APRIL 8th? Supreme Court Rules Against The Fed; Gov’t Shutdown; New Bretton Woods – Is This A Big Day?
[UPDATE MARCH 31 – POLL HAS JUST BEEN FIXED!
So. There’s all this talk of April 8th. As you can see, there are some big news items coming up (as shown below) but alas – I’m not jumping on any dates. But it seems rather interesting considering other rather interesting things have happened in the month of April:
Notable Births in April:
Eric Harris: April 9*
Adolf Hitler – April 20
Timothy McVeigh – April 23
*(Klebold wasn’t born in April but was born on 9/11, spooky)
Notable Deaths in April:
Adolf Hitler – April 30
Notable Events in April:
Virginia Tech Massacre: April 16
Waco Texas: April 19
Oklahoma City Bombing: April 19
Columbine: April 20
“Deepwater Horizon” Explosion: April 20
What do you think? Answer the poll on the home page or comment below and let’s see what you guys think. t]
Unreported Soros Event Aims to Remake Entire Global Economy
March 29, 2011
By DAN GAINOR
From the Media Research Center
Two years ago, George Soros said he wanted to reorganize the entire global economic system. In two short weeks, he is going to start – and no one seems to have noticed.
On April 8, a group he’s funded with $50 million is holding a major economic conference and Soros’s goal for such an event is to “establish new international rules” and “reform the currency system.” [Sounds like NESARA? t] It’s all according to a plan laid out in a Nov. 4, 2009, Soros op-ed calling for “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.”
The event is bringing together “more than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders’ to repeat the famed 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped create the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Soros wants a new ‘multilateral system,” or an economic system where America isn’t so dominant.
More than two-thirds of the slated speakers have direct ties to Soros. The billionaire who thinks “the main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat” is taking no chances.
Thus far, this global gathering has generated less publicity than a spelling bee. And that’s with at least four journalists on the speakers list, including a managing editor for the Financial Times and editors for both Reuters and The Times [newspaper announcements? t]. Given Soros’s warnings of what might happen without an agreement, this should be a big deal. But it’s not.
What is a big deal is that Soros is doing exactly what he wanted to do. His 2009 commentary pushed for “a new Bretton Woods conference, like the one that established the post-WWII international financial architecture.” And he had already set the wheels in motion.
Just a week before that op-ed was published, Soros had founded the New York City-based Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), the group hosting the conference set at the Mount Washington Resort, the very same hotel that hosted the first gathering. The most recent INET conference was held at Central European University, in Budapest. CEU received $206 million from Soros in 2005 and has $880 million in its endowment now, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
This, too, is a gathering of Soros supporters. INET is bringing together prominent people like former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and Soros, to produce “a lot of high-quality, breakthrough thinking.”
While INET claims more than 200 will attend, only 79 speakers are listed on its site – and it already looks like a Soros convention. Twenty-two are on Soros-funded INET’s board and three more are INET grantees. Nineteen are listed as contributors for another Soros operation – Project Syndicate, which calls itself “the world’s pre-eminent source of original op-ed commentaries” reaching “456 leading newspapers in 150 countries.” It’s financed by Soros’s Open Society Institute. That’s just the beginning.
The speakers include:
•Volcker is chairman of President Obama’s Economic Advisory Board. He wrote the forward for Soros’s best-known book, ‘The Alchemy of Finance’ and praised Soros as “an enormously successful speculator” who wrote “with insight and passion” about the problems of globalization.
•Economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute and longtime recipient of Soros charity cash. Sachs received $50 million from Soros for the U.N. Millennium Project, which he also directs. Sachs is world-renown for his liberal economics. In 2009, for example, he complained about low U.S. taxes, saying the “U.S. will have to raise taxes in order to pay for new spending initiatives, especially in the areas of sustainable energy, climate change, education, and relief for the poor.”
