‘United States’ Means ‘Federal Corporation’

U.S. is a ‘Federal Corporation’ British Crown Colony


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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Congress debate begins on North American Union

Congress debate begins on North American Union

September 25, 2007

A House resolution urging President Bush “not to go forward with the North American Union or the NAFTA Superhighway system” is – according to its sponsor Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., in an exclusive WND interview – “also a message to both the executive branch and the legislative branch.”

As WND previously reported, on Jan. 22 Goode introduced H.C.R. 40, titled “Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada.”

The bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

WND asked Goode if the president was risking electoral success for the Republican Party in 2008 with his insistence on pushing for North American integration via the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP.

“Yes,” Goode answered. “You won’t hear the leadership in the Republic Party admit it, but there are many in the House and Senate who know that illegal immigration has to be stopped and legal immigration has to be reduced. We are giving away the country so a few very rich people can get richer.”

How did he react when President Bush referred to those who suggest the SPP could turn into the North American Union as “conspiracy theorists”?

“The president is really engaging in a play on words,” Goode responded. “The secretary of transportation came before our subcommittee,” he explained, “and I had the opportunity to ask her some questions about the NAFTA Superhighway. Of course, she answered, ‘There’s no NAFTA Superhighway.’ But then Mary Peters proceeded to discuss the road system that would come up from Mexico and go through the United States up into Canada.”

Goode is a member of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development of the House Committee on Appropriations.

“So, I think that saying we’re ‘conspiracy theorists’ or something like that is really just a play on words with the intent to demonize the opposition,” Goode concluded.

Goode stressed that the Bush administration supports both a NAU regional government and a NAFTA Superhighway system: “The Bush administration as well as Mexico and Canada have persons in the government in all three countries who want to a see a North American Union as well as a highway system that would bring goods into the west coast of Mexico and transport them up through Mexico into the United States and then in onto Canada,” Goode confirmed.

The Virginia congressman said he believes the motivation behind the movement toward North American integration is the anticipated profits the large multinational corporations in each of the three countries expect to make from global trade, especially moving production to China.

“Some really large businesses that get a lot from China would like a NAFTA Superhighway system because it would reduce costs for them to transport containers from China and, as a result, increase their margins,” he argued.

“I am vigorously opposed to the Mexican trucks coming into the country,” Goode continued. “The way we have done it and, I think, the way we should do it in the future, is to have the goods come into the United States from Mexico within a 20-mile commercial space and unloaded from Mexican trucks into U.S. trucks. This procedure enhances the safety of the country, the security of the country, and provides much less chance for illegal immigration.”

As WND reported, the Department of Transportation has begun a Mexican truck “demonstration project” under which 100 Mexican trucking companies are being allowed to run their long-haul rigs throughout the U.S.

Previously, Mexican trucks have been limited to a 20-mile commercial zone in the United States, with the requirement that goods bound for locations in the U.S. beyond the 20-mile commercial zone be off-loaded to U.S. trucks.

WND reported last month that Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., successfully offered an amendment to the Department of Transportation Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations bill to block DOT from spending any federal funds to implement the truck project.

Dorgan’s amendment passed 75-23, after Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., changed her vote to support Dorgan.

By a voice vote, the House passed an amendment offered by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., to the DOT appropriations bill comparable to Dorgan’s, designed to block the agency from using federal funds to implement the truck project.

DeFazio chairs the House transportation subcommittee that oversees motor carriers.

“With the Trans-Texas Corridor, which I would say is part of the NAFTA Superhighway system, and with this NAFTA plot with the Mexican trucks just coming in and not loading off to U.S. trucks, they will just drive right over the Rio Grande and come on over into Texas,” Goode argued. “A lot of these Mexican trucks will be bring containerized cargo from the west coast of Mexico where they will be unloaded in Mexican ports to avoid the fees and costs of unloading at U.S. ports.”

“So, when you look at the total package,” he continued, “we do have a NAFTA Superhighway system already in place. There are those in all three countries that believe we should have a North American Union and the Security and Prosperity Partnership, in my opinion takes us down that road. And I am vigorously opposed to the loss of our sovereignty.”

Why, WND asked, do so many congressmen and senators insist on writing and telling their constituents that they don’t know anything about the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or that SPP working groups are really just to increase our competitiveness?

“In the House, a strong majority voted to provide no money in the transportation funding bill,” Goode responded. “I commend Congressman Duncan Hunter for submitting an amendment to the Department of Transportation funding bill [which] got over 360 votes that said no funds in the transportation appropriation measure, prohibiting Department of Transportation funds from being used to participate on working groups that promote the Security and Prosperity Partnership.”

As WND reported, Hunter’s amendment to the FY 2008 Department of Transportation funding bill prohibiting DOT from using federal funds to participate in SPP working groups creating NAFTA Superhighways passed 362 to 63, with strong bipartisan support. The House approved H.R. 3074 by 268-153, with the Hunter amendment included.

