New Situation – Another Japanese Quake May Be Possible

As we monitor situations globally certain scientific information rarely reaches MSM.  Such is the case concerning technologies that can predict earthquakes with accuracy.  They do exist and have been known for some time, but not are yet embraced universally in the scientific community.  Never-the-less the anecdotal evidence is over-whelming.  First some background is provided.

Research in earthquake-related electromagnetic phenomena has recently shown that such phenomena make for a promising candidate for short-term earthquake prediction. There is a good deal of accumulated evidence of precursory signatures in a wide frequency range (DC-VHF). ULF geomagnetic change is one of the most promising phenomena and it suggests that short-term prediction is realizable. A new theory of earthquakes (EQs) predicts strong electric discharges which may be detected by a wide-band radio receiving system.

Back in 2004, the French space agency CNES launched a small satellite called DEMETER into polar orbit some 700 km above the Earth’s surface.  DEMETER’s is an unusual mission. Its job is to monitor low frequency radio waves generated by earthquakes.

A group of geoscientists released the data associated with the M 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti. They say that DEMETER saw a clear increase in ultralow frequency radio waves being emitted from the Earth’s the crust in that region in the build up to the quake.

The anecdotal evidence of electromagnetic effects associated with earthquakes is legion. Various accounts link earthquakes with mysterious light and heating effects. Then there is the widespread evidence that certain animals can sense impending quakes, possibly because of sensitivity to low frequency electric fields.

But good data is hard to come by. Geoscientists have been measuring the currents that flow through Earth beneath our feet for over 100 years. These so-called telluric currents are thought to be generated by friction and piezoelectric effects within rock. And the flow of electrons they cause has been linked to various atmospheric phenomena such as thunderstorms.

But the role these currents play in earthquake physics is unknown. It makes sense that any currents generated by friction and piezoelectric effects should be dramatically influenced by the relative movement of different parts of the crust.

But these effects occur over vast distances and at frequencies that are hard to measure and difficult to separate from background noise. Which is why DEMETER was launched, (DEMETER stands for Detection of Electro-Magnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions).

The results revealed a significant increase of the energy of ULF waves, up to 360%, for a period of one month before the main earthquake compared with the energy of the background,” they say. That’s a dramatic increase. These emissions dropped gradually in the month after the quake.

Dimitar Ouzounov at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland and a few buddies presented the data from the Great Tohoku earthquake which devastated Japan on 11 March. Their results, although preliminary, are eye-opening.  They say that before the M9 earthquake, the total electron content of the ionosphere increased dramatically over the epicenter, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck.  At the same time, satellite observations showed a big increase in infrared emissions from above the epicenter, which peaked in the hours before the quake. In other words, the atmosphere was heating up.

Yesterday Hokkaido University stated that there is a possibility that another M9.0 hits north Japan again (soon? imminent?). They say they caught the same earthquake echo of 89.9MHz as what they caught before the March 11th quake. According to their report, another M9.0 may hit from December to January, the epicenter may be from South Miyagi prefecture offshore to Ibaraki offshore, which is beside Fukushima plant.

This is significant enough for us to raise the Pacific quake watch to yellow.  This of course also elevates tsunami watch to yellow in the Hawaiian Islands and along the coasts of Alaska, BC, and the Pacific coastline of the US and Mexico during the warning period.

Trying to Make Sense of the Madness

When we look at the world from our monitoring perspective, we could be overwhelmed with what we are monitoring right now. Really, can anyone remember any time in history, save the fall of Rome and the onset of the dark ages that has been more chaotic than the present time?

From Nature’s side, we have global warming, with its associated weather extremes, seismic activity unlike any every observed, both in frequency and intensity, and we are experiencing the effects of hyper solar activity that so far has only produced a few power outages and spectacular auroras not being seen to the  middle of the States, Russia, Asia, and Europe since the 19th century.  Also, there is this lingering question that can’t be “put to bed” about comets, meteorites, and the so-called Planet X, Nibiru, or the Brown Dwarf, depending on whom you are reading.

On the political/social side of the equation, there are 40 some conflicts on-going, governments are being overthrown, and civil disobedience is ongoing in over 150 cities as of this writing.  In addition, the economies of the world are incredibly weak or collapsing, and the lack of will of the oligarchy and politicians to “do the right thing” is stark naked.  One cannot see any positive outcomes in the near future, and certainly can envision “worst case” scenarios unfolding in the next 6 months or year.  Rumors are flying of WW3 sparking off anytime.

So what are we suppose to think and do about all of this?  How do we cope, and in all too many real cases, survive?

If we look at all of the “elements” of this current time, we can see and know from our history there is nothing new here, only now just all at once.  Great earth changes – check, we have done that before.  Greedy and powerful oligarchies running roughshod over the economies of the world-check, our history books are full of accounts of these bastards.  Power hungry politicians prostituting themselves to the powerful-what’s new about that?

So why do we collectively feel that this time is more significant than all the times before?

Maybe, just maybe, it is genetically encoded in our essential being.  It seems that the most accurate prophetic descriptions of these times are contained in the history and culture of the oldest humans on the planets, such as the Hopis, the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia, and the Native South and Central Americans.

