noworldsystem.com


Buffett Says Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac ’Game Is Over’

Buffett Says Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac ’Game Is Over’

Bloomberg
August 22, 2008

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest mortgage finance companies, “don’t have any net worth,’’ billionaire investor Warren Buffett said.

“The game is over’’ as independent companies said Buffett, the 77-year-old chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in an interview on CNBC today. “They were able to borrow without any of the normal restraints. They had a blank check from the federal government.’’

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae touched 20-year lows yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange on speculation a government bailout will leave the stocks worthless. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson won approval from Congress last month to pump emergency capital into the companies, which account for more than half of the $12 trillion U.S. mortgage market.

Fannie and Freddie mispriced their products and “kept existing because they had the federal government behind them,’’ Buffett said. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire had been among the largest holders of Freddie until about 2001, when it became apparent the company wasn’t being run well, he said.

Read Full Article Here

 

Jim Cramer Talks About Market Manipulation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptB3STL5rs

Related News:
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79 Million Americans Struggle To Pay Med Bills
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Gold surges to a 1-week high of $839
http://africa.reuters.com/business/news/usnBAN222833.html

US Crony Capitalism
http://mparent7777-1.livejournal.com/1375774.html

Recession within year, say experts
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/pres..ay-experts-6323e80.html

Oil shoots to $122 on missile shield row
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/..70614&sid=20295831&con_type=3

Morgan Stanley Says Financial Crisis Will Last: Report
http://www.cnbc.com/id/26252398

Wholesale prices: Highest annual rate in 27 years
http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/19/ne..postversion=2008081910

Wall Street Pulls Back As Financials Fall
Stocks Fall On Inflation Data
Financial Fears, Soaring Inflation Hit Wall Street

U.S. Economic Collapse News Archive

 



New York Turns Into a High-Tech Police Fortress

New York Turns Into a High-Tech Police Fortress

Antifascist
August 14, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YII-lDn0E8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P9lmZSRDr0

Operation Sentinel, a new program unveiled by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), would encircle Manhattan with thousands of surveillance cameras that photograph every car or truck entering and exiting the city across its network of bridges and tunnels.

Information captured by this intrusive project would be stored in a huge database for an undisclosed period of time. Additionally, a network of sensors installed at toll plazas would allegedly be able to capable detect radiological materials that could be used in potential terror plots, the New York Times reports.

However, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has denounced the proposal as “an attack on New Yorkers’ right to privacy.” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman lambasted this outrageous proposal saying,

“The NYPD’s latest plan to track and monitor the movements of millions of law-abiding people is an assault on this country’s historical respect for the right to privacy and the freedom to be left alone. That this is happening without public debate, and that elected officials have had no opportunity to study this program is even more alarming.” (“NYCLU: NYPD Plan to Track Millions of Law-Abiding People is an Assault on Privacy Rights,” New York Civil Liberties Union, August 12, 2008)

Last month I reported on a high-tech surveillance system under development by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) called “Combat Zones That See” (CTS).
The 2003 program was predicated on the notion that once thousands of digital CCTV networks were installed across occupied or “homeland” cities, CTS would provide occupying troops–or police–with “motion-pattern analysis across whole city scales.” Based on complex algorithms linked to the numeric recognition of license plate numbers and scanned-in human profiles, CTS would furnish troops–or cops–real-time, “situational awareness” of the “battlespace.”

Despite repeated attempts by NYCLU to obtain information on Operation Sentinel, NYPD and DHS have refused to provide any information about their mega-surveillance system. While all traces of CTS disappeared from DARPA’s website, portions of the program have resurfaced with a vengeance, courtesy of the NYPD and DHS.

According to New York Times reporter Al Baker,

Data on each vehicle–its time-stamped image, license plate imprint and radiological signature–would be sent to a command center in Lower Manhattan, where it would be indexed and stored for at least a month as part of a broad security plan that emphasizes protecting the city’s financial district, the spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said. If it were not linked to a suspicious vehicle or a law enforcement investigation, it would be eliminated, he said. (“City Would Photograph Every Vehicle Entering Manhattan and Sniff Out Radiation,” The New York Times, August 12, 2008)

Data on each vehicle–its time-stamped image, license plate imprint and radiological signature–would be sent to a command center in Lower Manhattan, where it would be indexed and stored for at least a month as part of a broad security plan that emphasizes protecting the city’s financial district, the spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said. If it were not linked to a suspicious vehicle or a law enforcement investigation, it would be eliminated, he said. (“City Would Photograph Every Vehicle Entering Manhattan and Sniff Out Radiation,” The New York Times, August 12, 2008)

“It is one tool of ensuring that if there is somebody on a terrorist watch list or someone driving erratically, or if a pattern develops that raises suspicions, it gives them an opportunity to investigate further and–if need be–track down the drivers or the passengers,” he said. “The bottom line is they can’t frisk everybody coming into Manhattan; they cannot wand everyone, as they do at airports. This is a passive collection of data that is not as personally invasive as what they do at airports.”

