Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: banks

Trump Administration Tips Its Hand, Oks Third Greek Bailout

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 17, 2017:

It took EURACTIV, the online source that focuses on European policymaking, to report that the Trump administration has signaled that, previous protestations to the contrary, it won’t object to a third Greek bailout. The anonymous Trump administration tipster told its reporters: “We’re looking for the Europeans to help Greece to resolve its economic problems by the Fund [the International Monetary Fund], despite the criticism of many Republicans regarding the two previous bailout programs in 2010 and 2012.”

This anonymous tip kicks to the curb protestations voiced by Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin in February that

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Trump’s Strange Reversal on Ex-Im Bank: Names One Opposed to It to Run It?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 17, 2017:

English: Congressman Justin Amash

Congressman Justin Amash

When Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) learned on Friday that President Trump intended to resuscitate the Export-Import Bank by naming two people to its board (it has been limping along with just three out of five board members present), he nailed it, tweeting, “ExIm corporate welfare bank is the symbol of D.C. cronyism. It steals from taxpayers to subsidize big corporations. End ExIm. Drain the Swamp.”

For a while it looked as if the Ex-Im Bank was for all intents and purposes dead. In 2015, the House failed to renew its charter for the first time since 1945. However,

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Simmering Greek Financial Crisis Explodes Once Again

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 15, 2016:  

Under the terms of its last bailout, Athens (above) was required not only to continue to impose harsh austerity terms (higher taxes, less government spending, better accountability, and increased tax collection enforcement onto Greek citizens) but to inform the unelected “higher” European authorities of any change in those terms by Athens.

Last week Athens unilaterally

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Civilization’s Thin Veneer

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 14, 2016:  

The dictionary defines civilization as “an ideal state of human culture characterized by a complete absence of barbarism and non-rational behavior.” Rich Galen thinks a better definition is living in a “constant state of positive assumptions.”

Many of those assumptions are coming into question, with many more already proven to be false. One of them is that pension plans are safe, that promises made will be kept, and that the assumptions underlying those plans regarding rates of return on invested assets are reasonable and that they virtually guarantee predictable results.

Those positive assumptions vanished last summer in Athens when

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Mutt and Jeff? Laurel and Hardy? Crosby and Hope? Preibus and Bannon?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 16, 2016:  

Cover of "The Road to Hong Kong"

The Mutt and Jeff comic strip began in 1907 and lasted until 1983, with Al Smith drawing them for nearly 50 years. The slapstick comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy played to audiences from 1927 to 1950 while Bing Crosby and Bob Hope made seven “Road” films starting in 1940 and ending with “the Road to Hong Kong” in 1962. An eighth “Road” film was planned in 1977, “The Road to the Fountain of Youth,” but it was canceled when Crosby died of a heart attack that year.

Question: how long is the “co-equal” partnership of Reince Preibus and Steve Bannon likely to last?

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Trump’s First Challenge: the Iranian Nuclear Deal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 11, 2016:  

On Wednesday Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned Donald Trump to keep his hands off the nuclear deal he and Secretary of State John Kerry made last year:

Every U.S. president has to understand the realities of today’s world. The most important thing is that the future U.S president sticks to agreements.

Whether Trump agrees with Zarif, or not, will likely be among the very first decisions he’ll be forced to make in January. During his campaign Trump repeatedly called the Iran nuclear deal “the worst deal ever negotiated,” a “disaster,” and said that it could lead to a “nuclear holocaust.” In March he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, “My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”

Iran is making Trump’s decision easy.

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Trump Adds to His List of Advisors

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 10, 2016:  

English: Deck of cards used in the game piquet

In March, Donald Trump trotted out an early list of foreign-policy advisors on whom he would be relying if he were elected president. In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump said, “I can give you some of the names … Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives Caucus, and counter-terrorism expert; Carter Page, PhD; George Papadopoulos — he’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy; the Honorable Joseph Schmitz, [former] inspector general at the Department of Defense; [retired] Gen. Keith Kellogg; and I have quite a few more.”