•Soros friend Joseph E. Stiglitz, a former senior vice president and chief economist for the World Bank and Nobel Prize winner in Economics. Stiglitz shares similar views to Soros and has criticized free-market economists whom he calls “free market fundamentalists.” Naturally, he’s on the INET board and is a contributor to Project Syndicate.
•INET Executive Director Rob Johnson, a former managing director at Soros Fund Management, who is on the Board of Directors for the Soros-funded Economic Policy Institute. Johnson has complained that government intervention in the fiscal crisis hasn’t been enough and wanted “restructuring,” including asking “for letters of resignation from the top executives of all the major banks.”
Have no doubt about it: This is a Soros event from top to bottom. Even Soros admits his ties to INET are a problem, saying, “there is a conflict there which I fully recognize.” He claims he stays out of operations. That’s impossible. The whole event is his operation.
INET isn’t subtle about its aims for the conference. Johnson interviewed fellow INET board member Robert Skidelsky about “The Need for a New Bretton Woods” in a recent video. The introductory slide to the video is subtitled: “How currency issues and tension between the US and China are renewing calls for a global financial overhaul.” Skidelsky called for a new agreement and said in the video that the conflict between the United States and China was “at the center of any monetary deal that may be struck, that needs to be struck.”
Soros described in the 2009 op-ed that U.S.-China conflict as “another stark choice between two fundamentally different forms of organization: international capitalism and state capitalism.” He concluded that “a new multilateral system based on sounder principles must be invented.” As he explained it in 2010, “we need a global sheriff.”
In the 2000 version of his book “Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism,” Soros wrote how the Bretton Woods institutions “failed spectacularly” during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. When he called for a new Bretton Woods in 2009, he wanted it to “reconstitute the International Monetary Fund,” and while he’s at it, restructure the United Nations, too, boosting China and other countries at our expense.
“Reorganizing the world order will need to extend beyond the financial system and involve the United Nations, especially membership of the Security Council,’ he wrote. ‘That process needs to be initiated by the US, but China and other developing countries ought to participate as equals.”
Soros emphasized that point, that this needs to be a global solution, making America one among many. “The rising powers must be present at the creation of this new system in order to ensure that they will be active supporters.”
And that’s exactly the kind of event INET is delivering, with the event website emphasizing “today’s reconstruction must engage the larger European Union, as well as the emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.” China figures prominently, including a senior economist for the World Bank in Beijing, the director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the chief adviser for the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.
This is all easy to do when you have the reach of George Soros who funds more than 1,200 organizations. Except, any one of those 1,200 would shout such an event from the highest mountain. Groups like MoveOn.org or the Center for American Progress didn’t make their names being quiet. The same holds true globally, where Soros has given more than $7 billion to Open Society Foundations – including many media-savvy organizations just a phone call away. Why hasn’t the Soros network spread the word? [EXACTLY. Why haven’t they? Baddies don’t want to know this is going on? People HAVE to be quiet because they’re under a gag order? t]
Especially since Soros warns, all this needs to happen because “the alternative is frightening.” The Bush-hating billionaire says America is scary “because a declining superpower losing both political and economic dominance but still preserving military supremacy is a dangerous mix.”
The Soros empire is silent about this new Bretton Woods conference because it isn’t just designed to change global economic rules. It also is designed to put America in its place – part of a multilateral world the way Soros wants it. He wrote that the U.S. “could lead a cooperative effort to involve both the developed and the developing world, thereby reestablishing American leadership in an acceptable form.”
That’s what this conference is all about – changing the global economy and the United States to make them “acceptable” to George Soros.
– Iris Somberg contributed to this commentary
Mr. Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture.
Fed Will Release Bank Loan Data as Top Court Rejects Appeal
By Greg Stohr and Bob Ivry – Mar 21, 2011
The Federal Reserve will disclose details of emergency loans it made to banks in 2008, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an industry appeal that aimed to shield the records from public view.
The justices today left intact a court order that gives the Fed five days to release the records, sought by Bloomberg News’s parent company, Bloomberg LP. The Clearing House Association LLC, a group of the nation’s largest commercial banks, had asked the Supreme Court to intervene.
