Will A Greece Default On Debt Trigger A World Recession? — Bubbles Bursting? — Greek Odious Debt Default On The Brink — Jump! — Greece Defaults! — Videos

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Story 1: Will A Greece Default On Debt Trigger A World Recession? — Bubbles Bursting? — Greek Odious Debt Default On The Brink — Jump! — Greece Defaults! — Videos


euro zone EU-Unemployment-Comparison  Greekbanks  greek_debt_infographicpull out

Greece misses 1.5 billion euro IMF payment 01:12

Greece officially defaults 02:28

Greece defaults on $1.7 billion payment

Laura Branigan – Self Control

last chance

Donna Summer Last Dance

The History of Odious Debt

Not Much Difference Between U.S. and Greece

How Will Greece’s Default to the IMF Impact Europe?

Analysis: Who is to blame for Greece’s debt crisis?

Nightly Business Report — June 29, 2015

Greece’s Economic Disaster May Spread To Other Countries – Episode 704

SR381 – Why Greece Will Default

Keiser Report: Greece! Start Fresh (E777)

Keiser Report: IMF failed Greece long before bailout (E776)

Why Does Greece Have So Much Debt?

Greece Makes The First Move, Debt Is Illegal And Odious – Episode 694

Should Greece Answer The Debt Crisis By Pulling A Trump?

Greece and the Euro Breakup; Why the US Dollar Is Facing an Even Bigger Crisis

Ep. 89: Greece is a sideshow. U.S. is the Main Event.

Greek Economic Crisis: Three Things to Know

Parsons: Greece default will be ‘big time’ problem for U.S. banks

Greece on the Brink – Documentary [HD]

DONNA SUMMER – I feel love (1977) HD and HQ

Laura Branigan – Gloria [1982]

Forever Young Laura Branigan

Greece’s bailout expires, country defaults on IMF payment


y to fall into arrears on payments to the fund. The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001.

After Greece made a last-ditch effort to extend its bailout, eurozone finance ministers decided in a teleconference late Tuesday that there was no way they could reach a deal before the deadline.

“It would be crazy to extend the program,” said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbleom, who heads the eurozone finance ministers’ body known as the eurogroup. “So that cannot happen and will not happen.”

(AP) An elderly man passes a graffiti outside an old bank in Athens, Tuesday, June 30,…
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“The program expires tonight,” Dijsselbleom said.The brinkmanship that has characterized Greece’s bailout negotiations with its European creditors and the IMF rose several notches over the weekend, when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced he would put a deal proposal by creditors to a referendum on Sunday and urged a “No” vote.

The move increased fears the country could soon fall out of the euro currency bloc and Greeks rushed to pull money out of ATMs, leading the government to shutter its banks and impose restrictions on banking transactions on Monday for at least a week.

But in a surprise move Tuesday night, Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis hinted that the government might be open to calling off the popular vote, saying it was a political decision.

The government decided on the referendum, he said on state television, “and it can make a decision on something else.”

(AP) A demonstrator waves a Greek flag during a rally organized by supporters of the YES…
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It was unclear, however, how that would be possible legally as Parliament has already voted for it to go ahead.Greece’s international bailout expires at midnight central European time, after which the country loses access to billions of euros in funds. At the same time, Greece has said it will not be able to make a payment of 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the IMF.

With its economy teetering on the brink, Greece suffered its second sovereign downgrade in as many days when the Fitch ratings agency lowered it further into junk status, to just one notch above the level where it considers default inevitable.

The agency said the breakdown of negotiations “has significantly increased the risk that Greece will not be able to honor its debt obligations in the coming months, including bonds held by the private sector.”

Fitch said it now considered a default on privately-held debt “probable.”

(AP) People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank, next to a sign on the…
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Hopes for an 11th-hour deal were raised when the Greek side announced it had submitted a new proposal Tuesday afternoon, and the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers held a teleconference to discuss it.But those hopes were quickly dashed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she ruled out further negotiations with Greece before Sunday’s popular vote on whether to accept creditors’ demands for budget reforms.

“Before the planned referendum is carried out, we will not negotiate over anything new,” the dpa news agency quoted Merkel as saying.

Greece’s latest offer involves a proposal to tap Europe’s bailout fund — the so-called European Stability Mechanism, a pot of money set up after Greece’s rescue programs to help countries in need.

(AP) The word “NO”, referring to the upcoming referendum, is written in red paint outside…
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Tsipras’ office said the proposal was “for the full coverage of (Greece’s) financing needs with the simultaneous restructuring of the debt.”Dijsselbloem said the finance ministers would “study that request as we should” and that they would hold another conference call Wednesday, as they had also received a second letter from Athens that they had not had time to read.

Dragasakis said the new letter “narrows the differences further.”

“We are making an additional effort. There are six points where this effort can be made. I don’t want to get into specifics. But it includes pensions and labor issues,” he said.

European officials and Greek opposition parties have been adamant that a “No” vote on Sunday will mean Greece will leave the euro and possibly even the EU.

(AP) Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote…
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The government says this is scaremongering, and that a rejection of creditor demands will mean the country is in a better negotiating position.In Athens, more than 10,000 “Yes” vote supporters gathered outside parliament despite a thunderstorm, chanting “Europe! Europe!”

Most huddled under umbrellas, including Athens resident Sofia Matthaiou.

“I don’t know if we’ll get a deal. But we have to press them to see reason,” she said, referring to the government. “The creditors need to water down their positions, too.”

The protest came a day after thousands of government supporters advocating a “No” vote held a similar demonstration.

(AP) Demonstrators gather under the rain during a rally organized by supporters of the…
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On Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made a new offer to Greece. Under that proposal, Tsipras would need to accept the creditors’ proposal that was on the table last weekend. He would also have to change his position on Sunday’s referendum.Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the offer would also involve unspecified discussions on Athens’s massive debt load of over 300 billion euros, or around 180 percent of GDP. The Greek side has long called for debt relief, saying its mountainous debt is unsustainable.