In August he added “quite a few more” and then, the day after he was elected, Trump added still more, this time in the economic policy area.

There are at least four “wild cards” in the deck that Trump is building,

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Saudi Arabia to Sell $10 Billion in Bonds to Shore Up Its Finances

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 19, 2016:  

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Oil ministers from Saudi Arabia have been traveling the world doing investment “roadshows” to promote their $10-billion bond offering that hits the markets this week. In so doing, they must disclose the risks investors could be taking, and then price the bonds according to those risks.

The Saudis appear to be paying the price for losing their bet about American oil producers. In November 2014 they made a massive wager that they could

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Trump Advisor Publishes Story About Clinton Campaign Repeatedly Charging One-time Donors

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 21, 2016:  

Back in March Carol Mahre, an 81-year-old grandmother and lifelong Democrat, decided to contribute $25 to the Hillary for America campaign. She gave a staff member her account information and on March 16 $25 was deducted from her US Bank checking account.

Later that day another $25 was deducted from her account. On March 29 $19 was deducted from her account, payable to the Hillary for America campaign.

She tried unsuccessfully to get the campaign to reverse the charges and asked her son Roger, a local attorney in Maplewood, Minnesota, for help. He picked up where she left off,

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The Global Recession Claims its First Victim: Hanjin Shipping

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, September 9, 2016:  

English: Hanjin container ship

One of Hanjin’s container ships looking for a place to unload.

When the question about a tree falling in the forest is asked, it’s usually posed as a philosophical one: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The question is never asked: “What if someone is around who doesn’t want to hear it?”

That appears to explain the kept media’s deafness over the state of the global economy. Even when the Wall Street Journal reported on the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh largest container shipping company, not one word was spent on asking why. Instead

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What Happens After Venezuela Destroys its Currency?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 29, 2016:  

English: THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. At a joint press...

Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin

Venezuela is unable to pay its currency printers. Those printers have been flying in planeloads of currency in the middle of the night, landing at airports where it is offloaded onto trucks to be dispersed to banks throughout the country. In other words, Venezuela doesn’t have the money to pay for its money.

The destruction of the currency, the bolivar fuerte (“strong bolivar”), has been documented at The New American and elsewhere. When oil prices dropped, so did revenues to fund the various socialist welfare schemes put in place by the communist Hugo Chávez and continued by his protégé, Nicolás Maduro, at Chavez’s passing in March 2013. Instead of reining in those unaffordable programs, socialist economists instead decided to print their way out of the crisis.

The results were predictable, and catastrophic.

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Nothing is Likely to Change in Brazil

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 20, 2016: 

One of Warren Buffett’s favorite expressions is “when the tide goes out, everyone will see who’s been swimming naked.”  In Brazil the tide went out at the start of the Great Recession and now the whole world can see who was swimming naked.

When President Lula was elected in 2002 the commodity boom was underway, and Brazil was enjoying the ride. Its major exports are soybeans, sugar, and iron ore, and under Lula Brazil’s GDP was running 10 percent a year. Lula implemented major expansions of the welfare state, including putting in place such generous pension plans that state workers could retire at age 54 for men and at age 52 for women at 90 percent of their final pay. The average Brazilian’s household income rose, and statists worldwide pointed to Brazil’s success story, naming it as one of the BRIC countries that would soon overtake the developed nations of the world, and doing it while expanding government spending.

But when Dilma Rousseff took over in 2011 the Great Recession was revealing the true nature of spending far beyond the ability of the economy to sustain it. In 2014 the government’s finances were in such dreadful shape that

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Are Federal Bailouts of States’ Pension Plans Inevitable?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 13, 2016:

English: Devin Nunes, U.S. Representative from California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

California Representative Devin Nunes, a middle-of-the-road Republican from the state’s 22ndDistrict with a middling voting record (a Freedom Index rating of just 53), got something right: he sees the coming implosion of underfunded pension and health care plans across the country, and offered a bill to do something about it: force the states and the pension managers to tell the truth about the numbers:

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Revolving Credit Lines to Oil Industry Pose New Hazards to Banks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 12, 2016:  

One Wells Fargo Center – Charlotte, North Caro...

