Apr 11, 2013

Winner takes all

“Far from giving you a blueprint for your rise to the top, these routines will probably cause you to reconsider the whole idea of becoming CEO of a major communications conglomerate. For the most part, it sounds horrible. There is no respite at the top of the greasy pole, no finish line at the end of the rat race – it's just more of the same. What's the point of being rich and successful if you have to get up before dawn every day to answer 500 emails? There are so many other options open to you: wage slave, failed artist, cowboy plumber, petty thief, local weirdo. The money isn't good, but the hours are very attractive.” 

Guardian, 4/2/13

As demonstrated in the Cyprus situation, where the solution, of simply seizing everyone's bank accounts, in the national interest, of course, of course, has now been admitted to be the long planned blueprint for future action.  The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, (Finance Minister), is surely only one of many to be licking his lips at the prospect.

The main bludgeon being used is that Derivatives, (Bank gambles on future movements) and their associated Credit Default Swaps have super priority over all other creditors; they take what the banks demand as their cut (all of it) and all other creditors, (like the poor slobs who put their money in the bank) count as 'unsecured creditors' and get - you guessed it - nothing, except shares in the new bank.

The following is a short excerpt from a piece by Ellen Brown in CounterPunch of April 10, 2013 on possible alternative actions:

Putting the Brakes on the Wall Street End Game

Besides eliminating the super-priority of derivatives, here are some other ways to block the Wall Street asset grab:

(1) Restore the Glass-Steagall Act separating depository banking from investment banking. Support Marcy Kaptur’s H.R. 129.

(2) Break up the giant derivatives banks. Support Bernie Sanders’ “too big to jail” legislation.

(3) Alternatively, nationalize the TBTFs, as advised in the New York Times by Gar Alperovitz. If taxpayer bailouts to save the TBTFs are unacceptable, depositor bailouts are even more unacceptable.

(4) Make derivatives illegal, as they were between 1936 and 1982 under the Commodities Exchange Act. They can be unwound by simply netting them out, declaring them null and void. As noted by Paul Craig Roberts, “the only major effect of closing out or netting all the swaps (mostly over-the-counter contracts between counter-parties) would be to take $230 trillion of leveraged risk out of the financial system.”

(5) Support the Harkin-Whitehouse bill to impose a financial transactions tax on Wall Street trading. Among other uses, a tax on all trades might supplement the FDIC insurance fund to cover another derivatives disaster.

(5) Establish postal savings banks as government-guaranteed depositories for individual savings. Many countries have public savings banks, which became particularly popular after savings in private banks were wiped out in the banking crisis of the late 1990s.

(6) Establish publicly-owned banks to be depositories of public monies, following the lead of North Dakota, the only state to completely escape the 2008 banking crisis. North Dakota does not keep its revenues in Wall Street banks but deposits them in the state-owned Bank of North Dakota by law. The bank has a mandate to serve the public, and it does not gamble in derivatives.

Ellen Brown on Counterpunch, Winner Takes All, April 10, 2013

ELLEN BROWN is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute. In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private banking oligarchy has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com,
http://EllenBrown.com, and http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.

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