A Greek government official said Tsipras had spoken earlier in the day with Juncker, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and European Parliament president Martin Schulz.

Meanwhile, missing the IMF payment will cut Greece off from new loans from the organization.

And with its bailout program expiring, Greece will lose access to more than 16 billion euros ($18 billion) in financial support it has not yet tapped, officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because talks about the program were still ongoing.

On the streets of Athens, long lines formed again at ATM machines as Greeks struggled with the new restrictions on banking transactions. Under credit controls imposed Monday, Greeks are now limited to ATM withdrawals of 60 euros ($67) a day and cannot send money abroad or make international payments without special permission.

The elderly have been hit particularly hard, with tens of thousands of pensions unpaid as of Tuesday afternoon. Many also found themselves completely cut off from any cash as they do not have bank cards.

The finance ministry said it would open about 1,000 bank branches across the country for three days beginning Wednesday to allow pensioners without bank cards to make withdrawals. But the limit would be set at 120 euros for the whole week.


What happens if Greece defaults on its International Monetary Fund loans?

Cash-starved Athens has resorted to extraordinary measures to avoid defaulting to the IMF. But what would be the fall-out of a disorderly default?

No county has ever defaulted to the Fund in its 70-year history

The Greek government faces the prospect of becoming the first developed nation to ever default on its international obligations.

After a harrowing five months, and in a drama of soft deadlines, the cash-strapped government now faces a €1.55bn payment to the International Monetary Fund due at 11pm tonight.

With negotiations have broken off in dramatic fashion last week, a cacophony of voices on Syriza’s Left have vowed to prioritise domestic obligations unless creditors finally unlock the remainder of its €240bn bail-out programme. Greece only avoided going bust earlier this month after the government has asked for a Zambia-style debt bundling which will now be due on June 30.

The rhetoric is a far cry from February, when Greece’s finance minister pledged his government would “squeeze blood out of a stone” to meet its obligations to the Fund.

Greece owes €9.7bn to the IMF this year. Missing any instalment to the IMF would see the country fall into an arrears process, unprecedented for a developed world debtor.

Although no nation has ever officially defaulted on its obligations in the post-Bretton Woods era, Greece would join an ignominious list of war-torn nations and international pariahs who have failed to pay back the Fund on time.

What happens after a default?

In choosing to bundle up four separate June repayments, Greece avoided triggering an immediate default.

But in the event of a delayed repayment, according to IMF protocol, Greece could be afforded a 30-day grace period, during which it would be urged to pay back the money as soon as possible, and before Ms Lagarde notifies her executive board of the late payment.

However, with talks have broken down in acrimonious fashion between the country and its creditors, Ms Lagarde has said she will renege on this and notify her board “immediately”.

Having spooked creditors and the markets of the possibility of a fatal breach of the sanctity of monetary union, Greece may well stump up the cash if an agreement to release the country more emergency aid is reached (that’s looking increasingly unlikely however).

But should no money be forthcoming however, the arrears process may well extend indefinitely.

Greece’s other creditor burden would also start piling up, with the government due to pay another €6.6bn to the European Central Bank in July and August.

Stopping the cash

Although the exact process is uncertain, falling into a protracted arrears procedure could have major consequences for continued financial assistance from Greece’s other creditors – the European Central Bank and European Commission.

“If Greece defaults to the IMF, then they are considered to be in default to the rest of the eurozone,” says Raoul Ruparel, head of economic research at Open Europe.

The terms of Greece’s existing bail-out programme stipulate that a default to the IMF would automatically constitute a default on the country’s European rescue loans.

“Such a scenario would risk the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) cancelling all or part of its facility or even declaring the principal amount of the loan to be due immediately,” say analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Should the EFSF take such a decisive move, it could activate a range of cross default clauses on Greek government bonds held by private investors and the ECB. These clauses state a default to one creditor institution applies to all.

The political and market damage that may ensue would be substantial. Popular sentiment in creditor nations would turn against the errant Greeks, while the position of the ECB in particular could quickly come under the spotlight.

The central bank has kept Greek banks on a tight leash, maintaining that it would only restore normal lending operations to the country once “conditions for a successful completion of the programme are in place”.

A wave of defaults may force the ECB into finally pulling the plug on the emergency assistance it has been providing in ever larger doses since February.

What would happen if Greece left the euro? In 60 seconds

Scrambling for funds

Whatever the outcome, Greece on many measures, is all but bankrupt.

In addition to the half a billion euros plus it owes the Fund this month, the Leftist government will still be paying back the IMF until 2030. In total, its repayment schedule stretches out over the next 42 years to 2057.

Greece makes new aid proposal, seeks debt restructuring

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece has submitted to creditors a new two-year aid proposal calling for parallel debt restructuring, the office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday, in what seemed like a last-ditch effort by Athens to resolve an impasse with lenders.

The statement came hours before Athens was set to default on a loan to the International Monetary Fund. It was unclear how creditors would respond.

“The Greek government proposed today a two-year deal with the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) to fully cover its financial needs and with parallel debt restructuring,” the government said in a statement.

“Greece remains at the negotiating table,” the statement said, adding that Athens would always seek a “viable solution to stay in the euro.”


If Greece defaults on its debt, it will be the biggest default by a country in history.
Greece is expected to miss a €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) debt payment on Tuesday. That won’t be enough to put it in the record books yet, but it could eventually make Greece default on its entire debt load: €323 billion ($360 billion).

This isn’t the first time Greece has been on the brink. Greece already holds the record for the biggest default ever by a country from 2012 when it went into technical default and had to restructure about $138 billion of its debt. Back then, Greece was quickly bailed out by its European peers. That’s unlikely to happen now.
The Greek government pulled its negotiators from talks with European officials Friday after little progress was made on a debt payment plan and economic reforms. Greece has called for a referendum vote on July 5 on the latest proposal from Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

Greece already holds the record: Greece’s 2012 technical default shattered the previous record set by Argentina in 2001, when the South American nation defaulted on $95 billion in debt. While there are parallels between the two countries, experts say this potential Greek default could be much worse.
“Things are incredibly dire,” says Anna Gelpern, a Georgetown University professor. “For political reasons and market-confidence reasons, they need to deal with the debt…It’s not clear to me how they deal with it without defaulting on anyone.”

