Refusing To Take Yes For An Answer On Bank Reform

By Simon Johnson

The debate over megabanks and – in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis – how to deal with all the problems associated with “too big to fail” in the financial sector has not been easy for many politicians.  The problems and potential real solutions do not map readily into the standard left vs. right divide in American politics.

The left generally wants the state to do more, and these days most of the right usually wants the state to do much less.  But in this space regulators are “captured”, meaning that too many of them are effectively working to promote the interests of the big banks rather than to limit the dangers to the rest of us – so “more regulation” does not make much sense.  And these big banks have a strong incentive to get even bigger – it’s their size that gives them economic and political power.  If you leave these banks to their own devices, they will become even bigger and blow themselves up at greater cost to ordinary citizens (see Western Europe for details).  So “no regulation” is also not an appealing proposition.

As a matter of presidential year politics, there is a remarkable convergence between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the Republican frontrunner.  Both think that we can tweak the rules to keep the banks from becoming dangerous.  The Obama administration calls their approach “smart regulation”, while Mr. Romney has spoken of repealing the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation (although his website is devoid of any further specifics).  But as far as anyone can see, their proposed approaches for the next four years are very similar – relying on the state to play a particular oversight role that has not gone well in recent decades.  They are both “statist” in this very particular sense.

The way to cut our Gordian financial knot is simple – force the big banks to become smaller.  Small banks and other financial institutions can be allowed to fail unencumbered by any kind of government bailout.  MF Global failed recently with about $40 billion in total assets; the shock waves did not bring on global panic.  A properly functioning market economy involves failure of this kind (although it is traumatic for employees and, in this specific case, also for many customers.)

A version of this idea was put forward by Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown and Ted Kaufman during the Dodd-Frank financial reform debate last year.  Their SAFE banking amendment would have put a hard size cap on the largest banks, relative to the size of the economy.  This amendment was defeated, 33-61, on the floor of the Senate.

From the right, Jon Huntsman has proposed essentially the equivalent idea.   He proposes a menu of options – presumably to give himself some room to negotiate with Congress – but his first idea is: “Set a hard cap on bank size based on assets as a percentage of GDP”, where the specific cap seems very much in alignment with Brown-Kaufman.  He also proposes a hard cap on leverage and, as a complement to this, a punitive fee on bank size: “The fee would incentivize the major banks to slim themselves down; failure to do so would result in increasing the fee until the banks are systemically safe. Any fees collected would be used to reduce taxes for the broader non-financial corporate sector.”

Not only is Huntsman advancing concrete proposals, he is also making it abundantly clear that these policies are the proper way to apply pro-market thinking.  His proposals also do not represent any kind of “move to center” (in the standard terminology of commentators).

The left does not like big banks because they represent an abuse of power by private individuals.  The clear-thinking right detests such banks even more – because they are supported by large, nontransparent, and very dangerous government subsidies.  There is nothing about the market in too big to fail banks – this is state capture, pure and simple.

Both sides should be able to agree that they have converged on this point.  The left (and the center) should be supporting Jon Huntsman for the Republican presidential nomination – at least as a way to push the banking reform agenda in a meaningful direction.

Some commentators on the right get this.  But important voices on the left hold back – perhaps refusing to believe that they can agree with an idea that also has support on the right.  Granted, it doesn’t happen often – but this is one such opportunity to really make progress against a powerful and dangerous special interest.

On reducing the size of our largest banks, Senators Brown and Kaufman asked the question: Can we do this, reaching across the political aisle?  Their amendment was supported by a couple of Republican votes, including Richard Shelby, ranking minority member of the Senate Banking Committee.  Most of their supporters were Democrats.

But now Jon Huntsman offers a different answer and a definitive “Yes” on reducing the size of our largest banks.  If Huntsman becomes the Republican nominee – or even if he gets real traction in the upcoming primaries – the idea of reining in the size and power of megabanks could actually take hold within the Republican party.

Why won’t people on the left see this opportunity and support it fully?

An edited version of this post appeared this morning on the’s Economix blog; it is used here with permission.  If you would like to reproduce the entire post, please contact the New York Times.

86 thoughts on “Refusing To Take Yes For An Answer On Bank Reform

  1. As a member of the professional Left, I can guess why Huntsman isn’t getting much Liberal support. A) the professional Left is institutionally locked in with the Democrats in all kinds of ways. B) My guess is that Hunts man is not great on a lot of our other issues. I see on his website that he thinks increasing domestic energy production is an important step to a brighter future. Sigh of sighs. We leave a ton of energy on the table just refusing to take energy efficiency seriously.

    I don’t see his social issue stances on here, but I bet he has some bad ones.

    This is the trouble with politics. You don’t vote for someone on one issue. It’s LOTS of issues in one very small decision. And the fact of the matter is that as annoyed as the Left is with the banks, what they really care about is protecting their social programs and holding onto Union jobs (I am not saying that pejoratively – it’s just the truth).

  2. I should add that this is a great post and I’m 100% with you on what needs to be done. I realized once I wrote it that that might have sounded more aggressive than I meant it to. The perils of Internet commenting. I tweeted this post out because it’s policy recommendations are really key.

  3. It’s easy for a legislator or a candidate to be for something when they’re out of power and have little chance of coming into power.

    No, I don’t believe Huntsman. Maybe Huntsman believes Huntsman. But if he ever came within striking distance of the Presidency, I expect he’d change his beliefs. Even if he became President and stuck to his views–and how would he finance his campaign without support from the major banks?–he would face huge opposition within his own party. But, as I said, I don’t believe him. He’s awful on tax policy. Either he does not understand finance and economics–likely enough–or he is a simple liar.

  4. How about reimposing ‘glass-stegel’ on the financial sector.The withdrawal of it was really a collaboration between the right and left to create a windfall of ill begotten gains by the vested interests at the cost of sound public policy.

  5. Well Huntsman isn’t going to be the nominee. He will be lucky to finish fourth in South Carolina, unless his Dad unleashes the bank vault, and equally lucky to finish in the top four in Florida – depending on who is still in the race at that point.

