Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fabricated Pentagon Reports on ISIS

Fabricated Pentagon Reports on ISIS

by Stephen Lendman

Official US claims about wanting to degrade and defeat ISIS are a complete fabrication. Washington actively recruits their fighters along with other takfiri elements - as foot soldiers for endless wars of aggression against nations targeted for regime change.

Ongoing US terror bombing in Syria and Iraq supports their ground operations - polar opposite official claims about wanting them defeated.

After thousands of airstrikes in both countries, ISIS forces are stronger than ever, controlling more territory. In June, Obama lied saying “I’m confident…that we are going to be successful (in) defeat(ing)” ISIS.

In July, he turned truth on its head saying “(w)e’ve taken out thousands of fighting positions, tanks, vehicles, bomb factories, and training camps.  We’ve eliminated thousands of fighters, including senior ISIL commanders.  And over the past year, we’ve seen that when we have an effective partner on the ground, ISIL can be pushed back.”

Satellite imagery and other intelligence clearly identify their positions - easily visible in open areas, especially when fighters are on the move. Yet bombing systematically avoids striking them - concentrating on Syrian and Iraqi infrastructure targets, killing hundreds of civilians in harm’s way.

America’s “war on terror” is a complete hoax. It’s a war OF terror on humanity - responsible for millions of deaths, vast destruction and appalling human misery post-9/11 alone. Ronald Reagan waged phony war on “international terrorism.”

In 1984, Secretary of State George Shultz said days before the presidential election “(w)e must reach a consensus in this country that our responses should go beyond passive defense to consider means of active prevention, pre-emption and retaliation.”

“We…need the flexibility to respond to terrorist attacks in a variety of ways, at times and places of our own choosing…There will be no time for renewed national debate after every terrorist attack. Fighting terrorism will not be a clean and pleasant contest…There is no room for guilt or self-doubt about our right to defend a way of life that offers all nations hope for peace, progress and human dignity.” 

Reagan’s war on unternational terror was a shadow of what’s ongoing today - far more deadly and destructive against one country after another, endless wars in multiple theaters with no end in sight, recklessly heading for possible nuclear war with Russia, unthinkable if launched.

Deception dominates US domestic and foreign policy. Administration and congressional officials systematically lie to the public. On August 25, The New York Times surprisingly headlined “Inquiry Weighs Whether ISIS Analysis Was Distorted,” saying:

“The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating allegations that military officials have skewed intelligence assessments about the United States-led campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State to provide a more optimistic account of progress, according to several officials familiar with the inquiry.”

Investigation followed an unnamed civilian defense intelligence agency analyst citing evidence of willfully distorting intelligence assessment conclusions.

Rosy scenarios substituted for hard facts. “The prospect of skewed intelligence raises new questions about the direction of the government’s war with the Islamic State, and could help explain why pronouncements about the progress of the campaign have varied widely,” said The Times.

Why is America (the world’s most powerful military) not easily defeating ISIS fighters? Don’t expect candid and forthright inquiry conclusions. Expect coverup and deception like always.

The Times said “(s)ome senior American officials in recent weeks have provided largely positive public assessments about the progress of the military campaign against the Islamic State…”

Information about arming, funding, training and directing its fighters as US foot soldiers against independent governments is systematically suppressed - especially by major media sources like The Times - perpetuating the myth about alleged war on universally acknowledged terrorists Washington supports.

Not a word about about America’s war on humanity - ravaging and destroying one country after another, wanting puppet regimes replacing all legitimate independent governments, seeking unchallenged global dominance through endless conflicts, including against poor people of color in US communities.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Rabbis Against Peace and Stability

Rabbis Against Peace and Stability

by Stephen Lendman

Hundreds of US rabbis (nearly 1,000 as of August 27) signed an open letter - urging Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal, reducing chances for greater Middle East war if approved, saying:

“We, the undersigned rabbis, write as a unified voice across religious denominations to express our concerns with the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.”

“We have weighed the various implications of supporting - or opposing - this agreement. Together, we are deeply troubled by the proposed deal, and believe this agreement will harm the short-term and longterm interests of both the United States and our allies, particularly Israel.”

“Even after flooding Iran with an influx of funds, this deal will not subject Iran to an airtight, comprehensive inspections structure - granting the regime the means to violate the agreement and develop a covert nuclear program.”

