Massive Central Bank balance sheet expansions yield little benefit at ‘ground level.’

Commentary by Caesar Lack of UBS                                                                      (Excerpts)

“In many Western industrialized nations, debt has overwhelmed or is about to overwhelm the economy’s debt-servicing capacity.

In the run-up to a debt crisis, bad debt tends to move to the next higher level and may ultimately accumulate in the central bank’s balance sheet, provided the economy has its own currency.

Excessive debt incurred by consumers, homeowners and businesses first moves to the banking system and corrupts its balance sheet. If (rightly or wrongly) the banking system isn’t allowed to fail, bad debt is then transferred to the government via bailouts or implicit / explicit guarantees. When exacerbated by the burden of unfavorable demographics and several decades of proliferating welfare spending, it may overwhelm the government’s debt-carrying capacity.

Should financial markets become unwilling to refinance the government debt at rates acceptable to the government, central banks step in. They monetize government debt in the name of propping up the economy, creating jobs, or weakening the currency to keep government borrowing rates low. The process whereby government or quasi-government debt is taken over by the central bank is called quantitative and qualitative easing: “quantitative” easing denotes the lengthening of the central bank balance sheet while “qualitative” easing denotes the deterioration of it.”

Bad debt ends up at the central bank

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The Central Bank balance sheet expansions that you see on the charts above have consequentially benefited (and enriched) major players in the banking industry. Very little, if anything has been done at ‘ground level’ to improve the financial status of families themselves — in America, the UK, the Eurozone, and other parts of the world. Central banks have provided debt relief to the banking industry, while debasing their currencies on a broad scale – all to the detriment of their citizens.

There is no question that continued liquidity flows are needed.  But it is time now to target those flows for the direct benefit of their citizens.

The Leviticus 25 Plan is the comprehensive economic blueprint for those liquidity flows to nations’ citizens.

The Leviticus 25 Plan will promote economic liberty. It will reignite economic growth.    And it will pay for itself – over  a 10-15 year period.

 

 

An open letter to Congress: America is ‘spinning its wheels’ in a debt mud hole. New plan needed…

Dear U.S. Congress  –

April 8, 2013:  More Than 101 Million Working Age Americans
Do Not Have A Job

May 2013: There are currently 48 million Americans on food stamps in America – up from 27 million in 2007.

RealtyTrac reports the following foreclosure filings, nationally, over the past 3 months (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions):             February 2013  154,280                                                                                            March 2013      152,500                                                                                               April 2013         144,790

We are ‘spinning our wheels,’ and Congress has no credible plan to change any of this in any meaningful way for individual American citizens…(!)

At the beginning of our economic crisis, the Federal Reserve created several ‘credit facilities’ to extend credit and guarantee loans to major banks, GSEs, and hedge funds.  These ‘facilities’ were set up to rescue many of the very lending institutions whose massive risk profiles triggered the financial crisis.

The Primary Dealers’ Credit Facility (PDCF), the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Corporation (TLGC), and the Public Private Investment Program were erected to reliquify the banking system and provide special finacial benefits for ‘politically-connected’ interest groups.

In addition, the Federal Reserve doled out trillions of dollars in emergency loans to major domestic and foreign banking institutions.

It is time now for American citizens to receive equal treatment — in the form of wide-scale debt relief..

The Leviticus 25 Plan provides the mechanism for a U.S. “Citizens Credit Facility,” to provide direct credit extensions to American families.

The Leviticus 25 Plan makes several key assumptions:                                                 1.  Liquidity issues must be solved a the family level (ground level) first.                        2.  80% (to 90%) of U.S. citizens would participate (wealthy Americans would not participate, nor would certain segments of the ‘poor’ who are heavily dependent on government programs).                                                                                                3.  The U.S. GAAP-based deficits (approximately $93 trilllion) are ‘beyond containment. 4.  The Fed policies have set the U.S. on course for continued Dollar erosion     (gradual, and at times, accelerated), and that the Dollar erosion with would be      modest in comparison.                                                                                                     5.  The Fed has no easy way to scale back current support of the Treasury market       without sparking meaningful pop in yields on new issuance and on securities rolled over each month (and that would, over time, snowball the already pressing debt problem).