“So, I think a majority the House, if you had an up or down vote on the SPP, would vote down on the SPP,” Goode concluded. “But some still say, and it’s a play on words, that we don’t have a Security and Prosperity Partnership that will lead to a North American Union. I don’t think they can say anymore that we don’t have a Security and Prosperity Partnership arrangement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, because that was done in Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005, and the recent meeting at Montebello was to talk about it further.”

WND asked Goode to comment on the North American Competitiveness Council, or NACC, a group of multinational corporations selected by the Chambers of Commerce in Mexico, Canada and the U.S. as the central adviser of SPP working groups.

At the SPP summit in Montebello, Quebec, the NACC met behind closed doors with the three leaders, cabinet secretaries who were present, and top SPP working group bureaucrats, while various public advocacy groups, environmental groups, labor unions – and the press – were excluded.

Should SPP working group meetings be open to the public?

“I wish they were,” Goode responded. “If it is as the Bush administration says, ‘We’re not planning any North American Union,’ then why wouldn’t those meetings be open, why wouldn’t you let the media in?” Goode asked.

“But some of the very big corporations want the goods from China to come in here unchecked,” he continued. “It costs money for U.S. trucks to transport Chinese goods from West Coast ports like Los Angeles or Long Beach. But if you can have a Mexican truck and Mexican truck driver, that’s going to be cheaper. And it’s all about the margins. The margins relate directly to how much money the multi-national corporations are going to make.”

Has the Senate debate on the Dorgan amendment brought the issues of the NAU and NAFTA Superhighways more to the attention of the Senate?

“I think so,” Goode said. “That debate had a very positive effect. You had grassroots support calling the Senate on the Dorgan amendment.

“The Bush administration engages in the same play of words with all these issues,” Goode added. “Take a look at the Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration reform, which the Bush administration has now tried to jam through the Senate not once, but twice.

“The Bush administration claims it’s not [amnesty] when you let someone stay in the country and give them a path to citizenship,” Goode pointed out. “Well, that’s their definition, not my definition, and not the definition of the majority of the public. The majority of the public called in and buried the amnesty bill because of public pressure. Public pressure also got de-funded the pilot program on Mexican trucks in this country.”

So should the U.S. pull out of the SPP?

“Yes,” Goode answered, “but the best way to end SPP would be to have a chief executive that wouldn’t do anything with it.”

What does Goode think of the state legislatures that are passing anti-NAU, anti-NAFTA Superhighway and anti-SPP resolutions?

“If enough state legislatures pass resolutions like that, it surely should have an impact on the House and the Senate,” Goode said.

“President Bush’s position is that we need to carry out NAFTA and we need to have this free flow of goods with Mexico and Canada,” Goode explained. “Well, Bush’s approach involves a derogation of our sovereignty and it also undermines the security and the safety of the country.

“It will be much easier for a truck to get a container on the west coast of Mexico and haul in a biological or radiological or nuclear weapon than it would be if you are going to have to unload the trucks on the Texas-Mexico border and put the goods and material in a U.S. truck,” he continued.

“The problem is that the NAU, NAFTA Superhighways and SPP all go back to money,” Goode stressed. “The multinational companies want their goods from Mexico and China because they want the cheap labor.”

What about the U.S.’s large and growing trade imbalance with China?

“I don’t want to have to be an ‘I told you so’ person,” Goode answered, “but I was a vigorous opponent of PNTR (“permanent normal trade relations”) and before that of ‘most favored nation’ trade status with China. We need tariffs and quotas with China. Personally, if I know food is coming in from China, I won’t buy it. The American people with the adoption of COOL, country of origin labeling, with the food clearly labeled, I think you will see the American public will shy away from Chinese products.”

In 2000, Congress voted to extend to China PNTR. “Most favored nation” or MFN trade status, was given to China first in 1980 by the Carter administration. COOL rules are administered by the Department of Agriculture.

Goode concluded the interview by thanking WND for covering the SPP, NAU and NAFTA Superhighway issues: “I want to thank you for putting these issues out where people can read it,” Goode said. “You have enlightened hundreds of thousands if not millions of American citizens who otherwise would have been greatly in the dark on the SPP.”

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Taking Cues From Fed, Speculators Bid Up Oil

Taking Cues From Fed, Speculators Bid Up Oil

Steven Mufson

Washington Post
September 22, 2007

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may have cooled off the credit crisis by cutting interest rates, but he may also have heated up oil prices this week.

For seven consecutive business days, crude oil prices have hit new highs. Even after dropping slightly yesterday, crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange finished the week at $81.62 a barrel, up a third since Jan. 1 and not far short of the inflation-adjusted peak set in January 1981, when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was at war with Iran.

