Rabu, 15 Januari 2014

PEAK CRISIS ..IN US.....???!!!! ... WHAT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENED...???!!...>> The government has done a lot to remedy the aforementioned problems. Perhaps the government has over-exerted itself in championing efforts to "help." Good intentions or not, they're not working. The stock market has been climbing to historic heights, while many of our community members can't even afford winter coats for their children...>> ...Brazil, India, and Indonesia were some of the largest beneficiaries as the trickle-down effect between markets turned into a deluge. If the Fed tapers and interest rates rise, money will undoubtedly pull out of emerging markets...>....Who is pulling the strings? Who is hiding behind the curtain? These questions have long been subject to speculation, scapegoating, and paranoid ravings — some more well-founded than others. Now, thanks to the science of complex system theory, the answer may actually be right in front of our faces. This scientific process sheds light on the dark corners of bank control and international finance and pulls some of the major players out from the shadows. And it goes back to the old credo: Just follow the money... Systems theorist James B. Glattfelder did just that. From a massive database of 37 million companies, Glattfelder pulled out the 43,060 transnational corporations (companies that operate in more than one country) that are all connected by their shareholders. Digging further, he constructed a model that actually displays just how connected these companies are to one another through ownership of shares and their corresponding operating revenues....>>> ...Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What's more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world's large blue chip and manufacturing firms - the "real" economy - representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues. When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a "super-entity" of 147 even more tightly knit companies - all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity - that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. According to his data, Glattfelder found that the top 730 shareholders control a whopping 80% of the entire revenue of transnational corporations. And — surprise, surprise! — they are mostly financial institutions in the United States and the United Kingdom...>>> ...Here are the top ten transnational companies that hold the most control over the global economy (and if you are one of the millions that are convinced Big Banks run the world, you should get a creeping sense of validation from this list): 1) Barclays plc 2) Capital Group Companies Inc. 3) FMR Corporation 4) AXA 5) State Street Corporation 6) JPMorgan Chase & Co. 7) Legal & General Group plc 8) Vanguard Group Inc. 9) UBS AG 10) Merrill Lynch & Co Inc....>> ...Here's a fun fact about the number one player, Barclays: Barclays was a main player in the LIBOR manipualtion scandal, and were found to have commited fraud and collusion with other interconnected big banks. They were fined $200 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $160 million by the United States Department of Justice and £59.5 million by the Financial Services Authority for "attempted manipulation" of the Libor and Euribor rates. Despite their crimes, Barclays still paid $61,781,950 in bonuses earlier this year, including a whopping $27,371,750 to investment banking head Rich Ricci. And yes, that's actually his real name... These are the guys that run the world...>>>


PEAK CRISIS is Here! (What to do?)

How It'll Impact Your Portfolio & the Economy at Large

http://www.outsiderclub.com/peak-crisis-is-here-what-to-do/723

By Brittany Stepniak   

It's winter (post-festive holiday fun), the middle of a mundane week, and it's been polar-vortex-cold outside.
I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do after a long day's work than indulge in a little comedic satire, courtesy of my favorite TV host.
So I spent the last couple of nights sitting a little uncomfortably close to my space heater, curled up with a 50-pound puppy in my lap and catching up on a few missed episodes of The Colbert Report.
Because, let's face it, watching the regular news is just too depressing.
So when Stephen joked about it being harder to get a job at Wal-Mart than to get into Harvard (statistically-speaking), I lightly chuckled. But I remember watching broadcasters present that same information on Fox Business back in December, and I didn't chuckle then...
I sighed.
I find myself sighing a lot these days. I'm beyond frustrated with nearly everything I see in the news and even more frustrated that our country's leaders are trying to sell our situation as a fortunate one.
Don't get me wrong... I'm fortunate to live here, and I have much to be grateful for. But this isn't a recovery. People aren't getting richer. People aren't better off.

America is getting poorer, fatter, and a whole lot sadder.

Only the rich are getting richer. Our economy is basically stagnant. Incomes are declining, and 46,700,000 Americans are on food stamps.

The war on poverty has kept poor people poor, and government intervention has only made matters worse. The "recovery" we keep hearing politicians take credit for is nothing but clever marketing — a few distorted statistics with a lot of underlying unmentionables.
Yes, the stock market is improving (and I know many of you have been profiting from the recent bull market; kudos!). But to call this a "recovery" is a major fallacy.

If applicants looking for work at our nation's largest retailer and top employer — simply seeking minimum wage, no less — have only a 2.6% chance of winning that job, while 5.7% of college applicants seeking a position in one of the nation's most prestigious universities will get in, we might be in a crisis.

If 50% of our friends and neighbors are relying on government benefits to make ends meet, we might be in a crisis.

