Socio-Economics History Blog

Socio-Economics & History Commentary

Gerald Celente: The Greatest Depression

  • Is the recession going to be over soon? Or is this just the beginning of the Greatest Depression? Gerald Celente compares the current depression with the 1929 depression. Gerald advises to buy gold to protect against economic collapse.

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June 2, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | 2 Comments

Dollar Declines as Nations Mull Reserve Currency Alternatives

  • Americans may not be aware of it. But many countries are actively courting alternatives to the USD. The USD is seen as a risky asset. This is also the reason why precious metals have rallied. Gold is a much safer asset than USD. A USD collapse is looming. It will likely be in this year.
     
  • Official Chinese statements about the USD will always be positive. After all they hold about US$2T in USD denominated assets. It is quite clear via unofficial channels they are very worried. They are actively dumping USD in favor of commodities. Bloomberg reports :
      
    The dollar weakened beyond $1.43 against the euro for the first time in 2009 on bets record U.S. borrowing will undermine the greenback, prompting nations to consider alternatives to the world’s main reserve currency.
     
    The euro gained for a fourth day versus the dollar as the Russian government said emerging-market leaders may discuss the idea of a supranational currency. The pound rose to the highest level since October and the Canadian dollar traded near an eight-month high on speculation signs of a recovery in U.S. and U.K. housing will spur higher-yield demand.
     
    “There’s been a lot of talk out of Russia about a new global currency, and that’s contributing toward this latest bout of dollar weakness,” said
    Henrik Gullberg, a currency strategist in London at Deutsche Bank AG, the world’s largest currency trader. “These latest comments are just adding to the general dollar weakness we’ve seen recently.”
     
    The dollar slid 1.1 percent to $1.4317 per euro at 4:21 p.m. in New York, from $1.4159 yesterday. It touched $1.4331, the weakest level since Dec. 29. The dollar depreciated 1.1 percent to 95.54 yen, from 96.59. The euro traded at 136.77 yen, compared with 136.78.
     
    Sterling rose as much as 0.9 percent to $1.6596, the highest level since Oct. 30, while the Canadian dollar advanced 1.2 percent to C$1.0806, near the strongest level since Oct. 3.
        ….
    Russia on Currency
    Russian President
    Dmitry Medvedev may discuss his proposal to create a new world currency when he meets counterparts from Brazil, India and China this month, Natalya Timakova, a spokeswoman for the president, told reporters by phone today. Russia’s proposals for the Group of 20 meeting in London in April included studying a supranational currency.
     
    “We need some kind of universal means of payment, which could create the basis of a future international financial system,” Medvedev said in a June 1 interview with CNBC. “Naturally, because of the crisis in the American economy, attitude to the dollar has also changed.”
     
    Regional reserve currencies are an “unavoidable” part of “regionalizing” the global financial system, Deputy Finance Minister
    Dmitry Pankin said in Moscow today.
     
    The
    Dollar Index, which ICE uses to track the currency’s performance against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, fell as much as 1 percent to 78.33, the lowest level since Dec. 18.
     
    ‘Opportunity to Sell’
    “The market is looking for the opportunity to sell the U.S. dollar,” said
    Jack Spitz, a managing director for foreign exchange at National Bank of Canada in Toronto. “It took decades for the euro to be established. I can only imagine how long it would take for the BRIC countries to put together a currency.”
     
    There’s no replacement currency for the dollar in the short term,
    Guo Shuqing, former head of China’s foreign-exchange administrator, said in an interview with the Financial Times for an article published yesterday.
     
    The Dollar Index reached 89.62 on March 4, the highest level since 2006, as the global recession spurred investors to take refuge in Treasuries notes and bills.
     
    Demand for the record amount of debt the U.S. is selling will remain sufficient, Treasury Secretary
    Timothy Geithner said in an interview today with state media outlets in China.
     