We have had over 4 years of big-government central planning and Federal Reserve balance sheet expansions – with massive financial benefits accruing to major domestic and foreign banks), and very little, if any, extending to out American citizens themselves.

It is time for that to change. It is time to strengthen the foundation – American families. The Leviticus 25 Plan.    

The citizens of Holland need The Leviticus 25 Plan

 

Holland: “An Economy On The Brink”                                                                          ZeroHedge [excerpts]

As Spiegel reports, [Holland’s] once exemplary economy is suffering from huge debts and a burst real estate bubble, which has stalled growth and endangered jobs.

The statistics make for some worrisome reading: no nation in the euro zone is as deeply in debt as the Netherlands, where banks have a total of about €650 billion in mortgage loans on their books; consumer debt amounts to about 250% of available income – by comparison, in 2011 even the Spaniards only reached a debt ratio of 125%; unemployment is on the rise; consumption is down; and growth has come to a standstill.

The trouble for Holland is that despite their proclamations of the need for Fiscal conservatism, even EUR46 billion in austerity measures are apparently not enough to keep the nation’s deficit within the EU debt limit. The Dutch were long among Europe’s most diligent savers, and in the crisis many are holding onto their money even more tightly, which is also toxic to the economy, as “one of the main problems is declining consumption.”

The nationalization on SNS in February brought this reality home and as Spiegel reports, “there is no end to the crisis in sight.”

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Speigel is mistaken.  There is an ‘end’ to the crisis.  And a new beginning.                  The Leviticus 25 Plan.

                       

 

Bank of America and the ‘fleecing’ of the American public, Part 1

The following is one part … of one story … of one very large U.S. bank – and how the American public got ‘fleeced’ in the bailout process.  Financial oligarchs received some very special treatment at the expense of American taxpayers.

The money trail outlined below should provide all the justification anyone might ever need for why American citizens deserve the same direct access to credit that many of the major (domestic and foreign) ‘commercials’ received.

And here is “The big fleecing, Part 1:”

From the book, Bailout Nation [Excerpts]                                                                     Bank of America – the money trail –

June 2005:  Bank of America takes a 9 percent stake in China Construction Bank for $3 billion; china’s market tops out in 2008 and then plummets 72 percent.

January 2006: Bank of America acquires MBNA for $35 billion.  The world’s largest issuer of issuer of credit cards is taken over right before the world’s largest credit crunch occurs, and (whoops) just before the worst postwar recession begins.

August 2007:  Bank of America invests $2 billion in Countrywide Financial, the nation’s biggest mortgage lender and loan servicer.  It is a jumbo loser, dropping 57 percent in a few months’ time.

January 2008: Bank of America doubles down and announces a $4.1 billion acquisition of Countrywide.  The timing is flawless, and the purchase is announced as the worst housing collapse in modern history is accelerating.

September 2008:  Bank of America pays $50 billion for Merrill Lynch, including Merrill’s portfolio of toxic assets (along with some previously unannounced trading desk errors).

Note:  On February 20, 2009, Bank of America’s stock hit a low of $2.53.  Before the Countrywide acquisition went bust, Bank of America’s stock was at $52 (October 2007).

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August 2011                                                                                                                   “The Fed’s Secret Liquidity Lifelines”                                                                             Bloomberg – August 22, 2011

“Bank of America Corp., which got two rounds of U.S. Treasury Department capital injections totaling $45 billion to stay afloat during the credit crisis, borrowed twice that amount in secret from the Federal Reserve. On Feb. 26, 2009, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank held $78 billion of loans from the Fed’s Term Auction Facility, $8.65 billion from the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, $4.75 billion from the Term Securities Lending Facility. The financing helped bolster the largest U.S. bank by assets as investors worried its 2008 acquisitions of Merrill Lynch & Co. and Countrywide Financial Corp. might lead to nationalization.”

