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Author Topic: Business & Economics News (moved to Statist News Blog)  (Read 104625 times)


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Re: Economic Crash [Update: Derivatives Scheme]
« Reply #75 on: November 03, 2011, 06:23:07 pm »

CAFR1 IN REPLY TO: The Coming Derivatives Crisis That Could Destroy The Entire Global Financial System

CAFR1 REPLY: Understanding the puzzle of derivatives

The Commodity Futures market is one of the largest derivative trading arenas with many commodities; currencies; precious metals; and energy products listed - Futures Market

It all revolves around "Price" and "Time". You will notice that on all traded contracts there are time periods listed noted by contract months going out up to three-years out.

Whatever the price is today (minute by minute as the contracts are traded) someone can buy or sell a contract with a 1% to 3% of the value of the contract in their account (buying or selling on margin)

Most from the public are psychologically conditioned that they have to buy first and then sell to make a profit. In derivatives that is 100% incorrect. You are making a "time" bet for higher or lower prices. If you think the value is going down, you sell a contract. If you think it is going up you buy a contract.

With the markets now primarily being traded electronically, when a buy or sell order is entered and at your price your fill usually is instant. This means you can jump in and out at your choice. If you choose it could be 10 minutes, an hour, a day, a week, or longer that you hold your position. The following is an example of the best profit in the shortest period I personally made:

It was back in 1981 and on on day when I was watching silver towards the close, it looked like it was very top heavy after moving up a few dollars over a couple of weeks. I said to myself: "I think it is going to collapse in the last few minutes before the close. It was 4-minutes to the close and I at that time having an account balance of about $32,000  slapped in two orders; (SELL) 35 DEC SILVERS at Market, and (BUY) 35 DEC SILVERS (Market on Close)

Well, got filled on the 35 sell orders in about 5 seconds and in the next 4-minutes silver collapsed by 42c where my Market on close orders were filled. No more 35 derivative contracts held, just accounting of the instant CASH collected on the trade.
Here is the accounting: 42c X 35 = $14.7 X $5,000 ($1 value of a silver contract move) = $73,500 + $32,000 (my account balance before the trade)= $106,500 (account balance after the trade) or not bad after a 4-minute derivatives trade. Now those that had the "other side" of the trade got burnt. The commissions I was paying at that time was about $15 per contract X 35 contracts traded = $525 that went to the House and exchange that "cleared" the trade.

Most commodity contracts have active participation in the front months but the further the time goes out participation dries up and thus no liquidity to trade those contracts.

For every contract being that it is a bet on "time" will reach its expiration and delivery day. When that happens all speculators are out and those wishing to take or make delivery stay in to the last day and then the exchanges match up the "real" buyers and sellers to each other on the outstanding contracts where physical delivery of the underling commodity is made.

Come that last day the volume of contracts held dries up to usually less that 1% of what it was a few days earlier (over 99% were speculators and less than 1% actually wanted to take or make delivery)

The 600 trillion notional value is: the value of all the bets.

EXAMPLE: a 30 Year Bond on the commodity futures market has a $100,000 face value of the bet and the margin requirement to hold it over night is $2,500 and day trading margin can be $1,000. As of today the "Net" contract volume is at about 289,000 contracts. So based on notional face value that is 289,000 X $100,000 = $89 billion-dollars but the "margin deposits being used is substantially less.

So that 600 trillion is the "full contract value" of all contracts being traded. That 1.5 quadrillion is when you take into account both sides of the contract. For every buyer holding a contract there is a seller holding the other side. So when counting each side 600 X 600 = 1.2 quadrillion.

Here is the "Bottom Line":

With 99% speculators, yes it is a casino. But "who" are the primary players that are liquidating from others tens of billions of dollars a day from the trading activity (remember when the trade is closed in 5-minutes or 5-months it is all a "cash" accounting for the winner's and loser's account balances)

Well, those from the general public that tries to play this game, they get their account balances decimated to the tune of 98% of those players that participated in very short periods of time. (bought on highs; sold on lows; got stopped out or force liquidated for not having the proper margin after being depleted from quick adverse market moves)

So who are that 2% factor that takes everyone's money to the tune of over a few trillion dollars a year (some times in a month as happened at the end of 2008) ?

The answer may surprise you. Now the House and the Exchanges get a small cut from each side. There are a few magnates on the inside track that also make good money: But the "Primary" profiteer for several decades now are: Institutional Government Fund Management.

They in so many words all subscribe to the same News Services and consulting groups. They have the fund resources in trillion dollar collective totals managed from around the globe. They can act in loose concert and roll the markets up; down; sideways and do so as fast or as slow as they wish locking in the CASH (wealth transfer) on their trading activity.

The end of 2008 showed how fast they could move the markets by exercising their multi-trillion dollar trading accounts and massive contract volume they can move in and out.

At the end of 2008 in a month and a half about 25 to 30 trillion-dollars was "sucked" right out of players accounts "globally" that were on the "wrong sides" of the trades. Now some government investment funds where they were on the outside track got burnt. The primary government institutional global accounts that "were" on the inside track made a killing of several trillion dollars.

Now here is the definition of arrogance:

Government (USA) global institutional funds now after having liquidating trillions out of the playing loser's accounts at the end of 2008, which caused massive defaults from the loser's who ended up with severe deficit account balances, now uses a trillion here and a trillion there of taxpayer revenue to shore-up their own casino and friendly corporate interests they were vested in.

Is there a "bubble" in the derivatives market?

As of 2009, Oh yes.. You can not suck so many trillions out of others accounts at the end of 2008 without destabilizing the playing field. Commodity futures contracts back then were settled after weeding out defaults so back to normal there. I note the definition of normal is those government institutional accounts rolling the market up and down, quick and slow; as they liquidate that 98% factions cash on the trades.

The danger lies in those "Mortgage Interest Rate Swaps" where there is a substantially reduced value of the underling commodity and in some cases the contract instrument traded had no underling commodity to back it up at all (real-estate home and commercial properties)

Here the balancing act is precarious to say the least. Offsetting those contract instruments to balance out with "real" underling value "market to market" is a nightmare for the players running the show.

