Archive for the ‘Banking’ Category

THE TRUTH ABOUT INCOME INEQUALITY

Sunday, November 17th, 2019
Thanks to Ed Roney for sharing this article.  At the bottom of the article are some of the main points in the article that Ed very thoughtfully provided .  Nancy

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Truth About Income Inequality

The census fails to account for taxes and most welfare payments, painting a distorted picture.

 
November 4, 2019   by Phil Gramm and John F. Early      Mr. Gramm is a former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Mr. Early served twice as assistant commissioner at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Never in American history has the debate over income inequality so dominated the public square, with Democratic presidential candidates and congressional leaders calling for massive tax increases and federal expenditures to redistribute the nation’s income. Unfortunately, official measures of income inequality, the numbers being debated, are profoundly distorted by what the Census Bureau chooses to count as household income.

The published census data for 2017 portray the top quintile of households as having almost 17 times as much income as the bottom quintile. But this picture is false. The measure fails to account for the one-third of all household income paid in federal, state and local taxes. Since households in the top income quintile pay almost two-thirds of all taxes, ignoring the earned income lost to taxes substantially overstates inequality.

How Redistribution Works

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U.S. FINANCING CHINA’S WORLD DOMINATION PLANS

Friday, November 15th, 2019

 

This is an article you have to read as there is so much new information in it regarding China and how our financial markets are being used to finance China’s expansion of their technological and military advances.  Nancy
IMPRIMIS – HILLSDALE COLLEGE

Why and How the U.S. Should Stop Financing China’s Bad Actors

October 2019  • Volume 48, Number 10 • Roger W. Robinson, Jr.

Roger W. Robinson, Jr.
Chairman, Prague Security Studies Institute

Roger W. Robinson, Jr. is president and CEO of RWR Advisory Group and co-founder and chairman of the Prague Security Studies Institute. He earned a B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. from George Washington University. He served as senior director of international economic affairs on President Reagan’s National Security Council, where he was the principal architect of the secret economic and financial strategy that proved decisive to the defeat of the Soviet Union. He later served as chairman of the Congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Prior to his government service, he was a vice president in the international department of the Chase Manhattan Bank.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on September 9, 2019, during a conference on the topic, “Understanding China.”

In the early 1980s, I served on President Reagan’s National Security Council. Prior to my time at the White House, I was a vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank, in charge of its USSR and Eastern Europe division. It was my job to assess the creditworthiness of the countries in that part of the world, and I had come to realize that the Soviet Union had relatively modest hard currency income—and that what little it had came largely from the West.

In 1982, the Soviets had an empire stretching from Havana to Hanoi, but their hard currency revenue totaled only about $32 billion a year—roughly one-third the annual revenue of General Motors at the time. They were spending about $16 billion more annually than they were making, with the funding gap—the USSR’s life support—being financed by Western governments and banks.

President Reagan had long believed that the Soviet Union was economically vulnerable, because he knew it lacked the entrepreneurship, technological dynamism, and freedoms that are the prerequisites of a strong modern economy. And when he learned that we in the West were financing its brutal regime, he committed to slowing, and ultimately terminating, that flow of discretionary cash.

Our European allies had a completely different approach. Their belief in Ostpolitik, as the Germans called it, presupposed that commercial bridge-building would lead to geopolitical cooperation. If the West would offer financing and trade with the Soviets, peace and prosperity would result. Meanwhile, the Soviets were using the proceeds of Western loans, hard currency revenue streams, and technological support to build up their military, expand their empire, and engage in anti-Western activities.

The Reagan administration drew the line on a project called the Siberian Gas Pipeline, a 3,600-mile twin-strand pipeline that stretched from Siberia into the Western European gas grid. If completed, not only would it become the centerpiece of the Soviets’ hard currency earnings structure, but Western Europe would become dependent on the USSR for over 70 percent of its natural gas, weakening Western Europe’s ties to the U.S. and leaving the continent open to Kremlin extortion. Moreover, the pipeline was being financed on taxpayer-subsidized terms, since France and Germany viewed the USSR as a less developed country worthy of below-market interest rates.

The U.S. at the time had a monopoly on oil and gas technology that could drill through permafrost—which we had developed for Alaska’s North Slopeand we imposed oil and gas equipment sanctions on the USSR and European companies that were helping to build the Siberian pipeline. At one point, despite the strain it placed on relations with our NATO allies, we closed the U.S. market entirely to companies that continued to supply the pipeline project over our objections. Four of the six affected companies went under within six months, and Europeans woke up to the fact that they could do business with us or the Soviets, but not both.

