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This article was originally published at the National Seniors Council

It may be time to take the tax hit and withdraw funds from private retirement accounts before they are forced into long term T-bonds.

The Obama administration is reportedly quickly moving on plans to nationalize private 401k and IRA retirement accounts, and replace them with government sponsored annuities(aka Treasury bonds that the Treasury currently can’t sell to anyone but the Fed).

National Seniors Council Director Robert Crone warns: “This whole issue is moving forward very quickly. Already there is a bill requiring all businesses to automatically enroll their employees in IRA plans in which part of every employee’s paycheck would be automatically deducted and deposited into this account. If this passes, the government will be just one step away from being able to confiscate all these retirement accounts.”

All your retirement savings are belong to us:

A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401k plans, NSC is warning.

The hearing, held in the Labor Department’s main auditorium, was monitored by NSC staff and featured a line up of left-wing activists including one representative of the AFL-CIO who advocated for more government regulation over private retirement accounts and even the establishment of government-sponsored annuities that would take the place of 401k plans.

“This hearing was set up to explore why Americans are not saving as much for their retirement as they could,” explains National Seniors Council National Director Robert Crone, “However, it is clear that this is the first step towards a government takeover. It feels just like the beginning of the debate over health care and we all know how that ended up.”

A representative of the liberal Pension Rights Center, Rebecca Davis, testified that the government needs to get involved because 401k plans and IRAs are unfair to poor people. She demanded the Obama administration set up a “government-sponsored program administered by the PBGC (the governments’ Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation).” She proclaimed that even “private annuities are problematic.”
Such “reforms” would effectively end private retirement accounts in America, Crone warns. “These people want the government to require that ultimately all Americans buy these government annuities instead of saving or investing on their own. The Government could then take these trillions of dollars and redistribute it through this new national retirement system.”

Deputy Treasury Secretary J. Mark Iwry, who presided over the hearing, is a long-time critic of 401k plans because he believes they benefit the rich. He also appears to be one of the Administration’s point man on this issue.

“This whole issue is moving forward very quickly,” warns Crone. “Already there is a bill requiring all businesses to automatically enroll their employees in IRA plans in which part of every employee’s paycheck would be automatically deducted and deposited into this account. If this passes, the government will be just one step away from being able to confiscate all these retirement accounts.”
NSC has taken the lead in warning the nation about this new government onslaught and is plotting ways to stop it.

“This effort ultimately is designed to grab the retirement nest eggs of America’s senior citizens. This new government annuity scheme, even if it is at first optional, will turn into a giant effort to redistribute the wealth of America’s older citizens,” explains Crone. “This scheme mirrors what I expect the President will try to do with Social Security. He wants to turn that program into a welfare program, too.”

NSC will likely unveil a new grassroots campaign effort later this year or early in January to coincide with the seating of the new Congress.

Source: Oath Keepers

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To solve the national budget problem, we’ll have to raise taxes by 50% or shut down the federal government.

As I’ve been telling people for five years, “what can’t be paid, won’t be paid.” The national debt can’t be paid. It is mathematically impossible. Those of you who continue to hold U.S. Treasuries or virtually any other paper debt instrument are going to lose your assets.

My only objection to the following video is that it’s based on the government’s claim that the current National Debt is only $16 trillion. Credible sources estimate that debt to actually be anywhere from $50 to $500 trillion. I’m inclined to accept John Williams’ (shadowstats.com) estimate of about $80 trillion.

If, as the video below claims, even the $16 trillion National Debt can’t be paid, then an $80 trillion National Debt is even more impossible to pay and more certain to cause catastrophe. Until we reach the catastrophe, the national budget can’t possibly be balanced.

Other than the claim that debt is only $16 trillion, this video’s analysis of our national debt and national budget is short, easy to understand and brilliant.

Source: Adask

The Congregational Budget Office (CBO) is out with its annual report. It’s a blockbuster. This 165 page monster is filled with dozens of charts, graphs and detailed projections. It will be talked about for weeks. The report provides a dismal outlook for the economy. There is one data point I’d like to focus on.

Here is the CBO forecast for real GDP for 2012 and 2013: Zero Hedge

Alex interviews ‘Don Jon’ Corzine, former MF Global boss, about the his testimony before Congress concerning the missing funds at the now defunct firm. The former Goldman Sachs CEO, New Jersey governor and senator was subpoenaed to testify earlier this week and many observers consider it little more than a formality. Don Jon is “sorry” for his role in destroying society and creating a Ponzi scheme. Former President Bill Clinton has also been connected to MF Global, as one of his advisory firms received $50,000 per month from MF.