“It is one tool of ensuring that if there is somebody on a terrorist watch list or someone driving erratically, or if a pattern develops that raises suspicions, it gives them an opportunity to investigate further and–if need be–track down the drivers or the passengers,” he said. “The bottom line is they can’t frisk everybody coming into Manhattan; they cannot wand everyone, as they do at airports. This is a passive collection of data that is not as personally invasive as what they do at airports.”

NYPD Monitors Ring Of Steel Plan
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/56882

 



Oil Above $146 in London

Oil Above $146 in London

Fin Facts
July 4, 2008

In thin trading in New York Thursday, with markets closed early at 1:00 pm Eastern for today’s July 4th holiday weekend, the big focus was on the June employment report on a day when crude oil breached the $145 a barrel level in both New York and London.

US nonfarm payrolls fell for a sixth consecutive month, dropping by 62,000 jobs in June. The month’s unemployment rate held at 5.5%, after rising sharply in May. A service-sector report also supported the gloomy outlook.

US lost 62,000 jobs in June – Six straight months of job losses total 438,000

Dr. Peter Morici: Crisis grips US Job Market: Economy sheds 62,000 jobs in June

The Institute of Supply Management said its index of service sector activity fell to a reading of 48.2 in June, below analysts’ expectation for a reading of 51.0. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 73.03 points, or 0.7%, at 11288.54, down 14.9% in 2008. Component General Motors rose 1.4%.

GM fell to a 54-year low on Wednesday and the stock closed Thursday at $10.17, down from $18 just a month ago.

Crude oil rose to a record on concern conflict with Iran over its nuclear program would cut Persian Gulf supplies.

Brent North Sea oil for August delivery surged to a life-time peak of $146.34 per barrel in morning trade. In New York, oil touched a new record of $145.85. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil closed at $145.29. Brent closed at $146.08.

Alexei Miller, chief executive of Russia’s gas giant OAO Gazprom, added fuel to the fire by saying that Europeans would soon have to pay much more for imports of natural gas. Miller, who last month forecast that oil would rise to $250 a barrel in the near future, said Russian gas would be sold in Europe for $500 per thousand cubic meters by the end of the year – about a fifth more than the current price.

Read Full Article Here

 

World Must Brace For $150 Oil

AP
July 4, 2008

Oil’s meteoric rise since the start of the year to nearly $150 has distressed consumers and policy makers the world over, but the stark reality is prices are likely to rise higher still.

For two decades, prices were relatively stable, but then they rose seven-fold from a trough below $20 in 2001. Since breaching the $100 mark on the first trading day of this year they have risen around 45 percent.

Given such momentum, politicians’ efforts to bring the price down could well be a waste of energy.

Read Full Article Here

 



Red flags in Bear Stearns’ collapse

Bear Stearns Collapses, Sold to JP Morgan at $2/Share

Depression2.tv
March 17, 2008

Last Friday we got a taste of what the future is likely to be like as we make our way further into the belly of the second great depression. The Fed rushed to bail out a venerable Wall Street institution, which was rumored to be insolvent. Sunday evening, that rumor was confirmed to be true, as Bear Stearns agreed to sell itself to JP Morgan for a paltry $2 per share. Two dollars! This for a firm that was trading at $170 just over a year ago, and was as high as $54 just Friday! If Bear Stearns is only worth $2 per share, how can we possibly say with any confidence what other “investment banks” are worth?

While this bankruptcy comes as a shock to nearly everyone, it should be a surprise to no one. The global financial system has been teetering on a precipice for years if not decades, pumped up by unsustainable amounts of debt at every level of the economy, and is primed for a crash. That the crash has been postponed countless times by even easier money lent to yet poorer credit risks has served only to instill a false sense of confidence in markets and to magnify the impending calamity that seems finally to be at hand. Warnings that have been sounded on websites such as this one appear finally to be coming true, as confirmed by none-other than the venerable Wall Street Journal in a front page article titled, “Debt Reckoning: US Receives a Margin Call.”

The US is at the receiving end of a massive margin call: Across the economy, wary lenders are demanding that borrowers put up more collateral or sell assets to reduce debts.

