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There’s been lots of fire and fury around Washington lately, including a brief government shutdown. In Donald Trump’s White House, you can hardly keep up with the ongoing brouhahas from North Korea to Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation, while it already feels like ages since the celebratory mood over the vast corporate tax cuts Congress passed last year. But don’t be fooled: none of that is as important as what’s missing from the picture. Like a disease, in the nation’s capital it’s often what you can’t see that will, in the end, hurt you most.

Amid a roaring stock market and a planet of upbeat CEOs, few are even thinking about the havoc that a multi-trillion-dollar financial system gone rogue could inflict upon global stability. But watch out. Even in the seemingly best of times, neglecting Wall Street is a dangerous idea. With a rag-tag Trumpian crew of ex-bankers and Goldman Sachs alumni as the only watchdogs in town, it’s time to focus, because one thing is clear: Donald Trump’s economic team is in the process of making the financial system combustible again.

Collectively, the biggest U.S. banks already have their get-out-out-of-jail-free cards and are now sitting on record profits after, not so long ago, triggering sweeping unemployment, wrecking countless lives, and elevating global instability. (Not a single major bank CEO was given jail time for such acts.) Still, let’s not blame the dangers lurking at the heart of the financial system solely on the Trump doctrine of leaving banks alone. They should be shared by the Democrats who, under President Barack Obama, believed, and still believe, in the perfection of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.

While Dodd-Frank created important financial safeguards like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even stronger long-term banking reforms were left on the sidelines. Crucially, that law didn’t force banks to separate the deposits of everyday Americans from Wall Street’s complex derivatives transactions. In other words, it didn’t resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 (axed in the Clinton era).

Wall Street is now thoroughly emboldened as the financial elite follows the mantra of Kelly Clarkston’s hit song: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Since the crisis of 2007-2008, the Big Six U.S. banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley — have seen the share price of their stocks significantly outpace those of the S&P 500 index as a whole.

Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank (that’s paid $13 billion in settlements for various fraudulent acts), recently even pooh-poohed the chances of the Democratic Party in 2020, suggesting that it was about time its leaders let banks do whatever they wanted. As he told Maria Bartiromo, host of Fox Business’s Wall Street Week, “The thing about the Democrats is they will not have a chance, in my opinion. They don’t have a strong centrist, pro-business, pro-free enterprise person.”

This is a man who was basically gifted two banks, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, by the U.S government during the financial crisis. That present came as his own company got cheap loans from the Federal Reserve, while clamoring for billions in bailout money that he swore it didn’t need.

Dimon can afford to be brazen. JPMorgan Chase is now the second most profitable company in the country. Why should he be worried about what might happen in another crisis, given that the Trump administration is in charge? With pro-business and pro-bailout thinking reigning supreme, what could go wrong?

Protect or Destroy?

There are, of course, supposed to be safeguards against freewheeling types like Dimon. In Washington, key regulatory bodies are tasked with keeping too-big-to-fail banks from wrecking the economy and committing financial crimes against the public. They include the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (an independent bureau of the Treasury), and most recently, under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (an independent agency funded by the Federal Reserve).

These entities are now run by men whose only desire is to give Wall Street more latitude. Former Goldman Sachs partner, now treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin caught the spirit of the moment with a selfie of his wife and him holding reams of newly printed money “like a couple of James Bond villains.” (After all, he was a Hollywood producer and even appeared in the Warren Beatty flick Rules Don’t Apply.) He’s making his mark on us, however, not by producing economic security, but by cheerleading for financial deregulation.

Despite the fact that the Republican platform in election 2016 endorsed reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, Mnuchin made it clear that he has no intention of letting that happen. In a signal to every too-big-not-to-fail financial outfit around, he also released AIG from its regulatory chains. That’s the insurance company that was at the epicenter of the last financial crisis. By freeing AIG from being monitored by the Financial Services Oversight Board that he chairs, he’s left it and others like it free to repeat the same mistakes.

Elsewhere, having successfully spun through the revolving door from banking to Washington, Joseph Otting, a former colleague of Mnuchin’s, is now running the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). While he’s no household name, he was the CEO of OneWest (formerly, the failed California-based bank IndyMac). That’s the bank Mnuchin and his billionaire posse picked up on the cheap in 2009 before carrying out a vast set of foreclosures on the homes of ordinary Americans (including active-duty servicemen and -women) and reselling it for hundreds of millions of dollars in personal profits.

At the Federal Reserve, Trump’s selection for chairman, Jerome Powell (another Mnuchin pick), has repeatedly expressed his disinterest in bank regulations. To him, too-big-to-fail banks are a thing of the past. And to round out this heady crew, there’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) head Mick Mulvaney now also at the helm of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose very existence he’s mocked.

In time, we’ll come to a reckoning with this era of Trumpian finance. Meanwhile, however, the agenda of these men (and they are all men) could lead to a financial crisis of the first order. So here’s a little rundown on them: what drives them and how they are blindly taking the economy onto distinctly treacherous ground.

Joseph Otting, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

The Office of the Comptroller is responsible for ensuring that banks operate in a secure and reasonable manner, provide equal access to their services, treat customers properly, and adhere to the laws of the land as well as federal regulations.

As for Joseph Otting, though the Senate confirmed him as the new head of the OCC in November, four key senators called him “highly unqualified for [the] job.” He will run an agency whose history snakes back to the Civil War. Established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, it was meant to safeguard the solidity and viability of the banking system. Its leader remains charged with preventing bank-caused financial crashes, not enabling them.