    This is only an area on which the left and right can agree from a philosophical standpoint. In reality there are too many Senators in particular that are bought and paid for by the financial sector for that to happen. They put their particular party spin on their reasons, the Dems can say Dodd Frank solves the problem if the GOP will just let it work, and the Republicans can say it’s more government intervention in the marketplace but at the end of the day it’s about the money they are getting for their campaigns and the jobs they, or their children or wives or family friends can get in the Financial Industry working in the mail room, or “promoting overseas operations” for millions a year in fake jobs. I don’t want Ron Paul to be President, but his nomination as the GOP candidate would do much more to shine the spotlight on the incestuous relationship between Washington and Wall Street than Huntsman’s ever could. I also don’t believe Huntsman actually cares, he’s just trying to play the populist against Romney, a tactic that Gingrich is suddenly latching on to, with $1.3 million from Fannie in his hypocritical hands.

  6. If size alone was the problem then this would be a good solution.

    Unfortunately addressing size alone does not address some of the more pernicious practices and conflicts of interests at the heart of the financial reform issue.

    To address this simply as a reluctance to work together is a bit off the mark at best.

    The leverage cap is a good start. But the market manipulation and insider trading at the heart of the banking system is a horrific problem that this would do nothing to address.

    The Volcker rule and a return to a strict division between public money and private risk is a much healthier solution. Reining in derivatives is critical.

    Size alone does not matter, and may be a diversion. Hedge funds do rather well in despoiling and gaming the systeml with their relatively small size. The solution is to separate their activity and let it blow up without causing systemic failure. And this is not just a size issue as demonstrated by LTCM.

  7. @Jesse – 100% agreement with you…of course, when you go confront them to make these changes, they’re going to LAUGH at you and say, “…oh yeah, you and what army?…” if you catch my drift…..

    They are LAWLESS. So how do you enforce law and order against the LAWLESS…?

  8. That’s easy, you force the law to better regulate the ETF’s, and then move to dismantle the derivatives mkt once that is in place. It won’t happen overnite or in site, as you obviously request, but your voice don’t carry much beyond here, so that will be the source of your bottled up frustration.

  9. Huntsman might be the nominee if he was running as democrat. Not sure why he calls himself a republican. That is why no one is listening to his ideas. He is irrevlevant. There is a lot I don’t like about Ron Paul, but his position to get rid of the Fed is the best idea I have heard and re-instituting Glass-Steagall would solve a lot of the TBTF problems. Glass-Steagall would force banks to get back to being banks and not financial conglomerate.

  10. I think we would be a lot better off if the regulation included a lot of automatic rules about size and more equity required for banks, something Simon I believe argues for but I still need an explanation of why Long Term Capital Management(I think the name is correct) was such a danger to the system and would it’s danger have been curtailed by these regulatory proposals. As I understand it wasn’t a bank and it wasn’t “Big”.

  11. Simon, as you know, I am a huge fan of yours, perhaps more than any other economist, anywhere. My lone criticism is that you appear to be lacking in essential cynicism when it comes to our leadership. I like the fact that Jon Huntsman has injected some useful ideas into the dialogue. However, I happen to disagree with what should be done. First, I must say that I completely agree that, for many reasons too numerous to discuss here, the megabanks are simply contrary to American economic interests, period. Every day of their existence, they move further and further from being a positive force for this economy in any way whatsoever. They are simply massive rent-seeking, TBTF, financial casinos. But, what to do about it. I just happen to believe that caps on size are simply not sufficient. Nice idea, and okay to do, but not an effective way in which to reshape the banks in a useful way. The following are the rules that I would institute:

    1. Reinstitute Glass-Steagall to separate commercial and retail banking from financial non-traditional banking activity (i.e. investment banking, trading, insurance, etc.).
    2. Place strict requirements on their leverage limit, and the kind and quality of capital held. I’d say that the tradition 10 to 1 ratio would be pretty effective.
    3. Make a rule that naked CDS’s constitute gambling, and may not be engaged in.
    4. Require that all derivatives be listed and traded publicly.
    5. Require that all CDS’s be reserved for at a reasonable level.
    6. Make all ratings agencies publish their rational behind every rating granted to any security.

    I believe that these rules, if instituted, would dramatically reduce the risk represented by the banks. And, a final item which would be important, would be to require that the Federal Reserve be open in its policies and transactions.

  12. @anonymouse – your apparent frustration with me is more real than my apparent frustration with ruthless psychopaths

  13. If any Republican won the election. Who would they bring to Washington with them. It would be basically be the same bunch as Bush had. Maybe they will have new names but the same failed policies that have been there for the the last 30 years. Supply siders and tax cutters. Just about any member of the Senate and House who had any sane ideas’ either retired, or wasn’t re-elected.

  14. I like this post very much, and I think Professor Johnson makes an excellent point. I am on the left politically, and I think when we hear someone on the right say some intelligent things, and some valid things to improve and progress the dialogue, we on the left should recognize that fact and make note of it. I probably wouldn’t vote for Huntsman in the end, but at least he is making intelligent statements, making good arguments and you can observe he has put thoughts into his words and is less likely to blow all over the place like some weather vane (a la Mitt Romney).

    If Jon Huntsman acts as well as he speaks he has possibility of being a candidate I could support. He certainly is singing the right lyrics to the TBTF tune for me.

  15. In May 2003, as an Executive Director of the World Bank, I commented the following at a workshop for bank regulators at the World Bank: “A regulation that regulates less, but is more active and trigger-happy, and treats a bank failure as something normal, as it should be, could be a much more effective regulation. The avoidance of a crisis, by any means, might strangely lead us to the one and only bank, therefore setting us up for the mother of all moral hazards—just to proceed later to the mother of all bank crises. Knowing that the larger they are, the harder they fall, if I were regulator, I would be thinking about a progressive tax on size”

    This has nothing to do with right or left agendas, in fact I am an extremist of the center.

    What the debate misses is an understanding of what the capital requirements for banks based on officially ex-ante perceived risks of default means… in terms or regulatory terrorism.

  16. “If Huntsman becomes the Republican nominee – or even if he gets real traction in the upcoming primaries – the idea of reining in the size and power of megabanks could actually take hold within the Republican party.

    Why won’t people on the left see this opportunity and support it fully?”

    Dr. Johnson, I think that when you refer to “people on the left” you may mean “Democrats.”

    If that is the case, there is no doubt that if cutting the TBTF banks down in size becomes a “Republican” idea, the “Democrats” will fall in line and embrace it, as they eventually do with almost every idea that zings in from the right (or that the major funders support, or whatever).

    What this country needs is a second party!