Those trillions in bailouts to the global banks and financial institutions have primarily gone to that end.

Are they getting closer to balancing the books? Yes.

Are they there yet? No, they are about 60% there and it will take more time to balance the remainder and then the beat goes on with a closer eye overseeing the balance sheets.

Walter Burien - (CTA) Commodity Trading Advisor) 1978 - 1992 and commodity Futures Trader of 33 years.


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Re: Economic Crash? [Update: Back to This]
« Reply #76 on: January 23, 2013, 03:48:14 pm »

[Michael Hudson agrees with libertarians about taxes being bad for the economy. He talks below about one kind of taxes that are good for the economy, which sounds contradictory at first, until you realize that what he's calling taxes here is not really taxes, but voluntary fees in exchange for a service. It's similar to toll road fees, court fees etc. In this case, the service is the privilege to use public property. - Luck]

naked capitalism
- Friday, January 4, 2013
Michael Hudson: America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff, Part IV
-- Why Financial and Tax Reform Should Go Together
- By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.
- His latest book is “The Bubble and Beyond.”
- Taxes pay for the cost of government by withdrawing income from the parties being taxed.
- From Adam Smith through John Stuart Mill to the Progressive Era, general agreement emerged that the most appropriate taxes should not fall on labor, capital or on sales of basic consumer needs.
- Such taxes raise the break-even cost of employing labor.
- In today’s world, FICA wage withholding for Social Security raises the price that employers must pay their work force to maintain living standards and buy the products they produce.
- However, these economists singled out one kind of tax that does not increase prices: taxes on the land’s rental value, natural resource rents and monopoly rents.
- [- Actually, that‘s not a tax, imo; it‘s a government fee, just like postal fees, toll road fees, incorporation fees, court fees etc.]
- [- No taxes are justified, because tax is theft; fees are voluntary equal exchanges.]
- [- All land, natural resources and governing power belong to all of the people.]
- [- The people have the right to decide via their true representatives who may use natural resources and power and what fees they should pay for them.]
- [- When any individual or group uses such resources or power, the people deserve to be compensated] ...
- Land is the economy’s largest asset.
- A site’s rental value is set by market conditions – what people pay for being able to live in a good location.
- People pay more to live in prestigious and convenient neighborhoods.
- They pay more if there is local investment in roads and public transportation, and if there are parks, museums and cultural centers nearby, or nice shopping districts.
- People also pay more as the economy grows more prosperous, because one of the first things they desire is status, and in today’s world this is defined largely by where one lives.
- Landlords do not create this site value.
- But speculators may seek to ride the wave by buying property on credit, where the rate of land-price gain exceeds the interest rate.
- This “capital” gain is the proverbial free lunch.
- It is created by public investment, by the general level of prosperity, and by the terms on which banks extend credit.
- In a nutshell, a property is worth whatever a bank will lend, because that is the price that new buyers will be able to pay for it.
- This logic was more familiar to the public a century ago than it is today.
- A property tax [fee] to collect this “free lunch” rent is paid out of the rent [to the government].
- This leaves less to be capitalized [i.e. used by resource exploiters to put] into new interest-bearing loans – while freeing the government from having to tax labor and industrial capital.
- So this tax [fee] not only is “less bad” than others; it is actively desirable to reduce the [government‘s] debt overhead [overhead means costs of operation?].
- Rent levels [paid by consumers?] are not affected, but the government collects the rent instead of the property owner or, at one remove, the mortgage banker who [otherwise?] turns this rent into a flow of interest by advancing the purchase price of rent-yielding properties to new buyers.
- Real estate was the major source of rising net worth and wealth for America’s middle class for over sixty years, from the return to peace in 1945 until the 2008 financial collapse.
- Rising property prices were fueled largely by banks providing mortgage credit on easier terms.
- But by 2008 these terms had reached their limit.
- Interest rates were seemingly as low as they could go.
- So were down payments (zero down payment) and amortization rates (zero, with interest-only loans) and property values were becoming fictitious as a result of a tidal wave of fraud by the banking system’s property appraisers, while the income statements of borrowers also [were] becoming fictitious (“liars’ loans,” with the main liars being the mortgage writers).
- If the rise in real estate prices (mainly site values) had been taxed [i.e. charged reasonable fees], there would have been no financial overgrowth, because this price-gain would have been collected as the tax base [government revenues or assets].
- The government would not have needed to tax labor either via income tax, FICA wage withholding or consumer sales.
- And taken in conjunction with the government’s money-creating power, there would have been little need for public debt to grow.
- Taxing [charging fees for] rent extraction [selling raw material resources] privileges thus would minimize [end] debt levels and taxes on the 99%.
- The next leading form of economic rent is taken by oil, gas and mining companies from the mineral deposits created by nature, as well as by owners or leasers of forests and other natural resources [which in] Classical economics [was called] “economic rent.”
- It is not profit on capital investment, because nature has provided the resource, not human labor or expenditure [of] capital – except for tangible capital investment in the buildings erected on the land, saws to cut down trees, earth-moving equipment to do the mining, and so forth.
- The basic contrast is between a productive industrial economy and a rent-extracting one in which special privileges, monopoly pricing and economic rents divert spending away from tangible capital investment and real output [production].
- Classical economists defined economic rent generically as “empty” pricing in excess of technologically necessary costs of production.
- This would include payments to pharmaceutical companies, health management organizations (HMOs) and monopolies [but excluding their] cost of doing business.
- Much like paying debt service, such economic rent siphons market revenue away from tangible production and consumption.
- It was to demonstrate this that Francois Quesnay developed the first national income statistics, the Tableau Économique.
- His aim was to show that the landed aristocracy’s rental rake-offs should form the basis for taxation rather than the excise taxes that were burdening industry and making it uncompetitive.


