Santiago, Chile ~ John Lynn was bound and gagged, as the angry mob tied him to a tree and poured a barrel of scalding hot tar over his freshly shaven head and coated him in feathers.
It was June 1794 and the crowd was absolutely frantic. They were taking justice into their own hands.
Lynn’s crime, in their eyes, was having extended lodging to a federal tax collector, who’d come down to enforce a recently imposed excise tax on whiskey.
The brand new US government was deeply in debt and starved of revenue sources to pay back their bondholders. So they did what all governments do in that position: they created a new tax.
They targeted whiskey simply because it was far and away the most popular drink in America.
It was so popular that it was even used as a medium of exchange and a store of value.
You could pass a bottle of the stuff to somebody as a payment for debt owed, and farmers would often turn their excess crop into whiskey as a way to store value for the future.
Whiskey is what people had, what people used, and what people wanted. Therefore it was whiskey that was taxed. Continue reading
Part 1: The Eight Families
The Four Horsemen of Banking,
- Bank of America
- JP Morgan Chase
- Wells Fargo,
…own the Four Horsemen of Oil,
- Exxon Mobil
- Royal Dutch/Shell
- Chevron Texaco,
..in tandem with,
- Deutsche Bank
- BNP (Banque Nationale de Paris)
- other European old money behemoths
But their monopoly over the global economy does not end at the edge of the oil patch. According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stock holders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation.
So who then are the stockholders in these money center banks?
This information is guarded much more closely. My queries to bank regulatory agencies regarding stock ownership in the top 25 US bank holding companies were given Freedom of Information Act status, before being denied on “national security” grounds. This is rather ironic, since many of the bank’s stockholders reside in Europe.
One important repository for the wealth of the global oligarchy that owns these bank holding companies is US Trust Corporation – founded in 1853 and now owned by Bank of America.
A recent US Trust Corporate Director and Honorary Trustee was Walter Rothschild. Continue reading
“The monetary tectonic plates are shifting, and predicting the next global financial earthquake is relatively easy.” – C H Smith
I recently suggested that the devaluation of the yen was Japan’s Monetary Pearl Harbor: a direct attack on the currencies of its major trading partners: the euro (European Union), the won (South Korea), the Australian dollar (AUD) and the U.S. dollar (USD), which affects both the U.S. and China since China’s currency, the renminbi, is pegged to the USD.
Though there have been no overt (that is to say, public) counter-attacks, this may not reflect monetary peace so much as an undeclared war. Correspondent Mark G. observed that the current geopolitical backdrop is considerably more unsettled than the relatively benign global chessboard in 2008:
“The Eurozone and the Pacific Rim now have a pair of regional wars being fought out primarily by financial and monetary means. We can infer that the major central banks won’t be anywhere near as cooperative during a crisis as they were in 2008.”
While the American-European financial sanctions against Russia and Russia’s counter-moves are being waged in public, the public response of the Korean and Chinese central banks to Japan’s massive devaluation has been limited to grumbling.
“What happens next? Tomorrow, Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, has scheduled a hearing before his banking subcommittee on “regulatory capture” following Segarra’s claims. There will be much posturing, and lots of angry words, because clearly Mr. Brown did not get enough financial support from the “Business Services” industry. After all he too would prefer millions more in bribes, pardon, lobby spending from Goldman et al.” – T Durden
Here is William Dudley, formerly of Goldman Sachs and president of the New York Fed, saying “I don’t think anyone should question our motives.” It may have been an order.
On the morning of Friday, September 26, in addition to the shocking news of Bill Gross’ departure from Pimco, the world was just as shocked, or not as the case was for many, that a former NY Fed staffer, Carmen Segarra, who had been previously fired for suggesting that Goldman Sachs has an undue influence on the NY Fed and gets a preferential treatment (certainly as a result of NY Fed’s president Bill Dudley being working previously at Goldman Sachs), had released nearly 50 hours of tapes confirming her allegations: that the NY Fed was nothing but a branch of the bank that controls every central bank. The full details were presented in “How Goldman Controls The New York Fed: 47.5 Hours Of “The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes” Explain.”
Ironically it was on that very day that another recent Goldman hire from the NY Fed – a classic case of, as the NY Times puts it, the “revolving door, the symbolic portal that connects financial regulators to Wall Street” – a 29-year-old former New York Fed regulator named Rohit Bansal, got into hot water after something “shocking” was revealed: he had an inside source at the NY Fed who was providing him with illegal, confidential information on a regular basis. Continue reading
“Both Citigroup and JPMorgan have paid billions of dollars to settle fraud charges by regulators. Both are also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. In addition, both banks hold life insurance on many of their employees. When an employee dies, the death benefit is paid to the corporation tax free.” – P Martens & R Martens
Murdered banker Shawn D Miller
Depending on where and when you got your news yesterday on the tragic death of Shawn D. Miller, a Managing Director of Wall Street mega bank, Citigroup, you were either emphatically told he died of a suicide or you were led to believe he was murdered. By late evening yesterday, the story had disintegrated into wild speculation. The New York Daily News ran this stunning headline, based on anonymous sources, at 9:22 p.m.: “Banker, 42, slashed his own throat in Manhattan bathtub during drug- and booze-filled bender: sources.”