    Chinese ‘Understanding’
    The Chinese have a “very sophisticated understanding” of why the U.S. government is running up deficits, said Geithnerin Beijing, pledging to rein in borrowing later. The U.S. will “do everything that is necessary” to preserve confidence in the nation’s financial markets, he said.
     
    The dollar also declined on speculation “smaller” central banks started today’s selling of the greenback, said
    Sebastien Galy, a currency strategist at BNP Paribas SA in New York.
     
    “If people believe that there is official pressure behind it, then obviously it puts pressure on euro-dollar on the upside,” Galy said. “Small central banks havean incentive in doing something because if they’re the first movers, they will not suffer by far as much as the big ones.” Galy predicted the euro may reach $1.4360 today, a peak last reached in December.

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June 2, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Comments Off on Dollar Declines as Nations Mull Reserve Currency Alternatives

Geithner: ‘Chinese Dollar Assets Are Very Safe!’ His Answer Drew Loud Laughter From Chinese Student Audience!

  • Yeah right! Don’t worry about your US$2T in USD denominated assets! They are perfectly safe. They will definitely be worth something in the future. You can use it as toilet paper! I am not sure what Geithner is smoking. Reuters reports :
      
    U.S. Treasury Secretary
    Timothy Geithner on Monday reassured the Chinese government that its huge holdings of dollar assets are safe and reaffirmed his faith in a strong U.S. currency.
     
    A major goal of Geithner’s maiden visit to China as Treasury chief is to allay concerns that Washington’s bulging budget deficit and ultra-loose monetary policy will fan inflation, undermining both the dollar and U.S. bonds.
     
    China is the biggest foreign owner of U.S. Treasury bonds. U.S. data shows that it held $768 billion in Treasuries as of March, but some analysts believe China’s total U.S. dollar-denominated investments could be twice as high.
     
    “Chinese assets are very safe,” Geithner said in response to a question after a speech at Peking University, where he studied Chinese as a student in the 1980s. His answer drew loud laughter from his student audience, reflecting skepticism in China about the wisdom of a developing country accumulating a vast stockpile of foreign reserves instead of spending the money to raise living standards at home.
     
    But later in the day, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said it was important for the two nations to show the world they are working together through their joint economic dialogue.
     
    “We must through our dialogue send a clear signal that China and the U.S. are engaged in practical cooperation to address the crisis,” Wang told Geithner, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website (
    www.mfa.gov.cn).
     
    “This is important for boosting confidence and encouraging global financial stability and economic revival,” said Wang. In his speech, Geithner renewed pledges that the Obama administration would cut its huge fiscal deficits and promised “very disciplined” future spending, possibly including reintroduction of pay-as-you-go budget rules instead of nonstop borrowing.
     
    “We have the deepest and most liquid markets for risk-free assets in the world. We’re committed to bring our fiscal deficits down over time to a sustainable level.
     
    “We believe in a strong dollar … and we’re going to make sure that we repair and reform the financial system so that we sustain confidence,” he said. Geithner also offered strong backing for a bigger Chinese role in international policymaking. “China is already too important to the global economy not to have a full seat at the international table,” he said.

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June 2, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , | Comments Off on Geithner: ‘Chinese Dollar Assets Are Very Safe!’ His Answer Drew Loud Laughter From Chinese Student Audience!

MMR Vaccine Injury

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June 2, 2009 Posted by | Medicine & Health | | 4 Comments

Banks Run Congress, Top Democrat Says

  • Another Senator has voiced the obvious. Banksters have owned Congress since the founding of the FedRes in 1913. I suspect it goes way before 1913 too. The real masters of the western world are banksters. The Raw Story reports :
      
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that the banking and financial services industry has an outsized influence in Congress.
     
    Wells Fargo, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase each got bailouts of $25 billion in government bailouts last year. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs got $10 billion apiece. And AIG, the mammoth insurer that lost billions in bad derivatives bets, has
    sucked in more than $170 billion.
      
    Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is reticent about
    bailing out an American state — California. Collin Peterson, Democratic Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, says he knows who to blame.
     
    “The banks run the place,” Peterson
    told the New York Times in Monday’s editions. “I will tell you what the problem is — they give three times more money than the next biggest group. It’s huge the amount of money they put into politics.”
     
    Peterson has introduced a bill to regulate derivatives trading — the pesky financial instruments that nearly brought down the US financial system. Derivatives involve writing insurance on various complex financial transactions, such as providing insurance to investors in the event of massive defaults on home mortgages.
     
    But he says that Republicans have watered down his bill. He wants derivatives trading to take place on public exchanges — much like the New York Stock Exchange — rather than through private clearinghouses, which are managed by banks.
     
    Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, meanwhile, would prefer the transactions be monitored by the New York branch of the Federal Reserve. Bankers appear to prefer this option, given that the New York Fed has been lenient on them in the past.
     
    Geithner has been criticized for his close relationships with banking industry executives. His proposal to regular derivatives traded through private clearinghouses mirrors that of the bank’s own proposals.
     
    How much did President Barack Obama receive in contributions from those employed in the financial sector? $69,823,872 if you include real estate,
    according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (Sen. John McCain got $60,605,254, with the total between the two exceeding $130 million).
     
    The biggest donor to the presidential campaigns? The banks. Followed by lawyers and lobbyists, at $95 million. The banking and financial services industry have their own lobbyists, so the total donations of the industry are undercounted.
     
    All told, according to the New York Times, financial sector employees gave $152 million in political donations from 2007 to 2008. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Credit Suisse gave $22.7 million and spent a combined total of $25 million on lobbying activities — in a single year.
     
    And President George W. Bush’s largest individual donor employer in 2004?
    MBNA, the credit card behemoth that was bought up by — Bank of America.
     
    Remarkably, though, it’s the secretive, private trading of derivatives — where those buying insurance have no idea what others are paying, and those buying bank stocks have no idea what they’re actually buying — that nearly brought the US financial markets to their knees.
     
    “Peterson’s bill specifically bars derivatives trading in a clearinghouse regulated by the New York Federal Reserve, which he said in an interview ‘is a tool of the big banks’ that ‘wouldn’t do much’ to regulate the contracts,” the Times wrote. “Because the banks’ lobbyists persuaded some of his Republican colleagues to resist more sweeping changes, Mr. Peterson said, he has had to modify a bill he introduced that is similar to Mr. Harkin’s in calling for wide-ranging limits on derivatives.”
     
    The banks have had their heyday in Congress in recent years. This year, they succeeded in preventing the Senate from passing a provision that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to unilaterally reduce the principal amount on mortgages. And in 2005, the massive “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention” bill passed by Congress made it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy.
     
  • See also :
     
    US Senator: Banksters “Own” the Congress!
    Illuminati Banksters Implementing State of Permanent Siege!
    Financial Dictatorship of the Federal Reserve and Treasury
    Geithner’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’: The Entire Global Financial System is at Risk
    Banksters Rule America !
    Collapse of America to Lead to New World Order?
    UN & IMF Back Agenda For Global Financial Dictatorship
    A World Currency Moves Closer After Geithner’s Slip
    Ron Paul – I See No Purpose for the Federal Reserve!
    Banksters Rule America !
    The Federal Reserve: Secretive And Incompetent Organization ! The Creature From Jekyll Island.
    History of Money & Fractional Reserve Banking System
    How International Bankers Gained Control of America!
    Federal Reserve is a Private Company. 
    Ron Paul – Federal Reserve is the Culprit!

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June 2, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 4 Comments

Swine H1N1 Summer Spread Raises Pandemic Concerns

  • The number of cases of A/H1N1 is clearly under reported. Insufficient test kits and man power are available to test every suspected case. So, only the most obvious and severe flu cases are tested. The CDC commented 2 weeks ago :
      
    CDC officials say around 100,000 people are likely infected with the new flu strain in the United States and Schuchat said the 5,123 confirmed and probable cases and six deaths in the United States were “the tip of the iceberg.”
     