Bank of America Corp.                                                                                         $91.04B          Peak Amount of Debt on 2/26/2009                                                 519                  Number of Days n Debt to the Fed                                           $20.7B             Average Daily Balance From 8/1/2007 to 4/30/2010             $45B               Capital Raised from Home Governments

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August 2011: “Bank of America’s back-door TARP”                                              CNN Money –  August 20, 2011:  11:37AM ET / by Abigail Field, contributor     [Excerpts]  FORTUNE — Taxpayers may not realize it, but they just bailed out Bank of America again, this time to the tune of more than a half billion dollars.

The Charlotte, NC-based bank was one of the biggest recipients of bailout funds during the financial crisis. But Bank of America (BAC) continues to face deep problems related to its troubled mortgage portfolio and investors have battered the stock, which has plunged over 40% so far this year…. the federal government is determined to resurrect BofA: the Wall Street Journal reports the feds have just used Fannie Mae, which is controlled by the U.S. government, to infuse BofA with $500 million and ease one of the bank’s biggest headaches.

According to the WSJ, Fannie Mae spent $500 million to buy the servicing rights to a big chunk of the “seven million loans still causing the most problems.”  Although the $500 million is a paper loss to BofA, in that the rights were “originally worth more,” it looks like BofA is still getting a good deal because the portfolio’s “value is expected to deteriorate further.”

In fact, the deal is worth much more than $500 million to BofA, because getting rid of those servicing rights lifts a huge cost burden off BofA’s shoulders. And if securitized loans are involved, which they most likely are, the sale also limits the BofA’s potential liability to investors for its current servicing violations. Finally, the $500 million is surely more than the servicing rights are worth in an arms-length transaction. How do we know? Beyond the comment that the loans are expected to “deteriorate further,” the goal of the intervention can only be to fix Bank of America’s capital structure, which is easier for the government to do if it overpays for the rights.

In short, purchasing these servicing rights was another Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Servicing defaulted loans can be good business if cheaply produced foreclosure paperwork isn’t questioned, and if the foreclosures have equity and can be resold easily with lots of junk fees. But the mortgage servicing rights Fannie Mae bought are stinkers: they have a 13% delinquency rate, which means lots of foreclosures and loan modifications.

But the loans Fannie Mae now has to deal with are even worse than 13% delinquency rate suggests. According to the WSJ, “more than half of the loans are in troubled U.S. real-estate markets.” This likely means markets where a high percentage of the houses are underwater and there’s a huge oversupply, driving prices down further and making defaults more likely.

Fannie Mae is purchasing “the servicing rights in order to transfer the day-to-day management of those loans to a different company.” That’s another huge sign that Fannie Mae is overpaying. If the rights were really worth $500 million, wouldn’t a private company pay that for them? Instead, it sounds like Fannie Mae is doing a bailout two-step, one to BofA and one to whomever takes these rights off Fannie Mae’s hands.

Another thing needs to become clear: where did Fannie Mae get the money to do BofA the favor of buying these rights? Fannie Mae just asked for another bailout of its own, seeking a new $5.1 billion infusion last week.

Think about how good this deal is for BofA: it gets to stop the bleeding, or at least cauterize much of the wound in its balance sheet that lousy mortgage servicing rights and mortgage securities liabilities are creating. And it gets half a billion dollars to boot.

And taxpayers? Well, we get to own yet another good chunk of BofA’s mess.

Full article:  http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/10/bank-of-americas-back-door-tarp/

February 2012  Bank of America Fined $1 Billion for Mortgage Fraud

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The Leviticus 25 Plan proposes a U.S. “Citizens Credit Facility” – to provide for direct credit extensions to American families.

Anyone who does not believe that American citizens themselves deserve the same access to credit that major banks received – is not paying attention.

The Leviticus 25 Plan is the comprehensive framework for a “Citizens Credit Facility.” Wake up America….

Big government central planning ‘feeds’ the growing wealth gap in America…

The Leviticus 25 Plan is the only plan available to ‘level the playing field.’

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Accessed from Zero Hedge  – Omid Malekan via OmidMalekan.com:          

“A major issue in America today is the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and the popular narrative is that the disparity is caused by capitalism run wild and only the firm hand of government can fix the problem. But what if this narrative has it backwards? What if the growing wealth disparity in America is actually caused by the government?

