Today, the IMF’s resources are enough to face the situation but because we are facing a global crisis, the needs may be much bigger than previously,” he said. “We have to intervene in Asia, Africa and Central Europe, Latin America, and maybe elsewhere. I can’t promise that in six to eight months from now, we will have enough resources.” The Fund is seeking pledges from nations with large current account surpluses and foreign exchange reserves to donate it cash to help bolster troubled countries. At the World Economic Forum in Davos late last month deputy head John Lipsky is understood to have spent time meeting with various heads of state and of sovereign wealth funds for precisely this purpose. Japan has already offered to add $100bn to the Fund’s resources, Mr Strauss-Kahn said.
I find it immensely funny that today’s press conference, the IMF huffs about needing to intervene here and intervene there but mentions only the Usual Suspects: Asia, Africa, Central europe and Latin America. Oh, and of course, he threw in ‘and elsewhere’! HAHAHA. Elsewhere being Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Greece, the USA…ooops! Wait! The US is the biggest member of the IMF and is the founder of the IMF and has used the IMF with brutal efficiency over the last half a century to enforce the expansion of US imperial powers!
And we are on the ropes. Soon to be hanging from a rope. Officials: US ship in China spat was hunting subs
The United States maintains that the unarmed USNS Impeccable was operating legally in Beijing responded hotly to a U.S. protest over Sunday’s incident, and neither nation is backing down, even as they prepare for a much-anticipated first meeting between and next month.when it was surrounded and harassed by the Chinese.
Although they would not be specific about the Impeccable’s mission when it was intercepted by the Chinese ships, two defense officials said the ship is designed and equipped for sub-hunting work and was part of a calculated U.S. surveillance operation in the disputed South China Sea.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the ship’s exact capabilities are sensitive. Other U.S. officials have said on the record that the U.S. military will continue to patrol in the South China Sea despite Chinese objections.
I can’t resist: HAHAHA. First, some poor soul in the Pentagon had to be ‘anonymous’ because the ship’s exact spy abilities are secret! On top of this, it is a civilian ship with some officers. This is the ‘privatization’ garbage brought in alongside the ‘free trade’ and ‘floating currency’ garbage. All these things are designed to increase profits for a small, well-connected elites.
“They seem to be more militarily aggressive,” National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told .
“I think the debate is still on in China whether as their they will be used for good or for pushing people around.”
The Chinese are certainly getting ‘pushy’. I saw the pictures of this confrontation. Most of the ships were civilian and the Chinese were very proud and happy to be pushing for sovereignty in their front yard, so to speak. Like Russia, they are very concerned about our nosing around in their front yard while we go begging for money.
“The Chinese do the same thing. It’s just that they don’t do it around us,” said Bonnie Glaser, an expert on theand U.S.-Chinese relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Glaser said the two nations need a better rule book for the disputed area, but she predicted that both countries will try to make sure the diplomatic sniping over the Impeccable doesn’t go too far.
Analysts also noted that the incident, capping a string of provocations in the, comes as nears announcement that it will expand its naval capabilities. China this week also unveiled its plans for a nearly 15 percent increase in defense spending this year.
China will have an aircraft carrier “very soon,” a top Chinese naval officer told a newspaper last week, fueling speculation over a pending official announcement on the long-awaited project. Meanwhile, a said Tuesday that the Obama administration was considering whether to raise the matter with , who was due in Washington on Wednesday to meet with U.S. diplomats.
The Chinese are spending their money they saved. We are spending money the Chinese saved. There is something wrong with the two sentences! Very wrong. Very deadly. Obama is visiting Hu next month. This is a begging bowl operation. Of course, when we come to China, we come with our noses in the air. I expect the US President will have a list of demands China must do so they can be our buddy.