One Wells Fargo Center – Charlotte, North Carolina

As earnings season on Wall Street starts, investors in the big banks are just now learning about unfunded revolving lines of credit (revolvers) that those banks extended to oil and energy related companies when times were better.

Ten of the largest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo, just disclosed that they have $147 billion in unfunded revolvers, which are likely to expand their exposure to the energy industry just when they would rather reduce it.

Those banks have been setting aside loan loss reserves amounting to billions in anticipation of the inevitable:

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Wall Street Pouring Billions Into Oil Companies

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 8, 2016:  

English: Logo of the Hess Corporation

Wall Street investors have started pouring billions into the energy sector, persuaded that prices not only of crude oil but stocks of energy companies have hit bottom. They just might be premature.

Pioneer Natural Resources has sold $1.6 billion in new stock since the first of the year, while Devon Energy has sold $1.5 billion. Hess Corporation and Marathon Oil have each enjoyed an influx of

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It’s a Short-Covering Rally in Oil and Oil Stocks

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 9, 2016:  

With crude oil up more than 30 percent over the last week, and companies like SeaDrill and Chesapeake Energy up 125 percent and 250 percent, respectively, over the last five days, short covering has persuaded some that the bottom is in. Investors, especially short sellers, in the oil patch need lots of risk capital, a high risk tolerance, and a short memory.

Goldman Sachs called it a

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Pollyanna in Houston: False Optimism Pervades Oil Conference

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 29, 2016:

Cover of "Pollyanna"

Cover of Pollyanna

Author Eleanor Porter would be proud. Not only did her 1913 children’s book Pollyanna establish the “Pollyanna Principle” (someone with an excessively optimistic outlook despite facing all manner of difficulties), it set in motion eleven sequels by Elizabeth Borton or Harriet Lammis Smith. There were movies starting Mary Pickford and Hayley Mills.

All three authors were present in Houston last week, at least in spirit. First,

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Maduro’s Venezuela: Proof that Socialism is a form of Mental Illness

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 19, 2016:  

Craig Andresen, writing for the National Patriot, described socialism as a mental disorder:

Socialism is a disease. It’s a mental affliction and it causes those infected with it to lose their minds.

 

It’s also contagious.

Now there’s proof positive:

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U.S. Attorney for New York is Swimming in a Sea of Opportunity

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 2, 2015:  

English: New York State Assembly Speaker Sheld...

English: New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver holding a press conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preet Bharara’s resume is impressive. Born in India and raised in Eatontown, New Jersey, he graduated from Ranney School, an independent, highly-regarded college preparatory school, in 1986 as valedictorian of his class. From there he went to Harvard College, graduating magna com laude (with great honor) four years later. He received his J.D. (juris doctor) in 1993 from Columbia Law School where he served on the Columbia Law Review.

After a stint as Sen. Chuck Schumer’s chief counsel, he served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Manhattan for five years, successfully prosecuting bosses of the Gambino and Columbo crime families.

When he was nominated for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York by President Obama in 2009, he breezed through Senate confirmation with no dissents.

Since that time he has scored impressive victories, prosecuting successfully more than

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Congress Votes to Raid Fed’s Slush Fund to Pay for Highways

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 23, 2015:  

In its never-ending quest to spend money it doesn’t have, but not wanting to raise taxes, especially during the current election cycle, on Thursday, November 5 Congress passed a $325-billion, six-year transportation bill that is to be financed by selling off some of the country’s strategic petroleum reserves and raiding the Federal Reserve.

In its editorial complaint about the bill, the Washington Post said

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.