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Commodity Manipulation - Economic Warfare - Example #1
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FINCEN
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:12 am    Post subject: Commodity Manipulation - Economic Warfare - Example #1 Reply with quote

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America Facing Emergency – Unnecessary Power Blackouts


Posted on February 4, 2011 by Mark Schumacher
America is becoming complacent about what kinds of dangers are becoming more and more apparent and it is important to try and explain how. Economic warfare is being waged by globalists setting up unfair trade practices, basically becoming a mafia run organization. Energy that runs our country is becoming scarce because lack of energy plants. Already there have been rolling blackouts in states such as Texas recently. The weather has been part of the reason, but mainly it’s happening because new coal fired plants are being prevented from being built.

Texas now has to buy a good amount of their energy from Mexico, as companies from the USA are being told to shut down. Texas has to supply five other states, as well as themselves, with what power they do produce. When we have huge winter weather such as we just had, this puts huge strains on the Texas system, effectively causing blackouts or selective power cuts to other Texans across the state. These were the same things the Enron Corporation used to do to maximize their profits when selling energy, now a defunct, bankrupt con man run organization whose principles are now behind bars.

The state of Texas for example, as of 2007 has canceled many coal fired plants that were supposed to replace the older “Dirty” plants by using the new crushed coal technology that uses water filtration to basically scrub all the pollutants out of the waste before coming out of the stacks, enabling nothing but steam and water to escape into the atmosphere. Now, because of the some of the coldest winters in recent history, more power is needed and not available; hence controlled blackouts, causing many residents around the state of Texas to be forced without power.

This will start to happen in other states as well, if nothing is done to prevent this treason on Americans. Clean coal technology plants must be allowed to be built freely in America.

You can thank one of the largest con games in the history of the planet for the excuses not to build, “The Global Warming Myth” facilitated by the king himself, Al Gore and his globalist buddies. The environmentalists grabbed on to this BS and ran with it, with the blessings of our so called, illegally elected con man Barry Soetoro himself. He has threatened the coal industry with huge taxes that basically have shut down if built, basically, turning us into an unwarranted banana republic. These are the kinds of games the mafia plays when threatening businessmen with a shakedown.

How does Big Al explain recently discovered 70 trillion cubic feet of ”New Arctic Ice”? As you will see below as referenced, the proof is making big Al look like a fool. What big Al conveniently always seems to always dodge is the fact that mother earth has volcanoes, as just one big eruption can produce the same amount of green house gas, as the world could possible produce from fossil fuel burning in one hundred years. The man is a professional con artist using the “Three Card Monte” to trick Americans, a globalist crook to the core, and only getting richer from his BS.

Fifty one percent of American energy comes from coal fired electricity. Is this fair that China is able to built up to 5 new plants a week, while North America can’t built anywhere near the same amount? Maybe three a year tops is what America is building. What is going on here? The China energy corporations that currently are investing in new coal fired plants are making a killing, making money hand over fist. The investors are big money industrialists from right here in America, including past presidents and global con men, such as George Bush, Al Gore and other traitors that have sold America out.

The Globalists and New World Order garbage are dead set in ruining our great nation and trying to take control in ways that can only be described as evil. How they are doing this is to systematically take control of us through things like energy starvation and controlled blackouts. Treason and corruption at its finest, by giving special waivers to favored companies such as General Electric and others. Others that are complicit, with helping the globalist mafia.

Barack Obama AKA Barry Soetoro needs to explain why he is giving special waivers to certain companies, while other companies want to do the same thing. All of this designed to destroy the middle class of America, as well as our standard of living. There seems to be a pattern of special companies getting the nod, why? Because they are already owned by the globalists, or more accurately, the new mafia.

The wealthy have stolen all the money from us to be able to have the things which had made America great. It must be returned or we are going all be subservient to the globalist wealthy. As they try to cause unrest in America, by shutting down industry and causing tyranny. We are better than this people, voting out the trash that currently holds office must be accomplished or more of this will garbage will be the norm. Mexico is the only region currently that is able to build new coal fired plants, selling the power to the United States, creating jobs in Mexico. While the people of our great nation get the shaft.

The government is preventing corporations from building new power plants, buying up older plants and shutting them down, only giving favoritism to certain companies to build new ones. Creating their own pricing structure so they can charge whatever they want for the power that used to be available at a much higher cost creating huge profits. The classic mafia type operation that the Globalist and New World Order garbage are trying to push over on us. This will create more wealth for the globalist garbage, ruining the middle class of America.

People, the writing is on the wall, and it’s up to us to stop it. This can be done by us raising hell, because if we don’t, Barry Soetoro and his globalist mafia friends are going to take us down big time. Energy companies are prevented from being constructed by the environmentalists and con men who are intent ruining our country for the basic of reasons, greed. They are only going to construct the amount that is going to enable them to make huge profits and no more, using the “Global Warming Lie” as the con.

The mafia runs their business this way, by charging huge taxes to operate or they would threaten to shut you down, creating huge wealth, while stealing from the poor. Is this what you want?


Last edited by FINCEN on Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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FINCEN
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:16 am    Post subject: Economic Warfare - Example #2 Reply with quote

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February 18, 2011, 6:00 AM
How Convincing Is the Case for Free Trade?


By Professor Uwe E. Reinhardt is an economics at Princeton.

“Emerging Markets as Partners, Not Rivals,” a fine commentary in The New York Times on Sunday by N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard prompted me to take a vacation from the dreariness of health policy to visit one of the economic profession’s intellectual triumphs: the theory that every country gains by unfettered international trade.

That theory is less popular among noneconomists, especially politicians and unions. They wring their hands at what is called offshoring of jobs and often have no problem obstructing free trade with such barriers as tariffs or import quotas, which they deem in the national interest. (Two blogs recently offered examples of this posture.)

In a well-known textbook by Professor Mankiw (Princeton class of ’80, I feel compelled to add) and in other textbooks as well, the benefits of free trade typically are explained with multicolored graphs that look like puzzles but, after some study, reveal this truth, which economists hold self-evident: Relative to a status quo of no or limited international trade, permitting full free trade across borders will leave in its wake some immediate losers, but citizens who gain from such trade gain much more than the losers lose. On a net basis, therefore, each nation gains over all from such trade.

