Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shadow Banking Makes a Comeback


Shadow Banking makes a comeback by Mike Whitney:



Are-you-dating-a-financial-deadbeat: Personal
Finance News :



Why Socialism?

By Albert Einstein:

What about human nature? Yes, the greed factor always
destroys good intentions:



Double-Dip Days By Nouriel Roubini--A real thought
provoking article...:



Washington Post : Top Secret America--A
hidden world, growing beyond control:



The U.S. Middle Class Is Being Wiped Out

By Michael Snyder:



Wake up, Mr. President

By Eric L. Wattree:



Historian warns of sudden collapse of American ‘empire’:



The Fed is steering the economy into deflation:

By Mike Whitney:





Late Night Political Jokes - Late Night Jokes Updated Daily


Wednesday, July 14, 2010



Copyright © 2010 by F. Scott Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

The Last Chance

An Op-Ed by Novelist F. Scott Sinclair

After seeing what the British finance minister is doing regarding his proposed austerity program for the U.K., and the recent article by Paul Krugman: I’ve become skeptical of austerity programs, or Keynesian spend and tax programs as advocated by Mr. Krugman.

One can perceive that the Keynesian governmental stimulus method has its credible and logical merits. On the other hand, it’s like someone playing 21 (blackjack) in Reno or Las Vegas, who doubles their bet if they lose a hand. But you can only double your bet(s) so many times before you can no longer afford to double down on those losses to recoup them. America is at that turning point where Keynesian economics of spend—spend—spend , and tax—tax—tax no longer works.

In my view, thirteen trillion dollars (now, but that amount will certainly rise astronomically) is the tipping point. If inflation and interest rates go up, we’re screwed blue and tattooed, my friends. As simple as that, I’m afraid.

What’s the solution to our economic woes? Well, taxing the rich is a starter: in 2011 the tax breaks for the rich expire. Is that all there is to it? Nope. That’s just the beginning. Congress has got just one shot (chance) of saving our economy. They must (I repeat, must…) pass a VAT tax, or we’ll never ever as a country dig ourselves out of debt. That’s the bottom line: a VAT tax must be made "the law of the land." A fair tax as some advocates are espousing? No. The individual income tax cannot be repelled until the damage done by the foolish spending by our government has been eradicated and cleaned up. The government is no longer able to raid the Social Security trust fund and issue IOU’s they never intended to repay.

There’s only one way to make America solvent again, and that’s a VAT tax of a significant amount. Remember this: Congress will only have one chance to redeem themselves in order to save our financial system. Why? Because a new source of revenue like a VAT tax is able to generate a significant amount of revenue: enough to payoff America’s total debt obligation in a reasonably short period of time. There is no other choice, I’m afraid. If Congress tries to use the new source of revenue to stimulate the economy, pay for health care, entitlements (you name it), then inflation and sky-high interest rates will nullify the ability of the VAT tax revenues to bring America back onto a sound footing, and a complete fiscal recovery. Hence, this is the only chance Congress has to redeem itself and the country by being responsible and using the VAT revenues wisely. This will be the last chance for America to double its bet at the blackjack table. There will never be another chance. Period. That’s it… Pure and simple. Congress: the ball’s in your court. Remember what John F. Kennedy said, and recall the contents of his book “Profiles in Courage” and his speech: “It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Think about that for a moment. Offer solutions to our country’s plight and problems—not just criticism. Actions speak louder than words.

What do I mean by that? It’s simple. Instead of condemning people for being on unemployment insurance when it’s not their fault, how about extending a hand to those less fortunate. A helping hand… How’s that…? By being creative and providing intern jobs for say—98 weeks—at every sort and kind of business enterprise imaginable, at no cost to the employers. We do it for university students as part of their curriculum in a nonpaying status, why not do the same thing for the unemployed: except they’ll get their unemployment benefits, killing two birds with one stone. If the employee shows potential, within two years the employer can take over the reins of payment (payroll) and you have a win-win situation. The employer has an employee for free for nearly 2 years (hopefully for the next 30 years), the employee is learning new skills or showing off existing skills with an unemployment check in hand for the same period. And the government wins by doing several things: providing a job, training, money, opportunity—and potentially creating a taxpayer in order to generate new sources of revenue, home buyers, consumers, etc. that will help to increase GDP. That’s what I’m talking about.

In conclusion, I'd say that a national sales tax (or vat tax) would be considered the gasoline (fuel) for our restructured economy. And what about the existing federal income tax? Consider the current income tax as the timing and dwell of our rebuilt (revitalized) engine (economy). Fine tuning the economy is essential in order to stimulate various segments of the economy as needed according to economic conditions at any given time. America has an ace up their sleeve: a VAT or national sales tax is the key to the survival of our capitalistic way of life. Use the gas (VAT) to be used only to eliminate deficits, and the tune-up (the current income tax) will direct the resources (revenues) to the where such funds are required: including the deficit. Over time, the income tax brackets can be reduced, and/or eliminated if Congress is taught to be frugal. In additional, it would be wise to pass a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget to guarantee that Congress must have a balanced budget, not just provide lip service to that affect.