And indeed, the current keepers of the knowledge of these peoples have provided the most healing advice for us to consider during the current times.  I provide a few here for your consideration and it is our hope they may even give you a little peace.

Aluna Joy Yaxk’in was advised by The Star Elders that we are now unplugging from the Fourth World and preparing to enter the Fifth World. You may feel disoriented and confused. Know that this is normal, and keep the faith. Expect the unexpected . . . and dream an amazing dream . . . for these are the days you have been waiting for.

Aluna Joy got this advice on his Mundo Maya Unplugged Pilgrimage to Tikal, Guatemala.  On his way home from this trip he had a dream in which the Star Elders spoke to him and relayed the following message:

The ancient ones speak . . .

Your work is almost complete. You have set your ancestors free. You have also set yourselves free. You have readied the temples for new frequencies. You are now in that space between in which to create a new World for yourselves. No guides, angels or guardians will tell you how to create this World. It is time to stand in your own creative power and manifest the Fifth World together.

There are no more messages for you in the Fourth World. All that needed to be transmitted in the Fourth World has been received. The past will not and cannot offer you anything useful at this time. Don’t look back and don’t look outside yourself. The truth is not out there . . . it is in you. Look forward inside yourself for you are your own ancestors, returned to set yourselves free of the limitations of the Fourth World. You have begun to unplug yourselves. You are now ready to prepare for the Fifth World that is just ahead of you.

You are being unplugged from this World. To move forward, you must unplug. This is a time between time; A time for you to prepare. It is now time that you meet the Council of the Fifth World. We are those who came from the future to anchor keys and doorways to the Fifth World. We have left messages for you in sacred sites in the Americas: Palenque, Tikal, Copan and Quirigua are some of the places we have done this. But many sites are still shrouded in jungle . . . yet to be discovered. It doesn’t matter if the sites are discovered. The seals to the Fifth World have been broken free. This is an amazing time for you all.

The Hopi Elders tells us that our Mother Earth and we are going through a purification process prior to entering into the Fifth World.  This Purification is presented here.

Purification involves a number of elements:

Repentance, or rethinking, of the Two-headed Way of Life. This involves commitment, deep knowing that we are all One, acceptance of personal power to create change, and following our inner guidance. It is good to do this in groups, because it reminds us that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Also, as individuals, we are so rooted in our Two-hearted ways that we need others to help point them out to us. Once we as a group have identified and committed to a One-hearted vision, we can begin to live it, first within the group, then increasingly in the outer Two-hearted world. Then like-minded groups may join together to form ‘villages,’ ready for when the Two-hearted Path collapses in ruins.

Sovereignty, or self-respect, and respect for the sovereignty of others. It is also about taking responsibility for our creations and good stewardship for whatever is in our sphere of influence. For example, the Fifth World view of the planet is as a partner to be nurtured rather than as a resource to be consumed and discarded. Also, wealth and abundance will not be hoarded by those whose lands produce it, but will be shared equitably. Finally, any decision about stewardship will never be short-term but will consider the impact on future generations.

Truthfulness. Confusion over ‘what should be’ versus ‘what is’ separates us from the realities of life. We look for quick fixes, Hollywood endings and the latest fads rather than ‘walking the talk’ and ‘doing the work.’ One group may import ‘what works’ from another group and impose it on themselves, but disharmony may result. This leads to strife, conflict, and even war. Other cultures become too complex and collapse under their own weight, thrusting the people into anarchy until new ways are found. This is the inevitable outcome of the Two-hearted Path, and we are seeing its effects now as fewer and fewer Americans believe that government is ‘by the people, for the people.’ Our lives float between hope and fear, unrooted in ‘what is.’ From the moment of our birth, we are indoctrinated into membership of our culture, with prison or asylum awaiting dissenters. We leave school, trained to become ‘another brick in the wall,’ mindlessly perpetuating the Two-hearted Path. The Hopi language has no equivalent of, “I’m busy,” or, “I’m sorry.” Busy-ness and apology are not part of the One-hearted Path; and will not carry us through the collapse of the Fourth World and emergence into the Fifth.

It is an amazing time for us all.  When we look specifically at what is happening in the streets and parks of our cities today, this just may be that “unplugging” occurring.  We need not be frightened.  We need to look optimistically to the future.  The time to blame others is over, but it also the time that each and every one of us demand that every human be treated with dignity and respect.  It is no longer about money, power, or might.  Now is the time for all of us to start taking care of all of us, making this a new world.

May You Always Travel in Peace.

Warning- Situation Update #6

El Heirro had remained quiescent over the last 10 days with small offshore eruptions occurring.  It seemed that these undersea eruptions had relieved much of the pressure and magma levels seemed to become stable.  However, over the last 48 hours there seems to be new unrest and looking at the most recent seismic data (see below) indicates that the magma may be on the move again.  While this is may NOT be indicative of an impending eruption, we have to move back into the “yellow” zone for watching this very potentially dangerous volcano.  What concerns us the most, as noted by the data below, is the depth of the eruptions is rising again with the latest significant quake having risen to the 11 KM depth.  East Coasters pay attention.