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Re: Economic Crash? [Update: We're Back]
« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2013, 03:50:29 pm »

- But for the past hundred years, commercial banks have opposed property taxes, because taxing the land’s rent would mean less left over to pay interest [to the banks].
- Some 80 percent of bank loans are for real estate, mainly to capitalize [profit from] the rental value left untaxed.
- A property and wealth tax [make that fee, not tax] would reduce this market – along with the government’s need to borrow, and hence to pay interest to bondholders.
- And without a fiscal squeeze there would have been less of an opportunity for the financial sector to push to privatize [give special interests ownership of] what remains of the public domain.
- Today’s central financial problem is that the banking system lends mainly for rent extraction opportunities rather than for tangible capital investment and economic growth to raise living standards.
- To maximize rent, it has lobbied to untax [i.e. give away to them] land and natural resources.
- At issue in today’s tax and financial crisis is thus whether the world is going to have an economy based on progressive industrial democracy or a financialized and polarizing rent-extracting society.
- - The Ideological Crisis Underlying Today’s Tax and Financial Policy
- From antiquity and for thousands of years, land, natural resources and monopolies, seaports and roads were kept in the public domain.
- In more recent times railroads, subway lines, airlines, and gas and electric utilities were made public.
- The aim was to provide their basic services at cost or at subsidized prices rather than letting them be privatized into rent-extracting opportunities.
- The Progressive Era capped this transition to a more equitable economy by enacting progressive income and wealth taxes [i.e. fees].
- Economies were liberating themselves from the special privileges that European feudalism and colonialism had granted to favored insiders.
- The aim of ending these privileges – or taxing away economic rent where it occurs naturally, as in the land’s site value and natural resource rent – was to lower the costs of living and doing business.
- This was expected to make progressive economies more competitive, obliging other countries to follow suit or be rendered obsolete.
- The era of what was considered to be socialism in one form or another seemed to be at hand – rising role of the public sector as part and parcel of the evolution of technology and prosperity.
- But the landowning and financial classes fought back, seeking to expunge the central policy conclusion of classical economics: the doctrine that free-lunch economic rent should serve as the tax base for economies seeking to be most efficient and fair.
- Imbued with academic legitimacy by the University of Chicago (which Upton Sinclair aptly named the University of Standard Oil) the new post-classical economics has adopted Milton Friedman’s motto: “There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” (TINSTAAFL).
- If it is not seen, after all, it has less likelihood of being taxed.
- The political problem faced by rentiers – the “idle rich” siphoning off most of the economy’s gains for themselves – is to convince voters to agree that labor and consumers should be taxed rather than the financial gains of the wealthiest 1%.
- How long can they defer people from seeing that making interest tax-exempt pushes the government’s budget further into deficit?
- To free financial wealth and asset-price gains from taxes – while blocking the government from financing its deficits by its own public option for money creation – the academics sponsored by financial lobbyists hijacked monetary theory, fiscal policy and economic theory in general.
- On seeming grounds of efficiency they claimed that government no longer should regulate Wall Street and its corporate clients.
- Instead of criticizing rent seeking as in earlier centuries, they depicted government as an oppressive Leviathan for using its power to protect markets from monopolies, crooked drug companies, health insurance companies and predatory finance.
- This idea that a “free market” is one free for Wall Street to act without regulation can be popularized only by censoring the history of economic thought.
- It would not do for people to read what Adam Smith and subsequent economists actually taught about rent, taxes and the need for regulation or public ownership.
- Academic economics is turned into an Orwellian exercise in doublethink, designed to convince the population that the bottom 99% should pay taxes rather than the 1% that obtain most interest, dividends and capital gains.
- By denying that a free lunch exists, and by confusing the relationship between money and taxes, they have turned the economics discipline and much political discourse into a lobbying effort for the 1%.
- Lobbyists for the 1% frame the fiscal question in terms of “How can we make the 99% pay for their own social programs?” The implicit follow-up is, “so that we (the 1%) don’t have to pay?” This is how the Social Security system came to be “funded” and then “underfunded.” The most regressive tax of all is the FICA payroll tax at 15.3% of wages up to about $105,000.
- Above that, the rich don’t have to contribute.
- This payroll tax exceeds the income tax paid by many blue-collar families.
- The pretense is that not taxing these free lunchers will make economies more competitive and pull them out of depression.
- The reality is the opposite: Instead of taxing the wealthy on their free lunch, the tax burden raises the cost of living and doing business.
- This is a major reason why the U.S. economy is being de-industrialized today.
- The key question is what the 1% do with their revenue “freed” from taxes.
- The answer is that they lend it out to indebt the 99%.
- This polarizes the economy between creditors and debtors.
- Over the past generation the wealthiest 1% have rewritten the tax laws to a point where they now receive an estimated 66% – two thirds – of all returns to wealth (interest, dividends, rents and capital gains), and a reported 93% of all income gains since the Wall Street bailout of September 2008.
- They have used this money to finance the election campaigns of politicians committed to shifting taxes onto the 99%.
- They also have bought control of the major news media that shape peoples’ understanding of what is happening.
- And as Thorstein Veblen described nearly a century ago, businessmen have become the heads [of] most universities and directed their curriculum along “business friendly” lines.
- The clearest way to analyze any financial system is to ask Who/Whom.
- That is because financial systems are basically a set of debts owed to creditors.
- In today’s neo-rentier economy the bottom 99% (labor and consumers) owe the 1% (bondholders, stockholders and property owners).
- Corporate business and government bodies also are indebted to this 1%.
- The degree of financial polarization has sharply accelerated as the 1% are making their move to indebt the 99% – along with industry, state, local and federal government – to the point where the entire economic surplus is owed as debt service.
- The aim is to monopolize the economy, above all the money-creating privilege of supplying the credit that the economy needs to grow and transact business, enabling them to extract interest and other fees for this privilege.
- The top 1% have nearly succeeded in siphoning off the entire surplus for themselves, receiving 93% of U.S. income growth since September 2008.