Though gasoline prices haven’t matched earlier levels, new price increases could come soon. AAA said that the nationwide average price of regular unleaded gasoline was holding steady at $2.80 a gallon, up 34 cents from a year ago but still 43 cents below its peak, on May 24.

The fuel for the latest surge in petroleum prices has been renewed speculation by investors and hedge funds after the Federal Reserve’s cut in interest rates eased concerns about an economic slowdown. For every percentage-point increase in gross domestic product, oil consumption in the United States, the world’s biggest oil market, grows from a quarter to a third of a percent.

Lower interest rates have also undercut an already weakened dollar, which reached $1.41 against the euro. Since crude oil is priced in dollars, a weak dollar makes oil cheaper abroad and high prices in dollars more sustainable.

Oil prices this week drew strength from other areas, too. Comments by the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, fanned fears of war with Iran over its refusal to open its nuclear program to international scrutiny. Last weekend, Kouchner warned Western nations to “prepare for the worst,” though he told Washington Post editors yesterday that he favored giving the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency some time to negotiate with Iran.

To top it off, nearly two-thirds of the oil output in the Gulf of Mexico, or more than 800,000 barrels a day, was idled on Thursday as an approaching storm prompted the evacuation of offshore oil facilities, the Minerals Management Service said.

Unlike the rise in oil prices in the spring, this spike is taking place when energy demand usually hits a lull, between summer driving and winter heating seasons. Moreover, the price rise has picked up momentum despite an increase in output of half a million barrels a day by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“This time it’s just speculation,” Peter C. Fusaro, chairman of Global Change Associates and a consultant on energy hedge funds, said of the price increase. “There’s a large bet out there that prices will continue to trend higher. But it’s detached from fundamentals because there’s no shortage of oil.”

“It’s a big gambling hall,” said Fadel Gheit, an oil analyst at Oppenheimer. “Though oil prices may still go higher, a correction is inevitable. The only question is when and how much.”

Gheit said oil prices were inflated by as much as $30 a barrel. He also argued that while commercial inventories were modest, a buildup of government-held stocks had made demand seem stronger than it actually is.

Still, many analysts said that oil prices would remain high over the longer term because of restricted access to the world’s biggest reserves in Russia and the Middle East and because oil consumption in the United States, China and the Middle East continues to rise despite high prices.

Last week, Goldman Sachs raised its forecast for crude prices to $85 a barrel, and said there was “a high risk of a spike above $90” a barrel. The October futures contract on the Nymex reached a record $83.90 on Thursday, its last day of trading. The peak monthly cost of crude oil to U.S. refiners was an inflation-adjusted $92.91 a barrel in January 1981, according to the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration.

Royal Dutch Shell showed its confidence in the strength of the domestic gasoline market yesterday by announcing the biggest U.S. refinery project in three decades. The $7 billion expansion project would add 325,000 barrels a day of capacity at the Port Arthur, Tex., refinery that operates through Motiva Enterprises, a joint venture between the company’s Shell Oil unit and Saudi Aramco, the Saudi state oil company. The new facility will be able to handle relatively cheap low-quality crude oils, such as those from Alberta tar sands, new low-grade Saudi production or Venezuela.

“In spite of the high [gasoline] prices, we have still seen growth in the United States,” said Rob Routs, executive director of downstream at Royal Dutch Shell. He said that the United States has been importing about 1 million barrels a day of refined products, so that additional refinery capacity would “give security of supply” and “a good opportunity to cover the growth that is going to take place over the coming years.”

Even if gasoline demand remains healthy from an oil company point of view, many economists warn that high oil prices could hurt the U.S. economy by fueling inflation, pinching consumer spending and siphoning money into the coffers of foreign oil producers. With those producers inclined to convert some of those dollars into other currencies, that could further weaken the U.S. currency — and make it harder for the Fed to cut again.
“I don’t know any other economy in modern history that showed resilience and strength while its currency sank to record levels,” said Gheit. “Something has to give.”

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$200 Dollar a Barrel Oil Is Bilderberg Plan To Destroy Middle Class

$200 Dollar a Barrel Oil Is Bilderberg Plan To Destroy Middle Class
Elitists use peak oil scam, market turmoil, threat of Iran war to hike profits, torpedo middle class

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
September 17, 2007

The global elite are conspiring to send oil prices crashing through the $200 dollar a barrel mark as part of an organized agenda to hike profits, bring about a global economic crash and torpedo the middle class, and they’re not afraid to attack Iran as a means of achieving their goal.

Crude oil prices returned to near record high prices today after having surged past the $80 a barrel benchmark on Thursday.

Now there is serious debate about oil crashing not just the $100 dollar, but the $200 dollar a barrel level in the next two years.