New Activity/Unrest – October 27th, 2011

HIERRO Canary Islands (Spain) 27.73°N, 18.03°W; summit elev. 1500 m

Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) reported that during 19-25 October tremor continued to be registered by every seismic station on El Hierro Island; 270 seismic events were registered and located. The mean amplitude was lower than during previous days but indicated that the submarine eruption continued. Since 21 October, most of the events were located in the N part of the island, aligned NNW-SSE from the center of the island to around 13 km offshore. Most of these earthquakes occurred around 20-25 km depth. Superficial analysis of GPS deformation data from the last few days of the reporting period showed different behaviors between the stations located at the N of the island and the station located at the S, close to the submarine eruptive vent.

Geologic Summary. The triangular island of Hierro is the SW-most and least studied of the Canary Islands. The massive Hierro shield volcano is truncated by a large NW-facing escarpment formed as a result of gravitational collapse of El Golfo volcano about 130,000 years ago. The steep-sided 1500-m-high scarp towers above a low lava platform bordering 12-km-wide El Golfo Bay, and three other large submarine landslide deposits occur to the SW and SE. Three prominent rifts oriented NW, NE, and south at 120 degree angles form prominent topographic ridges. The subaerial portion of the volcano consists of flat-lying Quaternary basaltic and trachybasaltic lava flows and tuffs capped by numerous young cinder cones and lava flows. Holocene cones and flows are found both on the outer flanks and in the El Golfo depression. Hierro contains the greatest concentration of young vents in the Canary Islands. Uncertainty surrounds the report of an historical eruption in 1793.

2011-10-27  06:27  27.76 N  18.04 W  20 KM  3.1M CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION MAD

2011-10-27  12:38  27.79 N  18.06 W  19KM   2.6M CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION MAD

2011-10-27  17:26  27.64 N  18.02 W  11KM    2.8M CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION MAD

The True Greek Crisis

Everything we hear about the crisis in the EU, it seems that the whole situation is a result of the “problems” in Greece, and to a lesser degree Spain, Portugal, and Italy.  French president Sarkozy and Germany’s chancellor Merkel can’t agree on how to “bailout” Greece.  IMF and the ECB threaten to withhold funding for Greece if they don’t continue to enforce more and more austerity programs.  Greek 1 year bond rate is 117%!

If you followed just MSM you would think the Greeks were the most stupid businessmen and politicians, and there is considerable support that these elements of Greece certainly contributed to the current situation.  After joining the EU, there was wheeling and dealing with total disregard for the future and now they are in a real pickle.  Some in the EU are calling for the dissolution of the Greek government and absorbing the region into other EU member nations!

However, in historical perspective, one could also argue that Greece was setup for this fall. Closer examination suggests a reality that is very different than the “picture” being painted for us to consume.  Let’s examine some facts.

The Lazy Greek Meme

Greece is a land of ancient myth. But more recent myths have made Greeks cringe when foreigners start asking questions.

Greeks are lazy. They don’t work. They’re profligates who are taking down Europe. The caricature has become so common that a recent TV commercial in Slovakia used it to sell beer, drawing a contrast between the virtuous Slovak and the paunchy Greek indulging himself on a beach.

Most foreigners know Greece from holidays spent lolling on its beaches and drifting around its magical ruins. You could easily take it for granted that everybody here is just chilling out. They aren’t. The Greek labor force, comprising 5 million souls, works the second highest number of hours per year on average among countries in the Organization for Economic Development (OECD), right after South Korea. Greeks work 42 hours per week, while the industrious Germans toil just 36.

The average Greek worker earns a bit over $1,000 a month. Private sector employees are the most underpaid in the EU. Even before the harsh austerity measures imposed by the EU and the IMF, the Greeks had already cut the real average wages in the private sector to 1984 levels. This week the Greek parliament is expected to vote on measures that would place 30,000 public sector workers in a “labor reserve” at slashed pay – up to 40 percent.

Greeks retire a bit later than the European average. And the average pension, $990, is less than that of Ireland, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Thirty percent of the labor force works with zero Social Security or protections, while in the rest of the EU only 5-10 percent of workers are in this precarious situation.

The reality is simple, though rarely admitted –The “bailout” of Greece is really a bailout of big European banks. A game of smoke and mirrors leads us to think that Greek indolence led to financial ruin. The Greeks have done some things wrong, to be sure. But it was a dangerous mix of stupid economic theories and high-flying finance, fueled by a corrupt government, and that combination exploded the economy. If all this sounds sickeningly familiar, it should. We’re witnessing Round 2 of the Great Global Shakedown by the banks.

The Greeks got socked in WWII and then creamed again by a brutal civil war (1946–1949), in which American military aid to the Greek governmental army ensured the defeat of the Greek Communist Party.  After WWII, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan determined relations between the U.S. and Europe. The economic recovery of Germany—designed to benefit American multinationals like IBM, Ford and General Motors – was a high priority. (Watch a fascinating lecture by economist Joseph Halevi here.) Greece mattered to the U.S. as a strategic barrier against the USSR in the Cold War, so it decided to support Greece with economic and military aid, fearing that another communist domino would fall.