China will simply sit there and wait for Obama to fall silent. Then China will ask, ‘How much money do you need to borrow from us? And what are we getting besides an IOU?’ Ahem. We can’t demand money and not offer anything but slaps on the face. One thing is certain: when China signaled they didn’t want us trawling about, spying on them very close by, we should have backed off, silently. Instead, we decided on an public showdown which shows us to be utterly foolish. Just like when Europe announced, they would clip Russia’s wings and then suddenly had to deal with freezing to death, so it is here: we have no leverage. We should can this sort of silly, futile patrols and recede like any good, dying empire.
Back to the IMF: the bank is controlled by American internationalists. Everyone on earth knows, the #1 nation which is causing the economic collapse is the US. And the IMF has the audacity to whine about how they need some sovereign nation to give them money? Like, China? And will China become the head of the IMF?
Of course, China deserves this elevation! We lost the struggle for power back in 1999. We are no longer in control of the China South Sea or Hudson Bay or the New Jersey Deep Sea Terminal, for that matter! We have aircraft carriers that will end up being floating slums when the money runs out. I suppose we can float them to the Bengali Bay so India can dismantle them? Aside from this, I note in the top story here that Japan gave only $100 billion to the IMF, not the $200 billion I heard a few days ago. This is a bad sign.
I suspect, the Japanese were going to give $200 billion but when China remained silent, they also backed off. $100 billion won’t go far in the IMF. It can bail out some poor African nation but not even Iceland. Much less, England. And forget monsters like the US. I don’t see any trillions of IMF dollars to shower on our heads. But then, we have trillions…in our Pentagon spending. Maybe we can sell off all our navy to the Chinese.
Wait, that is the Chinese plan! Maybe Obama can give Hu a tour of one of our nuclear aircraft carriers. Make a deal. $500 billion bail out money and Hu gets the Ronald Reagan and the Bush aircraft carriers!
QUESTION: I had two small questions. One was about the adverse impact that you were talking about in the papers arising from the fiscal deterioration. I’m assuming that the adverse impact you had in mind was an increasing cost of borrowing for governments. Secondly, on the entitlement issue, I wonder if you could try again to put that in perspective how much potentially could be freed up from long-term entitlement spending and would this help mitigate the risks for the long-term costs of borrowing.
‘Freed up FROM long-term entitlement spending: this means, the money to keep the banks afloat will come from the governments and in turn, the governments will cut off our money that keeps us alive. How interesting this is. I wish some little old lady with an umbrella was sitting next to that reporter. Then, she could whack him. And then dash to the stage and whack Mr. Cottarelli. At least, throw her shoe at him.
Borrowing will be cheap because we will be in a severe depression once we end all social services. How can you have inflation when no one has any money? We are rapidly entering a New World Order whereby all the imperialist powers are so deep in debt, the only way they can stay afloat is to have a ZIRP system whereby they can borrow and not pay any interest on the money they lend to themselves! This won’t work, of course. We know what happens next!
MR. COTTARELLI: Let me start with the second one. You will find in our papers our calculations of this in terms of how much it can be freed up and it’s done country by country for countries for which there are reliable projections on medium-term, long-term spending arising from entitlements. As I said, the figure that I can mention is the 7 percent. The ratio, for the average of the countries for which we have data, between the short-term costs of the crisis compared with the long-term cost of entitlements is lower than 7 percent which means there is quite a lot that you can do to finance the current fiscal expansion through the reform of entitlements.
On the first question, yes, if doubts arise about the viability of fiscal accounts, you will see this resulting first in an increase in interest rates on government borrowing.
‘Reform’ when an IMF internationalist Bilderberg person is speaking, means ‘starving the elderly, the sick and the poor to death.’ This is why all nations fear owing money to the IMF. They know, if they owe to China, China will simply ask them to let China expand in their economies. Not, shut down everything so everyone dies. The US has plenty of money. But we spent immense amounts of this money we are borrowing, on trawling for subs right next to nuclear power and banking giant, China, for example.