Fast forward to the 1990s when Otting held a ranking position at Union Bank NA, overseeing its lending practices to medium-sized companies. From there he transitioned to U.S. Bancorp, where he was tasked with building its middle-market business (covering companies with $50 million to $1 billion in annual revenues) as part of that lender’s expansion in California.

In 2010, Otting was hired as CEO of OneWest (now owned by CIT Group). During his time there with Mnuchin, OneWest foreclosed on about 36,000 people and was faced with sweeping allegations of abusive foreclosure practices for which it was fined $89 million. Otting received $10.5 million in an employment contract payout when terminated by CIT in 2015. As Senator Sherrod Brown tweeted all too accurately during his confirmation hearings in the Senate, “Joseph Otting is yet another bank exec who profited off the financial crisis who is being rewarded by the Trump Administration with a powerful job overseeing our nation’s banking system.”

Like Trump and Mnuchin, Otting has never held public office. He is, however, an enthusiastic proponent of loosening lending regulations. Not only is he against reinstating Glass-Steagall, but he also wants to weaken the “Volcker Rule,” a part of the Dodd-Frank Act that was meant to place restrictions on various kinds of speculative transactions by banks that might not benefit their customers.

Jay Clayton, the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934, in the wake of the crash of 1929 and in the midst of the Great Depression. Its intention was to protect investors by certifying that the securities business operated in a fair, transparent, and legal manner. Admittedly, its first head, Joseph Kennedy (President John F. Kennedy’s father), wasn’t exactly a beacon of virtue. He had helped raise contributions for Roosevelt’s election campaign even while under suspicion for alleged bootlegging and other illicit activities.

Since May 2017, the SEC has been run by Jay Clayton, a top Wall Street lawyer. Following law school, he eventually made partner at the elite legal firm Sullivan & Cromwell. After the 2008 financial crisis, Clayton was deeply involved in dealing with the companies that tanked as that crisis began. He advised Barclays during its acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ assets and then represented Bear Stearns when JPMorgan Chase acquired it.

In the three years before he became head of the SEC, Clayton represented eight of the 10 largest Wall Street banks, institutions that were then regularly being investigated and charged with securities violations by the very agency Clayton now heads. He and his wife happen to hold assets valued at between $12 million and $47 million in some of those very institutions.

Not surprisingly in this administration (or any other recent one), Clayton also has solid Goldman Sachs ties. On at least seven occasions between 2007 and 2014, he advised Goldman directly or represented its corporate clients in their initial public offerings. Recently, Goldman Sachs requested that the SEC release it from having to report its lobbying activities or payments because, it claimed, they didn’t make up a large enough percentage of its assets to be worth the bother. (Don’t be surprised when the agency agrees.)

Clayton’s main accomplishment so far has been to significantly reduce oversight activities. SEC penalties, for instance, fell by 15.5% to $3.5 billion during the first year of the Trump administration. The SEC also issued enforcement actions against only 62 public companies in 2017, a 33% decline from the previous year. Perhaps you won’t then be surprised to learn that its enforcement division has an estimated 100 unfilled investigative and supervisory positions, while it has also trimmed its wish list for new regulatory provisions. As for Dodd-Frank, Clayton insists he won’t “attack” it, but thinks it should be “looked” at.

Mick Mulvaney, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget

As a congressman from South Carolina, ultra-conservative Republican Mick Mulvaney, dubbed “Mick the Knife,” once even labeled himself a “right-wing nut job.” Chosen by President Trump in November 2016 to run the Office of Management and Budget, he was confirmed by Congress last February.

As he said during his confirmation hearings, “Each day, families across our nation make disciplined choices about how to spend their hard-earned money, and the federal government should exercise the same discretion that hard-working Americans do every day.” As soon as he was at the OMB, he took an axe to social programs that help everyday Americans. He was instrumental in creating the GOP tax plan that will add up to $1.5 trillion to the country’s debt in order to provide major tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals. He was also a key figure in selling the plan to the media.

When Richard Cordray resigned as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in November, Trump promptly selected Mick the Knife for that role, undercutting the deputy director Cordray had appointed to the post. After much debate and a court order in his favor, Mulvaney grabbed a box of Dunkin’ Donuts and headed over from his OMB office adjacent to the White House. So even though he’s got a new job, Mulvaney is never far from Trump’s reach.

The problem for the rest of us: Mulvaney loathes the CFPB, an agency he once called “a joke.” While he can’t unilaterally demolish it, he’s already obstructed its ability to enforce its government mandates. Soon after Trump appointed him, he imposed a 30-day freeze on hiring and similarly froze all further rule-making and regulatory actions.

In his latest effort to undermine American consumers, he’s working to defund the CFPB. He just sent the Federal Reserve a letter stating that, “for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, the Bureau is requesting $0.” That doesn’t bode well for American consumers.

Jerome “Jay” Powell, Federal Reserve

Thanks to the Senate confirmation of his selection for chairman of the board, Donald Trump now owns the Fed, too. The former number two man under Janet Yellen, Jerome Powell will be running the Fed, come Monday morning, February 5th.

Established in 1913 during President Woodrow Wilson’s administration, the Fed’s official mission is to “promote a safe, sound, competitive, and accessible banking system.” In reality, it’s acted more like that system’s main drug dealer in recent years. In the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, in addition to buying trillions of dollars in bonds (a strategy called “quantitative easing,” or QE), the Fed supplied four of the biggest Wall Street banks with an injection of $7.8 trillion in secret loans. The move was meant to stimulate the economy, but really, it coddled the banks.

