stewart, who asks perhaps the most probing questions of any late night talk show host, challenged Paul on the idea of the government always destroying personal liberty, noting that in the case of civil rights it was government that preserved it. (Paul didn’t exactly concede, and instead brought up Enron, adding: “It’s hard to enforce fraud laws when the government participates in fraud,” said Paul.)

Eventually Stewart was forced to slide down the inevitable slope that is a debate with a libertarian: How small can the government get? Do you abolish the military? Along this line, Stewart asked Paul for an example of a country that at least approximated his views of how things should Paul responded that the early days of America were about as close as it got.

“How you’ve survived in government for 11 terms, I don’t know,” Stewart said at the end of the interview.

Wall Street Journal

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Michael Moore is keeping his Capital though

September 29th, 2009 No comments
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Yuan backed Bonds selling in Hong Kong

September 28th, 2009 No comments

CHINA began its first offshore sale of yuan-denominated sovereign bonds yesterday in a Hong Kong offering aimed at lifting the international profile of its currency. The debt carries a higher coupon than domestic bonds.

The Ministry of Finance is taking subscriptions for 6 billion yuan (US$878 million) of bonds in maturities of two, three and five years. The sale to retail and institutional investors ends on October 20, and the results will be announced two days later.

The two-year debt has a coupon of 2.25 percent, while three-year securities are offering 2.70 percent. The five-year bonds, open only to institutional investors, have a coupon of 3.30 percent.

The rates are up to 43 basis points higher than government bonds sold only on the mainland.

“I think the bonds will be very popular among investors in Hong Kong,” said Gilbert Tse, Societe Generale’s head of global markets, China. “Oversubscription is very likely.”

The offer is aimed at increasing acceptance of the yuan overseas. China is aiming to transform the currency into a regional, then a global channel of trade and finance. The sale also will give China a sovereign debt rating and establish a benchmark for future bond sales.

“The yuan will become one of the major currencies in the region or even in the world,” said Henry Tang, chief administrative secretary for Hong Kong.

He said the issuance of yuan sovereign bonds will enhance that process.

China has already ventured offshore to drum up support for the yuan.

In early September, the nation agreed to buy up to US$50 billion worth of International Monetary Fund bonds and paid for the purchase in yuan. The IMF will lend the yuan to member countries, a step aimed at increasing the yuan’s acceptance.

The currency is growing popular among China’s trading partners, especially in Asia.

The People’s Bank of China has signed six currency swap deals valued at 650 billion yuan with Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Belarus and Argentina.

Hong Kong provides a key platform for the central government to promote the yuan.

Li Yong, China’s deputy finance minister, said yesterday that the bond issue underscores the mainland’s determination to include Hong Kong in its growth strategy.

In 2007, China Development Bank became the first state-owned lender to sell yuan bonds in Hong Kong, testing the offshore appetite for the currency.

Stephen Green, Standard Chartered’s head of research in China, said a market for the local currency will develop as more banks are allowed to settle in yuan and more yuan bonds are issued.

“The ministry is dipping its toe into a small offshore pool of the yuan,” said Green.

“A liquid offshore yuan bond market is one of the prerequisites for the local currency’s regionalization, as long as capital-account controls prevent offshore holders of yuan from investing in onshore bonds,” he said.

Shanghai Daily

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World Bank President on world reserve currency

September 27th, 2009 No comments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the United States should not take the dollar’s status as the world’s key reserve currency for granted because other options are emerging.

In excerpts released on Sunday from a speech that he is to deliver on Monday, Zoellick said global economic forces were shifting and it was time now to prepare for the fact that growth will come from multiple sources.

“The United States would be mistaken to take for granted the dollar’s place as the world’s predominant reserve currency,” he said. “Looking forward, there will increasingly be other options.”

Zoellick said that a meeting of Group of 20 rich and developing countries in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday had made “a good start” toward increased global cooperation but they will have accept global monitoring of their activities.

“Peer review will need to be peer pressure,” he said.

Zoellick said that the G20, as the new chief forum for international economic cooperation, also must not forget the 160 countries left outside its structure and should try to open opportunity for them.

“We need a system of international political economy that reflects a new multi-polarity of growth,” Zoellick said. It needs to integrate rising economic powers as ‘responsible stakeholders’ while recognizing that these countries are still home to hundreds of millions of poor and face staggering challenges of development.”.

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Alan Grayson: Has the FED ever manipulated the Stock Market?

September 25th, 2009 No comments

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Live Webcast of Historic Federal Reserve Transparency Act 2009 Hearings

September 25th, 2009 No comments

60 Minutes Warning of Swine Flu Vaccine 1979

September 24th, 2009 No comments

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HSBC Bank bids farewell to Dollar Supremacy

September 24th, 2009 No comments

“The dollar looks awfully like sterling after the First World War,” said David Bloom, the bank’s currency chief.