C’mon, America…! Let’s batten down the hatches, and get our asses in gear. Okay? And that means you, too. Yup, I’m referring to those in Congress. Get your arses in gear, as the British would say!

Nuff said. The seashell between my ears is howling…!

Humbly yours,

Novelist F. Scott Sinclair

P.S.—I’m just trying to be helpful. Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010



Warning: If you are easily shocked with regard to contrary
points of view, conspiracy theories, offensive language, political
correctness, sex, or anything else that may offend your
sensibilities or lack of open-mindedness, or if you're a minor
(but by no means limited to the aforementioned), please do
not read this novel. It's not for you...

Note: This is a work of fiction. The events described here are
imaginary: the settings, events and characters are fictitious,
and/or are the product of the author's imagination or used
fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events or locales
or persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.

Copyright (C) 2007 By F. Scott Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

Scene 22 of the Walls Have Ears: A Novel of America

Novelist Jake Jacobs (a.k.a. Paul Krugar)

Luther James, my would-be artist friend, sat on my
moth-eaten couch. I was sprawled out on my bachelor
apartment Murphy bed watching a “B” movie. My head
was resting on a folded pillow made of latex foam that
needed to be laundered something terrible. The pillow
case seemed to be disintegrating before my eyes as we
watched the movie. As I rubbed some of the fine cotton
thread off of my lips and neck, the phone rang.

“Who the hell could that be…?” I said.

Before I could pick up the receiver, Luther says, “I
don’t give a shit. Another beer sounds good.”

“Help yourself… I'll get the phone.” I raised the
receiver, and said, “Paul here…”

“Hi sweetie. It’s me. Care for a nightcap?”

“Paula. Jesus Christ, it’s really you…! I thought I
was leftovers, the way you’ve been ignoring me lately,”
I said as I bit my lower lip in anticipation. “Are you sure
it’s not the monthly rent you’re after? I’m a month
behind, you know.”

After a moment of silence, I started to feel the old vibes
of our on again...off again relationship, as she says,
“Don’t be silly. I’m just horny. You know…”

“The usual time and place?”

“You’ve got it. How about tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow? I thought you were horny?” I said
with Luther listening in with baited breath.

“We’ll discuss it tomorrow.”

Trying to act normal, I said, “Tomorrow it is, my
dear. Till then…”

“Night,” she said, seductively.

Tomorrow was the 'code word' for trouble on the
horizon: her husband, pregnancy, or whatever. I had
no more than an hour to get my ass over to her place.
Hell, I haven’t seen her for months. Is she pregnant?
Wonderful…! I thought in a state of panic. I can barely
afford to stay in this joint, and now another mouth to
feed. Oh shit, was putting it mildly.

As I held the phone in my hand, Luther says, “You
look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“Might say that…,” I replied, in a complete daze.
Shock was more like it.

“From what I gathered from this end of the
conversation, it looks like you’ve got your work cut out
for you tomorrow. I hate to say it, but I’m envious, pal.”

I shook my head, trying to regain some sense
of reality, and said, “Yeah, right.”

“Better hand me the phone before they charge
you overtime.”

“Sorry.” I slowly returned the red receiver to
its cradle, and said, “Can we resume this party

He slid back on the couch, and says, “If I’m not
mistaken, you’re going to be busy tomorrow.”

Still dazed, I could only say, “Right. The day
after tomorrow.”

“Boy, this lady’s got you upset for some reason.”

What about? was the better question. I knew
I only had a little time to get ready. “Alright…
Well, I’ve got to get a couple of things straightened
out in my mind.”

“By all appearances, that’d help. If there’s anything
I can do to help, let me know. Okay?”

I grinned grimly, and nodded my head.

Luther left with his beer in hand, shaking his
head in ignorance. As he grasped the
doorhandle, he gazed back in my direction, and says,
"Cheers, ole buddy."

With a grin and a handshake, we parted ways
for the time being.

******* ****************************************
FBI undercover agent, Phil Hill, was posted in the
refreshment area of Jake Jacobs’ (a.k.a.—
Paul Krugar's) apartment. The dingy beige plaster
walls we cracking at the seams. The December snow
that was clinging to the outside roof was being melted
by the noon day sun, and it wasn’t helping matters.
The moisture runoff from the melting snow oozed
out microscopically from every crack and crevice. He
was tempted to get up from the makeshift dining
table made from old wagon wheels, and place
a couple of chipped coffee cups beneath the leaks in
the ceiling.

But before he could do that, he saw his target: the
infamous Jake Jacobs, and said into his hidden radio
transmitter in a whisper, “The subject is entering
the hallway.”

The surveillance supervisor says, “Good going, Phil.
Keep your eyes on him. But don’t give chase, just yet.
Give him a couple of minutes lead time. We’re not
sure of what he’s up to yet. Is that understood?”

“Roger that..., Alpha one.”