The unfolding financial crisis – one that began with bad bets on securities backed by subprime mortgages, then sparked a tightening of credit between big banks – appears to be broadening further. For years, the US economy has been borrowing from cash rich lenders from Asia to the Middle East. American firms and household have enjoyed readily available credit at easy terms, even for risky bets. No longer.

Did you ever think news like that would ever make it off the internet and into the pages of the Wall Street J? Even I was beginning to have my doubts. But the news is seeping even further into the mainstream. This week’s Time Magazine has an article titled “10 Ideas that are Changing the World.” Idea 8 is “The New Austerity:”

Americans simply don’t have enough money to pay back the mortgage and credit-card debt they’ve run up. That reality is forcing banks to retrench as loans gone bad shrink their capital bases and falling house prices shrink the collateral that homeowners can borrow against. And it will presumably force chastened consumers to change their ways as well.

Americans simply don’t have enough money… What does it mean? It means defaults, economic loss and a spiral of fear and more loss. It means more Bear Stearns. Time’s article quotes David Rosenberg, an economist at Merrill Lynch: “I’m not saying we’re going back to our parents’ level of frugality, but what we have witnessed in the past 20 to 30 years – and especially the parabolic credit growth of the last five years – is going to be bursting in the next decade.” If not back to our parents’ level of frugality, then what? To our grandparents’ level? How can anything less be avoided, in an era when most people are already working full speed, maxed-out and yet still need credit to survive? And now they’re cutting off the credit!? The result for households will be the same as for Bear – massive liquidation. And the Fed is in no position to do anything about it. The Fed is currently operating in triage mode – desperately trying to aid the banks and save the global financial system as we know it. But what ammunition does the Fed have to save the average American working stiff, who is up to his eyeballs in debt?

Read Full Article Here

 

Wall Street fears for next Great Depression

London Independent

March 16, 2008

Wall Street is bracing itself for another week of roller-coaster trading after more than $300bn (£150bn) was wiped off the US equity markets on Friday following the emergency funding package put together by the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan Chase to rescue Bear Stearns.

One UK economist warned that the world is now close to a 1930s-like Great Depression, while New York traders said they had never experienced such fear. The Fed’s emergency funding procedure was first used in the Depression and has rarely been used since.

A Goldman Sachs trader in New York said: “Everyone is in a total state of shock, aghast at what is happening. No one wants to talk, let alone deal; we’re just standing by waiting. Everyone is nervous about what is going to emerge when trading starts tomorrow.”

In the UK, Michael Taylor, a senior market strategist at Lombard, the economics consultancy, said on Friday night: “We have all been talking about a 1970s-style crisis but as each day goes by this looks more like the 1930s. No one has any clue as to where this is going to end; it’s a self-feeding disaster.” Mr Taylor, who had been relatively optimistic, has turned bearish: “It really does look as though the UK is now heading for a recession. The credit-crunch means that even if the Bank of England cuts rates again, the banks are in such a bad way they are unlikely to pass cuts on.”

Mr Taylor added that he expects a sharp downturn in the real UK economy as the public and companies stop borrowing. “We have never seen anything like this before. This is new territory for us. Liquidity is being pumped into the system but the banks are not taking any notice. This is all about confidence. The more the central banks do, the more the banks seem to ignore what’s going on.”

Read Full Article Here

 

Bear Stearns Rescue Is `Finger in Dike,’ Scholars Say

Bloomberg
March 17, 2008

With Bear Stearns Cos.’ temporary rescue in place, the $200 billion subprime crisis joins the history of government bailouts to preserve jobs, homes and savings when economic disaster looms.

Ever since Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo shut the New York Stock Exchange for four months in 1914, to prevent foreign investors from cashing out and throwing the U.S. into financial chaos at the outset of World War I, American policy makers routinely have suspended their support for free markets when confronted by economic peril.

“I think the systemic risks dominate right now, which means you’ve got to put your finger in the dike,’’ says William Silber, a finance professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is the author of “When Washington Shut Down Wall Street: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America’s Monetary Supremacy’’ (Princeton University Press, 232 pages, $27.95).

Bailouts can buy time while policy makers try to defuse panic. Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York provided financial support for Bear Stearns, the fifth-largest U.S. securities firm. It faced eroding investor confidence in the fallout from losses related to securities based on mortgages to the least creditworthy borrowers.

Bear Stearns executives were striving today to strike an agreement to sell the firm to JPMorgan Chase & Co. before financial markets open tomorrow, people with knowledge of the talks said.

Read Full Article Here

Stunned Bear Stearns investors eye legal claims
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080317/us_nm/bearstearns_lawsuits_dc

Banks Face New World Order Consolidation
http://www.reuters.com/artic..743541720080317?sp=true

Stocks Widely Mixed on Bear Stearns News
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080317/wall_street.html

 



Chavez at War with Colombia

The Murder of Raúl Reyes: Border War or Wall Street Mafia Hit?