If 10% of our loved ones, colleagues, and acquaintances are on antidepressants and another 68.8% are overweight or obese, we might be in a crisis.
To say things are going well right now isn't fair to any of those people.

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Too Much Has Accomplished Too Little

The government has done a lot to remedy the aforementioned problems. Perhaps the government has over-exerted itself in championing efforts to "help." Good intentions or not, they're not working.

The stock market has been climbing to historic heights, while many of our community members can't even afford winter coats for their children.

Cities are bankrupt, families are increasingly dependent on government assistance, and the Fed has single-handedly destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar.

As Reagan used to say, America was the "shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere." Our free market economy was that light shining on the American Dream in the distance.

Success came naturally out of healthy competition and ingenious innovation. No matter where one came from, one could reach for the stars with a little ambition, a lot of hard work, and a strong commitment to excellence.

Now, the chains of tyranny are holding us back.

I'm talking about the $1 trillion in student loan debt. The $7.9 trillion in mortgage debt. The eroding middle class income. The government's lack of fiscal responsibility. The NSA's infringement upon individual privacy. The market manipulation. The big banksters' schemes.

After decades of foolish decisions, our status as a global power is under threat.

In trying to control everything (with plenty of good and bad ideas along the way), the government has killed free market capitalism. And it's well on its way to killing freedom entirely...

Crony Capitalism

Capitalism now is little more than corrupt collusion among key market players. Special alliances, trade associations, subsidies, and industry trade groups are of course beneficial to a small group of powerful entities. However, that web of dominance is bad for the economy when you get the government too involved.

For those outside of that elite group, it becomes all but impossible to compete and thrive. The private market becomes unsustainable without big government buddies already in alliances with the mega-corp guys.

This creates a web of dependability. For those who fail in their own small businesses or can't get ahead financially because of school-related debt, health care crises, and the like, many resort to low-paying jobs and/or government assistance.

But the tide is turning. The world is beginning to rise above the manipulation schemes, and the mega-corp guys are finally facing retribution.

Just this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that J.P. Morgan agreed to a $2.6 billion settlement in response to allegations that it failed to properly police Madoff's illicit activities. And further investigation is currently underway at Wall Street banks to determine whether they deliberately mispriced mortgage bonds in the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown (spoiler alert: they did).

American Turning

Last month, I wrote to you about America's "Unwinding" — as examined in George Packer's latest bestseller. Packer shows how the U.S. exudes all the telltale signs of a great superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams... with old institutions crumbling as a new America emerges.

A crisis isn't coming; it's already here. That's the bad news. But the good news is we're starting to see major shifts in the way the system works. And unless you're already a billionaire Insider, this is great news.

The growing sense of mistrust in the institutions that used to define America's excellence (public schools, government, etc.) is about to peak. In response, the vast majority of the public will come to realize that the system is failing those who work the hardest and rewarding the crony plutocrats instead.

As our faulty but dominant institutions lose power, the opportunity gap will begin to widen, and economic mobility will be restored. And we want you to be prepared for the major changes coming over the course of the next decade...

Indeed, these changes will have a ripple effect on your portfolio and the economy at large.
Are you ready for a post-crisis America? I know we are.
Farewell for now,
Brittany Stepniak Signature
Brittany Stepniak
follow basic@AngelPubGirl on Twitter
Brittany Stepniak is the Project Manager and Editor for the Outsider Club. Her “big picture” insights have helped guide thousands of investors towards achieving and maintaining personal and financial liberties while pursuing their individual dreams in lieu of all the modern-day chaos. For more on Brittany, take a look at her editor's page.
*Follow Outsider Club on Facebook and Twitter.

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http://www.outsiderclub.com/peak-crisis-is-here-what-to-do/723

Crony Capitalism

Dangerous Web of Dependability

By Brittany Stepniak   

Make no mistake; I'm a big fan of capitalism.
Since grade school, I've harbored a competitive nature. My siblings have always given me a hard time for being an overachiever.
And despite everything I think is wrong with our "competitive capitalistic economy," I still believe good, healthy competition brings out the best people have to offer.
I believe hard work should be rewarded and success shouldn't come easily — but when it does, it should come freely and naturally, not through some sort of manipulative scheme that keeps you on top by preventing everyone else from climbing.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case...
Since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the world has begun to awaken to troubles of modern-day capitalism, better known as "crony capitalism."