I had lunch yesterday with one of the sharpest financial minds I’ve met in a long time at a rather picturesque setting overlooking Evergreen Lake, west of Denver.

The restaurant patrons were all well-to-do residents of this wealthy community… in fact, the whole area is like a bubble, largely shielded from any negative effect of the economic fallout thus far. Most of these folks have gone about their lives over the last few years completely oblivious to the global financial crisis.

My friend agreed; he told me, “Most of the people sitting in this restaurant haven’t felt a thing. Their guard is down, and they have no idea what’s coming. It makes me nervous.”

Indeed, there’s a large segment of people in this country who have not been directly affected by the meltdown. They still have their jobs, they haven’t been foreclosed, they haven’t been directly threatened by the government, they haven’t been robbed (by the private sector).

Their experience with the poor economy is second-degree… what they read in the papers or see on TV. But overall they live in a bubble. I can only describe this as the calm before the storm… and people are completely blind to the clouds forming around them.

Being blind to the obvious is part of the human condition. And this morning, a friend from London sent me an email describing a rather interesting experiment on the subject. It’s called the Invisible Gorilla.

Subjects in the experiment are asked to watch a video in which groups of players are passing basketballs back and forth. Half of the players in the video are wearing black uniforms, half white.

The subjects are asked to -ignore- the players wearing black jerseys and count the number of times the players wearing white pass the ball to each other. Halfway through the short video, someone wearing a gorilla suit walks on to the screen, thumps his chest, and walks off.

Here’s where it gets interesting– about half of the subjects participating in the experiment don’t notice the gorilla. They’re so focused on counting the white team’s passes and ignoring everything else that their minds naturally filter out something completely obvious.

What’s more, when they’re told about the gorilla after the experiment, most people refuse to believe it. It shows without doubt that (a) people can be blind to the obvious… and (b) people can also be blind to their blindness.

There’s a lot of this happening right now. A lot of people live in their bubbles, detached from reality and completely blind to obvious signs.

The truth is that the insolvency of entire nations in the western world is an unequivocal fact. And it’s not just Greece or Italy or Ireland. It’s the United States as well.

According to the US government’s own 2010 financial statements, the cost of just three sacrosanct programs– Defense, Social Security, and Medicare– exceeded all of the tax revenue collected that year by $10 billion.

In other words, the US government was already in the hole by $10 billion before it paid the light bill at the White House. Or hired any child molesting TSA agents. Or provided bailout funds to Solyndra. Or even paid a single dime of interest on the federal debt.

For several years now, the government has been in a position where it has to borrow money just to pay interest on the money it has already borrowed.

This is the point of no return. Examining the long and distinguished list of countries over the last 800-years that have been in this position before, there is hardly a single example of a nation escaping default and/or hyperinflation. This time is not different.

Now… when the decay comes, it comes quickly. Remember the 2008 Lehman collapse? The markets were plodding along with minor volatility for the months leading up to it. The warning signs were there, but almost everyone was blind to the gorilla thumping its chest. Then suddenly, poof. Trillions of dollars of wealth wiped out.

The same thing happens when a nation collapses. Everything is fine until it isn’t. Look at how quickly the situation deteriorated in Greece. Or Argentina.

We have to force ourselves to wake up… to stop being blind to the giant gorilla thumping its chest right in front of us. It’s easy to believe that nothing bad is going to happen. That this time is different. That this country is different. That the system can’t collapse.

Dangerous words. Things may be fine now, but as quickly as the situation can deteriorate, rational, thinking people have a limited window of opportunity to take action. The gorilla is thumping its chest now. How soon will the next ‘Lehman-style’ event be? Can you afford to wait?

Source: Sovereign Man

By now nobody should have any doubts as to just how disturbing America’s fiscal debacle is. For those naive and innocent few who still think there is a Hollywood ending with a pot of gold awaiting everyone at the end of the rainbow, we present the following “10 essential fiscal charts” from the Pew Policy Institute. To be sure, these are all charts summarizing data that has appeared on Zero Hedge repeatedly over the years in some way shape or form. Pew does, however, have a flair for dramatic visual presentation. In Pew’s own words: “Since April 2010, the Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative has published several reports explaining the medium-and long-term fiscal challenges facing the federal government. With stagnating economic conditions and the passage of new legislation, especially the Budget Control Act of 2011, the outlook for the deficit and debt has changed considerably over the past six months. We have created 10 charts that illustrate how the choices made over the last 10 years contributed to our nation’s debt and the challenges currently facing the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.” So without further ado…

Full article and charts at zerohedge.com


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