Monday, July 25, 2011
Greece let out a sigh of relief this week as - after long talks - EU leaders finally agreed on how to help the country avoid defaulting on its debt. Athens will now receive a new bailout worth an estimated 109 billion euros. The plan was agreed after Greece approved severe austerity measures, sending thousands onto the streets in protest. The rescue will also involve lowering interest rates on Greek debt and extending the repayment period. The package also doubles the time given to bankrupt Portugal and Ireland to pay back their own loans. Meanwhile, Spain - which has the highest unemployment rate in the Eurozone - saw thousands of protestors converge on Madrid on Saturday. They camped out in the city centre, after marching from across the country. For more on where the Eurozone is headed RT talks to financial analyst and host of the 'Keiser Report' here on RT, Max Keiser.
Greece’s sovereign credit rating was cut three steps by Moody’s Investors Service, which said the European Union’s financing package for the debt-laden nation implies “substantial economic losses” for private creditors.
Greece’s long-term foreign currency debt was downgraded to Ca from Caa1, the ratings company said in a statement in London today. Moody’s assigned a developing outlook to the ratings and said it will re-assess the credit risk profile of any outstanding or new securities issued by the Greek government after Greece’s debt exchange has been completed.“The announced EU program along with the Institute of International Finance’s statement representing major financial institutions implies that the probability of a distressed exchange, and hence a default, on Greek government bonds is virtually 100 percent,” Moody’s said.....read on
(Snowflake, AZ) Oh oh, Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont's lucky) has issued a major statement on how the Fed engineered $16 trillion to bail our not only US but also foreign banks. His website reports in part:
"The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study.
"As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world," said Sanders. "This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you're-on-your-own individualism for everyone else."
Among the investigation's key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland, according to the GAO report. "No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president," Sanders said.
The non-partisan, investigative arm of Congress also determined that the Fed lacks a comprehensive system to deal with conflicts of interest, despite the serious potential for abuse. In fact, according to the report, the Fed provided conflict of interest waivers to employees and private contractors so they could keep investments in the same financial institutions and corporations that were given emergency loans.
For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed's board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed.
Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed's emergency lending programs. In another disturbing finding, the GAO said that on Sept. 19, 2008, William Dudley, who is now the New York Fed president, was granted a waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric at the same time AIG and GE were given bailout funds......read on
The U.S. government defaulted at least three times on its obligations during the 20th century.
-- In 1934, the government banned ownership of gold and eliminated the right to exchange gold certificates for gold coins. It then immediately revalued gold from $20.67 per troy ounce to $35, thus devaluing the dollar holdings of all Americans by 40 percent. (actually 70%, a convenient typo?)
-- From 1934 to 1968, the federal government continued to issue and redeem silver certificates, notes that circulated as legal tender that could be redeemed for silver coins or silver bars. In 1968, Congress unilaterally reneged on this obligation, too.
-- From 1934 to 1971, foreign governments were permitted by the U.S. government to exchange their dollars for gold through the gold window. In 1971, President Richard Nixon severed this final link between the dollar and gold by closing the gold window, thus in effect defaulting once again on a debt obligation of the U.S. government.........read story in full