Economists assert that over the longer run, the owners of businesses that lose their markets in international competition and their employees will shift into new economic endeavors in which they can function more competitively. Skeptics, of course, often respond with the retort of John Maynard Keynes: “In the long run, we’re all dead.”

In his recent commentary, Professor Mankiw explained the gains from trade even more simply than is done in textbooks. Your driveway is covered in deep snow. Its removal is worth $40 to you. The boy next door, currently engrossed with a game on his Xbox, would give up the game and shovel your driveway for any payment exceeding $20.

So if you pay him $30 to shovel your driveway, you will both be better off by $10. Overall social welfare is unambiguously enhanced.

Professor Mankiw then wrote:

This example is not so special as it might seem. The gains for trade would be much the same if your neighbor were manufacturing a good – knitting you a scarf, for example – rather than performing a service. And it would be much the same if, instead of living next door, he was several thousand miles away, say, in Shanghai.
As far as economists are concerned, how can anyone argue with that?

We can extend this neat example a bit. Suppose just as you are about to shake hands with the boy next door on the $30 deal, another boy from the neighborhood comes along and offers to shovel your driveway for $10. Elated at this bargain, you pay him $15. Now you are very much better off, and that other boy gains, too, because he would have done the job for $10. Social welfare seems enhanced here as well, most economists would say.

Not so, according to the first boy, who is sorely miffed at losing out in this competition. He loses his anticipated profit, known among economists as producers’ surplus — what he would have been paid to shovel the driveway minus the minimum payment he would have required to do that job.

Most Americans, however, probably would side here with economists, in the belief that all’s fair in love and economic warfare, and that this form of tough price competition is precisely what propels our economy forward.

Now let us think again about the manufactured scarves. Just as you were about to buy a scarf from your neighbor on the left for $50, your neighbor on the right, also a manufacturer of scarfs, offers you an identical scarf for $35. Economists would consider that fair and efficient as well – as, I am sure, would most Americans.

But many Americans might balk at the lower-priced scarf if it were offered not by an American but by a low-cost manufacturer in Shanghai or Bangladesh. This nationalist sentiment sets many noneconomists apart from most economists.

In their work, economists are typically are not nationalistic. National boundaries mean little to them, other than that much data happen to be collected on a national basis. Whether a fellow American gains from a trade or someone in Shanghai does not make any difference to most economists, nor does it matter to them where the losers from global competition live, in America or elsewhere.

I say most economists, because here and there one can find some who do seem to worry about how fellow Americans fare in the matter of free trade.

In a widely noted column in The Washington Post, “Free Trade’s Great, but Offshoring Rattles Me,” for example, my Princeton colleague Alan Blinder wrote:

I’m a free trader down to my toes. Always have been. Yet lately, I’m being treated as a heretic by many of my fellow economists. Why? Because I have stuck my neck out and predicted that the offshoring of service jobs from rich countries such as the United States to poor countries such as India may pose major problems for tens of millions of American workers over the coming decades. In fact, I think offshoring may be the biggest political issue in economics for a generation. When I say this, many of my fellow free traders react with a mixture of disbelief, pity and hostility. Blinder, have you lost your mind?
Professor Blinder has estimated that 30 million to 40 million jobs in the United States are potentially offshorable — including those of scientists, mathematicians, radiologists and editors on the high end of the market, and those of telephone operators, clerks and typists on the low end. He says he is rattled by the question of how our country will cope with this phenomenon, especially in view of our tattered social safety net.

“That is why I am going public with my concerns now,” he concludes. “If we economists stubbornly insist on chanting ‘free trade is good for you’ to people who know that it is not, we will quickly become irrelevant to the public debate. Compared with that, a little apostasy should be welcome.”
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:19 am    Post subject: Global Food Crisis - Economic Warfare Example #3 Reply with quote

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Global Food Crisis, Not Only Speculation
Commodities / Food Crisis
Feb 25, 2011 - 06:22 AM
By: Andrew_McKillop


THE BIG PICTURE - Recent massive food commodity price rises, with occasional day trade plunges on the back of market rumours, price chart gazing or analysts' theories – followed by a return to the growth trend - is taken by many as a key proof of the Ponzi scheme new economy. The food commodity sell-off through February 21-23, 2011 is a typical example, explained by market watchers as due to speculation by traders that riots in North Africa and the Middle East could cut government spending and curb food demand from the Arab world, which buys about 33 percent of global shipments.




Price rises will however return like night follows day, and even liberal minded politicians are calling for a clamp down on the commodity speculation driving up oil and food prices, although speculation on equity prices or on credit default swaps linked to bond sales of the PIGS and other super-debt states is still respectable, fair game and politically correct.

These facets of the paper economy, however bizarre or derisory they might be, are however not the big picture. World food is in crisis.

Worldwide stocks of the major food grains, and other foods are in most cases lower than they were in the 1970s - when world population was close to one-half the present 7 billion. The UN FAO repeatedly underlines the acute shortage of arable land for the world's population which is still growing at about 65 million per year. Arable land resources, which are shrinking in net terms, are about 1.4 billion hectares: the average per person is therefore 0.2 hectares. Taking the staple maize, US Agriculture Department (USDA) data issued in February 2011 shows the lowest world inventories since 1974, 37 years back in time. Farmers around the globe are failing to produce enough of this major food staple, and the others, from grains to meat and dairy foods, to meet constantly rising world consumption. This is despite increased planting and food commodity prices that have doubled since early 2010. The outlook is almost sure and certain: food prices are set to go on rising.