Powell’s monetary policy undoubtedly won’t represent a startling change from that of previous head Janet Yellen, or her predecessor, Ben Bernanke. History shows that Powell has repeatedly voted for pumping financial markets with Federal Reserve funds and, despite displaying reservations about the practice of quantitative easing, he always voted in favor of it, too. What makes his nomination out of the ordinary, though, is that he’s a trained lawyer, not an economist.

Powell is assuming the helm at a time when deregulation is central to the White House’s economic and financial strategy. Keep in mind that he will also have a role in choosing and guiding future Fed appointments. (At present, the Fed has the smallest number of sitting governors in its history.) The first such appointee, private equity investor Randal Quarles, already approved as the Fed’s vice chairman for supervision, is another major deregulator.

Powell will be able to steer banking system decisions in other ways. In recent Senate testimony, he confirmed his deregulatory predisposition. In that vein, the Fed has already announced that it seeks to loosen the capital requirements big banks need to put behind their riskier assets and activities. This will, it claims, allow them to more freely make loans to Main Street, in case a decade of cheap money wasn’t enough of an incentive.

The Emperor Has No Rules

Nearly every regulatory institution in Trumpville tasked with monitoring the financial system is now run by someone who once profited from bending or breaking its rules. Historically, severe financial crises tend to erupt after periods of lax oversight and loose banking regulations. By filling America’s key institutions with representatives of just such negligence, Trump has effectively hired a team of financial arsonists.

Naturally, Wall Street views Trump’s chosen ones with glee. Amid the present financial euphoria of the stock market, big bank stock prices have soared. But one thing is certain: when the next crisis comes, it will leave the last meltdown in the shade because our financial system is, at its core, unreformed and without adult supervision. Banks not only remain too big to fail but are still growing, while this government pushes policies guaranteed to put us all at risk again.

There’s a pattern to this: first, there’s a crash; then comes a period of remorse and talk of reform; and eventually comes the great forgetting. As time passes, markets rise, greed becomes good, and Wall Street begins to champion more deregulation. The government attracts deregulatory enthusiasts and then, of course, there’s another crash, millions suffer, and remorse returns.

Ominously, we’re now in the deregulation stage following the bull run. We know what comes next, just not when. Count on one thing: it won’t be pretty.

Nomi Prins is a TomDispatch regular. Her new book, Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World (Nation Books), will be published this May. Of her six other books, the most recent is All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power. She is a former Wall Street executive. Special thanks go to researcher Craig Wilson for his superb work on this piece.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    They include the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (an independent bureau of the Treasury), and most recently, under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (an independent agency funded by the Federal Reserve).

    These agencies are nothing more than distractions to keep the rubes occupied with a glitzy show while their Confederates pick the pockets of the marks, Americans.

    Before the 2008 crash, years before, Harry Markopolos was warning the SEC, the FBI and finally the MSM about the coming crash of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and they ALL blew him off, either too lazy to do their jobs or most likely, too crooked.

    It’s interesting that the OCC was established during the Civil War, the war that Lincoln helped to finance by creating Greenbacks, instead of paying larcenous Wall Street bankers 24-36% interest. Abe must of known the banksters would try some shenanigans to force him to borrow from their greedy paws, so he had them watched.

    I’m not sure what all this current Wall Street madness is about, with DJ highs every week, but it’s still a bubble and the bigger it grows, the louder and more painful will be the explosion and the SEC and FED, Treasury and OCC will be singing the same sad lie, “We didn’t see it coming.”

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  2. m___ says:

    The absurdity of the attainment of value to realities that seven dimensions of physics cannot capture.

    Fiction, as in short-story writing, then “the banking system” is the novel, economic theory the Torah and Bible, the Koran as convenient. Banking has it’s own cryptic language, complexity as in chaos, then of course the higher layers of commenting require ex-bankers, ex-employees, to narrate linearly the story of the psychological attraction to alchemistic wealth creating.

    Non-fiction?!, then adding another layer to the real would only point to knowingly being complicit. Adhering to the script would then not break the magic of “the good and the bad”, the believe in the book of Economics. The respect for the priests celebrating mass, the rabbi putting his five cents, whatever the value at the time of declamation seems normative.

    The core of finance, is not even anchored in the energy expenditure of digital currencies, an algorithm that can be broken, a key and random seeds, but in the hands of a few old wary men of minority descend that throw the magical mist of mister sandman. It takes cranks to cater to the preposition.

  3. @Greg Bacon

    I’d say it’s about bringing Joe-Six Pack to his knees and while he’s there they’ll have the US military running rampant around the globe serving the nation that they really serve.

    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
  4. Glancing through the article I read nothing about the euro financial crisis, also not if, but when.
    Italian banks are collapsing, a real catastrophy, compared to Greece.
    Few in Europe know that an EU law exists that makes it possible to seize all bank accounts of anyone.
    Integration in EU banking now makes it possible to do this in a matter of seconds.
    Of course this integration has been sold to us as a great benefit for us.

