Ken O’Keefe: “We Can Make A Better World.”

By Jerry Alatalo

ocean222Alphabet One can only hope the time is short between now and when people around the Earth all speak as frankly and directly as Ken O’Keefe. Today’s admirable group of men and women from all nations working for social change, justice, peace and a better world do an excellent job of describing historically persistent problems and their unfortunate consequences.

In contrast, Mr. O’Keefe does the same but goes on further to describe the source or root cause of those ongoing problems: privately owned and controlled central banks. In other words, while the majority of people working to create a better world are genuinely concerned about humanity and future generations, the analytical foundation or worldview they operate from is too often incomplete; practical consideration of the international finance sector as it determines real-life situations doesn’t occur and get factored in.

Without that essential awareness, and inclusion of it into one’s worldview, solutions-focused action falls short by failing to account for and/or identify causes to the greatest extent possible. In simpler terms, most people concerned about creating conditions that result in greater health, happiness and well being for all people on Earth have, although genuinely moral and acting with the best intentions, been for various reasons going about it with less-than-complete analyses.

Yet the missed, avoided, or otherwise omitted part of one’s analysis of worldwide conditions – private central banks – is the part that is absolutely necessary and relevant for developing effective solutions and building a better world. In a 1-hour 53-minute talk on March 20, 2016 in Berkeley, California Ken O’Keefe does an extraordinary job of pointing out those analytical parts too often missed in discussions and writings by otherwise good and moral people. He talks about those referred to by French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) in his famous quote: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize”.

Excepting an even deeper metaphysical, philosophic or spiritual analysis of life on Earth, Mr. O’Keefe discusses actual global conditions to the fullest descriptive extent possible in the material realm. Perhaps in the next major leap of human evolution non-material factors will become a larger part of the discussion, but for now it seems of high importance to accurately perceive the physical realities present and responsible for what occurs on the ground, experienced by billions of our brothers and sisters, over a large portion of the planet.

One could predict a short interval of time between when the information presented by Mr. O’Keefe becomes widely known and acknowledged and when metaphysical aspects of reality become increasingly more a part of societal awareness, conversations, and agreed-upon perceptions. In a real sense, and why his talk is important and timely, Mr. O’Keefe leaves listeners with the essential and eternal Earthly choice between love of money and love for our fellow brothers and sisters in the human family. The following biblical passage goes unmentioned in his talk, but adds another, metaphysical perspective:

1 Timothy 6, 9-10: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs”. 

All the world’s great religions, spiritual and philosophical traditions speak in their most revered writings to this aspect of the human condition. His use of expletives aside, one could guess Ken O’Keefe would describe himself not as a religious but a spiritual human being. What he covers in the talk is very likely the most difficult information listeners will encounter, and which afterward inescapably presents them with the choice of acceptance or rejection of points presented as truth. He describes the very raw, hard and uncomfortable truth of what has been and is now occurring on planet Earth.

As ever, an apology for sharing such a lengthy talk of close to 2-hours. If time doesn’t allow, consider making a note to listen to Mr. O’Keefe’s powerful talk at a later date. For those who choose to listen to the talk in its entirety, it might be the case after doing so to conclude he’s fundamentally talking about a profound and collective facilitating of rapid human evolution. Although nuanced, understated and sprinkled with curse words, Ken O’Keefe would probably agree the foremost characteristic of his evolutionary proposal is spiritual.

Thank you, Ken O’Keefe. Keep the faith.

(Thank you to Ken O’Keefe at YouTube)

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Former Reagan Budget Official Calls For Federal Reserve Audit.

Posted on February 15, 2015 by Jerry Alatalo

(Source: Cross-posted from davidstockmanscontracorner.com / Comment: It would be fascinating to see the video/transcript of a possible talk between Mr. Stockman and Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi)

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Audit The Fed——And Shackle It, Too

The reason to be fearful about the economic and financial future is that we are in the thrall of a mainstream consensus that is downright meretricious. In attacking Rand Paul’s audit legislation, for instance, one of the time-servers on the Fed Board of Governors, Jerome H. Powell, let loose the following gem:

“As recent U.S. history has shown, elected officials have often pushed for easier policies that serve short-term political interests…..”

Perhaps Mr. Powell is a descendent of Rip Van Winkle—–and missed the last 20 years of history while doing LBOs at the Carlyle Group and helping Congress improve upon its enviable record of fiscal management while at the Bipartisan Policy Center. But whatever he was doing—snoozing or otherwise distracted—- it most assuredly was not gathering evidence that “elected officials” were putting undue pressure on the Fed for “easier policies”.

For crying out loud there is exactly zero evidence that “politicians” had anything to do with zero interest rates.  And ZIRP defines the ultimate level of “ease” according to Bernanke himself, who famously described his policies as positioned at the “zero bound”.