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars

March 3, 2008

From Bloomberg:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s orders to close his Bogotá embassy and send tanks to the border raise tensions beyond his previous rhetoric and to the point where miscalculation could trigger a military clash.

Chavez, who ordered 10 armored battalions to the border yesterday, said Colombia’s air strike March 1 on a rebel camp in Ecuadorean territory risks a regional war. He pledged to support Ecuador under any circumstances. The raid killed Raul Reyes, reputed to be second in command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

If we are to follow the corporate media line, Chávez and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, both oft characterized as rotten commies, are to blame for the prospect of impending war with Colombia, even though Colombia is at fault for a violent violation of Ecuador’s national sovereignty.

After all, according to Reuters, “Colombia apologized to Ecuador for the troops crossing the frontier, but said the attack on a rebel camp was necessary after its forces came under fire from across the border.” In order to minimize this egregious violation — consisting of air strikes and the deployment of ground troops — we are told “Colombia, a U.S. ally, also said it found documents at the [FARC] jungle camp that linked the leftist government of Correa to the Marxist guerrillas — a charge Ecuador dismissed because the evidence was not presented for public scrutiny.”

It is part and parcel of an ongoing demonization process, designed to portray Chávez and Correa in league with FARC and the Devil. FARC was long ago fingered as a “narco-terrorist group” by the United States and the shadowy “revolutionary,” i.e., communist, organization plays a leading villain role in the State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, issued this month.

Of course, all of the supposedly diligent work under the guise of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, passed in June 2000, may be considered little more than a useless spinning of wheels — and a huge squandering of tax payer money — so long as the Drug Enforcement Administration ignores ground zero of the illegal drug trade, situated squarely on Wall Street. It should come as no surprise Wall Street has traditionally gone where the money is, no matter communism or any other distant second consideration, stuff good for Sunday school lectures but useless for investment purposes.

Back in 1999, Agencia de Noticias Nueva Colombia reported Richard Grasso, president of the New York Stock Exchange, flying off to southern Colombia to meet with the recently deceased Raúl Reyes:

Grasso was accompanied by Finance Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo and presidential commissioner for peace Victor Ricardo. The Argentine daily Clarin reported that Grasso was also accompanied by NYSE vice president Alain Murban and adviser James Esposito. The meeting took place inside the rebel-controlled peace zone in an area near the village of La Machacha, in southern Caqueta department… Local media said Grasso had asked to meet a representative of the FARC’s high command to discuss foreign investment and the future role of US businesses in Colombia.

But why would a NYSE big fish want to talk with a communist revolutionary about “foreign investment and the future role of US businesses in Colombia”?

It’s a no-brainer, really. Because the numero uno foreign investment opportunity in Colombia is anchored in the drug trade, not bananas and cut flowers. Plenty of money is to be made laundering drug money, a Wall Street specialty.

It was not reported what became of the discussion between Grasso and Reyes, but it really does not matter because Reyes is now pushing up daisies. The State Department may finger FARC as the cause of all evil in the region, but it completely ignores the group’s competitor, namely Colombia’s infamous rightwing paramilitary death squads, in the business of laundering drug money and with the assistance of DEA agents, according to Department of Justice attorney Thomas M. Kent.

Is it possible Colombia crossed over into Ecuador to assassinate Raúl Reyes in classic Tony Montana fashion? After all, the State Department has long accused Reyes of setting the FARC’s cocaine policies, including the production, manufacture, and distribution of thousands of tons of cocaine to the United States and the world.

Of course, the corporate media is not interested in the underlying dynamic of the situation in South America, as the point is to portray Hugo Chávez as a warmonger, increasingly so especially after the CIA failed to overthrow him and the Venezuelan leader takes pleasure in thumbing his nose at Bush and his coterie of neocons.

 



The dollar’s decline accelerates


Ready for a rout? : The dollar’s decline accelerates – Economist

Economist
November 8, 2007

YOU know that nerves are taut when a couple of stray comments set off a flurry of selling. The dollar fell sharply on Wednesday November 7th after mid-ranking Chinese officials, not actually responsible for foreign-exchange policy, made remarks that were seized upon by already jittery markets. A Chinese parliamentarian called for his country to diversify its reserves out of “weak” currencies like the dollar and another official suggested that the dollar’s status as a reserve currency was “shaky”. The greenback reached $2.10 against the pound and a new record of $1.47 against the euro, before recovering slightly. A widely traded index, which tracks the dollar’s value against six major currencies, also fell to a new low.