The 24/7 Wall Street blog, which is affiliated with both Dow Jones’ MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal, carried an article over the weekend that entertained the possibility of oil tipping the $200 mark, citing experts in the industry who expect the $95 a barrel level to be surpassed by the end of the year if the recent stock market turmoil continues.

The ultra-secretive Bilderberg Group, a consortium of power brokers from banking, business, politics, academia and oil, met in Munich Germany in May 2005 when crude oil prices were around the $40 a barrel mark.

During the conference, Henry Kissinger told his fellow attendees that the elite had resolved to ensure that oil prices would double over the course of the next 12-24 months, which is exactly what has happened.

During their 2006 meeting in Ottawa Canada, Bilderberg agreed to push for $105 a barrel before the end of 2008. This information was gleaned from sources inside Bilderberg who have proven reliable in the past.

Though Bilderberg claim they are merely a talking shop and formulate no policy, they were also responsible for the decision to delay the invasion of Iraq until March 2003 after it was initially intended to take place in late 2002.

Bilderberg have sworn to bring about what Jose Barroso, President of the European Commission and a Bilderberg member, refers to as the “post-industrial revolution,” which in layman’s terms translates as a global economic crash, another great depression and the total evisceration of the middle class.

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

This will be accomplished by hyping the doomsday threat of global warming in alliance with the promotion of peak oil.

Peak oil is a scam manufactured by the oil companies to create artificial scarcity and drive up profits for transnational oil cartels. It was first originated in 1956 by Shell Oil’s M. King Hubbert, who said that only one and a quarter trillion barrels of crude were left, a figure that was surpassed at the end of 2006. According to Hubbert’s original calculations, the planet should already have produced its last drop over nine months ago.

By pushing peak oil theories and tying them in with the man-made global warming fraud, Bilderberg seeks to jack up oil prices to the point where the living standards of the middle class become unsustainable and the west is lowered into second world status while fat cat elitists reap the financial and political bounty.

A military attack on Iran is also essential for the globalists to kick-start an economic collapse coupled with a massive hike in oil prices. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told a French TV station yesterday that the world should prepare for war with Iran as rhetoric around the possibility of conflict grows bellicose.

Experts have predicted that should an attack occur, Iran would immediately cease oil exports, pushing the price per barrel well beyond $100 almost immediately, inflating gasoline prices and kicking off a worldwide energy crisis and a recession.


Oil industry ‘sleepwalking into crisis’
Former Shell chairman says that diminishing resources could push price of crude to $150 a barrel

The Independent
September 17, 2007

Lord Oxburgh, the former chairman of Shell, has issued a stark warning that the price of oil could hit $150 per barrel, with oil production peaking within the next 20 years.

He accused the industry of having its head “in the sand” about the depletion of supplies, and warned: “We may be sleepwalking into a problem which is actually going to be very serious and it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware.”

In an interview with The Independent on Sunday ahead of his address to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil in Ireland this week, Lord Oxburgh, one of the most respected names in the energy industry, said a rapid increase in the price of oil was inevitable as demand continued to outstrip supply. He said: “We can probably go on extracting oil from the ground for a very long time, but it is going to get very expensive indeed.

“And once you see oil prices in excess of $100 or $150 a barrel, the alternatives simply become more attractive on price grounds if on no others.”

Lord Oxburgh added that oil majors must invest more heavily in developing viable alternatives to oil and gas. “If you look at it from oil companies’ point of view, effectively what they’re doing at the moment is continuing business as usual, and sticking their toes in the water in a number of areas which might become important in future.

“But at present there is a relatively poor business case for making significantly greater investment in these new areas.”

Commenting on whether “peak oil” – the point when global oil production goes into terminal decline – was likely to be reached in the near future, he said: “In a way it scarcely matters; what really matters is the gap between production and demand. I don’t know whether there is going to be a peak in world oil production, whether it’s going to plateau and then slowly come down.

“It could well plateau within the next 20 years, and I guess I would be surprised if it hadn’t.”

The price of crude oil closed above $80 a barrel for the first time on Thursday, as a hurricane in Texas raised supply concerns.

US light crude hit $80.20, two cents higher than the price it touched on Wednesday. Oil prices have risen 30 per cent since the start of this year and are four times higher than their 2002 level.

The latest figures from the US Energy Information Administration show that global liquid fuels production in August was almost a million barrels per day lower than the same period in 2006.

The International Energy Agency has forecast what it calls an oil “supply crunch” by 2012, a prediction that Lord Oxburgh said could possibly come to pass. Lord Oxburgh is currently chairman of D1 Oils, a biodiesel company listed on the AIM market.

Oil Trades Near Record on Speculation of Reduced U.S. Supplies….20601102&sid=ah8r5g05TuIU&refer=uk


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