“The deal would also lift key arms embargoes, so that in eight years Iran will be given international legitimacy to arm terror groups with conventional weapons and ballistic missiles.”

Fact: Iran’s nuclear program fully complies with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty provisions.

Fact: Israel is an NPT scofflaw - the only regional nuclear armed and dangerous country.

Fact: No evidence suggests Iran wants nuclear weapons. Plenty indicates otherwise.

Fact: US-led imposed sanctions are illegal. No nation unilaterally or with others can impose them. Security council members have sole authority. Their’s are the only ones in conformance with international law - no matter how wrongheaded.

Fact: Iran threatens no other nations. Nor does it foster regional terrorism. Claims otherwise are Big Fat Lies.

Fact: America and Israel are the region’s leading aggressors - waging endless wars against nations threatening no others.

Rabbis against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) endorse continued regional conflict, not peace and stability. They ignore the 10 Commandments principle stating: “You shall not murder.”

Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries or threatened any. America and Israel partner in endless wars - mass murdering for wealth and power.

In contrast, 340 US rabbis called on Congress to support JCPOC. Their letter said the following:

“As rabbis, we support the agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran - The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. We encourage the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to endorse this agreement.”

“The Obama administration has successfully brought together the major international powers to confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions. The broad international sanctions moved Iran to enter this historic agreement.” 

“Should this agreement be rejected by the US Congress, those sanctions will end. There will be no new negotiations, as the other member countries are fully in favor of this agreement and have no desire to re-negotiate.”

“We understand that while this agreement blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb, we recognize it does not deal with Iran’s support for terror, but that was never the purpose of these talks.” 

“Now that a nuclear agreement has been reached, we call on the United States and its international partners to strengthen their resolve and dedicate additional resources to confront Iranian threats to Israel and other states.”

“Most especially, we are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement. We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.”

Even rabbis on the right side of this issue have wrongheaded ideas - as revealed in their comments above.

They should direct their energies to confronting US and Israeli high crimes - not victims of their hegemonic agenda, threatening world peace and security.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Differing Views on China

Differing Views on China

by Stephen Lendman

Ignore demagogues like Donald Trump claiming “China is taking our jobs…taking our money…They’ll take us down."

Gerald Celente issued a “trend alert” headlined “Market Mayhem: Don’t blame China - It’s the (global) economy, stupid.”

China is far from blame-free. Celente calls its economy “the canary in the collapsing global-equity mine.” He forecasts markets plummeting by yearend. Chickens are coming home to roost.

Current market turbulence is “more than a…correction,” he stresses. “It’s a global recession” - how severe remains to be seen.

The influential right-wing Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) supports anti-populist policies across-the-board - including deregulation, money printing madness, anti-consumer trade deals, near-zero interest rates, and gutting vital social justice programs.

Nicholas Lardy is a senior PIIE fellow. The New York Times featured his op-ed headlined “False Alarm on a Crisis in China,” saying:

“There is little evidence that China’s economy is slowing significantly from the 7 percent pace reported by the government for the first part of the year.”

Other market analysts estimate it at 4% or less. It’s reported economic numbers are inflated. Still, it’s growing much faster than stagnating US and EU economies.

Official July figures showed slowing industrial production and fixed asset investment, as well as sharply declining exports. Expect Shanghai Composite plummeting valuations to have a negative effect on consumer spending, weighing on private sector investment and economic growth.

Its equity market bubble may experience lots more deflating ahead - affecting other financial markets globally. Plummeting commodity prices reflect slowing growth.

China is the world’s second largest economy - the largest based on purchasing power parity. It’s an engine of global growth. Its economy and financial markets matter. 

Whether they’ll experience crisis conditions remains to be seen. Given the fragility of global economies after years of excess, China may face economic and financial trouble for the first time in decades.

The Shanghai Composite remains in bubble territory after around a 40% selloff - followed Thursday by what appears to be a dead-cat bounce. In the 12-month period ending June 2015, equity valuations soared over 150%. Retrenching so far may not be enough to reverse imbalances.

