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"Iceland Did it Right...and Everyone Else is Doing it Wrong"

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Volitzer
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« on: November 30, 2012, 01:02:50 pm »

"Iceland Did it Right...and Everyone Else is Doing it Wrong"

http://www.nationofchange.org/iceland-did-it-rightand-everyone-else-doing-it-wrong-1354283363

Nobel prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz notes:

What Iceland did was right. It would have been wrong to burden future generations with the mistakes of the financial system.

Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman writes:

What [Iceland's recovery] demonstrated was the … case for letting creditors of private banks gone wild eat the losses.

Krugman also says:

A funny thing happened on the way to economic Armageddon: Iceland’s very desperation made conventional behavior impossible, freeing the nation to break the rules. Where everyone else bailed out the bankers and made the public pay the price, Iceland let the banks go bust and actually expanded its social safety net. Where everyone else was fixated on trying to placate international investors, Iceland imposed temporary controls on the movement of capital to give itself room to maneuver.

Krugman is right.  Letting the banks go bust – instead of perpetually bailing them out – is the right way to go.

We’ve previously noted:

Iceland told the banks to pound sand. And Iceland’s economy is doing much better than virtually all of the countries which have let the banks push them around.

Bloomberg reports:

Iceland holds some key lessons for nations trying to survive bailouts after the island’s approach to its rescue led to a “surprisingly” strong recovery, the International Monetary Fund’s mission chief to the country said.

Iceland’s commitment to its program, a decision to push losses on to bondholders instead of taxpayers and the safeguarding of a welfare system that shielded the unemployed from penury helped propel the nation from collapse toward recovery, according to the Washington-based fund.

***

NationofChange fights back with one simple but powerful weapon: the truth. Can you donate $5 to help us?
Iceland refused to protect creditors in its banks, which failed in 2008 after their debts bloated to 10 times the size of the economy.

The IMF’s point about bondholders is an important one:  the failure to force a haircut on the bondholders is dooming the U.S. and Europe to economic doldrums.

The IMF notes:

[The] decision not to make taxpayers liable for bank losses was right, economists say.

In other words, as IMF put it:

Key to Iceland’s recovery was [a] program [which] sought to ensure that the restructuring of the banks would not require Icelandic taxpayers to shoulder excessive private sector losses.

Icenews points out:

Experts continue to praise Iceland’s recovery success after the country’s bank bailouts of 2008.

Unlike the US and several countries in the eurozone, Iceland allowed its banking system to fail in the global economic downturn and put the burden on the industry’s creditors rather than taxpayers.

***

The rebound continues to wow officials, including International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who recently referred to the Icelandic recovery as “impressive”. And experts continue to reiterate that European officials should look to Iceland for lessons regarding austerity measures and similar issues.

Barry Ritholtz noted last year:

Rather than bailout the banks — Iceland could not have done so even if they wanted to — they guaranteed deposits (the way our FDIC does), and let the normal capitalistic process of failure run its course.

They are now much much better for it than the countries like the US and Ireland who did not.

Bloomberg pointed out February 2011:

Unlike other nations, including the U.S. and Ireland, which injected billions of dollars of capital into their financial institutions to keep them afloat, Iceland placed its biggest lenders in receivership. It chose not to protect creditors of the country’s banks, whose assets had ballooned to $209 billion, 11 times gross domestic product.

***

“Iceland did the right thing … creditors, not the taxpayers, shouldered the losses of banks,” says Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University in New York. “Ireland’s done all the wrong things, on the other hand. That’s probably the worst model.”

Ireland guaranteed all the liabilities of its banks when they ran into trouble and has been injecting capital — 46 billion euros ($64 billion) so far — to prop them up. That brought the country to the brink of ruin, forcing it to accept a rescue package from the European Union in December.

***

Countries with larger banking systems can follow Iceland’s example, says Adriaan van der Knaap, a managing director at UBS AG.

“It wouldn’t upset the financial system,” says Van der Knaap, who has advised Iceland’s bank resolution committees.

***

Arni Pall Arnason, 44, Iceland’s minister of economic affairs, says the decision to make debt holders share the pain saved the country’s future.

“If we’d guaranteed all the banks’ liabilities, we’d be in the same situation as Ireland,” says Arnason, whose Social Democratic Alliance was a junior coalition partner in the Haarde government.