Take Warren Buffet, a man often at the center of this debate, as not only is he a billionaire, but also a vocal advocate for higher income taxes on the rich. Mr. Buffet’s focus on taxes on income is curious, as he didn’t become a billionaire by earning a high income, but rather from owning assets, like shares in Berkshire Hathaway. Many are aware of his acumen in making investments that have a “margin of safety” – or minimal downside – but few are aware of the greatest source of such safety for Mr. Buffet in recent years, the US Government.

During the 2008 crisis Buffet’s investment portfolio was full of wobbly financial companies like GE and Wells Fargo. In the span of 2 months Berkshire stock – and Mr. Buffets net worth – lost half their value. In response, Buffet invested more in collapsing financial companies like Goldman Sachs, then went public demanding a bailout. The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve responded with program after program to keep troubled financial entities alive, some of them invented specifically for Buffet holdings like GE. Just two years later, thanks to the impact of the bailouts and the Fed’s programs, Berkshire stock rebounded sharply. Mr. Buffet’s investment in Goldman Sachs, which he himself admitted was a bet on the bailouts, made billions and continues to earn him a profit years later.

Mr. Buffet wasn’t the only person that benefited from the bailouts, but wealthy citizens like him, who tend to hold the majority of assets in America, benefited disproportionately. The untold narrative of how Warren Buffet and others like him “get richer” is how they managed to not get poorer, even when their bad investment choices dictated such.

During the same 2 year span when Buffet’s net worth rose sharply, some 12 million Americans went on food stamps. Countless middle and lower class Americans lost their jobs and their homes. Small businesses were wiped out. These Americans didn’t get a bailout. Those that benefited the least from the boom years suffered the most during the bust. When people tell me that the bailouts saved the economy, I like to ask them, for whom?

On March 5th of this year, the Dow Jones Industrials Average recorded an all time high after an impressive rally from the 2009 lows. It’s widely agreed that the policies of the Federal Reserve are a big reason why. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke often points to rising stocks as a measure of success for his programs. Perhaps he likes to boast about stock market gains because he can’t boast about major jobs creation or economic growth. In the 4th quarter of 2012 our GDP only grew by 0.1%, and the economy can barely create enough jobs to keep up with population growth. The latest report by the Labor Department showed only a paltry gain of 88,000 jobs in the month of March. Personal Income has been falling for years, and we are amid the worse period for wage growth in over a decade. The stock market has done well, but two thirds of all stocks are owned by the wealthiest Americans. Only the rich have benefited from the Fed’s largess.

The Fed has also lowered interest rates, and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg was able to get a mortgage at a rate of 1%. Most Americans would consider themselves lucky if they could get any mortgage, let alone at such paltry rates. Small business lending remains anemic and credit card rates remain high. Mr. Buffet on the other hand just announced a major acquisition financed mostly by cheap debt. Such leveraged buyout deals are lucrative when rates are this low, but ironically by law only millionaires are allowed to invest in the Private Equity Funds that utilize them.

The disproportionate gain by the wealthy from Federal Reserve actions as via the stock and bond markets is captured in a recently published Pew Research Center report on the first 2 years of the recovery. Their analysis reveals that from 2009 to 2011 the mean net worth of the top 7% rose by 28%, while the mean net worth of the lower 93% actually fell. The sharp rebound for the wealthy had nothing to do with their investment acumen, their risk-taking foresight or their hard work, as it was entirely driven by Government and Federal Reserve action.

There is one aspect of Fed action that impacts everyone, even the poor. The Fed’s easy money policies have driven up commodity prices. Despite gasoline demand being near a decade low, and supplies so plentiful that America now exports gasoline, the national price at the pump recorded another record this winter, and Americans are spending a higher percentage of their pre-tax income on gasoline than ever before. High gasoline prices hurt the poor and middle class disproportionately.

The next time you ponder the governments role in the growing wealth-gap, ask yourself this simple question: Since the start of the crisis our government has borrowed over $6 trillion and printed several trillion more. Into whose pockets did that money go?

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The time has never been better for a powerful ‘grass roots’ plan like                            The Leviticus 25 Plan.