Lardy claims market weakness doesn’t reflect “a sell-off in the fundamentals of the Chinese economy.” He believes it “may strengthen those fundamentals…”

Investor/author of “The Next Economic Disaster,” Richard Vague headlined a spring 2015 article “The Coming China Crisis,” calling “the great panic of China…in full swing.”

Its economy “fueled by runaway lending…produced far more housing, steel, iron, and a host of other goods than it knows what to do with, amassing unprecedented levels of overcapacity and, by my estimate, making a staggering $2-$3 trillion in problem loans in the process” Vague explained.

The main post-2008 crash engine of growth “is rapidly diminishing and will soon largely end. The only question is how.” Its bad debt problem is “unprecedented.”

America’s economy was hammered by a similar problem from fall 2007 to March 2009. Forecasts didn’t predict what lay ahead - or maybe a worse storm brewing now.

Vague says China’s current problem bears eerie resemblance to America’s 2008 private debt crisis and Japan’s in 1991 - after the Nikkei stock market index peaked on 1989’s last trading day.

China’s ratio of private debt to GDP exceeds 200%. It’s total debt ratio tops 280%. It “amassed the largest buildup of bad debt (and overcapacity) in history,” said Vague.

“Overcapacity is so significant in many sectors that it will take years for it to be absorbed by organic demand.” Millions of homes remain vacant. Housing represents about 20% of China’s economy. Its private sector is “massively over-leveraged.”

Its growth has been declining for years - “perhaps to a level approaching zero - and China will be left facing a ‘lost’ generation of very low growth similar to the last 20 years in Japan.”

Whether financial and economic contagion follows (and how severe) remains to be seen. Current global conditions may signal a major inflection point indicating significant trouble yet to unfold.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Monied Interests Run America

Monied Interests Run America

by Stephen Lendman

Powerful Wall Street headquartered monied interests run America - in league with corrupt federal, state and local officials, waging financial war for profit. 

Reckless Fed-led central bank policy bears full responsibility for today’s market turbulence. Ordinary people are hurt most - fleeced of income, savings, benefits and futures. 

Most youths in America today haven’t the same opportunities as inner city kids like this writer growing up. When good public schools prepared students for college.

When it was affordable. When many public colleges and universities were tuition-free. When student debt entrapment didn’t exist. When America was the world’s leading industrial economy. When full-time high-pay/good benefits jobs were plentiful.

When each generation was financially better off than earlier ones. When wages kept up with inflation. When America’s middle class thrived. When corporations and high-income earners paid their fair share in taxes.

Before class war pitted private wealth against popular interests more than ever. Before social justice began eroding toward eliminating it altogether.

Before more powerful than ever monopolies and oligopolies controlled finance, industry and commerce. Before media was controlled by a handful of giants - featuring managed news misinformation rubbish, suppressing hard truths on vital issues.

Before endless US wars raged in multiple global theaters. Before America’s largest budget commitment was for militarism, wars and world dominance. 

Before super-weapons could kill us all. Before lunatics in Washington perhaps intend using them - threatening life on earth.

Before America became a police state - eliminating constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Before they began disappearing in plain sight.

Before Washington’s bipartisan criminal class became more corrupted than ever. Before inequality became institutionalized. Before poverty became a growth industry.

Before protracted unemployment at Depression era levels while America’s super-rich never had it better. 

When market manipulation distorts reality more than ever. When equities soared in value despite a Main Street Depression. When force-fed austerity became official policy at a time stimulus is vitally needed.

When a 1913 pre-Fed dollar isn’t worth a plug nickel today. Money power in private hands bears full responsibility for today’s market turbulence. Throughout its history, the Fed caused:

  •   17 recessions, including the Great Depression;

  • rising consumer debt;

  • record budget and trade deficits;

  • soaring national debt at $18.4 trillion exceeding GDP;

  • high personal and business bankruptcies - in Q 1 2015, publicly traded company bankruptcies rose to the highest level since 2010;

  • over five million home foreclosures since 2008 - Washington did nothing to resolve the crisis - expect increasing numbers ahead as economic numbers weaken;

  • unemployment at 23% - not the fake 5.5%, eliminating millions of longterm unemployed workers unable to find jobs;

  • loss of the nation's manufacturing base to low-wage countries;

  • shocking levels of poverty in the world's richest country;

  • an unprecedented wealth gap; and

  • a hugely unstable economy lurching from one crisis to another - markets manipulated by Wall Street crooks up and down, profiting hugely at the expense of ordinary Americans.