  17. Bayardwaterbury,

    I like your list but don’t hold your breath.
    And Simon, God bless you, you still think we have the rule of law!
    Our government has been hijacked. The fact that not one of those pricks has had to pay for
    causing a worldwide meltdown proves very clearly that the rule of law is long gone. The SEC is occupied territory. And the Fed IS the TBTF banks, essentially. We have a crew of gamblers on Wall St. that use our Treasury as backup for bad bets.
    Romney and BO are owned by the banks…so nothing is gonna happen. I mean there will be no significant changes until the next DISASTER, which will probably mean the end of America as we know it.
    I’m sorry to be so negative, but for the most part nobody in government is willing to stand up to those greedy bastards. Look at how they’ve marginalized Ron Paul.
    I agree that TBTF is a huge issue, but Jamie Dimon claims that they need to be big to compete. Of course that’s utter horseshit, but those guys pretty much run the show unimpeded by any kind of common sense.
    I think the FED itself is the problem, but I don’t see an end to the Fed unless we have an actual revolution.

  18. The Fed is exhausting their options, and crawling back into their hole of arrogance. Its only a matter of time before they collapse and becomes absorbed into the congress where they belong. Of course nothing will change until a more citizen compassionate members of congress are elected, but at least the message will ring loud and clear, weather they hear it or not depends on how deeply they sleep at night. Hypocrisy tends to bang their head against the wall, where they then want everyone to remain positive about it until you agree with them, and then all is good with the world. Wash, rinse, and repete as often as needed, works every time.

  19. The gargantuan debt will be the undoing. That tsunami of entitlements is coming and there is no way to pay for them. Until we get real leaders, as opposed to special interest stooges, we’re screwed.

  20. @Robin, “…That tsunami of entitlements is coming and there is no way to pay for them….”

    Well, the *boomers* watched those C5 transports full of CASH head for Iraq – problem is, we can’t help *find* all that CASH – just have to accept it as *lost* – uh huh…

    War Lords, Drug Lords, SLAVE Lords – ah yes, *honorable* professions managing the global economy – are they capable of accepting that anyone has the right to OWN something….? Nope. Not *evolved* enough…

    Wait, didn’t the *boomers* – as a generation – lay down the foundation for the *information* age…? Sure, Gates and Jobs got the MAJOR rewards from everyone signing over the *rights* to every thought in your own brain as an employee of the CORPORATION – but how can a GENERATION of producers be in debt?

    MASSIVE heist…by devil ass kissing nihilists….

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

  21. Well Annie…I guess that I agree with you, if I understand you correctly. Those Bolshevik shitheads will not be happy until the white genocide is a done deal, private property is no more, and one tenth of the 1% rule over a dumbed down slave class that has no idea that it’s a slave class, and lacks the intellectual curiosity to figure it out.
    Oh wait….that’s a description of our current plight.

  22. 7 minutes in – yet ANOTHER simple explanation of what happened:

    Don’t you have to admit you’re an alcoholic before you are willing to be *re-formed*…? They’re saying that leveraged buyouts (why not Prez Milken instead of Prez Romney/Gingrich/Obambi/Clinton etc etc) WERE an *honorable way to “make money”….

    Seems to me that capitalist shitheads are no different than bolshevik shitheads – both *isms* deny people the RIGHT to make their lives less miserable through honest work.

    What creeps me out about capitalist shitheads is their easy-breezy, amoral, freekin’ all out, every option on the table use of WAR – the *raider* aspect….Winchesters handed out to the criminal element of the *peasant* class – the business *leverage* to get the Czar’s gold…all the way to modern pissing Marines….

    But we do agree, Anonymous, on the observation that a targeted genocide of all those too intellectually curious and ethically noble to be slaves are definitely the goal of both *isms*….only those doing *god’s work* shall inherit the earth…

  23. Capitalism would work, if not for the cronies and their manipulations. We had a fairly sound system when the post Depression regulations were put into place, which lasted quite a few years. I’ve spent a great deal of time reading about the horrors of communism and want nothing to do with it.
    Your objection isn’t really against capitalists, because those breezy psychopaths are not capitalists in the strict sense…they’re simply greedy scumbags who circumvent the rule of law and exploit, plunder, and despoil as much as they can get their dirty hands on, all the while pretending to be the light of the world.
    However, I would agree with you that for some reason the sociopaths do seem to rise to the top in every system, and as long as they can enforce political correctness with the police state they have us whipped.

  24. The banking situation reminds me a lot of Arthur Andersen. I worked for that firm one summer back in the late ’60s when I was in college. Auditing was the name of the game, nothing more, nothing less, and it was made clear that AA himself had so decreed and there would be no debate about that. Management consulting was a non-starter. Years later, the firm got caught up in the consulting game, and in so doing, got way too close to their customers. Probably made old AA roll around in his grave. In that game, they got carried away with the easy money, and it led to the loss of their much treasured integrity and ultimately the firm’s demise. With banking, we need to get rid of “too big to fail,” and one way to start doing that is to get them out of the investment banking business. Investment banking to the banks is like management consulting was to Arthur Andersen, except here the stakes are becoming much higher.

  25. Its called, what comes around, goes around. Or the dog that chased, or smelled, its own tail.

  26. Not to be “too” cynical or even conspiratorial but has anyone else noticed this… This goes for Simon, too.

    Since 2000, we have not had a real” choice in Pres. candidates.

    Gore would have been Clinton 2.0 (Bill was more like Reagan than Reagan!)

    In 2004, it was Kerry v. Bush. Kerry was a typical corporate Democrat and if he had won, we would not have seen a progressive president. We would have seen Clinton 2.0. – a Reagan clone. Just look at his voting record.

    In 2008, the Dems could have run a mad cow or even Hillary Clinton (I am not drawing a comparison… but…) and they would have won just because of Bush’s taint on the Republican establishment candidate (Sarah Palin was the nail in their coffin for 2008). So we bought the only real choice we had (and Obama sounded great!).

    Obama was the one who was going to turn it around. He is now the “Change We Can… yeah right”.

    In fact, if you were to believe Obama’s present rhetoric you would believe he was, is and will be the agent of change the country needs going forward… It is Lucy inviting Linus to kick the ball of Hope again (that would be a great political cartoon). We all know his deeds do not match his rhetoric. He is Bush 2.0

    Now, look at the Republican field. Aside from Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman the others are repellant to anyone with a brain and a conscience.