As a result of these efforts we capped Soviet gas deliveries to Western Europe at 30 percent of total supplies, delayed the first strand of the pipeline by years and killed the second strand, and eventually helped dry up the bulk of Western credits to the USSR. In a secret deal, we also persuaded the Saudis to pump an additional two million barrels of oil per day and decontrolled prices at the wellhead in this country, knocking oil prices down to about $10 a barrel—significant because for every dollar decrease in the price of a barrel, the Soviets lost some 500 million to one billion dollars. In short, the Soviet Union never recovered from these economic and financial blows. It defaulted on some $96 billion in Western hard currency debt shortly before the total collapse of the Soviet empire.

The story with China today has certain similarities, but with one big difference: the U.S. has been playing the role of the naïve Europeans. Since adopting the Kissinger policy of engaging with China in the 1970s, our government has operated on the assumption that economic and financial relations with China would lead Beijing to liberalize politically. And since 2001, when we backed China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, the pace at which we have given China access to our best technology and capital and trade markets has accelerated. Yet China has shown no signs of embracing individual freedoms or the rule of law.

Instead, with our support, the Chinese have launched a massive campaign to become the world’s leading superpower. We know about the “Belt and Road Initiative,” a strategic undertaking to place huge segments of the world under China’s influence or outright control. We know about “Made in China 2025,” a strategy designed to dominate key technology sectors—from artificial intelligence and quantum computing to hypersonic missiles and 5G. We know about China’s practice of forced technology transfers: requiring American companies to share their trade secrets and R&D in order to do business in China. We know about China’s predatory trade practices. We know many of these things only because President Trump has brought them to the forefront of national attention, for which he deserves credit. And the ongoing tariff war is a good thing in the sense that we’ve finally begun to take a stand.

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WARREN’S ASSAULT ON RETIREE WEALTH

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Warren’s Assault on Retiree Wealth

Her vision of ‘accountable capitalism’ would destroy savings built over a lifetime—and sink the economy.

By Phil Gramm and Mike Solon Mr. Gramm, a former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Solon is a partner of US Policy Metrics.   September 11, 2019

Who owns the vast wealth of America? Old folks. According to the Federal Reserve, households headed by people over the age of 55 own 73% of the value of domestically owned stocks, and the same share of America’s total wealth. Households of ages 65 to 74 have an average of $1,066,000 in net worth, while those between ages 35 and 44 have less than a third as much on average, at $288,700.

A socialist might see injustice in that inequality. But seniors know this wealth gap is the difference between the start and the finish of a career of work and thrift, making the last mortgage and retirement payments rather than the first. Seventy-two percent of the value of all domestically held stocks is owned by pension plans, 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts, or held by life insurance companies to fund annuities and death benefits. This wealth accumulated over a lifetime and benefits all Americans.

That means it’s your life savings on the line—not the bankroll of some modern-day John D. Rockefeller—when Democrats push to limit companies’ methods of enriching their shareholders. Several Democratic congressmen and presidential candidates have proposed to limit stock buybacks, which are estimated to have increased stock values by almost a fifth since 2011, as well as to block dividend payments, impose a new federal property tax, and tax the inside buildup of investments. Yet among all the Democratic taxers and takers, no one would hit retirees harder than Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Her “Accountable Capitalism Act” would wipe out the single greatest legal protection retirees currently enjoy—the requirement that corporate executives and fund managers act as fiduciaries on investors’ behalf. To prevent union bosses, money managers or politicians from raiding pension funds, the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act requires that a fiduciary shall manage a plan “solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries . . . for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries.” The Securities and Exchange Commission imposes similar requirements on investment advisers, and state laws impose fiduciary responsibility on state-chartered corporations.

Sen. Warren would blow up these fiduciary-duty protections by rewriting the charter for every corporation with gross receipts of more than $1 billion. Every corporation, proprietorship, partnership and limited-liability company of that size would be forced to enroll as a federal corporation under a new set of rules. Under this new Warren charter, companies currently dedicated to their shareholders’ interest would be reordered to serve the interests of numerous new “stakeholders,” including “the workforce,” “the community,” “customers,” “the local and global environment” and “community and societal factors.”

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MY BRUSH WITH PERSONAL DESTRUCTION – STEPHEN MOORE

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

 

If I remember correctly, wasn’t the unsealing of Obama’s opponent’s divorce papers  in either his Illinois or  U.S. Senate race, lead to Obama’s  win over his opponent? Very  Interesting    The sad state of American politics of personal destruction as conducted by the Left.   Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
MY BRUSH WITH PERSONAL DESTRUCTION
By Stephen Moore    Mr. Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks.  He was a senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign in 2016.
May 3, 2019

When President Trump asked me to serve as a member of the Federal Reserve Board, I was honored. I never imagined the storm that would follow. The left and the media instantly launched a relentless campaign against me. Last week a reporter who has covered the Fed for 30 years told me he’d never seen anything like it. On Thursday I reluctantly threw in the towel and asked the president not to nominate me.