Greece won’t officially be in default right away. The International Monetary Fund generally gives countries a month after missing a debt payment before it declares a country in defaulted. However, the markets will most likely judge Greece to be in default by July 1.
Greece’s debt is spread out across the board. Greece owes money to the International Monetary Fund, Germany, France, Greek banks and several others.
But consider this: Whatever happens to Greece, it’s likely to be a long process. Argentina is still in default. But a key difference is that Greece has four times the debt load of Argentina — the next worst default — but Greece’s economy is only half the size of Argentina’s.
While Greece would be the biggest sovereign default, Lehman Brothers had over $600 billion in assets when it filed for bankruptcy in 2008. A Greek default would be smaller and unlikely to rattle the global financial system like Lehman, but it would have a long-lasting impact on the Greek people.
Here are some of the worst sovereign defaults since 2000.

1. Greece — $138 billion, March 2012. Despite going into a technical default, the Greek government is propped up by bailout funds from its European peers. Those bailout funds eventually lead to the current dilemma.
2. Argentina — $95 billion, November 2001. Argentina’s currency was “pegged” or equal to one U.S. dollar for years — a currency exchange that eventually proved to be completely inaccurate. Like Greece is doing this week, Argentina also clamped down on Argentines trying to take money out of the banks. It didn’t help. The country’s economy was nearly three times smaller just one year later, according to IMF data. In July 2014, Argentina went into a technical default after it missed a debt payment to its hold out creditors.
3. Jamaica — $7.9 billion, February 2010. Massive government overspending for years and rapid inflation pushed Jamaica into default five years ago. At the time, over 40% of the government’s budget went to paying debts. Its economy, which depends on tourism, suffered when the U.S. recession began in late 2008.
4. Ecuador — $3.2 billion, December 2008. Ecuador pulled a fast one on its creditors. With a debt payment looming, the Ecuardor’s government, led by President Rafael Correa, just said no to its creditors. He claimed the debt, some which was owned by American hedge funds, was “immoral.” Rich in resources, Ecuardor could have made debt payments, but intentionally chose not to.


Despite Lagarde’s initial reluctance, IMF on the hook for Greece

By Anna Yukhananov

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As French Finance Minister in 2010, Christine Lagarde opposed the involvement of the International Monetary Fund in Greece.

Now as the country stands on the edge of defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) payment to the Fund, Lagarde’s tenure at the head of the IMF since 2011 will be shaped by Greece, which holds a referendum on Sunday that could pave the way to its exit from the euro.

By its own admission the Washington-based institution broke many of its rules in lending to Greece. It ended up endorsing austerity measures proposed by the European Commission and European Central Bank, its partners in the troika of Greece’s lenders, instead of leading talks as it had done with other countries such as Russia and in the Asian financial crisis.

“I think the IMF has missed the opportunity (on Greece), because it has not fully leveraged the lessons it learned from the previous crises it was involved in, due to this asymmetric relationship within the troika,” said Domenico Lombardi, a former IMF board member.

That the IMF lent to Greece at the behest of Europe, which has nominated every IMF Managing Director since the inception of the Fund in 1946, may expose the institution to greater scrutiny, especially as it has $24 billion in loans outstanding to Greece in its largest-ever program.

“When it was clear that the Greek program was underperforming, they did not push back sufficiently against the euro zone, which had at the time a misguided policy emphasis on only austerity,” said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a fellow at the Peterson Institute in Washington.

The involvement of the Fund in Greece and its continued support for decisions driven by eurozone governments caused a deep split in the institution.

Some IMF economists had misgivings about lending to Greece in 2010 within the constraints of the so-called “troika” of lenders, where the Fund would be the junior partner to the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

IMF board members also protested the “exceptional” size of the program, as Athens did not meet the Fund’s criteria for debt sustainability, meaning it would have trouble repaying.

Yet swayed by the fear that contagion in Athens could spread to French and German banks, the IMF agreed to participate in a joint 110-billion-euro bailout of Greece with the Europeans.

“The Europeans have a third of the voting rights (at the IMF), and they have appointed the managing director since the beginning, so essentially it is the governance that has driven the Greek program,” said Lombardi who is now with the Canada-based Center for International Governance Innovation.

Later, the Fund admitted that its projections for the Greek economy had been overly optimistic. Instead of growing after a year of austerity, Greece’s economy plunged into one of the worst recessions to ever hit a country in peacetime, with output falling 22 percent from 2008 to 2012.

While the euro zone’s insistence on drawing a direct link between euro membership and Greece’s debt sustainability and the negotiating tactics of the Greek government have exposed both to questions of credibility, the Fund stands charged as well.

“The IMF’s reputation, too, has been shaken from widespread criticism of the Greek program, including its own admission of its failures,” said Lombard Street Research economist Konstantinos Venetis.


If Greece does default on all $24 billion it owes to the Fund, that will dwarf previous delinquencies from countries like Sudan, Zimbabwe and Somalia.

While the IMF was worried about contagion when it made the loans, it also had institutional incentives for wanting to bail out troubled countries, said Andrea Montanino, a former IMF board member who left the Fund in 2014 after participating in reviews of Greece’s second bailout in 2012.

“The IMF is in a preferred creditor status; the more you lend, the more you earn,” said Montanino, now with the Atlantic Council.

The IMF’s heavy involvement in large bailouts for euro zone countries, which included Ireland and Portugal, have enabled it to build up its reserve buffers in recent years. It is now aiming to store away some $28 billion by 2018.

From interest and charges on the Greek program alone, the IMF has earned some $3.9 billion since 2010, according to figures on the IMF’s website.

“I think the Greek lesson is in the future, the IMF will be much more careful,” said Montanino.


Greece lifelines run out as IMF payment looms

Greece is widely expected to miss a crucial payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday—hours before its bailout officially ends at midnight and the country is left with few, if any, financial lifelines.

