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Tim Geithner: You will never Audit the Fed

Tim Geithner: You will never Audit the Fed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ8dgAA0JI4

 



Amish farmers lose court battle against RFID

Amish farmers lose court battle against RFID
Beasts must still be numbered, says court

The Register
July 31, 2009

Michigan farmers have failed in their attempt to block the introduction of RFID tags for cattle, despite arguments about the cost and the risk of upsetting an otherwise benevolent deity.

The case was bought by the catchily-named Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defence Fund (FTCLDF), representing small farmers in Michigan as well as a group of six Amish farmers: the former concerned about the cost of the tags, while the latter were more worried about eternal damnation brought on by applying numbers to God’s own cattle.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) tried to get the case dismissed back in November last year, but only now has it managed to have the case thrown out on the basis that it is a Michigan ruling and thus subject to state laws, rather than part of any agenda being set by the USDA as part of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), against which the plaintiff’s case was based.

Even in Michigan the law is intended to be voluntary, but the plaintiffs clearly believe that the voluntary status is just a ruse under which a mandatory ruling can be later implemented, which would threaten their livelihoods, or eternal souls, as appropriate. It’s worth noting, as the Judge did, that even Amish cattle already have numbered metal ear studs, so the contention that numbering cattle is against God’s law was already in shaky ground.

As for the USDA agenda, RFID Journal covers the case in some detail including quotes from a Michigan representative explaining:

“We implemented this program nearly 10 years ago… This was done pre-NAIS. Michigan is the only state with a mandatory electronic animal-tracking program, but it is also the only state with documented bovine TB cases”

Electronic tracking, in this instance, doesn’t necessarily mean RFID tags. The same thing can be, and is, achieved using the existing metal studs, with the data gathered electronically whenever the cattle are moved. But such assurances aren’t going to dent a good conspiracy theory about federal control.

 

National Animal Identification System

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu9oKmqQpD4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgoVpgQm4fQ

The Spin Behind The “No Health Benefits To Organic Food” Scam

Insane Food Bill 2749 Passes House On 2nd Try. HR 2749: Totalitarian Control Of Our Food Supply

Tracking Humans: Big Brother’s All-Seeing Eye

FDA Approved Implantable Microchips in 2004

House approves bill on food safety


China Blames Wallstreet Meltdown On Fed Overissuance Of Currency

China Blames Wall Street Meltdown On Fed Overissuance Of Currency

Paul Joseph Watson & Yihan Dai
Prison Planet
September 19, 2008

China’s state media today reports on the real reason behind the Wall Street meltdown and a subject that the mainstream US media dare not mention – the Federal Reserve’s overissuance of currency – which the Chinese say is part of a wider agenda to justify increased control over the global economy.

The Bush administration today announced a plan to use hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to buy up up bad mortgages and other debts. The process of injecting more fiat money into an already over-inflated system had the desired effect – the Dow Jones shot up 450 points – but the dollar, following a brief jump, began to plummet.

According to numerous Chinese state media news sources today, the Federal Reserve’s continued zeal for propping up the market by injecting illusory liquidity is part of an agenda to gain trust and grease the skids for increased government intervention in financial markets.

China Finance , China News and Chaobao Financial News, all state owned media outlets, slammed the Fed for taking action that will only make long term economic conditions worse and devalue the dollar by “creating money that does not exist which leads to the inflation of liquidity,” a policy contrary to China’s position as a holder of vast reserves of US dollars.

The analyst quoted by Chaobao Financial News highlighted “that when there is market failure, the paramount purpose of government intervention should be saving the market for the benefit of the people: Relief, Recovery and then Reform,” and that “Protecting the rights of people who are suffering in the housing market and as a result of high oil prices should be treated as a priority.”

The analyst added that by concentrating on saving just a few large financial companies, the Fed is creating wider financial chaos while arousing anger and suspicion by “only protecting and encouraging large companies’ wrong doing.”

CEIBS Professor of Economics and Finance Xu Xiaonian told a conference yesterday that “The fundamental source of Wall Street’s meltdown is caused by Federal Reserve overissuing currency.” He cautioned that the US government has already exceeded its scope in terms of intervention compared with their usual policy.

Similar sentiments were echoed by economist Zuo Xiaolie, who said that the amount of money injected into the market will have little real impact, but that such measures are a “Narrow minded way that the Federal Reserve uses to diversify the pressure of currency adjustment to other countries, which leads to the devaluation of the dollar, causing imbalance in the global economy.”

