The “Volcker Rule” is a Good Start, Now Fire Geithner and Summers by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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January 22, 2010

The new restraints on bank lending for speculation proposed yesterday by President Barack Obama follow the advice of former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker but will be much more credible if the president now fires Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers.

What President Obama is calling the “Volcker Rule” would take us back in the direction of the 1932 Glass-Steagall Act which kept commercial and investment banking separate for 67 years, until 1999 when it was foolishly repealed by President Bill Clinton.   Then-Treasury Secretary Summers strongly supported the repeal.

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Nation-Building Should Begin At Home by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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January 21, 2010

I have been writing for the last two years or so that the strategy of the Federal Reserve has been to engineer a “soft landing” from the horrendous financial bubbles that were created during the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush. Since President Obama came to power in January 2009, his administration has been partners with the Federal Reserve in trying to do this.

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How Can Localities Cope if the Dollar Crashes? by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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January 20, 2010

A “run on the dollar,” or any currency, for that matter, takes place when the currency is losing its value. This happens when a country’s debt becomes so great that there is danger of a major default–that is, large scale or even national bankruptcy. At that point, people whose wealth is in that currency, or in relatively liquid assets denominated in the currency, try to get rid of them as fast as they can. Today, that includes foreign countries like China or Russia that are holding large quantities of U.S. government bonds.

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Is a Run on the Dollar Starting Soon? by Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
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January 19, 2010

Capitalism Kills

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In response to a question from a reader I sent this out today:

Yes, I think a run on the dollar is coming. A lot of people are saying this, including a man named Dmitri Orlov who recently came out with a book entitled “Reinventing Collapse” that compares the crash of the Soviet Union in the 1990s with what he believes is coming here within a short period of time. I heard that at the last meeting of the G20 the U.S. asked Russia and China if they would agree to an orderly devaluation of the dollar, and the answer was “Nyet.” So something big is likely to happen. I don’t know what it will be. Continue reading

In time of crisis, barter works and may have saved Russia in 1998 by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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January 10, 2010

After the collapse of the Soviet Union caused it to split up into its components, the newly-established nations each faced an economic crisis. In Russia the crisis lasted for a decade. Inflation had destroyed the currency. There was no banking sector to speak of. And the central government had failed to monetize the nation’s potential production through a functioning monetary system.

The answer? Barter–not only among individuals, but also among businesses and even with the central government. According to a study from the period by Dr. David Woodruff of MIT, “As of early 1998, 50-75 percent of exchange in industry took the form of barter…” With regard to payment of taxes, “In 1997, at least one-quarter of the revenue collected for the federal budget took a non-monetary form.”

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Local Currencies, Not Washington Post Platitudes, the Key to Economic Recovery by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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January 7, 2010

Steven Pearlstein, business columnist for the Washington Post, published a column on January 6 entitled, “Recession Over? Not Unless We Make a Major Shift.” The problem is that the “major shift” Pearlstein writes about won’t solve the problem even if it takes place.

So is the recession ending? The professional cheerleaders from Wall Street think so, now that the Dow-Jones has surged past 10,500. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is also cautiously optimistic as the Fed begins to dismantle some of the emergency bailout programs it had implemented to help save the financial system from total collapse after the meltdown of 2008.

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Ron Paul’s “Free Competition in Currency Act” Won’t Solve the Problem But Still Raises Vital Issues by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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December 15, 2009

While Congressman Ron Paul’s Free Competition in Currency Act is not a workable proposal, it points to a deeply serious problem with the Federal Reserve System that must be faced if the U.S. economy is to have a future.

Over the last 40 years the Federal Reserve, with the acquiescence of Congress and the executive branch, has become the primary regulator of the economy. The prevailing philosophy is called monetarism, and it’s based on the raising and lowering of interest rates.

This period has been marked by the successive creation and destruction of several gigantic investment bubbles. After the Federal Reserve brought on the recession of 1979-83 by raising interest rates to over 20 percent, we had a bubble during the Reagan/G.H.W. Bush years based on business mergers and acquisitions. It was then that the fulcrum of the U.S. economy shifted from manufacturing to finance. This bubble collapsed in a recession that brought Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992.

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Economic Crossroads Means Opportunities for Local Currencies by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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December 10, 2009

The crisis of 2008-2009 exposed the U.S. financial system as being unstable, subject to abuse, and tending to favor the rich while putting everyone else deeper into debt.

The housing bubble was based on the biggest credit inflation in history. It raised the prices of homes to unprecedented levels but created the deepest recession in a generation when it collapsed. $6 trillion in wealth has now simply disappeared.