Meanwhile, a resurgent Greek Left began to demand fair labor practices and human rights. It was duly answered with brutal repression. Executions and exile were common. In 1967, the army, backed by the CIA, overthrew the government in a Cold War right-wing military coup. The new government, known as the Regime of the Colonels, engaged in stupid military adventures like a disastrous attempt to annex Cyprus, which led to its collapse in 1974. But the Greeks maintained a ridiculously oversized army and navy, underwritten by the U.S., to keep those Russians at bay. When the Cold War ended, the Russians were no longer a threat to the U.S., and, accordingly, financial support for Greece was drawn down.

Through the ’80s and most of the ’90s, the Greeks economy faltered, and the Greeks had to pay super-high interest rates when they borrowed money. The government, mired in bureaucracy, mismanaged things badly. Taxes were not collected. Bitter class conflicts emerged. Horribly high unemployment persisted.

But in 1992, something called the Maasticht Treaty brought hope, getting the ball rolling for the creation of the euro. Unfortunately, the idea of the euro was kind of a fairy tale promoted by European elites (minus the British). Some tried to sound warnings of an epic screwup. Wouldn’t the lack of a shared language, common culture, and big central government be a problem? Paul Krugman notes that European number crunchers who wanted the euro weren’t above fudging results to make the plan look good. The fairy dusters won, and in 1999, the euro became official. In 2000, Greece joined the game.

One fairy tale held that once countries adopted the euro, they wouldn’t default. They would limit their deficits. Every country would become like Germany, where debt was highly secure. Yay! Greek debt, Irish debt and Spanish debt began to trade as if they were super-safe German or French debt. Countries like Greece that had been considered dicey investment became overconfident. The European Central Bank would take care of inflation, they thought. And surely no one could go bankrupt. The Greeks, once forced to pay high interest rates (as high as 18 percent in 1994), could now borrow at low interest. The conservative Greek government went on a reckless borrowing spree and the banks went on a reckless lending spree. Big European banks were delighted to lend them money; more than a few also helped the Greeks hide evidence that all was not well.

Many of these big banks knew perfectly well as early as 2005 that the Greeks wouldn’t be able to pay the money back. But so what? Banks love a little thing called moral hazard – where you know your risky behavior is not going to be punished because somebody out there is going to pay for it. That’s what they counted on with Greece, and accordingly kept the rivers of money flowing.

The Greek government borrowed boatloads for the 2004 Olympics, which cost twice as much as projected. Magician-bankers at Goldman Sachs obligingly helped it disguise the debt — we’re talking billions — with clever little financial instruments called derivatives. The public hadn’t a clue what was going on. All the southern countries on the euro continued to borrow heavily, spend heavily, and for a while, they boomed until the boom as the financial markets collapsed in 2008.

God of the Winds

TSHTF in 2008. Everybody looked around and said, “Who the hell is going to pay off these debts?” The banks saw big money heading out the door. According to the bible of neoliberal economics, this can’t happen. Human beings and societies are one thing. But banks must be saved at all costs.

When the Greek government changed hands in October 2009, the books were opened and it became obvious that there was a much bigger deficit than anyone thought. Investors ran for the hills. Interest rates shot up. In November, just three months before the Greeks became the epicenter of the European economic crisis, the wizards of Wall Street were back on the scene in Athens, trying to peddle more deals that would allow debt to magically vanish. The New York Times summed up the banks’ role in the crisis:

“As in the American subprime crisis and the implosion of the American International Group, financial derivatives played a role in the run-up of Greek debt. Instruments developed by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and a wide range of other banks enabled politicians to mask additional borrowing in Greece, Italy and possibly elsewhere.

“In dozens of deals across the Continent, banks provided cash upfront in return for government payments in the future, with those liabilities then left off the books. Greece, for example, traded away the rights to airport fees and lottery proceeds in years to come…Some of the Greek deals were named after figures in Greek mythology. One of them, for instance, was called Aeolos, after the god of the winds.”

With evil financial winds gaining hurricane force, it became clear that Greece would need a whole lot of money if the bankers were going to get paid back. They jumped on the austerity train to nowhere– chasing their tails by making draconian cuts, which only increased their deficits, and then having to ask the EU for more money. Public workers were fired to pay the banks. Pensions were slashed to pay the banks. But there still wasn’t enough money to pay the banks.

If you’re a country that has your own sovereign currency – like the U.S. – then you have some options in this situation. You can do monetary expansion to head off deflation, for example, and devalue your currency. But once Greece went on the euro, it say good-bye to such options. So it cut, and cut, and cut, and now it’s going bankrupt anyway. The country is mired in falling income, rising deficits, and sinks even further. It’s in the Herbert Hoover death spiral.

