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Welcome to the "Wolf Creek Pass" School of Monetary Policy

I don’t know if you folks remember that hit ditty: a humorous tune about two truckers attempting to manhandle an out-of-control 1948 Peterbilt down the “other side” of Wolf Creek Pass – a death-taunting section of U.S. Highway 160 where the elevation drops a hefty 5,000 feet in a relatively short distance.

The song’s two characters – a truck driver named Earl and his brother, who’s his partner as well as the song’s narrator – are taking a flatbed load of chickens on a speedy trip down this winding, two-lane Colorado highway. After the narrator gives Earl the above-mentioned warning, the ancient semi’s brakes fail.

From there on down, the narrator tells us that the brothers’ trip “just wasn’t real pretty.” The truck careened around hairpins and switchbacks, and then raced at an uncontrolled 110 mph toward a tunnel with “clearance to the 12-foot line” – with chicken crates sadly “stacked to 13-9.”

The drivers and the runaway Peterbilt “went down and around and around and down ’til we run outta ground at the edge of town… and bashed into the side of the feed store – in downtown Pagosa Springs.”

Believe it or not, I started thinking about this funny old country tune the other night – right after I’d read a piece about QE3 and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

As zany as it first sounds, the parallels are striking.

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    Bank Insurers Bet It All at the Deal Table… With Your Money

    Here's a story about a bank that failed, got rescued, was resuscitated, and made its private equity investors more than 100% on their money, all the while costing the FDIC around $5.9 billion.
    It's not a story about a failed bank... although it is.
    It's not a story about how smart the bank's private equity "rescuers" were... although it is.
    It's not a story about how the FDIC is such a great savior of banks.
    Or that that moral hazard exists manifestly because the FDIC is a tool (not as in a tool used to fix something) that lets banks run hog-wild... although it is.
    This is a story about how nothing has changed and why another bank crisis is coming... Full Story
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  • Banking

  • The Staggering Numbers Your Bank Doesn't Want You to See Many of us may have a small share of the country's largest banks in our wallet: a debit card, a credit card, or for the old-schoolers, a checkbook. And each month we get a statement showing our account activity, not the banks'... That's because there's a staggering number that the banks will never show you, or even reference, on the statement... Yet it directly impacts what you're paying them... this month... and for years to come. It's the staggering amount of fines that they've paid out for a litany of misdeeds. They're all here, in one place. You'll be shocked to see how colossal they are... Full Story...
  • Inside the Bankster Settlements: Where All the Money Is Going Everyone wants to know where the billions of dollars big banks have forked over to bank regulators, the SEC, the CFTC, the FERC, and the Department of Justice ends up.
    But, before I can tell you who's paid out what, the infractions they committed, and where that money ends up, I want to give you information that's critical in assessing your bank and your investments...

    Just who is it that's looking out for your money?
  • Best Stocks to Buy Now: A Big Growth Case for Small Banks

    While the big banks may have the attention of the Street right now, it's the smaller regional and community banks that are among the best stocks to buy now.

    These small bank growth stocks are starting to show dazzling growth as their balance sheets improve dramatically. And they are still very early in the recovery cycle, so there is still plenty of time for individual investors to catch this train...

    To continue reading, please click here...

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  • If A New Glass-Steagall Act Can Protect Us, Why Is There Opposition? People shrug T

    There has been a huge outpouring of support for Senators John McCain and Elizabeth Warren's idea to reinstate some form of the Glass-Steagall Act, which drew a clear separation between investment banking and commercial banking.

    The enthusiasm has managed to vault a wall that many thought impossible: broad bipartisan support.

    In fact, from McCain and Warren on down to the right and left, strange bedfellows are signing on.

    Whether it's the various Tea Party groups, or MoveOn.Org. Whether it's the Huffington Post or Breitbart, or Bill Clinton, there is plenty of common ground between all of these divergent groups.

    Even in Congress itself, there is significant bipartisan support for at least the idea behind Glass-Steagall - that big banks should be broken up, and that those who remain should be absolutely prohibited from, frankly, gambling with our money.

    It's perfectly clear that, among the people of this country, there is a real desire to bring banks to heel.

    Professor William K. Black, veteran warrior of the Savings & Loan Crisis, put it well when he said that "it violates the core principles of conservatism and libertarianism to extend the federal subsidy (to)... commercial banks via deposit insurance to allow that subsidy to extend to non-banking operations," meaning that we, the taxpayers, shouldn't be forced to subsidize a bank's gambling habit.

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    The question is, after 9/11, the rise of China and a great financial crisis, where does the U.S. empire stack up to its predecessors?
    Well, it seems the one commonality they all have is the point when their might was undermined by sloth and greed. And entitlements: free bread and circuses. For some it took years, others centuries.
    Here, in a compelling and unique address, is what Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Roman Empire, might say to President Obama now about how to keep America great.
    Read on and share with family and friends...
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    But that's only the tip of this high-end iceberg...

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  • The Latest Obama Outrage: the Family's $100 Million Vacation Flip flops Q

    How much do you spend on your summer vacation? American households usually spend about $1,200 per person on summer vacations, according to a recent American Express survey.

    Presidents spend more on their vacations than you or I. They have to. Air Force One and security does cost more than loading the Honda and heading to the beach.

    Here's how much some recent presidents spent our tax dollars on vacation.

    Ronald Reagan spent most of his free time at his California ranch. Taxpayers covered the cost of approximately $8 million for presidential travel during Reagan's first six years in office, according to the Los Angeles Times. That amounts to $1.3 million a year.

    For George Bush the cost of flying Air Force One to his Texas ranch was approximately $56,800 per trip, for each of the 180 trips according to Media Matters. President Bush spent Christmas during his two terms at the White House so his staff and secret service could spend the holiday with their family, according to Conservative Byte.

    Now Obama plans to blow away all previous presidents' leisure travel costs on our dime with a better than Disney World extravaganza trip to Africa.

    However Obama had to cancel the safari because of the need to fill the surrounding jungle with snipers to guard the president from wild animals!

    To continue reading, please click here...

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  • It's Enough to Make Your Blood Boil According to Shah Gilani, the usual suspects are at it again and nobody but Elizabeth Warren is willing to push back. Read more... Read More...
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    But it's not that they're doing poorly. They're not.
    Citigroup beat analysts' expectations and finished up yesterday - even though the Dow took a big tumble. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase didn't do badly last week, in terms of their earnings and profit numbers either.
    Admittedly, if you're a "too-big-to-fail bank or a shareholder, it's been a good ride.
    But here's why it's about to end... Read More...
  • Paul Krugman May Be the World's Last Flat Earth Economist Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Dr. Paul Krugman is at it again. He claimed earlier this week that fixing the deficit is important, but added that "doing it now would be disastrous." He also observed that the 10-year U.S. debt situation isn't really all that bad.
    I don’t know how he can make that argument with a straight face.
    For five years now, Dr. Krugman has argued that increasing U.S. government spending is vital to our nation's recovery. And for five years he's been dead wrong.
    Dr. Krugman claims that "we" just haven't spent enough money... yet.
    Here's why that makes him very dangerous... Read More...