Meanwhile, unregulated global capitalism continues to concentrate wealth, outsource jobs to the cheapest possible labor markets, accelerate U.S. unemployment, and destroy local and regional economies.

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The Historical Roots of the Economic Crisis – The Cure: Monetary Reform by Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
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November 23, 2009

The United States does not control its own destiny. Rather it is controlled by an international financial elite, of which the American branch works out of big New York banks like J.P. Morgan Chase, Wall Street investment firms such as Goldman Sachs, and the Federal Reserve System. They in turn control the White House, Congress, the military, the mass media, the intelligence agencies, both political parties, the universities, etc. No one can rise to the top in any of these institutions without the elite’s stamp of approval.

This elite has been around since the nation began, becoming increasingly dominant as the 19th century progressed. A key date was passage of the National Banking Act of 1863, when the system was put into place whereby federal government debt was used to collateralize bank lending. Since then we’ve paid the freight through our taxes for bank control of the economy. The final nails in the coffin came with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

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Reaction to Fort Hood – Stupidity Beyond Belief by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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November 9, 2009

Stop the War

The United States military is engaged in the conquest of the world. This is not a secret. The strategy has been spelled out repeatedly by official Defense Department policy statements (”full-spectrum dominance”), think-tank studies (PNAC), and official government action by the president and Congress (the biggest war budget in human history).

It’s what led to the Reagan Doctrine which was the practice of picking off one small nation at a time. It’s what led George H.W. Bush to invade Panama and Iraq and the Clinton administration to destroy Yugoslavia. 9/11, whoever did it, followed by the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war, was a convenient springboard for the current phase involving Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. Next up: Obama’s impending assault on Iran, whether done with U.S. forces or Israeli proxies. The showdown with Russia and China is clearly on the agenda, subject to intense planning by thousands of uniformed and civilian analysts who earn a lot of taxpayer money.

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America the Betrayed by Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
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November 4, 2009

If you want to get an idea of what America once was like, read the poems of Walt Whitman.  Whitman was born in Long Island in 1819 and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. His family was poor, but even though he left school at the age of 11 he gave himself an education by reading and working in the printing shop of a newspaper until he gradually became a published writer. He worked as a teacher and news reporter and owned his own newspaper by the age of 20.

In 1848 Whitman was a delegate to the founding convention of the Free Soil Party. During the Civil War he worked as a nurse in Union military hospitals and held several government jobs, including interviewing Confederate prisoners for pardons. Some of his greatest poems came from his war experiences, including his famous elegy upon the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, “Oh Captain! My Captain!” His great collection of poems, Leaves of Grass, was self-published. He died a national hero in 1892 in Camden, New Jersey, where thousands of people came to pay their respects. Contrary to the opinion of some, he was not a homosexual.

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Corbett Report: Economics 101 with Richard C. Cook

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October 13, 2009

Capitalism Kills

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Thomas Greco’s “The End of Money and the Future of Civilization”: A Review by Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
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October 12, 2009

Capitalism Kills

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It’s too late for anyone to pretend that the U.S. government, whether under President Barack Obama or anyone else, can divert our nation from long-term economic decline. The U.S. is increasingly in a state of political, economic, and moral paralysis, caught as it were between the “rock” of protracted recession and the “hard place” of terminal government debt.

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Lawsuit to Attempt to Stop Swine Flu Vaccinations by Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
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October 9, 2009

Jim Turner, a Washington, D.C., attorney noted for his work on consumer health issues, is filing suit today in federal court to stop all swine flu vaccinations from being given in the United States. The action was reported this morning on the health website NaturalNews.com.

According to NaturalNews.com editor Mike Adams, “The lawsuit charges that the FDA violated the law in its hasty approval of four swine flu vaccines by failing to scientifically determine neither the safety nor efficacy of the vaccines.”

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American Monetary Institute 2009 Conference: “We Shall Prevail” by Richard C. Cook

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by Richard C. Cook
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September 3, 2009

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The world’s most important gathering of monetary reformers takes place each year in Chicago at the American Monetary Institute’s annual conference. This year’s event takes place September 24-27 at Roosevelt University. Chairing the conference is Stephen Zarlenga, AMI director and author of the landmark book “The Lost Science of Money.” For information and the list of speakers, including monetary economist Michael Hudson, see the AMI website at http://www.monetary.org/2009schedule.html. While personal matters will prevent me from appearing on-site, I have sent the following remarks. Segments of my six-part DVD, “Credit as a Public Utility,” will also be shown.

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