Meanwhile, members of the EU are flipping out. Contributions to the bailout agreed to in July are supposed to be proportional to a country’s economic status, and thus the Germans have the biggest chunk to fork over. They are not keen on the notion of doing so in order for the Greek and French banks to get paid. Hey, they’re thinking, wouldn’t it be cheaper to recapitalize our own banks directly? The French are really flipping out, because after the Greek banks, their banks are holding the biggest hordes of Greek debt. They’re worried about their credit ratings. The bailout decision has been postponed until mid-November so everybody can fight it out.

With the major banks holding all of these Greek derivatives, is it any wonder that BoA and JPMC are now trying to foist these toxic assets onto the American Taxpayers by transferring these assets into their banking arms so the loses would be covered under the FDIC!

No matter how this turns out, two facts will remain unchanged.  First, Greek debt will be the start of the whole house of cards collapsing, that was the EU and the Euro.  Secondly, Greeks will pay the price of cozying up to greedy bankers for decades.

The Fox is in the Henhouse Again, and We are not Watching!

We watched as the banks were bailed out after ripping off nearly $5 trillion dollars of America’s wealth.  We are on the hook for their loses.  They were too big to fail, we were told.  It would be a disaster for the world’s economy.  The same story was then foisted on our European brothers, and again with the same “chicken little” reasoning.

Well, here we are 3 years later and the economy is still in the dumpster and we have not done one thing to correct the major problem of banks being investment firms ponied up to the roulette table wildly playing with OUR money unchecked.  Now the drunken bankers are at it again.  I have written many articles concerning this crazy derivatives market that is the banker’s hedge for the downside of this slow motion crash of the world’s economy.

This WAS one market that the bankers were exposed and WE were not on the hook for bailouts.  Well, that was until last week.  No ONE is MSM National media is even reporting this.  If you aren’t mad as hell when you read this, you are certifiably in a COMA.

Source: Washington’s Blog

Bloomberg reports that Bank of America is dumping derivatives onto a subsidiary which is insured by the government – i.e. taxpayers.

Yves Smith notes:

If you have any doubt that Bank of America is going down, this development should settle it …. Both [professor of economics and law, and former head S&L prosecutor] Bill Black (who I interviewed just now) and I see this as a desperate move by Bank of America’s management, a de facto admission that they know the bank is in serious trouble.

The short form via Bloomberg:

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation…

Bank of America’s holding company — the parent of both the retail bank and the Merrill Lynch securities unit — held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June, according to data compiled by the OCC. About $53 trillion, or 71 percent, were within Bank of America NA, according to the data, which represent the notional values of the trades.

That compares with JPMorgan’s deposit-taking entity, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, which contained 99 percent of the New York-based firm’s $79 trillion of notional derivatives, the OCC data show.

Now you would expect this move to be driven by adverse selection, that it, that BofA would move its WORST derivatives, that is, the ones that were riskiest or otherwise had high collateral posting requirements, to the sub. Bill Black confirmed that even though the details were sketchy, this is precisely what took place.

And remember, as we have indicated, there are some “derivatives” that should be eliminated, period. We’ve written repeatedly about credit default swaps, which have virtually no legitimate economic uses (no one was complaining about the illiquidity of corporate bonds prior to the introduction of CDS; this was not a perceived need among investors). They are an inherently defective product, since there is no way to margin adequately for “jump to default” risk and have the product be viable economically. CDS are systematically underpriced insurance, with insurers guaranteed to go bust periodically, as AIG and the monolines demonstrated. [Background.]

The reason that commentators like Chris Whalen were relatively sanguine about Bank of America likely becoming insolvent as a result of eventual mortgage and other litigation losses is that it would be a holding company bankruptcy. The operating units, most importantly, the banks, would not be affected and could be spun out to a new entity or sold. Shareholders would be wiped out and holding company creditors (most important, bondholders) would take a hit by having their debt haircut and partly converted to equity.

This changes the picture completely. This move reflects either criminal incompetence or abject corruption by the Fed. Even though I’ve expressed my doubts as to whether Dodd Frank resolutions will work, dumping derivatives into depositaries pretty much guarantees a Dodd Frank resolution will fail. Remember the effect of the 2005 bankruptcy law revisions: derivatives counterparties are first in line, they get to grab assets first and leave everyone else to scramble for crumbs. [Background.] So this move amounts to a direct transfer from derivatives counterparties of Merrill to the taxpayer, via the FDIC, which would have to make depositors whole after derivatives counterparties grabbed collateral. It’s well nigh impossible to have an orderly wind down in this scenario. You have a derivatives counterparty land grab and an abrupt insolvency. Lehman failed over a weekend after JP Morgan grabbed collateral.

But it’s even worse than that. During the savings & loan crisis, the FDIC did not have enough in deposit insurance receipts to pay for the Resolution Trust Corporation wind-down vehicle. It had to get more funding from Congress. This move paves the way for another TARP-style shakedown of taxpayers, this time to save depositors. No Congressman would dare vote against that. This move is Machiavellian, and just plain evil.

The FDIC is understandably ripshit. Again from Bloomberg:

The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. disagree over the transfers, which are being requested by counterparties, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting, said the people. The bank doesn’t believe regulatory approval is needed, said people with knowledge of its position.

