Too Big To Fail?: 10 Banks Own 77 Percent Of All U.S. Banking Assets

Back during the financial crisis of 2008, the American people were told that the largest banks in the United States were “too big to fail” and that was why it was necessary for the federal government to step in and bail them out.  The idea was that if several of our biggest banks collapsed at the same time the financial system would not be strong enough to keep things going and economic activity all across America would simply come to a standstill.  Congress was told that if the “too big to fail” banks did not receive bailouts that there would be chaos in the streets and this country would plunge into another Great Depression.  Since that time, however, essentially no efforts have been made to decentralize the U.S. banking system.  Instead, the “too big to fail” banks just keep getting larger and larger and larger.  Back in 2002, the top 10 banks controlled 55 percent of all U.S. banking assets.  Today, the top 10 banks control 77 percent of all U.S. banking assets.  Unfortunately, these giant banks are also colossal mountains of risk, debt and leverage.  They are incredibly unstable and they could start coming apart again at any time.  None of the major problems that caused the crash of 2008 have been fixed.  In fact, the U.S. banking system is more centralized and more vulnerable today than it ever has been before.

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Inside Job

Inside Job (2010) is a documentary film about the late-2000s financial crisis directed by Charles H. Ferguson. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2010 and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2011.[3]

Ferguson has described the film as being about “the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption.”[4] In five parts, the film explores how changes in the policy environment and banking practices helped create the financial crisis. Inside Job was well received by film critics who praised its pacing, research, and exposition of complex material.

The film sets out to demonstrate that the financial crisis was not “random” or “accidental”, but was avoidable. It begins with Iceland which, before the crisis, was doing well economically. The country had been highly deregulated in 2000, notably with the privatization of its banks, which ultimately collapsed in 2008. In reality, the situation there constituted a “Ponzi scheme“, which credit rating agencies and government regulators failed to prevent. When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and AIG collapsed on September 15, 2008, Iceland was swept, along with the rest of the world, into a global recession.

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Monsanto trying to take over world seed supply, nation by nation

He who controls the seed controls the food supply; and he who controls the food supply controls the world. There is no question that Monsanto is on a mission to monopolize the conventional seed market. In fact, they are steadfastly working towards the goal of creating a world where 100% of all commercial seeds are genetically modified and patented- basically a world where natural seeds are extinct.

Unfortunately for the global community Monsanto is accomplishing their purpose. They currently own 90% of the world’s patents for GMO seed including cotton, soybeans, corn, sugar beets and canola.

Yep, the creators of chemicals that will go down in history for their toxicity and horrific side effects, is attempting to take over the world’s seed supply. Ask yourself- do you really want companies such as BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Syngenta, and Dow involved with your food? Sadly, to a large extent they already are. These Monsanto chemical and GMO cronies all share genetically engineered traits and create the patented herbicides and pesticides that GMO cropsrequire to thrive.

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DARPA’s Regina Dugan Takes It to Mach 20: The Full D9 Interview (Video)

From planes that fly across the country in an hour to explosive detection based on a dog’s nose to photoluminescent polymers, I dare you not to be riveted by Regina Dugan, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Rocking a leather jacket and a t-shirt with the logo “I-cubed” — meaning “impossible, improbable, inevitable,” which Dugan said is the natural progression of discovery — she said in an interview with Walt Mossberg that DARPA’s “singular mission is the prevention and creation of strategic surprise.”

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Bitcoin – The WikiLeaks of Money

For something that few had heard of a month ago, the online currency Bitcoin tends to elicit pretty strong responses. Depending on whom you ask, Bitcoin is the “future of money,” a “crypto-geek Ponzi scheme,” an “online form of money laundering,” or a tool for “libertarian hipsters and criminals.”