It is becoming abundantly clear that if you work for a major Wall Street firm and die a sudden death, it will be shaped, molded, twisted and contorted until it fits with the suicide narrative – no matter how strongly the facts argue otherwise.
This is what we can reliably report this morning: Police were called to the scene at 120 Greenwich Street at 3:11 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18, a trendy, upscale area of Tribeca in Lower Manhattan. A friend of Miller’s had become concerned when he could not reach him by phone and called the doorman of the building to ask him to check on him. The doorman found Miller in the tub of his bathroom with knife lacerations to the throat and arms and called the police. EMS responders declared Miller dead at the scene. Continue reading
Economists, Military Strategists and Others Warned Us … Long Ago
We’ve known for 5,000 years that mass spying on one’s own people is always aimed at grabbing power and crushing dissent, not protecting us from bad guys.
We’ve known for 4,000 years that debts need to be periodically written down, or the entire economy will collapse. And see this.
We’ve known for 2,500 years that prolonged war bankrupts an economy.
We’ve known for 2,000 years that wars are based on lies.
We’ve known for 1,900 years that runaway inequality destroys societies.
We’ve known for thousands of years that debasing currencies leads to economic collapse.
We’ve known for millennia that torture is a form of terrorism.
We’ve known for thousands of years that – when criminals are not punished – crime spreads.
We’ve known for hundreds of years that the failure to punish financial fraud destroys economies, as it destroys all trust in the financial system.
Breaking the Set host Abby Martin speaks with Rolling Stone journalist, Matt Taibbi, about a JP Morgan Chase whistleblower that has come forward to expose how the company knowingly sold toxic mortgages to investors and how the Justice Department used her as a pawn in its settlement negotiations with the financial giant.
“Legislators are slow to move on innovations, unless a fire is lit under them by a crisis or a mass popular movement. We would be better off sparking a movement than waiting for a crisis.” – E Brown
While 49 state treasuries were submerged in red ink after the 2008 financial crash, one state’s bank outperformed all others and actually launched an economy-shifting new industry. So reports the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing the Bank of North Dakota (BND) and its striking success in the midst of a national financial collapse led by the major banks. Chester Dawson begins his November 16th article:
It is more profitable than Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has a better credit rating than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and hasn’t seen profit growth drop since 2003. Meet Bank of North Dakota, the U.S.’s lone state-owned bank, which has one branch, no automated teller machines and not a single investment banker.
He backs this up with comparative data on the BND’s performance:
[I]ts total assets have more than doubled, to $6.9 billion last year from $2.8 billion in 2007. By contrast, assets of the much bigger Bank of America Corp. have grown much more slowly, to $2.1 trillion from $1.7 trillion in that period.
. . . Return on equity, a measure of profitability, is 18.56%, about 70% higher than those at Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. . . .
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services last month reaffirmed its double-A-minus rating of the bank, whose deposits are guaranteed by the state of North Dakota. That is above the rating for both Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan and among U.S. financial institutions, second only to the Federal Home Loan Banks, rated double-A-plus.
“. . . the most damning parallel to a Mafia crime family are the crimes themselves: they are unconscionable and they just don’t stop.” – P Martens
Helen Davis, Chaitman
Every now and then, someone raises the question of Mafia infiltration on Wall Street or suggests that Wall Street has become an Ivy-league educated, better tailored version of the mob. Now, two lawyers, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer have dramatically ratcheted up the debate, suggesting boldly in the latest chapter of their free on-line book that there are stark parallels between the Gambino crime family and JPMorgan Chase – the nation’s largest bank.
Writer Matt Taibbi had a similar epiphany back in 2012 in an article for Rolling Stone titled The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia – the story of how major Wall Street firms conspired together to rig bidding in the municipal bond market. Taibbi writes: “In fact, stripped of all the camouflaging financial verbiage, the crimes the defendants and their co-conspirators committed were virtually indistinguishable from the kind of thuggery practiced for decades by the Mafia, which has long made manipulation of public bids for things like garbage collection and construction contracts a cornerstone of its business.”
In 2009, the book, Nothing but Money by New York Daily News reporter Greg B. Smith was released, detailing actual Mafia infiltration in stock pump and dump schemes on Wall Street, albeit at small firms. That was preceded in 2003 by Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street by long-time business writer and author, Gary Weiss. The Weiss book took an in-depth look at Mob-run stock brokerage firms selling phantom stocks by following the career of one of the stock swindlers, Louis Pasciuto, who eventually turned state witness. Continue reading