    • Replies: @Michael Kenny
  5. This is not going to end well. Luv ur critical and analytical style Nomi Prins. It was pretty obvious from the start back in 2007 and then 2008 . QE only added fuel too the fire and we are all heading towards a financial inferno. 600 percent over leveraged Stockmarket in 2018 as opposed to 120 percent over leveraged Stockmarket of 2007. That is one hell of a fall. It is strange that in western countries we have the largest amount of post secondary educated populace in history but not one critical ,rational or objective thinker amongst us . The largest economic gap since the Gilded age and still our fellow western humans can’t see the grass from the trees or tell the difference.
    Post Criptum : It is so true the phrase IGNORANCE IS BLISS and as we Live Mussolini’s dream of Lo Stato Corporato The Corporate State all of us in the west would not know fascism even if it they r living in it as I write.

  6. Biff says:

    Presidents have been putting fox’s in charge of the financial hen house for centuries – I see nothing new with Trump (That is how they are selected for the voters anyway).

    What maybe changing in the years to come is the idea of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency. Once that paper ‘man behind the curtain’ is thought to be no longer useful, it’s a house of cards for the fiat dollar.

  7. Me. My dear fellow, you need not be so surprised…But how are things going up here? what is Athens about?

    Phi. Oh, nothing new; extortion, perjury, forty per cent, face-grinding.

    -Lucian of Samosata, MENIPPUS, A NECROMANTIC EXPERIMENT, ~150 AD

  8. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA its all nothing. There is such a thing as printing of money.
    Only hyperinflation would bring down the system. So everybody can relax.

  9. The Zionist bankers privately owned FED is the most dangerous diabolical tool that the Zionists have that is going to destroy America and this is a planned debt destruction with the laying on of unpayable debt on the backs of the American middle class, and make no mistake it is part of the plan for a Zionist NWO.

    This planned destruction began in 1913 with the Zionist central bank creation and the Zionist IRS also in 1913, with the creation of creating money out of thin air and loaning it to the government and the people at interest, when this money could be issued debt free by the government itself , but of course this would mean that the Zionist bankers would not have control over the U.S. without their FED monopoly.

    The time is coming and soon when the interest on the debt will be unpayable and the whole Ponzi scheme collapse and we will be thrust into the Zionist NWO which will maker Orwells 1984 seem like a walk in the park.

    Read THE PROTOCOLS OF ZION and the 10 planks of the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO to see what is happening to America.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
    , @Malla
  10. Another statist heard from. Mr. Priss is right in the one point, that the finances of government and private finances in America are in deep trouble. This is not something recent however. One could go back to the founding of the “Federal” “Reserve” bank back in 1913, or just 1971 or so from the abandonment of sound-money policy. The thing is, the American economy was so fundamentally strong all the way through even the 1980’s as it created wealth for America and 1/2 the rest of the world, that even with un-sound, government-created amounts of it, the US dollar could remain strong.

    Mr. Priss’s whole article is filled with his cntrl-left support of “more regulations”, “better regulations”, “yeah, run the FED better”, “go SEC, go Dodd-Frank”. It’s some idiotic thinking to believe you can make the economy better by clamping down on it with more regulation. Do you understand, Mr. Priss, that BIG FINANCE and BIG FERAL GOV go hand in hand? Are the Jamie Dimons, and all the big-money guys you rightfully deplore, gonna do worse under new regulations that they help write up? More regulation has the effect of screwing the small guy, in any business, with paperwork and threats of guys with guns shutting the place down due to any effort to “get things done without the bullshit.’

    You extoll taxpayer-supported worthless agencies like the CFPB, and next it’ll be OSHA, the CARB (just CA law, but screws over businesses across the nation). I’ve got a feeling you’ve never worked in any real job in your life, Mr. Priss, especially in a small business. Everything you and you cntrl-left buddies support is anti-small business!

    OK, that sounds contradictory, but that’s because you people don’t get one very basic point: The big money men will always do well when there’s something BIG GOV can help them with. Were the US Feral Gov not in the money business, the free market would allow any type of money that worked to be used. Our founders were pretty sure gold and silver would do the trick. Your screed here is anathema to people such as our founders and the great Andy Jackson who defeated the Central bank.

    END! THE! FED! …. by any means necessary.

    • Replies: @renfro
    , @renfro
  11. @jilles dykstra

    Because of the dollar’s role as world reserve currency, the financial crisis Ms Prins is referring to will affect the whole world, not only the US but the EU, Russia, China, Japan etc. There is thus no specific “euro crisis”. The reason why Italian banks are now supposedly collapsing is that there is an election in Italy on 4 March and the usual US anti-EU groups are hoping (yet again!) to use the result to destroy the euro. I don’t see that umpteenth attempt being any more successful than the previous ones, particularly with Schӓuble gone and Merkel discredited. I am unaware of any “EU law” making it possible to “seize all bank accounts of anyone” and can find no trace of it in any legal database. I would assume therefore that this comment is intended as anti-EU propaganda in view of the Italian election.

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Only uneducated children can’t see the revolving door between the mafia and the US Government. Social media tells us these people are so intensely hated the rich have no choice but to create a police state and monitor the children as they post on the internet.

  13. I’m just getting started, in the words of some guy in some movie I mostly forgot about. Mr. Priss thinks that Democrat party policy is the answer to our fiancial worries. Freakin’ ludicrous, dude! I didn’t know the stupidity level was that high yet. Time flies, I suppose …

    The debt of the US Feral Gov’t went up by 150% (or was it only 100%?) during the Obama administration. Nice job D’s. Nope, I’m not GOP fan either; that’s not the point. This debt has risen to inescapable levels from the 1980’s on, when the D’s broke the promise to keep domestic spending under control during the time of the military spending build-up. No administration of either wing of THE PARTY is willing to do anything about it, since the big money men are more powerful than the executive branch and have a stranglehold of the legislative branch that does the spending. This spending is enable by the fact that the FED can create money at will and manipulate interest rates below their natural level, with no FED necessary.