“The whole picture of risk-reward for emerging market currencies has changed. It is not so much that they have risen to our standards, it is that we have fallen to theirs. It used to be that sovereign risk was mainly an emerging market issue but the events of the last year have shown that this is no longer the case. Look at the UK – debt is racing up to 100pc of GDP,” he said

Crucially, China and rising Asia have reached the point where they can no longer keep holding down their currencies to boost exports because this is causing mayhem to their own economies, stoking asset bubbles. Asia’s “mercantilist mindset” of recent decades is about to be broken by the spectre of an inflation spiral.

The policy headache was already becoming clear in the final phase of the global credit boom but the financial crisis temporarily masked the effect. The pressures will return with a vengeance as these countries roar back to life, leaving the US and other laggards of the old world far behind.

A monetary policy of near zero rates – further juiced by quantitative easing – is completely incompatible with circumstances in most of Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. Divorce is inevitable. The US is expected to hold rates near zero through 2010 to tackle its own crisis.

What is occurring is an epochal loss in the relative wealth and economic power of the old G10 bloc of rich countries compared to rising regions of the world. The euro, yen, sterling, Swiss franc and other mature currencies will be relegated along with the dollar in this great process of rebalancing, but the Greenback will bear the brunt.

The Fed’s super-loose policy is turning the dollar into the key funding currency for the next phase of the global “carry trade”, taking over the role of Japan during its period of emergency stimulus.

Mr Bloom said regional currencies would emerge as the anchor for their smaller trading partners, with China, Brazil, or South Africa substituting the role of the US. Australia is already linking its fortunes to China through commodity ties.

telegraph.co.uk

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Nurses Rally to Refuse Swine Flu Shot

September 22nd, 2009 No comments

Albany nurses and other health professionals are planning to stage a rally next week to protest a state regulation that mandates they will lose their jobs if they refuse to take the swine flu shot, as fears grow about the vaccine’s dangerous ingredients and government plans to forcibly inoculate whole populations with the H1N1 jab.

Earlier today we reported on the case of “Clare,” a daycare worker in Albany who, despite having minimal contact with hospital staff who work in a separate building, an exemption allowed in the official decree, was ordered to take the seasonal flu shot on the spot or be fired. She was also advised that the same procedure would be in place for the swine flu shot, as is outlined in the New York State Department of Health’s emergency regulation issued in August.

Now nurses across the state are standing up against government intimidation to take the shot, pointing out that the vaccine has not been properly tested and contains mercury, squalene and other dangerous additives.

The New York State Nurses Association is supporting a demonstration on behalf of nurses set to take place next week, reports Newsday.

“This vaccine has not been clinically tested to the same degree as the regular flu vaccine,” said Tara Accavallo, a registered nurse in Stony Brook’s neonatal intensive care unit, the division that has produced a number of protesters. “If something happens to me, if I get seriously injured from this vaccine, who’s going to help me?”

Accavallo says she is willing to lose her job if need be, which is exactly what will happen to thousands of other health professionals on November 30 if the government refuses to back down.

Rob Kozik, another registered nurse in Stony Brook’s neonatal intensive care unit, said he has no problems with a seasonal vaccine but he has deep concerns about being immunized against H1N1. “I usually get vaccinated against the flu, but they are mandating an untested and unproven vaccine,” Kozik told Newsday

“The H1N1 vaccine already has a poor track record,” he added. “Back in 1976 there was vaccine [to protect against swine flu] that caused death and Guillain-Barre syndrome,” said Kozik, referring to a nerve-damaging disorder that some people linked to the vaccine. He said he also worries about the vaccine additive thimerosal, which is used as a preservative in some doses of the vaccine.

According to Dr. Steven Walerstein, medical director of Nassau University Medical Center where H1N1 vaccinations have already started, 25 workers at the institution refused to take the shot and were later “referred to human resources and counseling.”

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FDIC Needs Money; Looks to Big Banks

September 22nd, 2009 No comments

WASHINGTON — Tired of the government bailing out banks? Get ready for this: officials may soon ask banks to bail out the government.

Senior regulators say they are seriously considering a plan to have the nation’s healthy banks lend billions of dollars to rescue the insurance fund that protects bank depositors. That would enable the fund, which is rapidly running out of money because of a wave of bank failures, to continue to rescue the sickest banks.

The plan, strongly supported by bankers and their lobbyists, would be a major reversal of fortune.

A hallmark of the financial crisis has been the decision by successive administrations over the last year to lend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to large and small banks.

“It’s a nice irony,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, a consulting company. “Like so much of this crisis, this is an issue that involves the least worst options.”

New York Times

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