Greek officials have already warned the country is unable to pay the 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) due to the IMF by 6 p.m. ET, after reforms-for-aid talks with creditors broke down at the weekend.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of the Eurogroup, subsequently tweeted on Tuesday that there would be a teleconference to discuss an “official request” from the Greek government “received this afternoon” at 1 p.m. ET.
The Greek government on Tuesday proposed a new, two-year bailout deal with the European Stability Mechanism. This would be to “fully cover its financing needs and the simultaneous restructuring of debt,” according to a translated press release from the office of the Greek Prime Minister.

A protester waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament building during a rally in Athens, Greece, June 22, 2015.

Yannis Behrakis | Reuters
A protester waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament building during a rally in Athens, Greece, June 22, 2015.

This comes at a time when Greece’s financial future is in jeopardy. The country will potentially have no access to external sources of cash, once its funding from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) expires at midnight.

Read MoreEFSF: CNBC Explains

Meanwhile, Greece’s banking system is being kept afloat by emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from the European Central Bank, which is up for review on Wednesday.

Against a backdrop of uncertainty, Tsipras has called a referendum on July 5 of the Greek people on whether to accept the bailout proposals—and accompanying austerity measures—proposed by creditors.

Tsipras has urged the public to vote “no” to more austerity.

“The Greek government will claim a sustainable agreement within the euro. This is the message of NO to a bad deal at the referendum on Sunday,” the translated statement from the prime minister’s office said on Tuesday.

‘Running out of notches’

Meanwhile, credit ratings agencies are increasingly nervous about the country’s solvency.

Fitch Ratings downgraded Greek banks on Monday to “Restricted Default,” after Athens imposed capital controls to prevent an exodus of deposits from Greece.

In addition, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) lowered Greece’s credit rating to CCC- from CCC, saying the probability of the country exiting the euro zone was now 50 percent.

Moritz Kraemer, chief rating officer of sovereign ratings at S&P, told CNBC on Tuesday that the group was “actually running out of notches” for Greece.

“We have the rating at CCC- and that’s pretty much the lowest rung that we have on our scale,” he told CNBC Europe’s “Squawk Box.”


If Greece misses its payment on Tuesday, then the IMF will consider it in “arrears” – a technical term used by the IMF, which is similar to default.

If a country is in arrears to the IMF, it means it won’t get any future aid until the bill is repaid.

Read MoreIMF’s Lagarde on Greece: Next few days are crucial

Although the IMF payment is dominating headlines, S&P’s Kraemer said that Greece’s bailout program ending at midnight was just as significant.

“Basically after that we’re back to square one,” he said. “So even if there was to be a change of heart in Athens and they did decide to take the creditors’ offer, that’s legally no longer possible as the program would have elapsed.”

Greece’s debt crisis: It all started in 2001…

Yannis Behrakis | Reuters

Odious debt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In international law, odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal theory that holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.[1]


The doctrine of odious debt was formalized in a 1927 treatise by Alexander Nahum Sack, a Russian émigré legal theorist. It was based on two 19th century precedents—Mexico‘s repudiation of debts incurred by Emperor Maximilian, and the denial by the United States of Cuban liability for debts incurred by the Spanish colonial regime.[2]

Sack wrote:

When a despotic regime contracts a debt, not for the needs or in the interests of the state, but rather to strengthen itself, to suppress a popular insurrection, etc, this debt is odious for the people of the entire state. This debt does not bind the nation; it is a debt of the regime, a personal debt contracted by the ruler, and consequently it falls with the demise of the regime. The reason why these odious debts cannot attach to the territory of the state is that they do not fulfil one of the conditions determining the lawfulness of State debts, namely that State debts must be incurred, and the proceeds used, for the needs and in the interests of the State. Odious debts, contracted and utilised for purposes which, to the lenders’ knowledge, are contrary to the needs and the interests of the nation, are not binding on the nation – when it succeeds in overthrowing the government that contracted them – unless the debt is within the limits of real advantages that these debts might have afforded. The lenders have committed a hostile act against the people, they cannot expect a nation which has freed itself of a despotic regime to assume these odious debts, which are the personal debts of the ruler.[3]

There are many examples of similar debt repudiation.[4]


Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International, a Canadian environmental and public policy advocacy organisation and author of Odious Debts: Loose Lending, Corruption, and the Third World’s Environmental Legacy, stated: “by giving creditors an incentive to lend only for purposes that are transparent and of public benefit, future tyrants will lose their ability to finance their armies, and thus the war on terror and the cause of world peace will be better served.”[5] In a Cato Institute policy analysis, Adams suggested that debts incurred by Iraq during Saddam Hussein‘s reign were odious because the money was spent on weapons, instruments of repression, and palaces.[6]

A 2002 article by economists Seema Jayachandran and Michael Kremer renewed interest in this topic.[7] They propose that the idea can be used to create a new type of economic sanction to block further borrowing by dictators.[8] Jayachandran proposed new recommendations in November 2010 at the 10th anniversary of the Jubilee movement at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C.[9]


In December 2008, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa attempted to default on Ecuador’s national debt, calling it illegitimate odious debt, because it was contracted by corrupt and despotic prior regimes.[10] He succeeded in reducing the price of the debt letters before continuing paying the debt.[11]

After the overthrow of Haiti‘s Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986, there were calls to cancel Haiti’s debt owed to multilateral institutions, calling it unjust odious debt, and Haiti could better use the funds for education, health care, and basic infrastructure.[12] As of February 2008, the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution had 66 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.[13] Several organizations in the United States issued action alerts around the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution, and a Congressional letter to the U.S. Treasury,[14] including Jubilee USA, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and Pax Christi USA.

See also


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Slaughtering The PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain)–The Coming Defaults in Sovereign Debt–Euro Collapse–Videos

Posted on April 24, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Axel Merk – Euro Contagion

The Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis: Investment Risks and Opportunities

Inside the Issues 2.20 – Sovereign Debtors in Distress

Following the recent CIGI-INET (Institute for New Economic Thinking) conference Sovereign Debtors in Distress, Pierre Siklos explains how European countries have become indebted in an unsustainable manner, and what financial mechanisms and policy options exist for states on the verge of default. A conference participant at Sovereign Debtors, Siklos is also a CIGI Senior Fellow and director of the Viessmann European Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University.