    Even my man Ron Paul, if he had any chance of having his way, would not be able to get us out of this $20,000,000,000,000 debt hole. It is about a couple of hundred grand for every (actual) tax-paying family in the country. How are you going to pay that back, unless you (oh, wait a minute …) inflate the hell out of the money supply, ruining anyone’s meager savings? Do you wonder why there are housing bubbles, when there is no safe place to park one’s money. Once interest rates rise to a natural rate (the price of money), the interest on this debt will become 30% or more of the damn budget! Even worse, about 10 X that amount in obligations exist, in SS, Medicare, etc. pension promises to people in all sorts of governments and private businesses.

    So, yes, Mr. Priss, we are in for a big crash. We’ve got something we agree on. The cause, however, is something that your constrained mind, has no way to get to the bottom of. Just clamp down more, run the bureaucracies better (hahahaaa!), that’ll do the trick, right?

    This is the big Commie/cntrl-left trick anyway, isn’t it? You hope things get completely fucked in a country due to your own people’s doings, then, when the people lose most everything including hope, you come in with “We’ve got the answer. We’re gonna regulate the ever-loving shit of you, for your own good! Power to some of us the people, brother!”

    Yeah, maybe you believe all the statist crap, Mr. Priss, but “when you point your finger cause your plans fell through, you’ve got three more fingers pointing back at you, yeah.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  14. TG says:

    Indeed. Well said.

    But, while I confess to not being a financial expert, perhaps the system is so rotten that there can’t be a financial meltdown, at least not in the normal sense. The government can always electronically print more money, and loan out infinite amounts at zero percent interest, and bail all the big companies out, and maybe a classic financial crisis is impossible.

    It may be, perhaps, that what we need to worry about is physical reality. In order to keep wages low, the government is massively growing our population. They are also outsourcing more and more manufacturing. We are self-sufficient in energy – for now – but may start to become dependent on imports of food before too long (our population is slated to pass 500 million by 2004, and still rising rapidly).

    So debt that we owe ourselves in our own currency really doesn’t matter. Debt that we owe foreigners in our own currency also doesn’t matter. However, if we are dependent on these foreigners for manufactured goods and food, that is a problem. And if our real physical investment in our own non-financial economy does not keep up, that is a problem. We could start to see inflation – but this would not be due to printing too much money, it would be due to there just not being enough to go around physically. So maybe we should do like Keynes used to do, and keep track of food production and consumption, and how much of our supply line comes from other nations. Those might be the real variables to keep an eye on.

    Because the zeroth law of economics is: physically impossible things won’t happen, the marginal rate of taxation on capital gains be damned.

  15. Joe Hide says:

    To Nomi Prins,
    Many of us grew up in a world that was not black and white. So when you paint current events in a mostly black brush, we have to sit back and wonder about your motives, and agendas, and the media, educational, and cultural programming you were influenced by.
    The obvious conclusion…
    Trump is the face of a powerful growing unwritten mandate by we non-pyschopath billions of humans for productive and beneficial change.
    Countering us is the deep state which has tentacles developed over decades reaching into and subverting governments, institutions, and knowledge sources.
    So for you to imply sudden and absolute changes are possible by one man, runs against most of our experiences in the real world.
    Do you remember how mathematicians justified Calculus, by assuming that small incremental changes are natural in the real world, and that they eventually lead up to macro-changes?
    We are witnesses a mathematical like new politics and state-craft that has never before been evident in our written history. I am led to believe that advanced software, super and quantum computers, and A.I. are being used by hidden behind the scene benificial forces to predict and alter possible near and far future outcomes for the better…


  16. I appreciate this information —-

    when ensuring fairness is mistaken for interference, someone’s going to pay.

  17. @Desert Fox

    You keep continuously upsetting me. There is no such thing as THE PROTOCOLS OF ZION.
    There is such thing as PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION.
    This indicates to me that you actually never read the protocols.
    I Did,
    There is nothing there except instructions what every ruling class is doing and should do.
    There was some peculiar thing there about French Jewish Doctors.
    But I do not know what it was. It was long time ago when I did read the Protocols…..

    Concerning Banks you are right. All Banks should be nationilized, and so they eventually will be nationalizided.

  18. @NoseytheDuke

    NoseytheDuke wisely & plain spokenly said: “I’d say it’s about bringing Joe-Six Pack to his knees and while he’s there they’ll have the US military running rampant around the globe serving the nation that they really serve.”

    Hi Nosey,

    Article author Nomi Prins did an outstanding job in naming the names & corresponding shady curriculum vitaes of the ZUS President Trump team, consisting of “financial arsonists.”

    However, by discussing the deliberate assault upon “Joe Six-Pack” fortunes, for me, your comment brought forth the administration’s unaccountsble license-to-steal into a level where US citizens (consumers!) have become a helplessly occupied nation & one divided into what a gospel presented as, “The Rich Man and Lazarus.”

    In ZUS government & banking systems sum, it really is “Too Big to Fail” and Too Big to Prosecute.

    I like how you think, NoseytheDuke.