***

“In the beginning, banks and other financial institutions in Europe were telling us, ‘Never again will we lend to you,’” Einarsdottir says. “Then it was 10 years, then 5. Now they say they might soon be ready to lend again.”

And Iceland’s prosecution of white collar fraud played a big part in its recovery:

[The U.S. and Europe have thwarted white collar fraud investigations ... let alone prosecutions.] On the other hand, Iceland has prosecuted the fraudster bank heads (andhere and here) and their former prime minister, and their economy is recovering nicely… because trust is being restored in the financial system.

http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=238824.0;topicseen
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Volitzer
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 01:04:48 pm »

41 Facts About The History Of Central Banks In The United States That Our Children Are No Longer Taught In School
The American Dream
Nov 12, 2010
Today, most American students don’t even understand what a central bank is, much less that the battle over central banks is one of the most important themes in U.S. history.  The truth is that our nation was birthed in the midst of a conflict over taxation and the control of our money.  Central banking has played a key role in nearly all of the wars that America has fought.  Presidents that resisted the central bankers were shot, while others shamefully caved in to their demands.  Our current central bank is called the Federal Reserve and it is about as “federal” as Federal Express is.  The truth is that it is a privately-owned financial institution that is designed to ensnare the U.S. government in an endlessly expanding spiral of debt from which there is no escape.  The Federal Reserve caused the Great Depression and the Federal Reserve is at the core of our current economic crisis.  None of these things is taught to students in America’s schools today.
In 2010, young Americans are taught a sanitized version of American history that doesn’t even make any sense.  As with so many things, if you want to know what really happened just follow the money.
The following are 41 facts about the history of central banks in the United States that every American should know….
#1 As a result of the Seven Years War with France, King George III of England was deeply in debt to the central bankers of England.
#2 In an attempt to raise revenue, King George tried to heavily tax the colonies in America.
#3 In 1763, Benjamin Franklin was asked by the Bank of England why the colonies were so prosperous, and this was his response….


“That is simple. In the colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Script. We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers.
In this manner, creating for ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay to no one.”

#4 The Currency Act of 1764 ordered the American Colonists to stop printing their own money.  Colonial script (the money the colonists were using at the time) was to be exchanged at a two-to-one ratio for “notes” from the Bank of England.
#5 Later, in his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin explained the impact that this currency change had on the colonies….

“In one year, the conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity ended, and a depression set in, to such an extent that the streets of the Colonies were filled with unemployed.”

#6 In fact, Benjamin Franklin stated unequivocally in his autobiography that the power to issue currency was the primary reason for the Revolutionary War….

“The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction. The inability of the colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the international bankers was the prime reason for the Revolutionary War.”

#7 Gouverneur Morris, one of the authors of the U.S. Constitution, solemnly warned us in 1787 that we must not allow the bankers to enslave us….

“The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did. They always will… They will have the same effect here as elsewhere, if we do not, by (the power of) government, keep them in their proper spheres.”

#8 Unfortunately, those warning us about the dangers of a central bank did not prevail.  After an aborted attempt to establish a central bank in the 1780s, the First Bank of the United States was established in 1791.  Alexander Hamilton (who had close ties to the Rothschild banking family) cut a deal under which he would support the move of the nation’s capital to Washington D.C. in exchange for southern support for the establishment of a central bank.
#9 George Washington signed the bill creating the First Bank of the United States on April 25, 1791.  It was given a 20 year charter.
#10 In the first five years of the First Bank of the United States, the U.S. government borrowed 8.2 million dollars and prices rose by 72 percent.

#11 The opponents of central banking were not pleased.  In 1798, Thomas Jefferson said the following….

“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution – taking from the federal government their power of borrowing.”

#12 In 1811, the charter of the First Bank of the United States was not renewed.
#13 One year later, the War of 1812 erupted.  The British and the Americans were at war once again.
#14 In 1814, the British captured and burned Washington D.C., but the Americans subsequently experienced key victories at New York and at New Orleans.
#15 The Treaty of Ghent, officially ending the war, was ratified by the U.S. Senate on February 16th, 1815 and was ratified by the British on February 18th, 1815.
#16 In 1816, another central bank was created.  The Second Bank of the United States was established and was given a 20 year charter.
#17 Andrew Jackson, who became president in 1828, was determined to end the power of the central bankers over the United States.
#18 In fact, in 1832, Andrew Jackson’s re-election slogan was “JACKSON and NO BANK!”
#19 On July 10th, 1832 President Jackson said the following about the danger of a central bank….