    Face it, Ron Paul – who I like on many levels and would prefer to Obama – is a long shot. Fox News hates him so the Republican base will not nominate him and the Dems can point to Fox News as evidence of his loony-tunes posture on the Fed and Austrian Economics.

    Huntsman has a huge uphill battle but with some luck he could actually compete (after all, Bachmann then Perry then Cain then Gingrich then Santorum all peaked too early!).

    Plus, the swing vote is not going to these others but they may buy in to Romney and Huntsman.

    Huntsman is a natural gas man. That is his day-gig so to speak. Fracking American style. Plus he was an ambassador. Gore Vidal long ago dispelled within me any notion that ambassadors are anything but representatives for American corporations in foreign countries.

    I agree with Bayard – Simon, you need some more cynicism in your appraisals. I would have thought being associated with the IMF would have filled that bucket up to the rim!

    Political campaign rhetoric is just that. Only Ron Paul has lived up to his rhetoric… with little to show for it because the cesspool continues to fill. Huntsman sounds great… but so did Obama.

    AND the point I make is this: upon reflection, we will not be given a real choice once again. The likely choices we will be given are Obama, Romney or Huntsman. All 3 are on the take representing the same interests.

    The myth is that Democrats are liberal and Republicans are conservative. The MSM continues to perpetuate these same inaccurate depictions to suggest that America’s decision will decide how our republic advances. What a bunch of crap. There is only one party and America needs to recognize this before we can move forward on any political front.

  27. Jon Huntsman is a mormon, so has obvious judgement issues. His family is worth billions, so obviously he has no connection with or concern for the other 99%. (“Behind every great fortune, is a great crime”)

    It doesn’t matter which kabuki character you support. They are ALL bought and paidfor by one or another oligarch, advance that respective oligarch interests exclusively, and hold ZERO concern for, or any intention of advancing of protecting the best interests of the people. The amerikan political system is a putrid rotten cancer. There is no hope in repairing or fixing it! There is no balm in Gilead. The entire malignant system must be demolished (by any means possible) and something new erected in its place for there to be any hope of restoring democracy and justice in America. If not, we continue choosing lesser evils until cumulative weight of system and pervasive corruption, malignancy, and evil destroys us.

    The 99% have NO voice or representation in the conduct of the socalled government.

    Our socalled leaders dispise and disdain us!
    Our socalled leaders are purchased spaniels of the predatorclass and one or another predatorclass oligarch.

    Democracy is a system of government wherein the authority of the government is derived from the consent of the governed.

    We obviously no longer inhabit a democracy.

    We inhabit a fascist state – a kleptocracy – a nation owned, controlled, and commandeered by the predatorclass, advancing predatorclass interests exclusively.

    The people are slaves and digits.

    Tear it all down. Reset!



    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    Still waiting for the light bulb to go on over people’s heads – no one has power over you that you did not give them….

    btw, whoever called my brother thinking he was my husband – thanks for cracking everybody up in the family – it was a good laugh for all…you got a nickname – Mr. Fossil Brain. What a depraved *religion* monkey brains create…let the rabid raccoons run free, cage the CIVILIZED…


    Make the list, present it, and declare it. Lord knows they will NOT stop taking their pre-emptive strikes…blood bath of men killing women cropping up, especially in the *red* states…

    The thieving MUST BE STOPPED – and I agree it will take a certain amount of physical force to do it…like pulling out the plug on some mainframes :-))

  29. I do not think that RP’s take on the Fed is “loony tunes.”
    In fact, he is the only candidate who actually has a clear understanding of what the Fed is and does.

  30. Has Simon changed his name to Rip Van Winkle? Sleeping at the switch?

    Not too surprised.

    In case you missed it simon boy …..we already have a SIFI charge on the large banks.

    You should find some other way of stealing money from the kids at MIT .

  31. War against *drugs*, war against *cancer*, war war war

    But no war against vicious psychos because they are *rich*

    from all the wars, of course…

  32. Of course we all hate the long arm of the law reaching into our teams camps, and checking our dirty laundry. You can start with the ring around the collar thing, and move on to the holes in your pockets from carrying too much change. Life happens, timers happen, crapital risk ensues and people lose houses, customers, and finally cars. The bigger the investment, the harder the crash.
    Love that morbid mentality too.

  33. PBSNewsHour (Simon Johnson participates here)
    Do Large Banks’ Troubles Show They’re Too Big to Manage?

  34. We’ve been ripped off by the current system, so how do we start a revolution

    Simon Johnson – on Starting a Revolution
    Uploaded by RenegadeEconomist on Jul 4, 2011

    We’ve been ripped off by the current system, so how do we start a revolution

  35. A good post but I guess you can’t help with the false equivalences. Brown and Kaufman are two democratic senators and they were joined by a majority of democratic senators voting for the amendment. All but three of the republican senators voted aganst this amendment. So this is not another example of partisan extremism. This is another example of repub lican extremism.

  36. Re: “Simon Johnson — on Starting a Revolution” : at YouTube, a viewer made this astute retort to Dr. Johnson:

    “Revolutions are not started by leaders, they are CAUSED by them.”

  37. Simon, Obama sold out long ago; he is a puppet of the International banksters who probably put him in office. He talks a good OWS game, but it’s all talk and there will never be any action.

    Romney likewise has sold out completely, as did Cain. Perry likely has sold out, and that’s why the Tea Partiers have lost interest in him.

    Paul is a racist nutjob whose job is to take on the TBTF as Monetary subcommittee chairman, but has chosen not too. He is a crackpot tease. All he wants to talk about is the perils of a fiat currency. Don’t expect anything from him. All these financial types unwisely love him to their detriment.

    Huntsman won’t win.

    Newt is the only one who has taken the position of breaking up the big banks who has a serious chance to win. Whether he will or not break up the TBTF is an open question. But you have to realize seriously taking on the TBTF is fraught with personal danger. The TBTF are very powerful and have bought many,many powerful people on both the left and right. They will stop at nothing to retain their power.

    The grass roots of both the Left and Right are very angry and frustrated. The politicians have shown their true colors and have abandoned all responsibility and accountability . We are in a terrible fix.

  38. When the wall came down, via the magic Prez pen, between investment and commercial fiat $$$, all hell broke loose, so to speak.

    Software was written and launched that used the currency in an individual’s savings account as *leverage* to transfer the individual’s currency into someone else’s account.

