Posts Tagged ‘Dept of Treasury’
Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
How Jack ‘Bailout Bonus’ Lew Got To Treasury
As I and many others have pointed out for years, unless you are a crony Wall Street welfare queen you can pretty much forget about any high level position in the Obama Administration. Barack made that clear from day one when he decided to surround himself with two of the people at the core of the 2008 financial crisis, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. The trend is simply continuing with the current nominee for Treasury Secretary: Jack “Bailout Bonus” Lew. The revolving door is institutionalized and at this point as reliable as a Swiss watch.
Read more at ZeroHedge.com
Jim Grant spends exactly the correct amount of time (zero) discussing the “urban myth’ of the trillion dollar coin in this brief interview on CNBC; instead deciding to try and strike up some intelligent understanding of the dire situation we face. By providing context for our massive 16 trillion dollar debt (360 million pounds of $100 bills), and explaining how exponential the idiocy has become, Grant brings us full circle as he explains to the money-honey that once upon a time our debt was backed by gold, and “there was only so much gold and so many dollars,” thus limiting our exuberance, but “now we have neither the gold covering the dollar nor do we have interest rates constraining us [thanks to Bernanke et al.]; the only thing remaining to constrain us is some sort of civil discussion, a numerate discussion about the debt,” which it appears the bespectacled and bow-tie-bound bond brain-box hopes is possible. “The debt has increased twice as fast as federal receipts,” he warns, adding correctly that “the United States is truly submerging.”
Read more at ZeroHedge.com
News reports indicate that President Obama will appoint White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace Tim Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. The Associated Press applauds Obama’s choice, telling us that Lew is a “pragmatic liberal” who “is well-liked in Washington by both Democrats and Republicans.” What the AP doesn’t tell us is that Lew has made signal contributions to the culture of lies, dishonesty and lack of transparency that characterizes the Obama administration.
Read more by John Hinderaker at PowerLineBlog.com
With Spanish 10Y yields hovering at a ‘relatively’ healthy 5%, having been driven inexorably lower on the promise of ECB assistance at some time in the future, the market has become increasingly unsure of just who it is that keeps bidding for this stuff. Well, wonder no longer. As the WSJ notes, Spain has been quietly tapping the country’s richest piggy bank, the Social Security Reserve Fund, as a buyer of last resort for Spanish government bonds - with at least 90% of the €65 billion ($85.7 billion) fund has been invested in increasingly risky Spanish debt. Of course, this is nothing new, the US (and the Irish) have been using quasi-government entities to fund themselves in a mutually-destructive circle-jerk for years - the only difference being there are other buyers in the Treasury market, whereas in Spain the marginal buyer is critical to support the sinking ship. The Spanish defend the use of pension funds to buy bonds as sustainable as long as it can issue bonds - and yet the only way it can actually get the bonds off in the public markets is through using the pension fund assets. The pensioners sum it up perfectly “We are very worried about this, we just don’t know who’s going to pay for the pensions of those who are younger now,” or those who are older we would add.
Read more at ZeroHedge.com
Treasury, Labor on path to nationalize retirement
Two years ago, as WND reported, the Obama administration was proceeding with a novel way to finance trillion-dollar budget deficits by forcing IRA and 401(k) holders to buy Treasury bonds by mandating the placement of government-structured annuities in their retirement accounts.
Remarkably, those financial professionals specializing in private retirement savings and the U.S. citizens investing in private retirement plans now face the possibility the Obama administration and its allies on the political left will impose rules and regulations that effectively abolish the private retirement savings and investment markets.
Recent evidence suggests government officials continue to eye the multi-trillion dollar private retirement savings market, including IRAs and 401(k) plans, eyeing the opportunity to redistribute private retirement savings to less affluent Americans and to force the retirement savings out of the private market and into government-controlled programs investing in government-issued debt.
Read more by Jerome Corsi at WND.com
Several months ago, an ad hoc consortium of self-proclaimed millionaires, sent a letter to Obama, Reid and Boehner, demanding that “For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you increase taxes on incomes over $1,000,000.” This grass roots initiative sprung up into existence in the aftermath of Warren Buffett’s, since defunct, proposal to impose a “millionaire tax” rule.
–SNIP– Luckily, as all these very much informed millionaires know quite well, the US Treasury has a dedicated section, named simply pay.gov, which allows anyone: billionaires (here’s looking at you Mr. Buffett), millionaire, or even thousandaire, to make a donation which is used directly to pay down the US debt. Because in the absence of the government mandating rich people pay their “fair share” (as determined by a subcommittee of course) for now at least, there is always that other alternative: voluntary action, as per the auspices of something called free will.