I knew that many of my ideas on monetary policy were controversial and outside the box. That’s why the president picked me. My central argument is that economic growth does not cause inflation—an assault on the core belief of the Keynesian economists at the Fed, whose fear of supply-side growth has often misdirected monetary policy, most recently late last year. As someone who worked with Mr. Trump as a senior economic adviser to his campaign, I am thrilled that 3% to 4% growth with stable prices has been achieved, and I believe it can be sustained. I also believe the Fed should stop targeting interest rates and instead focus on a stable dollar by following commodity prices along with other inflation measures as a leading indicator of whether prices are rising or falling.

I was naive. I believed that to be confirmed I would simply need to defend these ideas and my free-market economic philosophy in general. I relished that debate, especially because so many of my harshest critics were completely wrong about the Trump economy.

A majority in the Senate viewed my economic-policy expertise favorably, and my confirmation seemed likely. It helped my case that I had been one of the most outspoken critics of the Fed in December, when it raised interest rates. After a 4,000-point collapse in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Chairman Jerome Powell early this year backed away from future rate increases and disavowed his December statement that the Fed’s asset sales were on “autopilot.” The market and the economy sprang back to life.

What did me in was not my economic ideas but gutter campaign tactics and personal assaults. I’ve been called an adulterer, a misogynist, a tax cheat, a deadbeat dad, antigay and mentally unfit. A Washington Post editorial warned that I was a “dangerous” pick for the Fed, and a columnist said I could cause a “global financial calamity.” They must imagine I have superheroic powers of persuasion. If appointed, I would have been one of seven Fed governors.

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“MAD MAXINE” AND WALL STREET

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Maxine, the fox guarding the hen house.   Stephen Moore gives us a  sweet bit of history regarding the  financial crisis.   Don’t you just love those Dems and their pious self righteousness !  Nancy

www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/nov/11/why-wall-street-must-get-ready-for-maxine-waters/

WASHINGTON TIMES

Why Wall Street Must Get Ready for Maxine Waters

By Stephen Moore • Stephen Moore, a columnist for The Washington Times, is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. His new book with Arthur Laffer is “Trumponomics.”

November 11, 2018

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California appears a lock to become the next chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee. Ms. Waters is pledging to be a diligent watchdog for mom and pop investors, and recently told a crowd that when it comes to the big banks, investment houses and insurance companies, “we are going to do to them, what they did to us.” I’m not going to cry too many tears for Wall Street since they poured money behind the Democrats in these midterm elections. You get what you pay for.

But here we go again asking the fox to guard the hen house.

Back during he the financial crisis of 2008-09, which wiped out trillions of dollars of the wealth and retirement savings of middle-class families, we put the two major arsonists in charge of putting out the fire. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Chris Dodd of Connecticut were the cosponsors of the infamous Dodd-Frank regulations. Readers will recall that good old Barney resisted every attempt to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and said he wanted to “roll the dice” on the housing market. That worked out well.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dodd took graft payments in the form of low-interest loans from Countrywide, while greasing the skids for the housing lenders in these years. Instead of going to jail or at least being discharged dishonorably from Congress, he wrote the Dodd-Frank bill to regulate the banks.

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MOVIE – REVELATION – DAWN OF GLOBAL GOVERNMENT

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

 

This is a movie that was produced during the Obama Administration and warns of  the many  dangers facing our country  – Socialism, Marxism, Globalists, Globalism, Agenda 21, Sustainability, The Secret Society, Bilderberg, the push for a National ID and Biometrics, Muslim Brotherhood, Sharia Law, Open Borders, Gun Control, the Federal Reserve system  and most of all, Collectivism versus Individualism.
Today, President Trump is addressing many of these dangers and is it any wonder he is facing such hostility from the entrenched elitists in our country ?
Believe or disbelieve, you be the judge.    Nancy
NEW WORLD ORDER – ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT
MOVIE – REVELATION  
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FACEBOOK TO BANKS: GIVE US YOUR DATA, WE’LL GIVE YOU OUR USERS !!!!!

Monday, August 6th, 2018

 

I, for one, object !  How about you ?  Nancy

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Facebook to Banks: Give Us Your Data, We’ll Give You Our Users

Facebook has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about customers as it seeks to boost user engagement

August 6, 2018
Write to Emily Glazer at emily.glazer@wsj.com, Deepa Seetharaman at Deepa.Seetharaman@wsj.com and AnnaMaria Andriotis at annamaria.andriotis@wsj.com

The social media giant has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users.

Facebook increasingly wants to be a platform where people buy and sell goods and services, besides connecting with friends. The company over the past year asked JPMorgan Chase JPM -0.31% & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. -0.14% and U.S. Bancorp USB +0.08% to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger, said people familiar with the matter.

