Spooky Economy

   Transparency and Knowledge Dispel Fear


If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
— George Washington

Interview of Charles Ferguson (INET Economics)

Interview with Charles Ferguson,
Director of "Inside Job"

INET Economics

December 2010

The movie Inside Job explains how the economic collapse was expected and that rampant, unrestrained greed and fraud continues because the agencies in charge of oversight have been captured by Wall Street and global financial interests.

This interview addresses what the director sees as the corruption of the study of economic at higher learning institutions by the financial services industry. A bias among professors and economist peers, where acceptance is consensus, constrains what is written and discussed.

The Fed Under Fire

The Fed Under Fire

American News Project

July 2009

This video provides an overview of the concerns expressed by citizens and congressmen over the Federal Reserve's dealings with other banks and their lack of transparency.

In an effort to verify the proper use of taxpayer money, Ron Paul presented a bill to audit the Federal Reserve to obtain information on how and where the money has gone. The bill has majority support in the House of Representatives.

The financial crash in Iceland in 6 minutes

The financial crash in Iceland in 6 minutes

20/20 (ABC News)

June 2009

Better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond.
- Geir Haarde, former Prime Minister of Iceland

The tiny country of Iceland enjoyed a simple existence. Through slow, natural growth they had become a well-educated people in a stable, prosperous country. They enjoy abundant hydroelectric and geothermal power.

They did well until they allowed complex banking to enter their country.

Fisherman and muscians left their simpler lives to work in financial industry-related jobs. The apparent wealth encouraged them to buy cars and more expensive homes. People learned financial tricks such as borrowing in cheaper foreign currencies. They invested in mortgage-backed securities created by Wall Street in the U.S.

Eventually, things began to fall apart. Many Icelanders lost their jobs and went bankrupt. They turned to their leaders but they seemed confused.

They are now returning to what has worked in the past.

Is this the American experience in fast-foward?

Is Anyone Minding the Store..?

Is Anyone Minding the Store at the Federal Reserve?

Rep. Alan Grayson

May 2009

Eight months after the historic TARP bank bail-out, Elizabeth Coleman, the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve, was asked to report to Congress on her investigations into areas of the economic meltdown. She was asked if she knew who had received the money.

Rep. Alan Grayson also wanted to know something about $9 trillion dollars worth of transactions that were reportedly handled off the books.

Inspector General Coleman testified that she did not know who received the money or how much. She also said that she was unaware of the Bloomberg financial news story concerning the $9 trillion in off-balance sheet transactions.

The true cost of the bank bailout

The true cost of the bank bailout

Need to Know (PBS News Program)

September 2010

"Trust, but verify" -- President Ronald Reagan

In 2008, a $700 billion fund was created to bail out banks. It came to be known as TARP. It is understood by most Americans as being the pool of money that was used to save the banks.

Reporters from Bloomberg, a financial and investor's news service, had come to realize that TARP represented only a small percentage of the amount of money contributed by American taxpayers.

In addition to TARP, taxpayer money was put up as a guarantee against future losses by the banks. So long as everything goes well, the money would not be drawn. But if another crisis rattled the economy, the guarantee could turn into a taxpayer obligation.

In total, $12.8 trillion was offered in direct support or as an "insurance" - over 18 times the amount of TARP reported in the popular media.

Mark Pittman, a Bloomberg reporter, wanted to know more about how this large amount of money was distributed or how it would be distributed. He asked the Federal Reserve using the Freedom of Information act. (This is the usual way that this sort of information is requested.) But even after making repeated requests, Pittman was not provided the information he needed. He sued in Federal court for the information and, in August 2009, a Federal judge ruled that the Federal Reserve must provide him with the information he requested. Pittman died three months later at the age of 52.

Since then, the Federal Reserve has filed appeals to have the decision overturned. They have been joined by other banks that also want to protect the information. They believe that if the public knew just how weak the "hidden" banks were, it would make them look bad and cause more problems.

Added March 12,2011 Revised (n/a)

This is my opinion. It's a work in progress. I hope it's helpful.

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