    Meaning, leveraged buyouts used YOUR savings/ownership to create the system that would rob you of what you had as an *owner* – all savings and all material property..

    Seriously, how can you possibly rationalize that kind of bold massive theft as an *honorable* way to get *rich*?

    The problem was and still is that the wall came down between investment and commercial banking.

    Will the crazed vicious psychos that live in their *honorable* world of *ideas* and their hedonistic sociopaths (every Clyde has a Bonnie) give your $$$$ and LIVES (work/jobs) back to you…?

    Not without a fight. So we really ARE talking about how the fight is going to go down when there are no LAWS in place….

    Just War criteria:

    1. the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    2. all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    3. there must be serious prospects of success;
    4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power as well as the precision of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

  39. Huntsman retools and runs in 2016; also wanna-be’s of Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels. If Elizabeth Warren wins “big” in MA (around 9 percentage points), she runs in 2016.

  40. It was the patriarch of the Rothschild family who said that if he can control a nations finances it matters not who makes the laws. The banks know this. And they use the control they have over the finances to give the voting public a choice between candidates the banks are backing. So no matter who makes it to the oval office you can rest assured that the banks put them there.

  41. Banks have never been and never will be the creators and upholders of any kind of civilization. Even the *money lenders* will tell you that they got into the biz because they were a people without land where they could develop the social skills (philosophy for living) amongst themselves in order to create and uphold into a high civilization. They had Roman Empire protection at one point to go ahead and do it as a discrete people, but they blew it.

    @weeklyoptions – Right. Bank backed people are not operating as the government of the United States. So in a way, they don’t matter to how We the People set the course for the future.

    Even Europe shows more care for other *values* of government than that to *save* TBTF banks.

  42. @Simon Johnson:
    “But now Jon Huntsman offers a different answer and a definitive “Yes” on reducing the size of our largest banks. If Huntsman becomes the Republican nominee – or even if he gets real traction in the upcoming primaries – the idea of reining in the size and power of megabanks could actually take hold …….”

    Huntsman has surrendered position too early. Once you factor out candidates who are unlikely to garner a broad spectrum appeal beyond what they already hold, it comes down to three: Romney, Paul and Huntsman. Of these, I believe that despite his consistent leading polls, Romney will end up discredite­d by his own background that parallels all too much of what most Americans believe is scavenging our economy under divisive pirate equity and profiteeri­ng on real assets. Yes…Huntsman offered a definitive “YES” to restructuring failed corporate finance estates…but “No”…Romne­y is not the man that would be bold enough to use equity acquisition tactics against these TBTF monsters. Romney is not the man to save our economy but to operationalize how to gut it !

    When that is taken into consideration­ it comes down to Paul and Huntsman and I believe that the broader innovation­s of Huntsman’s adaptabili­ty would win out overall. I believe we just lost our best candidate for President of our Country.

  43. @Woych, “I believe we just lost our best candidate for President of our Country.”

    How can somebody who throws in the towel be the best candidate…?!

    I forget which greatest generation politician said it, but at he made the point that you could go to the phone book and pick out a dozen names at random and find a candidate qualified to be *President* in a check and balance government like we have. What high education and moral ground of *leadership* qualifies lobbyists to be the puppet masters…? And how can a corporation be a *person* when every person who works for that corporation has to sign off on all their *ideas* belonging to the corp and not to the individual…?

    There is no *reality* to any of this – big bowl of crazy.

    People have moved on, Woych, from the endless babble…talk about everything under the sun that could be twisted into a rationalization for INIQUITY except for the consideration of how psychotically criminal it was to *slam dunk* the reasons for a decade long war…

  44. As we celebrate the noble legacy of Martin Luther King, I am reminded of the “Poor Peoples Campaign”'s_Campaign. Mr. Kings brutal murder put a swift end to the enterprize, (and we can debate what impact that unquiet dream may have had on that murder another day), – but the purpose and object of this effort is as timely now as then. MLK was not a politician, nor a corporate titan, nor a judge. He was a only minister and a man, and yet his name and his achievements reign supreme today as then, for he truly did change the world. When I look at the hobgobblins masquarading as leaders today, I am sickened. All of them are purchased spaniels of the predatorclass, and one or another predatorclass oligarch. I could never countenance a billionaire president, and though Huntsman, like Paul makes statements on TV deriding the Fed (which on that single issue I agree), his cowardly pimping for Romney proves exactly where he stands, and who and what he supports in the light of day, – and it ain’t the people.

    How glorious would it be to truly honor Martin Luther King’s great work and reanimate the Poor Peoples Campaign. All the diverse constituents who are now so ruthessly abused, disenfanchized, and disempowered should coalesce and unite; unions, the old, women, gays, minorities, college students, veterens, the unemployed, socalled illegal immigrants, the OWS and Teaparty movements, – every American represented in the 99% – should organize and call for a massive march, a national march, with millions of Americans who are downtrodden, and voiceless joining arms and hearts in Washington, in front of the Capital, or the White House, or the Supreme Court, and demand that our voices are heard, – and demand a restoration of the Constitution, and the ruleoflaw, – and demand an swift end to the monstrous pillaging of our nation and our people by the den of vipers and thieves on Wall Street, and the predatorclass overlords they serve and enrich.

    A few people will be ignored. A few hundred would be beaten back by the militarystate pigs. A few thousand would suffer savage oppression, legal and economic retribution, imprisonment, and militarystate silence and suppression, – but millions – millions joined together, unified, organized, and determined to be heard???? What could the predatorclass do??

    Tear it all down. Reset!!!

  45. Reset, yes. But when is the question, as for what *could* they do. Well, the reserve well of American oil is nearly tapped out. Iran can’t even pump its own oil because their military doesn’t know whats its doing in the patch. City gas prices are promising to rise, throw in our gvts quick trigger reaction to about anything, and it might be too expensive for the 49ers (i think you lost a foot there) to organize and finance a millions madhouse marchs. It would be fun to watch, but many more rope walkin middle classers would join the ranks of the 49%ers and even then I doubt you’ll truely reach the full 99 count there.

  46. @owen, “….Well, the reserve well of American oil is nearly tapped out….”

    Gee willikers, quite the wise genius, aren’t you. Dig into recent history (recent history meaning that MANY people are still around as WITNESSES) where the PROMISE was made in the 1970s that USA was going to marshal it’s incredible intellectual and industrial resources work towards being NOT dependent on oil in 20 years – clock ticking from circa early 1980s

    Oil is a FINITE resource, do you know what FINITE means?