Well OF COURSE BofA is gonna try to take the position this is kosher, but the FDIC can and must reject this brazen move. But this is a bit of a fait accompli,and I have NO doubt BofA and the craven, corrupt Fed will argue that moving the derivatives back will upset the markets. Well too bad, maybe it’s time banks learn they can no longer run roughshod over regulators. And if BofA is at that much risk that it can’t survive undoing this brazen move, that would seem to be prima facie evidence that a Dodd Frank resolution is in order.

Bill Black said that the Bloomberg editors toned down his remarks considerably. He said, “Any competent regulator would respond: “No, Hell NO!” It’s time that the public also say no, and loudly, to this new scheme to loot taxpayers and save a criminally destructive bank.

Professor Black provided a “bottom line” summary in a separate email:

1.The bank holding company (BAC) is moving troubled assets held by an entity not insured by the public (Merrill Lynch)  to the Bank of America, which is insured by the public
2. The banking rules are designed to prevent that because they are designed to protect the FDIC insurance fund (which the Treasury guarantees)
3. Any marginally competent regulator would say “No, Hell NO!”
4. The Fed, reportedly, is saying “Sure, no worries” by allowing the sale of an affiliate’s troubled assets to B of A
5. This is a really good “natural experiment” that allows us to test whether the Fed is protects the public or the uninsured and systemically dangerous institutions (the bank holding companies (BHCs))
6. We are all shocked, shocked [sarcasm] that Bernanke responded to the experiment by choosing to protect the BHC at the expense of the public.

Karl Denninger writes:

So let’s see what we have here.

Bank customer initiates a swap position with Bank.  In doing so they intentionally accept the credit risk of the institution they trade with.

Later they get antsy about perhaps not getting paid.  Bank then shifts that risk to a place where people who deposited their money and had no part of this transaction wind up backstopping it.

This effectively makes the depositor the “guarantor” of the swap ex-post-facto.

That the regulators are allowing this is an outrage.

If you’re a Bank of America customer and continue to be one you deserve whatever you get down the line, whether it comes in the form of higher fees and costs assessed upon you or something worse.

Stand Up to the Coup

Bank of America has repeatedly become insolvent due to fraud and risky bets, and repeatedly been bailed out by the government and American people. The government and banks are engineering an age of permanent bailouts for this insolvent, criminal bank (and the other too big to fails).  Remember, this is the same bank that is refusing to let people close their accounts.

This is yet another joint effort by Washington and Wall Street to screw the American people, and to trample on the rule of law.

The American people will be stuck in nightmare of a never-ending depression (yes, we are currently in a depression) and fascism (or socialism, if you prefer that term) unless we stand up to the overly-powerful Fed and the too big to fail banks.

This story from Bloomberg just hit the wires this week. Bank of America is shifting derivatives in its Merrill investment banking unit to its depository arm, which has access to the Fed discount window and is protected by the FDIC.

This means that the investment bank’s European derivatives exposure is now backstopped by U.S. taxpayers. Bank of America didn’t get regulatory approval to do this, they just did it at the request of frightened counterparties. Now the Fed and the FDIC are fighting as to whether this was sound. The Fed wants to “give relief” to the bank holding company, which is under heavy pressure.

This is a direct transfer of risk to the taxpayer done by the bank without approval by regulators and without public input. You will also read below that JP Morgan is apparently doing the same thing with $79 trillion of notional derivatives guaranteed by the FDIC and Federal Reserve.

What this means for you is that when Europe finally implodes and banks fail, U.S. taxpayers will hold the bag for trillions in CDS insurance contracts sold by Bank of America and JP Morgan. Even worse, the total exposure is unknown because Wall Street successfully lobbied during Dodd-Frank passage so that no central exchange would exist keeping track of net derivative exposure.

First folks, we are talking over $150 Trillion of exposure.  That is 10 times our GDP!  Would you give me 100% of your income for the next ten years because I need it to make up my gambling loses!  What would you say to me?  You know, the OWS call for a BANK TRANSFER DAY in early November is getting to be a really significant idea.  If the banks refuse to act in a responsible manner and the FED is refusing to discipline its children, then we have to just take their “toys” (our money) away from the bankers.  It is time for “time out” for our out of control children.  Check out your local credit unions, they are real functioning banking organizations owned and controlled by their depositors and members.  Congress will never vote our interest, so we have to vote with our bucks.

Warning – Situation Update 5

HIERRO Canary Islands (Spain) 27.73°N, 18.03°W; summit elev. 1500 m

Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) reported more than 700 new seismic events were detected at Hierro during 4-11 October, 52 of them were felt by residents. A M 4.3 earthquake was detected on 8 October, located 1.5 km from the SW coast of the island at 14 km depth. Following the event, the trend of the superficial deformation changed, suggesting deflation of the system. During the night of 8 October through the following day, low-magnitude seismic events occurred at depths of less than 2 km. Since 0515 on 10 October volcanic tremor was clearly recorded by all of the seismic stations on the island, with highest amplitudes recorded in the southernmost station. All data suggested a submarine eruption.