Or shooting at peasants dressed in rags and living in mud huts, using billion dollar missile systems. We are spending a fortune, trying to secure a mountainous Muslim land while at the same time, Obama will lecture China about using the military to secure a Buddhist mountainous land that features uprisings, etc.
And we will try to do this on the Chinese yuan.
QUESTION: Also two questions. One, it seems that countries are reacting on the stimulus front and so forth, but perhaps the banking issue has not been addressed adequately, and I wonder if Mr. Caruana could talk about that. What do countries need to do to improve their financial system in the United States perhaps in regards with European banks exposed to Eastern Europe which is a big concern?
Then the second question, see in the PIN that it said that there were inadequate warnings about the crisis by the Fund among others and I remember that the WEO didn’t warn about this. I remember that the report that Mr. Caruana — did talk about the subprime, but the main sort of report by the IMF didn’t talk about this issue and I wonder if you could tell us why do you think you missed it because that will help us improve in the future. Thank you.
The press is much too kind to the IMF officials. Why did they miss this obvious, obvious mess? I wrote about it for years and years. I wailed about how the US was running a bigger and bigger trade deficit alongside a yawning budget deficit. I complained about interest rates being below the real rate of inflation. I warned that housing was overvalued across much of the planet. Better still, I figured out where much of the excess lending was coming from: the Japanese carry trade! I will note that these words do not appear in this press briefing nor in the report.
The occult nature of the Japanese carry trade is no mystery: the IMF loved it, note who is bailing out the IMF, after all! They are….borrowing from the Bank of Japan! And you can bet, the money isn’t yen. It is dollars. A sane examination of the carry trade business is just as important as understanding how the derivatives business upended normal finances and flooded the planet with an immense amount of ‘funny money’.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has agreed to slash an emergency fee on banks to 10 cents per every $100 deposited at the same time Congress is attempting to increase the maximum amount of money the FDIC can borrow from the Treasury Department. Despite what may seem like drastic measures, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair sought to assure banking customers that their deposits are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, up to $250,000 that is. An FDIC spokesman told reporters that, “We can and always will be able to meet our obligations to depositors.” However, the deposit insurance fund totaled just $19 billion at the end of last year. The insurance fund has been seriously depleted after covering 25 bank failures in 2008. Already this year, 16 banks have fallen victim to the financial crisis.
The IMF bank is depleted. The US FDIC is depleted. All Western systems are depleted. This, in the wake of the biggest, nastiest expansion of lending in the history of humanity! How can the US be out of money when we were flooded with ‘dollars’. This is where it gets rather interesting.
The flood of dollars were really IOUs. And since most were denominated by computers, not on paper, when people ceased paying money based on promises to pay, no money showed up! The invisible money remained invisible. Worse, since it was part of the derivatives counter-party game, it had this boomerang effect. Losses weren’t just for the amount not paid but were amplified and redoubled as it bounced around between banks and investment houses across the planet.
Even as governments fret about paying interest on loans, the FDIC is hitting banks for more money from their savers. This, of course, weakens the healthy banks which have to pay for the sick ones. This is why the system gets weaker and weaker. As banks offer nothing at all for savings, there will be no savings to tax, of course. Worse, people are rapidly paying off loans, instead. Loans are ‘assets’ to banks while savings are ‘debits.’
MR. MOGHADAM: I think there was nobody that basically predicted the crisis in the manner that it ultimately unfolded.
HAHAHA, if this fool were to google any of the stuff we discussed for years, he would discover an ARMY of intelligent people who accurately examined the looming crisis and explained why it was going to happen and even, when it would happen. Far from ‘nobody’ knowing this, it is obvious to some of us. If he is this ignorant, why is he being paid good money to yap? Obviously, he isn’t very smart. Or worse, is computer-illiterate.
What is important for us is to look back and see what we could have done better, and that’s part of this exercise in a very candid way, whether it is on surveillance, whether it is on the way our facilities work, on internal products that we do and on external products that we do. We have tried to look back in a candid way and to see how we can do things better and draw lessons from it. So it is difficult to pinpoint. There were issues that are highlighted here. For example, we were very focused on emerging market risks, not so much focused on advanced economies.