Indeed, given the very earliest expected date for “lift-off” in June, the Fed will have pinned the money market rate at zero for 80 months running. This unprecedented tsunami of “easy money”, of course, happened with nary a Congressman or Senator darkening the door at the Eccles Building (the Federal Reserve is headquartered in the Eccles Building).

Folks, this whole chorus of Fed governors—–yesterday’s lineup included Richard Fisher and Charles Plossner—-defending the sacred “independence” of the Federal Reserve is downright Kafkaesque. Rather than protecting the Fed from meddling politicians, it is the American public that desperately needs protection from the depredations of an unelected monetary politburo that runs the entire financial system.

Let’s say you have saved a quarter million bucks over a lifetime of working and scrimping, but wish to keep it safe and liquid in your retirement years. Well thank you “independent” governors of the Fed for the privilege of owning a bank CD that generates 40 bps or the grand sum $2.75 per day. That’s one visit to Starbucks each morning, but forget the cappuccino. It’s just black coffee for you!

In fact, the last time there was any significant agitation on Capitol Hill about the Fed being too tight was in the early 1990s. Back then, that same quarter million dollar nest egg would have earned about $12,000 per year, not $1,000 as it present, or a whole lot of Starbucks and other living expenses, too.

Stated differently, in their madcap pursuit of monetary “ease” our unelected financial suzerains at the Fed have implemented the most sweeping income transfer in history. By chopping upwards of 300 basis points off the historic after-tax and after-inflation return on liquid savings, the Fed annually pilfers $250 billion from the nation’s $8 trillion of depositors and savers.

Needless to say, the money extracted from the hides of savers ends up in the income statements of the US banking system. There it gets booked as retained earnings and proffered as evidence that the Fed has put bank balance sheets back into the pink of health; or with increasing frequency it is allocated to dividends and buybacks, thereby fueling the Fed’s so-called “wealth effects” levitation of the financial markets, and the net worth at the very top of the wealth and income ladder.

But however these extractions from the nation’s savers are channeled, they amount to nothing less than a giant fiscal policy maneuver; and one so repugnant to any sense of fairness and private property rights that it would otherwise have been laughed out of any standing committee on either side of the Capitol. So there is an easy money problem all right, but it originates in the Keynesian groupthink resident in the Eccles Building, not populist legislators attempting to one-up William Jennings Bryan or Wright Patman.

Come to think of it, we have actually not had a single Federal funds rate increase in 9 years. Not even once, not even 25 basis points. In fact, during the 121 meetings the Fed has held during this century it has either cut interest rates or held them constant 100 times.

But do not attribute that chronic, massive bias toward “ease” to untoward pressures from Capitol Hill. That outcome is the product of doctrine, not politics. It flows from utterly misguided and self-serving ideology of a handful of central bankers and their amen chorus on Wall Street that claims economic growth, jobs and improving living standards can be delivered by hitting the send button on the Fed’s printing press.

Back in the day, there was always a corporal’s guard of populists on Capitol Hill who pilloried the Fed for being too “tight”. Even the redoubtable Republican Senate Leader, Howard Baker, once braced Paul Volcker with a demand to “get your foot off the necks” of American business. But that was long ago, and by the end of the century not a peep emanated from Capitol Hill on the subject of tight money.

Nevertheless, it was actually after Congress went radio silent on the matter of monetary policy that the Fed’s balance sheet exploded. Indeed, during the first 86 years of its existence, the Fed’s balance sheet resembled the fabled Ohio State offense.  About $5 billion and a cloud of dust—–year after year for decades running.

So by the year 2000, it had printed from thin air enough money to buy $500 billion of assets. By contrast, during the 13 weeks after the Lehman event, Bernanke printed $1.3 trillion—-and that was not owing to any Congressional mandate or gun to his head.

Indeed, it was Bernanke and his Wall Street sidekick, Hank Paulson, who went up to Capitol Hill and put a gun to their heads. It was these demagogues who scared the “politicians” witless with a phony alarm that Great Depression 2.0 was just around the corner unless the Fed opened the monetary spigots, and Congress added $700 billion of TARP on top.

In all, the Fed’s balance sheet has expanded by 9X since the time at the eve of the dotcom bust when the last disciple of Wright Patman was carried out of the House chambers. So you have to think there must be something else behind all this sudden gumming from the Eccles Building about preserving the Fed’s “independence”.

Actually, there is. What our monetary politburo is really worried about is that Rand Paul is on to something that is fundamentally threatening to their very regime. Namely, that ZIRP has crushed savers and rewarded Wall Street gamblers with free money to harvest the stupendous riches obtained from their carry trades; and that QE has been a bonanza for the fast money traders who front run the Fed but has done virtually nothing for the main street economy.

