Within the burgeoning tonnage of business press—print and electronic—precious little has been written about the near zero interest paid on savings and money market accounts that total trillions of dollars.
The Federal Reserve periodically and proudly announces that it is determined to keep interest rates very low to help lending and the economic recovery.
As Washington’s most powerful regulator of money and interest rates, the Fed has the last word. The Fed’s budget comes from bank fees the Fed is really there to serve its banking patrons. Cheap money for the banks and steep interest rates for their borrowers means big profits for the banks.
On April 10, 2010, the erudite columnist Bob Herbert of the New York Times had this to say about the subject of “big government”:
One of the reasons so many conservative [sic] Republican absurdities became actual U.S. policy was the intellectual veneer slapped upon them by right-wing think tanks and commentators. The grossest nonsense was made to seem plausible to a lot of people – people who wanted to believe in a free lunch. When Mr. Reagan told the country that ‘government is the problem,’ the intellectual handmaidens of the corporate and financial elite were right there to explain in exhaustive detail why that was so. The result, in addition to the terrible consequences of Iraq and Afghanistan and the damage to America’s standing in the world, was the tremendous (and tremendously debilitating) transfer of wealth from working people in the U.S. to the folks already in the upper echelons of wealth and income. The elite made out like bandits – often literally.” Which of course is why those elites are against “big government” and drag a bunch of common folk who don’t know any better right along with them.
April 16, 2010 — More than one-hundred pages of newly released documents from the US’s top intelligence branch are providing the clearest look yet at the CIA’s decision to destroy videotapes of detainee interrogation. The new documents show that Porter Goss, the then CIA chief, agreed with the decision to destroy the tapes, though they show he did not know of the destruction until after it occurred. They also reveal that almost immediately after the destruction, CIA officials worried they had done something wrong, if not illegal. Patty Culhane reports.
By Greg Gordon
April 16, 2010
WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman Sachs & Co. and one of its executives with fraud today in a risky offshore deal backed by subprime mortgages that cost investors more than a $1 billion.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in April of 1949 by a country not on the European continent, the United States, and eleven subordinates which had fought on both sides of the World War that had ended four years earlier: Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Greece and Turkey were added in 1952 after their service in the Korean War and West Germany joined in 1955.
Five days after the inclusion of the Federal Republic of Germany on May 9, in contravention of the 1945 Potsdam Agreement between Britain, the U.S. and the Soviet Union which explicitly demanded and meticulously detailed plans for the demilitarization of Germany, the Soviet Union established the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact) in response. Fellow members were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland and Romania. Albania formally withdrew in 1968, though it had not been a participating member since the early 1960s, and Romania had been a member in name only for at least twenty years before the pact’s formal disbandment.