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Re: Economic Crash? [Update: We're Back]
« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2013, 03:51:30 pm »

- Their control over the political process has enabled them to use each new financial crisis to strengthen their position by forcing companies, states and localities to relinquish property to creditors and financial investors.
- So after monopolizing the economic surplus, they now are seeking to transfer to themselves the economic infrastructure, land and natural resources, and any other asset on which a rent-extracting tollbooth can be placed.
- The situation is akin to that of medieval Europe in the wake of the Nordic invasions.
- The supra-national force of Rome in feudal times is now situated in Washington, with Christianity replaced by the Washington Consensus wielded via the IMF, World Bank, WTO and its satellite institutions such as the European Central Bank, backed by the moral and ideological role [of] academic economists rather than the Church.
- And on the new financial battlefield, Wall Street underwriters have used the crisis as an opportunity to press for privatization.
- Chicago’s strong Democratic political machine sold rights to install parking meters on its sidewalks, and has tried to turn its public roads into privatized toll roads.
- And the city’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel has used privatization of its airport services to break labor unionization, Thatcher-style.
- The class war is back in business, with financial tactics playing a leading role barely anticipated a century ago.
- This monopolization of property is what Europe’s medieval military conquests sought to achieve, and what its colonization of foreign continents replicated.
- But whereas it achieved this originally by military conquest of the land, today’s 1% do it ... by financializing the economy (although the military arm of force is not absent, to be sure, as the world saw in Chile after 1973).
- - The Financial Quandary Confronting Us
- The economy’s debt overhead has grown so large that not everyone can be paid.
- This poses the ... age-old question of Who/Whom.
- The answer almost always is that big fish eat little fish.
- Big banks (too big to fail) are eating little banks, while the 1% try to take the lion’s share for themselves by annulling public and corporate debts owed to the 99%.
- Their plan is to downgrade Social Security and Medicare savings to “entitlements,” as if it is a matter of sound fiscal choice not to pay low-income recipients, in order to reward rentiers at the top, who have re-christened themselves “job creators.”
- The problem is not Social Security, which can be paid out of normal tax revenue, as in Germany’s pay-as-you-go system.
- This fiscal problem has been falsely depicted as a financial problem, as if one needs to save in advance by a special tax on the 99%.
- The real pension cliff is with corporate, state and local pension plans, which are being underfunded and looted by financial managers.
- The shortfall is getting worse as the downturn reduces local tax revenues, leaving states and cities unable to fund their programs, to invest in new public infrastructure, or even to maintain and repair existing investments.
- Public transportation is suffering in particular – raising user fees to riders in order to pay bondholders.
- But it is mainly retirees who are being told to sacrifice.
- (The sanctimonious verb is to “share” in the sacrifice, although this evidently does not mean the 1% [should share in the sacrifice too].)
- The bank lobby suggests that the economy borrow its way out of debt.
- Their proposal to “stabilize” the financial system is for the government to ... do for the banks what it has not been willing to do for recipients of Social Security and Medicare, or for states and localities no longer receiving revenue sharing, or for homeowners in negative equity suffering from exploding interest rates even while bank borrowing costs from the Fed have plunged.
- The government is to supply nearly free credit to the banks, to lend debtors enough – at the widest interest-rate markups in recent memory – to keep paying the debts that were run up before 2008.
- The problem is that this set of policies will further destabilize the economy rather than alleviating today’s debt deflation.
- What makes this a quandary is that the proposed moves to cure this instability will only make things worse.
- The Fed’s prime directive is to keep interest rates low – to revive lending not to finance new business investment to produce more, but simply to inflate the asset prices that back the bank loans that constitute bank reserves.
- However, if the Fed keeps interest rates low, there is no way that corporate, state and local pension plans can make the 8+% returns needed to pay their scheduled pensions.
- But if the Fed lets interest rates rise, this will reduce the capitalization rate at which banks lend against current rental income and profits.
- That will lower prices for real estate, corporate stocks and bonds, pushing the banks even deeper into negative equity.
- So if the economy is saved, the banks cannot be.
- This is why the Obama Administration has chosen to save the banks, not the economy.
- Either way, the financial system cannot continue along its present path.
- Only debt write-offs will “free” markets to resume spending on goods and services.
- And only a shift of taxes onto rent-yielding property, finance and monopolies will save financialized prices from being loaded down with interest charges as banks lend to raise the economic overhead rather than for production and employment.
- The solution for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is to de-financialize them, treating them like government programs for military spending, beachfront rebuilding and bank subsidies, paid out of current tax revenue and new government money creation, which is what central banks are supposed to facilitate, after all.
- Governments shy away from confronting these lines of solution mainly because the financial sector has sponsored an economic tunnel vision that ignores the role of debt, money, tax philosophy, and the phenomena of economic rent and asset-price inflation that are the defining characteristics of our financialized age.
- The focus of government policy is to save a financial system that cannot be saved more than temporarily.
- The economy will shrink as a result of income being divert[ed] to pay credit card debt and mortgage debts.
- Students without jobs will remain burdened with student debt (over $1 trillion), with the time-honored safety valve of bankruptcy closed off to them.
- Many graduates are still living with their parents as marriages, and family formation (and hence, new house-buying) turn down.
- Now that the debt build-up has run its course, the banking sector is left to put its hope in gambling on mathematical probabilities via hedge fund capitalism.
- So Casino Capitalist has become the stage of finance capitalism following Pension Fund capitalism, and preceding the insolvency stage of austerity and neofeudal property seizures.
- Austerity will deepen rather than cure the public budget deficit.
- Unlike past centuries, this deficit is not being incurred to wage war, but to pay a financial system that has become predatory on the “real” economy of production and consumption.
- The collapse of this system is what caused today’s budget deficit.
- Instead of recognizing this, the Obama Administration is trying to make labor pay.
- Pushing wage-earners over the “fiscal cliff” to make it pay the costs of Wall Street’s financial bailout can only shrink ... the domestic market more, destabilizing the economy by pushing [it] into a fatal combination of tax-ridden and debt-ridden fiscal and financial austerity.
- What is held out as the technocratic hope of “deleveraging” means diverting yet more income to pay the financial sector rather than to resume economic growth and restore employment levels.
- Yet the recent lesson of European experience is that despite austerity, debt has risen from 381% of GDP in mid-2007 to 417% in mid—2012.
- That is what happens when economies shrink: debts mount up at [as?] arrears (and with stiff financial penalties).
- Yet the aim of Obama Administration of Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Erik Holder et al. seems to be to make America look like Europe, wracked by rising unemployment, falling markets and the related syndrome of adverse social and political consequences of financial warfare waged against labor, industry and government together.


