$42,000 Each That's What Bernanke Cost US Since 2007

Bloomberg circulated a report this morning on the total size of the bail out facilities run through the Federal Reserve and Geithner's Treasury. They estimate the total to be $12.8 trillion, or $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the country, 14 times the amount of currency in circulation, and just $1.4 trillion less than the Gross Domestic Product, which is what economists call everything produced and sold in the country last year. Since last November when the facilities under both departments amounted to $7.4 trillion, the amount has increased by 73%. 

I think there is something wrong here. What do you think? Do you agree? Or do you think it is OK that the Federal Reserve Chief has accumulated this kind of power without feeling compelled to tell anyone exactly what he is doing or how?

Hey, Bernanke! Tell Us Please! Where Are You Burying the Loot?

Fed Chairman Bernanke went to the Senate Budget Committee yesterday to testify. The Senators asked him at least four times, and in different ways, where he is burying the loot that is being shovelled his way. And, at least four times, he refused to answer.

EconFinNews - Dec 1, 2008 - Did 2005 Bankruptcy Reform cause world financial collapse?

Economics and Finance News - Dec 1, 2008

Did the 2005 Bankruptcy “Reform” cause the world financial collapse?

Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No. 358 - Seismic Effects of the Bankruptcy Reform.

Remember the Bankruptcy Abuse [sic] Reform act of 2005? Yeah, the one that the credit card companies and bank got passed by buying the very best Congress money can buy. Turns out, according to the New York Fed's research, that since people going bankrupt after the BAR found it more difficult to stop paying their unsecured debts - i.e. credit cards - they were forced to stop paying their mortgages instead. Over 120,000 of them a year, according to the NY Fed researchers.

Hmm, Citibank: that is one of the biggest credit card issuers around, right? So, lezzee here. Citi went and bought itself a new bankruptcy bill in 2005. One result was that, (let’s give ‘em a break and multiply two years instead of three) a quarter of a million people had to default on their mortgages. That in turn caused a crisis in U.S. sub-prime mortgages. That in turn blew up the whole damn world financial system. And now, Citi is getting $308 billion in our money to save its sorry ass?!?

This would be effing hilarious if it weren't destroying so many peoples' lives at this point.

Oil Shocks and Greater Power for the Federal Reserve

How do you keep power when you cede the political ground?

By holding the financial controls over a country's economy.

Think it couldn't happen here? -- have you looked at what the Federal Reserve has been up to lately?

Naomi Klein gives one example of how it can happen when the population is not astute to financial shell game. In her Shock Doctrine, Klein tells the story of South Africa and how the ANC basically won the government but lost all power.


Bush Press Conference to address Concerns about the Economy - Updated

Actually, from the quick little blurb from the WSJ this morning, it sounds more like President Bush will use the opportunity of terrified markets to push for ...

more oil drilling.

The press conference will start at 10:20 a.m. Mr. Bush is expected to press Democrats in Congress hard on the need for more oil exploration, particularly in the Outer Continental Shelf. He's also likely to criticize Congress for failing to move on most annual spending bills.

Stay tuned. (and more updates below the fold)

Failed Bank and Subprime Mess Brine Pickles

So the Federal Reserve worked feverishly over the weekend to save Fannie and Freddie and take over Indy, or as the WSJ reports in Treasury and Fed Pledge Aid For Ailing Mortgage Giants this morning: The Fed "maneuvering, attempted to shore up confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by announcing a plan that placed the federal government firmly behind the battered mortgage giants."

Such a pickle.

Obviously, we need something to distract us while we watch the machinations and see the stock market's reactions after the ordinary citizens have had the weekend to mull over the news of the FED's late Friday take over of the thrift IndyMac. Today, the small investors may sit tight, buy more or they may rush the markets and pull retirement funds out of their 401s, SEPs, and IRAs. Early notice has the market bouncing miraculously back. So in the meantime, here's a brine pickle recipe -- usually made in a "crock" -- thus suitably apt for the times.

Rigged Casinos and the Plunge Protection Team: Bernanke acknowledges greater intervention in the markets

Back on Saturday when I promised to write more about Kevin Phillips and his take on the Plunge Protection Team, I had little idea that the PPT would have such a public coming out party so soon.

This morning, according the to Wall Street Journal, Fed Chair Bernanke said “federal regulators, policymakers and private sector groups are already taking steps to address some of the concerns laid bare during the turmoil last year.”

Translation #1: The myth of the free market is debunked.
Translation #2: Investing in the US Stock Market is about as wise as gambling in a rigged casino.

Extraordinary suggestion from the Fed

Seems like Chairman Bernanke is urging banks to offer a deal to borrowers by forgiving part of their mortgages. Well, they're supposed to be borrowers who look like they will have trouble meeting hire interest rates or refinancing. But hey, I've got my troubles, haven't y'all. Seems to me it might be time for a "rent strike" like in the 'sixties only this time round it would be a mortgage strike.