    What’s more, it’s nauseating how deceptive are the ZUS government & Corporate Media’s presentation of rigged FACTS & STATISTICS as to how the ZUS robber (astronomic debt-fueled) economy is faring.

    FYI, Nosey, I like reading Conan Doyle’s “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” where one can gain insight into the minds of sharp criminal thieves. In short story “The Boscombe Valley Mystery,” with a chuckle, Holmes addressed Watson and said, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

    Joe Six-Packs are always the part thrown away. And as Nomi Prins ended this good article, “… then of course, there’s another crash, millions suffer, and remorse returns.” (Zigh)

    Will the circle of deceit be forever unbroken?

    Our Federal Reserve institutionalized government robbery is protected by invincible military neatness including it’s “on call” offensive intervention servive, except of course where needed, i.e., the bandit D.C. regime. W.T.F.? Lies are brighter than truth, and, it’s exactly how you pegged, Nosey, “… they’ll have the US military running rampant around the globe serving the nation that they really serve.”


    Selah, wise arsonists will heavily insure things prior to incineration.

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Trump appointed all of Clinton’s first choices. Nomi was working at Chase Manhattan, Bear Stearns and then Goldman Sachs with some of the same people during the original Clinton administration. It’s hard to tell exaclty when folks like Nomi retire to go work for the CIA to write propaganda. They are probably hired long before anyone knows who they are like Ralph Nader, Amy Goodman or Chris Hedges.

    The best slave countries have most of the population living in chains. Caring, parental personalities write stories and give interviews to remind the sheep how their merciful Government has some personel problems at the moment but all is not lost – wait until the next fake election.

    Wall Street’s media arm reminds patriotic slaves to pay a huge portion of their income to their masters, to commit themselves to death worship and obliteration of the self.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  20. Malla says:
    @Desert Fox

    And watch this video, Silent Weapons For Quite Wars Document.
    Man this document is scary. A must read (hear) how the globalists think about economics and how they study and manipulate populations and economies.

    Must Watch Must Watch Must Watch, the Protocols of Zion of our times.
    So you see economists convert economic systems into mechanical or electronic systems, use the science of electronics to find solutions and then reconvert them back into economic systems. All you have to know is the ‘codebook’ of conversion. Pretty smart.
    People who do not understand Operation Amplifiers (Electronics) can read about them here. You just need to know the basics.
    Op Amps are used basically to amplify the input signal but can be used via various configurations and feedbacks loops to perform operations such as addition of input signals being one example. You get Op Amps in the market as chips.

  21. The D.C. and N.Y.C. elite have long been absorbed by financial capital. Trump is one of the many; his administration is nothing new. There is always room in any Democratic or Republican administration for a “crew of ex-bankers and Goldman Sachs alumni.”

    Financial capital is dangerous. It controls just about everything.

  22. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    My guess is that with a GOYIM now being in charge of the FED, instead of a Chosen One, the fan is going to be mighty busy in the coming months.

    But have no fear, when the next FED bubble pops, they’ll explain to the huddled masses that the FED doens’t have enough thin air to reflate the economy and resuscitate the dead dollar, but that the IMF has an unlimited supply of thin air and they will gladly loan that to the FED.
    Since there will be a new fiat currency scheme, us slaves will be forced to trade in our worthless FED notes for the new improved currency, Goldmans Own Denomination, aka GOD. And for every $10 of the funny FED money we turn in, we’ll get one GOD!

    Yes, quite a bite, but we must all make sacrifices so that the 1% can continue to live like its 1788 France.

    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
  23. @Greg Bacon

    Greg Bacon said: “Since there will be a new fiat currency scheme, us slaves will be forced to trade in our worthless FED notes for the new improved currency, Goldmans Own Denomination, aka GOD. And for every $10 of the funny FED money we turn in, we’ll get one GOD!”

    Cool, Greg — “one GOD.”

    I predict you have made “Lowerarchy”elites rather envious by inventing a priceless- blasphemous name for the “new improved currency” to come & for the happiness of us “slaves.” *

    Very creative & thanks, Greg!

    Selah, what’s in your Wormwood wallet?

    * C.S. Lewis christened the Lowerachy in his satiric book, “The Screwtape Letters.” He died on the same day JFK was murdered.

  24. renfro says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Oh for gawds sake shut up with the whacko libertarian crap .
    Like a wind up dollies all you de regulators can say is…..end the Fed! end the government!, end this! end that!

    You clearly don’t understand what financial markets and banking is all about today or you’d be hollering…gimme some more regulation!”…if you had any money at stake.
    Cause cowboy….there aint no going back to the gold standard Paul days when folks paid their doctor bill with a dozen eggs and a chicken and your pal the Sherriff was the only law.
    Maybe since this is on film you will watch it and learn something…. average Americans with savings or investments and retirement account of any kind lost a third of their wealth in the 2008 crash thanks to de regulation …all told it added up to 12.8 trillion dollars Americans lost.


    I think you can find it for free on youtube.
    Here’s a review for those not familiar. I urge everyone to watch it.

    Movie review: ‘Inside Job’
    Charles Ferguson presents a clear-eyed, sobering, commendable account of how the global economic crisis developed.

    ”How did things go so horribly wrong?

    You have questions, “Inside Job” has answers. This documentary, narrated by Matt Damon, does a good job of explaining a complex story of credit and discredit. After watching Charles Ferguson’s powerhouse documentary about the global economic crisis, you will more than understand what went down — you will be thunderstruck and boiling with rage.

