Hello Fellow Economic Reformers:
Welcome to the new recipients of this newsletter! Some of you signed up for a followup at the recent Earth Days and Left Forum events and I will have a more personal outreach for you next month. Meanwhile, old and new readers of this irregular newsletter - now numbering 904 recipients - I hope you will find this addition useful and helpful. As always, let me know if you wish to be removed from the list.
Most of the recipients of this newsletter are interested in larger economic issues, however, so I'll move on. Those who are interested in more details about our local NYC group can join the Economic Reform group and read Common Ground-NYC Docs here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EconomicReform/files/.
When brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State. [ 34 ]- Advertisement -
Fascism then, was at the time, full of optimism towards the future. Too few saw the dark clouds of the coming nightmare. Does this apply again today?[The state] is not simply a mechanism which limits the sphere of the supposed liberties of the individual... Neither has the Fascist conception of authority anything in common with that of a police ridden State... Far from crushing the individual, the Fascist State multiplies his energies, just as in a regiment a soldier is not diminished but multiplied by the number of his fellow soldiers. [ 34 ]
Are the problems in Europe enough to tilt the sub-continent back towards a fascist one-region government? Consider a recent Reuters article (click here):
I'm still waiting to see if the pen is mightier than the sword, but here's the rest of the article on Op Ed News:
and here on Huffington Post:
The Instant Solution to the New Depression: Debt-free Money
Now, some of you may be thinking, "Well, sure, it's easy for a photogenic 12-year old to get noticed" but in fact, just the opposite is true. How many 12-year olds do you listen to on matters of reforming the economy, or any other major societal change, for that matter? No, people are listening because Victoria's message was succinct, inspiring, and most importantly, correct. It is worth not just watching her delivery for its content, but also to learn how all of us may better deliver our message. Maybe we really don't need to "wow" people with our erudition. Maybe we don't need to cover every factoid in a world with a limited attention span, already bombarded by supposedly urgent messages. Most importantly, maybe we need to consider our audience better.
Now, I am no Victoria Grant, but from the Shameless plug Department:
I am also getting on alternate media - public access TV in this case :
http://www.decentlife.com/TalkShow.html or here: http://www.facebook.com/DecentLife4All
where I spent half an hour talking to host Lou Puliafito about Georgism/Geoism, Greenbacking, and State Banking. It's hard to fit all that into 25 minutes, but I tried! I hope to be invited back, maybe next month.
Also worthy of note, Bill Still's speech to the Public Banking Institute April 27-28 was posted by PBI. Pay particular attention to the mention of Cliff Johnson's lawsuit against the Treasury (which I am advising upon). Still spends a couple of minutes on this at the 20-minute mark because it will be a game-changer if it succeeds:
Thanks for the shout-out, Bill!
(My new article about the Public Banking Institute's first annual conference is here:
The Johnson vs. Geithner lawsuit that would expose the lie that Federal Reserve Notes are equivalent to United States Notes and coins, continues to move forward, haltingly, while the government tries to dismiss it on technical grounds of lack of standing and other boilerplate rejoinders - anything to avoid answering the complaint itself. The next court hearing will be on June 21.
A similar, if less specifically focused Sovereign Money lawsuit, has been brought in Canada:
Speaking of alternate money, a new LETS alternate money system is spreading in Euro-deprived Greece (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17686384). Perhaps government is so hopelessly addicted to private money creation that we will all have to initiate our own money systems! LETS are proof that more money is needed in the real economy, where people will work for it and spend it. We do not have a shortage of jobs. We do not have a shortage of workers. We have a shortage of money. There is something wrong with this equation: # of jobs + # of workers + Amt. of money = Economic Health. And yet, the TBTF banks just keep getting more and more money. Is it doing any good, or....
The latest Bank Derivatives Activities Report on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency site has some interesting info. From the 4th qtr. Bank Derivatives Activities rpt: "The notional amount of derivatives contracts held by insured U.S. commercial banks in the fourth quarter fell by $17.2 trillion (6.9%) to $230.8 trillion from the third quarter." JP Morgan now has "only" $70 Trillion in derivatives - table 1 - higher than any other bank, but only $1.8 trillion in total assets (table 3) *IF* it's a good day and someone is buying. No one but the Fed was buying in the last meltdown, but that was for far less assets.
OK, so the total is headed down, but in a chart later on (pg. 17), JP has some 250% exposure as a "Percentage of Total Credit Exposure to Risk Based Capital." Only Goldman has a higher risk ( 800% ) profile.*
"The European Stabilization Mechanism,
Brown goes on to quote from a recent youtube video, first out in German, that lists the articles of the "treaty" (treaty with who?) that would give the ESM complete power and immunity from everything. The coup will be complete if this thing passes in July, 2012, which is expected to happen. On this side of the pond, the story is almost completely ignored in the MSM. Perhaps they'll ignore it when it happens here too; by then it may be too late anyway.
Ellen Brown gets even further ahead of the curve in a new article here:
Greece and the Euro: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover in which she prescribes 5 ways (not 50) for Greece to end its self-destructive downward spiral. Greece has now seen its economy shrink by a depression-level 16%, with no end in sight. Brown's prescriptions include:
1. The Open Marriage: Return to the Drachma Without Abandoning the Euro
2. Separate Bank Accounts: Fire Up the Printing Presses at the Greek Central Bank
3. Divorce: Just Walk Away
4. Spousal Support: The Public Bank Option
5. The Dowry: Impose a Financial Transaction Tax
Brown proves you don't have to be 12 years old to come up with creative, great solutions, though it helps. A future edition of this newsletter will include an article featuring a recent 5-way conversation involving a precocious tri-lingual 12-year old I am happy to know, who got Georgism almost before it was fully explained, and has some great insights besides. Stay tuned.
Perhaps what we really need to so is to get back to First Principles and find out why...