Money printing madness, market manipulation, deregulation, reckless speculation, counterproductive fixes, and unsustainable debt caused today's crisis.

Casino capitalism replaced industrial America. Instead of making better things for better living, financialization fosters unprecedented greed, fueled by limitless amounts of central bank created money used to make more of it.

As long as money power in private hands runs America, expect no end of massive fraud, grand theft, insider trading, misrepresentation, Ponzi schemes, false accounting, market manipulation, toxic financial products, unprecedented profits, as well as massive public deception and harm.

Keynes warned about “enterprise becom(ing) (a hugely disruptive) bubble on a whirlpool of speculation.” It’s worse than ever in today’s America and Europe - destroying the welfare and futures of countless millions.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Israel's War on Gazan Children

Israel’s War on Gazan Children

by Stephen Lendman

A new Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) report is damning, providing more evidence of shocking Israeli war crimes - titled “Operative Protective Edge: A War Waged on Gaza’s Children.”

Saying Israeli aggression killed over 2,250 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 547 children. Another 3,374 were injured - “including over 1,000 children whose wounds rendered them permanently disabled.”

DCIP-I’s research “found overwhelming and repeated evidence” of willful Israeli high crimes against peace - including multiple daily attacks on civilian residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, UN shelters, and numerous other non-military targets.

Eyewitness testimonies and other documented evidence showed safe haven areas known to Israel were willfully attacked.

“Missiles fired from Israeli drones and warplanes, artillery shelling, and shrapnel scattered by explosions killed children in their homes, on the street as they fled from attacks with their families, and as they sought shelter from the bombardment in schools,” said DCI-P. 

Scores of entire families were massacred in cold blood - murdering children, their parents and relatives. Children were slaughtered eating meals at home, sleeping or playing with friends.

A ground assault on Gaza City’s Shuja’iyya neighborhood killed 27 children, injuring at least 29 others. On the same day, an entire family was massacred at home eating dinner, including 18 children.

These type incidents reflect longstanding Israeli policy. In the last eight years alone, it waged premeditated war without mercy on Gaza three times - as well as three other smaller scale military offensives - against a largely defenseless population trapped under siege with no place to hide. The entire Strip is a free-fire zone.

Since 2006, Israel murdered well over 1,000 Palestinian children - acts of cold, calculated willful murder. 

“Israeli armed forces have been regularly implicated in serious, systematic and institutionalized human rights violations against Palestinian children living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” said DCI-P - despite core international law protecting them, ignored by Israeli soldiers and other security forces with impunity.

DCI-P said facts on the ground it gathered firsthand “add to the body of well- documented evidence of war crimes and serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel over the past decade” and earlier.

An entire population is collectively punished. Numerous incidents happening daily. DCI-P and dozens of other human rights groups demand Israel’s blockade end - its war criminals prosecuted and imprisoned for their high crimes.

DCI-P called its 98-page report “a snapshot of the devastation caused by Israel’s 50-day assault on Gaza…Palestinian children continue to withstand the worst of (its) repeated military offensives and increasingly suffer from a man-made humanitarian crisis created by Israel’s ongoing blockade of Gaza.” 

International law is inviolable. It’s meant to be enforced. Accountability is long overdue!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Congresswoman for Palestinian Rights

Congresswoman for Palestinian Rights

by Stephen Lendman

Rep. Betty McCollum (D MN) is an exception proving the rule - supporting the rights of Palestinian children in a Congress largely ignoring them.

In June, she wrote John Kerry, saying “Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children is an indefensible abuse of human rights. I hope this letter results in State Department pressure on the Government of Israel to end this systemic abuse immediately.”  

“Palestinian children should be treated exactly the same as Israeli or American children, without the fear that one day soldiers will arrest them, beat them, and lock them away in prison.”

On August 18, she wrote the State Department again - addressing the cold-blooded killings of Nadeem Nawarah and Mohammad Anu Daher during May 2014 Nakba Day protests.

Her remarks were unusually forthright - calling Daher’s murder “a blatant example of an unlawful killing that merits both condemnation and action by the US.”