For the 3 major food staple grains of wheat, rice and maize, and key livestock feeds and human foods including soybeans and colza (rapeseed), growers from Canada and the USA to Russia, the EU-27, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, India, China and Thailand have boosted annual output by an average of about 15 percent since 2000, but this is outdistanced by demand growth of more than 20 percent in the same period, using USDA data. In all cases it is unlikely there will be significant growth in output, either short-term and perhaps also long-term. For the key livestock feeds including maize and the oilseed colza, due to several factors including their use for producing bio-ethanol and bio-diesel to trim growing oil import costs, and the dependence of all the grains on costly water-intensive irrigation to boost output, plus the impact of climate change and loss of arable land acreages, the outlook for any sustained growth in supply is low. For the grain staples and the key livestock animal feeds led by soybeans, world stockpiles are forecast by agro-industry specialists like R J O'Brien to go on shrinking.

THE FOOD CHAIN - AND FOOD RIOTS

Global inventories of all grains are forecast by the USDA to continue shrinking and to decline at least 13 percent before the next harvest season (from Autumn 2011), making this the first net decline since 2007, when surging food prices sparked more than 60 deadly food price riots in over 40 lower and middle income countries from Haiti and Niger to Egypt and Somalia. As in 2007, increasing demand is again causing food shortages while it powers inflation in developing countries: the collateral damage already includes several Arab dictators unable to cling onto power.

While straight price rises for grains, oilseeds, sugar and non-food soft commodities (such as rubber and cotton) are generating more income for their farmers and producers, downstream food producers dependent on these inputs are strangled by a combination of rising input prices, but slow growing output or selling prices, sometimes capped by consumer-friendly price mechanisms or by often irrational and wasteful food subsidy programmes.

Price rises for the feed grains needed to produce downstream dairy products, meat and fish are moving so fast that producing these key foods for convenience food-oriented urban, and urbanising populations worldwide is now often pure-and-simple uneconomic. In some countries, such as the EU-27 countries in which the EU's Common Agriculture Policy operates, data from the major farming and food organizations paints a dire picture. Regional pork meat farmers in major pork producing regions of France such as Vendee and Brittany, polled by national and regional agro-development and producer associations, such as the SAFER of Vendee, say that up to 15 percent of pork producers in both regions are either bankrupt or likely to go bankrupt by end-2011 unless selling prices rise by at least 25 - 33 percent.

In several African countries, where transport costs for food and feed grains imported from Europe, USA and from South Africa add to fast rising costs, the UN's OSAA (Office of Special Advisor for Africa) reports that a return to serious food shortage, and probable social unrest, is increasingly likely in a string of countries including Niger, Senegal, Mali, Central Africa Republic, Nigeria, Somalia and Ethiopia. Despite generally low yields in much of Africa, the intensity of farming measured by the available land used for food production is high, according to the IUCN, the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment and other specialized entities, making increase of African cropland acreages difficult. Outside the low income countries, other higher income but food import dependent countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Algeria will also remain exposed to the social, political and economic impacts of rising food prices.

CHANGING FOOD HABITS - RISING PRICES

Rising incomes in the Emerging economies led by China and India are intensifying the shortage of world food. As people eat more meat, aquaculture raised fish, and dairy products from crop-fed livestock, demand for the input feed grains will further grow. As much as 10 kilograms of input feed grains can be needed to produce 1 kilogram of downstream meat or fish, butter, cheese and cream. For US agro-industrial operations, an average of about 6.4 kilograms of maize is needed to produce 1 kilogram of beef, and about 3.5 kilograms to get a kilo of pork, according to industry analysts and sector specialist processing firms such as Tyson Corp.

To mid-February 2011, grain futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rallied to the highest since 2008. Maize prices have grown about 95 percent in the past 12 months, soybean prices have risen about 85 percent, while wheat prices have risen about 75 percent. Rice has however not yet started to power ahead, with international traded rice recording only a 12.5 percent price rise in the 12 months since early 2010. This however will change. Major importers led by the world's-largest, Bangladesh, are set to raise their imports. For Bangladesh, plans are for doubling its 2011 rice-import target, to cool domestic prices driven to record highs as consumers and farmers hoard the grain, according to Bangladesh's Directorate General of Food. Indonesia is also considering boosting rice stockpiles, and has removed import duties on wheat, wheat flour, soybeans, and livestock feed in an attempt to slow price rises.

Maize will probably reach or surpass a record US$ 8 per bushel by 2012, and could attain more than US$ 10 a bushel (1 bushel in volume is 35.24 litres) according to many analysts and commodity trading specialists, like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The so-called "investor community" outlook is for soybeans to continue their recent and record price run, with traded rice quickly making up for lost time, in its own upward price march. Some speculator entities, such as Goldman Sachs, forecast that wheat, maize, rice and soybean prices could rise as much as 15 percent, from their current levels, by May 2011.

YOU DONT HAVE TO EAT ?

We can be sure that consumers can do without smart phones and Internet access, and even trim their oil consumption, if price rises are big enough or consumers become aware of some clear supply limit. But with food things are different. Doing without food or not eating enough - which the UN FAO reports is daily reality for 950 million persons worldwide as of late 2010 - soon has major impacts on their political behaviour, on the economy, public health and society. The outlook for 2011-2012 is therefore particularly sombre because, even if world grain harvests are at record levels for 2 successive years, this will only just restore the global stocks-versus-demand situation to pre-2007 levels. There is no nearterm possibility of restoring the situation which prevailed in the late 1980s and the 1990s when the impact of Green Revolution crop hybrids, more arable land, and cheap oil, generated higher food supply. The food price trend is likely going to remain set on a rising profile for years to come. The impacts, and implications of this for the economy, urban development, political stability and social values are almost open-ended - and will necessarily generate responses and solutions.

The major boost in world food prices has surely triggered more planting but for simple reasons linked to average yields for planted acreages in major producer countries, this is unlikely to generate supply growth of more than about 5 percent. USDA data on farmers' planting intentions tends to indicate US maize and wheat farmers, for example, will raise their 2011-2012 crop acreages by at most 4 to 5 percent. Reasons why the vaunted, economics textbook "price-elastic response" is so weak at the level of net supply and output do not feature speculative hoarding at the producer level, even if this certainly exists in the so-called investor community. The real reasons include continued loss of good arable land, for example due to urbanisation and industrialisation, water shortage and the costs of fuel, irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers, as well as lowered yields on increasingly marginal land that is more exposed to crop losses from drought, erosion, excess rainfall, wind damage and so on - an economic classic at least as old as the hallowed price-elastic response.