    For this smart and confident film, thick with useful information conveyed with cinematic verve, lays out in comprehensive but always understandable detail the argument that the meltdown of 2008 was no unfortunate accident. Rather, the film posits, it was the result of an out-of-control finance industry that took unethical advantage of decades of deregulation. It’s enough to make you want to keep your money in a mattress.
    Ferguson, who wrote and directed the excellent Oscar-nominated “No End in Sight,” about the U.S. occupation of Iraq, is ideally positioned to deliver the kind of thorough-going, persuasive analysis that “Inside Job” provides.
    Neither a film school graduate nor an ideologue, Ferguson is rather a well-connected academic who has a doctorate in political science from MIT, was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and has been a consultant for high-tech firms such as Apple, Intel and Xerox.
    Those connections and that background give the film assets many documentaries lack. For one thing, it has given Ferguson access to the kind of authoritative insiders who usually don’t appear on camera, including International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, French Minister of Finance Christine Lagarde and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
    Ferguson’s credentials, and his sense of outrage, give him the intelligence to ask the tough questions and the willingness to do so. More than one of “Inside Job’s” talking heads look seriously disconcerted when the filmmaker says things like “You can’t be serious” and “Forgive me, that’s clearly not true.” Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia University business school, is so flustered he snaps, “You have three more minutes. Give it your best shot.”…..continued

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  25. renfro says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    . The thing is, the American economy was so fundamentally strong all the way through even the 1980′s as it created wealth for America and 1/2 the rest of the world, that even with you live on planet earth?

    We had a depression in the early eighties —some effects of which persisted into the early 90’s.
    Interest rates ran 16%, unemployment 10%, the Saving and Loan deregulation sent S&L execs crazy with visions of riches and bad loans and caused 1000’s of failures which the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC), which insured the deposits in failed S&Ls, had to bail out at a cost of $160 billion.
    The average cost to every taxpayer of that deregulation of S&L’s was around $16,000 each.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  26. @Anonymous

    Goethe said that “no man is more enslaved that he who falsely believes himself to be free” and no people believe themselves to be more free than the American people themselves.

  27. @renfro

    You just can’t even imagine anything resembling freedom and how that works, can you Renfo? Banks have been regulated for a long, long time. Money has been regulated for a long long time. People wouldn’t have had to leave their money in banks that were supposedly “safe” due to the FDIC if it wasn’t for government regulation of all things financial. People make very damn sound decisions when their money isn’t “backed up” by the taxpayers, like, pretty much, themselves.

    The early ’80’s depression was a hold-over from the Jimmy Carter malaise years due to heavy inflation – interest rates were raised sharply by FED chairman Volcker which took care of inflation. It’s not that we needed the FED, as if the US dollar hadn’t been made free to float from all monetary reality in. 1971 (Nixon) the inflation wouldn’t have happened in the 1st place, and interest rates would have been set by the market at the “time value of money”.)

    Talk about your financial knowledge deficiencies …. where you from, boy? Squeal like a pig for me, will ya?

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  28. @renfro

    I’ve never hollered for more regulations, and I never will. The people that make the regulations are the same big money men, or their paid lackies that you rightfully have a problem with, Renfro. It’s people like you that have never even seen a free day in your lives, because maybe you’re too young, and your parents never related enough stories to you, that want BIG GOV to come save them. All the problems that you say you need more regulation to solve are problems created by regulations to begin with.

    Cause cowboy….there aint no going back to the gold standard Paul days when folks paid their doctor bill with a dozen eggs and a chicken and your pal the Sherriff was the only law.

    Who knows, once the SHTF, you may be better off with some chickens, and Dr. Paul may not see you even then (firstly, because you can’t have babies, and maybe he’s sick and tired of people who’ve supported the decades-long socialist slide in this county.)

    I may see your advertised documentary, nonetheless, as I’d probably be in agreement with the guy on a lot, but it sounds like he never gets to the really basic causes. As far “might as well leave my money in a mattress”, well, to buck the system he should have just done that, rather than bitching about it – and he’d have been definitely better off not run his mouth if he had.

    • Replies: @renfro
  29. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is some sort of protective agency for CONSUMERS???

    On what planet was the author born? CFPB was a leftist protection racket designed to punish non-conforming banks and funnel millions of dollars in penalties to leftist causes:

    “Hey! Nice-looking bank ya got dere! Be a shame if anything was to happen to it!”

    CFPB is to “consumers”, as KKK is to “crosses”!

  30. renfro says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    It’s people like you that have never even seen a free day in your lives, because maybe you’re too young, and your parents never related enough stories to you, that want BIG GOV to come save them

    That’s funny. I am probably older than you or as old. I owned 2 companies before I retired, a highway construction firm and a beer distributorship… I know all about regulations, believe me.
    My father and his 5 brothers all owned their own businesses, my three brothers all own their own businesses, 13 of my 17 cousins all own their on businesses. Big government has never given us anything.

    But it has cost us by not enforcing some regulations and not regulating the financial markets that effect consumers.

    I don’t know what you do but if you don’t get the big picture about how lack of financial regulations contribute to market crashes that effect the economy and therefore everyone’s business …well then you just don’t get it.

    I’m not going to argue with you about it though….so good luck.