An Israeli border policeman lethally shot him with an M-a16 rifle. “Most disturbing, Nadeem’s murder was captured on video as he walked innocently down the street.”

Daher was killed the same way - in cold blood threatening no one, clearly seen on video.

“As these killings exemplify, Israel’s treatment of Palestinian youths in the Occupied West Bank is unacceptable and must not be tolerated by the US or the international community,” said McCollum.

“Systemic human rights abuses are well documented, including the physical and psychological abuse of Palestinian children held in military detention.”

“The murders of (both youths) highlight a brutal system of occupation that devalues and dehumanizes Palestinian children.”

“It is time for a strong and unequivocal statement of US commitment to the human rights for Palestinian children living under (repressive) Israeli occupation.”

McCollum made three requests:

1. Raise these murders with Israel. Demand accountability. Prosecute the offenders for cold-blooded murder.

2. Have a State Department official attend their trial “to ensure appropriate standards of justice are achieved.”

3. The Leahy Law prohibits funding security forces of nations responsible for committing human rights abuses. McCullom wants it enforced against the 38th Company of Israeli Border police - the unit responsible for killing both youths.

Israeli abuse of millions of Palestinians is systematic and intolerable. Cold-blooded murder remains unaccountable. Murderers are free to kill again with impunity. Longstanding injustice continues.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

US/Israeli Attempted Color Revolution in Lebanon?

US/Israeli Attempted Color Revolution in Lebanon?

by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for redrawing the Middle East map, replacing independent governments with pro-Western puppet regimes, balkanizing Iraq, Syria, Iran and other regional countries for easier control, looting their resources, and exploiting their people.

Analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya says plans call for "creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan” - by color revolutions or wars.

Violent protests rock Beirut - ongoing for days, a so-called “You Stink” campaign over uncollected rubbish, people demanding “corrupt” government officials resign for letting it pile up.

Lebanon has been without a president for over a year. Obama’s war on Syria created an enormous burden. More than 1.2 million refugees flooded into a nation of 4.5 million people on top of half a million displaced Palestinians - the equivalent of around 130 million in a nation the size of America or about 500 million for China.

Other issues affect Lebanon like in most other countries - mainly governance serving monied interests at the expense of most others.

Yet violent street protests haven’t erupted globally. Just cause exists in many countries remaining quiet.

Crisis began after Beirut’s Naameh landfill closed on July 17. New sites or alternative arrangements weren’t chosen. Trash began piling up everywhere. 

Since August 22, violent protests gripped the capital. Prime Minister Tammam Salam warned “(w)e’re heading towards collapse if things continue as they are.”

Tuesday’s cabinet meeting failed to resolve things. Protest organizer Marwan Maalouf said “(i)n the beginning, this was a battle over the trash issue...But now there is a general battle against the political class.”

Protesters openly call for regime change. Are Israeli and US dirty hands manipulating things covertly? Is another imperial color revolution attempt ongoing?

Is uncollected garbage a pretext to topple another regional government? People elsewhere facing much greater problems don’t protest violently for days.

These type incidents are manipulated. Several thousand protesters don’t reflect the sentiment of most Beirut residents.

If Lebanon’s government falls, Washington and Israel gain at the expense of Syria and Iran. They’ll achieve another triumph toward redrawing the Middle East map - adversely affecting ordinary people across the region and beyond.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Misguided Calls for More QE

Misguided Calls for More QE

by Stephen Lendman

Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and other US financial community members urge more money printing madness - duplicitously suggesting current market turmoil conditions warrant it. 

Reckless monetary policy instituted by the Fed and other major central banks bears full responsibility for what’s unfolding - how severe for how long remains to be seen. More on what Summers said below.

Three rounds of Fed quantitative easing (QE) did nothing to create jobs or put money in the pockets of ordinary people who spend it, generate economic growth and create a virtuous circle of prosperity lifting all boats equitably.

Just the opposite. It generated unprecedented speculation - letting corporate and super-rich interests amass enormous wealth at the expense of a protracted Main Street Depression with no end in sight or intent to institute responsible policies to change things.

Former Reagan administration budget director David Stockman calls QE “high grade monetary heroin” eventually “killing the patient.”

Others call money printing madness the mother of all Ponzi schemes. Noted market analyst Marc Faber expects Fed policy to “destroy the world.” A great unraveling looms. It just takes time.