    So what happened 20 years later – 2001…?

    Maybe should have declared the mission of getting OFF oil a *WAR*, then it would have been financed with taxpayer $$$$…..?

    ALL, and I mean ALL, right/left/up/down/sideways/rhomboid *political* machinations in the past 20-30 years have been conducted as a kind of GENOCIDE against the people who could have made it happen – energy independence.

    WORSE than *communism”, imo and I’m presenting observation this FACT from wikipedia (which, btw, is shooting itself in the foot by going *dark* tomorrow, imo, why would not going super-light be better, considering what the protest is about?):

    “[Traditional autocrats] do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Because the miseries of traditional life are familiar, they are bearable to ordinary people who, growing up in the society, learn to cope . . . .”

    “[Revolutionary Communist regimes] claim jurisdiction over the whole life of the society and make demands for change that so violate internalized values and habits that inhabitants flee by the tens of thousands . . . .”

    TBTF banking horror STOLE from the whole life of society from it’s place of god-s-work jurisdiction – talk about *revolutionary communism*, part deux…

    Too STUPID to rule, too DELUSIONAL to work with….you people DESERVE to lose it all…

  47. I think if there were a hard cap on bank size, megabanks would claim to be under the cap. If the regulators don’t actually enforce it, the cap would have no effect. Alternatively, megabanks would break up into interconnected networks of small banks, each of which would engage in contracts to fail if any of the others fail; any realistic understanding of bank size in 2008 would have to consider the total size of Goldman Sachs and AIG because they were interdependent in such a way that the size of a failure would have been much bigger than the size of the failing bank. Of course, this would be a measure of “systemic importance” (i.e., the total loss caused by a failure as opposed to the value of the bank), but somebody would have to produce this number in advance, when banks don’t need a bailout and are trying to appear small to anyone enforcing rules. And if captured regulators produce the number to enforce a size cap while the Fed produces the number when considering a possible failure and lenders and insurers discount the risk based on factors the regulators lack the will to include, the same problem we have today would continue to exist, except that the book sizes of banks would be less representative of their true effect on the economy.

  48. I’m a Giants fan owen owens, but alas you are correct. The numbnoneness afflicting Amerika prohibits the will for any truly massive action on the part of the people. It was just a dream.

    Sadly – we all know how this will end.

  49. @Annie: “There is no *reality* to any of this – big bowl of crazy.”

    Historical considerations: Giants take a big win…Huntsman takes a fall…(so far…). Huntsman was privy to the attempt to instill a contagion / subversive social media provocateur (provoca-tourism) as another color revolution in China as this method was employed to ignite a multinational uprising across strategic zones. How do I know? Well the only reason I can say that is that I followed the pattern of these “things” and the first time I saw Huntsman was on a YouTube News report “from” the Chinese coverage. Where? Right at the McDonald’s location that was meant to be the flare up point and should only have been known to the covert instigators and their aggregate provocateurs. Obviously these people had to be very restrictive against the authorities knowing in advance as much as possible or invite an immediate and crushing suppression of the tactic. Huntsman was there “observing” the event as it happened with an entourage of security from the embassy. When the Chinese security and TV cameras started filming him he treated them like paparazzi and all they kept asking him repeatedly was “…Ambassador Huntsman;…What are you doing here…??” Over and again as Huntsman made his way slowly meandering out through the crowd like a movie star trying to leave his premier engagement. It was not impulse, but based on a pattern of intelligence strategies that have utilized the “Ambassadors” and Embassies of strategic countries as tactical deployment centers for tactical intelligence operatives (Eastern Europe and Central Asia especially under Bush as outposts), I immediately surmised that Huntsman was possibly linked with CIA (or at least an asset on their behalf and “wittingly so” not simply being used). I followed his actions from that point onward thinking he is a player, and I am still certain that he is an active player in the current rigging of the Central Intelligence Government in real power.

    The fact that he came this far is not entirely telling but part of the puzzle. He clearly stayed away from the main circus act of debates, and his rationale does make sense. He is Mormon and so is Romney so a Romney / Huntsman ticket seems unlikely (all too much of a change but then again what happened when the black lone ranger came to town against a woman>??? Presto/Changeo! Ching-Ching; and the churn of “historicism” marches on !).

    Keep your eyes open because it looks like Romney and a wrecking crew is being assembled. Even if Obama continues to “OPERATE” as Chief Operations Officer, this crew will have been assembled into the power structure. I suspect that Huntsman will become… (inter alia…) …Secretary of State or some such agent/client/broker of global intrigue. His instantaneous “endorsement” of all things “Romney” now is troubling. It indicates a deeper sub-plot that I may not have anticipated or foreseen…and it essentially means…don’t blink!
    This shiny plated Romney is very scary…Bush/Obama chrome polish and Teflon titanium all in one. I still can’t believe it will be Romney (see the “Rome” in the name?)…vs Obama, but the rigging is still working out into a dramatic distinction with no difference. As far as a wrecking ball Executioner ( the neo- Chief Executioner Operator : CEO)…as far as that goes…Romeney is the guy to come in and strip the country clean. Consider the background that parallels all too much of what most Americans believe is scavenging our economy under divisive pirate equity and profiteeri­ng on real assets . No…Romne­y is not the man to save our economy…. but to Gut It !

    As far as Obama is concerned, he can get another four years of letting the Republican party do and get what they want against a false front and democratic flag,…and pretty much operate the Intel-Community global covert extensions that he has ingeniously orchestrated around the world. The White House has become Central Intelligence COO (Chief Operations Office) ; and Obama has counted COO’s all over the globe. The Drones are the perfect method and metaphor over this mindscape of the world. Iran can not and will not stand in the way and no one is safe from the internal covert sabotage and subversion that has become methodologically normal (including domestic USA…). Putin must be scared shit of Obama (as indicated by his extremely low profile and the total deterrence gives him compared to Bush Jr). I don’t care what it looks like from the outside official admissions, look at the geo-political globe and consider how much has been completely reshaped and restructured with Syria, Iran, and even China and Russia unable to stop them from covert subversion and internal disorder mongering.