GLOBAL HARVESTS AND FOOD TRADE

Compared with 2000-2001 and using International Grains Council and USDA data, the most-recent global grain harvest increased to 2.179 billion metric tons from 1.874 bn metric tons, but this was nonetheless down 2.4 percent from the 2008-2009 harvest. The 2.18 bn ton most-recent harvest can be compared with estimates by UN FAO, the USDA and other sources of world food grains demand in 2010-2011 standing at about 2.25 billion metric tons. This will demand a drawdown of stocks and lead to further falls in global stockpiles, unless the world enjoys at least one, or two successive bumper harvests for all 3 of the major food grains.

The knock-on of rising food prices, which rose about 25 percent in 2010 according to the FAO, has been and will be rapid. In a February 15, 2011 statement, World Bank president Robert Zoellick estimated that an additional 44 million people worldwide have been pushed into extreme poverty because of the rising cost of eating in the 8 months since July 2010. While all the food grains outside rice, and all the oilseeds providing vegetable oils and animal feeds have strongly risen in price, sugar prices have also soared. In a predictable short-term future and intensified by rising oil prices meat, fish, milk and dairy product prices will all rise.

In a major change from “laisser faire” policy typical of neoliberal mindsets, governments are now treating agricultural investment as politically correct, and planning to raise agricultural investment in an attempt to revive crop and food supplies. Until 2007-2008, according to the FAO, development aid to farming provided by the OECD donor countries had been declining each year for over 10 years, presumably on the fond hope that “market forces” would make up the massive shortfall in funds needed. Premier Wen Jiabao told China Central Television on February 10, 2011 that his government will spend 12.9 billion yuan (US$ 1.96 billion) this year to bolster grain production, improve water supply to farming, and fight desertification through tree planting, among other measures. Chinese and Indian buying of major food staples including the oilseeds is further intensifying shortage on world markets. Food import dependent countries that have benefited from higher export revenues on their minerals and metals exports, such as Bolivia, are also considering plans to use some of their record foreign exchange reserves to produce more food, and purchase food on world markets on a “precautionary basis” before prices rise further, increasing their stockpiles of the basic food staples. Increased purchases of traded food commodities inevitably spurs speculation and higher prices.

Overseas buying of agricultural products from the U.S., the largest exporter country for maize, soybeans, wheat and cotton, probably jumped 18 percent by value (but not tonnage) to a record US$ 115.81 billion in 2010, the US government announced in February 2011. China became the largest market for U.S. farm goods for the first time, with the value of shipments increasing 34 percent to US$ 17.5 billion, reflecting China's leading role as food importer – as well as manufactured goods exporter. Rising disposable incomes in India, China and other trade-surplus countries has quickly raised their ability to pay for higher food imports, but at the cost intensifying speculation.

Grain import demand is rising worldwide. Saudi Arabia’s cereal imports may reach a record this year, the FAO said on February 3, 2011 while Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey and Lebanon have all issued tenders to buy more wheat or rice in February, as food price inflation further stoked the political unrest that has toppled long-standing dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. Wheat purchases by Algeria, North Africa’s second-largest importer (after Egypt), climbed to 1.75 million metric tons in January alone, according to commodity analysts at Goldman Sachs.

As noted previously, food import dependence is intensified by changing food habits. China, the world’s largest pork meat consumer, boosted demand for pork by 30 percent since 2000, and beef demand by about 10 percent, while its population only increased 5.3 percent in the same period, using UN data. Similar import growth trends apply in other Emerging economies, especially for feed grains used in poultry and fish rearing, driven by a shift in livestock, dairy and poultry production from small, family farms depending on pastures and local-produced, local-sourced inputs to bigger, more energy and chemicals-intensive agro-industrial production, with animals fed on maize and soybean meal. In turn this generates nearly total dependence on food trade, transport, and industrial inputs like pesticides, fertilizers and antiobiotics.

RISING INPUT COSTS

Suppliers of industrial goods, chemicals like fertilizers, and services for world agro-industrial food production have enjoyed a rapid growth in their turnover, with a large upward impact on their own input prices. Since January 2011, industry analysts such as food sector specialists at JPMorgan Chase in New York have continually raised their price targets for the share value of fertilizer makers such as Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp. of Canada, and farm-equipment makers like Deere & Co., Claas Corp. and Agco Corp. of USA, YTO of China or Mahindra & Mahindra of India. World agricultural equipment makers report that key inputs, such as metals, other raw materials and energy for manufacturing farm machines are often suffering price rises of above 15 percent annual.

The trend to further intensification of world agriculture, needing more and larger machines, chemicals and bioscience inputs such as GM plant hybrids is dictated by two main factors. These are declining arable land availability and declining food stockpiles. As food and agriculture study organizations note, rebuilding the “stockpile cushion” will be impossible in only 1 or 2 years. In major developed country food producers countries, including the USA and European net food exporters such as France, loss of arable land, water and chemicals costs, and other factors are tending to reduce total productive capacity, year after year. Analysts including USDA researchers and other specialists conclude that by about 2017, the USA may become a net food importer in value terms. For the analyst Dan Basse of AgResource Co, the US is in a context where net losses of land and increasing input costs since 1979 result in what he calls an acreage wall: “We have reached an acreage wall where the U.S. can no longer be the world’s pillar of exports for maize, soybeans and wheat.”

HEADING OFF FURTHER CRISES

Due to the size and output volume of the world food industry, changes tend to be slow moving and costly in terms of capital spending, reinforcing the outlook for several more years of high food prices. This outlook is backed by rising input prices for increasingly agro-industrial production systems, and long-term climate changes affecting global producer regions. Quick fixes, such as GM hybrid plants now used in approximately 60 percent of world soybeans production, for example, are themselves input intensive and unlikely to provide any “silver bullet” despite claims to the contrary, according to industry specialists and several major food conglomerates such as Nestle Co.

