The truth is out: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it | David Graeber Back in the 1930s, Henry Ford is supposed to have remarked that it was a good thing that most Americans didn't know how banking really works, because if they did, "there'd be a revolution before tomorrow morning". Last week, something remarkable happened. The Bank of England let the cat out of the bag. In a paper called "Money Creation in the Modern Economy", co-authored by three economists from the Bank's Monetary Analysis Directorate, they stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong, and that the kind of populist, heterodox positions more ordinarily associated with groups such as Occupy Wall Street are correct. In doing so, they have effectively thrown the entire theoretical basis for austerity out of the window. To get a sense of how radical the Bank's new position is, consider the conventional view, which continues to be the basis of all respectable debate on public policy. The central bank can print as much money as it wishes.
Economix: Amazon.fr: Michael Goodwin, Dan E. Burr News Reports: JPMorgan Chase Agrees to $13 Billion Settlement NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay a $13 billion fine to settle federal and state lawsuits over the bank's residential mortgage-backed securities business, according to news reports. General terms of the tentative agreement between the bank and the Justice Department were reached Friday night in a phone conversation involving Attorney General Eric Holder, his deputy Tony West, J.P. Morgan CEO James Dimon and the bank's general counsel, Stephen Cutler, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the deal. The agreement does not require the Justice Department to drop a criminal investigation focusing on the same issues, Reuters reported, also citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the deal. Stock quotes in this article: JPM
More on the European Bank Bailout Cross-posted from Credit Writedowns Overnight, a group of us were exchanging e-mails on the recent coordinated central bank action to provide European banks the funding being denied them by the markets. I haven’t been active on the e-mail chain, but I did find some of the commentary interesting. I had a few comments of note I wanted to address, but here’s why I am writing this post: “See NYT report which says clearly that the Fed did nothing to cooperate since the swap was already in place and would make no statement.” When I read that I realised it was true. I think this is curious messaging because the US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is over in Europe right now banging the table about the need for a Euro TARP. I think that’s it exactly. Here’s what I think is happening: European politicians are paralysed and are only doing enough to push off the day of reckoning. Comments and insights appreciated
Blogs - Adam Curtis - NOW THEN Dette : 5000 ans d'histoire Un essai essentiel et foisonnant qui nous permet de mieux comprendre l’histoire du monde, la crise du crédit en cours et l’avenir de notre économie. Voici un livre capital, best-seller aux États-Unis – plus de 100 000 exemplaires vendus – et en Grande-Bretagne, commis par l’un des intellectuels les plus influents selon le New York Times et initiateur d’Occupy Wall Street à New York. Un livre qui, remettant en perspective l’histoire de la dette depuis 5 000 ans, renverse magistralement les théories admises. Il démontre que le système de crédit, apparu dès les premières sociétés agraires, précède de loin l’invention des pièces de monnaie. Quant au troc, il n’a toujours été qu’un pis-aller et ne s’est réellement développé que dans des situations particulières ou de crise. La dette a donc toujours structuré nos économies, nos rapports sociaux et jusqu’à nos représentations du monde. Selon l’auteur, l’endettement est une construction sociale fondatrice du pouvoir.
Druckenmiller: Fed shifting money to rich from poor The big debate Economists and academics are divided on whether the Fed's policies have truly helped the rich at the expense of the rest of America. Many point out that the policies have lowered interest rates for all Americans, which have helped boost housing sales and values. They also say unemployment and the economy would be a lot worse if the central bank didn't continue its huge monthly bond purchases. Yet others say the policies have mainly juiced asset prices—and the wealthy hold most of the assets. (Read more: Druckenmiller: Fed just lost chance for a 'freebie' ) By contrast, the number of millionaires—households worth $1 million or more, including homes—hit an all-time record in 2010, according to Wolff. The top 1 percent of Americans hold 35 percent of the nation's wealth—up slightly since 2007. 1 percent gets 95 percent A stream of new data on inequality also suggest that the gap between the wealthy and the nonwealthy is growing, largely becaue of rising stock markets.
Bank Of Countrywide Lynch On The Top Ten Macro Themes For 2012 As we head into the artificial investing horizon of year-end, sell-side research is compelled to offer its best-guess at what will be key for the year ahead. We certainly head into 2012 with considerable potential downside risks - US recession?, breakup of the Euro?, hard-landing in China? 10 key macro themes for 2012 Heading into 2012 the RIC believes investors should position for the following 10 macro themes: 1. Co-heads of Global Economics Ethan Harris and Alberto Ades forecast that global GDP growth will slow modestly to 3.5% in 2012. 2. Our economics group expects the recent momentum from US consumer spending to subside in coming quarters, in the absence of much stronger jobs creation or wage growth. How to play it: Weaker US consumption growth means portfolios should be tilted toward defensives in the US in early 2012 (Chart 3). 3. 4. How to play it: Buy gold and gold stocks. 5. Treasury returns were one of the biggest surprises in 2011. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Jon Ronson in Conversation with Adam Curtis This article first appeared on VICE UK I've known Adam Curtis for nearly 20 years. We're friends. We see movies together, and once even went to Romania on a mini-break to attend an auction of Nicolae Ceausescu's belongings. But it would be wrong to characterize our friendship as frivolous. Sometimes Adam will say something that seems baffling and wrong at the time, but makes perfect sense a few years later. I suppose it's no surprise that Adam would notice this stuff about social media so early on. His new film, Bitter Lake, is his most experimental yet. Nightmarish things happen in Bitter Lake. VICE asked the two of us to have an email conversation about his work. Jon Ronson: I've known you nearly 20 years, but I have no idea how you spend your days. Adam Curtis: I don't have a special room. What I look for in the archive are shots that I can use to create a mood that gives power and force to the story I'm telling. The trailer for Adam Curtis' new film 'Bitter Lake' But it doesn't.
« La dette neutralise le temps, matière première de tout changement politique ou social » - Contrôle social Basta ! : Vous dites que l’Homo debitor est la nouvelle figure de l’Homo economicus. Quelles sont les caractéristiques de ce « nouvel homme » ? Maurizio Lazzarato : De nombreux services sociaux, comme la formation ou la santé, ont été transformés en assurance individuelle ou en crédit. Le mode de développement néolibéral est fondé sur le crédit et l’endettement. Le droit à la formation ou au logement s’est transformé en droit au crédit… C’est une logique qui ne fonctionne que si l’économie est en expansion. En quoi cela fonde-t-il un nouveau rapport social, et un nouveau rapport au temps ? J’ai repris l’hypothèse que développe Friedrich Nietzsche : le rapport social fondamental n’est pas l’échange économique ou l’échange symbolique, mais le rapport débiteur/créditeur. Une dette, ce n’est pas seulement de l’argent à rembourser, mais des comportements à ajuster, du temps passé à se plier à des contraintes, écrivez-vous. C’est une nouvelle forme de contrôle. Photo/CC : Ma Gali via Flickr
The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever | Politics News Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything. You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia Why? The bad news didn't stop with swaps and interest rates. "You name it," says Frenk.