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December 2023



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Thank you, Gillian. Certainly Iceland has done some banking things right; however, few outside Iceland are aware that their housing loans are indexed to inflation. Not sure if it’s the total original loan amount or the outstanding balance, but nevertheless, it’s a tad bizarre in my view.


Paul Craig Roberts identifies two main reasons for the current state of financial collapse around the globe – policy makers and the financial media. “When policymakers permitted banks to become independent of market discipline, they made the banks an unresolved burden on the economy. Authorities have provided no honest report on the condition of the banks” . . .

Regarding the media, Craig notes “The financial media has been helping the Federal Reserve and the banks to cover up festering problems with rosy hype, but realization that there are serious unresolved problems might be spreading. Last week interest rates on 30-day T-bills turned negative. That means people were paying more for a bond than it would return at maturity.”

And that’s not all. “Currently the Russian Duma is discussing legislation that would eliminate the dollar’s use and presence in Russia. Other countries are moving away from the dollar. Recently the Nigerian central bank reduced its dollar reserves and increased its holdings of Chinese yuan. Zimbabwe, which was using the US dollar as its own currency, switched to Chinese yuan.

“The former chief economist of the World Bank recently called for terminating the use of the dollar as world reserve currency. He said that “the dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises.”

“. . . In other words, perhaps the Fed understands that a dollar crisis is a bigger crisis than a bank crisis and that its bailout of the banks is undermining the dollar. The question is: will the Fed let the banks go in order to save the dollar?

Meanwhile, It Pays Handsomely To Steal When You’re In Charge

Matt Taibbi writes “When the board of JP Morgan Chase gave its blowdried, tirelessly self-regarding CEO a whopping 74 percent raise – after a year in which the Justice Department blasted the bank with $20 billion in sanctions – it was one of those rare instances where Main Street and Wall Street were mostly in agreement. Everyone from the Financial Times to  to the Huffington Post decried the move.“

While Taibbi agrees this censure is richly deserved, to him “the biggest news was how brutal an indictment Jamie’s raise was of the Obama/Holder Justice Department, which continues to profoundly misunderstand the mindset of the finance villains they claim to be regulating.” . . . The sad fact is the fines “left the decision-making class of the company not just uninjured but triumphant.“

Dimon’s raise, decided by the board of directors, comes after JPMorgan annual profits fell 16 percent in 2013 as the company pays out some $20 billion to settle legal claims from government agencies and private investors.

Lawrence Rafferty writes “I guess I am just naïve to think that if the bank I was in charge of was on the verge of civil and criminal charges and I had brokered the deal to “limit” the costs to the bank to $13 Billion in the one case, that maybe the Board of Directors might ask for my resignation, if not firing me on the spot!”

Not the JPMorgan Chase board.. Perhaps this is why.

“It has been suggested by one former regulator that much of the profits made by JP Morgan Chase and other big banks in their alleged fraudulent behavior have gone into the pockets of the bank’s executives.”

“Regulator William K. Black Jr. played an integral role in the prosecution and conviction of more than 1,000 bankers over the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s. . . . Black observed this week that the bank’s fraud proceeds “went largely to the senior officers and directors of JPM, Bear, and WaMu in the form of bonuses.” The Board’s behavior can therefore be seen as a divvying up of criminal booty, whatever the personal involvement of the Board members themselves.”

Is it any wonder this out-of-control financial disaster now reaches a terminal phase?

Three Banker “Suicides” In One Week

“Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Russell Investments, was found dead at the side of a highway that leads to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state,” reports Bloomberg.  Former Deutsche Bank executive Broeksmit hanged himself at his South Kensington home. According to reports, Broeksmit had “close ties to co-chief executive Anshu Jain.” The most disturbing of the three is Gabriel Magee, a vice president at JPMorgan’s European headquarters in London, who jumped from the 33rd floor of JPMorgan’s building to his death.

Michael Snyder speculates these suicides might have something to do with banks banning cash withdrawals in Russia and  Germany’s central bank advocating “a one-time wealth tax” for European nations. Then again, all of these suicides could be driven by  uncertainty concerning the dollar and a global financial crash that seems imminent.

As more awaken to the Wall Street ponzi scheme controlling Western finance the “real crisis will arrive, likely followed by high inflation, exchange controls, pension confiscations, and resurrected illegality of owning gold and silver. Capitalist greed aided and abetted by economists and policymakers will have destroyed America.”

Iceland Holds The Key

As you may recall successive Icelandic governments have forced banks to write off mortgage debts to help households. Unlike the European Union currently struggling with record unemployment (25 +percent in Greece and Spain), Iceland enjoyed a joblessness rate in December 2012 “as low as 4.5 percent, according to Statistics Iceland. The number of persons in the labor force in the fourth quarter last year was 184,600, which corresponds to an activity rate of 80.7 percent.”  http://http:/

And they’re not satisfied. “The prime minister recently announced that the next big challenge for the small island nation with the population of 325,620 is to see unemployment going to under 2 percent, because, as Sigmundur D. Gunnlaugsson told Bloomberg in January, “Icelanders aren’t accustomed to unemployment.””

“At 85 percent, Iceland’s labor-market is the highest in Europe and one of the highest in the world. In December alone, 172 new private limited companies were registered in the island, compared with 147 in December 2012. The largest number of new registrations was in financial and einsurance activities. In 2013, 1,938 new private limited companies were registered, which is a 10.6 percent increase compared with 2012.”

Way to go, Iceland!

Until next week,


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