“The amount of money that has been put into the market can not fundamentally save the market,” said Xiaolie, adding that the move was merely part of an agenda to “regain the trust and justify future further intervention in the economy.”

On Wednesday, China’s official People’s Daily newspaper, the voice of the ruling Communist party, said that the US had unleashed economic “weapons of mass destruction” and set off a “financial tsunami” by allowing Wall Street lenders to trade in subprime debts and unstable financial derivatives, according to a Press TV report.

China has previously threatened to liquidate its vast holding of US treasuries, amounting to $1.33 trillion, if Washington imposes trade sanctions to force a yuan revaluation. The Communist power has also repeatedly expressed its anger at the Fed’s indifference to the weakening dollar. If China were to dump the dollar it would likely set in motion a chain of events that would lead to a collapse of the greenback.

We know we are in trouble when the Chinese Communist Party sound like bastions of sound money policy and fiscal conservatism in comparison to the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve, who in creating more money out of thin air continue to bail out their friends on Wall Street while the economic future of hundreds of millions of American citizens is sold down the river.

China accuses U.S. of financial Weapons of Mass Destruction

 



Cities Debate Privatizing Public Infrastructure

Cities Debate Privatizing Public Infrastructure

NY Times
August 29, 2008

Cleaning up road kill and maintaining runways may not sound like cutting-edge investments. But banks and funds with big money seem to think so.

Reeling from more exotic investments that imploded during the credit crisis, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are among the investors who have amassed an estimated $250 billion war chest — much of it raised in the last two years — to finance a tidal wave of infrastructure projects in the United States and overseas.

Their strategy is gaining steam in the United States as federal, state and local governments previously wary of private funds struggle under mounting deficits that have curbed their ability to improve crumbling roads, bridges and even airports with taxpayer money.

With politicians like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California warning of a national infrastructure crisis, public resistance to private financing may start to ease.

“Budget gaps are starting to increase the viability of public-private partnerships,” said Norman Y. Mineta, a former secretary of transportation who was recently hired by Credit Suisse as a senior adviser to such deals.

This fall, Midway Airport of Chicago could become the first to pass into the hands of private investors. Just outside the nation’s capital, a $1.9 billion public-private partnership will finance new high-occupancy toll lanes around Washington. This week, Florida gave the green light to six groups that included JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers and the Carlyle Group to bid for a 50- to 75 -year lease on Alligator Alley, a toll road known for sightings of sleeping alligators that stretches 78 miles down I-75 in South Florida.

Until recently, the use of private funds to build and manage large-scale American infrastructure assets was slow to take root. States and towns could raise taxes and user fees or turn to the municipal bond market.

Americans have also been wary of foreign investors, who were among the first to this market, taking over their prized roads and bridges. When Macquarie of Australia and Cintra of Spain, two foreign funds with large portfolios of international investments, snapped up leases to the Chicago Skyway and the Indiana Toll Road, “people said ‘hold it, we don’t want our infrastructure owned by foreigners,’ ” Mr. Mineta said.

And then there is the odd romance between Americans and their roads: they do not want anyone other than the government owning them. The specter of investors reaping huge fees by financing assets like the Pennsylvania Turnpike also touches a raw nerve among taxpayers, who already feel they are paying top dollar for the government to maintain roads and bridges.

And with good reason: Private investors recoup their money by maximizing revenue — either making the infrastructure better to allow for more cars, for example, or by raising tolls. (Concession agreements dictate everything from toll increases to the amount of time dead animals can remain on the road before being cleared.)

Politicians have often supported the civic outcry: in the spring of 2007, James L. Oberstar of Minnesota, chairman of the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, warned that his panel would “work to undo” any public-private partnership deals that failed to protect the public interest.

And labor unions have been quick to point out that investment funds stand to reap handsome fees from the crisis in infrastructure. “Our concern is that some sources of financing see this as a quick opportunity to make money,” Stephen Abrecht, director of the Capital Stewardship Program at the Service Employees International Union, said.

But in a world in which governments view infrastructure as a way to manage growth and raise productivity through the efficient movement of goods and people, an eroding economy has forced politicians to take another look.

“There’s a huge opportunity that the U.S. public sector is in danger of losing,” says Markus J. Pressdee, head of infrastructure investment banking at Credit Suisse. “It thinks there is a boatload of capital and when it is politically convenient it will be able to take advantage of it. But the capital is going into infrastructure assets available today around the world, and not waiting for projects the U.S., the public sector, may sponsor in the future.”