Free Market

The world finally broke free of the chains of tyranny and a life determined by one's predisposition in the 18th century... yet somehow, we've managed to take a lot of wrong turns in the centuries that followed.
We've regressed to the state we once fought so hard to escape in the spirit of revolution, and our once celebrated free market is under attack from within.
The brilliance behind a free market mentality is that each individual has an opportunity to channel the power vested within to climb the social, economic, and professional ladder.
This is a powerful thing. It's incentive to really strive for your goals... to make something of yourself... to dream something, and to do it — without jumping through obnoxious, unnecessary hoops and getting tied up in all that red tape.
A free market mentality means being born poor doesn't have to be a death sentence. Instead, it could be a character-building obstacle course, a breeding ground for innovation and advancement. When we see individuals overcoming poverty, we're generally experiencing economic growth as a whole.
We cheer one another on, because we all benefit from this progression.
Unless, of course, that economic capital is stolen by one's "rulers or their friends or allies," according to Hunter Lewis, author of Crony Capitalism and former CEO of Cambridge Associates...

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Government Takeover

When this happens, cronyism becomes the order of the day, and the private market becomes unsustainable without big government buddies already in alliances with mega-corporations around the globe.
These days, you'll inevitably run into trouble if you're not in the public sphere (read: directly or indirectly controlled by the government).
Economic expert David Gordan explains why this is a problem, according to Lewis' thesis:  
The result of this governmental takeover of the economy has predictably been dire. "Man of the new mega rich of the 1990s and 2000s got their wealth through their government connections. Or by understanding how government worked. This was especially apparent on Wall Street. ... This was all the more regrettable because, in a crony capitalist system, the huge gains of the few really do come at the expense of the many. There was an irony here. Perhaps Marx had been right all along. It was just that he was describing a crony capitalist, not a free price system, and his most devoted followers set up a system in the Soviet Union that was cronyist to the core." (p. 17)
Those inclined to dismiss Lewis's claim as exaggerated must confront the solid body of evidence he amasses. Everyone knows that governmentally-sponsored mortgages helped to fuel the housing bubble that burst in 2008 with disastrous consequences. As Lewis points out, though, the situation is much worse than most people imagined. "By the end of 2007 government-sponsored mortgages accounted for 81% of all the mortgage loans made in the US and by 2010 this had risen to 100%." (p. 39)
Government dominance is of course bad for the economy, but it works to the benefit of a small group of the powerful. A great strength of the book is that Lewis names names: he tells us who the predators are. "Clinton's choice for Fannie CEO, Franklin Raines, took away $90 million in pay and stock option gains, in part because of misleading accounting practices. Obama advisor James Johnson took only $21 million. For 2009-2010, the chief executives of Fannie and Freddie got a combined $17 million, even as these organizations were being bailed out. The top six executives got $35 million over the same period." (p. 45)

The Market is Rigged

The examples above perfectly illustrate the painful side effects of the corrupt collusion among market players.
If you're familiar with the way trade associations or industry trade groups work, you know this is another practical example of crony capitalism, a major problem for today's budding entrepreneurs...
Although members of such groups may appear to compete with one another, these industry groups are unified in their requests for government aid, subsidies, and regulations.
If you're not part of their group and are new to the field, you'll see how difficult it is to get started without the aforementioned government assistance and rules that give the competition special privileges; unique and exclusive to the "group".
Therefore, it might prove nearly impossible to get a reasonable loan to start your business.
Or you might have no problem getting started, only to find it's not feasible to get your products on the shelves because you are unable to receive official sanction to sell products or services already patented by competitors. Often times, distributors refuse to help newcomers because of previous alliances, contracts, and legal bonds shared exclusively with the competition.
Chances are the competition has already covered all their bases to ensure they'll stay up by keeping you down.
It's like joining a game of Monopoly after all the property has been bought and everyone has made an agreement not to sell any to you. It's no wonder small businesses are a dying breed in the age of virulent giants like Wal-Mart.
Too Much Government Intervention
This is just one of the many reasons we here at Outsider Club are strong advocates for limited government. We see how detrimental this "buddy system" is for society and the marketplace at large.
The web of government dependability has spread from the poorest city dwellers to the biggest corporations, but it's only a facade of security. In reality, it's a convoluted mess with dire consequences.
Only the richer are getting richer. Our economy is stagnant. Incomes are declining, and 46,700,000 Americans are on food stamps.
When an elite few share almost all the nation's wealth... the middle class loses incentive to produce goods and services via declining incomes and increasing adversity associated with this crony capitalism, making new business start-ups more challenging than ever... and the poor have given in to complete despair...
How are we supposed to maintain our status as a global power?
Decades of foolish decisions are finally catching up to us, and I don't think the government or the major corporate plutocrats have any idea how to remedy the situation.
The government may have good intentions in its interventions, but they're not working.
This intervention overload mindset is destroying capitalism... and it's destroying America.


Farewell for now,
Brittany Stepniak Signature
Brittany Stepniak
follow basic@AngelPubGirl on Twitter
Brittany Stepniak is the Project Manager and Editor for the Outsider Club. Her “big picture” insights have helped guide thousands of investors towards achieving and maintaining personal and financial liberties while pursuing their individual dreams in lieu of all the modern-day chaos. For more on Brittany, take a look at her editor's page.
*Follow Outsider Club on Facebook and Twitter.
 