    Meanwhile, Obama’s recent “consolidation” ( the epicenter of his reconciliation planning) offering to the Republicans looks like he is actually challenging them to take what they have wanted since Nixon…Rumsfield and Chaney days, …and defying them to reject it…(he will have Democrats demanding that the Republicans take the consolidation as if it were a surrender to some slick and strategic Democratic platform! In the meantime it takes Executive Power to a new level of sovereignty…giving Presidential Power a decisive Executive advantage over Congressional restraints as never before.

    One indication of how far misinformation and disinformation has become incestuous into the fabric of the Democratic narrative is indicated in the article defense (non-sense really) presented by none other than Robert F. Kennedy Jr. himself. Typically an astute writer and critique the article simply does not fit into his patterned research and expose history. The article brings forth the elaborately played out “Birther” cover distraction by (disarming?) admitting that Romeny’s son mentioned it…but simply passes this off as “surprise” immediately after introducing it. This does not stop RFK Jr. from spending the entire next paragraph reviewing the crackpot conspiracy theorists who dared to challenge Obama’s origins…and fatally..flawlessly…and finally were stopped by a dramatic press release of a “long” form birth decree from the inner sanctum of Hawaii’s bureaucratic archives…case closed…victory Obama…next week Osama also dies! Well?! Nicely choreographed!
    Is this an “endorsement of Obama? Not quite! The entire article now leads us into a tribute to the attributes of none other than Romney! First explaining to us that he “fasts” before making decisions (…if so, then so…ipso/facto: he is “cleansed” and spiritually deliberating in his actions). Then he spends a great deal of time aligning Romney with Obama as a social minded progenitor and benefactor…pre-eminently by introducing us to the “saintly” qualities of Romney’s Father. How does this work? Ignoring the scavenger history selectively out of the Mitt Romney profile and acquiring all the attributes of his conscientious industrial building Father…all a fallacy of composition that implies he must be of the same fabric. The implications of how reverse these considerations are between two generations is suspiciously waved off; much as the third generations obvious ignorant statement is passed off as “surprising” and left to fade. Nonetheless, in a writer that carefully constructs his work, JFK Jr. manages to include three generations of Romney’s into this article that ultimately begs it’s own question from its title: “Mitt Romney’s Test of Moral Fiber” (Robert F. Kennedy Jr. President, Waterkeeper Alliance; Professor, Pace University Posted: 1/9/12 08:42 AM ET@ )

    I have never read anything by RFK Jr. that I didn’t learn from and/or agree with until now. This is a blind campaign stand filled with half truth innuendos based upon a great deal of rhetorical prejudice (crackpot; lunatic fringe; bizarre obsession; steroidal appeal was its dog whistle usefulness­…etc) to harden or soften his sing song appeal of pseudo-con­trasts. It is a great disappoint­ment.

    Who is Whom here? Soft appeals to Romney as Saint courted by an Arena of political sinners (AKA “Olym-Pacs ­” action battle ground of billionair­e’s feet on the ground shovel ready real-polit­ik?): reality political TV acting out. Meanwhile, Sovereign Wealth and ThinkTank nuclear bases are left unmentioned?
    Proxy Extensions of Romney’s Father’s portrait is now utilized to repaint “Mitt” as Vanilla…­when his own portrait rise to financial power is a total disconnect­.
    Finally, While evil genius/cov­ert actions appear to have restructur­ed the globe under Obama, we still harp on a fallacy of “Trumped-up” paperwork to endorse his “proven” foundation­s when his personal history is still clouded in very awkward realities. Obama spent four formative years living very closely connected to Suharto’s regime in Indonesia; a most brutal tyrant and apparently linked to the same CIA international regime change policies which may well have been inflicted upon JFK in our own country under a covert assassination plot and consecutive succession planning that followed. The real question might be why RFK Jr. “can not” challenge Obama for the Democratic candidacy position himself.

    And yet if this scenario is remotely close to actual reality, even insights among critics of high cynical stature, are impressively deceived as the myopic veil forms a patterned limitation to discovery for a revealing but subverted foundation of the narrative. Note here where Scheer critically points to the distinctions with no difference in the political arena…yet concludes in shallow summation that it is simply an outcome of circumstantial and contemporary “powerball” finance:

    “There is no comparable dissent among leading Democrats, who have been loath to take on Barack Obama’s embrace of crony capitalism—that fatal melding of Wall Street wealth with Washington political power—the way Paul and even Newt Gingrich have powerfully challenged Mitt Romney, the GOP’s Obama doppelgänger.
    Yes, doppelgänger, and please don’t try to scare me with those hoary tales of how Romney is the second coming of the far right on social issues, when his entire tenure as Massachusetts governor proved quite the opposite. The issue in this campaign is the economy, and on that, by the time of the general election, there will be no serious substantive difference between the two major parties’ candidates. Both will squarely be on the side of the financiers who created this crisis. (“There’s Hope for Republicans Yet.” by Robert Scheer Posted on Jan 12, 2012: @

    Note that there is no hint of suspicion here that somehow this is to be questioned as a curious outcome from a massive market of diversity…it is all about common interests, greed, economic realism and the normal lust for power playing out with a crony touch of brotherly love/hate in the mix. But one must wonder why intelligent people in this country have not questioned a scenario where power is ultimate and normal political business planning has been overtly demonstrated to be written out as business succession planning. Planning not in decades but in centuries…reality…the Newt Gingrich American Century seems impossible? A cold war plot seems crackpot? The capacity and policies that topple governments gone rogue and seeking to capture the power of the most powerful Nationalized continent on the face of existence….and with its capture falls total ….total….total…power over the entire globe. More powerful than any puny dream of Rome. This Trumps Providence, Design and perhaps God himself! And ….people doubt that this could be possibly happening now among power driven compulsive gamblers under doomsday game theory plotting and planning? Ignorance breeds contempt but the stupid are contemptuous fools as a rule. The plot thickens as it gels.

    Whatever the events, what is unfolding now before our eyes has never happened at this magnitude and human history is entering a phase change on this planet. Will the future hold what appears to be a Heinlein Plot? Or will the Narrative of the “Olymp-Pac’s” take a shift to “Think Tank civil war” and break out with a neo-Political FICTION? Stay tuned…it will be interesting.

    Bruce E. Woych January 17, 2012….cultural anthropology and sanity in exile…. “The cultural ecology of covert power-realism in American succession planning”
    Subplot: Re: Heinlein for President? It is a dark vision — one that Heinlein would clearly approve, from his libertarian stance.share it:

    AS YOU SAID ANNIE: “There is no *reality* to any of this – big bowl of crazy.”