Solutions will therefore tend to be slow, incremental and ground-up. The return of traditional-style food production as niche-oriented biological and wholefoods production is already established in some higher income countries, but the main potentials for producing more food with less inputs will focus the sustainable cropping of drylands and formerly-marginal land acreages, where water conservation will be the main goal. World Bank data indicates that about 78 percent of world water needs are for agriculture, and raising water supply for agriculture is both difficult and costly. Due to high biomass and ecological productivity in wetlands and semi-saline coastal and estuarine environments, these generally neglected but high potential “new lands” are another key target for agricultural research and development, along with drylands farming and energy saving techniques such as no-till. Food waste, despite the claims of fastfood defenders, is radically increased by urban food habits and supply structures where recovery and recycling of food wastes is difficult and transport-intensive.

Heavy capital investment in existing systems and infrastructures, and rising food prices make it difficult to break out into new solutions and alternatives. Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe in an October 2010 statement to shareholders explained that high food prices increase the pressure to improve efficiency, "But when you start only after prices have gone up, you are too late”. In general, as the food chain extends over distances able to span the globe, waste tends to rise. Local food production for local consumption is the solution but existing commercial practices, consumer habits and expectations are major obstacles to change in the absence of government intervention and legislation, which itself is only likely under crisis conditions.

The political importance of food security – as opposed to energy security – is surely growing but is still far behind economic growth goals and the search for technology and science quick-fixes that could or might radically raise food productivity from existing systems and infrastructures. As with the delayed response to rising food prices to invest in new and alternate farming methods, the political impact of current food supply and commerce inevitably includes food riots in the most exposed, lower and middle income countries. Despite the long history of failure, the so-called strategy of laisser faire still commands massive and obligatory spending of government revenues on subsidy programmes, stockpiling, and attempts to raise agricultural productivity in many countries, instead of investing in innovation and alternatives.

Sustainable food production and affordable food will certainly become key political goals, following the Arab revolt of 2011. Measures and programmes for achieving these goals will quickly grow, not only in an attempt to maintain political stability, but also due to the long-term trend of declining food inventories and increasing difficulties in raising production from existing croplands using present commercially profitable, conventional techniques. Likely one of the major coming food sustainability and security measures will be urban food supply restructuring, extension and development within new and necessarily radically different national development policies and programmes. Such action is already under study by many research, science and technology and academic institutions, but it is unlikely there will be major movement before the current crisis deepens enough to command the full attention it deserves.


Quote:
FEBRUARY 22, 2011
Failed Policies Lead to Food Shortages
The world needs more investment in agricultural research and infrastructure.

By C. PETER TIMMER

World food prices are pushing higher—the United Nations overall food index shows a 28.3% annual increase, with cereals up 44.1%—sparking concerns that a new food crisis may be emerging, just three years after the last one. Does this mean the world is running out of food?

The quick answer is that the world does seem to be running low on cheap food. There is still an ample potential supply of foodstuffs; it's just not getting tapped, thereby creating low current supply even as demand shoots up with the rise of large emerging markets. This supply shortage stems from the failure of governments and donors over nearly three decades to fund the basic agricultural research, investments in rural infrastructure, and training for smallholder farmers necessary to push out the productivity frontier.

Until recently, world food crises have been relatively rare events—occurring about three times a century, usually three to four decades apart. The last one to have truly global ramifications, occurred in 1972-74. Over those two years, real rice prices rose 206.3% and real wheat prices rose 118.2%, both setting historic highs.

The food crisis of 2007-08, although scary at the time, was relatively mild by comparison. Prices for wheat, rice and maize—the staple foods that provide well over half the world population's energy intake directly and a good deal more indirectly via livestock products—rose 96.7% between 2006 and 2008, not approaching the spikes in the mid-1970s when corrected for inflation. Yet here we are just a few years later, talking about food prices again.

Much of the policy debate has returned to focusing on how to prevent the poor from starving. Certainly, the focus on the welfare of the poor during a food crisis is understandable. Poor households often spend two-thirds of their income on food. Sharply higher prices directly threaten their well-being and even their survival.

Sudden spikes in food prices also have a political dimension. Nothing can bring angry people into the streets faster and more spontaneously than a rapid run-up in the costs of food staples in urban markets. Leaders in Tunisia and Egypt learned this lesson the hard way.

That's why politicians in many developing countries are highly sensitive to the level and rate of change in food prices. A food-price crisis focuses the minds of political leaders on a quick, short-term resolution. But this focus comes with a real cost to longer-run investments and policy initiatives, even if this cost is hardly noticed at the time.

The only sustainable pathway out of rural and urban poverty is a structural transformation of the economy that is driven by higher agricultural productivity, the gradual shift of jobs from farms to factories, and the rise of a knowledge-based and skill-intensive service sector that is mostly urban-centered. Of course, this structural transformation has country-specific dimensions. But its general pattern has been remarkably uniform, from the early transformations of Western Europe and its overseas offshoots, to the rapid rise of Japan, Korea, and now China, and much of the rest of Asia.

A successful structural transformation requires a long-term vision on the part of both public and private investments, a degree of stability in the macro-economic environment, and an openness to trade in goods, services and ideas. England figured this out in the late 18th century, Germany and Japan in the mid-19th century, and much of East Asia managed this combination of long-term investments, stability and openness in the 20th century. Early in the 21st century, Brazil, Ghana and Indonesia seem to be on the path to successful structural transformations and sharp reductions in hunger and poverty.

Policy makers who forever live in the short run, putting out the brush fires from banking crises, food riots, or the palpable fear they are about to lose their jobs, do not focus on long-run needs. Because of this tendency, agricultural research and rural infrastructure is getting neglected in most countries. The price of that neglect is there for all to see. Between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s public agricultural research expenditures did not expand at all in Sub-Saharan Africa, whereas they grew by 5% per year in Asia. The differential impact on agricultural productivity per worker was dramatic—increases in Africa between 1990-2002 and 2001-03 of just 7%, whereas the increase in Asia was 36%.