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Not On Our Watch...

By Brittany Stepniak   

If America doesn't wake up to the most important issue facing our country right now, the consequences could be catastrophic.
The corruption between Washington and Wall Street has resulted in the largest inequality gap in history.
We mustn't simply place the bulk of the blame on the market crash and financial meltdown of 2008, either. The income inequality dilemma had its roots planted deeply into the Establishment long before.
If you disagree, take a look at the share of household income from 1975-2005...

wealth inequality 1

Or the share of net worth back in 2004:

wealth inequality 2

Greed: Vice or Virtue? 

Even after the most recent recession, the top 1% of earners took home 93% of all the income gains in the first full year of the recovery. And economic research indicates this will result in lower levels of economic growth and slower job creation in years to come.
Our country's ever-widening gap between the mega-rich and everyone else has expanded to the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression.
And it's a trend that has remained consistent over the past generation.
New technology has cut out many blue-collar jobs, and routine white-collar work now gets outsourced overseas as global competition heats up.
If the bigwigs don't shape up, history is bound to repeat itself and we'll find ourselves in a state of plutocracy with austere economic consequences...
But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for change.

"Only patterns on top of patterns"

The last time our country experienced a similar scenario was after the Civil War. Industries approached monopolistic levels of market concentration and acquired serious financial capital. Wealthy CEO-types began to use their power of influence over industry, public opinion, and politics. According to journalist Walter Weyl, money was “the mortar of this edifice.”
Economist Paul Krugman says the plutocracy was able to emerge because the poorest of American inhabitants were unable to vote (either non-naturalized immigrants or African-Americans). The wealthy funded political campaigns in which vote buying was quite popular and electoral fraud was rampant.
Although our country has made many improvements since then — and the Internet now sheds a wider-cast light on fraud and scandal — we're still combating many of these same problematic issues.
It's a simple concept, really: A country that prioritizes the accumulation of wealth (in order to maintain power in the hands of just a few) over all other human interests is bound for trouble.

Dismissing Inequality, Focusing on Overall Growth

The International Monetary Fund has warned, “Some dismiss inequality and focus instead on overall growth — arguing, in effect, that a rising tide lifts all boats... When a handful of yachts become ocean liners while the rest remain lowly canoes, something is seriously amiss.”
In 1913 the U.S. instituted the income tax among various other forms of progressive taxation. But in the 1970s, elites began using their political influence to lower their taxes, and many still remain entitled to what political scientist Jeffrey Winters calls “the income defense industry,” which keeps their taxes exceptionally low.
This is an on-going pattern...
Earlier this week, at least 18 companies including Apple, Nike, and Microsoft were in the doghouse for stashing profits in offshore tax havens to skirt $92 billion in U.S. taxes.
Chrystia Freeland, author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, stated in an interview:
You don't do this in a kind of chortling, smoking your cigar, conspiratorial thinking way. You do it by persuading yourself that what is in your own personal self-interest is in the interests of everybody else. So you persuade yourself that, actually, government services, things like spending on education, which is what created that social mobility in the first place, need to be cut so that the deficit will shrink, so that your tax bill doesn't go up.
And what I really worry about is, there is so much money and so much power at the very top, and the gap between those people at the very top and everybody else is so great, that we are going to see social mobility choked off and society transformed.
On the other hand, the global elite at the top are already tapping into the bulk of our gold reserves as fiat insurance and the big banks are complying by manipulating prices, hoping everyday investors like you and me will shy away in fear.
They know there's more chaos yet to come, and they're making sure they're prepared.

Cognitive Capture

If these trends continue, Freeland believes the elite at the very top of the food chain will capture the entire political system.
Chief economist at Citigroup, Willem Buiter, has referred to it as “cognitive capture.” Freeland responded to this in an interview with Bill Moyers:
His argument was that part of the reason the financial crisis happened is the entire intellectual establishment, not just people inside investment banks, but regulators, academic economists, financial journalists, had all been captured by the financial sector's vision of how the economy should work. 
This cognitive capturing will have profound impacts on the burgeoning wealth inequality gap. Elites will tell themselves they're acting in the “collective interest” by spending big money in powerful sectors...
As a result, less money will go to truly beneficial social programs, small businesses, and other things necessary to keep the middle class thriving and the poor above the poverty line.
Cutting people off from economic opportunity is the antithesis of capitalism. But plutocrats aren't interested in creating an environment where Outsiders can accumulate a comfortable wealth and achieve the American Dream — rather, they're interested in expanding their own bank accounts and sometimes giving a little extra support to the hand that feeds them. It's a vicious cycle.
The global elite consists of a small group with a big revolving door. While the politicians in Washington banter back and forth about how to restore the middle class via taxes and government transfer programs, the income inequality continues to grow.
The truth is you and I are ultimately on our own in this recovery phase.
That's why our sole goal here at the Outsider Club is to provide you with the insight and foresight you'll need to succeed independently. You can forget mainstream media — it too is controlled by the plutocrats.
To get you on the right track, make sure you subsribe to our mailing list to receive the most lucrative investment opportunities other financial newsletters haven't leaked yet.
Just because you're not an Insider doesn't mean you can't prepare, plan, and profit like one.
Farewell for now,
Brittany Stepniak
Brittany Stepniak for Outsider Club
follow basic@AngelPubGirl on Twitter