Traditionally, the federal government played a major role in developing the nation’s transportation backbone: Thomas Jefferson built canals and roads in the 1800s, Theodore Roosevelt expanded power generation in the early 1900s. In the 1950s Dwight Eisenhower oversaw the building of the interstate highway system.

But since the early 1990s, the United States has had no comprehensive transportation development, and responsibilities were pushed off to states, municipalities and metropolitan planning organizations. “Look at the physical neglect — crumbling bridges, the issue of energy security, environmental concerns,” said Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution. “It’s more relevant than ever and we have no vision.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States needs to invest at least $1.6 trillion over the next five years to maintain and expand its infrastructure. Last year, the Federal Highway Administration deemed 72,000 bridges, or more than 12 percent of the country’s total, “structurally deficient.” But the funds to fix them are shrinking: by the end of this year, the Highway Trust Fund will have a several billion dollar deficit.

“We are facing an infrastructure crisis in this country that threatens our status as an economic superpower, and threatens the health and safety of the people we serve,” New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told Congress this year. In January he joined forces with Mr. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania to start a nonprofit group to raise awareness about the problem.

Some American pension funds see an investment opportunity. “Our infrastructure is crumbling, from bridges in Minnesota to our airports and freeways,” said Christopher Ailman, the head of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. His board recently authorized up to about $800 million to invest in infrastructure projects. Nearby, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, with coffers totaling $234 billion, has earmarked $7 billion for infrastructure investments through 2010. The Washington State Investment Board has allocated 5 percent of its fund to such investments.

Some foreign pension funds that jumped into the game early have already reaped rewards: The $52 billion Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System saw a 12.4 percent return last year on a $5 billion infrastructure investment pool, above the benchmark 9.9 percent though down from 14 percent in 2006.

“People are creating a new asset class,” said Anne Valentine Andrews, head of portfolio strategy at Morgan Stanley Infrastructure. “You can see and understand the businesses involved — for example, ships come into the port, unload containers, reload containers and leave,” she said. “There’s no black box.”

The prospect of steady returns has drawn high-flying investors like Kohlberg Kravis and Morgan Stanley to the table. “Ten to 20 years from now infrastructure could be larger than real estate,” said Mark Weisdorf, head of infrastructure investments at JPMorgan. In 2006 and 2007, more than $500 billion worth of commercial real estate deals were done.

The pace of recent work is encouraging, says Robert Poole, director of transportation studies at the Reason Foundation, pointing to projects like the high-occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes outside Washington. “The fact that the private sector raised $1.4 billion for the Beltway project shows that even projects like HOT lanes that are considered high risk can be developed and financed privately and that has huge implications for other large metro areas,” he said .

Yet if the flow of money is fast, the return on these investments can be a waiting game. Washington’s HOT lanes project took six years to build after Fluor Enterprises, one of the two private companies financing part of the project, made an unsolicited bid in 2002. The privatization of Chicago’s Midway Airport was part of a pilot program adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1996 to allow five domestic airports to be privatized. Twelve years later only one airport has met that goal — Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. — and it was sold back to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

For many politicians, privatization also remains a painful process. Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, faced a severe backlash when he collected $3.8 billion for a 75- year lease of the Indiana Toll Road. A popular bumper sticker in Indiana reads “Keep the toll road, lease Mitch.”

Joe Dear, executive director of the Washington State Investment Board, still wonders how quickly governments will move. “Will all public agencies think it’s worth the extra return private capital will demand?” he asked. “That’s unclear.”

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Tracking Humans: Big Brother’s All-Seeing Eye
Tracking Humans: Big Brother’s All-Seeing Eye

“The Technotronic Era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.” Zbigniew Brzezinski

Consolidation of U.S. Intelligence Into Global Intel Network by 2015
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9752

RFID Microchips Go Prime Time In Beijing Olympics
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10010..ss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Passengers Details Should Be Given To Government
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tra..uld-be-given-to-the-Government.html

Unmanned Spy Plans To Police Britain
http://www.independent.co.uk/ne..lice-britain-886083.html

Secret EU security draft risks uproar with call to pool policing and give US personal data
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/07/eu.uksecurity

Governor Wants Speed Cameras On Interstates
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/bl..,CST-NWS-blago07.article

 



Weak Dollar Prompts Record Foreign Buyouts of U.S. Companies

Weak Dollar Prompts Record Foreign Buyouts of U.S. Companies

International Herald Tribune
October 2, 2007

BOSTON: European, Asian and Canadian companies are taking advantage of the weaker dollar to buy their U.S. counterparts at a record pace, increasing investment in the United States but also raising fears about a potential loss of jobs and autonomy.