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Economic Crash? [Banks Stole Trillions in Mortgage Fraud]
« Reply #79 on: August 26, 2013, 04:49:15 pm »

Unsealed court-settlement documents reveal banks stole $trillions' worth of houses
Cory Doctorow at 8:46 am Mon, Aug 12, 2013

Back in 2012, the major US banks settled a federal mortgage-fraud lawsuit for $95,000,000. The suit was filed by Lynn Szymoniak, a white-collar fraud specialist, whose own house had been fraudulently foreclosed-upon. When the feds settled with the banks, the evidence detailing the scope of their fraud was sealed, but as of last week, those docs are unsealed, and Szymoniak is shouting them from the hills. The banks precipitated the subprime crash by "securitizing" mortgages -- turning mortgages into bonds that could be sold to people looking for investment income -- and the securitization process involved transferring title for homes several times over. This title-transfer has a formal legal procedure, and in the absence of that procedure, no sale had taken place. See where this is going?

The banks screwed up the title transfers. A lot. They sold bonds backed by houses they didn't own. When it came time to foreclose on those homes, they realized that they didn't actually own them, and so they committed felony after felony, forging the necessary documentation. They stole houses, by the neighborhood-load, and got away with it. The $1B settlement sounded like a big deal, back when the evidence was sealed. Now that Szymoniak's gotten it into the public eye, it's clear that $1B was a tiny slap on the wrist: the banks stole trillions of dollars' worth of houses from you and people like you, paid less than one percent in fines, and got to keep the homes.

    Now that it’s unsealed, Szymoniak, as the named plaintiff, can go forward and prove the case. Along with her legal team (which includes the law firm of Grant & Eisenhoffer, which has recovered more money under the False Claims Act than any firm in the country), Szymoniak can pursue discovery and go to trial against the rest of the named defendants, including HSBC, the Bank of New York Mellon, Deutsche Bank and US Bank.

    The expenses of the case, previously borne by the government, now are borne by Szymoniak and her team, but the percentages of recovery funds are also higher. “I’m really glad I was part of collecting this money for the government, and I’m looking forward to going through discovery and collecting the rest of it,” Szymoniak told Salon.

    It’s good that the case remains active, because the $95 million settlement was a pittance compared to the enormity of the crime. By the end of 2009, private mortgage-backed securities trusts held one-third of all residential mortgages in the U.S. That means that tens of millions of home mortgages worth trillions of dollars have no legitimate underlying owner that can establish the right to foreclose. This hasn’t stopped banks from foreclosing anyway with false documents, and they are often successful, a testament to the breakdown of law in the judicial system. But to this day, the resulting chaos in disentangling ownership harms homeowners trying to sell these properties, as well as those trying to purchase them. And it renders some properties impossible to sell.

    To this day, banks foreclose on borrowers using fraudulent mortgage assignments, a legacy of failing to prosecute this conduct and instead letting banks pay a fine to settle it. This disappoints Szymoniak, who told Salon the owner of these loans is now essentially “whoever lies the most convincingly and whoever gets the benefit of doubt from the judge.” Szymoniak used her share of the settlement to start the Housing Justice Foundation, a non-profit that attempts to raise awareness of the continuing corruption of the nation’s courts and land title system.


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Re: Economic Crash? (New: Banks Stole Trillions in Mortgage Fraud)
« Reply #80 on: August 26, 2013, 04:53:48 pm »

Banks Stole Trillions: See previous message.

End of Petrodollars Coming: See


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Re: Economic Crash? (Join Oathkeepers Preparing for Collapse)
« Reply #81 on: October 02, 2013, 01:53:40 pm »

October 1st, 2013
Oath Keepers is Going “Operational” by Forming Special “Civilization Preservation” Teams

Oath Keepers is instructing it’s 30,000 members nation-wide to form up special teams and sub-teams in each Oath Keepers chapter, at the town and county level, modeled loosely on the Special Forces “A Team” (Operational Detachment A ) model, and for a similar purpose: to be both a potential operational unit for community security and support during crisis, but also, as mission #1, to serve as training and leadership cadre, to assist in organizing neighborhood watches, organizing veterans halls to provide community civil defense, forming County Sheriff Posses, strengthening existing CERT, volunteer fire, search-and-rescue, reserve deputy systems, etc., and eventually to assist in forming and training town and county militias (established by official act of town and county elected representatives). We want our chapters to organize themselves as a working model that we can then take to other veterans organizations, such as the VFW, American Legion, Marine Corps League, etc. in each town and help them establish such teams within their already existing veterans halls.  And likewise, to serve as a model and training cadre to help churches, neighborhood watches, and any other civic organization organize.

We are basing this on the Special Forces model, which has a twelve man “A team” of specially trained soldiers who are inserted into a community to train and lead that community in resistance to oppressive regimes (hence their motto: “De Oppresso Liber).   SF’s primary mission is to teach, organize, and lead, rather than to directly fight. They can fight, of course, but they are most dangerous as a force-multiplier by helping an entire community to fight. We will do the same – be force multipliers to help prepare communities so they can preserve civilization by providing their own security, disaster relief, infrastructure preservation, emergency communications, strategic food reserve, and medical care.

...[Read more at link above.]

And so, you should not just be forming these teams within your local Oath Keepers chapter and helping local veterans halls do the same, but also within your own family and circle of friends, and within your own neighborhood (who’s on your buddy team, who’s on your fire team, who’s on your squad?). Start a neighborhood watch and then build a solid field team and a support team within your own neighborhood.

When the crap hits the fan, you need well-trained people around you, with complementary skills, who can help you get through. Like Kevin Reeve of Onpoint Tactical says: “training trumps gear. And community trumps both training and gear.” You can’t know it all, or do it all, and you have to sleep sometime.   So build a team, build community, and preserve civilization.

It starts with you, your family, your small circle of most trusted friends, then your neighborhood, your church, your veterans halls in your town, the Sheriff’s posse, the local search and rescue, volunteer fire, etc., and then out to your county and state.