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Private Property is a Myth, a Legend From Our Golden Years

By Brittany Stepniak   

Big banks can bring big problems.
They'll prey on you aggressively without compassion... until they've drained you dry.
And they'll pay an enthusiastic teller minimum wage to smile at you and assure you everything is fine... while they quietly rip the rug out from under you.
It's starts with a few miscellaneous fees, and suddenly you notice an interest rate increase on a loan or two.
Unfortunately, it could end far more dramatically. The demolition or repossession of your family's home — even if your mortgage is completely paid off — is a very real possibility under the latest business scheme among hedge funds, "too big to fail" banks, and some local government officials.

Why You Should Sweat the Small Stuff

I originally signed up for my checking account with my current bank because they advertised "Free Checking."
Now, of course, there are stipulations. Like my having to pay a monthly fee of $7 if I choose to keep $1,500 or less in my checking account.
Granted, I always have more than the minimum in the account... but it'd be a bummer to have to pay the better half of $100 per year in addition to all the other egregious incidental charges: penalty fees for withdrawing money at another ATMs, network and fees for reordering checks, $2 charges for a monthly statement.
All these little charges and fees for annoying little "extras" really add up over time.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, $7 isn't the big deal.
It's the principle of the matter that irks me.
It's the sheer lack of ethics big banks exude at a time when Americans are struggling more than ever to get back — or just stay — on their feet.
Responsively, frustrated customers have been leaving the nation's largest retail banks in masses, opting for smaller banks and credit unions that work harder to build trustworthy relationships and go the extra mile to save their clients money.
In July, American Banker published an article indicating that such big banks were poised to lose roughly $92 billion in deposits and $5.1 billion in revenues next year due to customer dissatisfaction.

Big Banks Retaliate, Hard

Feeling the heat of lost revenues on account of lost clientele, big banks have been in cahoots with local governments and hedge funds that are heartlessly selling tax liens to these ruthless predators.
Once the lien has been auctioned off to the highest bidder/bank, they swiftly swoop in to ruin your day (read: life).
Just two summers ago, Bennie Coleman of Northeast Washington D.C. experienced this first-hand when armed U.S marshals appeared at his doorstep and ordered him off of "his" private property — despite the fact that his duplex had been fully paid for in cash two decades ago.
The Washington Post covered this sad story just a couple of days ago noting, "He slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb."
Amongst his most treasured possessions being tossed out by movers were his Marine Corps medals and vintage photographs of his beloved deceased wife, Martha.
By the time the sun had set upon Coleman's old duplex that evening, the home was empty and Coleman was officially homeless with nowhere to go. "I have nothing," Coleman later recalled.
His crime? He had failed to pay a $134 property tax bill.

Small Bills Snowball into Unmanageable Debt

How could something as trivial as a $134 debt cause all that?
The retired Marine sergeant lost his house because of a tax lien sale, a program run by D.C. government that enlists private investors to help the city recover unpaid taxes.
Coleman had been battling dementia, and the debt for his tax bill spiraled out of control to 37 times the original tax bill. Late fees and penalties raised it all the way to $4,999.
Still, the amount owed was just a small fraction of the value of his $197,000 home.
He lost everything all the same.
Coleman was stripped of all equity because tax lien purchasers are legally entitled to everything aside from personal possessions unrelated to the original sale of the home.
The tax lien investor gains everything, and the homeowner is left with nothing.
Others affected in the D.C. area include a department store clerk, a seamstress, a housekeeper — even the estates of deceased people were confiscated.
This is a tragic trend that's hurting already distressed families and elderly homeowners the worst.
For greedy hedge funds in particular, this is nothing more than a genius (albeit, evil) way to stockpile loads of cash.
CNN reports:
With buyers identified only by numbers or unrelated names, the fragmented, unregulated industry is opaque. Even the market's size is debated — $15 billion a year, according to Howard Liggett, the chief executive of Distressed Real Estate Consulting Services, or $5 billion a year, according to the National Tax Lien Association, a trade group. While returns are a closely kept secret, investors typically make between 2.5% and 10% a year, or in the low teens for larger buys.
"The hedge funds are chasing yield in this business" says Albert Friedman, a principal at Alterna Capital, an alternative investment firm in Boca Raton that buys tax liens.
Insiders estimate hedge funds now control 40% of the tax-lien market, from under 5% five years ago, with regional banks, obscure partnerships sporting names like God's ATM LLC, and mom-and-pop investors making up the rest.
Catching on to this lucrative endeavor, several of the "too big to fail" banks jumped on board with this "business" scheme as well.
That's why small bills are designed to easily evolve into whirlwinds of debt once an institution tacks on interest, penalties, and legal fees... to the point that the payer is stuck between a rock and a hard place. And once homeowners find themselves trapped in this vulnerable place, "they" swoop in for the kill.
It's failure by design.