The tragedy is that the poor pay the price of their policy makers' failures. Without higher productivity on their farms, off-farm job opportunities for their children, and with the constant threat of food shortages, the poor end up trapped in enduring poverty. Food crises hit the poor doubly hard—through their short-run hunger and their long-run loss of opportunities and hope.

We can do better. In the greater scheme of things, agricultural research is not that expensive. A group of experts convened by the Asia Society and the International Rice Research Institute calculated that the productivity of rice growing on a global basis could be raised by 8.5% over baseline trends through an annual investment of $120 million between 2010 and 2030—an investment that is about 0.0002% of global GDP. Similar opportunities exist for most of the world's important food crops. It is hard to imagine investments with higher payoffs.

Mr. Timmer is the Cabot professor of development studies, emeritus, at Harvard University, and a principal advisor to the Asia Society-IRRI Task Force on Food Security and Sustainability in Asia.
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FINCEN
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:31 am    Post subject: Market Manipulation Economic Warfare - Example #4 Reply with quote

Quote:
Cheating Investors As Official Government Policy

Thursday, 24 February 2011

By Daniel R. Amerman, CFA

Overview

The United States government and other nations have increasingly adopted an official economic policy of cheating their own savers, with particular damage inflicted on long-term retirement investors that follow conventional investment practices. This may sound like wild "conspiracy theory" talk, but interestingly enough, the facts involved are not in dispute. Instead they are the very core of official government policy pronouncements, as well as the financial reporting thereof. Going from lofty principles espoused by public servants to the practical matter of deliberately and massively cheating a nation's savers and retirees is not a matter of looking at different facts, but of simply changing the "spin" on well established and accepted facts.

The alternative "spin" that we will apply in this article is one of informed common sense from a free-market perspective. This intuitive, free-market "spin" is radical stuff compared to conventional financial and economic analysis, but I think you will find it easy to follow.

Step outside the herd, apply a little common sense, and it is child's play to convincingly demonstrate that it is official Federal Reserve and Treasury policy to cheat investors in US treasury bonds, notes and bills, as well as in all related categories, such as savings accounts, interest-bearing checking accounts, money market funds, bank certificates of deposit, as well as corporate and municipal debt.

Free Markets Versus Manipulated Markets

Modern portfolio theory is based upon two core assumptions: that investors are rational and that prices are determined by the market. If you remove either one of those assumptions, then the whole edifice of modern financial theory essentially shatters and collapses.

For financial theory to work, investment prices and yields need to be determined by rational buyers and rational sellers finding a place where they can agree upon a price on a particular day or at a particular minute. Without that free market price to provide discipline - the foundations fall apart.

If you don't have a free market price, but you instead have a price determined by a force outside of the market, then you have a manipulated price. If the manipulation is to force prices too low, then the seller is cheated, and if the manipulation is to force prices too high, then the buyer is cheated. If there is any kind of manipulation, then by definition someone is being cheated when compared to a free market.

The state of many of the investment markets in the United States in 2011 is that nobody is getting a free market price for just about anything. This is crucially important, because no matter how purportedly laudable the public policy interest goal is (as explained in the media), every time there is an intervention to manipulate prices, then somebody is being cheated to pay for it. When government policy deliberately forces artificial prices upon a market because politicians don't want the market price to prevail, then in every transaction in that market one side is either paying too much, or one side is getting paid too little. This is not the conventional "spin", but it is an intellectually valid perspective that has powerful real world consequences for the current and future lifestyles of many tens of millions of responsible savers and investors. This issue also includes stocks, but this article will focus on instruments that pay interest to investors.

Manipulated Interest Rates

Let's consider the traditional role of the Federal Reserve in trying to determine the federal funds rate, which is how the Fed tries to influence or control all short-term interest rates in the United States. This is not exactly a new or disputed fact, indeed for decades one of the most reliable parts of the business reporting cycle is the media anticipating and then analyzing the results of every committee meeting, trying to see where the Fed is moving interest rates.

This is where the common sense free market "spin" part comes in. In other words, the most heavily covered aspect of Federal Reserve activity on a traditional basis is trying to guess how the Federal Reserve is going to manipulate interest rates. Are they going to attempt to override the market to move interest rates up or override market forces to move them down? After all, that is the whole idea. If the Federal Reserve accepted the judgment of the market for interest rate levels, there would be no need to intervene.

The overwhelming emphasis of the historically unprecedented Federal Reserve interventions in recent years has been to keep interest rates as low as they can possibly be. Indeed, much lower than they would be in a rational market. What this means is the Federal Reserve has been manipulating short-term interest rates so that purchasers of short-term securities, as well as all savers in general, are being systemically cheated out of the yields they would otherwise get in a free market.

This a fascinating example of how the remarkable becomes the norm almost without comment - when that serves the interests of powerful special interest groups. It has been a very long time since anyone in the US has been rewarded for responsibly saving their money in savings, money market or interest-bearing checking accounts. The paltry interest rates have lagged well behind even the official rate of inflation. For an economically rational person - saving money has been actively discouraged as an incidental by-product of government policy. While periodically "tsk-tsking" those irresponsible average citizens and saying they really should be saving more, what the government has actually been effectively encouraging is the exact opposite - because artificially low interest rates better serve bank and corporate borrowing needs.

In the 20th Century the Federal Reserve intervened in just one corner of the markets, that of short term interest rates, with a primary focus on interbank lending. These interventions historically had a powerful influence (albeit not direct control) on short term interest rates of all kinds, but they had a lesser influence on medium term interest rates, and still less of an influence on long term interest rates. The overall economy and general asset values were also influenced, but the Federal Reserve was only one of numerous influences; it didn't truly control and manipulate the overall markets.

Now let's consider our current situation where food prices are spiking, energy prices are soaring, and the Federal Reserve for the first time since the Civil War is engaged in a massive policy of straight up monetization (i.e. creating money out of thin air to directly fund endless federal deficits). This is surely a combination of circumstances that in a free market would lead to soaring interest rates. Inflation is not merely on the horizon, rather it is all around us when we look at food costs, fuel, heating and health care. The Federal Reserve is basically flicking lit matches at pools of gasoline when it comes to the future value of the dollar with its policy of monetization. Indeed, the (successful) strategy being pursued by the US in waging currency warfare is to threaten to destroy the value of the dollar through monetary creation.

