Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jim Crum Meets Hans Sennholz: A Link Between Banking Panic and the New World Order

I just read Hans Sennholz's excellent 1985 essay Money and Freedom, which is available from the Ludwig von Mises Institute for $7.00. Sennholz gives an overview of the case for a free market monetary system and a spontaneous, market-evolved gold standard. In doing so he reviews alternative views. It is a good introduction to free market money. Given the recent failure of the Keynesian ideology and its creature, the unfettered Federal Reserve Bank, to manage the money supply and the banking system competently, and the simultaneous inability of the pissant propagandists, also known as the "mainstream media", to conceptualize alternative solutions, this book is must reading.

Sennholz discusses alternative views to the Austrian free market ones, to include the monetarist ideas of Milton Friedman and the supply-siders such as Robert Mundell, Jude Wanniski and Arthur Laffer. The Austrian theory is by far the most elegant of all economic theories, and it is a tragedy that the pissant propagandists insist on ignoring the Austrian viewpoint and instead publicize failed Keynesian ideas ad nauseum.

Two points in the essay caught my attention. First, Sennholz notes that by the 1970s foreign governments had been receiving dollops of new money from the Fed via commercial bank loans (p.4):

"The dollar standard invited massive credit expansion in both the US and the Eurodollar market, and made foreign governments in less developed countries its primary beneficiaries. Foreign central bank reserves, consisting mostly of dollars, expanded from $92 billion to more than $800 billion in 1981. The Eurodollar market recycled the flood of dollars from the United States to the Organizational of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and from there to commercial banks in Euope and the United States, and to debtors all over the globe; it grew from some $100 billion in 1970 to nearly $2 trillion in 1984. The debt of non-OPEC developing countries alone, consisting of commercial bank loans,multinational organization loans and government loans, soared from $75 billion in 1971 to an estimated $520 billion in 1982. The exposure of commercial banks to these countries, consisting of outstanding loans minus deposits, rose from practically none to more than $200 billion worth in 1984."

The Latin American debt crisis, like today's sub-prime crisis, threatened the commercial banking system in the 1980s. The banking system has done these things over and over. It is time to rethink the money-creation privilege that has been granted to the federal government, the Federal Reserve Bank and the banking system. The system has failed, and it is no longer fair to ask Americans to subsidize massive, recidivist incompetence. Free market banking is far superior the Federal Reserve Bank, which proceeded to quintuple overseas dollar holdings in the 1990s to over ten trillion dollars.

The second point that grabbed me (besides the discussion of Hayek's "Denationalization of Money") is Sennholz's discussion of Mundell. The evolution of the international gold standard to an international dollar standard and the rejection of gold have led to current instability in world financial markets. Banks are not capable of managing their money creation privileges. But if there is a failure of the dollar standard, which seems increasingly likely to occur in our lifetime, the alternative may be not a renewal of the gold standard or free market money which would be a return to sanity, but an international unit of money standard, i.e., a new world order based on a global monetary unit.

I am getting science fictiony here, but a global monetary system would seem consistent with an evolution toward an internationalist political system much as the Euro was associated with European political unification.

Sennholz describes Robert Mundell, the original supply sider whose ideas influenced Ronald Reagan and the leadership of the Republican Party since the 1980s as advocating an international monetary structure based on international cooperation and coordination. Mundell would base a global monetary system on gold, but would allow a global banking system to stabilize the price of gold between $300 and $650. Governments would be required to coordinate interest rates, balance of payments, exchange rates and excessive money creation and, as well, participate in "general budgetary policies and, if necessary incomes policies."

After finishing the Sennholz essay I checked my e-mail and noticed this message from Jim Crum concerning Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media's essay concerning Barack Obama's support for global taxation:

>Mitchell, I hope this note finds you well.

>Below is interesting information. If half of it is true, there is reason for concern. I do know Mr. Obama was a champion of the $87 Billion international tax on US Citizens for international development.

>The other problem is that once it starts, once that camel's nose is under our financial tent, we are in serious trouble with absolutely no end in sight, and no accountability. Just look at how the UN handles money, put them in charge of collecting taxes from us and forget it. I say burn the damned UN to the ground before that happens. Talk about taxation without representation, this would be it on steroids.

>As far as a global TV channel, that could really be a source of humor or disgust. There may be truth to the allegory of the tower of babel, and such distinctions that keep us separate may actually be a source of protection- for our own good.

Global Taxes and Global TV Now on the Agenda
By Cliff Kincaid

>President Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is being urged to lay the foundation for “global governance” by considering “international taxation” measures to loot more money from U.S. taxpayers.

>The recommendation is included in the report, “The Global Agenda 2009,” which is being considered by the World Economic Forum (WEF), meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 28 - February 1. The WEF is not an official government group but does include dozens of government, corporate and labor leaders at its annual m eetings.