  50. @Woych – Have no fear :-)

    Justice Party candidate answers your question – ALL in D.elusional C.ity are hostages to the deal they made with the *devil*:

    From what I cut and pasted before about a totalitarian regime:

    “[Revolutionary Communist regimes] claim jurisdiction over the whole life of the society and make demands for change that so violate internalized values and habits that inhabitants flee by the tens of thousands . . . .”

    Those who are *flee-ing* from the vicious, ruthless, psychotic, megalomaniacal *vision* of the power-players your write about are in the multi-millions in number – just in the USA – and will include huge swaths of the military, police, FBI, CIA, Marshall’s, etc. and even some for-hire mercenaries doing pro-bono work.

    All in good time….looks like I am not the only one who is genetically incapable of bending a knee to War Lords, Drug Lords and Slave Lords – multi-millions got that same gene….

    Just the FACTS, Ma’am…

  51. It was not the bending over that was the problem, it was the straightening back up again. Those are the facts YOU can’t see.

  52. @ Annie: Your link is very much appreciated. It would be very interesting if Baseline could do a full article on Rocky Anderson and this very truly American programmatic appeal to common cause “justice-based” politics.
    Highlight the link: copy and send it around….if there is a foundation for a realistic grassroots base…Rocky Anderson has the tickets…
    Must see:

  53. @Anonyomousy – All I see is yet another hate-filled stalker from the vipers of the *religious* community who has contributed no *facts* for anyone to *see*….

    Genetically IMPOSSIBLE to get along…go figure….

  54. ooops, hit the button too soon – I never bent the knee so standing up is the only position I ever knew…

    easy target for devil ass kissing nihilists….

  55. @Woych – just as Obambi got a free ride for being half-African American from the bleeding heart contingent and a constant itch for the racist contingent,

    a woman Prez right now would be nothing but one long misogynistic commentary of mass distraction for MSM…so Rocky is an excellent REPRESENTATIVE of the greatest good for the greatest number….

    I appreciate Rocky’s SINCERE repulsion (it’s GENETIC, people) of the ethical freak show that is *politics*. Seriously, the cavalier launching of WAR (slam dunk) is so off the charts of normal human intelligence, that it can’t be tolerated.

  56. Why do I feel like your comments are spineless? Always on the wrong side of nature, I’ll bet if I did the exact opposite of whatever you do, or your views are, I would almost always be right. Intelligence is simply an interpretation of a thing, its the animal in you that can’t take toleration, there always a bigger person or a louder whistle to bring your type in line, or to order. Hows Annie the anniemal for starters, you really havn’t proven your IQ above about 61 to me so far, but keep trying, I don’t get a laugh on multiple people to often.

  57. @Annie:
    Dream ticket :
    Rocky Anderson & Elizabeth Warren;

    what should we do with the cabinet line up?

    Alan Grayson:
    Michael Hudson
    Drew Barrymore???

  58. Oprah for Secretary of State…

    Angelina Jolie can run the CIA
    Brad Pitt over FBI

    National Security:……Ice-T

  59. Pleading for an animal like me to be tolerant of a PREDATORY *religious* rabid raccoon like YOU, anon-a-mouse?

    It’s GENETIC to be repulsed by a *slam-dunk* attitude to launching a pre-emptive decade long war. There will be a Nuremberg Trial one day – go bet the vapor of 1.2 quadrillion derivatives on it…

    Multi-millions of us critters are genetically unable to sit back and be eaten alive by a predator

    167 IQ – you?

    61 IQ is what you hire to kiss your ass

    Captain America?
    January 18, 2012
    from Peter Radford

    “The Economist’s astonishingly tone deaf editorial on Mitt Romney – “America’s next CEO?” – is partisan, wrong-headed, and naive. The very title gives away the fundamental error: America does not need a CEO. The popular notion that business experience somehow makes for a more productive president is horribly misguided and displays a misunderstanding of politics that, frankly, the Economist ought to know how to avoid.”
    (entire article):
    The above article is a critique of this article:
    Mitt Romney
    America’s next CEO?
    Mitt Romney looks like winning the Republican nomination. The party could do worse
    Jan 14th 2012 | from the print edition

  61. So much wit here, I can hardly take it. Oh well, maybe next time I’ll win at cards and pick-up sticks.

  62. After 73 comments or so, Professor Johnson got his thesis confirmed – they ARE

    “…refusing to take yes for an answer on bank reform….”

    Anon-a-mouse had to resort to personal attacks about IQ rather than provide any *facts* about the consequences to SANITY that ensued following the repeal of Glass-Steagall…

    …and these are the people in position to *ruin* you with tax laws, yes?


    Don’t let any of them go back to D.C. to do it…Wisconsin showing how to get it done…

  63. There are NO CHRISTIANS left in Iraq after the decade long occupation…

    Who the hell are YOU to think you KNOW what sin is? You are the archetype in that mini-series – The Pillars of the Earth – the Bishop who with his very last breath spit in the face of the monk who persevered in building the Church…

    Please DO the exact opposite of everything I do….and enjoy the fruits and the unintended consequences.

    Man-o-man, where is Homeland Insecurity to track the psychos….? I’d be all over this *mouse* as a bona-fide nut – rich or not…

  64. “My lone criticism is that you appear to be lacking in essential cynicism when it comes to our leadership.”

    Cynics are right nine times out of ten. They are always wrong on election day. Voting for someone because s/he can win, is pure self flagellation. Even if you are right you are wrong.

    Bayardwaterbury and Simon should trust in their own opinion. They will be happier then


  65. Mouse, you are the boogey man – who you kiddin’? Actually, I think you’re a quite elderly babushka busybody…Ashkenazi, perhaps…?

    Heck, I’ll meet you FTF – name the time and place – anywhere on earth – I LOVE meeting my *god’s work* fans in person.

    European Central Bank: “our money growth target is obsolete”
    January 20, 2012 merijnknibbe Leave a comment Go to comments
    The ECB has published an important study about ‘money’ . It investigates how recent and not so recent institutional changes have changed the ‘nature’ of the M-3 definition of money which the ECB uses to set its rigid 4,5% money growth target. Warning: it’s a boring read. (full article at link above).

  67. @mouse – ah, it’s your get out of jail date…

    But even you have your, er, *lobbyists*, for tax codes – no such thing as a *claw back* tax on the loot of thieves…

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