QE creates money out of thin air electronically - by buying US treasuries and/or mortgage backed securities in fixed amounts monthly. They’re held in banks’ reserve accounts at the Fed - not used for lending to stimulate economic growth.

Michael Hudson explains banks aren’t lending money to companies “to invest and build equipment and hire people.” Just the opposite. They facilitate speculation.

They “lend money mainly to transfer ownership of real estate.” They finance corporate raiders to take over companies, downsize work forces, cut benefits, “grab pensions,” substitute temp for full-time employees, offshore labor to low-cost countries, and try to “squeeze out more work” for greater productivity and profits.

The dirty scheme involves benefitting America’s 1% hugely at the expense of most others. The result: an unprecedented wealth transfer upward - from the pockets of ordinary people to super-rich elites already with too much. It’s the largest tax ever imposed on an unwitting public.

In 1988, Ben Bernanke knew before becoming Fed chairman QE doesn’t work. Two Fed economists explained. Seth Carpenter and Selva Demiralp headlined "Money, Reserves, and the Transmission of Monetary Policy: Does the Money Multiplier Exist?"

Their conclusion:

"In the absence of a multiplier, open market operations, which simply change reserve balances, do not directly affect lending behavior at the aggregate level." 

"Put differently, if the quantity of reserves is relevant for the transmission of monetary policy, a different mechanism must be found." 

"The argument against the textbook money multiplier is not new. For example, Bernanke and Blinder (1988) and Kashyap and Stein (1995) note that the bank lending channel is not operative if banks have access to external sources of funding." 

"The appendix illustrates these relationships with a simple model. This paper provides institutional and empirical evidence that the money multiplier and the associated narrow bank lending channel are not relevant for analyzing the United States."

Fed-style QE doesn't work. It could if properly used. It hasn't been. It's done nothing to boost aggregate demand. Doing so requires putting money in consumers' pockets.

Money printing madness hasn’t stimulated growth to create jobs and prosperity. Funds created flowed to bank balance sheets - used for speculation, high salaries, big bonuses, buying competitors, and consolidating to greater size.

QE is financial aggression. Helicopter Ben and Janet Yellen dropped lots of money on Wall Street. It sent financial asset prices soaring. Nothing went to Main Street where it belongs. Dire economic conditions for millions don’t matter. 

Tout TV talking heads explain nothing about protracted Depression-level unemployment and poverty levels - reflecting national policy against the interests of millions of people in duress.

Three rounds of QE created enormous global financial market bubbles. More money printing madness assures greater trouble than already.

Larry Summers lost credibility long ago. As treasury secretary, he pushed banking deregulation to the extreme - ignoring massive industry fraud. 

He supported corporate consolidation, promoted anything goes, spearheaded Glass-Steagall repeal and enactment of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act - responsible for creating a current $1.5 quadrillion derivatives time bomb guaranteed eventually to explode disastrously.

He now favors more QE, more monetary heroin, more wrongheaded policy than already. He suggested it on Twitter saying:

“It is far from clear that the next Fed move will be a tightening. As in August 1997, 1998, 2007 and 2008, we could be in the early stage of a very serious situation. Right now problems are not overconfidence or investors oblivious to risk, so no need for Fed to send shock across investors’ bow.”

Reckless Fed policy runs counter to its 1978 Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act mandate: to pursue “maximum employment, production, purchasing power," price stability, and balanced trade cooperatively with private enterprise.

Policies followed under Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen have been polar opposite - creating an unprecedented central bank facilitated money making racket - casino capitalism on steroids.

Summers and other financial community members want more of the same - no matter how harmful to ordinary people.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dead Cat Bounce Tuesday?

Dead Cat Bounce Tuesday?

by Stephen Lendman

Whether market panic in recent days signals the six-year bull market’s end remains to be seen. Bull and bear markets take time to unfold. They don’t happen overnight.

Yet days of global panic with valuations way exceeding fundamentals suggest at minimum a major correction, selloff, down cycle, give it any name you wish is long overdue to rectify significant imbalances and may have begun.

Sharp reversal days punctuate all bull and bear markets - profit-taking or buying dips to cash in short term. They can be stunning.

