Counterfeit Economies Facing Waves Of Insolvency, Bonds The Ultimate Malinvestment - By Ty Andros (29/10/12) PDF Print E-mail
Ty Andros   
Monday, 29 October 2012 09:25

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An Important Icelandic Referendum And The Media Remains Silent - By Mauro Santayana (29/10/12) PDF Print E-mail
Mauro Santayana   
Monday, 29 October 2012 09:22

Pravda

The citizens of Iceland voted in a referendum, on Saturday (20th), with about 70% of the voters.  The basic text of its new constitution, drafted by 25 delegates, almost all ordinary men, chosen by direct vote of the people, included the nationalization of its natural resources. Iceland is one of those enigmas of history. Situated in an area warmed by the Gulf Stream, which winds in the North Atlantic, the island of 103,000 km2, is inhabited only along its coast.

The interior of high hills, with 200 active volcanoes, is entirely hostile - but this is one of the oldest democracies in the world, with its parliament (Althingi) running for over a thousand years. Even under the sovereignty of Norway and Denmark, until the late 19th century, Icelanders have always kept comfortable autonomy in their internal affairs.

In 2003, under pressure from neoliberals, Iceland privatized its banking system, up to that time state-owned. As they pleased major U.S. and British banks, already operating in the derivative market, in the spiral of subprimes, Reykjavik turned into a great international financial center and one of the biggest victims of neoliberalism. With only 320.000 inhabitants, the island became a comfortable fiscal paradise for the great banks.

Institutions like Lehman Brothers used the country's international credit in order to attract European investments, particularly British. That money was applied to the financial casino, commanded by U.S. banks. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers exposed that Iceland therefore has taken debt exceeding ten times its gross domestic product. The government was forced to re-nationalize its three banks, whose executives were prosecuted and sentenced to prison.

In order to tackle the huge debt, the government decided that each of the Icelanders - of all ages - would pay 130 euros monthly for 15 years. The people demanded a referendum and, with 93% of the vote, decided not to pay that debt as it was the responsibility of the international financial system from Wall Street and the City of London.



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25 Years Of Folly - By Doug Noland (26/10/12) PDF Print E-mail
Doug Noland   
Friday, 26 October 2012 10:35

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Gold: Stage Three - Up Down Up Down Up - By Darryl Robert Schoon (25/10/12) PDF Print E-mail
Darryl Robert Schoon   
Thursday, 25 October 2012 10:14

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US To Sue Bank Of America For $1bn Over 'Brazen' Mortgage Fraud - By Common Dreams staff (25/10/12) PDF Print E-mail
Common Dreams staff   
Thursday, 25 October 2012 09:54

Federal prosecutors are suing Bank of America for $1 billion over mortgage fraud.

The civil mortgage fraud lawsuit centers around the bank's program known as "Hustle," a program it absorbed from Countrywide Financial when it bought the company in 2008.

Ben Protess reports in the New York Times:

Prosecutors say the effort, created in 2007 but kept alive through 2009 by Bank of America, was designed to churn out mortgages at a rapid pace without proper checks on wrongdoing. The bank then sold the “defective” loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled housing giants, which were stuck with hefty losses and foreclosed properties.

The case marks the U.S. Department of Justice's first civil fraud lawsuit over mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement:

"For the sixth time in less than 18 months, this Office has been compelled to sue a major U.S. bank for reckless mortgage practices in the lead-up to the financial crisis. The fraudulent conduct alleged in today’s complaint was spectacularly brazen in scope. As alleged, through a program aptly named ‘the Hustle,’ Countrywide and Bank of America made disastrously bad loans and stuck taxpayers with the bill. As described, Countrywide and Bank of America systematically removed every check in favor of its own balance – they cast aside underwriters, eliminated quality controls, incentivized unqualified personnel to cut corners, and concealed the resulting defects. These toxic products were then sold to the government sponsored enterprises as good loans. This lawsuit should send another clear message that reckless lending practices will not be tolerated."



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