Monday, 29 September 2008

Trouble in Banktopia

By Mike Whitney

The financial system is blowing up. Don’t listen to the experts; just look at the numbers. Last week, according to Reuters, “U.S. banks borrowed a record amount from the Federal Reserve nearly $188 billion a day on average, showing the central bank went to extremes to keep the banking system afloat amid the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.” The Fed opened the various “auction facilities” to create the appearance that insolvent banks were thriving businesses, but they are not. They’re dead; their liabilities exceed their assets. Now the Fed is desperate because the hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in the banks vaults have bankrupt the entire system and the Fed’s balance sheet is ballooning by the day. The market for MBS will not bounce back in the foreseeable future and the banks are unable to roll-over their short term debt. Game over. The Federal Reserve itself is in danger. So, it’s on to Plan B; which is to dump all the toxic sludge on the taxpayer before he realizes that the whole system is cratering and his life is about to change forever. It’s called the Paulson Plan, a $700 billion boondoggle which has already been disparaged by every economist of merit in the country.

From Reuters:

“Borrowings by primary dealers via the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, and through another facility created on Sunday for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch, and their London-based subsidiaries, totaled $105.66 billion as of Wednesday, the Fed said.”

See what I mean; they’re all broke. The Fed’s rotating loans are just a way to perpetuate the myth that the banks aren’t flat-lining already. Bernanke has tied strings to the various body parts and jerks them every so often to make it look like they’re alive. But the Wall Street model is broken and the bailout is pointless.

Last week, there was a digital run on the banks that most people never even heard about; a “real time” crash. An article in the New York Post by Michael Gray gave a blow by blow description of how events unfolded. Here’s a clip from Gray’s “Almost Armageddon”:

“The market was 500 trades away from Armageddon on Thursday…Had the Treasury and Fed not quickly stepped into the fray that morning with a quick $105 billion injection of liquidity, the Dow could have collapsed to the 8,300-level - a 22 percent decline! - while the clang of the opening bell was still echoing around the cavernous exchange floor. According to traders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, money market funds were inundated with $500 billion in sell orders prior to the opening. The total money-market capitalization was roughly $4 trillion that morning.

The panicked selling was directly linked to the seizing up of the credit markets - including a $52 billion constriction in commercial paper - and the rumors of additional money market funds “breaking the buck,” or dropping below $1 net asset value.”

The Fed’s dramatic $105 billion liquidity injection on Thursday (pre-market) was just enough to keep key institutional accounts from following through on the sell orders and starting a stampede of cash that could have brought large tracts of the US economy to a halt.” (New York Post)
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Financial industry rep. Paulson is the ringleader in a banker’s coup the results of which will decide America’s economic and political future for years to come. The coup leaders have drained tens of billions of dollars of liquidity from the already-strained banking system to trigger a freeze in interbank lending and hasten a stock market crash. This, they believe, will force Congress to pass Paulson’s $770 billion bailout package without further congressional resistance. It’s blackmail.

As yet, no one knows whether the coup-backers will succeed and further consolidate their political power via a massive economic shock to the system, but their plan continues to move jauntily forward while the economy follows its inexorable slide to disaster.

http://www.infowars.com/?p=4914

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, September 29th, 2008.]

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