>Media companies such as News Corporation (parent of Fox News, the Fox Business Network, and the Wall Street Journal), CNBC, and Forbes are official sponsors of the WEF meeting. News Corporation is listed as one of about 100 “strategic partners” of the World Economic Forum.

“Look for live coverage on CNBC, all day every day,” reports CNBC “Squawk Box” co-anchor Becky Quick. “We kick things off at 6 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday on Squawk, with serious interviews from the headliners.” Her report, however, fails to disclose that CNBC is an “industry partner” of the World Economic Forum this week...

The event’s corporate sponsors, which pay about half a million dollars each to participate, include several failing institutions that have received tens of billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers. They include Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley. These entities are termed “Strategic Partners” of the World Economic Forum...

In a major embarrassment, the WEF has released a report, “The Future of the Global Financial System,” which acknowledges “intellectual stewardship and guidance” provided by a steering committee co-chaired by John Thain, the former Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive officer who was recently ousted from Bank of America in a scandal. Thain oversaw the disastrous sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America and was criticized for lavish spending on office decorations, including a $1,405 waste basket and $87,784 rug.

The other co-chair of the committee was David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, who has been quoted as saying that China holds the key to the world economy’s future. One report notes that Rubenstein says Carlyle “was an early investor in the Chinese marketplace,” that its China office “has hired many native-born Chinese, and the company is seeking to build its buyout and growth-capital businesses there.”

“The Global Agenda 2009” report says that “sovereign states do not adequately address problems reaching across borders” and that “international taxation” may be needed to generate the “additional resources” for “global governance.”

Could this become a source of new bailout money here and abroad?

Read Kincaid's whole article here.

The current "crisis" involving the banking system has a funny smell. It is a crisis whose basis is not clearly identified. I looked up house sales on the census bureau. This is what I found

Existing Home Sales 7,076,000 (2005) 6,478,000 (2006) 5,652,000 (2007) 4,912,000 (2008)
New Home Sales 1,283,000 (2005) 1,051,000 (2006) 776,000 (2007)
Total 8,359,000 (2005) 6,478,000 (2006) 6,428,000 (2007)

The new home number for December 2008 is coming out this week. Taking the 8.4 million home sales in '05, the 6.5 million in '06 and the 6.4 million in '07 and multiplying by a price of $250,000 gives $5,325,000,000,000, $5.3 trillion. Just as a thought experiment double it, to ten trillion to give the last six years. If ten percent of the owners give the houses back to banks, the losses would be $10 trillion x 10% = $1 trillion. The one trillion would be reduced by the re-sale value of the houses, which would presumably be about $1 trillion. I just heard a commentator on Bloomberg Radio say that the losses facing financial institutions are $1.8 trillion. How is that possible?

In March 2008 the New York Times reported that the number of loans past due was 7.9 percent. That's not in default, that's past due. On January 27, 2009, CNN reported that defaults in California, which I think is one of the wilder sub-prime states, had fallen by 7.7 percent since a year ago. Thus, the ten percent figure is overstated.

So why the hysteria concerning banks? It would be nice if the pissant propagandists could explain this without scare language, hysteria, or incompetent and uninformed usage of buzz words. But they have not been able to do so. They are as incompetent as bankers. Are the defaults merely hypothetical? Is the problem a fear of a greater real estate market crash?

In any case, one of the outcomes of this banking panic could well be globalization of the monetary system, much as Mundell advocated. It would seem globalization of the monetary system (rather than the much better and more intelligent adoption of a free money system or a voluntary gold standard) would be potentially consistent with political globalization as well. This would fit Jim Crum's concerns.

1 comment:

corporatebully said...

RBC Bank President Gordon Nixon - Salary $11.73 Million


I'm a commercial fisherman fighting the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC Bank) over a $100,000 loan mistake. I lost my home, fishing vessel and equipment. Help me fight this corporate bully by closing your RBC Bank account.

There was no monthly interest payment date or amount of interest payable per month on my loan agreement. Date of first installment payment (Principal + interest) is approximately 1 year from the signing of my contract.
Demand loan agreements signed by other fishermen around the same time disclosed monthly interest payment dates and interest amounts payable per month.The lending policy for fishermen did change at RBC from one payment (principal + interest) per year for fishing loans to principal paid yearly with interest paid monthly. This lending practice was in place when I approached RBC.
Only problem is the loans officer was a replacement who wasn't familiar with these type of loans. She never informed me verbally or in writing about this new criteria.

Phone or e-mail:
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RBC Manager, Cape Breton/Eastern Nova Scotia, Jerry Rankin (902)567-8600
RBC Vice President, Atlantic Provinces, Brian Conway (902)491-4302 mail
RBC Vice President, Halifax Region, Tammy Holland (902)421-8112 mail
RBC Senior Manager, Media & Public Relations, Beja Rodeck (416)974-5506 mail
RBC Ombudsman, Wendy Knight, Toronto, Ontario 1-800-769-2542 mail
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"Fighting the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC Bank) one customer at a time"