Facebook has talked about a feature that would show its users their checking-account balances, the people said. It has also pitched fraud alerts, some of the people said.

Data privacy is a sticking point in the banks’ conversations with Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks are taking place as Facebook faces several investigations over its ties to political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which accessed data on as many 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

One large U.S. bank pulled away from talks due to privacy concerns, some of the people said.

Facebook has told banks that the additional customer information could be used to offer services that might entice users to spend more time on Messenger, a person familiar with the discussions said. The company is trying to deepen user engagement: Investors shaved more than $120 billion from its market value in one day last month after it said its growth is starting to slow.

Facebook said it wouldn’t use the bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties.

(more…)

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REPEALING DODD FRANK

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

 

THE WEEKLY STANDARD

Regulatory Release

May 24, 2018
The partial repeal of Dodd Frank could have gone farther, but it’s a good start.

In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and President Obama signed it into law. The legislation, more than 2,000 pages long, imposed cumbersome regulations on financial institutions, which the bill’s authors took to be responsible for the 2008 financial crisis and the consequent recession. The law also established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, an advocacy agency for consumers that, to no one’s surprise, quickly turned into a Naderite anti-corporation attack dog.

Complicated laws passed in the middle of a crisis are guaranteed to make things worse in the long run, and so Dodd-Frank proved. The Democrats, who controlled both House and Senate in 2010, took the blinkered view that the financial crisis had come about exclusively thanks to the unregulated excesses of the private-sector financial industry; regulating that industry was, for them, the only rational response. The law thus deprived the market of liquidity in the middle of a recession—with predictable results.

The Democrats ignored two important points. First, the role of the federal government itself: Government-backed mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—then as now boasting powerful allies in Congress—encouraged precisely the sort of risky and foolish loans that led directly to the housing-market collapse and attendant financial meltdown. Second, what many of the investment banks did was already illegal: “cooking the books,” to use the popular term. To that extent, it was an enforcement problem, not a regulatory one. Greater regulation of investment banks largely missed the point—though it allowed powerful Democrats in Congress to blame someone other than themselves for the crisis. (The bill’s authors, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Barney Frank of Massachusetts, both had a long history of encouraging Fannie and Freddie’s worst practices.) One of the law’s further follies is that it shackled small and mid-sized banks with the same provisions despite the fact that they had nothing to do with the financial crisis.

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BIG BANKS TARGET THE 2ND AMENDMENT

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

 

Daniel Greenfield’s article: Big Banks Target the Bill of Rights

Link to Sultan Knish

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 09:58 PM PDT
The American people lent $45 billion to Bank of America during the bailout. That bailout came with a hefty $100 billion guarantee against losses on toxic assets.

That money came from American taxpayers. It came from gun owners and non-gun owners.

But Bank of America has warned that it will refuse to lend money to manufacturers of “assault-style guns”. It had previously announced it was edging away from the coal business to fight global warming.

Citigroup got $476 billion in cash and guarantees: the most of any bank. Now Citibank is repaying the generosity of the American people by requiring its clients to impose their own gun control policies on their stores. Impose gun control on your customers or Citibank will discriminate against you.

Next up is Wells Fargo. The stagecoach brand has said that it’s up to the government to impose gun control, but that it is discussing gun safety with its clients. That’s not enough for outraged activists. The American Federation of Teachers, an organization that runs on extorting money from teachers and taxpayers, warned Wells Fargo that it had to choose between firearms manufacturers and the AFT.

Bank of America announced its move to Bloomberg. The eponymous media outlet is associated with the billionaire sugar daddy of the anti-second amendment lobby. That wasn’t a coincidence. Neither was Citigroup making its announcement through Ed Skyler, Bloomberg’s former Deputy Mayor.

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CONSUMER FINANCE PROTECTION BUREAU OFFICIAL SUES TRUMP OVER AGENCY LEADERSHIP

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

 
www.wsj.com/articles/showdown-looms-at-consumer-financial-protection-bureau-1511745899

CFPB Official Sues Trump Administration Over Agency Leadership

Leadership contest is the latest battle to control agency’s direction

Leadership contest is the latest battle to control agency’s direction

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney is the president’s pick to be acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney is the president’s pick to be acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. PHOTO: PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON—An Obama-era official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued the Trump administration on Sunday night to block budget director Mick Mulvaney from taking control of the agency.

Leandra English, a career staffer appointed Friday to lead the CFPB by former director Richard Cordray, filed the lawsuit in federal court the night before the bureau was set to reopen with dueling temporary leaders vying to take it over. In doing so, she touched off a legal fight that will trigger court interpretations on how different statutes regarding succession apply to the unusual struggle over control of a federal agency.

President Donald Trump asserts he has the power to appoint an acting director, while the departing chief believed the law said otherwise.

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