And here’s their even bigger fear. When this current massive financial bubble comes crashing down for the third time this century—-and that may happen any time soon—the torches and pitchforks are sure to come out.

At length, there will be legislation, but not merely an audit. In the fullness of time it will become evident that the problem is, in fact, undue influence and “capture”. That is, capture by Wall Street and the subordination of monetary policy to the palpable fear in the Eccles Building of a hissy fit in the casino.

And that goes to the heart of the matter. Congress not only needs to audit the Fed; it should shackle it entirely by abolishing the FOMC and eliminating its discretion to peg interest rates, expand its balance sheet and intervene proactively in the financial markets.

Stated differently, there is no need to replace the 12-member FOMC cum monetary politburo with a gaggle of 535 legislators on Capitol Hill. We have something called the free market, and that is the place where the right money market rate should be set by the interaction of users and suppliers of cash; where the yield curve should find its appropriate shape based on the interaction of savers and borrowers and the continuous flow of new information about the real world; and where honest capital markets can perform god’s work of allocating debt and equity at prices which are diligently “discovered” by at-risk investors and issuers.

At the end of the day, American capitalism does not need recycled political hacks like Jerome H. Powell or clueless school marms like Janet Yellen to thrive. If we need a Fed at all, it is the one designed by Carter Glass 100 years ago. That is, a “bankers bank” that was intended to provide standby liquidity at a penalty spread above the free market interest rate in consideration for good collateral originating from inventory and receivables in the real economy.

Under that arrangement, there would be no monetary central planning or pointless attempts to manage the level of GDP, the number of new jobs, the rate of housing starts, the fluctuations of the CPI or the amplitudes of the business cycle. There would also be no pegging of the money market rate, no helping hand for Wall Street gamblers, no cheap debt to enable profligate politicians to kick-the-can down the road indefinitely.

In short, what the nation really needs is not an “independent” Fed, but one that is shackled to a narrow and market-driven liquidity function. The rest of its current remit is nothing more than the self-serving aggrandizement of the apparatchiks who run it; and who have now managed to turn the nation’s vital money and capital markets into dangerous, unstable casinos, and the nations savers into indentured servants of a bloated and wasteful banking system.

Yes, the monetary politburo has every reason to fear Rand Paul’s demand for a “policy audit” of the Fed. An honest one would show that its so-called “independence” has been monumentally abused in a manner which is deeply threatening to both political democracy and capitalist prosperity.

Needless to say, we can’t have that audit soon enough.

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Private Central Banks: New Documentary “Princes Of The Yen” Tells All.

Posted on January 1, 2015

by Jerry Alatalo

Book4“This is a film about the power of central banks. Central banks have the power to create economic, political and social change. This is how they do it…”

Alphabet So begins the new and fascinating documentary film “Princes of the Yen” based on a book by Professor Richard Werner, a visiting researcher at the Bank of Japan during the 90’s crash, during which the stock market dropped by 80% and house prices by up to 84%. The film uncovers the real cause of the extraordinary period in recent Japanese history.

“Princes of the Yen” is an unprecedented challenge to today’s dominant ideological belief system, and the control levers that underpin it. Piece by piece, reality is deconstructed to reveal the world as it is, not as those in power would like us to believe that it is.

Some comments on the documentary:

“Master of filmmaking. An engaging and dynamic narrative supported by visual aesthetics”.

“Essential viewing if you’ve any interest at all in economics or politics”.

“Blows open the widely held consensus that ‘independent’ central banks are a force for independent good”.

“A fascinating look at the need for better public understanding of just how much money can affect the world we live in”.

“Princes of the Yen” reveals how Japanese society was transformed to suit the agenda and desire of powerful interest groups, and how citizens were kept entirely in the dark about this. The Japanese scenario is one which has become implemented time and time again through history in nations around the world, only recently becoming a subject of greater and greater interest – and serious concern – of humanity.

The film is a fascinating study of the power of independent, unaccountable, “quiet”, privately owned central banks. For those with an interest in alternative economics, monetary reform, and what (money) makes the world go around, the makers of “Princes of the Yen” have added to the cumulative knowledge base of an often-misunderstood, yet vital subject for study on this Earth in 2015.

Bottom line is that a handful of people at the top of the international financial pyramid have “quietly” manipulated the global banking system to their benefit for a very long time, in a way which has been essentially unchallenged because of intentional obfuscation. Thankfully, the number of men and women around the Earth who have engaged and acted to reveal the agenda of this small group whose basic life philosophy is “service to self” at the great expense and suffering of all others is rapidly growing in numbers.