  • This A/H1N1 flu is a mild flu. Patients mostly recover within 3-4 days. The worrying aspect is when it adapts and recombines with the Avian H5N1 flu. Should the WHO declare outright Level 6 pandemic? Henry L. Niman comments :
     
    The latest surveillance report (week 20) from the CDC, clearly indicates that swine H1N1 activity is on the rise in the United States, as seasonal flu levels continue to decline. Consequently the ratio of swine H1N1 to seasonal flu (H1N1, H3N2, influenza B, combined) is greater than 10 to 1.  Thus, the vast majority of influenza infections in the United States are now swine flu, which is clear from the latest figures, even though reporting agencies in the United States are limiting testing (see updated map).  The latest figures show 1213 (1096+117) swine H1N1 cases compared to a total of 121 for seasonal flu (24+70+27).  More importantly however, is the steady increase in the percentage of samples which are positive, (now at 22.41%), which is a frequency characteristic of seasonal flu at the height of flu season.
     
    Although various government agencies had offered optimistic reassurances that the swine flu levels would decline during the summer “off season”, the latest data casts serious doubt on that projection.  The swine H1N1 has an avian PB2, which has an E at position 627.  Consequently, the replication rate for the virus is optimal at 41 C, the body temperature of a bird.  This is in marked contrast to seasonal flu, which has E627K, which optimizes replication rates at 33 C.  Consequently, the swine H1N1 increased activity as the weather warms in the northern hemisphere, and seasonal flu has declined as summer months approached.
     
    This increase in H1N1 swine flu has been masked to varying degrees by reporting protocols. In Mexico, the national reports are limited to confirmed cases, and there is a large backlog in confirming probable cases.  Thus, the reported numbers in Mexico grossly underestimate cases that have been lab confirmed (considered probable because they are influenza A positive, but not sub-typable with human flu reagents).
     
    In the Unites States, the confirmatory tests have been shifted from the CDC to the 44 states that are certified to run the confirmatory tests.  However, the number of confirmatory test kits is limited, so many states have focused on hospitalized patients and have stopped testing mild cases.  Similarly, testing of school clusters is also limited to initial cases.  The vast majority of infected students and teachers are also not tested.  However, in spite of these limitations, the frequency of H1N1 swine positives has risen steadily.
     
    These increases in the United States have begun to affected surveillance programs by countries outside of North America. An increasing number of cases link back to the United States.  However, the programs in these other countries also grossly underestimates the number of cases, because the case definition includes travel from an H1N1 infected region, so local cases are not tested unless they link back to imported cases.  However, this airport surveillance program misses the vast majority of imported cases because cases infected within a few days of travel are not symptomatic, and a high percentage of cases do not develop a high fever.  Moreover, the rapid test used to confirm cases has a low sensitivity.  Consequently, most imported cases are not detected, and local infected patients are also not tested because they do not meet the case definition.
     
    This lack of testing is the used to claim that there has been no “evidence” of sustained community transmission, because the local cases are not tested.  However, this limited testing still identifies community cases which happen to be linked to a transmission chain under investigation.  Similarly, the local cases lead to school outbreaks, which are not easily ignored, especially in countries in the northern hemisphere, because seasonal flu season has ended, so outbreaks involving students with flu-like symptoms leads to limited swine flu testing.
     
    However, the large number of cases being reported daily, is leading to additional testing and additional examples of community transmission, which will clearly demonstrate that the pandemic is at phase 6. 
     
    Redefining phase 6 to include severity of disease will just delay the inevitable, because the swine H1N1 will continue to adapt to its new host, which will likely lead to an increase in fatal cases, which involves the same age group (25-44), which was reported in for the initial cases in Mexico.
     

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June 2, 2009 Posted by | Medicine & Health | , | 1 Comment