  31. @Achmed E. Newman

    Regulations is just another way of describing laws. America is supposed to be a nation where laws matter. Are you suggested that the people should be governed by laws but banks should not? That’s just silly. You question another commenters deficiencies in the knowledge of economics so allow me to question yours regarding history. Banks have caused inflation and deflation to serve their greed at the expense of the people ever since moneylending began. WJ Clinton abolished Glass-Steagal regulations which gave the world the last financial crisis and the next. Back to school for you, you self-confessed butt-fucker that you claimed to be in your last comment. Ugh!

  32. @NoseytheDuke

    Right, so going back to school is supposed to set me straight. Sure, sure. They are the most statist institutions we have in our country. I don’t see how you have come to understand that banks cause inflation and deflation, unless you meant central banks. You have to be able to make money, the easy way, by printing or adding “1”s and “0”s in a computer file, like central banks do, as inflation of prices is caused by an increase in the money supply.

    Banks were originally made to store money, real money that is, meaning silver and gold. Then, they issued paper certificates to represent the gold stored, but those pieces of paper could be redeemed back for the gold. Could they rip people off? Sure, but theft has been against the law, like, forever. The 1st bank of Greentown cannot create money, though.

    I’ll have to repeat myself since it doesn’t seem like you understood: Big Gov and Big banking go hand in hand, but the bankers only have lots to gain when they can get governments to do their bidding – that only works when government has lots of power (for example when a country founded by the wisest people to have ever founded a nation is full of people who don’t defend their legacy, the Constitution). Big government has lots of power via regulation, to make sure any small honest businesses don’t stand a chance.

    How far do you think you’d get opening your own bank, before you got regulated right out the back door? I mentioned schools – do you think if you and some neighbors (maybe ex-engineers to teach math, out-of-work writers to teach English) tried to form a low-cost high-learning school for the neighborhood you’d last more than a day before 10 alphabet agencies shut the whole show down?

  33. @NoseytheDuke

    The next financial crisis is not gonna be due to the lack of Glass-Steagal. The FED has made money cheap to borrow for a decade now, causing a big bubble in stocks and just causing people, pension funds, anyone trying to get a return, to put it into risky investments.

    The US debt is only twice as large as it was in 2008, and consumers are borrowing via the student loan racket*, auto loans, and credit cards to try to live the lifestyle of yesteryear while the American economy does not create enough real wealth to back it up. What happens next is not gonna be pretty.


    * Speaking of Big-Gov induced problems, the backing of all of these loans by the US Feral Gov is allowing students to borrow mortgage-sized amounts of money for 4 years of fun studying in ANY field. The banks have nothing to lose, only the taxpayers do. See here, here, here, here, and here for details on the university bubble.)

  34. Dr. Doom says:

    @Ilyana_Rozumova Russo Oligarch? Fancy meeting you here. Read the Protocols? Just business as usual. Sad. An admission if not a confession. Donnie isn’t doing a good job. People are not falling for this low rent conman. He looks good on TV for entertainment, but he lacks the sincerity or the vision to make it on such a high perch. You all keep getting such bad actors. This isn’t going well.
    The World is about to change. Your time is coming to an end. About time. You suck. I’ve seen better lying on the street than the Lugenpresse. Its that bad.
    There is going to be change sooner than later. Total change takes time, but this story has to go a certain way. The writer is finicky about major plot changes. Its time for the Hand to come out from Behind the Curtain and make this right. Not sure how yet. You have screwed this pooch bad. I’m thinking.


  35. Anonymous [AKA "barndog"] says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Good Dire straits song but nothing Knopfler did subsequently compares to the first 2 albums. A precipitous fall from great heights.

    Whining about the “debt” shows a naive lack of understanding, you only need consider one basic fact, the scum from Jekyll Island print that green garbage from thin air. Illusory money can not create real debt.

    Sure if they ever wanted another depression, they’d start screaming that sh*t is real.

    Full Bluntal Nugity – power over your life. Speaking of underrated guitarists – the nuge killed it during that period.

  36. Paulv says:

    The Euro zone is a net creditor with no trade deficit. Even the periphery is running trade surpluses. What is wrong with the Euro is what is right with it.

    The US has way bigger problems than Europe.

  37. Not till they get your guns!
    I’m pretty sure thats why all the false flag shootings are happening.
    They want to disarm America before the next big robbery.
    Wall St is crashing, we’re looking at another major collapse probably bigger than ever before, the whole world is sick of America, the dollar is worthless….
    Anyway, they want to disarm us before they do this last big heist, they know that most people are aware of who is responsible now, even dumb rednecks and 90 year olds that don’t know how to use the internet know now, so they know when they crash it this time folks are gonna be out for scalps.
    I don’t blame em, if I were about to rob someone blind, again, take everything that they own, worked so hard for, I would want them to be armed only with sticks and stones too.
    Makes sense when you look at it from the psychopaths point of view.

  38. Miro23 says:

    Crucially, that law didn’t force banks to separate the deposits of everyday Americans from Wall Street’s complex derivatives transactions. In other words, it didn’t resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 (axed in the Clinton era).

    That looks like an important point. Wall St profits from creating the leverage and risk while the public are the dummies that provide the guarantee.

    The US would probably have been better off if banking and credit creation (not to say taxation and spending) had never left the local (state and county) level = no FED, no national debt, no government deficits. At the local level, lenders and borrowers know each other with more trust and less anonymity, and they’re not going to fund an Iraq war. Also if they have to, States and counties can no doubt arrange their own education, healthcare, policing etc. without Washington’s help.

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