CIGI-INET Sovereign Debtors: Conference Overview

The CIGI-INET partnership brings together two world-class organizations that are tackling common problems together. “Sovereign Debtors in Distress” was the first CIGI-INET conference held in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and focused on unraveling the complex global threat of unsustainable sovereign debt. This video, featuring comments by CIGI Executive Director Thomas Bernes, INET Executive Director Robert Johnson, and the world-leading experts who participated in this conference, provides an overview of the discussions held from February 24-26, 2012.

CIGI-INET Sovereign Debtors: Roadmap for dealing with sovereign debt crises

Sovereign Debtors in Distress conference chair Susan Schadler joins panellists Michael Bordo (Rutgers University), Lewis Alexander (Nomura) and Martin Gilman (Centre for Advanced Studies) to discuss the roadmap for dealing with sovereign debt crises in the future.

CIGI-INET Sovereign Debtors: Institutional reform for sovereign debt crises

CIGI-INET Sovereign Debtors: Lessons from the Past

European Debt Crisis Explained

Europe’s Sovereign Debt Crisis: Causes, Consequences for the United States, and Lessons Learned

Northern EUSSR countries bail out more PIGS (07Apr11)


Debating the collapsing Euro and European economies, part1/2 (21Apr12)

Debating the collapsing Euro and European economies, part2/2 (21Apr12)

Moore Says Europe Debt Default Biggest Risk for Markets

Are Central Bankers just Economic Make-up Artists, Sexing-up Prices? 

Debt-ridden Countries IMF’d as “Euro Collapse” threat lures Bailout Bucks w/Michael Hudson

Marc Faber, “The Ego of Mr. Bernanke has been Badly Inflated”

Jim Rogers on Ben Bernanke, the Dollar and “Saving the Saver”

Marc Faber the Great Depression all over again

Marc Faber – When the Government Will Take Your Gold

Stimulus High Fading, Dollar, Gold, History According to Obama

Peter Schiff on Max Keiser Report April 2012

Eurozone’s debt troubles continue

Dutch Government Resigns as Austerity Talks Fail

Euro bounces back on solid Dutch debt sale

Point Break: ‘Spain last nail in Euro-coffin’

Spain sells bonds but pays higher yields

Willem Buiter: Spain And Italy Could Default In Months Or Less

After Second Bailout, Is Greece Still Likely to Default?

Marc Faber – Is Greece Irrelevant for global Markets – 10 feb 2012

Big contrast in Iberian debt 

Spain and Italy borrowing rates soar in latest auctions

Borrowing costs for both Spain and Italy rose today in their latest auction of government bonds.

“…Spain’s borrowing rate nearly doubled in a short-term debt auction as investors fretted over the euro zone’s determination to deal with its debts.

And Italy raised nearly €3.5 billion in a short-term bond sale today but at sharply higher interest rates amid fresh concerns over the euro zone outlook, the Bank of Italy said.

The Spanish treasury said it raised €1.933 billion but the timing could hardly have been worse, with financial markets slumping on concern that Europeans are wavering in their commitment to austerity.

The sale of three-month and six-month bills came a day after Spain’s central bank declared the country had plunged back into recession in the first quarter of 2012.

Markets were shaken after a first round of French presidential elections on Sunday put Socialist Francois Hollande, who wants the euro zone to focus on growth rather than austerity, ahead of incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. The two contenders face off in a final vote May 6.

Further undermining stability, the Netherlands’ government collapsed yesterday after failing to reach agreement over austerity measures, placing its AAA credit rating at risk. But Spain still managed to lure strong interest in the auction with overall demand outstripping supply by more than four-to-one.

The money raised was towards the top of its targeted range of €1-2 billion. But it had to pay a steep price. The borrowing rate leapt to 0.634% from 0.381% for three-month bills and to 1.58% from 0.836% for six month bills, when compared with the last similar auction on March 27.

Spain has promised to cut its public deficit – the annual shortfall of income compared to spending – to 5.3% of gross domestic product in 2012 and just 3% of GDP in 2013. Last year it had allowed the deficit to hit 8.5% of GDP – 2.5 percentage points over target.

Desperate to meet its targets, the government approved €27 billion in fiscal tightening in its 2012 budget, in addition to an earlier round of tax increases and spending cuts amounting to €15.2 billion. …”


UPDATE 1-More grief for Greece as recession seen deeper

By George Georgiopoulos

“…Greece’s economy will contract a deeper than expected 5 percent this year, the country’s central bank chief said on Tuesday, piling more pressure on to a citizenry already battered by crippling austerity and record joblessness.

The projection topped a previous forecast the central bank made in March, when it projected the 215 billion euro economy would contract 4.5 percent after a 6.9 percent slump in 2011.

Twice bailed-out Greece is in its fifth consecutive year of recession.

Speaking to shareholders at the central bank’s annual assembly, George Provopoulos, also a European Central Bank Governing Council member, urged strict adherence to reform and fiscal adjustment commitments Greece has agreed with its euro zone partners, saying they were needed to return the economy to sustainable growth.

Athens is under pressure to apply more fiscal austerity to shore up its finances as part of a new rescue package agreed this year with its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert a chaotic default.

Its continued funding under the 130 billion euro package will hinge on meeting targets.

Provopoulos warned that Greece’s euro zone membership was at stake if it failed to follow through on its pledges, especially after national elections next month.

“If following the election doubts emerge about the new government and society’s will to implement the programme, the current favourable prospects will reverse,” he said.

Greece is set to pick a new government on May 6, with the two main parties in the current coalition seen barely securing a majority in parliament, according to the latest opinion polls.