Arguably, free market interest rates should be soaring, as investors seek protection from inflation. Yet when we look at short-term interest rates they are some of the lowest in financial history. Because the free market has nothing to do with what we as savers are being paid, this is an entirely manipulated market.

Indeed the Federal Reserve has been radically increasing market interventions to try to manipulate interest rates in areas where traditionally it has not been able to do so because of previously (but no longer) limited Federal Reserve powers.

One unprecedented intervention was that for over a year, between 2009 and 2010, the Federal Reserve created an almost entirely artificial mortgage market to essentially fund every mortgage being originated in the US, and keep mortgage rates well below what market interest rates would have been. This manipulation was so overt and massive that not enough buyers could be found, so the Fed had to directly create over $1 trillion in new money to fund the purchase of effectively all new conforming mortgage originations (on a net basis) at far below market yields, as covered in my article "Creating A Trillion From Thin Air".

http://danielamerman.com/articles/Trillions.htm

While the powerful price and yield distortions drove many buyers away, there was still a continuous and functioning market, meaning every day private buyers were grossly overpaying for mortgage securities. That is, on a net basis, Federal Reserve monetary creation put enough new money into the market to effectively fund the purchase of all newly created mortgage securities, but it did not comprise the entire trading volume of the market; private parties bought and sold from each other every trading day at the manipulated prices. Individuals who knew little about the unprecedented Federal Reserve actions, but who were following the traditional strategy of the last several decades of boosting yields above Treasury bonds via buying agency mortgage securities, or who bought into funds following that strategy, were being quite blatantly cheated and were paying much more than they should have had to, because of the artificial market.

The stated purpose of QE2 (the second round of so-called "quantitative easing", aka running the printing presses) is for the Federal Reserve to directly manipulate medium and long-term treasury bond rates with the idea of encouraging corporate borrowing. I wrote about this in detail when QE2 was first announced, but despite the Fed openly stating exactly what it planned to do, few financial writers seem to understand exactly what the Fed is in fact doing.

As announced by the Fed, and described in my article "Radical Difference Between Monetization 1 and QE2" linked below, the Federal Reserve is not actually directly funding the Treasury. Even though the Federal Reserve is directly creating money out of thin air at a rate approximately equal to the US budget deficit, and using the money to buy Treasury Bonds, the Fed is buying them in the market rather than directly - and they aren't the same securities. Part of the reason is that it is illegal for the Fed to directly fund the Treasury (though a simple act of Congress could cure that at any time if need be). The bigger reason is that the Federal Reserve is attempting to manipulate all interest rates in the US through controlling short, medium and long term Treasury Bond rates, so it is using the money not to directly fund, but to intervene wherever it thinks the market is most in need of intervention. By controlling the secondary rather than the primary market (my apologies for the jargon), the Fed takes control of all interest rates.

http://danielamerman.com/articles/Monetize1.htm

As discussed in the article above, the Federal Reserve has an unlimited supply of dollars, and is using not just the massive creation of money, but the knowledge of other buyers and sellers that the Fed is in charge, to effectively control the markets in US Treasury securities. If a financial firm were to risk its capital and take a huge position speculating that interest rates will rise to an impermissible degree, the Fed has unmatched resources to force interest rates down, force a major trading loss, and quash the uncooperative firm in question. On the other hand, so long as the investment banks follow the lead of the Fed (and they are), then they make "free money" and trading profits without end by following the script fed to them by their cronies at the Fed and the Treasury, profiting from the easiest counterparty in the world to trade against, that being the government.

The ripple effects of this overtly manipulated and rigged insider's game reach into our day to day lives all across the nation. That is because Treasury yields are the base from which virtually all other interest rates are determined. Whether we are talking about certificates of deposit, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, junk bonds, fixed rate annuities, credit cards, prime-based lending, or home equity lines - the base is the Treasury yield for that maturity, and then a spread is added to it. Control the Treasury yields - and one controls almost everything (other than the spread).

When interest rates in general are manipulated, what does that mean for savers and investors?

When you put your savings into a money market fund, and the policy of the US government is to force interest rates to unnaturally low levels - you are being cheated out of the yield you should be receiving.

When you buy a corporate bond or corporate bond fund - you are being cheated by overt government market interventions that have the explicitly stated purpose of lowering corporate borrowing costs. This is where that "spin" comes back in. How does a government lower borrowing costs for multinational corporations, enabling them to take the proceeds and invest them overseas? (Taking the money and investing it out of country seems to be the most common behavior so far.)

The government does so by manipulating the market so that investors receive much lower interest payments than they would receive in a free market. In other words, it directly creates benefits for corporations and banks by cheating ordinary investors out of the income they would receive if free market forces governed. Boil it down to another level, and this is a fairly straight up redistribution of wealth from average citizens to corporate interests.

Wherever the investor goes, whatever interest-bearing investment they look to - there is no escaping the cheating, because there is no escaping the unprecedented direct government control over interest rates. Even as inflation rises (in the real world rather than the also manipulated world of government statistics), there is nowhere for the fixed-income investor to find compensation for current inflation or inflationary pressures. Which, in a free market, would likely be the dominant market forces at this point.

Adding to the irony - and the tragic dilemma for us all - is that the market manipulation is being paid for by the Federal Reserve creating brand new money out of the nothingness, so to speak, at the rate of about $1,000 per US household per month. This is creating perhaps the greatest inflationary pressures of our lifetime. In other words, government policy is to risk the value of all of our savings in the future, in order to fund a program of cheating us out of market interest rates today. And this thereby ensures that none of us are compensated for the inflationary risks, or are able to prepare for the destruction of the value of our money by way of conventional methods.

It's all in the "spin", and this paradigm is not that difficult to see when a common sense and free-market perspective is introduced.

Arbitraging Market Manipulations

At the beginning of this article, I promised to take some well-accepted facts, put a free market "spin" on them, and convincingly demonstrate that tens of millions of investors were being cheated out of their investment returns by their own government. Are you convinced? Do you accept the systemic cheating?

