The Lender of Last Resort

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Today we begin with the Rothschilds. The following is taken from a London letter, sent to the Rothschild’s New York operators on commencing business in the U.S.:

The few who can understand the system will be either so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class, while, on the other hand, that great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that Capital derives from the system, will bear its burden without complaint and, perhaps, without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.

The “system” being described, as you likely know, is the international banking system. It is one of the oldest and most powerful in the world, as far as systems go.

And the Federal Reserve is dedicated to that system… protecting and preserving it at all costs.

We now have evidence of just how dedicated. Via Bloomberg, it comes to light that “Foreign Banks Tapped Fed’s Secret Lifeline Most at Crisis Peak:”

The biggest borrowers from the 97-year-old discount window as the program reached its crisis-era peak were foreign banks, accounting for at least 70 percent of the $110.7 billion borrowed during the week in October 2008 when use of the program surged to a record. The disclosures may stoke a reexamination of the risks posed to U.S. taxpayers by the central bank’s role in global financial markets.

In the heat of the 2008 meltdown, the Federal Reserve offered up huge cash infusions — bailouts in disguise, sometimes in the tens of billions — at a rapid and unprecedented clip. For a long time after, the Fed refused to disclose who those loans were made to, likely on the grounds that people would be upset.

Now we understand why. With details coming to light, we find out a Brussels-and-Paris-based bank tapped the Fed’s discount window for $33.5 billion. Another Dublin-based bank rang the register for $24.5 billion.

But the Fed’s most surprising bailout of all was probably that of Arab Banking Corp., majority owned (at the time) by the Central Bank of Libya. Documents further suggest that Arab Banking Corp. went to the Federal Reserve well not once, not twice, but dozens of times.

What a delicious irony. The bombs that we drop on Colonel Gadhafi, in defense of a rebel force that includes al-Qaida fighters, may be taking out equipment and munitions secured with Federal Reserve cash.

Then again, perhaps it’s not ironic at all… but simply a function of how “the system” works…

Texas Rep. Ron Paul was more than a little ticked off at this news. “The American people are going to be outraged when they understand what has been going on,” he said. “What in the world are we doing thinking we can pass out tens of billions of dollars to banks that are overseas?”

But this goes back to the Rothschild’s keen observation, as quoted at the beginning of this piece. Most people can’t be bothered to understand the system at all… and barely suspect where its true motives and interests lie.

On a related note, Taipan Daily reader Paul Y. offers the following in regard to Friday’s “Twinkie economy” analogy:

The Smithsonian has [an]original 1930s Twinkie in its museum. A news article from approximately a year ago stated it had not deteriorated in nearly 80 years of existence.

Likewise, the Fed may just pull off a long existence for the twinkie they have produced.

I am beginning to wonder that with the advent of electronic blips as currency (with only ATMs remaining to spit out quaint reminders of bygone days, ie, greenbacks), if perhaps another still-evolving type of economics is now upon us…. where perhaps, the true medium of exchange is no longer currency…. but something else… something this 40 year, sound-money-favoring banker is just not getting…

I would argue that no, economics is not “evolving” any more than gravity is evolving. The sleight of hand tricks and distracting electronic gizmos may be getting fancier. But factors like supply and demand, the need for savings in order to invest, and productivity as the true origin of wealth, remain exactly the same.

Look to the Rothschilds again. In spite of all the digital enhancements, this is a world they would have easily recognized. Or think back to colorful charlatans like John Law and his Mississippi scheme.

Enterprising men have been playing con games with paper money and credit for centuries, if not millennia. The technique of “coin-clipping,” a form of stealth devaluation of the currency, goes all the way back to Roman times. The technology is advanced, but the game — and its laws — are the same.

The reason they can draw out the game for so long, your humble editor suspects, is because there is such a wide and willing populace of financial slaves ready to be exploited.

The thing that keeps the U.S. economy going — and keeps all economies going really — is real wealth, in the form of hard-earned savings and productivity. There is still a lot of honest labor in the world, along with innovations and upgrades that enhance that wealth still further.

But for those who live by exploiting the system, rather than producing or creating things of value, this wealth is something to siphon off like gasoline from a tank.

Just look at how elderly savers — those with decades of accumulated funds stored in safe, low-yielding debt instruments — are being nickeled and dimed to death by stealth inflation. Look at how small businesses all across America — those who still have to pay taxes by the way — are slowly being bled by increases in raw material costs, fuel costs, local and state tax burdens, and so on.

Think of all the wealth burned up by inflation, by unproductive spending choices, by purchasing power lost or transferred when the value of a dollar is further reduced via tens of billions spewing into the coffers of some far-flung banker’s vault. Who pays for all that?

The savers, the workers, the tax filers… the contributors, business owners and entrepreneurs… in short, all those who contribute real wealth to the pool without fully maximizing the parasitic advantages of “the system” to their benefit.

And so the question of how long it can keep going is another way of asking: How many fleas can sup on a dog before poor Rover falls to his knees… or before the citizenry gets genuinely angry.

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