Whoever wins will have to agree additional spending cuts of 5.5 percent of GDP, or worth about 11 billion euros for 2013-2014, and gather about another 3 billion from better tax collection to keep getting aid, the IMF has said. …”


Background Articles and Videos


Euro is Dead – Long Live Germany? Anger over PIGS states’ bailout

Future of the US and Europe with Nigel Farage and Lew Rockwell on

Michael Pento, Eurozone Crisis, US Housing Bailouts? – Capital Account (11/11/11)

Gerald Celente talks Trade Wars, Eurozone Breakup, and MF Global

Greek crisis & Euro collapse-On the Edge with Max Keiser-12-02-2011

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Lewis J. Spellman–U.S. Sovereign Risk–Videos

Posted on April 20, 2012. Filed under: American History, Banking, Books, Business, College, Communications, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unions, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Professor Lew Spellman

US Sovereign Risk Part 1-1: Reality Bites Introduction

US Sovereign Risk Part 1-2: Reality Bites Introduction

US Sovereign Risk Part 2: Growth of Debt in the US

US Sovereign Risk Part 3-1: Political Economy of the Growth of Government Debt

US Sovereign Risk Part 3-2: Political Economy of the Growth of Government Debt

US Sovereign Risk Part 3-3: Political Economy of the Growth of Government Debt

US Sovereign Risk Part 4-1: Why the Financial Market Supports Treasuries Despite the Risk

US Sovereign Risk Part 4-2: Why the Financial Market Supports Treasuries Despite the Risk

US Sovereign Risk Part 5-1: How the Market Reins in an Out of Control Sovereign

US Sovereign Risk Part 5-2: How the Market Reins in an Out of Control Sovereign

    US Sovereign Risk Part 6: Capital Safe Havens

The Spellman Report

“…Professor Lew Spellman Lew Spellman has taught financial markets at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, where he  is  Professor of Finance since the 1970s. He has also been on the faculty of Stanford University, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the UT School of Law, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Spellman’s teaches financial markets and institutions at both the graduate and undergraduate level with an emphasis on analyzing and interpreting current financial market trends and policy developments.  His academic publications appear in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking and the Journal of Banking and Finance among others. He is author of The Depositor Firm and Industry: History, Theory and Regulation.

His experience outside of academics includes government service as Assistant to the Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and Economist with the Federal Reserve Board. His published works generally concern the market pricing of financial institution claims. Professor Spellman’s business interests include serving as Director and Chairman of Investments, Magna Carta Insurance Companies. Previously, he served as Chairman and CEO of Real Rate Financial and Electronic Exchange Technologies. He holds several U.S. patents relating to inflation adjusting financial instruments that led to the development of the Treasury TIPS instrument.

Lew Spellman holds the degrees of BBA and MBA from the University of Michigan and MA and PhD in economics from Stanford University. …”



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Lewis J. Spellman Interviews Dr. Lacy Hunt–The Morass of Debt 1–Videos

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Tom A. Coburn–The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan To Stop Washington From Bankrupting America–Videos

Posted on April 17, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


In a nation whose debt has outgrown the size of its entire economy, the greatest threat comes not from any foreign force but from Washington politicians who refuse to relinquish the intoxicating power to borrow and spend. Senator Tom Coburn reveals the fascinating, maddening story of how we got to this point of fiscal crisis-and how we can escape.

Long before America’s recent economic downturn, beltway politicians knew the U.S. was going bankrupt. Yet even after several so-called “change” elections, the government has continued its wasteful ways in the face of imminent danger. With passion and clarity, Coburn explains why Washington resists change so fiercely and offers controversial yet commonsense solutions to secure the nation’s future.

At a time when millions of Americans are speculating about what is broken in Washington, The Debt Bomb is a candid, thoughtful, non-partisan expose of the real problems inside our government. Coburn challenges the conventional wisdom that blames lobbyists, gridlock, and obstructionism, and places the responsibility squarely where it belongs: on members of Congress in both parties who won’t let go of the perks of power to serve the true interests of the nation-unless enough citizens take bold steps to demand action.

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” -John Adams

Throughout a distinguished career as a business owner, physician, and U.S. senator, Tom Coburn has watched his beloved republic careen down a suicidal path. Today, the nation stands on the precipice of financial ruin, a disaster far more dangerous to our safety than any terrorist threats we face. Yet Coburn believes there is still hope-if enough Americans are willing to shake the corridors of Washington and demand action.

With an insider’s keen eye and a caregiver’s deft touch, Coburn diagnoses the mess that career politicians have made of things while misusing their sacred charge to govern.

Coburn’s incisive analysis:

· Reveals the root causes of America’s escalating financial crisis

· Exposes Washington’s destructive appetite for wasteful spending, power grabs, backroom deals, and quick non-fixes

· Rises above partisanship to implicate elected officials of all stripes in steering the nation off course

· Lays out a commonsense guide to restoring order

· Concludes with a clarion call and sound advice for Americans who would dedicate themselves to defusing the debt bomb

Above all, Coburn believes the United States can continue as a beacon of opportunity for future generations-but how we act today will determine whether we deliver the nation to our children and grandchildren fully alive, on life support, or without a pulse. …”


U.S. Debt Clock


US National Debt Growing Faster Than GDP (4/9/2012)

U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 1


U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 2

U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 3 

U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 4

U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 5


The award-winning documentary I.O.U.S.A. opened up America’s eyes to the consequences of our nation’s debt and the need for our government to show more fiscal responsibility. Now that more Americans and elected officials are aware of our fiscal challenges, the producers of I.O.U.S.A. created I.O.U.S.A.: Solutions, a follow-up special focusing on solutions to the fiscal crisis. Learn more at http://www.iousathemovie.com/.

IOUSA Solutions: Part 1 of 5 

IOUSA Solutions: Part 2 of 5 

IOUSA Solutions: Part 3 of 5 

IOUSA Solutions: Part 4 of 5 

IOUSA Solutions: Part 5 of 5 


Krauthammer: Obama’s debt increase “radical, unprecedented”


Exclusive Video  Tony Robbins Deconstructs the National Debt

Dr. Coburn on CNBC’s Mad Money discussing the budget deficit facing the U.S. 