And not only that, but the US Treasury also provides the general public with a running tally of just how much “Patriotic Millionaire” initiatives have given so far to paying down said debt. As in talk is cheap, signing petitions even cheaper, but putting money where your mouth is actually does go to the bottom line.
The bottom line so far in 2012? $7.7 Million - this is how much has been volunteered in total gifts to pay down the US debt. The $16.3 trillion in US debt.
Read more at ZeroHedge.com
TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO:
“We’re going to be gifted with a health care plan we are forced to purchase, and fined if we don’t, which purportedly covers at least 10 million new people without adding a single new doctor, but…….
- provides for 16,000 new IRS agents,
- written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it,
- passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but exempted themselves from it, and
- signed by a President who smokes,
- with funding administered by a Treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes,
- for which we will be taxed for 4 years before any benefits take effect
- by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare,
- all to be overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that’s broke.
So what the **** could possibly go wrong?”
The Federal Reserve’s announcement last month that it would continue Operation Twist—selling short-term Treasury securities and using the money to buy longer-term bonds—vividly demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of Ben Bernanke. The idea behind Operation Twist was that it would lower the rates of mortgages and corporate bonds, which would, in turn, rev up the economy. The failure since 2008 of promiscuous money printing and interest rate manipulation to reboot our stagnant economy has made no impression on Bernanke and the institution he heads. That such continuous failure has not led to soul-searching at the Fed, the White House, the Treasury Department, the mainstream media, Congress and the economics profession is astounding.
Read more by Steve Forbes at Forbes.com
Americans are either celebrating or damning the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that the individual mandate is constitutional.
–SNIP– If America wants to overturn current legal norms America needs to elect different politicians. But with a greater and greater welfare-bound population, it seems inevitable that more and more Americans will vote themselves greater and greater quantities of free stuff.
Yet there is a bigger point to all of this, and it’s nothing to do with broccoli.
If Congress can constitutionally create a mandate for individuals to purchase healthcare, then Congress can create a mandate for individuals to purchase financial securities. Which — given the fiscal cliff that we are about to run off, and the reality that more and more sovereigns are dumping dollars and treasuries — could well be a useful weapon in keeping the Treasury’s borrowing costs low and the bread and circuses flowing.
Read more by John Aziz at azizonomics.com
Are you concerned about growing income inequality in America? Are you resentful of all that wealth concentrated in the 1 percent? I’ve got the perfect solution, a modest proposal that involves just a small adjustment in the Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy. Best of all, it will mean that none of us have to work for a living anymore.
For several years now, the Fed has been making money available to the financial sector at near-zero interest rates. Big banks and hedge funds, among others, have taken this cheap money and invested it in securities with high yields. This type of profit-making, called the “carry trade,” has been enormously profitable for them.
So why not let everyone participate?
Under my plan, each American household could borrow $10 million from the Fed at zero interest. The more conservative among us can take that money and buy 10-year Treasury bonds. At the current 2 percent annual interest rate, we can pocket a nice $200,000 a year to live on. The more adventuresome can buy 10-year Greek debt at 21 percent, for an annual income of $2.1 million. Or if Greece is a little too risky for you, go with Portugal, at about 12 percent, or $1.2 million dollars a year. (No sense in getting greedy.)
By Sheila Bair at Washington Post
The U.S. tax code is a complete and utter abomination and it needs to be thrown out entirely. Nobody in their right mind would ever read the whole thing - it is over 3 million words long. Each year, Americans spend billions of hours and hundreds of billions of dollars trying to comply with federal tax requirements. Sadly, it is the honest, hard working Americans in the middle class that always get hit the hardest. The tax code is absolutely riddled with loopholes that big corporations and the ultra-wealthy use to minimize their tax burdens as much as possible. Many poor people do not pay any income taxes at all. The dishonest are rewarded for cheating on their taxes (if they can get away with it) and the ultra-wealthy have moved trillions of dollars to offshore tax havens where they can avoid U.S. taxation altogether. Our system is incredibly unfair to the millions of hard working people in the middle class and upper middle class that drag themselves out of bed and go to work each day and try to do the right thing. In addition, the current U.S. tax system is incredibly inefficient, it diverts a tremendous amount of resources away from more valuable economic activities, and it has chased thousands of businesses and trillions of dollars out of the United States. The U.S. tax code is such a complete and utter mess at this point that it can never be “fixed”. The only rational thing to do is to abolish it completely, and any politician that tells you otherwise is lying to you.
The following are 24 outrageous facts about taxes in the United States that will blow your mind….
Read more at theeconomiccollapseblog.com