The 2008-09 market crisis saw six of the 10 largest ever Dow point advances: 

2008-10-13: +936.42

2008-10-28: +889.35

2008-11-13: +552.59

2009-03-23: +497.48

2008-11-21: +494.13

2008-09-30: +485.21

Tout TV talking heads treat viewers like what Goldman Sachs con artists call “muppets” - easy marks to swindle no matter how many times they swallowed bad advice before and paid dearly.

CEO Lloyd Blankfein calls it “doing God’s work.” The Supreme Court ruled he and other Wall Street crooks are immune from clients pursuing security fraud charges. Washington alone can sue.

Wall Street’s culture encourages fraud - rewarding it handsomely. The price for getting caught pales compared to great fortunes made. 

Wall Street is ground zero for casino capitalism. Its business model prioritizes fraud and grand theft. Tout TV talking heads notoriously feed gullible viewers bad information. They suppress how a dirty system works.

They ignore massive wealth transfers from ordinary people to super-rich elites already with too much. They call market bubbles normal good times.

European stocks closed sharply higher after days of turmoil. The European Stoxx 600 rose 4.3%, reversing most Monday losses.

As this is written about midday Tuesday Eastern time, the Dow is up over 2%, the S&P almost 2.5%, Nasdaq stocks 3.4%. Given extreme volatility, anything is possible before the closing bell.

One thing is certain. All markets revert to their mean valuations. Current ones are way overextended - a house of cards waiting to collapse, according to Paul Craig Roberts.

Reality eventually overtakes euphoria. Money printing madness works only for so long. Former Reagan administration budget director David Stockman sees “a train wreck coming.”

“(S)tay out of harm’s way,” he warns. “We are headed into a perfect storm of policy failures.” More than money printing madness “causing a massive bubble” signals big trouble. “(W)e are also seeing an absolute failure of American world dominance.”

Stockman sees “a major collapse” coming. When the Fed increases its balance sheet from $900 billion to $4.5 trillion in less than six years, and the pattern repeats worldwide, a slow-motion “train wreck” approaches.

“(I)t’s not very far down the road, and I can promise you that is when all hell is going to break loose,” Stockman warns. Perhaps it already began.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Former Greek Finance Minister on SYRIZA Capitulation to Troika

Former Greek Finance Minister on SYRIZA Capitulation to Troika

by Stephen Lendman

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faked his progressive credentials. He was a Judas all along - pretending opposition to austerity to get elected, planning betrayal straightaway in office.

Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis maintains a web site - posting his “comments for the post-2008 world.”

On August 18, he headlined “Bailout deal allows Greek oligarchs to maintain grip,” saying:

Terms lawmakers agreed to lets oligarchs dominating Greek economic sectors “generate huge profits and continue to avoid paying taxes” - at the expense of greater economic wreckage and harm to millions of ordinary households thrown under the bus.

The agreed on memorandum of understanding “enslave(s) ordinary workers and families by imposing tough(er) welfare cuts (than already) while letting foreign companies grab domestic assets cheaply through privatizations” amounting to government-sanctioned grand theft, Varoufakis explained.

As finance minister, he opposed greater austerity - saying imposing it since 2010 created catastrophic economic decline, unemployment and poverty.

He accused Tsipras of wanting to become a “new De Gaulle, or Mitterrand more likely” - deciding pre-referendum to ignore its results strongly against more austerity.

He planned unconditional capitulation to Troika demands - ludicrously claiming better SYRIZA than “local stooges of the troika who would implement the same terms of surrender with enthusiasm.”

He duplicitously betrayed the principles he claimed to stand for. “This mutation I have already witnessed,” said Varoufakis. “Those in our party/government who underwent it, then turned against those who refused to mutate, the result being a split in the party that our people, the courageous voters who voted No, did not deserve.”

Separately, Varoufakis proposed “a new approach to Eurozone sovereign debt,” saying:

The ECB should undertake a debt-conversion program for any Eurozone nation wishing to participate - “servic(ing) (not purchasing) a portion of every maturing government bond corresponding to the percentage of the member state’s public debt that is allowed by the Maastricht rules.”

Bonds would be issued to fund redemptions - “guaranteed solely by the ECB, but repaid, in full, by” participating member states.