The publicity has not been kind to Bitcoin, which has faced attacks from law enforcement, hackers, and cybercriminals alike. The currency’s value has seen several sharp fluctuations. Early supporters appear to have lost confidence, and U.S. lawmakers are starting to ask tough questions. But shutting down Bitcoin may prove more difficult than its critics hope. And whether or not the experiment succeeds, its rise may herald the emergence of a new form of decentralized currency trading.

Bitcoin’s origins are appropriately mysterious, in keeping with its cyberpunk image. The idea for the currency was first described in a paper in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, supposedly a Japanese programmer whom no one has ever met or communicated with. The name is almost certainly a pseudonym, and many believe “Nakamoto” may not be only one person.

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Federal Reserve Shipped Billions to Iraq Which Were Then Stolen

CNBC reports today:

The New York Fed is refusing to tell investigators how many billions of dollars it shipped to Iraq during the early days of the US invasion there, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction told CNBC Tuesday.

The Fed’s lack of disclosure is making it difficult for the inspector general to follow the paper trail of billions of dollars that went missing in the chaotic rush to finance the Iraq occupation, and to determine how much of that money was stolen.

The New York Fed will not reveal details, the inspector general said, because the money initially came from an account at the Fed that was held on behalf of the people of Iraq and financed by cash from the Oil-for-Food program. Without authorization from the account holder, the Iraqi government itself, the inspector general’s office was told it can’t receive information about the account.

The problem is that critics of the Iraqi government believe highly placed officials there are among the people who may have made off with the money in the first place.

As I noted last year:

In July 2009, Congressman Henry Waxman stated:

In a 13 month period from May 2003 to June 2004, the Federal Reserve sent nearly $12 billion in cash, mainly in $100 bills from the United States to Iraq. To do that, the Federal Reserve Bank in New York had to pack 281 million individual bills … onto wooden pallets to be shipped to Iraq. The cash weighed more than 363 tons and was loaded onto C-130 cargo planes to be flown into Baghdad…

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Liquid Gold: The Booming Market for Human Breast Milk

It started with a bleary-eyed Google search: “Sell breast milk.” Desiree Espinoza had a 2-month-old baby girl but was pumping out enough milk to feed triplets. Ziplock baggies full of the stuff were crammed in her freezer, and unpaid bills crowded her kitchen table. She wasn’t sure there was a market for her overflow or whether selling it was even legal. A few clicks later, she found herself on a website called Only the Breast.

The site looks a lot like craigslist, except instead of selling used cars and like-new Ikea furniture, Only the Breast deals in human breast milk. There are hundreds of posts from new mothers eager to turn their surplus into profits. Many kick off with a chirpy headline (“Chubby baby milk machine!”), then follow with a snapshot of their own robust infant and lush descriptions (“rich, creamy breast milk!” “fresh and fatty!”), making a primal source of nutrition sound like a New York cheesecake. The posts are additionally categorized to appeal to a variety of milk seekers, based on a baby’s age (from 0 to 12 months), say, or special dietary restrictions (dairy- and gluten-free). There’s also a sort of “anything goes” section for women willing to sell to men. Some ship coolers of frozen milk packed in dry ice. Others deal locally, meeting in cafés to exchange cash for commodity. The asking price on Only the Breast runs $1 to $2.50 an ounce. (A 6-month-old baby consumes about 30 ounces a day.)

Intrigued, Espinoza tapped out her sales pitch: “Mostly organic raised breast milk. I have over 500 oz saved and I need to get rid of it. During the week I only eat organic.” A few days later, she was in business, selling the milk at $2 an ounce to a couple of customers in the Phoenix area where she lives, including a mother with a newborn and a man who claimed breast milk helped his immune disorder. “There’s no way I could get a job with an infant, so this helps pay for diapers and clothes,” she says. In three months, the 19-year-old college student earned enough to buy a new laptop and the dress she wore to her wedding to the baby’s 22-year-old father, a recent college grad. She plans to continue selling for a year, and if she can pump a steady 30 ounces a day, she could take in about $20,000.

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