(Thursday, June 10 2010) Jim Cramer discusses importance of getting a handle on the national debt, the current budget deficit, and ways to expand Congress’ knowledge of economics and budgeting by cutting spending.

Coburn on CNBC’s Squawk Box: Healthcare Law Huge Contributor to Debt, Deficit 

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn Blasts Everyone in New Book: Buzz Politics 4.17 

Coburn Urging the Senate to End Duplication, Pass Amendment that Saves $10 Billion

HSGAC Hearing on Reducing Duplication

(Wednesday, March 21 2012) Dr. Coburn stressing the importance of taking advantage of the GAO’s recommendations for eliminating duplication and savings hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars in today’s HSGAC hearing titled, “Retooling Government for the 21st Century: The President’s Reorganization Plan and Reducing Duplication”.

Coburn on The Kudlow Report on Problems w/ Obamacare & Gov’t-run Healthcare 

Military spending, collapse of US empire 

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

Four Reasons Why Big Government Is Bad Government 

David Walker – America at a Crossroads 

It’s Simple to Balance The Budget Without Higher Taxes

Eight Reasons Why Big Government Hurts Economic Growth 

Free Markets and Small Government Produce Prosperity 

Deficits are Bad, but the Real Problem is Spending 

Spending Restraint, Part I: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton 

Spending Restraint, Part II: Lessons from Canada, Ireland, Slovakia, and New Zealand 

Background Articles and Videos

Debt and Deficit in a Nutshell

Coburn book “The Debt Bomb” hits the shelf today

By Rick Couri

“…Senator Tom Coburn hates it when taxpayer money is wasted. Now he has a new book out that points directly at the people and organizations he thinks are the worst offenders. The book is called “The Debt Bomb” and he holds no punches. “We lack the courage to do what’s in the best long term interest of the country because we always put short term political considerations first” he explained.

The Senator says the book is easy to follow because it goes step by step “first of all we tell the story of where we are and how we got here” he said. So how did we get here? Coburn says it all stems from what he calls careerism. “Careerism tends to make members of congress do what’s best for their re-election and not what’s best for the country.”  Coburn told us people who hold elected office are always careful to pick the timing of their battles “we’re always waiting for the right moment to fix things well guess what, that right moment doesn’t come.” …”


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The Pronk Plan for A Peace and Prosperity Economy–Videos

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The Big Squeeze–The Forced Downsizing of The U.S. Government–Rising National Debt Requires More Interest Payments–Cut Spending By At Least $1 Trillion Now!–Videos

Posted on April 1, 2012. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven Live (HD)

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misleading
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
and it makes me wonder
really makes me wonder

And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forest will echo with laughter


If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now,
It’s just a spring clean from the May Queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, Ooh, it makes me wonder

Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know
The piper’s calling you to join him
Dear lady, can’t you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind


And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all is one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll.

And she’s buying the stairway to heaven

The Debt Clock


Dan Mitchell Discussing Dishonest Budget Numbers with John Stossel

Geithner Admits: Obligations In President’s Budget ‘Unsustainable’

Tim Geithner to Paul Ryan: “We don’t have a definitive solution… We just don’t like yours”

Paul Ryan: President’s Budget Ensures Government Can’t Keep Its Promises

The Deal with Jack Hunter: Ignoring Rand Paul’s Budget

Ron Paul to Congress: If Debt Is the Problem, Why Do You Want More of It?

Another Day Older & Deeper In Debt: Federal Deficit to Top $1 Trillion for Fourth Year

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

Unfunded Liabilities and Hidden Taxes

Stunning Finding: President’s Health Law Creates $17 Trillion In Unfunded Financial Obligations

The National Debt: A Primer and A Plan by George C. Christy

How Big Is the U.S. Debt?

Charlie Rose The Movie (Bloomberg) – In The Year 2525

Default America: Interest Suppressed

Kotlikoff Says Next Generation to Suffer From Fiscal Gap

Default America: Deflation vs Inflation

Default America: Ron Paul has already won

Ron Paul Ad – Plan

SPECIAL REPORT: Ron Paul’s Plan To Restore America

Balance the Budget NOW

The Crimes of the Century

Fed Reserve Caught Red Handed

Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room


Why doesn’t the Federal Reserve just buy Treasury securities directly from the U.S. Treasury?

“…The Federal Reserve Act specifies that the Federal Reserve may buy and sell Treasury securities only in the “open market.” The Federal Reserve meets this statutory requirement by conducting its purchases and sales of securities chiefly through transactions with a group of major financial firms–so-called primary dealers–that have an established trading relationship with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). These transactions are commonly referred to as open market operations and are the main tool through which the Federal Reserve adjusts its holdings of securities. Conducting transactions in the open market, rather than directly with the Treasury, supports the independence of the central bank in the conduct of monetary policy. Most of the Treasury securities that the Federal Reserve has purchased have been “old” securities that were issued by the Treasury some time ago. The prices for new Treasury securities are set by private market demand and supply conditions through Treasury auctions. …”


Lackluster Five-Year Auction Weighs On Treasury Market

By REUTERS Posted 03/28/2012

“…U.S. Treasury prices fell Wednesday after weak demand for a debt sale dampened gains built on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s assurances U.S. interest rates will remain low.

In a day of choppy trade, the lackluster reception for $35 billion in five-year notes overshadowed weaker than forecast durable goods orders that earlier lifted bond prices from session lows.

Another influence was the Fed’s purchase of $4.81 billion of Treasuries maturing between August 2020 and November 2021. The purchases helped the bond market erase its morning losses, leaving it flat to slightly higher by early afternoon before the Treasury auction.

Treasury losses widened when the stock market began to erase some of the day’s worst losses and the S&P 500 index clung to the 1,400 level, hurting the bid for safe-haven U.S. debt.

In afternoon trade, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was down 5/32, its yield rising to 2.20% from 2.18% late on Tuesday.