“The board will fully comply with the court’s decision and is preparing to make the information available,” said David Skidmore, a spokesman for the Fed.
The order marks the first time [in 98 years! t] a court has forced the Fed to reveal the names of banks that borrowed from its oldest lending program, the 98-year-old discount window. The disclosures, together with details of six bailout programs released by the central bank in December under a congressional mandate, would give taxpayers insight into the Fed’s unprecedented $3.5 trillion effort to stem the 2008 financial panic.
“I can’t recall that the Fed was ever sued and forced to release information” in its 98-year history, said Allan H. Meltzer, the author of three books on the U.S central bank and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Under the trial judge’s order, the Fed must reveal 231 pages of documents related to borrowers in April and May 2008, along with loan amounts. News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox News is pressing a bid for 6,186 pages of similar information on loans made from August 2007 to November 2008.
The records were originally requested under the Freedom of Information Act, which allows citizens access to government papers, by the late Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman.
[Don’t know who Mark Pittman is? He predicted the 2008 Crash in vivid detail. He explained that this would not be a normal downturn and why and how the banks were responsible. Pittman was the first person in history to sue the Federal Reserve (along with his employer Bloomberg News.) He won – and you never heard of him. And he passed away due to a “heart attack” at 52.
As a financial crisis developed in 2007, “The Federal Reserve forgot that it is the central bank for the people of the United States and not a private academy where decisions of great importance may be withheld from public scrutiny,” said Matthew Winkler, editor in chief of Bloomberg News. “The Fed must be accountable to Congress, especially in disclosing what it does with the people’s money.”
The Clearing House Association contended that Bloomberg is seeking an unprecedented disclosure that might dissuade banks from accepting emergency loans in the future.
“We are disappointed that the court has declined our petitions, which deal with the protection of highly confidential bank information provided to the Federal Reserve,” the group said in a statement after the high court acted.
A federal trial judge ruled in 2009 that the Fed had to disclose the records in the Bloomberg case, and a New York-based appeals court upheld that ruling.
The Clearing House Association’s chances at getting a Supreme Court hearing suffered a setback when the Obama administration urged the justices not to hear the appeal. The government said the underlying issues had limited practical significance because Congress last year laid out new rules for disclosing Fed loans in the Dodd-Frank law.
“Congress has resolved the question of whether and when the type of information at issue in this case must be disclosed” in the future, the administration said in a brief filed by acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, President Barack Obama’s top Supreme Court lawyer.
The Fed had previously fought alongside the banks in opposing disclosure. It also sought to join the industry group in seeking high court review, only to be overruled by Katyal, according to court documents.
Justice Elena Kagan, formerly Obama’s top Supreme Court lawyer, didn’t take part in the court’s consideration of the appeal. Since joining the court last year, she has disqualified herself from cases in which she took part as a government lawyer.
Bloomberg initially requested similar information for aid recipients under three other Fed emergency programs. The central bank released details for those facilities and others in December, after Congress required disclosure through the Dodd- Frank law.
The legislation didn’t apply retroactively to the discount window lending program, which provides short-term funding to financial institutions. Discount window loans made after July 21, 2010, must be released following a two-year lag.
Clearing House Association
“Fortunately, Congress was well aware of the sensitivity of disclosing this information,” the Clearing House Association said in its statement. “As part of the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress adopted a specific rule to ensure that in the future this confidential information will not be disclosed prematurely to the detriment of our financial system.”
The New York-based Clearing House Association, which has processed payments among banks since 1853, includes Bank of America NA, Bank of New York Mellon, Citibank NA, Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas, HSBC Bank USA NA, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, U.S. Bank NA and Wells Fargo Bank NA.
In trying to shield the documents from disclosure [look at that list above! No wonder they don’t want us to know about it! t], the Clearing House invoked a FOIA exemption that covers “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.”