In addition to this being part of our mission anyway, we feel like we are flat running out of time and we need to get as prepared as possible as fast as possible. The Oath Keepers national Board of Directors war-gamed what we think is the most likely move by our enemies to scrap the Constitution. On the BOD at the time were a Special Forces Major, an Army Ranger, and a Marine Scout-sniper veteran, as well as a retired Navy Commander and several Vietnam combat vets, and several other combat arms veterans. Playing devil’s advocate, and putting themselves in the enemy’s shoes, we estimated that the most effective course for “them” to follow would be to:

1. Intentionally trigger a catastrophic economic collapse as an economic “neutron bomb” (kills the people, but leaves the land intact). With the current intentional lack of a Strategic Grain Reserve, our population is in a strategic “checkmate” position where an economic collapse could be a near-extinction event for our population.

...[Read more at link above.]

2. Let the country descend into chaos. A national economic collapse would be like a “national Katrina” but lasting far longer, and because it is nation-wide, it would be far more intense. The cities would implode. All the government would have to do is contain them and let them implode. in the midst of that chaos, they could also do a decapitation strike on the leaders of the liberty movement, but other than that, “They” could just sit back and wait a month, two months, or three to be really sure the people are at a maximum level of starvation, weakness, and chaos, and then:

3. Ride in like the cavalry, to “save” us by means of martial law and scrapping our constitution once-and-for all. They could blame the collapse on the so-called “free market” and on not having enough government power, and they could blame delays in relief on the “extremists” in the patriot movement (i.e. “we would have gotten the food trucks in sooner, but the extremists were ambushing our safety check-points and resisting the necessary relocation to relief camps”). Their ready to go solution would be a world-wide version of the Fed, and a world wide government. People would be told to “just turn in your guns, and you’ll get food” and “just turn in the extremists, and you’ll get food.”

ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS: To the above, we now add Brandon Smith’s insight that with a war in Syria, the elites can trigger an economic collapse with a war – with Russia and China using economics as a weapon in retaliation. All China would have to do is dump US treasuries and refuse to trade with US dollars. That would begin the final death-spiral of the dollar. The Chinese would be blamed for the collapse, rather than the banksters.

...[Read more at link.]

We urge you to presume the worst in the short term, and to work in three or four month sprints – assume that a collapse will be triggered this fall/winter and do all you can to get yourselves and your communities ready.

If it doesn’t happen in the next four months, then do another sprint, of three or four more months of preparation. And keep going until it happens – which it will eventually, no matter what anyone does. The dollar is doomed.

We encourage each individual to build a food reserve, to set aside food for their neighbors (10% of their food is for others), and to have basic communications (at least a hand-held dual band radio), basic medical, and water purification, shelter, and weapons and ammo.   We will post more details on our recommendations for preparedness in a follow-up post.

... Stewart Rhodes
Founder and President of Oath Keepers

PS [... See link above.]


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« Reply #82 on: October 17, 2013, 05:00:38 pm »

October 14th, 2013
Just As We Warned – China Calls For End Of The Dollar


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Re: Economic Crash? (NSA Police State vs. Successful Economics)
« Reply #83 on: October 30, 2013, 06:35:32 pm »

Spying for Fascist Police State
The first three links here warn that the recent NSA-related spying scandals reveal that the ruling class is secretly attempting, via the politicians it has paid for and controls, to completely disenfranchise the great majority of U.S. citizens and install a police state, similar to its failed attempt in the 1930s, when they asked General Smedley Butler to lead a coup.

Successful Economics
The next link discusses the criteria for a successful economic system and proposes that the Mondragon system is among the best proven successes, while the similar ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) are also very successful. The website has other info on Mondragon etc too.

Job Guarantee
The next article link discusses MMT's (Modern Money Theory's) Job Guarantee program, which would permit local non-profits and members of the community and the unemployed to make grant proposals for any government to pay non-profits to hire the unemployed to do local work requested by the community.

I also read on the MMT website that the Job Guarantee (JG) program would work with any govt, even local govt. I had previously thought that it should be possible for any city or county govt, which are mostly all corporations, to include similar Job Guarantees in its bylaws or constitution. But, after reading about MMT's JG idea, I thought that might be better to try first. If it were successful, the local govt might be persuaded to write it into the bylaws.

National Debt = Public Assets
MMT also says the national debt is not a problem now or in the future, since govt debt is assets for the non-govt sectors. Economist Michael Hudson pointed out that the economy did poorly under Clinton, when the national debt was greatly reduced, and that Germany's hyperinflation period was not due to internal problems of printing money, but to external regulation of Germany's economy.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 06:45:57 pm by Luck »


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Re: Economic Crash? (Raise Corporation Taxes?)
« Reply #84 on: November 01, 2013, 09:30:27 pm »

[NSA Police State is discussed in previous message.]

Actually, governments charging corporations fees for their privileges is not really taxing. Libertarians generally don't oppose governments charging fees for services provided. "Taxing" corporations is just charging them fees.

Tax the rich? IMF sparks a mini revolution
2013-10-11, Yahoo!/Agence France Presse
Posted: 2013-10-22 10:31:05;_ylt...

Tax the rich and better target the multinationals: The IMF has set off shockwaves this week in Washington by suggesting countries fight budget deficits by raising taxes. Guardian of financial orthodoxy, the International Monetary Fund, which is holding its annual meetings with the World Bank this week in the US capital, typically calls for nations in difficulty to slash public spending to reduce their deficits. But in its Fiscal Monitor report , subtitled "Taxing Times", the Fund advanced the idea of taxing the highest-income people and their assets to reinforce the legitimacy of spending cuts and fight against growing income inequalities. "Scope seems to exist in many advanced economies to raise more revenue from the top of the income distribution," the IMF wrote, noting "steep cuts" in top rates since the early 1980s. According to IMF estimates, taxing the rich even at the same rates during the 1980s would reap fiscal revenues equal to 0.25 percent of economic output in the developed countries. "The gain could in some cases, such as that of the United States, be more significant," around 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, said the IMF report, which also singled out deficient taxation of multinational companies. In the US alone, legal loopholes deprive the Treasury of roughly $60 billion in receipts, the global lender said. The IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, kept up the sales pitch for a more just fiscal policy. "It's clearly something finance ministers are interested in, it's something that is necessary for the right balance of public finances," said Lagarde, a former French finance minister.