The sliding dollar, along with record losses from General Motors, the threat of $100-a-barrel oil and more bad news from the mortgage industry, spooked Wall Street. On November 7th the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 2.6% and the S&P 500 index by almost 3%. To add to the worries, Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, ramped up the political rhetoric on a visit to Washington.

Alarmed that the weak dollar boosts America’s competitiveness relative to Europe’s, he told Congress that George Bush’s administration needed to do something about the dollar or risk an “economic war”. Wall Street seers wondered whether official intervention to prop up the dollar was on the cards.

A true dollar crisis has long been one of the more frightening possibilities for the world economy. If foreign investors suddenly abandon America’s currency and the dollar collapses, financial markets could crash while the plunging currency constrains the Federal Reserve’s ability to cut interest rates. That fear is exacerbated by rising concerns about higher crude oil and food prices.

For now, the dollar nightmare is still unlikely. The currency’s decline is neither surprising nor, at least until this week, alarmingly rapid. The gaping current-account deficit and interest-rate differentials between America and other big economies point to a weaker currency. The Fed has cut short-term interest rates by 0.75 percentage points in the past two months. Given the scale of the credit mess and rising fears of recession, expectations are growing that the central bank will cut rates once again when its rate-setting committee next meets on December 11th.

Elsewhere, central bankers have stood pat or tightened. The Reserve Bank of Australia raised short-term rates to 6.75% on November 6th, citing inflationary pressure. The European Central Bank and the Bank of England, meeting on November 8th, are both expected to keep short-term rates on hold, at 4% and 5.75% respectively.

If cyclical considerations point to a weaker dollar, the most recent nervousness seems to be driven more by structural worries. Judging by the dollar’s slump in the wake of the Chinese officials’ comments, investors are fretting that central banks in emerging economies will abandon the ailing greenback. In the short term at least, that fear is easily exaggerated. The share of global foreign-exchange reserves held in dollars has fallen in recent years, but only gradually.

Central banks are unlikely to accelerate a dollar rout by making dramatic changes in their reserve portfolios. That said, many long-standing dollar bulwarks are looking weaker. Many countries that link their currencies to the dollar, from Arab oil exporters to China, face inflationary pressure. As the greenback slumps, these countries have ever-stronger domestic reasons to allow their currencies to rise.

So far, the dollar’s decline has caused little alarm among American policymakers. There is scant sign that the depreciation has aggravated price pressures. And inflation expectations, though up slightly, have not soared. Instead, the weaker currency, along with strong growth abroad, has boosted exports, helping to support output growth and unwind external imbalances faster than many thought possible.

America’s current-account deficit fell to 5.5% of GDP in the second quarter, from a peak of 7% at the end of 2005. For all the official talk of a “strong dollar”, most American policymakers have lost little sleep over the sliding greenback. A dramatic fall in the dollar, however, would be a different story. If this week’s ructions are a sign of things to come, the weak dollar could become a big headache.

Related News:

Metals – Gold close to record as dollar plunges to new depths
http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2007/11/09/afx4321214.html

What Happens After Gold Breaks the All-Time High?
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Credit Suisse warns of quantum rise in gold price
http://www.metalmarkets…of-quantum-rise-in-gold-price/

The American empire is falling with the dollar
http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_2616.shtml

Asian Stocks Slump as Dollar Tumbles, Subprime Losses Widen
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/n..BWIYk&refer=asia

Dow Drops 360 Points
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071…Os0NUE

Six in 10 U.S. consumers see recession – survey
http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.as…-1.XML

Dollar hits 26-year low against pound
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/nov/07/usnews.foreigncurrency

One Of The Costs Of Rate Cuts – Collapsing Dollar
http://commonsenseforecaster.blogspot.c…lapsing.html

7 Countries Considering Abandoning the US Dollar
http://www.currencytrading.net/2007/7-co…at-it-means/

Wall Street firms see recession nearing
http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSN0554066820071106

Homes brace for heating oil highs
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071107/ts_n…XQCPi5Z.3QA

RBS: Banks Face $100 Billion in Level 3 Writedowns
http://www.economicsbri…s-face-100-billion-in-level-3.html

Credit Card Debt a $915 Billion Disaster-in-Waiting for Banks
http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/credit…1/06/47264.html

NYSE says trading curbs rule is history
http://today.reuters.com/news/ArticleI…-CURBS.XML

Gold hits fresh peaks near $850, Oil hits $98 a barrel
http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2007/11/07/afx4310440.html

Fox News – Dollar inflation is good
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Citi faces $11 billion write-down
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U.S. Economic Collapse News Archive