The Illusion of Private Property

Meanwhile, lives are destroyed.
Private property is all but stolen from its rightful owners in the blink of an eye.
Seniors are especially at risk, as these big-money guys prey on those who aren't 100% aware of what's going on.
Even if a mistake is made on someone else's behalf, homeowners often pay the price for financial misappropriations, tax errors, and the like.
Here are a few examples, courtesy of the Washington Post:
  • A 69-year-old hat designer was given the wrong payoff amount and ended up in court to save her property, owned by her family since 1943.
  • A 58-year-old bank employee almost lost her house in 2010 because the tax office mistakenly sent bills and notices to a wooded lot across from a strip mall in Virginia — 12 times.
  • A 48-year-old math teacher paid his taxes in 2007 — but the tax office took his $1,400 payment and applied it to the wrong house, crediting an entirely different taxpayer.
  • Those homeowners found out about the mistakes in time to fight. Ninety-five-year-old Daisy Dolsey, living in a nursing home and struggling with Alzheimer's, wasn't so lucky... She lost her $300,000 house over a $44.79 tax debt even after she paid her taxes.
I'm not telling you these stories to make you paranoid — rather, I'm telling you so you can better prepare yourself and your loved ones in this ongoing war with the greedy banksters, hedge fund managers, and government officials who condone this criminal activity.
Knowing what's really going on is half the battle. 

Farewell for now,
Brittany Stepniak Signature
Brittany Stepniak
follow basic@AngelPubGirl on Twitter
Brittany Stepniak is the Project Manager and Editor for the Outsider Club. Her “big picture” insights have helped guide thousands of investors towards achieving and maintaining personal and financial liberties while pursuing their individual dreams in lieu of all the modern-day chaos. For more on Brittany, take a look at her editor's page.
*Follow Outsider Club on Facebook and Twitter.
 

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Who REALLY Controls the World?

Science Confirms Big Bank Domination

By Jimmy Mengel   

It's the question that conspiracy theorists dedicate their life to answering...
Who REALLY controls the world?
Who is pulling the strings?
Who is hiding behind the curtain?
These questions have long been subject to speculation, scapegoating, and paranoid ravings — some more well-founded than others.
Now, thanks to the science of complex system theory, the answer may actually be right in front of our faces.
This scientific process sheds light on the dark corners of bank control and international finance and pulls some of the major players out from the shadows.
And it goes back to the old credo: Just follow the money...
Systems theorist James B. Glattfelder did just that.
From a massive database of 37 million companies, Glattfelder pulled out the 43,060 transnational corporations (companies that operate in more than one country) that are all connected by their shareholders.
Digging further, he constructed a model that actually displays just how connected these companies are to one another through ownership of shares and their corresponding operating revenues.
TNC controlling the world 
The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. 
Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. 
The size of the dot represents revenue.
I'll openly admit that this graphic almost scared me off. Complex scientific theories are not my forte, and this looks like some sort of intergalactic snow globe.
But Glattfelder has done a remarkable job of boiling these connections down to the main actors — as well as pinpointing how much power they have over the global market. These "ownership networks" can reveal who the key players are, how they are organized, and exactly how interconnected these powers are.
From New Scientist:
Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What's more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world's large blue chip and manufacturing firms - the "real" economy - representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a "super-entity" of 147 even more tightly knit companies - all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity - that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. 
According to his data, Glattfelder found that the top 730 shareholders control a whopping 80% of the entire revenue of transnational corporations.
And — surprise, surprise! — they are mostly financial institutions in the United States and the United Kingdom.
That is a huge amount of concentrated control in a small number of hands...
Here are the top ten transnational companies that hold the most control over the global economy (and if you are one of the millions that are convinced Big Banks run the world, you should get a creeping sense of validation from this list):
1) Barclays plc
2) Capital Group Companies Inc.
3) FMR Corporation
4) AXA
5) State Street Corporation
6) JPMorgan Chase & Co.
7) Legal & General Group plc
8) Vanguard Group Inc.
9) UBS AG
10) Merrill Lynch & Co Inc.
Some of the other usual suspects round out the top 25, including JP Morgan, UBS, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs.
What you won't find are ExxonMobil, Microsoft, or General Electric, which I found shocking. In fact, you have to scroll all the way down to China Petrochemical Group Company at number 50 to find a company that actually creates something.
The top 49 corporations are financial institutions, banks, and insurance companies — with the exception of Wal-Mart, which ranks at number 15...
The rest essentially just push money around to one another.
Here's the interconnectedness of the top players in this international scheme:

big bank complexity

Here's a fun fact about the number one player, Barclays:
Barclays was a main player in the LIBOR manipualtion scandal, and were found to have commited fraud and collusion with other interconnected big banks. They were fined $200 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $160 million by the United States Department of Justice and £59.5 million by the Financial Services Authority for "attempted manipulation" of the Libor and Euribor rates.
Despite their crimes, Barclays still paid $61,781,950 in bonuses earlier this year, including a whopping $27,371,750 to investment banking head Rich Ricci. And yes, that's actually his real name...
These are the guys that run the world.
It's essentially the "too big to fail" argument laid out in scientific setting — only instead of just the U.S. banks, we're talking about an international cabal of banks and financial institutions so intertwined that they pose a serious threat to global economics.
And instead of "too big to fail," we're looking at "too connected to fail"...
Glattfelder contends that "a high degree of interconnectivity can be bad for stability, because stress can spread through the system like an epidemic." 
Industrialist Henry Ford once quipped, "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
It's one thing to have suspicions that someone is working behind the scenes to control the world's money supply. It's quite another to have scientific evidence that clearly supports it...
Just another reason to stay on the Outside.

Godspeed,
Jimmy Mengel
Jimmy Mengel

follow basic @mengeled on Twitter
Jimmy is a managing editor for Outsider Club and the Investment Director of the personal finance advisory The Crow's Nest. You may also know him as the architect behind the wildly popular finance and investing website Wealth Wire, where he's brought readers the stories behind the mainstream financial news each and every day. For more on Jimmy, check out his editor's page.
*Follow Outsider Club on Facebook and Twitter.

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Fed and the Elite vs. Americans and the World

Fed Clarification: We Only Serve the American Elite

By Adam English   

Let's get something straight here, considering it came as a bit of a shock to the politicians and central bankers from 20 major economic powers...
The Federal Reserve doesn't care about you.
It doesn't care about the American people; it only serves the tiny number of Americans in the highest circles of the corporate and political elite.
While there's no question that the Fed has been devoted to propping up markets for the corporate and political elite, central bankers were under the assumption the Fed was committed to working with them to tackle a global issue.
You can imagine their surprise, then, as the Fed has clarified its position in recent weeks...
The divide became even more apparent as the G-20 meeting was wrapping up.
This drab communique was released after the two-day forum:
Our central banks have committed that future changes to monetary policy settings will continue to be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated. We reiterate that excess volatility of financial flows and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability, as observed recently in some emerging markets.
In layman's terms, most of the group of 20 nations doesn't want any meaningful changes to worldwide central bank policies. They have no interest in rocking a boat that has risen on a tide of easy money faster than it could sink from its own unresolved problems.
But the Fed isn't going to play along with the global central bank rigging scheme — at least, not the way it has been and the way the rest of the world wants.
As Dennis Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Fed, put it after the late-August meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming: "You have to remember that we are a legal creature of Congress and that we only have a mandate to concern ourselves with the interest of the United States." 
That is absolutely true, though it has hardly been the case so far.

QE International

The Fed's balance sheet has expanded to a whopping $3.65 trillion by injecting easy money into the markets and banks. And a disturbing amount of the easy money the Fed created directly funded overseas institutions...
Shortly after the Lehman Brothers collapse, the Fed pumped billions into the U.S. branches of foreign banks.
As Eurozone banks were struggling to roll over $2 trillion of debts denominated in U.S. dollars back in 2011, the Fed came to the rescue yet again. While the cut-rate currency swaps from central banks included Britain, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland, a lion's share of the effort came from the Fed in the form of hundreds of billions poured from the U.S. central bank into European banks to prevent a foreign credit crunch. 
In total, $7.7 trillion was loaned to mega-banks from 2007 to 2009, according to documents uncovered by Bloomberg News through a Freedom of Information Act request in 2011.
A vast majority was essentially off the books for a reason: The Fed didn't want to disclose the massive amount of support it was giving to mega-banks, and it didn't want anyone to know the scope of its intervention overseas.
In mid-December 2011, Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters that Ben Bernanke himself said the Fed did not have "the intention or the authority" to bail out Europe. The very same week, Helicopter Ben flew to Europe and increased the size of these credit swap lines by about $52 billion.
The Fed didn't want to disclose that it was engaged in a secret campaign to prop up international banks and financial institutions and hand Americans the bill.
Estimates peg the total support given by the Fed to the ECB and foreign banks at $1.1 trillion.