“We could be looking at the world’s largest tag sale if we continue to see declines in the dollar,” said Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist at DataCore Partners.

In the latest large deal aided by a weak dollar, Commerce Bancorp, which is based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, agreed Tuesday to be acquired by Toronto-Dominion Bank of Canada in a cash-and-shares deal valued at $8.5 billion.

Nationally, the value of purchases of companies by non-U.S. buyers so far this year totaled $257.4 billion – more than in any full year since 2000, the height of the technology boom, according to Thomson Financial, a research firm in New York.

The buyouts are sparking anxiety in the United States, though their impact is complex. Foreign owners typically use acquisitions as an entry into the U.S. market and thus may be more willing than American buyers to invest in their new holdings, some economists say. But the risk is that they might also be quicker to cut back or consolidate U.S. operations when times get tough.

“Quite naturally, foreign companies want to play in this market,” said Alan Tonelson, a research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, a trade group for small and midsize manufacturers. “They want leading-edge technology, and the United States is still the technology leader. But when they buy these companies, they’re acquiring control over the most dynamic pieces of the American economy, and they’re acquiring control over America’s future.”

Corporate deals are just one way the dollar’s falling value is having an impact. The weaker dollar has also drawn European, Asian and Canadian tourists, made it more expensive for Americans to travel abroad, and bolstered the exports of U.S. companies that sell high-technology equipment or medical gear overseas. But foreign acquisitions could become the sagging dollar’s most lasting legacy.

In New England, one of the regions heavily affected, 69 companies have been sold to foreign buyers in the first nine months of 2007 for a total of $30.8 billion – also a seven-year high.

In June, Philips Electronics of the Netherlands snapped up Color Kinetics, a maker of lighting systems, for $714 million. Last month, Analog Devices agreed to sell a pair of cellular product lines to MediaTek of Taiwan for $350 million. And last week, United Group of Australia completed a $411 million purchase of Unicco Service, which sells cleaning services for office buildings.

Some see the takeovers as inevitable in a global economy where geographic borders are no match for increasingly multinational companies.

“It’s part of the overall global economic climate,” said Brian Bethune, an economist for Global Insight, who said the acquisitions should be judged case by case. “Foreign companies are trying to get access to the U.S. market, and generally that’s positive. European and Asian companies tend to take a longer view and could be more patient investors than U.S. hedge funds.”

For now, many of the overseas buyers are promising to invest in their acquired properties. The new management team at Sabic Innovative Plastics, the former GE Plastics, plans to add 75 to 100 employees to its 425-person work force in New England.

“We’re really lucky it wasn’t bought by a Dow or a DuPont, because they might have moved the work from here to another one of their U.S. facilities,” said Alfred Shogry, president of the Berkshire Central Labor Council in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

A spokeswoman at Color Kinetics said, “Philips is looking at us to be their global research and development center for LED-based lighting fixtures,” referring to the company’s patented light-emitting diode technology. “We’re absolutely hiring and growing right now.”

But that is not always the case with foreign takeovers. The French telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel, which bought its U.S. rival, Lucent Technologies, last year, said last month that it would cut thousands of jobs. The outsourcing provider Caritor, which has corporate offices in California but almost all its employees and operations in India, recently said it planned to eliminate more than a quarter of the 350 jobs at the Boston headquarters of the technology services company Keane, which it purchased in June.

Klepper-Smith said he feared the effect of foreign deals on workers and communities if decisions on jobs and plant locations are made in Europe, Asia or the Middle East. “It raises some red flags and some real questions about our independence,” he said.

 

Europe Urges Tough Line on Dollar

Financial Times
October 03, 2007

Eurozone policymakers will urge the US and other countries at the next G7 meeting to take a strong stance against exchange rate volatility in an effort to halt the dollar’s decline against the euro, European Union officials said on Tuesday.

Finance ministers of the 13-member eurozone plan to forge a common position in Luxembourg next Monday, 11 days before the meeting in Washington of central bankers and finance ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrialised countries.

European politicians and business leaders have issued increasingly loud warnings about the dollar’s decline since the euro rose above $1.40 on September 20 for the first time since its launch in 1999. The euro hit a high on Monday of $1.4281.

Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, on Monday said that the euro’s rise “tends to worry us a lot” and that it was no longer acceptable that Europe was bearing the brunt of “the consequences of the existing global imbalances”.

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Why the US Dollar Will Continue Its Downward Trend
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Iran Slashes Oil Sales In Dollars
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