RSC Budget Has Ambitious Targets, Needs More Policy Detail

“…The Republican Study Committee (RSC) has once again pushed the outside of the fiscal envelope, presenting a budget that reaches balance in just five years—twice as fast as the group’s proposal a year ago—through entitlement reforms, deep spending reductions, and no tax increases. This aggressive plan incorporates many elements of the House Budget Committee resolution, in some cases going further toward cutting spending.

The RSC budget[1] is a highly ambitious effort that moves as far and fast toward its goals as seems possible. It is not a perfect plan. It falls short in substantiating all its significant spending cuts with adequate substantive policy detail. But it draws another clear, sharp contrast with the President’s vision of ever-expanding government, higher spending, and more debt. …”

“…How the Plan Could Be Improved

Even with the strengths cited above, the RSC plan would benefit from more substantive policy detail on how it would achieve its $112 billion reduction in 2013 discretionary spending from the 2012 cap level of $1.043 trillion. This is a tall order that warrants a fuller description; it cannot be accomplished solely through the worthwhile but inadequate eliminations of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Legal Services Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, and National Labor Relations Board.

On the entitlement side, the RSC should explore the effects of its large and rapid cuts in major programs such as Medicaid and CHIP. To be sure, the RSC does not have the same access to the Congressional Budget Office and other resources that budget committees do; but budgets should be driven more by policy than just numerical targets.

Testing the Boundaries

The RSC budget reflects the need to reverse the explosion of federal spending and debt that threatens the country’s economy—and to do so soon. It pushes hard toward the limits of government spending reduction and reform. However ambitious this budget seems, and notwithstanding its limitations, the convictions behind it should not be ignored.

Patrick Louis Knudsen is the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Senior Policy Analyst Curtis S. Dubay contributed to this paper.”


1,000 Days Without a Budget: Facts on the Senate’s Failure

“…Tuesday, January 24, will mark the 1,000th day since the U.S. Senate has passed a budget—an egregious dereliction of duty on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D–NV) watch. By enacting continuing resolution upon continuing resolution (short-term measures to keep the government running, spending money at the current rate), the Senate has taken a pass on leading, all to the detriment of the poor and middle class.

The budget process forces Congress to set priorities to protect the people’s money and put it to its appropriate use. Instead, the Democrat-controlled Senate has abdicated its responsibility. The result? The deficit is soaring, causing a looming tax burden and injecting uncertainty into the economy, leaving jobs and economic growth on the table. It’s no wonder the U.S. economy’s growth is so tepid.

As the 1,000th day nears, here are some facts about America’s budget and why the Senate must take action to be stewards of the people’s money as the Constitution requires:

  • The last time the Senate passed a budget was on April 29, 2009.
  • Since that date, the federal government has spent $9.4 trillion, adding $4.1 trillion in debt.
  • As of January 20, the outstanding public debt stands at $15,240,174,635,409.
  • Interest payments on the debt are now more than $200 billion per year.
  • President Obama proposed a FY2012 budget last year, and the Senate voted it down 97–0. (And that budget was no prize—according to the Congressional Budget Office, that proposal never had an annual deficit of less than $748 billion, would double the national debt in 10 years and would see annual interest payments approach $1 trillion per year.)
  • The Senate rejected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R–WI) budget by 57–40 in May 2011, with no Democrats voting for it.
  • In FY2011, Washington spent $3.6 trillion. Compare that to the last time the budget was balanced in 2001, when Washington spent $1.8 trillion ($2.1 trillion when you adjust for inflation).
  • Entitlement spending will more than double by 2050. That includes spending on Medicare, Medicaid and the Obamacare subsidy program, and Social Security. Total spending on federal health care programs will triple.
  • By 2050, the national debt is set to hit 344 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
  • Taxes paid per household have risen dramatically, hitting $18,400 in 2010 (compared with $11,295 in 1965). If the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire and more middle-class Americans are required to pay the alternative minimum tax (AMT), taxes will reach unprecedented levels.
  • Federal spending per household is skyrocketing. Since 1965, spending per household has grown by nearly 162 percent, from $11,431 in 1965 to $29,401 in 2010. From 2010 to 2021, it is projected to rise to $35,773, a 22 percent increase. …”



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Leonard J Santow–Do They Walk On Water: Federal Reserve Chairman and The Fed–Videos

Posted on October 18, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Taxes, Technology, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |



A crowd gathers. People crane their necks. Cameras flash. The limo door opens. Who is it—Mick Jagger? Oprah? Tiger Woods? No. It’s Alan Greenspan—and the crowd still goes wild. Many felt Greenspan walked on water during his lengthy term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve System. But was he a genius or, as Tolstoy might portray him, simply someone who could manifest confidence while attempting to captain an uncontrollable ship? In this book, economist Leonard Santow casts a steely eye on the Fed and its five most recent chairmen—Arthur Burns, G. William Miller, Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke. Along the way, readers learn what function the Fed performs and why, how monetary policy differs from fiscal policy, which levers the Fed uses to change the money supply and control inflation, and more. This is one of the few books to explain the inner workings of the Fed and its Open Market Operations in layman’s terms, while evaluating its most recent chiefs in their efforts to keep inflation at bay and the economy humming. Written in an easy and accessible style, the book also contains insights on the subprime mess and the securities that helped bring down the real estate house of cards, and it offers prescriptions for smoothing the choppy economic seas going forward.


Leonard J. Santow

“…LEONARD J. SANTOW is Managing Director of Griggs & Santow Inc., an economic and financial consulting firm in New York City. His clients include government agencies, central banks, investment and commercial banks, corporations, pension funds, insurance companies, government securities dealers, and money managers. He is the author of The Budget Deficit: The Causes, the Costs, and the Outlook; Helping the Fed Work Smarter; and coauthor of Social Security and the Middle-Class Squeeze (Praeger, 2005). Santow holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois. …”


Background Articles and Videos

Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve

The Gold Dollar | Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Milton Freidman on the Federal Reserve System

Milton Friedman – Abolish The Fed

Ron Paul and Milton Friedman Libertarianism: Abolish the Fed

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