This inability to focus on the real danger was due to the US influence coupled with Japan and Europe happy with the US trade deficit. Since all of our allies and trade partners had surpluses with the US, they were content. So no one was going to blow the whistle. Everyone knew this was unsustainable but were happy to do it until it was forced to end. Of course, this meant, it would crash. Like anything out of control, it would end with a loud splat.
Our internal vulnerability exercise was based on looking at emerging markets and not at the advanced economies. We are correcting this. We had identified risks but perhaps we had not drilled down enough to see what are the solutions to these risks and what are the systemic aspects of these risks. These are things which it’s again easier to identify in retrospect rather than at the time.
This is a total lie. The US trade deficit was obvious to everyone. It was plain as day. It was obviously unsustainable. It was obviously draining the US of future wealth. It was an obvious sign, our empire was dying. We know from history that all trade deficits end with the party going bankrupt. There are no exceptions. There is usually one road out, if it is an empire: war.
This is why the IMF should have stopped the US from going to war in Iraq. Instead, it sat idle. Just like the IMF doesn’t go after the US for spending money, fooling around offshore of China or in Poland, with missiles aimed at Russia.
A crisis will occur again. It’s not that you can put in place safety valves to completely prevent future crises, but the issue is what can we do better and we are very keen to show that we are ready to identify what we didn’t do well and what we can do better and that’s one of the key purposes of this exercise and why it is done so quickly.
The news story below is an obvious example, how the US is using sleigh of hand to keep our floundering economy ‘growing.’ The IMF should force us to stop doing these sorts of things:
March 3 – Wall Street Journal: “If you missed the first hedge-fund boom, now may be the time to put up your shingle. Looking at the terms of the Federal Reserve’s new Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, investors using it should be able to generate hefty returns with little risk. The TALF effectively turns the Fed into a generous prime brokerage. The central bank lends money for up to three years to investment firms to buy bonds backed by assets like auto or credit-card loans. The Fed needs to lure investors back into the market for these asset-backed securities, or ABS, where new issuance has almost disappeared.”
Our pathetic, deep in debt government is now a brokerage firm? How did we turn into an arm of Goldman Sachs? How did JP Morgan take over our Treasury? Oh! They were ‘appointed’ by politicians who begged for money from them, so they could run for office or, when retired, could run ‘charities’ that mostly line their own pockets. Taking a government and turning it into a pirate operation that causes money to pour into the pockets of the already-rich is what the IMF was supposed to stop. Why can’t the IMF save us?
Well, they won’t. Instead of advising us to arrest all these criminals, shut down Goldman Sachs and shutter JP Morgan and nationalize the Federal Reserve, we are being told, the only solution is to cut social services and have most of us die.
MR. MURRAY: Thanks, Reza. I’m going to go to the Media Briefing Center. It’s sort of in line with the last question. Much of the world regards what is now happening as an “American crisis” or at least one rooted in the U.S. The IMF refuses to acknowledge even the sentiment. Is it a lesson in itself?
MR. MOGHADAM: — the question?
HAHAHA. The IMF officials had to clean some wax out of the ears! Even Americans are aware that this is an ‘American’ problem! But not the IMF. Maybe they will blame this all on Haiti.
MR. MURRAY: The question is we are not acknowledging this as an “American crisis” and isn’t that a lesson that we should be learning?
MR. MOGHADAM: I don’t think that is fair. I think we are not only acknowledging where the roots of the crisis are, but also more importantly now we have to see how to deal with the crisis and I think the Fund has been quite forward in terms of coming up with ideas whether it is on the stimulus, whether it is on the financial sector, and both for the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, and we have been doing that and we will continue to do that. And it’s also important to realize how the contagion elements could unfold and that’s another very key focus of all the products that we engaged in right now.