“It is not our own citizens only who are to receive the bounty of our government. More than eight millions of the stock of this bank are held by foreigners… is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country? … Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence… would be more formidable and dangerous than a military power of the enemy.”

#20 In 1835, President Jackson completely paid off the U.S. national debt.  He is the only U.S. president that has ever been able to accomplish this.
#21 President Jackson vetoed the attempt to renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States in 1836.
#22 Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot Andrew Jackson, but he survived.  It is alleged that Lawrence said that “wealthy people in Europe” had put him up to it.
#23 The Civil War was another opportunity for the central bankers of Europe to get their hooks into America.  In fact, it is claimed that Abraham Lincoln actually contacted Rothschild banking interests in Europe in an attempt to finance the war effort.  Reportedly, the Rothschilds were demanding very high interest rates and Lincoln balked at paying them.
#24 Instead, Lincoln pushed through the Legal Tender Act of 1862. Under that act, the U.S. government issued $449,338,902 of debt-free money.
#25 This debt-free money was known as “Greenbacks” because of the green ink that was used.
#26 The central bankers of Europe were not pleased.  The following quote appeared in the London Times in 1865….

“If this mischievous financial policy, which has its origin in North America, shall become endurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous without precedent in the history of the world. The brains, and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That country must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”

#27 Abraham Lincoln was shot dead by John Wilkes Booth on April 14th, 1865.
#28 After the Civil War, all money in the United States was created by bankers buying U.S. government bonds in exchange for bank notes.
#29 James A. Garfield became president in 1881, and he was a staunch opponent of the banking powers.  In 1881 he said the following….

“Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce…and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”

#30 President Garfield was shot about two weeks later by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2nd, 1881.  He died from medical complications on September 19th, 1881.
#31 In 1906, the U.S. stock market was setting all kinds of records.  However, in March 1907 the U.S. stock market absolutely crashed.  It is alleged that elite New York bankers were responsible.
#32 In addition, in 1907 J.P. Morgan circulated rumors that a major New York bank had gone bankrupt.  This caused a massive run on the banks.  In turn, the banks started recalling all of their loans.  The panic of 1907 resulted in a congressional investigation that ended up concluding that a central bank was “necessary” so that these kinds of panics would never happen again.
#33 It took a few years, but the international bankers finally got their central bank in 1913.
#34 Congress voted on the Federal Reserve Act on December 22nd, 1913 between the hours of 1:30 AM and 4:30 AM.
#35 A significant portion of Congress was either sleeping at the time or was already at home with their families celebrating the holidays.
#36 The president that signed the law that created the Federal Reserve, Woodrow Wilson, later sounded like he very much regretted the decision when he wrote the following….

“A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men … [W]e have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world–no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.”

#37 Between 1921 and 1929 the Federal Reserve increased the U.S. money supply by 62 percent.  This was the time known as “The Roaring 20s”.
#38 In addition, highly leveraged “margin loans” became very common during this time period.
#39 In October 1929, the New York bankers started calling in these margin loans on a massive scale.  This created the initial crash that launched the Great Depression.
#40 Rather than expand the money supply in response to this crisis, the Federal Reserve really tightened it up.
#41 In fact, it was reported the the U.S. money supply contracted by eight billion dollars between 1929 and 1933.  That was an extraordinary amount of money in those days.  Over one-third of all U.S. banks went bankrupt.  The New York bankers were able to buy up other banks and all kinds of other assets for pennies on the dollar.
But are American students being taught any of this today?
Of course not.
In fact, it is a rare student that can even adequately explain what a central bank is.
We have lost so much of what is important about our history.
And you know what they say – those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
It is absolutely critical that we educate as many Americans as possible about what is really going on in our financial system and about why we need to make some truly fundamental changes.
 
http://www.prisonplanet.com/41-facts-about-the-history-of-central-banks-in-the-united-states-that-our-children-are-no-longer-taught-in-school.html
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