On 11 October at about 0700 the amplitude of the tremor increased. During that morning residents on the S of the island reported feeling vibrations. After midday, the Government of the Canary Islands raised the Alert Code to Red for Restinga village (at the southernmost point of Hierro) and evacuated the residents. A maritime exclusion zone extended about 4 nautical miles from Restinga.

Geologic Summary. The triangular island of Hierro is the SW-most and least studied of the Canary Islands. The massive Hierro shield volcano is truncated by a large NW-facing escarpment formed as a result of gravitational collapse of El Golfo volcano about 130,000 years ago. The steep-sided 1500-m-high scarp towers above a low lava platform bordering 12-km-wide El Golfo Bay, and three other large submarine landslide deposits occur to the SW and SE. Three prominent rifts oriented NW, NE, and south at 120 degree angles form prominent topographic ridges. The subaerial portion of the volcano consists of flat-lying Quaternary basaltic and trachybasaltic lava flows and tuffs capped by numerous young cinder cones and lava flows. Holocene cones and flows are found both on the outer flanks and in the El Golfo depression. Hierro contains the greatest concentration of young vents in the Canary Islands. Uncertainty surrounds the report of an historical eruption in 1793.

October 13, 2011 – CANARY ISLANDS – These are some of the first images of the sea surface off the coast of La Restinga, near El Hierro. Residents of El Hierro have been observing the formation of ‘green patches’ on the sea surface, some 1 and a half miles from land, which appears to be growing in size at a rapid pace since this morning. There is also a strong smell of sulfur in the air and reports of schools of dead fish have been found near the eruption site. In the meantime, tremors continue on the island of El Hierro. Though tremor intensity has quelled- volcanic activity continues bubbling under the island and ocean. This could perhaps be volcanic fissures that erupted in the ocean along the pathway to vent some of the magma and gases that are rumbling under the island. It may be only a small leak in the pipe and nothing more. Magma plumes are large unpredictable volcanic features that punch holes in the earth’s crust as tectonic plates are jostled over them. It remains to be seen what develops next from all this seismic activity. In the ocean- such magma plumes create islands. According to reports in the Canaries News, (source of the Twitter feed) the specialists and researchers working from the La Restinga area of El Hierro have confirmed that there is clear evidence of two underwater eruptions which have pushed magma up to the surface of the water.


Although the earth directed surface has a large number of sunspots, and some with significant magnetic complexity, activity has remained low to moderate with a 35% chance of an M-Class flare.

NEW WATCH ITEM -Seattle and NW Area.

Two earthquakes have been recorded on 10-15.  A 2.5 dead center in the cone.  The National Volcano Center has NOT raised watch level from green, but we would say it is green-yellow at this point.  If we start to see swarming, then we go yellow.

What OWS is All About…Really

Two things continue to amaze me about how the OWS movement is being portrayed in the media and by a majority of the members of Congress.  I say majority of Congress because we saw the Jobs Bill get voted down in the Democrat majority Senate.

Secondly, even Progressive pundits continue to imply that the OWS participants “may not understand what they are protesting about”.  Can we really be that deep into a state of denial?  Really?  Well here are facts the 99% of us can agree might be contributing to the frustration.

5 Facts about the Wealthiest 1 Percent

By Natalie Wolchover |  Protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began in New York City’s financial district and has since spread to hundreds of cities around the country, call themselves “the 99 percent”: They say they’re protesting on behalf of all but the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.

The protesters object to corporate control of government policies, which they say has led to unfair tax loopholes, job outsourcing, cuts to public programs and gross overcompensation of executive employees, all of which have caused an ever-widening wealth disparity between the top 1 percent and the rest of the country.

So what is the disparity? How is wealth distributed in the United States?

FACT #1: The wealthiest 1 percent of households own 34.6 percent of all privately held wealth, and 42.7 percent of all financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home).

The rate of increase is even higher for the very richest of the rich: the top 400 income earners in the United States. According to another analysis by Johnston (2010a), the average income of the top 400 tripled during the Clinton Administration and doubled during the first seven years of the Bush Administration. So by 2007, the top 400 averaged $344.8 million per person, up 31% from an average of $263.3 million just one year earlier.  Meanwhile, according to the NYU economist Edward Wolff a 2010 report, the bottom 80 percent of the population holds just 15 percent of the total wealth and only 7 percent of the total financial wealth (as a large portion of their wealth is tied up in their homes). The bottom 40 percent of Americans — that’s 120 million people — hold just 0.3 percent of the wealth.

The wealth inequality is not solely because of the inheritance of “old money” among the wealthiest Americans; there is also an extreme and growing inequality in the distribution of incomes. While the top 1 percent of earners earned 12.8 percent of the total national income in 1982, their share rose to 21.3 percent in 2006, a level not seen since the Depression era. Today, an American in the top 1 percent takes in an average of $1.3 million per year (that’s about 10,000,000 people in the US), while the average American earns just $33,000 per year.

[Wealth distribution pie chart]

FACT #2: The United States has more income and wealth inequality than most countries that have been studied, including India and China — countries that are traditionally viewed as having unequal distributions of wealth.