Note: Yahoo! was the only major media in the US to pick up this eye-opening news, with the possible exception of a Forbes article which shows how afraid they are of this development. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here .
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 09:32:19 pm by Luck »


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Re: Economic Crash? (Correcting Libertarian Economics)
« Reply #85 on: February 28, 2014, 11:44:16 am »

NOTE: U.S. had 8 Depressions under the Gold Standard.
After ending the Gold Standard we've had NO Depressions.


Modern Monetary Theory is a way of doing economics that incorporates a clear understanding of the way our present-day monetary system actually works – it emphasizes the frequently misunderstood dynamics of our so-called “fiat-money” economy. Most people are unnerved by the thought that money isn’t “backed” by anything anymore – backed by gold, for example. They’re afraid that this makes money a less reliable store of value. And, of course, it is perfectly true that a poorly managed monetary system, or one which is experiencing something like an oil-price shock, can also experience inflation. But people today simply don’t realize how much bigger a problem the opposite condition can be. Under the gold standard, and largely because of the gold standard, the capitalist world endured eight different deflationary slumps severe enough to be called “depressions.” Since the gold standard was abolished, there have been none – and, as we shall see, this is anything but coincidental.

The great virtue of modern, fiat money is that it can be managed flexibly enough to prevent *both* deflation and also any truly damaging level of inflation – that is, a situation where prices are rising faster than wages, or where both are rising so fast they distort a country’s internal or external markets. Without going into the details prematurely, there are technical reasons why a little bit of inflation is useful and normal. It discourages people from hoarding money and encourages healthy levels of consumption and investment. It promotes growth – provided that a country’s fiscal and monetary authorities manage it properly.

The trick is for the government to spend enough to ensure full employment, but not so much, or in such a way, as to cause shortages or bottlenecks in the real economy. These shortages and bottlenecks are the actual cause of most episodes of excessive inflation. If the mere existence of fiat monetary systems caused runaway inflation, the low, stable rates of consumer-price inflation we have seen over the past thirty-plus years would be pretty difficult to explain.

The essential insight of Modern Monetary Theory (or “MMT”) is that sovereign, currency-issuing countries are only constrained by real limits. They are not constrained, and cannot be constrained, by purely financial limits because, as issuers of their respective fiat-currencies, they can never “run out of money.” This doesn’t mean that governments can spend without limit, or overspend without causing inflation, or that government should spend any sum unwisely. What it emphatically does mean is that no such sovereign government can be forced to tolerate mass unemployment because of the state of its finances – no matter what that state happens to be.

Virtually all economic commentary and punditry today, whether in America, Europe or most other places, is based on ideas about the monetary system which are not merely confused – they are starkly and comprehensively counter-factual. This has led to a public discourse about things like budget deficits and Treasury debt which has become, without exaggeration, utterly detached from reality. Time and time again, these pundits declaim that hyperinflation is imminent, that interest rates are on the verge of an uncontrollable upward spike, and that the jig will be up for sure just as soon as the next T-bond auction fails. But even though, time after time, it is the pundits’ prognostications which fail, no one seems to take any notice. This must change. A reality-based economics is needed to make these things make sense again, and Modern Monetary Theory is here to put everyone on notice that a quite different jig is the one that’s really up.

[I'll try to add more later. In the mean time you can see more at the link above.]
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 11:50:51 am by Luck »


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No Economic Crash? (Peace Bank, Interest Free)
« Reply #86 on: April 01, 2014, 08:02:07 pm »

The Peace Bank

Nowhere is disparity among the people of the world more evident than in socio-economic opportunity, a gap that is widening at a faster rate than ever before. The Prophet (PBUH) has foretold us of a time when the spread of *”Riba” (usury) would be so overwhelming that it would be extremely difficult for the people to avoid it. This situation calls for people to be extra cautious before deciding on what financial methods to use in personal or business transactions. We believe these times are upon us now.

Conventional systems of banking are profit-driven, and largely dependent on investments of capital derived from the interest charged on loans, and from certificates of deposit and other banking products. Zayed Peace Foundation hopes to bridge the wealth gap with the formation of Peace Bank. Peace Bank will follow the concept of cooperative banking, a system of banking in which depositors become both customer and owner. Consequently, depositors will share in a greater portion of the wealth generated by their deposit investments, as well as have extremely transparent reports on investments by the bank. There will be no fixed interest. Further, all investments will be held up to stringent standards of ethical investment practices, with tangible investments being the mainstay of the Peace Bank’s investment practices.

Grounded in the concept of ethical business practice and charity, Peace Bank will seek to impact the economic gap in several ways:

First, Peace Bank will avoid the conventional banking practice of “Riba” or usury (interest), that is, unearned income. This means that the depositors be the owners-customers rather than the bank; and, receiving the greater direct benefits from depositors’ investments, the economic gains will be structured on actual investments yields and the profits are shared rather than fixed.

Second, net income generated above and beyond that which is returned to shareholders and used in covering operations overhead will be used to fund charitable projects within the area of each bank’s location. Distributing real wealth and building a sense of community will be primary goals of the Peace Bank, and will be achieved through investment and economic stimulus programs in the communities where each bank is located.

The Peace Bank will also explore the areas of micro-financing in poorer nations where the system has yielded measurable benefits to the lower strata of the socio-economic structure.

The Peace bank will be headquartered on Peace Island, and will be a tax -free haven for proven charitable entities, allowing more wealth to reach those in actual need. With the world’s most competent and effective economic advisory services available, the Peace Bank system will be in a position to assist charity organizations in their overall success by advising and assisting them in their efforts to become sustainable. Creating self-sustaining systems will ensure greater social and economic growth to a larger number of people around the globe.

Peace Bank will not be perpetuating the credit crisis that is caused by purchasing debts. We will purchase only tangible assets, and our prospectus will reflect the investments that were made on behalf of our customer/owner. Income generated beyond what is returned to shareholders will be used for local charitable projects. All people want the community around them to improve in response to their actions – we want to know that we can affect our environment. At Peace Bank, we show the effects of investment to the customer locally, and this creates a healthy synergy of repeated transactions and resulting effects. A customer is much more likely to patronize a bank if he knows it will benefit the local center for the handicapped, or the local children’s school. At Peace Bank, we recognize that a respectfully and fairly treated customer is our friend for life, and we expect a long and prosperous partnership between ourselves and the communities, which we serve.