Exactly when the average man or woman living in all nations and regions around the world become fully aware of international private central bankers’ negative impact on the health and well-being of many millions, even billions, of human beings’ lives is hard to predict.

The people who helped make “Princes of the Yen”, no matter when that global awareness arrives, have certainly made the length of time between now and that historic, world-changing point a lot shorter. The creators of this insightful, timely, powerful, and absolutely relevant documentary deserve all the accolades and gratitude they most certainly will receive in the near future.

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(Thank you to QueuePolitely at YouTube)

Paul Craig Roberts: Inconvenient Truth.

Posted on December 22, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

oneness3Alphabet Any man or woman familiar with former U.S. Treasury Department official Paul Craig Roberts knows he doesn’t pull punches when it comes to speaking his truth. One good example of this comes from the following discussion with Greg Hunter when he talked about the “Citigroup provision” tacked on to the U.S. government omnibus spending bill.

The banker-written legalese repeals the most important legislative initiative in the Dodd-Frank rules, where banks have to move their derivatives gambling to subsidiaries not insured by the FDIC, or taxpayers. The omnibus bill passed the House and Senate despite a few strong opponents, Senator Elizabeth Warren the most forceful in her focused speeches against. Now the American taxpayers are “on the hook” if/when any of the God only knows how many trillions of dollars in bets by the banks go south.

Mr. Roberts said about the Citigroup provision: “This is sick, and shows the United States government is the most corrupt on Earth”. Very strong words from the former Treasury official in the Reagan administration. Unfortunately, most elected lawmakers in Washington, D.C. failed to utter words equivalent to Roberts’. In essence the man simply spoke the truth. His perception is that either the Citigroup provision became inserted into the “must pass” spending bill because there may possibly be an imminent crash of a massive derivatives bubble in the trillions of dollars, or that the CEO of Citigroup has a very large ego.

Given the FDIC stock of reserves to cover depositor losses does not even come close to the potential derivatives losses now insured after the bill passed, Roberts, without delving into the subject, spoke of the term “bail-in”. This is when banks cover their losses by confiscating money from depository accounts, and many remember the highly upset Cypriots who went through experiencing bail-ins. Perhaps Citigroup’s CEO has more fear of massive losses from derivatives bets than any extraordinary liking for himself in the form of a giant ego.

In other words, the Citigroup provision does not increase confidence in the American economy, but can only be seen as a strong warning of rough waters ahead. There is no reason that the Citigroup provision cannot become repealed, and the U.S. Congress should rightly repeal it. Citizens from every state in America should take strong action in opposition to this terrible legislative action, and demand that it become stricken now.

Repeal the Citigroup provision now.

Paul Craig Roberts points to two possible causes for the Russian ruble’s recent drop. Hedge funds are selling the ruble short, or someone is manipulating the ruble and has no interest in, or potential to, realize profit or loss. He told Greg Hunter that nothing can explain why the Russian ruble is falling, that it is clearly a manipulation, and that Russia and China are both disadvantaged because their economists have been trained in neoliberalism, what Roberts sees as the main tool of U.S. financial imperialism.

Roberts perceives that Russia and China have established economic systems that are “deplorable”, and dangerous to their own national economic interests – even more dangerous than sanctions. In the following video, a Russian man by the name of Evgeny Fedorov describes Russia’s situation as one where the Bank of Russia, its version of America’s central bank the Federal Reserve, is legally a foreign-controlled central bank, and that Vladimir Putin has no authority over it.

Honestly, what he describes in Russia’s monetary system is new information and surprising; however, if he is giving an accurate assessment of what is occurring in Russia, the events rival the stuff found in the late Tom Clancy’s novels. If he is correct, the central bank of Russia is not controlled by the Russian people, it clearly shows the people of Russia are not sovereign or independent, and that there are perhaps some big-time changes coming soon at their central bank. Could the same observations and circumstances apply to the privately owned Federal Reserve central bank of America?

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(Thank you to New Insight at YouTube)

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Paul Craig Roberts discusses resolutions recently passed through the U.S. House and Senate – unanimously in the Senate, only ten in opposition in the House of Representatives, as Roberts puts it, “demonizing” Russia, defining it as a great threat, with terms for the sending of military arms to Ukraine so Ukrainians “fight Russia in place of the U.S.”, all, according to Mr. Roberts, for the goal of breaking economic, political, and cultural relations between Europe and Russia.

He mentions the “Matrix” nature of awareness in these times where economic, military, and political announcements from government institutions stand far from true conditions lived by the American people and those of other nations. Roberts says “we live in a totally made up world”. Paul Craig Roberts is a man whose messages are not pleasant to hear, like Al Gore’s inconvenient, but most certainly pass the test resulting in worthiness of concerned citizens’ highly focused attention.

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(Thank you to Greg Hunter at YouTube)