Trickle Down Markets

Of course, none of this includes how the private market used money from the Fed.
As money from the Fed magically appears from nowhere and is pumped into global mega-banks and institutional investors, it starts freely flowing around the globe...
One of the problems with dumping a whole lot of cash into anemic markets is that they can only absorb so much before risk gets completely out of hand. So big investors and banks started spreading it around overseas, and a whole lot of private capital has been injected into foreign markets in recent years.
The Institute of International Finance, essentially a global banking club, has been keeping track of the trend.
With the Fed breaking ranks with other central banks and discussing an end to QE, net private capital flows to emerging markets in 2014 is going to drop to the lowest level since 2009.
Back in 2009, developed market to emerging market capital flow only totaled $649 billion. Since then, it has grown to $1.2 trillion.
As bank lending declined, a massive increase in portfolio investment — mostly through bonds — kicked in.


EM capital inflow chart

Brazil, India, and Indonesia were some of the largest beneficiaries as the trickle-down effect between markets turned into a deluge. 

If the Fed tapers and interest rates rise, money will undoubtedly pull out of emerging markets.

The mere suggestion that the U.S. might taper QE was followed by a 20% collapse in the Indian rupee. The Brazilian real and Indonesian rupiah were hit very hard as well. The dropping currencies drove up local prices, resulting in slowing economies.
No wonder the G-20 is trying to keep the Fed pumping money. They are as hopelessly dependent on it to create the illusion of healthy economies, just as the mega-banks have been.
They are ultimately dependent on growth leveraged by you and me, the American taxpayer.
Lockhart also has some advice for the rest of the world: "Other countries simply have to take that as a reality and adjust to us, if that's something important for their economies."

Devoted to America, Not Americans

While the Fed has committed itself to a domestic focus, and plans on abandoning its unlawful international support, it will undoubtedly continue to ignore Americans. Just look at how the labor market has been shaped under the Fed's policies...
Since the recession officially began in December 2007, there are 5.8 million fewer full-time jobs and 2.8 million more part-time jobs. An all-time high of 8.2 million Americans are working part-time positions and want full-time jobs, but cannot find one.
The jobs report releases on Friday just adds fuel to this fire: 169,000 jobs were added, and the unemployment rate officially fell to 7.3%... yet nearly twice as many people — 312,000 Americans — dropped off of official figures.
The number of people with jobs actually fell 115,000 in August. The proportion of the U.S. population that had a job in August was 58.6%, the same as six months ago.
Virtually all of the gains in the stock markets have gone to institutional investors; retail investors never fully returned.
Instead of prompting the Fed to reevaluate how it is helping Americans, the gains in stock markets and recent job reports are just going to reinforce the status quo. It will also be used as false proof that the economy is slowly getting better for hard-hit Americans.
If the BLS and Fed referred to a far more accurate unemployment estimate that included all unemployed, marginally attached workers plus those who work part-time for economic reasons, more than 1 in 8 Americans are not being helped by the Fed's obscenely expensive programs.
Add in long-term discouraged workers for an even better estimate (as Shadowstats.com does) and nearly 1 of 4 Americans is unemployed:


shadowstats alt unemployment chart Aug 2013

Lockhart was absolutely correct when he said that the Fed is a legal creature of Congress, and it is mandated to exclusively serve the interests of the United States.
But let's be clear on one thing: He is talking about the United States government, not the citizens of the United States.
The Fed has clarified its position, and the evidence supports it: The Fed is only in place to serve the elite Americans who run mega-banks and large corporations.
Only the people benefiting from cronyism and the revolving door have any sway.
For a couple years there, the interests of the Fed's masters aligned with the G-20, and so member nations enjoyed the perks of unprecedented intervention by the world's most influential financial institution...
Now they will have to fend on their own like the vast majority of Americans. The mercenary nature of the "powers that be" are apparent once again.
On behalf of the struggling masses the U.S. government technically represents, let me be the first to welcome the member nations of the G-20 to the Outside.

Take Care,
Adam English
Adam English
follow basic @AdamEnglishOC on Twitter
Adam's editorial talents and analysis drew the attention of senior editors at Outsider Club, which he joined in mid-2012. While he has acquired years of hands-on experience in the editorial room by working side by side with ex-brokers, options floor traders, and financial advisors, he is acutely aware of the challenges faced by retail investors after starting at the ground floor in the financial publishing field. For more on Adam, check out his editor's page
*Follow Outsider Club on Facebook and Twitter.

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Who REALLY Controls the World?
"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."


 


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