HAHAHA. This is why the fad of throwing shoes is so useful. Of course, the reporters were screened and perhaps, barefoot. But this response deserved not shoes, but BOOTS thrown at Mr. Moghadam. And what are these mysterious ‘products’ that are ‘engaging’ these clueless buffoons?
MR. BLANCHARD: Central banks.
MR. MURRAY: Central banks, as well.
MR. BLANCHARD: Three specific suggestions about the way central banks should go about their business in the future.
- The first one is that they should construct measures of systemic risk.
- The second is that they should monitor these measures.
- And the third is if these measures indicate an increase in systemic risk that they should take steps.
Take steps I think has two dimensions. They could change some of the rules, there are all kinds of regulatory measures which can be taken. But they should, if they think this is not sufficient, actually use regular monetary policy, maybe interest rate to lean against the wind if needed.
Oh my! Banks can…use REGULAR monetary policies! How unusual. As for ‘changing rules’, the sense I get and many others get, is actually a RETURN to the older rules. The rules that were overthrown when a desperate US, falling off a cliff due to the Vietnam War, broke. We broke these rules of international finances and trade in the hopes of getting a free ride. Our hopes were, we could spend like fiends and not have inflation via tricky interest rate and exchange rate deals.
This proved to be a mirage. A fool’s errand. Instead, this allowed the US to spend its way to penury. And since we permitted our international trade to fall deep in a hole, this can’t be fixed via any mere IMF ‘products.’ Nor can starving all our elderly to death and putting children on the street to beg for crumbs, going to fix things. The world will STILL not have trade.
The reforms we need are old business. Namely, we must return humbly to the past to learn how our ancestors managed things.
… We can do much better than we have. Let me give you an example which I find striking. If you take the last two bubbles in the U.S., the first one is the high-tech bubble and the second one is the housing price bubble. The high-tech bubble basically had limited real economic effects. Basically when it crashed it was not pleasant but it didn’t lead to a very deep recession.
As we know, the housing bubble has led to a very deep and long-lasting recession. What’s the difference between the two when you look back? The first one was basically not associated with much intervention of the financial system. It was basically people buying stocks so when the stocks went down people lost, but that was more or less the end of it.
This guy’s analysis of history is insane! The Dot Com Bubble caused the ENTIRE PLANET to go into a contraction. The US fixed this by going on a spending spree and of course, the Bank of Japan bankrolled this for us. The US had to move heaven and earth when the Long Term Capital Management geniuses got caught in their own gears. There was absolute terror that the whole financial system would collapse.
It didn’t. But this was just a warning shot. Since all the bankers saw the government rescue these fools, they all thought, ‘Hey, why not jump off the cliff?’ And they did, a mere 10 years later. Only, the mess was 1,000 times worse. The $5 billion in derivatives became $500+ trillion. The insanity of the derivatives business is just remarkable. And the international organizations are party to this.
This one was very different. It was associated with strong interactions with the financial system, high leverage, so that when housing prices went down the banking system was in trouble. We now understand that much better than we did. So when we construct measures of systemic risk, I think if we had had these measures in the early 2000s we would have said there is an issue but the systemic risk is not so high. If we had had this measure in 2006 and 2007, we would have said there is a very real systemic risk….
This shallow story telling is baffling. Why can’t they tell the truth? We keep circling this matter. I know that there is no way we can fix anything if everyone at the top keeps telling foolish stories rather than looking at harsh reality. All nations are struggling with this. They blame whoever is in power but since this bubble covered the entire planet, it means that the source of contagion is international, not local.
So long as the US insists on a system whereby we can borrow infinite money, we will have instability. So long as international bankers use pirate islands for banking purposes that are occult or opaque, we will have criminals embezzling money from savers.
America’s five largest banks, which already have received $145 billion in taxpayer bailout dollars, still face potentially catastrophic losses from exotic investments if economic conditions substantially worsen, their latest financial reports show.
Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC Bank USA, Wells Fargo Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase reported that their “current” net loss risks from derivatives — insurance-like bets tied to a loan or other underlying asset — surged to $587 billion as of Dec. 31. Buried in end-of-the-year regulatory reports that McClatchy has reviewed, the figures reflect a jump of 49 percent in just 90 days.
Every one of these ‘banks’ should be CLOSED. Immediately. This is the ONLY way to begin to unwind the Derivatives Beast! We can’t feed it and kill it at the same time! This is absurd. And where is the IMF on this matter? Why are they sitting idle while the US tries to bail out these bankrupt bankers who are going under due to their stupid derivatives bets?
QUESTION: I was just hoping you could help us maybe connect the dots between your proposals and some of the proposals that are already floating out there. For example, you guys are proposing a code of conduct. Brown and Berlusconi have also come up with proposals for some kind of principles. I’m just wondering do you feel like the G-20 is kind of on the same page as far as creating this broader code of conduct across financial regulation? My second question is similarly with the central bank proposal of getting more into systemic risk. The U.S. Congress is considering making the Fed a risk watchdog and the ECB is also moving in that direction. Is that moving in the right direction from your perspective?
Only if we have serious campaign finance reforms, will we see any hope of reforms. Instead, our Congress works only for the rich and the same people who are pulling these scams.
MR. CARUANA: Let me start with the second. We just think it is important to have some supervisor that has an overall view of systemic risks, so I think this is pointing us in the right direction and we are calling for that in the papers that you have there. In terms of the code of conduct, I would say that the important thing there is that what we are saying is that there is a need for fundamental improvements in the institutional and legal setting in some areas that refer to the cross-border management of financial institutions such as early remedial action, the resolution of cross-border institutions and the burden sharing.
These are very difficult questions and sometimes the cooperation among supervisors is limited by these questions not being resolved, and for resolving these questions it is important to get more additional political support and that is what we are saying. As it was mentioned before, these papers have been shared and have been — we have benefited from the multiple discussions where we’ve participated. We participated in the Financial Stability Forum, we participated in the working groups around the G-20. We are benefiting from these discussions and we are trying to contribute to these discussions. This is our own reflection that I think we are trying as much as possible to contribute to the different debates that are happening at this very moment. We don’t see inconsistencies.
IT IS TOO LATE! The banking collapse is causing a trade collapse which is causing a collapse in manufacturing which is causing taxes to collapse and in turn, is causing governments to collapse. This is the very definition of a depression: everything stops in its tracks! We can’t let this happen. But we can’t move forward with idiots blocking the way. The people who created this are still in charge. Note how stupid these IMF guys are! Clueless! And they won’t talk about how to return to the past where we can have some banking sanity.
In figures labelled by analysts as “shocking” and “a horror show”, Britain’s industrial production dived at record speed, underlining how hard the global downturn has hit producers and exporters. The statistics are doubly surprising because many economists had expected the weakness of the pound over the past year to have boosted their fortunes. Manufacturing output dropped by 2.9pc in January alone – well below City forecasts, and taking the annual rate of decline to 12.8pc – the biggest since January 1981, according to the Office for National Statistics. Underlining how much of that has come since November, the quarter-on-quarter contraction was 6.4pc – the most severe since comparable records began in 1968.
England used to rule the Seven Seas. Now, she is vanishing beneath the waves. And the US navy is slowly vanishing, too. We will all go to Davy Jone’s locker. We see Japan’s industries contracting tremendously. Half of the nation is part time workers! The elderly are now being tossed aside to die.
China is agitated but I don’t see them overthrowing their government. I see them moving outwards since they have the people, the money and the energy to move forwards. Look at the news story above: ‘The statistics are DOUBLY surprising’ because experts thought, a weak currency would increase exports! But to whom? The US? We can’t buy, even if the exports were super-cheap!
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