The degree of income inequality in each country is assigned a “Gini coefficient” — a number that ranges from zero (if everyone in the country has the same income) to 1 (if one person in the country has all the income). According to data gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency for 2010, the United States has a Gini coefficient of 0.45, on par with such countries as Iran (0.44) and Mexico (0.48); this is higher than the Gini coefficients of 94 of the 134 countries that have been studied, including China (0.42) and India (0.37), and much higher than Canada, Australia and all of Europe. Sweden has the lowest Gini coefficient at 0.23. The United States’ Gini coefficient has been rising for decades; it was just 0.35 in the 1960s. [World map of Gini coefficients]

FACT #3: Among the 299 companies listed in the S&P 500 Index, the average CEO’s compensation was $11.4 million in 2010, or 343 times more than the median pay ($33,190) of American workers. The ratio of CEO pay to median worker pay was just 42:1 in 1980, and is currently 25:1 in Europe.

According to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which tracks executive salaries on a website called Executive Paywatch, those 299 CEOs have a combined income of $3.4 billion per year, which could pay for 102,325 average American jobs.

Bill Domhoff, a sociologist at UC Santa Cruz, claims the ballooning of chief executives’ salaries in recent years has resulted from the fact that, for the most part, they set their own wages. “If you wonder how such a large gap could develop, the proximate, or most immediate, factor involves the way in which CEOs now are able to rig things so that the board of directors, which they help select — and which includes some fellow CEOs on whose boards they sit — gives them the pay they want,” Domhoff wrote in a 2011 article on his website. [Graph of worker vs. CEO salaries]

FACT #4: Between 1979 and 2005, the average after-tax income for the top 1 percent increased by 176 percent, compared with an increase of only 6 percent for the bottom 20 percent. Between 1990 and 2005, the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage actually declined by 9.3 percent when adjusted for inflation.

This rapid widening in the income gap between the rich and poor was identified in a 2007 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The report attributed the trend to tax policies that favor the wealthy. According to Domhoff, other contributing factors include the diminishing political clout of labor unions and decreased expenditure on social services. [Graph of widening income gap]

FACT #5: Most Americans have no idea that the wealth distribution is as concentrated as it is, but regardless of their gender, age, income level or party affiliation, they believe wealth should be much more evenly distributed than they think it is.

In 2010, Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and behavioral economist Dan Ariely of Duke University surveyed 5,522 Americans about their views on the country’s wealth distribution. They found that most respondents (regardless of their genders, ages, income levels and party affiliations) guessed that the top 20 percent of Americans hold about 60 percent of the wealth (rather than the 85 percent that they actually hold). Survey respondents also guessed that the bottom 40 percent hold between 8  and 10 percent of the wealth in the U.S. (rather than the 0.3 percent that they actually hold).

Perhaps even more striking than their misconceptions were their beliefs about the ideal wealth distribution. Survey respondents said that the ideal distribution would be one in which the top 20 percent owned between 30 and 40 percent of the total wealth, and that the bottom 40 percent should hold between 25 percent and 30 percent of the wealth — about 1,000 times more than the bottom 40 percent actually do hold. [Graph of actual, estimated and idea wealth distributions]

This article was provided by Life’s Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow them on Twitter @llmysteries, youcan join them on Facebook. Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover.

Not only are the rich getting richer, they are not paying their fair share.  Most millionaires’ tax burden is less, as percentage, than any other group.  But the really egregious facts are related to both the banking and oil industries.  These are the groups “extracting” the most of the lost wealth and here are the facts, just the facts:

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings. (Source: Exxon Mobil’s 2009 shareholder report filed with the SEC here.)

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion. (Source: here, ProPublica here and Treasury here.)

3) General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States over the past five years and, thanks to clever use of loopholes, paid no taxes.(Source: Citizens for Tax Justice here and The New York Times here. Note: despite rumors to the contrary, the Times has stood by its story.)

4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009. (Source: See 2009 Chevron annual report here. Note 15 on page FS-46 of this report shows a U.S. federal income tax liability of $128 million, but that it was able to defer $147 million for a U.S. federal income tax liability of negative $19 million.)

5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year. (Source: Paul Buchheit, professor, DePaul University, here and Citizens for Tax Justice here.)

6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year, received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction. (Source: the company’s 2009 annual report, pg. 112, here.)

7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department. (Source: Bloomberg News here, ProPublica here, Treasury Department here.)

8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury. (Source: Paul Buchheit, professor, DePaul University, here, ProPublica here, Treasury Department here.)

9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2006 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction. (Sources: Profits can be found here. The deduction can be found on the company’s 2010 SEC 10-K report to shareholders on 2009 finances, pg. 127, here.)

10) Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits over the past five years, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent. (Source: The New York Times here.)

How can any sane person say they don’t understand why people are in the streets?  Those who think these groups are just “hippies, druggies, mobs” and are smug in the fact they think they are NEAR the 1%, should realize that close doesn’t count in the wealth game.  If YOU don’t wake up and don’t stop enabling the rape of America, YOU’RE NEXT!