If you do, then you have the potential to do something about it. Maybe even do something extraordinary. Remember, the whole idea behind manipulating markets is that one set of either buyers or sellers gets cheated, and the other gets an incredibly good deal which they should not otherwise be able to get.

Now the problem for the average investor is that what we are told to do is to be the sucker in each one of these situations. We want to be the ones who put as much as possible of our savings into money market accounts, or into buying the certificates of deposit. Where things grow interesting and challenging - but the rewards can potentially become extraordinary - is when we figure out how to change our financial profile so that we are the beneficiaries of market manipulations rather than being the victim of these manipulations.

It isn't easy, and there are several hurdles. The first difficulty is the one that most people will never get past, and that is to truly reject the overwhelming Voice Of Authority when it comes to the conventional financial "wisdom". That overwhelming voice that resounds from the universities, from the investment houses, from millions of financial representatives of one kind or another, from the newspapers, magazines and financial websites, and from our friends and relatives. What was covered in this article could be called no more than common sense in some ways, but it is radical common sense, almost on a different continent from the overwhelming force and authority of the conventional perspective.

This overwhelming Voice of Authority is intellectually bankrupt for the reasons discussed in this and other articles. It is a voice that systematically cheats tens of millions of responsible savers and investors every year in numerous ways. It is a voice that we must learn to reject if we are not to be cheated.

For most of us, we are who we are, and are in the position in life that we are in, and there is only so much of our financial profile that can be changed. I've worked on these issues for a long time, and the way I see it - that doesn't mean that we have to accept victim status. Instead, it heightens the importance of identifying what we can change, what is within our control. We can then go ahead and make those changes, because achieving highly positive results in the areas we can control is arguably the only way of protecting ourselves from damage in those areas that we can't control.

To protect ourselves, we must take what we can control, and position it so that market manipulations redistribute wealth to us rather than away from us. This is the core of what must be done. Yet, there is the major difficulty that most of the manipulation profits will go to the government, major banks and corporations, and other powerful insiders. We can and should scream in moral outrage, but that's not likely to change the way things are. Most of the redistributions of wealth are simply inaccessible to the average person.

That said, there are trillions of dollars in manipulations happening on a national and even global scale. So much is changing so fast that there are also numerous "open doors" in unexpected places. There are opportunities to reposition ourselves so that wealth is redistributed to us instead of taken from us. These doors are still open now, but many are starting to close and our time to access them is limited, at least in the US.

Now, if we identify the part of our financial profile that we can change, and we find an open door or doors of opportunity to benefit from manipulated markets, and we bring those two together - we can achieve something remarkable: personal transformation. A fundamental repositioning that gives us the ability to reject victim status, if only we will take action.

I believe that one of the largest redistributions of wealth in history is coming upon us. It will devastate tens of millions. Because it is a redistribution, it will also be perhaps the greatest wealth creation opportunity of our lifetime. The difference between devastation and opportunity, between having wealth redistributed from us and having wealth redistributed to us, will be about taking personal responsibility, and taking personal action. Which means having the knowledge to spot the opportunities and take the actions.
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beemoe
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:52 am    Post subject: From Beemoe Reply with quote

So what exactly are you getting at? Are you saying that there is a global syndicate composed of "upperworld" officals including "Barry Soetoro"
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beemoe
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:08 am    Post subject: From Beemoe Reply with quote

The "savers" have been losers for years. Ever since the dollar was separated from the gold standard. What needs to be said is how to take advantage of this situation. Some of this lack of a tangible standard is a good thing because the government was able to create a boom by unleasing more cheap dollars. Of course this caused a lot of inflation.
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beemoe
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:31 am    Post subject: From Beemoe Reply with quote

So who do you think is manipulating all this? Or are there many groups? This is going to take a while to dissect this. I left something for you at your Galvestion Post concerning Tony Grant.
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FINCEN
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you will recall when Obama/Sotero/Dunham/Grissom? Ran for office he made a statement about if he won the election he'd be "an advocate for you.." I caught that and wondered if any of the news media would ask the question who was it that he would stand before as our representation? Of course they didn't and the matter has been all but forgotten. There are also a number of interesting and vitally important tidbits about other 'world leaders' that indicate they lack any real influence, authority and power. Now the interesting question is what is going on. Is it a case of the Rothschild dynasty finally gaining control of the nations affairs through its monetary system or is it a continuing struggle between nations to dominate one another? Much of what we have seen in terms of the upheaval in foreign lands has started with outside manipulation and support. In each instance that initial manipulation has been economic in nature and that has sparked the civil unrest that has led to the crackdown in terms of government intervention. You can't ignore the fact that the rhetoric espoused by the Libyan leader is remarkably similar to that espoused by some of the nations law enforcement leaders relating to the situation in Wisconsin. There hasn't been any violent outbreaks as of yet but that is precisely what the media is preparing the people for. Not so much the outbreak of violence but justifying the violent quieting of public descent that is soon to come. So then if America is on the path of fasism, who is to blame? Is it the American people or the government itself, or is it the outside influence and manipulation of foreign agents who've been allowed to setup shop within our infrastructure?
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beemoe
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:36 pm    Post subject: From Beemoe Reply with quote

Obama / Sotero are you telling me you`re not a fan of his? Just joking. I don`t think there is any one thing at work here but many things coming togheter nearly at once. A lot of it has to do with currency manipulation and the lack of financial knowledge for the masses. At a time when you need FK for the masses. I`m kinda looking at places like Detroit or Cleveland as to what may happen in the future.

So do you think that Obama and various leaders answer to somebody higher?

I took a look at Baron Mandelson and it`s interesting his coorelations with Nat Rothschild. I`ve never noticed him before.

I think the people that your looking for are the people who control the FRB.
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FINCEN
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:53 am    Post subject: Precisely Reply with quote

I'm not a fan of any politician frankly, and he is what he is. He's the President of the United States and for whatever that's worth these days, I afford him the measure of respect the office demands. Does he answer to a higher authority? Yes but don't we all?
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