*"Riba" is the antithesis of the Qur’anic Economic order. An Economy based on ‘Riba’ results in individuals or organizations growing as parasites on the Labor and efforts of other people instead of their own, and cause massive economic exploitation and the emergence of Class conflicts. In a ‘Riba’ based Economy, the wealth is restricted in the hands of a minority only while in the Qur’anic Economic order the wealth circulates evenly in the whole of society and there are no class conflicts in the form of Rulers, and Capitalists against workers or laborers.


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Re: No Economic Crash? (Peace Bank, Interest Free)
« Reply #87 on: April 01, 2014, 11:11:22 pm »

[See end of Thread for most recent Post. Subtitle in parentheses in thread title is title of most recent post.]

The Solari Report: Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 9pmET

Our 2nd Quarter Wrap-up is called "Surfing the Slow Burn." The "slow burn" is my term for a centrally managed economy in which a small group of insiders covertly subsidize themselves at the expense of the outsiders through (i) monetary policy, (ii) manipulation of government resources, regulation and enforcement and (iii) manipulation of financial markets and data.

What was most remarkable in the second quarter was the distinct advantage enjoyed by those who have taken the time to understand what is happening and have positioned themselves to navigate the changes underway. The lesson of the second quarter is that understanding the "real deal" is the basis for effective action.

Indeed, when enough of us begin to do so, the possibilities for effective change grow exponentially. So despite all the "shock and awe" around us, something very positive is happening as more and more of us shift our thinking, take action and reach out to collaborate.

In our year-end wrap up, 2008: Looking Back, I said that the big question of 2008 was the same one I have been asking as $4 trillion went missing from the US government: "Where is the money?"

In our 1st Qtr 2009: Looking Back, with bailouts approaching $12-14 trillion and counting (See Bailout Mo' Money, I said that the importance of this question continued to grow. With the laws related to public and private financial management treated by insiders as mostly irrelevant, the global financial coup d' etat underway was becoming more apparent

As I prepare our wrap up for the second quarter, the importance of missing money keeps growing as unemployment rises towards Great Depression levels and an out of control financial system keeps getting wierder. (See The Missing Money and $134.5 Billion Mystery Bonds

The signs are growing that the Wall Street banks have now built their war chest and are moving to ensure that Main Street is on its knees or worse as they move in for the kill. (See Stimulus or Economic Hit? Signals of subtle capital controls that will help to force the continued flow of capital to Wall Street are growing as well. (See Foreign Financial Accounts and Financial Coup d' Etat...401k Trial Balloon?

Legislation promoting control of food (See Food Safety Bill, health care (See Big Cuts in Medicare and Medicaid Coming and The Data Beast and finance (See Obama's Sweeping Financial Regulation Plan is pending; as is energy legislation to create the framework for resource taxation and, through carbon trading, create a new generation of fraud and derivatives that embroils localization efforts in businesses that depend on government engineered corporate profits.

When all of this legislation is viewed in totality, there will be no need to formally shred the U.S. Constitution since no one will be able to understand, let alone comply, with the trillions of rules related to every aspect of our lives and we certainly will not be able to pay the taxes and fees associated with staying alive anyway.

It would appear that the American people understand the legislative and appropriation wave rolling over us. I estimate that for every $1,000,000 awarded or loaned to the large banks in bailout money, Americans purchased one gun and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.

As I described in my last June Solari Report, state governments have been temporarily supported with the stimulus package. As predicted, the pain at the state and municipal levels has continued to rise with the California budget crisis serving as a bellweather. (See Shock Doctrine California, Part I, II, III, IV

As hopes for a last minute bailout from the federal government continue, Martin Weiss is now predicting that default is inevitable on $59 billion of California municipal bonds. This could send shockwaves through the entire muncipal market. If the Feds let California go down, more states are likely to follow. State and local land and assets, such as parks and open lands, will be ripe for the plucking. (See Financial Ecosystems

This is the real-deal right here, this is where we're at, in my opinion, we are right around the corner for some very nasty stuff.  Police state, no food in the stores, riots, WWII style mass propaganda, road-side check points, concentration camps, marshal law, etc.  The are going to tighten the screws on us and everyone needs to prepare.  I hope I'm able to get out of Florida, then tie up loose ends in Ohio, before I head over to New Hampshire in-time before it hits the fan.  Everyone needs to focus on what's coming.  Thank you for this excellent information.   
From Babylon, to Samaria, to Egypt, to now Rome, with the aid of The City of London, the District of Columbia, and hooded spirits such as the one they call Lucifer...we are being ruled spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and then physically.  Less so if you understand the true source, nature, and techniques of 'spell casting' by our oppressors.  We are defeated in the spirit realm, first, because many don't believe in the power of, or understand, such things...unlike our rulers, who are the most powerful spiritual organization on the planet, and represent the absolute darkness and proliferation of the occult.

Sam Adams

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Re: No Economic Crash? (Peace Bank, Interest Free)
« Reply #88 on: April 02, 2014, 09:05:07 am »

          Get ur done, Planet. Fed[private international banksters] are now retracting the money supply,reducing purchases of ridiculous amount of treasuries with counterfeit currency. Interest rates will now have to increase quickly.  Before every crash, they and the banking community retract money and recall commercial paper, tighten up the available currency.


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Re: No Economic Crash? (Peace Bank, Interest Free)
« Reply #89 on: April 02, 2014, 12:00:53 pm »

CSPOA's plan to end major corruption seems like the best plan on the table. I like Solari etc, and they do have good advice, like preparedness and networking etc, but I think we need to be proactive too. CSPOA is getting a constitution-supporting resolution/petition signed by lots of people and plans to take it to the fed govt this Sept in DC and then assemble a team of constitutional law experts to take action against those who do not uphold their oaths of office. I'd like to be on that team and there seem to be other knowledgeable Free Staters who should be on it too.

For preparedness grow sunflowers and chickens at least.
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