Odds Of Government Shutdown Rise As Parties Snipe Over Faltering Budget Talks
By Felicia Sonmez, Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery, Saturday, March 26
A breakdown late last week in closed-door negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House on funding the federal government makes it increasingly possible that Congress will not agree on a long-term funding resolution or another temporary measure by an April 8 deadline, aides from both parties said.
That means that the threat of a government shutdown — which had receded in recent weeks because of congressional approval of several stopgap funding measures — appears to be back on the table.
Problems with the negotiations became public late Friday, as revealed in comments from Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the top three House Republican leaders. The apparent breakdown followed a Tuesday meeting among staff members for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and representatives of the White House budget office on a possible deal for funding the government through the end of the fiscal year in September.
Democratic aides said talks had been underway for nearly two weeks between Boehner’s staff and the White House budget office, with steady progress leading to an agreement that the two sides would meet halfway between the $61 billion in cuts approved by the House and Democrats’ preference for maintaining current spending levels.
Since $10 billion in cuts had already been approved in two temporary funding resolutions, that position would require Democrats to come up with only an additional $20 billion to $25 billion, some of which Democrats hoped to take from health-care and agriculture subsidies programs.
But on Tuesday, according to Democrats, House Republicans changed the terms, insisting that negotiations start with the House-passed bill and that Democrats identify the cuts they couldn’t accept.
Such a move would force Democrats to go on record defending programs that Republicans had identified as wasteful. In the meeting Tuesday, White House Budget Director Jacob J. Lew balked at the terms and the parties agreed to later return to the negotiating table, Democratic aides said.
Republican aides blamed Lew for the impasse, saying it was the White House that had demanded unreasonable terms.
Aides said the breakdown in Tuesday’s meeting led Boehner’s staff to ask about the possibility of another stopgap bill, which other House leadership offices said was impossible, given the brewing opposition to what would be the seventh such bill in the first six months of fiscal 2011.
The aides from both parties who described the talks spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiations were private.
The tensions became public Friday evening following a remark that morning by Schumer on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “some progress” was being made in the talks.
That prompted a quick succession of statements Friday evening from Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), all of whom denounced Schumer’s comments and accused Democrats of intending to cause a government shutdown. Cantor described Schumer’s remarks as “completely far-fetched.”
“If Democrats don’t have a plan, do they intend to shut down the government because they can’t agree among themselves?” Boehner asked in a statement issued not long after Cantor’s. “The status quo is unacceptable, and right now that is all Washington Democrats are offering.”
Schumer’s office shot back in a statement that “after days of positive negotiations, with significant flexibility shown by the Speaker, the House Republican leadership is back to agonizing over whether to give in to right-wing demands that they abandon any compromise on their extreme cuts.”
Asked for comment on the negotiations Friday, the White House budget office declined to discuss the details of the meetings, which it said “were agreed by all to be confidential.”
Budget office spokesman Kenneth Baer added, however, that there have been “ongoing discussions at many levels” and noted that Vice President Biden spoke with Boehner and Reid on Thursday.
“The process is on track,” Baer said.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans say the talks are moving ahead, though at a slow pace, according to senior aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity about their internal deliberations. Not enough “big decisions” have been made for leaders to feel confident they can meet the April 8 deadline, according to one aide.
Complicating that deadline are the new rules that the House imposed at the start of the new Congress, which require a bill to be publicly unveiled 72 hours before any consideration on the House floor.
If Republicans commit to keeping that pledge, they would need to have a deal completed and a bill drafted by the night of April 5 to vote on the legislation the evening of April 8, sending it to the Senate — where procedural hurdles could further delay consideration for a few days.
This has led many senior congressional aides, in both parties, to say they need a resolution keeping the government open for just a few more days, or else a brief shutdown of the federal government would become inevitable.
Did you like what you read here? If so, please be kind enough to donate to support the cause (click HERE). It takes time and money to create a website like this and I love doing it so anything would be very much appreciated. And I’ll personally email you a free thank-you gift in return – my 214 page ebook about debt, credit, bankruptcy, investing and much more!