Phil kept his mug buried in the sports page of
the New York Times as Jake walked towards
his location, then abruptly turned down the far
hallway. Seconds later he heard the gassy hydraulic
sound of the exit door opening and closing, and
immediately reached for his portable radio,
and said, “The subject has left the building.”

“Understood, Bravo one. We’ve got the target
in our cross hairs.”

Outside the apartment, I felt naked with only
a gray wool shirt, blue jeans and sneakers on. I
hoped my on again...off again girlfriend and landlord,
Paula Slater, would invite me inside in a damn hurry.
But the one thing I knew for sure was that only
God knows her whereabouts.

“Pssst...! Over here, Paul,” Ms. Slater said from
behind a recently trimmed hedge.

The dense and dark shadows of the hedge
obstructed my view. “Where the hell are you...?”

“Over here, silly...,” she said as she gave a couple
of flashes on her pencil flashlight.

Christ, there she is...! As I snuck between a couple
of hedges that had been damaged by the freezing
snow, breaking off icicles in my path, I managed
to squirrel myself in beside Paula. The mound of dirt
I sat atop was hard and rocky. My butt’s cheeks
eased down to a comfortable position. I just stared
at her, and said, “Care to tell me what’s going on...?
The mystery of the code word ‘tomorrow’ is killing me.”

“I’m not pregnant if that’s what you’re thinking?”
Her eyes seemed so sad.

“And your husband?”

“Sleeping at the moment.”

“What’s the matter then? Nothing could be
that awful...”

With instantaneous glee, she asks, “Even if I
was pregnant after all?”

I’d asked for this, and couldn’t answer truthfully
without destroying our relationship. “Yes, even if
you were pregnant.”

Then her eyes went into a gloomy state, distant
and unresponsive.

“Geez, I haven’t got all night. I’m freezing my balls
off. Out with it...!” I whispered forcefully.

Luckily the square hedgerow was blocking the
luminance from the overhead floodlight, as
Paula says, “There after you.”

Startled, I gently grabbed Paula’s shoulder, turning
her face and body towards me. “Who dammit...!”

“Can’t say...” She turned away again, raising her
eyes towards the universe, holding back tears.

“What do you mean you can’t tell me?”

The silence between us was crushing the torrent
of anxiety pangs stabbing the pit of my stomach.

I looked around to see if anyone had followed me,
but I couldn’t see anyone. Paranoid, I asked, “Are the
Feds behind your silence?”

“Damn it away, can’t you just accept what I’m
telling you? They’re after you, and Luther too.”

“What the hell does Luther have to do with

“I don’t know. But I can’t tell you anything because
if they torture you, I’ll be up shit creek without a paddle.
The less you know, the better. I’ve told you too much
already, and you know that for a fact.”

Still in shock, I collapsed on one elbow, and said,
“What now...?”

“Hide. Just get out of here. Something’s dreadfully
wrong...! Why can’t I get that through your noggin?”

“Why...? I haven’t done anything wrong. And that’s
a fact, Paula. You believe me, don’t you?”

“You and your political beliefs, that’s what...! I’ve
told you before, there isn’t any freedom of speech
anymore. But no, you don’t friggin’ believe me. That
is no doubt what’s the matter, if you want my opinion.”

With a terrified look on her face and tears rolling
down her lovely cheeks, she placed her head on my shoulder.

To diffuse the situation, I spoke intimately into
her delicate ear, “Your place or mine?”

“Mine...,” a strange voice from the wilderness said,
making my heart jump into my throat.

“Who the hell are you...?”

“The FBI...!”

“Oh, shit...,” is all I could say.

He laid his commission and badge on me, flipping
the leather holder in my face, and said, “You’re under
arrest. You have no damn rights, thanks to the Patriot Act.”

“And what the fuck am I supposed to have done? You
can at least tell me that much, can’t you?”

Laying back on the heels of his combat boots, the
FBI agent says, “That’s the nice part about the Patriot Act,
we don’t need a reason. And with habeas corpus suspended,
we don’t have to parade you before a judge and show cause
for incarcerating your dumb ass. So get your butt in gear,
or I’ll bust you here and now! Is that clear enough, or do
I have to spell it out?”

Paula started to object, but I put my hand over her
mouth, and said, “Don’t say a word, dear.”

“Do what your boyfriend here says, young lady. Damn
good advice. And if you even say one word about this,
or anything else you’re privy to on this matter: you’re
going to do a lot of time in the slammer. Got it…?!”

She nodded, kissed me, and departed in tears as
the nice officer was so kind as to handcuff me. A real
American thank you, if I’ve ever seen one… Yes, put
your life on the line in one of Uncle Sam’s little trumped-up
wars, and see what it gets you: The Land of the Free,
and the Home of the Brave. Yeah. Right on, I kept
thinking, as they crammed me into the back of their
nondescript federal car.

They surely wouldn’t want anyone to notice that one
of their precious fellow American’s had
vanished into thin air, now would they?

So this is what it’s like to be kidnapped, and by
your own government’s secret police. Snatched off
the streets of America in the middle of the night,
Nicaraguan style. The American Dream: fulfilled,
at last.