“The obvious solution to the euro crisis would be a federal solution. But federation has been made less, not more, likely by a crisis that tragically set one proud nation against another.”

The “obvious” solution Varoufakis ignored is dissolving a euro system doomed to eventually fail - a predatory union forcing member states to sacrifice their fiscal and monetary sovereignty to a Brussels-based greater authority, exploiting weaker nations to benefit monied interests dominating stronger ones.

At the same time, weak debtor nations like Greece should renounce their odious debt entirely - letting predatory creditors take the hindmost. 

Varoufakis failed to explain what matters most. All nations should retain sovereign independent control of their monetary, fiscal and political affairs - surrendering them to no other country or greater authority. 

Capitulation amounts to selling their soul and the people they serve, benefitting public officials and special interests at the expense of the greater good for all - equitably and fairly without deviation.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

by Stephen Lendman

Besieged Gazans endure deplorable conditions. No end of their suffering looms.

On July 23, humanitarian aid worker Laura Grant headlined her London Guardian op-ed “Aid in Gaza: We don’t have the words to deal with this level of suffering.”

She came to Gaza for the first time after working in Occupied Palestine for almost a year. When crisis strikes like last summer’s Israeli aggression, international workers are largely evacuated. “(L)ocals are left to play the grim hand they’ve been dealt,” Grant explained.

How they manage is beyond what any outsider can imagine. Internationals come and go. Gazans remain besieged, trapped in rubble, without essentials most people take for granted or enough of them.

July 23 was the first day Grant could talk to Gazans about what they lived through last summer. “I am their connection to the outside world; the one person they can talk to who is not also dealing with horrors of her own,” she said.

She knew facts and figures about last summer’s devastation, but she “couldn’t prepare” herself for “(s)tories of leaving homes with children in arms, not knowing where to go.”

“Of losing loved ones because they couldn’t be evacuated for proper medical treatment.” Enduring three wars in six years with likely more to come - an endless cycle of Israeli inflicted violence. Entrapped in the world’s largest open-air prison because they’re not let out - or able to visit friends and family elsewhere in Palestine.

“How do we process (endless) injustice of the suffering of others,” Grant asked? How do people handle great deprivation?

Gaza hospitals seem forever on the verge of collapse. How they manage is hard to explain - with acute shortages of vital medicines, equipment, other supplies, fuel and electricity.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said “Shifa Hospital, Kamal Adwan hospital, the European Gaza Hospital, and Rantisi Hospital could stop offering services because they are about to run out of fuel. The current situation is the worst since the Ministry of Health was created…”

Gaza gets electricity from Egypt. Its one power plant was badly damaged in last summer’s war. It operates only at partial capacity.

Hospitals depend heavily on private generators. Blockade severely limits fuel supplies and other essentials. Patients needing treatment not available locally can’t exit Gaza to get it elsewhere - without hard to get Israeli permission taking time when urgency demands immediate care.

Summer 2014 Israeli aggression destroyed or damaged 17 of 32 Gaza hospitals and 50 of 97 primary health centers, according to UN figures.

Post-war, medical professionals and other hospital staff went on strike protesting unpaid salaries - for lack of enough funds.

UN authorities cut humanitarian aid for Gaza. About 13,000 UN Relief and Work Agency (UNWRA) employees went on strike against cost-cutting measures.

They rallied outside UNESCO’s Commissioner-General office holding signs saying “Stop the injustice. Refugee rights.” “The UNWRA is the only witness to the refugee catastrophe.”

They demonstrated in response to new agency rules - imposing staff cuts, postponing the start of the academic year, one-year unpaid leave, and larger classroom sizes in UN-run schools.

Monday was supposed to be opening day. They remain closed - unavailable for 220,000 Palestinian children dependent on them. UNWRA claims inadequate funding to operate normally, saying:

“The agency is facing its most serious financial crisis ever: currently, (it) has a funding shortfall for core activities. (It needs) $366.6 million for its 2015 emergency operations in Gaza, including $127 million for emergency shelter, repair and collective center management, $105.6 million for emergency food assistance, and $68.6 million for emergency cash-for-work.”

It needs new funding sources to provide normal services. On May 1, 1950, it began operating - providing “direct relief and works programs for” around five million Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

It’s a vital lifeline for people dependent on the vital services it provides.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.